Bloom where you are planted

At the Manor, there are 48 suites with two or one-bedrooms and bachelor suits. Most of the people who live here are immigrants from the Chez Republic, Bosnia, India, Ireland, Iran, Korea, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Yugoslavia and other countries that I can’t think of.

I am one of them.

Bee Home

The Birdhouse took over by bees.

Now, we are citizens of Canada. We made The Manor our home.

“O Canada, our home and native land” is the first line of our National Anthem.

Rock Garden

Front entrance rock garden.

The residents here are lovely, approachable and pleasant. We enjoy chatting from the balcony, window or entranceway as I potter around the garden. I must admit the garden is an icebreaker for many, even from passersby.

Flowers from the Garden

Bloom where you are planted.

One of the tenants took up photography and had a field day taking macro shots of all the flowers in the garden. The end product was framed and gifted to our lovely manager of the building.

When I cut flowers from my hard-earned gardening, these go to the manager as well.

Our Doors

Our Doors.

From single to couple to third-generation residency, I’ve witnessed them. Most of these people love to have their family around living in the same roof. It’s good to see a couple having a child or two and be able to bring a surviving parent to add the responsibility of taking care of their children.

Of course, I get to play with the children when they were younger in the garden.

Lucy and Grace

The Blue Room

Kindness plays a big important role in living in this community. If you are unkind, who else will help you but your neighbour?

I must admit I find myself special because the manager allowed me to paint my suite when I had one of my episodes on mental breakdown. The activity kept my focus away from living in my head.

The end result was brilliant.

Pistachio green paint in the living room, kitchen and hallway. A hint of a rose colour for the bathroom.  Skyblue for my bedroom to calm me down.

Oh, these little things, I am grateful.

No matter where I go, I’m always going home

Hang on. There are no disappointments or calamities that tomorrow will not cure.

Hang on. There are no disappointments or calamities that tomorrow will not cure.

It’s a dreamy day, a slight dusting of the snow;
The cats are snuggly ensconced on the couch.
On a day like this, I love listening to Rod McKuen.
A writer, a poet, a singer.

I collected so much of his poetry books.
Read and reread it
Pages earmarked on some
Scribbles on the pages of the book
Names of people who I can relate to the poetry
Most of these people are long gone from my life.

Rod kept them alive through his poetry.
It’s kind of silly to keep the memories of the past
And the weight of this is a burden for most times.
I wish I could carry it with a smile just like Buddha
Life doesn’t work out that way, one must let go.
Letting go of the memories starts by letting go of the books.
I gave away all of Rod’s poetry books.

Now I am going home.

“Home is something that you carry in your head
It lives within your heart forever.

And so I know no matter where I go in life
I’m always going home.

Today is now Yesterday

The vines are starting
To look very wiry
Choking the other plants. 
The blossoms are going to seeds
Bees are sucking the very
Last drop of nectar.
Assessing the garden
Spring and summer plants
Are looking tired.
The shrubs are overgrown
Leaves are falling
Sign of fall coming.
What choice do I have
On this matter
But to do garden work
I rolled over under the bush
To trim the under brush
It wasn’t a good idea.
I forgot to harvest the strawberries
Therefore, I cannot bring
The sweet wine I promised.
I know I have other things to do
With mind focused on gardening
Nothing else mattered
Working hard made me hungry
I feasted on Chinese food
No time to cook supper.
I am sure the this body
Will be feeling today
The aches and pain.
Who cares.
I had the joy
That is mine 
Yesterday of “Today”
 
Related link:  “Today”

Parents – To honour and obey

My dear friends, 
Upon reading posts from others, we seem to be in the generation that has aging parents. 
Some with illnesses, some who are dying and some who have rested in peace. I too can receive a phone call at any given time with my mother. I just wanted to reach out and say, our parents’ generation that brought us into this world and taught us all that we know is the last of their kind. 
A generation that has seen and done more for us and America than we can ever imagine. 
I can’t imagine their fear of their children not reaping what they had sown into America as they knew it could give us. Freedom. 
My only thoughts are of our own children today. I struggle to think now too, that they will never have the story book childhood as we had. The simple life. The chores, eating at the dinner table, playing jump rope, earning and learning what we put into, a college degree that puts them in a prospective work place, buying their first home, getting married and doing the cycle all over again with their children.
 
