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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


It’s a rainy Monday and PAGASA said we will have these monsoon rains for the next five days. Typhoon Egay hasn’t left yet and there is another one coming but has not yet  entered the Philippine area of responsibility. I hope it will divert its course farther from the country.

Josef and I have thought about it even before we reached the market this morning, braving the early morning shower. He asked me what is the best food for merienda (snacks) on a rainy day. I suggested soup with crackers but he didn’t buy it. What about arroz caldo or minatamis na saging? Can you prepare both, he asked. Why not?

Arroz caldo or congee is best prepared with sticky rice and chicken wings with lots of fried garlic while minatamis na saging is the easiest version of cooking saba banana (Philippine plantains) but you can simply boil it or eat it raw, it does not matter. I bought eight pieces and a cup of mini tapioca pearls. We had this for snack this afternoon.

Believe me, it's yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Believe me, it’s yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon...

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon…

If I am not too lazy tomorrow, I will cook arroz caldo  not for merienda but for dinner. Dinner today is fresh bean sprouts topped with  crunchy flaked tinapa, another comfort food on rainy days like this.

The sun showed its face for a while so  I went out to visit the garden and took a few shots. I love those silver raindrops clinging to  the leaves  after the rain.

Look at those dark threatening clouds...

Look at those dark threatening clouds…

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Can’t wait for tomorrow.

After almost two months of not seeing Nate, they are finally coming over tomorrow to celebrate Josef’s birthday with us. I suggested to Nissa if they could stay here overnight so she could rest, without thinking of cleaning and doing the weekend tasks in the kitchen.  Sometimes, two days of rest is not enough, the weekend should be stress-free and relaxing. Anyway, I am looking forward to playing with Nate again, discovering what he has learned the past two months and seeing how fast he has grown into a very active toddler. It’s a period of discovery and exploration for our kid who’s not so little anymore.

I had a long chat with my priest son this afternoon who is attending a mission summit in Letran-Calamba. We talked of his assignment in Calayan. Time flies, a year is gone and in a few months he will be transferring to another mission. “Where to next?”, I asked and he answered “Camiguin”, another island in the north which is still a part of the Babuyanes Islands. He said it is more laid back, simple life to speak of but as equally beautiful as Calayan Island. He is happy to learn that I am still active at our Catholic Community page  and still share my thoughts with  the world through my blog.  I laughed when he wrote back “OP Lay” meaning a Dominican lay preacher – preaching through mass media.  I’ve always said even when I started this blog that if I could inspire a single soul out there, then I am fulfilled and happy. Josef is blessed, a mass intention will be offered on his birthday this Sunday.  We are all blessed of course because  we are always included in Lovell’s prayers.  He always tells me, “bawal ma-depress at ma-stress”  I know all that but sometimes life is hard  and it is even harder to cope.  “Stay in the grace of our Lord”. What lovely words! What was I thinking, negative thoughts should have no place in my heart.

I’ve found some amazing blogs here today – some blogs I followed, clicked a lot of posts that I liked.  Inspiring words and  beautiful stories that warm the heart.  And here’s a quote for you today.

Quote

 

A blessed and happy weekend to all.

 

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It’s good to be back.

I haven’t been feeling well the past days so blogging has taken a back seat. Arrggh…the aches and pains of getting old. It’s quite nice to read other people’s thoughts  once again and  look at the lovely photos after a self-imposed absence from blogging.  Sometimes, I feel so lazy to even boot the computer and  check my e-mails.  I just checked my stats and saw some previous posts which kept appearing on my most read/top posts.  This blog entry is actually my 1675th one.  I think I’ve already covered almost every subject that I wanted to share in cyberspace.

In between taking naps now and then and drinking lots and lots of water and buko juice (young coconut juice), I’ve finished three books in four days. I would have wanted to visit Nissa’s family last  weekend but I always find it a challenge to commute on my own.  Nate had fever too, so with Nissa so we survived on Viber, Skype and text messages. Thank God we are okay now. Hopefully, we could be together either on Saturday or Sunday to celebrate Josef’s 31st birthday.

