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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


He asked, “are ghouls baby ghosts Nonna?” I answered “they’re not.” So he went back to his mommy and ninong and shouted, “ghouls are mother ghosts”. I think they didn’t hear him because they were busy talking.

I asked him how many stars he received in school. He pointed to his wrist and counted….eight, nine, ten. Then he laughed, a typical Nate laugh, what a joy to hear it :)

He saw our candy jar in a corner and asked if he could have one so I told him that’s a cherry menthol candy. He looked at me probably thinking about that “menthol” taste then he said, “I’ll give it to Mommy”. Wise kid.

It was another lovely day spent with Nate.

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Oh my gosh, 62 books out of 100. I really can’t believe that I am 11 books ahead of schedule on my 2016 Goodreads Reading  Challenge. And before you say I have lots of time to appreciate the written word, it rains a lot every day so gardening is always relegated to the back seat and sometimes reading takes priority. I was able to start trimming the carabao grass this afternoon  (a back-breaking job every month)  but the sudden shower made me run indoors.

To discover new authors, what bliss! Goodreads provides a list of new books every month and a list of all time popular books but what I appreciate most is discovering new authors who are just as good and as talented like your favorite writers. One such author is John Hart. Where were you all this time John?

I seldom give five-stars to the books I read, just maybe about 6 in 50 books but Redemption Road  had me from page one, a gripping page-turner from beginning to end.  I don’t normally summarize a book as a  kind of review, it’s up to the other readers to find out. Well, I’m back to chick lit and memoirs and historical novels.

Did I say reading Redemption Road is worth your time?

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“I guess that’s all forever is…Just one long trail of nows. And I guess all you can do is try and live one now at a time without getting too worked up about the last now or the next now.”— Nicholas Evans (The Horse Whisperer)
“Sometimes what seems like surrender isn’t surrender at all. It’s about what’s going on in our hearts. About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater. “— Nicholas Evans

I am looking for that last book published by Nicholas Evans. It’s now on paperback. I  wish I could visit National Bookstore soon and buy a copy. I have copies of his four books published earlier than The Brave, have re-read them all because I simply love the stories.

theBraveNew

Nicholas Evans was born and grew up in Worcestershire, England. He studied law at Oxford University, graduating with first class honors.  He is one of my favorite authors.

 

 

 

 

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Oh my, it seems like months since I last posted here.  Thank you for those visits even if there is nothing new to read.  No valid reason though except the same old one, been busy the past few days.  Blogging took a back seat for a while.

Gardening has been a priority of course. It rains almost every day now so those unwanted weeds sprout like crazy too. Every two weeks, I need to trim our carabao grass, a tall order for aching backs and sore muscles.  The reward though is more than enough to make me smile. All the Portulaca I planted three weeks ago are blooming now in different colors of yellow, white, orange and pink.  They are the most easy to grow annual plants.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season bu they are nice grown cover.

Saw this white rain lily in early bloom. Flowers only appear during rainy season but they are nice ground cover.

Yesterday, I attempted to cook my version of Bicol Express  for our lunch.  It’s  that popular dish from the Bicol region where coconut seems to be the main ingredient in lots of their local dishes. And know what, the main ingredient here is not the pork but the sliced green Thai chili peppers that we have plenty of.  The dish is really hot and it requires a lot of rice to go with it. I omitted the shrimp paste since Josef is allergic to shrimp, used ordinary rock salt instead.  It was yummy.

Bicol Express

Bicol Express

Some of my friends are urging me to cook another dish in coconut cream which we call Ginataang Santol.  I asked  my favorite vendor yesterday if they have the Bangkok variety but she told me it is not yet in season.  Would love to cook this again when I find those sweet Bangkok santol in the market.

I was able to transfer all the photos I took on my tab at Photobucket and to my hard drive.  Better be safe than sorry. One  more thing I need to do and it is a hard and dusty undertaking – to clean our book shelves and separate books, the favorites and most important ones from those we just bought on a whim. There are some authors that I have never known before but surprisingly delivers a good  piece of  a story.

Eight books in advance for my 2016 Reading Challenge in Goodreads. Hooray!

 

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Good day fellow bloggers. Finally I could  (really) sit down and relax, write a short post before gardening again. The sun is still hot that is why I am afraid to go out and align/replant those rain lilies which are blooming at the moment. They are not sensitive plants so there is no problem there. Oh, what a nice surprise, I see a new color, a lovely shade of white. This morning, I planted another head of pineapple which I saved from the one I bought at the market today.

