A thing of beauty is a joy forever Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
– John Keats, Endymion
Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.
– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea
This past week I’m attempting to meditate and center myself as I’m adjusting to the chaos. One of the university administrators asked me if I would be interested in teaching a virtual workshop as a way of engaging alumni during the pandemic. Students are feeling the cabin fever and are itching to learn new hobbies.
I decided to team up with one of my friends and co-teach a crochet class during Friday evenings in the month of March. My experience being president of a knitting club back in high school is coming in handy! In the first couple of hours within posting the event, 18 people signed up!
The deadline to register is the end of next week, but I may already have my hands full with 18 students! I’m planning out the logistics as my friend is figuring out the scarf pattern we’re working on. We picked school colors for the yarn to feature school spirit.
We were blind-sighted by a snowstorm that recently hit our area. Texas generally has such a warm climate year round. So the past few days have probably been the coldest for us in a decade. Like some of you, we have lost power, heat, and running water. I’m going to be okay, and I believe it’ll be a lot better by the weekend. In the meantime, I thought to share some snow quotes that got me thinking! 😉
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about
“When a storm of harassment disturbs our thinking and brings us down to our knees, the umbrella of our imagination can shield us against destructive aggression. It is offering shelter and is teaching us how to conquer ourselves, train our resilience, and grit our teeth. We better learn to adopt the virtue of endurance, as life consists of both ‘passion’ and ‘patience.’ (“The umbrella”)”
Valentine card fun Glittery shapes and ribbons Charming passerby
Good evening from my part of the world! I’m working to get caught up on reading so many of your wonderful blog posts. My schedule is such a work in progress! It’s still fun to write a haiku. Right now, I’m juggling a project and I was excited when I saw this YouTube video below. I absolutely loved how Madhu designed her cards!
One of the guys in the Rotary Club shared with us a project he needed help with. His group decided to make some Valentine cards for some folks in the nursing home. I thought it would be fun to participate! I eyeballed my supply of red construction paper and set a goal to make SIXTY of them by the 12th. Yes, I think the fast-forward feature on her video temporarily deceived me. 😉
I often tell people one of my favorite gifts a friend gave me was an Xacto paper cutter. It helped speed up the process of cutting paper! I even had to set some proportional relationship equations to figure out the right dimensions since Madhu gave some different ones for me to work with.
Yipee! I’m so happy I get to use some of my origami paper and supplies! It’s been a while since I last touched them. Today’s featured merchandise is my kimono patterned origami paper that a friend got me as a birthday gift!
I have been interested in origami ever since my mom made me my first paper boat as a kid to play with in the rain puddles. I remembered that being one of the reasons why I really enjoyed a rainy day. Because afterward, I get to be a pirate sailing all of the puddles in the neighborhood and adventuring with the bugs that came out.
Later when I was in the sixth grade, my history teacher shared with us a historical children’s book to read together called, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”.
Diagnosed from leukemia from the radiation bombing from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Sadako decided to fold 1000 peace cranes in the hopes of being granted a wish: she just wanted to be able to be on the running team despite her illness. It’s debated whether or not she reached her goal, but her actions inspired all of her friends and family to continue on.
Afterward, Sue DiDicco founded The Peace Crane Project to honor Sadako. Students would fold the cranes, write a message of peace on its wings, and exchange it with another classmate.
After the boat, I enjoyed teaching the class how to make a paper crane. It’s still one of my favorites. I make them whenever I can, and make cranes out of candy wrappers and the paper that come with my Subway sandwiches.
Anyway, I’ll call it a night and share a quote by the grand master of origami: Akira Youshizawa!
My origami creations, in accordance with the laws of nature, require the use of geometry, science, and physics. They also encompass religion, philosophy, and biochemistry. Overall, I want you to discover the joy of creation by your own hand the possibility of creation from paper is infinite.
It was the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. It was as sweet as sugar. And it was warm, as warm as pie. The whole world opened up and I fell inside. I don’t know where I was, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care because the only person who mattered was there with me.
—Sarah Addison Allen
Happy February everyone!
January was a entire month of self-care and care for others. My boyfriend and his family have successfully recovered from COVID. Their stamina is still weak, but with more rest, they will be fine. However, my brother and father now have COVID, and I will be checking in with them now. So, it looks like my blogging schedule is going to change once again!
UPDATE: As I’m typing this, two whole buildings nearby have caught on fire, and the fire department is having trouble putting it out. 4 firetrucks, 10 or so ambulances. I praying for 12+ families. The internal structure is falling apart fast…
Boy, I miss this space. Hope all is well in your world! February is a special month of love for all sorts of momentous occasions. Jude, host of The Saturday Symphony, has created a prompt regarding one’s first kiss. If you have a story, feel free to join in!
I’ve heard of many stories from others. Some were sad (like herpes-sad). Some were amazing (like fireworks). Some were funny (like gum in braces). The most hilarious story I read about someone’s first kiss was the fictional tale of Georgia Nicolson! It’s a learning experience! 😀
Being the lovable, squishy person that I am, I have plenty of funny tales, and but today you’ll only learn of one: the first one. It’s so refreshing for me to write since he will be anonymous. He knows who he is! 😉 I don’t think he’s reading this. Though I’m not with him today, I’ll never forget him.
