Sunday, November 29, 2009

The End

It is hard to believe that I did Happy Monday for four years. It was unbelievable courage that I started this project with very poor English and artistic skills. During the four years and with many readers' help I had improved a lot but not enough. The bar is higher now. I am no longer satisfied because I did it, instead, I want to do better work. I need time to learn and charge myself.

There is an end for everything, now comes the end for Happy Monday. I will stop this blog and the weekly Happy Monday email.

With deep gratitude I thank all the readers for giving me the supports and cares, without you there would be no Happy Monday. I will treasure the friendships I made through Happy Monday with you and wish you all the best.

Let's treasure the moments we enjoyed together:

Happy Monday!

In Friendship through Flowers,

The Moment

I wrote this article two years ago, it is perfect to remind me to treasure the friendship I made with Happy Monday readers and the moments I enjoyed.

The Moment

When I accepted my current job within the university, I realized that I had a lot to appreciate at my old job. Additionally, I found that I had long list of “to do before leave” items. One of them was to go to the Bing Music Series.

Bing Music Series is a series of free concert sponsored by Helen and Peter Bing on each Wednesday and Friday at 12:30pm in the university hospital atrium. The program is designed to increase the relaxation and improve the mood of staff members, patients and their families. Dr. Raymond Bahr, asserts, “half an hour of music produces the same effect as ten milligrams of valium.” I had planned to go since the first day I learned about the program. It had been a year and I did not make it since I thought there would be always another Wednesday or Friday. My current job is off campus, it would not be as easy as at my old job to attend a concert by just walking down the stairs.

I went the first time on the Friday, the following day after I got the job offer. It was a traditional Hindustani music played by Teed Rockwell. It was new to me, I never heard Hindustani music before. I enjoyed it. I went again the following Friday. It was jazz played by Leon Williams and Dave Prieto Quariet. I had such fun time! My feet were itching and my heart was flying. It was so hard when I had to leave. I went again the next Wednesday, which was the last time I could go before I was transferred to my current job.

In the morning of the following Saturday, on my way to my ikebana class, I stopped by farmer market to pickup some flowers for my friend who invited me over for dinner. I saw dahlias at a stand. Dahlia is one of those flowers, the bloom is very beautiful, but the vase time is only three or four days. I usually buy the long lasting flowers as gift. This time, without any hesitation, I bought a bunch of dahlia. Since it is short-lived, it reminds us to treasure the moment we have.

At the studio, I picked the most perfect dahlia and arranged it with kiwi branches. I named the arrangement “the moment” for my friend. I shared the rest of the flowers with other students.

Wish you enjoy “the moment”. Happy Monday.

In Friendship Through Flowers,


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Learn to Appreciate

Post an article I wrote two years ago for this Thanksgiving. wish every one a happy holiday.

Learn to Appreciate

I frequently ran into situations when people asked me for my card (as an ikebana arranger or a potter, not a system administrator), but unfortunately, I do not have one. So I thought to get a name card.

I have a stamp that I use for decorating my ceramics works and I’d like to have it on my card. I thought the design work could be relatively simple – scanning in the stamp, touching it with Photoshop, adding some background colors, and typing in the words. I knew a few basic things in Photoshop, but I would not trust myself to make a perfect card. I remembered one of my girl friend who is a artistic designer. She donated her time to design a logo for my charity and I liked her work. She is a good friend of mine, I felt that I could ask her for a favor that may only take her a couple hours.

She was very nice to invite me to her home. I went with the stamp. She treated me with a cup of top quality green tea that she bought back from Hangzhou, after looking at the stamp, she explained that she would use Adobe Illustrator for the design. Since she did a great job to give me a tutoring of PhotoShop few years ago, I asked her to show me how Illustrator works. She did.

It was a very good learning experience for me. Not only I learned the basics of Illustrator, but I realized that my assumption was completely wrong. It would take far more efforts than I originally estimated to design a good quality name card. What I thought were digital photos before, now I knew that they were actually drawings by Illustrator pixel by pixel, she also told me that almost all magazine cover pages or inserts were done that way.

With this knowledge, I asked her do not design my name card. Actually, if I knew the efforts involved, I would not ask her for such a big favor. In the past, I appreciated her to donate her valuable time to design the logo for my charity, but now my appreciation is in much deeper level.

If I did not get the chance to learn, I would not know and would not appreciate in the level like now. I had many similar experiences in the past. If I didn’t know, even I appreciated, I would never appreciate in the level as I had the knowledge. The more I learn, the more I appreciate.

Thanksgiving holiday is coming. It is the time of the year when we are reminded to be thankful. Learning and increasing appreciation level through learning will help us to be more thankful.

As part of my Thanksgiving tradition, I made table arrangement for you to enjoy. Thank you all for all your caring and support to me.

Happy Monday and Happy Thanksgiving!

In Friendship Through Flowers,


Sunday, November 22, 2009

It was nice to be home

Dear All,

I came home Monday. I had very relaxing time in Beijing. I enjoyed spending the month with family and friends. Now I am happy to be back. There are a lot to catch up in order to back to my daily routine. I did not get chance to write down my thought of the trip yet. Luckily, a four day weekend is coming up and I will use that time to make up.

Happy Monday and enjoy your week.

In friendship of flowers,