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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

I am in the middle of reading Michael Palmer’s book,  The Fifth Vial. I read three of his books before, accidental finds while looking for more Robin  Cook’s books. Like the latter, Michael Palmer was also a doctor and Robin Cook was two years ahead of him at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. That is according to his biography. He asked his younger sister and I quote:

“If Robin can write a book and has the same education as I do,” why can’t I write a book?”

He died last October 2013 with nineteen books to his name.  I was lucky enough to find The Fifth Vial,  a story about a  disgraced medical student, a scientist and a private eye. Put them together and you have The Fifth Vial.  Just like  Robin Cook, Palmer wrote medical thrillers.  I have enjoyed reading Robin Cook’s books since I read my first book of him. I have collected his works over the years. I remember this started when I read about the famous Lea Salonga’s short bio that  she wanted to be a doctor and that she read Robin Cook. I was intrigued so I looked for his books at Booksale.  When I found one, the others followed.  By the way, going back to The Fifth Vial, it is my 80th read so far since I started with Goodreads’ 2017 Reading  Challenge  last January. Seventy more books to go before I finish the challenge. I am ahead of schedule though by about thirty-three books. Reading is getting lovelier and more interesting.

The medical field is such a rich source of those medical malpractices, new discoveries on medicines and such stories that  appear so true in real life.  When I got sick almost eight years ago, I researched and read so much about the effects of chemotherapy, how cancer could be treated the natural way.  I was afraid though so I chose to have chemotherapy every three weeks and took oral chemo drugs too. Some doctors would really suggest  for you to try new medicines like you are a guinea pig or a  white mouse According to my oncologist,  there are as many as two hundred chemotherapy drugs in the market.  It costs an arm and a leg to have one small bottle  of Oxaliplatin. The oral drug is just the same.  The first time I saw the drip  encased in a black cloth, I almost freaked out.  The nurse explained to me that the drug should not be exposed to the light. You know that thinking that you are taking poison in your immune system. I wonder if having a low immunity is still the effect of taking those chemotherapy drugs.

Oh yes, why not Michael Palmer? Why not The Fifth Vial?  I am sure you will also enjoy reading this as I do.

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It seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Whether we admit it or not, most of us live our lives on autopilot. We wake at the same hour, go to the same place of work or worship, talk to the same people, eat at the same restaurants, even watch the same TV show….

But sometimes the evolving terrain of life requires us to evolve with it. When those times come, we usually find ourselves quivering on the

The Mistletoe Secret

precipice of change as long as we can, because no one wants to dive into the ravine of uncertainty. No one. Only when the pain of being becomes too much do we close our eyes and leap.

Thus begins the first chapter of Richard Paul Evans’ The Mistletoe Secret. Another book to cherish. It’s my 75th book on Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  I can relate to this book because the story is about a blogger who feels so alone and lonely and she writes what she feels through a blog.  She thought no one cares but there was someone out there who continued to read her blog.  This is the premise of the book until the guy decided to look for that blogger and you guess it right…there is a happy ever after, but of course.  The story line is simple but it has depth of emotions and feelings. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Richard Paul Evans.  His writing style is not that complicated but I love how he delves into  life in general and relationships in particular.  It’s what I like about RPE’s writing.

I am halfway through my committed books to read for this year, 150 in all. One thing with a new book is that you can’t help but  smell the pages and no dog-ears please. Use a book marker.  I started reading a few excerpts of Mary Oliver’s Upstream when it was published  late last year but now that I have my copy, I will enjoy reading her essays.

What have you read lately?

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It rained last night, that kind that left water pockets on the pavements  and drenched the grass. I won’t have to water the plants today.  It is just the start of summer and yet there are these summer rains now and then. It is actually good for the plants and the grass and somehow diffuses the heat brought by the season. The climate is changing. Normally, we don’t get rains during summer except maybe for a few occasional showers in between.

The joy of seeing another lovely day.

The sun is shining now and the raindrops left last night are like tiny jewels on the grass.  Such a beautiful sight to behold. it is somewhat amazing how nature gives us all these gifts, simple things  that delight the senses.  I am thinking of finally planting the seeds I bought last year.  I’ve been busy updating my book shelves that somehow I forgot these. I guess summer would be the best time to plant them.

