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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Ah yes, color me pink for the day.

I spent the early morning in the garden weeding a bit. I don’t know, our carabao grass needs trimming again, it seems to grow by leaps and bounds. The rainy days last week contributed to the rapid growth of everything. I had a lovely time picking some Calamansi (Philippine lime) from our two fruit trees in the yard. They are almost ripe, just perfect for a pitcher of fresh Calamansi juice. Our Bougainvillea planted at the corner outside our perimeter wall is blooming again, those lovely clustered pink flowers are a sight to behold. The shrub serves as a protection to our concrete corner wall where there is busy traffic every day. Even my pink rain lilies are showing flowers in every tip. My pink and yellow Portulaca are blooming too so are my pink angels. How lovely to see different shade of pink in the garden. I call it a pink Wednesday.

My son and I had a good laugh a while ago when I heard the Beatles playing on his tab while he was having a late breakfast. I asked him, “since when have you learned listening to that kind of music?” He said, “don’t you remember, we used to watch them when I was in grade school”. Oh, senior moments again.  I laughed. Of course, I remember now, there was this new tv station (on test broadcast for a few days) and they played those old movies by the Beatles and some clips of their concerts worldwide.  You bet, I am now listening to their music on YouTube while blogging :) Those were the days and the good thing about the 60’s and 70’s music is that you always have the option to listen to them even just on YouTube.

Do you find pleasure in listening to old music, that kind that resonates with you, that kind of music that was a part of your growing up years? I do.

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You might be wondering at the title of this blog post. I smile at the thought of using this beautiful tin box, once filled with pixies, toffees and dark chocolate – a gift from a friend.  I remember those days when I was in grade school and my maternal grandma and Mom had one each of those lovely rectangular biscuit tins which they used for their sewing needs. I loved tracing my hands on those lovely drawings (pictures of ladies in gowns  carrying dainty parasols and lovely hand fans). Nowadays, there are stores in the metropolis that carry these lovely items without the biscuits inside.

I found this lovely book (I wouldn’t know how to classify it, whether it is a chick lit  book or a contemporary one). Think of Sophie Kinsella. It’s a paperback edition of The Someday Jar by Allison Morgan. I was attracted to the book cover, a lovely jar of thoughts that revolves around inspiring life message. I am on the first few chapters but it had me smiling from the start.  It gives me the idea of keeping a beautiful glass jar with all the trimmings and full of colorful papers and short writings inside instead of this old tin box that has been with me for a number of years.

Back in 2011, I made use of one of the topics on the daily digest of WordPress, that of keeping an idea box. The wonder of participating in a Daily Writing Challenge was that they suggested topics which you have never thought of.  I keep small notebooks on hand, with lots of pens, sharpened pencils and markers. They come in handy when you think of something to write about but that is not practical when you are outside holding a gardening host and watering the plants or staying in the kitchen while cooking something for lunch. I collect journals too by the way. The tin box comes in handy for those times that you can’t make use of those small notebooks that you keep on your night table. Sometimes, those life thoughts come at the most inopportune moments, they play in your head for a little while and unless you immortalize them on paper, they would vanish in thin air and you can never capture them back, the way you thought of them a few minutes ago.

I just thought of opening my Fanny May tin box and smiled finding a list of books that I want to read, book quotes, cellphone numbers without names, medicine prescriptions, short lines, single words on small scratch papers but what I found so lovely is this prayer. I could not remember where I copied them from (senior moments working here) so whoever composed these lovely words, I will just say thank you.

LORD, in this life, I am often confronted with situations that make it difficult for me to think clearly. Grant me the patience and strength to handle anything I may encounter. Fill me with divine understanding so that I can quickly respond to the negative forces that would try to bring me down. May I find the peace and tranquility and calm that is only found in You.

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completedHow’s this for a first post this month?

When I started this reading challenge this January, I was not even sure if I could finish 50 books in a year because sometimes, lulls in reading are more frequent than the number of times I  hold a book in my  hand. It’s a great leap from the 35 I managed to read in 2014.  Goodreads says, “You have read 50 of 50 books in 2015.” Chick lit, YA, fiction, a memoir, some inspirational books and contemporary stories made up my reading list for the challenge. And it helped that I have my new tab because I could read at night without interruption. Now it’s time to concentrate on the classic books that I wanted to read for a long, long time but didn’t have the time to start. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is on the list, so with the L.M. Montgomery series ( I love Anne of Avonlea), Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, my new and still unopened  copy of The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde  (the complete plays, poems and stories  including The Picture of Dorian Gray and De Profundis) and maybe cap it with the Outlander Series  (a re-read) by Diana Gabaldon before the year ends.

