This was the last morning of the year 2008. It was a nice warm day, and the jet pilots were scribbling in the sky with their contrails. It must be their own way of sending off the last day of the year.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A little past 4:00 PM they came in droves. Some were lost on the way to her house and they were really late. We had dinner before the group began their caroling concert. As usual we had lumpia, pansit, steamed shrimps (which the hostess cooked), roast beef (cooked by her niece), puto, fruit salad, cake (2 kinds), ham, and more. It was a feast. When every one had their fill, the performers lined up in the living room and sang their songs. They had a short skit before their last song. It was a good performance by all of the members - young and old alike.
There was one song that almost brought me to tears. I tried so hard to hold back my tears. "Silent Night" tugged at my heart; it brought me back home, back to the old country where Christmas was always felt wherever we were.
I remember the celebration of this Holiday back there...back in the Philippines. Preparations were made way ahead of time, some do it months ahead. Those, of course, are the people who are well prepared, well organized. Unlike me, I am a procrastinator, and I always do my Christmas shopping at the 11th hour. So I brave the crowd at the department stores; the traffic jams; the pickpockets; the din and cacophony of the big city. Better be prepared even at the last minute, otherwise, the nieces, nephews, and godchildren will be disappointed.
The day comes, right after the masses, they come in droves. The godchildren dressed in their Sunday's best to pay a visit to their godmothers and godfathers expecting a present from each of them. At that point the streets would be filled with these children, coming and going. It would be like a fiesta.
Then at the end of the day, all the wrapped presents have all been handed out and that's when I flop on a chair and say, "Whew, thank God it's all over."
Not really. It would not be over until after having Christmas dinner with all the members of my family: my mom, my brother, his brood of six children and his lovely wife. That's Christmas back home, and I missed that and I missed all of them...my family.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
After lunch, I got dressed and drove to the urgency care, about 8 or 9 miles from my house. I registered at the window and waited. About 5 minutes later, I was called in by a nurse. The nurse got my blood pressure, my pulse and my temperature. I was still alright...still breathing; alive with good vital signs. I was sent to the registration once more to pay and wait. About an hour I was called in by another nurse. She took my weight...eeekkkk....I gained 4 pounds. Then she led me to the examination room. This nurse asked me the same questions I have been asked at this same place, over and over again:
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- What medications do you take?
- Do you take any (illegal) drugs?
- Wine, occasionally.
- Noooo! (If I did, would I say yes! Nuts.)
She told me to wait for the doctor and she left the room. A little while later a young lady garbed in white with a stethoscope slung around her neck came in. With a smile she greeted me, then asked me to sit on the bed. She then asked me the same questions the nurse asked me. I told her nicely that the nurse asked me those questions ALREADY! (Galit na ako. LOL) She said, it was to make sure that any medication prescribed to me won't counteract with what I was taking. Okay, that makes sense. But then why not just check my database. Why keep asking meeeee? It must be easier for her to ask than log on in the computer.
She then asked me what I was there for. I told her everything, every little detail of the episode. She said she has to ask the doctor who specializes in that condition. She left the room and came back with an older woman, the doctor. Hmmm...so the younger one was not a doctor after all. Must be a nurse practitioner (RNP).
The doctor got a tongue depressor and I opened my mouth and said, aaahhh. With a light, she peeked in my throat, and said, "It's there alright."
She saw the salmon fish bone that got stuck in my throat. I tried to swallow some food to drag it down to no avail. I could feel it. It was hurting me when I turn my head down. During that time, I was reminded of Dennis Villegas and his traumatic experience with salmon fish bone lodged in his throat. Poor guy.
"We will give you something to drink to ease the pain. The acid in your throat will break down the bone. No solid foods for a while," she said.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Last night, however, I could hear the rain pouring. It had come, our much needed rain of the year. We hardly have any this year and we welcome this precipitation. On the other hand, there is danger of mudslide on places ravaged by the fire, especially on the hillsides. Without any vegetation to hold the water the ground will likely slide downhill and drag with them homes.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This was passed to me by Ev; and with it goes a poem about girl friends.
When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.
