Tag Archives: Chinese

Celebrate Our Differences, or Why I Like You

Cardinal resting after a hard day!

Photo credit: xandert from morguefile.com

I declare today as “Celebrate Our Differences” day. It seems like a good idea. After all, we spend so much time complaining or thinking negative thoughts about other people that it seems like a good idea to switch it up.

I was watching two cardinal mates at my bird feeder this morning. The fiery red of the male contrasts completely and perfectly with the dullness of the female’s sluggish brown. Yet they work together to build a family and take care of their babies. These birds mate for life, and the male helps the female by feeding her during mating season and incubation. Yet to look at them, you’d never really know they were the same type of birds.

On the outside, many members of the animal kingdom seem more respectful of their differences. Since most can’t express themselves to humans, it’s really hard to know. However, I know some of them like to complain as well.

I like you because you are different than I. Your hair has more volume, your skin is not covered with spots from too much time in the sun, your eyes are brown, your lips are more full and you weigh a lot less than I do. But it’s not just the physical things I like about you.

I like the fact that you prefer reading biographies to my spy novels. I appreciate the fact that you always take time to say hello when you call me on the phone (one of my little bad habits is that when I call people I know, I just jump in and start talking). Your sense of humor is different than mine, but you say some very funny things.

I admire you for always hanging in there as my friend, through thick and thin in a proverbial sense. You’re always glad to hear my voice, and you always take the time to say, “love you” at the end of our conversations.

Even though you don’t have a college degree, you are smarter than a whip and every time we speak, you teach me something about life or myself . You are patient with and kind to me. Your generosity extends to others, and you’re always willing to help someone in need. I like that the most about you, for it says much about your character.

You may not like Mexican food, be we both adore Chinese food. I’m Christian and you’re Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist.

We spend so much time complaining, nagging, whining and gossiping about how different so and so is from us that we forget we were all made from the same cloth…God’s multi-colored, multi-textured textile. When we celebrate our differences and look on the bright side, our whole day changes, and sometime, our lives change.

I appreciate you!


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What Eating Chinese Food, Gardening and Fishing Have in Common

Veggies from my 2010 garden

I found a great new Chinese/Japanese place to eat yesterday. I’d driven past it a million times, but something always kept me from stopping. Since my favorite soup/salad restaurant in the same area closed down, I thought it was time to try the Fuji Steakhouse in Spartanburg, SC.

If I had a fancy cell phone with all the whistles and bells, or if I’d thought to bring my camera, I’d be showing a picture of the most amazing plate of food I ordered. It was tofu with veggies and fried rice. Huge. Really. Beyond delicious as well.

While I was eating and reading a new book by Janet Evanovich I found at the dollar store, something occurred to me. I always eat Asian food with chopsticks. After two years in Korea and a love of far Eastern cuisine my whole life, I consider it almost a sin to eat these delicacies with a fork! As a matter of fact, I have also taught tons of people to eat with chopsticks in under two minutes. However, I digress.

What came into my thoughts was that you have to pay attention to eat this food with chopsticks. I don’t mean shoveling it in your mouth without thinking as you do when you’re eating with a fork. I mean you REALLY have to pay attention. If you don’t, you’ll not only not be able to eat anything, but you also may wind up with food all over the table and your clothes if you don’t. Real hand to mouth contact, so to speak.

I’d been working in my yard for a good part of the morning before I went out in search of the perfect meal or perfect deal. I found a pretty perfect deal, but I decided to wait.

When I’m working in the garden or fishing, I lose track of time. I am fully engaged in those particular hobbies of mine, just as I am paying exact attention when I eat Chinese food.

The Buddhists call it “mindfulness.” The new-agers call it “meditation.” Many Christians call it “prayer. It is being fully in the moment. It represents a time when we can concentrate profoundly on what we are doing, without letting the stress of our everyday lives get to us.

For me, I don’t think about what I’m going to eat, wear or if my house needs repairs. I forget painful memories, don’t worry about anyone else and feel joy and peace in every part of my being.

It is my way of communing with God, nature and my inner self. I sometimes get great revelations when I do so. I sometimes don’t.

I did forget for a moment yesterday and spilled a little food on my bright turquoise peasant shirt. I almost tripped and fell while walking down my uneven pathway while gardening today.

But I always catch fish. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year, and I need to go fishing.

One year I had the extreme pleasure of living in the mountains of Northern California. I went fishing every day there wasn’t snow on the ground. I caught tons of rainbow trout, my favorite fish. I felt awe at watching a family of ducks grow up. seeing the leaves turn their brilliant colors and looking at the reflection of the trees in the crisp, clean and cool water. That was one of the most painful years of my lives in other respects, but the fishing made the pain go away.

I hope you have hobbies or habits that do the same for you.

What will you be mindful of today?

Hey, and if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment! I’d surely appreciate it.


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