all the good things – check

  • feeling better overall – check

yesterday I was feeling uneasy again, but today has been a relatively better day – I will appreciate this!

  • eating a home made dish with lots of healthy veggies, yogurt, and garlic – check
  • meeting with an ex-team member of mine and having a great chat and doing some work together – check!

this gave me extra boost! She is a very intelligent and genuine person and talking to her again and learning about her wellness and successful endeavors were a bliss! It made me literally happy 🙂

  • taking the bus on the way back from the office – check

I was lucky – the bus was waiting right in front of the building and I catched it – that saved me around 8 bucks from cab fare today 🙂

  • feeling bored and then doing some work after 5pm – check

I have a busy next week and I just got an additional tasks right this evening. I decided to start it so that I can make my weekend and next week a little bit easier. I am glad I have. I feel good and less stressed and time-crunched now 🙂

  • eating two juicy clementines that were delicious – check
  • drinking fresh kefir – check

I feel so much better when I drink kefir. I feel lucky to have these grains. They work so consistently!

  • seeing two seeds germinating in the yard – check

I planted them last weekend. It was a slightly rainy week, which I guess helped. I am looking forward to seeing more coming up.

Plants are my new hobby! I shared three succulents with my friends and everyday coming home and checking how they are doing is an incredibly exciting experience. The cacti seeds I planted last weekend do not have much of an activity. sadly sun is low this week, which may be affecting their germination. I will see how this saga will go on – let’s cross the finger 🙂

  • having plans for the weekend – check

I need to work, but this is okay. I also would like to go for shopping and get new pots for succulents. I also would like to get additional pots for my yard to plant seeds. I have herb as well as flower seeds to grow and I am very excited about these 🙂 I bought two big bags of soil a few days back, which was easy to do with the help of my shopping cart. I can go get two more this weekend. I want to plant potato in totes!! I have seen it in the internet and I am curious 🙂 I will try 3-4 bags of them and see how this goes 🙂

  • walking in the morning for 10-15 minutes – check

I am not walking lately. knowing what a healthy activity it is, I welcome this opportunity

  • enjoying the show I am watching – check
  • doing my back exercises – check
  • realizing that I have around 300 bucks accumulated for my next mortgage pre-payment – multi check!

I may not be able to save my money as much as I wish, but I keep saving from here and there a little sum that will help improve reducing my mortgage on the long run. I am excited about these and now I am motivated again to stop taking the cab and use that money to increase my pre-payment. I hope to catch the bus tomorrow morning – wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

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a long weekend is coming….

A long weekend is coming and for the first time in a while, I do not have a plan.

Is this good? Bad?

Sometimes I see this as an opportunity to be spontaneous, which would be awesome to exercise this week. Maybe I would see a friend or invite over a couple of them. Maybe I will go visit a thrift store again – always fascinating 🙂

Sometimes it just makes me bored or feel like I am wasting a great opportunity (3 days off, come on! this is a great time to enjoy) only because I did not long for it. This past week has been light in terms of work and stress, and as such, I have not dreamt of how great it would have been to have an extra day off from work. Anticipation, they say, is a joyful experience. I now know what they mean 🙂

It is not too late to have the aim of enjoying this long weekend.

  • Maybe I will try a new recipe. As a matter of fact, I have become interested in yet another fermentation product, kvass. Maybe I will try it 🙂
  • I can make some more parsnip and carrot pickle – the one that I made last weekend was amazing. Parsnip has a sweet smell that makes me excited about it.
  • I may try a new type of jam or marmalade, and share with friends. I want to try something unusual and challenging. Orange, clementine, berry marmalades are not interesting at this point (done that, been there). If you have any recommendation or recipe for a different type of jam, please feel free to let us know in the comment area.
  • I may visit my yard and maybe help it rejuvenate. I think I have seen the bulbs I planted last fall coming out a few days ago! Our winter is not over, but it has been such a mild one that I am not surprised to see them sprouting 🙂 I am excited to see how they will come along.
  • My mom suggested that I give a dig or two around my garlic shoots. Yep, I have around 35 garlic that I had planted in fall and seem to be coming around 🙂 What an exciting experience! If this experiment works well, I am sure to plant more in fall. Cannot wait 🙂
  • Perhaps I can sew a couple of cloths to use during baking. I have had many, some of which were thick and really useful. Sadly they have got old and not usable anymore, but I am sure I have fabric here and there that can make my new cloths from. Let’s do this 🙂
  • This week is also one of these weeks when I am attempting some kind of pantry challenge. I have a lot of food in the pantry and in the freezer – it is time that I consume them and open space for fresh ones. This will also help me save some money – I really need to do this so that I can have a healthy chequeing account while also I continue to regularly invest and finance my vacation in summer.

random thoughts

I have had a good weekend and I am very happy about this 🙂

I am back to my regular self after four months of rush-rush-stress-stress work marathon and two over-seas trips.

I am eating better and healthy, I walk whenever I can, and my budget is back to its wonderful self 🙂

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My hair is transitioning to gray alright and I have not lost my mind over the abundance of grays or the presence of many different colours in my hair, even though I know I HATE this hair, goodness knows I want to DYE it like right now, and I never knew I could be that BRAVE to carry this hair!!

Peace… I need to make peace with this hair, but it is so challenging…

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Anyways; going back to positive experiences….I plucked out weeds and unnecessary plants from my yard, moved a nice flower somewhere else so that next year I can plant food at the back of the yard, enjoyed the mints and flowers still striving, and felt the satisfaction of knowing that now my yard is ready for winter. There is nothing much to be done. I have done good.

I am baking a great-looking sourdough loaf and I will be sharing my beet pickles and potato salad with my friends, who invited me over for a dinner tonite. I am so looking forward to their company and having great time.

Good people make all the difference 🙂

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂

 

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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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multi-purposed items are very useful :)

I like having items (such as in the kitchen) that I can use for multiple purposes. For example,  glass mixing bowl can be used for serving salad as well as for mixing items together. I also like to use items for different or multiple purposes so that my home will not be cluttered and I will have a more or less resourceful daily life. Good examples could be using shopping bags as garbage bin liner, old clothes/t-shirts as cleaning cloths, and my shopping cart.

The shopping cart I have was purchased almost 15 years ago when I was in Toronto. It is not big and also foldable, so it is a practical item. It was incredibly useful in carrying groceries which I often bought from the Kensington place. Carrying a cart full of groceries and walking from there to my home (around 20 mins of distance on foot) was easy and peasy.

When I moved from Toronto to where I live right now, I got it transported with my furniture but I do not remember using it for grocery at all. While decluttering my home a couple of years ago I considered donating it but later decided that I could rather use it as a container for extra items in the laundry room. It serves this purpose very well.