I am looking forward to having a copy of the newest book by Richard Paul Evans, one of my favorite authors.  The Broken Road is not yet out in the market. I think May 02, 2017 is the official date of launching.  I have been collecting RPE’s books over the years.  Most of the hardbound books I have were given by friends. (more…)

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Some people and bloggers say that they don’t really mind if their blogs are here but stay silent in cyber space.  I do. I mean, one of the reasons why we share our thoughts is to be recognized as  bloggers  too, right? Of course it is a welcome bonus that our blogs  could be popular on their own.

I have just reached 460,000 plus visits a while ago. For me that is an achievement for this humble blog. I must admit that it is quite hard to reach a number that you would feel comfortable  with, if your blog posts  are being read. A year of blogging would not even yield a thousand visits if  people don’t read  your blog and other bloggers don’t visit it and make comments. I think the idea of blogging is to share what you are passionate about, be it simple recipes that you do on your own, photos of places you’ve been to,  things you love to write about and such other things that you want to share  with other people. I could not exactly remember when the button  Like  on WordPress was introduced but it a lovely way of showing how one is attracted and like a particular post. When I joined the Post A Day Challenge in the year 2011, I used  to get from 300-400 visits a day but that has waned over the years. Perhaps fellow bloggers and visitors  have gotten tired visiting this blog.  I can no longer see those who used to be active in posting too. Along the way, their blog has stopped. I miss them.

One feels glad when one’s blog is noticed by other bloggers. I am not one those who promote books (I am not an author)  and those who have thousands of followers in their midst. I write about the daily happenings in my life,  the illness I went through back in 2009, the journey of getting well and feeling normal too.  I am grateful for those days that lots of friends prayed for me and empathized with me.  I am grateful for those days that I was strong enough to face everything although it was a hard journey to go through. I am grateful for my family and relatives who were at my side during those days of  recuperating and getting well.

There are so many blogs that I come across about how to blog.  There are many blogs that tell you how to be a successful blogger. I think it all depends on what we want to share with the world. If our blog is public, every one could read it.  There are no sure “how to’s” on how your blog would be noticed, much less when you are blogging on a free platform just like me.

Ah, blogging.

 

 

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Howdy guys!

I received three more key rings yesterday from my niece based in Bahrain. She bought them when she took her vacation in Jordan, Israel and  France.O h my, I now have  more than 200 key rings not counting those I am presently using.  Got a white mug too from the Abuel reunion held last February 11 in our province.

gifts2

There was this coin purse with a Notre Dame commemorative coin inside it which my niece attached to the package. So glad to have those lovely key rings from those places she went to last year and the other prior to that.

My collection began when I was still working at Bank of the Philippine Islands several years ago. One of my office mates gifted me with a gold-plated key ring in the shape of a T-shirt and marked No. 1. Since  then several were added to the loot once my  close friends learned of my penchant for collecting. I have  several now except in other countries in Europe where  I only have a few. It is nice to see them lined up sometimes when I clean them. Aside from the key rings, I also used to collect stationeries of different sizes but now that I am no longer active writing by long hand, I stopped buying. I still have some though in different colors and designs too.

It’s a good thing e-books have become the in-thing nowadays. My book shelves are overflowing.Double shelving is now a must for me. I tend to collect several books by the same authors once I like what their writing style. I have some signed copies of books sent by my friends from the US.  Except for those Michael Vey series, I almost have all copies of RPE books on hand. I also value my hardbound copy of On Writing by  Stephen King. It’s that kind of book where you’ll learn a lot of writing tools. I thought at first it was his autobiography but it was more on how he started writing.

How about you, what are your hobbies?

 

 

 

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My sparrows are back.  I heard them singing outside my window very early this morning.  Good morning world!

When dawn breaks, you discover something wonderful in the garden. My son gifted me with two metallic pots last Christmas from Parish  Garden along with a sturdy gardening gloves  One container  has kitchen herbs like Basil, Parsley and Coriander. The other one has Lavender seeds. Both came with potting medium, you just have to add a centimeter of soil on top. I planted them last December 30 just so it would be easy to remember when  if ever they grow to be robust plants. I’ve seen them growing a little every day, just small sprouts which look  so frail and dainty.   I wonder about the Lavender though, I haven’t seen anything yet.  I have more seeds here for planting which I bought late last year, a packet of  Celosia Armor Orange and another one of Aster Daylight Violet.  We live at the corner of Aster and Violet streets so how lovely it would be to see these grow here 🙂  Really looking forward to more flowers growing in the garden.  And I guess it is time to trim the carabao grass again.

Are you excited to see the annual report of WordPress as regards to your blog’s performance during the previous year? I am.

 

 

 

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