Last Friday afternoon, I called Joe excitedly telling him that my book had just been released on lulu.com, only a day after I approved the final cover design.  Joe said we should celebrate.

But the weekend turned out to be jam packed with surprises that left little room for celebration.  My mind must have been someplace else when I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner on Friday.  I poured some leftover meat into the garbage disposal which should have gone into the garbage can.  I turned on the switch anyway knowing it could be a very bad idea.  Sure enough, the drain became clogged immediately and greasy water in the sink refused to budge.

“Oh, not again …” I moaned.

I tried to find the business card of the plumber who came to our house a couple of months ago to fix the same problem, but no luck.  It took twice as long to clean up the kitchen because I had to use the sink in the laundry room.  By the time Joe picked up Jane from the airport and came home, I had no choice but show him the severely clogged sink (he had warned me not to overuse the disposal system).  Joe tried his old tricks and nothing worked.  It was almost 10 pm Friday evening when Joe got hold of the plumber who said he would come first thing in the morning.

I made a conscious decision that day not to use the garbage disposal again – simply not worth the trouble.

Saturday was busy but normal.  We did our usual activities: workout, dance lesson and Tae Kwon Do.  It was lovely to have all three children sitting at the table for lunch, laughter filled the air.  I watched them and wished that we had more children, many more.

Saturday evening, Jane, Michelle and Jake went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner.  Joe and I attended an OCEF potluck dinner.  China Education Foundation (OCEF) was founded in 1992 and run mostly by volunteers. Over the years, OCEF has financially supported over 30,000 elementary/junior high and more than 3,000 high school students in the rural areas of China who wouldn’t have afforded school otherwise. It has also funded the renovation of 19 schools and added 300 libraries to existing schools.  About twenty volunteers showed up for Saturday’s meeting, numerous new faces, some quite young.  After the delicious dinner, we brainstormed fund raising strategies.  Lots of ideas were on the table and the young folks were definitely more creative and unconventional in their thinking.  I am excited to be part of this wonderful charitable organization.

Sunday could only be characterized by two words – ‘animal trouble.”  We have been trying to catch the raccoons in our attic for some time.  The raccoons somehow have managed to eat the marsh mallows in the cage without being trapped.  Earlier in the week, Joe had found some insulation material pieces on the second floor.  He suspected that the animal had pulled them out.  Sunday morning upon further inspection, Joe found out that the raccoons had made a hole in our roof.  The weather forecast predicted snow and sleet on Monday, not good.  Joe called Animal Control to help us catch the raccoons.

Jake was cuddling with our dog Joey shortly before his friend’s dad came to pick him up to watch the Wolves hockey game. For some reason, Joey turned on Jake and bit him on the face.  Even though Joey is 13 and only has 3 teeth left, those lonesome teeth are still sharp and left marks on Jake’s soft skin.  I tried to soothe a wailing Jake while Joe applied medicine on the wound.

Earlier Sunday morning, when Joe looked out of the window of his study room, he saw to his dismay that our mailbox had been knocked down, the second time since we moved into this house.  Things of that nature bug Joe.  So he went on the computer to search the surveillance camera footage: 3 am, 4 am the mailbox was still standing, but 5 am it was down.  Unfortunately nothing visible was captured on camera as to what had happened except the appearance of a police car in front our house around 4:30 am. The police paid us a visit Sunday evening.  They had arrested a 30-some-year-old drunkard who was wandering in our neighborhood before the break of dawn and causing trouble.  But they had no physical evidence that he was responsible for the half dozen damaged mailboxes.  It struck me that there was not much difference between an intoxicated human being and the reckless destructive animal in our attic.

While Joe was banging on the roof Sunday afternoon, I got some peace and quiet reading an intriguing and inspiring novel “Life’s Golden Ticket.”  I was in my own little world, completely relaxed and content.  The cumulative effect of life’s little annoyances ceased to have any effect on me.

No, we didn’t get a chance to celebrate the book release.  But I feel like I am living a life of celebration everyday with positive thinking, a renewed passion, gratitude, open-mindedness and a stillness that is taking root.