Her name would have been Orchid. And for him we would have called Little Lion. Do we continue trying? Or is it foolish to not heed the universe’s warnings that our tiny family of four is perfect the way it is? I can see my husband love another child. I can almost feel her/him in my arms. Our two boys are such pieces of heaven that it seems wasteful *not* to have another child. So we tried and tried again. But after 3 miscarriages… perhaps it’s time to stop. What if we were successful next time but the baby turns out to need more than we can give? Financially, emotionally, mentally… what if what we have won’t be enough? I can not willingly choose to detonate our children’s lives. They deserve our attention, love, care, and protection and would not have asked to have a baby sister or brother who is sick and would take away from all that. And yet I know how wonderful they would be as older brothers. They are already wonderful to each other–more than we have ever dared to hope that they would be. If only we could know beforehand, just a small peek into the future to see which way to go… to be sure of the path we choose so that we can firmly follow it. My husband says we must not be greedy, that we are the only two people in this world who would take care of our two little boys. They have no one but us. So to bring in another child and jeopardize an already unsteady state of living seems so very rash. And yet… and still… my heart aches and I wonder and I dream and I cry when I lose the pregnancy… again. It’s moments like these that resonate how truly precious the happiness we have really is; how very tenuous and fragile. No matter what happens… Happiness, I promise to cup you in my hands and shield you from the wind so that you don’t blow away so that I can hold on just a little bit longer. Just a little bit longer.
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One of John Keats’ letters to Fanny Brawne:
25 College Street
My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else — The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you again[s]t the unpromising morning of my Life — My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you — I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love — You note came in just here — I cannot be happier away from you — ‘T is richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder’d at it — I shudder no more — I could be martyr’d for my Religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that — I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet — You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.” I can do that no more — the pain would be too great — My Love is selfish — I cannot breathe without you.
Yours for ever
(Photo: Peter Schuchert)
The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.
Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).
The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.
Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They’re now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters. “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion,” says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.
Bryan Nelson is a regular contributor to Mother Nature Network, where a version of this post originally appeared.
…DIVINE! And this coming from an atheist. Every once in awhile, when the stars align yours truly cooks the perfect meal. It happened tonight and it made my hubby happy and left me full of good food and pride. The coolest thing is that I didn’t even plan it. Sometimes the greatest things in life happen accidentally.
Here are the details to my serendipitous meal:
* Decided to grab whichever is the freshest fish at Costco today; it turned out to be catfish. Have been a fan since childhood so that will do.
* Headed to the “Cold Room” and grabbed some pre-washed baby spinach. Of course I also got some other groceries–enough for the week–and the total came to under $150! Score!
* Arrived home and unpacked everything and put everything in its place.
* Saw the Japanese Pumpkin I bought a week ago on the kitchen counter.
* Cookery Details
Butter-Maple Roasted Japanese Pumpkin
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut up and peel one small Japanese Pumpkin into diced 1 inch cubes (remember to discard pumpkin insides such as seeds and bits).
3. Cover the bottom and sides of a square cake pan with aluminum foil.
4. Put pumpkin cubes into pan.
5. Cut up cubes of butter (amount depends on how much butter ya like. I put about 1/4 cup).
6. Drizzle 1/3 cup real Maple Syrup all over pumpkin and butter.
7. Cover with aluminum foil on the top. Put in Oven. Let roast for 30 minutes. Remove and serve hot, sweet, and slightly buttery. Your house will smell like heavenly roasted pumpkin.
Herb Catfish and Spinach
1. Put about 2 lbs of fresh catfish fillets in a large bowl. Add seasonings (sea-salt, fresh-ground pepper, granulated garlic, dark chili powder–I used the non-spicy kind but you can substitute the spicy kind if you like your fish with a bite, dried chopped onion, and Italian herb seasoning mix)
2. Heat up a large pan on High heat. Once hot, add olive oil. Once oil is heated but not yet smoking, add seasoned fish 2 fillet at a time. Sear both sides of fish fillet on High heat.
