Posted in poetry

#Haiku- An Arrow and Its Mark

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

Her eyes on the prize
Guide an arrow for bulls-eye
Determined to win!

Archery can be a blast to learn! May your aim be true as you launch your arrows to hit your marks for 2020!

Posted in Dreams, Events, Music, Quotes

SoCS: 2020 Vision – Happy New Year!

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! 

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all had a blessed day! Cheers to new dreams and goals ahead with powerful declarations for the future. You’re worthy of great things in your lives and I hope that you will live up to your full potential.

Image by alan9187 from Pixabay

I’ve been relaxing, tidying up my room, enjoying time with the family, and entranced by a variety of shows on Netflix. Growing up, I had terrible vision, and always needed glasses. I always wondered what it would be like to see with 20/20 vision with full clarity.

What does my vision for 2020 look like? Maybe it can be clearer with the help of this really thoughtful gift my coworker gave me as my Secret Santa this past Christmas. He knows I enjoy blogging, and I’m very excited to explore these quotes! Here’s one I’ll think about:

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

2019 feels like a blur to me! From computer networking classes to public speaking classes, it’s been a journey of self-improvement. The ideas from the pictures and phrases that I glued to my vision board this year started manifesting left and right. I don’t know why I feel surprised. It’s typically a fun, relaxing craft activity for me. To be honest, the metaphysics behind the mysterious “Law of Attraction” still fascinates me. Maybe, I see what I want to see. Regardless, it’s been an interesting year and there are stories to tell!

I can share one story. I cut and pasted an intriguing quote I found in Forbes magazine from Douglas Baker Jr., CEO of Ecolabs. Curious to know why he was 2017’s Person of the Year by Twin Cities Business.

“Our focus is delivering clean water safe food, abundant energy, and healthy environments. These needs are fundamental and transcend economic ups and downs. Wherever water needs to be conserved, food needs to be safe, energy is required, and people seek healthier environments, we will find opportunity.”

Douglas Baker Jr.

One evening, the president of the local Rotary Club invites me to a meeting to see what’s new in the community. The Rotary Club’s central causes are: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.

I’ve been on the fence about joining because of other obligations. Despite my reasons related to time, I find myself participating in and feeling enthused by their community projects.

So, that evening a communication arts teacher shares with us a recycling contest the school has joined with Pepsi Co. My ears perked up. I’ve been looking for an environmental cause post-graduation. I immediately got to work and started to partner with the local Wal-marts and Mary Kay representatives to collect aluminum cans and type 1 and type 2 plastics. I’ve been collecting at my friends’ holiday parties as well.

My car smells soda and the scent has been attracting honey bees. My poor guests have been carefully shooing them out the window. I haven’t been able to drop them off at the school because the facilities are closed for the holidays. Thank goodness my boyfriend offered his truck to help which reminds me of this song!

Honey Bee – Blake Shelton

In response to:

Posted in Books, Events, flashback, poetry, Technology

#SoCS- The Toy that Rocked my World

A Delightful Blue Discovery…

My life before simple
A linear path filled with a fairly predictable routine
Then, one hot summer day…
The library presented an irresistible challenge
Itching with anticipation!
Waited for what seemed like eternity!
The mission was to read 20 books!
The reward?
A yo-yo!
The latest spinning craze
Allowing gravity to unwind the string
Lighting up the world of so many participating children
Embarking the reading journey while
“walking the dog around the world” 😉

Years later
Just when I think the yo-yo has disappeared
into the locked vault of yesteryear’s fads
My serious concentration
questioning employers at a cyber job fair
was broken!

Genuinely smiling
Filled with overwhelming nostalgia
A blue yo-yo!
Gleaming against the black tablecloth
Idaho National Laboratory
“You made my day!”
Your motto?
The energy of innovation!
Indeed!
🙂

The first blue thing I see this morning ❤
Posted in Culture, Dreams, flashback, Food/Recipes, Music, Quotes

#SoCs – Cozy Post-Party

Image Credit: Pixabay

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been out for two weeks. It has been a doozy and I’m tucked underneath a layer of bed sheets right now in my cozy room munching on golden jack fruit. Feeling tired might be an understatement. Stream of consciousness is all I can muster right now. 😉

Brother’s Graduation

My brother graduated from college with a degree in environmental engineering. Words cannot express how proud I am. On the day of, there was a tornado alert in the area, pouring rain was beating down on our car windshield, temporary hail pellets hit certain areas of town. There was no notice of postponement of the commencement event, so we slowly drove on the highway to our destination, an athletics stadium on campus.

