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Archive for November, 2017


I was inspired by a friend’s post about following blogs and blog followers. You can find his post here.

We could not hide the fact that when we gain more followers, we are happy.  Either it means they truly love our blog posts and they would like to participate through comments and likes or they are those who are new in the blogging world and ask us to follow their blogs as well. Sometimes I return the gestures back when I read the content of their blogs and I like it.  There are bloggers who follow you just to promote their site with nary a like nor a comment on your posts. I wonder if they really read what you write. There are those who have deleted their accounts and would still follow you.There are those who just love to  link their sites to  yours but when you try to visit the sites, you would be surprised,  most if not all posts are ping backs. Sometimes I am in a quandary whether to approve those comments or not.

We could always control all those comments  by manually approving them, We could always choose who to follow. I don’t always follow those who follow me. I only follow more than a hundred blogs that I regularly read. Last night though, I learned that you could also remove followers that you are not comfortable with.  I started the process of visiting some blogs and  removed those I can’t even see when I clicked the links.  Never mind if I’ll have fewer followers in the process.  This is a work in progress and it may take sometime to check all those 2,800 plus followers that I have.

A few months ago, I learned how to block  some people who visited my site.  There were one or two that  I decided to block.  I must admit that  I am learning so much in this blogging world.  Sharing a bit of your life in cyber space takes courage but the happiness that you get through blogging, unleashing those lovely thoughts, putting into words those  ideas and feelings, giving vent to something you have encountered and do not necessarily agree to.

Blogging still.

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I think it was a few months ago when I reviewed a book and recommended it to book lovers like me. Like I’ve always said before, I don’t make a review by parroting a synopsis or summary of a book like other people do. You can find those lovely summaries online.  I’d rather think of how I enjoyed reading it or how it affected me. Believe me, reading one always affects me, be it a good story or not.

I’ve set aside one or two books that I have recently started when I found this lovely book by Helen J. Rolfe.  It is my first time to encounter a book by this author and I just love it.  The title made me smile and it was not just because the story obviously was about Christmas which is my favorite season of the year. Christmas At The Little Knitting Box – this reminds me of those long ago days when doing crafts were in vogue.

My mum has this sturdy Singer sewing machine which has been  with her since I was in grade school. At her age now (she’s 88) she still can sew and  repair her dresses with it.  You won’t believe this but she still has those pillow cases  which she sewed and embroidered  a long, long time ago.  There was  even this center table runner with my name embroidered on it.  I learned embroidery  and crochet  when I was in grade school in our Home Economics class. That was followed by simple projects that I learned during high school. Back in the nineties, my former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands had set up a craft store  in one of the malls here in Metro Manila.  She taught us crafts like  paper quilling, candle making and cross-stitching.  There was a time I got so engrossed in cross-stitching  that I even brought my projects to the office and did them  during lunch breaks. Some of my office mates were in it too and we exchanged designs, sourced materials. Until now I still have those  skein threads in almost all shades and colors.

The book I have just read  reminds me of those days. I’ve never done knitting though. Those colorful yarns featured in the book made me remember those nights my  eyes would grow heavy with fatigue to finish a corner of a particular cross-stitch design.  It’s a beautifully written book that was a joy to read, an uplifting saga about families and beating the odds. It is a story about celebrating Christmas – the snow on the front porch, the Christmas lights and parols, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, the food, gifts and everything that spells Christmas. It is a feel-good book that I would recommend to everyone to read during the season. I am giving it five stars.

 

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Today is the last week  in the liturgical calendar.  It is the  Solemnity of  Christ the King which we call Cristo Rey.   Next Sunday is the beginning of the Advent season. Advent is  four weeks of preparation for  Christmas.

We will be celebrating our town fiesta come December 1. Yesterday morning, they have this fun run for the youth of Cainta and some streets were blocked.   Walking was the only option for commuters because of the traffic. It was a small sacrifice though, it only happens once a year. Watching the youth run for a cause was such fun and you wished you had the energy to join but having those aches and pains of old age  hinder you from doing it.  Really looking forward to the celebration. I am pretty sure they’ll have this yearly showing off of the products of Cainta.  Cainta is known as the bibingka capital of the Philippines. Various sweets and delicacies abound. The town is busy at the moment.

For the past three days, I’ve read a trilogy by Mary Alice Monroe. I love those small-town stories about life, family, friendship and love. I love those beach scenes watching the world go by –  the sunrises, the sunsets, turtle hatchlings, dolphins, beach houses  and windsurfing.  I am still reading another Monroe book ,  my 7th read of this particular author. Everything is set in South Carolina.   These books remind me of those days when I was in college and finished Gone With The Wind in less than a week.  When you discover a new place , a lovely story by a new author, you  are inspired to read them all.  I have lots of books about Christmas  and how it is celebrated around the world.  It is always a joy to read such.

Maybe I’ve grown out of reading YA books. To think I was a little excited about John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down but I even couldn’t get to the middle of the story. Most readers have rated it 5 stars on Goodreads. Compared to The Fault In Our Stars, I don’t find this an engrossing read.

What have you read lately? Any recommendation?

