My inspiration

Always want to learn to draw, but seems never have time to learn it. From my childhood to my teens, COLLEGE seems like the only thing that my family supported and concerned. My adulthood filled with works, moved to another country cross half of the global, family stuff, taking care of my young child, such and such … but the truth is, it was not that I don’t have time to learn, it was that I was unwilling to discover that I might not have the talent to draw.

A month or so ago I discovered the book Sketch The Non-artist Guide to Inspiration Technique and Drawing Daily Life which have convinced me to get pass my self-conscious and just loose up and learn. The whole purpose of this is to make myself happy and satisfied my childhood cravings for drawing. That is all that matters.

Helpless [无奈]

(October 15, 2013)


明明知道不会有答案,我还是一直在不停的问自己“为什么?” 。
就永远的活在我的心里吧,和我一起一直的活下去 。。。
One late autumn night, the disciple awoke crying. So the master asked the disciple, “Did you have a nightmare?” “No.” “Did you have a sad dream?” “No,” said the disciple. “I had a sweet dream.” “Then why are you crying so sadly?” The disciple wiped his tears away and quietly answered, “Because the dream I had can’t come true.”
一个秋天的夜晚,小和尚哭着醒来。师傅问他,“你做了一个噩梦,所以才哭泣吗?” 小和尚答道,“不是的。” 师傅又问道,“那么,你做了一个悲伤的梦吗?” 小和尚又答道, “不是的,我做了一个甜蜜的梦。” 师傅问道,“那么,你为什么哭得这么伤心呢?” 小和尚一边擦着他的眼泪,一边悲伤地答道,“因为我知道这个甜蜜的梦永远都不会实现。” 
A disciple asked his master, “Do the leaves flow or is it the wind?” His master replied, “No, it is the heart and the mind.” 
一个小和尚问他的师傅,“是叶子在动,还是风在动?” 师傅说,“不是叶子也不是风,而是你的心动了。” 
Sleepless Nights  – Eddie Vedder

Through the sleepless nights I cry for you
And wonder who, is kissing you
Oh these sleepless nights will break my heart in two

Somehow through the days I don’t give in
I hide the tears that wait within
Oh but then through sleepless nights I cry again

Why did you go? Why did you go?
Don’t you know, don’t you know
I need you?

I keep hoping you’ll come back to me
Oh let it be, please let it be
Oh my love, please end these sleepless nights for me  
 Goodbye – Eddie Vedder
I’ve got our love to remember 

That will never change 

I have you in my head 

And no, I’ll never hold you 

And I’m still asking why 

I guess that this is goodbye 

My dreams suddenly seem so empty 

I could go on my own, but I feel like playin’ dead 

And for what feels like the first time 

I don’t know where you are tonight 

I guess that this is goodbye 

We lived half our lives together 

A Cloud full of tears,it’s a lot of weight to bear 

And the sun, it may be shining 

There’s an ocean in my eyes 

Cause I know that this is goodbye 

Cause I know that this… is goodbye 

Good-Bye …

After saying goodbye to my daughter, I was back into my car. A song started to play, and sang "I am a visitor here… I am not permanent.". I started to think about the word "Goodbye".
When we say Goodbye, we believe we will see each other again in the back of our minds, with all the hopes and the visions of the happiness of being reunited in the future. When we know we are not going to see each other again, we say "I love you", and then we say "It is okay to let go", and then we are repeating "I love you" over and over again, until the person can no longer hear, but we never say "Goodbye", because there is NO "GOOD" anymore.
But what if, the moment we said "Goodbye" was the last moment … This thought makes me very sad …

Cooking – the invisible connection

Cooking has become one of my beloved hobbies. I used to be a girl that didn’t even know how to fry an egg. Mostly because my grandmother had been taking great care of me, and cooked very tasty food for me every single day. This made me become very lazy, however, it also made me became a foodie. When I moved to US, without having a job at the beginning, cooking actually helped me to kill time, gain a little bit of self confidence, and also satisfy my taste buds. Slowly I discovered the joys of cooking and the responses that I got from my family also made me enjoy it even more. Cooking is not just cooking anymore. It is part of the memories – the invisible connection which connects my grandmother with me, my husband with me, and now my daughter with me. The chain of love and caring!  I hope Kristianna will miss my cooking when she goes to college in the future.

