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My first experiment on color splash.

My first experiment with color splash.

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Woke up at 3am. Son left for work at 5am. I  watered the plants and  swept the yard a few minutes ago. It seems the clock’s hands are moving too slow, it’s not even 6am.  I wanted to go back to bed but I love the feel of the cold February morning on my face. Maybe it is another perfect time to write a few words here.

I’m cleaning my document files of unwanted downloads and pictures that I have already saved to my hard drive, then I saw this, a shot I took of our place the last time I went home more than four years ago.  A nostalgic longing, a trip down memory lane. It’s actually a narrow  road leading to our place in the province, a single lane for cars.

canvasI miss this place.  Several years ago, this was just a dirt road which was not  accessible to cars but it is now cemented. We live in a higher place than the town proper. It is actually overlooking the whole town but what I love most about it is the vast expanse of  green, bamboos gently swaying on the roadside and when you reach the top, the green rice fields are a feast for the eyes. I grew up here and it was my home until I graduated from grade school. The house is old and small but the garden is vast.

The countryside brings you back to old but not forgotten days of childhood. You smile at the thought of visiting it again, once more to commune with nature, to see old folks at home  and to renew acquaintance with the place where the sun rises early and bright and the night holds a certain magic because back there, the stars are brighter. If only for the quiet and peaceful feel of the place, I would love to go back.

I am having   a second cup of coffee while watching our three dogs frolicking in the garden. It’s a simple life but happiness abounds.

 

 

 

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“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
–Kahlil Gibran

Please indulge me. I promise I won’t be talking about Christmas anymore until next year.  Where was I? Ah, the beauty of seeing Christmas in the eyes of my two-year old grandson Nate. I think he is old enough now not just to make his eyes wonder at the tinsel hanging on a tree or and the nativity set he kept pointing at because we told him Baby Jesus was born today. In his excited voice, he greeted my brother and a close friend a Merry Christmas via Viber and they said that just hearing his voice was enough to make them smile and remember the significance of this happy season in our lives.

He was asleep when we came home from attending the Christmas  Eve mass last night but when it was time for Noche Buena, he was wide awake. He kept saying, “dami, dami” while looking at the gifts in one corner with his name in lots of the pile. Nissa gifted him with a big Mickey Mouse stuffed toy, almost taller  than he is and some battery-operated toys that he enjoyed playing with. At first he was reluctant to open the big package from Toys R Us. He only saw the back of Mickey and thought it was scary. We were laughing so hard when he finally glimpsed at his favorite Disney animal cartoon character and he embraced it while saying  “Mickey, Mickey” in an excited voice.

Christmas 2014 with Nissa and Nate and Mickey of course...

Christmas 2014 with Nissa and Nate and Mickey of course…

I told Nissa she should have taken a video on Nate’s reaction while playing with his robots and shouting and dancing at the same time – a spontaneous display of joy.  Such a simple thing to make a child laugh and smile and hug his mommy back. Every time I see a child’s  appreciation for what you give him, it reminds me of  how life should be lived – happiness is just within one’s reach if you’ll only learn to appreciate what is around you.  We can surely learn from a child.

Thank you so much for all your Christmas wishes and greetings. I am truly blessed and lucky for having you all as blogging friends.

Do you keep  a  New year’s resolution?  Have you made one?

 

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I’ve been awake since 2:30am. Crazy, isn’t  it? I had a shuteye though this afternoon. It rained early this morning but Josef and I did a quick trip to the wet market despite the rain. I was lucky to find a  fresh bundle of young garlic. What a joy, just perfect for a rainy day.  I’ve been on the lookout for this ever since I tasted it a few months ago at my son-in-law’s house. Although it is more expensive than the matured ones, it is best mixed with soup, a simple recipe of Chinese sotanghon and ground pork. The nutty flavor of the sliced young garlic is just so yummy  I wish a bought a kilo instead of just a little bundle.  You slice it thinly as you would an onion, sauté it with celery stalk  and pork, adding a little salt and pepper then the sotanghon last. It’s best while  it’s hot.

