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Archive for March, 2010


Alert –

Waiting

For the sound

Of  your footsteps,

But they never came.

I learned

To savor silence

Being here –

Alone

Once more.

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Took these shots while observing Earth Hour 2010.

I heard so much of the book, Eat, Pray, Love, so this afternoon, I bought my copy at National Bookstore.  I just hope I will be able to read it before the movie is shown here.   And yes, I could not get enough of watching the movie Julie  & Julia earlier so I bought a copy of the book too. Obsessed?   Maybe. I don’t know really because when the book is good, I usually reread it so I must have my  copy. Actually, Julie & Julia is the last copy they had at NBS -Ever.  Just a little lucky I guess, that book was meant for my library 🙂

Well, I really hope  you won’t forget to do your own share of observing Earth Hour 2010. One hour is a short sacrifice  to save our planet.

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Julia Child.  Meryl Streep.  Blogging.  Beef Bourguignon.  Haute  Cuisine. 365 Days, 524 Recipes Challenge.   Passion.  Ambition.  Butter.

Who would not be fascinated by all these?  It is a scrumptious feast alright.  For the past three days,  I’ve had back pains and the kids told me to just take things easy and rest.  And taking a rest means – no gardening,  no photo shots,  no cooking, no romping with our two dogs – but surely I could take a peek at the computer and view  my blogs  and write a word or two.  Nissa brought home a  DVD copy of the movie Julie & Julia. Who wouldn’t have heard of Julia Child, a culinary legend?   So at an ungodly hour of 7:30 am,  I was in the middle of watching the movie and hubby was wondering why I was laughing out loud.  I am a fan of Meryl Streep and she is at her brilliant, beguiling best here.  Stanley  Tucci  portrays the character of Paul, the loving, supportive diplomat husband of Julia.  I remember him as Nigel in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. This is the first time I heard of Amy Adams though and Chris Messina.   They played the role of Julie and Eric.

You’ll probably be disappointed because I am not about to write a review on the movie , rather, I want to share  my thoughts while watching it.  Somehow, I could relate to that ambitious streak of the two lead characters, that of being published.  Haven’t we, at some time in our lives dreamed of  being  writers too, publishing something  dear to our heart?   They say that you are not a writer until someone publishes you.   I believe it takes guts and talent to become a published author.   One could still dream, right?

Julie Powell is the author of the book,  Julie & Julia, 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny  Apartment from which the movie was based.  A frustrated office worker at the Lower Manhattan Dev. Corp. In New York, she began her Julie/Julia Project in August 2002.  It’s a blog on her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s book,  Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her blog quickly gained following .  She has written so many  blog posts since 2005 in her website on Blogger.   Her blog, What Could  Happen (http://juliepowell.blogspot.com), is a humorous account to find meaning in her life.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder, is there anyone there reading me?” Same sentiments  I’ve got.  But then, once they make comments on your blog, your wondering  stops and it makes you really happy that you are reaching out.  Blogging gives you something you have to do one day at a time.  It’s not as if, you just have to sit in front of your computer and just type whatever comes into  mind.  Even if you are not a popular blogger, you still have responsibility not to offend the sensibilities of your readers.  There are times when, you just stare at the blank screen  not just wondering what to write about but how to go about it.  I remember a scene in the movie wherein Julie has to cook lobster.   She  is so afraid  that they would jump out of the pan, she covers her head but not the pan.  It’s really funny, then she writes, “lobster killer, lobster killer, lobster killer”.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Anyone who is a food enthusiast would probably dream of owning these two volumes on French cooking.   I saw a copy at Bestsellers at a staggering cost of more than P4,000.00.   I could buy more books at that amount.  For want of better things to do, Julia  thought of making hats, enrolling in a cooking school and writing about her foray into the world of culinary arts.  The owner of the school cannot even stand her and even told her that she could not really cook.  But when one is determined to learn, nothing is really impossible.   Some scenes in the move are truly laughable.  In one scene, Julia was  chopping a mountain of onions and she  asked Paul, her husband, “Are you hungry?” and he answered “No”. He was probably turned off by the smell of all those onions.  And she said that shopping  for food is as much fun as buying a dress.   Paul, being so supportive of her, encouraged her to write and finally she was able to publish a French cookbook for Americans together with her friends, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.   At first they were rejected by their first publisher, Houghton Mifflin because they found the book intimidating.   Butter is the one main secret in her cooking .  Paul  was  portrayed as a  sweet guy, telling her,  “Julia, you are the butter to my bread and a breath to my life”.

The  movie,  Julie & Julia is  actually based on these two stories of Julia  Child and Julie  Powell.    The plot may not be that arresting but it’s a  feel-good  movie just the same, full of delights and  adventures  and an affirmation that,  you can succeed if your heart and mind are in it.

