Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This is My Kuya Edes ...


KUYA EDES

If asked for words to describe you those will be : UNSELFISHNESS & GENEROSITY!

When you were still courting our sister, Nor, Tammi and I would always look forward to your visit because we were sure you wouldn't mind us tagging along wherever you went.  Oftentimes it would be us, "the younger ones" who would even suggest the place.  You would always smile at our suggestions.   Your visits would always mean we would go to your favorite restaurants, or beach/picnic grounds, or department store!  I still have a vivid memory of that place in Quezon where fish I've never seen or tasted before were grilled to our specification!  WOW, how you impressed us!!  And during all those times, never did we see you frown!  If you wanted to be with Ate Baby alone, we were unmindful!

You never ceased to amaze me every time you would accompany your family in their shopping, with me tagging along, of course.  You could wait forever  until everyone was satisfied with his finds.  Never, not even once,   did I hear you say "tayo na" or "tama na 'yan" or "matagal pa ba kayo?".

I will always keep in my heart those times when, rain or shine, you would include my family in your heavy schedule  and pick us up in your already heavily loaded jeep, so we could visit our folks in Batangas. 

I admired very much how you looked after and cared for your parents and your sister's kids after their parents were gone. Your love for them is unmeasurable!  And how you kept up with the moods of Tatay is unbelievable.

And the good part about all these? -  is that your love for us you extend to your friends, as well.  You are one of a kind, Kuya Edes!!!

May God keep your soul in HIS heart!

We will miss you!   

Friday, September 21, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d. XVI


Wish I Could See You Up Close!!!
Welcome home, ENDEAVOUR!!!
(from downloaded image)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Myth No More (Homestay Parenting experiences)

No milk for me, please!
Why?
I'm lactose intolerant, that's why.

I've had several Chinese co-teachers who would tell me they were lactose intolerant and thus could not eat anything with milk or milk products.  So, my fear of offering milk and milk products to them, and to Chinese in general,  is ingrained in my brain.
   When we got our first 2 Chinese girls, my dilemma was what beverage to serve them for breakfast.  Was hubby and I more than surprised when they told us they would drink milk for breakfast!
   Back in my youth, we were told not to pair milk with anything acidic like orange juice or apple juice. Nah!  They drank both in one meal and to our surprise  nothing happened!   So, I bid bye-bye  to that milk-intolerance myth.

   For the first time after three weeks,  we were assigned to look after two male students.  They were seventeen and eighteen years old.  One was tall and lanky and always had a ready smile. The other was shorter and more serious looking, but very amiable, nonetheless.  They both spoke good English so communication was less of a problem.  They came from a totally new province - actually this is the first time I've heard of it - Zhejiang.  Unlike the girls who were all out in spending their dollars for their parents, these two were more cautious with their allowance. The bag that Nestor (the lanky one) bought for his mom could not compare, price wise, with the bag that one of the girls bought!  But for our consolation -- they were less picky with their food.
   Last Saturday, we treated a family friend to a birthday lunch. Together with two other family friends, we decided to go to a new seafood buffet in Glendale.  We took the boys along since they had no trip planned for that day. They tried most of the dishes and told us they had a great time.  Since we were very close to the galleria, we asked them if they would want to shop.  No.  So we went home.  So unlike the girls lol!
   Because they were so full from lunch, and the weather was so hot,  they slept through the trip.  Later, one of them  told us that their parents encourage them to sleep while travelling so they will be invigorated when they come out of the car. So, that is why the girls also fell asleep every time  they got into the car!  All the while hubby and I thought it was because they were watching TV so late into the night!  Now I know.

   BTW, before lunch  we, together with  another homestay couple and their two girl students, took the kids to Griffith Observatory, Bunker Hill, to see and experience the Angels Flight where they bought souvenir coins from a machine, and then admired the awesome Disney concert hall.   And yes, we all  took pictures!
I also observed that our boys and their girls didn't talk.  When introduced, they just smiled at one another, and that was it.  Interesting!

   Yesterday morning, I took them to school for the last time.  They were bound for the East Coast right after their afternoon classes.  Hubby and I will miss them.  They said they will miss us. too.  Hubby said his goodbyes the night before.  I had my chance to give them a last hug.  They hugged me back.

