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Archive for April, 2017


♫♪♫Sunday, sweet Sunday, with nothing to do,
Lazy and lovely, my one day with you…♪♫♪

It’s Sunday again. Time and the days really seem to fly. As usual, we went to  attend mass early at around 6am. It is always nice to wake up with the dawn and listen to the silence once a while.  I am having a LSS, humming those tunes all in my head.   I wonder why.

Have you ever kept a journal? I’ve been into keeping a journal   since my college days. I still have several blank journals that I’ve kept through the years. The first one I had is now tattered with the spine almost loose from the pages.  Nissa and some of my close friends know my penchant for keeping one so they give me those pretty  notebooks and colorful journals. Let me see, I think I still have more than a dozen unfilled ones  from small notebooks to really thick pages. Sometimes, they are just too lovely to write doodles on.  Lately though, I got hooked more on reading than writing but now and then I open my thick journal to update it.  The journal entries are a smorgasbord of quotes, dreams, wishes, recipes and what have you.  They’re more like unrestrained thoughts most of the time, nothing really that serious but sometimes they border  on  how life is all about, a cathartic release  about angst in life.

my journal entry, page….?

For the past several days, I’ve been blogging about one subject dear to me – blogging.  Have you ever thought that blogging is a free-form  diary of some sort, only it is made available in cyberspace?  We share ourselves through a blog  but we gain friends in the process. A journal is more private. It is bringing your thoughts in the open but most entries are for your eyes alone.

How’s your Sunday?

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I’ve blogged about this before, that of being thankful for each new day in our lives. In fact, a birthday post some years ago is still included in my most-read blog  here on WordPress.

You might ask how could we be thankful when nothing good is happening? How could we utter that simple word of thanks when every thing is a mess?  How could we even appreciate a day without it? How?

I believe in second chances. I was given that chance almost eight years ago when the family decided once and for all to take that bold step of deciding that I undergo chemotherapy. As  I’ve said earlier in my other blog posts, being sick is not a walk in the park and deciding to try  a treatment that some people consider toxic is a big decision in our lives.  Sometimes though, we have to take that leap of faith.  Somehow, there is always something that may come out right out of it.

Thankful.

Wow, big word for us ordinary people.  I must admit that sometimes we just see things as if they are due to us, we forget to be gracious and thankful about them.  Being thankful for even the simplest blessing has become a way of life for me. Even staying here in front of my PC typing my thoughts is thankfulness itself. I am grateful for  my life, my family and friends.  I am grateful to have met all these wonderful people on social media.  No matter how boring life sometimes is, there is always something that we should be thankful for.  That spontaneous smile because you feel happy.  That laughter that automatically comes because there is something to laugh about.  The unexpected blessings that make us happy.

Thankful.

Giving thanks, acknowledging that happiness may sometimes be a fleeting thing but there is always that one particular hour of the day that happiness abounds.

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No, no, don’t get me wrong. this is not the traditional rambling of a sixty year old me.  I’ve let go of those emotions long ago.

I am talking about the changing months. Yes, it seems like it was just yesterday when I greeted the month of April . Holy Week, Easter, Mom’s birthday – the only occasions that marked this month and it is going, going again  for us to greet another month.

Really looking forward to May. It’s the height of the summer months or as PAGASA says,  it is the height of  the dry weather here. My goodness, a 34°C is still hot but most afternoons, the wind blows north.  I haven’t touched our garden in almost a month except to water the plants every day.  One thing I like about summer though are the fruits that abound. You can buy them by the kilo but some still cost much. last week I saw a vendor selling  duhat.  In English, they call it java plum but in the vernacular, we call it lomboy.  I haven’t tasted lomboy in so many years. They were exposed to the morning sun and these fruits are sensitive to heat. Much as  I want to, I didn’t buy. I bought star apples instead.  Star apples taste great when they are cold.

Reading during these days is such a dream. Since going out is limited to grocery shopping, marketing and attending church, there is always plenty of time to read.  There are so many quotes I’ve jotted down so far. They keep me glued to those books I find at random. I am experimenting with new authors.  Are you fond of quotes?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – thornton wilder

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. – martin luther king

There are more moments in life when the heart is full of emotions, that if by chance it would be shaken or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless words, it overflows and its secrets, spilt on he ground like water, can never be gathered together. – henry wadsworth longfellow

Give all to love, obey thy heart. – ralph waldo emerson

Bring your secrets, bring your scars, unpack your heart – philip phillips

I  am reading another book by Michael Palmer. Getting hooked again with this author. Really, April is rapidly coming to a close.

