Natural Beauty at the Asian Grocery Store

This past weekend, Hubby and I made a trip to the local Asian Grocery Store.  Uwajimaya has two big stores in the Seattle area, the flagship store in the International District of Seattle, and a new branch in Bellevue where we went.  This family-owned store has been in business since 1928, and stocks a bewildering variety of goods, from packaged noodles, produce, and meats, to every imaginable kind of Asian spice, sweets, and sauces.  A trip there is to walk into a wonderland of colors, smells, and sights.  I again discovered the utility of that smartphone in my pocket.  If I see something interesting, I can just whip out my phone and take a picture.

I am always fascinated by the variety of totally unknown (to me) fruits and vegetables to be found there.  Here are some pictures I took with my new phone.  The camera is awesome!


Did you know there was a vegetable called “Buddha’s Hand”?  Neither did I, but it is aptly named.





Have any of you seen the Anime series “Daikon Brothers”?  Named after those Daikon Radishes you see on the left!



No, you don’t necessarily have to range far and wide to see beauty, just head on over to your local Asian grocery.

See what you’re missing about the world around you. Look up!

When you are walking around your town, or around your city, or around your workplace, many of the people you see walking toward you are either facing straight ahead, walking with purpose to somewhere in particular, probably in a hurry; or walking while staring at the tiny screen of their smartphone (many with earbuds in their ears listening to music), which is dangerous!  Is this you?  Maybe, it’s time to slow down a bit, stow the smartphone in your pocket or your bag, and see some of your surroundings, perhaps for the first time.  Look up!  You may be surprised at what beauty you may be missing.

Winter tree 2

That’s just a leafless tree in winter, but it is beautiful against the blue sky.

back yard trees in snow

That is the trees in my back yard, under winter snow, but it’s a whole new view pointing the camera up at the sky.


How many New Yorkers walk 43rd Street every day, heads down, missing the beautiful Chrysler Building?


How many Seattleites walk right through the doors of this Art-Nouveau building and never notice the beautiful terra-cotta brickwork right over their heads?  I’m guessing many.

Cambridge-Trinity Hall
Dining Room at Trinity Hall College, where we stayed.

I always thought that the most beautiful feature of the Dining Hall at Trinity Hall was the beamed ceiling.

Ceiling detail, Blytheborough, beautiful angels

This ceiling has details that you have to look very closely to see, but the rewards are great.


This is a simple ladder, attached to the side of the building where I work.  Looking up, and against the blue sky, it’s art!

So the next time you’re out and about, improve your situational awareness and look up!  You may discover beauty that has been just over your head all the time.

Cleverly concealed beauty – on the Golf Course

Hiding in plain sight.  Golf courses are often in cities or suburbs, and may be behind a gate, for Members Only.  I don’t play golf, but in the past few years I have been fortunate enough to be able to tag along with the golfers, and take pictures.  A couple of years ago, my husband and I went to Reno for a Ricochet meet up.  One of the planned activities was a golf outing in North Lake Tahoe, at the Old Brockway course

.  The Reno/Tahoe area is pretty dry, and the course there was bounded by Ponderosa Pine trees.  All those green lawns take lots of water to keep up, so you really appreciate them.  Don’t you think these are beautiful?


Old Brockway Golf course
Hole #8, Old Brockway

Earlier this month, I tagged along with the golfers at the Mill Creek Golf Course, as an activity of my 50th high school class reunion (see my earlier post here at Calling-all-RushBabes).  Mill Creek is just south of where I live, and I had never been to the Country Club before.  It was a crisp October morning, and the course was still a bit frosty when we got started.  Here’s what I saw first.


Golf carts as far as the eye could see!  All charged-up and ready to go.


The garden right at the beginning of the course was especially pretty that day.  Early in the day, the shadows were very long, across the grassy fairways.


The course is very hilly, and many times I had to hang on tightly to avoid being pitched out of my seat when the grade steepened.  Fortunately, there was good signage.


The course was just so beautiful that day, I was a picture-taking fool!


There are many private residences around the edge of the course, and the homeowners have pretty gardens and other plantings.


That’s somebody’s back yard, with the Japanese Maple trees.


When I started to get “green-saturated”, I’d look up.  The sky was pretty spectacular all day.


And then, when we were all done, we stood and listened to this gentleman.  I could hear him from the last two holes, way in the distance.


So much restful beauty, cleverly concealed.

Visions of Victoria (B.C.)

When we got married, in October of 2003, my husband and I decided to go to Victoria, British Columbia, for our short honeymoon.  Hubby had lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1980, and he had never been to Victoria, which is just a few hours away, north of us.  So I contacted Clipper Vacations, who run the Victoria Clipper catamaran and had them do a honeymoon package for us.  They booked us the hotel we wanted (Inn at Laurel Point), and all the normal touristy stuff people do in Victoria.  We went on a tour of the famous Butchart Gardens, had High Tea at the Empress Hotel, and a bus tour of the town.  And we spent the next couple of days just walking all over town and admiring the scenery from our wonderful hotel balcony which had a view of the Inner Harbour.  Every couple of years since then, we have returned to Victoria, stayed at the same hotel, and explored more of the area of Vancouver Island when we went by our own car.  There are many ways to get to Victoria, and we have taken all but one.  You can, of course, take the Victoria Clipper, which drops you right at the waterfront.  You can take the Coho, the Black Ball Line car ferry from Port Angeles, Washington on the north Olympic Peninsula, about an hour’s trip across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  You can take the Washington State Ferry, which leaves from Anacortes and wends its way through the beautiful San Juan Islands before landing at the town of Sydney, a few miles from Victoria.  Or you can drive to Vancouver, B.C., and take the BC Ferry from Tsawwassen.  Lastly, you can take a float-plane on Kenmore Air, which drops you right in the Inner Harbour (the only way we haven’t gone).

Herewith, a selection of the many beautiful sights of Victoria, British Columbia.

Harbour Air Plane landing at Sunset, Victoria Inner Harbour

The above photo taken from our balcony at the Inn at Laurel Point.

BC Ferry, making its way through the Gulf Islands
Water taxi, and tall ship. Victoria Inner Harbour
Pond and Garden, Inn at Laurel Point
Boats at Marina, Victoria

Below are some of the beautiful sights at Butchart Gardens, outside Victoria.

Seen in Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden Path
Walls of Garden
Valley Garden

On the way back to town…

Coastline, near Oak Bay
Houseboat dwellings, Victoria Harbour

So if you’re trying to find a pleasant, peaceful, beautiful place for a weekend getaway, or a honeymoon, you can’t find a nicer place than Victoria, B.C.  Especially,now that your US dollar goes farther!

Weekly Photo Challenge…Admiration for a Thing of Beauty

I have always admired my violin, which I bought from its maker in 1987, when it was nearly brand new.  David VanZandt lives in Seattle, and every once in awhile I take my beautiful violin home to “Daddy” for him to touch up the varnish and do any needed adjustments.  I found that, once I had my new Guadagnini-copy instrument, it made me a better player.  It sounds so beautiful, my violin teacher said it sounded much like her 18th-century Italian instrument.  It has a warm, brown varnish, and in the sunlight it just glows.  It sounds more beautiful, and becomes more valuable every year.  And it’s a work of art, in addition to being a musical instrument.

Violin front

Violin back