Today I used it for shopping! My yard has some uneven surfaces, particularly on the sides. I have been planning to fill these parts with soil so that my yard would look wider and I could have flowers lining my yard. This weekend I noticed that the garden soil wason sale (buy one, get one free; hello!). I was skeptical at first because they looked heavy and I do not have a car to transport them home. I did not want to ask my friends to help me with it, either. Then, I came up with the idea of using my shopping cart and voila! I bought four bags of 30L of soil in two store visits. Bags were heavy and I still had a difficult time lifting them and placing in the cart and pulling the cart to home. But it is all worth it – I placed the soil on my yard and I can see myself planting flower seeds in that area next year!

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I cannot wait! 🙂

I could not make this happen today should I have not decided to be resourceful and use that cart for another purpose 🙂

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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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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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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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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

After 6 months or so, I did some back and ab exercises yesterday and today I feel like my big belly has shrunk! 🙂

I am serious 🙂

I know I did not lose whatever fat I have but I must admit that the ab muscles do an awesome job keeping things in place and firm once they are active. 

My belly is all tucked up very nicely and my posture is a lot better. I even feel taller.

You know when the abs are strong and supportive, these are all expected to occur.

I used to be physically very active and quite muscular in the past, prior to starting my current job. I know that muscles have their own memory and they are quite forgiving. So if you want to remind your muscles how great they can be, go ahead, take a walk, lift a weight, or just find a way to use them. You will know the difference.

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I have had a good day today. I got up at around 9 am, did the laundry, talked to family, and prepared an interesting dough (sourdough with kefir – cannot wait to see how it will turn out tomorrow).

I wanted to get out and buy some sewing notions but boy, do we have a rainy day? It is raining cat and dog, and I hope tomorrow we will have a better day. On the other hand, I am grateful that it rains – my yard and seeds/plants needed it. Had I mentioned that I have potato plants? Yes, I do and this is such a fantastic feeling! 

Anyways; back to sewing. Sewing relaxes me, even thought I am not sewing frequently or with confidence. Nevertheless this afternoon I felt like I needed to sew (that is a strange feeling; it is like the need to eat… the need to sew… strange but true…), so I have sewn two simple pieces of clothes to be placed over my washer and dryer. They are cute but can be cuter if I can find nice ribbons (which I hope to find tomorrow). They will keep the dust away from my machines and also make that area look a little bit homey. My washer and dryer are in small room with boiler, ventilator, and garbage bin, so this area does not traditionally look or feel nice at all. But after these cloths it feels a little bit better. I also am interested in sewing a nice cover for the garbage bin – maybe with a flowery fabric so that it may look and feel better too! Many can find this idea weird, but I have been meaning to do this for some time and I believe that it is gonna look cute, so I am all for it 🙂

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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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Sunday afternoon musings

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It has been a good day; I have planted a number of seeds and I hope that at least one or two of them will germinate and grow! Please! 🙂

Since my arm is still acting, I take it really easy with the yard. I still have some digging to do, but I guess it will be spread over the summer. I think the main problem is resolved, or almost resolved (which was an uneven surface at the back). I bought some flower seeds today and together with my mom’s seeds I have planted them in the yard. I also planted mint, basil, and parsley seeds today. It was fun to give them water this afternoon, thinking that water will help these little seeds start their lives.

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Did I mention that my potatoes indeed potated!!? Ahem – yes! I think I have 3-4 potato plants growing in the yard 🙂 Also two onions and 6-7 garlic sprung. These are so exciting for me 🙂  I read somewhere that the best time to plant the garlic is fall. I will do that this year. I also would like to plant tulips and other bulb flowers. Next year I hope to have a much decent looking and pretty yard. What an excitement 🙂

Other exciting activities of the day included baking sourdough bread, walking around 1 hour to a shopping mall, and shopping some canned food and other needs. I had not done this kind of shopping in the last 8 weeks or so, so it was the right time. And I was lucky and could catch the bus right on time on the way back, which is always pleasing (who wants to wait 30-40 min for the bus? No one 🙂

I have been eating better lately, which always pleases me. I can see that it has an effect on my scale so I would love to keep eating better (e.g. no peanut or peanut butter, or refined carbs like pasta). i do not know why I feel the need to share this info here – I guess it is just a mental note – so bear with me!

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Have a great Sunday evening and night everyone! 🙂

 

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walking, gardening, and good night sleep

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I am beat!! 🙂 I walked and went around on foot for 4 hours yesterday evening. When I returned home, my feet and legs were aching and they kept doing so the rest of the day. Thank goodness, in the morning everything was back to normal 🙂

I wondered whether it was like this when I was young. I could not remember for sure. I know I would be tired sometime, but it would be because of working/walking/standing whole day? I had so much energy when I was young that I would not be surprised with this.

Anyways, the physical exercise and activity continued today too. I decided that it was the right time to fix the yard. The back of my yard has uneven surface, which bothers me. I tried to level it a little bit in the past, but there is still so much to do. So I decided today was a good time to have this as a project.

Boy… Ok… Long story short; I probably will have to work on that part of the yard 3-4 more weekends. I could continue after 1 hour of digging, carrying soil around, collecting glass and plastic pieces (previous owners did not do a great job with keeping that yard healthy), but at that point my back was aching from forward folds and all the stuff carried around, so I decided to stop for today. 

The work I have done today is not a huge one, but it is a good start. I think by taking it easy I will be able to handle this without taxing my body and mind. I am really looking forward to finishing it and planting seeds and flowers around. And I am glad that I did not wait till end of May when we usually start working in the gardens 🙂 I feel like I am on time, even early to work on the yard, so I feel relax rather than stressed about it.

One other plan of mine is to have mulch and place it around the trees. There is also a part of the yard that I want to cover with it; this section has currently small rocks/stones to cover it and every year more and more wild plants grow in it. I hope that by mulch I can make it look a little bit better and also help get rid of unwanted plants. Good plan 🙂

It is great to have projects and work on them, and it is great to be out there with nature. I am also happy about the physical exercise I have got. I am sure I am looking at a sound sleep tonite and many weekends to come ! 🙂

Cheezburger GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

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on thrift stores, spring, and gardening

I continue to be excited after the thrift store treasure I hunted yesterday 🙂

I keep thinking; is it becoming more of a normal for me to shop at thrift stores? 

There are two thrift/donation stores at walking distance that I seem to visit frequently only lately. I am not comfortable with the idea of buying shoes, undies, trousers/shorts, sleep wear, or any other personal items (like towels or bed linens),  but shirts, blouses, jackets, sewing notions/fabrics, and books are okay.

