Thursday, February 28, 2013

Its Been A Long Week

There are often challenges in our lives, and we can allow them to over take them, or we can ride through them, moment by moment, without letting them over take us.   Melanie was admitted into the hospital with a very bad case of influenza b, despite having a flu shot.  She is now home and doing much better.  Tamiflu has helped but it was $131 for that one prescription and they have insurance, lousy insurance to be sure.  We got our car back a day early and that helped a great deal with all that was going on.   Mindfulness, got me through all this, living in the present.  Today, the coming of spring, plum blossoms, blue skies and the wonder of new life.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring is Has Sprung

Almost every day you can find me out in the gardens, pruning rose bushes, planting more rose bushes, working in the garden or just walking around checking the progress of things.  This morning I was happy to find my lavender plants loaded with buds !  The oregano did so well this winter and has taken off already spreading.   The fruit tress are budding out and the Ash tree is far ahead of all the others with tiny vibrant green leaves bursting forth.   My fingernails are always dirty, my hands a bit rough around the edges, my back a bit sore from planting lots of blue potatoes yesterday, but its all worth it.  Today, the wind is blowing as if it were March already !  What a blessed time, the coming of spring is !

Friday, February 22, 2013

Update With Really Good News

Melanie is home from the hospital and doing fine, with the exception of a sore arm from her IV and the other arm having a pinched nerve. Her blood work was fine, EKG was fine, just leads not placed correctly in the Drs office. What a fright.   We are all breathing a sigh of relief in our family tonight.  Thank you to all who prayed and sent good thoughts her way.   Guess its really really important to have experienced folks do your EKG !  
Reminded today how important it is to breathe and live in the moment, not live in the land of what ifs and the place where you imagine the worst.

Urgent Prayers Needed

It looks like my sweet daughter Melanie has had a heart attack.  She is a type 1 diabetic since she was 7 and now this.  Please please please pray for her.  Her 30th birthday is in just a couple weeks.  Too young for this, too sweet for this kind of thing to happen to her.   The little ones are will be staying with me.  Her heart appears quite weak and they will be running more tests and perhaps a surgery.

Thoughts on This Friday

This morning I woke up in wonder at the world I live in, awe, really.   The way everything works together.  Flowers in bloom in my living room, Spring bursting forth after a long winters nap. 
Stars that hang in the sky, a moon that glows and gives us a sense that we are not really the big shots we think we are.  The way the Milky Way stretches across the dark velvet sky.  How morning comes every single day, even if we sleep through it.  The miracle of how babies learn to talk and walk and grow into children that can read and dance and sing.   There are very few mornings that pass by without this one verse coming to mind...."For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."  Romans 1:20
My search for peace, for ways to become a better person have taken me down many paths, lessons learned on many of those little journeys, truth is truth, despite the language, and true wisdom comes from several points of views, but one thing has remained constant in all my journeys, that.God, whatever He looks like,  is a creator with infinite love for mankind.

my orchids,

the view from my window as Melanie and Yen are walking to my house
the latest spinning

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Let Nothing Disturb Your Peace

The concept, is to be so at peace within yourself, so strong in mindfulness of the moment, that you don't let someone or some event, steal that peace from you.  I like the idea of that and have read it so often in my younger years in the Bible.  Psalm 119:165 was a verse I quoted so often through the years, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."   Yesterday after a wonderful lunch with my husband, thanks to a Christmas gift card, and then shopping in our favorite Asian markets, we started our drive home, sitting next to each other in the car, holding hands and chatting about how good our life is, in that very instant, we were turning onto a rather busy road, and then it happened, NOTHING, the transmission went out, no warning, the car just did nothing, but by a miracle of some sort, we were able to coast around the corner, and down the road to a safe place to pull over.  We were in the country, nothing but grazing land on either side of us.  I tried to get a location on my cell phone and it just said, "no nearby locations".   I called AAA and within 45 minutes the tow truck arrived.  In that period of time, I must admit, fear tried to raise its ugly head a few times.  My mind raced to all the horror stories I had heard about people being robbed when broken down, or cars plowing into them, even though you are off the road and on the shoulder.   The news, the stories we see spreading through social media do affect us, even if they just sit in the back of our mind, waiting to be accessed by some stressful moment in time.  We had two folks pull up next to us and ask if we needed any help, kind folk, but still my guard was up when they pulled over, this moment in time, tried to steal my peace.   I knew my Knight in Shining Armor was right next to me but still, worries arose a couple of times about our safety, and there is wisdom in caution, but often times our worries are just simply our imagination on steroids in the negative.
A breath, in and out, mindfully, would bring me back to that peace and take me to the moment, as it was, reality, and I would recognize that all is well.  The whole ordeal was over a short time, and we were once again home in our cozy house.  I mused that my life was so much better, being mindful of each moment as it really is.  Briefly thought about how much worry I could have avoided if I had practiced mindfulness all my life.   Thankful that I know about it now, as I embrace this stage of life, where wisdom is supposed to guide me in how I live out the rest of my life, which I hope is very long.   I have much to learn yet, much to experience and there is a lot of work to do yet to become my hearts "live a simple, balanced life with time to take care of ourselves and our loved ones,"

