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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


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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Our big boy Nate....

Our big boy Nate….

Nissa calls this role reversal. I laughed out loud imagining a smiling Nate having this conversation with his dad.

Role Reversal
Nate: “Daddy, what color is this?”
Obet: “Yellow!”
Nate: “Very good!”

Hahaha. Smart boy.

Sometimes, I am amazed at the quick  way kids learn things.  He is two and a half-year old going on twenty.

 

 

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Saturday.

It was another lovely day spent with my daughter’s family. They came over to visit us after almost a month of not seeing each other. We survived on Viber calls and Skype messages. Nate has grown. He has grown taller and his words now are in a complete sentence. I haven’t taken any picture the last few months because my camera broke and always when they come over, we tend to be  busy catching up on news, playing with Nate  and just happy being together.

Last Saturday, I had  a chance  to take a few shots, pics of Nate and Mom, Mom and Nissa, the three of them, Josef and Nate. As always , I was behind the camera. He was thrilled to see his new book which a friend gave two weeks ago for his birthday.  I call him our little bookworm. He easily identified all the animals included in the nursery rhymes. I was amazed.  Maybe their various trips to the zoo helped a lot. We learn from a child right? Unafraid, ready to explore and always curious about things.  So trusting, so confident,  secured that he is loved.

Yesterday, I received a message from WordPress saying that I have made one hundred posts on Our Little Bundle Of Joy. I started it a few days before he was born last November 2012 with the thought of documenting every precious moment with him. I showed his pictures once and he said “Nathan, Nathan”.  Nissa is making an album of their trip last year to Dumaguete City and Siquijor.  I love those pics showing Nate enjoying the beach and the kiddie pool. Nissa has a way with words, the photo descriptions are just lovely. She’ll have it printed later. I wish I could make a similar one but I am not familiar with the program she is using.

Here’s a lovely book quote for kids  (using Nate and Josef’s pic which is included in my latest blog post). Our Little Bookworm The happiness of teaching a child to love books and reading. Someday, we would explore bookstores together.

Do you remember your favorite books when you were kids?

And did I tell you that Nate wants to be an astronaut? I asked Nissa how that came about. she said that he remembers the movie/pictures he saw of astronauts. Such a big dreamer for one so young, he is only 2 years and 4 months old.

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There is really no contest between the two. I love both and this is actually another experiment because it was the first time I used chicken as the main ingredient instead of ground pork. I haven’t baked anything in a while, desserts or recipes. I am not really that too busy  but the last few days have been so stressful that I have to think of a way to relax and cooking relaxes me. One morning while we were having breakfast, Josef and I discussed about what we used to prepare on the table and I told him, let’s prepare something for mom that she would surely like. My mom is turning 86 in a few days and she’s talking of going home to the province before the month ends. I told her to wait for her birthday here. There is no reasoning with our old folks once they decide on something. She just told me yesterday to call my brother so he could fetch her. One thing I like about her is that she is always appreciative of what I cook. When she is not familiar with it, she watches  me prepare the ingredients and asks questions.  We’ve been on mostly fish and vegetables since the season of Lent started and Fridays are totally “no-meat days”. Sourcing what is available in our pantry, here it is, a yummy chicken shepherd’s pie. It always tastes good with panini bread, just plain grilled slices.

Mom loves the melted cheese and mashed potato on top. Baked it just to melt the cheese.

Mom loves the melted cheese and mashed potato on top. Baked it just to melt the cheese.

Never been good at taking pictures of food. One more try, that is...

Never been good at taking pictures of food. One more try, that is…

P. S. And here’s the recipe,as promised Ren. You would need the following:

1 whole deboned chicken breast, boiled and cut into bite-size pieces

2 boiled potatoes

1/2 stick butter

dash of pepper

white onion, diced but it is better to cut it into small cubes

1 large carrot

1 cup of green peas

1 small can of Campbell Cream of Mushroom

grated cheese

Mash the potato with 1/2 stick butter, set aside. Saute onion, carrots, green peas and chicken then add in the can of mushroom last. Don’t put salt because the saltiness of the cream is good enough. Put in a baking dish, top with the mashed potato then grated cheese. A friend suggested that you can add bread crumbs to the cheese to make it crunchy to the bite  (it’s up to you). Bake for 30 minutes covered in aluminum foil or until the cheese melts. Serve hot with your favorite bread. I used the regular American loaf bread pressed on a Panini maker.

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