What I do know is what I can do in my world. And that is to honor my parents by teaching my children the same values, dreams, aspirations and determination to will them into a world that may or may not heed to the same values. For we don’t know or never have been in a situation where the kind of survival deals with the survival from our own government and or country. The freedom that are being suppressed or will be taken. Laws that should still apply but are outdated simply because we can’t see eye to eye. But that’s what’s ironic. 
If we were raised on the same moral principles of our great parents’ generation, then where did we go wrong? Is it really because we lack the spiritual need of having God in our hearts? In all that we do and utter from our mouths? 
Some people are sick of hearing about religion or lack thereof, as the cause of our situation. But it’s not religion. It’s what’s in our hearts. That is the beat of our country. What we imitate in our hearts to be can only come from one source. LOVE. And who is love, kindness, generous, honest, humble, truth, respectful, teacher and most of all takes you unconditionally? 
Just like our parents on where they got their inspiration from. GOD. Following our parents teaching is following their values from HIM. 
So where did we go wrong? The answer is right in our faces. I will continue with my ways of my parents. 
Will you honor them too? ~ Maria 
This was written by Maria and we are cousins.

Note:  Maria read all your comments and she wishes to thank all of you for your kind comments. 

Older and Wiser

Trying to encourage Lucy (my niece) by her mother (sibling #9) to study French immersion during summer was a battle.  
Lucy has a hard noggin with a motor mouth.  Nothing can persuade her to take a free course.  
It’s free, for crying out loud and it’s only half a day.  It will be good for you to take advantage a free class. You are doing so well at school. What are you going to do all summer?  Said sibling #9. 
Nobody can make me.  This is my life.  It is my summer, and I don’t want to study!!! Said Lucy. 
Well, think about this.  This summer, instead of spending time with you in the afternoon after school, I might as well work all summer long.  You will be at home with Dad and, your birthday is coming up, there will be no birthday party.  Think about it.  This is the ultimatum of sibling #9 to cherished daughter, Lucy. 
When her birthday came, I posted a birthday wish for her on her Facebook along with so many greetings from her friends.  Her response was: 
Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! I feel wiser already! 
Happy Birthday, Lucy (middle)
 Hmmm…. She must have thought about it and realized Mother is always right. Apparently, she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.  Wise choice, Lucy.  That munchkin in the middle is sweet Lucy. 
P.S.  I just sent a Facebook message to sibling #9 asking how old Lucy is.  She responded: 12 years old, sometimes too mature for her age…

WPC Lunchtime: Meatless Friday

I always pack my lunch.  Being Friday and feasting on a meatless Friday due to Lent season, the menu is: 
Sautéed mushroom and  canned salmon topped with shallots and garlic
Rice for a little bit of carbohydrates
Cut fresh pineapple
Ambrosia apple to cleanse my palate 
Walla:  Lunch fit for a Princess. 

 Having a brain freeze all day, I did not eat lunch.  I had a couple of oranges instead and went out for a walk.  Should it have been a sunny day, this is my favorite place to eat lunch; with nature. 

 Escargot anyone?
WPC Lunch Mar 15, 2013

 Needless to say, I had my lunch for supper.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

These cats, Maurice and Lucy, are rescued and I gave them a home. 
Maurice and Lucy waiting for me to join them in bed

Maurice and Lucy waiting for me to join them in bed

The balcony is a dining room for the hummingbirds.
Feeder for the hummers in my  balcony

Feeder for the hummers in my balcony

 I don’t have a heart to clear the garden because the spider just weaved it’s home 
Spider's home in my garden

Spider’s home in my garden

 As for me this song, will say all about what I think of home

What Matters Most

For the sake of this prompt, these five items are all in my purse.  It’s a small card holder that has my identity: Driver’s License, Medical Card, Social Insurance Card and Credit Card.  In addition, I will put on my shoes, an outdoor coat and apartment keys.  These are what matters and all I need. As for the rest, material things can be easily replaced. 
In reality, summer 2005, I was lying flat on my back in the middle of the living room, playing with Maurice, the cat. Lying on my back is all I can do due to a work related accident, I was on health leave. My lower lumbar suffered soft tissue injury from lifting a heavy box.  Tsk-Tsk. 
Clang, clang, clang goes the fire alarm.  Now what?  This is exactly what I need!  Maurice was startled and went into hiding.  Cats are very sensitive creatures, they prefer quietude like me. 
I slowly got out of my back, heard the commotion outside.  I do not have a cage for the cat so I grab my backpack.  Looking for Maurice, I stuffed him in the bag.  Grabbed my bag with my identification cards in it, shoes and apartment keys I slowly left the apartment with Maurice.  
We descended down three flights, not an easy task for my back.  In the meantime, Maurice was screaming his head off in the bag and trying to pacify him that everything will be alright. 
Outside, everybody is gathered and five fire trucks are already in front of the building.  Commotion, chaos and we were looking to check if everybody is out.  Checked, everybody is accounted for. 
The firemen did their thing.  We stood outside in a warm sunny day, chatting, joking, exchanging pleasantries, and catching up with what’s happening with our lives to keep our mind off matters.  
It seemed like forever.  Finally, the firemen proclaimed, ALL SAFE – FALSE ALARM. Hooray, the crowd shouted, we all returned to our apartments and we lived happily ever after to date, especially Maurice, the cat.
What matters most

