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Archive for December, 2012


fruitsAnd this is my favorite quote for the new year: “One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this — To rise above the little things.”– John Burroughs

A blessed, happy and prosperous 2013 everyone!

 

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I just want to acknowledge starlight427  for this lovely nomination. What a great way to end  the year. I would like to apologize though that I have yet to make a list of  those blogs that deserve it too. It’s my fifth nomination, thank you so much.

A blessed 2013 to all of us.

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Thank you WordPress, you’ve made 2012 a memorable one for me.  This is something I look forward to for three years now. A lot of thanks goes to my new friends here for being so supportive in liking and commenting on my blogs.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 97,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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tbr list for 2013

2012  – a lazy year of reading for me, I guess I could count on my fingers the books I have read this year but then I call it the busiest year that I accumulated more books on my shelf than I care to admit. There are still unopened books that I bought more than a year ago with the thought of replacing the ones we have lost a few years back.  A good friend who came home last October gifted me with thirteen books, some of which she brought home with her and the rest via UPS. She says that she  bought more books for me, newly published ones  that are on my wish list.

I love going to bookstores,  I love the scent of the pages of a new book.  National Bookstore, Bestsellers or the ever reliable Booksale, they are my favorite jaunts every time I have enough time to browse. Hopefully by 2013, I could read all of  these, my reading list is getting longer and here are some titles that I would make a priority of.

  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s  -Truman Capote …  Just read it a month back and found some videos on YouTube about this much talked about book for decades. Would love to re-read it  sometime  next year and re-acquaint myself with the quirky Holiday Golightly.
  • The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde… a thick volume of Wilde’s writings.
  • Alone  – Rod McKuen…  I love Rod McKuen, I love his thoughts and Alone is the kind of book that you want to absorb and  gives you that feeling that you can be a poet too, in simple words, that is.
  • The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice …Who would not be mesmerized  by the words of this poet? Anyway, the poems and prayers of Helen Steiner Rice were a bright beacon to my college years. And I remember some of her beautiful quotes written in scented pens on my notebook. She was considered as  the “unofficial poet laureate of hope and optimism.” I finally have my copy, a new edition.
  • Everyday Grace -  Marianne Williamson … This is my first book of Williamson and I am really looking forward to read it this coming year.
  • Thoughts in Solitude – Thomas Merton … I’ve long been wanting to have a copy of any Thomas Merton’s books, this is it.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston …  Another gift from the same friend who gave me thirteen books this year. It’s included in the 1000 list of books you have to read before you die. Zadie Smith who introduced the book has this to say, “Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the very greatest American novels of the twentieth century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought; but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more. Well, what more can I say but just enjoy it.
  • A Wild Sheep Chase – Haruki Murakami …Who would not love Murakami?
  • Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, Lord John - three  hard-bound books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve always loved how Diana writes historical novels.
  • Irish Linen - Andrew Greeley…  Greeley is a Catholic priest writer. I love his other books, I wonder if this one is worth-reading too.
  • Coming Home – Rosamunde Pilcher … She’s one of my favorite authors so I always look for her books every time I visit Booksale.  A year ago, I wrote about her, you can find it here.
  • World Without End  – Ken Follett … a sequel to one of my favorite books, The Pillars of the Earth. It’s a birthday gift from my daughter.
  • A Change of Altitude, All He Ever Wanted …two books by Anita Shreve, another author that I love.
  • More Glimpses of Heaven – Trudy Harris
  • Human Traces – Sebastian Faulks …It’ actually my first book of Faulks so I am excited to read it.
  • Critical – Robin Cook … I collect Cook’s books, they are all wonderful read about the medical field. Cook is a doctor.
  • Exile – Richard North Patterson… had this for years but it is so thick so I keep postponing to get it off the shelf.
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving… Really looking forward to reading this one. It has excellent reviews.
  • Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems…   Ah, my prized possession this year and it is the first time I ever had a copy of  a Mary Oliver book.

As if these are not enough, Odette (the same friend who gifted me with the thirteen books, three of which are all Richard Paul Evan’s latest) sent me this new year greeting with pictures of another two books that she bought for me, A Thousand Mornings which was just released last October and which inspired  me to make this blog of the same title and the new book of Richard Paul Evans entitled A Winter Dream. Aren’t I lucky?

happy new year by odette

I promised myself I would read more in 2013.

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I was about to make a blog on my to-be-read list for the following year and I suddenly remembered The Book Thief which I read right after I completed my six sessions of chemotherapy. It was an emotional encounter that I’ll never forget. I am still looking for a copy of my own since it was just borrowed by my daughter from their office.  And I am re-posting this blog  for all its worth. There’s something there that re-echos what I feel at the moment.

