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This Is It


I just received my badge on Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  I committed myself to read 150 books this year. Done  with one Just about to start  A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.  Hoping this book won’t disappoint.  The short summary says: A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.

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Reading is such a joy that I could not give it up. Hopefully, I’ll finish the challenge with flying colors.   I feel good at a mere sight of a book. Aside from the author, sometimes the cover is one deciding factor why a certain book is priority on my list. Done with some  classics last year, it is about time to discover new authors.  Good luck to me.

 

 

 

 

Glimpses


My sparrows are back.  I heard them singing outside my window very early this morning.  Good morning world!

When dawn breaks, you discover something wonderful in the garden. My son gifted me with two metallic pots last Christmas from Parish  Garden along with a sturdy gardening gloves  One container  has kitchen herbs like Basil, Parsley and Coriander. The other one has Lavender seeds. Both came with potting medium, you just have to add a centimeter of soil on top. I planted them last December 30 just so it would be easy to remember when  if ever they grow to be robust plants. I’ve seen them growing a little every day, just small sprouts which look  so frail and dainty.   I wonder about the Lavender though, I haven’t seen anything yet.  I have more seeds here for planting which I bought late last year, a packet of  Celosia Armor Orange and another one of Aster Daylight Violet.  We live at the corner of Aster and Violet streets so how lovely it would be to see these grow here 🙂  Really looking forward to more flowers growing in the garden.  And I guess it is time to trim the carabao grass again.

Are you excited to see the annual report of WordPress as regards to your blog’s performance during the previous year? I am.

 

 

 

More Dreams To Hold


Mulling over what 2017 holds in store.  It’s a  season of hope and new beginnings.  A new leaf in the calendar, a blank page   that needs to be filled with experiences, journeys and  daily happenings in one’s life. There is something nice about a new beginning. You are excited to make it a success somehow, you are excited to learn more about life itself and more excited to traverse an unknown journey with hope and faith in the  Almighty.

Time was when a new year is filled with resolutions so to speak. Now I call them  goals in life, those small  achievable things that make the journey  wonderful – the beauty of everything simple. the abundance of blessings one receives day-to-day, the fulfillment of  a dream.

I vow  to read more books this year, maybe  increase the previous 123 books I managed to finish  on Goodreads’ reading challenge for 2016. Hopefully, I’ll make it to the 150 mark. I actually started reading  an hour after we met the new year last night.  Travelling Light by Tov Jansson  is  a collection of several stories that cover so many subjects. I am just on the first few chapters of the book but I guess  I would enjoy it.  I wish I could blog every day just like before, never mind if they’ll just be a few lines without photos.  The richness of a simple story depends on how it is presented, whether one’s target audience is appreciative enough.  Hopefully this post would be the start.

I love to share with you a lovely quote from  Langston  Hughes’ Dreams. This has inspired me through the years.

Hold onto dreams
For if dreams die
Life is like a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

More dreams to hold. Welcome 2017 🙂 🙂 🙂

What’s For Media Noche?


 

Thinking of what to prepare tomorrow night for our media noche, to celebrate the coming of  the new year.  Usually, we celebrate a new leaf in the calendar with lots of sweets  like fruit or buko salad, cakes and the usual  food  like pancit, pasta, embutido, lumpiang shanghai, menudo (mostly  Chinese and  Spanish recipes handed down from one generation to the next). The price of buko (young coconut) has significantly gone up over the years. It now costs P35 per piece whereas a year or two ago, it could be bought at P20 to P25.

Celebration of new year here in our country is steeped in tradition. I blogged about this years ago how we celebrate New Year. It is pretty normal that two days before  new year, wet markets and grocery stores are filled with people shopping for fruits and sweets, must items that should be on the table come  media noche.  Tradition says that having twelve kinds of fruits  on the table brings luck, any round fruit will do but some are specific about what fruits to serve on the table. When they are not in season though, they cost sky-high. It is only during this time that you will see so many fruits displayed in the market.  Even lechon  (a roasted suckling pig)  could be bought whole or by the kilo. It’s one of the usual recipes that is served during Christmas and New Year.  I bought some fruits already, half-a kilo each for the small ones, pineapple  and  honey-dew but they are not yet complete. There are only six items  in all but the fruit basket is already filled. m I have to go back to the market tomorrow for the rest.  I am thinking of preparing chicken ala king, menudo, the usual baked ham,  and finger food like lumpiang shanghai (spring rolls). Pasta of course will  not be left behind  or pancit  for long life, so they say.

