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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Gosh, the sudden morning rain prevented me again from finishing my garden chores but I am glad I don’t have to water the plants. Everything looks so green and fresh. Gone are the dusts clinging  to the leaves of the plants.

I’ve focused my time and efforts  just updating this site that I forgot I have to visit and post a thing or two to my other blogs. I must admit it is quite hard to maintain several blogs.  The thing is, years ago I  have decided to separate my gardening blog, photos, my blog posts on Nate and lately a new platform which I could use when I fully consume my allowed limits here. Got 29% more to go before it ends. Hopefully, without posting so many photos, I could still use this in the next year or two.

This morning (finally) I updated my gardening blog called Gardens and Empty Spaces, I really hope you’ll find time to visit it too. My intro page is quite long but you can find it on the widget sidebar, an easier way to know the gardener behind the garden :) I  also included some excerpts on my latest blog posts at my other sites.

Hop in, you are welcome to visit my backyard garden.

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I was about to start gardening but there was this sudden drizzle enough to wet the grass but not enough to water the plants. It made  me quite lazy to garden and played with our three dogs instead.  I haven’t taken any picture with the three of them together since they run around when I am in the garden.  I tried my tab’s camera to take a few shots though.

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Haha, they are camera-shy.  I often read in the garden  using my tab and sometimes they are curious enough to see what I am doing, short of wanting to take a sip of my coffee or tea. Sometimes I feed them a day-old pandesal and they like it.

Most of my garden blooms now are my orange and pink-striped lilies. I replanted some plants early this morning and trimmed my overgrown bleeding hearts.

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They are not as clear as those I take with my Canon camera  and it is not so easy to focus the subject when you would like to take macro shots. Such is the limit of a lower  megapixel.

My blackberries are thriving nicely. I planted five of them in  a row behind the house. Oh, and the spicy and sweet aroma of the oregano mixed with  minty  smell of basil  which I planted in a pot – heaven. Add  the lemony scent of my Calamansi flowers and you’ll get the feel of a small garden where you can stay for a while, write a few lines or two or just watch the world go by.

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Yesterday was Sto. Nino’s Feast Day. It’s a very important celebration for all Catholics in our country. Josef and I went to Tondo, Manila to visit Nissa’s family and her in-laws. I am amazed of my daughter’s familiarity with the place since  she got married more than four years ago. Whereas before I only heard of Tondo, slowly I am getting to know the place now. We met Nissa in front of the Tutuban Center. She  takes jogging to heart and regularly frequents the place on Sunday mornings  to take Zumba class and jog. It was quite lovely to see joggers with their pets in tow. I also discovered that going via that route is easier than taking a connecting train ride.  We had a hearty breakfast at Jollibee before proceeding to their place.

The Feast of Sto. Nino is almost a week-long celebration in most areas where the image of the child Jesus is their patron. Dawn processions, masses held in His honor,  lots of food, programs and dancing at the town plaza and having so many balikbayans from all over the world add to the festive spirit of celebrating.  Yesterday was also our town fiesta where I was born.

In Tondo, almost all streets were filled with people and it was quite hard to take a commute going back to Tutuban  Center  to take another LRT ride home to our place. Josef and I walked from Tutuban To Recto, my first long exercise since the start of the year.

I finally got my two copies of Richard Paul Evan’s books left by a friend with Nissa before going back to the USA after a two-week vacation.  Got two more key rings , with the  Statue of Liberty depicted beautifully in them. It is my first time to have key rings in New York.

Seeing Nate again was the  highlight of our visit. He was afraid of the dragon dancers in the streets but he was so happy showing off that he is a werewolf with matching sounds to boot.

Such a happy occasion for the family. How was your Sunday?

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Gosh, where have I been the past few days?

I don’t want to whine since it is the beginning of the Christmas season but apart from the endless shocking news in our part of the world, our internet connection has become oh so slow, slower than an aging turtle on the move. I could not even see those photos attached to several blogs that I follow and to think that is not enough, my old PC is acting up again.I am grateful though that I haven’t lost all those people who visit my blog. I have now reached a total of 375,260 hits as of this writing. I know, for some bloggers, this would not matter much but it’s okay, at least I know that even if most of them are not my followers, they visit my blog and read what I write. For a blogger, that means you’re not alone in cyberspace ranting or sharing your dreams. I treasure so many online friends here who also share their thoughts with me, they are the reason why this blog still exists.

