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what will 2018 bring what did last week bring?

On the first of the year I made some determinations for 2018. I do this every year and spend the next 352 days reaching for the actions and results.

If I pray for results but make no causes as in REAL live action to make them happen I am treading water. Additionally, if I don’t see the results by the end of my 352 days I roll the determination over to the next year.  Never give up.

For several years I have striven to get our little farm in Washington sold. Bittersweet. We raised our son on that farm and it was our first home we purchased. We always thought the proceeds would go into our retirement funds. Bitter: we only barely got out from under  the mortgage with a few thousand dollars. BUT sweet because we don’t have to be landlords anymore and don’t have to worry if we would lose it all due to one of the bank loans maturing and crashing us. Bitter because it doesn’t pull us for a visit anymore. Once you leave a place and your friends become more distant and fewer it becomes just a memory. Sweet though to recall all the memories.

Another determination for several years is the one where I will get a raise at work and feel very valued. My action on this one has always been to give my job 100% everyday and to enjoy it, to help others succeed. And continual prayers for the results.

Last week my boss called me and gave me the news that my promotion went through and that it was also approved to hire me an assistant to train and help with the workload. I will be on this job for 10 years in May. Wow how did time fly. I still love the job and enjoy it. I did a happy dance with the news!!

My buddhist practice this year has ramped up too. This is year # 45. The correct way to practice is to do it joyfully and to always push through the hard times with the conviction that I can push through them and develop wisdom. To never give up.

There are so many things about our lives we don’t see – we don’t recognize, we don’t change. Just like you can’t see your own eyebrows or your backside without a mirror. Well, I have this tool in this philosophy that helps with that. It is a scroll called the Gohonzon. It was enscirbed by a monk, Nichiren Daishonin in 1279. Every ND Buddhist gets one to have in their home – it acts like a mirror for your life. As we use it by chanting to it (not an idol or god outside of self) but to have a dialogue with oneself, we then see the effects in our daily lives. To mace causes to get the effects we need and want.

I could spend millions of words on the effects I have produced by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to my Gohonzon but I won’t today. Just suffice it to say that the “Severe Doubting Thomas” that I am I have seen immeasurable tangible results from the action of chanting and changing.

Some things take so much time!! Fundamental personal changes.  Some of those are: 1. Holding deep dialogues with my husband. 2. Being patient with others. 3. Talking on the telephone with others. ( I have developed over the years a dislike for talking on the phone.) 4. Losing weight, exercising, and being healthier.

Every day I pray to have conversations with my husband that mean more than the kind like   “how was your day? What did you do today?  – Still working on that. I did get him a card and tried to write meaningful words just for him in it. Maybe my first step for these conversations is to write them in letters.

I realized my negativity was showing out there for everyone to see last week when my impatience with people reared its ugly head and I was pissy about it – actions I wish I hadn’t made – whoa Need to be way more patient with people! (Saw this in my mirror and am praying to be more patient)

Also Made some phone calls to encourage others and didn’t begrudge doing it. I can get over the phone phobia I know I can.

Didn’t do any extra exercising but did my usual walking to an from work even in extremely cold windy weather. And ate better food all week, although I did also eat more than my share of chocolate chip cookies.

Ok this post was for me. I know that writing down things is very powerful so I should do it more often. If someone else reads this (not too many have any connection to this blog) you can know I have let you into my brain for a few minutes so keep my confidence or use my experiences in any way you can for your own life. We do learn so much from the experiences of others. So if you learn anything good. If not that’s ok too since like I said I really wrote it all for myself.

 

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February 18, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sad sad day.

Today we had to let go of our wonderful dog Rosy. I am really hurting. She had a thyroid tumor that was inoperable. We have watched her tumor grow and grow for a few months. It hurts so bad.

We hadn’t really decided that today was the day but had made an appointment to have her evaluated. She didn’t want to get into the car. She always wants to go for a ride. Not today. It was like she knew what I didn’t know.

As a buddhist I have been taught that death isnt the end of life. But it is the end of our relationship. I miss her and the house is too quiet.

Tomorrow will be better.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quiet as a chirping bird

I am mezmerized by the quiet with only a few chirping birds and the sound of Jack Creek in my ears.

Today is our 34th wedding anniversary. We didn’t really do anything special but it was sure nice. Had dinner with our good friends Linda and Sally last night in the Blue Moon Saloon. Love that place. So typical Montana.

I am trying to write something inspiring, or wacky or insightful. But I am still just watching the bugs fly around and the grass growing.

