Month of thanks

As the freezing weather begins–my least favorite time of the year–I wanted to do what I usually like to do in November, the month of thanks.  It shouldn’t just be a day of thanks on Thanksgiving Day.  Then again, it also shouldn’t just be a month of thanks, either.  But hey, it’s better than just the one day, right?

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?  I’m grateful for the following.

  • I’m grateful for my family’s health.
  • I’m grateful for my family’s home and the town we live in.
  • I’m grateful for my job, even though sometimes I want to lose my mind from the stress it causes.
  • I’m grateful for my daughter’s first college app submission (yes, she’s about to go to COLLEGE…how is that even possible????); the rest should come easier.
  • I’m grateful for the irises that graced our garden late this fall (thanks to the warm weather), even though the freeze wiped them out earlier this week.
  • I’m grateful for simple pleasures, like flowers and all that nature has to offer that I can see and take pictures of.
  • I’m grateful for being able to enjoy the occasional pleasure of a concert, Broadway show, dinner out with friends, and travel.
  • I’m grateful for my friendships over the years.
  • I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to create booklets, flyers, etc. with Canva; it’s another outlet for me besides writing.

Iris in my yard, taken 11-13-22

#‎byebyewinter‬ ‪#‎hellospring‬ ‪#‎goodbyewintergreys‬ ‪#‎hellospringcolors‬

Not quite spring yet (only 7 days away) and I can’t contain my excitement.  I just had to stop and take a picture on a neighboring street when I saw, to my great delight, my very first blooming tree of the season in the area.  This particular tree is always the first to bloom and I’ve always wanted to stop and take a picture of it.  This time, I finally had to do it.  Granted, the winter wasn’t a very long, cold or snowy/icy one.  But who doesn’t get excited, after nearly four months of grey and colorless days, to see vibrant colors like this?


hello spring

My Wish for You This Holiday Season

With Christmas in 2 days and 2016 in 9 days, I wanted to wish you a lovely Christmas and a joyous New Year.

May 2016 hold promises of more peace, more empathy, more generosity, more love, more open-mindedness…..less fighting and violence, less greed, less hate, less extremism.  Individually, we can make a difference.  A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE.

Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
메리 크리스마스
Mele Kalikimaka
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Merry Christmas

Life is too short, so try to treat others as you would want to be treated. If someone is hurting, comfort them.  This has been my mission statement for my blog since Day 1.  If you see someone who needs support, offer it. If you see someone who is going through a really tough time–and it could very well be a new mother or father that is struggling to make it through the first few weeks postpartum, with or without postpartum depression (PPD)–then offer your support.  Don’t wait for them to come to you desperate for help.  #payitforward

 I leave you with this inspirational quote from Jimmy Carter, whom I respect so, so much (read about how he’s dedicating the rest of his life to women’s rights).

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.” – Jimmy Carter

Being Thankful for Freedom

I’ve never been able to come up with daily thanks for #30daysofthanks, but I do have a lot to be thankful for.  I don’t have a lot of time to write tonight because I have to go back to work after I put my daughter to bed.  Speaking of work, I am thankful for the job that I have, even though I have had to work ever night and every Saturday/Sunday for the past couple of weeks to wrap up a project by month end.   Work has been grueling since I started my new job in March, but I have learned a lot.  In general, it has been a great experience thus far.  I am exhausted.  But I am thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful for FREEDOM.  Freedom that I would not have if it weren’t for so many of member of the US military sacrificing their lives, time that they would have spent with loved ones if they weren’t fighting for our FREEDOM.  In all too many cases these men and women may survive the wars they fight, but they come back home to find out they’ve lost everything they had–their homes, their families.  They even lost their mental health.  For the sake of our FREEDOM.   Well, you Senators out there claiming to have our people’s wellbeing at the heart of your legislation, you should show them you are thankful not just with lip service, but through actions.  Actions speak louder than words, right?  Well, then, develop mental health programs and make sure every veteran suffering from mental health issues gets the help he/she needs.  NOW!

In tonight’s episode of The Voice, Pharrell performed his song FREEDOM.  It was a performance that had a particularly special meaning, given what has been happening recently in Paris, in Mali, in Beirut, etc.  We in this country need to stop fighting among ourselves and realize what’s truly at stake here.  Our FREEDOM can be jeopardized if we don’t fight the real enemies TOGETHER.

Without freedom, I wouldn’t even be able to appreciate my and my family’s health.

Without freedom, I wouldn’t even be free to appreciate GORGEOUS SUNSETS like the one that many New Jerseyans were graced with last night.  I was standing in a local Michael’s and happened to look out the glass doors while standing on line to pay, when I saw the most gorgeous sky I have ever seen.  It was so gorgeous that everyone leaving the store was in awe and stopped to take pictures with their cell phones.  Sunset pictures from all over New Jersey appeared all over Twitter.

These are the shots I took with my cell phone.


Photo: Ivy Shih Leung 11/22/15

Without FREEDOM, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate having the job that I have, working to help support my family, the ability to come home from a long day at work to watch my favorite program The Voice, and afterwards, blog about what I’m thankful about.


Photo: Ivy Shih Leung 11/22/15


I, for one, try to never take my FREEDOM and everything that matters to me for granted.  My family, my friends, my home, food, clothing, my job, being able to travel and see different cities, landmarks and scenery, taking in gorgeous sunset skies or rainbow skies or star-filled skies, music, dance, entertainment, and so on.

Be thankful that we are blessed to have the FREEDOM we have.