Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’

September came and went like lightning,  a dry September if you ask me because the days were just like summer, so hot with  thunderstorms in the late afternoon or early evening. I can’t recall any particular event worth-remembering except Nissa’s birthday and having Nate around over the weekend.  And yes, the endless gardening task  trimming the grass, deadheading my Gardenia and Crossandra  and replanting some Ruellias. Gardening is sometimes a bit boring if you have to wake up early in the morning while the sun is still in slumber. It gets too hot even at seven in the morning.

October started with early morning drizzle then at exactly 3 o’clock this afternoon, the heavy downpour drenched our garden and our garage. Manila Water chose to replace our water meter today (of all days) and according to the contractors, they replace water meters every five years. The new gate valve has to be connected to our existing water line, bringing in a spray of mud and water that reached our car. The pressure was too strong.  The rain has stopped a while ago but they haven’t cemented yet the concrete that they have to break up  earlier to change the meter.  There is a storm coming although we are not in its direct path but it would surely bring monsoon rains until early Saturday morning.  What a start for a new month.

Still and all, I welcome October with joy and anticipation. It is my birth month after all. I am always thankful for all the graces and blessings  that came and will come my way. It is a celebration of another year ahead, a celebration of life, a celebration of  joys and pains that give life its meaning.  Even in times of adversity, even when we feel sometimes that we are alone in this world, it is always a blessing to feel that inner strength, that unshakable faith that all would be well in the end. We learn through tears (sometimes) and we embrace gladness in our hearts. Growing old has its rewards.

Happy new month. a blessed October to all!

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. – BT Bradford (Hidden)

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One of my favorite poets is Mary Oliver. Let me amend that, my favorite poet is Mary Oliver. I love her writings so I followed her page on Facebook, a sure way of being  updated with her works. She has another book coming this October called Felicity and they raffled off  15  extra early copies (or galleys). I was not lucky enough to win but I hope I’ll find a copy when it goes out in bookstores. Here’s something from one of her lovely books, A Thousand Mornings.

Mary Oliver quote

I remember my  earlier post about life being a dance and I quote:

Life is a dance. Sometimes, it is a harmonious fluid movement. We are in sync with the music, utterly attuned to the dance steps, well synchronized with the motion – two steps forward, one step back. Others may lead and others may follow. It is a mad dash to a world of perfect twists and turns, but the journey is not one long road to success and happiness. One wrong move, one wrong turn, one missed step would spell disaster.

We are constantly seeking perfection and excellence in everything we do but there is really nothing perfect in this world that we live in. Life is a meaningless pursuit without challenge. They say that the journeys walked in solitude are always the most remembered. There is something we always learn along the uneven pathways and the most profound events in our lives do not end with the six o-clock news and the setting sun.

This was when I was learning to adjust to the life of being a  cancer survivor. When we falter in our steps, God is there to do the rest.

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When music inspires, the soul rejoices and the heart is happy.

Yesterday was one of those days that kept me a little morose. Being alone has its rewards, the interminable silence that keeps your mind wander  but there are times when you feel that you need to do something aside from talking to yourself and your three dogs.  My son called up yesterday and told me that he was really happy to stay in Boracay for a week.  “I know” I said, it is a much-needed break. They will be coming home tomorrow and I am excited to see him again.

Out of boredom (yes, I was really bored) I played Christmas carols on YouTube. Seeing the digitally remastered  Christmas album of Johnny Mathis made me smile. It made me remember my Dad when he was alive. He used to have this LP and it was a family favorite  and we would all look forward to listening to the album in our portable player every time Christmas season comes. It brought back lovely memories  of the past, nostalgic and magical.  I visited Hallmark channel too and checked all the uploaded full movies that you can just click and play. I found A Song From The Heart  which was worth the almost two hours  I was glued to the monitor. It starred Amy Grant, Keith Carradine and D. W. Moffett. Amy Grant is cast as Maryann Lowery, a blind music teacher. New Age pianist Gregory Pavan (D.W. Moffett) became romantically involved with the talented  Maryann and coaxed her to have an eye operation because he knew she had what it takes to be world-renowned concert cellist. Oliver Comstock  (Keith Carradine), is cast as a close neighbor who has always worshipped Maryann  from afar. I had a great time watching and listening to the music. And as if that wasn’t enough, I watched another movie (for the nth time,  I guess).  I read the book  The Promise when I was in college and watched the movie adaptation with my youngest brother during the mid-eighties. That  was back when Danielle Steel was such a very popular romantic novelist and some of her books were made into movies. I was curious if the movie which I loved thirty years back would still hold the same  fascination for me. It did. I  think the latter was the movie where I memorized the name of the characters, aside from another favorite movie Dying Young.  I accidentally found  the book version many years after watching the movie several times too. The movie adaptation was I think better than the book and I loved the music of Kenny G.

