It Was The Best of Times… It Was The Worst of Times… It’s Life.

As 2017 comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect back to the last few years of my life and how far I have come from the worst of times to the best of times. Those of you who have been following my blog for some time, have witnessed my struggles and celebrations. Thank you for your support and kindness.

The Best of Times…

Four years ago, just when I thought life would give me a break, I fractured my left ankle during the first day of my 7 day Hawaiian vacation. It wasn’t exactly the break I was looking for. At the time, all I could see were regrets and pain. If only, I wasn’t so eager to chase after that turtle! If only I wasn’t so clumsy… if only I didn’t take that step… If only… Oh the regrets that occupied my mind…

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That step took me down a hole so deep that I thought I would never be able to climb out. But somehow, I did. As terrible as that step was for me, I realized; I would not be where I am today had I not taken that slippery step. The broken and painful step took me on the path of living a purposeful life — where I can use my life experience to help other people who are still stuck in their own deep holes to see a way out. The job affords me the opportunity to live the independent life I had lost so many year ago.

For my 52nd birthday last month, I went back to Hawaii to celebrate my independence.

IMG_3426_resizedI finally fulfilled my dream to swim with the turtle after three years of waiting.

DSC_8226I rediscovered love with me, myself and I.  And found myself at the end of the rainbow.

IMG_1508Life Lessons learned: Things happen for a reason, good or bad. No regrets. Learn from it and move on. Have faith. The right opportunity will show up when you are ready to receive it. You never know where that next step will take you.

The Worst of Times…

After I got back from Hawaii, a very difficult decision was waiting for me to make. My beloved Max was having hard time walking. I took him to the vet and was given the bad news that cancerous tumors have invaded his entire body. I could prolong his life for a few months with surgery and chemo. Given the fact, Max was 12 years old; I decided to help him live the rest of his life as comfortably as possible. And hoping, maybe… by some miracle that he would get better on his own. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks; I knew I was only being selfish keeping him. I did the inevitable and took him to the vet for his final check-up.

Now that he’s gone, I realized I took him for granted. Maximus Minumus, a true friend and companion who never complained, never hurt me or anyone, was always ready to play and most of all give unconditional love.

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DSC_8238This photo was taken two hours before I took him to the vet. Even to the end, he was ready to play; even if all he could do was to sit there and enjoy the the moment.

Life lessons I learned from Max:  Live life in the moment. Accept the good and the bad. Enjoy what you have. Give love and kindness even if the person doesn’t deserve it. Smile even when you hurt. Don’t complain. It’s Life.

May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful… Happy New Year.

 

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Wishing…

Wishing you a million…

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May you have a million moments of joy,
A million moments of love,
A million moments of pure happiness,
A million moments of good health and wealth.
In short…
May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful!!

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The World Didn’t End On 2012

Great! The world didn’t end yet… 😉 I will be able to make my yearly Christmas wish…

May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful.

Evie & Max

Will Work For Chicken Jerky

There was a rain break this afternoon and I thought I would take the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood with my camera —  and see what I can discover. As I was putting on my shoes, the furry kids started to jump around me with excitement. When I told them “NO, you stay”, they looked so disappointed; I felt guilty. Then as I walked out the driveway and past the big piles of leaves, a bright idea came to mind. I thought it would be fun to shoot the furry kids playing in the leaves. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. They weren’t exactly thrill about the modeling session and protested but… in the end, they were willing to work for chicken jerky. 🙂

One of the biggest challenges about photographing Max and Evie together is probably their contrasting fur colors. Because of Evie’s white fur and dark features, the camera has a difficult time detecting the correct exposure. If I set the exposure for Evie, Max usually end up being too dark and vice versa — if I set it for Max then Evie’s fur ends up being over exposed and lack contrast. In this case, I set the exposure for Evie and that way in Lightroom3, I have more room to play with the lighting to bring out the correct exposure in Max and the surrounding elements.

Be a Better Photographer: Shoot Your Dog

I love taking photos of my furry kids. Their wonderful personality and silly antics provides me with humorous entertainment but also a challenging opportunity to be a better photographer. Shooting the furry kids has helped me learn how to use the settings on my camera better than any other subjects. Most of the times, it’s a hit or miss kind of situations to get a good shot. Although with patience and treats, there are moments I have captured that are just precious.

Evie and Max playing in the summer snow.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue?

Monday Snap Shot

The cool, grey, rainy spring weather is making me rather lazy lately. I spent the weekend doing… absolutely nothing creative with the camera, nor my artwork. Instead, I was mostly a junk food junky couch potato. So… on this glorious grey, rainy Monday — I find myself unmotivated and with nothing to post but a  snap shot of my furry kids.

Furry Portraits

Here are some furry portraits from our outing at the Marymoor dog park. It was very interesting to sit and observe the expressions from all the different dogs. If only we could tell what they were thinking —  then again, maybe not. I’m sure they probably think we humans are a strange breed.

The first two furry kids belong to me, Maximus and Ms. Evie.

Maximus the wonder dog. A loyal companion who understands over 60 commands and words, love to play sports, and will  wipe his paws before entering the house.

Ms. Evie, the designer dog. She is a foodie consultant who loves to taste test all types of cuisine. And knows how to beg  get what she wants with her sad puppy eyes.

Here is another designer dog, the Golden-doodle (a combination of a golden retriever and a poodle) with the best looking hairdo prize.

Sun, Surf, and Feathers

The sun came out and the sky — bright blue. Quickly, I grabbed the camera, the restless fury kids, and some day old bread. We drove down to the Mukilteo ferry terminal for some fun… and entertainment.

It’s impossible to keep a golden out of the water. The water was freezing cold but Max didn’t care. He was ready to play.

After putting the furry kids back in the car. I got out the day old bread and set off to shoot some birds. With the bread, I had the birds practically eating  it out of my hand. I spent the next hour throwing out little crumbs and watching them fight for it. I know… not very nice. But hey, I got some good shots. 😉