One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another, 'Let's fight together,'
Another, 'Let's walk away together.'
One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,
Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier, Another the wind beneath your wings.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman, But for many, it's wrapped up in several...
One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
a couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,
On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.
So whether they've been your friend for 20 minutes or 20 years,
AND ONLY IF YOU'D LIKE TO,
Pass this on to the women who has a place in your life/lives.....
I am passing this to my girl friends on my blog roll. I'm not twisting your arms ladies...only when you want to. ;-)
You type 268 characters per minute
You have 50 correct words and
you have 0 wrong words
I had fun with this test. On my first try I made 25 words per minute. The score above was my second try. Not bad.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
One of the fires is about 18 - 20 miles from my home, and situated almost the same place as last month. As I watched the TV news this morning, I see smoke coming from behind the hills. After lunch flames have jumped the ridge of the hill. It was spreading slowly, not as fast as in the other areas behind the hill. The freeways were closed to traffic earlier in the day. It was opened to commuters in the early evening.
We are keeping an eye on the fire tonight. Hopefully, the cooler temperature will help the firefighters contain it by tomorrow. Hundreds of homes have been razed to the ground. That is so sad. They have lost their homes and possessions they have accumulated over the years. Still at this time, some unscrupulous people took advantage of the situation and looted some of the homes that were vacated by the homeowners. Fortunately, they were apprehended and detained by the police officers.
I would like to thank those who emailed expressing their concern for my safety, and my family's. As of now we are intact, but keeping an eye on the hill, hoping it will not come this way. We are praying it will be contained soon.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"You got it. I don't want to take it back home with me," he said. I gave him my fifty cents and picked up my little house. Then as I walked away, he said to me, "You know me. Right?"
"Yup," I said, as I stashed my purchase in my sack.
I find this little thing cute and I couldn't resist it. I have quite a collection already, and this one is unique as its top flips open.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. 'Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you cannot eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.'
I wish I could do that, but there would always be a nagging thought that I would be caught. I would stay away from whatever that would be bothering me. If I couldn't, I deal with it head on.
Now where are those bills that I'm supposed to write a check for? I better do that right now and get it over with. I can't pee on those people.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I enerolld at an oil ptinaing cassl for altdus this flal at the counimmty clegole in my city. My iructnstor is a lyad who not very lgon ago gruaadted from an art sochol. Her aoapprch to tehinacg is like waht I have known in sochol borefe. Like in my freanehd dwirang cslas in aitecrchture we steartd from the elentaemry - pcenil drawing of simple objects. With my 3B lade in my lead hdoler (meanichcal pnecil) I dwre the vase with a little bit of arehenppsion. It's enbe years ago since I did a dinrawg of this kind with my theacer lonokig from hibend me. I got the sphae, sdhaes, shoadws and peectrspive right, eexcpt that I heav been ginog into orem dietals, like ptinutg in some of the retioflecns. The tcheaer said that the rectifleon won't be terhe if I csloe one eye. I did, and voila! trhee's no rctiefleon. The sthor time I veha been in this cslas I have leneard a lot aealrdy.
For original text click here
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The first one I did was of a different scenery. This one above was my 3rd. The artwork would stay for a day more after Halloween. Then I take it off and toss it in my washing machine. Put some detergent, turn the water on and away it goes...my work down the drain.
Oh, well, I had fun doing it.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Having said that, I'd like to thank the following who expressed their concerns and prayed for my safety and my family's, as well.
- Vicki, nakakatakot nga.
- Connie, it's scary.
- Photo Cache, Angel Island, too?
- Dennis Villegas, yes, we're that close.
- Ann, yes, it's been a year this month.
- Nona, sana nga di na maulit.
- Nance, my friend, we're okay.
- Lady Cess, we were spared.
- Nini, my friend, we're okay. Thanks for the special visit.
- Blogger friends I might have missed.
- Friends who emailed.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It was the same month last year when there was wildfire all over Southern California. One came so close, about half a block away from my home, that we packed some of our belongings. My neighbors did the same. We all watched as the fire started to spread on the hill. Luckily a helicopter came and doused it, and that saved our homes. But there were some unfortunate ones whose homes were razed to the ground. (Click here for story.)
