Posted in 2014, blogging, books, Happiness, life, literature and Fiction, more books, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, books, letter-writing, life, literature and Fiction, silence speaks, thoughts on February 25, 2014 |
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Woke up this morning to the persistent sound of my son’s cellphone which he left inside my room last night. Gosh, it was 4am. I tried to sleep a few hours more but it was a useless exercise. I guess, it is a perfect time to visit this blog, the internet connection is quite fast. The rest of the world (from our end) must still be asleep.
Wow, a hot cup of coffee with hot pan de sal to boot. A few minutes ago, I braved the five-minute walk to our neighborhood bakery to buy pan de sal. It is a bread roll that is a staple in most Filipino families’ breakfast. You can pair it with scrambled eggs, coco jam or what we call matamis na bao, slivers of cheese or even sautéed sardines. Take your pick, it goes well with everything. I’ve long wanted to learn to bake pan de sal but it is more practical to buy it.
I went back to reading e-books , discovering new titles, excited to acquaint myself with new authors. Last night, I started reading Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole. It’s my first encounter with the author. Fancy a different approach to writing a book – conveying a story through letters, no dialogue, a perfect spin of two stories fused together. Since I am still in the middle of reading it, I will reserve my five stars later. I love receiving letters, in any form but there is nothing that beats a real one with stamps attached on the envelope with that pasted smile on your face anticipating what’s written inside. It is even exciting when there is no written address and you guess who suddenly thought of you to send a letter by mail. When I was in college, my friend and I used to write letters to each other every single day although we were together at work as student librarians in our university. It was quite fun to write at the back of date due slips while absorbing the silence that a library setting brings. She is now based abroad and we get in touch through private messages on Facebook. Years ago, my sister-in-law gifted me with a complete set of Griffin and Sabine, a trilogy written by Nick Bantock. It is one of the precious collections I have in my small library. In every page, you’ll see a facsimile of a postcard or a letter actually enclosed in an envelope, hand-written letters that excite. Imagine reading a book in real letter format. Reading the trilogy made me more in love with letter-writing.
The rain last night and the gentle drizzle this morning made my plants happy. They are dancing in the rain and I love to dance too.
P.S. WordPress says this is my 1,400th blog entry.
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Posted in blogging, Faith, journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, dreams, Faith, journeys, life, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on February 21, 2014 |
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I woke up this morning remembering a well-loved quote in my head. Many, many years ago, I was on my way to school when I saw this guy who wore a shirt with a lovely quote written in front and it made a big impact on me. Oh yes, short of staring boldly at the words, I committed them to memory and that’s what I remember now. It was written by Langston Hughes, an American poet , playwright and novelist.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Dreams keep us going don’t you think? And I believe, really believe that dreams do come true. Maybe, in my subconscious thought, I remembered these simple lines when I wrote Dreams and Escapes as my blog title. There are simple things in life that give extra meaning to our existence. There are simple things in life that make us smile and inspire us to go on. There are simple things in life that always add color to our everyday existence. When I was in college, I used to fill up whole notebooks of quotes, poems and inspiring words culled from the books I have read. It makes me happy to read them now and then, always with some remembered thoughts of long ago, the years in between, the tears and laughter and teenage angst and frustrations. I was lucky to have worked for three years at my university’s library when I was in college and still luckier to have read so many inspiring books and to have known so many inspiring authors.
I dreamed of one day writing something that would inspire. I dreamed of one day reaching out to people by sharing my thoughts. I am slowly getting there I guess. Dreams inspire us to go on and see life in all its beauty, not blinded by the ugly realities that somehow we have to face.
One day, I’ll write a poem and will share it with you.
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Posted in 2014, blogging, city gardening, Close to Nature, Closer to God, guilty pleasures, journeys, photography, tagged blog stats, blogging, Close to Nature, Closer to God, flowers and blooms, gardening, photography, thoughts and ramblings on February 17, 2014 |
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My blog stats say I have 250,038 views right this moment. I can’t believe it. I’ve been blogging for a little more than four years now, on and off, when I feel like it and have something to share. The only time I blogged religiously every day was when I took up the 2011 WordPress Post A Day challenge. That was when my stats started to climb. For the last three years, I always get a surprise when one particular blog registers an average of 2,600 views in one day and that is during Mama Mary’s birthday every September 08. I don’t know how it happens but the search engine seems to be busy during Mama Mary’s birthday.