A friend recently commented on one of my notes at FB about the books I have on my list. I couldn’t remember how many books I’ve read before including those  of Nissa’s  that she used to collect (Charmed series, Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University).  You would probably classify them  now as YA books, chick lit or contemporary ones. I grew up on M & B  when I was in high school and all books were borrowed from the library. I have some all-time favorites though. They taught me so many things. Here’s my short list:

1. Markings – Dag Hammarskjold
2. Seasons in the Sun – Rod McKuen
3. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum
4. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery
5. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
6. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
7.  Letting Go – Morrie Schwartz
8. The Heart of Loving – Eugene Kennedy
9. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
11. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am – John Powell
12. Simple Moments – Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD
13. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
14. I Like You Just Because – Albert Nimeth, OFM
15. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
16. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
17. Embraced By the Light – Betty J. Eadie
18. It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It – Robert  Fulghum
19. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
20. Grow Something Besides Old – Laurie Beth Jones

I actually blogged about this on 15 Books, 15 Minutes  years ago (list of 15 books you can recall in 15 minutes). I hope  you’re not getting bored  reading a blog post all about books. I just started on my second book of Lisa Genova called Love Anthony and it’s about autism. Remember Still Alice?

 

 

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It’s been a while ….again!

I don’t know, maybe it is the effect of the humid weather here. It is hot and I mean it is so hot. It rains  at times in the afternoon but it is never enough to diffuse the heat. Sometimes I have to water the plants twice a day because I pity seeing their leaves wither and all. Good luck to our next  water bill.

I told you in one of my previous blogs that I am catching up on my reading, finding the books I purchased last year mixed with the bestsellers that I collect and along with those books are my e-books  on my micro SD card. Here’s what happened three days ago, I accidentally dropped my phone on a basin of water while doing household chores. Gosh, you could hear my shouts probably up  the third street of our subdivision.  I fished it out and a little amount of water sipped through my lower screen. I told Josef about it and he said that I open it, remove the battery, remove the SIM card and the SD card too. We have to have it dry before checking back if everything is okay. To think that my e-books are all there. My brother assured me though that unlike the SIM, the SD card is safe from damage. I held that thought until my son came home and opened it, had it dried for two days, (luckily, there was little water) then he tried reassembling it yesterday. Alleluia! It worked, all my photos were intact and all the Viber photos of Nate that Nissa sent me. The screen though has blurred to a dull cloudy  gray  but at least all my e-books were there. I could not make a call nor send texts and some of my contacts were deleted from the list.  Josef’s girlfriend who is quite knowledgeable on cellphone settings was able to retrieve them all but my Aldiko e-book  reader was not functioning. Josef tried to uninstall and reinstall it to no avail, it could not read my micro SD card where they are restored.  I have been using the Aldiko Book Reader App on my android phone for almost three years and since it is easy to navigate, I never thought of  installing other applications but last night Josef tried installing the free Moon + Reader and Skoob EPUB Reader on my phone. So far so good but I am not happy with both. I could not find Import so I have to read sometimes direct from the SD card or wait for the book I would like to read to download first.  It’s a good thing I have a reliable and cheap double SIM phone to make calls and send texts. I am still lucky I could do the same with my damaged phone. Oh well, I am thinking of buying a mid-range phone, something affordable but could still function as an e-book reader. Buy a tab, Josef tells me and I jokingly told him, I’ll buy a gift for myself on Mother’s Day.

There are only two occasions in a year that I buy something for myself  (something I like but not necessarily needed) because I think I deserve it (haha), during my birthday and during Mother’s day. Most of the time I buy books or small kitchen gadgets.

Say hello to a new cellphone or tab. Wish me luck  :)  Did I just say a new cell phone? Oh my, I hope I can afford it.

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Given the opportunity and the know-how, would you try growing mushrooms in your backyard?

This morning, Nissa brought me an oyster mushroom fruiting bag  from their trip to Amadeo, Cavite last Saturday. It was a gift from a relative who has started mushroom production in that area.  I am excited to try it. I love mushroom, any which way it is prepared and  one is rest assured of its freshness and safety when it is grown in one’s backyard.  this fruiting bag only needs to be sprayed with water twice a day and should be kept in a dark and cool place. Wish me luck, I hope it gives me a nice cluster in two weeks. She also brought  a pack of Amadeo Coffee. It’s a different kind from the instant one that we are used to because it is brewed.  Amadeo produces the best coffee this side of town and is also known as the coffee capital of the Philippines.  Gonna try it  tomorrow when I have enough time to prepare it and enjoy a sip.

