Posted in books, family life, guilty pleasures, journeys, more books, tagged a bit of myself, books, family life, guilty pleasures, literature and Fiction, thoughts and ramblings on August 16, 2014 |
6 Comments »
He said, “we must come back here”.
Oh yes, why not? Fancy my son being so supportive of my hobbies. Although he is not into fiction books like I am, he loves accompanying me to bookstores and letting me find more books to explore and read. Yesterday was one such lovely day that we got to spend together after a lightning trip to the supermarket to buy groceries. Grocery-shopping, reading labels and nutrition facts, finding something new, making list of items that we need to buy – purely routine for some but it’s a joy for me to do.
Last week when he saw what I bought at Books for Less, he promised to go with me to buy more. Who would not be thrilled with that? I thought he would be put off by the gargantuan and riotously arranged books on display there but he found out something to his interest, a hard-bound book on games (cards, magic tricks etc.) and he was hooked. He was even surprised that all books on sale are at P10 pesos each.
And more books.
When I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness. ~Jules Renard
I found two more books on Christmas, one is a collection of short Christmas stories by Rosamunde Pilcher and a novel by Debbie Macomber. I found a copy of Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and the Kings. I watched the tv series decades ago. That was mid-seventies, I think when television programs were something to look forward to, not the sort of teleseryes (soap operas) that they have now that I never bother to watch. I remember watching it with Mom and Dad along with the television sitcom John and Marsha, the longest running comedy series that made us all laugh. I love history even if they are just written through fiction books. It is now hard to find mass-produced copies of novels written by great writers from way back except maybe in second-hand bookstores and I was lucky to find Captains and the Kings. It has mostly five-star ratings on Goodreads . I am also excited to read Los Alamos, a first novel by Joseph Canon. I have just finished reading the second book of Ken Follett on WWII and this would be a nice follow-up since its setting was at the end of WWII. How lucky could one get, right?
Yes, of course.
Yesterday, when Josef said that we have to come back and add some more to my loot, I readily answered, “Yes, of course” with a smile on my face that says, what a lovely day!
What books are you reading at the moment?
Read Full Post »
Posted in arts and crafts, crafts, DIY craft, guilty pleasures, life, rainy days, tagged a bit of myself, arts and crafts, candle making, guilty pleasures, life, rainy days on July 23, 2014 |
9 Comments »
There is nothing much to do in this rainy Wednesday morning. Sometimes, you just get bored with so much time in your hands. Waking up early really has its advantage because you get to finish daily household chores early too. This morning, I decided to tackle the contents of Nissa’s cabinet which was left as it was since she got married November of 2011. We have floor-to-ceiling cabinets in our bedrooms so you can just imagine the amount of things left there most of which are old clothes which she didn’t bring with her, personal effects, stationeries, arts and crafts kits, and various toiletries some of which were not opened yet. I disposed all of the facial creams, lotions, shampoo bottles and some used make-up which she left behind. Despite all these junks I found some treasures though while cleaning.
One is a cellphone holder still in its original box in purple color. I always call Nissa a purple girl since it is her favorite color. When she got married, all her accessories were done in three shades of purple. Now I have a nice holder for my cellphones. I am sure she would just smile when she sees this. She is a hoarder of sentimental things like I am. Would you believe that I still have two shoe boxes of letters from friends from way back? I am digressing again. To make the story short, I found another item that I’ve been looking for since typhoon Ondoy and that was four years ago. It’s a candle thermometer which my brother sent me when I was into candle-making.
This candle book is a gift from Josef and I learned so much from it.
When I left the bank (I availed of an early optional retirement) fourteen years ago, I was in a quandary on what to do. I had so much time in my hands so I enrolled in some arts and crafts course including candle-making. I sourced raw materials from as far as Divisoria market and bought lots of shut glasses for my jelly candle. Back in those days, you can make candles in any scent you want. I was thrilled to try chocolate, bubblegum, vanilla and peppermint scents to name a few. I ended up giving them as gifts to friends and relatives. Nissa’s art kit consists of several crimping scissors, paper-cutter, stamp pads for designing stationeries, beads in different colors (for making bracelets, earrings, rosaries etc.), cutters, beading wires, pens in different colors, and ribbons. She said she misses doing crafts and she has no time now.
I remember those cross-stitches I did before but was not able to have them framed. I am into rosary-making now and give them as gifts to friends. Maybe one of these days, I will try candle-making again. It would be nice to prime wicks, find lovely molders and wax fragrance and wax dyes too. Maybe when I’m done with my fascination for baking cookies, bars and simple cakes, when I am done reading all those books on my TBR list, I will try other crafts.
How’s your morning? Is it also rainy in your area?
