Friday, December 9, 2016

Garden Revitalization & Outdoor Learning

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
(Margaret Mead)

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may recall seeing that at the end of September, we were quite shocked and disappointed to find that our community garden had been completely demolished.
The worst part of the whole scenario is that the damage and destruction was carried out by the very Public Authority tasked with maintaining garden spaces in the country.
But, I'm happy to say, we fought back and with the support of the community through donations and the hard work of many volunteers, we are up and running again.
It is a joy and a privilege to teach children about the benefits of gardening and taking care of their environment.
Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.
Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching,
Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

Last night we had the cutest group of homeschoolers between the ages of 2 and 5 visit the garden.
 After reading them a story about leaving a zero footprint, they picked up garbage, composted, planted and watered.
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.
(Rachel Carson)

It's always so much fun watching children get excited about every aspect of the garden, even picking up garbage.  But I do have to say, I think watering was their favorite part. The soil may stay moist for quite a while.

Have a fabulous Friday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mission In Memoriam

Last year, my good friend, Elena, lost her father ... and just a few months ago, after a year of battling lung cancer, the removal of one lung, and many other complications, her mother passed away.
When she found out I was going to Jerusalem in November, she asked if I could light candles in memory of her parents and make a donation to the church.
And what better place to do that than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection.
This door is the one entrance to the church.
And just beyond it is the Stone of Anointing where it is believed Jesus was prepared for burial.
Upstairs is Calvary Chapel.
Which is where I made the donation.
And was able to light the candles in memory of Elena's father and mother, speaking their names as I did so.
I consider myself to be a spiritual person rather than subscribing to any particular religion.  I do believe in signs.

As I was leaving the chapel, something floated from above, directly in front of my face. 
"When angels are near, feathers appear ..."

It is believed that white feathers represent protection and that our loved ones have crossed over into the spirit realm.
It was a very moving moment.

I saved that little feather and attached it to the wings of an olive wood angel that I gifted to my friend upon my return home.
Sending you blessings for a beautiful new week.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Something to Smile About

My last post was about the death of my husband's uncle who he was very close to.
On Friday, yet another uncle passed away.
And just yesterday, the mother of his very good friend died.
Sad days indeed, and a reminder of his own father's passing 10 years ago in the very same month.
We were unable to attend the burial service of the first uncle in Jordan because of a business trip to Dubai that my husband could not cancel.
We left early Tuesday morning, arriving to dusty, warmer weather.
After checking in, we always head straight to the Dubai Mall, have soup and sourdough bread at Nordsee, visit the Japanese bookstore and then take a quick walk outside to see the iconic Burj Khalifa.
While my husband attended business meetings, I was able to walk around the hotel grounds and sit outside at one of the many restaurants where I could read and have a drink.
As you can see, I was not alone.
I was engrossed in my magazine and the folks at the next table laughingly informed me that a fine feathered friend was stealing my nuts.
Next thing I know, a young dove came and sat right in the bowl.
Every time I see this picture it makes me giggle.  
I'm used to the crows in Sri Lanka who will steal your food if you turn your back for a second.
But have never had a dove come join me at the table.

Definitely something to smile about.
Happy Sunday!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sunset of Life

Just two weeks ago, we were able to visit my husband's uncle in Irbid, Jordan.  The roundtrip drive takes several hours so it is an all day affair.  On the way back to Amman that day, I was snapping pictures from the backseat window of the amazing sunset we were witnessing.  
Our friend, Mohammed, found the perfect spot to stop along the side of the road so we could truly enjoy the spectacle.

In the sunset of life,
The shadows are dim;
The years orchestrated,
By life’s fickle whims.

Where once there was brightness,
A life filled with light;
It drifts toward the sky,
On shadows of night.

The sweetness of youth,
Is a memory now;
Yet holds all the sweetness,
My heart will allow.

For memories fade,
And 'tho time slips like sand;
My time is dictated,
By God’s simple plan.

In the sunset of life,
I have found joy and peace;
I shall celebrate life,
'Till my sunset has ceased.

(Allison Chambers Coxsey)
Jerash, Jordan

This morning my husband's uncle passed away from prostrate cancer. He wanted to be at home with his family and that's where he was all throughout his illness and until he died.  We are grateful we were able to visit him one last time.

This morning in Kuwait, we are having our first truly cloudy day of the winter season.
A reflection of our current mood.
May he rest in peace.


Friday, November 18, 2016


This picture of Jingles describes how I felt for several days at the beginning of the week.
I just wanted to keep the world at bay.
So I retreated.
On Tuesday, while checking plants on the balcony and talking to a friend on the phone, I was mesmerized by this little insect that flew directly into a tiny hole and then reemerged a short while later.
Emerging: "the act of becoming known or coming into view"
It was a true reflection of how I had been feeling.
That night, I was inspired by a post by my friend, Maureen, about a community coloring project in Brooklyn; so did a bit of my own color therapy.
And my youngest son sent the below image with the message "it's weird actually having an Autumn".
So, on Wednesday morning, I took a walk with my crocheted leaves, and created my own little Autumn here in the desert.
I left a little love behind at my neighborhood park.
And that afternoon I attended a volunteer meeting at The Secret Garden to plan our Saturday gardening day.
Finding this little fella in the dirt at the garden certainly brought a smile to my face.
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


The moon was reigning over their world, glowing its full splendor to all those willing to look up.
Irina Serban

My husband woke me at 5:30 am so I could see the setting of last night's supermoon.
From our balcony this morning, I took this picture through sleepy eyes.
Last night, I had to wait for it to circle it's way around buildings before I could get a glimpse of it.
Of course, using my phone means that I don't always get the best shots, but most of the time, it's the only thing I have with me.
Like when we were in Jerusalem and I saw a crescent moon over the old city.
Or when we were in Jordan and it was peeking through the cypress trees.
And shining over the city of Amman at night.
This morning, since I was up, I figured I'd better make it worth my while, and reached for my big girl camera.
That's the tip of a palm frond in front of the moon.
And even closer.
I do love a good zoom.

The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections. 
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Blessings for the week,
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