Attending the New Year’s Eve mass is also practiced by most Catholics here.  It used to be that mass was held at exactly 12am but that was changed over the years since you cannot hear the celebration properly with the sound of fireworks all around.  I don’t know why but they haven’t totally banned the use of firecrackers. It is still a big business particularly in some towns in Bulacan.They pose a serious and environmental health dangers, it’s pollution to the max.  I wonder why some people can’t do away with all these toxic chemicals. We never buy firecrackers,  our neighbors’ display are  more than enough to pollute the air in our village.

How do you greet the new year in your area? Do you have the same traditions like we do here?  May the coming 2017 be a brighter and better year for us. May it always be filled with  faith, hope and peace.

HAPPY 2017 !!!

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As all things go, there is an end to  everything –  days, months and years included. And yes, 2016 is about to end and we think of those  things we did this year,  old and new friends  we met, family togetherness,  places we dreamed of  visiting,  lessons learned,  hours wasted on senseless thoughts (sometimes) and all the other things that make life and living worthwhile.

It’s been a quiet year for us except those times we went out as a family to  celebrate  birthdays and those times we had visitors at home to celebrate with us too.  It is always nice to get in touch with friends, sharing  meals together and being happy just exchanging news and ideas.  It is always nice to be with the whole family celebrating togetherness no matter how simple it is. We do find meaning in the ordinary things in our lives,  one has to look back, discern, and admire what is before us.  We find meaning in our brokenness, those times when we felt so down  and  everyone cared, we are just grateful for that.

Do you make new year’s resolution? I’ve never been good at keeping one.   They always get broken one way or another. So I dream, make some of it into reality and just enjoy what is in store.  The days are not always happy, some are like memories blurred at the edges, some are like a closed book so pleasant to discover, some are lovely thoughts waiting to be shared.

Blogging has become one major step to sharing with online friends. It is such pure heaven to meet fellow bloggers who share their lives, their hobbies, their families and their precious photos and memories. Blogging has become a daily exercise that I look forward to,  reshaping my views with the world outside. Blogging has become a pleasant tool  for friendship.  I’ve finally reached more than 2,000 followers including my 90 followers linked at Twitter.  Isn’t it nice that every day, the blog stats increase a little more than before? It’s close to 445,000 views now. I made a total of 157 blog posts this year, add maybe two or three more before the year ends.  The wonder of blogging. May I just thank you all for sharing with me through my blogs and yours? Thank you, thank you so much.

May  the next year be a pleasant, happy and fruitful one for all of us.  Happy 2017 guys.

A Family Celebration


Hello everyone!

How was your Christmas celebration? I hope you all enjoyed it. We  have the family including my Mom to celebrate Christmas with.  It was certainly a joy  to see Nate again. We celebrated Noche Buena  at exactly 12 am  after attending mass earlier at our village chapel. It was a quiet celebration, we only opened gifts on Christmas day with  my daughter’s family.

They  came here yesterday to celebrate Christmas with us and  I cooked the Christmas dinner.  Left-over food is still good to go for maybe two days more.  It is always nice to see food nicely spread on the table. Right after dinner, Nate entertained us  singing while playing with his guitar toy.  I wonder how he got those words with a song he definitely invented. Most I could hear were the repetitive words, You Are My Best Friend.   He could really sing in style while at the same time making some moves that we all laughed about.  Was that an exercise Nate or a dance?

Nate playing with his robot toys at the garage.

Nate playing with his robot toys at the garage.

Nate's loot for Christmas...mostly toys!

Nate’s loot for Christmas…mostly toys!

Nissa and  I. Taken this morning when they were about to leave for home.

Nissa and I. Taken this morning when they were about to leave for home.

 

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Nate took this shot using a camera stick.

Those lovely moments sharing with the  family – priceless. Hoping 2017 would be a great year for us.


Greetings of peace.

Finally completed the 9 novena masses for Simbang Gabi. What a joy! What a blessing!

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I would like to wish you all a blessed, happy and merry Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we share the joys that the season brings – time to be merry, time to make friends with those you have hurt and who have hurt you before, time to feel the joy of His coming.  He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Here’s hoping for a bountiful 2017 to all of you. I am grateful for your presence and I am glad to meet those new followers to my blog. Let us make this community a truly happy one.