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Archive for August, 2017


It’s been raining since last night but the sun showed its face for a while this morning then it got dark again.  I had time to go out  and inspect the blooms in my garden.

Ruellia in white.

I only used to have the purple flowers then some pink ones just sprouted and now these.

They look like Petunia flowers,  white dainty flowers scattered all over the garden.

It’s market day again and I bought  sweet potato for snacks. Camote as we locally call it is high in vitamin B6, a good source of vitamin C and D.  It contain iron a support a healthy immune system and is also a good  source of magnesium,  a relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Sometimes I just boil it or make it into fritters.

I only heard  of this from Nissa.  What, a bulletproof coffee?   She tells  me it tastes so good without the sugar of course but laced with butter.  She’s right now into bulletproof diet.  I could not imagine my coffee with butter.  She uses instant variety though then put it into a blender.

Have a blessed weekend.

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Two of dad’s siblings and their families live in Barcelona. My aunt’s place is just a ten-minute walk from where it happened.  She walked for two hours from her place of work to their house. No trains, no taxes, no buses and most streets were closed.

These terrorist attacks  could happen anywhere. Keep safe everyone.

Praying for you Barcelona.

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I remember an old friend who used to say, “The journey to life is an endless struggle on  perilous paths of treacherous stones and storms”. For one so young she surely looked at the world with open eyes and between the two of us, I was more of the dreamer than she was.  I had this penchant for collecting quotes from almost every book that comes into my hands,  filling up three full notebook of quotations my entire college life. She was really a big influence to me –  appreciating  good poetry, good books and  yes, quotes that somehow played a big chunk of what I called my “sentimental” moments. She was a friend, the big sister I never had.

“Live the dream”, she would  say. I do. I did. And I like to think that somehow, in between wakefulness and dreamland, life is  real. Why am I remembering?  Why the sudden recall?  Or is this one of those moments that makes  one wander far beyond, going far off to a place of childhood dreams?  I really don’t know. We used to walk and talk, and dream about big things that only the young would think of  and I suddenly pictured her smiling face, creating a sense of sudden longing. Memories sometimes have that power to make one lonely and alone.

I would have liked to share that I’ve through a phase in my life full of so much pain. But I can hear her voice saying,  “Life is never perfect”. And she would understand.  And I would tell her that I am brave enough to face it all.

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For so long a time, I haven’t watched any movie – not on cinemas, television nor on YouTube. Last night though  was a bit different. I watched two movie adaptations successively. Not long ago, I read the lovely book Tuesdays With Morrie.  That was long before I underwent surgery back in 2009.  I gifted my two doctors with copies of the book after I left the hospital. They saw me reading it in bed while recuperating and my oncologist even commented that he wanted to read it but he had no time.  I made a short review about it here somewhere but I forgot what blog post title I made of it. Last night was a lucky one though because I found a television film  adaptation of the book. I love Jack Lemmon as Morrie Schwartz in the film and so with Hank Azaria as Mitch Albom. Have you heard  of “Lou Gehrig’s disease”? It was also called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  This was the premise of the story, Morrie suffering from ALS and Mitch was his student. Back in the year 2000, the television series won for Jack Lemmon Best  Performance by a Male Actor In A Television Movie,  Hank Azaria as Outstanding Supporting Actor.

I sometimes catch Richard Paul Evans’ tv movies too.  Most of his television films are featured there.  Sometimes, I am not even familiar with the actors but they always turn out well. The Mistletoe Promise was one of the books I read more than three years ago.  I remember those quotes I wrote  on this particular blog post.. Watched it in full complete with the son’s headset which made it all the more lovely. I saw more adaptations there but I am reserving them for some other days. I am trying to finish my book challenge hopefully this month.

Two films in a row….happiness 🙂

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I found this lovely video about Mabini early this morning.  I was born here  and lived at the place until I was eleven.  Mabini is a third class town in  Western Pangasinan famous for its caves.

See the wooden bridge? We had a similar bridge like that when I was in grade school, now we have concrete one going to our place.  The town hall was designed by my architect brother and he also undertook the renovation of the town’s health center.  The mayor, Carlitos Reyes is our cousin.

