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Archive for the ‘life’ Category


Nostalgia.

Yes, I am feeling a little nostalgic at the moment.  Last night, I reread a book of poems by Rod McKuen, one of the two books that I have entitled Alone. You can actually finish it in less than an hour but when you are absorbing each word, enjoying what it means in your life and looking back at   those life journeys you had before, it is even more nostalgic. The flow of each word is like a balm to your heart.

This is actually my 1,849th post in this particular blog, not counting  the posts on the other four blogs  I have on gardening, photography, my grandson Nate and a newly minted one for when I use up the remaining 29% free space allowed here. It’s been a long journey, blogging for a little more than seven years. Sometimes, I wonder how I was able to share those  thoughts in between.

I remember a few lines from my 1,000th post four years ago. I can’t believe I lasted this long sharing my thoughts with the world. Still hoping I could inspire more, I am grateful for those online friends who leave inspiring words too, coming back now and again to update me with their journey.

“Documenting one’s own frailties, insecurities, battles and happy thoughts takes a lot of courage, more so if you are doing it publicly through a blog. One thing though that I don’t regret doing is sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I started this three years ago right after I found out I had colon cancer. Each of us has her own coping mechanism and mine was writing my thoughts and sharing it . I’ve always said and I will say it again that if I could touch a single soul out there who’ll draw a little inspiration on what I went through, then that would be enough, it would make me happy. To my surprise, a few online friends found some of my blogs helpful in their own journey, having experienced the same thing that I did. Kindred spirits, if I must say.”

We can do better, we can reach our dreams, we can learn to fly.

I reviewed some of the photos I took since I learned how to take  shots of my garden blooms.  I transferred them to a hard drive when Multiply closed its doors  and I have to find a way to save all those shots.  This shot is nothing new here, I remember posting it when I was still active in participating in the weekly photo challenge at WordPress.

lifes-journey

A moment in time.

They were flying in formation at a speed that I could not capture so well. I love taking photos of clouds on a clear day but they came as a bonus.  Seeing nature at its best keeps you grounded, the beauty of one summer day etched in your memory.  Sometimes, watching the sun show its face on a bright morning is blessing enough. Sometimes, a hesitant smile from a stranger you meet along the road of life makes the day worthwhile.  Sometimes, finding a lovely bloom in your garden is grace enough.  Dreams may not always turn into reality but believing in it takes you to another level, a happy feeling that life would always be something to treasure  no matter what.

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September is almost at an end but the weather is so erratic sometimes which  makes you think it is still summer. Either the sun goes up early in the morning, heavy rain takes over in the afternoon or the rain comes early when you are asleep  and the sun shines a little late in the afternoon. Crazy.

I haven’t blogged for a week, that kind of post that needs at least five hundred words :)  Remember  that feeling that you wanted to write  a post but you don’t know how  to start? Remember that feeling when  you have lots of thoughts in your head chasing each other to come out but you don’t know  where to start? Remember that feeling that you would really love to update your blog but you don’t know when to start?

Maybe I am just feeling oh so lazy.  Yes Virginia, that’ s the truth.  I am on my 92nd book though, 8 more books to go and I’m done.  I don’t always find  good ones, some are just easy reads.

We left early to do our twice a month marketing this morning. I was delighted when I found fresh fiddlehead fern selling at P10 a bunch, got three for P25.  You’re lucky if a vendor gives you a discount because you are the buena mano.  It tastes so crunchy, just blanch it with hot water for a minute or two  then add slices of tomatoes, ginger and onion. Instead of ground pork as toppings,  I used a can of flaked solid white  albacore fried to a crisp. Josef loves it. Then we saw a young stingray being sliced by our suki vendor so we bought a kilo. They  clean it and remove the skin at your request. My son is an expert when it comes to flaking the fish, slicing and dicing ingredients.  The best way to cook it is in coconut cream with lots of diced  banana pepper, julienned  ginger  and thinly sliced red onion.  I am surprised that Rambutan fruits are still in season, a steal at P60 a kilo.  I love it when it is chilled. It’s fun to find fresh produce in the market.

