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Four days since my last post. Whoa, it’s kinda hard to start again. I  know, I know.  Some of you would probably  react and say, what’s four days? It’s just that I got so used to updating this site almost daily that four days  is too long for me. Blame it on a little laziness on the side. Honestly I just got engrossed reading again.  I found new titles  and new authors too. Since I am done with my Goodreads challenge I could indulge  in a little romance and suspense thrillers too.

And I’ve said before that sometimes I wonder if people read a particular book because they love and like the author or they find positive reviews about it or simply because the book is just there, handy for one to enjoy.

I am not deterred by negative reviews they give to a particular book or been influenced by the five-star rating, I’d rather want to discover it on my own. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised, you actually love the story of one which others say is not worth that much.

And I love this quote from Roald Dahl: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

This is a quiet Sunday for us. Josef and I attended an anticipated mass at our Parish here in Midtown last night. It was my second time to visit the place since Nissa and I went there for their  wedding bann announcement  three months before she got married  six years ago.  Wow, the church is lovely. We usually attend mass at the town proper every  Sunday but we have to do the marketing early this morning.   Nate is still attending weekly workshop every Saturday  but this week it was moved to Sunday. Meeting more friends in the process, kids close to his age.  Talked to him for a while  when they were there. It’s always nice to hear his voice saying “Hello Nonna”.

I found myself watching  a Hallmark movie on YouTube  the other night. Son encouraged me to discover those lovely films but I am not much of a film or  television watcher. I must say, the craving is seasonal well except when there are  Senate hearings. The antics of those clinging to the powers that be…the nerve. I won’t dwell on this, it is exhausting and stressful.

I hope your weekend was lovely 🙂

 

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A blessed Monday morning to all.

Cloudy skies. And there are two low pressure areas which are still outside the Phil. Area of Responsibility (PAR) but this early it looks like it will rain again. It’s a good thing we are finally done trimming  our plants and cutting the carabao grass yesterday. Gardening is  a lot of work but one is happy when you see the immaculate lawn smelling of the earth and newly cut grass.  We harvested calamansi too and got a bout a kilo. The two calamansi trees we have in the garden are presently bearing so many fruits. Heaven.

I was done with my Goodreads 2017 Reading challenge last August 20 finishing the 150 books I set myself to read. I’ve added about five more books since then. I am presently reading The House on Honeysuckle Lane by Mary McDonough, my first book of hers. Gosh, it’s full of Rumi quotes and one character was even named Rumi.  I remember those  earlier days  when I used to write on my little notebooks several quotations from that  writer.  His works are still widely  read until today. Reading is such a leisure that is so fulfilling. Give me a book anytime.

Last September 7 and 8, I got a total of more than 2,400 views alone on my post about Mama Mary.   I guess since 2013 thereabouts, my stats always jump during Mama Mary’s birthday. Busy Google.

 

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Sometimes  you  just feel that tiny apprehension that you  have covered all the subjects you want to blog about and there is nothing more you can explore.  Or maybe you have lost your muse in between and you don’t know how to start again.  Have I blogged about this before? You asked. Have I mentioned it in my previous posts?

One such subject that I do enjoy writing about is blogging.   How many times have I written about this topic?  It’s been there since  I started this blog.  Do you agree that the more you do something in the long run, it gets easier?

Blogging is a dream come true for me. I tried publishing a few posts at Friendster back in 2007  then a friend recommended a new platform called Multiply. Both closed their sites years ago.  I had about close to a hundred friends at the latter and I enjoyed exchanging ideas with them, talking about families, music and more on current events.  We posted photos, food recipes, songs from our  own collections, movies  that touched us at one time (copied of course from YouTube).  It was a social media platform where I met some friends personally.  It was a chat board. Then came Facebook.  I am still there even if sometimes I feel it is so noisy but it is quite easy to chat with friends from all walks of life. It is quite  easy to find old friends you haven’t seen in a decade.

Ah yes, blogging.

