a voice

a voice

Eyes closed, a baby cries.
Mother holds, a voice speaks.
Calm, soothing, safe, warm.
Mother’s voice in mother tongue.
Land from afar, but presence up-close.
Eyes opened, a baby sees.
Mother holds, a voice speaks.

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.org spotlight: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine |reducing food waste|sustainability

.org spotlight: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine |reducing food waste|sustainability

I always wondered what happens with the excess food prepared in restaurants and sold in supermarkets. A long time ago, there was a bakery I liked in the city that reduced their pastry prices by half after dinnertime knowing that a lot of it would end up as waste by the end of the night (unfortunately, they stopped doing this a few years ago). I thought it was genius and awesome for everyone involved. I also know that some supermarkets will donate some portion of their unsold fresh food to local food shelters, but unfortunately, I think there is still a lot that still gets thrown out.

Recently, I came upon this non-profit organization that focuses on exactly this: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. According to their website, 40% of the food in the United States become waste and one in seven people do not have access to food. That is quite a statistic! But I think they are changing that. Since their inception in 2013, they’ve saved 1,280,377 pounds of food and served 1,066,981 meals.

I believe they are based in New York, but they have a presence in multiple locations (Florida, Georgia, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and more) around the U.S. Please check them out and especially if you’re a restaurant owner or would like to volunteer. I think it’s a great way to be a part of a solution to a huge problem we all are affected by (according to the EPA website linked below, 95% of the food waste end up in landfills). Hopefully they can expand into more states in the future.

Below are a couple links I found on how to lessen food waste at home:

10 Easy Ways to Cut Food Waste | Parents (YouTube video)

Reducing Food Wasted At Home | EPA website

Speaking of which, in order to salvage my soon to be expired Goldfish cheese snacks, I made them into crumbs for my breaded chicken sandwiches (which were yummy, by the way). I am also currently on a baking kick since I’d like to use up my chocolate chips before they expire in two weeks. My next batch will be chocolate chip peanut butter cookies from this recipe. I hope they’re tasty!

her ease

her ease

Her movements were imperfect.
Something about her didn’t fit.
My eyes deceived me then.
Unable to identify her beauty.
She was warmth and tough love.
I saw high standards and ignorance.
As I got older, I had to wear glasses.
To see clearly, the world beyond fog.
And what I saw was her outline.
A memory stands among others,
Of her love for life, her ease in existence.
Mistakes weren’t catastrophes;
The potential came after, “Now what?”

do not pass

do not pass

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I see this often. On city streets, there’s always a crane craning its head into the spaces of the sky. Dust and random building material I don’t know of scatter all over the pavement and the areas are temporarily restricted. Reserved. I see this image symbolically today.

Although not always beautiful and sometimes unwanted, we build on. We don’t have metal guards reserving spaces for each transition. We continue growth whether we are ready or not; whether it’s for the right reasons or not. Although many of us will sustain a routine that is quite the same day to day, we are in constant change. Each day, our hair will grow longer and our faces age with each smile and frown. Beyond the physical, our surroundings change all the time. Our landscapes, our relationships and how we see ourselves are molded with each experience and interaction.

And without forgetting, we are always building onto our present and future. I think parents and guardians are good examples of this. Both caring for their young in the present, but also preparing them for the future in this ever-changing world. All of this stuff is amazing when I take a moment to think about it; how valuable time truly is and what we want to use it on.

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stillness in change

stillness in change

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As ever beautiful nature is,
Life’s challenges comes as easy.
In the midst of chaos,
There are also roses of care
Grown, delivered and received.
Streams of light still shines
Even in the last moments of sunsets.
Streams of water cool and calm in the night.
For a mere few hours, a new day begins.
A new path to create if we choose to.
Or an old path to follow if we do not.

waterfalls

waterfalls

As simply beautiful as a waterfall is,
The movement has layers of complexities.

Starting as one long stream,
Each water molecule unites.
Traveling together as a whole.

