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Archive for August, 2020


This is fun. Twinings tea in all five flavors. Aside from the Wild Berry and Apple, Cinnamon & Raisin I ordered before, Jovy ordered three more boxes in flavors of Strawberry & Mango, Lemon & Ginger And Four Red Fruits. I’ve tasted Strawberry & Mango before and I loved it.

I thought I was the only tea drinker in the family but I was surprised that Jovy and Josef regularly drink it too lately. He said he is not giving up on coffee but he could drink tea in successive mugs. Ah, the influence of a mum, haha! He usually starts work at 4am until 1pm every day and he needs a morning fix. It is an acquired taste. I love lemon and ginger when I feel I have a sore throat. There is nothing better though than our good old kalamansi. I extracted almost a kilo of it, added sugar and put it in the ref. All you need is either hot or cold water.

This morning, one of our neighbors (she’s about six houses away from us but I don’t even know her name) passed by. I was at the garden uprooting weeds and she stopped outside and told me I must really love gardening. My plants are not so common and ordinary. I remember when we had it landscaped back in 2010, the landscaper asked me if I don’t mind having a green garden, meaning some of the plants he planted don’t actually bear flowers but they are all green. I said yes but over the years I added some in pots and some of them are flowering plants too. Back to my short conversation with our neighbor, she noticed that some of our kalamansi fruits at the top of the two trees have ripened. Yes, I could not reach them even if I use our small ladder but I gave her some fruits. She was so happy. When she saw one of my flowering plants, she again asked if it was easy to grow it. I was about to prune it. It was my Scarlet Bush. I only learned of its name too a couple of months ago. I gave her three stems. Haha, my social life is picking up.

Hmm… Shakey’s Angus Steakhouse Pizza for snack. These two (Jovy and Josef) are spoiling Mom and me. It is so costly for just an afternoon snack. I love it though because it is not oily and has crunchy potato strings and sliced mushrooms on top. Yum!

And the rain is about to fall. It is so dark outside. Happy midweek friends! Strawberry & Mango tea, anyone?

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Proud Second-Grader


via Proud Second-Grader

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I called up two friends last night. One is presently on a holiday with her family somewhere in Portugal and I missed greeting her on her birthday three days ago. Another one is a DJ and a teacher whom I met in some of our gatherings in our Catholic group and during Lovell’s two ordinations to Diaconate and Priesthood. Oh my, our conversations reached more than an hour. When you have something to share, the minutes seem to fly.

Finally found some books by Taylor Caldwell online. She was a British-born American novelist and a prolific author of popular fiction. The very first time I heard of her was when one of her novels, Captains And The Kings was adapted on television many, many years ago. Dad, mom and my brothers were regular viewers back then. I haven’t had the chance to read the latter and I am trying to find a copy until now. It was a mini-series, a rags to riches tale of an Irish immigrant in late 1800s. I am mostly into historical fiction. I started reading Ceremony of the Innocent last night and I like the writing style of the author. She clearly has a way with words. The book was published in 1983.

I’m on my 87th read on the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Thirteen more books to go….hooray!

How’s your Sunday? Keep safe everyone!

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Been taking hot tea the whole day. It is a little cold here and you can hear the thunder in the distance. Before lunch, Jovy went out to buy ingredients for our afternoon snack. We were all craving for those traditional recipes like ginataang mais. (coconut milk rice pudding with sweet corn).

It’s the first time in years that I’ve tasted it again. We used malagkit (sticky rice), coconut cream in pouches, 2 cans of corn kernels and a little sugar to taste. I gave a tub to our neighbor and he said it was yummy. I agree.

I also ordered two boxes of our famous Hopia in two different flavors. Hopia is a Filipino-Chinese pastry with different fillings. It is known in Asia than anywhere else. Here, I took a shot too.

belVita has become a favorite. Perfect with a hot cup of tea. This time, it’s Wild berry. I love experimenting on different fruit tea flavors.

Gosh, I am ashamed. When you are on a lockdown, sometimes all you think is about food. We are again on modified enhanced community quarantine until August 18. So far we have the highest number of days of lockdown period but still, COVID positive individuals are still rising every day. So really sad.

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Saw this photo on GMA Networks’ wall.   Setting aside the use of a dishwasher, which would you clean first? I am always of the belief that drinking glasses should be first followed by utensils, then plates. Big items should be last. Do you agree?

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I am getting lazy, take that to mean I am getting bored with what is happening around.

It’s almost six months now that practically, there was no social life for me except those times that Jovy’s grandmother and her cousin came over for a visit and when Nissa and Obet visited us more than a month ago. In between are just calls and conversations with my brother who is based in Tulsa, several calls with my niece who is based in Singapore and occasional messages from my brother and sis-in-law who are staying in the province. My brother after almost a year of being indisposed is back to his old job but is not a full-time one. The present mayor of our place asked him to help them even with three persons who replaced his old job. Their experience is not enough to meet the requirements of being municipal administrator. I told him to take it easy, good thing his present project is right within our barangay.