How about something on Determination. What does determination look like for you? I can bring to mind some of my own but first will think of some of my best friends and what it looks like on them.

Many of my friends are many years younger than I am and they fill me with inspiration. They don’t know what their determination looks like to someone in their circle. Like me.

The first person who comes to mind is Madeline. She is in her early thirties and is a breath of fresh air!! I met her about a year and a half ago, when she was just coming out of rehab. I didn’t ever see her when she was under the influence of the myriad of drugs and alcohol she says were her daily vitamins.   I think she must have realized that life is worth living. She was introduced to Buddhism by someone else I know and she seemed to grab on to it like it was the very essence of life. At first her determination was just to get through one day one meeting of AA and one breath at a time. As she added in Buddhist meetings to her schedule between AA meetings she was certainly a person of interest to me. She sometimes had tales that seemed off the wall but each week that I saw her she seemed to be evening out. Her determination grew and grew. Stay sober, get through the bad moments and have hope for the next to show growth and happiness. Now she has even finished a year of college, with a heavy class schedule and was on the honor role each semester! She shows such appreciation to everyone. She loves her buddhist practice and loves to share her victory! Her determination is astounding to me. She even has appreciation for the low time in her life, knowing now that she has the tools to have the highest life condition.

I love her like she is my daughter. So happy she is in my life.

I just realized as I was writing and thinking about Madeline I didn’t even hear the birds or the creek until just now. They are still there making me happy just like Madeline does.

Happy Sunday I hope you have a Madeline in your life. Such an example for the world.

 

 

June 12, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What the heck?

Just got into a new posting in draft and when I thought I coud publish it  – it disappeared.

Since I just posted could it be there is a limit to how many times a day one can post? Maybe a filter, or something magic that I don’t have the wand for?

Anyway I think I will try again even though all those thoughts I drafted have flown the coop.

I am amazed at how soon my dear auntie commented on my last post  – as in moments. Either she keeps it open all the time in an effort to catch me – not likely. Or there’s a camera hidden in the bedroom where our home computer I used is. Again not likely. This time I am sitting on the porch with my ipad listening to the birds in their constant communication, hearing the sprinkler and the flag whipping around on the pole.  No cameras, but the internet is a wonder and wonders never cease to amaze. (Yep I am a patriot. Another topic for another time.)

This is really just a test – Norma can you hear me? can you hear me now? I am still enjoying life in Montana with absolutely no regrets leaving the Pacific Northwest where millions of people live to the mountains where not even one million live. (and I still like people)

June 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Life after 4 years

Hello! I had forgotten that I had this blog site. Go figure, life isn’t busy enough or tuned in enough? Heck yes. I created this site to be creative, to write creative, to just write.

So Have I done any writing in 4 years? not much and not here. Maybe none with any creative juices. The only writing I have probably done has been on social media only to express comments to someone or to give a small glimpse of my life.

An Aunt of mine has encouraged me to write here in the past, even saying she checks in to see if I have written anything. Encouragement is food, water, and the air we breath isn’t it? The invisible necessity to keeping our life joyful and giving encouragement back to those in our circle of life.

So what do I want to encourage today, who needs a shot of encouragement?  Since life comes down to what is important I say the people around me are what are important. I hope this is a common attitude of humanity.

Things can make me momentarily feel joy….

An example, about 6 months ago I purchased a new fancy iphone for my son, and because it was the holiday season it was a very busy time at the kiosk in Costco where I was making the deal. Since I had gotten myself a phone there about 6 months earlier I went back – due to nice rebates and fairly good service. The reputation of Costco is a whole hearted “they take anything back or make it right!”

Now why hadn’t I received my Costco Cash Card yet….after the 6 months that is quite a long time. So I went back to the kiosk on my usual weekly journey to Costco for supplies. The fellow checked my son’s phone number and said there had been no paperwork sent in. WELL of course not – when I got my phone I didn’t have to send any blasted paperwork in it just finally arrived. So I remarked immediately that I didn’t have to do anything when I got my phone and that no one had instructed me to send it in. (When it comes to money I would NEVER not do something so important). Well he said it has been longer than the 30 days to send it in and didn’t think there was anything I could do about it. I asked again – after all I was in the right! I got – “well we could maybe send in a form with your paperwork” Oh NO! Not my phone, not my paperwork?

Of course the next course of action was to ask my son – Do you have the paperwork that came with your phone? (busy holiday did I just give him the bag the phone came in paperwork and all?) Son Answer: “Mom I don’t think I have it I just did a major purge in my house to clear out junk and stuff I didn’t want.”  Well, please look anyway, was my deflated response. Still not sure if he looked.