   When I got back home I went straight to their room.  WOW, it was so clean and the bed was neatly done, better than the..... oh, you should get it by now (chuckle)!  Suddenly sadness engulfed me.

Was I sad because I  miss them, or because I miss my own sons!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It Is That Time Again

Can't believe 13 days have passed! Really?  It was only 8 days ago when Gabby and Smile wet their feet at the Santa Monica shores, experienced a Chinatown away from home and had a taste of its cuisine, visited a museum where they saw relics of their ancestor's belongings and walked under the "Rock Star"  (remember the levitation rock from Riverside)? and stretched dough for their very own pizza.
My, my, was that a fun weekend or what!!!

Because they don't want to go out most of the time, it gave us more time to exchange stories, and as Gabby calls it.... practice her English.  It was so nice to listen to them talk about their childhood memories with their parents - their trip to the mountains and other cities, considering the very few days they spend time together.  One evening hubby and I noticed that they seemed to be enjoying whatever they were watching on their iPads.  So the following morning I asked them why they were screaming the night before.  That afternoon they introduced  us to their version of our "telenovelas".  Actors were quite good that, simply from their actions, we couldn't hold our laughter even if we didn't understand what they were saying.

Two days ago I noticed they touched their breakfast barely.  Concerned that they might get hungry, I asked why.  They were tactful enough to say that while they enjoy the American food we serve them and appreciate our efforts to feed them, they somehow miss what they are used to eat... noodles and vegetables. So after the spaghetti for dinner,  I prepared noodles with meat and plenty of veggies for breakfast.  They were very happy..... and we were happy (chuckle)!

Smile wanted to buy 2 bottles of sunscreen branded as Water Baby.  She said her mom has been using it in China and believes it costs cheaper if bought here.  Not knowing any better,  we took her to a high end store that sells body beautifying products only to be told that we could buy it in Target instead!  Every time I itch (because of sunburn), Smile would say I needed  Water Baby.  Honestly, this is the first time I've heard of this product and I will surely try it.  A good learning experience, I'd say.  Then we went to a Mall in Chino Hills hoping she would find the bag that her mom wanted her to buy.  No store sells the brand so we ended in another department store where Gabby tried on dresses.  She looked at the tag - Made in China... she didn't buy that one, instead she chose the one that said "made in USA".  Patriotic, eh? (I was surprised to see a RTW dress that is still made here!)

The bag, oh, the bag.  I had to request one of my sons to drive us to South Coast Plaza so we could be sure of getting the special  bag.  From SAE and with his sons in tow, we went.  After they had been waited on, hubby and I told them we would be waiting on the bench outside the store.  Almost an hour-and-a-half passed. Hubby told me I better take a peek at store.  Gabby and Smile were not there!  Oh, don't panic.  Maybe they just went to the nearby specialty store.  15 minutes passed.  Still no sign of them.  Relax, I told myself.  Then after another 15 minutes, Smile came out of the store and gave us a sign that they were inside.  Aaaaah, now I can relax.  When they finally came out, they told hubby and me that because of the prize, the salesgirl, a Chinese lady,  entertained them in a special room and gave Smile some advice on how to bring it to China.  When we got home, she asked if we had a small lock.... to keep the bag safe, no doubt.
I wonder if they even slept last night.
This morning, we saw them off.

Oh, God.  please keep the girl and her bag safe until they have touched down in China and have given the special present to her mom, please!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Homestay Parenting - the 2nd time around .....

These two girls seem to be  different from the  last  two girls selected to stay with us.  I at once noticed that they are more formal and reserved.  When I asked them if we could hug them they said "of course" and hugged us back ever so lightly.  I could still feel the hesitance, or shyness, or maybe uncertainty of how   to do it.
We went home and went through the routine of showing them their room, the bathroom, etc.  I thought a hot soup would be good so I took them to  Pho noodle place.  They loved what they chose.  We exchanged stories and went home.

Their names are Gabriella and Smile.  We decided to shorten Gabriella's to Gabby.  She didn't complain and even thought it was cool.  Gabby is conversant in English and helps Smile with hers.  She said she spent 15 days in London last year, just like this US tour.  Her family often took her on vacations in the United Kingdom, because her parents thought that was the fastest way for her to learn the language. Both Gabby and Smile's parents are in business. I told them their life is so enviable.  They smiled.  (I think they already know).