Now I learned what a “sandwich hug” is. Nate is just so showy with how it’s done with Nissa and me, our three heads so close together with him in the middle holding tight with a bonus kiss. What a lovely Saturday, another visit that I would treasure :)

I hope it is not too late if I greet you a nice weekend too! Happy weekend friends. Keep those smiles :)

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I am always reminded of the song of the Bee Gees every time  first of May comes. May (aside from October which is my favorite month) is the best month in the calendar to commune with nature. It’s the month of flowers, the month of Mama Mary  and the month anticipating a cooler weather because of the afternoon showers. Today is  an official holiday too for us here because we are celebrating Labor Day. It’s our village fiesta. Happy Feast Day St. Joseph The Worker.

We initially planned of going out for lunch and watch a movie later but the heat outside is really shimmering off the ground, no clouds to mar the azure blue skies.  It is better to stay indoors and enjoy the comfort of drinking cold glasses of water all day long. This is one of those days predicted by PAGASA which might reach a high 40 °C and that’s roughly about 104 °F. How hotter can it get? And I don’t want to labour in front of the stove in this heat so we ordered a big variety box from Pizza Hut with extra hot patatas.  Their big variety box has one regular Supreme Pan Pizza, two single Spaghetti Bolognese, four orders of flavored rice, four pieces fried chicken and a loaf of garlic bread. Just perfect for a pitcher of iced tea. I told Josef and Jovy,  I cook better Bolognese than they do…hahaha! They are planning to treat me to dinner on Mother’s Day but the restaurant they are talking about needs at least more than a week to reserve for you to get in. They don’t accept walk-in diners. I am intrigued.  Jovy tells me that it is an old house with a lush garden and was converted into a fine dining place and owned by the famous chef Laudico Guevarra.  I actually googled  “Guevarra’s” a few minutes  ago,  such mouth-watering choices of food.

I’ve grown taller than the average five-foot Christmas trees  but I haven’t forgotten the happy feeling of celebrating a season full of joy and glad tidings. It’s first day of May, may it be a happy month for you.

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I wonder if  you could really call it happy amidst the devastating news brought about by the destructive earthquake in Nepal.  Let us pray for the repose of the souls of those people who didn’t survive and pray too for the survivors who will pick up the pieces again – beneath the rubbles, destroyed homes, broken spirits.  May they have strength to carry on. I share your pain Nepal.

I attended the 6am mass at St. Jude Parish. The heat here is such that you either go out early or attend the last evening mass to avoid the humid feel of the day. I walked a mile, no  skip that. I walked back going home, a ten-minute-very-much-needed exercise, rather make that twenty because it was a leisurely walk savouring the scents and sounds of the early morning while my mind was busy with lots of thoughts that I need to write. Some people here are not really showy with their smiles unless you greet them first and smile at them, then they would have that lovely smile on their faces and you get  to be greeted “good morning”.  That’s an experiment I do to people I meet, it is lovelier though when you get to see familiar faces then it becomes a genuine gesture of smiling and greeting.

Funny how you could observe things while walking around the neighborhood. I could smell coffee and newly baked pan de sal in the air. There was  a lady in her front yard drinking coffee and the dogs patiently waiting at her side probably for a scrap of bread or what she is having for breakfast. I could smell fried tuyo while walking further. It is a staple in a typical Filipino breakfast paired with sinangag (fried rice) that maybe  has lots of diced garlic  and egg (cooked any way you want). Or maybe, there is that yummy (but sinful) longganisa . Longganisa is the Pilipino equivalent of sausage and it even tastier  dipped in vinegar with lots of chillies.

We make do with instant coffee every day. It is the fastest way to prepare it, a teaspoon of coffee granules with a teaspoon  of sugar. Ah wait, I just remembered that I baked cookies last night. It’s kind of nice to pair it with a favorite cup of Raspberry Zinger herbal tea.

Oatmeal Raisin cookies...

Oatmeal Raisin cookies…

These are your regular Oatmeal Raisin cookies, so soft and chewy but have that crunchy feel  to the bite. I used multicolored  chocolate candies and reduced the sugar by half. The sweetness of the raisins and chocolate are good enough.

How was your Sunday?

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