totally random thoughts

I do not even know what I am going to write, but, hey – I have a need to write 🙂

It has been a day full of ups and kind of downs at work, but we pulled it out. The end result is okay and another work-related crisis is over. We all grew out of this experience and next time we can do better. No hurt feelings and we will continue stronger than before. This story has ended well and I am pleased with this.

I used to be a perfectionist, and I still am time to time, but nowadays I realize that I am taking it just a little bit easier. Doing the best that can be done under the circumstances is what I focus on, rather than feeling the fear or anxiety of the consequences or the self-blame ignited by the thoughts of why I failed to prevent the issues at the first place. I am just a human and as long as no harm is done, I choose to feel calm. I wish to continue to have this positive attitude in my future. All the time.

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I rather have had a short walk in the nearby hiking area this morning, but it was more than what I needed at that time. Seeing the nature around me makes me feel calmer. I have a tendency to particularly admire trees. They never fail me and always give me a sense of peace and deep, nourishing love that is oddly joyful. I have touched to the barks of a couple of young trees and I could almost sense their magnificent being. I really believe touching them is felt by them. Do they ever get bored of humans like me? 🙂 I wonder now.

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Since trees are immobilized and live so long, I am curious how they spend their days. They must be feeling the soil through their roots. There may be bugs and microorganisms that munch on their roots. Maybe they form symbiotic lives together 🙂 How do a tree next to another one behave? Do they cross their paths ever? The wind, rain, and snow should all be constant in their lives. The frequent change in these could be keeping the trees engaged and entertained. Sun possibly has a huge role in their lives, warming them. Birds would be resting on their branches and eating their fruits. Do they talk to each other? How does the song of a bird and noise of a critter, bee, mosquito, or a nearby animal make the trees feel, I wonder. Were the trees that I touched today and in the past ever wondered why I was fascinated by them so much and was drawn to them?

I may be silly in thinking and blogging these, but this writing experience tells me that there are limitless number of new experiences I may have in this life.

This is incredibly exciting!

Go claim yours now 🙂

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very random thoughts

It has been a day alright; I have done work, managed to walk for half an hour during the lunch time, managed an aggravating situation better than how I would normally do, did not eat well, took a painkiller for my lower back, and am ready to go to bed for a healing and resting sleep.

I keep thinking that whatever is happening in my life is happening for the best. I know that my life is unfolding around me and I can watch, reflect, and adapt. I know that I am getting more interested in keeping my wellness and my family a priority. Work and the issues related to it has much less, but still huge, effects on me. I will take it one thing at a time. Maybe I will learn not to care about it that much eventually. I believe I will be better and my life will be better. With or without this job.

Sigh… The job. The best job in the world, but so much struggle to do things right and on time, with enormous effort on my side..

One thing I am noticing more chronically is that people around me think that I know everything and I do everything effortlessly. So whatever they may need, or cannot do and need a help with, it seems they are sure that I will fix it. Has this ever happened to you? How did you manage these situations and start protecting your time and well-being?

……………………………..

At least, thinking and seeing my plants make me very happy 🙂 I have always had plants at home in the last 10 years or so, but I had not paid that much attention to them until the last one year. I owe it to succulents, and one haworthia one of my friends have gifted me with. It grew fast and made me joyful. I was then hooked to succulents and cacti. According to my estimates, I have around 40 different species of plants between my office and home. Seeing all the colours, vitality, and energy steaming from them is priceless. Loving them fills me with love, happiness, and excitement.

The best of therapy, my friends 🙂

Sunday morning musings

Life is good, my friends – Sunday morning is here 🙂

I am feeling good this shinny morning with my coffee next to me. Sky is bright and coffee smells fantastic. I have a short business trip to make this afternoon – it always feels great to leave all the stress and current issues behind and focus on the moment while traveling.

Many years ago it suddenly occurred to me at an airport that all I was going through at that time was normal – I was living my share of life. It was my experience, the person next to me had their own experience – better or worse – but what matters was that all I was experiencing was a part of life. And it was my life. Acceptance is soothing. That gave me peace then and after that whenever I remembered it.

That does not mean that I could not or cannot change my life. I have made pretty good changes that worked towards my objectives since then. I also got lucky and found a great job that in many ways improved how I was feeling about my own capabilities and how I was doing financially.  In so many ways, my life was much better.

This work, of course, comes with stress. We are highly competitive and there are expectations from us. These grow each year, so do we. Many of the current hurdles I have at my professional life is a common experience by many of my colleagues. Should I feel relieved?

A little bit, sure.

We all have our share of professional life.

Soothing….

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I was talking to one of my friends and colleagues yesterday about my years-long, now in the past, weekend morning routine. This always consisted of going to a nearby cafe and enjoying coffee and some pastry. Then I would visit a book store and enjoy my time and return back to my home with a book or two. I would read those books during the weekend, which would take my mind away from the work and other issues I may have. This routine was me-time. Somehow along the way I lost it because I decided to save money. Hmmmm.

Was this a great decision? At that time, it was because I was able to get into a frugal and hence surprisingly abundant life-style. I may have thought 20-25 bucks a weekend is a good amount of money to save – and it is. I enjoyed while I did this. But just yesterday I realized that I have also lost an efficient me-time practice.

Since then I developed new interests and hobbies. Blogging, baking bread, gardening, having and propagating plants – especially succulents/cacti, painting pots, jamming/pickling, and slight sewing activities. I enjoyed all of these and I continue to do so. But, there is something exciting about new endavours. They intrigue me. They excite me. They increase my abilities. 

I am not sure what my next interests/hobbies will be, but I sure am looking forward to identifying them and working towards enjoying the products 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

Sunday morning musings and the happiness of succulents

Sunday morning is here! The peaceful cozy morning that amplifies the taste of fresh coffee and the hope for the rest of the day and the week 🙂

I meant to work yesterday but it did not work out that well : I am not sorry. I actually had a great time painting more terra cotta pots and planting my new succulent and cacti babies. One of my friends gifted me with a number of succulents lately; one very fertile haworthia, two very ignored succulents (one is a black knight), and a number of little cacti 🙂 At first I was skeptical about planting them in my painted and varnished pots, but then I thought I would observe them and see how they are doing. If required, I can always re-pot. Look at these beauties!