I still seem to be reluctant “to be seen shopping at these stores” (talking about social pressure that I need to deal with in my own mind…) and to buy things that will give me an urge of “cleaning intensely’ before use. No offense meant to anyone with the latter point – I know it is just a personal thing; realistically any of the items at this stores can be cleaned and used, and I have not heard of a case that a serious harm occurred because of an item purchased from a thrift store. In contrast, in terms of limiting waste, recycling, reusing, and protecting not only the natural resources but also the unfortunate and poor, I am clear that it is the most responsible thing to do. Also, the variety is much better than any store we have around here and prices are very, very reasonable. I have not passed that “cleaning” stuff just yet. Anyways.

I was thinking; then why did I not do that before and shop at thrift stores?  

I have no answer to that, other than the fact that I think it just fits my current budget and life-style much better than before and I do see an additional personal benefit in terms of the excitement of browsing the stores (there is always something new), finding something that I can really like (and I mean that – the three blouses I purchased lately are incredibly exciting for me to have and wear), and the ability to purchase them without breaking my current lean spending plans (three blouses cost me 13 bucks so far….).

When was the last time I was so excited about something that cost me so little?

You got it.

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It is a kind of gray and rainy day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a short walk in the morning. The winter has been hard on us but nature is awakening with trees getting greener and the air feeling a little bit more fresh, more Springy… I am really excited about walking becoming so easy and second nature to me. 

Nature GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I want to do better with my yard this Spring. I would love to have a herb garden and some nice flowers. We will see how it goes, but today I am proud to say that I planted 6 potato which had sprouted in my kitchen. My mom advised me to cut them in 2 or 4 and plant in the yard 5-10 cm below the surface. I have done this and i hope that I will see them grow into more potatoes 🙂 I have also planted the roots of fresh mint that I had purchased this week. I really would love them to survive and thrive – so far I was only able to grow mint and peas in the last 3 years…..

Let’s cross the fingers 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.

 

kind neighbours

A couple of weeks ago I was working in the yard and I said hello to my neighbour from the other side. This was the first time we ever talked. She is a lovely elderly lady who was nice and kind. She said “it looks like you like plants. We are in the process of dividing some yard plants. if you wish, I can give some of them to you – I could hang the pots on the fence“.

I said sure – I would love this and was happy with the kindness of the lady. I must admit I not necessarily expected that she would give me any plants, but that was okay.

Well, it turned out I was wrong; today I found 4 small pots on the edge of my yard, close to her side. Is that not awesome! 🙂 She did not forget and took the time and energy to place/throw ( 🙂 ) the pots in my yard :). I happily found a suitable place and planted them. I made a mental note and when I am back from my vacation, I would love to give them a loaf of home-made bread 🙂

Now the waiting games starts to see what kind of plants they will turn in to 🙂

joy journal – May 27, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up in a relatively good mood – priceless 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus and being happy about it.

3. I am grateful for my office coffee! I cannot get tired of this. i am so lucky that I have an office for myself and I am accountable to only myself… That is great to note this as I have not particularly noticed it before… Coffee makes my mind work well I guess 🙂

4. I am grateful for having a long but nevertheless useful meeting.

5. I am grateful for walking back to home right after the meeting. It was kind of chilly but that is alright. Better days will come!

6. I am grateful for checking my home and finding no pest activity during the day. I feel good about this but I am not naive enough to  think that it is over yet. nevertheless, this is a peace of mind for today.

7. I am grateful for the cat next door that shows up in my yard time to time. I wish she could visit my home too so that the pest would have an extra motivation to leave my premises! 🙂

8. I am grateful for the misty weather today, which allowed me not to water my seeds in the yard.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today. My appetite is not there in the last few days. I am feeling great about this, though I should make sure I eat healthy stuff. I noticed that I do not eat fruits as much as I would like. Gotta solve this problem this week 🙂

10. I am grateful for the fish I have baked this evening and it is being affordable and quite tasty.

11. I am grateful for the relaxing atmosphere of my home. I have everything I need and want (except the pests! 🙂 ).

12. I am grateful for the comfy bed I have that allows me to both relax and sleep on.

13. I am grateful for making new plans for my saving. As soon as I come back from my vacation, I will do some adjustments to further save and use my own hard-earned dollars. I deserve this.

14. I am grateful for my computer and internet connection that makes my life easy and enjoyable.

15. I am grateful for my job that allows me to have a comfortable and safe life.

16. I am grateful for all the savings I have made since the last one year. At the beginning of June, it will be a year that I started budgeting in a serious manner According to my records, in the last one year I have saved roughly 7K…… That is an amazing amount of money that I would have otherwise thrown away. I am proud of myself 🙂

17. I am grateful for being alive, healthy, safe, and sound.

18. I am grateful for my back feeling better and not needing exercises. being pain-free is an amazing feeling 🙂

19. I am grateful for being grateful and taking time to write my joy journal.

joy journal – May 25, 2016

1. I am grateful for waking up feeling alright 🙂 This is a rare occasion and I fully appreciated it. I am so very grateful for this feeling 🙂

2. I am grateful for taking the bus this morning. Weather was awesome and i went to work by wearing a jacket rather than winter coats! 🙂 is that not great?

3. I am grateful for working well. I was distracted by a couple of meetings here and there, but all worked out well. One of my team members and I are working on a challenging project. he moved it quite a bit but then like any other things that are done for the first time, we needed to in detail check our approach, methods, and the assumptions/limitations. It is no fun and both my team member and I were quite annoyed but also somehow excited. Once this “confidence building” phase is over, then we will be able to move really fast. I must explain this to my team member better as he is frustrated that we are still not clear about our approach. Fortunately (!), this is a necessary part of the process and we will be done with this phase soon. It is good to have experiences! 🙂

4. I am grateful for my coffee – what a blessing to be able to have an office that allows me to brew coffee whenever I wish 🙂

5. I am grateful for walking back to home early afternoon and continuing to work at home.

6. I am grateful for seeing the nice flower that bloomed in my yard today 🙂

7. I am grateful for chatting with one of my neighbours while I spent time in my yard.

8. I am grateful for my back feeling better and being pain free.

9. I am grateful for not eating too much today 🙂

10. I am grateful for spending the evening and the night relaxing and also reading and writing about my work plans – things are getting clear as I continue to reflect on them. And as they get clear, I also realize how much we have progressed in our projects – that is a great feeling, very satisfying and encouraging. I also realize that I am in a better shape than I thought I was 🙂 talking about self-confidence!

11. I am grateful for being excited about a report at my hand, which I plan to finish in the coming two weeks or so. I really would like to end it before I leave for my vacation so that once I am back, I can focus on new stuff. Finishing things and having its satisfaction are awesome, so are starting new things and experiencing their excitement 🙂

12. I am grateful for it raining today – I did not have to water my seeds 🙂

13. I am grateful for tomorrow being one more day close to the weekend, when I am planning to shop for my yard 🙂

14. I am grateful for the water that quenches my thirst, the food that I can afford and nourishes my body, and my home that provides me a safe shelter.

