Monday, January 26, 2009

The Year of The Ox

A very happy new year to all those who celebrate with the lunar calendar, as most Taoists do. This day is most well known as the Chinese new year, but is celebrated all over by lunar calendar followers.

This year ushers into the year of the Ox. The Ox is dependable, modest, calm and stable, they tend to speak little but when they do are quite eloquent. The Ox is exactly what we need this year to help our failing economy. Here are some Ox facts:

1. Our new president, Barack Obama is an Ox. Oxes tend to achieve through hard work and routine.

2. Oxes are some of the truest friends you'll ever have.

3. Oxes tend to be good at careers like composer, landlord, doctor, cook, police officer, teacher, judge, banker, insurance broker and gardener.

4. A Chinese New Year tradition had the elders giving red envelopes to the young people that contain money.

5. Oxes are most compatible with Snakes, Roosters & Rats.

I am a monkey, but can really see the need for an Ox.

Happy New Year!! Happy New Year!! Happy New Year!! Happy New Year!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

On Eating

I decided to share another story from my book Tales from the Tao, which I love more and more. This story I totally get and just want to share.

On Eating by Solala Towler

A teacher was traveling with some of her students. At one of their stops they were served the meat of a pig. The students were horrified to see the teacher calmly eating this forbidden food. "Teacher," they cried, "is not the flesh of an animal forbidden by our order?"

The teacher went on chewing slowly, clearly savoring the taste of the pig. When she had finished she said, "Can you not see that it was a great and honored gift from these poor people to be given this delicacy? No doubt it was given at great cost to them and with an attitude of humbleness and generosity. Who am I to spurn their gift?"

"Besides," she said, taking another bite, "it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out."

This story has 2 great messages packed into one short story. I am constantly baffled by how entirely ungrateful people are. Yet another thing my husband has taught me, always show your gratitude, if you think they get it, say thank you one more time.

And the last line is a doozy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

So another year has come to an end. I thought I'd do a recap of the events that shaped this roller coaster of a year for me. This is probably more for myself than anything, but here goes:
Just a note: N=Nephew so a nephew named Brad would be NB. F=Friend, MIL= Mother in Law Captain = My hubby

The year started of cool with us winning the "sack of groceries" at the Holiday Auction they had. This consists of a large list of food items that we would get free from Fareway once a month, all year. A really neat prize that we enjoyed up until this month!! It also saw me avoiding Captain's mother, but we won't get into that.

February brought the incredibly painful loss of my grandmother Hildred. I was very close to her, so this one hit me pretty hard. Luckily at this point I was beginning my search into other religions, and it's about this time I came first came across Taoism, which helped me think about death a little different.

March rang in with another tragedy when my 59 year old uncle passed away. This one was shocking, but not as hard personally as I didn't know him well. It was terrible for my mom though, and a bit of a reality check when you lose someone so young. I think about how my mom was younger than me when she lost her dad, gasp, I can't even imagine.

April brought a wonderful OCT play called Mixed Nuts. FKi and I had been saving this one till we found directors we could trust it with as we wanted to be in it. We found that with My Mom & FHe, and the show was fantastic!! Also this month was the forming of a book club known as Universal Khaki.

May brought a new job for Captain working tech support for Cloud Ten. The best part of this was he works from home, so his commute is 30 seconds. After that, this month was welcomely uneventful. May also brought me a new nephew, ND.

June/July brought nice weather and camping. Universal Khaki continued and gave birth to a D&D club, still meeting (tonight in fact). We also got to know FHe's husband who is a lot of fun to D&D with!! Their family also came camping with us and I think had as much fun as we did. NKr & NM also joined us. We also developed a TV show starring Uncle Captain and his nephew M. (JK, but it was a running joke ) Mom & I sold some stuff at the Nationals. Captain turned 30!!!

In August, Capt's VA decision came through. Big sigh of relief from both of us.

September brought yet another play and one last trip to Lake Rathbun. I went from Russian Ballerina to short lived famous chef. This play was alot of fun because it had almost everyone in it, or so it seemed to me. At this point, FAl joined our D&D group, then when he DM'd he brought Be.

October saw Death by Chocolate perform. It also saw OCT go into lease negotiations, which was not pleasant. We had our Day of the Dead celebration on Halloween again, quite a lot to add this year. More D&D was played and books were read. NKy turned 3.

November brought the weather, and for me a new blog!! That's when I started this blog. Mom joined us for Book Club, and more importantly she got a new job!! She is now the circulation manager at the paper. Thanksgiving was as reported on earlier.

December came, and we took our annual shopping trip with Dad which was very nice. Spent a lot more time with Dad this year, and am very glad of that. We attempted to celebrate Yule in Cedar Rapids, and FKi turned ??? I won't reveal it if you don't know. Christmas was wonderful on all accounts. And New Year's was interesting if nothing else.

All in all, a roller coaster of a year. The Universe giveth & The Universe taketh away. Thus is the cycle of life.