3. Add 1 cup broth (I used pork broth–same as chicken broth or beef broth except made with, you guessed it–pork). Reduce heat to Medium-High. Cover pan with lid and cook, checking occasionally until fish is almost flakey. Remove fish from pan and serve a fillet per plate.
4. Increase heat to High Heat and add hands-full of fresh, pre-washed baby spinach leaves. Stir gently with wooden spoon until just wilted and turn off the stove; spinach will continue to cook in pan after you turn off the heat so don’t worry about it being undercooked… especially since rawer spinach is better for your health anyways. Remove from pan along with pan juices and add to plates.
5. Add Butter-Maple Roasted Japanese Pumpkin to each plate and “VOILA!” you’ve got what I made tonight… Yummy in your tummy!
HAPPY COOKERY EVERYONE!
Photo via Andrew Evans of the National Geographic.
All-black penguin discovered
By Stephen Messenger, TreeHugger
The under-dressed penguin was photographed by Andrew Evans of National Geographic on the island of South Georgia near Antarctica. As the picture circulated, some biologists were taken aback — including Dr. Allan Baker of the University of Toronto. His first response was disbelief:
Wow. That looks so bizarre I can’t even believe it. Wow.
While multicolored birds will often show some variation, Dr. Baker explains that what makes this all-black King Penguin so rare is that the bird’s melanin deposits have occurred where they are typically not present — enough so that no light feathers even checker the bird’s normally white chest.
Melanism is merely the dark pigmentation of skin, fur — or in this case, feathers. The unique trait derives from increased melanin in the body. Genes may play a role, but so might other factors. While melanism is common in many different animal species (e.g., Washington D.C. is famous for its melanistic squirrels), the trait is extremely rare in penguins. All-black penguins are so rare there is practically no research on the subject — biologists guess that perhaps one in every quarter million of penguins shows evidence of at least partial melanism, whereas the penguin we saw appears to be almost entirely (if not entirely) melanistic.
Whether or not the all-black look catches on in the penguin fashion world, it’s nice to see someone dressing-down for once.
Stephen Messenger is a correspondent at TreeHugger, where this post originally appeared.
What a busy day! Being hopped up on caffeine does wonders for domestic productivity. Loving the Starbucks Via packets! What I do is use an empty water bottle, put in my desired amount of either Caramel sauce or honey, soy milk, and then empty a Via packet into the bottle and shake! Instant yummy coffee that is the perfect strength for me and is super fast and easy… which is how I take my coffee and my men… teehee.
1. Had a lovely morning shower with more hot water than I knew what to do with (Thank you Mr. Landlord for replacing the 22 yr. old water heater with a brand-spanking new one last Saturday! Much Happy Blessings for you!).
2. Played with #2 in the morning and did a couple of loads of laundry before doing the school run to pick up #1.
3. Then took both of my Precious Happies to the newly discovered Japanese market near by. Oh how I love love love this market! It has a variety of fresh seafood that astounds and delights and that only Japanese Markets can provide. Bought a slew of sashimi products to delight the DH for dinner: tuna, salmon, yellow-tail, ikura, geoduck, and the most treasured of them all–blue fin ohtoro at $69.99/lb! Total for sashimi = $45 of yummy goodness! Only complaint is that there was no uni to be found. Other than that, we got a two person feast for under fifty bones. And they even provide FREE ice for all your seafood cooling needs! Oh how lovely! That’s some Precious Sashimi Happy right there folks!
5. Got to use my pretty new pink and floral Playmate Cooler for the sashimi and ice that I purchased from the Japanese market for the trip home. My fresh fish stayed nice and cold and FRESH all the way home to my fridge until din-din time. Good tip for all you fish and meat lovers, keep a cooler in your car for your shopping trips when you want to keep your food safe and cold.
6. Once home, finished doing the dishes… score for Mommy! This is one of my least least least favorite things to do and it feels really good to finish it.
