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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


It seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Had to wake up early to go to the supermarket to buy ingredients for the  birthday celebration we are planning for Mom tomorrow. SM East Ortigas Supermarket opens early at 7am every day. So convenient for early shopping. When it comes to a simple celebration, we always prefer home-cooked meals.  Sirloin steak, chicken lollipop, barbecue, baked potato marble and Filipino style spaghetti.  When we celebrate birthdays at home, there is always Chines bihon  (pansit) or spaghetti on the side. Yesterday, I cooked pansit  for mom, for the two of us actually, had it for lunch and merienda.

I wanted to bake some cookies since I have those M & M baking bits given by a friend last week but I feel so lazy to jot down what to buy, maybe when Mom goes home, I will.  We’ll just have store-bought cake for dessert.  I haven’t done any baking lately, trying to avoid sugar and too much carb. I have been to my internist for my month follow-up check-up the other day. No more lab tests, thank God but my medicine for BP was changed to a higher dose. Though the doctor’s fee is free because of my JP Morgan health card, the cost of medicines is sky-high.  I have to take four kinds of medications every day for I don’t know how long but I feel good.  Gone are the earlier days of always making a mistake when I am in front of the computer blogging. My fingers are quite steady now.

I talked to Nate last night. He was shouting that we will see them again soon. Yes, they are coming over for lunch tomorrow. Nissa offered to cook spaghetti.  When we cook spaghetti, it is not just from a can, we make sure that we buy fresh ingredients to go with it.

Looking forward to another family bonding.

 

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I am greeting my mom early for her 88th birthday. It is her birthday tomorrow but we will celebrate it properly when the kids are around this coming Saturday.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be able to reach that ripe old age of 88. She is the youngest of four sisters and the oldest is almost a hundred years old now.  Their generation  is quite different from ours. They were not able to enjoy the age of technology which we call the internet nowadays. I remember though that we used to have that manual Underwood typewriter where Dad typed most of his correspondence at home.  My parents both studied shorthand writing. I was intrigued. When  I was in college, I took up six units of steno but that was all.  I never learned to appreciate shorthand. You need patience and skill to use it.  I don’t know if shorthand subjects are still offered until now. Here’s a picture we had earlier with mom, my eldest brother  Roy and my son Josef. The pinkish color in the background was because of the overhead lighting.

Some say you are totally blessed when you reach  80. The added years are a bonus to one’s age.  Maybe so, but those times are the times you feel your age. Pains and other illness crop up and  you need maintenance medicines for longer life.  They grow a little forgetful. Mom is hard of hearing, oftentimes, I write messages to her so she will understand and will be able to read them.  We don’t get to talk as much as we used to because she always says “I don’t know, I could not hear you“. What she hears are garbled sounds on her right ear. The  left is totally deaf.  Years ago, we bought her hearing aid upon the advice of  an otolaryngologist  but she never adjusted to it. Maybe old age has contributed to her hearing loss.

Happy birthday Mom, we love you. Good health and happiness always.

 

 

 

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Today is Holy Monday and everything seems so quiet. Even our dog Noki, just slept in the corner of our kitchen.  Our three kittens though keep exploring around the place, mostly at the garden and some of the time inside the  house. It’s a good thing they never venture to the living room to scratch our sala set.  I am always on  the lookout, they might discover it soon and then bam,   goes our upholstered furniture.

I  reviewed my earlier posts, back in 2011 and 2012 when I was so active participating in the weekly photo challenge where WordPress usually give a word that would define the photos you want to upload. Those same shots somehow filled up my free space  in record time.  Back in those  days too, they usually give some feedback on one’s latest post. I wonder why the last few years, it is no longer done.  I rather liked it that way. Seemed like they also read those earlier blog posts to  make even a one-word comment.  It  was quite rewarding that they used to do that.

It’s mom’s 88th birthday come April 20. I wonder if my brother would fetch her before the day. At times, she is beginning to be forgetful and her right ear has gone deaf. She has never adjusted to a hearing aid many years ago. She said that she kept hearing so many sounds that she could not understand.   I wonder how she could still laugh and shouts when she watches her favorite programs on TV. She only watches one channel. I am not much into TV watching so sometimes she likes the sound quiet and low.  When I go out I usually write where I am going so she would not complain.  We could not talk much the way we used to because she could understand everything. Either you gesture with actions or make your voice a little louder for her to hear. She plays solitaire every day, a card game she is so fond of.

We talk of getting old.  That’s where we will all go someday. I think there is a  big difference between getting old and growing older. When you get old, you just add a number to your name but when you grow old, you acquire wisdom with age.  Life deals us circumstances beyond our control but as we grow older, we become wiser too. Experience always teaches us something. Either we learn a lesson or it falls on the wayside.