Read Full Post »
Posted in Close to Nature, family life, food, gardens, journeys, tagged a bit of myself, Close to Nature, family life, food, thoughts and ramblings on July 21, 2014 |
4 Comments »
Despite the cold weather here, I woke up at an ungodly hour of 3:18am. It’s nice to just enjoy the early morning in peace and quiet but the steady patter of raindrops brings that fear again of flash flood. PAGASA said tropical storm Henry (yes, it is a he this time) won’t make a landfall but it would intensify habagat (southwest monsoon) to the rest of the country. The storm is northbound this time.
Josef brought home two large loaves of Gardenia bread from their team building the other night and I told him, we should consume it first instead of cooking breakfast and since it is his rest day, it’s a go. Mind you, I even googled a bit on the many ways to cook eggs. We usually have them scrambled, soft-boiled, sunny side-up and omelet. But what’s perfect for slices of warm toasted bread? He likes it cooked with lots of white onions and fresh tomatoes so instead of mixing them together, I cooked the tomatoes in a little butter, granulated garlic and black pepper.
It turned out so yummy, he had four slices of panini pressed bread. We usually have fried rice for breakfast with longganisa(native sausage) or dried fish or a week-old adobo flakes. Speaking of adobo, the longer you keep them in the ref, the tastier and more yummy it gets. It is a Filipino dish that never goes wrong with any meal, be it an ordinary breakfast fare or something special mixed with coconut cream.
I miss messing around in my garden and this rain makes it hard for us to trim the grass and our Fukien tea plants. I miss taking shots of my garden blooms but all I have now are my Hoya, some new buds of Mokara orchids and my ever patient Crossandra flowers. Maybe when the rain stops, I’ll take photos of the water droplets clinging to the leaves of the taro plants. Maybe in a while, the sun will show its face and I’ll be able to go out and explore. I guess this is also a perfect time to finish that book of Ken Follett.
Go away Henry and let me see the sun.
Read Full Post »
Posted in blessings, Faith, health, journeys, life, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, Closer to God, Faith, health, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings on July 14, 2014 |
6 Comments »
We are all on the alert. Every time there is a storm signal here in Metro Manila, I feel so insecure. There was a time when I used to appreciate the rain when it gently pours and makes the green countryside even greener and fresher. Our experience with typhoon Ondoy almost five years ago changed all that. Glenda is the seventh storm signal this year. Most of the provinces in Luzon are affected by this latest weather disturbance, we are under storm signal number 2. I am praying it won’t bring so much rain that would cause flash flood in Metro Manila.
There is this quote that I’ve often read and pondered about for a long time now and it was even made into a lot of internet meme. It’s from Vivian Green (sorry, I don’t know much about her except through this quote) and it says:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Yesterday, I celebrated my 5th year in remission. It’s really one good reason to celebrate and to offer it in thanksgiving . I thank God for all the blessings and graces. As I’ve always said in my previous blog posts, this blog exists because I wanted to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. The first two years of this blog were almost about my everyday experiences going to and from the hospital, weekly lab tests and the pain and anguish of having to undergo chemotherapy every three weeks. Miracles do happen in our everyday life and it is always a blessing to wake up each morning seeing the sun and the day’s unfolding. We are richly blessed by the love and care of family and friends, just sometimes, we forget to appreciate what we have and take everything for granted. I am always of the thought that life is one lovely journey despite the odds and the pain it brings us now and then. I am looking forward to a new day despite the storm. I love this beautiful quote from the late Maya Angelou.
Read Full Post »
Posted in family life, journeys, life, ramblings, reflections, tagged a bit of myself, family life, growing old, journeys, life, thoughts and ramblings on July 9, 2014 |
4 Comments »
Josef and I left the house early so we could avoid the traffic that usually goes with the morning rush hours. A few minutes would really spell the difference. For the past three years, we have renewed the registration of our car at the LTO Quezon City office and my brother who has the same ending number for July sometimes accompany us or has his car registered at the same time. He said earlier that he might not be able to register it early so we went ahead today. Imagine our surprise when we saw him already parked in front of the emission testing center at LTO.
We waited for their offices to open, we were there before 7am. It took us about thirty minutes to wait for the emission testing, issuance of insurance certificate and registration. Last year, most branches didn’t have stickers upon renewal but I was glad to see that my son won’t have to come back for it this time. They were ready with the 2014 stickers. One thing that made me laugh while recounting to my son why it took me a few minutes to finish was that the receiving clerk mistook me for a senior citizen and wrote SC in bold letters on the xeroxed copy of the car’s certificate without even asking if I am one. The perks of having a few grey hairs at your temple. You are on the priority list and that also holds true when you transact business in government establishments and banks. There is a separate line for SC.
