Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


It’s cold.

I was hoping I will be able to finish trimming the carabao grass this morning but the garden  is wet from the rain. It rained so early  and according to news report, it is because of ITCZ (Inter Tropical  Convergence Zone). It would probably drizzle the whole day, that kind which we call tigatik or ambon in Tagalog. It’s that kind of weather that makes you long to go back to bed or either stay in a corner and read.  I just ate a cup of Banana and Honey instant oatmeal.  So lazy to cook breakfast. Or maybe, it the perfect time to drink that cup of instant coffee I’ve longed for all week.

Are you a tea or coffee drinker?

How many times have you heard this frequently asked question, “tea or coffee?”, be it in some obscure diners or  some  extravagant restaurants in town. During the past few years, many coffee shops have sprouted like mushrooms in the metropolis which only proves that there is money in coffee. Coffee drinking is synonymous to bonding with friends, closing deals with business associates and simply relaxing in the comfort of your  home while watching a good TV program or curled up in a corner reading your favorite book.

I used to be a coffee drinker, but now I have limited my coffee intake for just once  or twice a week, or when I feel I have the craving for caffeine early in the morning. Just can’t resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or a cup of the instant variety. Those of us who drink coffee know about caffeine and its effects. Though tea and hot chocolate have caffeine too, apparently, it is lesser. They say that three cups of coffee is considered an average or moderate dose, but what about the add-on  like cream, sugar and other kinds of sweetener put in a cup to make it more flavorful? There are various creamer mixes like Bavarian mint, Cinnamon spice, Irish cream, Hazel nut, mocha, Amaretto and other flavored creamers. And there are many ways of brewing coffee. Drip coffee makers have a fairly simple, quick and easy way to prepare a cup. Coffee grounds are placed in a filter basket inside the machine which is filled with water. The hot water drips through the ground into a glass carafe to produce brewed coffee.

When I was in college, I met a Japanese friend who taught me how to prepare Japanese green tea. Tried to teach her some  common English words so  she sent me packs of green tea complete with instructions on how to enjoy a cup. That pretty much started my love affair with the beverage. Green tea is dried, not fermented so it produces a lighter flavor. It’s good for colon cleansing.  There are several varieties of tea in the market today – black tea, Earl Gray, Oolong tea, Orange Pekoe and there are varied flavors too just like coffee.There is also bubble tea which are pearl shakes made of Tapioca (sago in our Filipino language). The tea is usually served with a gigantic straw which is just the right size for slurping. Hot tea drinks may come in the flavor of almond , lemon, vanilla, orange, spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint. I love the brand Celestial Seasonings, Twinings in different flavors and Lipton Green Tea.  There are so many locally produced tea flavors here  too like ampalaya, malunggay tea, banaba and the like. They are all medicinal. Years ago, I bought a tea set, those dainty cups which are so cute and chic and I have been using them until now.

Tea or coffee, anyone?

Read Full Post »


Josef came home last night and gave me a small bag. Inside was a lovely wallet designed like a webbed mat.  He is really that thoughtful. I guess when there is no particular occasion and you receive a lovely gift, you’ll be surprised too. This is not the first time he did this. One time he bought me a thick book at National Book  Store on how to make candles.  He knows that I would appreciate it. Yes, I used to make candles but I gave them as gifts to friends. I haven’t sourced materials for a long time now.  We often eat out when he is around or when I am so lazy to prepare something in the kitchen, we would order a take-out.

Even Nissa always brings something every time they come to visit us. It’s mostly toiletries and body lotions or moisturizer or make-up.  Nate would ask his dad to open the trunk of the car when they get here and he would give me those gifts always with a smile and something like, “We have a gift for you Nonna.”   I am so blessed my kids grew up the way they are – loving, giving and thoughtful.

I found a copy of  The Godfather by Mario Puzo. The first time I read it was way back in college and  I already forgot the details of the story except the name Don Corleone and the Italian  mafia. Over the years, it turned into a classic with two more film sequels. I haven’t watched it though but I found a full movie on YouTube. Gonna watch it after I finish re-reading the book.  This is my 130th read on the 2017  reading challenge. Twenty more books to go until the end of the year.  Hooray! After this maybe I’ll go back to memoirs and contemporary books.

Have a lovely week ahead.

Read Full Post »


Sometimes there is an advantage in attending anticipated mass. As Josef was free last Saturday night, we decided to go to mass at 6:30 pm.  It made my Sunday free.

For the past two mornings, I’ve been in the garden digging, replanting and weeding . Getting ready for the rainy days.  The satisfaction one gets from gardening….priceless. I know some won’t agree with me.   Sometimes I don’t wear gloves at all.  It’s nice to feel the rough and coarse earth in your hands once in a while. And it’s nice to see recently trimmed plants lining the garden wall.  One of my friends who visited me last Thursday brought  a pot of pink shrimp plant for my garden. I have the yellow variety so this pink one would add to the beauty of the yellow flowers. I hope I could propagate it later.

Pretty in pink. Can’t wait to see this in full bloom. My pink shrimp plant.

 

A Celosia bloom

I bought a seed packet of this Celosia and planted  it  a few months  back. I wonder if it would produce another color.

