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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’


Nostalgia.

Yes, I am feeling a little nostalgic at the moment.  Last night, I reread a book of poems by Rod McKuen, one of the two books that I have entitled Alone. You can actually finish it in less than an hour but when you are absorbing each word, enjoying what it means in your life and looking back at   those life journeys you had before, it is even more nostalgic. The flow of each word is like a balm to your heart.

This is actually my 1,849th post in this particular blog, not counting  the posts on the other four blogs  I have on gardening, photography, my grandson Nate and a newly minted one for when I use up the remaining 29% free space allowed here. It’s been a long journey, blogging for a little more than seven years. Sometimes, I wonder how I was able to share those  thoughts in between.

I remember a few lines from my 1,000th post four years ago. I can’t believe I lasted this long sharing my thoughts with the world. Still hoping I could inspire more, I am grateful for those online friends who leave inspiring words too, coming back now and again to update me with their journey.

“Documenting one’s own frailties, insecurities, battles and happy thoughts takes a lot of courage, more so if you are doing it publicly through a blog. One thing though that I don’t regret doing is sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I started this three years ago right after I found out I had colon cancer. Each of us has her own coping mechanism and mine was writing my thoughts and sharing it . I’ve always said and I will say it again that if I could touch a single soul out there who’ll draw a little inspiration on what I went through, then that would be enough, it would make me happy. To my surprise, a few online friends found some of my blogs helpful in their own journey, having experienced the same thing that I did. Kindred spirits, if I must say.”

We can do better, we can reach our dreams, we can learn to fly.

I reviewed some of the photos I took since I learned how to take  shots of my garden blooms.  I transferred them to a hard drive when Multiply closed its doors  and I have to find a way to save all those shots.  This shot is nothing new here, I remember posting it when I was still active in participating in the weekly photo challenge at WordPress.

lifes-journey

A moment in time.

They were flying in formation at a speed that I could not capture so well. I love taking photos of clouds on a clear day but they came as a bonus.  Seeing nature at its best keeps you grounded, the beauty of one summer day etched in your memory.  Sometimes, watching the sun show its face on a bright morning is blessing enough. Sometimes, a hesitant smile from a stranger you meet along the road of life makes the day worthwhile.  Sometimes, finding a lovely bloom in your garden is grace enough.  Dreams may not always turn into reality but believing in it takes you to another level, a happy feeling that life would always be something to treasure  no matter what.

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September is almost at an end but the weather is so erratic sometimes which  makes you think it is still summer. Either the sun goes up early in the morning, heavy rain takes over in the afternoon or the rain comes early when you are asleep  and the sun shines a little late in the afternoon. Crazy.

I haven’t blogged for a week, that kind of post that needs at least five hundred words :)  Remember  that feeling that you wanted to write  a post but you don’t know how  to start? Remember that feeling when  you have lots of thoughts in your head chasing each other to come out but you don’t know  where to start? Remember that feeling that you would really love to update your blog but you don’t know when to start?

Maybe I am just feeling oh so lazy.  Yes Virginia, that’ s the truth.  I am on my 92nd book though, 8 more books to go and I’m done.  I don’t always find  good ones, some are just easy reads.

We left early to do our twice a month marketing this morning. I was delighted when I found fresh fiddlehead fern selling at P10 a bunch, got three for P25.  You’re lucky if a vendor gives you a discount because you are the buena mano.  It tastes so crunchy, just blanch it with hot water for a minute or two  then add slices of tomatoes, ginger and onion. Instead of ground pork as toppings,  I used a can of flaked solid white  albacore fried to a crisp. Josef loves it. Then we saw a young stingray being sliced by our suki vendor so we bought a kilo. They  clean it and remove the skin at your request. My son is an expert when it comes to flaking the fish, slicing and dicing ingredients.  The best way to cook it is in coconut cream with lots of diced  banana pepper, julienned  ginger  and thinly sliced red onion.  I am surprised that Rambutan fruits are still in season, a steal at P60 a kilo.  I love it when it is chilled. It’s fun to find fresh produce in the market.

We were supposed to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in advance today so I cooked Nate’s favorite sinigang, this time I used shrimp instead of pork ribs. Nate loves anything sour with all the veggies.They were on their way here this morning when Nissa  told me that they  were  going back because her mother-in-law was rushed to  the hospital.  Nothing serious, she was not confined, thank God.  Nate was actually looking forward to their monthly visit here. He said over the phone “see you later Nonna” but he must have meant “see you soon”.  More weekends to look forward to.

Lately,  I have explored a bit of WordPress, how to blacklist someone who makes those comments which are not really about the post or about the blog  but which are not classified as spam by  WordPress.  They are meant to provoke.  I have learned how to delete a follower who is not really into writing, when you click the site, you can’t even find it. Years ago, there was this site who made use of one particular post, changed  some words and they made it appear its their own. I called the attention of WordPress to no avail so what I did was to blog about that site for everyone to see.  I even learned how to use Copyscape to check everything here, I don’t know how  effective it is but at least  it is an option.  I am glad there is Akismet.  It has protected my site from 54,096 spam comments as of this writing.  I am grateful to WordPress for that.

Any app you have uploaded to your blog to protect it? It would be nice to hear from you, thanks🙂

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Last week, I searched for a studio in one of the malls near our place.  I need IDs for my application for SSS pension  and I haven’t had my ID taken since I left the bank  sixteen years ago.

