Good evening, everyone! Today has been a cozy day of self-care. This Valentines I want to say that I appreciate you, and thank you for your support. It’s below freezing here, and the city issued a city-wide text telling us to stay inside due to the accidents on the roads.
Movies, facials, game of checkers & Uno, spaghetti, chocolate, creating my calendar for the year, a chat with mom about lunar new year, and a LONG one-on-one heart-to-heart chat with my boyfriend about relationship stuff. This Valentines was very low key and very relaxing!
I had an interesting selection of romantic movies Amazon Prime recommended to me these past few weeks. Some were cliche. Some had such beautiful scenery. It’s been fun to watch. How these algorithms recommend films based on my interests baffles me! I’ve included some other movies I’ve watched with friends and loved ones.
Heartwarming stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are considered timeless literature for me. I can pick any story from any of these series at any time in my life and feel wonderful and uplifted. There’s a quote that reminds me of an event that happened during Christmas time many years ago.
We once had a neighbor who moved from New York into the house next to ours. She was a friendly and attractive lady who my siblings and I always waved to her and wished her a good morning. At the time, my siblings and I were all young children.
She had some mannerisms that were unfamiliar to us in the suburbs. She also had a habit of gardening in the front yard in her bathing suit catching the attention of any males who happened to walk their dogs into our cul-de-sac. My visiting cousins made fun of her, but I came to her defense saying that she never caused us any harm and looked out for us. I suspected that even if she heard my cousins speaking behind her back, she wouldn’t have cared what they thought because she was confident in who she was.
One Christmas day, we heard our doorbell ring. My siblings and I ran to the front door and looked outside the window. There was a wrapped package outside our door. I saw the back of a blond woman’s head and she herself was dressed in a lush red Christmas coat like Mrs. Clause. It was our neighbor, but she didn’t stay to chat probably due to any language barriers.
During a time when we didn’t have to be weary of potential bomb packages outside residential homes, we naturally brought the box inside and opened it since it was from our non-malicious neighbor. Inside our neighbor packed all sorts of goodies for us. We were amazed all all the snacks, toys, and refrigerator holiday magnets she packed for us.
I think back on this memory and feel that it’s a special moment when a neighbor wants to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in spite of the increasing cynicism and all things that go on in the world. I’m grateful that we had such a great neighbor while growing up!
Which book(s) have you read / are going to read in the last/next 10 days? Any books released in 2020 that you would like to recommend me? My next post will be about all the books I’ve been “skimming and sampling”, but not quite diving in. For me, some books are like a snack rather than a feast.
However, my answers for this specific question are:
In the past 10 days, I’ve read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Lee’s cover is very beautiful and rather intriguing to me.
State a fun fact about you that makes you stand out in any generic crowd, do you have any rebellious feature that makes a point in your bio? I don’t know if this makes me stand out as many high school students in my class were expected to learn this, but I memorized the first ten lines of the Canterbury Tales in Middle English and secretly enjoyed it.
I also really enjoyed the learning process of creating my own illuminated texts one autumn season, and wouldn’t mind taking a calligraphy class! Despite its impracticality, I enjoy the visual aesthetics of fancy penmanship.
As for the second part of this question about any rebellious features… I read this article by Personality Growth and was intrigued by its title, “Is Personal Responsibility the New Counter Culture?” This question resonates with me because my own sense of personal responsibility has caught people around me off guard sometimes.
There were times when my parents and I didn’t see eye to eye, but I didn’t rebel much against them except when it came to defending a few unconventional friendships that I’ve had. I guess I love reading about rebellious individuals and learning how they think by listening to their stories, but I don’t really participate in “typical” rebellious activities.
Though I consider myself well-behaved and well-mannered, sometimes, I think I shock people when I support highly idiosyncratic or bohemian individuals. This pondering leads me to think of this quote below:
When I think of this quote, I think there are many interpretations. The link I attached to Laurel’s name summarizes what her intention was when she said this. Focusing not on whether women should misbehave in order to be memorable, but on the fact that there are many women who have done remarkable things throughout history yet are not recorded or documented. That’s slowly changing with social media and more female representation.
Give away a couple of your favorite latest Netflix series or Anime that you would want me to watch?
