Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Sweet Begonia


"I beg on ya to make sure I have a nice protected spot come summer," said the begonia, which has been doing quite well on its own.

Just when I think this begonia's no more, it shows itself to be a survivor out in the elements. Maybe it would like hanging out on the north side of the yard. We shall see.





Monday, January 15, 2018

Tulips


Tulips. Coveted, desired. Fancy-pants flowers.

For the longest time, I thought of tulips as extravagant, more money than they were worth. Fragile wings. Closed-mouthed. Cold-hearted.

Once upon a time I worked part-time in an office where one spring a co-worker kept a vase of tulips on her desk.  Boringness. Then one day I happened to see a petal drop and noticed how vibrant and rich-colored the inside of the petal was. So amazingly different from its bland outer coat. I became a fan instantly. Everyday I watched the tulips unfold their true exotic and exciting depth of beauty.

Tulip Fever (2017)

The other day, the Husband and I watched Tulip Fever, a movie set in the 1600s in Amsterdam during the maniacal period of selling and buying tulips as a commodity. With one much-sought after tulip, a poor man could suddenly become rich and marry the love of his life, or at least run away with her should she happen to be married. Being too greedy, pushing the value of that same much-sought tulip to an absurdly high value, the rich may crash into poverty.

This movie is about two love stories: a wealthy man's wife and the artist who painted their portrait and the couple's servant and a fishmonger.  As Molly the Cat would ask if she were reviewing the movie: How was the tulip mania of this time a metaphor for the love stories? Why was it important for the mistress and the servant to work together to deceive the master? Is it still possible to have a happy ending when the bottom falls out?

When the deception and greed in the story got too intense for me, I pulled out my art journal to distract myself as I watched. What else to draw, but tulips.





Sunday, January 14, 2018

Big Bang Daisies


When I looked up big bang theory on Google, most of the links on the first page went to articles about the TV show. After 11 years of the popular comedy, of course. I wonder how well-known is the theory of the universe starting from a huge KA-POW! of indescribable somethingness.

My picture of Big Bang Daisies began as the photo below, which was taken a few days ago in the backyard. Photoshop froze at one point as I manipulated the art filters and I grumbled a sort of ka-pow!


I'm linking up with All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh at Artworks from Jesh St.G. Click here to check out Jesh and her meme. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Mike Yoon


Mike,
Complex man.
Rest in peace.

I met Mike in 1985 when I married his father. I got to know Mike as the son of his parents. Later after the First and Last Husband's death, I got to know Mike as a friend and peer. It was Mike who introduced me to the Husband. For that I shall forever be thankful. In the last two years or so, except for a couple of phone calls, there hadn't been any contact with Mike. Just call it a difference of opinions.  Mike is one of those people who has a way of lingering in your mind and conversation. And, he has been on my mind lately. Mike passed away recently.


Michael Jeffrey Yoon, son of Frank Yoon and Jean Wong Yoon, and brother of James Yoon, was born in the year of the Tiger on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer. June 21, 1950, to be precise, in San Francisco, California. He passed away on December 22, 2017 in Livermore, California.

"My friends call me Mike," he said sometimes, after introducing himself to strangers. 

MIke (lower left hand corner) with his Yoon cousins in the 1960s.

As a child and young man, Mike and his family lived in San Francisco, Sacramento, El Cerrito, San Francisco, and Berkeley. On his own path, Mike made his bed in San Diego, Cleveland, Benicia, Thousand Oaks, Fremont, and Livermore. For about four decades, Mike shared his life with his wife Debbie Wingerd Yoon. Together they had two sons, Jonathan and Andrew.

Mike graduated from University of Pacific in 1974 with a BS in biology and biochemistry. He was on the ground floor of biotechnology research in San Diego and at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. During the 1980s, he decided to change gears and got into human resources, graduating with an MBA in Human Resources and Labor Law from Case Western Reserve University in 1988. In 2000, Mike obtained an MS in Human Resources and Organization Development.


In the late 1980s, Mike moved back to California to begin an accomplished and successful career in human resources in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries, working both in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. Mike held various management HR positions in such companies as Bio-Rad, Amgen, Bayer, Abbott/TheraSense, and BioIntegra.

Mike's colleagues' recommendations at Mike's Linked-in profile described a highly respected professional. Repeatedly, Mike was cited as being intelligent, insightful, caring, honest, fair-minded, positive, diligent, methodical, and diplomatic. He was approachable, quick-witted, accessible, a team player, and a strong communicator. Many of his colleagues were impressed with Mike's ability to relay complex technical concepts into easy to understand terms. Definitely not an easy thing to do.


Family and friends were important to Mike. As sometimes happens with persons of high intelligence, and ambition, along with being strongly focused on work, he could be clueless to the feelings of those close to him. Most often, you let it go. Mike was friendly to a fault, and innocently charming at times. He was a know-it-all because he wanted to know it all. Nothing wrong with that. And, he had a great sense of humor when he wasn't so serious.

There's no greater testament to a person than the unconditional love of his parents. Frank and his mother Jean would've jumped to the moon and back for Mike.

During his last several years, Mike battled Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), leukemia, and other illnesses with resoluteness in the same fashion he tackled any problem. Mike may have moved into the business world of human resources, but he always had the mind and soul of a scientist. 

I like to think that when Mike's body hit the wall with his last breath, his spirit was welcomed into the universe of amazing love and light by Frank and Jean and his brother James.

Soar freely and joyfully, Mike.


I've created an album of Mike on Facebook. Here's the public link.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Keep the Flu at Bay!


The Husband is way up on the ladder of recuperation from that crazy virus that he came down with a couple days after Christmas. It seems this flu virus has been going on since October, but truly got worse in terms of spreading the past several weeks. In our county, health officials declared a "flu outbreak" during the last week in December, meaning a whole lot people in our area have it. The other day, the local news reported a second death in our county due to the flu. What's going on?

Simply, people get sick and don't stay home and take care of themselves, because they have to do what they need to get done. They go to work, go to school, go to stores, go to wherever. They cough. they sneeze, they blow their noses. They handle stuff and touch surfaces that others will handle and touch. Shudder.

The media has reported that the emergency department at our hospital has seen over two dozen people with the flu. No doubt they were miserable and probably thought they were on their last legs. I wonder how many got furious because they had to wait for a doctor to tell them to go home, get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Antibiotics can't cure the flu.

Fortunately for the Husband and me, I didn't get sick, although he did experience a couple days of me being unreasonably bitchy, which probably was me combating slight symptoms of the flu—headache, muscle aches, chills, itchy throat, and a runny nose. To ensure I stayed healthy I consumed the same stuff that I gave the Husband: cups of straight lemon juice and honey, herbal tea concoctions for flu, soups (chicken, tomato, and hot & sour),  juices, extra doses of Vitamin C supplement, and lots and lots of glasses of water. No cheeses or any kind of milk product to keep the phlegm level at minimum. Until he no longer felt a fever, the Husband took the allowed dosage of extra-strength acetaminophen around the clock. 

Essentially, once the flu has been caught, all you can do is let it run its course. At home, if at all possible, especially during the worse of it. Please!