There is this sweet lady I follow here on WordPress.  Lately, she was able to publish a book based on the series of books and authors she has read in a year. Her blog is aptly called A Year of Reading the World. She sourced books from different authors in different countries.  I dream of doing that too, some day, not the publishing of a book but reading several authors like she did. I love this quote from William Styron:

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

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Finally, finally, I am back.

I’ve missed all of you guys. I’ve missed reading your blog posts  the past days. I’ve been busy with household chores, gardening and organizing my book shelves.  Funny how, there are books from my favorite authors in which I have two copies.  I gave some paperback copies to a friend. There is another friend I know who intentionally buys two copies each of her favorite books, one for reading (usually a paperback) and one kept inside a glass book shelf (either a trade paper back or a hardbound one). One thing I lack though is enough space for our books, Nissa’s are mostly hardbound, Josef’s books take up space too. We have a big Lexicon that weighs a ton.  I have to list those earlier finds that are now classic books. I’m 60% done with my 2015 reading challenge on Goodreads and I  am planning to save the best for last – memoirs and classics.

The carabao grass needs trimming so instead of waiting for Josef to have his days off, I started it three days ago. I only garden early in the morning while the sun hasn’t shown its face yet, an hour or two but not beyond two hours at the most.  Can’t stand being outside at 8am (it’s really hot) so I have to wake up early to water the plants, trim the grass and do a little deadheading of my Gardenia blooms.  I can’t exactly remember now but a few months ago, our neighbor gave me a little pot of Ginseng plant.  It has tiny red buds now about to bloom. I know it is a medicinal plant and I can’t wait to see its flowers in bloom.

Last Friday, I bought my first ever tablet (My Pad 4/Tierra).  Lucky for me, it was on sale and I bought it for a lot less than it cost two weeks ago. It’s a 7.8″ Android tab with 3G, an 8MP autofocus rear camera and a 5MP front camera and an 8GB built-in memory. It has an expandable memory up to 32GB.  Josef bought me a 32GB micro SD, a jelly cover and a screen protector along with a new SIM card and prepaid  card too. Since I intend to use it mostly for my e-books, I installed the Aldiko e-Reader (it is the most user-friendly I guess). I tried the Moon + Reader too on my other phone.  If you ask me which is more convenient, nothing can compare to the smell of new books and lovingly turning the pages while you discover a different world out there but having e-books is okay too especially when you read at night because you can always adjust the brightness and the font size plus there is a night mode  too. For now though, I am loving my e-books conveniently arranged alphabetically on my e-reader.  I can’t wait to read Charles Dickens’  David Copperfield (the last time was during my college days), William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to name a few and all the lovely chick lit that makes me laugh and cry a little.

I couldn’t ask for more.

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Hello again. I’ve just finished a wonderful inspirational fiction called Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury. I have just one or two  criteria for a good book and most of you won’t probably agree – when it makes me cry because it touches me, when it touches something deep in my soul, when the words are like balm to my wounded spirit – then it’s on my A list. Angels Walking did just that. As usual, I am not writing about it to make a book review because you can find various book sites where the story is more detailed and more concrete. I leave that to bloggers who could and would make an honest assessment of what a wonderful book  it is. There are several things though that I learned reading this book. We should not seek perfection in our lives because God alone is perfect. Learn to forgive. This is something so easy to say but so hard to do. Some of you may not believe in angels but I do. As I have said before, angels come in several disguises but we don’t really recognize them as such. Faith could move mountains, right?

When a person starts to live for God, when he steps out of the box of rules and rehearsed ways of living, he becomes real.

That’s one quote from the book that I’ve written on my journal. Recently I received two nominations from fellow bloggers. I regret though that I’ve long decided that this would be an award-free site although in the past years, I accepted  nominations and forwarded them  to some deserving bloggers. It’s quite redundant for me to be saying the same things about myself as a sort of introduction. I believe that those who regularly read my posts would see a more concrete glimpse of who I am. Anyway, I would love to say a big THANK YOU to two bloggers who nominated me. Joselito Caparino who calls his blog Caps Bulletin  included me in his list of Versatile Blogger Award.  abOOkishOwl nominated me for the  Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award but I declined for the simple reason that I am not really a book blogger. The questions there are all about books. Rarely do I make book reviews, I just share why I like them in a few short words. This made me smile. Really. I am happy. Yesterday, I received two lovely key chains sent by a niece who recently took a trip to Romania with a friend. They toured the old monasteries in different places in Romania. When she saw these, she thought of me. They are so lovely, a bit heavy and are gold and silver-plated. More addition to a growing collection :) IMG_6720 How was your day? I hope it made you smile too.

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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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