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Perhaps my regular readers would notice a  little change in my blog’s look. I’ve been “customizing” it for a while now. Of course I didn’t change the theme. Misty Look would stay. A few years ago, I tried other themes though but went back to Misty Look after a while.

I just changed  the background to  dark grey and the base font is now Arimo in large letters. I wonder why I didn’t do this before. The standard and normal-sized fonts are just too small for my eyes. Hopefully this would make blogging easier and would be helpful too with  tired eyes.  I don’t have a 20/20 vision. The last time I had an eye refraction, it was 350 on the right and 250 on the left. I am using a multi-coated lens now for reading. and to protect my eyes from the glare of the computer screen. It is a little costly compared to regular lenses but I like them. I am often reading or in front of my PC, since the need for an eye lens change.  I am myopic and astigmatic too so I usually wear two eye glasses, one for long distance and for short distances.

This is  why I love  an e-reader because I could always enlarge or make the words a little smaller  to my liking. The black background is also better with the white lettering.  I am finding it hard now to read pocketbooks that have so small fonts.

What theme are you using on your blog? How often do you change it?

 

 

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Thank you WordPress for this. I do appreciate it. Two  days in a row, how nice.  Yesterday, it was a spike  in the stats, now this. Lovely 🙂

On Monday April 24, 2017, you surpassed your previous record of most likes in one day for your posts on DREAMS AND ESCAPES. That’s pretty awesome, well done!
Most Likes in One Day
Current Record: 67
Old Record: 66

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I’ve been in this blog for almost eight years now. I have excluded the first year when I attempted to open an account at WordPress and really didn’t know how to navigate much less customize a site. What I posted was a single short poem I culled from my Multiply site back when Multiply was still alive. One learns as one goes along. You learn to interact with people you haven’t yet meet. You learn the rudiments of blogging. After all these years, I am glad I started a blog though.

This morning I narrowed down the sites  I follow but was bold enough to discover more promising blogs in the process. I  don’t really follow those who have thousand and thousands of followers (in the fifth digit) apart from the previous blogs which I’ve been so faithful following throughout the years.   There is now a total of 238 blogs I follow in earnest, maybe some ten of it practically new to my site.  I’d like to think that when you click to follow a particular post or the whole blog for that matter you are also prepared to at least make some comments from time to time or maybe  just clicking like is the way to go. I am not expecting that those I follow will in turn follow me too but that happens most of the time.  Oh well, what’s the use of having a public blog if you won’t interact with  people you meet online. I totally don’t agree that you’ll just write a post and publish it on the net with just you reading it. Of course, it would make you happy  if people notice what you write about. It would particularly make you happy when all those stats relay a number you didn’t really expect. It makes you even happier when friends and fellow bloggers interact with you. That makes blogging worthwhile.

For the past years, I never attempted to make my blog a paid one. I really can’t afford the yearly subscription rates but instead I have separated my posts into five blogs although I don’t often update the other sites, not as regularly as this one.  The last time I looked, I still have a remaining 28% left to write here. One percent takes more blogs than you know sans photos which eat up a lot of your allowed free limits. I made my photo blog separate from this one but of course I still have to post those pictures from time to time.  I do write an average of 400 to 500 words per blog  post and yesterday I received another familiar logo from WordPress telling me about the spike in my stats.The exact message was:

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 45 hourly views – 7 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats.

Who wouldn’t be glad of this?  Of course I am happy about it.

 

 

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I spent the early part of the morning going over my several albums at Photobucket.  It’s where I keep most of the pictures I took several years ago with my previous cameras  and some photos Nissa sent me over at Viber and those taken on my tab.  I have a hard drive which I keep as backup for all our photos since I learned how to manipulate a camera.

Since Nate was born, we took thousands of photos of his growing years. I like those when he was still a baby particularly always holding a baby milk bottle in his hands. I like those shots when he learned to appreciate children’s books. I love those photos where he learned to explore and some of them were captured on simple one or two-minute videos. Caught him dancing and singing at the same time.  Kids could make  a melody on their own and put some awkward lyrics in the process. It is so easy for them to do so.  There were videos of him attending other kids’ birthday parties dancing with so much gusto.