Nature is amazing!

The haworthia seemed like too populated with lots of pups, so I decided to divide it while re-planting. I hope to gift them to friends later should hey like their new environment and continue to thrive.

While re-potting, I ended up collecting some leaves as well – the big ones are from the black knight and the other little guys are from the other succulent (which I could not figure out what – if you know the name, please let me know.

My collection of succulents are increasing. I have 6-7 different types of cacti, 22 cacti seedlings that I germinated from seeds, a number of jades (two adult plants and many propagation from leaves or stem cuts), a gollum jade, two additional succulents I do not know what species, and two different types of haworthia, and many props 🙂 If I am correct, I have over 30 pots around the house and the office and I will see how this will go on.

And, two of my christmas (or eastern) cacti leaves have been growing on their tips – I take ethat I am on the right direction and will have beautiful plants next year 🙂

I will never know why I have got so interested in succulents and cacti, but let me tell you something my friends; they are amazing.

 

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

Saturday morning musings

It is a beautiful sunny day that gives warmth to my heart and soothes my mind.

I m enjoying my early morning coffee and thinking about life, mine particularly.

Some things are going well. I am eating better and I bought a number of fresh produce to support my body and mind. There is something nice about taking care of myself and noticing this.

I am excited about the terra cotta pots that I have painted. So many colours! Will my cacti seedlings find their ways to growth and safe transportation to these pots? They say it may take around 6-12 months to reach them a safe size (around half an inch) to pot individually. I hope to be able to see this happening! 🙂 I have currently around 22 seedlings that germinated in the last three weeks.. Yuppiii! It is a unique excitement to look at them in the office every day and seeing how many there are and how they are doing. I have two “albinos” that if I understood correctly cannot produce chlorophyll and are bound to die. I cannot graft them now (which is one of the ways to make them survive an thrive). That annoys me, but it is a way of nature I guess so I will take it.

 

The week has been turbulent as per the work but it is over now. We have a lot of issues and delays experienced that are worrying me. But then a new collaboration on a new project of mine is developing, which is exciting. I think I had written this a while ago that around 20% of my efforts turn into a productive one. At least I have that many of the work reaching to some kind of maturation. I made a short talk where I mentioned about our projects and it was kind of nice to see what a great diversity I have in my abilities. I also noticed that one project that I have been talking about for sometime now found its way to being in progress. This is awesome! I have yet another one that I am trying to bring to life. It has been in my list for a couple of years and I think I have found the perfect collaborator to do so. Maybe next year I can start talking about it in more detail as we move with the project. Overall, this kind of talks may take time but they also help me to see what I envision for my work, where my passion is, and how I develop over time.

To be able to recognize the positive side, among all the turbulence in my inner world, is priceless.

Add these to this tulip that dancing with the sun in my yard 🙂

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positive vibes

The thought crosses the mind and the heart feels.

That is what they say. I kind of believe in this.

Today, I am turning my regular thought pattern of working of problems, and rather, note the random beauty and safety around me.

Like the light coming into my bedroom window right now – what a majestic thing! It is free, available to everyone, and has found my way. I am lucky :). Ligth finds me.

The song I am listening to right now is peaceful, melodic, and intense at the same time. The guitar is both speaking and dancing. All the peaceful and lively melodies find me feed my soul, get my attention and lift my mood up.

I created two lovely sourdough loaves today and shared one with my good neighbours. To be able to share without feeling the need or enforcement is such a bliss. I like this about myself – I like to share the things I cherish. I am kind to my neighbours and I treat them time to time with nice food, little gifts. I am abundant and kind.

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I find things to do when I need to. Like today I painted a number of small terra cota pots for my yet-to-come succulents and cacti (planted seeds last week – wish me luck). I have hobbies that let me create and get excited about what I can do.

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I feel less anxious than Friday and this is wonderful. Once again, my fears triggered by external resources/people and made me remember what I should be careful about in my future steps (about work). I welcome this fear to make my future less problematic and I let it go now – it served its purpose.

I planted a number of seeds in a windy day. Some may have gone around to my neighbours’ yards. May they find their niche, germinate, and make someone happy and joyful. Nature and I have so much to share.

Rain and wind knocked some of my daffodils and tulips. One tulip is standing tall and is about to bloom. Like this tulip, I too stand up no matter what.

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Everything is available in life and I claim my part of life right here, right now.

How about this as a turn of the way I often think?

🙂

 

 

 

my little succulent heaven :)

I am obsessed with succulents!

A few years back a friend of mine had gifted me two jade plants. I largely ignored them. One of them was so much ignored that it turned its colour to brown and with wrinkled leaves. Upon watering a few times, it is back to its gorgeous self 🙂

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The second jade was watered more and staying in my bathroom – that one did not get bloom too much and one of the stalks was lying around. So, I chopped it and hope that the cut pieces will develop roots and make new jades 🙂

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And this is my prop station – it has been 10-15 days now that I have lied them on a shallow level of soil. I hope to see some roots and little plants sometime. I am worried that so far I have not got one, but hope is hope and I keep going 🙂

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Then another friend of mine has gifted me with a little haworthia – it really loved its new home and grown over the winter. I changed its pot and I have 4-5 leaves that I hope will germinate. They say it is difficult, if not impossible, but I am trying 🙂

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I do not know how I started getting massively interested in succulents, but I have been addicted! I read about them everyday and they intrigue me with their variety and interesting growth and propagation styles. Just yesterday I bought three little fellas that I hope to grow, keep, and propagate. I love the Crassula Portulacea (aka Shrek plant, Spoon jade, gollum fingers). Look at him – is it not a beauty? 🙂

 

One of the other two have etiolated (meaning the stalk has grown tall while looking for light). I know it is challenging to fix this, but I am determined to take care of it well.

And this one is one of the jades that has grown from a fallen leaf – how cute is it?

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Nature is amazing!

🙂

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PS: I am trying to grow christmas cactus from the leaves. The way I read on the internet, I was supposed to callus the end and then insert into the soil. My question is, there are root like structures on top – was I supposed to insert that part of the leaves in the soil?

