31 August 2011

As Good As It Gets

Yet another attempt to take a group shot of the cousins.

Out of the many, many clicks…




This is as good as it gets.


Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Livingthe long road
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30 August 2011


Zoë has this love affair with shrimps and prawns.  And squids.  Sometimes she accompanies our helper when she goes to the market.  Without fail, when she does, they always come back with fresh squids or fresh prawns, because she would insist on getting some.

No sooner had she put her shoes away and washed her hands, she would immediately head to the kitchen and ask to “clean” the shrimps and squids.  She would actually shoo us away and tell us that she could manage just fine on her own.  And she actually could.  After being shown how to do it properly once. (Don’t worry, we cut off the heads and the prickly bits first before letting her at them.)


I wonder if this is a passing phase –her love of seafood and her enthusiasm for preparing them for cooking.  I love shrimps and prawns, –always had, since I was a child, –but I’d never had any interest in wanting to help clean them.


Josh, on the other hand, absolutely hates shrimps and squids.  He would make gagging noises and would move his plate away from ours when he knows we have prawns or squids on ours.  I don’t know what has gotten into him. He’s not allergic to them and he used to eat them quite a bit when he was younger.  Oh well, more for me and Zoë then.

29 August 2011

I Heart Faces | White

I had this grand plan of shooting a tanned Zoë wearing a white peasant blouse, with her hair loose and blowing in the wind.  Yeah, well.   That did not happen.  She’d insisted on wearing her pink dress today. 


But I do have this one shot of both Josh and Zoë wearing white.  It’s actually one of my all-time favorite shots of the two of them, one of the first few shots taken when I first took my D90 out.





28 August 2011

1. Night Photography – This is a view from our bedroom window on yet another full moon night (different from the one I posted here).  Because of how the windows open out, I get a very limited opening through which I’d get an unobstructed shot.  I don’t have a tripod, so this shot was taken with my camera resting on one of those childproofing grills and with me taking a deep breath and breathing out as the shot went down.  Still not as sharp as I would have liked, but I’ll take it.  I love the light on the water.




2.  Old and New - I could not find something old and new in one shot, so here are two totally unrelated items that are old and new.


Old travel papers and old suitcase



Josh’s new Poetry Journal which he gets to bring home from school every Friday



3.  Sun – I love the rays of afternoon sun that sneaked through the slats to lightly land on the girls as they busied themselves with their water play.




4. Music – Dragon boat racers paddle to the beat of this drum.




5. Cheesy – This one is from the archives… from a pizza-making party that Zoë attended.


27 August 2011

Until Next Year…

I still am not done processing all the photos from this summer.  At the rate this is taking me, our next summer holiday will be here and I still won’t be done.  Anyway, I was looking through and these ones totally make me long for next summer –when we could do it all over again!






We always go blueberry-picking, but this year, because it was a bit too early in the season for blueberries, we picked raspberries. 




Of course, I had to be taught by my 4-year old how to pick raspberries: “You have to twist and pull, Mommy.” This was when she saw me having difficulty plucking one. Well, what do you know? It worked! I asked her how she knew. She airily told me, “Special Agent Oso” and then she walked off to pick some more, sneaking one or two into her mouth.



The cousins dragging our haul back to be weighed.


26 August 2011


Are you the type that tans very easily or are you like Josh and Chris, who hardly ever get any tan?   Zoë is like me.   Just a few minutes in the sun and we get tan lines.

Look at how brown she is these days…



These were taken the other day right before we left for her ballet class.  This week’s classes are “special”  themed classes and were put together just for the last week of summer.  I’d signed her up for The Nutcracker and for Pirouetting Princesses.  In Pirouetting Princesses, she gets to wear her princess outfit and twirl around and around.   How much do you think she’ll love that?

25 August 2011

A Regular Zoë Day

Josh is back in school.  We still have one week to go before Zoë goes back to hers.  In the meantime, she’s been hosting tea parties for her “babies” (her dolls).  She ropes me in to be the queen to her princess.  She goes down to the bus stop to see Josh off in the mornings.  Comes back for her breakfast.  She does a few pages of her activity book; does one page of Chinese writing.  Draws.  Plans “beforemances” for when she puts on a show for us at bedtime.  She goes grocery-shopping with me.  Goes downstairs to play with her friends.  She “helps” with the dishes.  She asks to watch “The Fairies.”  She asks if she can have something to eat (every hour, it seems!).

She keeps busy being Zoë.
Being our lovable little girl.
A little girl who always makes us smile.  Big.

24 August 2011

More on the Maritime Museum

If you ever find yourself in Stanley (Hong Kong), try to stop by the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.  I’ve lived here over 15 years and I’m in Stanley every week; yet, last week was the first time I’d visited the museum.  I’m glad I finally did.  It was really quite interesting and if you have a curious child, it could be a fun mommy-child date on a hot afternoon.


Here are some more photos from its Ancient Gallery (where you’re not supposed to take pictures –flash or no flash!)…



What it says on the little sign on the side:

Antique figurehead, possibly of Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy)

19th Century



“In the West, figureheads replaced the ancient “seeing eye” or okulos, on the bow as well as the later Christian substitute, the Star of the Sea (Stella Maris), or Virgin Mary.  In the figurehead of Guanyin, east meets west.  The fleur de lys (lily) shape in the figurehead’s hand may evoke the lotus (water lily) of Buddhism.”

