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Dreams And Reality


Nostalgia.

Yes, I am feeling a little nostalgic at the moment.  Last night, I reread a book of poems by Rod McKuen, one of the two books that I have entitled Alone. You can actually finish it in less than an hour but when you are absorbing each word, enjoying what it means in your life and looking back at   those life journeys you had before, it is even more nostalgic. The flow of each word is like a balm to your heart.

This is actually my 1,849th post in this particular blog, not counting  the posts on the other four blogs  I have on gardening, photography, my grandson Nate and a newly minted one for when I use up the remaining 29% free space allowed here. It’s been a long journey, blogging for a little more than seven years. Sometimes, I wonder how I was able to share those  thoughts in between.

I remember a few lines from my 1,000th post four years ago. I can’t believe I lasted this long sharing my thoughts with the world. Still hoping I could inspire more, I am grateful for those online friends who leave inspiring words too, coming back now and again to update me with their journey.

“Documenting one’s own frailties, insecurities, battles and happy thoughts takes a lot of courage, more so if you are doing it publicly through a blog. One thing though that I don’t regret doing is sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I started this three years ago right after I found out I had colon cancer. Each of us has her own coping mechanism and mine was writing my thoughts and sharing it . I’ve always said and I will say it again that if I could touch a single soul out there who’ll draw a little inspiration on what I went through, then that would be enough, it would make me happy. To my surprise, a few online friends found some of my blogs helpful in their own journey, having experienced the same thing that I did. Kindred spirits, if I must say.”

We can do better, we can reach our dreams, we can learn to fly.

I reviewed some of the photos I took since I learned how to take  shots of my garden blooms.  I transferred them to a hard drive when Multiply closed its doors  and I have to find a way to save all those shots.  This shot is nothing new here, I remember posting it when I was still active in participating in the weekly photo challenge at WordPress.

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A moment in time.

They were flying in formation at a speed that I could not capture so well. I love taking photos of clouds on a clear day but they came as a bonus.  Seeing nature at its best keeps you grounded, the beauty of one summer day etched in your memory.  Sometimes, watching the sun show its face on a bright morning is blessing enough. Sometimes, a hesitant smile from a stranger you meet along the road of life makes the day worthwhile.  Sometimes, finding a lovely bloom in your garden is grace enough.  Dreams may not always turn into reality but believing in it takes you to another level, a happy feeling that life would always be something to treasure  no matter what.

Jumbled Thoughts


September is almost at an end but the weather is so erratic sometimes which  makes you think it is still summer. Either the sun goes up early in the morning, heavy rain takes over in the afternoon or the rain comes early when you are asleep  and the sun shines a little late in the afternoon. Crazy.

I haven’t blogged for a week, that kind of post that needs at least five hundred words :)  Remember  that feeling that you wanted to write  a post but you don’t know how  to start? Remember that feeling when  you have lots of thoughts in your head chasing each other to come out but you don’t know  where to start? Remember that feeling that you would really love to update your blog but you don’t know when to start?

Maybe I am just feeling oh so lazy.  Yes Virginia, that’ s the truth.  I am on my 92nd book though, 8 more books to go and I’m done.  I don’t always find  good ones, some are just easy reads.

We left early to do our twice a month marketing this morning. I was delighted when I found fresh fiddlehead fern selling at P10 a bunch, got three for P25.  You’re lucky if a vendor gives you a discount because you are the buena mano.  It tastes so crunchy, just blanch it with hot water for a minute or two  then add slices of tomatoes, ginger and onion. Instead of ground pork as toppings,  I used a can of flaked solid white  albacore fried to a crisp. Josef loves it. Then we saw a young stingray being sliced by our suki vendor so we bought a kilo. They  clean it and remove the skin at your request. My son is an expert when it comes to flaking the fish, slicing and dicing ingredients.  The best way to cook it is in coconut cream with lots of diced  banana pepper, julienned  ginger  and thinly sliced red onion.  I am surprised that Rambutan fruits are still in season, a steal at P60 a kilo.  I love it when it is chilled. It’s fun to find fresh produce in the market.