Any tips would be appreciated! 🙂

 

all the good things – check

  • enjoying the good weather and phasing out may times, looking out of the window and the nature around my building – check

Spring is here, friends. It is here. My daffodils are coming out, sky is blue, and there is no snow on the ground. I feel different. Immensely different. Hopeful. Positive. Changing naturally. Enjoying my connection with nature.

Realizing once again that after any dark season will come the light….

They may tell me this millions of times, but unless I came to this realization myself, I would never buy it.

I like the fact that by observing nature I can in fact make reflections on life.

Priceless.

  • enjoying the plants on window sill in my office – check

I have three new plants there. They are green. Their pots are nice and colourful. Just another sense of Spring and hope.

  • eating apples and being grateful for it, knowing that it is healthy – check
  • attending an award ceremony for a team member of mine and being incredibly proud and happy – check!

these are one of my favorite times 🙂 it is all worth it! What an honour. What an excitement 🙂

  • munching on food served at the ceremony and not feeling like I must cook at home tonite – check

talking about being lazy or disliking to cook 🙂

  • enjoying the warm and smooth breeze in the back yard – check
  • being aware and excited about feeling good and positive – check, check, check! 🙂

 

 

 

Four seasons

Fall is upon us. It is my favorite season.

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The season of energy and renewal (summer) has come to an end, leaving its place to this gorgeous season.

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Fall always remind me of “closure”; evaluating and finishing things, even they are only thoughts, and move on with a period of quietness and break, and then bury or leave those that do not serve you anymore during the hibernation season of winter.

Winter is a season of survival, though. It is often harsh where I am and our daily lives are somehow dictated by the weather; will there be snow today? Will I shovel? Will there be a snow day? Can I really go to that store to pick up something? Will my power be restored, if it is cut due to some reason? What if I want to walk but cannot make it because the sidewalks are full of snow banks, or even worse, ice? Am I warm enough?Winter thus makes me feel like I must rather focus on the physical world than my inner world. 

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Spring, on the other hand, is a kind of time of re-birth; the time of new ideas, new adventures, new plans, new hope…. There is something awesome about the awakening of the nature that inevitably makes me feel like now I can do what I have not done or could not do before.

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The cycling nature of “nature”, whether that is snow, plants, trees, or flowers that flourish, animals populating, or simply changing temperature and daylight, is thus a reflection of our lives.

Maybe our lives is a reflection of nature?

I do not know really.

But we all are connected.

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reflections

Today I have not worked like crazy as I have done in the past 3 months. I rather took my time to reflect and I needed it. This was mostly motivated by the fact that yesterday I almost collapsed emotionally. My nerves are fried and I needed a break to go back to a healthy level of exhaustion (if there is anything like this ever) and feel good (because I deserve it, like anyone else).

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Life is bigger than what we experience and in order to expand our experiences, we must stop this wheel of routine and un-focus for a while, and look beyond where we are. It is exciting and refreshing. I am glad I have found a chance to do so today.

One thing I keep notice in such times is that I actually do better than I think. For instance, in the last 3 months I have re-arranged the furniture in my living room and kitchen, and they both look lovely and more functional. It was hard to move everything by myself, but I made it and the end results are excellent 🙂

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I also made quite a progress in my yard. I digged the high part of the yard and placed the digged soil on the lower parts. I have four stalks of mint that are flourishing in the yard. I have planted seeds and grew beautiful flowers. New flowers and plants appeared in my yard this year, which are a delight to look at. I filled the sides of my yard with soil in the last two days (commercial soil) and now I have a wider-looking yard and the side sections are ready to be planted next year. It was tiring and challenging to carry those soil bags (30 liters each) from store to home, but I made it. I planted potato, garlic, and onion and all flourished and yielded (I have collected around 1 kg of potato; can you imagine my joy?)? I planted 35 cloves of garlic last week for harvesting next year and mulched over with dried leaves to protect them from frost during the winter. My neighbours renewed their part of the fence with fence similar to mine, and as such the yard looks really good now. Also the next door neighbours painted the exterior of their house and it looks beautiful. I have been lucky to have had all of these improvements this year 🙂

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As per work, I have done really good, even though it was stressful. At least my efforts produced results, which is extremely satisfying.

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I have points to improve still, but I am not worried about them. Only because I know I am capable of doing them, too. One recurring issue is eating better and a variety of food. I am making an effort again nowadays. we will see how this will work out. I must reduce or eliminate my extra expenses that are made only to feel good in such a stressful time of my life, but I am slowly getting there. I must also regularly do my lower back exercises to keep it healthy. A manageable list of aims that I am sure I can do. It is just a matter of time.

Today I have taken steps to improve in these areas. I ate veggies and fruits at the office; I took the bus rather than cab; I made an appointment with my physiotherapist to help me get on track with my lower back. I ate junk food in the evening, but I am assuming this too will be gone sometime. I accepted the fact that sometimes change occurs over time, rather than when I want it. Acceptance brings serenity. Nevertheless, I must keep trying and making these changes occur.

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I am lucky…

I continue to feed positive messages to my mind right before going to sleep or when I wake up during the night. Last night the phrase that came to my mind and repeated many times was “I am lucky“.

I am lucky to be given a life. I am lucky to be alive. I am lucky to have every material I need.

There is a house with a little yard on my path to office. A couple of months ago I saw men dumping soil on it. Then little things sprouted out of the soil, which turned out to be clover. They grew incredibly well and are now around 10 cms. I love looking at that yard while walking.

Today I saw one with four leaves!

It was huge 🙂 

I was amazed and deeply amused.

Am I lucky or what? 🙂

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random thoughts

I slept till 10 am and felt energized upon getting up. My plan was to start the day with coffee and the usual house chores. A work-related email asking for an urgent document ruined these plans. So I worked in an intense way and in the afternoon it was sent out. That is a big relief. And the house chores are done after that. talking about breaking the routine! 🙂

I have done well and prepared myself a nice lunch with kale. I must re-instate my plan to eat from diverse array of food. I keep eating the same things and a s a result I believe I have some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Not good. So today’s lunch was a good step towards this plan and I feel fantastic about this 🙂

I am excited about another thing. I placed lettuce and celery in water last week and voila this week they have little growth 🙂 This is so fantastic! I love nature and how it does miraculously! My mom suggested I could plant them and grow at home. I need a pot and soil and I have no idea when I can find time to purchase them, but this system itself is so magical that I feel truly elated 🙂 Thanks those who posted about this which inspired me to try.