Framework for Romance & Love
When I was 17, I helped my aunt by working at her video & music CD shop. What made my aunt’s shop unique was the fact that she had several collections of Asian foreign films. I helped sweep the dust, assisted customers, and organized VHS tapes on the shelves. I loved working there! I would read the back flap on these movies, and if there’s something I liked, I can rent it from her.
I was always curious about the romance genre, and I would rent such a variety of romantic films. Some were epic period dramas like the new Netflix series, “Rise of the Phoenixes”. My aunt had so many Chinese sagas where the characters wear beautiful costumes and the drama has you hanging on to the edge of your seat.
Do you know how many ways love can hit you? So it makes you happy, or miserable? It makes you sick in the belly or hurt in the heart. It makes everything brighter and sharper, or it blurs all the edges. It makes you feel like a king or a fool. Every way love can hit you, it’s hit me when it comes to you.
~ Nora Roberts
During the summer break, I would also get wrapped up in the many romance stories written by the talented storyteller, Nora Roberts. One of my friends teased me on how obsessed I was with her books. The relationships were so passionate and sensual. I began rivaling the senior ladies who check out twenty of them at a time from the public library! She is one of my favorite authors who captures the Irish scenery so beautifully. This is one of the summaries for one of her books, “Jewels of the Sun”.
Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past. Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.
So with all these idealistic visuals floating around in my head, my expectations surrounding love may have set the bar a bit high given my total lack of experience. 😀
Sitting on a metal stool, I twirled my mechanical pencil around. I was working on a biology assignment in the lab. Studying the human cell in a diagram, the mitochondria is quite the powerhouse! I wore a striped lime green sleeveless shirt that my aunt gave me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she saved my social life by replacing my frumpy clothing with stylish, trendy ones.
Sure enough, a young man who sat across from me complimented me on it, and we struck a conversation about this catchy, trance song, Butterfly, as we studied the anatomy of a cell together listening to it on a loop.
All of the sudden, biology was becoming more enjoyable! 🙂 Flabby physique, short hair, round baby face, a charming smile, self-deprecating humor. He was tanned from playing tennis in the afternoons with his best friend who was a girl. He invited me to play with his crew. After school, I let my parents knew I was hanging out with some friends to play some tennis for the first time. We took the school bus to a campus that had courts to play at.
We arrive at the courts, and he handed me an extra racket. “We’re playing doubles!” He and I were on one side of the net, his friend and the football quarterback was on the other. The quarterback served the ball in my direction as I was learning about the continental grip. I was not ready, and the ball hit me straight into the stomach with such velocity, it left a really bad bruise. Understand that as a football quarterback, he has an incredible arm throw!
They immediately ran up to check on me, but I brushed it aside not wanting to drag the game down. So I learned quickly, and managed to keep up a game with some consistent volleys. After two hours of play, I was sweating buckets, breathing heavily, and called it a day. The courts were nearby his friend’s homes, so we began walking towards the neighborhood.
One by one, his friends parted ways and headed inside. Then it was just me and him walking alongside the sidewalk together. There was a build-up of saliva in my mouth and I spat it out. I sighed, “Sorry, that was very un- lady like.” He laughed out loud, which made me smile and invited me to his parent’s house for dinner.
We arrived at his place and as he opened the door, his two siblings gave him a big hug and asked if he could play video games with them. I watched as they played a few rounds. After they were tired, he carried them to put them to bed for a nap. He decided to program on his computer a bit, as I lied on his bed and rested.
After a bit, he slid next to me as we watched the ceiling together talking about our dreams in life. We exchanged gazes for a moment, and he kissed my shoulder and inched upward towards my face. We kissed as our warm bodies were next to each other. It was fun, yet slobbery. I smacked my lips and laughed, but he wanted to explore a bit more. At which point, I became tense and pulled away.
All of the sudden, it occurred to me how quickly this relationship was moving, and that I didn’t realize it. He said to me, “Sa, everyone’s doing it.” I responded back, “That may be true, but I don’t really cave into peer pressure.” Staring at the ceiling, I eventually stood up at that point and called my dad to pick me up. His parents arrived as well and smiled at my presence. I chatted with them a bit and had a pleasant conversation. I enjoyed their company for the rest of the evening until my dad showed up.
The next day we met up at the school library, he apologized for taking advantage of the situation. I said it was fine, but wasn’t sure what to make of it. So, I continued hanging out with him only at school where teachers were watching. Perhaps, it put a damper on things.
One day, our English teacher read one of our speeches aloud as we were drilling for the writing portion of the standardized tests. She winked at him as she read his story which mentioned me in description only and how we knew we would always care for each other. I was so embarrassed, and he turned red as a beet.
After high school graduation, though, we parted ways, and gone off in different directions. I remember feeling a tinge of jealousy when he chatted to one of my friends. Maybe I still cared about him. When he moved away to another state, I was genuinely happy for him when he got his dream job as a software developer for a gaming console and writing documentaries on the side.