When I am faced with any kind of challenge I almost always remember to use my Buddhist Practice of 40+ years to solve and turn the challenge into a victory. So I spent a few prayers specific to the issue. Then spent some time looking for the illusive paperwork. Oh ye of little faith of course I found the paperwork!!! first momentary JOY. So then I spent more vigorous prayers to overcome the 30 day issue. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the sound of my prayers – did you know your voice is your strongest communication tool  – Sound beats any thoughts or aspirations. So I chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with the determination to be in the rhythm of the universe and all the people I needed to win – after all I was seeking justice too.

I went back to the kiosk and spoke to the fellow that sold me the phone, he was actually the manager. I think as soon as I said ” you didn’t tell me I had to send in any paperwork” even though I thought I said it gently as in not to offend him, he almost shouted at me ” I always tell everyone to send in the paperwork” I decided later that he may have been overly sensitive to my accusation because there were two people who work for him in the tiny kiosk with him!. So he took copies of my paperwork said he would submit the form but don’t expect anything to happen since you were supposed to send in the information within 30 days. That was about a month ago. I kind of thought maybe he had just thrown away my information and hadn’t done anything for my justice!

I let go. I had done what I could. Even if it was $150. It takes me more than 10 hours to earn that after taxes. I work hard and spend thriftly.

Last week my son called and he was excited. I love it when he calls since I just don’t see or talk to him as often as I would like. And I especially like it when he is happy. This was for my happiness… my momentary joy. He said he had a voicemail from phone company – my rebate is on its way!

Chanting works again. Justice is served again and I am very appreciative. I plan to go personally thank the guy who I had thought was a butt.

 

June 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Montana in April

Each year that I am here in the gorgeous state of Montana I expect spring to come. Living and working at a University is very interesting in the springtime.  Students crave the good weather so much you can see them in bikinis and shorts when the temperatures are still below 50. One day it is sunny and 60 and the next day we have a foot of snow. You know spring is close when the young people start using their skateboards, you know it is here when you see your neighbors raking their yards and beginning to trim annd dig. 

I tend to feel guilty if I utter any complaints if it snows.  I love Montana so much it is a physical feeling sometimes and I find if I say something derogatory about snow guilt sneeks in. I come from the west coast where rain everyday is normal I hate rain now and much prefer the snow to rain, but I do love warmer sunny spring with the birds return and the thrill of watching the hills turn green.  If I wasn’t so lazy I would be taking pictures each week when I drive home to show the gradual change.  Instead I talk and write about the buds, birds, smells and sounds of spring.

Birds singing, skateboards rolling I am so anxious for the spring to burst forth.  Patience is a virtue I have trouble excersizing.

Short and sweet.

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring Fever or Spring Virus!

Do we really get spring fever when the sun starts to melt all the winter away?  I have recently noticed I seem to have a virus a cleaning virus.  After speaking to others they have the same virus. 

I started with a couple of closets and have been working with piles and piles of paper.  All that paper that comes in the mail that has your name on it and it all has to be shredded. I seem to save up all this unwanted mail and think I will take care of later.  Then picture this, a room overflowing with stacks of paper and one small hole where I can crouch with a shredder.  Of course the shredder can only handle two to three pages at a time. It is like a prison with no gate or gate-keeper other than my own determination to gain control.

In appreciation of the internet I say thank you for online bank statements, online bills from the power company, online bills from the phone company and every other billing entity.  I don’t give thanks for internet bandits and identity thieves who make it necessary to shred EVERYTHING!

I have given up every box something came in that I saved for some reason thinking I needed it.  The coffee pot box from the coffee pot that I got 4 years ago to the great big box my TV came in (twice the size of the TV).  Recycle recycle recycle.  Conveniently I found a receptacle a block away for cardboard recycle collection.  Easy enough to lug the cardboard to it even in a foot of snow.

Spring is for decluttering our lives in time to play in the sun. Letting go of winter and excess baggage.

I think Spring Fever is how you feel when spring begins and we desperately want to be outside in the sunshine. 

On googling I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_fever 

“Spring fever is a term applied to several sets of physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. In general it refers to an increase in energy, vitality and particularly sexual appetite, often particularly strong in those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD)[1] and thus experiencing lows during the winter months. It is this sense that inspires the use of the term as a title for several works of literature and entertainment. In some uses however it refers to the opposite, an unexpected loss of energy with the onset of spring.”

and this one: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/31/health/he-esoterica31

“Spring fever, that reputed and seemingly infectious malady that strikes when the days lengthen and temperatures begin to climb, has been blamed for feverish bouts of house-cleaning, restless behavior in the classroom, distraction in meetings and love struck dazes.”

