Sunday, October 31, 2010 | By: Reenie

Through rain, wind and sun

Yup, that’s us- on a day-out to the Brighton Beach- with the wind chilly and the sky sunny.

... but who bothers about the chill when there’s sunlight this pretty... and when there is this boy by my side- through rain, wind and sun? 

Sometimes talking about the not-so-good is much easier; and to an untrained eye- I may not seem appreciative of what is consistently good in my life...

... but I do appreciate.

I just do not have the words to express it most of the times and even when I do- that four-lettered-word is something I have struggled to speak of all my life anyway... but regardless of it all, I am at times amazed and always happy to find Crazy by my side...

... and in my life, THAT is one 'consistent good'...

... what is it in yours? :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010 | By: Reenie

Bloom where you are planted

Today's Guest Post is from my friend Kea from Musings on a Small Life. Without further ado, here goes: 

Congratulations to Reenie on her achievement of 100 posts! This is a milestone worthy of celebration throughout Blog-Land.

I admit I was taken aback when she asked if I’d be willing to write something to mark the occasion. I’m not a writer, nor do I aspire to be one, and I live a very small and now solitary life—no grand travels, no exciting job, nothing, on the surface, to blog about.

And after I took leave of my senses and agreed, I was faced with the dilemma of what to write.

I’m not 20-something or 30-something anymore. 50 is looming closer than I care to admit and I haven’t many illusions left; perhaps none. I knew that whatever I wrote wouldn’t be filled with innocence and hope, wouldn’t be “happy happy joy joy.” That’s not reality, unless one is very young and innocent indeed, or particularly selfish and self-centered.

However, a quote I read a couple of months ago on one of those many blogs I follow (The Cat’s Meow!) struck a deep chord and stayed with me.

"It's life, that's all. There are no happy endings, just happy days, happy moments.” Jonathan Tropper, How to Talk to a Widower

This is something I have struggled with for a long time now: the understanding and acceptance that life doesn’t end happily, that illness, suffering and death come to us all, and that all we have is the Present Moment.

My childhood wasn’t particularly happy for a variety of reasons that no one need read; suffice to say I spent most of it, including my teen years and early twenties, either alone or keeping company with four-legged companions and Elder Trees. In retrospect, I see that I struggled, undiagnosed, with chronic moderate depression from an early age, perhaps as young as 7 or 8. Yet I don’t think I truly grasped that there are no happy endings, didn’t fully understand soul-deep suffering, until my own divorce after 11 years, followed by a failed rebound relationship and subsequent descent into the blackness of full-blown clinical depression.

In the 9+ years since, during which time I’ve again taken solace in Nature and with my fur family, I have come to feel that there is little in life but suffering for those who feel deeply.

I have come to realize that there are very few happy spousal relationships on this planet, very few lasting love bonds. I have come to understand that people partner for convenience, for finances, for companionship, for lust of course—but that none of these leads to that happy-ever-after we are conditioned to expect.

I have come to understand that even enduring marriages can be miserable, filled with little but suffering. What do you do, for instance, when your spouse has become physically frail and is slipping into dementia, as is the case with my mom and her older husband? Where is the happy ending in that? There is none.

Still, we continue to tell ourselves we will be happy when we grow up, when we have a job, when we buy a house, when we pay off our debts, when we have the latest and greatest gadgets, when we marry, when we have children, when we’re rid of our now-despised spouse, when we remarry, when we find a better job, when we retire.

But the reality is that “when” often never comes. We can be struck down by illness or accident at any moment of any day. Life can turn in a split second. The issue then becomes one of balancing on that razor’s edge – how to fully live each day, while understanding the impermanence of all things, including our own lives.

I think there are two factors in striving for this: One is to practice gratitude, no matter what your beliefs are (or aren’t), to start the day by being grateful for the breath of life moving through your body, for the morning, for the gift of another day. The other is to appreciate the small things that too many of us overlook – a good cup of coffee or tea, a scrumptious meal, the bark or meow of beloved fur family members, a sunrise or sunset, flowers, trees, the chirping of birds. Things too many humans don’t notice, caught up as they are on the roller coaster of acquiring or doing more, more, more.

But life is these small moments, broken only by a few euphoric highs and terrible lows. Most of our lives are spent in the day-to-day drudgery and triviality of our routines. If we don’t find happiness there, we will not find it anywhere.

There is another quote I read some years ago, by author Annie Dillard:

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Think about that. Really think about it. Because in a blink you’ll be 50 years old, 75, or 83 and will be wondering where the decades went and why you haven’t really lived.

Regardless of whether or not there is any sort of life beyond this physical plane, we pass through only once in these bodies, with these identities. Make the most of your time here. Don’t settle for second best, for less than your heart’s desire, if you have the option. And if you don’t have the option, try to find some good, some Joy and happiness, along your Path.

