Weekly Photo Challenge – Chinese Heritage & Thursday’s Special

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Chinese has more than 5000 years of heritage. I am only touching a drop in the ocean. The following photo is a novelty way to represent the structure of emperors in many dynasties.

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Most social values are derived from Confucianism and Taoism. Confucian thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue and maintenance of ethics, and the importance of the family and social harmony.

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Taoism is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony. Taoist ethics in general tend to emphasize Naturalness: simplicity and spontaneity. The Three Treasures are: Compassion, Frugality, and Humility.

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The ancient written standard was Classical (Traditional) Chinese. It was used for thousands of years. The modern standard is Simplified Chinese. As for spoken language, there are multiple dialects in different regions of China. The Reformers established a Beijing-based Mandarin as a national spoken language.

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The music, dance, acrobat, Kungfu, Tai chi, arts, ceramic, architecture, and cuisine also play major roles in Chinese heritage.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

Paula’s Thursday’s Special – Traces of the Past

Reflecting on the Reflection

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Sitting by Laguna Lake, looking at the reflection in the water of the surrounding, made me reflecting on the life of the lake in the past twenty some years. Before 2004, a quarter of the lake was covered by Lotus patches. The Lotus flowers were gorgeous. Ducks used to lay eggs on the patches.

Laguna Lake is under the charge of Parks and Recreation Commission of City of Fullerton, California. In year 2004, the lake was undergoing a restoration project. In the midst of the project, a giant 4-foot-long, 100 pound turtle was discovered. Eventually the turtle was housed in Arboretum and then toured for exhibitions.

http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/09/local/me-oldbob9

In September 2004, the lake was dredged, new irrigation system was installed. Humps of small rocks were built around the lake close to the dirt path for animals to rest on them.

Thirteen years into the new lake, life underneath and above the lake is abundant. a lot of activities on the dirt path also, such as running, jogging, walking, horseback riding, biking, baby strolling and fishing. The residences in Fullerton City and beyond enjoy the lake tremendously.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

Dangerous Weather

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In my previous post The Road Taken, I wrote about one of our trips to Maui. The rain storm was hitting the island (photo 4 and 5). The down pour rain put us in danger when driving through the twist and turn of Road to Hana. The danger lied in the passing point where there was “no visibility” due to the narrow space and sharp turns of the road.

Before the rainfall pouring down, we passed by an area with breathtaking view of the cliff along the ocean. This area was dangerous during stormy and windy time. On this day, the cloud formations and the white heads of the waves showed signs of strong wind and rough current. I insisted on going to the edge of the cliff for photos. There was a U shape basin at the bottom of the cliff before reaching the ocean. As I walked toward the ocean, at the corner of my eyes, I saw two overturned vehicles, one car and one truck. After taking a couple photos, I wanted to take a photo of the fallen vehicles. The wind was so strong that I couldn’t keep a steady footing. I was not able to move close to the edge to see the vehicles again without risking of being blown down to the basin.

It was an exciting and nervous trip in our familiar travel location!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Danger!

Home and Now-Home

Our latest travel was Spain. It was a wonderful experience. It makes us think of “where next?”

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Roots originated in a land

Thousands miles from where I stand

Driven by innate wanderlust

Travel all over the world I must

Chances to visit foreign soil or home

Yet yearn to return to my NOW home

~

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

Daily Prompt: Roots

The Earth Is a Mystery

Happy Earth Day!

Earth is the third planet from the sun and the fifth largest in the solar system. The earth is a big mystery. It is the only planet that has oxygen, gravity, and constant movement. The Earth consists of four concentric layers: inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The crust is made up of tectonic plates, which are in constant motion. Earthquakes and volcanoes are most likely to occur at plate boundaries. The crust is the land and ocean where we live.

One of the best places to observe the volcanic activities is Yellowstone National Park.

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Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 sq. km), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Mostly in Wyoming, the park spreads into parts of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The Caldera is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Lava flows and rocks from volcanic eruptions cover most of the land area of Yellowstone. Yellowstone features dramatic canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs and gushing geysers, including its most famous, Old Faithful. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_National_Park

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Mystery

Easter Eve Surprise

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My husband gave me an Easter Eve surprise. He made his first ever homemade pizza from scratch. We went shopping together after lunch today. I knew he bought pizza ingredients – bread flour, yeast, tomato sauce, pepperoni, cheese, and canned pineapple.

I asked if he had a recipe. He said he did, but didn’t know when he would make pizza.

This evening, he decided to make it, all by himself without any help from me. I loved it – I didn’t have to do anything. My only help was to take out the rolling pin for him.

He made the dough, used the rolling pin to flatten the dough to the thinnest. He made 3/4 pepperoni and cheese for himself. I only wanted 1/4 with kale and pineapple.

He did the baking and slicing and served it to me. What a treat! What a nice surprise!

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Thin Crust Pizza Recipe:

Ingredients

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Toppings: Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and any other favorite items

Procedure

Mix water, yeast and honey, and let the mix sit for 10 minutes

Stir salt into flour, pour water mixture into flour, and knead well, let dough sit for 5 minutes

 Sprinkle flour on baking sheet, then use rolling pin to flatten dough in circular or square shape, let dough sit for 5-10 minutes

Add toppings evenly on pizza dough

Pre-heat over in 400o

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until cheese bubbles, and crust turns light brown

Slice pizza and serve

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Weekly Photo Challenge – Surprised visit by Bees

In one of my posts I wrote about my plum tree. The tree is four years old. The first two year didn’t have any fruits. The tree had full blossom earlier than any other flowers. There were no bees around to pollinate the blossom. Last year, I manually pollinate the flowers and it produced about twenty plums.

By the end of winter this year, the plum tree had full blossom. So I started using my fine paintbrush to pollinate the flowers. But I got tired. I thought I would have another non-producing year.

There is a slope behind the retaining wall next to the tree. The slope was full of yellow clover flowers. I had other plants on the slope but they were all covered by the clovers.

One day, I went up to the slope, pulled out several handfuls of clovers to see what happened to my other plants. To my surprise, I saw a whole bunch of bee buzzing over the yellow flowers. Then I turned around to look at the plum tree. There they were, bees dancing around the plum blossoms.

Oh, how pleased I was to see the bees. How timely they had come to pollinate the flowers. When spring came, I saw young plums covering the tree. I actually counted the plums. You may think that I was silly, but I was very excited. I counted more than two hundred young plums. I can hardly wait for summer to taste them.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Daily Prompt: Timely