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Archive for the ‘rainy days’ Category


That gentle kiss on your cheeks brought by the early morning breeze, what a wonderful feeling.

Our weather bureau said we’ll be having monsoon rains until Sunday. There’s a drizzle, that kind that stays too long and you won’t see the sun because the dark clouds are obscuring it.

Faintly, I heard the croak of the frogs last night. I read somewhere that only male frogs can croak. Maybe it is their way of telling the female ones that it’s time to play among the empty fields filled with rain water.  Early this morning, a little sparrow sang from my open window. How nice to wake up and listen to the sweet melody.

You know what I always love about the morning after a heavy rain? It’s the raindrops. They cling to the leaves of the plants, they look like silver jewels hanging on our clothes line.  I am always enamored taking shots of raindrops.

They’re like clear mirrors that reflect the nearby plants and leaves in the garden.

I love the gentle patter of rain outside. May it just stay that way, no flooding, no thunderstorms, just enough to wet the grass and the plants in the garden.

I planted some Adenium seeds early this morning. Finally, one of the seed pods that I was waiting for from my lone Adenium pot fell to the ground. I had it tied loosely before so the seeds won’t scatter. I hope, they would grow, fingers crossed.

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This rain never stops.  It’s been raining since last night. I woke up around 2 am since I could not sleep because of it. That kind  which is intermittent and sporadic, strong one minute then it stops then rains again. The new low pressure area is stationary so it is bringing in more monsoon rains in several provinces of Luzon including Metro Manila.  It’s one thing I dread – flooding. I still can’t forget those days when typhoon Ondoy flooded Metro Manila and we had to renovate.

It is okay if it rains as long as it does not bring flash flood and does not destroy properties in the process. Josef came back after a few minutes. He attempted to go to work early this morning but “no can do”.

This is just the ninth weather disturbance in our country. We are usually visited by around twenty typhoons on the average every year.

 

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It’s raining.  And it’s been raining since this morning. That kind of rain that never seems to stop, we call it “tigatik” in our language.  Brrr….it’s cold in here.

It’s a perfect time for that hot cup of coffee or  that pot of hot green tea.  Along with some other gifts last Christmas,  Nissa gave me tea biscuits and a box of organic green tea from Marks and Spencer.  I have lots of tea flavors actually but lately I was more addicted to morning coffee than afternoon tea. I can’t resist this though.

tia-a

That first sip warms my throat and it’s pretty good. It really makes you think of cold and rainy afternoons.

By the way I have just updated my  other blog (it’s not new, it’s been there for about a year now) at WordPress. I posted several photos taken with friends.  If you have time,  you may visit it too and maybe, just maybe click follow.  It is different from  Dreams and Escapes because it is mostly pictures  with a bit of writing and reflections on the side. I call  it Dreams Never End. Some of you are already following it. Eventually, that would have to replace this blog because I only got 28% more free space on my allowed limits that is why I don’t want to post more pictures here.

How was the start of your new year? More than a week is already gone. It seems like time is too fast.   I am done with 5% on my commitment to read 150 books on Goodreads.  Just finished seven books, four books ahead of schedule.  It’s a nice phase. Just love those books I’ve found.

It is a rainy Tuesday, I hope it is sunny on your side of the planet.

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It’s been a while.

It’s been raining cats and dogs here for the past days and I only saw the sun showed its face briefly early this morning (for a few minutes actually)  then she played hide and seek  with the thick clouds  never to show up again the whole day.  We were alarmed when Marikina River reached almost critical level because the rain dumped so much in thirty minutes causing the river to swell. Marikina is adjacent to our town so they have to open the eight gates of Manggahan floodway which is so near to us.  There are pockets of water in some areas until now. Old folks call this “siyam-siyam”,  nine days of prolonged rained brought about by the southwest monsoon.  Well, it is the rainy season so what can we expect but I am praying hard that flash floods won’t be a problem for us  during this wet season.