Life has become such that a day won’t be complete without visiting at least one social media or reading news online.  It makes me a little sad that for some people, texting is more acceptable than actual conversation and updating your wall on Facebook about the daily happenings in your life is more the “in” thing to do than calling or conversing with your loved ones. I know, I know, you would say, it can’t be helped because getting in touch  with them through this medium is faster and easier too. We are enslaved by time and that’s a fact. We worry that a day won’t be enough to do all the things we want to do. I know, sometimes I am guilty of this.

Josef and I usually linger at the dining table updating each other about anything under the sun. We talk about politics and he keeps asking me why I don’t blog about it.  I told him I might not be able to control myself and say things I’ll regret later. We talk about sports, basketball especially since we are both excited for the championship win between our alma mater, University of  Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University. We talk about his training at JP Morgan Chase and how different it is from his previous work. Oh yes, we talk about Christmas past and how we will celebrate it this year. With Nate around, it would surely be a blast no matter how simple it is.

I welcome December with so much anticipation and hope for better days ahead. My little sparrows are back, greeting me each morning with their lovely songs. What more could I ask for?

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♫♪And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart♪♪♫

Yes, my favorite time of the year is almost here.  Next Sunday is the start of the Advent season, the beginning of another liturgical calendar, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.  I love the ritual of praying and watching the lighting of the first Advent candle, it signals the official start of the most joyous season of the year.

I am glad there is always YouTube to provide the music, I won’t have to take out all the Christmas CDs  which are usually mixed with other DVDs the kids have accumulated through the years. Listening to Christmas carols all day long, singing  along and belting out those familiar tunes and inspiring words. Truly, it warms the heart. I love the Christmas album of the Günter Kallman Choir, the cool voice of Johnny Mathis, the romantic way our very own  Jose Marie Chan sings his Christmas compositions, Jason Mraz’ version of Winter Wonderland and the Pilipino Christmas songs from way back which speak of how we Filipinos celebrate Christmas. The latter would make you dance, stomp your feet and sing the familiar Tagalog lyrics.  Talk of tinolang manok, lechon, salabat, bibingka, puto bungbong, hot tsokolate and such recipes and delicacies that you can only find here. The joys of meeting friends and relatives, the fun of watching little kids singing their versions of Christmas carols and shouts of “namamasko po” and your shouts of “patawad” because there are no more loose coins in your pocket.

Gifts are wrapped finally but I think I would have to make another trip to the mall for those I haven’t marked on my list yet. We have put up some Christmas decorations but don’t have the lights yet anywhere outside the house. And it is this time of year that I am sure Nate would love to celebrate with us. He is three years old now and can appreciate even small gifts that he receives. I love how his eyes light up and his whole face transforms into a smile while uttering a single word “wow”.

Hmmm….now I’m counting! Did I say there are twenty-nine days to go before Christmas?

 

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It’s been some years since I did this. I have planned to do a third part but I didn’t just have enough time to go over my previous blog posts and do it again. WordPress says that my latest entry was my 1,724th post, add that to some random writings that I deleted because they were too long. I must admit, 500 to 600 words are the ideal length which are convenient to read, beyond that, it gets a little boring unless of course you are writing a short story, but that’s just me talking. We each have our own style of writing and our own subjects to write about that you can’t just limit them to short paragraphs.

Four years ago, I painstakingly summarized a line or two of some of my earlier blog entries and posted links for easy access.  This is the third part. Let’s see how this goes. Just click the links to read the full posts.

It’s never too late to dream of something that would lift up your soul. It’s never too late to weave dreams again and make it a reality. Who says you can’t write about your journey towards happiness?  Who says you can’t share the times you felt so low but  still can smile?  We must treasure moments like these, those times when an old dream emerges as something new, dressed in hope and faith, a promise of a new day. Going Back To Old Dreams.

There is something so nice about waking up in the morning to the sound of bird songs and the fresh touch of raindrops barely hanging on the leaves.  It magnifies the soothing color of green all around.  I’ve always dreamed of taking  pictures of raindrops. I love those crystal clear water captured in photographs. Maybe this is how poets see the beauty of a morning after the rain – the sudden burst of color, the green countryside, the fresh dew of the morning.  If I were a poet, I would paint them all in different colors. That’s how we see life sometimes, we associate how we feel with colors. Color me happy for today. I see everything in a bright rainbow shade.It Rained Last Night.