15. I am grateful for being grateful and finding the opportunity and time to write my joy journal today 🙂

random thoughts

It is a warm and humid day – it started raining in the evening and that feels just like the springs I know. One moment warm and the next moment it slightly cools down with the rain. All is welcome 🙂

I am happy with the work I have done today. I came home in the afternoon to work without distraction and it proved to be a good decision.

I have a new flower bloomed in my yard 🙂 it is hidden in between the leaves of a kind of large green plant. I did not plant it there, so I am assuming it somehow got in there. I also see many small plants here and there. As soon as I understand what they are i will either plug them out or let them grow. They are kind of under a tree from next door and I am assuming that they are the seeds from that tree that germinated. But I cannot be sure yet – I am wishfully waiting.

It is official that I have a pest problem…. Disgusting….. I found new poops in my kitchen counter that make me want to puke… I am calling the pest control company tomorrow – hopefully they will be able to give me some baits and this problem will be resolved soon. I am pretty much annoyed but then I know that I am doing okay in terms of taking steps: I have sticky bands everywhere, poison in two places, electronic repellents (which I think are not working as I found the poops close to them….), i placed all food in cabinets into glass jars or in the fridge, and I try to show up in the kitchen time to time to make sure that they know they are not the only thing there and behave maybe. … Maybe… I can only hope 🙂 I know this is not a pleasant topic to write about – bear with me. I just feel better facing the issue, that is all.

In contrast to almost all of the mornings in my life, this morning I have got up feeling good…. You know what I think is the reason? I filled my mind with positive thoughts right before I went to bed by writing my joy journal. I am curious to see whether I can replicate this feeling tomorrow and the days after that. If I can see that is the reason, then, my friends, I may have just found the key to happiness and less crankiness 🙂

That would be just awesome 🙂

 

joy journal – May 24, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and getting up.

2. I am grateful for not stressing myself at all and waiting for the bus, like 15 min. 6 months ago, me waiting for 5 min was not possible. I have changed 🙂

3. I am grateful for my coffee.

4. I am grateful for working productively and being excited about it 🙂

5. I am grateful for the warm weather. the trench coat is not needed anymore. I will leave home with jacket tomorrow.

6. I am grateful for walking back to home in the evening and feeling sweaty.

7. I am grateful for my rosemary plant looking better and healthier. I think it needs water frequently, which I will give to it every morning.

8. I am grateful for watering my seeds and chatting with my neighbour at the same time.

9. I am grateful for eating baby carrots! 🙂

10. I am grateful for deciding not to bake bread this weekend. I will rather prepare a vegetable stock and also shop for the yard. My plan is to purchase mulch and some plants. I also am thinking about re-planting some little trees, particularly, lilac shoots, towards the back of my yard.

11. I am grateful for opening the window and refreshing the hot air at home.

12. i am grateful for making plans for work this week – I have excellent plans. Let’s hope I will be able to keep up with them.

13. I am grateful for my home, my yard, all the life forms in my yard, and my neighbourhood.

14. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

random thoughts

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photo credit: Rude (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forget_me_not.jpg)

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Today is off, but I went to the office nevertheless. It was magical – it reminded me how well I can do without distractions of emails, phones, meetings, and just people around. In 4 hours I have done days of work… I am very grateful.

The day is warm and shinny with a blue sky. I could see all my neighbours out working in their yards, chatting with other neighbours, and having barbecue parties 🙂 It is as if not only the nature has awaken by Spring, but people too.

Honestly we deserved that after our long winter. This winter was not harsh as it was the last two years. But nonetheless, I am sure all residents are cherishing its end 🙂

I am spending the afternoon at home with listening to calming music and reflecting on  the productive work today and the beauty of Spring. My lilacs are blooming and so are the forget-me-nots. Forget-me-not flower has rapidly become my favorite a couple of years ago when I purchased my home. These little blue  flowers are so elegant, so cheerful, and so beautiful. I feel lucky to have them right in my yard.

Wishing everyone a great Spring day 🙂

joy journal – May 22, 2016

1. I am grateful for sleeping well.

2. I am grateful for buying myself a coffee and enjoying it. I must admit – it is becoming more and more boring. I buy the coffee and then sat at a table for a few minutes, and then grab the coffee and walk back home. I wonder; do I really need this? Perhaps, I should stop buying coffee and a french press and start brewing my own at home. I can purchase aromatic coffee to motivate myself.

3. I am grateful for cleaning the yard a little bit more and planting seeds 🙂 I planted parsley, basel, and sweet pumpkin seeds. I also have had seeds for some flowers that I have no idea what they are; they are planted too. Exciting 🙂

4. I am grateful for meeting with a neighbour while I was working on the yard. It is an elderly lady, who was very nice and kind. She even offered to give me some flowers as she was trying to thin them down. If that happens, I will be very happy 🙂 what a lovely lady !

5. I am grateful for giving water to the seeds in the afternoon. It took me maybe 8 trips to the back of the yard with a pitcher, but I am happy that they could get this essential element. I must repeat this every day till they germinate and possibly after that. It will be so exciting to see the little sprouts 🙂

6. I am grateful for putting all dry food, including spices, that were preserved in nylon bags, in to safer containers. I am not happy with the fact that I found some pest activity in one of my cabinets. I have not had pest problems lately and I was pretty  happy with this (I had one 4 – 5 years ago, which had bothered me a lot. these things called mice can get in everywhere and it takes weeks to get rid of them even with a proper pest control). I decided I could not risk anything. So I used my glass cans for many items, a large oven dish with lid to preserve my flour bag in, and an old canister to save the spices. I now have only a small amount of sugar in paper bag and all the rest is protected. My, please do not let these pest remain here. I put sticky pads everywhere – it is disgusting to see mice catch on them but it is more disgusting to have mice at home….

7. I am grateful for baking two loafs of bread today. One of them, the one with the rosemary and green olives, was amazing! I could not taste the plain bread yet, which I was really looking forward to – maybe tomorrow. I will freeze some of them as I have baked 3 breads this weekend and I do not want to end up eating all of them.

8. I am grateful for relaxing today. I have not thought about work and I do not need to think about it till the morning.

9. I am grateful for cooking a nice dish today; dried eggplants with rice. Yummy 🙂

10. I am grateful for deciding to shop next week and purchase red mulch to help decorate my yard and to cover some problematic areas. I think this is the best decision to fix the yard. I am sure it will look a lot better. I also hope to buy yard plants and flowers. next weekend will be exciting 🙂

11. I am grateful for my back feeling good and not being problematic. I have been feeling good in the last few weeks and am not doing my exercises frequently. I liked the exercises; they were good for me. But they were nevertheless one additional item on my to-do list, which means an additional strain on my mood. So far, so good 🙂

12. I am grateful for having the night to myself – I plan to read interesting blogs and watch TV shows.

13. I am grateful for the nice weather. I kept my window open for many hours today too to let the fresh air in – what a great feeling 🙂

14. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

joy journal – May 21, 2016

I woke up cranky this morning too and I remembered that the best remedy for this feeling was to remember and note things/people/experiences that I was grateful for. I have not been writing my joy journal as frequently as before – will try to write more often 🙂

1. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up right after 9 am – neither too early nor too late.