There were other fires blazing yesterday. This one pictured above was about 20 to 23 miles from my home. Some homes were burned to the ground. Residents had to evacuate, and as of last night the fire was still raging. There were more than 1000 fire crew battling the conflagration.
These fires could jump from one area to the other as the wind flies embers and it could easily ignite dry brush. We get very little rain here so that our hills turn brown during summer; turning brush tinder dry. Some fires are started by careless campers; others are ignited by sparks from cars; by children playing with matches; and some by arsonists.
Having experienced a close call last year makes me jittery when I see smoke billowing from the distance.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
This award was virtually handed to me by one of my best net and blogger buddies. She's none other than Nance. She and I have been friends online for more than a decade almost, and we have met in person already. We have a lot in common. We both like to paint...our lips and fingernails. We write gobbledygooks; we blog; laugh, eat, drink and are married...to our own dudes.
Now, who to hand this to? To all my blogger friends. Come and get it!!!!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
As I was finishing my lunch, music was coming from the ceiling above the restaurant. One song just ended, and a new one was just beginning with a solo guitar introduction. It was that familiar notes played by Neal Schon, the guitar wizard of the Journey. I stopped to listen, held my hand up to silence my husband from his blabbering. Then came the voice of Arnel Pineda singing After All These Years. My goose bumps arose from their dormant state, running from my arm to my nape. It still seems unbelievable that his voice, this man plucked from Manila, would grace the air waves of Southern California. But there it is for the world to hear, Arnel Pineda, the cinderfella, singing his heart out.
He finished his song. And we talked how lucky he is; how his life has changed since then. Hopefully, he won't be like those young entertainers who were into drugs and alcohol. Maybe not as the older members of the Journey have grown older, perhaps wiser, and mellower. They are now sporting short hairdos.
We finished our lunch and headed to the Street Art Festival.
Click here for the song After All These Years.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Summer is coming to a close; it will be officially over on the 21st of this month. Autumn made a short visit last Friday morning reminding us that in a few days it will be here officially. It came in the form of a cool mist hovering below, covering the whole valley, creeping between trees and houses. Mist to me has a feeling of calmness, of tranquility. In the midst of it I could hear only the sound of the birds chirping, the rustling of leaves falling, the cracking of twigs as I step on them, and the soft gentle drop of a dew falling from a leaf.
Fall here in Southern California, is a sampling of the cold weather, intermittently interrupted by warm weather, and sometimes a heat wave; and it ends with a constant cool weather and then winter begins.
Today we were back to our usual summer warm weather. And it was a clear day ...we could see forever. Hmm...just like the song.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Of course, it's Nona who gave me this award. She thinks I am a kick ass blogger. :-D Thanks Nona. You are a true friend.
I am to toss this to other kick ass bloggers. Those ones with creativity and originality; ones who are supportive of their blogger friends; ones who inspire and etc. and etc.I am to choose 5 that I feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers.” I am to:
- Let ‘em know via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an award
- Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to www.mammadawg.com. Pass it on! To get the code for the image you can go back to mamadawg.com - don’t forget to link up the person who nominated you for the Kick Ass Blogger Club.
Monday, September 08, 2008
The birds are feasting on them, and some are falling on the ground. If we're not careful we step on them; crush them; and drag the sweet sticky juice inside the house. Which, of course, annoys me no end when my flip-flop sticks on my wood floor. Some people wouldn't even notice something got stuck on their shoes, and they would walk right in the house and leave residue on the floor I have to scrub them. More work for me. Grrrrrr!
I planted it many years ago, this Thompson grapevine. The fruits have to be harvested at the right time, when the color has turned yellowish green, that is when they are sweet. Last year they were the size of peas. This year they are a bit bigger than garbanzo beans. They seem to get bigger as the vine gets older. Perhaps, next year they would be much bigger, just like the commercial ones.