You wonder what the smell of rain is. It threatens but at the same time the sound of raindrops gently falling on the roof is quite soothing. The drizzle is quite nice for the plants but the downpour makes them swim too much in water. And when it rains, you have so much time in your hands to read. I have just finished my 79th book on Goodreads’ 2016 reading challenge, 18 books in advance.  When you are lucky to find a subject quite different from your usual reading genre, you devour it with gusto. I found a treasure in reading The Secret Ways of Perfume. You would think that a scent of a perfume is just that, something you like but we don’t know the complexities of how it is made, you need a detailed study on the combination of scents (the essences of flowers, herbs and spices). There is something that soothes, energizes, inspires. lavender, bergamot, roses…learning the world of perfume creation. How nice!

How was your Sunday?

 

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It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.

 

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My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

It’s almost a week now since the rainy days started, three days in a row where all levels of classes in most schools  in Metro Manila and suburbs were suspended due to the inclement weather. Typhoon Egay left a few days ago but it was bold enough to leave monsoon rains in the metropolis. Typhoon Falcon entered the Philippine area of responsibility the other night. It didn’t make a landfall but dumped more rains and saturated the streets of Metro Manila. It’s still a bit dark outside and drizzling. Oh, can’t help but sip a hot cup of coffee (yes, my third cup for the week). And why am I even counting? I haven’t touched the brew for quite sometime, that’s why.

One finds beauty even on a dark rainy day. These tiny white blooms are just so lovely to ignore. They bring a bit of sunshine to an otherwise bleak morning.

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It’s a rainy Monday and PAGASA said we will have these monsoon rains for the next five days. Typhoon Egay hasn’t left yet and there is another one coming but has not yet  entered the Philippine area of responsibility. I hope it will divert its course farther from the country.

Josef and I have thought about it even before we reached the market this morning, braving the early morning shower. He asked me what is the best food for merienda (snacks) on a rainy day. I suggested soup with crackers but he didn’t buy it. What about arroz caldo or minatamis na saging? Can you prepare both, he asked. Why not?

Arroz caldo or congee is best prepared with sticky rice and chicken wings with lots of fried garlic while minatamis na saging is the easiest version of cooking saba banana (Philippine plantains) but you can simply boil it or eat it raw, it does not matter. I bought eight pieces and a cup of mini tapioca pearls. We had this for snack this afternoon.

Believe me, it's yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Believe me, it’s yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon...

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon…

If I am not too lazy tomorrow, I will cook arroz caldo  not for merienda but for dinner. Dinner today is fresh bean sprouts topped with  crunchy flaked tinapa, another comfort food on rainy days like this.

The sun showed its face for a while so  I went out to visit the garden and took a few shots. I love those silver raindrops clinging to  the leaves  after the rain.

Look at those dark threatening clouds...

Look at those dark threatening clouds…

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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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There is nothing much to do in this rainy Wednesday morning.  Sometimes, you just get bored with so much time in your hands. Waking up early really has its advantage because you get to finish daily household chores early too. This morning, I decided to tackle the contents of Nissa’s cabinet  which was left as it was since she got married November of 2011. We have floor-to-ceiling cabinets in our bedrooms so you can just imagine the amount of things left there most of which are old clothes which she didn’t bring with her, personal effects, stationeries,  arts and crafts kits, and various  toiletries some of which were not opened yet. I disposed all of the facial creams, lotions, shampoo bottles and some used make-up which she left behind.  Despite all these junks I found some treasures though while cleaning. IMG_6162

One is  a cellphone holder still in its original box in purple color. I always call Nissa a purple girl since it is her favorite color. When she got married, all her accessories were done in three shades of purple.  Now I have a nice holder for my cellphones. I am sure she would just smile when she sees this. She is a hoarder of sentimental things like I am. Would you believe that I still have two shoe boxes of letters from friends from way back?  I am digressing again. To make the story short, I found another item that I’ve been looking for since  typhoon Ondoy and that was four years ago.  It’s a candle thermometer which my brother sent me when I was into candle-making.