How should I remember her?

( Writted on May 24th, 2013 by me <Quan Masiello> to remeber my remarkable mother-in-law who passed away on Apr,21th 2013. I will translate it into Chinese so my family can get to know her a little bit better as well. )


Margaret Clayton, was my mother-in-law, and I called her “Mom”. She has sadly passed away.

Margaret Clayton 是我的婆婆,我称呼她“妈妈”。非常遗憾的,她离开了我们。


It is very hard to accept that she is gone, because I can still see her and feel her existence everywhere. She could be in the guest bedroom of my house, or could be sitting at the kitchen table, having her breakfast, reading a book or playing outside with my daughter, Kristianna. Kristianna was always glued to her Grandma, following her around like she was her tail, even when she went to the bathroom. When we visit her the next time, she would be there in her living room, waiting for us when we walked in the door. Or at Joanne’s house, she would be there sitting at the picnic table, sipping her wine. She lives in my imagination and in my memory. I am so lucky that I could have all these memories with me.

我很难接受她已经离开了我们的事实,因为我仿佛能够看到她,能够常常感受到她的存在。她也许正待在我家的客房,也许坐在厨房的饭桌上吃早餐,或者正在读书给我的女儿听,或者与我的女儿在户外玩耍。我的女儿Kristianna, 总是像橡皮糖一样的粘着她,就像是我婆婆新长出来的一条尾巴,即使我婆婆去上厕所,我的女儿也要跟着。我常常想象着下一次我们去她家探望她,她会在她的客厅为我们等门。或者她会在我的小姑家,坐在她户外的餐桌上喝着葡萄酒。她的生命在我的想象中和回忆中延续着。我非常的幸运可以拥有这些与她共同的回忆。


I have been thinking about how I should describe my relationship with her and what words I could use to describe her.  Of all of the people that I have encountered in my 30 plus years, there are few of them who could really change my way of viewing the world and change my way of understanding love and caring. She was one of those extraordinary persons. She was so important and I have been so lucky that I got to know her and have her as my mother-in-law. I hit the jackpot! She is the best mother-in-law that one could ever ask for. There are so many words that I can use to picture her, beautiful, elegant, brave, dedicated, caring, loving, exploring, giving, and embracing.



She has done so much for me. She travelled to China for our engagement party. I am not sure how many mother-in-laws would travel across the whole pacific to meet a girl whom she has never met. But, she took me in right away, simply because her son was in love with me.



When I first came to the United States, she made the perfect turkey for me for Christmas dinner. It was my first time having turkey, and it was so delicious.



She took me to New York City for my first time. We went on the circle boat tour. She took me to the wax museum and they had a ghost house. I was so scared that I was burying my whole face in her arms like a little baby. In Times Square, we waited in line for 45 mins for a cup of Cold Stone ice cream. She kept assuring me that it would be worth the wait when I tasted the ice cream, and she was, indeed, right in the end. That was the best ice cream that I had ever tasted in my life. We also went to the Hello Kitty store. She discovered that I am a big Hello Kitty fan and would always buy all of these Hello Kitty things for me. We had such a great time that day!



There is a different animal for each year in the Chinese calendar. Mom hand made these special Chinese New Year’s greeting cards with the animal for that year, and she would never miss the date. Her card would be there right on the date of the Chinese New Year.



When I went to ESL class, I would sometimes bring my homework to her house, and she would always be interested in what new idioms I was learning and we would use these idioms to come up with sentences together.



In my culture, we always have hot breakfast, such as hot noodle soup. It was hard for me to eat cereal with cold milk. When we visited her and stayed at her house, she would always worry about what I was going to have for my breakfast. She would make me scrambled eggs or grill special english sausages for me. She always tried to find out what I liked. She always tried to make nice food for me every time when we visited. I enjoyed that she was worried about me so much and took such good care of me. She always remembered to do all of these little things for me.



When my family visited, she would welcome them to her house and make nice meals for them. She always welcomed my cousin, Lin, and invited him to join us for Christmas at her house.



I had a hard time adjusting to my new life and new home in the US, and I had a bad period of time with Tony. There was one time when we had a difficult conversation in front of her and Brian at their house. She did not pick sides. She just listened. She did not tell us what we should do, she was just there to simply listen and she supported both of us. That was such a special quality – listening and supporting, but not judging.

