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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


Once in a while, our dog Noki shares the limelight…haha!

He  loves staying in the garden while I am weeding or cutting the grass. You won’t believe this but he watches  too when the television is on. He likes to sleep under our dining table. At night he would stay for a while inside but when it’s time for bed I let him out of the door. He is a half-breed Japanese Spitz and a Labrador Retriever,  a great family pet.

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Childlike faith focuses on our Heavenly Father – not on our fears. 
Viva! Pit Señor, Santo Niño!

Wrote this on my wall today at Facebook.  The Sto. Nino  fiesta is a feast  celebrated in the Philippines every third Sunday of January.

As I’ve said in my previous post,  yesterday was a family day for us. We went to Tondo  to celebrate fiesta with them early.  It was a day full of laughter and sharing. Nate surely knows how to entertain.  He brought out some of his toys. Josef and I enjoyed playing with him and his go-kart and his set of beyblades.  It really feels good to act and play with a child once again.   Sometimes, we need these light moments, allowing ourselves to be young once more, enjoying the same activities of a little boy and  laughing  our hearts out in enjoyment.   We only see each other once a month so every time we do, we make use of the time just being happy.

Nissa prepared  pork sinigang sa bayabas. (soup made with pork and flavored with fresh guavas). Yes, we also use fresh guavas  for our  sinigang.  Mixed with gabi (taro root)  and water spinach, it was a yummy dish. Her mother-in-law cooked embutido and  prepared fruit salad and leche flan  for dessert. We brought along bibingka (rice cake).

It is really such a joy to spend another Saturday with the family.

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Not so long ago, we discovered an edible fern during our many visits to the wet market. In fact, I blogged about it before here. There are so many ways to prepare such. Blanching is one common way to prepare it or you can cook the young leaves in coconut cream.

Last Saturday, we chanced upon fresh leaves in the market.  I  made it into a  veggie salad by adding julienned  white onions, ginger, tomatoes and  ground pork. I blanched it first with hot water then added the ingredients together with the ground pork later. It tasted so good.

Fiddlehead fern

It is locally known as pako. It is not grown as vegetable but grows in the wild. Not all ferns are edible though so one should be familiar  with it.  It is a perfect side dish for grilled fish or pork.

 

 

 

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10401954_924312577592771_2347683313099135030_nIf he were alive today, he could have been 96. He left us ten years ago. Until now, there is still that void that I feel with his passing. Sometimes, I could still  imagine him reading the daily news from cover to cover. It was always his pastime  so when he was alive, I made it a point to have a daily supply of the newspaper in our place.

I miss those days when he would recall how he struggled  in early life so he could find a nice job to support the family. My three siblings and I all  went to his favorite university where he worked for more than thirty years.  I miss those afternoon when we would take coffee and light snack and he would recall the earlier days of his life, the hardship of being a working student, those times he was away from his parents and siblings  while he worked in the city. I don’t remember his mom, my grandmother.  She died giving birth to their youngest. What I only knew  according to my grandfather was that I looked like her.

We could talk about anything under the sun. We could talk about  family members who went away to find good jobs. His two sisters and a brother (through a second marriage of my grandfather) work abroad. Two are in  Spain with their families and one resides in Japan. I am almost as old as my youngest aunt.

I miss those days when I was in high school and it was only the three of us  (my oldest brother, dad and I). My mom stayed in the province with my two younger brothers until  our youngest transferred to Manila to study when he was in grade school.  The days when he would teach me how to cook…..priceless.   He would usually drop by the wet market  after office work and he would teach me how to prepare a simple dinner.  I was not just a bystander when he was in the kitchen because he would  just instruct me what to do and watch me cook.

I miss those days when we would spend lunch together when I was in college  with one of his co-workers.  Every day, he would buy food at the UST resto  before  my class ends at 12 pm then we would share lunch.