 

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“Your idea of me is fabricated with materials  you have borrowed from other people and from yourself.  What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself.  Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material that you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself.  Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you.  Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you”.   Thomas Merton

It was written on the first page of my tattered journal (tattered now anyway since I had it like  more than forty years ago).  I love quoting Thomas Merton. I used to devour his writings when I was still a student librarian at the University of Santo Tomas Main Library.   I wonder where I could buy copies of some of his books.  Two of his books are still on my wish list until now.

In the Dark Before Dawn

The Seven Storey Mountain

Some years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Merton’s Thoughts in  Solitude along with the pretty volume of Breakfast at Tiffany’s  by Truman Capote. They are two of the books I treasure.

 

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I saw this on my On this Day page  on my Facebook wall  and I kind of remember those early days when Nate was just beginning to appreciate things and experiment.

This was taken three years ago when he was two years old.  He has outgrown playing with the set preferring now to create figures with his transformers and Lego toys.


Look at how focused he was trying  to play  with his drums.  It is his 5th birthday tomorrow and  my daughter  plans to bring free snacks to his teachers and classmates in school.

Way to go Nate, so excited for you. Happy, happy birthday.

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I don’t know how it came about but my son told me last night it was a challenge you have to try in stages. I mean “what?”

Anyway, last night he came home  with a pack of Korean  ramen which he cooked before we had our dinner. Earlier I prepared pork adobo for dinner.  Before we had dinner, he mixed a glass of  milk. I got curious.

“This is just number 2 Ma,”  he said. I actually tried tasting it a little but my tongue felt like fire. It was so hot.   The idea is you have to finish the whole  thing and the next challenge would be number 5 which means it is hotter.  The milk is supposed to temper the hot taste of the noodles. He just finished two spoonfuls then gave up.  We both laughed.

I like chili peppers when they are mixed  as ingredients to some Philippine recipes that we have here but that Korean ramen is the ultimate. I love spicy  food too but not that spicy.  So there is this Korean noodle challenge on YouTube. My gosh, I don’t envy those Koreans.

Son said when we finished dinner, “sayang ang P70 pesos”.  That small pack was P70 pesos?  Give me cash anytime 🙂

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It’s a fact that ours is the longest Christmas celebration in the whole world. Nothing could compare with the Simbang Gabi or the dawn masses that end on the day before Christmas. Where in the world could you find the whole family, extended families and sometimes close friends and other relatives celebrating Christmas together under one roof, sharing Noche Buena food, going to mass together, having fun with the kids and the whole rigmarole of exchanging gifts and jumping with joy because you got what you wished for? Or maybe you have given enough hint to your son and daughter that you want this and that without putting a hole in their pockets.

I remember one Christmas long ago, when my son was still in his teens, he told us that he did not want to receive gifts that he needs but he would be happy with something that he wants – the needs being the usual handkerchiefs, underwear, socks  etc. and the wants listed as a new jacket, books, gadgets   or some  simple do-it-yourself  things that he loves.

So how do you lessen stress and enjoy the holidays?  You can really plan ahead on what to prepare  by listing all the things you need and buying them at least  a month, three or two weeks before Christmas. One of the best recipes that we usually cook  in advance is the  embutido. Embutido is a Filipino style meatloaf that can be served hot or cold depending on your  taste and they can be stored in the freezer for as long as a month. There are times when I do  my Christmas shopping as early as the month of September and by November, all gifts are wrapped and labeled.  Do your Christmas shopping all year round. Be on the look out for items that you think would be appreciated by your loved ones. And when December comes, you don’t have to join the Christmas rush because you have saved time by planning ahead.

Don’t feel obliged to reciprocate each single item that you received from someone you didn’t get anything for, a simple “thank you” would be enough.

And there are only 35 days,  11 hours and 50 minutes to go before Christmas.   Enjoy shopping.

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This morning, I spent a little time at the garden inspecting new blooms and trimming  some more. We have these berry trees behind the house.  A friend gave them as seeds  some years back and I planted at least six.  They are all bearing fruits now. Some branches are so close to the cloth line at the back so I have to trim them too. I thought of arranging them in a vase. I just added two palm leaves and bingo, they look great.

 

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It’s been a busy week!

I haven’t posted for quite a while but I had time to finish gardening, trimming the carabao grass, shaping our Eugenia and  gold dust plants and replanting some white  grass which were  uprooted by our three playful kitties.

My back and arms ached a little so I have to take a rest almost the whole day just catching up on reading and visiting  some new blog posts here.  I actually read two e-books in three days. Not my normal kind of authors and books  but I enjoyed reading both.  Sometimes when you haven’t read love stories for so long, it’s lovely to discover that they are as engrossing and as interesting as those memoirs and historical fictions that you normally read.  Good life and happy endings.

According to xmasclock.com, it’s 38 days, 5 hours and 7 minutes before Christmas. Hooray! I am  really looking forward to the happy days ahead.

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Last night while relaxing and listening to Christmas albums on YouTube, I tried this app. Senior moments though, I could no longer remember the site but I got these results.  Preposition, spelling, proper grammar –  my fave.

Haha, love this 🙂

Congratulations, you are a grammar master! You have a superb understanding of even the trickiest grammar rules. Not only do you know the difference between affect and effect, but you also never confuse your tenses. You must be an English scholar because only 4% of Americans can get a perfect score on this test.

 

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