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Earth Hour 2010


Save the earth. Let us show the world that we care. Let us participate in the

Earth Hour on March 27, 2010 from 8:30pm to  9:30pm

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Found the hubby so frantic early this morning . I was still in the throes of sleeping soundly when I heard him calling. Oh, my, oh my, what happened to our Pangasius and Koi fish?  Except for a small amount left at the  basin of concrete in the pond, there was no water left and we thought  the fish all died . No movement, no sign of life.  We had just changed the  water yesterday and had everything cleaned. The more than one meter long hose  got dislodged from the joint and the  submersible pump was also not in place. The hose  was pointing  at the garden so there was no water left  inside.  Good thing we have an overhead tank, otherwise, we cannot just replace  it with Nawasa water since it has chlorine.  And good thing too, the pump didn’t overheat.  Our three Pangasius fish are getting bigger.  Hubby just uttered,  “thank God, they are all alive”.

Wonder of wonders, when we have poured about more than ten gallons of water, they started to swim back to life.  Horaay!


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Need help? Consolation? Enlightenment? Call HIM. His numbers are listed below. You’ll be sure to get an answer.

Emergency Numbers

When in sorrow, call John 14.
When people fail you, call Psalm 27.
If you want to be fruitful, call John 15.
When you have sinned, call Psalm 51.
When you worry, call Matthew 6:19-34.
When God seems far away, call Psalm 139.
When your faith needs stirring, call Hebrews 11.
When you are in danger, call Psalm 91
When you are lonely and fearful, call Psalm 23.
When you grow bitter and critical, call 1 Cor. 13.
When you feel down and out, call Romans 8:31-39.
When you want peace and rest, call Matthew 11: 25-30
when the world seems bigger than God, call Psalm 90.
When you want assurance, call Romans 8: 1-30.
When your prayers grow selfish, call Psalm 67.
when you want courage for a task, call Joshua 1.
When you think of investments/returns, call Mark 10.
If you are depressed, call Psalm 27.
If your pocket is empty, call Psalm 37.
If you are losing confidence in people, call 1 Cor. 13
If people seem unkind, call John 15.
If discouraged about your work, call Psalm 126.
If you find the world growing small and yourself great, call Psalm 19.

Emergency numbers may be dialed direct, No operator assistance is necessary.

ALL LINES ARE OPEN TO HEAVEN 24 HOURS A DAY!

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You reach a point in life when you get too wary of what you eat because not all of those delectable dishes, and those great-looking food presentations are good for the body.  A  few years ago, I didn’t care much about diets, but when dad started  showing signs of ESRD (end-stage renal diseases), we have avoided if not completely eliminated meat in our daily intake of food.   When I found out that I had stage 3 colon cancer, I did research on almost everything that would help me get on with life without sacrificing too much on food.  There were so many studies made on what to eat and what to avoid  when you are diagnosed with this life-threatening ailment.   The past few months, I’ve been more into eating vegetables and fish.   I just buy chicken breasts, have them deboned and the skin removed.  I do buy pork every now and then, but  I try to avoid so much fat.

Vegetables are now  staples in my diet.  Broccoli is called brocollo in Italy  where it was originally cultivated.  It is good in fighting colon cancer and in minimizing eye cataract.  It is a low-calorie, fiber-rich food and its high fiber content works wonders in the digestive system and is also good in cleaning the intestine.   Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family.  It contains anti-oxidants glutathione which helps in the metabolism of nutrients  and cell regulation.  Unknown to most of us, it has a higher vitamin C content than an orange and is also rich in beta carotene. It has the ability to strengthen the body’s  immune system.

Cucumber or what we locally know as pipino is good for diabetes and helps in the digestive system.  It comes from the same family as pumpkin, zucchini and other squash variety. 100 grams of this would give you 180 IU of vitamin A, 9 mg of vitamin C, 32 mg of Calcium and 27 mg of phosphorus and such other vitamins like iron, potassium and carbohydrates.  It also helps in promoting the flow of urine and in kidney bladder and liver disease.

The most important benefit of tomato is its lycopene content which is a vital anti-oxidant that helps fight cancer formation.  It has the highest concentration of lycopene  content which increases when the tomato is cooked than when eaten raw.   It is said that tomatoes are the healthiest of the fruits and vegetables that ward off diseases.

Carrot prevents heart disease, it improves vision  and makes lungs healthy.  Large intake of carotenoids can decrease different forms of cancer by 50%.    Cancer is a multiple nutritional deficiency.  Avoiding sugar is one way of starving cancer cells.  Sugar is a cancer feeder.  Milk causes the body to produce mucus and cancer feeds on mucus.   Meat is hard to digest and eating so much meat is harmful for our health.  Coffee, tea and chocolates must also be eaten in moderation to avoid cancer cell growth.

And they always say, prevention is better than cure.

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Lately I’ve been  quite  lethargic, for want of a better word.  I had my first laboratory tests and liver  and kidney ultrasound last Monday, after more than three months of rest from hospital  and doctor visits. It’s something  which I am   reluctant to do  but it is  unavoidable.  Three months of rest from Xeloda tablets and chemotherapy.  I’d like to think that everything is definitely  going back to normal.  Afterall, one’s health should never be ignored, haven’t I always affirmed that health is wealth? Sometimes though, when you are reminded of something as life-changing as  having  colon cancer, your world would never be the same again. And clinging to the thought that you are on remission is the only thing that would  make you feel better.  I had my CEA marker done too but I still have to see the results tomorrow when I visit my medical oncologist.  I am praying everything would be okay.