🙂

 

 

on life, death, and nature

My mom’s little bird has died after a couple of week’s illness. It was loved, cared, pampered, and cherished. 

My mom and sister are feeling the pain of losing something that they loved so much. They feel like they have not done enough to care for the bird and blame themselves.

Nothing could be far from the truth; they cared for it while she was healthy and especially when she was sick. They have got an expensive medical care for the little one and gave water using  syringe and kept it on their chest when she needed warmth and contact. They monitored it around the clock. They have done more than many people I know respecting and caring for that life. Yet, it was just her time to go and here my sister and mom feeling the blame and sadness.

It is natural to feel the sadness and grief, but I wished they did not blame themselves for what happened to this lovely creature. 

I told them what I experienced when my father had died 1.5 years ago. The sadness was nothing like I knew before, grief was overwhelming, I too blamed myself for not caring for my dad while he was alive or while he was dying. I still do. But I remember my wish to walk and see the nature as it is at that time, as life and death are a part of our life cycle and seeing nature I was able to put this in a rational frame. I remember looking at the trees, some naked and dried up, some looking like dying, but I knew that in spring some of them at least would flourish. I also remember seeing a man with a little child…. Life was continuous, only the life forms would be changing. We may lose one, heck, we will lose ourselves one day, but life will continue with a different tree, in a different place, with a different human.

It is impossible not to feel sadness and grief upon losing someone or an animal that we have loved. We have two options; either not love anything/anyone to protect ourselves from this, or love and go through the consequences. That is a natural dilemma of being human and having a consciousness. There can be no good solution to deal with death of a loved one…

But we can care and demonstrate our love while pets and humans are still alive.

After all, life is short and we have a tendency to focus on what we have in our plates at the time being, and forget the reality to come.

Go hug someone, a pet, or a tree today. Tell them or show them you care. Love yourself too and receive the love from others. Do not be shy.

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

It is another Sunday, another beautiful morning, and another opportunity to get excited and joyful about life.

Somethings can help:

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and

 

 

Go lose yourself 🙂

 

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back to my routine

Today after a month or so I am finally back to my regular routine; home cleaned, laundry done, sourdough stater fed, and more importantly I am not working.

This feels good.

There is something nice about our daily life and routine. It helps us to pay attention to our regular surroundings and activities. I kinda look around and notice things to be grateful for; my yard for example has considerably improved this year with the new back fence and new plants showing up. I love going around it everyday and noticing how the life in my yard doing and remove unnecessary weeds and stuff. It is great to be feeling content, excited, and hopeful about a part of my life.

I also find a chance to notice things that require care and fix them before they get worse. One of my household plants seem to have too much water in the vase, and as such has started to reek (possibly the microorganism growing in the water at the bottom). I cleaned it well and now hope that the plant will regain its health and vigor. It is a life and deserves the best from us.

I am watching the X-Files and am happy to be doing it.

I will prepare a nice dinner today with healthy ingredients, which will help me to gain my strength back and reduce the toxic effects of ongoing stress.

My windows are open and fresh air is caressing every corner inside.

My street is quite and eventless, encouraging an easy rest at home.

I have had fruits and home-made kefir cheese and sourdough this morning, which gives me the necessary energy and encouraging thought that I am back to healthy life-style.

My kefir grains are doing just fine and my sourdough starter is raising.

I have not got any negative news or annoying emails just yet and I am very grateful for this.

I appreciate this opportunity to just relax and give my mind and body a break.

I am excited for being free this evening and tomorrow and all the things I can do with my time.

And more importantly, I am happy to be with myself and reflecting on life and my life, which was much needed. Like this morning, I woke up with the thought that one day I would cease to be and whether what I was stressing myself about at work or at life would worth it. The answer is no. There are so many other important things to do or pay attention to. Time is given and passes pretty quickly. Life is bigger than what I have been focusing on lately. Loved ones and our own well-being and happiness are the most important thing. So much stress and its negative effects on body and mind are foolish. It is time to have a much wider look at life as a whole and re-adjust the priorities and plans. I have not got much of an idea about what they would be, but I am grateful that I have the metal sanity and clarity at least for this moment to even think about this. 

Routine is good my friends.

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random thoughts

The day has been good and I like being able to say this 🙂

My hair is doing fine. It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had highlights. I have washed my hair a little bit more frequently than usual, and as such it grew faster relatively to past. In the past, 2 weeks after dyeing my hair my roots would start showing up and I would get depressed over the grays showing. This time, grays are showing but it is not that bad. As a matter of fact, I must very carefully look for them to see them. So I would say despite my epic tantrum at the hair saloon 3 weeks ago, my hair dresser was right – the highlights have lightened up and for now the roots are somehow blending in.

Of course it is quite early to have a final conclusion; I noticed that my hair dresser have done a much better job dyeing my hair than myself, and as such the roots are only coming out to visibility. If I have the same good feeling in the next two weeks, I will conclude that whatever she did, she did it right. Time to make the next appointment! 🙂

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Works is stressful, but at least there are nice people who are helping. One of my collaborators and I have good conversations and we are both humbled by our work experiences. It is time to move up and we will be doing this. Good to have support and empathy, even though time to time we have our own clashes with this collaborator. I come to my senses, she does the same, by comparing our relationships with others (which are much more complex, pressing, and sometime even down right problematic). Among all these turbulent work relationships, the one between us at least work and move both of us up.

Also a staff from another unit has helped me clarify somethings; it was needed and solved a couple of issues. This staff and I have had some turbulent moments in the past, a few years back, on similar issues. I was resentful at that time, but today everything was positive and I could not help but think how well and naturally some relationships heal over time, or after a while.

Both of these recent experience say me that not everything is as bad as I expect them to be, and some work relationships are quite dynamic and require a new look and attitude time to time.

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My potatoes potated! Yes, they have!

