Someone whose voice and music I admired died on February 4th too, singer Karen Carpenter. 👩🏻🎤🎵 She had such an amazing, angelic, yet haunting voice. This song is one of my favorites that she and her brother, Richard, recorded and in which Richard wrote—along with songwriter John Bettis. 🙂
Your strength, courage and perseverance is what pushed you to emigrate to this country.
Raising six children alone was not easy. 👧🏽👦🏽👧🏽👦🏽👧🏽👦🏽
The sacrifices you made and the risks you took to give them and your grandchildren a better life did not go unseen.
I will be forever indebted to you for what you did for all of us: to provide a better, enriching life. 🙏🏽❤️
I take pride in having known you for just a short time.
But it was in that short time that I discovered your strength, determination, hard work and never giving up are all traits you have passed down to me.
I will continue to push towards achieving my goals and dreams, and will always look above to say “thank you” for being a part of my life and for guiding me in to who I am today. 🙂
I have never watched the Super Bowl and nor will I start to. Here’s to those, like myself, who could care less about this sport. 🙄🚫🏈
Photo credit: A Slice of Life.
Happy New Year! May you have an amazing year…one filled with joy, good health, love and prosperity! 📅🎉
Well, a new decade is upon us and I have neglected updating my blog/website. The fact is, I just haven’t had much time to do so…until now.
I initially hesitated writing this post because I thought I’d be perceived as complaining. Recently, three people I know advised me that I should share more of my experiences here because I could perhaps help someone; maybe they’re also going through something similar. You see, in July 2015, my life was ‘turned upside down’ when my parents and brother each dealt with their own health crisis. At the time, I was two semesters away from completing my university studies. Thankfully, in May 2016, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies as scheduled and believed I would find my ‘dream’ career, and that my parents and brother would be healthy again. Sadly, none of that happened. 😟
Applying for multiple jobs quickly became a ‘full-time’ job. Then came the numerous rejection emails I received for these jobs, which then became very taxing. I didn’t know what my next step would be. Since I wasn’t getting hired, the dutiful daughter and sister in me stepped in and became their caregiver. Honestly, I had NO idea what to expect in my new role. There were some days I’d find myself taking my brother to an appointment in the morning and then taking my father to his appointment in the afternoon. Add in running errands for them and then alternating between my father and brother in taking them grocery shopping because 1) it gives them personal autonomy and 2) it also gives them an opportunity to get out of the house for a bit. However, the going back and forth has made me feel like a ping pong ball and has worn me out. 😣
I’m extremely close to my parents and older brother, and I’ll do just about anything for them. But there have been several occasions where I just can’t keep up with everything because I’m tired–tired to the point that my own ‘to do’ lists never get done. 😔 Sometimes I don’t think they realize that I need MY own time and space to recharge, and to take care of myself. For four years now, I’ve placed my life on hold so I can be available to them. However, trying to juggle my own needs and problems (yes, we all have them), well, it’s taken a toll on me…emotionally, mentally and physically. I try to find time for myself, such as going for a walk or treating myself to something I enjoy doing, but it can be difficult sometimes. This reminds me of the quote by Eleanor Brownn, “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” It’s also difficult asking my older sister for help because she work full-time. If I let her know ahead of time, she can usually take my father or brother to their appointments. I’ll continue to ask my sister for assistance in the hopes that I can take more breaks. Another solution is having someone else come in and help my parents and brother a few times a week for a few hours. This will give me some respite so I can pursue other things.
I’m constantly thinking about the goals I haven’t accomplished. In 2020, I plan to develop more content and work on some writing projects, which I’ve had to put off. I pray this new decade will provide me with new opportunities (yes, a career is still at the top of my list) so that I don’t have to worry (much) about my future. ✍🏽
I’m grateful that my parents and brother are doing fine right now (thank goodness). 🙏🏽 They know I’ll always be there for them. But from this day forward, I need to put myself first and work on the life I was intended for.
These two quotes will be my constant reminder to live MY life and to take care of myself.
A classic song to welcome 2020. 🎩🙂
Here’s one of The Cars’s classic songs…and one of my favorites. Rest In Peace, Ric Ocasek. 🎤🎸🎵
Last Saturday, I was fortunate to take a two-day course, titled Edible Ayurveda, with my brother at the Dhyana Center, which is located in downtown Sebastopol. My brother’s friend, DeAnna Batdorff, is the owner of the center. My brother and DeAnna have been good friends for about 20 years, which is around the same time he began studying Ayurveda. Seeing my brother with DeAnna warms my heart because he loves studying with her! 🙏📚
Our weekend actually started Friday, which was when my brother and I stopped by the dhyana Center to say hello to DeAnna. It also gave me the opportunity to meet Mary Sheila Gonnella, a certified nutrition consultant and Ayurvedic practitioner, who was also going to teach the course with DeAnna. Mary Sheila runs Occidental Nutrition.
I had individual consultations with both DeAnna and Mary Sheila, and both made the same helpful suggestion: to spend more time on myself–including plenty of self-care. You see, four years ago, I stepped in and became a caregiver to three family members: my parents and older brother. They are all okay right now, but taking them to doctors appointments, running errands for them, going grocery shopping, etc., can get very taxing on me. 😣 I’m attempting to work through my challenges and what better way than with the help of DeAnna and Mary Sheila. I’d also like to give some credit to my brother, who ‘started the ball rolling’ a while ago when he suggested I seek some holistic assistance at the dhyana Center. 🙏🏽❤️🙂
The first day of class had a lot of great information. During the six-hour course, we learned about Balanced Nutrition, Elemental Theory–including Ether (Cold), Air (Dry), Fire/Water (Hot) and Water/Earth (Wet)–Mindful Eating, Micronutrients and Macronutrients, amongst other, interesting topics. The main idea of the course is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to maintain your doshas (body constitution).
On Sunday (the second day of class), the class met at the Ceres Community Project, a local business with a kitchen accommodating about 15 or more people. The Ceres Project is located in Sebastopol, but also has offices in Santa Rosa and San Rafael. They provide healthy meals for those who are challenged with cancer—including meals for the person’s family too. The meals from Ceres are organic, fresh, sustainable and locally grown–whenever possible. DeAnna and Mary Sheila utilized Ceres’s kitchen to show us hands-on how to make some of the recipes (located in our guidebook) and how this food is beneficial to your health. 🍎
In between the time DeAnna and Mary Sheila were cooking, we all assisted in either grating and cutting up vegetables, adding spices to a specific dish, preparing the main dish or washing and drying dishes. It was heartwarming to see everyone come together for a common goal. And I know each student was looking forward to tasting the different items DeAnna and Sheila were putting together.
Hands down, the chicken with Chile Verde sauce was so delicious and very simple to make! I’m not a fan of super spicy food, so it surprised me that I couldn’t tell that the sauce had a few Serrano chilis in it. 🌶️🍗🤔
Kale was used to make the stuffing that was placed inside and around the chicken. This was an awesome addition to the chicken, which I intend to repeat when I make this recipe at home.
For those who have very little experience in the kitchen, this course is user-friendly—and a must!
My purpose for taking the course was to learn about Ayurveda and the benefits it provides. I know that by incorporating some Ayurvedic practices into my life, it will help my overall health. ❤️
For more information on the Edible Aryuveda course or on the center, visit the website at The dhyana Center or call (707) 823-8818.