Lost in the Blur

“To lose it all in the blur of the start! Seeing is deceiving. Dreaming is believing. It’s okay not to be okay…Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart.”

Jessie J
Krysten’s Happy Fridays

Hello there! Happy Friday! Summer is here! Stepping back into the WordPress community for a cool dip! Oh, my dear heart… I was spinning in the wheel of life and needed a moment here! ~A breather in my oasis~

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

What Have I Been Up To?

Striking the right balance amongst my various engagements has always been a challenge for me. I often wonder what has motivated me to do so much. Certainly, life is short.

I must say ‘NO’ more often so that I won’t burn out. My question as of late is, “What do I prune?” How do you all prioritize? Varies from individual to individual, I’m sure. These are my happy interests presently!

A2Z Bird Blogging Challenge

I’m still working on this bird challenge! I’m so PROUD that I got halfway through. Because of this extended A2Z challenge, I’ve been paying more attention to the birds who live in my area and feeling a greater sense of gratitude for their presence.

Masters Degree in IT Innovation and Management

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Abigail Adams

I’ve been diligently working on my master’s program, and it’s been a rather steep learning curve for me. There have been days where I just feel like I’ve been staring at a block of text for hours at a time and cross-checking with other references. On the one hand, I have been fighting analysis paralysis, and on the other, I have been learning about some fascinating things. One day I will experience the bittersweet taste of victory!

Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass

I’m also reinvesting in my blogging skills by taking a Udemy Masterclass: Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog In 2021. Thank you, Mr.A, for this fantastic gift! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I truly love blogging, and look forward to learning and sharing with others.

Work Accomplishment

My technical writing duties have occupied my thoughts as I’m assisting the CEO create a presentation for INSA‘s National Security Showcase. I’m floored that one of our technologies got selected by their committee! I helped submit the write-up for the application. Only a dozen out of hundreds of applicants got chosen. I’m humbled. Yet, it’s the software developers that deserve the credit. I’m just helping them get a piece of the limelight! The next thing I know my supervisor is offering me a promotion.

Birthday Month

I had a lovely time at the caverns and took plenty of photos of these magnificent beauties. One of my friends fainted due shift in humidity levels being 150 feet below the earth and all. Very grateful for the EMT and staff! We enjoyed an authentic Italian meal afterwards. Siblings gave me a few helpful tools to better manage life. One of my friends gave me nun-chucks and a flying lesson!

Rotary

I recently got recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for our local Rotary group. Deeply honored. I created a short, snazzy animated promo video for our club, and we won a district superhero challenge!

Toastmasters

Crafted, prepared, and delivered my 3nd speech about my father’s solar powered cowboy hat! 6 minutes of Nerves. Joy. Growth. Overcoming my fear of public speaking one speech at a time.

Crochet Group

Working on Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir‘s Saga crochet pattern for a gorgeous pillow!

Beauty Consultant

I’ve studied hard and earned some educational bling! I’m now an advanced product consultant for skincare, color cosmetics, and clinical solutions. I’ve been engaging with my clients on social media and learning about fun applications. Exploring new fragrances through poetry with the help of a friend.

Books

Reading when I can… while waiting in lines…

  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Odyssey Chronicles by Carolyn Shelton
  • Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel
  • Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
  • Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman
Astrology & Horoscopes

Even though I read Yodha’s fun, inspiring messages as entertainment, I enjoy learning about it when I again have the chance. I have various mutable signs within my natal chart indicating flexible, adaptable, and changeable qualities (modalities) which allows me to see life from many different perspectives. I learned that I have a Mercury in Gemini, Lilith in Virgo, and North Node in Pisces. Mom has a ton of Sagittarius in her chart. Thinkers and philosophers in the zodiac!

Finding Clarity

“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

Atul Gawande

I’ve been doing more brain dumps and mind mapping exercises to keep moving forward and uncover more of my life’s purpose. As for my blog, I will continue to write about the birds, some new poems, and share new photos I took on my break!

Perhaps a spa day is in order. A massage with essential oils sounds nice!

Take care now & I’ll see you soon ❤

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Today’s Prompts

A2Z 2021 Theme Reveal

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

– Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

**Drum roll, please** My theme for 2021’s A to Z Challenge will be about…. BIRDS!

My inspiration is primarily from Arin Murphy-Hiscock’s book “BIRDS a spiritual field guide”. I enjoy her illustrations, her research on mythology & folklore, and her insight into divinatory meanings. I was curious after my former supervisor shared a story with me about her winged messenger.