“how could something so seemingly insignificant give comfort to someone?”

how do you give someone a piece of sky?”

This much I remember while I was in the middle of reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I’d better jot them down before they become obscured and buried in oblivion. No, I am not attempting to write a book review here, this book deserves a better time and more attention than these few hours before the old year changes into a new one.  Call me a little too sentimental crying over a good book but I just did when I finished  reading the last page .  Some books really touch you to the core and The Book Thief is one of them. It reminds me of Leon Uris’  Mila 18 which I’ve read some thirty years ago. And so far, this is my best read for this year.  Reading has been few and far between. I don’t know, I was not really inclined to make a marathon of it but I remember that before my surgery last July, I was so engrossed with almost all of the new books by James Patterson.  It would have been nice  if we were able to save most of the books in our shelves including our long list of TBRs but then typhoon Ondoy made that a long-lost dream.

So how do you give someone a piece of sky? Dreams never end just because your life turned upside down all of a sudden. Dreams never end just because something unexpected touched you and you felt the pain.  Dreams never end just because a few friends turned their backs on you at the time you needed them most.  The unfairness seemed magnified at some point in your life but then you realized  how lucky you are to still be alive and enjoying another sunny morning, enjoying a few moments of peace just looking at the sunset, dreaming maybe of someone giving you a piece of sky.  Lately,  I realized that in life, there are more things to be thankful for than to complain about.  There are more things that make  you happy than  things that make you sad and lonely. The  trick is to open your eyes to the beauty of everything around you.  My illness taught me many things. Everyday  should be something special, you have to embrace it as if it were the last day of your life.  The journey may not be as smooth as you want it to be, but it is in the struggles which make you stronger than most, being able to face another day with a wide grin and a grateful thanks that you survived the hurdles along life’s way.

Have a blessed new year, a few more days to go and we’ll be changing an old  leaf in the calendar.

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Thanks again Richard for being so generous in sharing these quotes from your books.

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“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her” – The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Moments of bliss could be found in simple things  – a flower in bloom, the intoxicating scent of each petal lovingly nurtured by God’s hands. I call it life’s tender moments!

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To all my followers here at WordPress, I would like to wish a very Merry Christmas.  Thank you so much for your encouraging and lovely comments. Thank you too for liking my posts. It’s such a joy to meet you all here!  Big thanks too to those who are following me at these sites.

Our Precious Bundle of Joy   – my newest blog on my grandson
Cams and Photos  – my photography blog
Gardens and Empty Spaces   – my garden blog

You’ve made blogging something  that I look forward to every day.

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Time and again, I’ve blogged about our beloved Archbishop Tagle. He is one of the well-loved and most admired archbishops  in our country and now that he is a cardinal, he has gained more admiration from the Catholic faithful. Here is a copy of his Christmas message for this year.  I love that line, “Christmas is all about faith”.

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This year we celebrate the Christmas Season within the Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI. What can the Year of Faith contribute to the Christmas spirit? Faith is a living and sustained relationship with God. It is the Triune God who initiates this relationship by coming to us. Faith becomes complete in our response to God in trust and love, transforming our relationship with other people, society and creation.

In a real sense, Christmas is all about faith. To remove faith from Christmas is to empty it of its meaning. It is a season born of faith and a privileged time to renew our faith. On the one hand, Christmas vividly recalls the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ, incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit. He comes as one like us except in sin, because as the Savior he cannot participate in humanity’s rejection of God. He opens the door for us to enter God’s life. His obedience and fidelity is the door to God. He is the way.  On the other hand, every Christmas season invites us to receive Jesus as the true Son of God become flesh, to accept him as our Savior and to enter the door to life in the Holy Spirit. Faith in God leads us to solidarity with our neighbors, especially the poor whom Jesus loves. Faith makes us sharers in Jesus’ saving mission and heralds of true freedom from all that enslaves us.

I pray that all Christians may appreciate more the precious gift of faith during this Christmas season. As we behold the Christ Child, humble and poor, let us thank God for his great love for us and let us respond with all the love we could give. Only pure divine love can save us! I wish all you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!

 

+ LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE

Archbishop of Manila

source: veritas846.ph

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Originally posted on Our Precious Bundle of Joy:

Time flies! Nate  is one month old today. Since I can’t go to their place and visit him (because he has a check-up with his pediatrician) I am posting some pictures which I took the other day.  He has grown!

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I am definitely envious of those long eyelashes. They look so prominent despite the fact that  he is barely a month old.

Nate pa rin

And he seemed to be saying, “ I am listening Nonna, I promise I’ll be a good boy.”   In all the pictures that I took of him, he has this same look of rapt attention, staring directly at the camera. Nissa told me that he only cries when he is hungry.

Happy 1st Month baby, we all love you :)

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