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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’


Just in case you are wondering what this is all about, I just set up a new blog. I deliberated on new titles that would somehow relate to my main blog here, something which is just as easy to remember as this one. I came up with Dreams Never End. What do you think? Come to think of it, it is even harder now to choose a free theme that has all the widgets you want to add, some don’t allow header images. Since I posted my 1,628th  blog entry, I was so conscious that adding more high-res pictures would eat up my remaining free storage. I scanned the themes provided by WordPress and most of the new ones are not free anymore.  In fairness to WordPress, there are new themes that are still free but not as good and user-friendly as the popular ones.  It’s hard to start from scratch again, meanwhile I would make the new one as repository for future posts, if I find enough time to update it.  Wish me luck.

And here’s the good news. Early this morning, our “not-so-friendly  neighbor” came by. I was surprised seeing her face at our gate.  She apologized and said that they are still in the middle of finishing the second floor of their house and told me not to bother cleaning our roof since they will clean it when they are through. I told her to just be considerate and put plywood to catch the debris  that is rapidly filling up our roof gutter.  I suggested that they consider reading the National Building Code so they would know what they should do and what they should avoid. I am not being mean but it is better that it comes from an authority than from me.  I also told her that I don’t like to have enemies, besides they are my neighbors. Believe me, this is answered prayer. I prayed the whole rosary for them the night we had that exchange of ugly words. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, hopefully they would be true to their words. I told mom about it and she said, “they should have done that, informing you about it before they started”. I am glad they realized their mistakes. For those who don’t know the whole story, let’s go back to a few posts.

Humility never goes unappreciated. I am glad she is humble enough to admit her mistakes.

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Allow me to rant a little.  I am trying to avoid stress but this makes my head ache. Two years ago, my immediate neighbor (our properties are divided by a fire wall and since our house is on a corner lot, it is the only house next to us) decided to have a second floor of their house. My problem started then because our roof near their house was destroyed when debris of cement and hollow blocks rained on it. They didn’t have protective covering so I have to make a proper complaint to our homeowners’ association to remind them of it. After two weeks I went to the engineering office of our town, showed them the pictures of the damage done by our neighbor to our roof. They sent someone to inspect a week after several follow-ups but at that time, no worker was around so they didn’t talk to the owner. In short, they left the project hanging, with just plain hollow blocks encircling the structure, no beams to speak  of (and that is dangerous for them and for me too), no enough steel bars to hold it and I presumed seeing the site, there was no building plan and building permit. The framework looked pathetic.

My brother is an architect so I had him check the site from our end and he said the building was not safe. I had a few arguments with the owner to no avail.  We had our roof repainted and repaired  three weeks ago. Our two painters even cleaned the area where bits of cement got stuck. Two days ago, while Mom and I were having naps, we heard a loud noise coming from our roof in three successive times. Since it was my son’s day of, I asked him to check it, true enough, some debris were there, and it was like our newly painted red roof was scattered with cement powder.  I talked to them and we argued, the owner (the wife, I mean) was like a tiger let loose on a cage together with her daughter telling me that I am always complaining so I told her I have a right to complain because this is my property. She hurled insults that were too personal and has nothing to do with what we were trying to resolve. I told the story to some of my friends and most of them told me to sue her for slander and oral defamation. I don’t want a stressful life so I’ll just probably make another visit to the engineering office of our town so they could visit it. Her husband promised that they would put a net but until now, they haven’t done yet and the debris kept raining on our roof.  My son took pictures again and we haven’t removed all those debris yet. Come to think of it, at least they should offer to clean it, right? The half sack of cement, sand and hollow blocks we collected two years ago from our rooftop is still lying in a corner of the garden, evidence of their not so neighborly attitude.

I get along well with our neighbors across the street where we live, they are like extended family but this particular one is a pain in the neck. How I wish we could choose our neighbors but they are here to stay. Inconsiderate people never learn.

And if I may add, this is how their structure looks like.

IMG_6614

Look at our gutter, it is full of debris. and that dent on our roof….it was two years ago when they started their house renovation.

Look how poorly done it is, this is on our side and those hollow blocks....crazy....

Look how poorly done it is, this is on our side and those hollow blocks….crazy….

Crude....the coco lumber they used two years ago were left hanging on our property line and when the two painters removed them they crumbled into pieces.

Crude….the coco lumber they used two years ago were left hanging on our property line and when the two painters removed them they crumbled into pieces.

No corner beam done here.....

No corner beam done here…..that’s their roof.

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How long has it been since I last posted here? It’s almost a week  and I need to catch on the many blog posts that I missed over the last few days. Busy, busy, busy – busy gardening, busy searching for books to read, busy reading at night until my eyes hurt from the glare of my cellphone. Oh well, it is nice to be back. I am just glad to know that even if I’ve been away for a while, I finally reached 320,000 plus (320,180 as of this writing). Not that it matters much but it is important to me that some readers go back to my earlier posts and leave comments. Having more followers of course in the last two weeks are an added bonus.