I have checked one of the plants out of curiosity and there were around 10 mini potatoes at the root 🙂 I am filled with love and awe…. I planted them back, hoping that maybe they will potate later, or could be food for soil animals 🙂

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start of the “work staycation”

I am taking the next week off to work. Am I funny or what?? 🙂 

I have a number of things to finish and I am looking forward to this break. I have another 1-2 weeks to take off before the end of August, which is a relief. Maybe I will stop for a couple of days and focus on myself a little bit.

My plans are as follows for the next 9 days:

Work:

3 documents to develop and/or finalize

2 speeches to finalize

Email correspondences and other emergency stuff that will occur within the week (that is correct; I wrote “will” rather than may” because the past years have taught me that emergencies are a normal part of our work Yuppi! More stress hormone! )

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Personal life and home:

Two dinner parties with friends; meaning lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. We will see how this will go. Two dinners in a week seem too excessive for me. It is like a marathon! It is great that my friends are understanding. The worst we can do is to take out.

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Staining and painting the patio and the wooden parts of the outside doors and windows; I resent this task, but it must be done so that I can protect my property better.

Reading a book…… It has been almost 2 years that I have not read a full book, from start to end…. I have the Game of Thrones series at my hand, which are so interesting. yet, where is my book love? How did I lose it? How can I get it back?

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Taking more pictures of the natural beauties. The photos I posted in the last few weeks, the photos of the plants and flowers in my yard made me realize what a great yard I actually have. Many of these appeared in the last year or two, and when I first purchased my home, the yard looked incredibly bad. I digged and almost leveled the back of the yard, planted a little maple tree, trimmed some unwanted ones, planted a number of seeds, some of which germinated (let’s see how they will survive), planted potato, onions, and garlic. The potato plants are doing great, onion has almost seeded, but the garlic does not seem to be producing anything (I checked one of them). I had heard about sterile garlics, which I seem to have planted. In the fall, I will plant again, potato as well, to see whether the time of planting makes a positive difference (they say these plants should be planted in fall before the frost).

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I also plan to print some of the photos and hang them on my walls. This is a massive undertaking for me because I want to hang around 15-20 frames…. Since I cannot do this myself, that also means that I will hire someone to put the nails on the walls. Fun stuff…i repeat that we need a “handyman/woman” registry or company that can do this kind of little work for people like myself.

And, I must do some back/ab exercises to keep my back strong. I have neglected these exercises for some time now and I feel like I must prioritize them again. Since at home I sit mostly (rather than using my standing desk at the office), my chances of hurting my back increase. I do not need that type of “emergency” situations, do I? 🙂

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Have a great Friday night everyone!

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what the days bring, you take it

While I have had a relaxing weekend, the stress of work has already caught up with me. Since yesterday I have been running, running, running again. I can feel all the stress hormones rushing in my veins and my emotions fluctuating. I feel like emotionally unstable, and sometimes, just sometimes, I realize that I must do things differently.

When you work with others and dependent on their commitment, time, and efforts, you know that this kind of work takes more time and there are times that you need to “trust” that the other party will do their absolute best to finish the work with a level of quality required from you. You also know that this is not an optimistic expectation, because in reality a lot of things can go wrong. So, how do we get the best of the other parties? How do we involve them more, and make them do the things on time? Especially if they are your colleagues, or even worse, your superiors? 

I do not have the answer to this. If you have any opinions, please leave me a comment. I will seriously consider it.

Yevbel GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I continue to work mostly at home this week, even though I am back to work (i.e. not vacation time). I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it seems to be working for me. I just wished I could do better. But then, who would not?

One of my colleagues could not believe today that I took vacation time to actually work. Is that so weird? I concur that it is weird, but at least please respect my wishes – I too know to just do things out of work and enjoy my life. But with the work-related congestion I have at my hand, finishing the work is going to give me peace of mind. I am so looking forward to the mornings when I wake up feeling good about life, not stressed by the work I must do. My quality of life is important.

Carbs too.

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Among all of these chaotic circumstances, there has been good things as well. First of, I managed to revive my sourdough from its dried flakes. Objectively though it is questionable that whatever is growing in the starter has come from my original starter (I have been feeding it the last four days); it is quite possible that this is in fact a new culture that I captured from flour, water, or air. It is so hard to know. I want to believe, though it is the original one so that I can brag about my sourdough starter lasting for years and years…What a childish but important wish for me. Unfortunately none of us will know the truth. I wish I could do DNA test or something to figure out :)))

Another good news is that with each wash, my highlights are getting more lighter and I am capable of seeing some light patches in my hair here and there. I am still pissed about the highlights not being strong enough, but considering it has been only 5 days since I have got my hair done, I am hopeful that in two weeks or so, I may get better-looking and stronger highlights. I want to believe…..

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Also, I finally chopped down the little trees shooting out of the trim of my house. Somebody told me that they can grow and start damaging the house/foundation. What!! I do not need that. I feel weird cutting little trees, one because they are little, and second, they are trees. Trees are magical and absolutely wonderful. Why do they show up where they do not belong? I made a mental note to plant one to my yard to ask forgiveness from nature.

Last, since I am not eating well during this stressful time, I seem to be losing weight. I am okay with that as long as I eat at least a vegetable and fruit at least once during the day.  However, it is strange that even planning for one of my weekly pleasures, grocery shopping, is not making me excited.

The situation, my friends, is that dire.

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resourcefulness and reducing waste

You know I love being resourceful, self-sustaining, and reducing waste.

I am not 100% in any of these, but I do try; nowadays better than before. 

I cut out an old t-shirt and will use the pieces to clean my bath tub. I was not gonna use this t-shirt, it was not in good enough shape to be donated, and I could not let it fill the landfill just yet (horrible, I know… ). So, why not to use it as a cleaning cloth? Of note, it will still go back to landfill after I use it, which makes my heart tightened somehow. When are we going to have bio-degradable clothes?

I have a large amount of plastic shopping bags. I made the decision to rather use a canvas purse during shopping. The last few weeks that is what I have been doing and it is going well. My aim is to keep doing this until I have something like 20 of them left. I re-use these bags as garbage bin liner, so not getting new ones after that will not be feasible, but still at least I will be able to make use of what I already have and save the companies and earth some plastic bags. Feeling good, however little that can be.