Sometimes I feel that reading interesting blog posts is like reading a lovely book in installment, you discover a page every day and you want to see what the next scene will be.

I miss my friends/fellow bloggers who have quietly left the scene because the chapters are not complete.  WordPress keeps on improving their site and sometimes it gets confusing to learn an added tool. I still use the old format until now. I find it easy to edit here than at  the more improved one.  I  unfollowed some blogs  in the process. Most of those bloggers who put their links  in the comments went to my spam folder. Thank you Akismet for that.  I follow a particular blog because I feel there is something there that I can relate to. I tell you, specially to the new bloggers out there,  it is not practical and nice to follow a blog you have just discovered and ask them to follow you back.  Follow it because of its own merits  and don’t expect anything in return.  I do get curious though and I visit their sites.  It takes me more time now  and more inspiring and interesting posts to follow a blog.

Blogging, sharing, meeting new friends in the blogosphere. I love it all.

 

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So you think blogging is easy huh?

This is not to disillusion those who are new in the blogging community.  Some people might claim they are old hats when it comes to blogging. Some are successful enough having those followers in five digits.  Some are just there, observing, reading and sometimes commenting.

In all the years I’ve been blogging, I never attempted to write “how to’s” or make some suggestions on how to be a successful blogger. I guess when it comes to blogging, what is important is sharing something worth-reading, sharing a bit of yourself in the most sincere way you know.

I noticed over the years that there are some bloggers who don’t really take efforts about the content of their sites. They just visit several blogs and share links on their sites. Don’t you think that’s cheating? Oh I know, ping backs are great sometimes but not always. Years back, I encountered one or  two sites which stole my content, the whole thing and just changed some words in between. I got mad and called the attention of WordPress. It just stopped when I blogged about those two sites that they stole my content. I recently learned that you can actually block someone from reading and visiting your site or keep them away from posting comments just to call your attention.  One must be vigilant. I know  you would say, WordPress is public and unless you maintain your blog for your eyes alone, it would remain so.  It’s okay if you keep it as an online journal or a diary.  It’s your choice.

Starting a blog can be overwhelming or intimidating.  Nine years ago, a friend of mine at Multiply suggested that I start a blog at WordPress. I didn’t know how to build one much less customize but I posted  a lone entry in one of the free themes here.  Back then, I had a premium account at Multiply and had at least a hundred close friends who  were all active at the site.  It took me a year to come back here and learn to customize my site.  I’ve been blogging for eight years now and I am glad that I found this community of bloggers who share their thoughts in cyberspace. What a thrill to meet people around the globe. What a blessing to be able to read all those lovely posts they make and share.

There are always topics that we could all relate to. There are always subjects close to our hearts. As I have always said, blogging has become a way of life. It’s one perfect medium to meet online friends. It’s one perfect avenue to vent what one feels.

Blogging, anyone?

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Ah, I should have done this a long time ago. I did of course but it was an entry post at the very start of this blog. I just transferred  it at the upper right corner under Pages entitled Dreams and Escapes.  Most bloggers have introductory pages on their blogs.

Back when I was starting how to set this up I was also learning how to customize it.  It was hard at first, a touch and go  process so to speak until I finally learned how to install those side widgets and update them. It was fun.  Now if I could have another easy theme to customize, maybe I’ll change my theme too but most lovely themes at WordPress nowadays  cost a lot. For now, I’ll stick to the Misty Look,  clean and clear lines which I prefer than colored backgrounds.  According to WordPress this is the first theme  that accommodated Custom Image Header. the header changes as you read several posts on the blog.  Since I don’t have those precise sizes of photos to upload, I guess I only had about ten or more photos as header images.

Once in a while, it is nice to navigate all these updates on one’s blog. It is nice to learn a bit more of what WordPress  has to offer. Do visit my page if you have time. It’s a work in progress just like this blog.

