Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge



National Gallery of New South Wales


Taipei Museum of Fine Art, Taiwan

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter M at least twice anywhere in the word.  As a museum lover, this was a snap.

If you want to see more Letter M photos, go here.



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge




Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter L and have at least 2 syllables, anywhere in the word. Lady  came to mind so here you go – lots of elegant ladies in Japanese woodblock prints.

If you want to see more Letter K photos, go here.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


Melbourne, Australia


Hopetoun, Melbourne, Australia

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter K, anywhere in the word. Cake came to mind so here you go.

If you want to see more Letter K photos, go here.


Around the Neighborhood

Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns


From Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns

This weekend from Thursday through Sunday the Chicago Botanic Garden is holding the Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns. I got tickets in advance which turned out to be essential since it’s sold out for all days.


The event is well planned. Our time to enter was 7:45 pm and though we arrived at the gardens on time the line to enter was long, so we should have come earlier. After parking, and we lucked out that they directed traffic so well that we must have hit the period when those who came at 5:30 had all left so we got to park in the lot nearest the visitors’ center. After entering we found long lines, but they moved swiftly.


Sea Monster

Once inside we were delighted by Halloween music and dozens of jack o’lanterns, large and small. Well, huge and mid-size is more accurate. The “small” jack o’lanterns were the size most families buy and the big ones were perhaps 3 feet high. The jumbo ones were carved by artists and were grouped by themes. Themes included musicians, Chicago sports, Flora of Illinois, Fairy Tales, and Classic Halloween.



After about an hour we reached a fork in the paths. One side led to the exit and the other to the model train exhibit. Though I’ve seen the model train exhibit, which consists of models of American sites like the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Hollywood sign or Wrigley’s Field, we decided to go again. I’m so glad we did. They’d decked out the buildings made of twigs and the trains with ghosts, goblins, witches, pumpkins and such.


Then after exiting the model train exhibit we got to see two more themes of jack o’lanterns: Fairy Tales and Classic Halloween.


Tickets are sold out. For members they were $12 and for non-members $14.

Parking for members is free and it costs $25 for non-members.



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge



Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that contain the Letter J and have at least 6 letters.

Well, how fantastic that we reach letter J as we approach Halloween with all its jack o’lanterns! Last night I saw at least 1,000 at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack o’Lanterns. Since CEO’s known for her floral fotos, I’m posting the pumpkins carved with Illinois flora.



If you want to see more Letter J photos, go here.

A Picnic in Japan

I’m traveling to Indonesia now and just watched this good Simon and Martina video. It’s 3:40 am in Jakarta on Tuesday. I left home at 10:30 am on Sunday and have one more flight to go so I’m too exhausted to write much, but once I’m caught up on sleep, expect some movie and a hotel reviews.

For now, learn about some interesting foods available in Japan and perhaps get some marriage tips.

How to Steal a Million


Starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, How to Steal a Million is another fun, witty movie. Hepburn plays the daughter of an art forger. When her home is broken into by O’Toole, her father and she fear that his forgeries will be revealed. Later they fear that a sculpture lent to a museum will be proven to be a fraud when it’s examined for insurance. Throughout the caper delights.

It’s a lighthearted romp with a clever final heist and a surprisingly moral end. It’s lots of fun and Hepburn and O’Toole are quite entertaining.

Last Day

I can’t believe it’s the last day of my three week workshop in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. We had a mini-conference in which the participants all gave 10 minute presentations, Tara and I gave plenary speeches, which we were tentative about doing, but gosh, everyone’s so nice here so how do you say no? A teacher, who’d just returned from two years with the Fulbright program in Michigan where he earned his Masters at Michigan Central University, gave a presentation on that program.

Tara and I had been given local dresses and batik dresses to wear the day before. We also were asked to wear — you guessed it — headscarves so we did in the morning. Later it was just too hot to do so. The big wigs had all gone so it was okay. Evidently, the school is debating whether internationals guests should be required to wear headscarves.

After the event we had a lot of pictures taken and were presented with more gifts — fruit and a huge box of snacks.

Then we were invited to go to a crafts exposition. Tara needed to pack since tomorrow we’re getting taken on a day trip to a waterfall and a temple and Sunday she leaves super early. I figured why not.

Two teachers took me to the new exposition center which is a showplace. It’s got marble and gold plating. We got there a bit late, after 8 pm when most kiosks were shut and shutting down. However, there were some interesting crafts to see from all over Indonesia. I didn’t expect to buy anything, but there was a cool short sleeve dress with batik insets that I got for $13!

Any, a teacher, had brought her sister, who was hungry so  Aleph, the other teacher suggested we go to this rustic coffee shop where artists and actors hang out. It’s beside a striking theater with a majestic traditional design (photos to follow when I get home). We had a lemon ginger drink and shared French fries. Aleph knows everyone in town. So he was friends with the guard from the teacher complex, who let us in the closed building too see an exhibit of paintings. Before leaving an actor we met asked me to do a short video (just on a phone) to draw the tourists to Pekanbaru. I raved about the people and the mosques and tried to repeat “Come to Riau” in a local dialect. (In addition to Bahasa Indonesia there are dozens of local languages in Indonesia.)

I’ve gotten used to surprises in Pekanbaru and wonder what tomorrow’s excursion will bring.

Touring Seoul

When Tanis and I visited Seoul we saw lots of young women in traditional hanboks, which gave our tour an extra sense of history. Above I’ve added a video of two Korean vloggers who explain that if you come in traditional dress, you get in free.

Another tip: As we exited the subway we passed a group of high school students volunteering to take tourists around Gyeongbuk Palace. I’m so glad we accepted the offer. Jin, whose English was quite polished, gave tours once a month to further his English and deepen his understanding of history. The tour was more than just your run of the mill “Look to the left, look to the right.” Whoever devised the tour included lots of Q and A so it’s very interactive and exceeded my expectations. It’s absolutely free.

Spring 2016 China 070

Tanis (center) with two Korean women

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