Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I am getting ready to attend the 9:00 a.m. Mass.  It is the only Mass schedule for today.  My husband is driving back to St. Louis from Detroit and he probably won't get home until 8:00 tonight.  I will be taking my sister to the airport for her flight back to Atlanta at 3:00 p.m.   We plan to go to a festival prior to heading to the airport.  We had a good time at the Lantern Festival and also at the Cardinals v. Phillies game last night.  I will be posting lots of photos taken this weekend in future posts.  (Please come back and visit often :) and I promise to share many interesting stories!)
I took the photo below a few months ago when I was asked to help at a 7:00 a.m. Mass.  I am not really a morning-person but I was glad I agreed to be there early because it was completely empty and spiritually beautiful.  People don't normally attend the early Mass and I had to get there 6:45 am to get ready so it felt as if it was just the Lord and me.  After we were done with setting up, I sat and waited.  It was my quiet time with God.  If you are a person of faith, you might share my appreciation of being in the presence of Christ.  On this Memorial Day, let's pray for peace and in rememberance of the men and women who gave their lives and those served and are serving our nation so we could enjoy freedom and liberty.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Just a brief note while my sister CH is still sleeping.  We have a full schedule today.  First we will visit the Lavender Farm (Last May when CH was here, we drove to the farm but it closed that weekend and most of lavender was already picked), lunch and back to the house before going to the Lantern Festival at the Garden.  We plan to be at the Garden around 3 to see the lanterns during the day, go to dinner at the Hill and then come back when the Lanterns are lit at 8.  I might have to drop CH off, park at another lot if there is no parking space at the Garden and take the shuttle back.
The airport did a great job with the repair from the tornadoes damage last year (January 2011).  I went straight to C gates out of habit.  The renovation was impressive and the area has a welcoming look.  There was an exhibit of tea pots using different kinds of medium.  Good thing I realized that Delta airlines arrivals are at A gates.  I quickly walked real fast over there and CH flight arrived about 10 minutes early so I did not wait too long (or good thing I was not still waiting at the C gates while CH waited for me at A gates)  After we got to the house, CH kept me company in the backyard while I gave the flowers and the arborville bushes plenty of water.  It is predicted that it would be hot this weekend.  We went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner.  I even saw Captain BW from the police department there.  He made me feel so proud when he told CH of my involvement with the City.  I got to show off "my hometown" to my sister.  (St. Louis is now officially my 2nd American hometown.  BTW, the New York Rangers - my 1st American hometown team - was eliminated last night.  The New Jersey Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.  It will be East v. West Coast - NJ Devils v. LA Kings.)  I better stop talking about hockey as it might ruin this weekend with my sister.  (Hey QQ, no politics talking yet so CH and I are ok - haa haa!) 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Flying Apsaras (Above and below) lantern set showcases the beauty of the Chinese fairies, celestial beings in the form of female spirits.  The lanterns are forming an arched way with the flying apsaras surrounded by cloud, weaving colorful flowing dresses, playing musical instruments such as lutes, fifes or small drums.
This week turns out to be very comfortable with cool temperature in the morning and then warm and sunny in the afternoon.  My laptop is giving me trouble again.  It started a month ago when it shut itself off during a virus scan.  At first I thought it was the battery problem.  I removed the battery and just plug the laptop into the outlet.  It worked fine for a few days then the thing just shut down in the middle of a sentence I was composing for this blog.  Perhaps it is time to get a new toy!  Good thing we have the iPad and I could also use my husband desktop.  Technology is a wonderful thing as long as it does not break down. 
There are 150 light bulbs used in this Moonlit Pathway (Above and below) to form a rousing welcome entrance to the festival.  Visitors passing beneath this canopy of stars and moons would feel like royal or someone with lots of wealth and power.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

(Above - Lotus Flower on display in the Swift Family Garden, adjacent to the Linnean House)
After the Garden, I headed straight to a local clothing store to participate in a fashion show.  After work on Thursday, I went there to be fitted.  I selected two outfits.  I got to the store with enough time for a facial touch-up and ready for the show at 2pm.  There were about 8 "models".  There was no runway or even a stage.  The store just re-arranged the clothing racks to create enough space for us to walk from the back room to the front of the store, smile, turn around, and walk to the back.  We had to quickly change into the next outfit.  The store manager mentioned the name of each model, explained how the outfit was put together, the price and about special discount of the day.  All the models were geezers like me, no beauty queens there, just ordinary looking women who agreed to participate in the fashion show for the extra discount.  We get 40% of the regular price items or additional 10% for items that are already marked down.  We all had fun during the show and make purchases because we believe that we save 40% and not that we spend 60% on clothing we did not really need! 
(Below - A giant lotus is set in the waters of the Miles Sculpture Garden ponds, between two 60 feet long dragons.    The dragons are created using approximately 40,000 porcelain cooking utensils.  Photos of these porcelain dragons will be in the next post.)
Most people associate cherry blossom with Japan even though cherry trees grow naturally in China.  There are almost 200 cherry trees in the Garden, mostly in the Japanese Garden.  For the Lantern Festival, these Cherry Blossom lanterns line along the path leading into the Chinese Garden.  When illuminated, the light will create a cherry tree with glowing petals in the dark, I can't wait!


