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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Six months of lockdown. Whatever you may call it, we’ve reached six months of quarantine.

Home-based small businesses  have suddenly sprouted in the metro and most of them are selling food – cooked  for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll have it here. Even small- scale selling of meat, poultry and vegetables have also suddenly grown. The thing is, as long as we remain in the comfort of our home and we don’t go out unnecessarily, it’s okay. So long as your neighbors in the subdivision deliver for free, it’s okay. For those you can’t buy nearby, there are always vendors who charge for delivery fees and you can just wait for your orders.

Yesterday, I ordered several kinds of dried fish and today my order of Gyoza from David’s Tea House arrived. A few days ago I also ordered several items from Lazada including a desk fan and some gifts for Nissa’s upcoming birthday.  Online transactions are the “in” thing nowadays although I only use cash to pay them all. I am afraid to use my credit card without seeing my purchase in advance. I haven’t been to the mall for more than six months now. Bank transactions are online too except when I need cash and I let Josef  withdraw some money from the ATM.

I am taking photos of my garden blooms almost every day, documenting every bud and flowers worth-capturing.  Gardening has suddenly boomed here. Never mind if some have started a few pots and they call it a garden. I just smile seeing friends suddenly interested in nurturing a few plants. Even if these are not indoor plants, they place them in one corner of their homes. Not all plants could thrive indoors, they need the sun to grow.  There  are indoor plants that help us in lessening the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There are indoor plants that are anti-oxidants.

Ah, these are my green peppers. I  am waiting for some seeds to mature so I could replant them.

Look, one is about to ripen.

 

We use them for our famous sinigang. They are also called green chilies.

I have transferred my Adenium seedlings to pots several months ago. I have grown them from pods  from my lone Adenium plant. They need the sun so I transferred them to a sunny spot near our grotto.

It’s nice to see these plants thriving well. I wonder if they will bear the same pink flowers later on.

I hope everyone is COVID-free. This pandemic doesn’t choose its victims. I wonder when it will die a natural death. Praying for our safely.

 

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I  visited the garden yesterday and early this morning. Took some photos of the flowers thriving there at the moment. Those tiny white blooms are a joy to behold along with the purple and pink flowers.

I am posting some here.

I love the heady and intoxicating scent of this Kamuning plant. Winner!

My dwarf Pandakaki, compared to the Kamuning blooms, they have no scent all.

 

My green Shamrock. I have the purple ones too.

Don’t you just love staying in the garden for a while and admiring those blooms. I do.

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I am about a third done with the novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind, my 97th read this year.

It is a literary historical fantasy novel set in 18th-century France. Don’t be surprised if you have a plan to read this because it is purely in narrative.

This is only the second time I encountered a book about scents, flowers and their meaning and about how perfumes are made.  The first book was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh back in 2015.

Perfume -the Story of a Murderer, an engaging read. Wikipedia says that “is one of the best-selling German novels of the 20th century”. I think there is a full movie adaptation on YouTube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5SCinO7550)

 

 

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I am excited.

I just started reading it actually.

I just want to tell you that it’s a sort of “hello again, here I am finally touching the leaves of your story”.

Can you imagine  it was first published in 1939? A poignant coming-of-age novel set in a Welsh mining town, penned by Richard Llewellyn. It is his first novel. I saw copies of this book several years ago at the Humanities Section of the UST Main Library but I was never curious to read it. It is now a contemporary classic.
And yes, it is my 96th read in this year’s reading challenge.  Right after I posted it on my FB wall, two friends commented:
Read this during my high school/college days. Wonderful book. Seems I lost my copy though. Happy reading, Arlene – Dolly
This novel is so freakin beautiful and touching… truly made me cry – Fredda
If this won’t get you interested, I don’t know what will.

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It used to be a cup of coffee

But now it’s a hot mug of tea.

It’s a must every night while reading.

 

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I spent some time in the garden early this morning. Removed the old and dried Zinnia together with my drying Four O’clock.  They have self-propagated, small seedlings that don’t need replanting. A few more mornings then I’ll be able to finish pruning and weeding too. Such a hard job but it has to be done.

Aren’t I lucky? I tried searching for John O’Donohue’s website on Facebook and what do you know, I finally found one and some of his writings are posted there. The page is maintained by the Director of John’s Literary Estate, Ann Cahill, in partnership with the O’Donohue Family. Beautiful! I won’t need to go to other sites except to his home page.

It is more complete and is being managed by his brother. Wow, I am enamored by  his words. Echoes of the past that create beautiful and lovely memories of the author.  You look behind and you look back and it seems like one does not really goes away but he stays because of his words. This is what we experience when we find something wonderful like a good book that lets you live and visit the places  with the author. Such thrilling adventures created by words alone.

Another author whose words touch my soul is Mary Oliver. Like O’Donohue, she left some wonderful works of art in her books of poems. She died last year. And this reminds me of another favorite author whom I discovered  a  few years ago and like Oliver and O’Donohue,  Peter Mayle died two years ago. And they have something in common, they all passed away in the month of January.  They were all gifted writers.

I am on my 94th read on Goodreads 2020 Reading challenge. Another lovely book I found  about India.

