Sunday, April 17, 2016

Posts I'm Lovin'

I haven't done a "What I've Loved Around the Web" post before.  But...I very much enjoy many of the blogs I read and wanted to share some that moved my heart this week.

Disclaimer: Some of the posts I am sharing were posted earlier than this week.  I just happened to read them all this week.

❋ Brittany @ Where my Soul Belongs wrote a "Diary of a First Time Homeowner" post about dishwasher woes. I've followed Brittany's blog for a while...she lives in the Puget Sound / Seattle area.  Since I moved back home after years in the Puget Sound...I love to read other Seattleite's stories. This post captures the joys and challenges of making a home and it solves a mystery in the process.

❋ Joy @ 3 Chairs wrote about "Apologizing Too Much". Joy does a great job of exposing the tendency to apologize and explain rather than being unapologetic in defining your own needs.  (I'm paraphrasing...I hope I'm not taking too much of a liberty here.) I definitely apologize too often and too profusely. When I think about it, I realize that this communication habit or style shows incredible weakness. Especially at work. It takes all of the power away and validity away from whatever comes after the words "I'm sorry...but..."

❋ Angela @ Far & Wise perfectly articulates why our Polarized Political Discourse feels broken. I agree with her when she says, "I think it's safe to say that our political discourse is in a state of disaster, too many people shouting and not nearly enough listening..."  Angela's post gets to the heart of what I've been feeling about this election. So much of it is angry, negative and mean-spirited. The best part of this post is that it has given me hope. She says, "There is always a ray of hope to be found," and "remember that individuals do make a difference".

❋ Yelle @ Hygge Home wrote about "What Makes a Home". Yelle says, "I'm really good at falling in love with whatever is currently home." It is easy to see why I love reading her blog! I love reading and thinking about the idea of home. Not so long ago I shared a similar feeling in "Making My Apartment Home".
There is not a day that goes by that I don't look around my apartment and say "I love this place." We've been in our place for a little over a year and have zero desire to consider leaving.
Yelle's posts include lovely photos of her home that actually capture what home feels like. Yelle's words invoke the warm, cozy, content feeling that comes from Hygge Moments acknowledged and appreciated.

❋ Mark / AKA Mr. BoHo Berry @ Bo Ho Berry wrote "There's No Time Like Right Now... Don't Miss It". This post includes nuggets about staying present and creating memories. I love his approach to being present when he says, "take the time when time is given". His post addresses work / life balance. He also discusses the mind / body connection and achieving clarity and mindfulness. Lastly, (though not in the same order as the post), Mark talks about taking time to take photographs. He says he is glad to have photos that bring back an entire memory that would otherwise be only a fuzzy memory.

I hope you are having a great weekend and I hope you find lots of sources of inspiration.

Until next time!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Signs of Spring and Ow, My Knee

I have not been here for awhile so I'm back to tell you what's new around here. The geese are back at the office. This is the third spring they have nested there. It may be that they've been nesting there even's the third spring I've been at this office. You remember the first spring when the nest was in the parking lot? Both this spring and last they nested in the greenspace in front of the building. The female sits on the nest for most of the day. The nest is actually flush with the building and an office window. I absolutely love watching these two sweet geese return to nest at the office each spring. 

I have not been to yoga this entire week. I feel a little lost without my practice. Two weeks ago when I moved to table top position I felt a sharp pain in my left knee.  It was surprising how sharp the pain was but it ended immediately. I thought it was sort of a fluke. But, here it is two weeks later and the knee is still acting up. It feels like gravel is inside of the knee.  It feels like the gravel is pressing against the skin from the inside. This is the same knee that I've had trouble with. I actually have arthritis in both knees. But it is significant in the left knee. I had physical therapy for this knee in 2013. Physical therapy helped immensely and I learned exercises to keep the muscles around the kneee stable. I've been keeping up the muscle maintenance with yoga. 

I did some web diagnosis...because I really don't want to go to the doctor. Ain't nobody got time for that! I'm actually hoping that this knee thing will just go away with rest. It is so close to being better. My thinking was a week without yoga could allow my knee the time to get better.