I am proud of my niece who graduated from Nursing a month ago and recently passed the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Three nights ago, I was chatting with my youngest brother  and he casually mentioned that her daughter will take the nursing board the following day. She did it and the whole family is proud.  We have two nurses in the family now, hooray.

Josef and I will be attending mass tomorrow at Sto. Domingo Church. It’s been a while since I visited the place. Fr. Lovell left me a souvenir from his trip to the Holy Land  two weeks ago. We don’t get to see much of each other since  he is on assignment and the information desk is a handy place to leave and pick  things up. Killing two birds with one stone, that’s what!

I am about done with my second book on Jennifer Worth trilogy. Four books in advance, finally:)

Just being grateful for simple blessings. I hope you’re having a lovely and blessed weekend.

 

 

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Heard Nate say these words while he was hugging his Dad, ” I love you Daddy, you are the best”. 

Kids have the best way of showing what love is, without artifice, without reservation.  What you see is what you get.  Every time they visit, he would say, “I want to stay here Nonna”  and I would tell him, “okay, tell your mom and dad that you want to stay here”.   Then he would say, “with Mommy and Daddy”.   How I wish that they could but he does not have a  minder and he will be in playschool come June. He took ten days of summer class last month.

Nissa posted several photos taken the other week  at the mall where they learn different roles and play with other kids. I love those lovely photos  where he was dressed as a chef,  a wait staff in a food chain and a doctor.  I asked him if he really wants to be a doctor and without batting an eyelash he said “yes”.  It probably would change in a month or two but for now, he wants to be Dr. Isidro.

Nate new 15

 

Nate new 16

I took a series of shots last Saturday while he was taking down his books from the shelf.  It was a  reading session with Nonna but that would be an update on my separate blog about him.

“I love you Nonna”, he said while he opened the car window before they went home.  Music to my ears.

 

 

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I have a library of books I have read which I have uploaded on Facebook via Goodreads app. I could not count the times that I blogged about books and reading and occasionally post bits of book reviews all these years. I used to update my books at shelfari.com, an online library where I personally met my reading buddies through a book club.  Since our well-loved books were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, I  got lazy updating the site and forgot those thousands of book titles that I’ve uploaded there. Lately though, while I was updating my journal I found a printed copy of all my books there. Yes, back then, you can easily print a list of books you have in your shelves.  I even have a wish list printed too.  I have marked those I have finally found while browsing at Booksale and getting copies of those hard to find  titles which a generous friend  brought home.

A friend got curious and asked me what my favorite books are so I am reposting this list of old-time favorites. They are just twenty  titles,  some of which  I have reread over the years. I bet if you are a reader, you have some of these in your shelves too.

1. Markings – Dag Hammarskjold
2. Seasons in the Sun – Rod McKuen
3. All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum
4. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery
5. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
6. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
7.  Letting Go – Morrie Schwartz
8. The Heart of Loving – Eugene Kennedy
9. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
11. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am – John Powell
12. Simple Moments – Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD
13. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
14. I Like You Just Because – Albert Nimeth, OFM
15. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
16. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
17. Embraced By the Light – Betty J. Eadie
18. It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It – Robert  Fulghum
19. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
20. Grow Something Besides Old – Laurie Beth Jones.

A few minutes ago, I saw a picture of Viktor E. Frankl on Brain Pickings. He was  the author of that riveting  and profound  book called  Man’s Search For Meaning. He  was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor.  I read it twice, once when I was in college and again when the kids were growing up.  It’s about his personal experience as a concentration camp inmate during the Holocaust.  I marked it as five-stars on Goodreads.  Maybe, reading that somehow shaped my views on history because until now, I am still  reading fiction and-non fiction books on  WW II.  Finding the Diary of Anne Frank cemented it though. I read Schindler’s List a few years ago, followed by another favorite entitled The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I collected books by Leon Uris too and most of them were all about Poland and WWII.

I digress.

I remember  copying lots of quotes from Frankl’s book and seeing him featured today on Brain Pickings  made me search for my three notebooks on quotations.  Weird? Maybe to some but I chronicled all those inspiring words religiously.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

And  the following line is  my favorite.

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”  
Here’s more.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
“Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.”
I probably might not  have answered the “why”. Suffice to say, I love visiting places and knowing how it is to live on the other side through books.
Today is Resurrection Sunday. May you all be blessed.

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