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Yesterday was another busy day for me –   doing  never-ending household chores, preparing meals for the day and tending my small garden. I had to trim the carabao grass because I could no longer  use the stepping-stones, they were almost covered with the fast-growing ground cover.  I think I sweated a pint (this is no exaggeration) when I finished trimming the front of the garden.  It was that kind of perfect weather, blue sky and a gentle breeze blowing softly  and the dogs were happy because they had company. Then I looked up and saw these clouds rolling by as if they were late for a rendezvous. I couldn’t run fast  enough to get my camera and take a few shots. See how quickly they move and change course.

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I am a cloud-watcher. Since I was a child I have always been fascinated by clouds.  I could not count the times I took shots of clouds and blogged about them. Next to my macro photos on flowers, clouds are my favorite subject.

Rabindranath Tagore described clouds beautifully when he said  “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

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It’s a sluggish  journey to kingdom come, my internet connection, that is. For the past several days, it was a struggle to write a blog post here.  I hate that whole-screen commercial ad that suddenly pops up on my screen when I am searching the net. It is sponsored by our internet provider so I guess, short of blocking it out which I don’t even know how, I have to bear with it not with a smile but through  gritted teeth.  Even  my old PC  conks out on me just when I am a bit inspired to write.  They’re partners in crime probably.

The truth is I was not feeling well the past two days. I think I had too much of gardening, weeding and digging the soil, taking advantage of the sunny days.  I even planned to repot some of my sansevieria plants  and  trim my Fukien tea plants. And it’s been like ages since I captured a bloom in the garden. It’s almost all green now except for the white flowers of my two dwarf calamansi.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yello shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yellow shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Did you know that the actual  flowers are the white ones on the tip of the yellow bracts ? These are so easy to grow from cuttings. When I have time, I’ll propagate more of this.

Zebrina pendula

Zebrina pendula

 

After so many years having this in the garden, I finally learned its name just the other day. It’s called  Zebrina pendula more commonly known as Wandering  Jew. It’s quite invasive so it needs heavy pruning. It easily thrives through cuttings and  are best hung in a corner.

A friend just reminded me of my upcoming birthday.  Some close friends and I have already celebrated it in advance a  week ago at Vikings – Megamall.  One of them came home for a short vacation and she treated us to lunch. I will share some pictures I took of the event when my internet connection is good.  Birthdays are reminders that we are not only getting older  but should be growing wiser with age too.

Color me yellow at least for today.  Yellow is the lightest hue of the spectrum. The color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.  I need all these right now.

 

 

 

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Nate

This made my day, a show of life’s beauty and grace, simple smiles from two precious people in my life.  It’s a new day!

 

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Around this time last year,  I featured a pencil sketch of my seventeen-year old nephew  entitled One Sunny Afternoon.  I was so impressed with his drawings which he posted on his wall at Facebook so I picked one to write about. It reminded me so much of those times spent with mom during off-school days. My youngest brother and his family has been living abroad for the last 23 years so we always appreciate every bit of news from both sides, ours and theirs. We laugh at jokes while talking over the phone, exchange family food recipes when we are in the mood, we remember the early years back in our province. This morning he surprised  us with a picture he took of Justin, his youngest son who is into music. My nephew  is a member of the Renegade Regiment, Union High School Marching Band in Tulsa, OK. I love this picture, I think it was perfectly captured – the boy and his baritone.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet  and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

Seeing this, I miss them all the more. Go, go Justin, follow your dreams.

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What does one write about on a rainy evening like this? My mind gets stalled not by lack of what to say but how I am going to say something interesting enough to merit even just one reader’s eyes.

On a night like this, I take momentary pleasures dwelling in a world of remembering the not so distant past. At least that would provide a change to the inane and inconsequential things one thinks about on almost any night but a rainy one.

I just enjoyed browsing three filled notebooks of previous writings and quotations from my readings from way back.  The beauty of reminiscing and getting in touch with the old self, the beauty of rediscovering  how life was many decades ago. I even found drafts of letters to friends during my college years.  And I found these,  two black and white pictures with Dad and my youngest brother. I had a good laugh at my brother’s  bell-bottom pants  and my short skirt (so seventies). Never mind, these were our school uniforms at the University  of Santo Tomas four decades ago. I just want to share them here, I am afraid I may misplace them again.

Those were the days and these are treasured shots with Dad.

Those were the days and these are treasured shots with Dad.

There is something so nostalgic about black and white or sepia pictures of long ago.  And I remember these because my dad received a gold medal as exemplary employee of the university. That is why,  the four of us kids  (my three brothers and I) studied in UST from high school to college and my two kids are Thomasians too.  I am grateful though and proud of being an alumna of  the oldest existing university in Asia. In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus.  The Pontifical, Royal Catholic University of the Philippines, that’s UST for you.

I started reading Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell, another historical novel that reminds me so much of Frank McCourt’s  Angela’s  Ashes  and Trinity by Leon Uris.  I am always fascinated by Irish-American history.

What book are you reading now?

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I need to practice on my macro shots again (on food, that is) and this morning with nothing much to do, I decided to cook  the squid Josef and I bought at the wet market a few days ago. I have to remove the heads and clean everything from the thin-film on the outer skin down to the belly before freezing it. A kilo of regular-sized squid is good enough for two meals.  As I don’t want to labor much in the kitchen by grilling it, I made the stuffing out of about one-fourth kilo of ground pork sautéed in garlic, onions, one egg, a spoonful of cornstarch, carrots and green bell pepper. You have to make sure that the ground pork is properly cooked since you only need to fry the squid to make  it a little crispy on the outside.  I marinated the squid in calamansi juice (Philippine lime), ground pepper, salt and granulated garlic for about thirty minutes before putting it in the frying pan. It was an experiment and partnered with mixed veggie salad, it tasted surprisingly good. Josef said, “success”. Yeay!

Fried Stuffed Squid

Fried Stuffed Squid

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I love taking shots of the blue sky. Everything looks so clean and fresh when you see the sun after the rain.

I love taking shots of the blue sky. Everything looks so clean and fresh when you see the sun after the rain.

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