I can offer some variety for you. 😉 I don’t think I can say that these shows are my favorite of all time, but the latest Netflix series that have caught my attention as of late are: The Good Place, Mr. Robot, The Crown, Agents of Shield, and Chuck. Some are hilarious comedies filled with action and others are somewhat dark and intriguing.
As for anime, I’ve been enjoying The Dragon Prince and The Vinland Saga. 🙂
Dogs or cats (or a third option)…and why? I love petting other people’s dogs and cats, but I don’t think I could be an owner of either. I enjoy birds though! Lovely morning chirps!
Name 3 snacks that figure in your cheat diet! Fried chicken, Crème de Pirouline Chocolate Hazelnut Wafers, Nutty bars!
What are your pet peeves (top 3)? I think my pet peeves shift around every time someone asks me this question on an award. Right now though, they are 1) Passive aggressive behavior, 2) Bigots, 3) Complainers
For how long could you possibly unplug and stay clear from any social media? (time in minutes/hours/days?)
Some are more easier to stay away than others. I can stay away from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for months. It’s more difficult for me to stay away from LinkedIn, WordPress, and YouTube.
Greetings! Happy belated Thanksgiving and happy December!
Just got back from spending time with family after not visiting them for this past year. It was a joyous occasion. It felt so good. I’m grateful to have seen them in person.
Instead of taking the bus like I normally do, I decided to avoid the station, a hotspot for the virus. My brother and dad picked me up to head back to my home town. My dad, ever the story teller, shared a few tales along the way home: How the cat found happiness, the one-eyed woman, Roses on Mother’s day … He also cracked open philosophical questions that had me thinking about what’s important.
I helped my parents de-clutter their home to help them prepare for retirement. Channeling my inner “Marie Kondo”, I used her Konmari method to clean out my parent’s home. Sorting through years of memories, donating books & clothes, throwing away broken items was a cathartic experience. My mom and siblings were happy, and Dad …adapted to the new Feng Shui of his home. 😉
I also loved organizing my mother’s beauty products with the lovely drawer from Sorbus Beauty for my mom’s present. That’s typically been my trademark. Organizing my mom’s little messes.
We celebrated my mom’s and sister’s birthday with delicious cake from Mozart Cafe Bakery. My sister showed me her chickens that she has been raising with her boyfriend. My brothers chatted to me about their latest investments. Mom enjoyed giving all of us a new hair-do. We took some family photos in a beautiful park.
One more post before I go hit the books again! I found out that today is National Coffee Day from Tony Burgess. I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but I love the atmosphere of coffee shops for studying and meeting up with a friend. Today, I’m welcoming the new fall season with a pumpkin-spiced French Roast coffee. What kind of drink helps you start your day? Enjoy!
Bzzz! My sister has recently taken up the new hobby of bee-keeping during this crisis. All my siblings have been rather proactive and have been an inspiration to me. So, honey and bees are the theme of my post today!
As a hardworking busy bee, you can say I’m constantly searching for all sorts of “flowers”: various blogs on WordPress to read. These awards allow me to celebrate the community garden!
For bees, the flower is the fountain of life. For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.
I would like to thank Maria Cristina Gino Baroso who has kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. She’s such a warm, friendly woman from the Philippines. I love her hospitable spirit. She features remarkable stories of beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, some overcoming all sorts of adversity. I also enjoy reading her slice of life stories from delicious food to an interesting coin collection. Her questions are featured below:
What do you do first when you wake up every morning?
The morning light trickles in through the blinds. I snap off the nightlight by my window and throw my arms up to do a nice yoga stretch. My back loves it after I had slept like a curled shrimp.
What do you do last before you sleep at night?
Last night, I dozed off to an episode, “The Power of Miracles“, of Morgan Freeman’s TV Series, “The Story of God“. My feelings before going to bed are one of awe and inspiration. The night before I finished the first season of the Arthurian fantasy drama, “Cursed“. Exciting adventures with the fae have been full of suspense and intrigue!
Who’s the first person you greet, “Good Morning” when you wake up? What do you like best, coffee or tea, and why?
I greet my roommates once they wake up and start making some tea. Lately, it’s been earl grey or mint. Sometimes, I like a raspberry zinger or citrus tea with honey. Whatever the mood calls for! I love the various herbs, fruit, or leaves in tea that I don’t necessarily get with coffee. I also associate tea with relaxation whereas coffee gets me pumped up for the day. Though there benefits to both, I’m not much a coffee drinker. Though, I love the smell of it!
