All posts by XingfuMama

Amateur photographer seeking beauty in both the memorable and the mundane. Sharing pictures, stories and meditations from here and there.

Pre-spring green

A late winter texture for Tuesdays of Texture: moss


Every so often something totally ordinary strikes a chord. Today while driving through the woods I was struck by the way the moss on the alder trees seemed illuminated. The scene was ordinary and yet spectacular. I couldn’t find a place to stop and I got home so late that I had to use a flash to get a clear picture.

There are many shades of green in the moss as well so I am linking this to the Color Your World Challenge: green as well.

May you find joy and beauty in the ordinary.

My world

Today has been a bit drippy and out of focus.

My responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions:

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)? No. I sew, and for many years now I have used special scissors with springs in them that do not aggravate my wrists. When I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s I had a serious bout of pain caused by repetitive motion which lead to chnging scissors and ceasing to hand quilt. I’m so thankful that we are living in times where there are so many nifty inventions that make sewing and other arts and crafts easier than they once were.

Do you chew your pens and pencils? No. My peculiar pencil/pen habit is that I have to hold one to think. I don’t do this as much as I used to (maybe I don’t think as much), but I have been known to type left handed so I can jot or sketch things down with my right hand.

Are you a collector of anything?  If so what? Good question. I have a few collections: rubber stamps, fabric, dolls, and lots and lots of books; however, I do not actively collect anything. The rubber stamps were originally gifts, since I do occasionally make cards and gift tags I added a few stamps and fancy accouterments like embossing powders and a heat gun. The dolls are from my childhood (when I did collect them) and live in a chest since I have no display space. The fabric is from when I sewed more than I do now. These days I try to do “challenge sewing” where I challenge myself to sew from my stash without extra purchases (extra points if I don’t buy thread or buttons). We do read, about anything and everything. The only thing the books have in common is that they are on paper. We’ve never made the move to electronic books. As a result of the books we also have an eclectic collection of book shelves.

What size is your bed? Full (a.k.a., double). We like space to walk around and we live in a small house. This is only possible at this point because Ginger has short legs. If both dogs and the cat could get up on the bed, we might have to rethink our strategy. For now only the cat is allowed on the bed.  (Technically we do not have any dogs, but my grandmother’s are staying with us indefinitely.)

Gratitude: Last week was a blur, but it ended well, after a grueling drive to and through Portland (5 hours versus the normal 3.5), we had a lovely visits with an old friend in Beaverton and my sisters in Oregon City. Finally got to go out on the sailboat they have had for over a year now. There wasn’t much wind but Stephanie took us to see some cool houseboats around Hayden Island.

We brought Grandma’s pups home with us. They’ve been hanging out in Oregon since the holidays while we took our trip to South America. It’s more work to have them around, but puppy love is a wonderful thing.

Looking ahead: This week’s goal is to catch up on the home front…and I am planning a trip to China this spring. Planning is always a lot of fun. Having an outing to look forward to helps me stay positive in the face of chilly, grey drippiness and stubborn, willfully misguided relatives.

Here’s hoping your world is as happy as mine!

Lost egg


I wondered what caused the sudden kerfuffle among the penguins. It was Against the Odds to be able to spot it, let alone get a mostly in focus picture.

There are always gulls around looking for a tasty snack. It must have been pretty tricky for them: the birds you see in the photo mostly have eggs tucked between their toes and a flap of tummy that spreads like a skirt impeding motion.

These were taken at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands.

A photo a week: Red

I don”t like red all that much, so I was surprised to see how many pictures I have where it is the star. These were all taken last April, most of them in China, where red is auspicious.

Posted for Nancy Merrill’s A photo a week challenge: Red

Playing with light in the dark

Here is a nearly monochrome picture that I took while waiting in the dark. The fire and one candle were the only light in the room. The crystal glass was almost a beacon of reflected light in the dark room.

I tested out some of the black and white options available in Lightroom on it.I like it in black and white because it takes the purple color of the wine out and the glass really shines. The antique light preset has a warm cast to it that suits the scene a bit better than the cold feel of the green filter. I was a bit surprised that the sepia didn’t have more warmth in it.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Glass

My world

Sunny day sweepin’ the clouds away…

is the first thought on this lovely, much warmer than a few days ago, morning. I don’t think the ground hog thing works here in Seattle. Our spring tends to come and go.

Cee’s Share Your World Questions and my answers to them make me feel like I am Seriousness itself, not a whole lot of fun.

ksm-20170205-csyw-02Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? They start out tucked in, along with blankets but usually everything winds up in a tangle. My royal friend usually naps on the bed in the morning and glares if I try to bring it back to order before she moves to her late morning nap spot.


Have you stolen a street sign before? No. Don’t get the desire to do it either.

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? I used to do this until I realized that most coupons are for things I don’t use. Most coupons seem to be for processed and packaged foods and exotic beauty supplies. We tend to eat simple, real food and use the more basic types of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. My shopping list tends to contain things like a package of chicken and fresh vegetables instead of frozen dinners. In the past couple of years some stores send out customized sets based on what you buy and I keep them in my purse and occasionally remember to use them. They are perforated so I don’t have to clip, tear, or whip out my pocket knife to liberate them.

Do you have freckles? No, but I am starting to develop some age spots that look kind of like freckles…does that count?


Last week was rife with blessings: the safe, yet very early birth of a niece who is healthy in spite of entering the world 6 weeks early. Also, my grandmother “passed” the test of being able to do the things she needs to do to live in her old apartment (she fell and broke her hip on November 19th).

ksm-20170211-csyw-03Last but by no means least : while I wasn’t thrilled by the storm’s activities, Dad’s power was reinstated much more quickly and easily than I had anticipated when I saw the mess of downed pole and wires…as a bonus the fridge is cleaner than it has been in years!


Looking ahead:

This week is supposed to be “springy” and Grandma and I are going to visit the new baby tomorrow. Late winter flowers are starting to bloom.