"When you change the way you see things, the things you see change." - Author Unknown



"Excellence is not a skill. It is an __________." ~Ralph Marston

Suprisingly, BT didn't puzzle over it when she saw this little note in her lunchbox, she figured it out easily. Duh. I hope she will always keep it on her mind and apply it to everything she works on. :)

M for Mason

WHAT? Lucky BT's artwork got chosen to be part of the cover of this year's planner for more than 2,500 students at the Intermediate school! Ah BT tuh hee.

6th Grade Day 1

Be a Princess

This summer, I was reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett on iPad, which is now one of my favorite books! It is about a little girl named Sara Crewe, who was sent to Miss Minchin's Boarding School in England. Sara was living in an atmosphere of opulence. But Sara's life changed completely when Sara's father passed away unexpectedly, turning Sara from a wealthy man's daughter to a poor orphan, who had to work as a servant at the school. Even when she was cold and hungry, however, Sara continued to be kind to others and showed what it means to be a true princess.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "'Whatever comes,' she said, 'cannot alter one things. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.'" This shows that Sara, even without the fame and riches, has the character and spirit of a princess.

I love this book because of the message that I have learned. Being a princess isn't about your things or fortune: it is about your character and the choices that you make. A princess doesn't have to be rich or famous, but has inner nobility, strength and good character, which is what really matters.


"If there IS stuggle, there is NO progress!" Hooray!!!


Overwhelmed by strong emotions, I was yelling these words like crazy using all my gathered energies toward the man - Mr. L who was (once again!) committing this outrageous act - chasing and throwing his famous pickaxe vehemently while uttering strange anathemas, toward a family of wild geese across the little lake at our back yard! How shocking!!

Mr. L, who seems determined to be an implacable foe of wild geese, lives in a house at the far end of our neighborhood. It's not the first time we've had this kind of skirmish over wild animals. He must still remember that "Stop it!" in a stentorian tone months ago when he was performing the same violent drama with that pickaxe at our back yard.

What on the earth causes a man to have such rooted animosity towards the wild goose? How could a human inflict cruel and degrading treatment on those peaceful creatures? What else can I do to prevent it from happening again?...

Language of Friendship

"The language of friendship is not words but meanings." ~Henry David Thorea

(Right, BT having a playdate with one of her best friends Cydney.)

Pleasure? Hazard? Or Both?

Tangerine This just in... Guess what?! Tangerine has cultivated a habit of eating gravel. Yes, gravel, not fish food! We were stupefied watching her sucking up the little pebbles and rolling them around in her mouth as if they were Jolly Ranchers. HUH?

She just won't regurgitate the pebbles! I look into Tangy's mouth when she is sucking, and I LITERALLY see a pebble in her mouth!!! I was like, "Come on, spit it out, it's not food..." And she just sits there with her blank expression on her face, chewing furiously, looking back at me.

"Swallowing pebbles? Are you REALLY that hungry? I've already given you three helpings!" Sometimes I really have trouble understanding what is going on in our fish's melon.

We're all so worried, and from different angles Daddy, MT and I keep our eyes glued on her, crooning, "Come on..." Until minutes later, a pebble finally drops out of her mouth with a clink.

Still, I was so worried! Isn't it strange? Do pebbles taste that good? How can we protect them from choking hazard? Hmm... Lightbulb!

After a water change, and Daddy painstakingly scooped all of the gravel out of the tank and MT performed meticulous sorting, the big pebbles were plunked back in.

The aquarium seemed more spacious, and only had a thin layer of gravel. The weird thing? TANGERINE AND CLEMENTINE WERE NOT AS HAPPY AS BEFORE! The two guys were huddling together behind the big rock, as if they were grieving over the loss of their great pleasure...

No more could we bear seeing them so melancholy, MT and I reverted it back by putting all the pebbles back in! Oh my... Now they are as happy as ever before, but unfortunately, Tangerine has gone back to her habit of eating pebbles again:(

(Above, There is melancholy in Tangerine's eyes. Credit for this picture goes to BT!)

MHS Speak Week 2012

Today was BT's tournament day for speeches and debate at MHS Speak Week, yay! I wish I could be there but the parents were not invited due to many reasons. For the first time, BT was finally able to rid herself of perpetually-tailing-and-annoying-MT at such a big event, look how excited she was! ah tuh hee. -BT ;D

(Above, BT with one of her best friends Ria.)


Papaya always reminds me of Singapore - that beautiful tropical island country where I have stored so many good memories.

Fortuitously discovered it with great surprise at Kroger here in Ohio years ago, I started the custom of hauling home a couple of them every week.

Love usually has no reason, but this one I have a plethora:

. The fruit is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol.

. One of the fruits with highest vitamin-C, also rich in vitamin-A and many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, and vitamin B-1.

. Contains good amount of potassium, magnesium and calcium.

. Also rich in antioxidants, and many minerals. Papayas are also a good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels.

. May help prevent cancer in organs and papaya's fiber is able to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon cells.

The only problem is, BT didn't seem attracted by the tinge of bitterness among the sweetness in its flavor, she inveighed against the frequency of its presence on her plate. Crossing my arms and leaning on the counter, I would cackle maliciously, "Mwahahaha... ;) BT... That's all we have..."


"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
"Open your heart - open it wide; someone is standing outside." - Mary Engelbreit
"No man is an island, entire of itself." - John Donne
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can." - John Wesley
"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all overcometh the world." - Auggie Pullman, character in "Wonder"

Appalling Fact

This map from CNN shows an appalling fact.

Light green - countries where the numbers are between zero and 10 per 100 citizens.

Dark brown - countries where the numbers are more than 70 per 100 people. The U.S. is the only country in that category and the number is 88(!!!).

What do you think?! Is there even a slight possibility of changing that??!! When???!!!

Just a work in progress

I started this drawing (24" by 18") a while ago, but I haven't gotten to finish it. MT was agog at the sight of it! She is crazy about everything I create. ;)

As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned." So I haven't officially "abandoned" this yet... some more touches needed obviously, just a work in progress.

La Cinquantaine

La Cinquantaine is a French word, which means "the Fiftieth" and refers to the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. It's one of the most famous pieces composed by French romantic composer Gabriel Marie (1852-1928).

BT and I are haunted by its enchanting tone. How can you resist it? I decide we don't have to wait until the fiftieth anniversary to enjoy this heavenly melody.

BT has already fumbled through 41 measures of it on violin since last Monday. Whew. Hurrah!!


A gorgeous animated movie from Disney/Pixar we saw today that made us laugh, cry, wonder and think...LOVE it!

"Our fate lives within us, we only have to be brave enough to see it."

July 4th Fun Facts

After a cursory study online, here's what I have learned,

.  Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be the turkey.
.  It is a felony to shoot a bald eagle.
.  The national anthem is actually set to the tune of an old English drinking song called To Anacreon in Heaven.
.  Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed today. That's roughly one dog for every two people in the US.
.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published on July 4th.
.  Two U.S. presidents died on July 4 - Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
.  U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4.
.  $3.4 million worth of American flags were made in China.
.  The United States imported $193 million of fireworks from China in 2008.

A little laugh:
What's red, white, blue, and green?
A patriotic pickle.

Happy Independence Day!
However, there won't be any fireworks this year in the City of Mason, because of economic reasons. What's a Fourth of July without fireworks?! Oh well... We're going to the movies today!

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