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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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! 🙂

 

random thoughts

I feel like writing about small indulges that make me feel pampered 🙂

Considering that the only expenses bigger than $1,000 were my washer and dryer (excluding my flights to visit my family and my house), I guess I am doing good pampering myself while also looking after my funds.

So here is a list that I can come up with now:

1. Having breakfast: I love having breakfast at the weekends! there is something nourishing about it and the fact that I get to have it on the weekends only, it is my way of start celebrating the weekend. Breakfast does not need to be too expensive (though it  depends on your preferences. Nevertheless, breakfast and lunch are often times much cheaper than dinners).

2. A good book that captivates my interest. There is nothing like a great book that makes your day enjoyable, time frozen, and mind and heart filled with new knowledge, emotions, and empathy. 90% of my books are purchased from second hand bookstores or charity. The only book I have had pricey was a project management book I needed to study as part of a certificate program (time to sell it now). Borrowing books from libraries, of course, does not cost a dime – give it a try.

3. Chicken noodle soup: is there any other food that nourishes the body while also relaxes the mind? What is the cost of this? $3?

4. Taking photos: that is a really fun activity. Other than the cost of the camera and print outs, the cost of all the memories and lovely pictures recorded is basically $0. Plus, can we really put a price on recording memories?

5. A good cup of coffee every once a while. I love caramel or maple syrup added coffee every once a while. There is a cafe that do these in a shopping mall I go time to time. A great way to award myself.

6. Food: food is always a tricky material for indulges. I happen to reward myself a lot by food, especially pastries and bread (though I am trying to limit them lately). My new year eve meal is almost always some pastry I make at home with beef and pastry sheets. Even though I love this meal, I am glad that I do not bake it more than twice a year.

7. Movies: Although I have not done this in years, seeing a movie at a theater is a lovely experience.

8. Tea, apple cider, and hot chocolate: whether black, green, or herbal, tea has a calming effect. On cold winter days, in addition to tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are my favorite beverages.

9. Leisure walking: Although I do not do this as often as I wish to; when I do, I enjoy it very much. Especially those that occur spontaneously where I do not before hand plan for the route, take my time to enjoy and examine the scenery (even looking at different houses and their characteristics can be an interesting activity).

10. Going through the stores at the airport: One of my favorite activities! I love looking at the merchandise and the variety of items. This is particularly nice when the airport is in a different country. As you can guess, the books sold are the ones that get my most attention. but hey, they are great 🙂

11. Browsing the stores: I have a negligible habit of impulse buying thus I am not afraid of going thru an entire store, examining and exploring the items. It is one of the meditative experiences for me when I truly focus and thus get a mental break from daily thoughts and tiredness. Thanks to this activity, I have discovered many different food (e.g. savory I am so fond of) that were not a part of my regular diet.

12. Taking a road trip: I love it when we drive on a car together with friends or family. Have you noticed that the conversations are different, lovelier during road trips? Especially when we all are going to places that we have not explored before. Whenever I have a chance to suggest an activity, i suggest a road trip 🙂

13. Music: Music is… awesome! I listen to it while at home and office. The free music channels and youtube makes it basically free. Could not be happier 🙂

14. Writing my blog and reading other blogs: Very amusing, relaxing, informative, and affordable activity. Okay I need a computer and an internet connection to do so, but these two help with so many activities (listening to music, watching videos, doing research, learning, booking flights and hotels, etc.) that their cost comes really low. Plus writing helped me to learn a lot about myself – how about that as a great benefit?

15. Planning, planning, planning: I have a thing for planning for goals I would like to tackle. Coming up with a question and then designing a step-by-step strategy to reach the goal is always exciting for me. Yep I do mess up with executing the plans sometime (my recent healthy life-style plan that I blew is a good example), but eventually all go well.

16. Sleeping in: every once a while there comes a weekend morning that makes me sleep till noon. This does not happen to much, but I believe it happens when my body needs it. Often times, it is relaxing.

17. Sleeping late: there is something peaceful about late-nights, some kind of freedom… Friday and Saturday nights are my freedom nights when I can stay up till late, reading, writing, or watching TV. Serenity..

18. Spending time in my yard: I have a small yard with a couple of trees; lilacs are particularly my favorites. Seeing them in summer is a beautiful feeling. The same thing with just being in the yard and listening to the sound of trees – the soothing whoosh their leaves make with wind…..

19. Scents: I love my perfume but due to scent-free policy of my workplace, I only wear it at the weekends. Its scent is so lovable I am glad they produced it! The same thing with candles and soaps. I have a soap that leaves a nice scent after each hand-wash. I would not change it at all. When comes to candles, I did not buy lately but I make sure to check them at the stores. One of my favorite one has honey-cinnamon scent.

20. Wearing my best shoes: I am a person of habit, so I keep wear the same things weeks after weeks. Yet, every once a while wearing a different outfit or my favorite shoes makes a difference in my mood 🙂

21. Grocery shopping: I love grocery shopping. Finding fresh produce is a rare and often cheerful activity for me (where I live, fresh produces are hard to find).

22. Shopping after the holidays: this is the season for shopping!. The sales right after the Christmas are unprecedented. Boy, do I stock up? 🙂

23. Thrifty store visits: Even though I often end up not buying as much as I plan to, I love browsing through the shelves in thrifty stores, especially the kitchen items and the books. A good book I certainly will buy. The kitchen items are mostly an interest; to see all the old stuff… I have a thing for old things. They are different and very interesting for me.

24. Ethnic stores: There are so many different things in these stores that I make regular trip to one close to my house. It is a little food store where I can find the most interesting spices, hot sauces, and dried food. Plus, that store is incredibly cheap. I wonder why that is.

25. Soft facial towels: These are priceless; there is nothing nicer at the end of a busy day to come home, wash my hands and face, and feel the soft towel on my skin. I would highly recommend you to get a thick, slushy towels that is a delight to use.

26. Creams and moisturizers: my hands require hand cream throughout the day. In winter, it is almost essential to moisturize the rest of the body. I am grateful for these creams and lotions that not only nourish my body but also smell good 🙂

27. Time spent with family and friends: Do I have to talk about it? It is the favorite activity of many people. Are we not lucky?

I hope your list of things that make you feel pampered is longer than this.

Go pamper yourself in this beautiful Saturday! 🙂

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