This candle book is a gift from Josef and I learned so much from it.

This candle book is a gift from Josef and I learned so much from it.

When I left the bank (I availed of an early optional retirement) fourteen years ago, I was in a quandary on what to do. I had so much time in my hands so I enrolled in some arts and crafts course  including candle-making. I sourced raw materials from as far as Divisoria market and bought lots of shut glasses for my jelly candle.  Back in those days,  you can make  candles in any scent you want. I was thrilled to try chocolate, bubblegum, vanilla  and peppermint scents to name a few. I  ended up giving them as gifts to friends and relatives. Nissa’s art kit consists of several crimping scissors, paper-cutter, stamp pads for designing stationeries, beads in different colors (for making bracelets, earrings, rosaries etc.), cutters, beading wires, pens in different colors,  and ribbons. She said she misses doing crafts and she has no time now.

I remember those cross-stitches  I did  before but was not able to have them framed.  I am into rosary-making now and give them as gifts to friends. Maybe one of these days,  I will try candle-making again. It would be nice to prime wicks, find lovely molders and wax fragrance and wax dyes too.  Maybe when I’m done with my fascination for baking cookies, bars and simple cakes, when I am done reading all those books on my TBR list, I will try other crafts.

How’s your morning? Is it also rainy in your area?

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And good riddance to you.

I know, I know it is not  such a problem if we would compare it to typhoon Yolanda a year ago. The typhoon survivors in those areas affected by it still have no homes to come back to. They have lost their livelihood to the devastating typhoon that was Yolanda. Typhoon Glenda wreaked havoc to power lines causing massive brownouts all over our country until now. I think I am guilty of this, finding discomfort without power for two straight days and just  relying on a transistor radio to get news. I have to get rid of some veggies stored in our ref, cook what was left in our freezer all at the same time so they won’t spoil, can’t check my e-mails because there was no internet. These are just minor problems compared to those who have just lost their homes to typhoon Glenda. Such a nice name for a typhoon but so deadly. I think of the devastation it caused us and  I just shake my head.  There is another tropical storm coming and anytime within the next few days, it will enter the Philippine area of responsibility. I am praying it would not make a landfall and won’t bring so much rain. You can never know with typhoons these days, one morning they are just ordinary low pressure areas and before you know it, they have evolved into strong typhoons. We are visited by more than twenty weather disturbances in a year and although it is inevitable, I still feel so much afraid and insecure every time there is a typhoon coming. Lost lives can never be replaced and destroyed properties are hard to replace.

My garden is a mess.

My poor Gardenia shrub. It was partly uprooted during the typhoon and my flowering orchids got the brunt of  Glenda. It is a wonder though that my Hoya orchids are again showing off lovely buds of pink almost in all tips of the hanging plants. Right after the winds and the rains stopped, Josef and I cleaned the yard of debris – fallen leaves from a neighbor’s mango tree, upturned flower pots, small branches of trees that I cannot identify, and some plastic wrappers blown by the strong winds. Our small pond still needs cleaning. What a mess! I remember the time when we still had our avocado tree and around the months of July and August, some fruits are ready for harvesting. Just imagine gathering a sackful of avocados right after a storm.

I am saddened by what happened to the Malaysian Airline flight MH-17 and the deaths of all 298 aboard the aircraft.  Where is this world coming to? I was talking to my brother earlier today  on Viber and I told him, “we are not safe on land but it is even more dangerous when you’re out there because you have no way of defending yourself to such disasters”. “So true”, he said. When you’re on land, you can run or hide or do something to save your life. And I remember what I read on the news about VP Joe Biden saying, It was “not an accident, it was blown out of the sky.”  Who is responsible for this? Let us all pray for the  innocent victims and the families they left behind, that they find justice amidst this terrible tragedy.

Can life just be reduced to something like this?

 

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