What was your Monday like?

 

 

 

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It’s one of those days that I get to trim the carabao grass again. Although they are growing   a little slow because it is summer I need to weed out unwanted grass too.  The weather is just right for afternoon gardening. I am just halfway through,  I still have so many things to do in the garden.  It was quite windy but the sun shone brightly.

Our two jackfruit trees are bearing so may clustered fruits again. I noticed the small  fruits at the base of the second tree not knowing that the first tree has born fruits earlier.  I took one to cook in coconut cream.

The remaining five are now large enough to ripen. They were a little up the tree so we really didn’t notice them earlier.  Maybe in a month or two, I could harvest again. Every year, these two trees give us  fruits. All we do is water them every morning together with the other plants we have here plus the two Philippine lime shrubs (kalamansi)  that bear fruits all year round. They are just perfect for a small garden.  Some branches are in their flowering stage.

I am getting impatient with the lavender I planted late last year. I wonder how long it would take before it would bear flowers. The herbs I  planted at the same time are doing well. Maybe the lavender need not be watered daily but the weather is hot here so I water them every day.  Gardening is really a hit and miss thing. Sometimes you’ll see some flowers resurrecting in the heat of summer. Sometimes there are unknown plants that just sprout in a corner.  I find fulfillment in gardening though just like I do with reading and blogging.

Gardening is also a relaxing activity and growing things from seeds and branches are just wonderful.    You won’t notice the passing of time when you are in a garden. Some of my bulb plants and the Amazon lilies planted in pots are presently in bloom.  Oh to see them bloom again. What a reward!

Do you love gardening?

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One of the many joys in going to the wet market so early in the morning is finding fresh ingredients for simple meals at home. Josef specifically requested that we buy fresh  tofu blocks. We call it tokwa in Tagalog. When you coagulate soy milk and press it into curds, tokwa is made. The usual recipe for this is it is mixed with fried pork and dipped in Philippine lime with soy sauce. We make it differently though.  Sometimes we cook it  in coconut  cream and it is a little dry when cooked.  One thing that we do is fry it to a crisp, sliced  thinly then we sauté in fresh tomatoes and ground pork. When it’s done we add in fresh, chopped Chinese parsley  or kinchay as we locally know it. Partnered with fried fish, it is a perfect meal.

Ginisang Tokwa

We had this for lunch with broiled milk fish. Oh so yummy dish. I blogged about this a long time ago with a different photo. Took this shot  with my cellphone camera.

Try it, it’s healthy.

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Gosh, it is the end of the month again and I’m like “where have all the days gone?” Time flies so fast and before we know it, another month is gone.

March  has been a little active socially , that is. We’ve attended a wedding,  Nate’s graduation and a dinner at Dampa Seaside. It is always a thrill to see relatives and friends who you haven’t gotten in touch with for quite a while.  It is always nice to bond with one’s family and enjoy some moments singing together in a karaoke bar belting your heart out for a favorite song.  It is always lovely to see other places aside from the four walls of the house. I am not complaining, it’s just that I seldom go out with friends nowadays.  It is always  church, market, grocery store, malls and a monthly visit to my internist.  It is more on being online to update my blog on  WordPress and to update my shout outs on Facebook.  It is most of the time holding a book in my hands or reading a story on my tab. I do enjoy those quiet moments though, they are quite precious to me.

I am thinking of buying a camera. My recent Canon Ixus is dying. The screen is dark at the edges and I haven’t taken any photo for the last six months or so. It is always Nissa who sends me those lovely shots in her expensive cellphone.  I miss taking shots of my garden blooms.  I also miss gardening but sometimes it is so hot even in the late afternoon with nary a breeze to cool it off. It’s undoubtedly summer now.

It is almost April.  Gone are those days when I used to blog about month endings and beginnings. It was a religious undertaking for quite a while. Blogging – sharing life and one’s thoughts in cyberspace. I’ve always enjoyed it, turning my thoughts into a few sentences  and writing a post.

There are these apps on other sites linked at Facebook where you are asked to take (just for fun). They tell you who is your best friend in life, what will happen to you in 2017, what you will look like twenty years from now (if you are still alive, that is).  Seems as though they know too much of your life based on the  things and profile you share on Facebook. I tried one once, about Grammar and I got this result. “You are a PhD”.   I laughed. Goodness, I haven’t even taken any graduate studies at that.  I finished BSC Economics though almost forty years ago.

When tomorrow comes, we still have lots of thing to share and talk about. We still have those lovely moments to experience, we still have those days to look forward to.

 

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