Thank you traveldotcom for this lovely video. I enjoyed watching it. Haven’t gone home since December 2010.

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Back in October  2012, I wrote about A Thousand Mornings, a title I borrowed from one of the books  of my favorite author and poet Mary Oliver. I still read it now  and then and my soul is uplifted every time I do.

Christmas.

Early this morning, I chanced upon  a radio station playing songs in between the recent news in our country. Then all of a sudden,  he inserted  a Christmas song in between. What? Christmas in August? Oh but he said it’s barely two weeks before we start the BER months. Believe me, here in the Philippines  Christmas celebrations start as early as October and end as late as February the following year.  I ended up listening to some Christmas songs on YouTube. What a joy to reminisce and remember those past days of celebrating Christmas.

Books.

I love visiting Booksale. They have so many branches in different malls here in Metro Manila.  Aren’t you thrilled going out of a book store armed with several titles of books you’ve found in your foray? They are not necessarily books by authors you love and follow but you find the texture of the pages and the  designs on the book covers so beautiful.  They speak to you of those lovely days you spent in your youth discovering new books at the library. Of course when you really want books, one could always visit National Bookstore but the books are quite expensive.

Flowers.

There was a time that I used to take shots of every bloom in my garden. I don’t have my camera now, it got broken and the other ones were destroyed during typhoon Ondoy back in 2009.  I use my tab and my phone cam once in a while but I don’t take photos as much  as several years ago. I intend to buy  a camera one of these days. Although cameras on cellphones are more convenient, I could not take those high-resolution photos that I love. I guess I have more than a thousand flowers shots saved on Photobucket.

My Garden.

And all because I love  the rich soil beneath my hands and watch things grow. Every year, I would plant bonito  ampalaya, a pot or two of chili peppers and turmeric.  Occasionally,  jute leaves sprout for a time, to grow again during the rainy season.  We have two kalamansi trees and two jackfruit trees in the garden aside from the ornamental plants that I cultivate.  Our Arius is like a  Christmas tree just waiting to be decorated with lights and tinsel.

Blogging.

But of course. I meet so many friends here. In Facebook,  my feed is full of hodgepodge of unpalatable news.  At times,  I just ignore them and make some shout outs to my friends. I don’t go public on Facebook.  I meet lovely friends here at WordPress, read beautiful blog posts and  see wonderful photos of other places that I haven’t been to.  The day won’t be complete without visiting WordPress.  I have 2,046 posts including this one for this main blog alone.

Family.

Family always comes first of course.  Now that we have Nate with us, it is always a riot when he is around. Smiles are not far behind.  I remember those days when my two kids were growing up and were left in the care of two yayas. It was always a problem for mom and dad to look for yayas for us in the province.  Nowadays, it is even harder to find household help that you can trust.

I remember those days when  I used to go up the stage every recognition day  and so proud of my kids receiving those medals. It was a thrill when my daughter graduated Magna Cum Laude  and we were given choice seats at the  venue.  Tears of joy for the standing ovation from her professors and classmates when she received that medal upon graduation.  We were so proud of her.

Clouds.

Did I say I like taking photos of clouds and watching them move when the sky is dark? I love though when the sun is hot and the day is just perfect for cloud-watching. They look so mysterious out there. These are photos  from  some years back.

I could go on of course with a thousand more mornings but I think this has gone long enough.

“All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing”
– Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

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This is one of the best quotes I really like. I don’t know why I have this sudden desire to blog about mirrors and reflections.  What we are and what we  want to be are sometimes reflected in the way we see other people. There are times when we feel so attuned with people  we just met because we are entirely in sync with them. Our thoughts are on the same wavelength, so to speak.  Sometimes, that’s where friendship begins.

There are moments though that all we see of ourselves are what we believe we are but they are just reflections we borrow from other people. We tend to gravitate towards those who have the same interests and aspirations like we do. I don’t actually believe in the adage that opposites attract. It’s  rather, you see something in the person that you admire so it is easier to befriend him or her.  Deep within, you have something in common and the mere fact that you are also different in some ways makes  the encounter a little something to look forward to, it makes the encounter a little more interesting.

