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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


This is quite a late post but I am proud to share it with all of you.  A few days after Christmas, my oldest brother gave us  about two kilos of Ube (purple yam). Since it was too  big for us  to just  boil it, Josef and I decided to make Halayang Ube.  We used to buy halaya on certain occasions at home, it is not a regular fare for us.  The day before New Year, we had the whole thing boiled and mashed finely.  There is a sort of excitement making a dessert for the first time. It is time-consuming to mix it while in the pan because you have to make sure that it comes out sticky and thick enough.  Imagine an hour of mixing it on top of the stove while cooking.

I used about two cups of coconut cream, 3/4  stick of butter and three cans of condensed milk, no sugar added. The original recipe calls for the first two ingredients plus two cans of condensed milk, two cans of evaporated milk and a cup of sugar.  My son made a mistake of buying  milk though. He thought he bought two each of milk but when I  opened the cans, the third one is also a condensed milk. Instead of going back to the grocery store, I just used all the three cans of condensed milk without adding sugar.   The halaya was  creamy, just perfect topped with grated cheese.

ZBoiled ube or what we call purple yam.

Boiled ube or what we call purple yam.

 

It's a yummy Ube Halaya, added it to our desserts  during our media noche.

It’s a yummy Ube Halaya, added it to our desserts during our media noche.

There is always a first time for everything. Experimenting in the kitchen was a success.  You have to let it cool for at least two hours inside the ref  before eating. It is best served actually the next day.  I will do this again if we could find fresh Ube  roots in the market. I think that harvesting it is seasonal too.  It is one of those yummy treats that you could make on your own and won’t have to buy the finished product.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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It’s a little windy outside but just perfect for the second night of Simbang Gabi. The Gospel speaks of the genealogy of Jesus.  There is really no perfect family.  The flaws are there, glaring at you at times  but you learn to accept them in your life.  We often make mistakes but our families  are  there to support us. We often encounter failures but our families are there to lift us up.   Most of the time we are unlovable but still our families love us.

Family and genetics play a big role on how are lives are shaped. When we speak of families, it’s not just the family we were born  to but also those friends who consider us as their own.   They say that blood is thicker than water but it is not always the case. There are times when our closest friends act as our families too.  The beauty of a positive family relationship lies  in the   way we were taught by our elders,  how respect  is inculcated in each one of us. The way we think, act, and feel are greatly influenced by our family.

Nabuhay ang Diyos para maging anak tayo ng Diyos. This is one emphasis I learned from the mass tonight.  God was born for us so we could be children of God.  It may be hard to understand. As baptized Christians, we are now a part of  the genealogy of  Christ.

I’ve checked my dashboard lately and I only have 28% left of my allowed space. Sigh 😦  Maybe I shouldn’t be posting more pictures so I can utilize it well.  Most of my latest photos posted here are downsized  from their original higher  resolutions. This is my 1,890th post by the way and I am glad I’ve reached  a total of 443,307 as I write this.   It is hard to build a number of visits when you are not blogging every day.  and it is also quite hard to think of  varied subjects to write about.  I value every comment and like you post on my blog.   I also consider them as blessings to my blogging journey.  I am  also glad to have found more  online friends lately.  You may visit my new blog if you have time and consider following it too. It’s called Dreams Never End. It is a little different from this one because almost  every post is accompanied by a photo.

Salamat.

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There comes a point in one’s life when it all goes down to reminiscing, remembering the past and some golden dreams.

Those times when your kids were just babies and you were learning how to change diapers and make “hele-hele”  while singing out of tune and discovering to your delight that you could compose  a particular tune right there, waiting for them to close their eyes and sleep.

Those times when you went up the stage every end of the school year to accompany your kids to receive recognition awards and medals.  You were so proud that they were so responsible in their studies.

That one particular afternoon when one of your daughter’s professors called you up over the phone just to say that deliberation was over and that your daughter will be graduating Magna Cum Laude.   You cried and jumped in joyful thanksgiving that she made it to that much coveted Latin honors.

The first time they shared their paychecks with you and said “let’s go out and celebrate Ma”.  Music to your ears.  And the following days when they would just say,  “let us do the grocery shopping Ma, just make a list of the things you need”.  Those days when you would watch movies together or just stay at  home doing a marathon of Prison Break until 3am. Those times playing couch potato with your daughter while waiting for her  final interview for  a new job, watching Korean movies on DVD.  Can’t forget the laughter and the crying sessions we had together.

The day that your daughter got married and you were happy and at the same time sad that she’ll be residing in another place and you won’t get to see her every day. Her excited voice  saying “are you ready to be a grandma?” a few months later and you were so excited you can’t wait. You were just as excited seeing a sonogram a few months after.

The joys of finally seeing your grandson and discovering that you like the sound of being a Nonna. The days in between, the happy days of discovery while your grandson  is growing up to be a smart, intelligent and a loving young boy.  The phone calls when you can’t see each other, the hi and hello, the how are you, the I miss you, the shouts of joy saying “I love you Nonna” and you shouting back saying “I love you too baby”.  The excitement in your daughter’s voice while sharing a copy of your grandson’s report card in Nursery school. He is doing pretty well with very good and excellent grades.

The simple joys of family life sharing meals together, eating out together, sharing stories,  fun moments playing with the grandson. They are priceless moments indeed.

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Yeay, happy December friends.  December morning breeze. It’s cold outside.

Did you notice? WordPress has again activated the falling icicles in our posts.  It’s lovely, isn’t it?

I’ve been looking forward to December. I guess it’s actually the best month of the year,  a joyful season to celebrate and to bring joy to others too.  Trite as it may sound and no matter how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become, it is still the best  season to share, to bond with families and friends  and to remember the sacrifice Jesus has made for mankind.  It’s the season of faith, the season of joy and the season of togetherness.

I remember some old Christmas past. Back in the province when we were younger, Christmas was celebrated solemnly, attending the midnight mass and having Noche Buena later. Although it was way, way different from how we celebrate it today, it was the best. Mom would prepare a simple Noche Buena meal  of pancit bihon, suman and hot chocolate. Dad would bring home lots of apples and quezo de bola and a big box of old clothes donated by the high school students of the university (UST) where he used to work and mom would distribute them to our neighbors. My uncle would cook binungey, a delicacy native to Pangasinan. It’s made of  malagkit (sticky rice) and coconut cream cooked in bamboo and is lined up over fire and charcoal.  I think that’s the best there is in cooking rice cakes. You just have to cut the bamboo in half to get the cooked malagkit inside.

A simple fare of binungey.

A simple fare of binungey.

Back then, we didn’t have exchange gifts at home  but Mom and dad would buy us simple toys to play with.  The grade school days were the same when Christmas comes near. We would find a robust tree outside and decorate it with hand-made paper strings, cut colored paper made into small parols and stars, candies  and occasional plastic decor brought by our teacher. Exchange gifts are of simple things like hand towels, bath soap, pencils  or box of candies. We were happy receiving gifts that way.

Nowadays, celebration of Christmas has become a  little  extravagant. Instead of simple gifts, we give gadgets, expensive toys, and the like. Gone are those days when a box of candies would suffice. Christmas wouldn’t be one without ham, pasta, meat recipes, sweets,cakes and what have you.

I hope we would always remember why we celebrate Christmas. I hope we would always remember the little child born on Christmas day.

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