My 202nd Read

Last January I committed to read 150 books on Goodreads 2017 Reading  Challenge. The joy of reading, I just finished my 201st read last night, a story set in a Tuscan farmhouse.  It’s nice to go back reading  about the provincial life in Tuscany. This book though was more descriptive than conversational.  It was a light read so I finished it in one day.

Last February, I included A Man Called Ove in my bucket list for the year. Fredrik Backman  is definitely a gifted writer.  He was born in Stockholm, Sweden and he had his book translated into  English by another author. I got hold of his other books, Britt-Marie Was Here  and  another one entitled And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer. Lately though I found his other book called Beartown.

I haven’t actually started it yet but I noticed that it has mostly five-stars on  Goodreads.  Readers say it is different from his other books.  Looking forward to reading it  today. I hope it is as good as his A Man Called Ove.   Per my Goodreads’ virtual  library, this will be my 202nd  one this year.

I have more in store – Richard North Patterson, James Patterson, Ken Follett,  Stephen King,  Lang Leav (love her poems), Mary Oliver (of course) , Santa Montifiore and  Lisa Wingate to name a few.  There are more authors that I came across but I have yet to read their books.  Hopefully I’ll find time to read all these lovely  books. It is always nice to visit other places and learn about other cultures through books.  Hooray 🙂  ❤


Tuesday Musings

Woke up to another cold morning and it is raining again.  I wonder when I’ll get to see the sun’s face again in all  its glory. I wonder if we’ll spend Christmas day like this one.

I spent sometime yesterday planning  what to prepare for our Noche Buena.  I have actually cooked two kilos of embutido the other day and  put  it in the freezer. Embutido is our Filipino version of meatloaf which is cooked by steaming.  It consists of ground pork, raisins, sausage, cheese, eggs, pickle relish, carrots and other seasonings. You can freeze it for  more  than just a month and it does not lose its flavor.  Of course, fruit, macaroni or potato salad won’t be left behind since Mom is here.  She loves anything that spells S-A-L-A-D. And  pasta dishes  and sweet delicacies won’t be left behind.   Nissa is on a Keto diet and she does not eat carbohydrates so sometimes I find it hard to prepare something for her. We always have rice in our every meal so it’s a no, no for her.  Aside from attending the Christmas  Eve mass, sharing the Noche Buena feast at midnight, we have the opening of gifts to look forward to and Nate  is the happiest kid around.   He could only clutch his gifts and does a guessing game before he opens them with gusto.


Nate at 5.

Nate is quite tall for his age. He just finished his workshop at  Trimedia Int’l. with a fashion show last week  with other kid participants. Got his first trophy at five.  I’m envious  but he deserves it after eight sessions of workshop and that lovely fashion  show in the end.  A proud  Nonna obviously.

These Rains

The sky is dotted with grey clouds. I can’t understand this kind of weather. It’s been raining on and off since the start of December. There are times when one o’clock  in the afternoon looks like six in the  evening. That’s how dark it goes sometimes.

It’s been raining since noon today, that kind that stays for a few hours and you won’t want to get out of the house. Nursing your coffee mug, trying to start another  suspense thriller on your tab.  One feels a little lazy  and lethargic.

Three days ago, I found a copy of Paula Hawkins’s second book called Into The Water.  Goodreads  Choice Award 2017 winner under the mystery and thriller category. Back in 2015, her first book The Girl On the Train also won in the same group. I can’t help but compare  her second book to the first one. I actually gave them both three-stars but I like the first one better.  I got confused at first while reading the first few chapters of Into The Water. So many characters,   it’s a compelling read though – mysterious, eerie and full of suspense. I didn’t expect the ending.  I just started on the  Missing Child by Patricia  MacDonald. It’s my first book of this particular author, another suspense and  mystery thriller. The first few chapters are fast-paced, that kind that you would want to pick up again after setting it aside for an hour or two.  It is my 199th read on Goodreads this year. I finished my 150-book challenge  2017 the last week of October and continued on. So many books, so many stories to read, so many talented authors to discover. I guess this is the year that I  found so many authors but they were  not in my bucket list.  Mary Oliver’s poems come in handy when I am feeling low. I always find her works so uplifting.  I wish I could find some of her books here. I think National Book Store does not carry this author. I do read some of her works online though.

Books are the easiest companions you can ever have, they don’t complain, they don’t get mad, they just wait in a corner until you  have the time to hold them again.

What have you been reading lately?


I have always dreamed

someday we’ll meet again.

Sometimes the silence is deafening

but I could hear your voice in the distance.

I have always thought love could withstand it all

I was wrong to think there is forever.


when I am old and grey

we’ll meet again.

Until then.




This Speaks For Me

And I can go back to it anytime I want. I could re-read the story anytime I need to.

(The meme is not mine, found it on my wall at FB. Credit to the owner.)

Missing You Still

I think the last time I blogged about Dad was a year ago. Today is his 10th death anniversary. Can’t believe it has been that long. I could still imagine him  sitting in a corner  or at the garage while perusing the news for the day. His vision became normal once he had that eye operation years and years ago.  Yes, he loved reading the newspaper from cover to cover.  You can talk about anything under the sun and he would gladly share his experiences  about life, how he struggled in his studies so he could be employed in a nice  and stable institution like the University of Santo Tomas where my siblings and I all studied from high school to college.

Today is another day of remembering those long ago days full of nice and beautiful memories.  My  two brothers except our youngest (who spent his elementary years here in Manila)  were left  in the province with our maternal grandmother when Mom would spend a few months with Dad.  We would always look forward to summer vacations and December break when there were no classes and Dad would come home for a week or two to spend the days with us. He used to take night trips. It was nice to wake early  in the morning seeing his face while drinking a hot cup of rice coffee.  Those were also the days when we would come to Manila with him and Mom and spend the rest of summer vacation  with them. We all transferred to the university during our high school years. I remember taking the bus to our place in Quezon City and dad would accompany me to the bus stop before one in the afternoon before going back to the office. When I was in first year and second year high school, Mom came back to the province to  stay with my two younger  brothers. We had no refrigerator so Dad would drop by the wet market  every day before going home to buy  something for dinner and for breakfast the following day.  I learned those basic recipes from him  when I was in high school.

I grew up reading those Mills and Boon romance books  back in the early seventies.  Dad would borrow some at their high school library and he would return them  back after a week.  I graduated on those romance books when I got to college and  did a two-year stint as a student librarian at the university. That was where I was introduced to more serious reading. I was surrounded by Ethics, Philosophy, Psychology, literature and fiction books.The happy years growing up with books.

The pain of losing him would always linger, but the memories, the good memories would remain in my heart forever. I will always remember those words of wisdom. They have some shaped my life to where I am now.

I’ll always keep you in my prayers dad. Missing you …. still!


Olaf’s Frozen Adventure

via Olaf’s Frozen Adventure