Monochrome Madness Week 21



I didn’t know drawing can be this easy :) Thanks to Jo for introducing LunaPic!  Take a look of what her fabulous work.

Visit Monochrome Madness, click here

Happy weekend :)

Sharing Gratitude: Hard working bees

Bees are very important pollinators and are good at what they do. More than 90 percent of all plants need a pollinator to distribute pollen for fruit, vegetable, seed, and nut production.

Unless habitats for beneficial insects are protected and nurtured, farmers around the world could face futures of drastically lower yields. I am grateful for the hard-working bees. bee-wildrose-1

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  • A bee visits 50 to 100 flowers per trip to take nectar and pollen to the hive.
  • Thousands of bees in a hive fly more than 55,000 miles and visit about 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey —about the amount one American will consume in a year.
  • Not spraying pesticides and becoming backyard beekeepers also helps.

source: Lompoc Record

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Visite Collne’s Sharing Gratitude

Happy Thursday :)

Jo’s Monday Walk: Lan Su Garden

Lan Su Chinese Garden is located in Portland, Oregon.

The garden as a memory of lost paradise is a subject found throughout human history — in religion, poetry, fine arts, and science. The idea of paradise is a projection of wishes and desires that cannot be attained on Earth — a garden becomes its earthy reflection.

– Johann Kraftner

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I began to appreciate the ruggedly rising rock landscapes, the narrowness of the path, tiny pond, and courtyards of Chinese garden a little better, after I read the” The Elegant Garden” written by Johann Kraftner.

“Its irregular configuration, which gives the illusion that it cannot be beheld in its entirely, encourages this effect.”

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“It is not a route that is the destination, but rather the views seen while traversing; the impressions received on the way.”


“There is no clearly defined path leading around the pond or courtyard; one can always enter adjoining rooms, to emerge in a completely different spot.”

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“The visitor quickly loses a prescribed sense of direction and is continually encountering new elements not seen before.”

“After a walking tour, not a single visitor will know which route he or she actually took and where he or she was, which indicates how intentionally confusing and ultimately miraculous is the design of the entire park (garden).”


“A world in which the density increases from one room to the next; a world that trains one’s eye on humble things;

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a world in which apparently inconsequential items become protagonists.”


A group of people were practicing Tai Chi in this elegant garden facing the waterlily pond (the young man wearing a pair of black pants with white strips was the instructor). It looks like a paradise to me. :)

Note: All quotes above are from the ” The Elegant Garden” written by Johann Kraftner.

Here is a post of Lotus you really, really don’t want to miss. Exquisite! Click here

Take a walk down to the North Yorkshire beautiful coast to Whitby with Jo!


Thank you so much for visiting! Happy Wednesday :)

1 day 1 world: 11 pm to 12 am

Azar Nafisi, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of  “Reading Lolita in Tehran”(2003), received many awards, including the Nonfiction Book of the Year Award from Booksense, and was a finalist for the 2004 PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir.

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A good friend of mine loaned me a copy of an unpublished book (it’s in the final editing process) entitled “The Republic of Imagination” by Azar Nafisi. The idea for this book came to her when a young man, also from Iran, expressed to her about his disdain for Americans and their lack of understanding the importance of books. Thus, in her book, Azar uses Huckleberry Finn, Babbit, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter to demo American perspective on reading.

In the Introduction of this book, she first talks about her personal transformation when she took a loyalty oath to become an American citizen:

“When you choose to call a place home, you no longer treat it with the episocdic curiosity of a guest or visitor. Its shortcomings are no longer merely topics of conversation. You wonder, why are things this way and not another? You want to improve the place, to change it, to make your complaints known. And I had done enough complaining by then to know it was time I became an American citizen.” (p. 9)

This leads to her view of hope and dream, Azar uses the quote from Vaclav Havel, ” Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”  (p.32)

She, then, poses a provocative question, “If you believe your country was founded on the actualization of a dream, then an obvious and essential question arises: how can you dream without imagination?” With that, she “invites us to join her as citizens of her ‘Republic of Imaginations’, a country where the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and willingness to dream.”