Ride the storm. Cheer wildly. Gather strength from life’s storms.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When we arrive, we were checked by two metal detectors which made me wonder about all the precautions that have to be taken considering all the mass shootings in the nation. The thought of it made me feel a bit somber though safer, and these rows of security guards at the entrances made me feel a sense of awe.

We took our seats far up and back as the live brass band was playing in the background. I munched on some almonds as I listened to the commencement speeches. There were three wonderful speakers:

  • The first was a beautiful young lady who reminisced about who experiences during college and concluded with a message of kindness and gratitude.
  • The second was a young man who was determined to build an Iron Man suit and shared with the audience some of his life lessons of preparation.
  • The third and final speaker was an engineering professor who shared a powerful story of what happens when you fearlessly respond with “yes and if” to life’s great opportunities. We also got to see a fun clip of him playing in a blue grass band.

Engineers. Problem-solvers. They never cease to amaze me. I left that stadium feeling inspired. Tons of pictures with friends and family. Then onto the grad party next day. A feast takes a lot of work especially when you decide to do it at home instead of a restaurant. Time management works towards your advantage as event planning can be seen as an operation of sorts.

Preparing for an Extravaganza

Mom and I woke up early morning, 6 am and 7 am respectively, and began cooking, cleaning, prepping while everyone was running errands for supplies. We invited a variety of guests with a variety of dietary needs. We created a buffet with several dishes filling up our dining table throughout the morning and afternoon:

  • Banh hoi – rice vermicelli woven into intricate bundles with chopped scallions or garlic chives sauteed in oil typically served with a complementary meat dish and either soy sauce or a homemade fish sauce
  • Crab and Asparagus Soup – filled with other fresh ingredients of quail eggs, ginger, chicken
  • Glass Noodle Stir Fry – translucent noodles fried with chicken and tons of veggies
  • Xoi lac xua – Steamed peanut sticky rice with coconut milk
  • Fried chicken, grilled pork, jumbo shrimp, and beef
  • Fried rice- using a new technique mom learned from a friend
  • Fruit trays – watermelon, jackfruit, grapes
  • Che Thai fruit cocktail– sweet dessert filled with gelatin, chia seeds, longan fruit
  • Che Dau Van – Vietnamese Lentil bean dessert
  • Fresh spring rolls – vermicelli, pork, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, carrots, crunchy egg roll with a peanut butter sauce

My brother and I tested the audio system he borrowed for karaoke by singing a few fun duets such as “Aladdin’s A Whole New World” and a variety of other Disney songs.

I arranged citronella candles to repel bugs on the tables and set up chairs and tables outside while dad mowed the yards. We strategically placed a variety of ice chests around the house: filled with beer, soda, water, fruit drinks. Wine bottles were ready to go. I arranged and cut fresh flowers to put in vases and cleaned up the house with a wide array of cleaning products. There was fresh towels and soap in the restrooms. I clean up the guest bedroom for the guests that want to take a nap. (which wasn’t going to include me!) 🙂

We all eventually took a shower to wash away our sweat, mud, flour, food coloring. I freshened up my face with makeup, styled my hair, and donned on a pretty red, black, and white floral dress that hugged my body. I suddenly became a hostess along with the rest of my family members as we welcomed our guests.

It’s Showtime!

It was my job to make sure everyone was well-fed serving as waitress and scanning the rooms to anticipate needs. Refilling drinks, inquiring about food allergies, offering napkins, utensils, picking up trash, etc. Though I’m fairly reserved, I can be quite a conversationalist. I walked around and outside the house chatting to everyone making sure no one felt left out. I learned more about their studies, work, interests, and hobbies. It seemed to be a networking activity as well as I gave out job referrals and we exchanged information and contact information.

My brother who graduated was the emcee for the night engaging the guests in songs, rap battles, stories and shared input and feedback as to post graduation goals. He shared the good news of his three job offers, and he was weighing

My other brother was in charge of games and entertainment for young adults. He set up video games, board games, card games and managed the crowd. Activities are time flexible as we gauged the crowd’s emotions. When you get a lot of laughs from the latest trending game for instance, it’s a green light to continue. Otherwise, it’s time to move on.

Dad managed the outdoor crowd for the older adults who are more interested in slower paced activities. They sat outside in the gazebo thoughtfully engaging with questions about life and philosophy. Mom managed the group of ladies who tried on some new fashionable clothing and perfume. They chatted about the new adventures they had about motherhood and exchanged tips and advice.