 Yesterday, I attended a training session for volunteers at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It is required for those wishing to assist during the Lantern Festival.  The grand opening will be the Memorial weekend and runs thru August 19th.  The Chinese Festival is scheduled the same weekend. 
After the training, I walked around the garden and took photos of all 26 lanterns.  I can't wait to see the lanterns when they are lit.  For more information about the Lantern Festival, please visit and good luck if you have not gotten your tickets for the opening weekend. 
Come back often, I promise to post photos of all the lanterns during the day and at night after the grand opening.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Here are the AFTER photos after we cleaned the area by the "great wall" and planted nine of the arborvitae along the fence.  We also moved the eagle to the center from the southeast corner.  We learned that these shrubs are normally found in eastern Canada.  (Maybe I would find a hockey puck in one of the shrub!)  The shrubs are about 6 ft tall, just enough to provide screening.  I think we are done with all the projects for the backyard for now. 


My sister is coming in for the Lantern Festival on display at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It would be just us "girls" because my husband will be driving to Detroit to visit his sister who has been suffering from manic depression since her divorce.  It worked out that we both got to spend special time with our sisters.  I visited CH in November after she moved to Atlanta last year (September 2011).  This will be the 4th time CH visits St. Louis.  The 1st time was in 1996 to see the exhibit of Lewis and Clark bicentennial expedition.  We drove to Memphis and Nashville when CH came to visit last year.  We had a great time at the Grand Ole Opry.
CH is my only sister and 4 years younger.  Our childhood was different because we did not do most of the regular things sisters would do since CH was born with muscular dystrophy.  She did not walk on her own until she was almost 7 years old.  What CH lacks physically, she made up for having a brilliant mind.  Growing up, CH was unable to go to school but I was able to provide regular lessons based on the curriculum I had learned.  By the time CH was able to walk and began to attend school, she not only was placed in the grade according to her age but was much more advanced than other kids.  From the time we came to America, CH has taken full advantage of all the benefits available.  CH graduated among the top of her class, earned a full scholarship to Hunter College, and another full scholarship from New York University for her graduate degree.  CH has always been an indepedent person.  She never allowed physical difficulties became the barriers of her goals to live life to the fullest.  CH has travelled to all the countries in Europe, Russia, enjoyed many cruises and visited most of the States.  A smart investor, CH was able to make wise decision when she purchased a condo in Park Slope, New York and again in Atlantic Station, Atlanta.  I am proud of my sister and her accomplishments.  CH is an example of the strength of human spirit to overcome obtacles and what the American Dream offers to those willing to do what it takes to reach their goals.  I look forward to spending quality time with my sister.  Just hope we don't get into the subject of politics and which direction America should be moving forward in the coming (election) years!    

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Our backyard faces a rather busy two-lane secondary road.  The speed limit has been kept at 25-30 mph because there are three schools, a daycare center and two parks along this stretch between two major roads.  I was among the residents who spoke at a public hearing against extending the road to four lanes and increasing the speed limit to 35-40.  Our main reasons were the safety of the children.  Kids walking home from school and riding their bicycles to the parks.  Increasing the speed limit would encourage some motorists to zoom thru our streets.  Two years ago I my husband built the brick wall to replace the old rotten railroad tires along the fence.  The bushes have become overgrown.  Whether looking out the kitchen window or sitting in the patio, we notice that there are many walkers and runners passing by.  If we wanted to, sometimes we could hear the conversations between two slow walkers.
This year, we finally cleared all the bushes as you could see from the above photo.  Cutting the limbs into manageable size took almost the whole Saturday afternoon, a few hours on Monday evening and ten yard waste bags to get it all accomplished.  Are you ready for the "after photos"?

Friday, May 11, 2012


This is sort-of a Friday Sky post - I hope you like my "artistic" method of photographing the flowers.  If you know what kind of flowers these are, please share with me and other readers.
We have been enjoying comfortable sunny weather all week long.  It is a nice change compared to all the storms that came thru our area a few weeks ago.  You might have heard about the terrible accident of the collapsed beer tent that killed one person and injured many others.  The man who died was looking forward to his daughter's wedding.  My husband has an expression "we are on vacation" whenever he wanted to do something that I thought too costly or that we should wait.  I used to think that he was just being silly.  Now I live each day as if I was on vacation.  It does not have to be spending money to accumulate earthly possession, just relax and "don't sweat the small stuff".  Every day is a good day for celebration because you don't know what tomorrow might bring.  Perhaps in my old age, I learned not to allow little things or anyone get to me. 
There is a really nice park near my new workplace.  I tried going there during lunch and walked around the park for about 20 minutes.  The park has a nice playground and there are always kids playing while their parents watching.  There are a few group of office workers, mostly women, that are regular visitors/walkers.  The area around my new office has variety of restaurants, plenty of stores, and many specialty shops.  The best part is a public library branch located within walking distance and I have been going there often.  A Happy Mother's Day if you are mothers and have a good weekend to everyone else!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