Yesterday was a lesson for me, on how to remain mindful in all kinds of situations.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meditation Morning

This morning I spent time meditating at the Quang Chieu Zen Monastery and attending the Dharma class they hold in English on Saturday mornings.  A rich experience in so many ways.  Kindness and compassion from the nuns so very tangible.  
As I strolled around the gardens, I noticed that buds were on all the trees and bushes, much too early I thought, then upon close inspection I saw that each blossom was a silk one, lovingly tied on by hand, beautiful !  I asked the nun about them and she said the lay people come and do that for them, so there is always beauty to see, even before the real buds come in spring.  Now it is nearing the time when each silk flower will have to be removed with the same loving care as when they were tied on.   Despite the cold winter air, it felt so springlike, and so beautiful.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Garden Time

A chilly day in the garden, but nothing that a thermos of hot tea could not make it a pleasant time.   Rows of snow peas, baby choi, Chinese celery, kale and carrots were planted today.  The north wind blew cold and the gray skies seemed to hold a promise of rain to come.  The old barn, now serves as a wood shed and for me seems like a creepy sort of place, strange stirrings were heard inside as I passed by.  I am sure some sort of creature has taken refuge from the cold in there today, hiding from the wind and damp cold air.  I had no desire to see just what it was in there, it seemed better to just go about my business of planting.  Looking up from my work, from time to time to listen to a bird sing, or watch the clouds pass by over head.  As I was looking out to the wood, something caught my eye.  I Bobcat ran along the fence line for a bit and then took off to the woods.  I suspect he thought it was still dusk or dawn by the color of the sky, as they are usually not out and about during the day.  Or perhaps he was just on his way to a warmer spot to rest.  I was thankful I was on the other side of the fence from him, but he was beautiful to watch.  Fearing to make any quick movement, and startle  him, there was no way I could snap a photo of him, even with my camera not too far away.    The morning was a delight.  A bit of work, a bit of rest, with a cup of steaming hot ginger tea, and then some time to read while the smell of the dark soil filled the air around me.  

Our Heart As A Garden

This morning as I was reading, I came across this profound sentence..."In the garden of my heart, the seeds of peace bloom beautifully."   Thich Nhat Hanh..    
These words suddenly took on a very deep meaning for me, it is my goal, my desire, that my heart, under all circumstances, no matter how trivial, that my hearts garden be tended in such a way that peace grows stronger than any indignation, any bit of anger, any bit of feeling slighted, or insulted.  That within me, that heart garden is tended with the same loving devotion I care for my rose garden, or my vegetable garden.  That all around me see what I value in life, peace and compassion.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Taking Time For Tea

In the sunshine of the afternoon, a long leisurely cup of green tea.  The sunshine through the  cup, cast a lovely rainbow on the floor

Gary Malkin feat. brother Phat Niem & Thich Nhat Hanh - The end of suffe...

Happy Valentines Day

For several years now my husband has given me a rose bush for Valentines day, his thought is a beautiful one, rather than give me roses that last a week, he wants to give me a symbol of his love that keeps on giving, year after year.  So that when I am in the rose garden picking roses, I can remember that each one was given in love, planted with his hands.   This year he gave me two rose bushes and due to my new found love of raising orchids, he gave me this huge orchid plant and the small white plant was an early valentines gift from him.   I love the idea of having Valentines Day flowers that last and last, year after year giving of their beauty, just like true love does.   Happy Valentines Day to each one of my readers, may your day be filled with love !

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...