By the end of the day, presents were opened and shared as we ate a delicious, light, fluffy, fruit cake that we got from Mozart’s Bakery. Our guests thanked us for the night and gradually began to leave as I bid them farewell. My sister was in charge of cleaning up as we helped her pick up trash and store the china. We finally got some shut-eye around midnight.

Mozart’s Bakery

My Birthday

The day after my brother’s grad party was my birthday! This year was a small affair due to the fact I didn’t want to steal my brother’s thunder, and frankly, I was tired from the previous night. I asked my siblings if we can hang out in our living room in our pajamas, eat some leftover cake, and re-watch one of my favorite Korean dramas:

Image Credit: Jae-Ha Kim Journalistic Review

I am now 31 years old, and I’m feeling all sorts of things. My siblings and I reconnected on a deeper level which I personally felt was a dream come true. Our communication with one another improved after we spent time apart reflecting on a variety of things and life events. Reading things in the media affected how we treated each other in good and bad ways. My parents are adjusting to their “empty nest” as we are moving out of our childhood home one by one. We have wonderful stories and experiences in this house. They are getting ready to retire, as we are beginning our lives and careers.

Bus Ride Home

I treated myself to some lotions for my hard working hands and feet. I reinvested in myself by attending an inspirational career training and enrolling in a master’s program. I sat near the window of the bus pensively staring at the grasslands. I started to chat to the guy next to me when I saw an interesting t-shirt. I noticed he had only one arm. I was inspired as I listened to his thoughts and hobbies. Later at another stop, a blind man sits in front of us. I was impressed by his vision for what he wanted to accomplish in his life: owning his own business. He, too, had an inspiring story to share as I was captivated by his blue eyes. I was amazed by the company that I had during my trip. I hope to learn more from them soon!

As I reached town, I rested and joined my study group later in the evening. They treated me to a delicious wholesome birthday bowl from “The Good Kind: Modern Market and Cafe” as I designed a logo for our group and studied security issues.

Life continues, and isn’t this a lovely tropical bowl!? 😀

Posted in Events

SoCs – The Veteran on Remembrance Day

“I’m a mean, old guy that likes to give this young lady here a hard time! Gotta watch her closely! She’ll trick ya!” An elderly man joked out loud in front of the rest of the customers this evening.

The customers stared at the man looking momentarily confused. Breaking my train of concentration and focus, I look up from the checkout screen. I greet him with one of my big smiles!

He is wearing his trademark veteran’s cap, blue jeans, and a simple t-shirt. I reassured the other customers, “No, this is Jay and he’s one of the sweetest customers I ever had! This is a regular game we play.”

“HEY! You’re wrecking my tough image here, Sa! I’m not sweet at all!” Jay leaned in and winked. He is beaming. His soft spoken wife smiles with embarrassment and continues her payment.

A customer behind him yells aloud, “Why, if it isn’t our neighbor Jay! Kids say hello to Jay!” A little boy and girl waved.

“HEY!” Jay greets them with enthusiasm. The children are grinning from ear to ear.

A few customers come up to him and thanked him profusely for his service. He responded, “I would do it all over again in a heart beat!”

He waved at me. “BYE SA! Remember… I’m a MEAN guy!” He winked at me and left with his wife.

His neighbor told me the story of how he met his wife. She was in a serious car accident. Jay saw a stranger in need, and took her to the hospital. He stayed with her and took care of her. They began to fall in love and stayed together ever since.

I cried from this beautiful story.  Jay’s always in service even when he’s retired.

Happy Veterans Day everyone! I will keep many individuals in my thoughts.

In response to:

  • Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt: Meanstream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19
Posted in fiction

SoCs Saturday: Point

Found a new prompt titled Stream of Consciousness yesterday from LindaGHill’s blog. Keyword is point. “Open a book on your lap, close your eyes, and put your finger on the page. Whatever you land on, whether it be a word, a phrase, or a sentence, write about it. Enjoy!”

I opened to a page in “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard, an allegory dramatizing the journey each of us must take before we can live in “high places”.

For one black, awful moment Much-Afraid really considered the possibility of following the Shepard no longer, of turning back. She need not go on. There was absolutely no compulsion about it.

How many times does this feel like you? I’ve gone through many instances in my life where after making a decision, I wonder if it was better to go back to where I was. The journey is filled with unknown things. I never know how it’s going to change me.

How many times do we follow in the shadows of others? When do we get out of that shadow and blaze our own trail? How will our stories affect others after you take the leap?

Alternatively, how does the gift of fear keep us safe? How does knowledge of things help us avoid something that could be potentially harmful to our well being?