"Don't you hate Monday", a co-worker grumbled as he walked by my corner.  I responded, "No, I am just glad that I am alive and working!"  If I am financially able, I would rather not working, especially in an office environment being surrounded by imcompetent, dishonest people and when you have no respect for those you report to.   I would rather spend my time traveling, doing volunteer work or just doing what I enjoy.  But since I need an income, I am trying to make the best of the situation.  At my current employment, things are much better compared to my previous workplace.  I am learning new skills and there is potential for growth within the organization.  So for now, I am happy where I am, considering the "stormy" journey that began last June (2011).  Be patient my readers, I promise I will share the details when the time is right. 
Blue Monday
No use in my going
Downtown to work today,
It's eight
I'm late -
And it's marked down that-a-way.
Saturday and Sunday's
Fun to sport around,
But no use denying -
Monday'll get you down.
That old blue Monday
Will surely get you down.  (Langston Hughes 1902-1967)
Until I win the Mega Million jackpot, I would no other option but keep working.  So I will try to make the best of it.  There is no use in whinning all the time.  If you hate Monday, try to think that only four more days and it will be weekend again!                                                                                                     

Monday, May 07, 2012


It was a sunny Sunday with temperature in the high 90s.  It was not comfortable as yesterday because of the humidity.  After 10:15 Mass, we decided to visit the Apple Store as we have been considering the iPhone.  We are not happy with the current phone carrier which I will not mention the name of the company here.  The contract will expire in October, so we will have to wait.  We don't want to pay any penalty for breaking the contract.
After lunch, I planned to spend time outside reading but it was too hot.  The patio looks so nice with all the hanging baskets of flowers.  I stayed inside where it was cool and watched the Blues v. Kings game instead.  The Kings swept the series 4-0.  It must be a long and torturing flights for the Blues from L.A. back to St. Louis.  Later, I watched the Devils v. Flyers and I was happy that the Devils won.  It was Martin Brodeur's 40th birthday and he assisted on a goal so it was a good birthday for him.  It was a good and productive weekend.  I am ready for Monday, back to the rat race! 

Sunday, May 06, 2012


Happy Cinco de Mayo to you, whether you are celebrating this holiday because of your heritage or simply just want to have fun drinking and eating delicious food!  It was a beautiful sunny day and I made the most of it. (QQ, you should sit down before continue reading - haa haa)  I spent the whole morning planting flowers.  I did not use garden gloves and really got my hands into the dirt.  After all the flowers were planted, I washed the patio table and chairs.  I felt so good after all the hard work was done.  I plan to spend time in the patio, sit back and read my books before St. Louis humid temperature starts.  (Alisa, I am sure you "fondly" remember June-September weather in St. Louis.)    
Hey QQ, remember this wooden bench?  No one tried to sit on it and fell down but I put the flowers there because I thought they would look nice and got plenty of sun.  (We used to be able to sit on the bench but after a few years the wood became rotten.  We kept it as decoration, just for the weather beaten look.)  I have enough flowers for one small pot by St. Francis.  CP also moved the bird feeder from the patio to the side of the shed because the birds made a big mess and and we were tired of them turning our patio table and chairs into their lavatory!   
My husband did a good job getting a mixture of different kind of colorful flowers.  There is a produce stand near where he works.  This time of the year, they also sell hanging baskets and potted flowers.  I am so proud of the work I did.  The flowers in the barrel and the red water pump gives our backyard a bit of country look.  The pump still works but we decided to leave it off for now.  I sure enjoyed spending time planting flowers and being outside on a beautiful sunny day.  I am really on the roll - maybe I should start a garden - NOT !!!!!!

Friday, May 04, 2012


Regular readers (I don't know if I still have any faithful readers and forget about adoring fans - haa haa) know the main reason I have not been posting regularly because I am occupied with watching NHL playoffs games.  Playing Scrabbles is another reason.  My highest score is 468 points and my best word is "waxy" (I don't even know what it means!).    
In previous post, I was not clear with my comments about the new look of my silly blog.  I should have written that the new admin console caused much confusion when I first login.  I have gotten used to it but I still prefer the old format.  Blogger should know that you can't teach an old dog new tricks!  Ok, let's get back to hockey.  My world is still upside down because the Rangers are the only Original Six team still standing.  Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs never made it to the Playoffs.  My beloved Red Wings were eliminated (it's still painful writing about this) and both the Bruins and the Blackhawks did not make it to Round 2.
It has been a very strange 1st Series.  No one expected teams such as the Penguins and the #1 seed Canucks performed (uncharacteriscally) poorly.  I saw the above vanity plate at the Blues parking lot, how appropriate!  Too bad, the Toronto Maple Leafs goalie could not do exactly what he needed to do, "STOPUCKS"!     


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