2. I am grateful for my morning coffee at the cafe. I did not buy anything to eat this time. I used to buy bagels or, lately, tea biscuits . I realized that I needed neither of them – I had decided not to eat bagels anymore because the bagels of that cafe are not great. I also decided today that my tea biscuits were much better than theirs. So i would either bake for myself or unless I was hungry, I would not put any of these products in my system.

3. I am grateful for spending time in my yard, cutting the grass and cleaning the pieces here and there. Do not get me wrong; I do not like cutting the grass at all. It makes me tired (my arms especially) and I do not enjoy the scent of cut grass. Yet, today was special as it showed me clearly that Spring was here! 🙂 I gotta do this chore for many months now every two weeks, but at least the weather is nice, I get to exercise, and I get exposed to sun. Plus, I get to feel great about seeing all the life forms blooming in my yard 🙂

4. I am grateful for getting motivated to plant some herb seeds tomorrow. I have a small part in my yard suitable for this purpose and I do hope that this year I will see some seeds germinate. Please, please, please! 🙂

5. I am grateful for checking the internet and seeing that I can use my cut grass as a mulch in my yard. i should be buying wood mulch to help shape around my trees and maybe cover an area in the yard where I have unwanted plants growing. I do not know when I can do that but until then, I will look for ways to make my yard look better and my soil nourished.

6. I am grateful for talking to my family and getting recipes. As a matter of fact, I tried a soup recipe by my mom and I must say it was great. I also did something unusual and cooked another healthy dish (very unusual for me to cook two different food at the same day…). I am very happy about these choices I have made today.

7. I am grateful for my first soda bread trial!  It did not look good at all, but, hey, it sure tasted awesome. I am very excited about this trial 🙂

8. I am grateful for trying my first poolish tonite. Poolish is a prefermenter used in baking. I hope it will work out well, as I am planning to try two other small breads tomorrow; one plain and the other with green olives+rosemary. Exciting 🙂

9. I am grateful for doing my laundry and airing the home today. Weather was awesome and warm so it made it an easy job (i.e. no need to adjust the temperatures of each room while the windows were open).

10. I am grateful for doing grocery shopping in the morning. I did not buy a lot of things, but shopping has always had a therapeutic effect on me 🙂

11. I am grateful for relaxing whole day and not thinking about work. It is great to have exciting hobbies such as baking or working in the yard that make me more connected to nature and life. I have been reading a blog today where the blogger defined making bread as helping him to get into a simple life mode….. It really clicked with me – the less commercial and dependent-on-others my daily life is, the better and simple life I feel like having. Do you not think?

12. I am grateful for my home for providing me a shelter, my furniture for giving me comfort, my kitchen items for allowing me to enjoy my life with baking and cooking, and my computer, internet, TV, and cable for making me learn and entertain.

13. I am grateful for being grateful 🙂

The Spring is here

This week is feeling like a real Spring 🙂

It is warm, sunny, and more importantly we are aware that the Spring is here because of the May 24 long weekend 🙂

There is something about this long weekend that tells everyone that things have changed; you can see everyone in their yards planting. I start my grass cutting adventure in this weekend. I also plant seeds.

Today I cut the grass and it made me tired as usual 🙂 quite an exercise – I should be grateful but honestly my arms are aching 🙂

Today I also started to think about what exactly to plant this year. Last time I planted around 50 bulbs, 8 of which had grown but could not give flowers. I checked them today and there was no sign of growing this year. I hope though they will show up. I really would like that.

Last year I had planted seeds for a number of herbs; parsley, mint, basel, oregano… None had germinated….. which is frustrating. I really would love to have some herbs in my yard. I had mint last year; I had stuck the stems of fresh mints I had purchased from the store and they actually grew and made me happy. Do you think they will show up this year? They say mint is quite a versatile plant. I hope the roots are still there and healthy.

I decided to try the herb seeds this year again. I now have some parsley seeds getting ready for tomorrow – I heard somewhere to put the seeds in water a day or so before planting to help them germinate. I am trying it today and tomorrow I hope to have parsley, basil, and some mint seeds to relocate into my yard 🙂

Exciting times 🙂

Welcome Spring!

random thoughts

I mowed the lawn again and am feeling sooo  tired 🙂 Man, when did I become so old or out of shape? I decided today to take it easy next time; maybe instead of mowing at a single attempt, I can divide it to two or three parts and see how I feel. I am too young to feel this tired just by an hour of yard work 🙂

My birthday is coming and although I would like to celebrate it, I still could not figure out what exactly to do; shall I invite my friends over for a dinner? shall I invite them out to a diner? Shall I spend it alone and by reflection? What shall I get myself as a gift? I have no idea…..

This age is somehow important for me – I am mid 4os and I am feeling like the youth is slipping away from me. I should not be thinking this way as I have seen many people in their 50s, 60, and even 70s enjoying good health and high energy levels. I used to have a lot of energy once upon a time and I miss that feeling.. I know good diet and regular exercise help with the energy levels. So, maybe I will start with cooking myself a nice soup and preparing a hearty salad today. And as long as the beautiful summer days continue where I am, maybe I can increase the amount of walking I am having. Or maybe I can just pay a teenager or a student to mow my lawn next time 🙂

While I am tired and feeling the humidity/hot weather quite a bit, I must say I am very happy with the yard work. On a separate note, among all the seeds I planted, none has grown 😦 The only things that have grown are the fresh mint leaves I had inserted into the soil. Five-six of them seem to have rooted and are growing. I could not be happier as it is a very rare treat to find fresh mint here; I really love eating fresh mint with my salads; and more importantly I know once they get stronger they will spread around to form more mint plants. Yey! 🙂

Now back to healthy food that hopefully help my body recuperate; what else than the old good chicken noodle soup that heals fatigue 🙂 time to go to the kitchen.

cheers,

random thoughts

A beautiful summer day – I hope everyone is having a similar weather.

I have done something out of my routine and went to visit a nearby museum. Admission was free today and it gave me a chance to see its contents and the view from the museum. It is famous with its view as it is on a hill and in the front is the green (nature), blue (ocean), and the colorful buildings all meshed up with each other. I congratulate myself for making this trip and enjoying not only the exhibitions but also the view 🙂

I am cooking at home today: yesterday I was so tired after the yard work that I bought myself a dinner in the evening. While the diner was not bad, the meal I tried yesterday was okay (do not get me wrong; I am thankful for the meal), but not overly tasty. I said to myself “you can cook better than that”, which was interesting because a) I do not like cooking that much, and b) eating out seems less appealing right now, which helps with my recent budgeting and saving efforts. So while I could not enjoy the meal I bought yesterday, I am grateful that it helped me to make better choices about myself.