I would say they chose their wardrobe differently, too-  from the backpack to their jeans.  If these two are
Country, my first two are more of the Rock-and-Roll. While Nancy and Erin love McDonald, Gabby and Smile prefer KFC.  My first can do without pasta and pizza, the new duo requested me to prepare pizza (after they agreed to help me with the preparation)  and indicated they are used to eating spaghetti, too. While the former would eat anything, the latter are quite choosy.   Gabby and Smile  don't like shopping so much,  Nancy and Erin can shop non-stop! Quite a stark difference, huh?

So, this afternoon, we are all staying at home! 

BTW, would you like to know how they spent their first weekend?  Tune in, lol.





a.l.o.p.a.d. XIV


Edible Bear!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homestay Parenting - a learning experience ....

For so many years now hubby and I have been on our own.  All our children  are grown with families and nests of their own. For the last 2 years we've been spending our 24 hours of the day together with occasional interruptions from our grandkids.  Life have been very quiet for us - hubby with his TV shows and little vegetable garden, and I with everything I can put my mind and hands on.  Then came this offer of  homestay parenting. At first we were apprehensive.  Can we do it? We asked ourselves.  Oh, yes, we can!

We found out that we can still take care of early teen-agers  (13-15).  We can still wake up earlier than usual and we can still relate to the young. Oh, BTW,  we can take care of girls, too,  after rearing three boys and now being blessed with four  grandsons!  lol.....

Didn't know that most Chinese children attend boarding schools from age 7.  They see their parents only on weekends.  I still remember the first time I waved bye-bye to my father to stay in a dormitory. That was when I  attended college.   I felt awful.  I felt so alone.  I cried.  Wonder how they must have felt on their first night away from home.
But I learned how to take care of myself and be independent  as these girls do. Longing for one's parent is so universal. The first thing they did when they first arrived was to call home. I remember  our own children doing the same.

Geographical differences exist even among countrymen.  Just ask a girl from Hunan or Xian or any other place.  She will tell you.
No two individuals are the same (how many times have I heard that)! For our first pair, one loves rice porridge to the bones, as they say, while the other just nibbles at her bowl.  But the nibbler loves watermelon as if it is the only fruit on earth, thus the nickname Watermelon King,  while the other doesn't care what fruit is on the table.... and many more.

And....they are very quiet in every way, which hubby and I find very interesting.

 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Homestay Parenting - highlights...

Concerned that maybe the girls are getting homesick for their own cuisine, one of my daughters-in-law suggested we treat them to a last dinner out.  She selected a restaurant where she noticed waiters and waitresses speak very little English.  As soon as we are seated, the girls are told that tonight they will interpret the menu to us and do the ordering.  They are very excited!  While waiting for the food ( which took a while), DIL engages them in conversation.  She shows them pictures of her favorite Chinese leading men.  I almost thought something serious happened because they both jump out of their seat.  It so happens that that he is also their favorite!  They talk of so many other things, well, you know,  girl talk! lol

Two days ago, the girls asked me if they could open the refrigerator.  "Of course you can.  Go ahead!"  after which they showed me a piece of paper with a list of ingredients.  They told hubby and me that they would cook dinner for us.  We crossed out the ingredients that were available from the list and I bought those that weren't.
They didn't want us to see what they were cooking.  All that we could hear was the clanging of the pans as they chatter away.  They seemed to be enjoying whatever it is they were busy with.  They even set the table, using varied dinnerware.  Finally they called us.  With a big grin, each of them presented their recipes:  Egg Soup, Sauted Vegetables, Noodles with Meat Balls Chinese style, and Sliced Watermelon.  Did I miss two kinds of rice?  Steamed and Fried with all the works.  We all thought it was very very good!

At breakfast this morning, I asked the girls what they will remember most about America.  They agreed that they learned English, for one, and that Mom cook good but Dad cook gooder.   (which I corrected later)..
aawwww, I pretended to be hurt.  
Didn't you tell us, you teach and Dad cooks?
I was appeased!


Oh, Erin and the ice cream!
It was already their third day when we had the time to go for Erin's ice cream! She was so delighted when she saw the array of colors and flavors before her.  She took pictures of all the trimmings and the flavors that one customer couldn't hold her amusement and engaged her in ice-cream talk.  When I told her they spoke little English and that they're here to learn the English language and American culture, she got excited too.  Her son is currently in China  learning the Chinese language.  What a coincidence.  She added that I brought them to the right place.  What could be more American than licking ice cream from a cone on a hot summer afternoon!


