rain

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faint at first

quiet procrastination

then

louder and more adamant

the pitter-patter

of the sound that brings us to the present

whether snug under blankets

or cold under tarp

a quickening

a precipitating to the present

acquainted with

detached

lamentation

oh

clothe us in

mundane miracle

shower us in extraordinary plausibility

nourishment and neglect

empty ardor and adulation

purposeful play

optimistic nihilism

a single ladybug-red rainboot

plastered plastic smile

of empty contentment

a childhood song

not lost

never lost

but always lost

hers are bright yellow

a well-loved playground pair

for dancing and school

for resounding pause

for hushed adamant precipitation

for oscillation

uncertainty

and certain capriciousness

Creative prompt: You shall go to the ball. — The Magpie at Midnight

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I spotted this single wellington boot stranded on a traffic island in the middle of a busy road. It was another photo that was a bit difficult to take because there not a lot of space in that particular spot and I don’t like to linger long at all between the two lanes, even when […]

Creative prompt: You shall go to the ball. — The Magpie at Midnight

Night Time Thoughts of Cheesecake and Credentials

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It’s almost 4am. I was asleep by 9PM and awake by 1AM.

What I am doing still up, I have no idea. …But it feels somewhat productive… I checked my accounts online.

I discovered my Yoga Alliance credentials expired and paid for renewal, for whatever reason. I had actually signed on to see if they gave me credit for my Yoga Trapeze teaching certification I did a few months ago yet, but was instead was met with an overdue bill.

I am not so good at keeping up with bills since they’ve always been either automated or far and in-between. I’ve been lucky to have few bills most of my life. I guess it isn’t luck. It’s a lifestyle.

Two of my California teaching credentials need renewal soon too. My English-single subject add-on coursework has expired and I am not about to retake it. 😦 I am thinking of adding yet another credential; however.

I am working at 2 schools and have been thinking about starting one for years.

My point is this: where does it stop? We are born into the rat race. And then what? We just keep paying to stay in it and then paying more to keep up?

When we are children, we want to grow up and become adults. When we are adults, we want to play all day like the children. It’s really ironic.

What other thoughts do I have in the middle of the night? There are many but the best ones are about cheesecake! Today at noon, I will be picking up some fresh cheesecake and other baked goods, placing them in an ice chest and driving them from NorCal to SoCal for a surprise birthday treat for my mom. She has no idea!

In researching cheesecakes to purchase, I discovered there are many more types than I was ever aware of! I will do an entry on cheesecake and also one on mouthwatering watermelon salads which I have made and subsisted on for a couple of days now on my food blog soon. For now, I should get some sleep before the sun rises. From gourmet pizzas last week to the best and healthiest cocido I’ve ever had for dinner, my belly isn’t really thanking me but my taste buds are. First world problems….

And now for some shut eye…

Peace to you all!

The Missing

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Kindness and Gratitude

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A week ago, I couldn’t find my phone after work. While ordering some pizza for dinner, I tried to connect a laptop to the Wi-Fi at the pizza parlor to use the Find My Phone App. A couple of men sat eating at a table and one asked if I was working from home. I explained that I was trying to find my phone on the app. The manager of the place heard this, gave me a Wi-Fi password and then lent me his cell phone to call my phone. Neither worked. I thanked them and went home with my pizza.

As I was eating my pizza at home, I logged into the app. The GPS placed my phone about 9-10 miles away in the middle of a busy road near my work. I must have left it on top of my car in the parking lot as I was chowing down on a cookie a student had made and it must have fallen off after some driving. I finished my pizza dinner, left the remains on my table and drove to the location indicated by the GPS.

I parked and looked up and down the road for a few minutes. I found a scrap of metal and pieces of phone case marked by tire marks on the center divider; how it got onto the center divider, I don’t know. With heavy heart, I picked up the pieces of what was probably my phone.

I drove towards the closest Apple store but saw a busy T Mobile store on the way and stopped. I revealed the scrap of metal that looked like it could be my phone. An employee retrieved the SIM card and checked the number on it: it was indeed mine. I perused the phones available in the store and somehow dropped the SIM card they had handed me. Another couple of employees gave me a new SIM card, activating it for me, saying “See you tomorrow!” I chuckled and went home.

On Saturday, I went to an Apple store. They weren’t too helpful other than to show me a few phone sizes I could get. I went home and tried to order the phone I wanted online but it wasn’t going through, so on Sunday I went to the store at Apple Park Visitor Center. An employee helped me order the phone I wanted and then kindly showed me on the computer how to go to get to the nearest T Mobile to ask for a loaner. I went to the T Mobile store but they didn’t have a loaner available.

On Thursday, I told my landlord that I didn’t have a working phone. He said he had some old phones sitting around I could use. We tried the SIM card in a Samsung first but it was locked. He drove to the AT&T dealer to try to get them to unlock it and they refused. Then he found me another old phone sitting around, an LG Cricket. We put the SIM card in and it worked! Now I am able to use a phone again!

This whole thing has made me so thankful for all of the kinds souls surrounding me: the students sharing the cookies they made, the pizza parlor manager lending me his phone, the people at T-Mobile helping me identify the remains of my phone and assisting me with my SIM card, all of my friend and family who tried to accommodate me via internet apps because they knew my phone wasn’t working, the guy at the Apple store who used a Mac to show me how to get to T Mobile because I didn’t have a phone to look it up on. And then, of course, my landlord who went out of his way to find me a loaner phone and adaptor cable for the phone. I am just blown away by all of the kindness in this world!

