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Archive for the ‘ramblings’ Category


Allow me to rant a little.  I am trying to avoid stress but this makes my head ache. Two years ago, my immediate neighbor (our properties are divided by a fire wall and since our house is on a corner lot, it is the only house next to us) decided to have a second floor of their house. My problem started then because our roof near their house was destroyed when debris of cement and hollow blocks rained on it. They didn’t have protective covering so I have to make a proper complaint to our homeowners’ association to remind them of it. After two weeks I went to the engineering office of our town, showed them the pictures of the damage done by our neighbor to our roof. They sent someone to inspect a week after several follow-ups but at that time, no worker was around so they didn’t talk to the owner. In short, they left the project hanging, with just plain hollow blocks encircling the structure, no beams to speak  of (and that is dangerous for them and for me too), no enough steel bars to hold it and I presumed seeing the site, there was no building plan and building permit. The framework looked pathetic.

My brother is an architect so I had him check the site from our end and he said the building was not safe. I had a few arguments with the owner to no avail.  We had our roof repainted and repaired  three weeks ago. Our two painters even cleaned the area where bits of cement got stuck. Two days ago, while Mom and I were having naps, we heard a loud noise coming from our roof in three successive times. Since it was my son’s day of, I asked him to check it, true enough, some debris were there, and it was like our newly painted red roof was scattered with cement powder.  I talked to them and we argued, the owner (the wife, I mean) was like a tiger let loose on a cage together with her daughter telling me that I am always complaining so I told her I have a right to complain because this is my property. She hurled insults that were too personal and has nothing to do with what we were trying to resolve. I told the story to some of my friends and most of them told me to sue her for slander and oral defamation. I don’t want a stressful life so I’ll just probably make another visit to the engineering office of our town so they could visit it. Her husband promised that they would put a net but until now, they haven’t done yet and the debris kept raining on our roof.  My son took pictures again and we haven’t removed all those debris yet. Come to think of it, at least they should offer to clean it, right? The half sack of cement, sand and hollow blocks we collected two years ago from our rooftop is still lying in a corner of the garden, evidence of their not so neighborly attitude.

I get along well with our neighbors across the street where we live, they are like extended family but this particular one is a pain in the neck. How I wish we could choose our neighbors but they are here to stay. Inconsiderate people never learn.

And if I may add, this is how their structure looks like.

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Look at our gutter, it is full of debris. and that dent on our roof….it was two years ago when they started their house renovation.

Look how poorly done it is, this is on our side and those hollow blocks....crazy....

Look how poorly done it is, this is on our side and those hollow blocks….crazy….

Crude....the coco lumber they used two years ago were left hanging on our property line and when the two painters removed them they crumbled into pieces.

Crude….the coco lumber they used two years ago were left hanging on our property line and when the two painters removed them they crumbled into pieces.

No corner beam done here.....

No corner beam done here…..that’s their roof.

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I’ve never been good at following “how to’s” unless it’s a complicated recipe that I need to experiment on.  Sure, sometimes they make life easier but it is different from following rules that you have set yourself to do. The step-by-step-numbered rules bore me. I wonder if I am alone in this because sometimes I do encounter blog posts like how to learn to be happy or how to be a good writer or how to make your blog more popular(taken from the point of view of  the author of course) but in real life we each have certain criteria and values that we wish to meet  that we think assure  us of happiness and success. It is like reading a highly recommended book but you find it boring. Short of saying “to each his own” we  have our way of coping and  facing  what is in front of us.  The way you look at things probably depends on how you view life itself. As they always say, you could see a glass half-full or half-empty.  It does not matter whether you’re 30 or 50, maturity comes not in the number you add to your age but in the richness of experience you encounter making you grow and learn a little more.

