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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


Would you believe, I tried ordering  at Lazada four days  ago  so I’ll learn to navigate it on my own. Nissa reminded me to read the reviews, how satisfied the customers are. Bearing that in mind, here we go. I searched for something that I won’t have to shell out a lot with a minimal delivery fee. Take note, I told myself, this is just a trial.

As I previously told you, this is just the second time I used the app and my first time to explore it. Success! The items were delivered yesterday.  Shorts for daily wear, haha!  They have a mid-year sale tomorrow but I am not yet bold enough to put anything in my cart since I am budgeting my cash here. It is just nice browsing over items on sale which are way, way cheaper than those sold in the supermarkets.

My first online purchase aside of course from the bathroom caddy that Nissa ordered for me a week ago 🙂

Josef left me some food budget for the weekend. They are spending four days with Jovy’s grandmother until tonight when Jovy’s work shift ends.  Those who supply food items here in our subdivision already know where to deliver them. You just have to message them early and just wait for the food to be delivered. I ordered six large pieces of boneless daing na bangus (milkfish marinated in peppercorns, vinegar  and garlic), a tray of eggs, a kilo of  tinapa freshly made from Bataan and a kilo of fresh tomatoes. Mom and I are more into eating fish and vegetables when the two are not around.  Simple snacks of palitao, veggie lumpia, maruya and turon won’t be left behind. My, my, but I am getting lazy to prepare meals just for Mom and me.  We still have mini-siopao inside the freezer which I reheat every morning for breakfast. Since it only lasts a week, sometimes it’s mom’s morning snack too 🙂

When you’re confined at home and choose not to go out because of this pandemic, sometimes  all you ever think is what book to read next or what food to eat.

Food for Thought:

Celebrating life. Today is the actual date I had my sigmoid surgery eleven years ago. I am lucky and I am blessed. Thank You Lord.

 

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One good thing about this lockdown (for seniors here) in this pandemic is that you have all the time to read and explore authors and books. There is always something you could catch up on every day, some choices aside from the books you are presently reading. I just recently cleaned Nissa’s book shelves and I think there are pretty good volumes there but we don’t really have much in common with books except maybe the whole series of Harry Potter, books by John Green (she has five of them in its cardboard jacket), one or two by Rick Riordan, some Paulo Coelho and most books she bought on my every birthday by Nicholas Sparks. Some years ago, she gave me a copy of Sparks’ new book which qualified me to attend his book signing in Manila. That was a blast.

Every year since 2015, I have participated in Goodreads’ reading challenge and I am proud that I surpassed the numbers I set myself to read. This year I opted to read 100 books. I am done with 74, quite advanced by 22 books as of today. The most number of books I read in the previous challenges was back in 2017 by reading 207 books out of 150 that I promised myself to read. I just looked at my profile and it says I joined Goodreads last October 2011 and had read 1,296 books since then. I used to have a virtual library at shelfari.com, a social book discovery website that I enjoyed. Amazon closed it last June 2016 so I have to start all over again at Goodreads. I couldn’t remember most of the previous titles I read but some of them were classics, memoirs, psychology books and fiction. One book that I used to have (I don’t know if I still have it in my shelf since typhoon Ondoy) that I would love rereading is Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck and some books by Robert Fulghum. One of these days, I will have to rearrange my shelves again and find those favorite books in the past.

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Oh, done with The Christmas Box Miracle then re-read The Christmas Box and since it is a very short story, I read it just close to two hours. As I’ve said in my previous blog post, the former reads like his autobiography detailing how the latter came to fruition.

I just started with a memoir by an unknown author (at least to me) Tara Westover. When I looked at Goodreads, I was quite surprised that Educated  was 2018 Goodreads Winner in memoir and autobiography. The memoir has spent more than half a year on The New York Times‘ bestsellers list and was heralded by Barack Obama as a “remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”

Some people say that memoirs are refined edition of one’s life and journey since the authors wrote them but I guess it depends on the approach on how you will tackle it. I remember those books by Frances Mayes more particularly Under the Tuscan Sun and I even had the opportunity to watch the movie adaptation years ago.  It was a warm narration of how life was like in Tuscany. I actually found myself searching Google for those places mentioned in the book.

Tomorrow, I’ll tackle another portion of the garden to prune and weed. It didn’t rain today but the soil is  still soft for weeding.

