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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


It’s  one of those family gatherings that  we all enjoyed. It was a simple lunch with the kids to celebrate Mom’s 89th birthday. Nissa  is the photographer of the day and she has a new phone with a camera that is even better than some cameras in the market. Just love the  slow  mo app which she uses to take some videos of Nate.  Wish I could share them here.

We had roast  chicken,  pork barbecue, fiddlehead fern salad, pancit canton, gelatin and two kinds of chocolate cakes. Josef bought  a triple chocolate roll while Nissa had a small cake decorated  so Mom could blow her birthday candle.

Despite the heat, we all enjoyed the simple lunch. Nate and I played with his new Mr. Monster ball  He was not interested with his other toys. Instead he found my set of small fork and spoon  which we use for pickles and bite-size food. He was fascinated. Then he suddenly burst out “I worked at McDo for a week”.

“What did you learn”, I asked.

“Plenty”, he said.

He didn’t get the Best Crew Award which he earned last year  He was given a certificate of the “Best Dancer” instead. Knowing Nate, I really believe that he could dance. He has his own moves and style of dancing.

We munched on peanuts and cornik later. We skipped snacks.

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I am presently reading a book about bee keeping and beehives. Bees come our of their hives during the warm season and they hibernate  during the cold.  The only book I read about bees before is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Lives of Bees. 

Back in the province when  my brothers and I were  in grade school, we would always look for bee hives among trees in our yard. We were afraid though to disturb it. The sting of a bee is painful. One other thing that reminds me of childhood are the insects we locally call salagubang (beetle in English).  After the rain, we would carry a long pole of bamboo and look for salagubang in mango trees nearby. You just have to shake the branches of the mango trees then the beetles will fall. We would play with them by tying a piece of string on their legs and let them buzz  We would be lucky if we catch the Ilang-ilang  or salaginto which is the green beetle,  and shiny too.

Those were the days I remember until now.  We are four kids in the family and I am the only girl. What I  further recall were playing marbles with my brothers. We each had jars of marble in various colors.  Our old house when we were young had several   bintana (windows)  and each was equipped  with  barandilla (balustrades) where mom used to put potted plants.  They were like the steel bars you still see in  older houses now. We had three windows in our bedroom  and during rainy season, we  would occupy each and would make different shapes out of clay and let them dry when the sun comes out. I would always make a  cooking pot with a clay stove  and flowers while my brothers would make animals  of different kinds.

Gosh, remembering the childhood years – no television, no expensive gadgets to speak of  but we were happy.  Blowing bubbles with our bubblegum loot which Mom would buy for us when she goes  to the market  and we’ll have five  each of bubble gum  candies. We would make them  last for a week until the next market day.

 

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This is pretty crazy. I use a tab and two cellphones but aside from texting and calling contacts, occasionally taking photos from my tab, importing books  and reading, I am not much of a techie.

Last night, my son changed the SD card of my tab to a more substantial capacity and reformatted everything, copying my books  and photos.  There are so many  pre-installed apps that I don’t actually use but they go with the tab so I cannot delete them.  He was able to retrieve even the books I read before. I guess they just need to be there again for future reading.  It even has  pre-installed  phone numbers of various institutions like banks, police, civil defense, blood banks etc.   The only things that were automatically erased were the previous texts I had.

I  also changed my  wallpaper with a close-up picture of Nate.  I am getting excited to take more photos. I don’t have a new camera yet, I still have to look for a reasonably  priced one but good enough for everyday pictures.

This morning  I tried taking a photo of  the hydrangea I bought a month  ago. It used to have blue flowers when I bought it but I changed the pot to a bigger one and added more soil.

A pink hydrangea

I was surprised. the flowers are pink now. Did you know that the color of the hydrangea flowers change depending on the pH of the soil used?  In strongly acid soil (pH below 6), flowers turn blue. In alkaline soil (pH above 7), flowers turn pink or even red. I always love hydrangea. Locally it is known as million flowers.

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We attended the early morning mass at 6:30 am.  Since Pope Francis’ directive came out a  couple of weeks ago, we were treated with brief but meaningful homilies since then.  Oh yes, “no more than ten minutes please”.  Before, a priest would deliver his sermon  for almost thirty minutes and when the content is not that inspiring, the churchgoers get bored.  Their attention is lost in the middle of  it.

Dropped by the supermarket after the mass and we bought something for breakfast. There is a new product by Oishi which some of my friends were raving about when it came out in the market.

