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Archive for May, 2016


And here I am, still so lazy to blog. Don’t get me wrong, I was up to my neck the past few days gardening  and supervising the workers who are concreting our sidewalks – front and the left side of our property line. I asked them to leave my Santan plants in front and my Bougainvillea at the corner. Good thing they left about a foot uncemented on the left side so I could plant small shrubs that won’t grow tall and obstruct the sidewalks.  It seems only a few days ago that Josef and I trimmed our carabao grass and yet I was surprised that the daily downpour made them grow by leaps and bounds. It’s amazing because they look so fresh and green but hard for my aching hands and back. I saved sacks of garden soil which the workers removed  from the sidewalks and will use it to repot some of my plants later. Had to do this before the rainy days set in.

One good thing though about being in hiatus (if you can call it that) is I am slowly catching up on my reading. I am on my second book on the three-series memoirs by Jennifer Worth. Book one was an engrossing read. I wish I could also watch the television series being shown on BBC.

Here is another lovely quote I would like to share with you all.

Life will throw a lot at you so you can count on learning something new every day. I have learned to open my heart and let life teach me whatever it has to offer. Every day is a gift wrapped in the lessons of tomorrow. – amy lynn steele, Teach Me

Have a blessed and happy June month.

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Finally, the agony of waiting is over. Congratulations Ma’am Leni. You deserve it. So glad and elated that we have an untainted, brave, industrious and has a genuine concern for the poor Vice President.

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Allow me to borrow a book title for my blog post today. I have just finished reading this, a book about a family’s struggles while fleeing war-torn Afghanistan. I have just encountered Nadia Hashimi’s book, my first one of her actually but based on Goodread’s  short bio about her, she is a very gifted author. This book  was simple but so elegantly written that I can’t help but fill my small notebook with quotes that ring and vibrate throughout the story.

I never base  my reviews on book summaries but how it affected me while reading it. This is one of those books that is comparable with the works of  another Afghan author that I admire so much, Khaled Hosseini. Don’t ask me why but ever since I started reading I have always been fascinated by history and historical novels.  I think I am old soul. I am reminded of those times when I searched and bought almost all of Leon Uris’ published books and reread  Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

One learns a lot when you read about other people and other countries’ cultures.  You learn how their lives are shaped by their beliefs and their love for their families. You learn that everywhere, there is something similar about the culture you grew up  in. Family represents a binding force always. And lest I forget, let me quote some of those words I’ve jotted down while reading this book.

  • – Love can grow even in place where there is hardly air to breathe.
  • There are truths and lies and there are things in between, murky waters where light gets bent and broken.
  • Love grows wildest in the gardens of hardship.
  • – Some things are clearer from a distance.
  • – It takes a lifetime to learn your parents. For children, parents are larger than life. They are strong arms that carry little ones, warm laps for sleepy heads, sources of food and wisdom. It’s as if parents were born on the same day as their children, having not existed a moment before. As children inch their way into adolescence, the parent changes. He is an authority, a source of answers, and a chastising voice. Depending on the day, he may be resented, emulated, questioned, or defied. Only as an adult can a child imagine his parent as a whole person, as a husband, a brother, or a son. Only then can a child see how his parent fits into the world beyond four walls.

There are more  wonderful quotes that I’d like to share with you but these will do for now. Next on my list is a book about Lou Gehrig’s disease. The last time I encountered ALS ( Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) was when I read Tuesdays With Morrie several years ago. I hope I won’t cry as much as I did when I read Mitch Albom’s book. I remember giving copies to my two doctors when I had sigmoid surgery. It is a gift to know that you can be strong even if you are dying.

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I feel so lazy, so lazy to compose a blog post. Every time I attempt to write one, I always end up visiting and reading other blogs instead.

This is one of those rare times that nothing comes out, one of  those times when one is not inspired enough to write. Maybe one of these days, the muse will come back.  I chanced upon this link which was posted by a friend on Facebook. I got curious. I seldom click these sites which tell you who you are, who are your favorites based on your FB posts, how you would react in a particular situation and lots and lots more. I love grammarly.com  though. The site is very useful for me. To cut the story short, here’s the result and it made me smile:

You are creative, expressive, thoughtful. Therefore you should be a writer.

