Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year That Was 2007

The year that was 2007!
2007 will be gone in a few hours. And it will never come back. Only in memories!
It had been a rich year for me and my family. As the last New Year was greeting us, so was Matthew David, Jet and Sarah's first born and our third grandchild.
*In 2007, Jacob learned his first soccer kick and Joshua uttered his first syllable.
*In June, Kirby came back from Stockton making me feel more comfortable hitting any button on my computer.
*But the highlight of the year was a 6-week vacation in the land of my youth where I briefly relived past years with my classmates, relatives and friends.
* Another happy memory from the year 2007 was the happiness and contentment that my children and their families brought Ed and me. (Well, they never fail to do it every year, anyway!)
*In the year 2007 I was given the opportunity to reach into the hearts of several youths so that they may learn how to take care of their minds and bodies through the right food and proper nutrition. I was also able to pull them out of their holes so they may see and taste the flavors that abound around the world.
*The year 2007 also introduced me to a new family - my cyber family. We may not see each other's faces nor hear each other's voice but I could feel each one of them thru their written thoughts. Some may not even know me at all. But I knew when one was sad or angry, jolly, happy or ecstatic. I laughed and I cried and I jumped with joy with whoever I was reading on the screen at the moment. The year 2007 opened a new vista for me that I hope I can expand even more this coming 2008. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Have Bills Will Pay

Holidays are fun days but checking bank balances is not. As in all holidays past, setting aside an amount to afford getting a present for everyone on the list had always been a daunting task. Paydays become more and more stretched. Looking away from balancing that check book won't help solve any problem, either. When paying time comes one wakes up to the reality that if one owes, one pays. There is a site one can go to for cash advance or payday loans. Sites tailored to individual needs are also available in order for one to get that much needed cash so one can start paying off those bills that accumulated like a raging fire over the holidays, or buy that purse that you were aching to have but no one remembered to buy for you. One only has to have an active bank account. There is even a site that is basically for women. If you need extra cash and know you can borrow intelligently, maybe this is for you. As the saying goes: "There's no harm in trying".

Friday, December 28, 2007

Something About This Christmas

There was something about this Christmas that was unlike the previous ones. This Christmas, we were richer by another grandson - Matthew. Then, my grandson Jacob started calling me Grannie, and Joshua started saying his second big word - "WOW"! each time he opened a gift. Also, this is Kirby's first Christmas with us. Unlike the previous years when we used to spend Christmas Eve with friends, this year, I spent it with Patrick and Mylynn as they started a new tradition for their children: opening our gifts on Christmas Eve in our finest PJs!
Christmas day is still spent with friends and relations all gathering in our home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to All !

Blog and Get Paid

While waiting for Tiger to putt, I thought of opening my inbox and to my surprise there was a mail from saying that my blog has been approved. I was caught by surprise. I didn't expect it that soon. In four days, maybe. But there it was, and I was so excited.
A blogging friend, Yvonne, was the very first blogger who gave me the idea of writing and getting paid to blog. I didn't get enough courage to even try for fear of finding my blog not worthy of any renumeration for blog advertising. So when I saw that logo of a guy smiling atop a bicycle and appearing to be happily inviting everyone to advertise on blogs, I thought "Why not."
The sign-up procedure is in simple, and easy to follow steps. And, if one has any questions in between steps, there is a direct link to the FAQs. All that one has to do is write an opinion article about advertiser campaigns that will send to one's account (e-mail or admin panel). Taking a cue from a personal experience, please be advised to read and adhere to's set of rules. Once a post is approved, payment is sent directly to one's PayPal account.
I better not wait any longer. Christmas is almost here.
I wish myself "Good luck!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Week That Was

