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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


 

Another busy weekend.

Except for about two hours going to ACE Hardware at the mall, I spent almost the whole day gardening. Josef had to bundle all the replaced Thai bamboo poles so we could give them to those who use firewood for cooking. Thai bamboo is  sturdier  and thicker than buho  bamboo which is normally used in gardens.

I had a great time talking to one of the stuff of Ace Hardware. He even suggested some climbers that I could use for our fence. I  went on a shopping spree buying  packs of coco peat, trowel, pruning shares,  several pairs of hand gloves, more than a dozen of hanging pots and even a new handsaw  so  I could trim my Bougainvillea outside. I was thinking, how do I  propagate it? Is it through cuttings?  I also bought some  packet seeds of Zinnia Whirlygig and Calendula Zen Gold. I actually don’t know about this Calendula but it is a tropical plant and the flowers look like Chrysanthemums. It is hot here so perhaps it will thrive too.  Planted Wandering Jew  which is also known as purple heart or purple queen.  Our neighbor gave me some cuttings of a creeper plant but I don’t know its  name.

Gardening is a hard job but it is quite fulfilling and when you see those plants grow into robust ones, you are happy.

 

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So now it is officially summer here. The official weather bureau PAGASA announced the termination of the northeast monsoon on Tuesday, April 10, which means the start of summer in the country. But it rained yesterday afternoon, good enough to wet the garden plants and the ground. It was just less than thirty minutes though.

PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano said that “These changes in the weather system with  accompanying shift of wind pattern from northeasterly to easterly signify the termination of the northeast monsoon,” This  would bring warmer and drier weather.  Summer here  is so hot in some areas of the country.  The month of May usually brings thunderstorms in the afternoon while  in June,  the season starts.  I’d rather have the summer weather than the rainy season. I had a phobia with floods and  heavy rainfall.  The best months of the year starts from November to February of the  following year. March is a tug between hot days and summer rains.

I found this lovely meme from one of my shout outs a few years ago. One of my favorite pastimes, finding books to read and participating in Goodreads’ reading challenge every year. 

It is really nice to discover new authors and new books. Slowly travelling the world in books – different places, different settings, unheard of sites which you only encounter in books.

Summer is that one particular season when you don’t want to go out much because of the heat outside. You would rather stay in one corner of the house and catch up on reading.  And you know you have read a good book when you turn the last page and you wish for more.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite books.  Here’s one quote  that I copied from it: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” 

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Finally, finally I’m done with my monthly ritual of trimming the carabao grass.  It’s a good thing that for the past two days,  the afternoons were breezy.  Just right for gardening.

The rocks behind and in front of  this very small Mayana stem used to be a design  of a long  rectangular flat  pot   for my Bonsai Juniper but after only about three years, it died on me.  I don’t know how to take care of Bonsai plants. Even the Bonsai Tamarind which the landscape gardener  put in a corner of the garden died too after one or two fruiting season.  Maybe they really need special care that I don’t know about.

Our compost pit is now ready for use. The lower part is just right to use for planting, the leaves and veggie peelings have turned into a rich soil.  Since I don’t   have extra pots for my remaining  eggplant seedlings, I  made use of two 5 gallon mineral water bottles.

Oh and our two jackfruit trees are bearing fruits again. I counted them, 15 in all in various sizes. Two more months and some would be ready for harvest.

Two days ago, I was surprised for a sudden increase in my stats. The usual 120 to 180 visits turned into 569 in one day. When I took a look at my dashboard, the numbers came mostly from the US. Whoever you are, thank you for visiting my blog and reading my older posts.

May you find moments that make you laugh and sing and dance and smile today. Have a lovely and blessed Wednesday.

 

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It’s the third day that the weather is quite erratic. We experienced the first rain in March two days ago.  Yesterday afternoon, there was a short downpour but enough to water the plants and clean the streets of  dust. We went back to a cold morning today with a drizzle. And here I thought it is already summer because the past days have been a little  humid and sultry.  Lucky me, I don’t have to water the plants at  least for two days or more if this weather holds.

I went out for a while to take a few shots of my garden blooms. As it is not yet summer, there are only  a few of them. I planted bleeding hearts yesterday and my amazon lily is  in bloom again.

My Pandakaki. I just trimmed some of them.

We call this kangkong.