Being a writer is too strong a word that I would use though. Suffice to say, I love stringing words into short stories. Our blog posts are usually just that, telling stories and sharing them  with the world.

I am trying to catch up on my reading challenge, I have long neglected it in favor of other  things. Two books in advance, not bad. It is hard to pick up a book again after so many days of inactivity.  I recently finished one about owning a bookstore, loving books like they are part of the family, the characters deeply ingrained in one’s psyche that you think it is for real, jumping at you from the pages and you long for the story to continue after you turned the last page.

I follow Seth Godin’s blog. I find it engrossing although the blog posts are just short but the contents are varied and inspiring.

I’d better make my morning a little productive. Hello world!

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Yesterday, Mom got busy fixing her things, arranging and rearranging her clothes, her medicines, some groceries that she has to bring home and as usual reading those medicine prescriptions (she does it almost every day) that she has accumulated while arranging them with the newest one on top.

She came to my room with a copy of a passport size print and said “keep this in your wallet so you won’t forget my face when I die”.

I wonder where that came from, I mean her statement on dying. So in jest I answered, “Mas mauna pa ako sa inyo” meaning  I’ll die earlier than she will.  We both laughed. True, while she visits her doctor regularly complaining about the normal wear and tear of growing old, she looks hale and hearty at 87.  I’ve visited the hospital and been confined for a number of illnesses  more than I can count. I had a phobia of going back there, just the smell of antiseptics reminds me of those days when I was struggling with my health.

She is going home tomorrow and she said that there are lots of things to do there.  I will surely miss her and her appreciation of anything that I put on the table. She said, “parating special ang ulam natin”.  Those are ordinary fare I serve every day but in her eyes, they taste even better.

Life with mom, there is never a dull moment when she is around.

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The garden is bathed in soft light and glistening with raindrops while the sun is slowly showing its face.

I could smell the delicate scent of the Calamansi flowers (they seemed to have blossomed overnight) mingled with the aroma of basil and oregano. It’s one of those times when you want to linger with a hot cup of coffee on the side. It’s one of those times when nature seems to say, “it’s a beautiful day, enjoy it”. It’s a big YES.

We experienced a worse thunderstorm yesterday afternoon causing  massive brownouts in our area. Just imagine four hours of fanning yourself like crazy and  not even knowing what to do because even reading felt so uncomfortable.  It was an agony alright. The whole street had lights on but each house had none. Mom repeatedly asked if it has different connection and I said yes.

I received a big surprise this morning when Josef gave me my Intellicare card from JP Morgan and Chase. It’s part of the benefits that they have as regular employees. I am glad since going to the doctor or to the hospital for check-up is now covered by this medical health care.  Thank God for blessings.

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Nate new 5

This is Nate enjoying another day at the mall.

 

I am cleaning my “thought box” transferring most of those writings to my journal. Then I found this wonderful  quote from Anna Quindlen in her book, Blessings.

“Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live . . . to love the journey, not the destination.”

 

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I woke up at 4am, a little late than the usual 3am I’ve been used to. I’ve been outside and swept the front of the house, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, plastic with straw.  Although we have a regular maintenance lady on our street, it is quite annoying to see those cigarette butts  littering  everywhere.

Gardening at 4am? Yes, it was a perfect opportunity to pull off those unwanted and stubborn weeds without the fear of having those motor vehicles and cars at your back. Ours is a very busy street so you just can’t go out and garden, either you garden at an ungodly hour or when the sun is low on the horizon. The heat would be intense by then you it’s out of the question.

For the first time in so many months, it is raining and it is not just the gentle patter you listen to but a heavy downpour.  Oh  blessed, blessed rain, you are very much welcome in this hot month of May.  I could smell the rich earth  as it absorbs rain water  and I could see the trees smiling with glee. It must be nice to look clean and green again without the thick dust  clinging to their leaves.  It saves me a day or two of not watering my garden.

