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If I am MIA here, I might be tapping the keyboard at MaKiMeJi. Come join us there.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thankful Thursday

So there he was slightly propped on the hospital bed. He was wearing a hospital gown and a knitted bonnet that hid the indentation at the right side of his head where a part of the skull was once normally in place. He, who was once as active and lively as any regular guy I know. If not for that one tragic motorcycle accident.

Numerous tubes ran from some parts of his body to gizmos and gadgets in the corners of his bed. I understood they were oxygen and some monitoring devices; but those contraptions were more than that, they're a jarring reminder of how delicate life is.


By his side was his wife, who was speaking softly and telling him about his guests, while carefully and gently re-arranging stuffs around the bed. Needless to say, she’s gone through a lot of rough times.


On the other side of the room, separated by glass and glass door, was a nook for the ICU nurses- and I saw a couple of them- who would monitor the patient’s vital signs and who would immediately attend to his needs.


It was a gut-wrenching sight and I could only stare. Because that’s all I could do at that moment. I could even hardly breathe, much less speak.


That was a couple of weeks ago.



Click the picture for more Thankful Thursday participants

Now, though more collected than that instant, I cannot deny that I still think about them, about that tragic accident that drastically changed his and his family’s lives, about how strong his wife is, about how lucky he is for having a persevering wife like her…I am actually thinking about them now and lots of other thoughts, too.


But more than anything else, I am thankful. So thankful that God has given her husband, my college friend another chance to live. That this friend is wonderfully fighting back. I am thankful that they are already out of the ICU, out of the hospital now. I am thankful that despite incurring an enormous hospital bill, there are people who are willing to help them settle their account. I am thankful for the wife for being patient and loving and persevering; she has truly inspired me. I am thankful that God is continuously giving her the strength to cope with Life’s difficulties. I am thankful for her family for helping her get through the rough times. For the doctors and nurses, who helped them while in the ICU. For people who are helping them everyday.


And thanks to her, and to him that I realized that there have been a lot of little yet significant things that I have only taken for granted.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

City Lights

We were cruising around the city and I decided to take some random shots around.



The DV Soria

The DV Soria strip is a one-stop-get-all destination, where one can find almost everything one wants. The long line of establishments includes restos, hotels, airline ticketing offices, drugstores, salons and barber shops, fruit stand, newspaper stand, freight and forwarding office, grocery, electronic shops, gym, pubs and bars, coffee shops, bookstore, internet café, laundry shop, meat shop, photo studios, black market [for foreign currency]. Whew, that loooong! [ And I’m afraid I even missed some. =)]


At night, you might notice a significant number of people sitting or standing and staring long and hard on something in one of the elevated corners. These are chess masters and fanatics, among others, who gather and play until early morning.


Every Friday and Saturday, this strip is closed to give way to the night café and market. The night café mostly offers grilled food which could be ordered and eaten right there. If you’re lucky, you could catch a live band playing in the Kagawasan stand and watch while eating the grilled fare. On the other hand, the night market offers some merchandise like DVDs, toys, used clothes, shoes and the like at very enticing cost. Just a word of caution: Because this event could draw quite a crowd, it pays to be extra careful when carrying valuables.


On Sundays, the hum of engines are occasionally interrupted with the blaring micro/mega phones of those “preaching” the word of God. (And I am quoting it for a reason).


Still in DV Soria (a drugstore in view)



Gaston Park

With lush greens and and a huge fountain dominating the grounds, this area can provide a good view for photo ops. (Oh man, we do have an old pic family taken here). Located near the St. Augustine's Cathedral, this area is noticeably crowded during Sundays.

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Wordless Wednesday: Nephews





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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tackle - Our Room


Tackle It Tuesday Meme



Most mornings, I wake up to a not too pretty sight such as this one. Today is no different. Groan.



One part of the tackle. lol.

But hey, that doesn't mean my mornings are not that great. My son pretty sure makes it up with the usual 'Morning!' greeting capped with very wet kisses, enough to fuel me to jump and clean up this mess the soonest.

Here's a pic after the tackle.


It's done, but that's just one small part of the tackle.


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Monday, August 27, 2007

From Mama with love

"Why not buy him a book?" my mother told me when she saw the litter of bond papers and cut-outs from old magazines, glossy brochures scattered on the floor.


Yes, that's true, I could buy him a book. In fact, I already bought him some books (which I had also been reading to him) even before he saw the glaring lights in the Delivery Room.



But. I thought, I want him to have something I made myself.


I was being slushy alright. (And knowing that I'm not much of a craftswoman, I won't be surprised be if you'd think) I - or that thought - was ridiculous, too. Call it a soppy thought of a first-time mom after a couple of weeks or so of giving birth to an adorable boy. (But then I know I could be slushy and soppy even without the postpartum issue.lol). Or call it whatever you want. But I really felt compelled to do a personalized something for my son.


Besides, almost two years ago, with the start of my two-month maternity leave, I suddenly found myself in an uncommon situation of sitting at home 24/7 with plenty of time on my hands. Inevitably, I also found myself wondering what to do in between nursing and diaper change. I decided I might as well do anything than be bored doing nothing.


So with a pair of scissors and resolute determination, I started to make that something - a visual learning booklet for the baby.


It's certainly not much, but it's made with all the love in the world. (Yay! See, I'm really soppy!)




It has RBW figures, colors,





Various shapes,





And numbers, too.



Materials used: old brochures or magazines (preferably with glossy pages and bold colors), clean sheets of paper (bond paper), unused picture album, glue [and a dash of imagination and creativity].

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bag monologue


That's right. I have company.



It's been four days since I last saw him. Just for the record, four days is the shortest period of not being together. Normally, it's two weeks. But that could extend to three months or more when he has business trips abroad.



Anyway, he's back again. He's here now. And he'll be with us for another three glorious days again.


Talk about sheer delight.



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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Itsy, Bitsy Spider Core(s)

Late afternoon the other day, Matt and I were goofing around in the living room while listening to bouncy upbeat nursery songs.


While Itsy, Bitsy Spider was playing in the background, dear tot said: Ma, core.


Me: What core?


Matt then dropped unto all fours and started to crawl.


Oh, crawl. I said while trying my earnest to keep a straight face.


Matt: Pyder. Core. [Spider. Crawl.]


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Friday, August 24, 2007

Thankful Thursday




Click the picture for more Thankful Thursday participants


It’s Thursday once again. I’m truly thankful for so many blessings. A huge mountain blessings.


Among these, I feel so blessed for the friends who taught - and are teaching me- important lessons in life. Lessons like patience, forgiveness, faith and persevering love.


I’m thankful for the people I meet who made- and are making – me look at life, experiences and circumstances in a different but positive perspective.


For my loved ones who bring meaning to every little adventure, every banal activity and every ordinary routine so that these are turned to wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tackle It - My Cubbyhole


Tackle It Tuesday Meme



I know, I know I should have done this a long time ago. Really, s voice inside me has been mocking me, with that single word - organize! for what seemed like ages already. It certainly is on my mental to-do list but sometimes, things get in the way. There's work (what work?!) and there's blogging (hah!).



So okay, finally. Since I came in early and I still have a couple of hours in my hands before the office will be buzzing with activity, this working mom has finally decided to tackle the cubbyhole, my cubbyhole, in the office.



Pre-tackle pics:


Not a pretty sight.

It's definitely not a herculean task, in fact it so basic. So simple and so easy and hey, I'm not putting it off any longer.


Post-tackle pics:


Better

BTW, I found my old planner (the little blue/green notepad shown in the left pic). And I'm brought back to the time when I was busy preparing for my wedding. Reading some of notes/details is making me smile.


So off I go now - back to memory lane.


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Meme

Here's a meme from Grace:


My roommate(s) and I once… (while hunting for a new place to stay) were mistaken as "a couple of teenagers who ran away from home" by a kind woman who later became our landlady. She said, she thought we looked too young and didn't definitely look like we had just earned our Bachelor's Degree and were already preparing for a Licensure Exam.


Never in my life have I… felt such great unadulterated joy than holding my son in my arms the first time.


High school was… a blur of fun and confusion. It's always fun to be young and carefree. The confusion comes when you suddenly notice that while you're sleeping, your body has somehow "mutated" and then you try to figure out a way to deal with your all-too-new awareness of the opposite sex. Plus the fact that your parents are putting you under the microscope 24/7 while you're still deciding what you want to do, what you want to be...yaddi, yadda..


When I’m nervous… I tend to either talk too fast or not talk at all.


My hair… is already too long, it's already way past my shoulders and I'm thinking of having it shortened to that spot just right below the ears, but then I'm having second thoughts because I just paid a handsome amount for this do.


When I was five… I'd often be seen tailing behind my father.


When I turn my head left… I see no one but non-living things - silent desktops, piles of papers, empty chairs, my bag... Today is a holiday and except for the guards outside, I'm totally alone in this room.


I should be… eating my breakfast now.


By this time next year… I hope my family- all 3 of us -will be living together under one roof already.


My favorite aunt was… absent from the family gathering we have had yesterday.


I have a hard time understanding… which really came first, the egg or the chicken. Lol.


You know I like you if… I am still talking nonstop or listening to you after 10minutes.


My ideal breakfast is… eaten with the loves of my life.


If you spend the night at my house… you'll learn a lot of things about me and my family. That when we have the right material, my mother, like me, likes to read even at so late at night. That before sleeping, and for whatever reason, we always put a glass of water behind the main and the back doors.


My favorite blonde is… I can't decide if I should only put Drew Barrymore's name here because I like Reese a lot too.


My favorite brunette is… Demi Moore.


I shouldn’t have… skipped breakfast (again) today.


Last night I… had the pleasure of lying on bed in between the two men I want to be sleeping with every night. My Matt and my BH.


A better name for me would be… my name. Nothing else.


I’ve been told I look like…my sister (and mostly because of my straight hair!)


If I could have any car, it would be… a Ford Escape!


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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gone

I wonder what happened to the picture I posted for Wordless Wednesday last week. It's no longer visible. I have not done anything to have caused its disappearance.


I've noticed this is becoming not unusual with blogger. Similar thing has happened, and it's not just twice or thrice but numerous times already, to some pics I posted before in some of my previous entries.


Whatever happened to them?

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A True Confession

This post is for Summer's Group Writing Project

^^^


Beliefs, experiences, people, places, things may make us change. But more importantly, I believe, we- me, you - make ourselves change. Change is, in fact, nature; and it begins when we decide. So they say.

After I passed the board exam and landed a job up north, I changed. Drastically, maybe, maybe not – depends on how you’d look at it. I changed from a regular college girl to a regular party-goer, a regular drinker and a regular smoker. Since I used to be a non-drinker and a non-smoker while still in school, I think it was one of those 180-deg turns. I, with my eyes wide open, had decided to change.

It was not the crowd I was with, or the company I kept. It was about me, being a curious cat that I was. It was about me wanting to see, to know, to learn, to experience. It was about that hunger for experience. That thirst of knowing what this life might bring. That wanting to grope the way to adulthood, to learn on my own.

And I must admit, this soul had wondered and wandered. Except for drugs, tattoos, body pierces and s*x, I had done a lot. I was gaily partying every night. No, scratch it. I was not actually partying every night but when I did, I would do an all-night-every-night worth of partying. And drinking and smoking, too (despite knowing their hazards).

But unknown to me, a time would come when I would eventually move out from the city that I have learned to enjoy and later, love. Call it fate. Or maybe call it God’s blueprint of my life. (I’m more inclined to think of it as the latter.)

Anyway, I was offered a better assignment, a better job somewhere - and what better place would that be than my hometown. Unexpected as it was, it had come as a surprise but one which was warmly welcomed. More because, about that time, and as fate – as most would like to think - would have it, I already had enough of the life I had. It had somehow become so ordinary to me, that it was already monotonous. I must have had already satisfied my thirst, my hunger and my wandering soul (in that department) then. Reality was I was already so ready to move on, to unlearn everything.

So when I came home, somewhat unexpectedly but not unwillingly, work on the unlearning, I did. I carefully reoriented and resolutely disentangled myself from the arms of past lovers- alcohol, tobacco and merry crowd. It was another 180-degree turn. I really have come full circle. Difficult as it may sound, it was fairly easy for me. Must be because it was undoubtedly not a half-hearted attempt. Every inch of me was completely one in wanting to do that, and was completely one in doing that.

Audacious as it may sound, I truly wanted to say I’ve changed because of ME.

But then it must have been about coming home. Or being close to the family. I’ll hazard a guess that both have that same comfortable sobering effect- that would ultimately lead to pulling one’s self together. And then if by being home means, as the say, getting the feet back on solid and even grounds, then I can safely say I’ve changed and I’m definitely home.

Looking back, I do not regret about these too merry episodes. And if I were to choose, I’d certainly do the same. I feel I needed all that to become a better me. But I do not miss all that. No, not at all.

But whatever it truly was – that made me change - may not even be too important. Maybe the most important thing is the end result. I have not puffed any smoke since I came home. Not drank a drop of alcohol for ages and it was only this year’s New Year celebration that I allowed myself to sip a little wine. Prior to that, I had been firmly declining any offer, even during celebrations.

***

P.S.1 Change is also one of God’s wonderful miracles. This author deeply –and strongly believes in that.

P.S.2 I really should thank my friends for respecting my wishes, for understanding that when I sense that an event could put me in a compromising position, I just have to beg off and excuse myself.


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Friday, August 17, 2007

A Confession

I have a confession to make. I am having an affair, and not just any affair. I am having a love affair. Shush.


Does my husband know? Shrug. He’ll definitely know when he reads this.


The object of my affection is totally dependable and strong. He goes by the name of Superman – a life saver. My life saver.


He helps me with my responsibilities at home. He handles the housework efficiently. He is an expert.


He keeps the dishes, the pots and pans sparkling. The bathroom and the kitchen, spotless. The air, light and clean. The floor, tidy. The laundry, immaculate.


I don’t think I could have done that all in a jiffy.


He stands by me and carries me through rough times. The mother’s tough times. Like he nurses my son’s skinned knees and pesky itches with the gentleness of a mother’s touch. Oh, I love him.


He takes care of me. He makes sure my set of teeth is well-polished. My skin -my feet, my face, every nook and cranny of me, squeaky clean. My breath, fresh.


I feel so loved. I’m all aglow because of him.


Baking soda. I don’t think I can live without it.

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Thankful Thursday



  • I’m thankful for God’s provisions.

  • I’m thankful that nothing bad happened to my son when he accidentally banged his head on the wall/floor. The incident really scared me off my wits.

  • I’m thankful for the mistakes I made, just recently and those in the past. They made me – are making me – considerate to others.

  • I’m thankful for that chance I had yesterday to speak with my brother, who is in South Korea. Apart from the fact that that long international call was all for free, I’m glad to hear he’s doing okay.

  • I’m thankful that hubby will be home during the weekends and will be staying for three glorious days with us.

  • I’m thankful that today’s already Thursday. I’ve been looking forward to spending some zany time with my blabbering tot tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

  • I’m thankful that there’s a Thankful Thursday. It makes me feel more blessed listing down my blessings.


For more Thankful Thursday participants, visit Sting My Heart.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meme: Eight Random Things About My Marriage

Got this one from Annie. Here goes my list.

  • My better half (BH) and I have a long-distance love affair. Eversince. And until now. We used to work in the same town and we would see each other, because he was a classmate from college, on group gatherings. Strangely though, we became an item a year or so after I moved out of Cebu and took up a job in this town.
  • We were sort of not-seeing but dating and listening to each other [hours and hours of phone calls until now :-)] for about a year, when marriage came into the picture. But we only became "one before God and men" ( I smilingly recall now at how we, during our pre-marriage days, often refer a wedding that way) after another year of wait and preparation. That's about 2 years after becoming an item.
  • Almost one year into the marriage, we discussed and agreed to see a doctor should we hit our first anniversary and the PT result still shows a single line. We had always been praying for a baby.
  • Later in March 2005, weeks after celebrating our first year anniversary in a beautiful island up north [will post a pic on WW] and an hour before BH's scheduled arrival, I had myself tested. I saw a solid single line again but with an additional very faint second one appear on the kit. When he came, I told him that but he first thought I was only kidding. It finally kicked in when I showed him the kit. He was so overjoyed he was kissing my tummy like someone possessed and he was misty-eyed.
  • Although BH works an overnight-boat-trip away from home, we've never really had any trust issue (or the lack of it) in between the two of us. Even before the marriage. Ever. Not once [thanks God].
  • We always burn the telephone line for hours and hours and many times everyday. We end our SMS and calls with an i-l-y-v-m line and then followed with a God-bless-you. When I'm peeved, I'd sometimes purposely forget and knock out the ilyvm from the usual but my BH, feeling bad or not, never fails to tell me so. He always says not to let an emotion, any emotion --no matter how overpowering it can be -- come between our saying the ilyvm.
  • Mmmm, so what's next? Still trying to rack my brain... Mmm, I guess I like being married with my geeky, wacky and funny husband. He always tries to make me laugh especially when he feels/sees me creasing my forehead in a frown or when I'm pouting and sulking - that I sometimes get teary-eyed because of frustration and because of laughing too hard over his punchlines. And he says he likes staying married with me, too.
  • My marriage is not perfect - it's really far from it. And more because we're far from perfect ourselves. But everyday, despite the odds, we try. We try to make it work, to make it what we want it to be. We are always trying to make it a blessed and happy union of two un-perfect persons.
And this one is an open tag. So if you feel like playing, tap away.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Critiquing Wisdom from Ratatouille

Right. Here I am again with another of those lines from the movie from Pixar and Walt Disney, Ratatouille. I just love it. And maybe my son, too - if the 10-minute unblinking-attention he gave it is something to get by [kids really have an amazingly short attention span!].

But then, how can I not love it? Foodie and a trying-hard cook that I am. Lol.

But really, I see wisdom in the movie. And I'm sharing one of those now. Although in the movie the statements below referred to cooking, this can actually be a guide to how we should look at other people, their works and their lives.



... In many ways the works of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism...


But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating itself.


But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to a new talent, a new creation. The new needs friends.


Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker challenge my preconception of our fine cooking is a gross understatement, they have rocked me to my core.


In the past I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: anyone can cook. But I realize only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist but a great artist can become from anywhere...

Anton Ego (playing as food critic), Ratatouille


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Monday, August 13, 2007

Cooking Tip(s) from Ratatouille

Great cooking is not for the faint of heart. You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may NOT work.




You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you came from. Your only limit is your soul. [What I say is true] anyone can cook ...

Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille


Photo credit: worldofstock

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What Classic Movie Are You?

Found this first over at Linda's and thought I wanted to play. It says I'm this. Haven't even heard of that movie, have you?

What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

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SAFE ALTERNATIVES TO COMMON HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

These alternatives may require a little more "elbow grease", however the benefits are worth it - improved air quality, decreased exposure to chemicals, fewer waste disposal concerns, convenience and lower costs.


Product Alternative for:

Commercial Air Fresheners

Open windows, use baking soda to absorb odors, boil cinnamon & cloves in a pan on the stove, plants also help to remove odors from the air.

[You may also opt for peels from oranges or slices of lemon. I use this most of the time - ZAMejias]


All Purpose Cleaner



125 ml (½ cup) pure soap +
4 L (1 gal) hot water OR 60 ml (¼ cup) baking soda/borax
+ 1 L (4 cups) hot water, to cut grease add 60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice.




Automatic Dishwasher or Detergent / Dish Soap

Hand-washing with soap flakes dissolved in hot water (add vinegar to cut grease).


Bathroom Cleaners




Clean regularly with soap & hot water. For tub & tile, use baking soda with a firm bristled brush OR 125 ml (½ cup) pure soap, 4 L (1 gal) hot water with baking soda.

For mould/grout, use vinegar.

[I always use baking soda, sometimes with vinegar, in warm water -ZAMejias]


Disinfectant


125 ml (½ cup) borax with 1 L (4 cups) hot water.


Drain Cleaner

Cover drains with a screen to keep out debris. Use a plumber’s snake or plunger to clear drain. Pour 125 ml (½ cup) vinegar & 125 ml (½ cup) baking soda into drain. Cover tightly 1 min. then flush. Next use 125 ml (½ cup) salt + 125 ml (½ cup) baking soda + 1.5 L (6 cups) boiling water. Let sit several hours then flush with water.

[Pouring warm to hot water before doing the cleaning can also help drains that need minor de-clogging work. Very effective to cut grease - ZAMejias]


Furniture Polish



Dissolve 5 ml (1 tsp.) lemon oil in 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable, linseed or mineral oil, apply with a clean rag.


Glass Cleaner

Add 65 ml (4 tbsp.) vinegar or 15 ml (1 tbsp.) lemon juice to a spray bottle filled with warm water, polish.

[After cleaning the glass with this solution, wipe glass with old newspaper. I cannot explain this but newspaper works better than rag or cloth. Absorbs better. -ZAMejias]

Metal Polish Copper

Equal parts lemon juice & hot vinegar and a little salt, apply with dry rag.

  • Chrome - white flour on dry rage OR apple cider vinegar.
  • Brass - equal parts salt + flour with vinegar OR Worcestershire sauce.
  • Silver - paste of wood ash & water.

Oven Cleaner Scrub

Scrub with baking soda & steel wool OR 250 ml (1 cup) pure soap, 125 ml (½ cup) pure soap, 120 ml lemon juice or borax and 4 L (1 gal) hot water.

For baked on grease: mix paste of baking soda + salt + water.


Scouring Cleaner


Baking soda or paste of baking soda + soap.


Detergent


80 ml (1/3 cup) of washing soda as machine fills, put in clothes + 375 ml (1½ cups) soap. For heavy soils presoak with 125 ml (½ cup) washing soda and warm water (30 min), rub soiled area with liquid soap.


Bleach


Use washing soda, borax, OR hydrogen peroxide bleach.

[Soda water and white vinegar can also remove stains. ZAMejias]


Credits:
These alternatives are lifted from georgiastrait.org
Photo from worldofstock

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