Moments of Zen: Thanksgiving Edition 2016

I started Moments of Zen because I wanted to show that I was grateful for things going on in my daily life and it has become a journal of sorts in that respect. Because this week  is Thanksgiving and I have an awful lot of things to be thankful for lately, I would like to take this time to list a few. 

I’m grateful for:

  • A roof over my head : (yes it is not my ideal location but the rent is decently priced and it’s close to Liam’s school and my job)
  • My job – I get to work with kids and parents recommending books and doing what I got a Master’s Degree for (yes you do need a Masters Degree to work professionally in libraries) and finding new ways to share my love for books with new people; also the money helps me pay for food, gas and other essentials
  • My family, esp my parents, brother and son – the last 4 months have been the hardest of my life and they have been totally supportive of everything
  • My friends – again, they’re amazing and supportive; I can laugh, cry, get angry, frustrated or excited and they still want to hang with me and hear my ideas/craziness
  • A creative outlet – I have been writing a short story and I write poems to express myself; Having a creative outlet is super important and vital to me
  • A Novel Idea – the book club my friend Joanna and me started back in July and I look forward to it so much every month; it is helping keep me afloat 
  • St. John’s – my church, I hadn’t gone in ages before I started going again back in Sept but I’m glad I started going again. I feel like I can go here and be sad/emotional and that’s okay. Also a place where I can pray and be heard. Plus everyone there is so nice and supportive, especially Father Bruce. 
  • My counselor: Because he always listens and offers advice, even when everything around me seems to be out of control and really crappy
  • Books (written and audio) and Reading/Listening – because I literally couldn’t function without them
  • Everything Dragon Age – because it’s escapism and fun, or as this article says, “fantasy [is] not as an escape from reality, but a different way of engaging with it.” Below pic is my every time dilemma with DA2. 


Sat: Today was a good day after work. I made a goat cheese, pesto and red pepper tart, which was amazing (based off this recipe). I worked on my DA short story and played more DA 2, my latest game obsession again. I’ve played it so many times, but I just love the story and characters. 

Sun: Bookclub was Sunday night, and even though I was an hour late, I still had fun and good food there. We discussed Like Water for Chocolate, which pretty much everyone enjoyed. Plus there was Tres Leches Cake, which was delicious. 

Mon: I was running late in the morning before work and didn’t get to take a shower. So I went back during my lunch break and took one and read a bit of The Creeping Shadow, which is getting so good, I didn’t want to put it down. 

Tues: Catching up with my friend Joanna. We’ve had very different work schedules lately, so I don’t always get to talk. 

Wed:  Spending some time with my son and reading Captain Underpants #7 to him. 

Thurs: Flying kites with my dad, mom and my son before Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner itself was pretty damn tasty (Thanks Dad for the awesome smoked turkey!), and then I got to go see Beautiful, the musical inspired by Carole King’s life (which was way cooler -because of the great music – than I expected it to be, but also really sad). I had no idea she helped write so many famous songs from the 1960s and 70s. 

Moments of Zen: Nov 12-18


Cullen’s Very British Problems – I have definitely felt like this and a bit lately

Sat: Actually had a pleasant normal conversation with my husband while we were picking up and exchanging dressers with my mom, and picking up Liam’s bed. In fact, it was the nicest and friendliest we’ve been in months. I am hoping it can be like this in future. 

Mon: Finishing up a poem I’ve been writing for a few months. Writing some more on my DA story, and trying to decide what I want to do with it next. I can’t believe I’ve written 32 1/2 pages so far and at least 1/3 of it is my own work! 

Tues: Working on DA story and remembering how hard it is to summarize someone else’s work, while making it sound interesting enough to keep everyone’s interest up. I guess this is good practice if I ever try to write my own book. 

Wed: Finished reading Captain Underpants #6 to Liam (it was the grossest one yet, so many in-depth descriptions of mucus/snot/phlegm, ewww), and it was a cliffhanger. Also read Penguin Problems by Jory John, which I absolutely adored. It was hilarious and pretty much how I feel. 

Thurs: Made this crockpot dish I’ve been wanting to make forever and it was awesome! Of course you have to really like Bavarian Sauerkraut to like it, but I love all those flavor profiles. 

