Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gratitude List #7: Beauty, Nature, and Spirit

Deep Cove, North Vancouver BC

Today's gratitude list:
* the warmth and healing energy of the sun
* sunny weekends to air and freshen laundry
* a women's gathering to create art (write etc.)
* beauty to inspire and create
* a beautiful home and views (photo to left)
* stunning views of trees and water
* tall pine trees (I have an affinity for trees)
* Satsang (spiritual discourse)
* another beautiful home and views
* more tall pine trees and a garden to look at
* seeing the beauty of a Stellar jay flying
* the play and call of Stellar jays
* walks exploring the neighbourhood

Last weekend was also spent in nature in Hope, BC for a spiritual day retreat - see my gratitude post last Sunday and picture below of this woman's front yard. And (my) Spirit knows I desired and needed to get out more, especially in nature!

Photo of Hope garden

There was a connection from last weekend to this weekend in terms of being in nature and partaking of a spiritual event. However, there was also a spiritual thread, a focus, that weaved during mid-week and again today in topic.

In essence, I was being drawn or "called to" these circumstances. Some may call this coincidence as I used to term it years ago or synchronicity as I now refer to this phenomenon of being in the right place at the right time.

What does your gratitude list look like today, this past weekend and/or week? Did you notice any synchronicities?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: The Tomato Family

Today's picture prompt was submitted by B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, Aparna George who blogs about being a parent and learning to live in the moment:

How appropriate! My immediate thought of this photo was Tomato family. I kid you not! And yes, I am writing this impromptu!
It was time. Yes, time for Tomato family to get their weekly photo taken. I know, I know it sounds silly, but hey wait a minute, let me explain.

You see the upcoming fair is coming to town and there are prizes to be awarded. And this includes tomatoes. But wait a minute, NOT just tomatoes. These here are heirloom tomatoes!

Meanwhile preparing for the shot, Ma Tomato was becoming quite hot and flustered, thus looking rather red and ripe, more so than Pa Tomato beside her and other members of her family: four grownup children and two young stepchildren, babies in fact. They sure were a sight for the eyes as they were such a large family!

However, would they be a sight for the judges in a few weeks time? That was the question!

I am linking this to Wordy Wednesday at Blog-A-Rhythm (

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gratitude List #6: Blessings

Photo of Om symbol (

Today's gratitude list is on the theme of weekend, Nepal and India, gratitude and blessings:

* A short work week due to the long weekend last weekend
* Sunning in warm weather that kisses my face
* Great bands - free entertainment - and dancing, especially outside
* Community events to gather, socialize, and support one another
* Fundraisers to support others (like Nepal due to the recent earthquakes)
* Henna in the form of a lovely flower design and Om symbol on my hands

Om design henna on my right hand and flower design on my left hand and arm
* An invite to "Sacred Chambers," a spiritual process
* Power in prayer
* Gratitude for blessings
* Music (including spiritual as in Sanskrit chants)
* Silence
* Beauty of nature and peace in nature
* Nature sounds: birds, running water (a brook)
* Trees, including tall pine trees
* New friendships
* Nourishment including herbal tea and water
* A safe journey: there were three accidents on the opposite side of the highway as we headed home, including a car on fire
* Leftovers and a delicious, nutritious meal

And similar to last weekend, there was wildlife too in the form of a hummingbird hovering or flying near and/or past me as I heard its wing vibration quite loudly, and an eagle (though I didn't see it when a few of us were driving homebound).