They are small now, but I am enjoying them; munching on them; sharing them with my friends; with the birds; and with the ants.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
It's right on my patio in this big clay pot. It's so lush and healthy. This plant was from a stalk I trimmed of its leaves for my sinigang. I dug a small hole and pushed the stalk in this pot. There used to be a ficus benjamina plant here, apparently I over watered it and it went kaput. The ficus trunk is still intact right there, but it's now dry, lifeless. I have used this pot since, to put all my veggie trimmings, kind of a compost bin. It is now my kangkong pot. I'll see how much it will grow, if I will have enough for another sinigang. Har har har.
One thing good about this plant, it loves water. In fact, it thrives well on swamps, ponds, and any watery place. So, there is no fear of having it over watered. Perfect for me who kills my plants with love by over watering them.
Kangkong per Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Ipomoea aquatica is a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable. Its precise natural distribution is unknown due to extensive cultivation, with the species found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Common names include water spinach, swamp cabbage, water convolvulus, water morning-glory, kangkung (Indonesian, Malay), kangkong (Tagalog), eng chai (Hokkian), tangkong (Cebuano), kang kung (Sinhalese), trawkoon ( Khmer: ត្រកូន), pak boong (in Thai: ผักบุ้ง) (Thai), rau muống (Vietnamese), kongxincai (Chinese: 空心菜; pinyin: kōngxīncài; literally "hollow heart vegetable"), home sum choy ( Hakka), and ong choy or tung choi (Cantonese蕹菜, ngônkcôi; pinyin: wéngcài)., " ကန္စြန္း " (Ken-Zun) in Burmese.
Read more here.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I was by myself last Saturday, and I felt I'm free to do anything that I wanted. I didn't have to cook lunch which would sometimes take an hour or so, then a half hour to wash dishes and clean up. So, there I was contemplating what to have for lunch. In my fridge are sorts of left overs. There was the quesadilla left over when I had lunch at a Mexican fast food restaurant; left over Pasta e Fagioli, an Italian dish I made the other night; and 2 pieces of moldy chicken that I don't know what dish it was. I decided on having the pasta dish. I warmed up some of it, and put some aside, in case someone looks for it. I was out of grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over it, so I got a stick of mozzarella cheese and sliced it into small pieces and tossed on top of my pasta.When I was done eating, I still felt hungry. I opened a box of crackers, and munched 6 pieces of it.
Still I was not full. I thought I'd have a handful of potato chips.
I devoured it in a few seconds. It was salty...too salty. I needed something to get that salty taste off of my mouth. I opened my fridge, and found nothing there. Then I found ice cream in the freezer.
Eureka! This is perfect. Ice cream! I scooped about half a cup of it and put it in a small bowl. Hmmm....yum! I was about to finish it when I started feeling guilty. I've been eating all this junk, and now I felt guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! I dumped the rest in the sink, and I drank a glass of water.
I love this pasta dish. I copied it from a magazine some years ago. It's very filling; always a welcome dish at home, especially when we get tired of the usual pinakbet, adobo or sinigang.
Pasta e Fagioli
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (8-ounce) tomatoes*, cut up and undrained
1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups cooked macaroni
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) dark red kidney beans**
Parmesan cheese, grated
Saute vegetables in olive oil until onions are transparent, but not browned. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Add macaroni and undrained kidney beans. Simmer 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes 4 servings.
*I have searched all over for an 8 ounce can of tomatoes, but could not find any. So, I buy the big can (15 1/4 oz or 16 oz) and use half of it. I wonder why it said 8 ounces can when there is none.
**This also comes in 16 ounces can.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
I am passing this to all my sweet blogger friends (laging nilalanggam) and you know who you are. Grab 'em, steal 'em, copy and paste 'em, or whatever way you can, just do it! You hear! I mean, you read! :-D
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Not wanting to become wine,
Freed itself from the vine.
Down it came falling
But alas, now it's dying.
Landed on a sharp blade
Of a leaf, this young grape,
Met its death with an orchid.
One less fruit for me, or the kids,
Or the birds.
I can't bear to see it impaled right through its heart...this seedless green grape.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Thanks to Ev for this wonderful award. I am so honored. My acceptance speech will follow soon, if I ever make one. har har har.
