All the positivity you sent is working

Thank you, Janis!

I am feeling a lot better these past two weeks. I can finish my sentences without pause and walk without running out of breath. Doing nothing, relaxing the mind, and all your well-wishes helped a lot. And the medications, of course.

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness. You were all so kind. It was overwhelming. I did not expect that. And the tiny house mail I received from Janis was the loveliest surprise. Many thanks! Much appreciated. I loved it and it made me feel cared for. Blog friends are the best. How can one not get better?

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Lately, I’m obsessed with

I turn to food when I am happy, sad, relaxed, hormonal, stressed, tired, and so on. Food is good. I do not need to be hungry to eat. It is not the healthiest attitude in the world but it is sure one I believe in.

This love of food I inherited from my mother, who is an incredible homecook with a stomach that knows no floor or ceiling. For better or worse. Following are food that I have been obsessing over lately. Consider this your munchies trigger warning!

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I want to relax but plastic gives me anxiety

Our eating area.

I watch a couple of cafe vlogs on YouTube for relaxation. One is focused on making hot and cold coffee drinks while the other features gorgeous bread and sandwiches.

The preparation of all these nice food entertain me – the sounds, colors, ingredients, and attention to detail are inspiring – but there is one aspect to this process that digs at my soul every time: the prolific use of plastic.

Container upon container, order upon order, it is one plastic on top of another plastic that is on top of one more plastic (Don’t click the links, Michelle. I worry it will give you angina).

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Disease, dis-ease, di-seased

Let me close June by saying it decisively won over me: my lung situation has gotten so bad I am taking medications I have not needed in years, I am at record weight, and a dread is constantly gripping at me as I fear the return of my really dark times from a lifetime ago.

I am scared, swollen from scalp to toe, literally shaking, and working for every breath. I cannot walk from my bed to the toilet without toil and I talk. like. this. to catch. my breath. Always tired. In pain even when I am just sat.

I am lucky I have the best healthcare available to me from home. If I go to the hospital, I would immediately be sent to isolation to rule out COVID-19. But this predates the pandemic and it will inherit my body in a post-COVID world.

It hurts to be in this situation, physically and spiritually. Every day is a reminder of how I failed to take care of myself, how I failed to protect myself. It is really hard sometimes because I can only control so much. Despite my best efforts, stress has reached my shores, if not unfairly, and here I am burning like Troy.

The problem is I do not recover quickly – I never have. The top pulmonologist in the region has looked after me for over a decade and she still hates me today because “I cannot make you well.” This, even after the best management and a solar system of medications. I guess it is just me.

Of course, life goes on. I am decisively but not completely defeated. I allow myself this small space to explore my negative feelings but no more. At least for today. I will continue to be hopeful and more important, learn from this experience.

The sun will shine tomorrow and there will be more cups of tea. I will probably not be okay, but even that, too, is okay. Someone grind a grilled dead lizard into powder. Maybe that does it.

In between the pages, our lives

Books and masala chai is heaven

This year’s resolution has definitely rekindled my entombed fascination with books and I can only be grateful.

Every day, I hold books close to me, savor a few pages, and make new connections or rediscover old ones – very helpful for a fuzzy, heavily medicated brain of late.

Of course, this is far from my supercharged reading from way back when, but it gives me joy to return to the book lover side of the fence. Isn’t it wild how books are just always there, ready to take us back no matter how long we put them down?

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How to live a holiday life, or better yet, how to create a life you love

A French friend of mine regularly threatens to block me on Instagram because my posts of what he calls our “holiday life” frustrate him. He wants to live by the beach and be surrounded by nature, too. But he cannot because he has to live in Hong Kong and work for a living. 

I do not think I am on a permanent holiday – my back certainly disagrees after working in the garden for a full day – but I am happy to live an intentional life, one that is far slower and softer than most lives. One time, I told Markus our days resemble that of retirees: no rush, no schedule, no pressure. Are we not the luckiest?

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All about my hoyas

Yes, just bring your hoyas inside, thank you.

Hoyas invited themselves into my life. I was not particularly drawn to them but the generous people around me are. I often receive propagations or cuttings as presents. Plants are plants and I will grow them all.

I just realized I have a good amount of them now when I noticed my fastest growing plants of the moment – hoyas! 

These plants are ideal for beginners, at least the common varieties, since they do not need watering every day and readily available.

Most have waxy leaves and you only water them when the leaves feel papery or thin. Overwater them and they will quickly decline! The only other requirement is plenty of bright, indirect light and your hoyas will thrive. Here are some that I am enjoying now:

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A fun Q&A to cure all ills

Taking it easy

Along with gray skies and rain, June brought plenty of stress to our tiny house life, so much so that my respiratory problem flared up and I was chugging medications again. I swear, stress will be the death of me.

This is why I put all my effort in designing a life that I love. Then again, we can only control ourselves and never others – there are always ways for us to be dragged in messes we did not create. Fortunately, things seemed to have calmed down and while I remain tired, I am now focused on recovering.

How about an easy Q&A for today’s post? This is inspired by my blogfriend Janis and the questions are from here. Let me know what some of your answers are, too!

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What brushing my teeth like a retard has taught me

Brush your teeth, kids.

Last month, I spontaneously decided to start brushing my teeth with my non-dominant hand. Not just because, but to teach myself a new skill. It may not create more connections in my brain like that if I just ate magic mushrooms or my chosen task as impressive as learning how to play Clair de Lune on the piano, but believe me, it could very well be just as involved.

The first day I brushed not only my teeth but also my forehead and had foam running up to my elbow – don’t ask why. I honestly did not expect it to be that hard. But I am one for trying.

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Have you ever died in your dreams?

I often wonder why we dream. Is it our subconscious? Memories? Repressions? What about desires? Do we dream only as a side effect of the electric impulses in our brains? It is altogether a fascinating subject. Markus has read a book on why we sleep, but why do we dream?

It gets more interesting when we talk about bad dreams. Nightmares. Sometimes I can have five nightmares on the same evening and remember them all. Talk about an adventure.

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