What is on YOUR gratitude list today?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gratitude List #5: Victoria Day Weekend

Photo: One of two bunnies I saw with nephew during walk around Royal Roads University

Today's gratitude list is on the theme of family, long weekends, and wildlife. As usual, in no particular order:

* Long weekends (Victoria Day weekend)
* Opportunity to visit family members
* Vacation days - one as a travel day
* Balmy spring weather
* My nephew picking me up at the ferry
* A warm dinner awaiting us when we arrived
* Telephone chats with a sister and a niece
* A nice long walk in nature
* Seeing two rabbits a short distance apart
* Heading homebound with my nephew
* Smooth sailing on the road as hardly any traffic to the ferry
* Seeing a deer run across the highway enroute to catch the ferry
* A relaxing quiet ferry ride as not as busy with the early ferry
* Time for a little nap as I woke up early to catch the first ferry out
* Airing laundry outside: it dries so fast and smells so fresh!
* Meeting a girlfriend whom I haven't seen in awhile
* A nutritious home-cooked meal

And though I saw some wildlife - bunnies and deer - there was also an opportunity to see peacocks outside the grounds of Royal Roads University not to mention a pod of whales enroute to Victoria and a dolphin leaving Victoria (though I didn't see them unfortunately).

This is my list for just the weekend! What does yours look like?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gratitude List #4: Mothers etc.

Pixabay photo

Today I wish to pay gratitude, including for my Mom - see my post last year on this ( - and mothers in general.

I am grateful for (in no particular order):

* A warm and mostly sunshiney weekend (Mother's Day seems to be usually sunny or partly sunny)
* Visiting a local church with my landlady and listening to a song-filled service from the youth choir - a major delight - whose choir conductor I know from a community choir he used to conduct
* A luncheon at the church after the service and being treated by my landlady (I feel I should be treating her as she is a mother!)
* Volunteering for a community gospel choir at the same church with The Marcus Mosely Chorale with David Steele as a fun special guest
* In between the luncheon and the afternoon concert, being able to visit the nearby library and draft this blog post and check my emails
* Free outdoor music at a local farmer's market with a great band
* Farmer's markets and several on the North Shore
* Food trucks at the farmer's market
* A shoe sale this weekend for comfy, good quality shoes
* A $5 discount towards a purchase at a bookstore
* Second-hand clothes for half-price like $4 jeans that fit and are good quality
* My mother who gave birth to me
* Not being a mother (as weird as that may sound) - kudos to all mothers! - except for a brief stint with an adopted cat years ago. Though I love children, I just do not desire that role/responsibility in life, plus I never heard or felt the biological clock ticking. My life purpose/mission is more a pull for me than being a mother.

Ok, so tell me, what's on your gratitude list today?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wordy Wednesday: Footprints

Today's word prompt is "Footprints" submitted by B-A-R (Blog-A-Rhythm) member, writer, and blogger Shilpa Halwe:

My story today is a word prompt challenge (

I decided unwittingly to write today - still Wednesday - as a pantser in the same spirit of Shilpa's writings, fiction, still a relatively new genre for me. In only about five minutes I wrote the following piece below.
She snuggled in her father's arms and dreamed whilst he read her a story. Her eyelids drooping heavily from a fun-filled day of playing around in the snow, building a snowman, tobogganing, having a snowball fight, and the like. It was after all the first day of snow!

How could she not when her playmate was her beloved father whom she adored and worshipped. He was her idol, one whom she trusted and admired with all her heart. Her mother died while she was quite young and her father chose to raise his little girl by himself.

As time continued, the stirrings in her heart remained and yet it also changed. Though it wasn't spoken of as yet, the desire to do something great and be someone admired and respected like her father dawned upon her.

She decided she wanted to leave a mark, her mark in the world. It was her footprints which she left behind that mattered the most to her in her life.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reflections on A to Z 2015 Blogging Challenge

Last month April's A to Z Challenge was well, challenging to say the least! ;)

A theme certainly helped to focus my writing though I struggled with that initially as I changed it from 'gratitude' to 'heart things, heart strings' as I had wanted a heart theme 'cause truly at the time I couldn't think (of anything else)!

I had intended or rather had hoped to write my posts in advance; however, with a week-long head cold and then a sudden unexpected move (of residence), I was unable to. You can imagine then how I might have felt jumping in with both feet into this year's - my first - A to Z challenge! Yikes, what did I get myself into?!

And yet it took time, more than I thought and expected, the norm for me about four hours per day, rather evening on top of my already busy day with full-time work, travelling, and other commitments such as three long workshop days out of town. And that time spent primarily in response to those who commented on my posts and others whose posts I read who are part of a blogging community I belong to.