Even blogging for me has somehow lost is appeal. There was a time when I used to blog so early in the morning even thinking of what to write about the night before.

2020 brought so much, unlikely happenings that we’ve never expected and this is happening worldwide. The political scenario here is dim and it has been like that the past four years. I wonder, will we be able to get up again and make us proud of our country?

We have lots of talented, responsible, decision-makers, and well-educated and experienced individuals who could run the country but….. and we are in dire need of new faces who are not corrupt. We are in dire need of people who would think of the welfare of the millions of Filipinos and not concerned about their pockets. Good governance is what most of us dream of. Would it be just a dream now? We need problem solvers, those who have plans on what to do with these gargantuan problems we are facing now most especially this pandemic which has now become the biggest problem that these legislators and officers of the land have to address. Yes, to tell you the truth, I am getting tired of it all.

I am trying to lose myself in books and watching Interaktib every night. This program makes me laugh.

How are you all coping with this pandemic? I hope everyone of you is safe.

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Been busy the last three days. Ah, just busy reading and watching Josef and Jovy revive their small business.  It is the “in” thing now, online selling to friends, relatives and neighbors. This time though, they partnered with a former classmate of Jovy in their culinary arts class at DLSU-St. Benilde.  He does the cooking and Jovy and  Josef are in-charge of marketing the product.  There is another friend who prepares the brownies and crinkles.

Yesterday, there were so many orders of  baked kani mango sushi, chocolate crinkles, brownies and cookies. For the first time, I tasted baked sushi. Boy, what a heavenly taste. Just love it. It is a little expensive though because the ingredients are complete – Japanese rice, mango, kani, cream cheese, cucumber, Japanese mayonnaise, nori sheets  and some other ingredients I am not familiar with. We had it again for dinner tonight with spaghetti and milk tea. I don’t drink milk tea though because I don’t like milk. It seems like those rolled/sliced California maki are no longer popular here.

The baked sushi are priced differently according to size.

 

Mini red velvet crinkles, choco chips, supreme walnut brownies and fudgy brownies.

 

We had this again for dinner this evening – kani mango sushi bake.

Online food business is really that good. There were more orders today picked up by Grab Food for delivery to different places here in Metro Manila.

 

 

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You know those inspiring comments that you receive now and then from people from all walks of life and it really makes blogging worthwhile. I am quoting some of them here.

“Hello there Arlene!
I didn’t know before now that you are a cancer survivor… I am glad that you are okay now and I suppose that it is an everyday, every minute awareness of gratefulness and miracle you are living now.
I enjoy reading your writings and seeing your photos and I cannot thank you enough for sharing a bit of your life with us. I do not know you personally but when I am reading your ‘articles’, it’s like reading something from a friend…
Always keep well and I hope that your apo and your family will always have happiness and lots and lots of blessings!
jocelyne”
“Well done 👍

You are a survivor

And you know what’s like to feel death knocking at your door..
And know that you have overcome and surpass it..
It’s a great accomplishment indeed…

11 more years to you”

(from Nita, a follower for quite sometime)

“It’s so true that when we are well, we take our health for granted. My youngest daughter has been ill for two years but she is finally getting better now. She is only nineteen but really appreciates the days when she is feeling good and says she will never take good health for granted as she knows what it is like to feel so bad. Wishing you all the very best with your own health, Arlene.”

-jean reinhardt

“Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.” – I am with you, Arlene. Because your heart did the reading. ( Virgilio Gavia)

“Sometimes we really need to get out of our comfort zone to see things at a different perspective then we realize life out there is better. Your neighbors were so nice to invite your family.

I just had my colonoscopy too and though how uncomfortable the prep was it is a necessary test we have to take. Like you I hate those tests as they are anxiety causing moments and the wait is always stressful

Am glad that you are over the hump. Keep your positive outlook and eat well. Those are necessary to getting well” – Lou Burgonio

“Praise God! Your journey is inspiring and I am certain your thoughts and feelings, which you have so generously shared, have meant the world to anyone struggling with pain and suffering. Looking into the abyss of the unknown is terrifying and you and others like you are standing in that Abyss lighting the way for others to navigate their way out. I pray abundant blessings upon you as you continue your journey of life!”

Tina

(Tina seldom visits my blog but when she leaves comments, they are always heartfelt).