I cut out a few lilacs from the trees today; I am not into hurting nature but I would like to dry these elegant flowers, and then frame and hang at home. I have seen somewhere yesterday some art-work including dried plants hung in the bathrooms; what a great idea! I will not only enjoy framing & displaying them, but I also hope to bring them with me wherever I will be in future, in case I sell my house.

One of the things that make me attached to my home is the yard and the trees in it. If you have a yard or a pot of plant/flower, or close to a park and other places of nature, I hope you are enjoying it right now 🙂

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 – decluttering

I would like to do some extensive decluttering real soon.

I wanted to clean up one of my cabinets today, which has been on my mind for a long time. There are so many boxes, especially empty ones there that it is ridiculous. Why do we keep stuff? I think we believe that we will need it in near future, yet that future is possibly distant. So better to get rid of those now. That is what I have done. I also found a nice small rug that now resting on the floor; many shopping bags that now are in the garbage; a nice art work that I was craving for; an extra folding chair I have no idea what to do with; extra purses that can be donated; and a very old keyboard that is now rightfully in the garbage.

I know that I have many stuff here and there that I keep. I also know that some of them are useless so should be dumped; some of them are useful so should be either used by me or be donated to charity. The clothes and shoes are the biggest group as I keep those that are in good condition but are a little bit small for my size. I know I am determined to lose weight and have been progressing in this direction lately; so I will still keep them for some more time. But I am really excited to let go the big size items. I have a box now that I am collecting all those that will be donated and it feels good.

So, I am very happy with the work I have done around the house today.

I did pretty amazing job at the yard too. Removed many plants here and there, especially at the corners that keep growing. Those around the trees are the most versatile ones. I know that the mower cannot reach everywhere; so removing them was a great accomplishment today. Also, the grass is mowed and OMG, was I huffing and puffing ) ; it is tiresome and I do not enjoy either the cutting or collecting the cut grass off the land. But all is done now and it feels good. Plus, it is a great exercise 🙂

I have more decluttering plans for tomorrow. I am really loving the motivation I have 🙂

random thoughts

A little bit grey day, which will likely turn into rain in the afternoon. And that is okay; I do not plan to be outdoors and the seeds in the yard need water. Great! 🙂

Even though I find doing the same routine over and over boring, I also appreciate it time to time. Got up, had breakfast and worked at the favorite cafe, cleaned the house and keeping the windows open to refresh the indoor air, and doing the laundry. Pretty much the same things I do at the weekends, in the same order 🙂 But they need to be done (e.g. the house work) and the breakfast and the ability to comfortably work at a nearby cafe are amazing. Plus, when I am done with them, I have the freedom to work, read books or blogs, or explore topics on the net, which add an additional level of pleasure to the weekends. Thus, my routine may be boring, but when it is done, it frees time and provides a sense of accomplishment with the activities in it.

It is only afternoon and I have plenty of time to spend the rest of my day the way I wish or the way it excites me. Exploration and learning are always fun. So which topic should I explore today?

I decided to continue with de-cluttering; I have already started with the emails and accounts. This is what I plan to accomplish today. Then, I will switch my decluttering activities to my house. I have so much stuff stocked up here and there and which I can easily get rid of: books that are not interesting anymore, those clothes that I cannot fit into, the paperwork here and there, and all the extra items I bought once hoping that I would use them somehow. Those in good conditions can go to the charity and the rest to the garbage.

Let the electronic, itemic, and emotional cleaning to continue 🙂

happy weekends everyone.

random thoughts

A beautiful warm and shiny day – just awesome 🙂 I hope everyone has a similar experience.

The mowing season started for me today – decided to cut out all except the areas where I have forget-me-not; these little flowers deserve to be loved and cared as long as they continue to lift my mood with their delicate shapes and beautiful colours.

I think I will mow the lawn every two weeks. I remember that one of my friends have her yard mowed by a teenager. I am sure the teenager appreciate the money s/he earns by doing this and my friend is happy to support her/him. I do my own mowing; so I decided to pay myself $20 bucks each time I cut the grass! I am not sure that is the price people would pay, but considering it takes more than half an hour for me to do it, I think it is fair. What am I going to do with $40/month? I have no idea. But it does feel good to note how much I save by cleaning my house (never paid anyone to clean my place) and taking care of the yard.

Time to cherish all the effort we put in our daily lives and be proud of ourselves.

(totally) random thoughts

the dandelions in my yard flowered; I love these sturdy, yellow flowers. I used to buy the dandelion leaves to eat in salads. This year, I am planning to eat the leaves from my yard. So, until next week before which I will harvest the leaves, I am not mowing the grass.

I have been checking the seeded areas in the mornings and evenings since I planted them. I have some seeds coming out (the flower area); they are too small to recognize and I am not sure whether they will survive and thrive in this climate – but I really, really hope at least one will do. I may have some stalks coming out in the herb section – but I cannot be sure whether they are the herbs or other plants which were in that area previously. Only time will show. But I am kind of hopeful about the mint (grocery shop kind) stalks I had inserted into the soil. They did not yet gone bad, but they did not show any sign of rooting/blooming there, either. I may take one of them out; but I am not in favour of disturbing the little things. I think in one or two weeks, I will be able to see how my seeds have done.

I walked around an hour this afternoon. I needed to go pick up a package sent to me from the post-office. Took a route I was not very familiar with and figured out how to find the post-office. Unfortunately or fortunately (because I have to walk there again 🙂 ) the package was not delivered to the station yet, so I have to go there again sometime this week. But the walk was awesome; I did sweat. It was healthy.

joy journal – May 24, 2015

1. A truly exciting and blissful day; it was sunny (although windy too) and energizing. I am grateful for every moment of this day.

2. I am grateful for not sleeping in late. I got up around 9 am, which is great. At first it did not feel so exciting, since the breakfast place does not open till 10am, but eventually I made it to 10 am and then the rest of the day was long and full of things to do!

3. I am grateful for the breakfast and the chats I have had with the staff. They are young bright people who are just going thru school and part-time job at the same time. It is kind of difficult; I remember my own years. but they seem to do both just well and are incredibly nice people to interact with.

4. I am grateful for shopping and getting shocked by the receipt!! It was not too much, but then it was.. I liked the fact that I reacted negatively to spending that much today. This tells me that I am really in the “conscious spending” mode and I am very happy with that. I am extra grateful that I left one item prior to checking out.

