Xingfu means blessed.

Xingfu means happy and blessed in Chinese. Even though 2014, the year I started this blog, was a busy and, at times, difficult year that is the word I thought of for this space. Mama not because I have many children but because I seem to fall into a caregiving role. Sometimes I feel like Mama to the world.

The name XingfuMama means Happy Mama with undertones of being blessed.

On Saturday it rained…

One of the simple joys of the just past mid-winter season is when my dad’s Pink Perfection camellias bloom. Somehow they appeal to me most on the darkest wettest days…like they are saying “neeener-neeener” to the winter weather.

Peek-a-boo camellia!
A little bruised but still stunning.

These bushes are over 60 years old. My father, now in his early 80’s, worked for the local green house company when he was in high school and they were experimenting with camellia’s for corsages. Because the blooms are so delicate and bruise so easily they were not deemed a good commercial idea and they tore out the bushes. Ever the scavenger, Dad brought them home and planted them. They have been abused and battered by winter storms for over sixty years, yet every year they put forward gorgeousness in the midst of dank grey. Just when I need it most!

Still going for it with gusto!

For Sunshine’s Macro Monday…and Jez’s Water Water Everywhere (there were A LOT of raindrops! and me feet got really wet taking these pictures).

A harbinger of spring

The plum blossom is an important symbol in Chinese culture. One of the “four gentlemen” in traditional painting. Here is an interesting article about it’s symbolism in China (the Epoch Times can be a bit weird, but this article is pretty good). It’s symbolizing of hope in hardship and regeneration of life seems appropriate to the current epidemic.

Wishing all in China (which includes my son, who is not ill, or in a particularly dangerous area, but is starting week 3 of a lock down in his community) hope and courage in the face of this crisis.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day

Bee haven

This is part of this year’s Sculpture in the Gardens at Auckland Botanical Gardens. It is by artist Jane Downes.

Yes, there were some real bees in the same garden:

Bee Haven Sculpture from Sculpture in the Gardens at Auckland Botanical Gardens, for Sculpture Saturday.

We were lucky enough to happen on the Sculpture in the Gardens while killing time waiting for our late night flight home. The Auckland Botanical Gardens were lovely and it was easy to get there using local buses. I’ll share a few more from this exhibit in the next few weeks.

For Mind over Memory’s Sculpture Saturday.

Which way to Paradise? It's a loop trail!

Here are a few photos from a walk we took round trip from Paradise Bay on Urupukapuka Island for Alive and Trekking’s Which Way Challenge. I wish I could also share with you the smell of the air, the bush had a sweet smell, and the singing of the birds, and the warmth of the air with a cool breeze for balance…

Another “way”

Heading out for a glorious day on the Bay of Islands, aboard the good ship R. Tucker Thompson.
Come sail away!
Continue reading Which way to Paradise? It's a loop trail!

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 7

A PHOTO CHALLENGE OF PLACES WE SIT…OR MIGHT SIT…OR ART ABOUT SITTING

Welcome to week 7 of the Pull up a Seat Challenge in 2020.

Take a load off and share a favorite perch by linking your post to this one, either with a comment or ping-back. For more detailed directions go to Pull Up a Seat page.

It is always fun to see the variety of ideas this theme evokes.

Continue reading Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 7

Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga Lighthouse, the spirit tree is on the rocky outcrop in the middle.
Closer-up of the tree.
Cape Reinga lighthouse and the meeting of the Tasman Sea with the South Pacific Ocean.

At the Cape, the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents. At the northernmost tip of the Cape is a gnarled pohutukawa tree, believed to be over 800 years old. According to Maori oral history, the spirits of deceased Maori leap from this tree into the ocean to return to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.

www.newzealand.com

For Wordless Wednesday

Hitchhiker

When we were hiking in the Opua Forest in the Bay of Islands New Zealand this guy jumped onto my husbands hat.

A stick insect climed aboard my husband's hat.

He went laps on the hat while we tried to convince him that he would ultimately be happier in the woods. Eventually we found some growth that he was willing to climb on and we bid him (her?) adieu.

A stick insect moving from a hat onto a shrub.
Finally we found an appealing bit of foliage.
A stick insect.
Good bye little friend!

For Brashley Photography’s Photo for the Week: Insect.

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 6

A PHOTO CHALLENGE OF PLACES WE SIT…OR MIGHT SIT…OR ART ABOUT SITTING

Welcome to week 6 of the Pull up a Seat Challenge in 2020.

Take a load off and share a favorite perch by linking your post to this one, either with a comment or ping-back. For more detailed directions go to Pull Up a Seat page.

It is always fun to see the variety of ideas this theme evokes.

Continue reading Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2020-Week 6

But is it true?

Sign on a building in Russell, New Zealand.

Russell New Zealand was called the “hellhole of the Pacific” by local missionaries due to the wild behavior of the whalers on shore leave. Is this sign a witty response to all of the “first recorded cricket game happened here” signs (yes, I really saw that one, but I didn’t photograph it), an indication that nothing happening is worthy of note…or a claim of virtue that may or may not be correct?

For Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

Exploring my world with pictures and words.

Little white pearls

journal, travel, photography and beauty

Light Words

Better Living Through Beauty, Wisdom and Whimsey

Photos by Jez

Taking the camera for a walk!!!

PHOTOPHILE

Out and about with PHOTOPHILE

Heaven's Sunshine

Capturing the beauty of God’s creation through the lens of a camera

Alive and Trekking

following the bouncing ball across the world

Travelways

Travel Destinations & Photography

LEN Journeys

Travel, Lifestyle & Photography

citysonnet.wordpress.com/

photography, poetry

In Other Words

“If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.” ― Seamus Heaney

Underdown

Places in Australia waiting for your "G'day"

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Simulcast Blog for Wordpress users

My camera and I...

“Go, fly, roam, travel, voyage, explore, journey, discover, adventure.”

anotherdayinparadise

Travels in Paradise

Help from Heaven

Stories to Inspire, Encourage, and Give Hope

Christine Giberson

i'll be just fine.