It was that part of the year once more when everything needed to be finished. Finals, grades, rollbooks, signatures, keys returned, etc. Thank God it's all over!
I could still see the busy kitchens and the concerns on my students' faces as they went about preparing their final menus (pictures to follow). They had to have their tables ready 20 minutes before the dismissal time and everything else cleaned and put away 5 minutes before and they were fully aware of the consequences if they didn't.
Unlike the previous years, this semester, I let the various groups pre-measured some of their ingredients a day before. That took a lot of time away from their preparation schedule on actual the exam day. Also this way, I had more time to go over what went well and what did not with each group. I was surprised, though, that of the 25 groups only two prepared Mexican dishes. The rest prepared menus from recipe books that Sharon, a co-teacher donated to my classes.
Sharon is our Magnet coordinator and she loves food. She once told me that she buys recipe books and reads them as if they were novels. Yes, from front cover to end cover! I found that interesting because I only open pages to those recipes I fancy. Anyway, I was glad that my students had more in-room resources and were more adventurous in preparing recipes beyond what they often see done at their own homes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Down to 7

Julie (TeacherJulie) had tagged me to list seven random things about me. Two weeks ago, as I was lamenting over my uncooperative computer, I played on 100. For you, Julie, I won't mind adding seven more.
Here goes:
1. The first thing I do each morning is eat half a banana with my coffee in preparation for taking my daily pills.
2. If Tiger Wood's on course, the TV is mine!
3. I don't play golf.
4. I read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough mostly while in the loo
5. My feet are too wide for size six shoes, so
6. I wear size seven shoes.
Thanks, Julie, for the tag. It was fun the second time around.
I am not tagging anyone, but if you want to join the fun, then, come on and start listing those 7 random things about yourself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas, Oh, Christmas

I was cruising down Fwy 60 on my way home, when on the radio, my attention was caught by a father, or son , calling to his family from Iraq. He wanted them to know that he is OK and that he'll be missing them this Christmas. Then Josh Groban started to sing "I'll be Home for Christmas" interspersed with greetings from soldiers overseas to their loved ones here at home. The song ended with a child telling his dad he'll miss him this Christmas.
I always look forward to Christmas. I am happy when I think about Christmas - what with the lights and the bells and the carols and the food laden tables. But Christmas also makes me sad. It also makes me think of those who can not celebrate it the way I do - the soldiers who are in the war zones overseas, the homeless, the abandoned ......
And yet, I can only do so much!
(Josh Groban's new version of that song isn't on YouTube yet. This is the closest I was able to get).


utah044 IMG_4486 London Pictures 035 To view other Wordless Wednesday participants, click me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Goodbye, Bagoong, Alamang and Patis!

I went to see a doctor yesterday. A friend came back from his vacation with a jar of bagoong for us. I haven't eaten this delicacy for years fearing that I might break into rashes again. But the jar kept teasing me everytime I open the ref, and, before I knew it, I had succumbed to my weakness!
That was about 10 days ago. First I noticed a bump on my forehead. Naturally, I scratched on and around it. Then my neck itched. And before I knew it I was scratching all over! Hubby bought me an anti-itch cream and a packet of allergy pills. It worked for a time, but then the itchiness came in and went almost at a rhythmic interval. Last Thursday morning I noticed that my scratching was making a toll on my skin so I suggested to hubby to please make an appointment for me so I could see my primary doctor. Whoever he talked to suggested I go to Urgent Care instead since the closest appointment I can get with my doctor will still be on the first week of January next year!
I confessed to the doctor what I had done and she emphatically ordered me to stop eating anything with bagoong or alamang or even patis! I will just have to really settle with soy sauce!
I was prescribed two sets of medication that really knocked me down. I slept and slept and slept and still feeling sleepy as I am typing this.
But the itching is gone!

Friday, December 07, 2007

This Blog's Reading Level

cash advance
Found my blog's readability level through Laura of Writing Thoughts.
Interesting outcome. Just like everyone who had done it I don't know how to check the accuracy of the result. I always thought my writing's so elementary!
Do you think now I can use my blog as a reading assignment for my students?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mylynn !!!!