I wonder though which is better, having so many views in any particular day or having a lot of followers. A bit of both probably, I don’t know. I only have 678 followers at the moment (not that I mind so much if they follow me or not). There must be something they like about my blog so they read it. I am glad that some readers come back and read my older posts. Sharing my plight as a cancer patient/survivor has definitely evolved to some sort of an online diary – some experiments in the kitchen, some shots that I love to share, my garden blooms that get the largest share in my SD card, local places I’ve been to the past few years, books I’ve read and reviewed, thoughts and prayers. Imagine having a hodgepodge of topics encapsulated in 1,393 posts.
You ask, “Is it worth it?” My answer is a big “YES, definitely”. Here are some shots I took a few hours ago, they are my February blooms.
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Posted in AFCC Global Tambayan, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blessings, blogging, Closer to God, entertainment, food, friends, friendship, guilty pleasures, journeys, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, food, friends, friendship, get-together, guilty pleasures, life, photography on January 14, 2014 |
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Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
- Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something. Finally, I found time to sit here for a while and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.
It’s all worth it though because our little potluck lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile. We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because they both studied in Rome and met there. We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members of our Catholic community who drop by when they are on vacation.
We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena which Matt got, packs of marshmallows and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30? Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.
They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it except Matt :) Endless laughter!
We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples and suman na pinipig (the best suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”. Until next time guys.
One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.
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Posted in blogging, tagged blogging on January 9, 2014 |
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I wonder what’s wrong, I get “likes” notification in my dashboard but they are not seen on my post.
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There goes my dream of blogging every day to challenge myself again. For the past three days, I was not feeling so well due to bad colds and occasional cough which tax my strength until now. For two straight nights, I sometimes sleep sitting down with lots of pillows behind me for support. I hear these wheezing sounds that seem like mice chasing each other inside my throat and the best way that I could sleep is by lying flat on my back or sitting down with my feet straight. Oh, the misery of having colds on a cold January. We may not be getting the extreme cold weather just like in other areas/countries but I think cold nights and hot days are not good combinations. Lately though, the sun peeps through now and then and the weather is mostly cloudy during the day. I feel my achy bones taking it all in, it sometimes zaps one’s strength and I still have to prepare for the lunch party my friends and I have planned for Saturday. Good luck to me. I am praying though that I will be well enough to join the fun and entertain them here.
If my garden could speak, it’s probably complaining of neglect. I haven’t watered it for the past two days but my son promised that he will tend to it when he comes home tonight. I miss blogging and reading blogs too and my eyes get easily tired when I check messages on my cellphone. I am not used to small prints and it’s even harder to navigate.
Bad colds, please go away. January, please be gentle to me.
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Posted in blogging, books, Close to Nature, flowers and blooms, journeys, life, photography, silence speaks, tagged blogging, books, flowers and blooms, gardening, guilty pleasures, life, photography, thoughts and ramblings on January 3, 2014 |
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Yesterday has been a busy day for me, from sunrise to sunset (literally). Some friends are coming over in a week and I have to do a bit of general cleaning and check grocery supplies that I will use for our get-together. I am excited since it’s been more than a year since I saw some of them. Who says working at home is easier than an office job is exaggerating. I would exchange my slippers, garden hose and brooms for a day with a corporate attire complete with lunch at a nice but affordable restaurant, catch and exchange news with former office mates instead of listening to the radio all day long while doing household chores. One thing that I get to appreciate though is having my afternoon nap, try to catch up on reading a chapter or two then off to dreamland for at least an hour.
I promised myself I would jot down the titles of all the books I plan to read this year and count how many books I could manage to get hold of but rereading some verses from a favorite book of poems does not count of course. And I thought of challenging myself (for the second time) to post once a day here. The question is, would I be able to do it again? Sometimes, it’s not the lack of what to write about but how to go about catching one reader’s eyes to read my post till the end. I’ve seen plenty of quotes about 2014 saying that the days are like blank pages of a book that you need to fill up with your experiences, angst even and happy moments that you want to remember. I’d rather dwell on the positive side because I want the rest of the year to be stress-free at least.
New hope. New Beginnings. New Dreams To Uphold. I’ve never been good at keeping new year’s resolutions because I don’t make a list in the first place. I’d rather call them goals that one needs to reach and no matter how simple they are, it would be nice if at the end of the year, you’ve fulfilled some promises to yourself. The “me” times are just as important as having occasional chats with online friends or having a laugh over at Skype with a long-lost friend or relative. Noel, my youngest brother who is based in Tulsa is my regular caller on Skype. We would always talk about the kids and how life is away from one’s homeland, reminiscing the days when we were kids and marveling how happy we were despite the simplicity of life back then. We would touch on Philippine cuisine and recipes that he miss because Asian stores in their area don’t sell all the ingredients that he needs. We would laugh at some remembered jokes that made childhood memories something to treasure always.