It has been an interesting week with a break in my routine and my discipline.
I want it back. 

Cheers for the weekend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Reading Yassmin's Story

I've just finished re-reading Yassmin's Story: Who Do You Think I Am? You read that right...I re-read it. This is one of the fastest reads I've had in a long time. In this memoir, 24-year-old Yassmin tells of her experiences as an immigrant to Australia from Sudan. Her experiences are magnified by the fact that she is a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the hijab.

I was drawn to the book by the power of Yassmin's personality and her diverse "identities". As Yassmin says, she has "the privilege and blessing of taking on multiple identities." At the mere age of 24, Yassmin has an impressive and diverse resume. She is a mechanical engineer / supervisor on an oil rig.

In the prologue, Yassmin describes her refuge, the helideck. She says "I'm sitting on the helideck in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away from any land. It's the dead of night, the only time I find peace and the chance to be alone on an oil rig..."

OKAY, hold on.  I want to take a moment to really think about where Yassmin finds refuge. She finds it on the helicopter deck of her oil rig.  To fully appreciate this, you may need a visual. This is a photo of an oil rig out in the middle of the ocean.


Yassmin is able to share her experiences in a candid, easy style. She shares on a granular level how her parents' lives were changed by the overthrow of the democratic government. She shares what led them to leave their family, home and country.  

She identifies with several minority groups, but not always at the same time. She is a woman. She is African-Austrailian. She is Muslim. She is a woman engineer. She is a woman supervisor on an oil rig, which is still a predominately male field of work.

Yassmin shares observations of different forms of bias and oppression that affect Muslim women in western society. She shares this without bitterness. She gives what can be considered an alternate point of view of Islam and women's choices and freedoms. Acknowledging that there are women around the world who are oppressed and that some of these women happen to also be Muslim, Yassmin explains, "But their Islam is not the cause of their oppression; the cause is usually the regime they are in, their economic circumstances or the patriarchal environment and culture." 

Yassmin's story is uplifting. It's an "I can if I think I can" story. She is able to share her perspective of societal norms that may need to be challenged. At the same time, she shares so much gratitude for her life. She is grateful to both parents for their sacrifices that included leaving their country to ensure a better life for her and her brother. She is grateful for a stable childhood and she is grateful for her privilege of having a good education. She is grateful for the "...privilege of having a stable job, the privilege of wealth that allows me to access technology, food and media freely..."

It was a pleasure to read this young woman's positive outlook and positive accomplishments. It's eye opening to see and understand more clearly how systems appear to someone with a different point of view. It is refreshing to be reminded of the gifts of privilege that often goes unacknowledged. 

If you read this memoir, I hope you share your thoughts with me. 



I received an early copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

D's New Place

Apartment Entry
We spent Easter weekend with Danielle at her new place. I took several pics with my Smart-phone that I'm sharing here. I'm starting to think it may be time to upgrade to my camera phone.

So, to set the scene...a two-hour drive to her place was an all-day affair for us. I took the day off work, so it was a vacay day for me, which meant I wanted to sleep in, which I did. I woke up and realized we were getting a later start than I planned. 

Neither of us packed the night before (a little stressor). Plus we had to board Alister (the cat). I was nervous because this was the first time we boarded him since we got him in December. Of course, we had to eat breakfast before we could really do anything to get our trip started and we had lunch on the way. We drove down on Good Friday. It turns out that a lot of people are on the highways on Good Friday, which somehow caused a few bottlenecks and slowdowns. Long story short, we got there at around 5:00. Luckily, D. was cool with our late arrival.

Apartment Living Room
Apartment Living Room

Apartment Living Room

Danielle had the day off too, and she was having a chill day at home. --There is nothing like a chill day.

Once we got unloaded we took a tour of the new place. It is so nice! It's two bedrooms, which means we stayed with her. The bed was super comfy. She has the place decorated so nicely. And all of the furniture was snuggle in comfortable. At one point during the weekend, I took a nap on the couch. It was a cozy weekend.

D. has only been in her place a few weeks. It's incredible how put together her place is.
Apartment Decor
Looking into Living Room from Kitchen
Apartment custom kitchen tile backsplash