WP Weekly Challenge: Shadowed

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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New Year, New Opportunities

One of the most profound things I’ve learned last year… when a door closes, another opens.  However, you might not always like the person behind the door with the offering and the price one must pay. My dream job last year was an amazing opportunity for me. Not only did the project gave me the validation I was looking for but it also gave me the financial earning I desperately needed. I was happy and grateful that I opened the right door… or so I thought. Unfortunately two months after I started my job, my boss told me he and I should date. I was speechless and dumbfounded as I desperately try to tell him off without bruising his ego. All I wanted was to keep my job. Trust me, if I didn’t need my job, I would have told him the truth, that I have no desire to date him now or ever. I was able to come up with some excuses to hold him off.

After realizing my days were numbered; I saved every penny I made and completed my real estate license to prepare for the inevitable of unemployment.  To make the long story short…  when my boss asked for a date a couple of weeks later, once again, I told him that dating him would be unprofessional and reminded him of my NO dating co-worker or boss rules. Well, after that he began to treat me poorly and made my job beyond difficult. In the end, job be damned… I had enough. I told him the truth and quit.

So, now that door is closed. And because of that door — even if the opportunity wasn’t what I had hoped — I was able to make the best of it so I can open another door to a path that I hope will be the right one.

Into The LightI realized that no matter how many doors I have to walk through, there will always be the one that shines brightly if I don’t give up.
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Facing The UnknownWhile it’s scary walking into the unknown… it’s even scarier to give up my humanity and self-respect.
Safe HarborThere are times I long for the security of a safe harbor…
_DSC9573But, in the end I rather have the freedom and wings to fly to my true destination…

Happy New Year, Everyone! I wish you another year full of prosperity and doors of opportunity without having to sell your soul.  🙂

Ask And You Shall Receive

It has been exactly two months since I left my hometown of twenty years behind… to move to a completely new place to start my life over. I didn’t have any ideas or plans on what I was going to do, other than to seek peaceful life and hope that I would find a job before I run out of money in a few months. During the first couple of weeks in town, everyone I met kept telling me how bad the economy is and that there are hardly any jobs. While I was optimistic about my ability to find work — I thought if I ended up homeless, I could always pretend to play my guitar; Max can hold a “Please Help” sign, and Evie knows how sit up on her hind legs and look pretty. People would take pity seeing my furry kids or either that give money just to keep me from playing my awful guitar noise  music. 😉

Luckily, the furry kids and I didn’t have to go that route. When I met my roommate, she told me that our neighbor next door owns a restaurant. I thought… great! Maybe I can talk him into giving me a job. About a couple of weeks after I arrived to my new home, I finally met my neighbor. We went for a hike. During the hike, I told him about my 20 something years of restaurant and cooking experience. Blah.. Blah… Blah… I went on. Shamelessly selling myself, hoping to get a job. Well… to make the long story short. I didn’t talk him into giving me a job that day, instead a week later, I end up talking him into giving me the whole restaurant. He had purchased the restaurant six months before and by the time we met, he realized that owning a restaurant was more work than he had thought. He was at the point where he wanted to give the restaurant back to the previous owner. So during one of our daily hikes, I simply asked him to give me the restaurant. Ask and you shall receive. Well… this is one of those times where that statement came true. I didn’t have much money, but somehow I knew this cute little place was going to be mine. Well… after a month of paper work, dealing with the government,  jumping through many other hoops, and most of all; the help of some guardian angels — my dream came true. I am now the proud owner of a Hawaiian style restaurant — Aloha Grille, located in the beautiful town of Prescott, Arizona.

This is one of those opportunities in life when it hits you in the face and you are actually ready to receive it kind of moment. I had owned a small cafe many years ago but at the time, my kids were very young — among other challenges of life, the cafe didn’t make it. Anyway, I told myself someday I would have another one when the opportunity is right. And when I made my New Year wish, I didn’t know that I put in motion for me to find my opportunity. When I look back at my New Year’s post, A New Journey Begins. I am amazed by my predictions. If you read what I wrote, you will see that my journey for the last couple of months have been exactly as I have written.

My little herbal garden. I hope to harvest the mint for the noodle salad dish.

Nope, I didn’t paint the mural. It came with the restaurant. Although, at the end of a hard day; I love to sit and stare at it. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the waves crashing on to the beach.

It is a small place… but just right for me. People commented on how comforting they feel when they eat there. So far, all the orders come back with empty plates. It’s a good sign that my food is tasty. One good thing about being a food photographer, I will be able take photos of my cooking. Which I hope to do when I get more settled with running the restaurant. So far, I’ve been running around none-stop. And yes, I feel sleep deprived but at least I finally lost the 15 lbs that I’ve been trying to get rid of for the past few years. 🙂

I have to admit, it has been a crazy last few weeks. I changed the menu, did a lot of cleaning, bought supplies and even sewed the table clothes. The biggest challenge I discovered was the difficulty of getting the ingredients I need living in a small town. I had to drive all over town and search four different stores just for coconut milk, bean sprouts and snow peas. I couldn’t order from the food service companies because of the small quantity I need. On top of that, I have to learn how to bake at high altitude. I thought it only affects baked goods, but I spent all day today, trying to modify my Easy Breezy pancake mix recipe without success. And I’m suppose to open for breakfast tomorrow. So… I cheated. I went and bought pancake mix. Until I can figure out this high altitude problem, I have to cheat and use store-bought. Yikes!

I know there will be more challenges ahead… especially, the cash flow issue. However, all is good. I have my excellent cooking skills, experience and determination to make this place a success. And this time around, no kids, no husband, and other family obligations to distract me from my goal. This time, I have only me, myself and I to deal with.  ALOHA!  🙂

Let There Be Light

Life is unpredictable, full of challenges and dark moments…

But with faith and determination; the light will always shine through…