Bloom where you are planted.

Reenie's Note: 
If you enjoyed this little piece of wisdom like I did and would like to say 'hi', Kea writes here. I specially recommend that you read this, this and this- my favourite posts from her in the recent times :). Thank you, Kea. 
Thursday, October 28, 2010 | By: Reenie

Dirt and Daisies hit the pave

This week has been busy... long hours at work, skipped lunches, a million emails, a gazillion spreadsheets, a head full of swimming thoughts...

... but even then- I did come back to this page to ‘compose’ something... a few times; only that I did not quite manage it... looks like exhaustion, long hours and skipped lunches have taken their tolls on my brain... and these days words just float and wiggle away, and spilling them over here is just as difficult as it is to keep them within.

... and in an effort to ‘un-clutter’ my brain, here I am again- with not much to say, but saying it anyway- at least trying to... unfortunately though my brain presently much represents the state at which my fridge is in- not quite empty, but nothing there that can create a decent meal.

Well, at least I tried...

This finally is my 100th post. Could be better- but hey, no worries :)

[Image Credit: My Dear Friend, M-Mono; Title Credit: Oh Hark! by Lisa Mitchell]
Monday, October 25, 2010 | By: Reenie

Back in the Silver light

One of the things that make it up for waking up at the wee hours for work is this...

... the beautiful Yarra River- that flows through the heart of Melbourne.

Yarra is breathtaking and this photo does not do her justice; but trust me she is very pretty, specially in Summer... coming to work is ‘almost nice’ when there is Silver sunlight, won’t you agree?

This is also the very sight that I took one look at, many years back, and felt like I was home... I had never in my life felt like this for any place before- that sense of belonging, that feeling of ‘home’... and this silver sunlight is the very reason I love the Melbourne’s Summers so much.

There it is, my friends... time for me to enjoy my Yarra, this Silver Summer light, my City.... and look at my life with my Crazy and my very own little ‘Sher’ (my cat’s name, which in Persian- means a ‘Lion’) in this new light...

... after all, life is short and there are only so many Summers to enjoy... and I want to enjoy it the fullest while I can.

What is it about ‘your’ City that you love the most?
Sunday, October 24, 2010 | By: Reenie

Three seasons, One week...

Melbourne is recently going through a phase of season-indecision... one day it is Spring, the next- Winter and right on the next it is Summer...

On the days of Spring- I put on a light jacket and enjoy the life in nature, on the days of Summer- I would feel the sun on my face, walk by the beach and feel happy; on the days of Winter- I would brood and in an effort to feel better- perhaps get a pedicure ... :)

... and while the seasons were changing, deciding, fighting amongst themselves- with Winter winning the most of the battles- life, of course, went on and with each day we forgot a little bit more how Summer felt...  and how it feels to have a scorching sun biting on your skin...

Yesterday Summer finally decided to show up at our doorstep along with the discovery that the air conditioner in the car is broken; it was so cold for MONTHS that we did not get to realize that what we did not need for many months was actually broken all this time...

Well... I am a Summer girl and the drive home put a smile on my face; and even while making that phone call to the car mechanic- I knew what 'Priceless' meant... and the sun burning on my skin can be one perfect example of just that :)
Saturday, October 23, 2010 | By: Reenie

My Love, she throws me like a Rubber Ball...

Today's Guest Post is from my friend Old Kitty. I will let her do (most of) the talking:

I wrote this poem last year during my writing course. Actually the original was longer, more awkward, technically challenged and downright pants.

As I am currently in an editing type of mood with my monstrous novel, I thought I’d air this poem in its edited glory just one more time.

No need to tell me not to give up my day job. Trust me this does not reek as the original did. It just sort of pongs a little. And that for me is progress.


The Hot Water Bottle

You keep me warm, cosy, comforted
You are covered in soft red fleece
I hug you in fear of the cold

Sometimes I wonder if you will explode.

I can move you around my body.
My toes wiggle under your warmth
You keep the brutal chill at bay
You chase the icicles away.

You stay with me as I drool and snore
You keep with me until the morn
You always start heat-hot and grow lukewarm
But you never ever blow cold.

Reenie's note:

It is now getting pleasantly warm over here in Australia: late-Spring is leading way to Summer; but of course- Old Kitty lives in the UK where the love for the 'Hot Water Bottle' is in the season, I'm sure. Hehe...

I enjoyed this silly poem, hope you did too... (and LOL at the 'pongs a little'!). Those of you who'd like to say 'hi'- she writes here and I recommend you especially read this, this and this- my favourite blog-posts in recent times.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

[Image Credit: Internet; Title Credit: The Sweetest Thing- U2]
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | By: Reenie

I run off where the drifts get deeper; Sleeping Beauty trips me with a frown...