One thing I am missing is composting. I have been meaning to do this the last 9 years, but honestly I cannot think about it during winter (when we get a lot of snow and me going in to back yard is usually prevented by the snow at the back door). I thought today that perhaps I can do that only during spring-fall when weather is permissive. That sounds good to me and I will be checking on internet to see what practical options I do have. 

 

 

 

Sunday morning musings

This Sunday morning too I am plain lazy on purpose and focused on lovely activities.

For example, my usual and long (3-4 cups long) rendezvous with coffee is going well and very enjoyable.

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I have already walked around my small yard with my coffee mug in my hand to see how the seeds and flowers were coming out after the long rain yesterday (and they are all good).

I have had a light breakfast with the beet sourdough loaf I had baked last week and strained yogurt, which makes me feel quite light (not bloated).

Weather is great outside, warm and inviting and there is sunlight everywhere which opens my spirit and joy box.

And I am listening to some songs that I have not for years, which makes me nostalgic and wanting to do more of enjoyable things today and the days to come.

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I have little plans shaped for today. I think I will talk to my family first thing first and then go out for a walk and to buy some sewing stuff. I am really excited about this opportunity – hopefully what I need are all available in the stores that are open today (not too many choices, but we will see). As usual, I will bake my weekly sourdough loaf (with kefir – the first ever trial of mine – we all will see how that will turn out tonite). I will also cook a nice dish with minced beef and eggplant. It is great that summer is here and reminded me about this dish. I am guilty of not cooking great recipes that take time and require care, but yield the best taste ever. This one I am really looking forward to.

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Now let’s go find something to do that comes spontaneously and makes me feel like on top of the world! 🙂

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random thoughts

This week has been going non-stop at work and I am very pleased with this.

In the last few months the work has been going well – albeit slow sometime. I am feeling like I have geared it up a bit, things are moving faster (although not as fast as I would hope), and I am feeling satisfied and happy as a result of these 🙂

This week we are having a summer time. I tell ya – it is warm during the day, even too hot at nights for our Canadian bodies (like, 23C hot?!!), I am wearing no winter coat or trench coat, and everywhere is green and flowery. Beautiful!

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I feel like I am missing a huge opportunity every minute I spend inside the office. After all, we are at around the end of June and my goodness we have only 5-6 weeks of summer. I am so conflicted – should I keep working during the summer or take 1-2 weeks off to enjoy it without work? Argh… I really want to do both. Perhaps the best solution is to make sure I walk out during the noon and work during the rest of the day. Since I get up and go to office early, walking during the noon should not affect my work.

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I think some of the seeds I planted in the yard are coming to life! This is so exciting for me – I hope they are not weed but real flowers and plants! I got lazy and did not water them this evening upon returning from office. But later I realized how unfair that was to my little seeds and threw myself and my pitcher out to yard. It felt good to do this for these lovely life forms 🙂

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Overall, I am excited about summer, the seeds that seem to be germinating in the yard, and my work performance. I will meet with an ex-team member of mine tomorrow afternoon and I plan to play with her 1-year old son and totally enjoy my time 🙂

Life is good, my friends.

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it may turn out to be exciting if you do not tend to your back yard

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love-me-nots! I did not know that I had so many of them right in front of my yard. They are so beautiful 🙂

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As you know I have been away for over a month and that meant I have had a friend of mine house sitting. Yet, she did not tend to the yard and as a result, when I returned back the grass was half a meter long! 🙂 I started cutting them this afternoon but got tired – I will finish tomorrow.

But the nicest thing was finding out some flowers blooming in the yard. Looks like I was trimming them down while cutting the grass, as I have seen some of them for the first time in my yard! 🙂

Nature…

if we did not modify you, I am sure you would give us more beautiful things to enjoy.

 

drying flowers

File:Dried flowers.JPG

photo credit: Nguyenthibeut at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dried_flowers.JPG

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I just needed another project for myself 🙂

I chose to dry flowers from my yard 🙂

I have dried some flowers given to me when my dad died. Miraculously, I could dry them up (within two-three sheets of paper pressed in large heavy books), some of them even retained their colours. They are now cherished a lot and an hung up on my wall. They remind me my dad… May he rest in peace.

I said “miraculously”, because I had tried to dry some yard flowers last year, only to find them have gone bad with mold and everything (moisture looks like a factor). After the success with my dad’s flowers, I checked the internet to get ideas and I will try a couple of them to make sure I can:

a) air drying

b) paper/press drying

c) oven drying

d) water drying

I would love to dry up lilacs, dandelion flowers, white daisy, and hopefully the tiny forget-me-nots, in addition to some green plants 🙂

Wish me success! 🙂

random thougths

I decided to walk to office this morning. While it was cut short as one of my colleagues saw me walking and gave me a ride, I was amazed to see that walking was coming easy for me and I was enjoying it. I was almost sad the entire day that I did not complete my walk, but this tells me how much inner motivation I have for walking in the mornings. I love this.

With my decision to bake my own bread yesterday and  with my decision to walk this morning, I felt like I am becoming more `normal`, going back to my natural life style. I also felt an urge to spend more time outdoors, with nature. I cannot wait for Spring to come, which will led me use my backyard and do some light gardening.

Am I returning back to my origin as a human, a part of nature? Have I got too engulfed in technology and work-related activities so that I forgot what it was? Have I got too dependent on store-made stuff, even bread, that I could not even think about baking it myself? When did I become so dependent on others manufacturing+marketing while our moms did their own pickles (well, I learnt how to make pickles this year from mom, so I am good for this one), dried fruits and veggies, canned their food?

I feel like I had lost my connection with a more natural, less industrialized life-style. And I feel like I want to walk more, keep a simple life, cook and bake more, and be happy with the outdoors just to re-connect again.

I know it is not possible right now, but I really would like to live in a farm and homestead. And grow my own food and be with the nature.

Man, who knew that baking one loaf of bread would make all these positive realizations possible?

today’s grief journal

I am overall feeling better; there has been only one case of tears bursting and that occurred while I was walking.

Walking became an integral part of my life since my dad died 10 days ago. I just leave the home and let my feet find the path. I do find peace and serenity in it. It also helps me get tired and sleep better at night.

The first few days it was because walking gave me the chance to silently weep. I cried aloud sometime at home when the sadness took over my every cell, my every thought…. Walking on the other hand does not permit this; all I can do is to let the tears go down silently. I am not sure whether I prefer this kind of emotional bursts than loud ones, or because walking somehow makes me more grounded and thus less aloud….

