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Special Gifts from Grandma Rita

japanese incense

This past year, David’s grandmother moved from the Kansas farmhouse where she has lived for almost 60 years and into a retirement community. In the process, she had to do quite a bit of downsizing. Each of her grandkids and their spouses then became the lucky recipients of certain items that she specifically decided to give them this Christmas.

For David, Rita chose two smurf drinking glasses which held two small smurf figurines. The figurines look like they’d seen many a fun time in the hands of little boys, with a solid weight unlike the cheap plastic toys found today. The glasses were in surprisingly good condition, the colors still rich, probably never having seen the inside of a dishwasher. They are almost 25 years old. Due to their fragile nature and the already fullness of our suitcases, we decided to leave them safely at David’s parents for safe-keeping.

For me, Rita chose the 3 ceramic asian bowls, which I love. David’s mom says that they were purchased in California, when David’s parents were living there and Rita came out for a visit. This was before David was even born. The two blue and white pieces with the abstract maple leaf pattern look practically modern. I’ve used the smaller bowl like a lid in the photo, to hide a thin brown fracture in the larger bowl, but I don’t mind it at all. They’re beautiful and I am grateful to have them.

asian bowls

My absolute favorite item that Rita included is a small box of Japanese perfumed incense. This is one of the rare times that Google completely failed me, with no matches to the name Kyonohana. The design and construction of the package and the colors and texture of the incense very much appeals to my inner graphic designer. Although the individual scents are long gone, the general fragrance still lingers in a lightly sweet and transportive way. David’s mom said that each of these items were chosen by Rita, but I can’t help but wonder how she chose what to give. Did she guess I would love these things? Did the fact that I am half asian influence her decision? One day I’d like to ask, but for now I’ll just be grateful, enjoy their beauty, and feel good about remembering to send a thank-you card.


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From Me to You for the Holidays

When I started blogging this spring I had no plans or any idea how this blog might take shape. I knew I enjoyed writing. I knew I liked to take pictures. And I wanted to share. But the question was did I have any thing to say? At first, I didn’t think so.

I remember two specific things that really got me interested in blogging. The first was when my old co-worker, Anne, introduced me to Dooce, which remains one of my favorite blogs of all time. And the second was when I was asked to design a blog page for a literary newspaper while working at my old job. I had no idea what blogs entailed at the time (and I still have no web coding skills). It’s a good thing for me that wordpress provides templates!

Anyway, I’ve come a long way since then. I write posts fairly regularly. I take pictures. And I subscribe to a lot of blogs. It has really been a fun journey, full of inspiration, thoughts, sharing, learning and laughter. I’ve met people, via blogs, that I never would have, nearby and over great distances. And I’ve learned that there are those out there, family, friends and strangers, who are interested in what I have to share. And that is so amazing.

In fact, I’ve been trying to think of something to offer for the holidays. Something useful and fun. I like the ideas from these sites (1,2,3,etc), plus I’ve come up with a couple of my own. Basically, the plan is to offer a little something free to download every Sunday until Christmas. Check back tomorrow, the first of seven download-for-free Sundays, and I’ll see what I can come up with. 🙂

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