Five things Friday: S is for…

Another Five things Friday and Lens-Artist Crossover post. I just could not commit to one thing that starts with a the letter “S” so I decided to go up to five. If anything, I would have kept going on and on sharing subjects that start with the letter “S.”

  1. Sunny Days – I enjoy walks around the park. I enjoy looking for nature spaces even in urban areas like L.A.

2. Snow –

Los Angeles National Forest — about 50 minutes away from our house. My dog makes a cameo in this photo.
A snowy day in Iceland. This frozen lake becomes a park for all the locals to play.

3. Sushi – I tried this local sushi place near my house last Friday. It tastes great and the price is not too bad for all this sushi. I like how they serve the sushi in a pizza box, maybe that’s what keeps the price low.

4. Sequoias

Sequoia, 2012 – Went went backpacking many years ago one and made camp here.
Sequoia, 2012
Sequoia, 2017 – This is in another part of the Sequoias. I’d say the more “touristy” part of the Sequoias.

5. Sea views

Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 2012
Naples, Italy, 2015 — with a view of Vesuvius.
Paracas National Reserve, Peru 2019

A for Appreciation (Lens-Artists Photo Challenge)

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge for the week is sharing a photo(s) featuring a subject that begins with the letter “A”.

This week’s alphabet challenge is “Appreciation.

For the past several months at the hospital, we received an outpour of donations and thank you letters from the community. I work in patient relations and employee engagement, I manage these donations making sure all hospital staff gets something and is distributed equitably. It is not just people in scrubs who are affected by the pandemic — there are janitors who clean up public areas and patient rooms, lab workers who test patient samples for COVID-19, and clerks who interface with everybody. Then you also have the staff members in outpatient clinics. Though they may not deal with COVID patients directly they’ve been short on staff because staff have either transferred to work in the COVID units, called out sick, gone on leave, or been offered an early retirement. Everyone who works in a hospital plays a part, everyone is affected.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.” — A.A. Milne

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Salvaged

I went to the September 11 Memorial and Museum in the summer of 2012. I came across this sculpture of the old New York sky line. The medium was a salvaged piece of the World Trade Center. Definitely not junk.

Theme: Junk

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Like a stone

I do not have any cats of my own. But I do have this photo of a feral cat. I took it when exploring the little Italian fishing village, Riomaggiore. It looked like it preferred being left alone.

On another note, I know I haven’t posted a lot lately. I”ve got plenty of posts in draft mode waiting to go live. It just needs a little bit of polishing.

Tuesday photo challenge: Cat

Tuesday photo challenge: Transport

The most underrated thing about Los Angeles is the nature. You don’t need to drive very far to find it.

Wisdom Tree Tree of Life

Tuesday photo challenge: Transport

Meet Teddy

For those who follow this blog, you may have seen Teddy, my miniature schnauzer, making a few cameos. Here’s a photo of his first day with us when he became ours. He use to live with a family who lived in a house about a few miles over who could not have him anymore. At the time, we were looking for a dog after a few months living in our new home. After looking around at the shelters and Craigslist, there he was.

I’ve never owned a dog before Teddy. I was a little skeptical to why they would not want to continue keeping him — was there something wrong with him? Maybe this family had to move and could no longer live in their current home and keep the dog. Anyways, Teddy is living a pretty comfortable life. He loves anything that feels like a pillow or comforter, he hates roughing in in a tent, enjoys eating his dog food with a little bit of green leafy vegetables, and play rough house with his Pomeranian brother, Koda. Teddy’s enemies are the vacuum cleaner, the polyester cleaner, pretty much anything that makes that vacuum noise.

I can’t imagine how my life would be without him.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

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Juice Stand

I was coming from the Bangkok airport taking the train to the city center to meet my college friend showing me around Bangkok. I remembered when I got off the train, I was greeted by this lovely juice stand — there were so many bright colors and it looked so fresh. The display was beautifully arranged. Also, it’s nice to see most of the juices cost less than 1 USD. In the U.S. these juices would run between 5 to 10 USD depending on the flavor and the brand. Take for examples, the more exotic flavors for the U.S., such as coconut. I’ve seen the price run as low as 3 USD to as high as 9 USD for coconut juice. It is interesting how carrot juice is the most expensive at more than 1 USD, I guess there’s not a lot of carrots growing in Bangkok.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

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Off to Joshua Tree National Park this weekend! Follow me on Instagram stories!