What matters most

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Death, A Trip of a Lifetime

75 years old is my cut-off.  Take it or leave it.  I just don’t want God to forget all about me and let me live till the turn of the next century. 
I have discussed this with my sisters what I want to wear in the casket.  It will be my red dress that Mother made for me when I was in my twenties and still fits me.  The dress has been used by my sisters and nieces, and I keep on telling them to take good care of it because I need it for my burial gown.  
On the checklist is the reading at the mass, what songs to play (happy songs, please), no black dress in the funeral, cremation and of course, the Last Will and Testament. 
There, I am ready, any time, take me home. 
As for the Requiem, vengeance is mine.  I want to surprise them with an envelope to be read in the church should the priest allow it.  And at the end, one slide show, a pre-recorded  of my  last statement and a projection of my beautiful smile. 
The reading would be about Beatitudes, the teaching of Jesus Christ that in my opinion replaces the Ten Commandments of Moses.  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. 
And in my pre-recorded voice: Lunch on me, let’s party and dance. And a smile.  Let’s move to the church hall. 
 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 
Read this:
Enjoy every moment you can

next is the brain

Charity begins at home
My heart is the best organ of my body, next is the brain
The best garden booster, Black Earth Soil
There are seven energy centres in our body which is called “Chakras”.  When I meditate, what is best for me is to connect the point in my head (brain) with my heart (home). 

Chakra-Pillow-signage-1[1]

The heart is for compassion, the brain is for intuition.
And here’s a song  I’m always going home.


This is in response to Daily Prompt: Free Association. It’s fun, come and join us.

DP: Helpless – Lost Generation

 “Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?”
It’s now day three that I am under the weather.
I am so sick and tired of being sick with coughing, sneezing and dull achy feeling.  Living alone does not help.  I feel so alone in this world.  I want my mommy.
The weather is uncooperative.  It has been raining for a week now, cold miserable winter day.  I am so bored all cooped up at home.  It’s so depressing looking at the weather.  I want the Sun.
Be patient.  This too shall pass.  It’s hard to be patient being sick with colds.  I know I’m not the only one suffering with this blooming cold.  I caught this from commuting, from work, from who knows.  No point of blaming.  I just have to have a lot of patience.  Where can I buy patience?
What am I going to do about?  I will cook more chicken noodle soup, cuddle up with my cats and a dose of hope from the Lost Generation.
 

Daily Post: Stroke of Midnight – First Night

“Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?” 
First Night is what we call it here in Vancouver.  In my life, it’s a family event.  We all gather around anxiously preparing for that countdown.  Children are excited and they are the first one to blow the whistle.  Hush, it’s not midnight yet, but they can’t wait to be the noise maker.  
The dining table is filled with food.  More food, same as Christmas.  Ugh.  I can’t bear to see the same food.  My body is already screaming for simple food that I am so used to.  Baked, boiled or broiled.  The arteries are now starting to clog up.  Cardiac delight is what I call this traditional Filipino food.  We died eating happily. 
Is it New Year’s yet, kids are screaming.  In a minute, we’re almost there.  How many times have we said this “in a minute” to the kids?  They have no concept of time.  We have said this all night long. 
COUNTDOWN:  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Happy New Year!  Hugs and Kisses.  Open the windows and let the Spirit of New Year in.  Pots and Pans are all out of the cupboard.  Banging on them is our noise makers.  We were shouting out on the top of our lungs for the neighbourhood to hear.  Play the music; will somebody please play the music? 
  
All of these happened in my younger days.  At the stroke of midnight, I was at home happily ensconced in the couch watching the celebration on TV with my cats Lucy and Maurice.  My own little family, not with the crazy clan that I love dearly. 
Of course, I played the Feliz Navidad, cha cha cha; all by myself, sending out prayers and blessings to the world, just like any other night.   Then, lights out, nanight. 
Thank you Lord for another day.

WPC: 2012 Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

Pick the best pictures from your 2012 and have those pictures tell everyone about your year 
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind.  
These are what matters to me in 2012.  From life to death.  New Year should always start with new beginnings, a new life.  But year 2012 stared with someone dear to me being called back Home.  Not just dear friends but dear companions, the Cats in my life.  Angels I call them now.  From sorrow to joy, with the birth of my nephew’s son, this is a delightful surprise.   Baby James is a new life and a beautiful beginning for the year 2013 not just for me but for everyone in my family.  
Shalom Aleichem.  To Life!