Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving by Ralph Waldo Emerson


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)


Thanks by W.S. Merwin


with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster

with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

-W.S. Merwin

What´s wrong with this blog? Five things to improve now.

I started this experimental blog about 4 months ago and it is time for an evaluation. Well rather than  focus on the negative , the errors ,  I prefer to look at it from a proactive perspective , what could be improved?

  1. Post regularly.   Have set days for posts and follow through. If you fall off on this people lose interest. ( On a trial basis I will set the days  Friday and Sunday, because I think more people read blogs on the weekend. I will pre-write them and set them to be posted automatically.)
  2. Set up categories in a logical, organized way. For example, I now have 3 very similar categories with only a few posts in each of them, environmental, vegetable garden and permaculture. This needs to be rethought and streamlined
  3. FOCUS.  Right now this blog is all over the place….. mediocre pictures of nature, poems I like, stories about people,  gardening , etc… too scattered. Not surprising because this  is how my mind works , I am interested in many things. But I have to either find a way to present this better , or narrow the focus of this blog.
  4. Tag correctly. In this area I have to do a bit of research to find key search words. Not really ready to do this yet because there are other improvements that take priority over this.
  5. Overcome procrastination ( aka become disciplined) . I have lots of ideas of things to write about, but I don´t always get around to sitting down and posting, and sometimes for no good reason.

I am enjoying the process of the newbie blog, even though I am far from satisfied with the present state of it.  But no problem,  I am learning and there is no pressure involved.



No frills English learning: a Chinese nurse in the USA

Some years ago I worked with a Chinese nurse who I came to admire very much.
This is her story. She had a difficult family and living situation in China, where she was a doctor in a rural community, so she decided to go to the U.S.A. When she arrived in the U.S.A she knew only a few basic phrases and the alphabet.

She entered the U.S.A. illegally but eventually got her citizenship and became a nurse.( This would be impossible nowadays because now if you ever stay illegally in the U.S.A nowadays you never get your legal residency, much less citizenship). When she arrived in Chinatown in N.Y.C. she got a job in an art gallery in the Chinese community . She bought three books, a Chinese English dictionary, a Chinese English medical dictionary, and a practice book for taking the NCLEX ,which is the official test to become a nurse in the United States. She looked at the nursing test questions and translated them word by word. She was teaching herself English at the same time she was preparing for the U.S.A nursing exam. For three years, after work, in any spare moment she had, she kept learning English and studying to become a nurse , word by word, on her own.

After three years she wanted to give up. It was so hard, she lived in such a small room, and she missed her daughter terribly. So for two months she stopped studying. Then after some time had passed she began to change her mind; she thought , ¨I have spent a lot money on the three books and most of all I want to do this for my family and daughter in China¨, so she started studying again.

About a years she was able to pass all the tests required to become a U.S.A nurse and a U.S.A. citizen, and you can be sure that doing all of that is not simple. Some years later she was able to bring her daughter live with her  in Queens , N.Y.C.

She is someone I will always remember , because despite many supposed barriers, she was persistent , and after much hard work was able to create a nice life for herself and her daughter. Congratulations to you Ms.W. !!!

Ralph Waldo Emerson from Collected Poems and Translations

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day,

and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on the yesterdays.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Collected Poems and Translations