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My daily streak according to WordPress:

With this accompanying message of course:

You’ve posted 10 days in a row on DREAMS AND ESCAPES! Keep up the good work.

I think this is one of those months that I have posted something every day. I hope it holds.

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I used to call it magic. A couple of years after I started blogging, I’ve got this amazing blog stats  about my particular post on Mama Mary in one day.  Most visitors are fellow Filipinos who just loved Mama Mary. We are a Marian country, we venerate her. I  looked at the yearly summary of blog stats on Mary Mary alone from the year 2012  up to September 8, 2020. The lowest was when I didn’t blog about her birth but just mentioned it in passing last year because I blogged about my stay at the UST Hospital during Nissa’s operation. I’ve got the recap on my stats on my yearly posts about Mama Mary alone.

2011 – 1,214

2012 – 3,777

2013 – 4,131

2014 – 2,826

2015 – 5,400

2016  – 2,959

2017 – 2,481

2018 –  1,235

2019 –    805

2020 – 2,144

These figures added up to my total blog stats of 625,997 as of today. I am glad that those who are not even regular subscribers visit my blog. In an ordinary day, the stats has dwindled of course between 100 and 150.   I don’t mind much how many subscribers I have because most of them are not even liking or commenting on my posts. Some have deleted their own blog sites but are still using WordPress to access the site.

It’s funny how when someone views and likes a blog post and he or she is quite new in your eyes, their blogs don’t exist anymore.   I follow about 135 bloggers to date and I try to engage with them although some are really not active.  Posting though once in a while is okay.  Lately, I got in touch with some of them and just said hello. Some said they have stopped blogging for a while.

Sometimes I spend my time on Facebook looking and reading at the poems and shoutouts of several authors I follow. I linked their sites here on WordPress.  There are two Irish photographers that I recently followed and and their photos about Ireland are simply amazing. They remind me of my dream of a place here in our country which is Batanes.

It might interest you to know that it is the only place in  our country which is Covid-free.  It is the northernmost province in the country, and also the smallest, both in population and land area.

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Come to think of it. I read complaints about the new editor recently introduced by WordPress. Nope, I am not yet that brave enough to try it, maybe until we are all obliged to switch to  the new one. Why fix it if there is nothing wrong?

I am still using the free platform, careful enough not to post high resolution shots that uses my limit.  Anyway, I have set up a new blog called  Dreams Never End about four years ago and some of you followed it but sad to say, I haven’t updated it for quite some time. It is a different set-up from this one since every post is accompanied by a high-resolution shot, pictures I  took long ago.  Then I have Colors set in a duotone and I just love it but like the other blogs I have, it is not updated. For my new followers, you may visit them if you have time. I have a gardening blog too and Nate’s of course. You can all see them on my personal links on my blog wall.

I have yet to thank all those new followers who left some comments in my blog but some of them never came back….haha! Thanks too for the bloggers  I follow and who follow me back.  There are only some loyal  bloggers who like and make comments on my posts. Oh yeah, visits have reached almost 623,0000 now and active followers are maybe about 30 to 50 more or less, some just follow without any interaction.  I wonder if they ever read anything here. And I agree with Pete, some follow one’s blog so you could follow them back.  One important thing that we should not forget though is the blog content. It is not enough that we just write, there must be something that other people could relate to for your blog to be called a success.

I guess, blogging is here to stay unless we find it more difficult to navigate this site in the near future. Change is welcome but it must be user-friendly too, don’t you think?

 

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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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Crazy, Crazy, Crazy


My gosh, what just happened?

All of a sudden all my posts are in italics. What do I do? Can you see them in italics too?

Don’t know what to do.

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The last time I did this was March 3, 2020 when I posted some excerpts from my previous blog posts of 2012. For several nights now, I’ve been watching Interaktib, a one-hour show of two priests and a seminarian at Sambuhay TV. One of them, Fr. Pao is  a friend, a young SSP priest who is also active in social media. He encouraged me to share my one-liner thoughts  when they go online for an hour for four nights a week. So I thought of looking at and reading my previous posts, they are  mostly reflections about life which could be relevant to their Interaktib fans online.

I am also reviving my last four blog posts featuring some earlier posts too. They are not included in my reflections which I want to share with fellow Interaktib fans. These are more personal in nature.

