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Archive for June, 2016


I don’t know how many times I blogged about month endings and beginnings since I started this blog.  It’s some kind of a summary for the past month and a sort of welcome to a new month.

Today is a significant day in our country, it’s the changing of the guards so to speak.  It’s the inaugural of the incoming President Duterte and the new VP Leni Robredo. According to reports, it’s the first time that the two would not be sworn into office together because the former doesn’t want Robredo to be with him in Malacanang. VP Leni would take her oath separately in a different venue.  Personally I think, it is sending a wrong message to a lot of us ordinary citizens. There is division instead of unity.  I am not really looking forward to having a new president. We’ve been brainwashed by so many things the past days –  lots of promises, lots of swearing, killings of just “suspected” criminals. Lately, I am no longer appreciative of listening to news but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and this starts today.  Outgoing President, Benigno Aquino is one of the best presidents we ever had.  The Philippines has become a tiger in Asia because of him, the Philippine economy at its best after his term. Thank you Pres. Aquino!

Ah July, the rainy month. I am not exactly looking forward to the rainy months because I am afraid of heavy rains and flooding. Although our local community is more active now in cleaning and desilting rivers and canals in preparation for the rainy season, we are never sure of the weather. PAGASA (our local weather bureau) says that we get an average of about twenty typhoons in a year. There is this fear of  La Niña too towards the end of the year.

Finally I was able to catch up on my reading challenge. Nine books in advance, that’s a feat for me. There are stories wherein you can totally relate to and it seems like the author is exactly describing how you feel deep inside. Sometimes no matter how painful  it is being reminded of what you went through, it is always a challenge to stay strong and to have that much-needed faith that you can carry on.  The little setbacks will always be there no matter what we do. Our attitude to any situation makes the difference.

Was June a happy month for you? Let us welcome July with a bang 🙂

 

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There is this new feature on Facebook going on for I think about a year now. It’s called  On this Day which they feature every day to remind you of what shout outs you previously wrote on your wall. I chanced upon this, a short write-up on writing which I posted four years ago.

Using puff-words (using big words to sound smart) does not always mean you are a good writer. It’s not too uncommon for us to substitute words or phrases that strike us as fancier or smarter for simpler ones. It does not define that you are a good writer that way, what is more important is you get your message across simply and easily, walang palabok, as they say.

It earned a lot of comments from my writer friends who also think that  “a good piece of literature is one that uses everyday words in a way that encourages the reader’s mind to clearly envision the idea that the writer is trying to impart, not how much ‘highfalutin’ words the writer knows”.

I was lucky to get hold of a lovely book On Writing by Stephen King which I blogged about here a long time ago.  To summarize it, another friend said, just KISS which means “keep it simple sweetheart”.  She might have joked about its meaning but I also believe that in all things, simplicity is beauty.

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Oh my, it seems like months since I last posted here.  Thank you for those visits even if there is nothing new to read.  No valid reason though except the same old one, been busy the past few days.  Blogging took a back seat for a while.

Gardening has been a priority of course. It rains almost every day now so those unwanted weeds sprout like crazy too. Every two weeks, I need to trim our carabao grass, a tall order for aching backs and sore muscles.  The reward though is more than enough to make me smile. All the Portulaca I planted three weeks ago are blooming now in different colors of yellow, white, orange and pink.  They are the most easy to grow annual plants.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season bu they are nice grown cover.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season but they are nice ground cover.

Yesterday, I attempted to cook my version of Bicol Express  for our lunch.  It’s  that popular dish from the Bicol region where coconut seems to be the main ingredient in lots of their local dishes. And know what, the main ingredient here is not the pork but the sliced green Thai chili peppers that we have plenty of.  The dish is really hot and it requires a lot of rice to go with it. I omitted the shrimp paste since Josef is allergic to shrimp, used ordinary rock salt instead.  It was yummy.

Bicol Express

Bicol Express

Some of my friends are urging me to cook another dish in coconut cream which we call Ginataang Santol.  I asked  my favorite vendor yesterday if they have the Bangkok variety but she told me it is not yet in season.  Would love to cook this again when I find those sweet Bangkok santol in the market.

I was able to transfer all the photos I took on my tab at Photobucket and to my hard drive.  Better be safe than sorry. One  more thing I need to do and it is a hard and dusty undertaking – to clean our book shelves and separate books, the favorites and most important ones from those we just bought on a whim. There are some authors that I have never known before but surprisingly delivers a good  piece of  a story.