On the fly, I prepared arroz caldo  (congee, filipino style) as soup.  To my surprise, Nancy couldn't stop taking seconds, thirds, even fourths!  She kept saying "I like this!  It is delicious!"  Remember that word? lol


Hubby and I wanted to take them to other places but Nancy  wanted to go shopping almost all the time.  "I love shopping" was her mantra every time we pick them up from school.  How can you say no to a girl who spends more time looking for gifts for her family than for herself?


It is sad to see them go.  But glad that they will explore more in their adventure to see the world outside their own.


I console myself in the thought that starting tonight I will be going on another adventure with two new lovable kids from China!





Monday, July 16, 2012

Homestay parenting, still...

It was their first day of school.
Got up at 6:30, breakfast @ 7:00, off to school by 7:50.
Picked them up at 3:30.

How was your day?
Good.
Did you have fun?
We had fun.
What did you do.
I played the drum.
How about you, Erin?
I....drew....
Did you have lunch?
Yes.
What did you have?
Pizza and vegetables.
Did you like it?
Yes.
No.
Uhm... i ... like.... my pizza.   Nancy.... she .... didn't like her.... pizza.
Uh-oh... then you must be very hungry!
YES!!!

It was a very very hot day.  I can just imagine how hungry they must feel so instead of going home we went straight to the closest eatery that came to mind. Lucky us.  A combo of burger steak and a bucket of fried chicken was  their special for that day.

Poor Nancy. She literally dove into her rice bowl, mixed it with the beef sauce and voila....taste of  heaven!  They both enjoyed the Salisbury steak so much they forgot about the chicken!  (of course we brought it home  for dinner).  When it was time to go, they were laughing because they were so full they said they could sleep there til the morrow lol.
When asked if they wanted to go somewhere, maybe the mall, they emphatically shook their heads:  NO. But added that they had fun.  
It was a good day, I told myself.


Later, when called for dinner, they asked to be excused.  They slept through the night skipping dinner!


Before I forget:  Erin told us that her favorite food was ice cream so I told her we would go to the nearby ice cream parlor after lunch.  But she was so filled up she begged to have it some other time. And that is another story..... lol.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homestay Parenting (con't.)

When we got home, hubby and I showed the girls their bedroom.  We also showed them  how to turn the lampshades on... (the knobs could make a trick sometimes, lol), and the bathroom. Then we left them to themselves and we retreated to the kitchen.  After a few minutes they came out with their gifts to us from their parents. Hubby and I thought it was very sweet of them to do that!  While we were having small talks, I noticed that Nancy can converse in English much better than Erin.  She often translates for, or urges, Erin to speak for herself.  Oftentimes we would run into a word that neither of us could translate and we would end up laughing all together.  (after all, we Pinoys are also English learners, in a way, aren't we?)
We went through the motion of how to use the knobs for hot and cold water, which I noticed  they were silently playing in their minds, before they got ready for their first shower in America!
Before retreating for bed, they said:
"Mom, Dad, thank you and good night."
"Good night, Sweet dreams."

While seated at the breakfast table, we asked them how the breakfast we prepared looked to them.  They chorused:  "Delicious!"  I guess delicious is their favorite term to use when something edible appeals to them lol.   BTW, for their first breakfast we served them:  scrambled eggs,  pan fried spam,  fried rice and OJ.    Oh, if I could only record the look on their faces when they saw the fried rice with corn, peas and carrots!
(For dessert, they can always have mangoes and strawberries and whatever fruit is available)
In the middle of our breakfast, Nancy started laughing.  I asked her why but she couldn't control her laughter.   I told her when she's ready she must  share with us whatever it was.  When she stopped, she said:

"Because, mom, this morning, when Erin woke up she said she ....dreamed of ....plenty of ....watermelons and she .....ate..... a lot."
"Really?" I said, standing from the table to the refrigerator.
"Here.  Take as much as you want.," as I shoved a bowlful of cubed watermelon towards her. "You're lucky because Dad thought of cutting this last night."  (We were really thinking of serving it for dinner.)