I pass this award to the following creative and nice bloggers: Nance, Jeannie, Nona, Pepe (you must have this one already, but just get it and display it on your shelf) and Caryn.
Come on guys, get to work! LOL
Friday, July 25, 2008
ladies looked like, as I do not have any picture
to copy from. I hope, I got them as close as I can.
The first was Leila B's name. I met Leila about 6 years ago through another friend (Carrie). She and Carrie lived in the same apartment complex. Whenever I would go to Carrie's to work on artworks for the church's fund raising, Leila would stop by to say hi; or we would call her to have lunch with us.
She was a petite lady - about 4' 11" in height, weighed about 90# +-. She was perky and always greeted me with, "Hi, Mari. You look good." And one time I said, "Lei, I would like to lose at least 10#, if I can. I'm overweight." She thought I should not and that I'm perfect as I am. Of course, I am not. Her reason for thinking so is because of her physical condition: She was underweight.
She told me that many years ago she was as tall as my 5' 2". She was in a car accident which almost took her life; had to undergo physical therapy for a year before finally getting her life back to normal...almost. She fractured a bone which caused her to lose some bone density and thereby shrinking her height. I've forgotten the name of the bone, and her scientific explanation.
Although she had been ill for quite some time, her spirit, however, was always up. There was always a smile on her face.
She passed away 4 weeks ago.
The other name was Ritsuko's. She was from Nagasaki, Japan; petite, just like Leila. I met her through Junko San, about 3 years ago. She had had some major surgery; and had been living on borrowed time.
She played the shamisen and showed me pictures of her in her kimono when she was young. She spoke English very well, with very little accent. She was bright, funny and witty; photogenic and very fashionable. She always wore color coordinated clothes with matching shoes and purses. She loved to wear hats.
She passed on 4 months ago.
Their names were deleted, but they'll not be forgotten. I'll miss these two nice ladies. May they rest in peace.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Why him? George Clooney is too good looking. And, so is Brad Pitt...and other Hollywood cuties. Albert Einstein had more character, and he was also cute when he was young.
Walk this way~~~>
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In this album our own Arnel Pineda was introduced as the new lead singer of the group, the Journey. By this time everyone knows the cinderella story of Arnel; how he landed the coveted part in a legendary group; and his life as a struggling singer back home, the Philippines. For Arnel it must have been like a dream; like a story from a book, or something from a G movie.
The Journey with Pineda in the foreground.
As we sat watching the concert, we were amazed at how energetic Arnel was; his showmanship was at par with other singers; and his voice was great. His transition from high to low was so smooth. I've heard of how he's being compared to the past vocalist of the group. It is to be expected. And others have mentioned his accent. I couldn't detect any. That could be because, I have an accent myself. But then there are other singers out there whose accents are very evident even in their songs. Take for instance Andrea Bocelli. He's an Italian tenor, and when he sings some English lines the accent is there; Sarah Brightman's Italian lyrics shows her American English accent, and there are others still, like the late Pavarotti and Julio Iglesias. Of course, we all have accents when speaking a language not our own.
This is my first time to really listen to all the songs of the group. The truth is I never heard of them before, though some of their songs sound familiar to me. I like most especially their latest one - After All These Years. Arnel sings this one tenderly, passionately.
Click here to listen --->After All These Years
I wish him more success in the coming years.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
And here on a shell 'parol' a hummingbird refurbished an old nest which was used by another, or maybe the same hummingbird. The bird is now incubating the 2 pea-sized eggs it has laid.
Last year there were 2 eggs in that same nest, but another creature attacked it and ate the eggs which left the mother bird mourning for her loss. Hopefully, this time, it will be out of reach of a predator.
This hummingbird is so aloft. Every time I step in the patio it takes off. But there was a time, when I was watering my plants it hovered around me, checking me out perhaps. I could hear the wings whirring. It came as close as 4 ft., staring at me. That was the closest it got. But I could never get that close to its nest. The nest is about 12 feet away from the pigeon's nest/basket.
From my kitchen window I could see the bird come and go to its nest, and it's a delight to watch it.