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Archive for October, 2012


I know, I know, it’s a no-brainer to cook an egg and you probably won’t read this because you know  of different ways of preparing one for breakfast – fried, poached, boiled, it still taste the same. Why, even a five-year old would probably smile and say, You don’t need to teach me that.

Let’s not talk about calories and fat contents here because we all know that a boiled egg  has 15% fewer calories than when it is fried. Don’t you just love that perfectly done soft-boiled egg with that moist remaining at the center? My mom always have them overdone and when you take a bite with your fork,  the egg yolk crumbles while my son who is not that so adept in the kitchen usually have it soggy which I don’t much like.

All you need is an eight-minute cooking  for it to stay soft. Direct from the fridge, put it in a pan and add water just enough to cover the egg. Wait for eight minutes, no more, no less. Allow another 5 minutes to let it cool before removing it from the pan. And voilà, you’ll have that soft, perfectly boiled egg for breakfast. This is usually paired with good old hot pandesal , our classic  Filipino bread which is a staple in the  dining table. Then take your pick, hot chocolate or coffee?

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For some strange reason, this simple pair of socks touched me more than the many gifts  Nissa received during the  baby shower in her office. It’s the thought of having our first Christmas too with baby Nate that makes it an event worth waiting for. A few more days to go…..I’m thrilled!

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It’s  been only two days without blogging but it felt like a week. I don’t know, I was not just inspired  but  thank you just the same to those who regularly visit my blog. Getting an average view of 250 to 300 a day is not bad and registering finally a total of 150,186  stats for this blog alone is simply amazing.  May I invite you to visit my  two  other blogs here? One is my attempt to keep a garden and the third one records my love for photography.  I feel that a photo blog should be just that, photos with some reflections in between. What I mean is those photos are lovelier than the ones I regularly post here.

I’ve been busy gardening the past two days with our new pet hanging around like she owns my small garden. She’s actually behaved but she can’t resist inching her body between my newly trimmed Fukien tea and my flowering dwarf Pandakaki. Our two other dogs get jealous  once in a while , showing off and sliding their bodies backward just to get my attention. I am having some friends over next week for lunch. It’s an early celebration for my birthday.  It would be nice to catch up again on each other, seeing each others’  faces that is, instead of  just staying in front of the computer and uttering endless hehehe or hahaha or simply putting smiley characters on each comment we make.  A luxury of time really to spend  a day  with one another despite their busy schedules.

A friend told me once that celebrating a birthday is actually counting the start of another year in your life  so instead of greeting me happy birthday, he says, happy new year. It makes sense because you look forward to another lovely and blessed year.  One gets a little sentimental, one gets a little teary-eyed remembering the early years but then, that’s what birthdays are for – reminiscing and giving thanks to God. Thank you Lord for the happy years and although the start of 2012  was full of pain and heartbreak, still I’ll remember this with fondness. Soon, I’ll be a certified Nonna to my first grandchild  and I am sharing the joys of having a priest son in a few days.  Graces come with endless blessings.

It gets a little boring sometime so early this evening after supper, I baked peanut butter cookies using only three ingredients which I found on the net. Using a cup of peanut butter, a half cup of sugar and one egg, you could mold at least nine chewy peanut butter cookies. You don’t need to measure everything here, using a spoon will do and you can bake it for about eight to ten minutes. This yielded about nine cookies three of which  I ate with a  cup of  hot green tea.

And didn’t I say that when you’re bored, baking cookies does the trick?

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Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices. 

-St. Teresa of Avila

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Dean, one of my co-admins at our catholic page at Facebook, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, shared this picture which I used as my cover photo.  How wonderful to have another Filipino saint who represents the youth.  On October 21, 2012, Blessed Pedro Calungsod will finally be called San Pedro Calungsod.  This is the  official website which has various updates on the activities of the canonization in Rome.

I call it a wonderful blessing to have found another lovely quote from Richard Paul Evans. And it’s about saints.

Today I learned that a close friend who I also consider as my son will finally be ordained to the priesthood in a few weeks. What a  lovely gift, the  blessed gift of priesthood!  Congratulations Lovell, I look forward to calling you Fr. Lovell but you will always be another favorite son and a treasured friend.

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Year of Faith: Oct. 11, 2012-Nov. 24, 2013

The Year of Faith starts from the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 2012 until the Solemnity of Christ the King on 24 November 2013.  The Year of Faith is an invitation for all Catholics to go back to God – to renew our faith individually, as a family, as a community, as one Catholic Church.  I love how Pope Benedict summarizes its purpose: to give fresh impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead human beings out of the wilderness in which they often find themselves to the place of life, friendship with Christ that gives us life in fullness.

I was talking to a priest friend early this morning over the phone and he shared a little of what their family is undergoing right now. His father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and the cancer cells have unfortunately affected his other organs. The doctor suggested palliative care, just to ease the pain without having him confined longer at the hospital.  Then he asked how we coped when I  found out that I had stage 3 colon cancer and underwent  six sessions of chemotherapy in the process. It is always hard to act normally  when a family member is ill but it’s really important to show moral support  and  yes, act normal. Carry on as you meant to but show more love and concern.  Unless you experience  the same predicament, you can never empathize enough. When you are ill, insecurity stares at you in the face but the best thing to overcome it is always having enough faith that you will get well. God’s ways are not ours but God’s ways are the best. And prayers are the best gifts we could give to someone. No matter how short it is if it comes deep from your heart, then it is the best prayer you can offer.

Max Lucado  expressed it beautifully when he said “Our belief in God is not blind faith. Belief is having a firm conviction something is true, not hoping it’s true.”

