Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tomorrow is my 57th birthday. I'm not doing anything special. Actually, I'm going to a memorial service for a cancer buddy. I found out from my friend Sue that Carolann had died on Sunday, and will go to her service tomorrow. I knew Carolann when I was in the support group, and she was always so positive and upbeat, a great creative talent. She was another one who outlived original predictions, including a miracle treatment that gave her more useful years. Her son just graduated from high school, and evidently has a lot of his mother's artistic talent. I will go pay my respects and see if anyone else from the old group is there.

The heat wave is finally over, thank goodness. It was really hot over the weekend and Monday. It's unusual to get 4 days in a row of 100+ temps here, including one day that was also very humid. And it didn't cool down much at night like it usually does. So we all just sweltered. My room is reasonably cool, being in the basement, so I could at least sleep at night. Of course, we never got it as bad as they have it in California and other places. My teacher is in California with his dad, as his stepmother is dying, and he is dealing with a lot of heat. But yesterday and today it's been fairly cool in the mornings here, warm in the afternoons, but pleasant evenings and overnight. I like this much better. I've been watering certain areas every other morning, and have recently added another area when MrK (who is now working full-time as an arborist) pointed out that the trees on the parking strip in front aren't getting enough water. So this morning I think I was watering for about an hour and a half. I only water the areas where the sprinkler system doesn't cover, but it's still pretty substantial.

Then I spent a while weeding and picking lettuce (of which we now have an abundance), and then another while washing and spin-drying the lettuce and putting it in a plastic bag. There's always more to do in the garden, in the kitchen, and such, but it felt satisfying to do this much. Right now I'm finishing the audio recording of last Sunday's dharma talk. Yesterday I finished the first draft of our Sept/Oct calendars for the upcoming newsletter production. Always things to do.

Friday evening I will go out to the monastery to participate in the 24-hr Chant for Peace. They have different groups come in to lead chants for an hour, and I will lead one from midnight to 1am. Will there be people chanting then? Of course! Last year I chanted nonstop from 7pm (when it starts) to almost midnight, and there were several of us then. I was surprised at how much energy it generated. I tried to lie down and sleep and was unable to. I especially enjoyed the Koreans, who chanted from 3-5am, but I expect I will miss them this year, because I need to get back here to get a little sleep. I have another resident riding with me, which will help especially on the way back to keep me awake.

Saturday is our Sangha Picnic in the afternoon. It will be different with my teacher out of town, but MrK has offered to take over the grill, so we will still have good stuff to eat. I'm going to make a huge potato salad on Friday, take some on the road to eat for supper that night on the way to the monastery, and the rest for the picnic. Should still be fun.


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