Last night, some thoughts were playing in my head but I was just too lazy to jot them down. Regrets come always late of course because I could not remember them now. I’ve been to my once-a-month  hair trim at David’s this afternoon and as usual I had a nice chat with some of the staff and their other customers there. My hair stylist told me that they will be transferring to Oasis hub by June and I asked her why and she said that the present site will be converted into a mixed-use structure with a mall and residential units.  When it comes to the latest news, they are always updated.That pretty started our conversation about developments in the area. Ever Gotesto mall which has been here for almost two decades will finally close its doors on Sunday. I asked them why and they told me that it was sold  to a larger entity whose owner is the richest man in the Philippines and included in the Forbes list of billionaires in the whole world. “You mean we will be having another SM mall here in our area?” They nodded in unison and a customer exclaimed “Good luck sa traffic”. I wanted to buy some kitchen towels but when I reached the mall, almost everything is packed and even the grocery shelves are almost empty. I felt sad for those employees who will lose their jobs because they were hired from an agency. Some tenants are just waiting for their contract to end. I asked one of my favorite shops there, a small entity that sells all things Japanese, meaning, their shelves are full of things made in Japan if they are going to transfer too and the cashier said they don’t know. I  always visit this place every time I go to Ever because I love looking at their small kitchen gadgets, I love looking at their tea sets and Japanese mugs/cups used in tea-drinking. Come to think of it, we have an SM mall at every nook and cranny of Metro Manila and suburbs, I am just wondering how many more they would build in the future. Do we really need all that much? It will always be a welcome development of course, I am just wondering what will happen to those small enterprises which are still existing in the area.

Yeay for good books. I finally found some books that I’ve long wanted to read. Some of them are e-books which will be part of my 2015 Reading Challenge. Here are some of the titles I’ve added to my TBR list. So excited to read them all. I am six books in advance for  this  challenge. I hope I make it this time.

  • The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom. I’ve been on the lookout for Albom’s books since Tuesdays With Morrie.
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Just started reading a few lines. This is my third book of this author after the legendary The Secret Life of Bees  and The  Mermaid Chair. I wrote a short review of The Secret Life Of Bees long ago and watched the movie too. If I have time, I will look for the movie adaptation of The Mermaid Chair on YouTube and will watch it too.
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Finally, after a long search :)
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. My book club friends rate this as a five-star. War torn Barcelona, 1945. So curious about the story.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. I’ve long wanted to read this too but I could not find a copy.  I wonder why it belongs to the 500 must read books and one of the 1000 books you have to read before you die. It’s a friend’s favorite book.
  • The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times (Book 1)by Jennifer Worth. Set in East End slums of post-war London.
  • Shadows of the Workhouse (Book 2) by Jennifer Worth
  • Farewell To the East End (Book 3) by Jennifer Worth. I read the short summaries of these three books on Goodreads and I can’t wait to start plus the book covers of two kids on the last two say a lot. I love memoirs.
  • First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. I’ve read books of this author before and I love the magical touch of paranormal in her stories.
  • The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson. I love every title with the word book in it, that’s why. A first novel so maybe it’s worth it.

I wonder how long it would take  me to finish these ten titles. We’ll see. How about you? What books are you reading now?

 

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That’s  right, I am just borrowing the title from a book I have just read.

Have you ever chosen a book because the title and the book cover make you smile and make you remember something deep, memories that you treasure in your heart? I did just that, three days ago. In between re-reading inspirational and uplifting books for the season of Lent, I managed to find a lovely book by Kelly Moran. It is my first time to read a book from this author. Inspiring romance books are not really my cup of tea but I got curious that it received mostly five stars on Goodreads.  An easy read, amazing and heartwarming tale of  friendship, family relationships,  and getting on with life despite all the setbacks, finding love and meaning  in the end.  I don’t normally post a book review when I blog about a certain book that I’ve enjoyed reading, it’s for you to find out.

A friend once told me that when a book makes you cry then it must really be good. I love the poetic style of the author, the play with words  – I can almost imagine those intense moments, I can almost touch the pages of the family albums and commune with nature  the way it was told in the story. It’s actually one of my best reads so far for my 2015 reading challenge.  And as usual, I had my journal ready to write some quotes that I liked.

Don’t let the past get in the way of the now.

How many times has the past hindered us from making decisions in our life? How many times have we let the past rule our present life?  Learning to let go and learning to move on might not be that easy but sometimes we just have to do it for our peace of mind.

Home is where they love you and care for you. Home is where you go back to when there’s nothing left and you want to find peace again.

What a difference a moment can make.

Speaking of the 50 books I wanted to read this year, with no particular author in mind and no particular book on my list, I have just finished 12. Next in line though are memoirs and the books I have of Mary Oliver.  I want to reread Randy Pausch’ The Last Lecture, it inspired me when I was undergoing chemotherapy. I want to get reacquainted again with Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie. My former surgical oncologist saw a copy I read at the hospital when I underwent surgery more than five years ago and he said it was a good book so I gave him a copy. My cardiologist who was a very caring doctor too saw my pile  and told me I had good choices of books to read. I gave him one too. They are both doctors so they could relate to what ALS is all about.