And to smell the rich aroma of coffee, what a blessing!

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I wonder if this is even worth blogging about. I have a  confession to make.  I was not able to concentrate on the mass today. Mom and I attended the 9am mass at the nearby Parish (as we always do every  Sunday)  but Josef chose to hear mass  later this afternoon since he did some overtime work last night. It was only mom and I at our favorite pew.  A few minutes after the mass started, an old  couple sat on the same pew. The old lady (maybe as old as mom) sat next to me and I  smelled  the overpowering scent of her perfume. I felt like gagging and have to cover my mouth too without being obvious because my throat suddenly hurt.  Know that feeling of a cold and cough starting and you can even taste the scent of the perfume?

Mom used to spray herself with  such similar scent, strong, flowery and  overwhelming (for want of a better description) but I told her  that when the weather is hot, such kind of perfume is not advisable.  I bought her a mild scented baby cologne instead and she liked it.

Why is it that some  older people are more ostentatious  when it comes to grooming complete with jewelry like they are going to a party –  rings on fingers, bracelets, watch, earrings, necklace?  I hope when I get a little older than I am today, I won’t need to surround myself with such things that are sometimes temptations to snatchers and robbers  out there.

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Gosh, my regular readers must be so disappointed seeing the same posts for quite a while now.  Some are looking into old blog posts as far back as 2011 and 2012.  Imagine two pathetic posts for this month. It’s not because I got tired of sharing my world with you but every time I try to compose something here, I always end up going back to the latest result of the vice-presidential race.  More deep breaths, more sighs of relief, more prayers and a gargantuan faith that our Leni will win. She is ahead for  several days now but you’ll never know with a Marcos on the other side of the fence. The latter said the only way that he could lose is when he is cheated.  What arrogance coming from someone whose family has cheated and emptied the coffers of the Philippines thirty years ago.

Opps, sorry, I promised I won’t be talking about politics anymore. My lips are sealed.

There is an ongoing virus among dogs here in our area.  I forgot the exact term used by the  vet  but it’s like a severe flu, always undetected at first until your pet just won’t eat  and it slowly dies. Sad to say, we lost our Japanese Spitz last May 01 and our Aspin the other day.  We have only one dog left, a half Lab, half Spitz  a friend gave us two years ago.  I haven’t  gotten used yet  tending the garden without our small dog always trailing behind.  It really pains me to see them gone.

I was supposed to blog about my seventh year last May 11. It’s not the same as the one that WordPress celebrates with me because it took me a year to actually post something after I created Dreams and Escapes.  I transferred some blog entries culled from my previous Multiply site, those posts that were not current at the time I seriously considered blogging here for good.  I never left since. Though it was a hard start, I am still  here.  Back then, there were no like buttons to speak of but WordPress was so supportive of  suggesting topics when I joined  the 2011 Writing Challenge. I was given a badge but deleted it a few years later.  They gave feedbacks for every post like “amazing, fantastic, wonderful etc.” When I think of all those times that I have to wrack my brain so I could stay updated with the challenge,  I smile at myself and say I have a lot of patience after all.  I am a self-taught blogger constantly looking for themes that would suit my blog, always customizing on the side, editing old posts. Believe me, there will always be some words or two that sometimes  make no sense at all. Well, one learns as one goes along. It is one of the challenges of blogging.

This is my 1,790th post for this blog alone, add that to the four remaining blogs that I maintain and it would probably reach  2,000 entries.  Having  a bigger stats is a bonus of course.  I am hoping though that there would be more interactions/comments on the side because I am curious to know where they are coming from.   My newest blog, Dreams Never End got more likes and comments when I started there. My 2016 Reading Challenge has gone haywire the past days with only one book read in advance.  I hope I’ll be able to catch up in the coming days.

Bye for now, I hope to visit your sites soon. I miss reading  your  blogs.

 

 

 

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