我刚来美国的时候有一段艰难的适应期,与我的先生Tony的关系在那个时候也是当到谷底。我们在我婆婆和她的先生面前有过一段痛苦的谈话。她没有选择支持任何一方,只是扮演一个称职的倾听者。她没有以长辈的身份告诉我们应该怎么做。她只是给予我们无条件的支持。这是多么难得的素质呀 – 倾听,并且给予支持,但是不会去评价我的为人。


She gave me the perfect wedding party, hosted the party at her house, found the caterer, discussed the menu with the chef. I did not need to do anything except just be there. That was such a perfect day.



When my daughter was born, she came to help me, doing dishes and making dinner. When I did not sleep the night before, she would take care of the baby and let me get some sleep, but she never told me what I should do, she was just a perfect Grandma.



When Tony had bad flu and was in the hospital, I called her and the next day she showed up at my doorstep. She dropped everything and came right over for us. That meant so much to me. Without her support, I do not know how I could have lived through that period of time with a two year old daughter. The Saturday morning I got the phone call from the ICU doctor, who told me the bad news. She came to my bedroom. With me, my daughter, and her, the three of us in bed holding each other, we went through that hardest moment. A few months ago, I asked my daughter if she was sad when Daddy was in the hospital. She told me, “yes and no”. I asked her why, and she said that she was sad that daddy was in the hospital, but she was happy that Grandma was with us. Grandma was with us! Grandma was with us! It was so comforting to know that no matter how bad the situation was she was just one phone call away.



She was such a giving person, and it came so natural to her, I was always asking myself how can anyone have this kind of special ability, and I was asking myself this when I was holding her hand and saying goodbye to her, and I have asked myself this even more after she passed away, and I believe I have found the answer: It was because she loves life. She loves her time when she was alive. So she reads, gardens, quilts, cooks and travels. She loves her family so she cares, embraces, and gives. She loves her friends, so she shares and listens. I admire her so much.

她是一个时时都在付出以及奉献的一个人,这样的能力仿佛是她与生俱来就拥有的。我常常问自己怎么会有人与生俱来的就拥有这样的能力?当我握着她的手向她做最后的道别的时候,我问自己这个问题;当她离开后,我更是反复的问自己这个问题。我相信我找到了答案: 她拥有这种时时奉献的能力是因为她热爱人生和生命。她热爱她在这个人世间的每一刻,所以她阅读,园艺,艺术绗缝, 烹饪,旅行;她爱她的家人,所以她关怀,包容,并且给予。她爱她的朋友,所以她分享和聆听。我是多么的崇拜她。


Life has never been fair, but she was not even angry about her ending and never questioned the unfairness of it. She just accepted it and said that she had no regrets and she has had a good life. She accepted this unfair ending with her ocean size heart. I thank her for every moment that she has shared with me, every word she has spoken to me, and everything she has done for me. I wish I could have had more time to show her my appreciation.



How should I remember her? I remember she only used the white part of the scallions. She drinks tea with honey. She loves mashed potatoes, and gnocchi… One afternoon about a week ago, I walked outside of my office building and was standing in the parking lot. I started to cry. It was such a perfect day in May, the sky was blue, the trees were fresh with new green, and there was a little bit of a breeze. Such a perfect day in May, and it would be so much better if she was still here. I decided this is how I am going to remember her:  When I see the blue sky, I will think of her! When the sun is shining, I will think of her! When the breeze sweeps on my face, I will think of her! She is like the perfect spring in May, the perfect mother-in-law, the best grandmother, and a great friend! I love her and I miss her very much!

我应该如何的纪念她?我记得她煮菜只用葱白。她喝茶要放蜂蜜。她喜欢吃土豆泥和gnocchi… 一个星期前的一个下午,我站在我公司的停车场哭泣。那是完美的五月的一天,蓝色的天空,树上是新鲜的新绿,有那么一点点的微风。如此完美的一天,如果她还活在这个人世间,那将是更加完美的一天。那一刻我决定了我要这样的记住她:当我抬头看到蓝天,我会想着她!当看到灿烂的阳光,我会想着她!当微风拂过我的脸庞,我会想着她!她是五月的完美的春天,完美的婆婆,最好的祖母,以及我的知己!我爱她并且非常的想念她!