Earlier on, my brother and I talked about what we will do when we reach the senior years (he is older by only eleven months actually) because Senior Citizens enjoy some privileges that make life a little easier. Under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the SC enjoy a 20% discount and exemption from the value added tax on the sale of goods and services like medicines, medical supplies and professional fees of attending physicians in all private hospitals, actual fare in public transports, 5% discount on grocery items to name a few. Here in our place, they even give you a basket of groceries every time you celebrate your birthday and free medicines for common everyday ailments. We talked about finally having retirement funds from the Social Security System. He is also a colon cancer survivor like am I. Thank God for miracles, he is on his 11th year being cancer free. I am still praying every day that we would both reach the age where we can still enjoy the company of our grandchildren.
Anyway, I am looking forward to being called a senior citizen in exactly two years and three months and I’ll be one….gladly.
Read Full Post »
Posted in blessings, blogging, books, family life, guilty pleasures, life, Philippine cuisine, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, books, family life, food, ginataang santol, guilty pleasures, life, thoughts and ramblings on June 30, 2014 |
3 Comments »
The past days, I didn’t have the energy to blog. I am still busy with gardening,what with the onset of the rainy season and the carabao grass seems to grow by leaps and bounds. I actually hired somebody to clean our side yard outside because I am planning to have it planted with some green veggies. As is the case with people who are not really into gardening, they can never visualize what you want to do with it. I have to tell him how to remove the stubborn weeds by turning over the soil and removing the roots embedded there. It is even more time-consuming to give instructions and see if he did it the way you wanted. Gardening is hard I know and when you don’t have any love for the earth, it would be just one tedious task that you will have to do again and again.
My son and I did our marketing this morning back at Pasig market. It is always something I look forward to because I am so curious about what fruits we could buy that are in season which would save us a few pesos. Santol is selling by the crates and a kilo of the Bangkok variety with that sweet and juicy pulp is selling at P20.00 and the ordinary ones are at P10.00 a kilo. I was thinking of cooking ginataang santol so I bought two kilos. The last time I cooked something like this was about a year ago. I have forgotten how yummy it is, with the sour taste blending perfectly with the coconut cream, Thai red chilis and a bit of ground pork to make it more tasty. Filipino recipes cooked in coconut cream won’t be that authentic without the hot taste of red or green pepper. I am also planning to plant the local siling labuyo in our backyard. Josef was delighted when he saw bright red cherry tomatoes. We could use them for fresh vegetable salad. Locally produced zucchini are a lot cheaper than the imported ones. I also got the orange variety of sweet potatoes, what a joy! It is always a thrill to discover something new to buy and something nice to experiment on in the kitchen.
Yes,I was able to catch up on reading. I laughed out loud while reading Sophie Kinsella’s I Got Your Number. I know, you’ll probably say, most of her books are funny and humorous but then, don’t we sometimes want to read books that are simply relaxing? Just imagine, four books in one week and I am on my 5th one, another book by Jojo Moyes. That’s a feat if you ask me :) I could not wait though to do some looming again but it has to take a back seat in lieu of gardening.
How was your day? I am looking forward to what July has in store. I’ll be on my 5th year in remission by July 14th. Thank God for the gift of health. I bow my head for all these graces and blessings.
Read Full Post »
Posted in birthdays, blogging, Faith, family life, journeys, life, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, family life, journeys, life, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on June 21, 2014 |
4 Comments »
It’s been a while. I know, I know, I was beaten by the lazy bug, a perfect excuse being not able to visit WordPress for a while. I really miss blogging. For the past seven or six years, I’ve shared my thoughts and reflections online, from Friendster to Multiply to WordPress. Some friends are urging me to open an account at Pinterest, what for, I am happy with blogging at WordPress. I feel that even if I am sharing myself with the world in this medium, I can still maintain my privacy and the growing friends that I have here respect each other’s thoughts and ramblings. We may differ in a lot of things but we have the same quest for self-fulfillment and happiness. Blogging is like a favorite chocolate brand that you seek now and then.
We’ve heard of the adage, into each life some rain must fall and we always interpret it as problems we need to overcome. When we think of it positively, we could say, those drops of rain that sometimes drown us could be a series of blessing that we should be grateful for. The sun always shines after the rain, right? There are moments though when one feels the weight of the world on one’s shoulder and you feel helpless and afraid. I remember, sometimes too vividly, the hurts and the pains of the past but I’d rather not dwell on that feeling for long. I let myself cry when I am alone, I let myself reminisce about the happy times but that is all there is to it, reminiscing and letting the tears flow silently for a while. I met a friend the other day and we had quite a long chat about life. I told her about my struggles with my health almost five years ago, the pain of chemotherapy, the worrisome kidney bypass a year later and everything that came after that. She said I am so strong to have endured all of it and I answered back that I have to be for the sake of my kids and for my health. It’s hard to let go I know but that is how life is. We cling to our faith and pray that we will be strong enough to face and carry our own crosses in life. Sometimes though, we are in a hurry making a life that we forget to live.
