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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


Just a thought: At the rate this pandemic is going, we might be able to reach more than 300,000 before  September ends. So really, really sad. And because it is so expensive to stay in the hospital for treatment, many probably don’t seek medical help anymore. 

Finally, Josef and I were able to prune the Eugenia, Fookien Tea plants and Tagaytay cherries.  The garden is looking good now, bagong gupit….haha!

He helped me pick kalamansi and we were able to harvest those at the top since he used a ladder to pick them. We harvested almost two kilos of ripe ones and gave some to our neighbors. I also made juice out of it. So soothing. Lots of vitamin C there.

I was supposed to end up reading the three books of  Pooh for my year-ender  reading challenge at Goodreads but I only finished one because I got distracted again by another book called  The True Story of Hansel and Gretel  by Louise Murphy. A reimagined fairy tale  and a war story retold.  It happened in the region in Eastern Poland  which was overrun  first by Russians then the  Germans during WWII.

In prose both luminous and enlightening, Murphy explores the power of memory, the necessity of love in times of great trauma, and the redemption that can come about through the refusal to erase one’s own past. This is the tale of two brave children who never give up, of women who refuse to be defined by convention, and of the bitter cost of survival. Over the course of the winter, Hansel and Gretel will come of age. Their mother dead, their father and stepmother in hiding, by necessity forced to alter their own identities, they become survivors.”  (from Penguin Books).

And I agree with the other reviewers, this is a fairy tale rewritten for adults and I can’t put it down.  I’ve always been attracted to reading historical fiction. It is also classified as a literary fiction and fairy tales.

Indeed, it is a heartening  message of hope.

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As I am so lazy to read, I gardened for a while this afternoon. The soil is still wet from the rain early this morning so it is hard to uproot the weed because of the mud so I did a little pruning instead.

It’s been a while since I tended the garden because the past few days, it’s been so hot.  And I was so lazy to stay there even when it was quite breezy in the afternoon. I found this patch of green growing at the side of our compost pit.

It is a carpet of moss actually.  They are really not that big  but I wish they would cover the whole side of the pit.

This Covid is getting on my nerves, we might even reach a total of 300,000 by the end of the month, no concrete plans still, they are just waiting for a vaccine. We have the most number of infections in Southeast Asia. Good thing  there is our VP Leni helping the people despite the limited budget of the OVP.  The government will be narrowing down social distancing in public utility vehicles in the next few weeks. That might trigger another surge in the pandemic.

Happy midweek everyone. Keep safe, you all.

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Senior  moments!

I wonder if I have posted this before here but I found  it on my Memories page  on Facebook and again it reminds me of those days when dad was still alive.

Dad, Noel and I

This was taken forty six years ago when dad was recognized by the University of Santo Tomas for his exemplary record  at the high school department. My youngest brother was a first year high school student here and I was in my sophomore year in college. Noel and I stayed in UST until our graduation from college. He took up Electronics Engineering while I majored in Economics. Dad was so supportive of us all that he transferred  the four of us in UST during high school.

I remember the days when I was just a first year high school student. Our class begins at 6:50 am until 12:50 pm (all girls) while the  afternoon session was for the boys. Dad would fetch me at the exit of the  school and accompany me to the bus stop at Espana Blvd. to get a ride. I was then new to the university.  Throughout my nine years of stay there,  I learned to adjust to high school and college life. Since UST is in the low-lying area of Manila, every time it rains hard, it also gets flooded. There were times when upon going home from class,  my classmates and I would remove our socks and would hike up our skirts to avoid getting wet all the way. There were even times when we would walk  about more than a kilometer (flood and all) to get a ride home.

I worked for about five semesters in college as a student librarian. Imagine the hardship of  searching for a ride on the way home at 8pm when my classes ended.   I remember those times when Dad and I will  have lunch together at his office after my morning duty at the library. I  only  used to work for six hours so I was on a full load  in my subjects.

My stay as a student librarian were the best years of my teenage life since those were the times I met friends, some of whom are still my friends until now. I learned the value of books in one’s life and how they enrich one’s knowledge through reading. When I was assigned at the Humanities Section of the library, I appreciated most of the collections there and when I was transferred to the Asian Section for a while, I learned to appreciate history and Asian literature.

How a photo would spark  wonderful memories,  for this is what it did to me today.

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Happy GrandparentS’ Day to all the lovely and lovable grandparents out there.

I am aware that  it is celebrated  every year especially in the United States where it originated but I don’t even know the exact date when it is celebrated until I had a video chat with Nate this afternoon. He called me up just to greet me a “Happy Grandparents’ Day”. I asked him what he was doing and he showed me the screen of his tab. He was playing  Minecraft. I’ve been asking myself several times if it is safe for a seven-year-old but Nissa allayed my fears that she has researched it first before letting Nate play it online.