I don’t indulge in selfies like most people do specially on Facebook where photos are so filtered you would think they all have flawless faces.  They don’t look real to me.  (Such an exaggeration to look good…haha). With such apps clearly on hand even with poorly taken photos, I think creativity is lost. I hate facing the camera especially in a formal one like a photography studio. I always prefer holding the camera and practise on my shots.  The picture actually turned out nice with a white background to my dark pink top. “A little to the right ma’am”, the photographer said. “Would you prefer to remove your eyeglasses?” “No”,  I answered.  Let it be said that this is how I look on my 60th year.  Mom got a copy of one of my  2″ x 2″ pictures and said, “ang ganda“.  Who would admire a photo with a subtle hint of lines on one’s face except your mom?  Laughs…. Oh but I had my hair trimmed and blown dry before I had my picture taken, that’s the secret 🙂

Got a total now of 1,842 blog posts including this one. I have clearly forgotten  some of what I wrote  a few years ago. Maybe  some of the subjects are quite redundant to write about. Maybe there is a need to change the writing style or change theme. I like the clear lines of Misty Look though, I’ve been using it since I started blogging seven years ago. The theme is easy to customize and navigate and I like that you can change the header photos at every post.  I must admit I often forget to update my other blogs. I have five including this main site. It is hard to start all over again but it is one of the challenges of blogging, maintaining a site  and thinking of some worth-reading content of course.

How’s your blogging journey?

 

 

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Welcome September!

Mom was watching an early morning show this morning and I noticed that one of their props is a duly decorated Christmas tree.  I smiled and thought “the countdown begins, it’s the start of the BER months, how lovely!” 

It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever. Oh yes, I am listening to the Christmas album of Johnny Mathis at the moment (on YouTube of course).  Who would not be thrilled at the thought of the most celebrated and most joyous season of the year?  It makes me sad though that every time I get to listen to Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album I always think of Dad. It was his favorite and you know Christmas is near when you hear these lovely songs of old.  He died one December night almost nine years ago.  One of my friends shouted out on her FB wall, “ilabas na si Jose Mari Chan”.  Jose Mari Chan is one of our most talented singers. he compose his own songs and he has several Christmas albums that find their way in every home and on radio stations when September is here.

This might be a bit late for September 1 because the last two  paragraphs were on draft  and I haven’t posted anything here since  August 30.  Seems as if I need to be reminded that it’s been six days since my last post and a week since posting a longer one.  I’ve been busy (same reason as before). The truth is I got so engrossed reading the past days. Gosh, I am happy to tell you that I’ve finished 85 books out of the 100 books I promised myself to read  this year and Goodread’s Reading Challenge for 2016 is a nice motivation.  15 more books to go and I’m done.

Know what, I am excited to be called a SC in  two months. When you reach the age of sixty, you’ll be proud to wear that senior citizen’s badge proclaiming to the world that you are  one.  You’ll always be in the priority lane, you get a 20% discount on medicines provided you have a legit prescription from your doctor, you can also enjoy discounts in restaurants, hotels, concerts, movies, air fare, groceries  etc. This afternoon, I went to SSS (Social Security System) to get an application form for retirement and to  inquire about the other things needed to be submitted.  Their branch in our place was full but I was able to talk to one of their employees after an hour of waiting. We had a short chat about my previous employment, how much I’ll gonna get every month for life, what identity papers I need to submit. She said, “I am sure Ma’am Arlene di tayo magkikita sa birthday mo pero right after your birthday dadalaw ka dito”.  It simply means that the day after I turned sixty, she’ll see me again. Getting in years gracefully, getting a little wiser with age while ignoring the occasional aches and pains of the advancing years.

Just grateful for everyday blessings! How’s the start of your week?

 

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Sometimes I feel that reading interesting blog posts is like reading a lovely book in installment, you discover a page every day and you want to see what the next scene will be.

I miss my friends/fellow bloggers who have quietly left the scene because the chapters are not complete.

For those who regularly visit my blog and post a comment or two or click  “like” , thank you so much.  Thank you for the wonderful  stats.

 

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I was thrilled to see my three pots of turmeric sprouting new leaves. The leaves are oblong compared to the narrow green  leaves of ginger.  I read somewhere that turmeric produces lovely flowers too. I can’t wait to see them bloom. Seeing earthworms in the garden reminds me of those days with mom.

During the last days of summer and the onset of the rainy season, I would sometimes go with mom to go fishing in the river. Yes, we use the old-fashioned hook, line and fishing rod made of thin bamboo pole  and  earthworm as baits. Back then, when the ground is soft because of the rain, it is easier to dig large and fat earthworms near our vegetable plot. We would place them on a fine plastic net or a tin can with holes and a small amount of soil on top of the can so they could breathe and would not die.  We would bring boiled banana, sweet potato or rice cakes for snacks and a bottle of water.

Ah, we would normally catch biya, those small fresh-water fish and grill them  in charcoal.  Sauce from fresh green tamarind is the best partner for this and  freshly cooked rice of course.   There were times when crabs would cling to the line. Fishing with mom was such a wonderful memory that I would always cherish.  Those were the days, I think I was in grade school back then.

I remember those head gears which the old folks used to protect themselves from the rain. Believe me, they were even better than your sturdy umbrella. The takoko which is made of  dried palm leaves and woven into a wide umbrella-like  thing was so popular then.  It is not complete without the kalapiaw,  a native raincoat made of the same material, with a cord tied at the neck.  I tried them before but they were always too large for my small frame but believe me, they  were the best things to wear when the rain was hard. They were  so cozy and warm.

I catch myself smiling while  editing this post. Maybe that’s what lovely memories do to you, they become more keenly felt and remembered as you grow older.

I had a similar experience fishing with dad in another blog post which you can find here.

 

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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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