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Posts Tagged ‘guilty pleasures’


One thing I like about Facebook is their daily app called On This Day where you can go back and see what you wrote a few years back, a summary of shoutout you did through the years.  I wrote the  following paragraphs exactly four years ago on my wall. I wonder if I lifted them  from  some earlier posts I did here. I know it is easier if there is a previous review of the book you want to read or it was given a rating of five stars like they do on Goodreads but I guess you can always explore a book and sometimes you certainly find nice surprises.

Sometimes I wonder if people read a particular book because they love and like the author or they find positive reviews about it or simply because the book is just there, handy for one to enjoy.

I am not deterred by negative reviews they give to a particular book or been influenced by the five-star rating on the side, I’d rather want to discover it on my own. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised, you actually love the story of one which others say is not worth that much.

And I love this quote from Roald Dahl: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

It’s funny, I even capitalized that word  “please”.  I am on the last leg of my reading challenge of 100 books this year (88% done) and I realized that one should not be afraid to try reading new authors, not just those you’re familiar with or are well-known.  Sometimes, the very first books they publish are the best ones. And yes, I have to be honest here, sometimes the book cover does it 🙂

What are you reading now? I am done with some books on baking and those fiction books that have baking recipes in between the pages.

 

 

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This is just a borrowed title from one of my favorite poets Mary Oliver.  A Thousand Mornings is one of the two books by Mary Oliver that I treasure. Her words inspire, uplift  and  cheer me up to no ends.  Always, I would read a few lines or two, commit to memory some of her words and my day is complete.

All is quiet except the hum of the small electric fan underneath the computer table. It rained last night and there is a little breeze coming from the window. It is one of those mornings that you get a little introspective, you think about life and living and you are grateful for God’s blessings.

Silence.

I always love what silence brings. I always love greeting the morning hearing nothing but the quiet of dawn, a new day feeling hopeful and anticipating what lies ahead.  It’s those few minutes of bowing your head in prayer and listening to the silence in your heart that make life so precious. You ask but sometimes God surprises you with small miracles. You smile at the thought that life though sometimes harder than it seems is still  beautiful.  You smile at the thought that even if you are alone, happiness is within your grasp. You smile at the thought of a new day, a day to make more memories to hold.

Mornings.

I love watching a sunrise. It holds a promise, it inspires a dream.  Sometimes, it plays hide and seek with the clouds  but you feel the warmth of its embrace. I love the sprinkling of  water droplets brought by the rain at night. How I wish I could capture those magnificent bubbles reflecting the beauty of the morning.  I love the fresh morning look of the garden after the rain.  Sometimes, you get lucky finding new blooms or a new shoot of some seeds you planted a few days ago.

droplets

Surprises.

I love those too. A week ago, I noticed my blackberry shrubs bearing fruits at last. I even asked my friend who gave me the seeds last year if they are flowers but she told me just to wait until they ripen into…. yes, black.   They are turning red and Mom said they might be just flowers growing. I can’t wait.  The three turmeric pots have sprouted  leaves finally. The light green oblong shaped leaves are lovelier to look at than the leaves of ginger.  Oh but I love squeezing a leaf of  my ginger plant on my fingers now and then. The aromatic scent is addicting.

Tea and coffee.

Mom would not make a choice, she has always been a coffee lover. I love both though and I love those different tea infusions. You know that feeling of choosing a flavor to suit your mood for the day. Last Saturday, my daughter brought me a box of Twinings’ Lemon and Ginger, a lovely addition to my English Tea Shop’s Cranberry Vanilla Delight, Green Tea and Spiced Red Fruits. I have a few small sachets of Japanese Green Tea. Brewing a Japanese loose leaf green tea has always been a challenge for me, it is easier to use tea bags.  I have two lovely tea kettles with strainer  and I love using each one with the tea bags.  Sipping tea on small cups is just lovely, isn’t it?  Do you read tea leaves?

A thousand mornings….to dream, to read, to appreciate what nature brings, to make another day as lovely as yesterday. Dance to the beat of the day even when no one is watching.  Dance to the music in your head.  Dance to your heart’s desires.

“This morning

the beautiful white heron

was floating along above the water

and then into the sky of this

the one world

we all belong to

where everything

sooner or later

is a part of everything else

which thought made me feel

for a little while

quite beautiful myself.”
― A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver

 

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Oh please, don’t laugh.

Yes, I know some of you are pretty smiling right now.

I am having a LSS. You know, that moment when you wake up from a short afternoon nap and your head is full of a lovely melody and you begin to sing along. I have no option  but to open my PC and search  for this song.  YouTube is a little helpful when you feel nostalgic with the old days.  Those dreams you had three decades ago,  when you were just learning that falling in love was a wonderful feeling but it was  full of pain.  I was seventeen.