A happy, happy birthday to my second daughter-in-law, Mylynn, my second son Patrick's ***Mokang (shown here with their two sons, Jacob and Joshua). ***She started calling him Mokong, which he thought was a title of endearment, so he started calling her Mokang in return, and it stuck!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'll be grateful!

I'll be grateful for any help and/or suggestions.
While I am happy that I can now view my blog fully, I am unhappy that I can not compose my paragraphs the way I want to. In my previous post, I composed it in numerical order (vertically), it previewed in the same way, but when I published it, it posted in a continuous paragraph. I have never felt so helpless as I do now!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

1 to 100 - randomly

I often come across blogs that list 100 things about the author, so to keep my mind off my uncooperative computer, I started playing with what I can list of mine.
And..... I actually had fun doing it. I …….
1. … am an Aquarian.
2. … am an early sleeper and an early riser.
3. … am named after a mountain
4. … still enjoy listening to Pat’s “Love Letters in the Sand”
5. … lost my first pregnancy
6. … never attended a private or secular school,
7. … have three sisters, three sons, three daughters-in-law, three grandsons
8. … hate applying make-up

9. … love ironing clothes but please, don't let me handwash, please....
10. .... am so disorganized, so
11. … spend more time looking for things.
12. … admire, to the point of envy, well organized persons.
13. … taught myself to type after a cousin “fixed” my fingers on the keyboard.
14. … hate slow driving.
15. … insist on punctuality.
16. … prefer waiting to being late.
17. … can’t resist seeing Matt as Jason Bourne,
18. … am intrigued by Mel’s movies.
19. … can plan a day’s schedule as I drive, then
20. … totally forget everything as soon as I alight from the car.
21. … grateful that I am teaching where I am teaching now
22. … am happy of my work schedule.
23. … miss the times when my sons were still little.
24. … like kissing my grandson’s armpits.
25. … don’t mind my grandsons scattering their toys on my kitchen floor,
26. … wish they didn’t scatter their toys as soon as it was time for me to tidy up.
27. … have a friend I can trust with my life,
27. … am blessed with a husband who adjusts to my every mood change,
28. … have had training hours with chefs at Le Cordon Bleu, London,
29. … == CIA in Napa Valley,
30. …== Johnson & Wales, Rhode Island,
31. … == The Art Institutes, Santa Monica, but
32. … am still not a Chef
33. … am still a home econs teacher.
34. … often wish I were with my sisters;
35. … can’t bear the thought of being away from my grandchildren;
36. … often reminisce of those high school years;
36. … had a namesake in high school;
37. … had geometry and algebra for favorite subjects in high school;
38. … thought my physics teacher was “cute”
39. … had geometry and algebra for most hated subjects in college, because
40. … had a “terror” teacher in geometry and algebra in college
41. … still cry everytime I see the movie “An Affair to Remember”
42. … had an adventure trip with my friend Gloria when we
43. … ==drove from CA to AZ, NV, UT, ID, WY, MT, WA, OR, CA on a rented car
44. … still dream of visiting Europe again
45. … would love to explore Ireland and Peru
46. … haven’t been to Australia or New Zealand
47. … have literally circled the globe 5 times
48. … enjoy looking at anything green,
49. … == and greenish
50. … == but without two much yellow
51. … am attracted to yellows and purples
52. … suffer from stage fright
53. … can drive up to 100 mph sans policemen around
54. … listen to soft rock music
55. … == and oldies
56. … == and country music
57. … am a total romantic
58. … used to read three pocket books in a week
59. … haven’t really sat down to read in years.
60. … remember a friend’s birthday weeks and weeks early
61. … forget to greet friends on their birthdays
62. … greet friends way before their birthdays
63. … == so they charge me of making them get older fast.
64. … seldom watch series shows
65. … am impatient to wait for what will happen at the end of a story

66. … don't watch TV so much

67. … will watch any Harrison Ford movie
68. … prefer detective, police and thriller to horror movies
69. … like flowers
70. … == plants and flowers don’t seem to like me
71. … love experimenting with spices and herbs

