Stormy Clouds, Sunshiny Moment, and Pea Size Hail

It has been almost a week since our state mandated “Stay-at-Home” quarantine. However, ever since I  left my rat race career; I have become more of a social recluse by choice. So fortunately, the quarantine hasn’t really affected my life much… other than having to endure stupid actions by some hateful people when I do venture out to buy groceries. And speaking of groceries… I wish people would stop hoarding food and other basic toiletries. I mean really… hoarding two years worth of toilet paper? All this unnecessary hoarding has created more problems and anxiety in this turbulent time. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now…

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Today was one of those unpredictable weather phenomenon. Finally, after almost two weeks of rainy days; the sun broke out through the stormy clouds. The sunshiny moment casts a beautiful warmth and glow on the daffodils in the garden. Seeing the bright yellow flowers dancing in the breeze lifted my spirit and made me feel grateful for the beautiful opportunities around me.

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I was able to shoot for about fifteen minutes before the sun retreated back behind the stormy clouds. Then the rain came back and it quickly turned into a pea size hail storm accompanied by the symphony of thunder and lightning.

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According the the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the last frost date for my zone is around April 6th. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the for last frost so I can start planting my vegetable garden. It looks like I need to wait a little longer. Mother nature… you just never know what she’ll do.

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Waiting for the Last Frost…

I woke up this morning to another beautiful sunny day. That’s three days straight and according to the weather report, it’s going to be sunny until Friday — then the rain returns. Oh well… the joy of living in the Pacific Northwest. I’m fine with the rain but right now I’m anxiously waiting for the last frost to be over so I can start my new farming venture.

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After months of cold, rainy, gray sky weather — the mild temperature tricked the plants into believing spring is here.  Unfortunately with sunny days, the temperature can still dip below freezing at night. Hopefully, the frosty nights will not damaged the tender new growths too much.

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Another Day, Another Chapter

I woke up early this morning to a beautiful sunrise… most of the leaves have fallen off the trees so I was able to see the mountain through the forest. What a mesmerizing sight! I get to see this tranquil view everyday from my front porch instead of the rush hour traffic that used to greet me. I can’t believe it has been over a year since I moved from living in a small rental house on a gravel lot next to the noisy freeway to this beautiful six acre property out in the country. Instead of traffic noise and exhaust fume, I get to listen to singing birds, and smell fresh mountain air.

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Besides my change of address, I also made another big change to my career. After 2 1/2 years of 5 to 6 hours of stressful daily commute to my even more stressful management job in Seattle — I decided to quit the rat race. Every day, I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. and leave home at 5:30 a.m. so I could catch the train or express bus to the city and then I had to either catch the slow street car or walk up the steep 1 mile hill to my office. Then, I spend the next 8 hours working with challenging staff and clients. Because of the chaotic traffic in Seattle, I don’t usually get home until 6 or 7 p.m.. I find myself physically sick and rundown constantly. I had no life other than sleep and work. What little time I had, I was too tired and depressed to do anything. Which explains why my last blog post was almost 2 years ago.

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I don’t know what happened to the city of Seattle… it is no longer the beautiful city I used to know. The city now seems very dilapidated and is full of unfriendly, unhappy people. Inevitably, I became one of those people. While I was afraid to give up the security of a  good income, when I noticed my physical and mental health was being severely impacted; it was time for me to move on. I decided to take the obvious opportunity with the property. I started a mini-farm endeavor — in addition to using my other creative talents to generate an income. I am so grateful that I finally have the means to pursue my passion of living off the land and enjoy this beautiful nature around me.

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It Was The Best of Times… It Was The Worst of Times… It’s Life.

As 2017 comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect back to the last few years of my life and how far I have come from the worst of times to the best of times. Those of you who have been following my blog for some time, have witnessed my struggles and celebrations. Thank you for your support and kindness.