Mute the noise, turn up the thoughts

I did the 52 Hike Challenge last year because wanted to move more and get more exercise. Through this journey, I found a lot more. Most of the hikes, I hiked alone. I did not mind it. I knew better to pack more than enough for my hikes like water, more water, lots of snacks, and a walking stick. I always started my hikes early in the day so I don’t have to walk around at night.

I did not mind hiking alone. It allowed me to walk at my own pace, enjoy my surroundings, clear my mind. It was the first time in a long time I felt present. The year before I started the 52 Hike Challenge, I was becoming scatter-brained. Following that, my mind became so foggy with piles of things to do “when you get the chance” — they always add that part politely before it gets progressively aggressive — “what you did not get around to it yet? I needed it yesterday!”

I wanted to get out of this fog. Through my year of hiking, most of the fog has cleared away. The fog creeps back into my head once in a while because people like to storm in with stress, stress, stress. I take action to clear it up as soon as possible. I know some people embrace the storms and try to get as close to disaster as possible. Maybe they enjoy the adrenaline, the high they get when there’s high pressure. But remember, it is not sustainable to do this each time.

Tongva Peak Beaudry LoopTongva Peak Beaudry Loop

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

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Still around

This was a photo from two years ago when my husband and I finally went to Italy for our honeymoon about a year after we got married. This photo was taken on our first day arriving to Rome at the train station walking to our AirBnB. We were elated to finally take some vacation, we wanted to take it all in — the free time, food, the culture, and old structures that have been around far longer than America itself.

On to way to our AirBnB, we were walking along the Aurelian Walls — these have been here 275 AD. Rome did a great job preserving it so someone like me could appreciate it 2 millenia later. What I love about Rome is that it retains these ancient elements around the city — like a wall, a theatre, a forum–blending it more modern buildings and shops. That is something I have not seen in any other city. If anything, other cities would get rid of the old structures to make room for more roads and to create a more uniform skyline of skyscrapers and edifices.Rome Porta Tiburtina

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

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You’ll find it here in the bottom of the canyon…

This is from Hike #50 from my 52 Hike Challenge-–  Franklin Canyon — a canyon that divides Beverly Hills and Studio City — respectively, the hip Westside and sprawling San Fernando Valley. Franklin Canyon is not as crowded as Griffith Park nor Runyon Canyon. It is funny how a few miles down Coldwater Canyon Road and suddenly you are away from the hustle and bustle of L.A.

I also find the plants interesting in the canyon. There’s a mix of grasses, black walnut trees, and palm trees — though many palm tree species are not native to California. I wonder if the plants who started out as seeds made their journey through wind, through birds, or wild cat scat that this is became the flora of the canyon.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

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The Best of Weekly Photo Challenge 2017

I loved doing the Weekly Photo Challenge because it gives me an excuse to share photos deep from the vault aka my Dropbox files, Amazon Cloud Drive files, Facebook, Photobucket, etc. Looking through my photo vault, I have more than enough content to blog even though it is likely I’ll be doing less travelling, less excursions in 2018. Key word here is “likely”. I’m not saying I am dismissing all the things I love in life in 2018.

Also, what I love about the WPCs is connecting with the global blogger community.

The WPC Topic is “2017 Favorites”. I decided to do this in three different ways which to recognize the photo with the Most Views, Most Likes, and My Personal Favorite.

Here the Weekly Photo Challenge with the Most Views for the theme, Corner. (Furore, Italy)

Corner Amalfi Coast

WPC post with the Most Likes: Structure (Japan)


…and awarding my Personal Favorite: Texture (Ravello, Italy). I simply love the depth and composure of this photo. There’s a mix of different textures: the spikes of the chestnuts, the wood grain on the fence, the smooth leaf all standing out in their own ways.


Weekly Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorites

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