On new year’s day, I took shot of some blooms growing in the garden. It’s something that would remind me of January 01, 2014.
Can you see the bud of this Mokara Orchid showing its face?
And when it is in full bloom, it would look like this.
This is my variegated Aglaonema. A few months ago, the main plant died on me but I was surprised to see this new bloom days after.
I’ve never been successful in propagating Crossandra from seeds. They’re now sprouting everywhere, randomly showing lovely orange blooms alongside my other plants.
There is a cold wind blowing outside and another cup of hot, hot coffee would surely be welcome. Here’s another promise I made myself starting this year, I would always appreciate what life has in store for me, no matter how painful some days may bring.
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Posted in 2014, blogging, journeys, life, WordPress Annual Report 2013, writing, tagged 2013 blog summary, 2013 WordPress Annual Report, blogging, life, thoughts on December 31, 2013 |
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I decided to make this public since I am proud that I’ve reached this far. For the past three years, I’ve looked forward to the year-end report of WordPress on my four blogs. I am sharing this with you. And I would love to thank all those bloggers who made comments and visited my blog. Thank you all for sharing with me and making everyday something to always look forward to.
Thank you WordPress
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Posted in blogging, Close to Nature, Closer to God, journeys, life, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, journeys, life, quiet moments, silence speaks, thoughts on December 27, 2013 |
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I wish I could sleep a few more hours and dream of something nice and lovely but I’ve been awake since 3:30am, same time that I wake up on the days that my son has to leave for work at 5am. On second thoughts, waking up early has a lot more advantage than staying late in bed.
Gosh, hanging amihan is really here, signalling cold nights and occasional cold winds outside. I went out for a while to sweep in front of the house, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, plastic with straw in it, so annoying to see them every morning and I can’t stand clutter. I wish our neighbor who has a sari-sari store would find it in his heart to place a trash bin outside his store and tell his customers not to throw garbage haphazardly. And I wonder why passersby can’t discipline themselves to dispose of their garbage properly, they never learn and maybe they never will. Enough said.
The sky is clear but still dark and the quarter moon makes star-gazing lovely. I used to spend time star-gazing every time I go home to our province in Pangasinan. The silence and quiet sip into your bones and you feel at peace with the world. There is something so fresh and untouched, unmarred by the noise of cars and motorcycles passing by. For one thing, the best time to write (at least for me) is always in the quiet of early mornings. Thoughts come chasing each other waiting to unfold. Sometimes though, when you put them on paper, they go away and you can never recover those fleeting thoughts the way they should be written and the way you want to write them. Does that happen to you?
I think I need a hot cup of coffee and go back to the garden to watch the day unfolds – something precious, something meaningful, something to look forward to. It’s a new day after all.
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And since I am still on the topic of blogging, I’d like to properly acknowledge those who have given me some blogging nominations the latest of which were just last week and today. When I started blogging at WordPress, I was not aware of these nominations until I got one from a long-time reader of my blog back in December 2011. The Versatile Blogger Award was my very first nomination. Luckily I was able to make a short write-up on the seven random things about myself and was also able to nominate fifteen bloggers to receive the same. Unfortunately, it stopped there but I always acknowledge those fellow bloggers who recommended me for such.
Then it was followed by these.
My new blog Our Precious Bundle of Joy got the following nomination last March 2013 a few months after I started it.
Since the requirements are basically the same, I am reposting the seven random things about myself but it would probably take longer before I could nominate bloggers I follow and I visit because they are equally good and their blogs are all wonderful and interesting. Please bear with me and thank you so much for including me in your lists.
Seven Random Things About Myself:
1. I am a Filipina who loves to write and dabble in photography.
2. I am a survivor. It’s the real reason why this blog exists because I am sharing my plight as a cancer survivor.
3. I love to eat green mangoes, sliced thinly with the skin on and dipped in fish sauce or sprinkled with salt.
4. I don’t drink milk. Weird isn’t it but my mom said I was breast-fed as a baby.
5. Though I love to write and take photographs, I think I am a gardener at heart. I love to feel the earth in my hands and take shots of all the blooms in our garden.
6. I collect books by Richard Paul Evans, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Robin Cook and Rosamunde Pilcher. It’s an eclectic mix of reading genre.
7. Just like most bloggers, I also dream of being published someday, and share my journey on how to cope with cancer.
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