The Best of Times…

Four years ago, just when I thought life would give me a break, I fractured my left ankle during the first day of my 7 day Hawaiian vacation. It wasn’t exactly the break I was looking for. At the time, all I could see were regrets and pain. If only, I wasn’t so eager to chase after that turtle! If only I wasn’t so clumsy… if only I didn’t take that step… If only… Oh the regrets that occupied my mind…

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That step took me down a hole so deep that I thought I would never be able to climb out. But somehow, I did. As terrible as that step was for me, I realized; I would not be where I am today had I not taken that slippery step. The broken and painful step took me on the path of living a purposeful life — where I can use my life experience to help other people who are still stuck in their own deep holes to see a way out. The job affords me the opportunity to live the independent life I had lost so many year ago.

For my 52nd birthday last month, I went back to Hawaii to celebrate my independence.

IMG_3426_resizedI finally fulfilled my dream to swim with the turtle after three years of waiting.

DSC_8226I rediscovered love with me, myself and I.  And found myself at the end of the rainbow.

IMG_1508Life Lessons learned: Things happen for a reason, good or bad. No regrets. Learn from it and move on. Have faith. The right opportunity will show up when you are ready to receive it. You never know where that next step will take you.

The Worst of Times…

After I got back from Hawaii, a very difficult decision was waiting for me to make. My beloved Max was having hard time walking. I took him to the vet and was given the bad news that cancerous tumors have invaded his entire body. I could prolong his life for a few months with surgery and chemo. Given the fact, Max was 12 years old; I decided to help him live the rest of his life as comfortably as possible. And hoping, maybe… by some miracle that he would get better on his own. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks; I knew I was only being selfish keeping him. I did the inevitable and took him to the vet for his final check-up.

Now that he’s gone, I realized I took him for granted. Maximus Minumus, a true friend and companion who never complained, never hurt me or anyone, was always ready to play and most of all give unconditional love.

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DSC_8238This photo was taken two hours before I took him to the vet. Even to the end, he was ready to play; even if all he could do was to sit there and enjoy the the moment.

Life lessons I learned from Max:  Live life in the moment. Accept the good and the bad. Enjoy what you have. Give love and kindness even if the person doesn’t deserve it. Smile even when you hurt. Don’t complain. It’s Life.

May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful… Happy New Year.

 

Wishing…

Wishing you a million…

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May you have a million moments of joy,
A million moments of love,
A million moments of pure happiness,
A million moments of good health and wealth.
In short…
May All Beings Be Happy and Peaceful!!

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My Daily Commute

Hello fellow bloggers! I can’t believe it has been over two years years since my last post. Many events have taken place in that time and I’m happy to say, mostly good. It has been a long and winding road but I finally found the way out of the detour and on to the right path… there were dark moments where I had my doubts that I would ever find my way out; it was also during those moments that I found myself, and the courage and strength,  I would need to take me back to the purposeful life I’ve been praying to God for.

In the last couple of years, I’ve been given the opportunity to have a purposeful job that allows me the financial independence I’ve lacked for so long… while the daily train commute is long, it gives me time to enjoy the beautiful passing views. These shots were taken with my Samsung tablet on auto setting.

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It’s A Rat, It’s A Fish… It’s A Ratfish

It has been awhile since my last post. Life has been busy but in a very good way. In addition to my new career path; yes, I finally have a job that I can really feel purposeful from it. It has been a long and winding road with many detours and oftentimes, deep pot holes; somehow, I was able to get myself out and discovered amazing opportunities.

In addition to my new career helping people find hope and motivation, I have the opportunity to continued my underwater photography endeavor. I logged 40 dives and now I’m on my way of becoming a dive-master so I can teach underwater photography. I have been very fortunate to have the support of friends who believe in my creative abilities.

Here is a video I shot last Saturday at Mukilteo T-Dock. On my way to the Geo Dome, I got lost and went deeper than where the dome was located. I was at 78 feet when I saw the Ratfish. It was an amazing sight… and lucky me, the Ratfish gave me a break and flirted for the video. I was able to get a fairly steady video in the strong current. The whole encounter lasted less than a minute and yet the experience will be forever etched in my heart…