Last Saturday, we played together as usual. He has toys here which we always take out when they are around. He counted his blocks while we tried matching and identifying the colors. He will be in kindergarten this coming school year. “Are you now going  to a big school?“I asked him.  He shook his head and answered, ” I don’t want to go to a big school, I like teacher Kaye”.  He was referring to one of his teachers in nursery.  Kids do know how to return favors with loving and  kind teachers.  He had a phobia when the summer last year, Nissa tried to enroll him  for about a week in a school near their place. He didn’t like the teacher.  He said the teacher shouted at her students. Young as he is, he is observant.

Memories in photographs, the art of frozen time, the ability to keep those moments alive and real.  Savoring life with thousands of photographs. Don’t you just love them?

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Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

I am in the middle of reading Michael Palmer’s book,  The Fifth Vial. I read three of his books before, accidental finds while looking for more Robin  Cook’s books. Like the latter, Michael Palmer was also a doctor and Robin Cook was two years ahead of him at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. That is according to his biography. He asked his younger sister and I quote:

“If Robin can write a book and has the same education as I do,” why can’t I write a book?”

He died last October 2013 with nineteen books to his name.  I was lucky enough to find The Fifth Vial,  a story about a  disgraced medical student, a scientist and a private eye. Put them together and you have The Fifth Vial.  Just like  Robin Cook, Palmer wrote medical thrillers.  I have enjoyed reading Robin Cook’s books since I read my first book of him. I have collected his works over the years. I remember this started when I read about the famous Lea Salonga’s short bio that  she wanted to be a doctor and that she read Robin Cook. I was intrigued so I looked for his books at Booksale.  When I found one, the others followed.  By the way, going back to The Fifth Vial, it is my 80th read so far since I started with Goodreads’ 2017 Reading  Challenge  last January. Seventy more books to go before I finish the challenge. I am ahead of schedule though by about thirty-three books. Reading is getting lovelier and more interesting.

The medical field is such a rich source of those medical malpractices, new discoveries on medicines and such stories that  appear so true in real life.  When I got sick almost eight years ago, I researched and read so much about the effects of chemotherapy, how cancer could be treated the natural way.  I was afraid though so I chose to have chemotherapy every three weeks and took oral chemo drugs too. Some doctors would really suggest  for you to try new medicines like you are a guinea pig or a  white mouse According to my oncologist,  there are as many as two hundred chemotherapy drugs in the market.  It costs an arm and a leg to have one small bottle  of Oxaliplatin. The oral drug is just the same.  The first time I saw the drip  encased in a black cloth, I almost freaked out.  The nurse explained to me that the drug should not be exposed to the light. You know that thinking that you are taking poison in your immune system. I wonder if having a low immunity is still the effect of taking those chemotherapy drugs.

Oh yes, why not Michael Palmer? Why not The Fifth Vial?  I am sure you will also enjoy reading this as I do.

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It seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Had good chats with two of my close friends last night. One of my friends who is a third order Carmelite attends mass daily at Sto. Domingo Church.  He was in doubt but he asked me if Fr. Lovell was the one who officiated the mass. He said the latter’s homily was a breath of fresh air.  So I asked Fr. Lovell later, he said yes. He  even mentioned my plight as a cancer survivor, how  having a grave ailment would someday be an inspiration to others to get well.  We talked about life and survival, we talked about our families and moving on. We talked about how life seems so hard sometimes.

I do agree, there are times when you feel so alone in your struggles.  There are times when you feel like giving up but it is not an option.  There are always instances when  you feel so down. Life is all about our struggles and little victories we gain from being brave and strong.  It’s hard sometimes to show strength when you really feel so weak. It is easier to show how you’ve become saddened and disappointed with what is happening around. Problems are part and  parcel of this thing we call life.  It may get a little  complicated at times  but trying times are not always here to stay. Our attitude towards vicissitudes in life spells the big difference between living and existing. It’s survival of the fittest as people often say. I do believe though that one’s weakness becomes one’s strength  in the long run. We learn, oh how we learn to survive. Staying positive may be hard to do but it is one moving force for us to survive and accept a particular situation not to our liking. I remember one writer (the name escapes me now) who said, “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back”.

 

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