 "Please, Lord.  Let there be no tummy accident today!"  I was praying silently as I watched them  took not only one...., two...., three.... but oh,  so much I lost track of counting watermelon cubes!

Introduction to Homestay Parenting ...

When a friend asked me if I should consider taking care of two girls for a week, I readily said,  "Sure, why not!"
So, I filled up an application form, prepared our house for inspection and after a week of waiting we had our two adopted "daughters".... all to ourselves for a week.
The bus finally arrived.  One by one they alighted from the bus. Oh, they were all very young... my guess is no more than 15 years old.... and considering the country they came from, they could even be younger.  I can just imagine what were in their minds as they looked at us, their prospective "parents" for a week!   We were given two lovely girls, aged 13 and 14. They smiled. We smiled and tried to give each a hug but noticed they stiffened when we did so, so off we went in our van that often  had boys only for passengers.
While in the car, we introduced ourselves.  They did, too, and even gave us their American names, Nancy and Erin, and they told us about their families in halting English.
Then ......
Us:  "You must be hungry"
Both:  "Yes.  We are very hungry"
Us:  "What would you like to eat?"
Nancy:  "Uhm... do you have rice?"
Us:  "Yes we do, but because it is a little late now, we will just have some hamburgers.  Would you like hamburgers?"
Both:  "Yes. Yes. We like hamburgers."
An so we went to Macdonalds where they ordered mcnuggets, or should I say, we all ordered mcnuggets!
While eating, we had more questions and answers.  They even took pictures of our "meal." When asked if they enjoyed their "meal" they both agreed it was delicious!
And thus ended  their introduction to their first American dinnertime! lol



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday, July 05, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d. IX


Hi, I am Jiggs!!!

I was loved.
I was fed and bathed, clothed and hugged
and I was kissed.
I was talked to
and played with,
sang to and
put to bed.
I am Jiggs!

Friday, June 29, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d. V


My Kindle Fire has a new wardrobe courtesy of Jacob and Joshua.  Ok, ok, their dad bought it lol!!!  Now tell me, how can I say NO when they ask me if they could use my fire?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d. III .. Mila and I


This is my graduation picture with Mila K.
So this is how I look 54 years ago?  Maybe in ten years I can go back to the same weight, not necessarily size and shape  .. lol....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d. II



Lester was barely 10 years old when he traveled without us from Kano, Nigeria to the Philippines via HongKong.  He was with her Ate Ailene and Ate Arlynn and together they shopped at HongKong before proceeding to Manila.  You can just imagine the anxiety it caused hubby and me!  We could not sleep until we received news that they reached our town.
Notice that unwrapped box?  That was his first big purchase... an Atari playstation!  We were so proud of them!

Monday, June 25, 2012

a.l.o.p.a.d.

  I know there is a lot to talk about but I just can't start with anything, so, I decided to look at my pictures, post one a day, at least, and talk about it.

These are my four grandsons.  Joshua is a Tae Kwon Doh enthusiast, Matthew  and Jacob are honing their skills on the piano, and Daniel, we think, can weave his way around any case if he decided to be an attorney! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who can really tell?


Last weekend hubby and I attended a golden wedding anniversary of two good friends from Long Beach, CA.
We started from  home early because we still had to pick up another friend.
I used online directions, as I usually do,. I was so sure it wouldn't take us more than an hour to reach the place in time for the church ceremony. We followed the online direction to the letter.  Hubby was about to tell me that another freeway was missing from the direction but I insisted (as I usually do) to just follow what I downloaded.
We noticed that our trip was taking much longer than it should.  So when a familiar exit comes we exited.  We followed the direction from there but it took us nowhere.  We made turns and endless turns but we  couldn't find the exact street to the place!  Luckily Fwy 91 showed up, the one which was left out of the direction,  and  we made it to the church  - late!  The trip took us more than 2 hours - a trip that  usually take 45-50 minutes, depending on the traffic.  And to think that traffic was very light!
Before we left the party, we asked a friend for the reverse directions they take to make  sure we wouldn't get lost but lo and behold, we still did and to our surprise we ended up following the freeway that we often take when we visit  my mother-in-law.
When we showed up unannounced at her doorstep she was just too happy to see us!