Fri: Reading some more of The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud, and really getting into it. To see some cool fan art on the series, check out the 2nd – 4th examples on this gallery. Also check out the US fan site


Moments of Zen: Nov 4-11th

I will be glad when this week is over because all the driving from the West Valley to central Phoenix is driving me nuts. So glad to live close to where I work and my kid goes to school. Sorry to wait so long to post this, end of the week got a bit crazy and I forgot. 

Fri: Sitting down at lunch and having a bite without thinking about my kid, money/bills, or anything else and reading part of The Kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd and wondering if the events in the book actually did happen (Wilhelm II meeting with the head of the SS Heinrich Himmler, and how Himmler really came to be in charge of the SS and have so much political power despite being rather unremarkable-looking). It makes me want to read a bio of Wilhelm II because I’ve always been fascinated with his family (well really the way Queen Victoria managed to get her children into ever royal family in Europe and the Edwardian period afterwards). 


Sat: Watched three episodes of that new Celia show on Netflix and have been really enjoying it. Also got to play some more DA: I and got a good review of my fanfiction thus far from one of my friends. Decided to do the NaNoWriMo except do it with this story instead of an actual novel.  

Sun: Snuggle bonding time with my son, and then watching Skylanders Academy, the Netflix series later on. [We have since finished Season 1, so really hoping there is a 2nd season.]It is supposed to be a kids show, but a lot of adult humor in it, and I discovered that the guy who voices Cullen in DA:I also voiced the character Jet-Vac in Skylanders Academy. Posting the first 7 chapters of my story (scared but excited to see what non-friends think). 

Mon: Reading Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman (Book #5) by Dav Pilkey this morning during breakfast to my son. He loves these books. We’ve been reading them for a couple weeks now and have been finishing them in two days. 

Tues: Spending time with my dog (who has missed me while I’ve been dog/housesitting at my parents house the passed two days), whilst playing SWTOR with my Sith Warrior Togruta. 

Thurs: My parents came back early from their trip, so we can go home tomorrow. My brother and I talked for 2 hrs on the phone and caught up with everything that’s been going on in our personal lives and politically in the US (yes, I am sad that Trump is our president, I did not vote for him, but I hope he has some good advisors to help him not completely wreck our country). 


Battlepug Dec 31, 2013: Trump description in the last panel

Fri:  Surprisingly, it was coming back to my house and unloading the car (after being away for a week) and then running errands with Liam. He was reasonably well-behaved and happy, as he was getting new bed sheets and a blanket to go with his new bed that we are bringing over tomorrow. 

Moments of Zen: Oct 28-Nov 3

This has been another really crazy week that I am glad to see the end of, even if I have to work on Saturday, though it is only 4 hrs. I have felt a bit like the below cartoon this week with my son, but replace cookies with Halloween candy, books and anything else he’s not supposed to be messing with that he is currently messing with. I do love Fowl Language by the way, great comic for parents or those who take care of children. 


Fri: Working on my DA story, finishing up A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir and my review for Saving Hamlet. 


Sat: Going to Fall Festival at the YMCA with Liam and watching him attempt to climb the rock wall, play all the carnival games, and costume contest in his new Toothless costume – sadly he didn’t win, the kid in the homemade gumball machine costume did. I did get some Mommy time when I was writing my DA fan fiction, checking out new DA comics, and listening to Spotify. 

Sun: Eating mini muffins and drinking lemonade at church while waiting for the service to start (without my son) and reading the beginning of the The Kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd. Was nice to just have a few moments to myself without all the chaos. 

Mon: Worked on my DA story some more and trying to open up the storyline a bit and not rely solely on the game. It is a lot harder than I would’ve thought; Took my kid, in his awesome homemade Toothless costume, trick-or-treating for the first time in our neighborhood and he did pretty good once we met up with another kid (was a little shy at first about going up to the house and ringing the doorbell and saying “Trick or Treat”. 

Tues: Conversations with my friends Karyna and Joanna today got me through the day, and eating panko chicken and rice at Blue Fin. 

Wed: Talking to my counselor about everything going on and editing my story, as suggested by one of my friends. 

Thurs: Playing SWTOR with my new Jedi Warrior character and just not thinking about things for awhile. Then later playing about an hour of Dragon Age: Inquisition with the character I’m featuring in my current DA fanfiction story (I had originally started her a few months ago, but had to stop playing).