So what do you think is the best mirror where you can see yourself as you truly are? I think close friends fill that role in your life. They are our daily mirrors where the truth is reflected, the truth that we normally don’t recognize ourselves. Sometimes, we see a little crack at the edge but that’s part of the journey, it’s kind of dull when everything is smooth, we need to be reminded that life is a challenge that we need to face.

And let me end this blog with a lovely quote from Edith Wharton, “There are two ways to spread happiness; either be the light who shines or be the mirror who reflects it.”

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They came yesterday with the grandson in his pajamas and my daughter said, “he just woke up”. so the first order of the day was, they had breakfast first before he took a bath.

As soon as we had our lunch, he asked  if we could pick kalamansi. He loves to visit the garden and play with our dog Noki but he was afraid of our three kitties.  When he was at play, he kept saying, “I don’t want to go home, I will stay with Nonna”. Nissa and I just smiled. It is a standard dialogue when he is around. He usually takes another bath before they go home and he always ask, “Are we going home after I take a bath? I don’t want to take a bath”.  Haha, the logic of  a four-year old 🙂

They brought with them his new set of Lego toys but he also has a big plastic bag of toys here.

 

He is so creative. He could build  several figures out of the tiny Lego blocks.  I have an hour with him with his ABC and story books.  He always love to sit on my lap and read him fairy tales. Gosh, I’m impressed, he could summarize every story after reading.

 

We were having a snack of Banana bread and Cinnamon rolls when he suddenly blurted out: “Happy birthday Mommy” to Nissa. We just laughed. Her birthday is next month yet.

Then he said, “bye books, bye toys, bye Nonna”.  What a lovely day it was. Family day is always something I really look forward to.  It does not matter  how simply we spend it as long as we are all together.

 

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I was reminded of these song lyrics while I was doing the laundry early this morning. and it kind of stuck in my head. I was still humming it while I was cleaning the house later.

♫ ♬When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
 
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone. ♪♫♩
How many times have we encountered storms in our lives? How many times have we been resilient enough  to face them?  How many times have we faced the consequences of our actions?
We can’t avoid problems. I guess they are necessary parts of our lives so we’ll be able to know how strong we are to face them. Faith plays a big role too. Reaching out to people close to us, letting them share our plights sometimes ease the pain and the torment of facing those burdens. Listening to their words of wisdom helps a lot. Just sharing what we feel does the trick  of carrying it lightly on our shoulders.
We all know that the sun, no matter how dark the sky is will always be behind the clouds waiting for such time it will appear again during the day.  Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain as the song says.
Let’s walk on and hold our heads up high. That’s the way to do it.

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Honestly, I didn’t know there is such a thing as this. a special day celebrated for book lovers. All these years I was not aware of it until a friend on Facebook forwarded this lovely  photo from Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was celebrated yesterday. Today, in our country, it’s already August 10.

How nice to celebrate a special day for books and readers alike. I love this photo. it shows the beauty of having books around with maybe a hot cup of coffee or tea on a rainy day.

Cicero surely was thinking of me  🙂  when he said these words.  Garden and books, two things I both love.  How I wish I really have a small room for a library but all I have are several shelves for our accumulated books over the years. My daughter is a book nerd, she used to buy series of publications when she was here. I remember a complete set of the Harry Potter series, all hardbound copies which she reserved  at National Book Store when they were out in the market. I remember watching the movie adaptations with my kids.  Remember  Hunger Games, a trilogy of young adult dystopian novels written by the novelist Suzanne Collins? She also has hard-bound copies of  Stephanie Meyer’s books  Twilight. I haven’t read them, I am not fond of vampire stories and werewolves.

By the way, I am done with 145 books for my Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  Five more books to go,  yahoo 🙂 I lately finished another memoir by Frances Mayes, author of the lovely book Under the Tuscan Sun . Under Magnolia is all about her coming of age, her growing up years in  Fitzgerald, Georgia. I love the photos inside the book.  It made me think of how she looked like when she was younger.

Though it’s late, I want to wish you all Happy Book Lovers Day.

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