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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Contrary to what WordPress says, I celebrate my anniversary here at the time I actually  published some posts and not the date when I opened an account   which was about a year before I’ve  been actively  blogging here.  Tomorrow would be my 8th year on WordPress. Hooray.

Have you ever thought of blogging about “blogging”?  Did you ever make a post about blogging?

It was a bit awkward opening an account here and not even knowing how to choose a good theme and customize your site. It was a bit awkward to post something to an audience (if there was even one) you didn’t know from Adam.  It was more awkward filling up a blank space on your computer screen thinking of what to write about. When I started here, I published some of my posts from my Multiply site. Back then, I had a premium account at Multiply  I am just a little sad, that site has to close a few years ago.  I was not so happy at the start here because no one commented on my earlier posts except for a few friends I met  earlier at Multiply. The “like” button was only introduced in WordPress last August 2010,  more than a year after I activated  my account here.  Introducing that “like” feature was an awesome way to meet new bloggers.  You get to see their Avatar on your post. I could not remember now the first “like” I received and which post earned it.

A friend introduced me to WordPress. I didn’t know about it until nine years ago when I tried opening an account here.  I’ve stayed with it ever since.  I earned a total of 469,162 stats as of this writing with 1,988 blog posts to boot. Yes, 12  more posts to go before another milestone on the 2,000th post.  If I were to summarize my total posts on  WordPress with four other seldom visited blogs  I created, I’ve reached more than that number already.  Did I say I still have 28% more to go on my free space here? I eventually cut down on posting high-resolution photos. In the past, that ate up  a lot of free space posting them right from my camera.

It is easier now to interact with online friends. It is easier to appreciate and make comments on blogs you like.  It has become a joy to blog about the daily happenings in one’s life, things that makes one happy, daring enough to share and be accepted in the blogosphere.

How’s your blogging journey?

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I’ve been in this blog for almost eight years now. I have excluded the first year when I attempted to open an account at WordPress and really didn’t know how to navigate much less customize a site. What I posted was a single short poem I culled from my Multiply site back when Multiply was still alive. One learns as one goes along. You learn to interact with people you haven’t yet meet. You learn the rudiments of blogging. After all these years, I am glad I started a blog though.

This morning I narrowed down the sites  I follow but was bold enough to discover more promising blogs in the process. I  don’t really follow those who have thousand and thousands of followers (in the fifth digit) apart from the previous blogs which I’ve been so faithful following throughout the years.   There is now a total of 238 blogs I follow in earnest, maybe some ten of it practically new to my site.  I’d like to think that when you click to follow a particular post or the whole blog for that matter you are also prepared to at least make some comments from time to time or maybe  just clicking like is the way to go. I am not expecting that those I follow will in turn follow me too but that happens most of the time.  Oh well, what’s the use of having a public blog if you won’t interact with  people you meet online. I totally don’t agree that you’ll just write a post and publish it on the net with just you reading it. Of course, it would make you happy  if people notice what you write about. It would particularly make you happy when all those stats relay a number you didn’t really expect. It makes you even happier when friends and fellow bloggers interact with you. That makes blogging worthwhile.

For the past years, I never attempted to make my blog a paid one. I really can’t afford the yearly subscription rates but instead I have separated my posts into five blogs although I don’t often update the other sites, not as regularly as this one.  The last time I looked, I still have a remaining 28% left to write here. One percent takes more blogs than you know sans photos which eat up a lot of your allowed free limits. I made my photo blog separate from this one but of course I still have to post those pictures from time to time.  I do write an average of 400 to 500 words per blog  post and yesterday I received another familiar logo from WordPress telling me about the spike in my stats.The exact message was:

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 45 hourly views – 7 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats.

Who wouldn’t be glad of this?  Of course I am happy about it.

 

 

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Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

I am in the middle of reading Michael Palmer’s book,  The Fifth Vial. I read three of his books before, accidental finds while looking for more Robin  Cook’s books. Like the latter, Michael Palmer was also a doctor and Robin Cook was two years ahead of him at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. That is according to his biography. He asked his younger sister and I quote:

“If Robin can write a book and has the same education as I do,” why can’t I write a book?”

He died last October 2013 with nineteen books to his name.  I was lucky enough to find The Fifth Vial,  a story about a  disgraced medical student, a scientist and a private eye. Put them together and you have The Fifth Vial.  Just like  Robin Cook, Palmer wrote medical thrillers.  I have enjoyed reading Robin Cook’s books since I read my first book of him. I have collected his works over the years. I remember this started when I read about the famous Lea Salonga’s short bio that  she wanted to be a doctor and that she read Robin Cook. I was intrigued so I looked for his books at Booksale.  When I found one, the others followed.  By the way, going back to The Fifth Vial, it is my 80th read so far since I started with Goodreads’ 2017 Reading  Challenge  last January. Seventy more books to go before I finish the challenge. I am ahead of schedule though by about thirty-three books. Reading is getting lovelier and more interesting.