We were supposed to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in advance today so I cooked Nate’s favorite sinigang, this time I used shrimp instead of pork ribs. Nate loves anything sour with all the veggies.They were on their way here this morning when Nissa  told me that they  were  going back because her mother-in-law was rushed to  the hospital.  Nothing serious, she was not confined, thank God.  Nate was actually looking forward to their monthly visit here. He said over the phone “see you later Nonna” but he must have meant “see you soon”.  More weekends to look forward to.

Lately,  I have explored a bit of WordPress, how to blacklist someone who makes those comments which are not really about the post or about the blog  but which are not classified as spam by  WordPress.  They are meant to provoke.  I have learned how to delete a follower who is not really into writing, when you click the site, you can’t even find it. Years ago, there was this site who made use of one particular post, changed  some words and they made it appear its their own. I called the attention of WordPress to no avail so what I did was to blog about that site for everyone to see.  I even learned how to use Copyscape to check everything here, I don’t know how  effective it is but at least  it is an option.  I am glad there is Akismet.  It has protected my site from 54,096 spam comments as of this writing.  I am grateful to WordPress for that.

Any app you have uploaded to your blog to protect it? It would be nice to hear from you, thanks🙂

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Been touched by these words.  Good morning everyone.

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Welcome September!

Mom was watching an early morning show this morning and I noticed that one of their props is a duly decorated Christmas tree.  I smiled and thought “the countdown begins, it’s the start of the BER months, how lovely!” 

It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever. Oh yes, I am listening to the Christmas album of Johnny Mathis at the moment (on YouTube of course).  Who would not be thrilled at the thought of the most celebrated and most joyous season of the year?  It makes me sad though that every time I get to listen to Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album I always think of Dad. It was his favorite and you know Christmas is near when you hear these lovely songs of old.  He died one December night almost nine years ago.  One of my friends shouted out on her FB wall, “ilabas na si Jose Mari Chan”.  Jose Mari Chan is one of our most talented singers. he compose his own songs and he has several Christmas albums that find their way in every home and on radio stations when September is here.

This might be a bit late for September 1 because the last two  paragraphs were on draft  and I haven’t posted anything here since  August 30.  Seems as if I need to be reminded that it’s been six days since my last post and a week since posting a longer one.  I’ve been busy (same reason as before). The truth is I got so engrossed reading the past days. Gosh, I am happy to tell you that I’ve finished 85 books out of the 100 books I promised myself to read  this year and Goodread’s Reading Challenge for 2016 is a nice motivation.  15 more books to go and I’m done.

Know what, I am excited to be called a SC in  two months. When you reach the age of sixty, you’ll be proud to wear that senior citizen’s badge proclaiming to the world that you are  one.  You’ll always be in the priority lane, you get a 20% discount on medicines provided you have a legit prescription from your doctor, you can also enjoy discounts in restaurants, hotels, concerts, movies, air fare, groceries  etc. This afternoon, I went to SSS (Social Security System) to get an application form for retirement and to  inquire about the other things needed to be submitted.  Their branch in our place was full but I was able to talk to one of their employees after an hour of waiting. We had a short chat about my previous employment, how much I’ll gonna get every month for life, what identity papers I need to submit. She said, “I am sure Ma’am Arlene di tayo magkikita sa birthday mo pero right after your birthday dadalaw ka dito”.  It simply means that the day after I turned sixty, she’ll see me again. Getting in years gracefully, getting a little wiser with age while ignoring the occasional aches and pains of the advancing years.

Just grateful for everyday blessings! How’s the start of your week?

 

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This is just a borrowed title from one of my favorite poets Mary Oliver.  A Thousand Mornings is one of the two books by Mary Oliver that I treasure. Her words inspire, uplift  and  cheer me up to no ends.  Always, I would read a few lines or two, commit to memory some of her words and my day is complete.

All is quiet except the hum of the small electric fan underneath the computer table. It rained last night and there is a little breeze coming from the window. It is one of those mornings that you get a little introspective, you think about life and living and you are grateful for God’s blessings.

Silence.

I always love what silence brings. I always love greeting the morning hearing nothing but the quiet of dawn, a new day feeling hopeful and anticipating what lies ahead.  It’s those few minutes of bowing your head in prayer and listening to the silence in your heart that make life so precious. You ask but sometimes God surprises you with small miracles. You smile at the thought that life though sometimes harder than it seems is still  beautiful.  You smile at the thought that even if you are alone, happiness is within your grasp. You smile at the thought of a new day, a day to make more memories to hold.