Gourmet Picks – Salted Egg

I am not really a fan of junk food but now and then, the craving is there. Wow, salted egg flavor. Gosh, it is better than your more popular Pringles. Salted egg is one of those easy things to prepare for breakfast or during the season of Lent when we are required to abstain from eating meat every Friday. You just have to add fresh diced tomatoes and bingo, you have a tasty breakfast.

Going back to Gourmet Picks, the chips were not really salty but the flavor of salted egg was there.  No wonder, it has become a hit when it comes to junk food.

Nissa and Obet bought a new bike (his old one is now a  bit small) for Nate as his prize for being an honors student. They went jogging at Roxas Blvd.  very early this morning before going to mass at 10am.

The joy of seeing the sunrise and spending time with the family.  The joy of putting your feet on the pedals of a bike and let the world go by for a while. The joy of having a new bike.

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Copied this caricature from one of my friends’ posts on her feed at Facebook. These words  I think ring true  for all grandmothers and grandchildren  out there.

I remember my own grandparents when they were still alive. Both my grandfathers from each side of the family were active in the church. Back in those days, when  we celebrated Lent, it was always accompanied by family Via Crucis and visits to other churches.  They would put up a children’s choir to sing during the  processions all dressed in white with flowers in their hair.  I remember a priest friend of my paternal grandfather, Fr. Benito, who would visit the family after the mass and sometimes would spend  breakfast or lunch with everyone.  I remember those days when every street where the procession would pass by was decorated with coconut fronds made and woven into flowers.  I remember the times I used to tag along every week for Sunday mass.

My paternal grandmother died giving birth to her youngest son, so I was not lucky enough to see her except in old photos that my grandfather saved.   My cousins and I grew up together with my maternal grandmother. She was a bit strict but was a loving soul. She taught  us to pray the Angelus every 6pm in Latin at that. I don’t remember those Latin prayers now except when I read them in Mom’s prayer-book which were handwritten.

Grandmothers have that special bond with their grandchildren. Now that I am one myself, I relish those moments and days that I get to see, talk and play with Nate. They say that we enjoy them when they are kids since we are  not normally strict, discipline becomes the responsibility of the parents.

Yesterday, I looked  for a  replacement of the small ball that Nate and I usually  use to play with. It has become soft so  I bought a new one,  a Monster Inc. design.

I showed it to Nissa and she said Nate would surely love  this one. a simple toy that would probably bring a smile to his face.  Kids, no matter how small or how lovely a toy is, would always love having one.

How are you as a grandmother or a grandfather? Are you the indulgent type of grandparents?  Are you cool and cordial to your grandchildren?

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Been meaning to bake a simple cake for Mom for a few weeks now. Yesterday, I decided to bake a carrot cake for her. I used just a cup of carrots. I could smell  the sweet aroma of the cake from here.

 

Mom loves anything sweet. It’s a good thing she is not  diabetic, thank God. She loves all kinds of salads, be it veggies or fruits.  She had her favorite cup of coffee together with two small slices of this. Heaven!  Sometimes she would always say she is doing nothing but sleep and eat.  She watches the news on TV every night and her favorite soap operas but I wonder how she could understand the stories.  Her hardness of hearing is more prominent now. Back in those days when it started, she used  a hearing aid but didn’t feel comfortable with the noises she heard all the time.

She is so easy to please but sometimes at her age, she is so “makulit”.  How would I translate this in English, it’s actually a Tagalog word for persistence to the point of annoyance.  The past days and almost every day she kept asking me to call my younger brother to fetch her. She wants to go home to the province  but commuting is not an option. She is already old and sometimes so slow to walk when she is outside.  Gosh, she is turning 89 this coming month.

Have I told you before that when you reach 80, everything that follows is a bonus? I read that somewhere. Getting old is inevitable.  We will all grow old someday.

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Another family day.

What a lovely Saturday it turned out to be. Nate and I played together. Just  hearing  his unrestrained and loud laughter, seeing the happy smile on his face, listening to  some of his stories about school – priceless moments.

We create  memories.

When he saw the bedroom with new curtains and  freshly changed sheets, he said “Wow“. but that was followed by these words.  “Our bedroom is lovelier”.  Nissa and I just laughed.

While mom, my son-in-law and  Nissa  took an afternoon nap, Nate and I busied ourselves with his  assorted toys.  He brought along his newly bought scooter  and asked me if we could go out.  The sun was hot so we didn’t.

 

There is really no dull moment when I am with Nate.  The day is complete even if we only spent  a few hours playing together.

Nissa brought me several issues of Metro Home magazines which she bought at a book sale two weeks ago.  She bought a pair of each seven editions for both of us. Lovely.

Before they went home, Nate visited the garden.  He loves picking kalamansi,  unfortunately the fruits are still so small.

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