But, why she writes about reading perspectives for “The Republic of Imagination”? Azar explains by using Joseph Brodsky (receive 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature) quote:

“… we are powerless when it comes to its worst violation: that of not reading the books. For that crime, a person pays with his whole life; if the offender is a nation, it pays with its history.” Azar says, “Reading is a private act, but it joins us across continents and time.”

From there, Azar launches into the “America in Three Books”.

I’m not a night owl, but this book kept me awake until and after midnight.

Thanks to Lisa’s 1 day 1 world project. :)


Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Lookin’ Through Windows

Ed’s Sunday Still: Lookin’ Through Windows, “its anything that you can see thought a window…. and you have to show the window frame. Don’t crop out the frame its part of the challenge.”

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Beautiful twilight through the window, Sevilla.

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Japanese Tea House, Portland


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Travel Theme: Purple

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An exotic purple flower in the Gardens of Alhambra, Granada. I can use some help with the name of this plant.


Beautiful purple clematis in full bloom outside of the Rose Gardens, Portland.


This gorgeous passionflower was captured at the Riverwalk, San Antonio.

See Alisa’s Travel Theme purple and more entries…

Thank you for visiting :)




Sherry for WPC Containers

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Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.


We took a wine tasting tour at the Bodegas Tradicion where produces fine sherry, aged to 30, 40 years. Our wine tour guide was very knowledgeable; she walked us through the wine process and explained its quality and history.



A 30-year-old sherry is about $59 euro ($78).


Unexpectedly, in a very old cellar, we had an opportunity to admire some major art works by the great masters of Spanish Art, from the 15 to 19th centuries. Below are the two tile drawings by Picasso:




  • These wine barrels were made from American oak.
  • Sherry has been produced since the 1600s in Spain.
  • Fermentation: The Palomino grapes are harvested in early September, and pressed lightly to extract the must. The must from the first pressing, the primera yema, is used to produce Fino and Manzanilla and the must from the second pressing, the segunda yema will be used for Oloroso; the product of additional pressings is used for lesser wines, distillation and vinegar.
  • Aging: The fortified wine is stored in 500-litre casks that are made of North American oak, which is less porous than French or Spanish oak. The casks, or butts, are filled five-sixths full, leaving “the space of two fists” empty at the top to allow flor to develop on top of the wine.  More Wikipedia

WPC: Containers

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wood


The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.

Henry Beston


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost


Visit Cee’s Fun Foto and more ...


Monochrome Madness Week 20: Horse


This photo was taken at an Andalusian horse farm nearby Jerez, Spain.

Strongly built, and compact yet elegant, Andalusians have long, thick manes and tails. Their most common coat color is gray, although they can be found in many other colors. They are known for their intelligence, sensitivity and docility. The Andalusian has been recognized as an individual breed since the 15th century, and its conformation has changed very little over the centuries.             — Wikipedia

More Monochrome Madness

Thank you for stopping by :)



Sharing Gratitude: Travel by Plane

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Colline is starting a new theme named “Sharing Gratitude”. She said that “In an effort to focus on the positive in my life, I have decided to photograph and write about those things which make me grateful.”

I have a long list things to be grateful for, for this week, I chose “travel by plane”.


Though we have to deal with frustrations of the delay and security process when we travel, I’m always amazed by the speed of flight that takes us to somewhere thousands of miles away in just a few hours.

Transporting thousands of people to various places every few minutes must require enormous effort.  I am grateful for the hard work of engineers, pilots, security staff, flight attendants, computer programmers, air controllers, luggage carriers, and many more airport workers.


When the pilot comes on PA system and says “Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.”, I know they’ll take me to my destination. :)



  Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul

Henry Ward Beecher


Thank you for the inspiring theme, Colline! Visit Sharing Gratitude

Thank you for stopping by :)