Mornings.

I love watching a sunrise. It holds a promise, it inspires a dream.  Sometimes, it plays hide and seek with the clouds  but you feel the warmth of its embrace. I love the sprinkling of  water droplets brought by the rain at night. How I wish I could capture those magnificent bubbles reflecting the beauty of the morning.  I love the fresh morning look of the garden after the rain.  Sometimes, you get lucky finding new blooms or a new shoot of some seeds you planted a few days ago.

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Surprises.

I love those too. A week ago, I noticed my blackberry shrubs bearing fruits at last. I even asked my friend who gave me the seeds last year if they are flowers but she told me just to wait until they ripen into…. yes, black.   They are turning red and Mom said they might be just flowers growing. I can’t wait.  The three turmeric pots have sprouted  leaves finally. The light green oblong shaped leaves are lovelier to look at than the leaves of ginger.  Oh but I love squeezing a leaf of  my ginger plant on my fingers now and then. The aromatic scent is addicting.

Tea and coffee.

Mom would not make a choice, she has always been a coffee lover. I love both though and I love those different tea infusions. You know that feeling of choosing a flavor to suit your mood for the day. Last Saturday, my daughter brought me a box of Twinings’ Lemon and Ginger, a lovely addition to my English Tea Shop’s Cranberry Vanilla Delight, Green Tea and Spiced Red Fruits. I have a few small sachets of Japanese Green Tea. Brewing a Japanese loose leaf green tea has always been a challenge for me, it is easier to use tea bags.  I have two lovely tea kettles with strainer  and I love using each one with the tea bags.  Sipping tea on small cups is just lovely, isn’t it?  Do you read tea leaves?

A thousand mornings….to dream, to read, to appreciate what nature brings, to make another day as lovely as yesterday. Dance to the beat of the day even when no one is watching.  Dance to the music in your head.  Dance to your heart’s desires.

“This morning

the beautiful white heron

was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this

the one world

we all belong to

where everything

sooner or later

is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel

for a little while

quite beautiful myself.”
― A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver

 

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Oh please, don’t laugh.

Yes, I know some of you are pretty smiling right now.

I am having a LSS. You know, that moment when you wake up from a short afternoon nap and your head is full of a lovely melody and you begin to sing along. I have no option  but to open my PC and search  for this song.  YouTube is a little helpful when you feel nostalgic with the old days.  Those dreams you had three decades ago,  when you were just learning that falling in love was a wonderful feeling but it was  full of pain.  I was seventeen.

Now I know you’re laughing.

I borrowed Josef’s headset  and searched for the song Only Friends. Why can’t I remember who sang it? Back when I was still new to blogging, I made a blog post about last song syndrome.

I found this site with plenty of uploaded Lettermen songs, old favorites like Traces, Morning Girl, Dedicated To The One I Love, This Guy’s In Love With You ( I love the version of Burt Bacharach though)  and of course Only Friends. I know listening to them now seems a bit silly but the music is more soothing compared to the noise I hear nowadays.  And do you know, here in my corner of the world, Sundays are dedicated to the oldies and the senior citizens or what you call in their heyday, the baby boomers.  You will always find  FM and AM  bands playing the songs of the 60’s and the 70’s all day long.  You wonder, those were the days, those days you were growing up and all you had was a single turntable and your 45.  Those were the days too when you used to write on small  Hello Kitty notebooks with a  Hello Kitty pen.

Sometimes I let my mind
Drift endlessly and in the wind
your face I see
smile gently as you turn to pass

But the love that I once had for you
Is gone so is the meaning too
I guess it never really had a chance
to last………

The love is gone but the memory made you smile 🙂

 

 

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Joy In The Morning


She always wakes up at 3am

And it is a ritual that has no rhythm

Except maybe the sound that an early morning brings

Silence –

And her thoughts wander

Savouring the days of old

She smiles –

There would always be other days like this

She would always treasure

What the morning brings

She knows –

Life is short

Choose to be happy

Choose to be an inspiration to others

Choose the joys and not the pain of living

Choose what life brings

A joy in the morning.

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