I would love to share this story with baby Nate when he is old enough to understand why we celebrate Christmas. And how lovely and significant it is that we remember the Christ Child who is the reason for celebrating the season. Let it not be cloaked in grandeur but let it be as simple as the child in the manger.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/when-september-comes-to-a-close/

Celebrating birthdays of your kids has that special meaning because you were part of that very special event when they came into this world.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/happy-birthday-nissa/

I just love taking photos of every corner of UST. This Arch of the Centuries is the “ruin” of the original structure of UST founded more than 400 years ago.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/memories/

Humility is not only asking for forgiveness but recognizing and accepting that you are at fault. It takes a humble man to do away with pride and arrogance.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/my-thoughts-on-humility/

He has your nose”, I told Obet  (my son-in-law) and he smiled.

“Thank God for that”, Nissa said adding “he has my lips”.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/a-prayer-for-nathaniel-owen/

There are circumstances and events that live in one’s memory more prominently than the others and going on road trips with the family is one of them – remembering the happier days.

https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/breakfast-at-antonios-in-tagaytay-city/

I guess this is long enough, if you would like to read the full posts, just click the links. Thanks a lot friends.

 

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Back in 2011 when I joined WordPress’ Post a Day Challenge, they have these several topics which you can use and explore. One such was, “What’s The Title Of Your Blog And Why You Chose It?” May I just quote one of my entries back then? This was nine years ago when most of you haven’t found my blog yet.

—o000o—

Long before I started blogging regularly, I was into keeping journals,  and that was way back in college. Those were the times that I was a little too emotional and  a little insecure so  writing my thoughts was easier than reading a book. I got through college life meeting new friends some of whom had the same idea of keeping one’s self sane – writing. I have the following introductory blog here at WordPress, the very first one I wrote when I began my journey here more than two years ago.

The first time I ever laid my hands on pen and paper, I thought of becoming a writer someday. I was a dreamer – a helpless one. I guess it’s always like that, when one is young, you gaze at the world with childlike wonder, as if you could take it at a mere scoop of the hand. The world was bright, shining with a star-like quality that easily dazzles the eye. I found out later that it was like an icing on a cake, beautiful to look at but you’ll never really know what is inside unless you take a bite…

It comes when one feels quite nostalgic about things, it comes when you think that you just had to stop living in the present (or is it mere existing?) And go back instead…go back to childhood dreams? Maybe! After all, the past still holds some kind of magic, ‘though it’s nothing more now than an obscured vision.

Really, if I have to hold my pen again, I wouldn’t think of writing about love, not anymore. those lofty ideals must somehow be replaced by ongoing reality. The dreamer must somehow face the truth that not all dreams come true. And the writer? I guess, I have to try again, there is still that in-depth feeling to be recognized, anyhow, in any way. And if I have to choose my subject, I’ll write about you instead.

And I remember writing this quote in one of my dilapidated journals, the cover of which is now almost off the pages. It is a quote from Louisa May Alcott.

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

Life starts with  a beautiful dream. Life starts in somehow believing that one day you’ll get what you wished and prayed for. Life starts with something you believe you can do and dream about.  My entries here are  mostly about my journey as a cancer patient, a cancer survivor, a mother, a wife, a friend, and about the books I read, places I want to visit and have visited, people I want to meet someday and mostly about the daily grind of simple living. Dreams and Escapes is about having enough faith to go on, the will to live no matter how difficult life may seem sometimes and grateful appreciations of all the things one holds dear. It is about the belief that I could share a little of my journey through writing and writing is an escape for me. When things get a little too hard to bear, I put them  into perspective by sharing them here.

Dreams and Escapes, why not?

—o000o—

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My, my but it is too hot. It is definitely summer now. I am not much into following the weather since this Covid lockdown has started.

We have two workers here at the moment, they’re fixing the locks of our bedroom doors and installing an aircon unit at the other room.  It is just a small .5HP inverter type air con, good enough for a small room. Since Jovy and Josef are working from home now, they need a cooler room for work convenience.  Oreo misses the window to our dirty kitchen, he has no more window to look out to when I am cooking.

I am so lazy to blog again. It’s been two days since I last visited here. Trying to find nice but short fiction books that would tide me over in the next week or two.  So lazy to cook too. We ordered lunch at McDonalds,  placed an online order for snacks and for dinner.

Lockdown was extended for another two weeks until May 15. I hope they would concentrate on testing  possible COVID 19 individuals so they could flatten this curve that they have been reporting now and then.

How are you friends? Keep safe always.

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Still couldn’t seem to go back to the allure of reading and the magic of writing. My thoughts are quite chaotic at the moment.

Although I am still advanced by seven books for this year’s challenge, it usually takes me around five days now to finish a 350-500 pages book.  I seldom open my PC now, just relying on my tab and cellphone to communicate with friends and relatives.

How’s everyone? I hope you are all doing okay.

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Be Right Back


 

Good Morning World!

Be right back  to read and comment on your posts. Been idle again the past two days.

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