I enjoyed writing the guest post early on for B-A-R though now looking back at it, I wonder if it was a bit measly. Am I my own worst critic? ;)

But first before I go there, let me first thank Shailaja Vishwanath 'Godmother' of Blog-A-Rhythm (BAR) and administrators Sid Balachandran, Shilpa Garg, and Tulika Singh: thank you all for bearing with all my questions as a newbie! ;)

I was able to write a post for the Blog-A-Rhythm (BAR) blogging community at

On my own blog post, here are my blog titles from A to Z (and since I seem to still have difficulty linking, my apologies but you may have to keep scrolling down till you hit the letter or on my sidebar...sorry!

B is for Beauty
C is for Courage
D is for Dancing
E is for Emotions!
F is for Feelings
G is for …Growth!
H is for Home
I is for Inspiration!
J is for (Jumping for) JOY!
K is for Kindness
L is for Laughter
M is for Music
N is for Normality? NO! Non-conformity!
O is for … Openness
P is for Poetry!
Q is for Questioning
R is for R&R
S is for Singing (Your Heart Out!)
T is for Trust!
U is for Unique U!
V is for Values!
W is for …Wisdom
X is for Xpress!
Y is for Yes! Yearning for You!
Z is for Zest!

The two most popular posts (on my blog page sidebar) were the letters E and J which shocked and surprised me. Other than E and J, the most viewings of my blog posts were on the letters A, D, I, I, K, N, P, and S.

The posts I had hoped would be favoured (in terms of comments) and the ones I enjoyed most were the letters D, N, P, Q, R, U, and V. I had hoped that B, W, and X would be read just as well though!

During the A to Z challenge
, I made some great connections and some newfound friends, as well as some new followers: a win-win situation - lucky me! A special thanks to my regular visitors - you know who you are (some mentioned below) as well as some newbies like Ranveer...sorry I couldn't find your posts except for one or two!

I thoroughly enjoyed the following posts in no particular order: learning some new words from my new hippie blogging friend Debbie D Doglady, a number of the most unusual phobias by Sanch Vee - thanks for educating me (and I'm not saying that 'cause I love to rhyme!, some of the most amazing yoga asanas with benefits and photos by flexible and elegant Rajlakshmi H Bourah, a much-needed advocate on women's issues by Parul Kashyap Thakur - thank you on behalf of me and all women, Vinodini Iyer with her interesting story-themed idioms, Lata Sunil with her true-to-life technie and non-technie couple known as Dia and Sameer respectively, Shilpa Garg with her amusing emotion-themed poems, Swathi Shenoy with her breathtaking in a thrilling suspenseful dramatic, pageturning novella kind-of-way - publish that will you?, Shalini sharing Shakespearean idioms about her exciting pre-wedding tale, Shantala Nayak who imparted wisdom in her short blog posts catered for her kids (I believe) as well as me (and others too I hope!), Nibha Gupta with her delightful book-themed posts of which I read a few, Vinitha Dileep sharing her brilliance through her exquisitely crafted poetry using the themed alphabet letter of the day, Cat Graham with her amusing poetry along with Laurel Regan - both always a joy and fun to read, Eli Ertresvaag with her joyous posts, Shailaja Vishwanath with her twisted stories - you are not only a Godmother but a Queen of angled writing!, Usha Menon with her doting motherly and teacherly writings was determined to have her blog post posted even when faced with a sudden major health crisis: such inspiration!

I am sure there are other bloggers I have missed and my apologies. Most of you are from BAR (Blog-A-Rhythm) as I felt I wanted to be faithful to our group of bloggers whom I love and admire, along with a couple or few newbies along the way.

Would I do the A to Z challenge again? Yes I would consider, though hopefully with advance draft postings rather than daily pantser posts this time! No kidding! Silly me! ;)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

I am taking a much-needed break for a few days - back soon - as I have had an intense month last month with my recent move and the A to Z challenge.

Also, the weather is getting milder and time for me to get out more, etc., etc. Back to life, back to reality... ;)