Last day of the old year is sunny and warm, not smoggy, riding to Beijing Nan Zhan Railway Station, going in another, new direction. My little leaf boat swirls in the current, drifting with the tug of tide! Faintly I detect the salt tang and morning mist in Qingdao.Read More
Early wake up call at 7am followed by fabulous western style breakfast: appetizer of cai green vegetables with sesame seeds, red shred and curly carrot garnish, glass of hot water, cup of delicious kaffei nai he tang, New Zealand butter, Austrian strawberry jam, square toast, buttermilk medallion size pancakes, omelet cooked in butter, and slightly sweetened yogurt. Piping hot. The shy waiter is named Pok. I'm so relieved. The let down brings tears. This trip is starting out pretty good. Everyone is pleasant and smiling at Chery. On the plane, at the security check at the diminutive airport, the guards couldn't hold back from returning my smile. My two tour guides and driver met me at the airport. The hotel is very nice. My room is huge with lots of closet space, two thick, red wool blankets with a floral design plus the duvet. Forced air heat on a thermostat. Pretty warm, 20C / 68F in the room.Read More
Yong hoy fat choy! Xinnian hao! On December 20 I got the manuscript back from my editor Kathyrn Robyn. I can’t remember any longer what revision I’m on, but the filename is now BA ver.6.1. Not finished yet, but getting very close to it…J
Cedar wax-wings are getting into the Boston ivy berries. Little, teen-aged, gray squirrels pop up from under the snow at tree wells or edges of the house—sooo cute, like Chip’n’Dale...
Chip'n'Dale are two chipmunk cartoon characters created in 1943 at Walt Disney Productions. Here's a link to Utube cartoon that must be fifty-years-old, just like cartoons I watched when I was little. Apologies to my China friends who can't access Utube.
... they scamper over the snow or slide down with little feet sticking out—wheee! Stay safe little squirrels, the fox is nearby …
On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2012, gray foxes track through the back yard, tripping the motion sensor light. In early morning, Bruce saw a pair of them, with bushy tails as long as bodies, walking together down the street, boy and girlfriend.
We've had tons of snow this past month, and I am not exaggerating. The city was plowing at midnight on Apple Street at one point. Click on Cornerstone Bakery to see hilarious pix of the Explorer after we dug it out, still had at least two-feet of snow on top!!
Friday night, January 18, artist friends of mine were hosting a reception of their new work at the Liberty Arts gallery in Yreka, that’s north of Dunsmuir by about an hour driving. Yreka is the county seat of Siskiyou and is surrounded by cattle ranches and agriculture.
New China Style
My son, James, is sharing a Willamette 360 project he worked on two years ago for a very good developer in China. There were four homes in the package for which they designed the elevations, but the plans were really designed by the Chinese client. The style is one they've been developing for the last several years that is quite popular. It's a mix of neoclassical and Mediterranean styling they call the "New Chinese style."
China Culture: Laba Day
Zhoumo wo hezhou le … This weekend I drank porridge
January 19 is Laba Day, celebrated in China on the 8th day of the 12th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s a traditional Buddhist practice to offer rice porridge to the poor to show faith in Buddha and pray for the coming year: good weather and good harvest. At the time of the Ming Dynasty, in the 16th century, it became a royal food. The practice spread throughout the country. The porridge today is a nutritious mix of yellow rice, white rice, glutinous rice, water chestnut, chestnuts, peeled Zaoni with Shuizhu Shu, tropical red peach kernel, almond, melon seeds, peanuts, hazel Rang, pine nuts, sugar, brown sugar, raisins, red river beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds.
Anyone know what zaoni with shuizhu shu?
Eunice Woo shares with us:
The word "La" is another way of saying December of Chinese Lunar Calendar, "Ba" means the 8th day of this month. the festival is originated from ancient emperor's sacrifice to God, dried fruits and grains are used to celebrate harvest - thank God for last year's harvest and pray for the next year's harvest. Most important tradition of La Ba is making and eating "La Ba porridge". every family's hostess gets up really early to make the porridge, the first family gets the porridge done will have the biggest harvest the next year. when you have the porridge you'll find different kinds of grains and dried fruits and nuts, many people think there are 8 kinds of them because the word "Ba" in the name of this festival, but it's not true, it's definitely more than 8. as to what Chinese people use specifically in the porridge, i'm not sure, different regions have different features. generally speaking, people from Northern China like sweet porridge without any meat in it, while in Southern China people like salted porridge with meat. in ancient times, the Emperor would serve his people porridge made by the emperess, today many big well-known temples still serve porridge freely to people. having La Ba porridge is super good to one's health too, although our ancestors don't know today's scientific theories, they decided to do this more than one thousand years ago.
Selected Poems of Zheng Min
This statement from the Publisher’s Forward of this slim book of verse is strangely prescient of the announcement of Nobel winner Mo Yan. “China is a country with a history of over five thousand years, rich with ancient cultures and civilization. China is also a country of poetry. China's poetry is recognized for its great achievements in art. Nine sessions of International Poet's Pen Club have taken place in China. The World Congress of Poets (WCP) frequently meets in China. Chinese poetry will surely be linked more closely with world poetry, thereby giving impetus to the further development of Chinese and world poetry.”
In November 2011 at Tsinghua University I was privileged to attend a reception for Zhen Min, a 91-year-old poetess who was writing before New China, was a member of a writers group called the ‘Nine Leaves,’ but who was suppressed during the Cultural Revolution. From 1948 to 1952, Zheng Min studied in the Department of English at Brown University, receiving her MA. This little book is of several of her later poems, nineteen poems on the subject of death. 71 pages, English and Chinese on each page.
See you later
The roses are the most beautiful I have ever seen them this spring. The old fashioned ones are very fragrant with scents musky, fruity, sweet. We have fresh tomatoes and peppers from Canada and delicious ‘Tuscan’ melons from Mexico.
The old website is undergoing a total make over starting with a new domain name and RSS feed blog. I’m looking for someone who would like to do an Anime page for me. Let me know if interested.
We lost power for about fifteen minutes during an afternoon thundershower, so we got to light the emergency kerosene lamp! Chi in the canyon condenses into fat clouds caught in the trees.
My peas are flowering and making little pods. I’ve been harvesting French sorrel for my friends at Café M. Lots of apples and pears this year, already starting to color. Birds in the backyard.
This weekend was Railroad Days in Dunsmuir. Wearing an official RRDays button gets you into all exhibits. My son rode down in Amtrak with granddaughter, her first visit to NaiNai and Poppa Bruce’s house.
The festival brought people downtown. It was BIG FUN visiting RRDays as a participant with my darling family.
See you later