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Oreo And The Kids


Last Saturday, we had a lovely time celebrating life, Mom’s birthday.  Nissa took shots of our puppy Oreo He is boisterous and playful and he loves  kids too.

At first Nate was so careful in holding him. He hasn’t been vaccinated with anti-rabies yet because he is still too young.

Then he said: “I’d  like to bring him home, can I bring him home Nonna?”

A cuddly pet. His favorite place to sleep in is not in his bed but at the foot of Josef’s bed with his head between the latter’s feet.  He loves staying near the electric fan.

He would cry when he can’t open the screen door and he wanted to go out but we don’t let him in the garden yet. He is just two months old.

He is a Thomasian too. Josef saw this shirt at the pet shop with the initials UST (University of Santo Tomas) and it was the smallest size that fits  Oreo. Yes,  he is that small, a mere 1.8 kilos a week ago.  Nissa, Josef and I are all graduates of UST so we were all thrilled when we saw this t-shirt. Haha, black and yellow. I said, “bagay”

 

 

 

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Four Seasons In Rome


 

Good morning everyone! Can’t believe April is almost over. Today is April 24th.

The last time I wrote a post here was three days ago. I deliberately didn’t write one because I was trying to finish a lovely and interesting memoir on Rome by no less than the gifted author of All The Light You Cannot See which I read three years ago.  I’ve been looking for  another book of Anthony Doerr since All The Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It was Goodreads’ choice winner for 2014.

Two days ago, I found one. Four Seasons in Rome is a lovely narrative on how he and his family spent a year in Rome, He knew nothing about the Italian way of life,  just simple words by way of greeting.  They were there when his twins turned one and then wrote  something about the crowd  at St. Peter’s  Square  when  St. Pope John Paul II died last April 02, 2005.  He was there when a new pope,  Pope Benedict was chosen to succeed JP II.

I love the way he described every places they have been too, the smell of pizza and cheese, the daily grind in the city.  And for each season, more adjustments too. I am reminded of another memoir  by another  author Peter Mayle who recently died. He wrote about Provence and its food and the daily life there. Anthony Doerr wrote about being a parent of twins,  the sleepless nights he suffered, the encounter with so many people who didn’t speak English.

I wish I could find more of his books in the future.

 

 

 


It’s  one of those family gatherings that  we all enjoyed. It was a simple lunch with the kids to celebrate Mom’s 89th birthday. Nissa  is the photographer of the day and she has a new phone with a camera that is even better than some cameras in the market. Just love the  slow  mo app which she uses to take some videos of Nate.  Wish I could share them here.

We had roast  chicken,  pork barbecue, fiddlehead fern salad, pancit canton, gelatin and two kinds of chocolate cakes. Josef bought  a triple chocolate roll while Nissa had a small cake decorated  so Mom could blow her birthday candle.

Despite the heat, we all enjoyed the simple lunch. Nate and I played with his new Mr. Monster ball  He was not interested with his other toys. Instead he found my set of small fork and spoon  which we use for pickles and bite-size food. He was fascinated. Then he suddenly burst out “I worked at McDo for a week”.

“What did you learn”, I asked.

“Plenty”, he said.

He didn’t get the Best Crew Award which he earned last year  He was given a certificate of the “Best Dancer” instead. Knowing Nate, I really believe that he could dance. He has his own moves and style of dancing.

We munched on peanuts and cornik later. We skipped snacks.

It’s Mom’s 89th Year


I greeted and kissed Mom when she woke up. She asked: Ano bang araw ngayon?

I said: Byernes.

She answered: Byernes na ba? Akala ko Huwebes ngayon. Birthday ko na pala. Ilang taon na ba ako ngayon?

I told her: 89 na kayo Mom.

She can’t believe it.

HAPPY 89TH BIRTHDAY MOM. We will celebrate tomorrow when the kids are around.

Our  early morning conversation went like this.When I greeted her,  she asked me what day it is so I said Friday. She thought it was still  Thursday. Her confusion with the day was followed by the question how old she is today so I told her she is 89 years old. She smiled.


I am presently reading a book about bee keeping and beehives. Bees come our of their hives during the warm season and they hibernate  during the cold.  The only book I read about bees before is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Lives of Bees. 

