Archive for January, 2011

The year is turning its page from the first month of the year into February.

  • A short month, but packed with festivals. This February, the Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, and Tet, the Vietnamese New Year celebrates the Year of the Cat. Two of my favorite animals.
  • The Garden Grove/Westminster area in Orange County, California is said to have the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. The Tet bazaar in Little Saigon bustles with shoppers buying festive food, plants and flowers.
  • The birth flower, which is a flower symbol for the month of someone’s birth, for February is the violet. This flower symbolizes faithfulness, humility and purity. People born in February are said to be honest and loyal. Two of my favorite qualities.
  • Happy New Year to everyone celebrating Chinese New Year and Tet, and happy birthday to the February folks.


Renoir's "woman with a cat" is one of my favorite cat paintings.

The rabbit ushers in refinement.


The birth flower for February is the violet.

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county park in California

One of the picnic areas with lovely views.


Soothing music of the water.

Mid-week. A sunny winter day. Decided to visit Coyote Lake- Harvey Bear Ranch Park.

Turned out to be a good move as we practically had the park to ourselves. This huge park situated in Santa Clara County has a 635-acre lake, with facilities for fishing, picnic, hiking and camping.

Known as one of the more secluded parks, the road leading to the park itself sets the mood. It’s a 4-mile drive on a narrow, beautifully shaded road, and one can see deer in the nearby woods.

One of the best things about my visit was that when I sat near the water, without any noises in the background, the gurgling of the water was crystal clear. One could just there, listening to this natural “music”.

Santa Clara county park

This fisherman had the whole lake to himself.

Coyote Lake

One can spot deer in the surrounding woods.

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Cherokee legend

(pic: angelfire.com)

The Cherokee legend “Two Wolves” is simple but resonates with its deep wisdom:

An elder Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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