The power of music – it makes you smile, it makes you sing too but sometimes it makes you cry. “Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence” so says Robert Fripp. Do you agree? I do.

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Soaked in the quiet of the early morning.

My son just called from the airport a few minutes ago and said, he is excited. This is actually his first long vacation after so many days and months of stressful work.  He, his girlfriend and three friends are going to Boracay  for a week-long stay. White sand,  pristine beach, lovely sunrise and sunset and amazing dream of a place for vacation. I wonder though if that still holds true because in the last few years, local and foreign tourists alike visit the place in droves.  I haven’t been there  so I could not aptly describe how it looks and how it feels staying there for a while. If you ask me, I’d rather spend a much-needed vacation in a quiet place, communing with nature without the noise of night parties and beach dancing. Palawan maybe would be best, my daughter  raved about the place when she went there with some friends years ago.  This is off-season though so probably Boracay is not that crowded compared to the summer months. I still dream of going to the northern part of the Philippines and Batanes is still number one in my bucket list and next to that would be Calayan and Ilocos. Each of us has preferences where to go, what to see and discover. He asked me what I want so I said, “find me some seaglass and a lovely key ring”. I hope my son would enjoy his vacation before he starts with a new job at JP Morgan Chase in over a month. He told me he will file his resignation in his present job when he comes back.  I really prayed for this, that he really finds another job with added financial renumerations and perks to booth. The stress at work will always be there but the new work environment is something to look forward to and the new job is something that would add up to his experience.

The silence quiets the mind.

And the world is quiet here except for occasional barking of the dogs and noisy motorcycles that pass by. Khaled  Hosseini couldn’t have described it best when he said and I quote: “Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.” That’s a quote from his book, The Kite Runner. I am almost done with The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. I enjoyed this book tremendously compared to the first two books that I’ve read before by the same author. I  so love the character of Kwan. Maybe in a month or a few days, I would be able to finish Anna Karenina, I’ve set is aside temporarily to read other inspiring books. Don’t ask me why, it’s an excellent classics but sometimes my eyes get tired of those long and hard to pronounce characters.

It makes you a bit introspective.

Ah,  so I won’t have to set the alarm clock to wake up early. Plenty of time to read and to garden in between.  The  mind is busiest in these quiet moments and  you can hardly keep up with the chasing thoughts that you would want to put on paper or the many stories playing in your head that you would want to relate and share. Here are some quotes that I hastily jotted down while in the middle of reading Amy Tan’s book.

“Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”

“Too much happiness always overflowed into tears of sorrow.”

“The world is not a place but the vastness of the soul. And the soul is nothing more than love, limitless, endless, all that moves us toward knowing what is true. . .And believing in ghosts – that’s believing that love never dies. If people we love die, then they are lost only to our ordinary senses. If we remember, we can find them anytime with our hundred secret senses. ”

Have a nice weekend everyone!

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Welcome September

Hello September!

How time really flies and some of you would probably react and say it is too early yet to greet you  “Merry Christmas”. In our part of the world, Christmas celebration starts as early as September and ends up as late as February of the following year but you  have probably read that in my earlier posts. There is that welcome anticipation on what the rest of the year will bring. Sometimes though, September is wrought by rainy days, flash floods, typhoons but there  is that comforting thought that when the BER months come, happy days are here again because no matter what life brings, there is always that something to look forward to, a celebration with families and friends.

