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Posts Tagged ‘guilty pleasures’


Trying to use Tagalog words lately for the titles of my post. And before you ask what samut  sari, it simply means miscellaneous. for me though it is a smorgasbord of thoughts that I’ve wanted to write about.

It’s been three days I think since my last post.

I’ve been bitten by the lazy bug. Every time I find a few minutes  in front of my PC, I don’t know what to write about. Honest, the truth is, I’ve been busy fixing the garden and going back and forth to the bank to have Mom’s ATM card changed to EMV. Bank of PI has so many clients that they overlooked some accounts of various depositors by not being  ready with the card change including my  social security pension account. “EMV chip technology is becoming the global standard for credit card and debit card payments. Named after its original developers (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®), this technology features payment instruments (cards, mobile phones, etc.) with embedded microprocessor chips that store and protect cardholders’data.”

Finally we are due to get both next Tuesday. Mom has to be present at the bank to receive her card. She has no choice.

Been busy  gardening, but of course. I have to change some pots and plant more ornamental plants. I took photos of some blooms, the others are just starting to sprout.

My white Dendrobium orchid.

I also planted Wandering Jew and some creepers in hanging pots along the fence.

Dendrobium in a mixed color. I also have some in greens but they are just buds.

Our fruiting calamansi (Philippine lime)

 

I wish I could add more but I am saving on space. The big surprise was a gift I got yesterday from our neighbor and good friend Jomari. He gave me a cultivator and weeding hoe from Ace Hardware. I really appreciate this since it would be a big help for me when gardening.

I miss reading, I’ve set it aside for a while so I could fix the garden. Maybe this week, I’ll start reading again.

 

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Another busy weekend.

Except for about two hours going to ACE Hardware at the mall, I spent almost the whole day gardening. Josef had to bundle all the replaced Thai bamboo poles so we could give them to those who use firewood for cooking. Thai bamboo is  sturdier  and thicker than buho  bamboo which is normally used in gardens.

I had a great time talking to one of the stuff of Ace Hardware. He even suggested some climbers that I could use for our fence. I  went on a shopping spree buying  packs of coco peat, trowel, pruning shares,  several pairs of hand gloves, more than a dozen of hanging pots and even a new handsaw  so  I could trim my Bougainvillea outside. I was thinking, how do I  propagate it? Is it through cuttings?  I also bought some  packet seeds of Zinnia Whirlygig and Calendula Zen Gold. I actually don’t know about this Calendula but it is a tropical plant and the flowers look like Chrysanthemums. It is hot here so perhaps it will thrive too.  Planted Wandering Jew  which is also known as purple heart or purple queen.  Our neighbor gave me some cuttings of a creeper plant but I don’t know its  name.

Gardening is a hard job but it is quite fulfilling and when you see those plants grow into robust ones, you are happy.

 

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Had to wake up early, so many things to do and our garden is a priority.

Pulled weeds at the perimeter wall outside. It only needs some plants now to make it more lovely. I am thinking of snake plants but I still have to look for a place where they sell it. Snake plants are low maintenance, can survive drought and even clean the air when you put it inside your home, in a pot of course.

I have snake plants here but they are of the dwarf variety, I need the ones which could grow higher than a foot.

Snake plants…I need something like these. Image from Wikipedia.

I am overjoyed seeing my bottle gourd rapidly growing and bearing fruits. And there are more flowers than I can count. I took a photo of it early this morning.

Locally known as upo, you could sauté  the  vegetable mixed with ground pork or, come to think of it, sardines. And it is a good side dish for fried fish. Today I harvested another jackfruit. Yesterday, the carpenter got one. I have a few more that I am waiting to ripen.  All the rest could be cooked as veggies.  Some of my eggplants are now flowering.

The great reward of gardening. It just put a smile on my face.

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Good morning everyone! Can’t believe April is almost over. Today is April 24th.

The last time I wrote a post here was three days ago. I deliberately didn’t write one because I was trying to finish a lovely and interesting memoir on Rome by no less than the gifted author of All The Light You Cannot See which I read three years ago.  I’ve been looking for  another book of Anthony Doerr since All The Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It was Goodreads’ choice winner for 2014.

Two days ago, I found one. Four Seasons in Rome is a lovely narrative on how he and his family spent a year in Rome, He knew nothing about the Italian way of life,  just simple words by way of greeting.  They were there when his twins turned one and then wrote  something about the crowd  at St. Peter’s  Square  when  St. Pope John Paul II died last April 02, 2005.  He was there when a new pope,  Pope Benedict was chosen to succeed JP II.

I love the way he described every places they have been too, the smell of pizza and cheese, the daily grind in the city.  And for each season, more adjustments too. I am reminded of another memoir  by another  author Peter Mayle who recently died. He wrote about Provence and its food and the daily life there. Anthony Doerr wrote about being a parent of twins,  the sleepless nights he suffered, the encounter with so many people who didn’t speak English.

I wish I could find more of his books in the future.

 

 

 

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Took care of our latest family member throughout the day.  He played with his  little pillow, balls and sat on my lap while I was checking my accounts online and while reading.  I laughed when he saw his image in front of our full-length mirror and he kept on barking. He must have thought there was another puppy looking at him.