7. Also did a few more loads of laundry. Yay to clean clothes. I can actually look like a decent human being again. I have missed you my Lacoste polos, cashmere sweaters, and my replenished supply of butt-hugging jeans! And yes, I wash all of these in my washing machine. Just select the delicate or hand-wash cycle on your machine and DO NOT put in your dryer machine but lay out to dry and you too can clean cashmere and expensive polos without having to dry-clean them! This has saved much dinero for me over the years! Can’t wait til tomorrow when I can finish my “Brights” load so that I can climb into one of my favorite hoodies; my blue and yellow UCLA one that I get loads of compliments on and questions as to where to buy (which is actually a pretty strange question as one can get it directly from UCLA!).
8. The counters are clean clean clean! Goodbye grease! Hello my reflection in the granite!
9. Got to break in the new broom and dust pan I bought. It was a splurge (at $12.99 for a friggin dust pan, that’s pretty extravagant to yours truly) but since it is Japanese built as in made for small spaces, it folds up and fits neatly in the teensy space tween my fridge and the kitchen cabinets.
10. Did some bills! Gah I hate credit card companies! My fixed 9.99% rate Amex just jumped up to a variable 28% APR for no apparent reason. When asked why the terms changed, they replied “new government regulations, economic change, prime rate change, blah blah blah…” meaning they are suddenly screwing me over after a faithful, perfect payment history for the past 10 years BECAUSE THEY CAN! …. Okay so this isn’t too Precious Happy but at least some bills got paid and we had the means to pay them (always a blessing especially during this scary recession).
I’m starting to freeze (living in a rented 50 yr. old house with paper-thin walls can do that to ya) so I must bid adieu for now. Away to my cozy down comforter I go. My feet need heat. Wishing you all some Precious Happy of your own until next time!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Wishing you all the best on the day of love and the first day of the Year of the Tiger. This Valentine’s Day I got two types of flowers! DH surprised me with a Valentine’s card, lovely vase containing a dozen red roses, and a sweet new Bottega Veneta Large Veneta in Orchid… two of my favorite flowers: roses and orchids! Yay! Valentine’s Day card, flowers, Bottega Veneta and Red Money envelope? So much fun!!! That’s some Precious Holiday Happy 🙂
I still can’t get over my dad dying. I feel like my life is on hold until I do. I barely have enough energy every day to survive sometimes. I hate how depression can suck all my will to do anything besides feeding and taking care of my children. I hate this feeling but I know I won’t be able to get past it until I accept the fact that he’s gone forever. I hate this so much. But I have hope that I am getting better. I’ve slowly stopped thinking about him as if he is still here. The present tense has slowly evolved into the past tense whenever I think of him now. This makes me so sad but also a little bit relieved. I used to feel like if I scream loudly enough inside of me with all my heart, this reality won’t be real and he never died and still lives somewhere where I can visit and see him, talk to him, say “Hi” to him and “How are you doing?”… and what I wish for most–to have him meet my sons. Now my screams of protest have become mere whimpering. Perhaps acceptance will come soon. It has to come soon yet I know it can’t be rushed. Gah this sucks. That’s why happiness is so tenuous and delicate. Life can end instantaneously. Don’t live for the moment just for the sake of it. Savor the bitterness and sadness too. Life is not just smiley pictures… life is mostly the moments between the smiles. It’s beautiful even when it’s full of sadness. I miss my dad. My beautiful, flawed but amazing dad. I am just grateful that I had someone I loved enough to grieve this much for.
…since my last post?
My, how time flies by. It seems as if nowadays (since our eldest child has entered the public forum that is private school) time is sectioned by whichever happens to be the trendiest of viruses and bacteria that is first passed around at #1’s classroom and then shared miserably and equally among our lil family of four. What fun to be had each and every time. You probably know what I’m talking about if you have kids and if you don’t you should try it.
