Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s not this time of year without …

Christmas decorations start getting put up around September in the Philippines. For my family the excitement starts to build up after the feast day of St. Michael ( the patron saint of our city) on September 29th, and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. And Christmas doesn’t end until after January 6th, the Feast of the Three Kings. 

Since living in China, I have not been  really excited about Christmas. When I first came here, there were hardly any Christmas decorations. Now, they are everywhere and young people “celebrate” almost every Western festival, including Thanksgiving. But it’s not the same. It does not feel the same.  Even at church, they see the whole thing as a performance , like a curious opera. It only makes me sad. 

This year Christmas will feel even stranger, especially for my sisters and nephew who will feel my mother’s absence more than I will or do. My husband and I will miss our son who will be celebrating Christmas in the Philippines for the first time, though I am excited for him. 

It’s not Christmas without family and church and happy people buying presents for loved ones and greeting strangers, “Merry Christmas” (and not the fake “Happy Holidays!”) 

It’s not Christmas without knowing the story of Jesus (hence the crèche in the photo) and that Santa is NOT Jesus. 
Weekly Photo Challenge: It’s not this time of year without … 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Magic 

I know science can explain this, but it was the first time I saw the sky like this and I thought it was magical. I took these photos a few weeks ago from my balcony. It was a little after 6 in the morning. (I sent a copy to a friend right away, and he asked if it was photoshopped. This has not been photoshopped. )

My husband said the Chinese call it 火烧云 which literally means “fire burn cloud” or burning clouds. It surely looks like that. 

Magical. 


May you have a magical weekend. 🙂 

T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Magic 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny


A couple of months ago, we bought two mollies. Two weeks later, one gave birth to over 20 babies. So now we have almost 30 fish. This photo was taken when they were just a few days old. 

My husband has been taking good care of them. I didn’t think they would all survive but so far, so good. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos in Watercolor

This is a picture of my mind in chaos. Sort of. I made this watercolor sometime in May 2014. I was going through a difficult time — delayed culture shock and my relationships with my (now) two best friends were not as clearly defined then as they are now. 

A couple of months ago while we were packing our stuff to move to this new apartment we live in now, I saw the sketch pad where I made this watercolor. Serendipity. I can use this one today. 

Have a lovely weekend. May you find peace, beauty and design in our chaotic world today. 

T. 

Weekly Photo Challenge : Chaos

Note: I had to re-do this post because a photo of my son and nephews were inadvertently attached to the file and I couldn’t edit it.  Sigh