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I am picturing this scenario in my mind. What if Richard Paul Evans suddenly announces that he is coming to the Philippines to promote  one of his books? You guessed right, I’ll be the first in line to see him and have him signed my book collections personally.  A few months ago, an online friend sent me a signed copy of  The Last Promise, so I know how he signs his name but it’s probably more exciting  if I see that smiling face and commit it to memory. Wishful thinking I guess but I am a fan 🙂

Last year, my daughter gave me a wonderful birthday gift. I had the chance to attend a book-signing of his favorite author and had pictures taken with him. Nicholas Sparks’ books are permanent fixtures in our mini library because she never fails to give me a copy during birthdays and Christmas.

And it’s fun using WordPress’ gallery feature!

P.S. Happy birthday Richard! Here’s to more inspired writing!

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I am in love with this world . . . I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.  John Burroughs

It rained last night and the heavy downpour drenched the newly cut carabao grass in my small garden leaving some pockets of rain water in some corners. I haven’t the heart to replace the Koi fish which we lost two months ago so the small pond remains empty save for some  fallen leaves from our avocado tree.  Sometimes, it is hard to let go of something  that has been a part of one’s everyday life. And the garden looks pathetic without the Koi gently swimming  inside the pond. I miss the sound of  running water too.  Maybe when typhoons and low pressure areas no longer threaten the country, I will replace those Koi with new ones.

There is something  lovely  though at each morning after the rain – the wonder of seeing  raindrops, those silver hues shining on every blade of grass and if one is lucky enough, the water droplets on each flower petals gives one that feeling of joy.  The tiny drops are like lovely jewels.  Don’t you just love  mornings like this?  I do.

And this is my Gardenia which was only a bud yesterday. Don’t you just love how nature show its face in all its glory?

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This may come a little late but since I am  searching for the best photos to define the Weekly Photo Challenge which is entitled Happy, I opted to upload new shots here which I took early this morning at the garden. Yes, it is such a nice surprise seeing new blooms and feasting your eyes on something you didn’t really expect to see.  And being happy means  exactly that. Fancy seeing my Gardenia sprouting buds at this time of the year. Gardenia usually bear flowers during the months of May and June. Maybe, it’s nature’s way of telling me, “I’ll give you a surprise today to make you happy.”  And to my surprise too, I saw new buds of my  lone Amazon lily,  a promise of another day to document its lovely bloom!

And yes, this is the first time that I used the image gallery of WordPress. Just click on each picture and you’ll see it in full.

Happiness is really how you make it and simple things could make you happy! St. Augustine says, Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.”

 

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Gosh, just looking at the book cover makes me drool! Just looking at the title reminds me of those early mornings when my mind is pregnant with words, words that sometimes play in my head but when I have the chance to jot them down, they always vanish like thin air. It’s the latest book of Mary Oliver and it’s not yet out in the market. Mary Oliver is a favorite author, a favorite poet. So I am borrowing the book title for my blog today and wish that there would be  a thousand mornings more to enjoy life and to share the joys to others.

A Thousand Mornings And More

Living life one day at a time and enjoying every precious moment. You might think, that’s hard to do but when you’re living on borrowed time, everything  is deeply felt and the heart gets appreciative of all the love and concern thrown your way. When you are given a second lease at life, every dream you hold is precious too.

Yes, I’m grateful for old friends  who after all these years are still here. I  see them now once in a while but the love and camaraderie are still there after all these years.  I am grateful too of new-found friends who are so supportive of what I do, loving friends whom you could bare your soul without being judgmental.

Waking up to a lovely sunrise. Sunrise and sunsets, they never fail to make me smile. Seeing the dawn breaks and watching dusk fall. How lovely! And how mysterious the clouds could be sometime. Next to flowers, they are actually my favorite subjects when it comes to tinkering with my camera.

Taking a few shots of my garden blooms.Ah, what could be more beautiful than seeing  and smelling the sweet scent of a flower in one’s garden?

Growing old…. gracefully. I’ll be celebrating my birthday in three weeks  and it makes me a little excited. And I remember  a text sent by a close friend before my birthday four years ago.

In a dream I saw myself walking on a beach with the Lord, carrying someone in
           His arms.

           It was you. Nainggit ako…
           Jesus felt my envious tone when I asked:
           “Lord, why siya karga Mo, di ako?”

With a gentle voice
            He said:
            “Don’t be jealous my child, sya may RAYUMA, ikaw wala pa”.

That pretty sums up what one actually begins to feel when one is adding years to her life.  And it’s not only the “rayuma” thing but you  feel that some parts of your body are out of  joints probably  needing a bit more stretching on the side and a few meters run in the oval behind the house.  Things are different now though, I have to take things easy, be more mindful of being stressed. I do get easily tired nowadays. I wonder if that is still the effect  of chemotherapy drugs, I hope not.

I’ve never been obsessed with counting the passing years. As they say, age is just a number. Twenty or fifty, it really does not make that much difference. What is important is how you look at life and how you deal with it. There is always that subconscious effort to do your best be it a simple thing like prepping yourself  to look good in the eyes of others or facing a gargantuan task and responsibility of raising a family. But then, you still manage amazingly well.

Whoa! The past days have been good, thanks to a loving God Who is always there silently egging me on, reminding me to keep grounded, making me feel loved and cherished. A loving God Who never turns His back on me just because at times, I forget that He is there. A big thank you for a loving family, two wonderful kids who are my fulfillment of a dream. Thank you for the loyal friends who have always been there through thick and thin, and new ones  who accept me unconditionally and treat me like a long-lost  friend.

I remember a few birthdays back, my two kids had this habit of waking me up in the middle of the night, no lights on but a flicker of a candle and their merry voices singing “Happy birthday Mama”. Who would not be touched by that? I’ve always felt emotional when it comes to such things.  Or maybe, birthdays allow you to cry a little ….keeping attuned with yourself that somehow you are really growing old…..gracefully.

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