Now I know you’re laughing.

I borrowed Josef’s headset  and searched for the song Only Friends. Why can’t I remember who sang it? Back when I was still new to blogging, I made a blog post about last song syndrome.

I found this site with plenty of uploaded Lettermen songs, old favorites like Traces, Morning Girl, Dedicated To The One I Love, This Guy’s In Love With You ( I love the version of Burt Bacharach though)  and of course Only Friends. I know listening to them now seems a bit silly but the music is more soothing compared to the noise I hear nowadays.  And do you know, here in my corner of the world, Sundays are dedicated to the oldies and the senior citizens or what you call in their heyday, the baby boomers.  You will always find  FM and AM  bands playing the songs of the 60’s and the 70’s all day long.  You wonder, those were the days, those days you were growing up and all you had was a single turntable and your 45.  Those were the days too when you used to write on small  Hello Kitty notebooks with a  Hello Kitty pen.

Sometimes I let my mind
Drift endlessly and in the wind
your face I see
smile gently as you turn to pass

But the love that I once had for you
Is gone so is the meaning too
I guess it never really had a chance
to last………

The love is gone but the memory made you smile 🙂

 

 

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I seldom post family pictures here but I can’t pass this up. Today is a lovely family day. We played blocks, I just wonder if the adults enjoyed it more than Nate. Mom was so amazed that Nate talks non-stop but when he is doing something like building blocks, he is so serious. There are shouts of laughter in between of course.

When you are blessed and lucky enough to have a loving and thoughtful daughter….your heart shouts with joy.

No special occasion but what a lovely surprise, a personalized journal with our photos on the cover. I love collecting journals and this one is so beautiful.Thank you so much Nissa. I love, love it.

 

Nonna and Nate at the garden. An afternoon of fun and laughter.

Nonna and Nate at the garden. An afternoon of fun and laughter.

 

I remember this. Nate was thrilled blowing a spare candle on his birthday cake. I love the message too: " Write until it becomes as natural as breathing".

I remember this. Nate was thrilled blowing a spare candle on his birthday cake. I love the message too: ” Write until it becomes as natural as breathing”.

 

Haha :) Nate's favorite during birthdays...making a wish The two of us.

Haha  :)  Nate’s favorite during birthdays…making a wish The two of us.

 

Ano daw, wacky shots? I don't know how. Family is forever.

Come again, wacky shots? I don’t know how. Family is forever.

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It’s been a while.

It’s been raining cats and dogs here for the past days and I only saw the sun showed its face briefly early this morning (for a few minutes actually)  then she played hide and seek  with the thick clouds  never to show up again the whole day.  We were alarmed when Marikina River reached almost critical level because the rain dumped so much in thirty minutes causing the river to swell. Marikina is adjacent to our town so they have to open the eight gates of Manggahan floodway which is so near to us.  There are pockets of water in some areas until now. Old folks call this “siyam-siyam”,  nine days of prolonged rained brought about by the southwest monsoon.  Well, it is the rainy season so what can we expect but I am praying hard that flash floods won’t be a problem for us  during this wet season.

You wonder what the smell of rain is. It threatens but at the same time the sound of raindrops gently falling on the roof is quite soothing. The drizzle is quite nice for the plants but the downpour makes them swim too much in water. And when it rains, you have so much time in your hands to read. I have just finished my 79th book on Goodreads’ 2016 reading challenge, 18 books in advance.  When you are lucky to find a subject quite different from your usual reading genre, you devour it with gusto. I found a treasure in reading The Secret Ways of Perfume. You would think that a scent of a perfume is just that, something you like but we don’t know the complexities of how it is made, you need a detailed study on the combination of scents (the essences of flowers, herbs and spices). There is something that soothes, energizes, inspires. lavender, bergamot, roses…learning the world of perfume creation. How nice!

How was your Sunday?

 

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It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.

 

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Oh my gosh, 62 books out of 100. I really can’t believe that I am 11 books ahead of schedule on my 2016 Goodreads Reading  Challenge. And before you say I have lots of time to appreciate the written word, it rains a lot every day so gardening is always relegated to the back seat and sometimes reading takes priority. I was able to start trimming the carabao grass this afternoon  (a back-breaking job every month)  but the sudden shower made me run indoors.

To discover new authors, what bliss! Goodreads provides a list of new books every month and a list of all time popular books but what I appreciate most is discovering new authors who are just as good and as talented like your favorite writers. One such author is John Hart. Where were you all this time John?

I seldom give five-stars to the books I read, just maybe about 6 in 50 books but Redemption Road  had me from page one, a gripping page-turner from beginning to end.  I don’t normally summarize a book as a  kind of review, it’s up to the other readers to find out. Well, I’m back to chick lit and memoirs and historical novels.

Did I say reading Redemption Road is worth your time?

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