I moved on with my life since then, and I’m in a happy relationship now. Yet, like every other human being who was once in a state of love, you never seem to forget your first kiss.
“Daring to plunge into the unknown may very well land you in paradise.” – Bronnie Ware
“I’m active, I’m attractive, and I’m in demand! I’m a mover, I’m a shaker, and I work my plan! I help them, I encourage them, and I share the dream! I’m excited, I’m ignited, and I’m leading my team! I’m a woman on a mission, I will reach my goal! I have power, I have purpose, and I’m on a roll!“
Hi everyone – today’s post will be short and sweet. I normally give a summary of my year, my reflections, my blogging plans on New Year’s Eve, but I need to postpone. I want to wish you all a wonderful new year! Featured image is the beautiful Orion constellation today.
In the meantime, 2020 is clinging with a vice grip with a complimentary ball and chain. My boyfriend is currently sick with COVID-19, and many of friends have lost loved ones. They don’t have the energy to speak to me now and need as much rest as possible. I’ll be snuggling up with one of my boyfriend’s fantasy books, Arafel’s Saga by C.J. Cherryh , an Elven story.
Here is a quote from the first paragraph in the book:
Things there are in the world which have never loved Men, which have been in the world far longer than humankind, so that once when Men were newer on the earth and the woods were greater, there had been places a Man might walk where he might feel the age of the world on his shoulders.
Forests grew in which the stillness was so great he could hear stirrings of a life no part of his own. There were brooks from which the magic had not gone, mountains which sang with voices, and sometimes a wind touched the back of his neck and lifted the hairs with the shiver of a presence at which a Man must never turn and stare.
But the noise of Men grew more and more insistent. Their trespasses became more bold. Death had come with them, and the knowledge of good and evil, and this was a power they had, both to be virtuous and to be blind.
Take care, friends, and I’ll see you again in 2021
Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.
Hi there! Hope you are enjoying the season’s festivities. Today’s prompt about words has my mind circling many random topics today. A few nights ago, I played some fun virtual holiday games over Zoom with some friends. Trivia, a scavenger hunt, guess the language, I spy… One was an A to Z holiday word game. I ended up with a lot of foodie words. 🙂
Bloggers here have whipped up some creative posts with words that have enriched my life. It’s obvious that how we construct phrases can leave an impact. I’ll never forget the day I looked at the first page in my dad’s English learning book from the refugee center. His instructor wrote an encouraging note saying how important it was to learn these words and phrases as it can help you navigate life in a new country.
Fun Words to Say
About the Author from the Back Flap: Seth Lerer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was educated at Wesleyan University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago. He taught at Princeton before moving to Stanford University, where he is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. The author of many books and articles on medieval and Renaissance literature, he is known nationally for his audio and videotape series, The History of the English Language, for the teaching company.
A few years ago, I really enjoyed a book about the development of the English language by Seth Lerer. I wrote a fun research paper as well as conducted some surveys about the invention of words and how technology has affected its development by interviewing people in the park. Most people were open to chatting with me about their favorite words. From Pig Latin to Spanglish, it was fun to listen to their varied responses.
Do you ever have words in which you like how it rolls off your tongue? I remembered how my friend and I were discussing how we enjoyed words with the “ch” sound. Charity, Chelsea, Chill, Charisma. For me it brings back memories of the Chia Pet commercials! Ch- Ch- Ch- Chia!
I also found a word search book as I was de-cluttering my room. It was quite a treat since it’s been ages since I’ve done a word search! I really enjoyed doing this one because Chicken Soup for the Soul compiled a set a quotes in each puzzle to find. It made me commit to memorizing “uplifting quotes to brighten your day” in order to find them. 😉 The reward center in my brain was happy from the dopamine kick. I’ve finished three so far:
No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”
He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate. Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be. Silence is when we hear inwardly; sound when we hear outwardly.
Henry David Thoreau
It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I also discovered a compilation of thoughts on colored note cards called “Leaves of Wisdom” from The Ladies Bible Class at the University Avenue Church of Christ. Today’s succinct thought:
Behold, I bring you good news. You are loved.
A. M. Chadwick
Winter is Feeling Different
The first day of winter was a few days ago, and I’m shocked that I can walk outside in shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of December this year! Granted, I don’t live in Australia where it’s probably summer right now. Normally, there’s sleet or snow and cold, bracing winds to match where I’m at. Am I going to complain about this pleasant surprise? No…but it makes me think about global warming.
This past Sunday I was reading news of the nation’s new climate team in the local newspaper. I’m grateful to learn that this diverse group has the background and experience to tackle these issues head on. Below are some galvanizing words from the president elect. Looking forward to see how actions pan out in time.
“This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity.
They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms.
Together, on behalf of all Americans, they will meet this moment with the urgency it demands — and seize the opportunity to build back better with good-paying union jobs, climate-resilient infrastructure, and a clean energy future that benefits every single community.”