It is my son’s 30th birthday today, something more to be thankful for – celebrating the gift of life and the gift of motherhood. I think this is one of those rare times that he spent his birthday away from home enjoying the falls of Majayjay. I am getting old. Having grown-up children allows you to comfort yourself with the pleasant memories of their childhood, cherished thoughts of their growing up years, their own pain of chasing their dreams, finding their own niche under the sun and building their own treasures of good memories.
This afternoon, I heard my grandson over the phone said “hi Nonna” and that was enough. I smiled, thinking happy thoughts about my family.
Read Full Post »
Posted in city gardening, Close to Nature, family life, gardens, guilty pleasures, journeys, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, Close to Nature, family life, gardening, journeys, life, nature, thoughts and ramblings on June 9, 2014 |
4 Comments »
The monsoon rains woke me up. For some strange reasons, I could not sleep last night and here I am, wide awake after just a few hours of sleep. The past week has been a little busy, busier than most actually but at least our little garden is looking like a proper garden now. Except for the vacant space outside our fence which still needs to be cleaned of growing weeds and whatnot, our carabao grass is now properly trimmed, my lone gardenia shrub has been deadheaded of dried flowers that sprouted the previous month. I repositioned some of my Amazon lilies in a partly shaded area under our two lime trees. Such is the backbreaking job of a gardener but a fulfilling one too.
As usual, I’ve been able to catch up on my ever-growing fascination for making bracelets out of loom bands. A friend asked what will I do will all those colorful bracelets. Well, I enjoy looking at them in the first place and son says, it is really a good way to unwind. True, sometimes though, the design is a little complicated, you miss something in between and you have to repeat it all over again. Another friend said she enjoys looking at the colorful bracelets that I post on my timeline and she even suggested that I buy my supplies near their place where the loom bands are cheaper than buying them in malls. Why not, it is just a 15-minute jeepney ride from our place.
Last Sunday, I had a chance to talk to my grandson over the phone and I say, time flies, really! He can clearly utter, “Hi Nonna” now. He has learned so many words since the last time we saw him. I am impressed with Nissa’s desire to teach him everything. At eighteen months, he already knows a lot which reminds me, they went out to dinner last Sunday and Nissa sent me some pictures of Nate and another boy, a little older maybe, hugging each other. Long lost friends? Nah, they were just at the next table where my son-in law, Nissa and Nate dined. Children have that natural inclination to be affectionate. Nate has the habit too of waving his hands at the wait staff of any food establishment that they go to.
The joys of everyday things.
It’s a glorious morning, the sun is up and my plants are happy being drenched early from the rain. Hooray, this is my 1,450th post.
Read Full Post »
Posted in journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged a bit of myself, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on June 2, 2014 |
Leave a Comment »
Except for the incident of the dogs (a ten-round boxing game), life has been quiet the past week. I am trying to avoid the intense heat of the sun so I only stay in the garden early in the morning before the sun is up. Grass trimming has been postponed again. Come to think of it, I haven’t even taken a single shot with my camera the past days. The weather bureau says we still have at least two more weeks of summer before the rainy season sets in. We have thunderstorms though almost every afternoon.
I still feel a little lethargic at times – those moments when all you want to do is sleep but you can’t, those moments when you want to read but the words dance in your eyes, those times when you want to prepare a good meal but so lazy to stay in front of the hot stove for long. I must really be growing old, feeling the pains of aching joints and such. I hate to think that this is still the effect of the exhaustive chemotherapy sessions I went through almost five years ago. The residue of the toxic chemicals is still in my system and when my immune system is low, I easily get tired. No matter how you try to avoid stress in your life, it is always there.
I have this sudden vision of going far off to a place where I could really, really unwind, without thinking of the daily home rituals that one has to do. Just being in a place where you can still hear crickets and still see fireflies on a dark night must really be heaven. Just being in a place where you can enjoy nature at its best, feel the running water on your feet and eat when you feel like it. Such a charmed life I know but maybe, it is still possible, don’t you think?
Life comes with a lot of baggage sometimes but it is up to us to lighten the load and enjoy the journey with a lot less on our shoulders. Life comes with problems that are sometimes insurmountable you would not even know the beginning and the end. Life comes sometimes with lots of tears and laughter. I’d like to believe though that this is just another chapter in my life, I just have to turn the page to change the scene.
A big congratulations to my son-in-law who has just been newly promoted as Senior Manager two weeks ago. I am so proud of him, he really deserves it.
Read Full Post »