Here’s the author’s bio:

Arin Murphy-Hiscock has always felt a spiritual connection to birds, especially owls. She is a third-degree Wiccan High Priestess in the Black Forest Clan and the author of Power Spellcraft for Life, Solitary Wicca for Life, The Way of the Green Witch, and The Way of the Hedge Witch. She lives and bird-watches with her husband and two children.

Here’s the back-flap:

Birds are all around us building nests for their eggs, perching on a nearby tree branch, floating freely on a breath of wind. But do you ever feel like a bird might be trying to connect with you or even tell you something? This book can help you figure out the special message your visitor is trying to share. Inside this lovely illustrated field guide you’ll find everything you need to decipher the unique meaning behind each individual bird sighting. From physical description to folklore, each of the common bird species detailed within has a story and a unique symbolism which will help reveal the changes these mystical creatures want you to make in your life. With this enlightening volume as your inspiration, get ready to take a look at your life from a bird’s eye view one robin, crow, and hummingbird at a time!

Hello! For those who are new to Culture Shocks…WELCOME! Let me take a moment and introduce myself and some of the projects I’m working on.

Here you will find my personal journal entries, stories, poetry, quotes, and photos of things I find fascinating. Occasionally, I share snippets from my myriad of hobbies that I rotate on a seasonal basis. Stick with me long enough, you’ll realize that even though I’ve chosen birds as my focus, I tend to get off on a tangent due to disparate connections I make. I blog sporadically and randomly. I may do 5 entries for A2Z in one day, go AWOL, and return with full vigor. My attempt to blog on a schedule has been futile so far!

Ah! A face to a name! My name is Sa. Nice to meet you! 🙂

I wear many hats literally and figuratively. I’m an audacious sister, friend, daughter, grad student, Rotarian, technical writer, businesswoman, Toastmaster, volunteer for multiple causes, and more. My blog is my comforting oasis, though I may occasionally vent here when I have nowhere else to go.

For those of you who have been here a while, I finished my 1st crochet-a-long with the alumni for the month of March! I’m happy they evaluated my crochet partner and me very highly. They remarked that it was fun and engaging! I was happy to see the flowers again after such a devastating freeze over our state in February. Easter is just around the corner. Spring is here!

I’m getting my COVID vaccine tomorrow morning at the stadium. The current climate surrounding Asian Americans that has swept the nation has had me reminiscing about the past. I purposely remain vague though I relate to various stories that have been shared across various social media platforms. My main question is what will I do moving forward.

The alumni book club has gotten into some interesting reads. Though, I’m having some difficulty finishing the book, “The Biggest Bluff” by Maria Konikova. I’m wrapping up on “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear. We’re about to start “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. I’m still working through some bloggers’ books and poignant poetry as well.

I’m resuming collaboration with a blogger on some poetry regarding some fragrances. I work as a beauty consultant and I thought it would be a fun way to learn about all the fragrances that I’m unfamiliar with. I was so inspired by his work that I thought I could explore the sensation of smell!

I’m currently hooked on the Home Edits Show. I recently de-cluttered my space of many books, clothes, and papers. I found that I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would, even books that were formally my favorites. I think it’s because there’s only so much that I can focus on in the present that I don’t have time to linger on any items that are associated with my past. Even though it was a massive undertaking, I still feel like I could use some help. There’s some things I still feel like I can let go. Reorganize my crafts supplies. Change particular containers. I have a vision. I determined to make it happen. Previously, I was intrigued by Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It has helped me immensely, though I think I didn’t follow it completely. It’s still a work in progress!

I’m also enjoying a remix of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

Alrighty, that wraps up my intro for now! I hope to reconnect with new and veteran participants of the A to Z challenge! I look forward to reading your blog posts!

Frogging the Swatch

A CAL is basically a group of people all working on a large project at the same time and pace. Some are targeted to more advanced crocheters and involve a variety of difficult stitches. Others are designed so that everyone can participate, no matter their skill level. Often the pattern chosen will be an afghan, and while everyone does the same pattern, each individual chooses their own colors.

FAQ – What is a Crochet-A-Long?
Kandice @ Sweet Kiwi Crochet
Rainbow Amigurumi donuts coming your way!

Hello! Hope you’ve been well! I’ve been working extra hours co-hosting a CAL (Crochet-A-Long) Series for alumni at my alma mater this month with my friend. Colloquially, she has dubbed us the “Hookers with a Yarn Addiction”. Catchy, isn’t it? In fact, she wants t-shirts! She’s a funny, smexy grandma! 😉

However, to be accepted by our school, we’re formally known as the Alumni Crochet Group. School administrator must keep her job after all, and it must be safe for work! She’s also helping us to possibly get sponsored by Yarnivore, a local yarn company and reaching out to other businesses. So, I must meet her halfway and work with her as best as I can. 🙂

In the end, 55 students signed up! Meanwhile, when I saw some friends while hanging out in town, they decided to also invite themselves, their siblings, and friends, so the numbers bumped up. It was great to catch up with everyone again and also meet some new faces along the way. What a journey it has been! We shared so much together.