Eight books in advance for my 2016 Reading Challenge in Goodreads. Hooray!

 

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Noki And Mimi


Good morning!

Woke up at an ungodly hour of 3:30am but  then I’ve been asleep since 6:30pm last night. Too much work and so tired.

Yesterday, when I woke up to finish trimming the carabao grass, I saw this kitten perched on the ledge of our perimeter wall at the back of the house serenely asleep. I let is stay there but when I finished gardening, it went down near my potted plants.  I was afraid our lone dog left would make a mincemeat out of it. Noki, a half Lab, half Spitz is the only  one that survived among our three dogs two months ago. They’re not used to seeing other animals in the backyard.  I’ve long wanted  to adopt a cat when we lost our two dogs but we haven’t got around to finding one. It is quite expensive to buy a pure breed.

It took us more than thirty minutes for the two to get acquainted.  We called her Mimi (it’s a she) and she seemed to be a house-trained kitty. She’s clean and she is not afraid of Noki.  Maybe she was lost and didn’t know how to get home.   Noki has grown a little chubby since we lost the other two and he can no longer afford to enter our grills at the kitchen and at the garage since he can no longer wiggle his body like he used to.  He was so stressed reaching out, trying to grab Mimi, barking and all. The latter extended her paws and scratched his nose. Finally, he just stayed contented in a corner letting Mimi walk around our dirty kitchen finding a place to rest and sleep.  They are not really friends yet  but I am glad that Noki  no longer attempts to grab her  neck when she is near.

Years ago, we used to have five cats and two dogs and they slept side by side. I wish these two would become friends as well.

 

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It’s one of those days when one becomes a little nostalgic, it’s just but natural I guess. Giving  in to the reminiscing 🙂 For a mother like me, celebrating birthdays of my kids is celebrating life itself, the perfect gift that one could have in a lifetime.

I wonder if you have associated the gift of motherhood on your kids’ birthdays. I do. Every time a birthday comes, I remember the moment I heard my baby cry and the elation I felt knowing that here’s someone I will truly and dearly love. There is that pleasant ache of remembrance, the years in between, the blessed days of enjoying life at their side.

Today is Josef’s 32nd birthday. Time flies and with it comes those pockets of events and things that make life worthwhile and worth-living. You remember when they were small and you were just teaching them how to clap their hands, smile before a camera, draw those abstract figures that their little hands could do, never mind if you’ll never know how they got the ideas. You were proud of them all.

I am a hoarder of memories. Until now, I still keep those notes and love letters written by small hands and painstakingly pasted or taped at the bedroom door so I can see them when I get home from work.  Until now, I still keep those recognition awards which they get every quarter term and at the end of school year. Until now, I still keep those medals which they have earned through good performance in their studies.

There is this app at Facebook where they show every memory you have posted on your timeline every day. It makes me glad that since I opened an account there back in 2010, those birthday photos and how we celebrated the day are still intact. I remember those days when he was a little younger and he used to say (usually during Christmas) that he does not want gifts that he needs but something that he wants to have…haha! Now he is too busy with work to buy something for himself so he appreciate my gifts 🙂

I took some shots  after breakfast and I am sharing one here.

Josef at 32!

Josef at 32!

Time flies!  Never mind if you get a year older too being a mom.  And my wish for you?

May this year brings with it all the success and fulfillment your heart desires. May God bless you every day of your life. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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Yesterday, we had our twice a month visit to the wet market.  Sometimes I let Josef choose which kind of fish to buy. Usually, he likes milkfish (our local bangus) which could be cooked grilled, sinigang, daing, relleno or even as main ingredient in spring rolls. When he saw  a small pagi being cleaned and sliced by our favorite vendor, he requested  that we buy a kilo and cook it in coconut cream with lots of chili, his favorite.  You have to boil it first with ginger, onions and a little salt then dice it when it is cooked. We discard the water when it is done.

I’ve never been good at taking photos of food but this is how it looks,  a yummy dish of pagi sa gata.  I have a recipe of this in an earlier post.  All  you need would be lots of chilis, diced onion and ginger, salt to taste and fresh coconut cream.

Pagi is I think is  stingray in English.

Pagi sa Gata

Pagi sa Gata

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The wind chimes

move and dance,

a gentle reminder

that with all its angst

life is still beautiful.

 

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