What do you usually offer your guests when they come visit you?
What I offer guests who stop by is dependent on who it is. Some of my guests are very picky. A few examples are pho, blueberry waffles, banana bread, Dr.Pepper, water/tea, mixed nuts, ginger/sesame candy, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake.
How would you treat someone who has just disrespect you publicly?
I confront those who publicly disrespect me. I will not let them get away with belittling me and others. I take a moment to collect myself because otherwise my emotions get the better of me. Afterward, I calmly speak my mind and say what I need to say in front of their face. Typically, I cry once I get home to release the tension.
Did you receive a love letter or a friend’s letter? What’s your favorite line from it?
I love getting letters, cards, creative notes whenever, wherever. I’ve kept cards that my classmates have given me when I was 10 years old. Sometimes, I revisit them when I need a reminder. They represent a time and a place, but they always pick me up!
😉 Infatuation letter – My god, though… do you know you are the only girl I’ve ever met who has used the phrase, “but I digress”?
❤ Love letter – But I feel like… I don’t know. I just feel very happy and lighthearted. I have no idea what is coming… yet I’m excited for it anyway. Thank you, Sa. And yes, believe me when I say, I love you.
😀 Letter from a Friend – I got to tell you, Sa, that Birthday Card you sent to me, is a keeper (it goes right into my vault). Thank you. You can’t imagine how it lifted my spirits.
Do you believe that first love never dies?
I believe first love never dies or rather, it’s the memories that don’t die. I will never forget my first love. Random things trigger my memories as they fade in and out. They make me laugh and cry. When I reminisce sometimes, my chest tightens, and it feels like my heart hurts. Other times, my heart is fluttering and beats fast. I’ve grown so much from that experience. We both did, and I cannot go back even though it lingers in my life.
What is your personal mantra and why?
Having a heart of gratitude for all blessings and the abundance that is unfolding in my life helps me keep things in perspective.
If you’ll be the president for a month, what would you do to end this COVID-19 pandemic?
Coronavirus: 5 things New Zealand got right New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country no longer has any coronavirus cases. It has also seen very few COVID-related deaths. What has been the key to New Zealand’s success?
If I were president, I would take a leaf from New Zealand Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) Swift and tough lock down – Decisive actions 2) Consistent, effective communication of rules 3) Ramp up testing capacity and mask production 4) Willingness to learn from science
I’m not sure the American people will respond like the New Zealanders though. Press conferences directly to the public helped achieve public buy-in in other countries
If you’ll be a superhero, who would you be and why?
I got to learn more about Jubilee from X-men this past year. She. Is. Awesome. Wow! Not only is she bubbly and not to mention powerful, this spunky, optimistic character has overcame quite a bit of trauma. Even when she lost her powers, she tenaciously strives to remain a superhero by other means. Fans have shared more of her powers in greater detail. 10 skills that many people may not know about her:
Pyrotechnic Energy Blasts – Sometimes, it’ll be nice to see fireworks!
Absorb Energy – Always a must have when you working various projects!
Explosively Charge Objects – Detonate…maybe I’ll keep this one under wraps. 😉
Wondra – Super strength and the ability to fly 100 mph to avoid traffic
Force Fields – Resistant to physical injury and protection from earthquakes is nice.
Ghost Mode – Pass through substances without getting hurt. HM!
Gymnastics – Olympic-level gymnast. Just plain cool!
Evade Telepathic Detection – Hide from mental probes.
Vampire powers – Need I say more? Accelerated healing power is a nice plus
Turn Into Vapor (Mist Mimicry) – I always thought about flying with a cloud
It’s hard to find people who haven’t received an award already! You’re not obligated to respond, but I was grateful to have encountered your posts this week.
Rishika @ cartWdesigns – Her original artwork is a lot of fun to browse!
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Hello there! Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness from Linda G. Hill is: “…write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now. Take note of it if you think you might forget. Enjoy!”
So, I read this prompt while jogging in a deserted field area this afternoon. Em from Earthly Brain shared a prompt as well: “ If I could learn a lesson from the clouds, it would be …“. An impromptu poem materialized in my head. Enjoy!