A side note:
A day before, we greeted my MIL Happy Mother's Day. We told her we couldn't see her on the day because of another appointment. So, on the way home,  I told hubby that maybe, my FIL took charge of the wheels, just like last year (this is another story),  so we could visit my MIL and greet her personally!

Who can really tell?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TODAY...

Today will be like any other day.
Woke up before the alarm went off... thanks to hubby... thought  he'd be late for his dialysis.  Had to beg him for  5 minutes more!
In a little while, continue  cleaning/fixing the computer room ... a room that never seems to get in order no matter what I do with it.  Scan some more old pics and in the process  laugh aloud ... alone ...(we are empty nesters, remember)? Maybe get misty eyed  (yeah, ancient pics make me do lol!),  wait for hubby and get ready to pick up Jake and Josh from school.
But first things first... let me fix myself a healthy breakfast!
Coffee. Whole grain bread. Sunny side up. Orange juice. daily pills.  Done!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Always Have A Dream

Sorting out through my papers that are yellowing with years, I came upon this poem that I either got from a friend or a card or a book.  So simple, even old,  yet so true..... if we will only look at the positives............



Always Have a Dream
(Amanda Bradley)

Forget about the day when it's been cloudy,
But don't forget your hour in the sun;
Forget about the times you've been defeated,
But don't forget the victories you've won;
Forget about mistakes that you can't change now,
But don't forget the lessons that you've learned....
Forget about misfortunes you've encountered,
But don't forget the times your luck has turned;
Forget about the days when you've been lonely,
But don't forget the smiles you've seen;
Forget about the plans that didn't seem to work out right
But don't forget to.... 
Always have a dream!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

A woman asked me if she could please take my seat.  I was wondering because she was already seated on the other side of the wheelchair.  When I looked again, I was surprised to see a man, not more than a teenager, slumped in a wheelchair with his head tilted toward where I was seated. So I scooted.  I  noticed also that several others stopped by to greet them before proceeding to their own seats.  Since the mass has not started, I turned  and wondered at what I saw:  "Was he born like this?"  I turned again and thought: " Or, maybe,  he met an accident."
 My thoughts were on that pathetic boy/man.   I even thought of my own "men"!  What if........ 
Insurance even crossed my mind - do they have one?  - when the organ played.  The mass had begun.
I was still curious to know what happened to him.  My prayers went out to him and his family.  After the homily, the priest mentioned that  Carlos, the man in the wheelchair,  has been in the hospital for so many months and this is the first time he is brought back to the church by his family.  Why, what happened to him?  
To ease my curiosity I asked the man seated close to me, since he seemed to be a family friend. I learned that he fell while fixing a  roof.  He fell to the  cemented floor where his head was terribly hurt, almost smashed. It all happened at his workplace. 
The saddest part... he is only 19!  
After the mass, I went to him, placed my hand on his chest and wished him Happy Easter.  Although I didn't get an answer I knew he is thankful he is alive and on to full recovery.  His dad, who stood  behind him all throughout the mass, smiled and thanked me. And so did his mom.


Then I started looking for hubby who had been wandering at the lobby wondering where I must have been.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Things I Can Do Without.... now....

...........I always liked a well lit home  so I don't hang curtains. The first thing I do in the morning is to slide the blinds open so that the light will come in.  Now that it is only hubby and me in the house, having no curtains is a big plus.  There is no danger of me slipping from the ladder or chair because  there is nothing to put down.  I will have nothing to wash regularly so I will now save on energy, soap and water, and most of all there is nothing to fold! lol...
............I have no coffee table in front of my sofa because I prefer space especially when the kids are around.
 I want to see them run their trains or cars around with no hindrance.  And I have one less figurine  to wipe.
............I don't even have an area rug or carpet.  Before, I used to trip when my feet happened to go under it. Now I don't have to worry about pulling one so I could  vacuum  away the dust and sand  that accumulate underneath.
............I have learned to let go of most of my horse collection.  I simply don't have the patience to dust each figurine one by one and most of all taking and placing them back on the shelves and counters!  But once in a while I take one out, put one in.
............I tucked away those heavy pots and pans.  I would not want to jeopardize my bones... arms and hips... if you know what I am driving at...lol.... after all, there is just the two of us to cook for.
............I let go of those ten-year-old magazines. What's this computer for... besides they are only collecting dust and using space.  And I haven't opened their pages for that long, too!

These are just a few.  My project of letting go of things is still a long way to go.  My aim is to make  living in our home easier and safer for me and hubby.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Basket


This basket is as old as my first grandson - who will turn 10 in July. The contents of this basket are as old, too, although new ones are added every year.  It is nestled in one corner of our living room.  Every time our grandchildren come over, whether alone or with their respective siblings, this is the first thing they open.  What is amazing is that their friends do the same when they come.  Many times I am tempted to put it away but then I told myself:  
          "Why disturb the rhythm?".

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Journey to Seventy

Can't believe I am already seventy, really, seven-zero?  Wow!
I spelled the year,  well... because doing so  gives me that feeling of  not  'in-your-face' seventy.... if you know what I mean...lol...
I still can't believe I reached this age.  How did I get here?  What happened before I got  here?
Let's see.

Decade One

Oh, this decade was a decade of wishes for me.  I wished I could be like my elder sister because she had the luxury of going to school which I thought was getting away from the household chores.  I wished I was my younger sisters because all they did was sleep and play.  All  I looked forward to was for them to start crying so I could sing my repertoire while swinging the humungous cradle specially made for them.  Did I mention they are twins?  I wished I could be my cousins because they got to play hide-n-seek late into the night while I had to pretend I was already asleep!
But I also remembered Tatay carrying me to my "banig" because I would pretend to be asleep on a bench....  my elder sister saving her school allowance so I could have a beautiful embroidered 'bakya',  my cousin making a flute out of rice reeds.... my younger sisters begging me to stay so we could play some more...
And then, I wished for June because we would go to the big city to buy  bags, notebooks, pencils, and a new pair of shoes for the new school year!!!

Decade Two

This is a very loving decade. 
Here I felt love from family and friends. 
I even found my  BFFL.... we even had (have) a theme song:  With You by Pat Boone!  (Wish Mila is reading this, lol)
Here I felt the angst of first love,  or, was it?..... felt how it was to have a crush on someone who didn't even know I existed, LOL!......  I experienced how it was to choose between two best friends!  (I was ticklessly thrilled!).  I liked it that  they were good sports and remained BFF!..... aahhhhh, young love!!!

Decade Three

Independence ....
I could fly on  my own! (or so I thought!)  I discovered I could do anything, anything at all that I wanted to if not for that inner voice that talked me into thinking before acting.  Thanks to those examples my elders taught and showed me!
But there were times when I was lost;   felt lonely but didn't know why; felt so weak and yet so strong. Oftentimes I thought I knew everything and yet I knew nothing.
I felt so alone even when everyone was around me.  I was just lucky I found the solutions to my own problems myself.

Decade Four

Adventure
I earned a degree, found a job, got married to, how do they term it - oh yeah,   "love of my life",  had children, went far far away.
This is the decade when my family and I were truly on our own. This is a happy decade.  This is a very adventurous decade.  This is the decade we went to Nigeria - a place we knew nothing about!  Our experience was very educational.  I experienced and learned so many things:  independence, patience and tolerance.  This is the decade where our whole outlook in life changed. I learned how to live without so many of those "necessary" things. And yet I learned to value almost everything and anything. 
The birth of our children changed our life's perspective.  Suddenly everything was for them.  Hubby and I were very happy and yet there is that nagging feeling of what ifs... what if we can't provide for our children, what if we can't send them to school, what if............
Still, we ventured and cruised through that adventure.....

Decade Five

Struggle
This decade was full of struggle..... struggle that hubby and I hurdled.  Family, friends and relations were always there to give their helping hands.  There are so many highlights during this decade I don't even know
where to start.  I shall need a coach to help me write them down.  Suffice it to say, we conquered it all!!!
I want to thank my kids.  If they were disappointed, they never showed it.  At their young age, they made every load  "lighter" for their dad and me.
We all survived!!!

Decade Six


Contentment
Finally we found contentment. Everything went fine... kids graduated, found their own loves and got married and gave us grandchildren.    We finally had the loves of our life.

Decade Seven

Empty Nesters....
Suddenly, the house seemed to be so large, the bedrooms very empty, the living room quiet.....
Everyday I wish the next call will be from any of them... if only just to hear their voice...

And I am 70!!!!
AAnd I am 70! am 70!!!

Aaaaaahhhhh.... where is my Kindle Fire?