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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


July is getting to a close and it was so uneventful it was kind of boring month. I spent a big chunk of it taking care of Josef for a few days then I got sick too and it was kind of hard to get back to normal.  I don’t usually complain about the weather but it was also  weird that this month was like summer, so hot during the day and there is the usual thunderstorm in the afternoon or early evening.

My plants are probably getting confused although they enjoy the afternoon and early evening shower. A week ago, my lone gardenia shrub started blooming again after it showed its last bud second week of June. If there is one thing that gave me joy in this dull July month, it was the flowers blooming in my garden. My rain lilies are showing off and my Vinca/periwinkle plants are showing a lot of blooms too. One good reason to visit the garden. We haven’t trimmed the carabao grass for more than a month now. I get lazy just looking at it and keep postponing the hard job of weeding and trimming. I need a gardener to replant my peanut grass in front of the house.

My July blooms...

My July blooms…

I had a lot of time to catch up on my reading. I am half-way through reading one of the classics Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy but in between I read contemporary and chick lit novels. I am finding it hard to pronounce all those confusing Russian names in my head. Last night, I opened the five-books set from Nissa, all by John Green. Except for The Fault In Our Stars (which I have watched  on Nissa’s phone) and made a short review here, I am not familiar with the other four although I heard that there is a new movie adaptation of Paper Towns, a coming of age story that belongs to the set. I’ve been looking for more books about cooking (not necessarily cook books) but novels about chefs will do. I found this intriguing title on Goodreads, Incidence of Coconut Cake. I can’t wait to finish the book and search for a recipe using coconut cream which we have plenty here. Who knows, I might be able to come up with my own bars and cookies using this ingredient.

How time flies!  July is ending and another month is coming near. I am praying the month of August would not bring too much rain and typhoons. I hope it would be a happy month. How was July for you?

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3:35am

Yes, I know. I could do with three more hours of sleep but it’s hard go back to bed. Here I am, drinking a hot cup of green tea and lemon with a delicious butter mamon from Red Ribbon which Josef’s girlfriend brought yesterday. The past days, we lived on take out food and what Jovy managed to prepare when she was here. My appetite for food is not back yet so I eat  fruits mostly. It makes  my stomach ache sometime but it is the only food I can tolerate for a while, without that bitter taste, forcing a tablespoon or two so I can take medicine. I’ve been sick again. the past four days have been real agony for me – high fever (it reached a high 39.5 C), body malaise, achy joints, gargantuan headaches  and runny nose that developed into a full-blown cold. The other week, Josef was at the hospital for some lab tests and x-ray. Everything was normal except that upper respiratory tract infection. He said the emergency room was full. This is that time of year where the change of weather brings  the flu virus out with a vengeance. A few days later, that pesky headache reared its ugly head and I had fever for three straight days without break.  Have you ever experienced perspiring from head to foot but you felt so cold and your skin was clammy and felt like ice water was poured down on you? It was frightening.

I sleep every night clutching my rosary, it’s the only way I could sleep but sometimes I feel guilty that I could not finish the five decades.  I could hear one of my friends saying now, it is okay, the prayer intentions are good. Yes I know, I always pray for good health for the whole family, for friends and relatives in general and I always believe in the adage that health is wealth.

It’s a little surprising to see a steady rise on my stats here despite not being updated for almost a week. And I am dying to read all the blog posts on my reader feed when I am well enough to stay in front of the computer.

Will you pray for me? Thank you so much.

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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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Last Saturday Nissa showed me the photo book that she made using a hundred photos of their trip to Siquijor and Dumaguete last year. I was impressed. She chose the pictures, did the layout and write-ups and edited it online.  She’s been into arts and craft since she learned how to use a crimping scissor and make her own greeting cards. She has a cabinet full of art materials and invested in a good and sturdy cutting mat, scissors, pens, paper cutters, beads and what have you’s. She is into scrap-booking too. I remember the photo book she made before she got married using their prenuptial photos taken by an official photographer. She is planning to make another one for Nate. I told her to include Nate’s pictures since he was born until perhaps he reaches three in five months.  She got a discount from Photobook Philippines. The book was printed in Malaysia and was mailed directly to her a few months ago.

this is the front cover of the photo book.

this is the front cover of the photo book.

She has a way with words...

She has a way with words…

IMG_6742

I love these shots....father/son bonding at the beach.

I love these shots….father/son bonding at the beach.

Silliman University, published in 1901, a private research university in Dumaguete.

Silliman University, established in 1901, a private research university in Dumaguete.

IMG_6763 IMG_6771 Nate probably could not appreciate this yet but he is lucky that his childhood adventures are being documented by his mom and Nonna. Wherever life takes you, appreciate what it brings. Between words and photographs, there will always be some lessons learned, memories cherished, moments treasured.

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“All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too, wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for red bird to sing”
Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

I love waking up early thinking of what the day will bring. New hope, new beginnings! I love those quiet moments spent in thanksgiving although at times I skip some beads in my rosary because I am still sleepy.