Strange, I seemed to have picked up two books in a row all about India.  The Girl From The Tea Garden  was about the life of an Anglo-Indian girl who grew up in 1930’s.

The story revolved  on how she struggled with life  away from home without her family coming back  at the height of WW II to find her true love.   Learning about how tea is prepared, how  Indian summer feels like.

Janet MacLeod Trotter is quite new in my list of authors.  She has several books about India and this one is  part of a series.

Camron Wright is the author of The Orphan Caretaker.   I am almost done with this book.

Learning  more about Indian culture and traditions. The only thing familiar to me are the chicken masala  and samosa. Years ago, I received a big jar of Masala from a friend whose family stayed in Rome for decades.

Couldn’t put down the book, it is based on a true story. An Indian boy abducted from his home and adopted by an American family. He learned  the American way of life but still kept wondering about his Indian roots. It is also my first time to read a book by Camron Wright, an American  author whose genre is Historical Fiction and yes, Literature and Fiction too.  You can’t help but be touched by the story.

“We don’t use knives and forks,” Pranay replied, leaning forward, “because we are not at war with our food. We don’t need weapons. We have learned it is better to surrender to the flavors, to caress and embrace them. You see, eating for Indians is a passionate affair. Picking up the food with our fingers evokes a closeness, a feeling of warmth, a connection. It would all be lost if we started stabbing and cutting.”

Is this still done until now?  Wikipedia says that:  “The  etiquette of Indian dining varies with the region in India.  Typically, both in urban and rural settings, Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, without any cutlery. This practice is historic and based  on the cultural premise that eating is a sensual activity, and touch is part of the experience along with the taste, aroma of the food, and its presentation such as on a Thali, or on a large plate made from washed banana leaf, or stitched and washed leaves.”

Some people do  it in informal  occasions here. they call it boodle fight where the food is piled on top of  banana leaves with rice at the center. The food is laid on long tables. A military style of eating,  a symbol of brotherhood and equality among Filipino military by sharing the same food without regard to rank.  They also call it “kamayan” style of eating.

 

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I have about thousands of books  on my shelves including my e-books on Moon Reader. Sometimes, I don’t know what to choose to read next. It is always a toss between a historical novel, YA books (sometime), memoirs or thrillers.  I promised myself I would read more classic books this year but it is hard to find one.

I like to read all of them but I need my eyes to be treated first. Going back to the doctor next week. Here are some books on my TBR list.

  1. Night Train To Lisbon – I’ve always wanted to read this since I found it but there are more lovely books around.
  2.  The Family  Corleone  by Ed Falco, a book about the Corleone family. I hope it is as good as the book by Mario Puzo.
  3.  The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.   I’d like to read this again. I read it back in 2015 and I wrote this lovely quote in my notebook. “Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”  Amy Tan is one of the talented authors I really, really like.
  4.  The Hunt for Red October. The book was  published in 1999. I saw my former boss at Bank of PI reading it before and I looked for a copy of the book but  until now I haven’t started it yet.
  5. The Signature of All Things. It is a fiction book by Elizabeth Gilbert, a historical saga. There was a time when I also bought a copy of Eat, Pray, Love many years ago but I got bored reading the first two or three chapters of the book.  I’ll give this one a try though but not in the immediate future.
  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s been on my wish list for quite sometime in the past then I found a good copy, a mass market produced book. I was even more blessed when a friend  gave me a thick copy of  the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, a trade paperback.  Looking forward to read this one.
  7.  The Silence of War by Terry Mcgowan – a memoir  of a former Marine who returns to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan three decades after leaving the Corps. This intrigues me, it has mostly five stars on Goodreads.
  8.  The Valley of  Amazement by Amy Tan.  Another Amy Tan book  that I really want to read soon. A sweeping epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity  in a remote  Chinese village. It is a historical novel.
  9.  Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.  There was a time when I got so engrossed in Diana Gabaldon’s  Outlander series that I bought around more than ten of her books. Some were even hardbound but except for one or two left, they were all destroyed by typhoon Ondoy in 2009.  This one is number 8 in the series which I haven’t read yet. A historical novel  about 18th century Scotland.
  10. Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser. I used to devour self-help books before during my college days. Indulged in  Psychology and Philosophy books too but now I just read those that makes me happy. I am curious about this though. Turning your dreams into reality. Stories about ordinary people who have witnessed miracles in their lives. This must be good.

 

 

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This is a continuation of last night’s post. I started with Rod McKuen then played the whole album of Henry Mancini  and for the first time in so many months watched a movie after. And your guess is right. It’s another rerun of the classic,  The Thorn Birds. Though I know the story from  reading the book for a number of times, I still love to watch the film.

I need to finish the book  The Wind Weeps. Its author, Anneli Purchase is a fellow blogger here  and this e-book was downloaded free from her. A real give-away. So far, so good, an insight into the lives of fishermen  in general and how they maintain their boats. You would think, fishing is just a hook and line thing, but it seems harder than we know. I am  done with a third of the book and I am looking forward to the rest of the story but I am distracted again listening to Percy Faith this time then going back to other Henry Mancini albums then it’s Paul Mauriat as finale. I love instrumental music. It soothes the soul. When you are engrossed in music, it’s hard to get away from it.

This is a very short post. I hope your week started well.

 

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