I remember one day I just wanted to walk to get a glimpse of life and death. Death after all is something we mostly ignore…. Some of the trees have been here longer than any of us, yet some of them were shedding barks or leaves…. I found looking at trees and seeing these giving me some sense of life and death. I also saw kids walking with their parents and giggling. This told me that there is renewal in human life. After all, if we had not died, then what would be the reason of having kids? Kids are awesome. I also noticed houses; some new, some needing repairs, some being renovated. The truth behind all of these was beginning and end were continuous in life, somehow putting human life and loss of loved ones in a logical frame. Accepting death as a part of life is brutal at first, but it certainly is healing.

My energy levels are getting better; I walked 40 min in the morning and then 1 hour at noon to a shopping mall. This is the second time I have walked there in my life; first, many years ago out of curiosity, and second, today just because. One hour of walk is quite unusual for me (too long for a lazy and busy person like my usual self…), but I made it. It was during this walk that I cried; I keep thinking how much I have loved my dad and I would have never chosen another one instead of him. And how better we could all have treated each other while he was alive….This regret is hard to swallow…. As my mom said “it would be nice that we never treated one other with an attitude or an unkind way, or never said things that would hurt the other person, but life is not like this.

That is certainly true. It does not mean that let’s go ahead and hurt people’s feelings; no. But I recognize that we all have our moments, our rights and wrongs, our list of things that are acceptable or not acceptable, our own struggles, and our significant differences. And our reactions as a result.

What my mom said has made sense to me and is easing my guilt caused by disappointing or frustrating my dad, and by not being with him as much as I should have been.

I owe my mom big time for helping me to ease this guilt by being sensible…..

mowing, birds, trees, and lilacs

Despite the fact that I truly do not enjoy mowing the yard, there are two great pleasures coming out of it (other than accomplishing this unpleasant yet necessary task):

1. seeing little birds coming to the yard and munching on the cut grass or whatever is now  available to them; nature feeding nature and making these lovely creatures visiting my place is amazing. I should not be taking credit for this, but giving something for the birds makes me feel grateful and excited!

2. standing underneath the trees and listening to their leaves whooshing with the little breeze, which reminds me how strong, silent, and peaceful the trees are. I should be doing this more. I sometime think that trees talk to us. Not literally of course 🙂 Trees have a very relaxing effect on me, which makes me automatically awed with the beauty and the peace around me.

And when the lilacs show up, it is extra beautiful…

random thoughts

Another interesting day in terms of the weather; it has been grey till an hour ago. During the day it rained, too, making the evening walk kinda challenge. Now though it is all bright and shiny!

I loved looking out of the window and seeing the nature as rain drops on it. With the rain came a little wind, moving the tree branches in a beautiful dance. I have taken my time to notice the tallest tree ahead and from where I stood, it looked like that tree has been there for some time. It is amazing to realize that some life forms have a much longer history on earth than us. I wish the trees could talk to us; we could learn so much 🙂

I have a thing for trees; I love them, their leaves, their cycle of life during the different seasons, their barks, the way they bloom during spring, and the flowers should they have any. I have two lilac trees in my little yard, which are about to blossom. The lilac flowers are short-lived yet when they show up, their scent and sight are amazing. I feel blessed to have them in my yard.

In terms of the challenges I have assigned to myself a while ago; some of them I am consistent now, which is a great feeling;

I am getting way better in taking the bus :);

certainly eating better 90% of the time :);

walking everyday whenever the weather is permissive;

as part of my “spending freeze”, so far I have only bought a couple of books (in the last 6 weeks or so), but not 2-3 books/week :);

doing the grocery shopping as required and in small amounts and so far I hardly let any fresh produce rot in my fridge :);

continuing with my conscious spending plan (not perfect but it is still there);

listening to the music both at the office and the house;

I am very consistent about drinking tea at the office 🙂 (except that I noticed drinking green tea if I am hungry is not a good idea; it upsets my stomach);

I love enjoying the view from the office window and getting amazed by the nature and its awakening during Spring (yes, it is still spring here; summer does not come very easily 🙂 );

assessing and recording my progress by writing them down;

applying facial moisturizer;

and wait….

I have lost weight; 8 pounds to be exact! Now…. Not sure whether it is permanent; I am still eating bread and bagels, but not as much as I used to and sometimes I dine out; but generally I seem to not eat a lot before going to bed (which I think is helping me to lose weight)…

I sincerely wish that this is a continuous progress. I just cannot take it granted as like many others, in the past I have lost weight just to gain back again 🙂 So I better keep doing what I am doing!

have a great evening everyone.

challenges – daily progress

I am speaking too much today 🙂 this is my third post. But I gotta write this one, as it keeps me motivated and helps me make these changes in my life.

So here is the list of things I have done today to improve my life: I took the bus in the morning and surprisingly did not mind waiting 10 minutes for it; drank a cup of chamomile tea, which I usually do not like but was fine this time; looked out of the window to enjoy the nature and the surroundings at the office; walked back to home and then to the post-office at a fast pace (yay!); am motivated to walk more in the evenings and weekends; ate healthy meals and limited carbs; listened to the music at the office while working; and did not make any purchases.

I have done well today; maybe I should increase/change the challenges as time goes on. New challenges, new excitements, and new reasons to feel good 🙂

cheers everyone

random thoughts

I have done well today in terms of the challenges I have assigned to myself a while ago: I took the bus (yay!), drank a nice cup of mint tea at the office, walked in the afternoon, shopped consciously, ate an apple, looked out of the window many times to enjoy the nature and to give a break to my work-oriented mind.

The highest point of today was walking down and then up stairs (4 storeys) at the work place. One of my assistants and I were exploring the new building in terms of the safety features (such as the location of fire-extinguishers and the emergency exit). So we took the stairs down to the first floor to know how we could evacuate the building and then decided to go up to the 5th floor. We did it! I had thought I could be breathless; yes I was eventually but it was not as hard as I thought it would be. We made a mental note to try this, at least 2 storeys, every single day for our health. Is this not awesome? 🙂

joy journal – May 16, 2015

Here are the events, feelings, activities, and realizations that gave me a chance to be excited, happy, or positive.