Now and then, I link some posts at Facebook  just to share with some friends who just want to click it and read. I was never sold to the idea though of  linking it to the app  NetworkedBlogs. Although WordPress is public too, it has a different set of writers/bloggers/readers  and compared to Facebook which is so noisy, I feel safe at WordPress.  Getting across your message to people who love the written words as you do is vastly different from seeing selfies and pictures that speak of what one had for breakfast to where they had dinner all in the same day.  My wall and timeline are set to friends only and I don’t allow my updates to be made public. There are things that you don’t normally share in cyberspace.

The other day, I finally decided to export my blog and copy it to my external hard drive. It is quite scary to lose all of the 1,597 posts  and all the five years of blogging coming to naught so I followed the  advice of a blogger friend, looked at the tools and downloaded export file. I’d like to do the same with my other three blogs.  If you haven’t done it yet, I also suggest you do, for safety.

A friend once said that blogging has become a way of life, do you agree?

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Crossandra1

It takes time

for you to see the light,

when you have been too long

walking in the dark.

It takes time

to appreciate

what is in front of you

when your eyes are riveted

to the farthest view.

It takes time to appreciate

what love really is

when you ignore the whispers

of your heart.

Take a moment to see -

the feel of a cold morning

on your face,

the beauty of the dawn,

the wonder of a sunrise

breaking on the horizon.

Take a moment to feel -

the innocent kiss of a child

the warm embrace

the tight hugs.

For they speak to you

of love.

 

 

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I don’t normally blog about daily news and happenings here in our country  except for occasional posts on some politicians that I just can’t tolerate and the 42 days that I watched the daily hearings with mom when our former Chief  Justice Renato  Corona was impeached.  I did a daily post on that until the last day.  This morning, I was listening  to  the AM news and this caught my attention. A Metro Manila Development Authority traffic constable was assaulted by a guy driving a Ghibli Maserati. The traffic enforcer accosted the driver when he was trying to do a left-turn in one of the major streets in Quezon City. The motorist then went straight  ahead but made a U-turn, went to the traffic enforcer’s post, and gave him the dirty finger at the same time snatching his cellphone and punching  him on the nose three times while the car was cruising on auto pilot. He held him by his uniform and managed to drag him at least 10 meters from his post. The enforcer also recalled that the  driver removed his grey-blue shirt and threw it at him so he could wipe his bloodied face.

Does having a multi-million car in your possession gives you the right to disobey traffic rules and ignore a man in uniform? Does being rich makes you untouchable that you can do all you want  when you are out on the streets? MMDA Chairman Tolentino was fuming mad when he learned about this and with the help of the dealer of Maserati cars here in Metro Manila, they were able to trace the name of the car owner/motorist. According to reports, there are only two buyers/owners of such luxury sports cars so late this afternoon, they were able to zero in on the man. Come to think of it, his car doesn’t even have a car plate number.  There were several instances before very similar to this one, some of them even taking out their guns to instill fear on the hapless traffic enforcers.

Where is this world coming to? I hate to think that when money speaks (and I include our corrupt politicians here), good manners and values go to the dogs.  I am not generalizing since there are more moneyed individuals who help our economy grow. I am referring to those who lose their values when they display  what money can do for them.  They equate money with power. What they don’t know is, they could not bring it to their graves.

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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

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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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I love collecting journals, that’s a fact. I have at least a dozen more  blank pages to fill up. Of course when you love writing, you also having so many writing materials at your disposal right? I won’t say, it is a love affair with tech pens, colored pencils, Sharpie  and Stabilo markers. It all started when I was in my junior year in college majoring in Economics. I was fascinated with graphs. I don’t know of any other course that uses more graphs than Economics. Theories are presented in pie charts, bar graphs, curves, the X and Y points and the like. Using graphs means using different colors of pencils/pens to make it more understandable (at least in our time).  I am digressing again so let’s go back to paper and pen.