Last Wednesday, we had the Kumpisalang Bayan (Holy Confession) at the nearby St. Jude Thaddeus Parish where we hear mass every Sunday.  It is a welcome respite to be able to unburden yourself and share what you’ve been through knowing that here is someone who would understand and pray for you.  It gave me that feeling of deja vu, listening to the priest’s advise, I heard it before from one of my nun friends who underwent the same illness as I did.   God loves us enough to let us share in His suffering and  the fact that we are chosen to undergo such predicament should be a welcome thing in our lives.

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I wish to share  my very first blog which I originally posted at my Multiply site.   My journal entries way back in college don’t count of course, they are more personal – the growing up years contained in a thick notebook  which I still keep until now.  Funny how, this story talks about teenage life, first love, and heartaches. It reminds me so much of those days and nights  that I’ve done the same soul-searching. Life is full of chances to grow a little better, life is full of experiences that teach us how to truly love.

The Summer of  42 (April 22, 2008)

I truly believe that something happens when you least expect it.  Yesterday, while I was waiting for my urologist at the satellite clinic of the Medical City at Ever-Ortigas, I decided to while away the time going to my favorite jaunts. First stop was NBS, they have this bargain bin in one corner of the store and it is always a delight to find something worth-reading.  Next was a visit at the friendly Booksale lady at the 2nd floor.  Third stop was at Books and Mags. I was just browsing with no particular book in mind. There is a growing stash of books most of which I made on impulse buy.  I decided that I will stick to my Wish List and wait for another sale perhaps at Bestsellers and NBS.

Tom Clancy (plenty stuff there), Dean Koontz, Binchy – I found this small volume, Summer of 42 by Herman Raucher, a Dell book, 1971 edition. What came to mind was the music, Theme from Summer of 42 by Michelle Legrand. I distinctly remember that way back in 1971, this was one of the contenders for Best Instrumental Arrangement/Composition along with Theme from Shaft by Isaac  Hayes and Theme from Love Story by Francis Lai, for the prestigious Grammy Awards. Of course, Theme from Shaft won hands down (and I still have my Jingle chordbook magazine, Chapter IX to prove it),. But I am digressing here.

Summer of 42 – made into film by Warner Bros. with Jennifer O’Neill (Dorothy) and Gary Grimes(Hermie) as the main characters.  In everyone’s life, there is Summer of 42. A beautiful love story, poignant, warm, funny, sad, coming of age – it is just perfect.

The summer Hermie turned fifteen, he fell deeply  and passionately in love with an older woman of twenty-two and a married one at that.  Along with his two best friends Oscy and Benjie, Hermie spent his time running and playing on the beach and it was there that he saw and fell in love with Dorothy.  The story revolves around the fun and mischief of the three young boys, displaying their raw innocence about sex. It behooves me to think what life was like in ’42.

I dare not describe the details here because it is always best to read the book and enjoy it. The wording  of the song from the book sums it all:

last night I started out happy
last night my heart was so gay
last night I found myself dancing
in my favorite cabaret.
you were completely forgotten
just an affair of the past,
then  suddenly something happened to me
and I found my heart beating, oh so fast

there will be no new romance for me,
it’s foolish to start
for that old feeling
is still in my heart.

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It was one  of those really rainy, rainy afternoons – with dark cloudy skies to boot accompanied by the roar of thunder and an occasional flash of lightning. Nothing much to do but read. I was scanning the pages of an old  issue of Marie Claire and they have this article that says “What is your fondest childhood memory?”. It really caught my attention. Some said that going abroad at an early age was simply fantastic, an experience they will never forget. Another one loves taking a bath in the rain. Another says she could not just forget her mom singing her to sleep. Every one of us probably has treasured childhood memories and experiences but some of them simply come across as very distinctive compared to others. I was in grade school when I went with dad one time to go fishing. All I knew of catching a fish was through the use of a hook and line. This was what I learned from Mom when I used to tag along when schooldays were over. Digging earthworms to use as bait was one thing that I was such an expert of.

So one morning, I went fishing with Dad. I remember the water was not that clear because it rained the previous afternoon. He had this what you call kitang in our dialect. It’s a long line of several hooks (maybe about 10 or 15 feet) wherein you have to place the bait of wriggling earthworms one by one and then place the  kitang in the flowing river. A cousin went with us so he could hold the other end while dad was busy with the other one. The water was almost up to my neck and one thing I remember was you have to wait for at least thirty minutes to an hour with the kitang submerged in water to catch those biya. I was so excited when several biya got caught in the hooks. It was an experience I would never forget, More than the thought of catching fish, it was the time I spent along with Dad which was so dear to me. It was lots of fun. And it remains ingrained in my memory.

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