I decided a manicure-pedicure will be a good idea for today... so I did a ‘walk-in’ to the nearest ‘nails parlour’ right after work. I was right, it was a good idea indeed. It was 1.5 hours of pure indulgence and I came out feeling very pleased with myself... getting my nails done ‘lifts me up’ somehow.

The only thing I want to complain about are those pedicure slippers. Have you noticed how ugly fashion-challenged they are?! I was given two choices- hot pink or fluorescent green. I don’t like pink, but I like fluorescent green (or anything fluorescent) even less... besides, as if a sensible colour will make these ‘slop-flops’ any less silly...! Ha!

I chose pink... there wasn’t much choice there anyway. I just put them on and waited in the open lobby for Crazy to come pick me up- reading from my Kindle and sporting the silly pink slipper (eeek!)... once I looked up and saw a guy wink at me. I could only manage a very sheepish smile back...

Oh well, must be the charm of my newly-done nails ;). Yup, I will keep telling myself that- thankyouverymuch!

On a semi-random note, a question- How about you? Is there any colour that you feel 'not you'?

[Title Credit: Winter by Tori Amos]
Sunday, October 17, 2010 | By: Reenie

The Opposite of ‘Awake’ and ‘Alert’

If- in the last week- it took me a minute too long to come up with an equation; or to remember if I had dinner, your name, my home phone number; or to take my credit card back after paying for something (seafood dinner from Red Rooster, yup!); or to generally ‘concentrate’ on anything at all...

... I pledge ‘not guilty’ and condemn the hayfever for it ALL. You have to agree that allergies can impair your brain that way, right? I can blame the medicine (I took Zyrtec) too, if you like... I mean, have a look at what the website says:

Zyrtec can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Hmm. I know of something that does not require me to be awake- SLEEP! Heh! And ‘alert’? Ha! I don’t really have a choice here, do I? Have you ever heard of an ‘alert’ hayfever-er? No, right? Me neither.

Anyway- before I forget what I was saying and start talking about... umm... shoes- ‘not guilty; and I now rest my case'.

Important Notice: If you live in Melbourne and thinking about adopting a cat, please consider adopting from here. This cat shelter needs to relocate and the cats need new forever homes... like... right now.

[Art Credit: My dear friend, M-Mono]
Saturday, October 16, 2010 | By: Reenie

A Postcard from Tampa

Happy 100th Reenie!!!

Reenie's note:

The postcard (go on, click on it to biggify!) is from my fellow blogger and friend- Agnes; as she graciously agreed to guest post for my approaching the 100th post in this blog- she did it by creating this unique postcard. The more I look at it, the more I love- especially appreciating the thoughts put in each little thing in the card... Rest assured, the postcard has found the 'correct Reenie'- and with such precise instructions- it could never not!

I bet no one here is surprised that I absolutely want those stilettos RIGHT NOW :)! Hehe.

For those who would like to know, Agnes writes here- and I highly recommend you read this, this and this post by her in the recent times. I specially like them; I think you may too.

So... what do you think? ;)
Thursday, October 14, 2010 | By: Reenie

My Ailing Brain...

If you are ever running on ‘limited mental capacity’ like I am at the moment (Hayfever, Dang!!), I recommend you read/ re-read the ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Trust me, it does have some therapeutic ingredients to cater an ailing brain :)

That is what I did through the evening yesterday- enjoying thoroughly and reading parts out to Crazy sometimes and literally laughing out loud from time to time. Well, in my defense- Crazy laughed too, so I am not the only one who's retarded!!

Here’s one of the parts that made us laugh loud enough to wake the kitten up from one of his catnaps:

Christopher Robin said you couldn't be called Tresspassers W, and the Piglet said yes, you could, because his grandfather was, and it was short for Tresspassers Will, which was a short for Tresspassers William. And his grandfather had two names in case he lost one- Tresspassers after an uncle, and William after a Tresspasser.

Hehe. Leads me to a series of questions though: Do you also like children’s books? Did you like children’s book when you were a child... or did you, like me, started to truly appreciate them after childhood was long-past... and finally- perhaps the silliest one of them all- do they ever make you wish that you lived inside a story? :)

[Image Credit: Internet]
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | By: Reenie

The best you can do- is to fake it...

I want to be here, but I am really not... or is it the other way round- that I am here even though I’d rather not? Oh well, who knows. All I know is that Hayfever has claimed me and I’m trying to find my way back to recovery...

As it stands right now, I can’t decide what is worse- the itchy swollen eyes, the fatigue, or the fact that I am working at a much reduced mental capacity; the world around me is at the risk of me suddenly forgetting the time and place and instinctively sticking the tongue out to answer at least some from the incessant flow of stupid questions by this annoying and usually-very-rude colleague of mine.