Just this morning I noticed that I was half way through a thick journal that I started almost two years ago, when Nate was born  and I scribbled some notes while we were at the hospital. It was followed by several recipes  and baking tips culled from the internet. Lately it has become a hodgepodge of thoughts and  ramblings, friends’ contact numbers and mailing addresses, quotes taken from recent reads, books I want to have on my shelves and some scribblings that I haven’t published on WordPress. Haha, this is really funny :)  A friend gifted me with a Pilot tech pen labeled .7 so I asked Josef if the print is smaller than the three tech pens he bought me with a .4 mark. He looked at me as if I have forgotten to do simple Math or Arithmetic, hay!

Last Saturday, we were at the mall and first stop was at a bookstore. I was looking for a fine-point marker that I could use to label my grocery purchases. You might find it weird that despite the expiry dates written clearly but finely on each can and box of grocery items, I still write them in bold letters and arrange them in  the pantry by expiry dates. OC? Probably.  Sometimes, I get confused by the words Best By, Use By, Best Before. What do they actually mean when you see these words? When it says the expiry date is 12/14, will it expire right at the start of December or by month-end? Packing codes which are a jumble of numbers in a particular product  are mostly found in cosmetic  items, shampoos, detergents, toiletries etc. I  asked a shop assistant once in a grocery store how they know when an item like bars of soap are already expired. He told me that the dates displayed on the box is the manufacturing date and  the expiry is normally three years after  if they stay unopened.

Do you read nutrition facts on grocery items? I do, although at times even if you know that it is not that healthy, still you buy it. Junk food is plenty in grocery stores. It is your own look-out to feed yourself with such unhealthy snacks just because you are tempted  to grab them at the grocery shelves.  This  Christmas, I  am planning to cook my own home-cured ham, a healthy alternative to store-bought ones that are sometimes too salty for my liking.

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One thing great about unplanned meeting  is that, it almost always pushes through unlike other times when you have anticipated and looked forward to it only to find that it was just that – a plan. You feel disappointed.  Last Friday was one of those spur of the moment decisions to have lunch with the kids. Since it was a  Friday and Josef was still on vacation leave so off we went to Makati to meet Nissa during her lunch break. She needs a xerox copy of Nate’s birth certificate  for their flight on Tuesday so I have a perfect excuse to tag  along.  We had lunch at Cafe France. I enjoyed looking at their display of French bread, croissants, pastries and cookies. My busy mind was at work the whole time I looked at the arrangement on their shelves. I was thinking, “I’ll bake my own Vienna loaf or sourdough one of these days.” I was pleasantly surprised when Nissa told me that it used to be called Deli France and she meant my favorite hangout with some friends years and years ago. Have I grown that old that I never noticed that it has changed its name all these years or have I become such a recluse, often afraid to go out alone?

I used to attend high school reunions on a regular basis but then even that has lost its magic. Seeing my former classmates on Facebook  is now enough for me.  I have my group now, mostly members of our Catholic page where I am an admin. They are OFWs  (overseas Filipino workers) who make sacrifices being away  to earn a few dollars to support their family back home. When they go home for vacation, some of them drop by to see me  and we usually have  long chats on how life is away from one’s family.  I know, I always tell them, I was a OFW wife for more than twenty years. I know what one feels when you are faced with a gargantuan task of raising a family alone while at the same time trying to balance a day job.  Maybe, I was luckier than most to have found reliable minders to my kids back then.

Things do not always end the way you planned. Sometimes, there is a greater force you have no control of. These are those things that make you stronger in faith that you will get through it all.  The richness of life does not always come from good things thrown  your way,  most of it comes from your experience of what pain is all about and how you cope with it. You learn and you learn well. When the journey becomes a perilous path of uncertainty, you pray hard for guidance and God never disappoints.

On a lighter note, I am quite happy that we have finished putting some Christmas decor. Most are recycled and favorite pieces over the years.  I took advantage of Josef being  home to help me hang  the trimmings. I am still thinking of putting Christmas lights on the newly trimmed tree in our garden.  We have this kind of pine  tree that I can’t identify planted near our little pond and I think it would be perfect for that holiday touch.

 

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