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Yeay!  Good morning everyone 🙂

Yesterday I shared a poem by David Whyte (I follow him on Facebook) complete with a lovely scenery. That post sparked a conversation with a friend from Canada who introduced me years ago to his favorite poets like Mark Nepo, David Whyte, John O’Donohue and others  but I already forgot their names.  I was surprised to know between our conversations that Whyte and O’Donohue were friends in real life. The latter was a priest, hence his poems have heavy spiritual leanings. He died in 2008. Such a loss of young  and gifted life. I don’t have any of his  books but I browsed his website put up by his brother.  I  also found excerpts of his poems in another site and copied some.

May you be inspired by all these lovely  words. One of these days, I’m gonna find even one of his book of poems. There are several on the web but they cost a lot.

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Would you believe, I tried ordering  at Lazada four days  ago  so I’ll learn to navigate it on my own. Nissa reminded me to read the reviews, how satisfied the customers are. Bearing that in mind, here we go. I searched for something that I won’t have to shell out a lot with a minimal delivery fee. Take note, I told myself, this is just a trial.

As I previously told you, this is just the second time I used the app and my first time to explore it. Success! The items were delivered yesterday.  Shorts for daily wear, haha!  They have a mid-year sale tomorrow but I am not yet bold enough to put anything in my cart since I am budgeting my cash here. It is just nice browsing over items on sale which are way, way cheaper than those sold in the supermarkets.

My first online purchase aside of course from the bathroom caddy that Nissa ordered for me a week ago 🙂

Josef left me some food budget for the weekend. They are spending four days with Jovy’s grandmother until tonight when Jovy’s work shift ends.  Those who supply food items here in our subdivision already know where to deliver them. You just have to message them early and just wait for the food to be delivered. I ordered six large pieces of boneless daing na bangus (milkfish marinated in peppercorns, vinegar  and garlic), a tray of eggs, a kilo of  tinapa freshly made from Bataan and a kilo of fresh tomatoes. Mom and I are more into eating fish and vegetables when the two are not around.  Simple snacks of palitao, veggie lumpia, maruya and turon won’t be left behind. My, my, but I am getting lazy to prepare meals just for Mom and me.  We still have mini-siopao inside the freezer which I reheat every morning for breakfast. Since it only lasts a week, sometimes it’s mom’s morning snack too 🙂

When you’re confined at home and choose not to go out because of this pandemic, sometimes  all you ever think is what book to read next or what food to eat.

Food for Thought:

Celebrating life. Today is the actual date I had my sigmoid surgery eleven years ago. I am lucky and I am blessed. Thank You Lord.

 

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One good thing about this lockdown (for seniors here) in this pandemic is that you have all the time to read and explore authors and books. There is always something you could catch up on every day, some choices aside from the books you are presently reading. I just recently cleaned Nissa’s book shelves and I think there are pretty good volumes there but we don’t really have much in common with books except maybe the whole series of Harry Potter, books by John Green (she has five of them in its cardboard jacket), one or two by Rick Riordan, some Paulo Coelho and most books she bought on my every birthday by Nicholas Sparks. Some years ago, she gave me a copy of Sparks’ new book which qualified me to attend his book signing in Manila. That was a blast.

Every year since 2015, I have participated in Goodreads’ reading challenge and I am proud that I surpassed the numbers I set myself to read. This year I opted to read 100 books. I am done with 74, quite advanced by 22 books as of today. The most number of books I read in the previous challenges was back in 2017 by reading 207 books out of 150 that I promised myself to read. I just looked at my profile and it says I joined Goodreads last October 2011 and had read 1,296 books since then. I used to have a virtual library at shelfari.com, a social book discovery website that I enjoyed. Amazon closed it last June 2016 so I have to start all over again at Goodreads. I couldn’t remember most of the previous titles I read but some of them were classics, memoirs, psychology books and fiction. One book that I used to have (I don’t know if I still have it in my shelf since typhoon Ondoy) that I would love rereading is Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck and some books by Robert Fulghum. One of these days, I will have to rearrange my shelves again and find those favorite books in the past.

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Oh, done with The Christmas Box Miracle then re-read The Christmas Box and since it is a very short story, I read it just close to two hours. As I’ve said in my previous blog post, the former reads like his autobiography detailing how the latter came to fruition.

I just started with a memoir by an unknown author (at least to me) Tara Westover. When I looked at Goodreads, I was quite surprised that Educated  was 2018 Goodreads Winner in memoir and autobiography. The memoir has spent more than half a year on The New York Times‘ bestsellers list and was heralded by Barack Obama as a “remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”

Some people say that memoirs are refined edition of one’s life and journey since the authors wrote them but I guess it depends on the approach on how you will tackle it. I remember those books by Frances Mayes more particularly Under the Tuscan Sun and I even had the opportunity to watch the movie adaptation years ago.  It was a warm narration of how life was like in Tuscany. I actually found myself searching Google for those places mentioned in the book.

Tomorrow, I’ll tackle another portion of the garden to prune and weed. It didn’t rain today but the soil is  still soft for weeding.

Here’s one more thought to share:

They call themselves honorable but the way these congressmen  question them is so rude. They are reluctant to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. It stands to lose around 11,000 employees. Give me a Carlo Katigbak anytime – the quiet, educated, humble, soft-spoken  and intelligent head of this conglomerate. Kulang na lang ibato ang tabo at palanggana sa ulo ng mga taga ABS. Manners please gentlemen.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato reminded her colleagues that it is their duty to protect press freedom and freedom of expression at all times during the 12th House hearing on the renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN.

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