This post was inspired by a blogging adventure called Scattered Life Collective by Cynthia Lee. It’s a great series and I missed it so much in December that I decided to start doing it again. I was pleased to see that Cynthia is still going. Hoorah for consistency! (Big shout out to Cynthia!)
current time: 7:57 AM. I did get up early this morning, but have spent a good part of my morning catching up on blogs and comments. A big shout out to all those who comment on blogs. Not just my blog, but ANY blog. We love you.
on the menu: OMG. One of my favorite foodie experiences is finding something completely delicious that is also extremely healthy. Thus, I present to you my hummus veggie wrap that I had for dinner last night. It was so delicious that I ate two of them (come on… they were small!) But oh-so-delish! I made my own hummus (at about 1/3 the cost using dried organic garbanzo beans and Trader Joes super cheap tahini), fresh organic spinach, pop-in-your-mouth fresh organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half and pressed into the gigantic mound of hummus on the wrap, thinly sliced red bell peppers (who eats the green ones when there’s RED?), and julienned carrots. So yummy. I could eat those every single day for a month before tiring of them.
Earlier this week, I bought a pre-made wrap at Whole Foods, which came in this little plastic tub. Since I am trying not to waste anything, I rinsed the plastic tub out to use for those days when I want to bring a wrap to work for lunch. The wrap I bought was vegan – it was very good and something that I plan to try to recreate at home. It was a BBQ wrap, with little chunks of tofu (maybe seitan?) that were coated in a not too hot BBQ sauce and accompanied by some fresh veggies cut up. It was very good. So good I picked up the little BBQ chunks to finish every last bite as some of them had fallen to the bottom of the container. Yum.
out the window: For this one, I am going to cheat a little and tell you about something I saw in the SKY. A week or so ago, I did this silly post about the Big Dipper. NOTE TO SELF: Never write a post about something you know nothing about. OK. Let’ s just say that I was excited to tell you about what I was learning about the Big Dipper, but my facts were a little askew. Full disclosure: I never said I was an expert on the subject!
So anyways, if you had read the post and the comments that followed, you would know that some time skywatching was definitely in order! But it has been crazy cold in Minnesota lately so I have not been able to really do any stargazing. So this morning, as I was leaving to pick up Tatia from her Dad’s, I stopped and looked up. There was the BIG DIPPER! Right in front of me. And so I followed the pointer stars up to the North Star and saw what Louis was talking about – with the whole North thing and I had to turn my head sideways a bit to look at the arrangement as if North was at the top of the map, but I got it! Louis is such a blessing to me! If you don’t know Louis, please take a moment and check out his Tao Tuesdays series. He writes just about every week on my Tao Tuesdays challenges. His posts are amazing. I learn so much from reading them!
reading: I am just about finished with Master Ni’s version of the I Ching (Introductory pages). So it might take me TWO months to get through all of the introductory pages of all of the I Ching books. The part I am at now is where he is translating some passages that Confucius wrote, giving us guidance for our daily lives. Confucius’ work is timeless. One of my favorites passages was the one below. I remembered reading this passage, years ago, and it has stuck with me for many years, as so much of this work tends to do. (see P 175, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth):
What you do not like from the one above you,
do not do to the one below you.
What you do not like from the one below you,
do not do to the one above you.
What you do not like from the one in front,
do not do to the one behind.
What you do not like from the one behind,
do not do to the one in front.
What you do not like from the one on your left,
do not do to the one on your right.
What you do not like from the one on your right,
do not do to the one on your left.
This is so simple. How have we made it so complicated? He says in the book that this passage is different than the Bible, where it says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Can you catch the subtle difference?
I am also reading pages in The Lunar Tao as we go through this new Chinese lunar year. I love the honorary birthdays of different species during the Chinese New Year. During Day 2, he talks about “The Cord” and how we are extended on a cord that goes back through our parents, our grandparents, our ancestors, the seasons, and the gods. Our family is special. They sustain us. We may grumble about our families or take them for granted, but the truth of it is – our family is our point of origin. If we are fortunate, our families are there for us through all of life’s ups and downs.