What are you grateful for today? Are you ever blown away by the kindness of people around you?

Plaid

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“What shall I wear? “I thought to myself yesterday.

I have a collared blouse with buttons going down the front.

It is white with blue and red plaid.

A simple design.

It is my only plaid.

I put it on yesterday, at first with a long flowy white folklorico skirt (there are various names for this skirt in the different regions of Mexico) I had purchased from a Mexican textiles boutique to go to an All-White Retirement Party for one of my Master Teachers in 2019. I rarely wear it because it’s too scary to wear white…. So easily stained.

I decided after breakfast that I would change into my faux ripped jeans with faux embroidered flowers I had gotten at a thrift store perhaps in 2020. Jeans with my plaid shirt….

The plaid shirt was handed down to me from my mom.

It was handed down to her from her mom.

I wore it yesterday and my mom and I video chatted.

She saw the shirt and began to talk about my grandmother.

She was a little emotional.

She said her mom gave her the shirt once when she was visiting us from China. She and her mom shared clothes the way my mom and I share our clothes when we visit each other, my mom said. She said her mom wanted a computer which my mom didn’t buy. She remembers that her mom went back to China and got a computer for one of my mom’s siblings. It was her mom who got us the piano during one of her visits from China… My mom remembers that her mom was generous. She talked about how we should not be like the old people who are afraid to spend money.

I agree with my mom. I can remember my dad gave a silk coat to his mom and she never wore it because it, felt it was too expensive. She wears it now for all eternity.

I can remember where I got most of my clothes. Most of them were gifts for many years. Then, I wanted to select my own clothes, but I don’t like shopping so when I do buy something, it is usually something I really like and I can usually remember where I got it and why. Like the sweatshirt I have on now, it purchased while on a road trip because I was cold in a beach side shop in Monterey.

My plaid shirt is quite worn now. It has been loved and it brings many memories with it. I wore it yesterday and now it is in the laundry basket, ready to be washed for the billionth time.

Today is the last day of summer. It will be a harvest moon. Soon, we will all don our fall clothes. Do you have memories associated with your clothes?

Throwback

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My phone met a tragic and brutal death on Friday evening.

My weekend revolved around trying to get a new phone. My phone met a tragic and brutal death on Friday evening. I have ordered a new one now but it won’t arrive for 3-4 weeks! That was the fastest time I could get on the model I wanted.

I have been spending a lot more time on my computer as if for FOMO, but maybe I am looking at this the wrong way… Maybe this could be a very productive and freeing month for me! I was able to reach out to all of those closest to me and have access to phone numbers through my icloud account if I log in on my work computer. I have a landline in my office at work… This could be a throwback to before cell phones times for the month for me… I could end up accomplishing a lot…. Relearn how to read maps before leaving for a destination again. Pay for everything using a real instead of a digital wallet… People won’t have instant access to me. It could be fantastic…. A month vacation away from a personal smart phone!

On the Importance of R&R

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It’s Friday! The weekend will soon be upon me again!

My favorite thing about having days off of work is the anticipation of having unfilled unplanned days. I never know where I will end up or what I will be doing.

Passion flower

Last Thursday, I worked many hours on I cannot remember what now. I rested on Friday.

I think I was outside briefly and a neighbor showed off her passion flowers to me. Not sure if that happened on Friday or Saturday. We also talked about aches and massages. I was flattered that she talked to me for so long despite my terrible Chinese, as she speaks only Chinese. I guess she couldn’t tell me to speak English since she doesn’t understand it…

Saturday, was a quick event on Zoom for work, nap, an aerial yoga lesson with my teacher in another state on Zoom, a second nap and then an evening reading fascinating and rather cinematographic/ epic stories from family history, painstakingly Google translated from Chinese to English paragraph by paragraph. If any of you know of any apps or add-ons / methods for translating an entire article at once, please share.

Sunday, I spontaneously called a friend and we met up for donuts and coffee. Then, I went to the farmers market for my weekly supply of fruit. At home, I meal prepped the lunches to take to work for the week. Finally, I went out for some tennis with strangers at a park. Afterwards, I stayed up late reading, on my keyboard trying to remember how to play a song, and enjoying plenty of yogasana.

That was my last weekend. It was an incredibly expansive range of energy and experience.

Now the weekend is upon me again. What I noticed about the anticipation of uncertainty is not only excitement but also anxiety with not knowing what will come next. It’s anxious from uncertainty but I also know that the space between routine/ the habitual and the unplanned is momentum for creativity. After all, don’t our most creative ideas come to us in a relaxing shower, while on a walk or on vacation?

With appropriate rest, we optimize theta brain waves for creativity. However , our world is designed so that most are always on and working, seldom relaxing.

I read about a company that gave unlimited vacation time and yet no one would take a vacation for fear of the perception of laziness!

I leave you with this excerpt from a book I am reading:

Excerpt from book Limitless, Jim Kwik

With rest, comes restoration and the possibility of new adventures. It’s the calm before the storm. In mythology, Kronos/ Chaos / conflict inhabited the space between destruction and creativity.

Wherever you are, Dear Readers, I wish for you whatever type of energy your body and soul needs the most right now! May you be healthy!!!

Health is my current measurement of success. There is a Cantonese phrase I used to say to my grandmother on the phone back when I was a young girl and she was alive. I was coached by my parents to say it, of course. It translates to “Good health, good body! “ Because mind and body are linked after all….