One hello is worth a thousand goodbyes.I Love Sundays

Being alone does not mean that you are lonely, it just gives you ample time to do things at your own pace and leisure. Sometimes, solitude gives us that perfect excuse to just be. Solitude.

Life is good. It is an interesting pathway of several journeys. Christmas In June

I guess writing is sometimes synonymous with befriending silence.  When you write, you are alone in your thoughts. When you write, you are listening to the silence in your heart. Befriending Silence.

Do you think first impressions last? I do believe that a possible friendship begins with the first word you utter. And I do believe that sometimes, just sometimes, first impressions last.Oh Me, Oh My

And when you are presented with life’s choices, just live each day as though it were your last.Life’s Roadblocks.

Last night, I had a long chat with Lovell over the phone and he asked  how I am. I told him I had bouts of urinary tract infection lately. I was struck by what he said that God must love me so much to entrust me with all these  pain and sufferings because He knows I can carry them and I have enough faith to go through life without being bitter about it. My answer was simply this, ” I lift everything to God and I am offering it all to Him.

There are times when tears flow when I think of  the days I went through the past two years. I am lucky and  I am blessed that God gave me a second chance at life.  Everything is grace. Moment of Truth.

How one acts in public speaks so much of one’s personality. Do you agree?Life As I See It.

Do we freely give our time and effort without counting the cost? Because this to me is a perfect example of being generous. A Bit Of Laughter, Here And There.

2011 – the year when I dared to join Post A Day challenge.

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Exactly five years ago I wrote my first post with this title so this makes it part 2. Never mind, this would just be in the same format as the first one I wrote long ago. Remind me of the happy times and my heart jumps with joy, nothing exceptional but just simple things that make me smile.

  • got my first birthday greetings from Bank of PI a week ago and I smiled at the thought of another birthday. Let me see, I’ll be turning 58, 59, 60 in two weeks, though I don’t plan to have a birthday party, I still look forward to the day.
  • Nate’s shouts of  “I love you Nonna” when he is in the mood to talk to me over the phone and I treasure the days that they come over to visit us, when the quiet becomes shouts of laughter and excitement. He loves seeing our three dogs, even calling them by names but when they come near, he is afraid and hides himself behind me.
  • Nate’s urging for us to visit the garden so he could pick  calamansi to bring home. Never mind that he loves to pick those which are still in their buds. He would always say, “ang bango bango” while enjoying the lemony scent of the tiny flowers.
  • the joy of seeing another bloom of my Gardenia though it’s quite a little late for its flowering season.  I usually enjoy the scented flowers during the months of May and June.
  • finding the fifth book of Richard Paul Evans. I have waited so long to read the last series wondering how it would end. It was one joyful ride, love always triumphs in the end.
  • the surprise little gifts from Nissa, she is so thoughtful that way. Lately she gave me a L’Oréal matte pressed powder and two big bottles of body lotion and I was like, “how did you know I need them?”  She simply answered “basta”.
  • enjoying a hot cup of coffee while staying in the garden and waiting for the day to bring another surprise, a bloom maybe or something that I could take a photo of.  I just planted my first blackberry seeds three days ago. Wish me luck that they would grow into seedlings so I could transfer them to a sunny spot in the garden.
  • learning to bake an upside-down cake. This was my favorite when I was in high school and I found a simple recipe on the net that was worth a try.
  • finding more online friends through this blog and enjoying all the blog posts on my reader. Having a steady number of visitors and views a day really make me smile.
  • seeing one of my favorite senators Kiko Pangilinan (I only have three among  the twenty-four) personally yesterday when Josef and I visited the 1st National Pork and Egg Festival  at Megatrade  Hall. He used to be one of our Dept. of Agriculture secretaries but he is now running for another seat in the Senate.  I love his sense of humor and the stories he shared while tending their farm in Cavite.
  • an early e-mail from a friend, another advance birthday greetings.
  • finding new books to read but  of course, that’s a given. Books are my best friends :)

Maybe, just maybe when I turn 59, life would give more surprises, something more to smile about, something more to be grateful for and  more blessings for the family.

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life – Omar Khayyam

This is my 1,724th post. How cool is that?

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