Before I Die…



First – thank you all for your kind words of support at the loss of one of my best friends.  Comments to this post, my FaceBook post and the phone calls have brought me a lot of comfort.

After cleaning and moving the washer this morning I sat down with my morning cup of coffee.  I don’t have TV (yet – if ever) and I watch through the web.  I love Ted Talks.  This one was up today.  Serendipity?

Breathe in, breathe out

I was at my new office last week.  Getting to know folks, attending meetings, trying to get a grip as to what was what.  I also spent some time looking for an apartment.  I found several just steps away from the beach, but the ones that I can afford are small and they have been abused.  So I am re-thinking where I’ll live.  I have a feeling it’ll be a bit further in-land, with a 5-7 minute car ride to the ocean.  Still MUCH closer than I am now, so that isn’t a bad thing.

I did enjoy going out to eat while there – Indian, Thai (and then repeat).  It was delicious!!  I fell in love with sticky rica and mango.  And at the Thai found a new favorite – tofu with peanut sauce and spinach.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

And today I cleared the kitchen cabinets, cut roses from the garden and put them in a vase on a counter top and played Deva Premal while I crafted a batch of sandalwood soap.  I mixed part of the batter with cinnamon and did a swirl (I hope).  The batter was dark and the cinnamon portion a bit darker.  I am anxious to see how it turns out.

And so your ears can have a taste:

In the Moment

With our hectic lives, running here and there, trying to fit everything in to our precious little time, I think that sometimes we forget about what “it” really is about.  I was reminded today of a Buddhist teaching and I’d like to share it with you.

The mind is restless, unsteady,
hard to guard, hard to control.
The wise one makes it straight,
like a fletcher straightens an arrow.

How good it is to rein the mind
Which is unruly, capricious,
rushing wherever it pleases.
The mind so harnessed
will bring one happiness.

Your worst enemy cannot harm you
as much as your own unguarded thoughts.
A well-directed mind creates more happiness
Than even the loving actions of your parents.

–Buddha Shakyamuni

I hope that today you can find time to still your mind and really appreciate what life is all about.



After letting my life get away from me, I am actively taking control again.  My fibromyalgia had flared up, I wasn’t eating properly, I was not sleeping well and I was working way too much.  So I decided that I’d better get a grip.

I admitted to myself that I needed to take my new medicine perhaps on a daily basis and not just when the pain became extreme.  I started leaving work on time.  I started eating properly again.  And I have returned to the mat with my yoga practice.  And life is beginning to be good again.  After only a few days of these changes, I am sleeping through the night.  I am feeling stronger and my pain has subsided to a very manageable level.

Now comes the challenge of staying on this path!

Inside maintenance

This morning I was reading Patti’s blog and she was saying that she’s doing some inside maintenance – new window treatments, new rug, rearrangement of furniture – you know the drill. And as I was reading her post, I found myself listening to the quiet that is the way of life in the country. There is absolutely NO sound of traffic. I can hear birds (and bugs), and the sounds that young limbs make when the squirrel jumps off and the limb springs back. Looking out of my window the trees have burst to life with beautiful foliage, still that almost lime-green of new growth but darkening a bit every day.

The mid-west is being hit by some major storms and there are flood warnings through our county and the surrounding ones. We aren’t in any danger as we sit up, but I am amazed by Mother Nature. Last week we had flood warnings (and flood it did!) yet we had clear, beautiful skies and not a drop of rain that day. So why did we have flood warnings? To the north (different states) they had bad weather and the Illinois River was being deluged by the additional water. The result was that it flooded here. Hum. Yet another example of the rippling effects that one occurrence has on another. It reminds me that we need to strive to live a life where we do not cause damage. You never know what ripple your action (physical action/inaction, a kind or unkind deed, a soft word or a harsh one) may cause to something or someone far, far away. It is a reminder that we have a great responsibility to humanity to tread lightly and lovingly.

And as I sit here enjoying my peace and quiet and the sounds that are from nature I don’t even mind that the skies are grey and that the sun will not be joining us until Saturday at the earliest. Never mind that the ground covering which I call “lawn” is 6-8 inches tall and needs a hair cut. Never mind that the garden, beautifully tilled and plowed, now will have to be reworked before planting.

Today I will focus on my inside maintenance. I need to do photography work, I feel the need to rearrange some furniture, my desk area is in desperate need of a good tidy and better arrangement. There is soup to be made – I want to do the cooking for the weekend so that we can enjoy kicking back and relaxing. (Ms C’s finals are the week after next and she needs to chill.)

And through these physical inside maintenance chores I believe that my soul/spirit will be re-energized.

Today and tomorrow I will focus on maintenance – in side my home and in the place where my spirit lives.

And to share with you, some photos of the outside I took this morning (outdoor maintenance list!)…

the waiting-to-be-planted garden

the waiting-to-be-planted garden

the waiting-to-be-power-washed north side

the waiting-to-be-power-washed north side

view from my desk

view from my desk

part of the waiting-to-be-mowed lawn

part of the waiting-to-be-mowed lawn