From a certain Doc In DC. I was touched. His comments were longer than my post:

Hi Arlene!
First of all, I’d like to say Kudos on your getting through the chemotherapy! I only know too well what it is like to be going for each cycle. Not that I’ve experienced it myself but my dad, who’s 65 years old was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon CA like you sometime in 2009. He had surgery and finished chemotherapy. Like you, we all anxiously await each CT scan, CEA and colonoscopy that he has to go for for surveillance.
I am currently in DC doing my fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology. Yes, I am a doctor and at first found it ironic that my dad was diagnosed with cancer as I got accepted into a training program for Cancer and blood disorders.
I am religious and close to God but I don’t think my dad is but at that time he was diagnosed, I really would like to think that he found God…in so many ways.
Recently, he had a colonoscopy and it showed a sessile polyp in the cecum. This was biopsied but the results are not yet back. It does make all of us nervous. I have already started asking friends,colleagues about a good surgical oncologist. When dad had his first surgery for colon Ca, he had to have it in cebu and there were no surgical oncologists available there. The surgeon who did his surgery was however very good and is US trained. Samuel Ang’s name came about when my friends told me about him. I googled him just in case the biopsy results turn out unfavorable and I came across your page.
I take comfort in the fact that other patients out there are doing so good after chemo and it gives all of us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I am praying for a favorable biopsy result. How I wish, you could talk to my dad at some point and give him encouragement. I think people with cancer should all unite and support each other. It makes the journey of fighting cancer more easy. Well, I hope you are in good health and as I’ll be praying for my dad each night, I’ll include you and each and everyone who has been diagnosed with Cancer.
God bless.

Paying tribute to some of my friends here. It is so nice going back and reading their comments. Most of them are Filipinos like me.Thank you all so much.

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I am not a cry baby but I almost cried this morning when I hurt my left thumb while slicing squash. The knife slid down the tip of my thumb and it bled a lot. My t-shirt was full of blood while I was waiting for Josef to get a band-aid strip. Woe to my sliced finger. I accidentally bumped it and it bled again.

Please don’t get tired of my rantings Last night, Duterte delivered another speech while most of us were already sleeping. Yes, it is always delivered at night when nobody except maybe a few would watch. We don’t watch his curses and rantings anyway so no love lost there. This is actually a continuation of my previous post the other day regarding the public appeal of the medical practitioners to give them at least two weeks, not to rest but to review and align what is more effective to be done amidst these rising numbers of COVID positive individuals including more than a thousand of their own and more than twenty five doctor specialists in different fields of specialization who died.

Duterte misinterpreted everything and he talked about revolution. No one is talking about revolution but he challenged these doctors and nurses that he is very much willing to fight them if they will start it. Goodness gracious, the enemy is unseen but he was so angry saying that the government is doing everything . What the medical practitioners need, what we need and what the people need is a CONCRETE PLAN to combat this pandemic. I pity the poor doctors and nurses who bore the brunt of his ire, he treated them like dirt instead of helping them and assuring them of the government’s help. And there is no plan except to wait for that vaccine from his best friend, china. The doctors and nurses are one in saying that the present Department of Health secretary must be relieved of his duty because he is not effective. It was an afterthought, a prepared speech which he read last that August 4 to August 18, we would be on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine again. And we are now required to wear face shield when going out.

Protection from COVID-19 – surgical gloves for when going out for groceries, face shields, surgical and cloth masks. Add several bottles of Alcohol and a big jar of disinfectant. And yes, lots of Vitamin C.

I stayed in the garden close to two hours this morning. Started trimming the carabao grass while Josef went marketing for two weeks’ supply of food. I harvested more than a kilo of Calamansi and gave some to our neighbors.

Busy, busy Monday. How’s yours?

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Lazy bug strikes again. Yes, you read it right, I am just too lazy to blog. Supposedly, yesterday, I’ve done my month-ender blog but I just read and was focused on social media.

It is truly exasperating when you have a lunatic for  a  president. He repeated that  people can use gasoline as disinfectant. The nerve of the guy. Those who blindly follow him might just do it. How can you trust  a supposed highest officer of the land  recommending something like this and who is just waiting for vaccines to end this pandemic if his attitude bores on lunacy? He sounded pretty sure that by  December, everything would be solved thru those vaccines. Sorry, I don’t trust china too.

Our health workers are so overworked that they requested for at least a two-week  enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and suburbs to give them time “to breathe”. They are already exhausted and overwhelmed by the number of positive cases that keeps on rising every day by the thousands now. VP Leni has suggested some protocols that those in-charge with COVID cases could follow but then the problem is they don’t see eye to eye with her. She is working on her own with the help of the private sectors despite lack of budget. If only the man would step down willingly and let the reigns be transferred to someone who works non-stop. He’s been saying that he is tired but does not want to let go. Ay sus! He said it himself, “inutil” siya.  That’s inutile in English guys.

Yesterday was  the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He is a Spanish Catholic priest and Theologian and is a co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Ateneo de Manila University  is the top two university of the country run by the Jesuits. Last night, I watched HOLY DARKNESS: Ignatian Spirit in the time of COVID-19, a night of songs and prayers to St. Ignatius of Loyola.  It was presented by the Jesuit Music Ministry of Jesuit Communications. Oh my gosh, I had a grand time listening  and watching it on FB. Some songs  were quite familiar because we sing them at church. Lovely, lovely music. It was like attending a concert for more than an hour of talented singers and choirs.  Before that, I also watched Fr. Pao on the Friday edition of Interaktib at Radio Veritas. They tackled the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He said that he truly appreciated a truly Ignatian education because he studied in Ateneo.

It’s raining here again. Have a happy weekend guys.

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