The Daily Post Challenge: Ephemeral

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If I win the multi-million lottery I know where I would want to live. I would buy a tiny old house in Carmel with a postage stamp size garden.

I love its quaintness so much that even an impending rain storm when I visited didn’t deter me to stay away from the ocean. It was sort of a war of wills. I was willing to stay and watch the waves come and go but it was getting chilly and so I had to leave before the rain clouds reached me.

It didn’t stay very long and the rain turned only to showers. Just enough to water the beautiful gardens, hardened the sand just a bit so walking was not a struggle but it enveloped the whole area with a blanket of cold air and dampness that called for a seat by the fireplace to warm one’s heart.

The weather was ephemeral and so was the feeling but the dream wasn’t because in all seriousness, I wish it would come true!

Posted in California, Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 4 Comments

Travel Theme: Outdoors

Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack challenge for the week is Outdoors. Go here for the rules and other entries.

We all love the great outdoors, especially after a long Winter. I can’t wait to go out there and watch a beautiful sunset or just plain walk and enjoy the fresh air and the scenery.

Alley playground

Alley playground

Family bonding outdoors

Family bonding outdoors

Enjoying the crisp air of Fall

Enjoying the crisp air of Fall

Posted in Photo Challenge | Tagged | 6 Comments

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Weathered Wood

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As a gardener I favor an English garden like this one.

Mom and I used to argue because she loved order in a flower garden while I like to mix them like how nature meant them to be.

So it is no big surprise that I would like this kind of fence. Uneven, unpainted, rugged. Mom would have disagreed. But plant is a great neutralizer.

People put fences in their homes to define boundaries and privacy. In this instance though it serves as a fitting backdrop to the flowers. While the house is not too big and made of concrete, the weathered wooden fence in between seems so natural.

To a naked eye or to unseasoned gardener, it is difficult to imagine that these elements would all work together. Only an imaginative landscape engineer can see the potential and it works.

My entry to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for the week.

Posted in California, Flowers, Garden, Photo Challenge | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A milestone

Last week was a great milestone for our friend M. She has reached an age when she could already retire and take care of herself and her Dad.

She celebrated her birthday in Chinatown with her family and many close friends.

I wish you all the best in retirement M. I hope you get to do whatever fancies you. After family, have no more excuses, enjoy life as it comes.

Minerva

Minerva

Minerva with her family

Minerva with her family

Chinatown landmark

Chinatown landmark

Chicago Chinatown

Chicago Chinatown

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Sharkfin soup

Sharkfin soup

Beef

Beef

Noodles for long life

Noodles for long life

salt & pepper shrimp

salt & pepper shrimp

Fish for good luck

Fish for good luck

Another beef

Another beef

Fried chicken

Fried chicken

Soft shell crab

Soft shell crab

Mini almond cookies

Mini almond cookies

Posted in Food, Friendships | Tagged | 10 Comments

Squid (Pusit) Adobo

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It is Lent and it’s been our tradition not to eat meat on Fridays until Easter is over.

I had three huge squid in the freezer and we normally cook it in adobo ingredients. I wanted to try a recipe from one of my friend’s cookbook but I had a tomato that’s getting overripe so that recipe will be for next time.

Ingredients:

2 tbsps. oil
1 medium sized tomato
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsps. soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Black ground pepper

Clean squid, discarding out all innards, beak and the eyes, and slice into rings. Drain.

Heat oil in a saute pan. Add garlic but do not brown, then caramelize onion and later tomatoes, vinegar and soy. Saute well.

Add squid and bay leaves. It will get watery so do not add liquid. Cover and stew until tender. Add the sugar, ground pepper. If it is still bland, season it with salt.

Saute until liquid has almost evaporated but not dry. If you want more sauce, turn off the fire when you have enough sauce left as desired.

It needs a lot of rice.

Bon appetit!

Posted in Food | Tagged | 8 Comments

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Fresh – Candy canes


Before the Christmas party our office building owners gave their tenants I’ve never had fresh candy canes, much more see how they are made. The only candy canes I’ve ever tasted were the ones from the grocery or drug stores. I wonder how long they’ve been on stock there – long could be a couple of weeks.

Thanks to them we witnessed how the candies were made from scratch.

My entry to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge which this week is Fresh.

Posted in Chicago, Food | Tagged | 6 Comments

Travel Theme: Spring Snowdrops

IMG_0390After a warm weekend last week and then suddenly it went back to the 30s-40s deg. F starting Tuesday, I thought Spring is not going to come.

At least the calendar today is marked as the first day of Spring. However, my attire today belies the season we’re getting into. I wore my down coat, gloves and my knitted hat is in my purse ready on standby just in case it gets too cold downtown.

In fact I was standing by the elevator banks when I realized I forgot my coat on my way out. I had to go back to retrieve it, it is still chilly out.

As I was picking up my car, I noticed these flowers not too far away by the side of a private home. Snowdrops are easy to ignore but because they are clump together in one spot where there used to be old dried leaves from the trees their dainty white flowers caught my attention. What a welcome sight to someone who’s eyes are all but tired of the drab colors of Winter.

These sturdy perennials are the first flowers in Spring. They are tiny bulbs that one plants in the Fall and they are best naturalized in one’s garden. By the time the grass is ready to be cut, the flowers will be gone.

Scientific name: Galanthus nivalis

My entry to Where’s My Backpack’s Travel Theme Challenge here.

Posted in Flowers, Photo Challenge, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments