Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

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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♫♪♫Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as they gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset♪♫♪

It’s crazy. There is a particular song playing in your head for quite sometime and then you suddenly hear  it on the radio. You smile and remember and the good feeling remains for the rest of the day.

When my daughter and my son-in-law were just planning their wedding, my thoughts kept going back to this particular song. Those were the days – the days when you were so excited to hold her in your arms, the days that you watched her grow up to be a very smart lady, the time you cried when she whispered “This is it Ma, I found the right man for me”.  A caring, nurturing and loving mother that you are, you  thought that she was still too young to enter married life. Is 29 nowadays still too young to get married? We wouldn’t have our little Nate now if she didn’t.

You remember the journals she painstakingly filled up that were kept under lock and key. That tiny key was kept somewhere safe. You remember her fascination for collecting stationeries in all sizes, colors and shapes, the small notes and letters attached to the door that you eagerly look forward to when you come home.  Same goes through with your unico hijo. You wait sometimes at the gate when he fails to come home on time. You are anxious when he does not answer your text or message on Skype or Viber. Goodness you say, he is now 31. But such is a heart of a mother, always praying for the safely of her kids.

♪♫♪When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?♪♫♪

Yes, gone are the days when they were small but they will always remain happy memories that you treasure until you grow old.

You sing the song in your head once again and you smile.

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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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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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The other day, a friend who is a newly qualified teacher sent me a message looking for a poem All I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.  She needs it in her value education class in a public school. I told her it is not really a poem but a title of a book by Robert Fulghum, a summary of life’s little treasures that made a big impact on me when I read it several years ago. It’s actually my first encounter with Robert Fulghum. I was lucky enough to find three more of his books and they have pride of place in my bookshelves.  I thought we all need to be reminded of those things our parents and our teachers taught us when we were kids, practical tips that still hold true until now. It all boils down to the basics, right? It’s the Golden Rule summed up in a few words.

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Living a balanced life – it’s all work and no play so they say. We are all engrossed and so busy with work that we sometimes forget to relax and feed our minds and our hearts with activities that make us happy. We are so busy living a life (the way we want and understand it) that we forget the passing years not knowing how to smell the flowers, how to appreciate nature at its best, how to just be.  You would think that is easier said than done and it’s true that in this busy cosmos of life, you will just be surprised that you’ve grown old, with white hairs slowly showing and you ask yourself, “Where have all the years gone?”  Then you dream of those things that you wanted to do when you were young.

Life is short and the untrodden paths are sometimes the best way to see what is on the other side. Your attitude towards any situation would always make a difference.

“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – it only matters what you do.”

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