I spent quite a bit of time managing social media public relations and creating a beautiful 17-page guidebook while my friend created an original pattern for a scarf. Today, I just filmed my friend as she frogged her swatch that we used to teach virtually via Zoom. As an intermediate crocheter, it’s rather heart wrenching for me to watch someone unravel their work.

Frog is a word that can be used as a verb. In this sense, “to frog” means “to rip out stitches.” When used this way, the word is slang and it is also a play on words. It pays tribute to our amphibious friends, the frogs, and their choruses of “ribbit, ribbit, ribbit”. When you discover a mistake in your crochet work, you rip it, rip it, rip it. So, you frog it.

Frog in Crochet, Spruce Crafts

When I was in high school, one of my English teachers recommended a book for me to read by Debbie Macomber called “The Shop on Blossom Street“. Intrigued, I read the rest of the books in her series. I enjoyed seeing these female characters bond and wanted an experience of my own. I later became president of the knitting club at my school. Continuing onward and co-hosting a crochet group at my college has been a dream come true for me.

I came across some inspiring stories like this woman who crocheted her wedding dress for five months on her bus commute.

Chi Krneta’s story on Seattle Magazine
Chrysanthemum Gown & Chrysanthemum Gown Train Addition pattern on Ravelry

…and this story about a Olek, a Polish-born yarn artist and crochet extraordinaire, whose team yarn bombed this train in four days!

The art of yarn bombing: Polish artist covers an entire train in crochet
Woman’s Weekly

See you next time! Hope to hop on more often as soon as I can!

#SoCS – Cozy Comforts

Tense hands,
Rookie’s mistake,
Stitches need relaxed grip
Yarn makes for gorgeous scarf
Cashmere perfect
P
leasure

Badger’s Hexastitch

I think I missed Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt deadline for the synonyms for loose and tight. I used relaxed and tense to describe various tension levels of how I hold the hook. I learned about a new type of poem called the Badger’s Hexastitch! What a interesting name! It is a fun variation of the Crapsey Cinquain invented by out own Badger. It simply expands the cinquain to another line and 2 more syllables.
Badger’s Hexastitch is:

  • a poem in 6 lines.
  • syllabic, 2-4-6-6-4-2.
  • unrhymed, optional rising and falling end-words.

(Reference: https://poetscollective.org/poetryforms/?s=hexastitch)

Testing my Nerves

Oh boy! 44 total students have now RSVP’d for this crochet class! Need to cap it NOW and split up the group and split into multiple days to effectively manage a virtual crowd.

Linda G Hill – Nerve

Plexus Nerve

Last year, a friend reached out to me to share Plexus products and share some testimonials. Impressed with her demo I decided to check it out and do more research. Interested in improving my health during the pandemic, I started to use the Triplex combo which has helped me curb a lot of sicknesses that I get from allergies, colds, and the flu.

There is another Plexus product called Nerve:

Plexus Worldwide

FEATURED INGREDIENTS

Acetyl L-Carnitine Found in most cells of our bodies
Quercetin A powerful flavonoid found in many plants and foods
Horse Chestnut Extract An extract derived from Aesculus hippocastanum tree bark

Nerve’s Ingredient Glossary

References

Soczynska JK, Kennedy SH, Chow CS, et al. Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid … Expert Opinion Investing Drugs. 2008 Jun;17(6):827-43.

Stough C, Scholey A, Lloyd J, et al. The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Hum Psychopharmacology. 2011 Oct;26(7):470-6.

Coloring Pages: Floral Poem & Quote

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.

July Blue Squares – A Photo Conglomeration

We are at the end of Becky’s #JulySquares challenge! Thank you Becky for hosting it! I enjoyed scanning my environment for blue things. I’ve created a collage with a few photos from my busy month of July. Enjoy! 🙂

1. Your photographic square could be a ‘Bolt from the Blue’ – something unexpected or surprising

2. Alternatively why not, like I have today, explore ‘Into the wide blue yonder‘ – sky, sea or maybe a location that is appealingly unknown and mysterious

3. Or if you prefer keep it simple with ‘Blue‘ – whether that’s azure, cobalt, sapphire, cerulean, navy, ultramarine, indigo, or turquoise

And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous try to combine two of these, or maybe even all three!

Becky