I don’t mean to be vindictive- but can I be that kind of ‘insane’ for once and later claim my reputation back from my Hay Fever insurance? I can’t? Yea, thought so. Shucks.

[Title Credit: Sometimes you can’t make it- U2; Art Credit: Veggie]
Sunday, October 10, 2010 | By: Reenie

The more things change, the more they remain the same...

I am missing that lake today... the one inside my university campus- where I’d lay on my tummy and spend the class breaks studying, doodling, sketching or watching white ducks swimming on the blue water...

Now that I think of it- that was when I found a part of myself- until that time, I had never truly known the comforts of my own company, or the beauty 'silence' held... that lake taught me those things...

... or maybe it was I who did- with some help from the lake... explains why I did not want anyone else to find me there, because there just wasn’t a polite way of saying, ‘shut up’. There still isn’t but I’m giving it a try.

I am missing that lake today... to sit at that same spot and watch the waves and the ducks... and if anyone would like to join in- I am not bothered as long as they would not want to share me with me... I want all of myself with the lake in that serenity. That's all.

On a related note, thanks to Meera for getting me all tangled up in nostalgia. Well done, you! LOL!

[Image source: Internet]
Saturday, October 9, 2010 | By: Reenie

Perhaps I need some Red Bull...

I am so fatigued since the last few days that it is not funny... or cute.

... so fatigued you may think that I’m turning into a cat- catnapping the weekend away... only much much less floofy and much less adorable- actually far from it.

I plan to waste away this weekend to top up the energy level once again... perhaps some beach time and some wicked steak from the local steak house (with loads of mushroom sauce on top!) will help me do just that.

... but before I do any of those, a hot bubble bath (with plenty of bath salt) is in order... only if I can find the energy to turn the water on...

Oh well... have a great weekend, everyone!

On a semi-random note, I think a mushroom sauce is the BEST thing about a Porterhouse... it can be very pleasantly addictive. Yum! And, yup, that's MY baby in the photograph!! Cuteness, yes?!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | By: Reenie

Cappuccino please, extra strong, no sugar. Thank you.

With the new daylight savings timing here- what was 5am last week is 6am in this one and (unsurprisingly) my brain these days is still sleeping when the alarm goes off at 5am 6am.

My usual-favourite ‘masala chai’ from the downstairs coffee shop is not quite ‘cutting it’ these days – I am now going for extra strong cappuccino instead. That should tell you 'something', right?

Well... take this morning for example- when I saw my colleague Adrian running to catch up with my steps- instead of saying ‘Hey Adrian’, I said ‘Hey Joe’... and then spent the rest of the 2-minute walk to our desks absolutely shame-faced and muttering under my breath... Shall I add that 'Adrian' was rather amused?

... but please tell me now- who the hell is Joe?! Even now after so many hours, for the life of me, I cannot remember a single 'Joe' that I know personally (surely that cannot be the case?!) and it's not even 'morning' anymore!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | By: Reenie

That Silver Thing

My closest friend at work is going away next month- maternity leave- for six months... and the second closest- off he is to the USA for the Summer vacation (our Summer, I mean). Me, however? I have overdrawn on my Annual Leave back in July and staying right here in Melbourne...Yup, ALL THIS TIME. Not the most exciting of plans, you say?

True that in four weeks or so- my lunch times at work will get a little lonely, but at least the weather will be good and the beach near my work is not going anywhere!

Strange as it may sound, I am actually looking forward to those walks and the breaks. I have always liked some 'alone time' and besides, this weather makes me feel so contented that it almost seems exaggerated!

I am looking forward to the 4 days in November (Melbourne Cup), the 11 days in December (Christmas closure), Spring followed by Summer and plenty of beach time! And on top of that, I will get to spend a lot of time with my adorable four-legged furbaby...!

Silver lining, guys... sometimes (though not always) that lining does not seem ever-so-mythical... sometimes 'that silver thing' is a nice treat served on a tray with cherry on top... just for you :)

[Image credit: My lovely buddy, Simz]
Friday, October 1, 2010 | By: Reenie

As the music played I saw my life turn around, that was the day before love came to town

Oh, how I love Spring...

I love the long days. I love getting back home with the sunlight on my face. I love those trendy sunglasses. I love good hair days. I love the colours. I love the beach, the beach smell, the sands and the seagulls. I love the cherry blossoms. I love the life in the air. I love the painted toenails. I love the warmth. I love the perky playlists. I love that little summer dress.

I love the way Spring lifts me up and I love it all all all... Now I only wish the ankle heals soon enough so that I can make a sprint towards the springing Spring :)

[Title credit: When love comes to town- U2]
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