We were supposed to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in advance today so I cooked Nate’s favorite sinigang, this time I used shrimp instead of pork ribs. Nate loves anything sour with all the veggies.They were on their way here this morning when Nissa  told me that they  were  going back because her mother-in-law was rushed to  the hospital.  Nothing serious, she was not confined, thank God.  Nate was actually looking forward to their monthly visit here. He said over the phone “see you later Nonna” but he must have meant “see you soon”.  More weekends to look forward to.

Lately,  I have explored a bit of WordPress, how to blacklist someone who makes those comments which are not really about the post or about the blog  but which are not classified as spam by  WordPress.  They are meant to provoke.  I have learned how to delete a follower who is not really into writing, when you click the site, you can’t even find it. Years ago, there was this site who made use of one particular post, changed  some words and they made it appear its their own. I called the attention of WordPress to no avail so what I did was to blog about that site for everyone to see.  I even learned how to use Copyscape to check everything here, I don’t know how  effective it is but at least  it is an option.  I am glad there is Akismet.  It has protected my site from 54,096 spam comments as of this writing.  I am grateful to WordPress for that.

Any app you have uploaded to your blog to protect it? It would be nice to hear from you, thanks🙂

Be Thankful…..Always!


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Been touched by these words.  Good morning everyone.

On Reading


One thing I like about Facebook is their daily app called On This Day where you can go back and see what you wrote a few years back, a summary of shoutout you did through the years.  I wrote the  following paragraphs exactly four years ago on my wall. I wonder if I lifted them  from  some earlier posts I did here. I know it is easier if there is a previous review of the book you want to read or it was given a rating of five stars like they do on Goodreads but I guess you can always explore a book and sometimes you certainly find nice surprises.

Sometimes I wonder if people read a particular book because they love and like the author or they find positive reviews about it or simply because the book is just there, handy for one to enjoy.

I am not deterred by negative reviews they give to a particular book or been influenced by the five-star rating on the side, I’d rather want to discover it on my own. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised, you actually love the story of one which others say is not worth that much.

And I love this quote from Roald Dahl: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

It’s funny, I even capitalized that word  “please”.  I am on the last leg of my reading challenge of 100 books this year (88% done) and I realized that one should not be afraid to try reading new authors, not just those you’re familiar with or are well-known.  Sometimes, the very first books they publish are the best ones. And yes, I have to be honest here, sometimes the book cover does it 🙂

What are you reading now? I am done with some books on baking and those fiction books that have baking recipes in between the pages.

 

 

No Way To Go But Up


I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The Wild Geese.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

 

Grow Tall Little Man


I love photos that tell a story. Sure you can just admire one particular shot but that is all there is to it. A garden fills the senses, a lovely bloom makes you admire nature, a lovely rainbow makes you wonder about the beauty of creation.

Two years ago, I blogged about Nissa’s photo of Nate and his dad which she posted on Instagram.  He was a little more than a year old, just learned how to walk  and balance himself while walking. Yesterday, Nissa took another shot of the two of them. What a difference two and a half years make!

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Grow tall little man.

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He greeted me a happy grandmother’s day yesterday. When he is being playful, he would say, “I love you Mommy, I love you Mama” repeating the words several  times  instead of saying Nonna.  Our baby is now a big boy🙂

Thank You MAMA MARY


I hope it is not too late to say “happy birthday  Mama Mary”. 

For those of you who read  my blog regularly, you might have noticed that since 2011, I’ve been getting upward spike every time I blog about Mama Mary’s birthday and the bulk of views comes from my country. I love Mama Mary.  Yes, every September 7 and September 8, I get notifications from  WordPress. Last year was the highest so far with a total of 4,893 in one day alone.

WordPress has sent me notifications  since the other day and again I am amazed by the amount of views I got until this morning. This one is the latest so far with this message:

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 303 hourly views – 6 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats.

wordpress

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 303 hourly views – 6 hourly views on average A spike in your stats

Translated into numbers, I got 2,020 views the other day and 2,713 views as of this morning. It is still moving upward. Thank you Mama Mary, my blog posts about you are instrumental in these numbers.

May you all be touched with everyday blessings.