As rock formations collide,
Divisions and barriers are created.
One stream becomes several,
Each traveling on their own path.

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After several paths align with light,
They create the intangible rainbow.
Illuminating through each as they pass.

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Becoming a whole new entity.
A creation of beauty needing both,
Not one or just the other.

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Weathering through the imminent crash at the bottom,
Supporting and uniting together again like before.

Calm and peaceful waters drift along,
More different than before,
but unchanged in their element.

Narada Falls, Washington.

lovers secret

lovers secret

side by side, you both walk.
on your own, paving your way.
taking shortcuts when it made sense
and trekking the long way to make it all up.
bound by a connection unknown,
experiencing adventures simultaneously
creating memories others cannot feel.
secrets written in cryptic code
in a language only lovers speak.

a redwood tree

a redwood tree

What would I see,
If I was the tallest tree (in the world)?
My age is but a number,
But a great number indeed.

Thousands of years,
Earth’s changes I’ve seen many.
I am resilient, strong and reliable.
Withstanding weather beatings a plenty.

Come visit me and my family.
We are calming and wise.
A new connection to nature,
Will surely be a pleasant surprise.

realization of a dream

realization of a dream

The moment when all my wishful sentiments from the past years came true, it became a moment of complete surrealism for me. This was a personal dream I had for close to a decade. When I caught my breathe, my body suddenly acted without instruction and warm tears in my eyes quickly welled up. They were happy tears and they were out of control. I didn’t recognize myself. I luckily had a loved one with me who kept reassuring me that yes, this was real life. There are times even now when the voice saying, “I did it!” creeps up out of nowhere and I am still in a state of disbelief and complete gratitude.

Realizing a dream started with one goal. Soon after, it involved a lot of pressure. There was this nagging tension in my chest and mind to succeed. The biggest critic for me was myself. The highest expectations came from me, too. But I wasn’t ready. My heart wasn’t all in and I pushed myself anyway. For the first attempt at this journey, I failed. It felt so overwhelming and traumatizing. I felt vulnerable and bruised. I didn’t try again for many years after and developed a fear of it happening again.

But then something changed over a year ago. I’m not sure exactly how, but I no longer feared the failure. My desire for the dream was much stronger, even if it meant failing again and again and again. Logic won and decided that not trying at all meant never knowing my potential. And this time, I was ready. I believed it with all my heart. The countless hours of practice, study, worry, and excitement all played a crucial part in succeeding the dream. Because it meant that it mattered to me. This time, the dream came from a genuine place of happiness and belief from myself. The negativity evaporated (with some of it lingering) from a strong sense of knowing exactly what I wanted and why. No one can achieve my dreams. No one can do the work for me. I look back now and I think my past self wasn’t committed to the work needed to make it real.

When I started to finally focus, that was the moment it became realized. There were steps along the way that weren’t right. During practice, I fell and failed several times. I would get frustrated. It was all, unfortunately, necessary because after however many times of mistakes, I did eventually get it right. It was bittersweet. Those errors built up my awareness and my strength. The path finally aligned.

flower loving

flower loving

I do this thing when I see flowers. I love taking photographs of them because I like showing them to my mom the next time I see her. She was a really great gardener when I was growing up and even up until recent years. Due to her health and energy, she hasn’t had motivation to really focus on it. But I think it’s still her true love for sure. I remember I used to joke with her when I was little about how she loved her flower babies more than us kiddos and she would joke back. Luckily, she still cares for her indoor plants. Whenever I show her a new picture, she always has some information to say about how to care for them, how they grow or any special characteristics they have. It’s the best when her eyes open wide and she says aloud, “Wow, that’s really beautiful!” I love that and admire her constant love them; even though it’s changed from what it used to be.

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care instructions

care instructions

The fabric was soft to touch,
It reminded me of warm laundry.
It smelled clean like towels and sweaters
Folded neatly and placed in drawers.

The resource warranty expired years ago,
Did we not want to renew the insurance?

The care instructions on the tags rubbed off.
Hand wash-only I think, but we now only use machines.

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