Gardening is one relaxing activity that I could not give up.  Yesterday, I transferred some Portulaca plants and they are now flowering nicely in different colors. They are so easy to propagate and very good ground covers. If it does not rain this afternoon, will be able to finish uprooting the weeds outside.  Gardening is hard but the happiness and satisfaction it gives are priceless.

Read Full Post »


It started with their liking our Catholic page on Facebook back in 2010.  The following year, we had our first gathering, our first time to see each other personally. It was a lovely affair exchanging thoughts and ideas, participating  in group games and eating lunch together.  There were other events that we attended together and most of the time, they come to the house to visit me.

The smiles would always be there, the “kuwentuhans” would always  be hilarious affairs. The laughter is a given thing when we are together.

 

Their favorite activity is picking kalamansi (Philippine lime) from the two trees we have at the garden. Yesterday, they got more than a kilo of kalamansi. Reymon made a glass of freshly squeezed kalamansi juice.

 

Next week would be Apol’s 48th birthday so we celebrated it early by having that small Chocolate Rainbow cake and Mango Dark Chocolate ice cream from Red Ribbon.  She’s the one in the orange  t-shirt.

Though it was only the four of us, we had a blast. Apol is presently undergoing treatment for lupus. I admire the way she handles everything, still jolly and happy despite it all. Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune  disease that attacks healthy tissues of the body. It is a progressive  disease.

What makes friendship? How does it bloom? It’s that being yourself with people who have similar ideals and beliefs  like you. It’s having those moments of laughter and tears and yet you don’t judge each other.  It’s celebrating those little triumphs and successes in life, being there for each other in times of trials.  As they say, it’s looking together in the same direction.

Reymon calls me Mommy, Lilet is easy with calling me tita  while Apol who is twelve years younger than I am calls me ate. Being together, enjoying those precious moments, celebrating the beauty of friendship. What more could I ask for?

 

Read Full Post »


Oh gosh, my carabao grass needs trimming again.

This is what happens when it rains almost every day  and the grass grows like crazy. Maybe I have to postpone trimming it for a week more until after I’m done visiting my doctor for another monthly check-up. I am scheduled for lab tests on the 20th of this month. Growing older, getting old, every which way you look at it, time is inching its way too fast.

Didn’t I say I am excited to see my friends tomorrow?  It’s been a while since we have seen each other last.  I just cooked  a kilo of chicken pork adobo today  which we’ll have tomorrow for lunch along with fresh veggies from the garden.  Adobo tastes so much better a day or two after when the sauce has seeped through.  It’s a Pilipino recipe that is so easy to prepare but tastes so good. I like dry adobo.  We sometimes serve it with quail eggs.

Presently listening to some old songs on YouTube. Pete’s blog post  triggered it actually.

It’s nice to go back sometimes to the 60’s music  and dream of those days when life was simple and you were younger.  Procol Harum is good in A Whiter Shade of Pale. Just finished watching some of the greatest golden hits of the 60’s. I love the Motown sounds too. There was a time when I was still working when I would bring a small cassette player with an ear phone  and listen to some music on cassette. Music One was a favorite place  to go to during lunch break.  Back home, the CD player  was of constant use.  I have compiled those sounds during the British Invasion. Nowadays though, I just rely on my small radio which I take outside when I am gardening. I could listen to the latest news and some music in between.  Music soothes the soul.  It also makes me smile.

I found these four books (they’re actually in a series) by Nora  Roberts. It’s a story of four brothers who were adopted in their younger  years. I’m in book 3  and enjoying it.  I am done with 85% of my reading challenge at Goodreads.

How was your day?

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


Books and more books.

Just borrowed the title of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s  book. An almost five hundred pages of engaging read. One of the best books I’ve read so far in this year’s challenge. It’s actually my first book of Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I’ve heard of this Spanish novelist in one of our book club’s discussions but didn’t try to find a copy since I had so many TBR books at hand. Finally, I found time to make it as one of the priorities in my reading. It’ my 105th book  read this year. Forty five  more books to go until December and I’ll be able to complete Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.

I didn’t know what to expect of this book but it was all about antiquated books and libraries which are subjects dear to my heart. Like my other book reviews, I won’t even attempt to summarize the story here, it’s  for other readers to find out. Suffice to say, I enjoyed every page although it took me almost three days of on and off reading to finish it.  It’s worth every minute.  There are three books actually in this series and  this is the first one. I wonder if  I could find the other two.

As usual, I set aside gardening and blogging for two days while I tried to finish the book. Often, in most lovely books,  a book review would not be complete without Good quotes.

“So long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.”

“Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.”
“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.”
“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.”
I just started with a book called The Memory Child by Steena Holmes, another first on my list. What are you reading?

Read Full Post »


My daughter Nissa brought my four-year old grandson to her office the other day. He was there the whole day and enjoyed the office atmosphere with Nissa’s office mates.  Yesterday, Nissa came home after work and they had this somewhat innocent conversation:

First thing Nate said when I got home:
You forgot to bring me, Mom!
Me: Where?
Nate: To the office!
haha, nawili ang bata.

I laughed while I read this short post.  Nate is a very friendly kid. He always has that ready “Hi” for everyone.

Nate at Nissa’s office. The only time he was quite behaved was when he watched his favorite cartoon movies.

The joy of being a child. Every day is happiness.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »