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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


There comes a point in one’s life when it all goes down to reminiscing, remembering the past and some golden dreams.

Those times when your kids were just babies and you were learning how to change diapers and make “hele-hele”  while singing out of tune and discovering to your delight that you could compose  a particular tune right there, waiting for them to close their eyes and sleep.

Those times when you went up the stage every end of the school year to accompany your kids to receive recognition awards and medals.  You were so proud that they were so responsible in their studies.

That one particular afternoon when one of your daughter’s professors called you up over the phone just to say that deliberation was over and that your daughter will be graduating Magna Cum Laude.   You cried and jumped in joyful thanksgiving that she made it to that much coveted Latin honors.

The first time they shared their paychecks with you and said “let’s go out and celebrate Ma”.  Music to your ears.  And the following days when they would just say,  “let us do the grocery shopping Ma, just make a list of the things you need”.  Those days when you would watch movies together or just stay at  home doing a marathon of Prison Break until 3am. Those times playing couch potato with your daughter while waiting for her  final interview for  a new job, watching Korean movies on DVD.  Can’t forget the laughter and the crying sessions we had together.

The day that your daughter got married and you were happy and at the same time sad that she’ll be residing in another place and you won’t get to see her every day. Her excited voice  saying “are you ready to be a grandma?” a few months later and you were so excited you can’t wait. You were just as excited seeing a sonogram a few months after.

The joys of finally seeing your grandson and discovering that you like the sound of being a Nonna. The days in between, the happy days of discovery while your grandson  is growing up to be a smart, intelligent and a loving young boy.  The phone calls when you can’t see each other, the hi and hello, the how are you, the I miss you, the shouts of joy saying “I love you Nonna” and you shouting back saying “I love you too baby”.  The excitement in your daughter’s voice while sharing a copy of your grandson’s report card in Nursery school. He is doing pretty well with very good and excellent grades.

The simple joys of family life sharing meals together, eating out together, sharing stories,  fun moments playing with the grandson. They are priceless moments indeed.

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Yeay, happy December friends.  December morning breeze. It’s cold outside.

Did you notice? WordPress has again activated the falling icicles in our posts.  It’s lovely, isn’t it?

I’ve been looking forward to December. I guess it’s actually the best month of the year,  a joyful season to celebrate and to bring joy to others too.  Trite as it may sound and no matter how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become, it is still the best  season to share, to bond with families and friends  and to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made for mankind.  It’s the season of faith, the season of joy and the season of togetherness.

I remember some old Christmas past. Back in the province when we were younger, Christmas was celebrated solemnly, attending the midnight mass and having Noche Buena later. Although it was way, way different from how we celebrate it today, it was the best. Mom would prepare a simple Noche Buena meal  of pancit bihon, suman and hot chocolate. Dad would bring home lots of apples and quezo de bola and a big box of old clothes donated by the high school students of the university (UST) where he used to work and mom would distribute them to our neighbors. My uncle would cook binungey, a delicacy native to Pangasinan. It’s made of  malagkit (sticky rice) and coconut cream cooked in bamboo and is lined up over fire and charcoal.  I think that’s the best there is in cooking rice cakes. You just have to cut the bamboo in half to get the cooked malagkit inside.

A simple fare of binungey.

A simple fare of binungey.

Back then, we didn’t have exchange gifts at home  but Mom and dad would buy us simple toys to play with.  The grade school days were the same when Christmas comes near. We would find a robust tree outside and decorate it with hand-made paper strings, cut colored paper made into small parols and stars, candies  and occasional plastic decor brought by our teacher. Exchange gifts are of simple things like hand towels, bath soap, pencils  or box of candies. We were happy receiving gifts that way.

Nowadays, celebration of Christmas has become a  little  extravagant. Instead of simple gifts, we give gadgets, expensive toys, and the like. Gone are those days when a box of candies would suffice. Christmas wouldn’t be one without ham, pasta, meat recipes, sweets,cakes and what have you.

I hope we would always remember why we celebrate Christmas. I hope we would always remember the little child born on Christmas day.

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It is a gray morning here. Weather disturbance  Marce has intensified into a tropical storm. Although there is no typhoon signal here in Metro Manila, the sun hasn’t come out today.

I miss the sun and I miss the beach too. It has been so long since I’ve visited one.  Nissa’s family spent last week at the beach.  Nate told me that he had a wonderful time swimming even at night.  It must be lovely to stay outdoors on a sunny day. It must be lovely to dig your toes in the sand and  smell the salt air. It must be lovely to just idle around and think of  lovely thoughts about life.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

A picture of Nate playing with his daddy.

Moments of bliss. Moments of being thankful. Moments of just being happy.  It takes  a moment to experience simple joys.   Barefoot, while the sun touches your face and you hear the sound of the gentle waves.  The sea beckons  in all its glory.

 

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It’s like some other Sundays, a bit uneventful.  We  attended mass early,  spent sometime at the grocery store before going home for breakfast.

Oh, this is Santa’s official countdown. Right now, there are 42 days  until Christmas.   This morning we have finally put up some Christmas decorations.  I am having second thoughts on putting up a tree because it takes too long to decorate and we need to buy new Christmas lights for it. Unlike in areas where most of you live, we only have the artificial trees here in our country. Every year there are changes in the shape of trees that you can buy in department stores, even the color is not solely green now.  Our tree is seven feet tall so it’s quite big for us to decorate. I am thinking of buying a smaller one where Nate could place his gifts come Christmas Eve.

I am just waiting for the opening of the SM City East Ortigas on  December 2. It  is very near our place, a ten-minute tricycle ride. It is SM Supermalls’ 60th mall in the country.  Count on the traffic in the area when it opens.  It would be an advantage though for us since we won’t have to go to other SM malls to shop, to dine  or to watch movies. So glad to know they’ll have a branch of J.CO donuts there. J.CO Donuts & Coffee is a cafe restaurant chain in Indonesia specializing in donuts, coffee and frozen yogurt. I swear, their donuts are even better than Krispy Kreme. I do hope there would also be a National Book Store there or a Booksale. I am looking forward to it.

Been reading a lot lately. I am on my 110th book this year. Found some nice volumes that would tide me over probably until next year that is, if I won’t join the Goodreads challenge.  How about you, what are you reading at the moment?

Have a blessed week ahead everyone!

 

 

 

 

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Where has October gone?  I must admit it was a little  uneventful except of course celebrating my birthday a few days ago.  It was a simple gathering of family and close friends  but it was fun. No birthday of course is complete without all these pictures. Nissa actually took several shots, she was our photographer of the day but uploading them all here is a bit impractical. Nate enjoyed our simple celebration at home playing  with my friends and showing off.  We all laughed when he finished those plates of spaghetti ignoring the other viands served on the table.  He enjoyed blowing the little candle on the tiny birthday cake which Josef bought for me. It is always fun when you are with friends and family.

Does life really begins at sixty? The past days, I thought of how it is any different from when I was 40 or when I turned 59. Maybe, it is really not in the number of years that life matters. It’s how one looks at it , it’s how one thinks that the added years somehow make one grow and gets wiser. The comfort of knowing that one is blessed and loved, the days spent with family and friends knowing that they are always there through thick and thin, the happy moments of endless sharing….what bliss!

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September is almost at an end but the weather is so erratic sometimes which  makes you think it is still summer. Either the sun goes up early in the morning, heavy rain takes over in the afternoon or the rain comes early when you are asleep  and the sun shines a little late in the afternoon. Crazy.

I haven’t blogged for a week, that kind of post that needs at least five hundred words :)  Remember  that feeling that you wanted to write  a post but you don’t know how  to start? Remember that feeling when  you have lots of thoughts in your head chasing each other to come out but you don’t know  where to start? Remember that feeling that you would really love to update your blog but you don’t know when to start?

Maybe I am just feeling oh so lazy.  Yes Virginia, that’ s the truth.  I am on my 92nd book though, 8 more books to go and I’m done.  I don’t always find  good ones, some are just easy reads.

We left early to do our twice a month marketing this morning. I was delighted when I found fresh fiddlehead fern selling at P10 a bunch, got three for P25.  You’re lucky if a vendor gives you a discount because you are the buena mano.  It tastes so crunchy, just blanch it with hot water for a minute or two  then add slices of tomatoes, ginger and onion. Instead of ground pork as toppings,  I used a can of flaked solid white  albacore fried to a crisp. Josef loves it. Then we saw a young stingray being sliced by our suki vendor so we bought a kilo. They  clean it and remove the skin at your request. My son is an expert when it comes to flaking the fish, slicing and dicing ingredients.  The best way to cook it is in coconut cream with lots of diced  banana pepper, julienned  ginger  and thinly sliced red onion.  I am surprised that Rambutan fruits are still in season, a steal at P60 a kilo.  I love it when it is chilled. It’s fun to find fresh produce in the market.

We were supposed to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in advance today so I cooked Nate’s favorite sinigang, this time I used shrimp instead of pork ribs. Nate loves anything sour with all the veggies.They were on their way here this morning when Nissa  told me that they  were  going back because her mother-in-law was rushed to  the hospital.  Nothing serious, she was not confined, thank God.  Nate was actually looking forward to their monthly visit here. He said over the phone “see you later Nonna” but he must have meant “see you soon”.  More weekends to look forward to.

Lately,  I have explored a bit of WordPress, how to blacklist someone who makes those comments which are not really about the post or about the blog  but which are not classified as spam by  WordPress.  They are meant to provoke.  I have learned how to delete a follower who is not really into writing, when you click the site, you can’t even find it. Years ago, there was this site who made use of one particular post, changed  some words and they made it appear its their own. I called the attention of WordPress to no avail so what I did was to blog about that site for everyone to see.  I even learned how to use Copyscape to check everything here, I don’t know how  effective it is but at least  it is an option.  I am glad there is Akismet.  It has protected my site from 54,096 spam comments as of this writing.  I am grateful to WordPress for that.

Any app you have uploaded to your blog to protect it? It would be nice to hear from you, thanks🙂

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I love photos that tell a story. Sure you can just admire one particular shot but that is all there is to it. A garden fills the senses, a lovely bloom makes you admire nature, a lovely rainbow makes you wonder about the beauty of creation.

Two years ago, I blogged about Nissa’s photo of Nate and his dad which she posted on Instagram.  He was a little more than a year old, just learned how to walk  and balance himself while walking. Yesterday, Nissa took another shot of the two of them. What a difference two and a half years make!

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Grow tall little man.

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He greeted me a happy grandmother’s day yesterday. When he is being playful, he would say, “I love you Mommy, I love you Mama” repeating the words several  times  instead of saying Nonna.  Our baby is now a big boy🙂

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