Have a good week and check in once in awhile I will be here.

March 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What ever am I doing with a Blog?

I just closed my eyes and tried to pedal my bike in the swimming pool.  My first blog posting was an abstract to me that ends with me in a swimming pool on a bike.

First, I don’t swim because I can’t.  When I was young I absolutely loved gliding under water in swimming pools.  I loved it more when I figured out I could open my eyes under water.  Now I can’t glide under water any longer due to the fact that I have no eardrum in one ear and this leaves my brain unprotected. And second, I don’t ride bikes much any more either although this might change. The notion that things might change, and always will change.

Sunday morning is my time to write and surf.  It isn’t a plan it just usually happens.  The internet is such a vast adventure I have a very strong pull to it.  I figured out this morning that I have either the freedom to write for my blog or the cop out that I don’t have to because my commitment has never been written or even thought.  It just isn’t there (yet?).

I become overwhelmed when I read blogs about writing.  They are full of “how to write” …I just write willy nilly.  At this time I just write because I feel like it, not because I need to or have to or due to any plan. I have no pressure. But am I really writing or just babbling to the world from this kind of adventure?

There are a few blogs I read by writers who are writing books.  The agony and the rapture they are experiencing produces almost a physical reaction for me.  Very much like the feeling you get when you are reading a novel, so into what is happening with a character that you feel like you are there along side them doing what they are doing. I sometimes wonder how it is that watching or reading something can cause a physical response.  Last night we were watching TV and the new commercial for some bank card came on it is about a young woman who is climbing a VERY tall spire and reaches the top to stand on it.  The surface of the top is quite small and the ground is a very long way down.  I actually felt my heart rate spike as she stands up on this pinpoint space. The fear of falling was mine. I owned it.  Did someone write this commercial to give that feeling to the audience?  I sure wasn’t thinking about a bank card during the experience.  I could dissect the commercial and all of its elements to see if it strikes any thing near what the writer was striving for.  I could and it might even be fun to do but again I am not too much into the mechanics of writing.  That would be so much work.

Are writers the royalty of manipulation?  Are they manipulating our minds and bodies?  Outlines, plans, drafts, editing, re-editing, cutting and pasting their way into our lives?

I have more questions than answers.  I am here to have fun and explore my thoughts.  Why are you here?

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Copy That!

When I was a child and began playing with other kids I remember the  “don’t copy me” line.  I got to thinking this morning about the positive side of copying other people.  And wondering if we consciously copy people or do it without even knowing we are.  Which is more often and does the action create value?

I think I copy others without knowing it if the “action” makes sense and results are good then yes it does create value.  I realized that maybe I am copying my niece the WRITER now that I have my own blog.  Not ready to write any novels, but am enjoying the exercise of writing on my blog.  Without any structure I am bending and stretching my mind to write and trying to learn from the “action.”

Whether it is the mechanics of writing, where does that period go inside or outside of the parens? or the mere expression of my thoughts.  I am stretching. 

When we follow suit with actions others have done we honor them and appreciate their abilities. Learning from others is the best way I can think of  – You did it so I must be able to do it too. 

I developed a list of things I might write about yesterday and woke up thinking of others.  So I am on my journey.  I researched topics and found most of them out there looked like the ones from high school or college writing topics.  Although many of these would stretch my mind they mostly looked too boring for me.  I guess I want to surprise myself with learning to write from my heart more than learning to write about anything.

Glad I have Amy to copy on this! Short and to the point with these first posts with only 307 words to read most can’t get bored yet. 

See you on the flip side. 

 

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What the heck

What is a widget?  How DO I manage this blog anyway! 

I seem to have figured out what a widget is, at least on the appearance menu of this format of blog.  My understanding is limited and of course even though every thing is in English it looked like one of those shortcut menus for people who already know how to cook.  Like asking what is a pinch of salt.

I took a leap today and sent the address of my blog to my niece the WRITER.  She asked that I add the widget so she will get an email whenever I put on a new post.  Well, after reading her email I feel alittle more confident and think I will keep doing this my way and whichever way I develop to do it best.  To the point though, I went looking for the widget….it has only taken me almost an hour to put the widget in place. Whew!

Have a happy week and check in once in awhile to see if the bicycle is riding around in the pool.

widg·et/ˈwijit/

 
Noun:
  1. A small gadget or mechanical device.
  2. An application, or a component of an interface, that enables a user to perform a function or access a service.

February 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment