Sunday, April 24, 2011

Portland's Classical Chinese Garden

So last fall, through Groupon, I bought discounted tickets to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown Portland, Oregon. Who knew our spring would be so wet that my tickets almost expired before I could use them! On April 19 - one of our first sunny days - I called Mandie and asked her to go with me. It's a beautiful place. 1-city block walled off in this garden.

According to the brochure: "...your window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. Built by Chinese artisans, it is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. Lan su is a 2,000-year-old tradition that melds art, architecture, design and nature in perfect harmony."

Lorien at the entrance.

Lorien and I on one of the terraces.

"Painted Boat in Misty Rain"

"Moon Locking Pavilion"

"On a clear night, you can see the reflection of the moon as a shimmering spotlight in the center of the lake, locked in by the pavilion's shadow."

"Rock Mountain and Waterfall"

"...designed to appear as rugged mountains in the distance, complete with waterfalls and cascading streams."

"Hall of Brocade Clouds"

"Traditionally, this is where the host meets and entertains guests."

There are many different rock mosaics beneath your feet.

"Doorways and windows throughout the Garden form views within views, creating the illusion of infinite space within a single city block."

This month was hosting a display of kites in the different buildings.

"The intricately-carved wooden panesl depict an important collection of plants known as Three Friends of Winter: plum, bamboo and pine."

"Lake Tai Rocks are formed underwater, with the flow of water creating their unique shapes. In a Chinese garden, viewing the rocks from bottom to top is akin to venturing up a mountain peak."

There were many throughout the garden.

"The Chinese believe nature is the best teacher. Penjing are arrangements of tiny trees and roacks that replicate natural landscapes and reflect the belief that everything in nature is connected. Penjing are often referred to as living sculptures or 3-dimensional poetry. Some contain trees that are over 100 years old."

"Flowers Bathing in Spring Rain"

In the bright sun I didn't realize this was a dragon until I saw it on my computer. "...dragonfish or chiwen, which swallow all evil influences and protect the building from fire."

Lorien was ready to go home.

All in all a nice place to visit.

Easter Party

So Becky hosted an Easter Party at her house on April 23. All the grandkids in this area were able to participate and had a grand time.

As you can see Aubrey, Kaylee, & Grace had a unique way to use their Easter buckets before the fun started.

I called this and Easter Egg Scramble because the eggs weren't hidden so much as they were on display. Younger kids pick low, taller kids pick high! Over the years we've had several "hunts" so have accumulated quite a number of the little and big plastic eggs and even some jelly-bean shape ones.

Austin helps his cousin Ethan after a basket spill.

Ethan with his goodies

Grace invented a way to carry eggs even when her bucket was full!

Aubrey with her treasures

Hayden getting his share

Rick with his daughter A'dra

Jayden concerned he can't reach the ones in the tree as easily - but he managed.

Checking out the finds.

Hayden and Ethan compare buckets

A'dra and Austin help Kaylee get some air on the trampoline.....

...Then they're up and Kaylee is down!

Jon takes on a "giggle" of cousins

Aubrey plays dress-up with her dolly.

A grand time was had by all. Thank you Becky for the party. Even the weather cooperated mostly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sugar Doodle

Try this site for ideas for church callings and stuff. You can print out little handouts for visiting teaching as well. Or just click on the link to the right.