Here’s one more thought to share:

They call themselves honorable but the way these congressmen  question them is so rude. They are reluctant to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. It stands to lose around 11,000 employees. Give me a Carlo Katigbak anytime – the quiet, educated, humble, soft-spoken  and intelligent head of this conglomerate. Kulang na lang ibato ang tabo at palanggana sa ulo ng mga taga ABS. Manners please gentlemen.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato reminded her colleagues that it is their duty to protect press freedom and freedom of expression at all times during the 12th House hearing on the renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN.

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If there is one author that I truly like and admire the most, it’s Richard Paul Evans. Haha, we are online friends at Facebook. I have been reading his books since I discovered one during a sale at National Bookstore years ago. It was still pricey at P600.00 pesos but I just loved the first few lines in the book. Unfortunately though, I lost that book and four more of his hardbound ones back in 2009 during typhoon Ondoy. I was able to replace most of them through gifts from generous friends. I even have a first edition copy of one of his books sent by a friend. An online friend I met at our Catholic page on Facebook is also so fond of reading and she was thrilled that I recommended RPE’s books to her. From then on, every  time she comes home, she brings me copies of those books I lost in the flood and newly published ones that I haven’t read yet. I have lots of quotes here (a hundred of them) that RPE generously shared on his wall. I am afraid some of them ate up my available space because they were in high resolution format.

I am presently reading a lovely one published last October 2001 entitled The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing and Hope. This book is included in my wish list for so many years until I finally found a copy. Finally reading it. It’s his personal story of how he wrote The Christmas Box, self-published it in 1994  and it became a best-seller. It’s a holiday classic that was  an expression of love for his two daughters never intending for it to be published.  I think this is the best summary of the books he wrote because in each page, there were quotes from those books he published earlier. Faith and determination usually overcome adversity in life. Persistence in believing in a dream helps a lot. This is more like his autobiography written from the time he was a small kid  sharing everything with his sister and six brothers.

Here is one of his previous quotes which I compiled into an album at Facebook.

Here’ what he wrote on his Facebook wall years ago about how he views books.

Books can be such powerful things–they can console us, motivate us, they can unite us with the rest of humanity, to help us understand that we are not so alone in our thoughts, our dreams and our deepest hopes. To read something that feels so peaceful and familiar, as if it was plucked from our own mind and soul, is a powerful experience. I am grateful for the books that have affected me throughout my life. I am pleased that here and there my books reach my readers in this way. God bless.

By the way, I am on my 72nd book at Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020.

 

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Four days of not even visiting WordPress. What is happening to me. I am really getting so lazy to blog.

I just finished rereading Rosamunde Pilcher’s Coming Home. Yeah, you read it right,  I read it back in 2012. I have most of her books in my shelf since I discovered her upon the recommendation of a friend.

I wrote this review back in 2011 when I started looking for her books. I am reposting it here. It’s part of a long, long review that I did back then. I wrote this last November 24, 2011

I first encountered Rosamunde  Pilcher upon the recommendation of a friend whom I met at a book club three years ago. I got curious because for a guy to rave about  one particular author or  book, she really must be good. So I looked for a copy of The Shell Seekers, one of her well-known and much-loved books. I was hooked and from then on, I tried to look for more of her books every time I got the chance to visit Booksale.  Last month, I found four more of her earlier works and bought them all. The funny thing is I was able to finish three in the three days that I was indisposed. Her stories are not your run of the mill love stories. They speak of family relationships, heartbreak, friendships, betrayals, forgiveness and love. Once you start reading  her books, you get to absorb the characters like they are your next-door neighbors or your favorite cousin or your beloved brother or sister.  And seeing her describe Cornwall and Scotland with such beauty and grace makes you long to go there and see the snow-capped vistas and azure skies, it makes you stay at the beach all day long and  just look  at the water and go home with the thought of a nice hot cup of tea and fish and chips prepared by a loyal housekeeper who treats you as a long-lost daughter.  It makes you even curious how a Biro pen looks like because the character you’ve read won’t have no other except a Biro. It makes you long to buy rose-scented soaps and lavender bubble baths and stay relaxed for an hour or two immersed in warm and scented water and wrap yourself with pretty thick bath towels afterward.  You think of the first chill of autumn and the countryside awashed with pretty flowers. Short of saying, I want to live in Scotland and  get to explore Porthkerris despite the rains and the cold. I want to see the  silver hues of the raindrops  on a cold and chilly morning. Such are what you can imagine, just reading her books.

