Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reliving childhood in Los Angeles

Three decades have whizzed by and the experience is just but a memory.

After 3 glorious days at Waikiki Beach, we headed for Los Angeles. Before then I have only heard of Disneyland and Universal Studio. We decided to rent a car and the most economical car then was the Honda Civic. We hit the streets from morning to nightfall - from LA Chinatown to Beverly Hills, the shopping malls.

The next day we hung out at Disneyland, reliving childhood dreams. We were ready to call it a day when we were told that there is a similar set up in LA - the Knotts Berry Farm. We were leaving LA the following day and we did not want to miss out on Knotts so we decided to make a quick run for it.

We had a hurried early dinner, dashed to the car, fished out the map and we were on our way. After about a hundred meters or so we noticed that the car temperature gauge was going up so we pulled the car over to the side. Being ladies and not knowing much about cars, we were like damsels in distress. I can't remember exactly what transpired in those few moments but vaguely remembered someone saying that we have a blown head gasket. And before long we had the Los Angeles auto repair attending to the car.

We had to extend our stay in Los Angeles for another day for us to cover Knotts before journeying on to San Diego.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Learning to bake and cook is fun

This weekend had been very tiring for me. I am taking inventory of all my tupperware goodies (I have boxes and boxes of them) and at the same time trying my hands at baking and the likes of it.

Learning to cook, bake, etc can be fun but at the same time tiring. Not for someone who is past over half a century and one who does not know what is the difference between yeast and baking powder etc. I rely greatly on the net and what you read from the net can be quite uncomprehending, simply because it all seems "french" to me.

Yesterday I tried hand kneading the bread dough and it turned out to be a laugh. It was edible but I would not risk it for fear of indigestion. Today's turn out was a disaster. Next I tried making kaya. Oh! it tastes real good (at least by my standards) but it was a little lumpy though. Anyone who cares to try the kaya, only on one condition. You must say it is good. LOL!

I am not resigning to the fact that I cant cook and stop at it. I will be hammering at it till I get some decent bread and kaya. And I have about less than a month to semi-perfect that.

It is so much fun learning. You are never too old to learn.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Traveling on the fast lane

Fifteen years ago I was studying hard to get my Ph.D (Permanent Head Damage) and fifteen years down that road I have long retired.  And last year I was pleasantly surprised at the Immigration when I went to renew my passport.  I did not have to queue up to get a number.  I had an accolade to my name – Senior Citizen.

I now have so much time – to read the newspaper from end to end and not skim through it; going for holidays without thinking how many days I will be away; stay up late at night without having to worry about waking up early tomorrow morning; enrol in courses totally unrelated to professional development; read mags that are not educational; learning how to bake cakes (this evening I baked my first loaf of bread), spend countless hours on the computer, enjoying the company of my 3 year old grandson and most importantly I am doing what I am best at – DOING NOTHING.

C’est la vie!!!! As the french says it.

For the past many years, time has just whisked by and before long I realised that once my teen daughter is now a mummy to the most adorable little boy.  If only we take time to take stock of our time, we then realise that we are living a good part of our life in the fast lane. Take time to smell the roses ….allow the wine to mature

My grandparents travelled by horse and carriage
They saw the country side
My parents travelled by car
They made stops along the way to say hello and for a picnic beside some stream
I travelled by plane
I missed them all ….

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Retire from a job, never retire from life

One morning about 2 years ago I had this epic conversation with a friend.
Friend : “what are you doing?”
Me : “I am day dreaming”.

At the end of the day the same friend asked
Friend : “Are you tired?”
Me : “Yes, I’m tired of being tired”.

These replies came spontaneously.  As I reflect on these two answers it tells me that I started the day well with day dreaming. As the day rolled on I began to get tired and by the end of the day I was tired of being tired.

When we curtail mental and social activities we become bored and give up our great expectations, our dreams. Human beings have many needs apart from the daily requirements of food, air, water, etc. They need love, security, need for creative expression, recognition, self esteem, the list rolls on. To these I’d like to add another. The need for more life – the need to look forward to tomorrow and to the future with gladness, joy and anticipation. When we think of yester days and yester years we feel nostalgic. Can we not develop nostalgia for the future? This is to develop an enthusiasm for life, create a need for more life and you will receive more life.

We age not by years but by events and our emotional reactions to them. This is evidenced in widowhood. A widow may feel that her life has come to an end and has nothing to live for. Her attitude gives outward evidence in her gradual withering, her graying hair. Another woman, on the other hand, may blossom. She may embark on a career or a business or she may keep herself busy with an interest for which perhaps she has not had the leisure until now.

Faith, courage, interest, optimism, looking forward bring new life and more life. Futility, pessimism, frustration, living in the past contribute to old age. Which will you choose?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Great start to a brand new year 2011

Ga Xiong District, Tibet - July 2010

This morning as I sat and revisited all my thoughts of yester years I was pleasantly surprsie by Minam Rinpoche's call. He sends his new year greetings to all his Dharma friends in Malaysia, India and far and wide. He updated me on Norling Library, Wamlung Monastery and Xining Retreat Houses.

Norling is still awaiting the government's decision on whether to rebuild or ...... As for Wamlung Monastery it is now 80% completed and he hopes to have it all ready by Losar. At the moment Xining Retreat Houses is still on hold until the winter is over.

2011 is going to be a very good year. Rinpoche gave the best present of all. Thank you for starting my new year with such great joys.

To Rinpoche :
La-ma ku-kham sang-war sol-wa deb
Chog-tu ku-tshe ring-war sol-wa deb
Trin-ley dar-shing gye-par sol-wa deb
La-ma-dang dral-wa me-par jyin-gyi lob