Puffy cotton balls reflecting brilliant light Today I greet the day as it comes Drifting along with the wind
It’s somewhat difficult for me to play hide-and-go seek as I often gleam behind nature
No matter though, Sunny and I Our friendship is billions of years old Together on the best and worst of days
A generous spirit today Frolicking among you Revealing a wondrous site
He transformed into a tough security guard, and wherever I went, he was there….
Last night, I had an disturbing dream where a coworker’s omnipresence at a building’s every entrance unsettled me. With his steely gaze, he said firmly, “Sa, you can’t leave. You have been QUARANTINED.” I look behind me to find a packed auditorium surrendering to the shadows.
This morning, the city mayor and important officials imposed a shelter-in-place order on the residents for at least three weeks to help “flatten the curve“. Those who choose not to follow the rules can face a fine of $2000.
In the midst of the fearful masses, courageous people throughout the community have displayed admirable, selfless acts of service. A small alteration business has been donating their fabric to help make more masks for the medical professionals in the hospital. There has been an increase in volunteers at the homeless shelters and food banks helping those that are most vulnerable.
Fear and faith can’t occupy the same space.
A friend shared a post-it note and the above declaration with me. I thought to share this post-it with you and invite you to reflect on these questions in your own lives.
1. What are you GRATEFUL for today?
Good morning from my end! 🌻🌅
Emojis! Regardless of how Rory Gilmore feels about them!
Stress-relief balls of all shapes and sizes!
Yarn for crocheting Harry Potter House scarves for everyone!
Adult coloring books, comic books, and magazines to create collages!
Business and work that allows me to work from home!
But seriously…. Most of all… Dare I say it? 😆 YOU’RE da bomb! 💣💥
Today, I celebrate having 600 followers on my blog! 🍹💝 THANK YOU! You guys are all rock stars in my eyes! 🙌 Shining bright like diamonds in the sky creating beautiful constellations.
Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy …. At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays I saw the life inside your eyes
Each of you has impacted my world one way or another. Words cannot express how deeply appreciative I am for your presence. You have brought a full spectrum of emotions from jubilation, sadness, humor, and companionship into my life by sharing pockets of your life through a variety of mediums: film, poetry, story, & photos.
Truly, you’ve made my life richer. You’ve even inspired me to take my first virtual poetry workshop (Sharpened Visions) hosted by California Institute of the Arts on Coursera which I never thought I would do.
2. Who am I CHECKING IN or CONNECTING WITH today?
Unable to visit anyone due to new laws enacted in my city, I’ve checked in family, friends, coworkers, former coworkers, and other acquaintance-friends in my phone book. A friend who worked on the front lines as a medical worker passed away recently.
Today I’m checking in with you! How are you? Are you relishing the homebody lifestyle? Or…are you itching go somewhere?
3. What expectations of “NORMAL” am I LETTING GO OF today?
Such a timely question considering how the purpose of my blog explores just that! Lately, I’ve noticed that there is a deeper spiritual hunger which wants to be quenched perhaps not just in myself but around the world. I came across this story below.
Finally, after over an hour, a beautiful sight rose before my eyes. The Yamuna River, descended from the Himalayas, having flowed through the plains of North India, was embracing Mother Ganges—Yamuna with her complexion of deep blue, Ganges with hers of white, and the transparent Saraswati joined them from below.Sitting on the sandy bank, I gazed into the cloudless blue sky.
There, a hawk, wings extended, soared the airways. His reddish-brown feathers shone in the sun as he hovered lower and lower, till he was just a few yards above my head, his glistening yellow eyes intently scanning the river. Suddenly he plunged headlong into the Ganges.
There, a frantic underwater skirmish ensued until he emerged with a flapping fish, about a foot long, pierced in the grip of his talons. Squirming desperately, the fish was carried overhead and into a nearby forest. Looking on I reflected:
The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death.
Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment.
We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs.
If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind.
“We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.”
I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Life outside the blog-o-sphere has been very busy. Tried a confetti creamed corn recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for a few potluck dinners I was invited to, and though it doesn’t quite look like her pictures 😉 it was still a great hit!
Rory’s Challenge? 3 quotes. 2 songs. 1 image… Once again, I over-delivered! Take care everyone! ❤
Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.
I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉
I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂
“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.
Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.
“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂
“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.
She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.
Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home?It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.
In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.
One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.
Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.
Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.
One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.
She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).
Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.
Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!
If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