72. … == that drive hubby quietly crazy

73. … have my son Patrick as a great fan for my experimental cookery

74. … == he praises every recipe I create

74. … == Tulingan and Burong mustasa is my favorite combination
75. … won’t get tired eating the two for days!
76. … don’t like kakanins very much
77. … == except the soury kind.
78. … love dark chocolates (the darker and more bitter, the better for me)
79. … prefer taking pictures to being “pictured”
79. … enjoy photographing landscapes, buildings, flowers and sideways
80. … love taking pictures of my grandsons
81. … have enjoyed the panorama of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, El Capitan
82. … had visited Brussels and Rome four times
83. … lunched at Capri and strolled at Sorrento
83. … had prayed at Lourdes, France with hubby and sons
84. … had toured London, Paris, Austria, Madrid and Lisbon
85. … ==before seeing Chicago, Arizona and Los Angeles
86. … was enthralled in a museum in Amsterdam
87. … had cabled to the top of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland
88. … had discovered the beauty of Singapore at night and Hongkong in the afternoon 89. … experienced “living” in Kano, Nigeria
90. … had cooked Foo-Foo, Tsire and Pepper Soup as well as Yorkshire Pudding and Queen's Cake
91. … had broken bread with the Hausas, and Ibos of Nigeria

92. … had worked as a HHA, CNA, pre-school cook, - you name it I’ve done it
93. … had worked with a noted Beverly Hills jeweler who let me
94. … ==wear a 12-carat diamond ring for a day (he gave me a .5 ct. instead)
95. … had prepared meals for a consul, a writer, a hotel owner, an actor, before I finally found a "job"

96. … would love to go bunjee jumping and air balloon flying or drive a ferrarri at 200 mph with Ken

97. … had tasted a hundred-dollar-a- plate beef dish for free, thought it's actually in the sauce
98. ... had vacuumed a consul's house
98. … am very secure with my religion, although

99. … I don’t attend mass nor do I recite the rosary on a daily basis

100. .. wish I could go 500 more doing this!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Unwanted Break

I am taking an unwanted break from posting to my blog due to some glitzes in my computer. I'll be back after I've found and solved the causes of why an error message pops out each time I open my posts forcing me to close my computer even before I could read the first title! I hope this one publishes. Update: Yes, I was able to publish this post but as soon as I went to view it a "Runtime error" message pops out. Can someone please tell me why this happens and what I can do to solve this bugging problem? Thanks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Re: Happy Thanksgiving Post

I had to delete my Thanksgiving post because the image was causing technical errors everytime I signed in. I had to try several times before I was finally able to open my dashboard tonight. To those who left comments for me, I am sorry if I couldn't acknowledge you properly. I downloaded the image from a site that gave permission to copy any image into one's computer or to download an image directly to a blog, so I am surprised that such problem should occur. What did I do wrong?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Read, Think and Smile

As I was reviewing my e-mail attachments folder, I came across this article by Ben Stein. Now that the holidays are here I find it fitting to read it again and at the same time share it with whoever may drop by. Read, think and smile. The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary. My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to. In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking. Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?" In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW." Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards. Honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein A lot of truth in this? What do you think?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Angst on a plate...

As I was leafing thru some of the faded folders that my predecessor had left me, a yellowed paper caught my attention. It was a poem without any author cited. I couldn't help smiling as I read through because I found each line so cunningly true!
Prayer in Praise of Abstinence in the Midst of Temptation
I dare not touch one drop of oil,
For if I do, my health I'll spoil I'd spread my bread with lots of butter
But that would set my heart a-flutter.
Don't serve me poultry, pork or beef
Or I will surely come to grief And that fine fish just from the sea
Would, fried, becomes the death of me.
At breakfast I must never poke
My fork at any golden yolk And salt, to which I was a slave
Now lures me to an early grave.
Sugar, friend of childhood, sweet
Is now a rare, forbiden treat A shot of gin, a glass of wine
Add up to sins times nine.
Farewell to all the eats I love
Farewell, so long, to all the above But as I chomp through fields of green
And shrink each day to sinewy lean
Teach me, dear Lord,
Not to wish each course
Was rare roast beef
With bernaise sauce!
Happy Eating, y'all!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Thanks a lot, Rachel!