I just love books. The solitary hours are more meaningful when books take you to places you’ve never been, people you’ve never met and a world probably more interesting than your own.

When the leaves stop falling, you find love.

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The other night we just had dinner when Mom got my eyeglasses, perched it on her nose and said “lumalabo na paningin ko” meaning that her eyesight is getting poor. I laughed not because of what she said but she clearly forgot that she was wearing her own pair. So I told her that was mine, she looked at me, smiled and said, “sinusubukan ko lang, nawawala yung salamin ko” (she is just trying if it fits because hers is missing….hahaha). I removed both pairs from her eyes and told her that she was wearing it all along. She scratched her head and said sometimes she becomes forgetful.

She is temporarily staying with us, haven’t seen her for the last six months and my younger brother brought her here last Sunday. She insists she’s not yet “ulyanin” (loosely translated that means having Alzheimer’s disease….seriously). She is turning 86 in two months. I suggested that she stay with us for a few months but she insisted that she won’t be able to exercise when she is here.  In her language, exercise means sweeping the yard of endless dried leaves every morning, playing cards with some of our older relatives, planting some vegetables near the house, walking around our place in the province to look at what tree is bearing fruit  or what should need trimming.

Sometimes I wonder, I’d be so much blessed if I could reach her age still hale and hearty with just joint pains and sometimes elevated blood pressure. My brother said as long as she eats well, there is nothing to worry about.

Oh, she still watches  her precious evening soap operas on television :)  As she is short of hearing (her right ear can’t distinguish sounds now)  I have to set it a little louder for her to hear.

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I am getting tired of all the news about what happened in Maguindanao last January 25, 2015. I have watched the Senate and Congress’ hearings since Monday, watched the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) spokesperson Iqbal still denying that it was the MILF who did the massacre on the 44 Special Armed Forces of our Philippine National Police. I watched the video uploaded by a heartless person showing someone who fired his gun at close range at a hapless SAF member who was on the ground fighting for his life.

What more do you need? Iqbal says that the Bangsamoro is not part of the Philippines  and yet asking the government to sign the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)for the former’s benefits, then the Philippines would be called their mother country. He said that the MILF group would remain revolutionary until the BBL is signed.  Oh yes, as I understand only for the benefit of the MILF, initially to the tune of  P70B (that is spelled 70 billion pesos) to be shouldered by the Filipino taxpayers. Are they crazy? Are our government negotiators acting in favor of the revolutionary movement? And if the BBL would be signed into law, what then? How can we be sure that they would lay down their arms once its done?  I think  it is detrimental to the whole country allowing these groups to rule Mindanao. If they consider themselves Filipinos, they should abide by it, pay their taxes,  work the land they are claiming to be theirs and not part of the Philippines.They have the means to buy arms but they ask the government to help them just like that? They do not want to be called terrorists but they are doing otherwise.

You are talking of peace but  we are  seeking justice for our SAF heroes.  How can you talk of peace when you are pointing your guns at us? How can you talk of peace when you are violating a basic human right to live?  If my small voice could be heard, all I want to say is this, “lay down your arms first then let us talk of peace”.

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I lost my muse.

Seriously though, for two days, I was a bit busy gardening and it was not even half-way done. I wonder  when I’ll be able to finish , what  with listening to the news or watching the news and reading in between. A lot of things are happening in our country. It is barely two weeks since millions of people went to the streets and shouted Pope Francis’ name with joy and gladness but now I think, people are divided.

I don’t normally do political blogs except those times when elections are coming near. I am getting tired of all these brouhaha happening here. Blogging about it alone would tax your strength. People have become self-righteous and opinionated and as always hiding behind social media. They act like they are so perfect and could run the government perfectly too. They have lost the meaning of the word RESPECT –  respect for others, respect for authority, respect for themselves. It is so sad really. We have become a nation of judgmental people.  I will just pray  for those whose opinions and ideas are contrary to what I believe in. I was reading some comments on Facebook on the headline news and one commenter has written  every evil word that she thinks would describe the President. She wrote in badly written English with so many errors in grammar and she was so passionate about lambasting the former. I can’t help but comment back like this, “Okay, I get it you are so perfect that you are capable of running the government your own way but have you ever thought that you can’t even spell properly? Are you so proud of yourself that you are writing in English? Magtagalog ka na lang”  or something to that effect. I could be a bitch too, sometimes :) It is so easy to tell the President to resign but have they ever thought of the outcome  if that happens? Who would benefit from it, definitely not us, ordinary citizens. I found this column by Winnie Monsod from the Philippine Inquirer and I am asking the same question. Like her, I would rather choose a lesser evil.

I am catching up on my reading, done three books in a week and I am advanced by four books in my reading challenge at Goodreads.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to meet the challenge. I am finding new authors and interesting books. I miss taking pics though because my camera has this message “memory card error”. I tried changing the SD card but the same message showed.  I  am planning to bring it tomorrow to the service center of Canon.

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