{copied verbatim}



The glass case on the left where you see a flintlock revolver (I can’t remember if that’s the proper term for it) was Josh’s favorite part of the Ancient Gallery, he said.  Because of the weapons.
I think he enjoyed the Modern Gallery more because it had a number of interactive games.  We tried our hand at Morse code, spelling F-I-R-E;  Josh had a go at {virtually} loading cargo onto a ship and making sure the ship did not sink.  We had a fun afternoon.  Just Josh and me.
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23 August 2011

Rules Schmules

Most days I’m a rule-follower.  Most days.  That’s just the way I’ve been raised.  That’s not to say that I don’t have a bit of a rebel streak in me.


When Josh and I visited the Hong Kong Maritime Museum the other day, I took photos where I was not supposed to have taken any.  Uh oh.  In my defense, I did look around for “No Photography” signs and saw none –not a single one anywhere in the gallery.  I also had my camera hanging around my neck when the guard ushered us into their Ancient Gallery after we handed over our tickets.  He did not say anything to me about not being allowed to take photos in there.  I also saw other people taking photos with their phones and with their point-and-shoot cameras.




I’d snapped quite a few before a boy, about 12, muttered to me, “There is no photography allowed in here.”  I asked him to point out the sign to me.  He just repeated what he mumbled earlier.  We were almost near the Ancient Gallery’s exit, so I just let it go.




Of course, the second we got out, I approached the guard and asked if we could take pictures.  He explained that we could in the Modern Gallery, but not in the Ancient Gallery where we were just in.  Ah.  It was then that I spotted the tiny “No camera” sign –not on the door to the gallery where one could plainly see it, but on the side of door sill… posted in a way such that if one doesn’t turn one’s head to look specifically in that direction, one could totally miss it.  Oh well.  I already have my photos –all taken before I was made aware of the rule.   I’m not going to delete them.



(This giant LV case was from the Modern Gallery.)


Are you a rule-follower or a rule-breaker?

Study 1 - black border (resized 150)

22 August 2011

I Heart Faces | Pets

I’ve never seen something like this before… a mobile pet spa!  As Zoë and I were coming back from an errand, we saw this parked by the side of the road.  People would bring their pets and hand them over to the grooming crew.  The pets get “washed” and groomed inside and you could actually see what’s happening through the glass panels on the side of the van.  How cool is that?

I know that this theme calls for photos of pets, but I thought this is too interesting not to share.
{Edit:  Oops, I didn’t know that there are actually plenty of these in the US.  This is the first (and only) one I’ve seen around here. }

21 August 2011

1. Hanging by a Thread – This Coke delivery truck caught my eye, made me look twice.  I hurriedly took a shot, as it was very hot and Josh and I were both tired and just wanted to get back to the car to go pick up Zoë at her play date.  It wasn’t until I was uploading this photo that I realized that the “doors” were closed and that the crates of Coke that I thought were real were part of the giant stickers on the doors.  What a cool, creative concept!



2. On the Dotted Line – The bus straddled stopped on the dotted (dashed) line when letting off passengers.  A bit of a stretch for this theme, I know.




3.  Geometry – This old shopping center got a facelift and now has these squares and rectangles  on its facade for a relatively more modern look.




4.  Brushstrokes – Calligraphy on a t-shirt.  There are shops in Stanley that ‘translate’ your English name into Chinese (if you don’t already have a Chinese name) and they could print the Chinese characters onto a t-shirt for you.




5.  Collage – It’s late Saturday night and I have an early day tomorrow.  Together with friends, we’re taking the kids to an out-of-town country club for a final hurrah before school starts next week (for Josh and my friends’ children, anyway).  I don’t have the energy to put together a new collage, so I am re-posting one that I posted earlier this week. (I personally find it very painstaking to put together collages, so I would greatly welcome suggestions on easier ways to make them.)


19 August 2011

Time Fillers

During one particularly rainy day during our beach holiday, we decided to drive from Gearhart to Portland.  Spent the afternoon at Powell’s Books.  If you ever are in Portland and you love books, you have to stop by and check it out… and make sure you have hours to while away. (Read more about Powell’s Books here).


After Powell’s, we were supposed to meet up with my SIL and her family for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  We didn’t know where it was.  We knew that they headed to Bridgeport after Powell’s, so we made our way there, too.  Made a wrong turn; got stuck in rush-hour traffic.  In the meantime, both hers and my BIL’s phones were out of juice; Chris’ was as well.  We couldn’t get in touch with them.


When we finally made it to Bridgeport, we knew we didn’t have it in us to try to navigate our way through unfamiliar roads to The Cheesecake Factory.  Plus, it was dinner time.  While we were trying to decide where to have dinner, we got out the books for the kids, so that they wouldn’t be running around.  Zoë was reading one of her new Kai-Lan books and Josh busied himself with one of the search-a-word books we brought along.


We always try to bring along at least one book, activity book, or sketch book with us whenever we go out with the kids.  It gives them something to do when they start to get bored.  Personally, I love the sketch books.  They could do anything they wish on the sketch books –draw, write –anything!   ….and no electronic beeping either –except for the pshh, pfft sound effects that Josh makes sometimes when he draws battle scenes.

Of course there are times we forget to bring books.  That’s when Chris’ phone comes in handy.  Angry Birds.  Fruit Ninja.  It’s my turn now.  No, not yet!  You played longer than I did!  S/he’s not sharing!  Books, notebooks – MUST REMEMBER or I’ll go nuts.

What do you do to fill time while waiting with kids?
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