Let’s just keep this one casual as I try to regain my blogging mojo (yes, something I don’t think I had but I’m working on it). Hhmm, let’s see…
Discovered that I love love love Anthropologie’s designs but hate the bad craftsmanship and cheap fabric and especially at their crazy prices–for $200/a dress, I can buy better quality! So I will pass and stick to Zara, H&M, Banana Republic, et al. with the occasional discounted Diane Von Furstenberg, Burberry, Lacoste thrown into the mix. Although I still very much love and relate to Anthropologie’s designs the most! I told DH that I will buy one of their dresses, deconstruct it, then use the pattern to rebuild it in a much nicer fabric for my own use and consumption. His answer? He snorted. Why the lack of support, eh Hubby? Oh, right… because I don’t own a sewing machine and I don’t know how to sew and I’ve said before how I plan to cobble my own shoes but have yet to do. Oh, alright but a girl can still have seamstressy dreams.
DH denies it but he secretly lusts for the iPad which btw I hate the name of! Seriously? iPad?? They didn’t bother testing that name with the female side of Apple Fandom did they? Is it that time of the month to use an iPad yet? Eeww and gross. So I will stubbornly rename it and refer to it as the “iTablet” because that’s what it is suppose to be, right? It seems fine but not a necessity to me. iPod – gotta have. iPhone – I seriously can not live without. The “iTablet” seems fun but just another gadget to clutter up one’s purse/briefcase. So of course the DH would want one. He has yet to admit that and I have yet to admit that I’d probably play with it if we ever get one for him. My geekiness occasionally swells at the sight of fun lil electronic gizmos. After 8 1/2 years of marriage DH has caught on that I am geekier than I initially appeared. But he has yet to realize that despite my complaining, I actually like going to Frye’s with him. I just rather he not know that because then he tends to be more patient when I drag him clothes-shopping. Hehe. That is a phenomenon I call the Give-and-Take of marriage. 😉
We decided to cancel our cable and premium internet opting for just the basic internet. We also don’t have a land line either. I was worried that I would miss cable but I actually don’t. I love the lessened amount of advertisements in my life. My kids don’t jump up and down at every new toy they see in commercials now as well. Of course they have always been good at not asking for the stuff they see but I hated them being exposed to that shite! I’ve found out that I can live off entertainment media provided by the internet alone. I highly recommend hulu.com. I am in love with them. But this love affair will end if they decide to start charging fees! Here’s to hoping that they remain nice and fee free!! Cutting the cord has saved us $100 a month! Not too shabby. And ladies, doing my designer math… I figure it’s equivalent to getting a brand new smaller Louis Vuitton a year! Yeah Baby!
I am also grateful for the awesome powers of the local farmer’s market!!! I can not say enough wonderful things about it. It has started to become our Sunday tradition of having breakfast then hitting the farmer’s market conveniently located 2 minutes from home. Fresh, organic veggies at a percentage of the cost of Supermarket tasteless blobs = heart heart heart. It reminds me of one of my favorite King of the Hill episodes where Hank discovers the wonders of organic food. It’s really funny. I sure do miss that show.
It’s raining like crazy outside right now. As our streets get flooded and less fortunate people’s homes become threatened by mudslides, I am grateful that we live on a hill in a 50 year old house that has decent enough drainage. Thank goodness for that. Escaping four wild fires in 2007 was bad enough! I am happy that I’m safe inside this little rented dwelling of sticks and stucco. The only thing that could be better would be that we end up owning a house again one day. As soon as this crazy economy stabilizes a little bit more–hopefully on this side of 5 years–we will tentatively venture into home-ownership once and again. Our own personal American dream has been stalled but I’m happy we have a temporary shelter for us to call home. Unbearably hot during the Summer, freezing during the winter, but right now my family and I are warm and dry. And right now is my own little Precious Happy.
In the past week, I’ve just discovered Tim Minchin. I am in lurve! The man’s a genius. The ending of this particular song/beat-poem gets me everytime. I love it all but I especially love the part that starts with “Isn’t this enough?” and onward. It’s so beautiful it makes me want to weep everytime I listen to it. It’s so true it hurts and yet the soul rejoices at the discovery of a kindred spirit. It’s a happy, delightful pain.