Let’s go back to this grandparents’ day thing. A lot of people here are not aware of it. Mother’s Day or Father’s Day celebration are more popular. It started when Pres. Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day the celebration of National Grandparents’ Day. It is a celebration to honor grandparents and also to recognize their  important contributions to history.  Other countries followed suit but celebrate it on different dates. The Philippines started its celebration on the second Sunday of September back in 1987. Maybe it’s because most entertainment venues and malls have limited time to operate because of this pandemic that is why the celebration is so quiet today.

For every grandparent who still celebrates it, let me greet you too. HAPPY GRANDPARENTS’ DAY.

 

 

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He had his fur trimmed late this afternoon. they have to go to the vet’s clinic late so there won’t be so many people around.

It’s the best trim I’ve ever seen so far. Before, he had shorter trim than this because his hair had lots of tangles when it stays long. Hmm…he smells so good. The dog shampoo they used smells heavenly. Pet grooming at its best.

Best pose Oreo?  The whiskers are defined…haha!

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We had our  two steel gates repaired today. And since the gates themselves are still okay and sturdy,  what they did was to cut an inch of the portion adjoining the grills on the lower portions of the gate and attached a 2-inch flat bar, to  that portion which is beginning to rust. Since only primer paint was applied, we have to repaint again. Josef said that is easy, he’ll do the repainting, the two gates need two colors, Spanish red for the gates and cream for the attached bars. A  three-hour job cost me P3,000 pesos.

I always forget distinguishing paints used for wood, metal and concrete. I have to write it down again. Enamel paint is for metals and wood. Latex paint is for concrete. Elastomeric paint is for roof.  There you go. And you don’t normally use paint thinner for enamel paints.

It hasn’t rained since the start of September and the weather looks like summer. For the first time this afternoon, it is dark outside. I love the rain, that is when it doesn’t bring flash floods and when it does not wreck havoc  to low-lying areas like ours.  I love it when I don’t need to water the plants every day. The earth easily dries up because of the heat.

How was your Sunday?  I hope you are all doing good.

 

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It didn’t rain yesterday and the sun is shining brightly this morning. Took advantage of it and gardened for a while. The squash I planted didn’t grow well, the leaves are yellow and have holes in them so I removed the plant this morning. I cultivated the soil, removed some weeds and arranged and replanted some of my prayer plants growing side by side with the squash before.

I have plenty of Crossandra seedlings growing at the back of the house, they are self-propagating. I transferred  some of them to the area where the squash used to be. When they bloom, the orange flowers are lovely.  The rain lilies are flowering too. I only have the pink ones, I wish I have other colors. Wonder of wonders, my lone Kamuning plant is flowering again with that lovely scent close to Gardenia and Jasmine. I am thinking of transferring  some cuttings in a pot then plant them later direct to the soil when they have sturdy roots.

Though I wear gardening gloves,  sometimes I prefer my hands bare. It feels so nice when you can cultivate the soil with bare hands and you can arrange the plants nicely.  There is something incredibly satisfying about getting your hands in the dirt and watching your garden grow as you nurture each plant.  Blisters, scrapes and cuts, not to mention the soil embedded under  your nails.  Gardening is not what it would be without getting your hands dirty. Do you agree?

Starting early and finishing the task before catching up with the 8am Sunday mass online. Happy and blessed Sunday folks.

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My gosh, I got so excited when I saw it.  There are several designs actually and all with Biblical passages. One of the vendors in our  subdivision is selling them. Although I have lots of cloth face masks,  I’ve been using one since I was operated on eleven years ago, I bought this because I love the message it conveys.

I may not have the chance to use it, I have more than a dozen washable face masks here and also N-95 and  ordinary surgical masks.  I like looking at it and  I am uplifted by its message.

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!

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I was surprised to receive a message from Nissa early this morning asking me to add Nate to my list of contacts on Messenger.  Only Messenger is installed on my tab, no FB because I use it for my e-books. Nate prefers video chat where he can see me. Our conversation goes like this:

Nate: Hello Nonna  (with so many love emoticons). I Love you.

Nonna: Love you too baby. so glad to see you online.

Nate: I am studying. (Nissa says he had live lessons a couple of hours ago).

Nonna: Study well and please don’t go out.

Nate: I won’t Nonna.

A few minutes ago  he called me up again and he said he is on a class break.  I asked him if he is enjoying his online study and he said, he does. Well and good. Nissa created Nate’s messenger account so they could talk when she is at the office. He knows how to send a text message now but is still quite slow. Oh my gosh, my message chat box is full of emoticons from him. Now we think of it, I know it is not that healthy to let kids stay too long in front of their tab or PC but that is the new normal now….online learning. They could adopt to it but there is still a need for supervision from parents especially those kids as young as Nate. A teacher friend told me that only two hours continuous stay in front of a computer is allowed and in-between they should rest.  Nate said his class is until 1:30 pm.

This pandemic is changing lives and we are forced to adopt to it.

 

 

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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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