5. I am grateful for buying the glues my sister wanted for so long. I am also grateful for the shea butter hand cream I bought for myself; it smells good and feels very smooth. It was above my budget but I bought it anyways to treat myself. Conscious spending does not mean I need to constrain myself to the degree that I cannot enjoy my own money, especially for something that is good for my body.

6. I am grateful for the healthy lunch and dinner I have had today. yes I have eaten bread too (which I am trying to cut), but at least I have also eaten veggies, either raw or canned.

7. I am grateful for spending time in the yard, getting mesmerized and fascinated by the young trees, checking the seeded areas for growth, and removing some dandelion out. I could sit whole day out, breathing fresh air, listening to the trees and birds, and feeling the sun warming my bones. I am lucky I am to have a yard and I am very thankful for that.

8. I am grateful for walking twice today; first while going to the store to purchase stuff and then in the afternoon. The nice thing about nice weather is the energy and wish to be outside it gives. I could not help myself but put the shoes on and went out. walked to another grocery store maybe 10 min away. Since last year I have not been there – it is a relatively small store but the fresh produce is fantastic. I did only buy a pack of chocolate-biscuit I was craving for and enjoyed it while walking back to home.

9. I am grateful for having an upbeat, relaxing, and energizing weekend. This weekend was truly a blessing. My mood is high and I am looking forward to a productive work week ahead of me.

10. I am grateful for TV and the movies I have watched this weekend.

11. I am grateful for having the love in my heart to give to the trees, the plants, and anything else in my yard.

12. I am grateful for speaking with my family and my best friend today; their support is always useful, sincere, and strong.

13. I am grateful for deciding to take a longer route starting yesterday to walk from office to home in the afternoon. The change of scenery should feel good and it will give my body a better exercise.

14. I am grateful for all the food I have at home. My pantry and fridge has more than enough food to let me go through the week.

15. I am grateful for the blogs I have read today – I learn so much about gardening, budgeting, and crafting. Learning and curiosity are the sources of excitement 🙂

16. I am grateful for being relaxed, positive, and grateful today.

random thoughts

I cannot remember when it was the last time I had enjoyed the Spring and the warm, sunny day as much as I do this year.

It was probably last year 🙂 but anyways seriously this wonderful weather is so energizing, so, I do not know, fantastic!

As one of the challenges I assigned to myself, I wanted to walk this morning. I walked to a store 20 min away to get some stuff, to see a different route, and to give my mind a break from the routine. Although it is a windy day, I enjoyed walking faster than usual and getting some warming sensation in my body. The bear who is waking up from the hibernation state should be feeling something like this 🙂

And it was not enough; I threw myself out for an additional 20min walk in the afternoon. I enjoyed eating some chocolate covered-biscuit on the way, looking at the houses, getting sunshine on my face, and enjoying my walk overall. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

The three young trees in my yard, which surprised me with their healthy and sudden bloom lately, continue to make me fell fascinated and interestingly also loving; I love looking at them, connecting with their little branches and their little delicate leaves, and feeling excited and amazed by their presence.

One of the nice things about the wind is the whooshy sound the trees make; it is beautifully calming; all I want to do is to find a chair to place on the deck to spend more time outside. Read a book, drink a cup of tea, or just be.

joy journal – May 22, 2015

1. I am grateful for reading a post about gratefulness. It immediately lifted my mood 🙂

2. I am grateful for sleeping soundly and getting up easily this morning. I was energized and rested. That is, to me, a great feeling.

3. I am grateful for eating two apples today. I noticed that when I eat sliced apple, my chances of liking it is higher. No idea what causes this perception, but just to keep eating this healthy and hearty fruit, I will keep doing what works. By the way am I the only person noticing better digestion due to apple? Interesting…

4. I am grateful for shopping this afternoon. There were many fresh produce, all looking colourful and delicious. I am grateful for the vine tomato for smelling so good, the hot pepper for being so delicious, for zucchini being so plum, the canned lentils, beans, and corns being affordable and ready to consume.

5. I am grateful for walking back from the office. Today is the first day that it felt really like spring and thus I switched to my spring coat. No more winter coat! 🙂 I am so excited about this. I have so many different and nice coats/jackets that I would like to wear now. I feel abundant and i love the change 🙂

6. I am grateful for leaving my office early day and working at home. I did light work only; my next week schedule is pretty light, which excites and relaxes me.

7. I am grateful for telling to the interviewee this morning right away that I would not be interested in hiring him. I usually would like to be positive but this person was really not ready for an interview and did not have a professional attitude. Case closed. I will focus on other applicants now. Amazing how the info on the paper and the person in reality can be so different.

8. I am grateful for spending time at my yard in the morning and the evening. Just for a few minutes, just to look at the life forms in it, to see whether any of my seeds came to life. Nothing yet, but tomorrow is another day – who knows what will happen? Hope is the best remedy 🙂

9. I am grateful for getting an okay and support for an event I would like to organize within our unit. My boss is supportive and contacted admins to make sure they were okay with it. I have drafted a document to circulate to some of my colleagues who were interested in giving me a hand with it. Together we can move this idea and have a wonderful event.

10. I am grateful for three small trees in my yard. Last year they were small; this year I decided to remove them, but could not – one of them turned out to be quite difficult to get out, so I left them alone. This morning I noticed that they started to bloom and they look so healthy, so alive, so awesome! Seriously! 🙂 I have no idea which kind of trees they are but I am grateful they are in my yard and thriving in it!

11. I am grateful for the relaxing Friday night. I have two weekend days to enjoy without going to work. I can walk, I can shop, I can have breakfast, I can clean and declutter my home, and I can just relax reading and contemplating.

12. I am grateful for chatting on the phone with one of my colleagues in another city. We have known each other for more than a decade and have been collaborating about several projects. It is awesome that we can both talk seriously about the work and then have friendly conversations and laughters.

13. I am grateful for thinking about cancelling the cable and subscribing to netflix instead. Not sure whether it is possible to stream with my old TV, but a phone conversation can answer that question.

14. I am grateful for all the pens, papers, notebooks, and other stationary items I have. I love, love, love them. Buying them, seeing them, and using them. Writing and reading are so integral to my life-style anything that propels and helps them is appreciated.

15. I am grateful for being abundant, safe, sound, and healthy. I am grateful for all the furniture, items, clothes and shoes I have that make my life easy and going. I am grateful for all the cleaning products and other regularly used-up items which I have stocked up and available for use when needed.

16. I am grateful that I kept up with some of the challenges today; I drank a fabulous cup of tea at the office today; enjoyed looking at the yard and trees several times; ate relatively healthy, and walked for 30 min on a beautiful day.

17. I am grateful for being grateful and expressing it.

yard update

Okay – the spider-plant like one I planted in the yard completely turned white the next day; I am pretty sure it is not happy; destination = unknown.