Tita Princess ~ It's wonderful reading about the people who have touched your life in different ways. I admire your dedication as a mother, grandma and teacher. It's amazing how effectively you take on each role.
A humbling recognition from Rachel of My Soulful Thoughts. Thank you very much, Rachel.

Another great Monday

A plethora of pictures went flashing before me as I was driving to work this morning. My grandkids looking bigger and taller each time they come to visit; my sisters' non-stop family updates on the phone; Ed meticulously doing his mise en place for his special lomi; the image of a 4th grandchild - (a granddaughter's face kept popping); the garage door - did I remember to close it or did our neighbor come, close it and leave a note that I didn't - again; would my lesson plan fit the mood of my students and because of the added hour to their sleeping time, will there be no tardies? I still had several frames to finish when I noticed I had only half a mile before my exit! Suffice it to say - I had a great day! A former student, Jessica, came and demonstrated a meal. She happens to be a cousin to one of my newest cross-tracking students, Lisa, and when Lisa told her that I am the teacher she volunteered to do a demo in one of my classes. Jessica practically took over the whole period with an added bonus - a taste of her wonderful dishes - Mixed Baby Greens in Raspberry Vinaigrette; Bacon Wrapped Roulade of Chicken with Asparagus, Roasted Pepper, Baby Spinach and Duxelle of Olives; Pasta in Carbonara Sauce; Apple Crisps and Tartlets of Chocolate and Cream. But the kids had the greatest time!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

What's To Eat? (Once upon a time - IV)

Food and Filipinos are very interrelated. Everything that happens to a Filipino is celebrated around and with food. If there is a new child, with food, the family gather around the new mother. Families spend hours and hours planning the menu for a birthday, or a graduation, engagement, wedding, anniversary, even death, and yes, funeral. If you happen to visit someone, the first question asked is: "Have you eaten?" Even if the answer is yes, the host is still expected to prepare something to serve the guest. It is unacceptable not to.
And this custom hasn't changed a bit - I found out during my last vacation. For 6 whole weeks, my family and friends never gave me a chance to forget FOOD!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bat and Super Men had landed !

===================Joshua as Superman+++++++++++++++++++Jacob as Batman -----------------------BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How shocking!!!!

Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
Still can't believe it happened!!!
Ohmigosh! It really happened!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do as I do

One requirement in my basic foods class is for each student to cook at home a dish similar, if not the same, with what they had just done in class and submit a report (written or oral) about it. Oscar, ( yes, there are several Oscars in my classes) for this week, topped it all for not only preparing a recipe (recorded in pictures that his mom took) but engaging his 6-year-old cousin to do the recipe with him, as well.
Another moment that convinces me to stay on teaching!!!
NOTE: His set of pictures show the steps from measuring the ingredients to cleaning up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Once Upon A Time - III

Once upon a time last summer I was in high school again with Baby, Paskie, Victor, Kinnie, Odie, Dolly, Caying, Bong, and Silvio.
We all met at Silvio's place where we had a sumptuous lunch prepared by his wife, Enggies. Then we proceeded to the new high school site to see the new walkway that members of our graduating class helped build.
=================The way we were
===========The old high school building - a former farm shop for college students.
========= The new University of the Philippines Rural High School building in Bay, Laguna. Under the walkway that our class donated. Do you see the yellow bell plant with red flowers? That was propagated in the UP College Agriculture. While waiting for or walking to their rides, the covered walkway will help students from the rain or too much sun.
===========The teachers that helped us shape our future.