Coming Home is one such book that you would want to reread again and again. It’s a wonderful journey of a teenager left behind by  her parents back in 1935 in Cornwall.  The struggles of being away from one’s immediate family although she found loyal friends who treated her as one of the members of their family. She was also taken cared of by her aunts from both sides and grew up to be a responsible adult despite all the setbacks. It’s pre-war Britain until the end of the  WWII. I just love it.

 

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I’ve tried planting some a few years ago, those crowns that we usually just throw away but I was not successful. Maybe they don’t want afternoon sun although what I know of them is that they are sun-loving plants.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see this. Finally, my lone pineapple plant is now bearing fruit. I planted it along with my Crossandra, getting the touch of the morning sun almost every day.

It is always lovely to see something that you have diligently watered and it gives you that nice feeling of seeing it bear fruit. Do you know that it usually takes two years for a cutting to mature and bear a flower? Then it would take six months for the fruit to be ready for harvest. I am waiting for it to produce a sucker that I can transfer later.

I am really excited. Counting the days 🙂

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Gardening is really a great way of de-stressing, a therapeutic activity that does not need too much expertise but just the love of the soil and all its environs. It’s more of experiments really because they say that there are no gardening mistakes, everything that you plant becomes a part of the garden. Every gardener knows the joys of witnessing a seed waiting to sprout or a bulb opening to light and a bud straining to unfurl.

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I found another lovely book by Peter Mayle. This is my fourth book of him after  reading his first three books. I have made short reviews here before. This is actually my 12th  read this year.

French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew

It’s another memoir about his life in France. He died two years ago and I blogged about it here. I am excited to start this.

I just finished a long fiction called New York. It is a historical novel by British novelist Edward Rutherfurd. Oh my, it’s all of 862 pages, four centuries of life in New York. It used to be called New Amsterdam. The novel chronicles the birth and growth of New York City, from the arrival of the first Dutch and other European colonists in the 17th century to the summer of 2009. Come to think of it, I didn’t even know that it was previously ruled by the British empire. Originally there were only 13 colonies in the whole US of A. It’s actually too long to summarize.

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Little surprises that make me smile:

  • Long chats with friends abroad through messenger. Listening and hearing their voices – just great
  • A cup of hot green tea on an early morning.
  • Oreo kissing my toes and being just silent besides me.
  • Nates’ shouts of “hello Nonna” over the phone
  • Seeing a new bloom in the garden
  • Getting in touch with neighbors to say hi
  • Finding  a new author with a good book
  • Reading, reading until your vision blurs because you are sleepy
  • Afternoon shuteye
  • Hearing the church bells for dawn masses
  • Watching videos on different recipes one could prepare for Noche Buena
  • Surprise visits from friends
  • Surprise phone calls
  • Lovely and inspiring posts from WordPress friends and fellow bloggers
  • Beautiful comments on your blog
  • Attending Simbang Gabi and watching priest friends with their uplifting homilies online
  • WAITING FOR CHRIST’ BIRTH
  • Being excited for the celebration of Christmas 2019
  • The early morning cold breeze
  • Listening to Christmas music (more…)

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Wow! Goodreads has just released its annual report on how I fared in books this year.

One thing I like about the site is that you get to maintain a virtual library and you can always browse about book summaries and their corresponding reviews.

TOTALS

I read 50,503 pages across 147 books. The shortest is around 57 pages while the longest (a set of books actually)  composed of 2,098 pages. The most popular book I read this year is Pride and Prejudice. My average rating for all the books I read this year is 3.5  (5 being perfect) while the highest rated one with a score of 4.56  is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I  wrote  a short review of this book somewhere here.

I was just surprised that they released this early when there are 22 more days to go before the year ends. I have just finished one of Nadia Hashimi’s books but it was not included in this report.

I didn’t expect I could finish 148 books when I started last January. I pegged it at 120.
There are several more books I have to read maybe at the start of the year 2020 but I am hoping I could finish three more before the year ends.
Do you participate in reading challenges? Are you also excited to discover new authors?  I started this challenge back in 2015.  I’am at No. 47 Best Reviewers and No. 31 Top Reviewers. Not bad, not bad at all 🙂

 

 

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