I was quite surprised when I saw these lovely flowers in one of the pots where I planted  the water spinach. It is also called swamp cabbage in southeast Asia and kangkong in the vernacular.

Wandering Jew

Easy to propagate.  they  are called  wandering jew (Tradescantia pallid).   They need bright  but indirect light.

Adenium Obesum

The only pot I have of this. It is flowering again. Locally we call it dwarf kalachuci.

Shrimp plant

Shrimp plants are also easy to propagate. This variety though is more delicate than its sister, the golden shrimp plant in yellow blooms. Those  light pink to rusty-red bracts  hold tiny white flowers at the tip.

The garden always looks lovely after the rain.

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Call me a book addict or a bookworm  or the more high-sounding word bibliophile but I just love books.  Take that to mean a new book with the dust jacket still on, a second-hand find from a Booksale store, an e-book   on my tab or just about anything that spells b-o-o-k. 

I’ve just finished my 18th book this year  (according to Goodreads where I have a virtual library) last night.  And it is a story about books and maintaining a bookshop. I had a good laugh reading it and enjoyed all the lovely and inspirational  book quotes written there.

My tab with Nate’s photo as a screen saver.

Sometimes I forget to jot them down but I go back and write them in my new journal.  It is always nice to read words that take you to another place, another time  and experiences.  My reading  genre is an eclectic mix of cook books, memoirs, poems, historical novels, classic books and fiction.  Sometimes I feel as if I am the main character in the story.  When you experience the triumphs, the fears, the disappointments and the  happy moments, it means that you are into the story.

I am into my fourth journal of quotes from most of the books I’ve read in the past. I feel energized reading these inspiring and motivational words from different authors.

Don’t you just love the smell of new books or the  excitement of finding something on your wish list?   Don’t you just love that pile of TBRs on your night table?

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Dirty nails.

Aching fingers.

Backache.

One gets engrossed gardening but before you know it the sun is hot on your back.  This morning though, the sun didn’t show up  and the sky is still cloudy until now. Perfect time to garden.

Since I became a member of Gardeners’ Tambayan, I was inspired to plant more and  try planting veggies.  My sweet potatoes are making a show-off, my Thai Chili  is bearing fruits. I used some of it to make a dipping sauce with vinegar, garlic and a little salt.  This could last for more than a month even without refrigeration. The okra  I planted haven’t shown their faces yet. The water spinach in pots are sprouting new leaves.   My pink angel cuttings and Ti plants are ready for replanting. What a thrill!

This morning I planted my deep pink Vinca. One packet is good enough. I tried mixing it with the growing light pink Vinca  direct to the soil.  I will look for the white ones and group them together.  Oh, the joy of thinking what they will look like once they grow.

It seems like gardening would not be such if I have to wear gloves while preparing the soil bed for planting. I love to feel the  earth in my hands, feel its texture, mix  it with finely chopped eggshells.  The latter serve as organic fertilizer for my plants.  We have a compost pit in a little corner of the garden. It is where we put fallen leaves from our jackfruit trees, the cut carabao grass  and other  veggie peelings. They become rich soil after a while. Just perfect for  several pots I have to fill.

Like everything else, growing a garden is a hit and miss thing. They say you have a “green thumb” if you  are  successful  in tending one.

 

 

 

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Oh my, can’t believe this. I just finished my 14th book this 2018.  And I promised myself to finish a hundred books. Goodreads says I am 8 books ahead of schedule. Hooray!

The One Man by Andrew Gross.

It’s actually my first time to read an Andrew Gross book.   Back to the Holocaust and concentration camps.  Nazi persecution,  Auschwitz, gas chambers, murder of millions of Jews. It was a riveting read. Familiar story about WWII.  It is the first book I read this year with a five star.  That’s how much I enjoyed this book. Here’s a short summary  from Goodreads:

It’s 1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendel and his family are trying to flee Paris when they are caught and forced onto a train along with thousands of other Jewish families. At the other end of the long, torturous train ride, Alfred is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war–or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the US suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Krakow ghetto. Now the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz on a mission to find and escape with one man.

More than 20 years ago, I discovered another writer and I read most of his books.  Leon Uris. Uris is American but his parents were Jewish  American. He writes  historical novels too, mostly about WWII and Poland.  Mila 18, QB VII and Trinity are my favorites.

Reading another Peter Mayle book at the moment.  Encore Provence, my third book of Peter Mayle.

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