But I am seeing at last two different types of small plants; one with delicate yellow flowers and the other with a long headings just showing up at the parts of yard I paid little attention so far. No idea what both are – but I am excited that they are there. This also tells me that they either did not germinate or were too young to show themselves last year.

Alternatively, maybe, just maybe, I am looking at the yard in a little bit more detail this spring. As a matter of fact I believe that is a highly probable possibility; last year my primary interest was to cut the grass (for the first time) without puking (not joking) :).

One of the onions is doing okay but the other two I am not sure. I will see.

I am so anxious to see the seeds (herbs and flowers) coming out. It is only been six days since I planted them, so cannot expect them to show up today or tomorrow. But I am so looking forward to the day I will first meet with them. This is of course possible if the soil and the shade/sunlight conditions are right. I am imagining that one morning I will see many tiny stalks coming out of the soil, like a little army of herbs/plants. And then they will grow, get strong, and conquer the piece of land they have under their leaves. 🙂

random thoughts

it is the Victoria day, but for people holding my position, it is interestingly not a paid vacation. Thus, I was at my office this morning.

I worked around 4 hours, in which I was capable of taking care of many tasks. One of them I dread so much that I can hardly do on time; I have been delaying for 1.5 months and finally today it is finished. But I must say I really needed to combat with my mind to do it 🙂 When done, of course, I was happier and feeling better. Now I can focus on other stuff. Good job.

It is a little rainy day today. I like the rain only every once a while; today I like it because I believe this light rain is good for the seeds and plants I planted in my yard during the weekend.

Happy growing you little things. I hope at least one of you will survive and when I see you, I will be able to get crazy motivated to do more in the yard 🙂

random thoughts

It is Sunday and beautiful.

It is a little bit foggy and chilly today yet, we are, those who have been longing for the spring for so long, still hanging in there 🙂

Where I am, this weekend (the Victoria day long weekend) is considered to be the first week of spring (yes, unfortunately we get long winters…). Many of my neighbours were out this weekend, tending their yards and planting stuff.

Cool.

This year is my first time planting plants/seeds and taking care of my yard a little bit (removing clutter; I found another spoon today while digging, in addition to broken glass and china pieces. What is up with these? was this yard a garbage dump?!!). I remove the stuff as much as I can. But I am afraid if I dig deeper, I can find more interesting stuff. 🙂

Ok, so what have I done in my yard today? well, I worked on one part of the yard, which I plan to plant garlic, onion, and potato. I will have to work a little bit better at that place – there are too many rocks and plant roots. Cannot plant anything there yet.

I also worked on another small part and managed to plant seeds of three different flowers. These seeds were given to me by my mom and I cherish them a lot. Will they please, please, and please germinate, bloom, and show themselves sometime?

I planted my first onion (yay!) on a pot outside. When I went thru my onions in the kitchen, I noticed two more onions that were a little bit softer; I planted them too. Mom says garlic and onion do not need to be planted too deep. That is what I have done. Knowing my usual carelessness and the cold climate here, as usual I am hoping for a miracle 🙂

I also planted three small plants, which were indoors since winter. I really love them and I do hope they will survive in the yard. Especially those long ones – imagining how they will dance with the wind makes my heart warm. I should go and get some more.

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.

random thoughts

I am so far having a good weekend. This morning I spend some time at home prior to getting out to the cafe and doing some work. Sundays are great, yet since the stores/cafes usually open later than usual, it kind of limits the daily activities.

It is nice outside. I had that wish to walk a little bit. So after I returned back from the cafe, I went down to the bookstore. I took a relatively longer path to go there; benefits are two-fold: walking longer is healthy and I gotta see different houses and scenery. I am happy with my decision to do so.

I have not been to this bookstore for sometime. I have chosen 4 books initially. I know myself; if it is 4 books, then I will not even read all of them before I buy new ones possibly next week. So, after some thinking, I left one of them and purchased 3. Funny thing that one of the books turned out to be the exact same book I have bought earlier :). I am still reading it, but that tells me that I better examine the books in more detail to make sure I am not duplicating my books.

I admit that for some books I intentionally get the 2nd book. In these cases, it is only because I love the first copy so much I would like to keep a second copy. You may think this is awkward and I agree with you 🙂 The reason is that I have an habit of underlying sentences/parts of books and also write notes on pages. As you can imagine, that causes the the book to get a little bit cluttered after a while, which makes the second reading attempt a little bit difficult for me. Thus, comes the need for the 2nd copy for those books I really like and would like to read again.

When I bought my house, I had that plan to get 3 nice-looking bookshelves to keep my books in. They would be brownish colour, not light but a little bit dark, and the same size and height. They could be placed on one of the walls in my living room close to my desk and computer. That would be my study center. A good dream that I still cherish, yet it has to wait till my financial situation gets a little bit better.

Working at the yard yesterday and all made me think; if money was not an issue, I would turn this place (house and the yard) in such as nice place. I am not complaining; only knowing that in time I am capable of doing all of these. I just need time and the continuity of my interests.

have a great Sunday everyone.

new interest: gardening

I hope I will not lose interest in this newly found interest: gardening.

When I was young, I loved planting beans and see them grow so easily and fast. I just loved it. I have been hardly interested in planting flowers, though.

This summer I planned to have a vegetable garden in a part of my yard. I would like to plant garlic, lettuce, some beans, onion, and potato to start with. Nothing too much; I am not even sure this climate is suitable to grow them. I am experimenting.

When I bought my house, the yard was completely neglected. It is not a big yard; I have 7 small trees, two of them are lilacs. I love lilacs. I used to smell lilacs whenever I saw them prior to buying my house. Last summer when I saw that I had one white and one lilac colour lilacs, I was ecstatic! Other trees I have no idea. They are not in great shape, but I am not interested in throwing them away. Let’s wait a couple of more years and see how they are doing.

After I planted some daffodils, tulips, and some other flowers today, I felt really good. I need to clean my yard and get rid of a lot of debris from previous users. The shed at the end of the yard is disintegrating (it is not mine; belong to the house on the other side of the fence), which looks really uncool. I can plant some long plants to that area to conceal that view. My yard is also not even, which bothers me. I should be digging and fixing it this summer; I am assuming I can buy and plant grass later should I want it.

honestly, I have no interest in grass. I rather would like to have stone paths to cover the majority of my yard. It would help me stop mowing and the yard would look a little bit more civilized. I think I will prioritize the side of the yard for this; I can see myself having pots of flowers and maybe a bird fountain over there. Birds are amazing, too. Trees, birds, and flowers. Nature is amazing 🙂

My feeling is that nowadays is the best time to star digging the yard; the soil is still wet and soft due to recent rains and melting of the snow banks. This makes my job quite easy.

See, me, the person who keeps saying “I am lazy” has now found a new interest that requires time and effort, but still excites her 🙂

I just hope I will continue to have this interest.

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