When he got sick with ESRD and had to undergo dialysis treatment, my older brother and I accompanied him to the hospital twice a week.  The days he was bedridden after each session of dialysis, the enormous medications he had to take to stay stronger.  the graceless time he had to wear a catheter for many months, I still remember them all. My dad was a fighter. It was so painful though to watch his deteriorating health. For each session of dialysis he lost weight.

We lost him one December night ten years ago.  He may be gone from us but he still lives in my heart and the memories linger.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 

― Elisabeth Kubler Ross (more…)

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I always laugh when Mom calls our dog Noki by another name. Boo is the only name she can remember out of our several dogs that have passed on. Of course, Noki just would not respond. He would just look at her and would only come near when there is food in his dog plate.

Haha, Mom is getting bored with my company I think. We could not talk like we used to since she could not understand.  She said she could not read small letters, even the big ones that I write with a  pentel pen. At her age of almost 89, she’s getting thinner.  Her doctor prescribed  vitamins and for her to drink milk every day. He said that the more we grow older,  our body  mass diminishes.  She still watches TV though, a bit louder than before.  I wonder how she could understand those stories being shown. When she speaks, it is loud because she can’t hear herself  while speaking. Her right ear is now completely deaf. She hasn’t adjusted to using hearing aid.

Can you live in a world where you hear only noises? I can’t imagine a world without sound but I can’t even fathom how it is to go deaf  and just hear sounds without understanding anything. One good thing though is she can comprehend words when you speak softly to her left ear.

Mom is the youngest of four girls. Their oldest sister died last year. She reached a hundred  I think.  the bonus years were definitely kinder.

Thinking of life, thinking of getting older. Of course most of us want to live longer and enjoy life a bit more.

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Yesterday  I  made a Tuyo Pasta for dinner using a bottle of Gourmet Tuyo which our neighbor gave us  the other  night. Tuyo  is a salted   dried fish (usually herring)  or what we call salinas fish. In the Philippines, tuyo is considered as a poor man’s food because  it is cheaper among the dried fish being sold in the market but it has come a long way since it is now used in several  recipes.  It could be fired plain  or  bottled as a gourmet meal with olive oil and black sliced olives.

Instead of linguine or spaghetti noodles I made use of macaroni pasta, one green  bell pepper and carrots.  Topped with grated cheese it is a yummy dish. You won’t need to add so much salt to the dish since tuyo is salty but it compliments the  macaroni pasta.

Tuyo Pasta

This is actually my first time to make  Gourmet Tuyo pasta since a bottle  is quite expensive. Mom and Josef loved it. I think it even tasted better than the Spanish sardines in oil which I usually use when I don’t want tomato sauce or ground pork/beef  in our pasta dishes.  (more…)

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Happy Epiphany Sunday.

It’s the last time I  am going to say  “Merry Christmas”, until next December.  Catholics used to celebrate Epiphany during January 6 of the year but it was later changed to the first Sunday which may fall any time from January 2  to January  8.  Why was it changed? After Vatican II, some local episcopal conferences decided that it wasn’t advisable to  mandate people to attend mass every January 6  of the year. Hence, it is now celebrated the  first Sunday of January.

We attended mass at 6:30 am then later gardened for a while after breakfast.  I have to remove the old sweet potato vines and plant new ones. I added some okra beside the  new ones.   We have to trim the bleeding hearts too since they invaded some branches of our jackfruit trees.  Josef removed the African rose altogether since it is so invasive. I love its orange flowers though. I used to grow it in pots but lately, it even broke the  container pot where it was planted.  Gardening at 9 am with the sun on one’s back is  quite difficult but I have to take advantage of Josef’s free time. We were done after two hours.

Found a small guava growing near the perimeter fence.  The old tree is almost dying but Josef picked two guava fruits earlier.  What a nice surprise!

I am into my second book  this year, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  It’s Goodreads’ Choice Award for Best Fiction  2017.  It’s my first book of Celeste Ng. I am still trying to find copies of more classic books that I haven’t read yet.  I love this quote from the book:

“It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?” 

I think motherhood is more about love. It is  a privilege. a glorious blessing.

Happy Sunday everyone.

 

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