Back in the province when  my brothers and I were  in grade school, we would always look for bee hives among trees in our yard. We were afraid though to disturb it. The sting of a bee is painful. One other thing that reminds me of childhood are the insects we locally call salagubang (beetle in English).  After the rain, we would carry a long pole of bamboo and look for salagubang in mango trees nearby. You just have to shake the branches of the mango trees then the beetles will fall. We would play with them by tying a piece of string on their legs and let them buzz  We would be lucky if we catch the Ilang-ilang  or salaginto which is the green beetle,  and shiny too.

Those were the days I remember until now.  We are four kids in the family and I am the only girl. What I  further recall were playing marbles with my brothers. We each had jars of marble in various colors.  Our old house when we were young had several   bintana (windows)  and each was equipped  with  barandilla (balustrades) where mom used to put potted plants.  They were like the steel bars you still see in  older houses now. We had three windows in our bedroom  and during rainy season, we  would occupy each and would make different shapes out of clay and let them dry when the sun comes out. I would always make a  cooking pot with a clay stove  and flowers while my brothers would make animals  of different kinds.

Gosh, remembering the childhood years – no television, no expensive gadgets to speak of  but we were happy.  Blowing bubbles with our bubblegum loot which Mom would buy for us when she goes  to the market  and we’ll have five  each of bubble gum  candies. We would make them  last for a week until the next market day.

 

A Tiring Wait


It’s only been three days since my last blog but it feels like I haven’t written for a week. A little hard to start all over again.

I’ve been back and forth to  my ophthalmologist since Tuesday. I underwent  biometry at The Medical  City and it took  us almost a day to wait for the doctor and to get the procedures done.  I’ll have my cataract operation next Thursday at Borough Medical Care Institute at Eastwood City. It is an outpatient operation and  my ophthalmologist said it would only take twenty minutes. The insurance will not shoulder the new lens so I have to shell out a big amount for my left eye lens.  I don’t know the cost of the operation itself but it is included in my medical insurance.

One reason why I hate going to hospitals is because of the endless waiting for the doctor to arrive. If you have an appointment by 11am, you have to be there at least an hour before so you’ll be first if not in the list of the first five patients. The doctor usually arrives an hour after her scheduled clinic time. I do get impatient at times.

I remember those days when hospital visits were a  regular  undertaking for me. The clinical smell of the laboratories and examination rooms always remind you that something is  wrong.

Monday Thoughts


Took care of our latest family member throughout the day.  He played with his  little pillow, balls and sat on my lap while I was checking my accounts online and while reading.  I laughed when he saw his image in front of our full-length mirror and he kept on barking. He must have thought there was another puppy looking at him.

Strange, I seemed to have picked up two books in a row all about India.  The Girl From The Tea Garden  was about the life of an Anglo-Indian girl who grew up in 1930’s.

The story revolved  on how she struggled with life  away from home without her family coming back  at the height of WW II to find her true love.   Learning about how tea is prepared, how  Indian summer feels like.

Janet MacLeod Trotter is quite new in my list of authors.  She has several books about India and this one is  part of a series.

Camron Wright is the author of The Orphan Caretaker.   I am almost done with this book.

Learning  more about Indian culture and traditions. The only thing familiar to me are the chicken masala  and samosa. Years ago, I received a big jar of Masala from a friend whose family stayed in Rome for decades.

Couldn’t put down the book, it is based on a true story. An Indian boy abducted from his home and adopted by an American family. He learned  the American way of life but still kept wondering about his Indian roots. It is also my first time to read a book by Camron Wright, an American  author whose genre is Historical Fiction and yes, Literature and Fiction too.  You can’t help but be touched by the story.

“We don’t use knives and forks,” Pranay replied, leaning forward, “because we are not at war with our food. We don’t need weapons. We have learned it is better to surrender to the flavors, to caress and embrace them. You see, eating for Indians is a passionate affair. Picking up the food with our fingers evokes a closeness, a feeling of warmth, a connection. It would all be lost if we started stabbing and cutting.”

Is this still done until now?  Wikipedia says that:  “The  etiquette of Indian dining varies with the region in India.  Typically, both in urban and rural settings, Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, without any cutlery. This practice is historic and based  on the cultural premise that eating is a sensual activity, and touch is part of the experience along with the taste, aroma of the food, and its presentation such as on a Thali, or on a large plate made from washed banana leaf, or stitched and washed leaves.”

Some people do  it in informal  occasions here. they call it boodle fight where the food is piled on top of  banana leaves with rice at the center. The food is laid on long tables. A military style of eating,  a symbol of brotherhood and equality among Filipino military by sharing the same food without regard to rank.  They also call it “kamayan” style of eating.