The medical field is such a rich source of those medical malpractices, new discoveries on medicines and such stories that  appear so true in real life.  When I got sick almost eight years ago, I researched and read so much about the effects of chemotherapy, how cancer could be treated the natural way.  I was afraid though so I chose to have chemotherapy every three weeks and took oral chemo drugs too. Some doctors would really suggest  for you to try new medicines like you are a guinea pig or a  white mouse According to my oncologist,  there are as many as two hundred chemotherapy drugs in the market.  It costs an arm and a leg to have one small bottle  of Oxaliplatin. The oral drug is just the same.  The first time I saw the drip  encased in a black cloth, I almost freaked out.  The nurse explained to me that the drug should not be exposed to the light. You know that thinking that you are taking poison in your immune system. I wonder if having a low immunity is still the effect of taking those chemotherapy drugs.

Oh yes, why not Michael Palmer? Why not The Fifth Vial?  I am sure you will also enjoy reading this as I do.

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It seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Whether we admit it or not, most of us live our lives on autopilot. We wake at the same hour, go to the same place of work or worship, talk to the same people, eat at the same restaurants, even watch the same TV show….

But sometimes the evolving terrain of life requires us to evolve with it. When those times come, we usually find ourselves quivering on the

The Mistletoe Secret

precipice of change as long as we can, because no one wants to dive into the ravine of uncertainty. No one. Only when the pain of being becomes too much do we close our eyes and leap.

Thus begins the first chapter of Richard Paul Evans’ The Mistletoe Secret. Another book to cherish. It’s my 75th book on Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  I can relate to this book because the story is about a blogger who feels so alone and lonely and she writes what she feels through a blog.  She thought no one cares but there was someone out there who continued to read her blog.  This is the premise of the book until the guy decided to look for that blogger and you guess it right…there is a happy ever after, but of course.  The story line is simple but it has depth of emotions and feelings. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Richard Paul Evans.  His writing style is not that complicated but I love how he delves into  life in general and relationships in particular.  It’s what I like about RPE’s writing.

I am halfway through my committed books to read for this year, 150 in all. One thing with a new book is that you can’t help but  smell the pages and no dog-ears please. Use a book marker.  I started reading a few excerpts of Mary Oliver’s Upstream when it was published  late last year but now that I have my copy, I will enjoy reading her essays.

What have you read lately?

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It rained last night, that kind that left water pockets on the pavements  and drenched the grass. I won’t have to water the plants today.  It is just the start of summer and yet there are these summer rains now and then. It is actually good for the plants and the grass and somehow diffuses the heat brought by the season. The climate is changing. Normally, we don’t get rains during summer except maybe for a few occasional showers in between.

The joy of seeing another lovely day.

The sun is shining now and the raindrops left last night are like tiny jewels on the grass.  Such a beautiful sight to behold. it is somewhat amazing how nature gives us all these gifts, simple things  that delight the senses.  I am thinking of finally planting the seeds I bought last year.  I’ve been busy updating my book shelves that somehow I forgot these. I guess summer would be the best time to plant them.

I am looking forward to having a copy of the newest book by Richard Paul Evans, one of my favorite authors.  The Broken Road is not yet out in the market. I think May 02, 2017 is the official date of launching.  I have been collecting RPE’s books over the years.  Most of the hardbound books I have were given by friends. (more…)

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Some people and bloggers say that they don’t really mind if their blogs are here but stay silent in cyber space.  I do. I mean, one of the reasons why we share our thoughts is to be recognized as  bloggers  too, right? Of course it is a welcome bonus that our blogs  could be popular on their own.

I have just reached 460,000 plus visits a while ago. For me that is an achievement for this humble blog. I must admit that it is quite hard to reach a number that you would feel comfortable  with, if your blog posts  are being read. A year of blogging would not even yield a thousand visits if  people don’t read  your blog and other bloggers don’t visit it and make comments. I think the idea of blogging is to share what you are passionate about, be it simple recipes that you do on your own, photos of places you’ve been to,  things you love to write about and such other things that you want to share  with other people. I could not exactly remember when the button  Like  on WordPress was introduced but it a lovely way of showing how one is attracted and like a particular post. When I joined the Post A Day Challenge in the year 2011, I used  to get from 300-400 visits a day but that has waned over the years. Perhaps fellow bloggers and visitors  have gotten tired visiting this blog.  I can no longer see those who used to be active in posting too. Along the way, their blog has stopped. I miss them.

One feels glad when one’s blog is noticed by other bloggers. I am not one those who promote books (I am not an author)  and those who have thousands of followers in their midst. I write about the daily happenings in my life,  the illness I went through back in 2009, the journey of getting well and feeling normal too.  I am grateful for those days that lots of friends prayed for me and empathized with me.  I am grateful for those days that I was strong enough to face everything although it was a hard journey to go through. I am grateful for my family and relatives who were at my side during those days of  recuperating and getting well.

There are so many blogs that I come across about how to blog.  There are many blogs that tell you how to be a successful blogger. I think it all depends on what we want to share with the world. If our blog is public, every one could read it.  There are no sure “how to’s” on how your blog would be noticed, much less when you are blogging on a free platform just like me.

Ah, blogging.

 

 

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