1. I am grateful for its being Saturday. Although I want to work and finish tasks, I appreciate the freedom to do whatever I want or need.

2. I am grateful for meeting with a friend of mine at my favourite cafe today. We had breakfast together, chat, and looked at her pictures from a recent vacation in a beautiful city. It was a great change for me and I liked being social :).

3. I am grateful for cleaning my home today. Saturdays are usually the cleaning and laundry day for me. I 90% of the times keep this habit. I am glad that it was not difficult to do it at all.

4. I am grateful for aerating my home. It is truly a spring day, so nice and warm. I like opening the windows and letting fresh air in. It gives me a sense of being in a “healthy” home.

5. I am grateful for working at the yard, getting exposed to sunlight, breathing in fresh air, and exercising my body. My yard looks better than yesterday and I am getting more and more interested in doing better.

6. I am grateful for the seeds of herbs and plants that over the year I had bought and accumulated. The day to plant them finally arrived! Tomorrow I hope to plant some flower seeds. I need to choose excellent places for them so that once planted and grow, they always can stay where they are.

7. I am grateful for taking three pots out on the deck. One of them has a variety of flowers that are originally designed indoors. I am not sure whether I should plant them on the yard, but I guess it is better to try that. Other two; I had planted herbs in them but they never excelled indoors. I am hoping they will thrive outdoors. If not I am not losing anything 🙂

8. I am grateful for cooking and eating a healthy meal for dinner.

9. I am grateful for being excited about the spring, nature, and warm weather – who would not? 🙂 I notice that the awakening of the nature has a positive effect on me as it gives hope. Hope that dark days will be followed by bright ones, hope that whatever is challenging us will cease to be so. Spring is truly the season of hope.

10. I am grateful for having the evening to myself. I enjoy reading blogs and getting inspired by them. I also like watching TV and having my books next to me; when the time comes, I will read and enjoy them.

11. I am grateful for continuing to be a conscious spender.

12. I am grateful for being excited about new ideas, new hobbies, and taking the time to read and learn about them. For example gardening and conscious spending are my two recent interests. Those who post about them here; you all are awesome!

13. I am grateful for not being able to find one of my garden cutters. I cannot find it at home. No idea where it is. Yet, while looking for it, I had a chance to see what else I have had and I am happy to see how much stuff I actually own (all useful).

14. I am grateful for replacing the soap with a new one; it smells so nice that I felt blessed. Small things can have profound positive effects on me. A $2 soap making this effect is amazing.

15. I am grateful for dumping some extra stuff from my bathroom. I am thinking about de-cluttering again and I started with the easiest place – the bathrooms. I do not have a lot of stuff in bathrooms, which helps me to identify and dump un-useful, unused, or old stuff. The rest of the house then can follow. My biggest concern will be the storage cabinet, which is full of old paperwork. I am not sure whether I am doing good keeping them or not? I will see.

16. I am grateful for being grateful and excited about today.

stay well everybody

yard-work

I did some more yard work today. I do not have abig yard, only a small one with a number of young trees. Last week I had started to dig the soil to level high parts with low part (my house is on a slight hill, reflected on my yard as well). It is the at the end of the yard where this is more pronounced, but the soil is so soft that I have no trouble manipulating it.

I also started to clean it. Last year was my first summer at my place and first time dealing with a yard. Together with my lack of knowledge, usual laziness(!), and the ridiculous amount and types of debris left by the previous owners, I had not done much in the yard. This year, although I am surprised with myself that I left all the debris in my yard till now, I am also glad that I am doing it. So far I was able to get rid of some weird metal  stuff, a bent spoon, many pieces of broken glass, and old clothes! the more I dig, I am afraid the more stuff I will find 🙂

Anyways, I had seen a neighbour of mine trimming some branches of trees. While I have no intention to hurt the nature, especially trees, today I had to remove some damaged and awkward (small) branches out of two of my trees. It also helped me to clean space for my vegetable/herb/flower bed as these trees are young and thus their branches are low – now I can use that area more effectively.

And I planted seeds for herbs; parsley, mint, rosemary, and basil! I have no idea whether they will germinate and grow here, whether I have used the right place (sunny or shady) for their optimum growth, I have no idea… I admit I was somehow careless, but I am hopeful! Something will come out 🙂

Tomorrow I will continue to clean up, remove old/damaged branches from trees, and plant flowers. One of my favourites will be to plant garlic and onion! let me start with these and next year I hope I will do a much better job and have raised beds for other veggies such as lettuce and others.

One last thing; being in the nature is an amazing feeling. I stood there for a minute and admired all life forms existed in my yard and listened to the birds. I now understand better when people insist on having a house with a yard. There is something wondrous about being with the nature.

random thoughts

What a beautiful shiny, and warm day. Today feels like a spring – that is for sure 🙂

Since I was at home since noon, I decided to go to the bank, take care of a transfer I was supposed to do for some time, drank coffee and had a sandwich, and visited my favourite second hand book store. Bought two books I am interested in reading (well I had planned not to buy any books for two months, but today I did well taking care of many things, so I am pampering myself).

When I came back home, it was past 3pm, still early for me to resume daily relaxing routine. So I started working in the yard; I am primarily collecting the debris that do not serve the yard anymore. I have got two big disposal bags filled for now, and I expect another one when I am done, hopefully tomorrow.

I decided to get rid of whatever does not look natural – that includes some ropes and wires left by the previous owners. I also am digging a high part of the yard and trying to even it a little bit and remove the grass. I plan to plant flowers and other stuff in that area. It can look beautiful and and certainly more fresh, more my own.

I have seen a couple of yellow flowers in my yard, which I had not seen last year. They are very delicate,  so nice, so awesome. They reminded me that there is life in my yard and winter I hope is finally over. Nature is amazing in a lot of ways.

I hope to continue tomorrow to make the yard look a little bit better, cleaner, and my own. Considering I show interest in yard-work for the first time, I think I will eventually have a lovely place.

there was sun and then none

there was sun

bees chirping

ladybugs dancing

leaves whooshing

and the rain…

rain was the best

caressing my pain

removing my cry

I remember that day…

there was sun

and then none

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