 

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It’s one of those mornings that I get a little time to really sit in front of my PC, check and peruse my stats over the years. Maybe I am a little lucky to have all those viewers and followers to this site. The last time I looked, I got a total view of 476,640 max.  Those followers may not always comment and like my posts but I am glad that blogging has become something that I now value in my life. It is not easy to share your world in the  World Wide Web and be open to negative comments in the process. It is not easy to think of more than 2,017 posts  at the moment.

Here are the top eight posts that over the years have become the most visited ones. I don’t know if the categories and tags helped with the total.

Stats for all time

Homepage   182,850 views

Happy Birthday Mama Mary – 20,324

The Early Bird Catches the Worm But The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese –  7, 993

Dapitan Arcade (A  Shopper’s Delight) – 6,366

On Meeting Dr. Samuel  Ang Again – 4,947

Saint Padre Pio Chapel – 4,499

Feast Day of Senor Sto. Nino – 4,406

Another Year To Be Thankful  For – 4,205

My best view ever was last September  08, 2015  with a total view of 4,893 in one blog post alone and it was Mama Mary’s birthday.

From May 2010  to the present month, the stats are in terms of thousands.  I wonder where they are all coming from. It is just amazing sometimes to see your stats go up the bar.  I know some bloggers won’t consider it that important but when you are in the blogging world (unless your blog is set on private), it is always nice that people come and visit your blog.

How does one become an effective blogger? I started this blog with my journey as a cancer patient and survivor then later on, it morphed into the daily grind of living – reading books, gardening, day-to-day stories of my family and what not,  a smorgasbord  of things dear to the heart.

Time flies too soon and June is rapidly coming to a close. It’s been a lovely month spent reading a lot and gardening despite the heat. I hope the month of July would be kind to my weary bones and aching joints.

 

 

 

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What a sad day.

A priest friend of mine died in his sleep last night. Met him with some of my friends at AFCC when we donated a statue of St. Padre Pio  almost  three years ago. He always included us in his prayers and healing masses. He was just 62. Maybe God has other plans for him but I feel sad that he passed on suddenly.  It was a blessed and peaceful death. Yesterday, one of my friends attended the ordination of five seminarians at La Salette. That was the last time he’d seen Fr. Chris alive.

I was cleaning the list of contacts I follow here on WordPress just this morning.  Most of them followed but some have stopped blogging. I never see them  on my feed.  I have a greatly reduced number of bloggers  I follow.  Contrary to what other people think, it is quite hard to maintain a blog. We are not always inspired to write and we are  not always inclined to share what is happening in our lives.  Once you get out of cyberspace for long, you are forgotten.

I noticed that most of my online friends here are now retirees like me. You might reason out, we have the time in our hands to blog, right? Wrong. Even if you have enough time in your hands if you are not fond of writing and dedicated enough to  maintain a blog, it would be a useless exercise. There are some of us who consider blogging a lifestyle. I am one. It seems that when you start a blog, it won’t be complete if you won’t update it now and then. Never mind if nobody reads it but you. You find fulfillment in publishing your own post. Having a lot of followers is a bonus. and you’ll  be glad if your blog gets noticed in cyberspace.  Some of us start on one particular subject like books, gardening, photography and family life. It is a little easier though if you have a variety of things to blog about. And it is even nicer to read about current happenings than  reading about  subjects that happened a long, long time ago. Occasionally, it’s okay though.

Last year I copied a few lines somewhere. Sorry I can’t remember now but I give proper credit to the writer. Sometimes, a soul out there in cyberspace echoes your own thoughts and you smile because you remember your own struggle with words. I love this:

“Pencils are patient. They don’t act as harbingers of deadlines, rather, they offer sustenance to the challenged mind. Who hasn’t tasted the metallic triumph of chewing on an eraser’s casing at the end of a pencil? Who hasn’t drummed a pencil on a desk, twirled one to tune out a teacher or broken one in half, releasing an unleashed dormant Lou Ferrigno?”

How often do you update your blog? Do you find fulfillment in blogging?

 

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