By the way, thank you so much for visiting my blog, for all your likes and lovely comments. I think I have reached a milestone  with 350,399 hits. This made me smile :)

Welcome September!

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Take that to mean lots of smiles for the simple me who takes simple pleasures in most things. I am celebrating my 5th year as an admin of our Catholic page on Facebook. I can’t imagine how I lasted this long since most admins that we appointed have left, they find it too taxing to make research, post inspirational stories, post Bible readings for the day and maintain the site. There are only three of us now, a Dominican priest friend who created the online  aspect of  Apostles Filipino Catholic Community and another friend who is a lay minister in their parish. I know it is not smooth sailing all the time but I thank God for the opportunity of serving Him in my own little way. Fr. Louie nicely put it this way,  You have been serving the Church through your talent as an online missionary“. It makes my heart sing.

It was Josef’s rest day today so I asked him if I could tag along when he goes out and  suggested that we’ll just have our lunch outside. I was so excited to taste the new product of KFC which they call Chizza ( supposedly a combination of chicken and pizza). Nothing much to rave about, it’s just like an ordinary pizza with chicken, a bit pricey for such a small serving but at least I would no longer imagine how it tastes like. He went to Makati to apply for another job while I was supposed to go to Robinson’s Galleria to look around. The UV Express made a short-cut so I ended up at Megamall. The driver reasoned out that he asked so I also asked a fellow passenger if she heard but she answered in the negative. Some people could be annoying, it wiped the smile off my face :(

On the way back, I rode another UV Express (they are cheaper in lieu of taxi but they have to fill up the 14-seater van to capacity, make that 18 passengers, the drivers/owners are wise, you know). Had a good chat with some fellow passengers which started with a box of Dunkin donuts, learned a few words from an authentic Taytay resident and  I was a bit surprised that they have another dialect different from Tagalog. We also touched on the local government officials of our towns and about flood and climate change too. How easy it is to communicate with people from other walks of life because they are friendly enough to share. Before we knew it, we’ve reached our destinations without getting bored with the traffic. I’ve missed this kind of interaction which is  oh so different from having an online chat with friends. It’s kind of different when you see the smile on their faces instead of a smiley emoticon in front of your PC.

Life’s simple pleasures, things that make you smile.

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Oh no, I only have 30% left on my allowed free space for WordPress before this blog says goodbye.  I don’t intend to update it into a premium account then have to pay it yearly  just like I did with Multiply before. It is a personal blog and I don’t intend to use it to earn something extra. I remember attending a forum (paid at that with a bloody sum of P5,000.00 pesos) promising to teach online marketing, learning about SEO, finding your niche and such but then after the event, I realized it is not for me. I’d rather be the author, the blogger, the editor and publisher of my own posts than linking them to some other sites  that pay a minimal sum when readers click the sponsored ads on your post.

I have a free allowed space of 3,072 MB total since I am using a free theme. Most of us I think have the same limits.  I have used up 2,135.46 MB roughly 70% or a total of 936.54 MB remaining. How big is too big or how small is too small? Would I need to crop my pictures or post them  in a lower resolution format? Or would completely ignore posting photos because they eat up more space compared to just pure text? I wonder how many more blog posts I would have to write before this goes kaput. These are the computer storage units that we use like any other kind of measurement, kilo, mega, giga and tera.

  • 1 B = 1 byte;
  • 1 kB = 1000 bytes;
  • 1 MB = 1000 kB;
  • 1 GB = 1000 MB or 1 000 000 000 bytes

A 500-word blog entry is roughly 3,000 bytes so you can deduce from there how many more entries would fit into my remaining free space. Who knows, maybe in the coming days, I would not be able to find something interesting to blog about or maybe in the coming days, no one would visit my blog anymore because they are fed-up with what I am sharing here or maybe in the coming days, I have created a new site for my thoughts (I have actually started one but haven’t updated it yet).

Why am I worrying? I could still follow all those wonderful blogs that I regularly read, like and comment on. Just a word for new bloggers, resize or scale down all those hi-res photos before you upload and click publish unless yours is a photography blog and you need to show the minute detail of each post.

Happy blogging everyone :)

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