Mary Oliver always reminds me of how lucky and blessed I am, the morning brings  those inspiring thoughts again.  Years ago, I discovered her writings online and I was impressed at how she could turn simple words into something a reader  would cherish  and ponder upon.  I have two books of her poems given by a generous friend who knows my penchant for collecting book of poems.  I borrowed a title of one of her books and made a blog out of it and until now it is one of my most-read blog posts.

I smiled while I was watering the plants a few minutes ago and thought of Nate and the many photos I took of him during their overnight stay last weekend. I smiled thinking of him asking me how dragons dance and I gladly obliged – what you’ll do to hear the laughter and see the big smile on his face. It was even more hilarious when he imitated my hand gestures and tried dancing too. Those priceless and precious moments would always be remembered with fondness. They are added to the treasure chest.

I am weaning myself off coffee the past few days and I thought I succeeded but this morning was a temptation so I had a nice cup while our three dogs followed  me around the garden probably thinking that I’ll share the cup with them.  Drinking two glasses of water is healthier  than a cup of coffee.

Nissa brought me several books to read and I didn’t know where to start. I haven’t read John Grisham and James Patterson in years so they were quite a change from the contemporary and chick lit books that I have on my e-reader.  I am almost done with my 2015 reading challenge on Goodreads (45 books out of 50), 21 books ahead of schedule. Hooray!

This morning brings those lovely thoughts again.

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Can’t wait for tomorrow.

After almost two months of not seeing Nate, they are finally coming over tomorrow to celebrate Josef’s birthday with us. I suggested to Nissa if they could stay here overnight so she could rest, without thinking of cleaning and doing the weekend tasks in the kitchen.  Sometimes, two days of rest is not enough, the weekend should be stress-free and relaxing. Anyway, I am looking forward to playing with Nate again, discovering what he has learned the past two months and seeing how fast he has grown into a very active toddler. It’s a period of discovery and exploration for our kid who’s not so little anymore.

I had a long chat with my priest son this afternoon who is attending a mission summit in Letran-Calamba. We talked of his assignment in Calayan. Time flies, a year is gone and in a few months he will be transferring to another mission. “Where to next?”, I asked and he answered “Camiguin”, another island in the north which is still a part of the Babuyanes Islands. He said it is more laid back, simple life to speak of but as equally beautiful as Calayan Island. He is happy to learn that I am still active at our Catholic Community page  and still share my thoughts with  the world through my blog.  I laughed when he wrote back “OP Lay” meaning a Dominican lay preacher – preaching through mass media.  I’ve always said even when I started this blog that if I could inspire a single soul out there, then I am fulfilled and happy. Josef is blessed, a mass intention will be offered on his birthday this Sunday.  We are all blessed of course because  we are always included in Lovell’s prayers.  He always tells me, “bawal ma-depress at ma-stress”  I know all that but sometimes life is hard  and it is even harder to cope.  “Stay in the grace of our Lord”. What lovely words! What was I thinking, negative thoughts should have no place in my heart.

I’ve found some amazing blogs here today – some blogs I followed, clicked a lot of posts that I liked.  Inspiring words and  beautiful stories that warm the heart.  And here’s a quote for you today.

Quote

 

A blessed and happy weekend to all.

 

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It’s good to be back.

I haven’t been feeling well the past days so blogging has taken a back seat. Arrggh…the aches and pains of getting old. It’s quite nice to read other people’s thoughts  once again and  look at the lovely photos after a self-imposed absence from blogging.  Sometimes, I feel so lazy to even boot the computer and  check my e-mails.  I just checked my stats and saw some previous posts which kept appearing on my most read/top posts.  This blog entry is actually my 1675th one.  I think I’ve already covered almost every subject that I wanted to share in cyberspace.

In between taking naps now and then and drinking lots and lots of water and buko juice (young coconut juice), I’ve finished three books in four days. I would have wanted to visit Nissa’s family last  weekend but I always find it a challenge to commute on my own.  Nate had fever too, so with Nissa so we survived on Viber, Skype and text messages. Thank God we are okay now. Hopefully, we could be together either on Saturday or Sunday to celebrate Josef’s 31st birthday.

A friend recently commented on one of my notes at FB about the books I have on my list. I couldn’t remember how many books I’ve read before including those  of Nissa’s  that she used to collect (Charmed series, Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University).  You would probably classify them  now as YA books, chick lit or contemporary ones. I grew up on M & B  when I was in high school and all books were borrowed from the library. I have some all-time favorites though. They taught me so many things. Here’s my short list:

1. Markings – Dag Hammarskjold
2. Seasons in the Sun – Rod McKuen
3. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum
4. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery
5. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
6. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
7.  Letting Go – Morrie Schwartz
8. The Heart of Loving – Eugene Kennedy
9. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
11. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am – John Powell
12. Simple Moments – Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD
13. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
14. I Like You Just Because – Albert Nimeth, OFM
15. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
16. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
17. Embraced By the Light – Betty J. Eadie
18. It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It – Robert  Fulghum
19. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
20. Grow Something Besides Old – Laurie Beth Jones

I actually blogged about this on 15 Books, 15 Minutes  years ago (list of 15 books you can recall in 15 minutes). I hope  you’re not getting bored  reading a blog post all about books. I just started on my second book of Lisa Genova called Love Anthony and it’s about autism. Remember Still Alice?

 

 

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