As I am getting to know the people at my new school where I am working, it has been such a treat to hear about their families and their lives. Many of the people that work with me have grown up in this tiny outskirt town of Mound and live here today. Several of them live in their grandparents or their parent’s homes – the homes they grew up in. Some married their high school sweethearts.
I don’t have the experience of living in one town. Not that it’s a bad thing, but part of the reason this is such a treat for me to hear about their lives is because I lived all over growing up. My family is close knit, but we are all over the country. No one lives in Mound. No one even lives in Minnesota. I have extended family (aunts, uncles and cousins) in Minnesota, but none here that I am close to. I see this life my coworkers live and think, “Wow. That is cool.” One of my co-workers was showing me a photo yesterday of a group of her friends. They take a vacation every year together and have known each other for over twenty years and have been a close knit group all that time.
Family doesn’t have to be blood family. It can be a close friend or neighbor who keeps an eye on you and makes sure that you get back from your vacations OK. For several of my closest friends, their blood family is no longer a part of their life and they have adapted by connecting with friends or other dear people to guide them through life’s ups and downs.
I am very fortunate in own blood family. I love my family so much. We don’t see each other nearly enough, but when we do it is wonderful. I know that families who live near each other often take each other for granted, so I suppose in a weird kind of way – them living far away from me has made me appreciate them so much. When we are together, our time is precious so we are a constant stream of talking about what is going on in our lives. It is cathartic. There is usually always some kind of blow-up – mostly because emotions are so high for being so excited to be near each other again.
Eric and I have been together now for seven years. I am so grateful for finding him and for having him in my life. I am grateful for the family that I inherited through him as well. Both of his parents and his sister and her husband are very supportive and caring people. It doesn’t seem like seven years. I can’t imagine getting that seven year itch they talk about. No way. We’re just getting started!
In The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth, Master Ni also talks about a well-ordered family. He says in order to have a well-governed nation, you must first have a well-organized family. But in order to have a well-orgnaized family, you must cultivate yourself and cultivate your mind. So in the end, it is all down to us. We already know this intellectually. It is more about DOING it. What can we do to cultivate our mind? Definitely something to ponder. But not right this moment because I have a few other sections to write about! lol…
pandora: Nothing exciting to report here.
audible: I’m in a Spanish loop. I am listening to the same lesson over and over again because it is some time between listens so I either need a long drive to get caught up or I need to listen more frequently at home. (I usually only listen to Pimsleur in the car.) Until yesterday, I was staying caught up in my Spanish game at least and I really feel like we are starting to GET this stuff!
watching: I know that I am about ten years behind the curve, but Eric and I started watching Survivor last night. Sigh. The first season. Yeah. I wondered what all the fuss was about? Perhaps because it was one of the original reality drama shows?
playing: Nothing exciting to report here either.
good things: here’s a list:
- Seeing the Big Dipper in the sky after so much discussion about it
- Not working on Fridays! (Still… how long can I keep this up without anyone getting suspicious of my extreme love of being lazy?)
- My new job. Yesterday, at work, I had a moment. I walked into my office and I sighed. That kind of sigh that has a little choked up feeling behind it and it was because I so love my new job. I so love my new life.
around and about:
Oh, how fun. I got to this section and the other me (the one from the past – the ME I was a few days ago) has already been in this post, filling up this section so I don’t have to touch it. Phew. I wrote a lot in the “Reading” section of this post that really should have been two separate posts of their own, but hey – gotta reward you for hanging in there. So I am due for a little writing break on this one! Cool. Enjoy…
Beach Art. I love the temporary nature of this form of art. The guy’s name is Andre Amador.
Want to become invisible? Try this.
See how the energy of the New Moon (and a new year) can recharge you. Read Kelli Spencer’s post on the New Moon. I wish that I would have found this when I wrote my post on the Chinese New Year. Ah well. You lucky you. Here it is!