A productive day for arranging books , transferring some notes to my journal, IMG_6470blogging about Nate’s trip to Siquijor and Dumaguete, a little gardening this afternoon, what more could one ask, squeezing a little of everything in one day.IMG_6468

IMG_6469

I was looking at the pictures that Nissa sent thru Viber earlier and I was thrilled to see our little Nate enjoying his four-day vacation with his mom and dad. He must be wondering where they were,  different places, lovely scenery, lots of swimming to boot and a wide playground where he could roam around. This particular picture made me smile, I could imagine that hammock swaying gently through the breeze. What an adventure for a two-year old boy.

Nate9

It must be fun to just be here, with nary a thought of anything but the joy of the moment, the touch of the sand on your toes and the sound of the ocean waves nearby.

Have you ever tried reacquainting yourself with children’s books? I did while I was covering Nate’s books this afternoon. Another weird thing to do but an enjoyable one.  I am into e-books again. Let me correct that, I am alternating reading my loot last August and some short stories in between. I want to reread another favorite since I was in college.  A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, published in 1943 and was written by Betty Smith. Have you read it?

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♪♫have yourself a merry little Christmas. let your heart be light♪♫♪

Do I hear the music playing? Gosh, the days are definitely chasing each other. Josef and I have finally put up our minimal  Christmas decor and I love the look of our home now. Mind you, these are recycled  decorations that we have accumulated over the years and lovingly restored just for this occasion. I know some of you don’t celebrate Christmas the way we do here in our country, three long months of celebration.  Shopping malls are truly alive during this season because they usually put up their larger than life Christmas trees, trimmings and twinkling LED lights as early as September. Where can you find Christmas songs being played all day long? An  advertising gimmick to lure more shoppers of course. We are vulnerable that way because we love Christmas.  I’ve done shopping for some gifts for the family but I haven’t completed  my list yet. This is the first time that we did the decorating this early. I took advantage of Josef’s vacation leave to sort what to put up. I bought something new of course and it was the first time I did it – a set of pillow cases in Christmas prints.

Christmas 2014 - 2

Christmas 2014 -1I bought those empty rattan carts a year ago and embellished them with Christmas balls and flowers. That white porcelain nativity set was a gift from a friend many years ago and I just love it.

Our town is participating in a Christmas tree contest in the whole province of Rizal. The large Christmas tree displayed at the grounds of our municipal hall is made from recycled soft drink bottles. I hope we win :)

Don’t look now but I’ve finally been able to find some pictures of the Ayala Triangle gardens. The tradition continues with the  Festival of Lights happening  every 30 minutes from 6pm to 10 pm every night starting today and will continue till January 04, 2015. I got these two pictures from the timeline of JAZA (Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala), one of the big bosses of Ayala Group of Companies, Bank of PI included. I am sure he wouldn’t mind if I post them here :) He has a page on FB which most former unibankers like me follow.

Courtesy of JAZA. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala Corp.

Courtesy of JAZA. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala Corp.

Photo courtesy of Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Photo courtesy of Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

I hope I would be able to visit this and watch musicians/composers sing Christmas carols of old. This is right in front of Nissa’s office building.

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Pretty in pink...

Pretty in pink…

And in red too....

And in red too….

A few days ago, I blogged about the new buds of my pink Mokara orchids. Here they are in full bloom now. The red blooms are just as pretty as the pink ones.

What a lovely way to greet the morning!

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Chilling with daddy...

Chilling with daddy…

Short of  20 days to being a toddler of two. He said, “daddy, milk”.

Daddy said, “May I have my milk daddy?”

As he can’t yet speak a whole sentence, he smiled and got his wish.

Look at how happy he is.

Mommy was ready with her  cam.

Precious moment, forever freezed in a photograph.

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