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Showing posts from December, 2011

New Career?

Guess what I just did - for the third time? Dewormed the puppies! The first time I asked my vet friend, she said to just do it myself using medication for babies. I was wary, but I went ahead and did it. Now, I think I can do it in my sleep. Maybe if I ever think of starting a new career - as unlikely as that is - I can try being a vet. Not that administering medication using a needle-less syringe is hard. ;) This newfound "flexibility" has its advantages, though. I was looking at skilled workers needs in some countries the other day and I couldn't see anywhere I would fit in. All that were "urgent" were jobs for machinists,  Orthodontist Jobs , engineers, vets, and other professions I have no clue about. Maybe I can give it a try, but I am pretty sure I won't hack it as a photographer. I can't even get the orientation right. Nymeria and Summer getting ready for deworming Now to practice driving. Maybe I can be a driver. P.S. I have absolut

Darned Termites!

Yesterday I wrote about ants. Today, it's about termites. I have nothing personal against them, but who does not know about the destruction they wreak? A week ago, I decided to open up one of the boxes containing my books.  I swear, if I had known what was in store for me, I would have gone on a  goggles sale  hunt. My sister told me she had re-packed the boxes so that the books would be safe. Little did we know that we have a serious termite issue in this house. Those critters are nasty! Of the huge box of books that I had opened, I was able to salvage only a handful. Small consolation: most of the Wheel of Time books are still okay, but I lost a few. I lost Dune. I lost so many that took years to "gather". Lesson learned. Don't keep books in boxes unless you're 100% they're safe. Strong case for eBooks. :/


The two puppies we got a month or so ago are growing up like crazy. They're much heavier now - with how much they eat, I really am NOT surprised! What's funny (sometimes irritating) is how full of energy they both are. I swear, if these puppies ran on batteries, they would have duracell procell aaa inside them. Lots of batteries. Every time I go outside, they hear the screen door squeak. The reaction is always the same: two energized puppies bounding up the yard to nip and scratch my legs. Even as I enjoy my morning coffee, I have to make sure to pay attention to Summer and Nymeria. When I sit outside for my second - or third - cup, the two are always there as well. This afternoon, I was surprised to observe them frolicking beside me, but not paying much attention to me. I was not complaining, as it was a rare occasion to actually sit there and enjoy the cool air without having to dodge sharp teeth. I did wonder what they were busy with, though. Here's Nymeria. N

Dexter Update

Remember that tiny red-ear slider I got what seems like ages ago? I think that was about 3 years ago or something. Dexter came with Casey, but Casey sadly didn't make it past infancy. Dexter, on the other hand, has thrived like nothing else. I think that coming home to LB has just contributed to him getting bigger and bigger, if not faster. He is heavy and has long sharp claws - hence he can be hard to handle. I wouldn't be surprised if we had to get   Marcus nursing scrubs  just to handle him in a few months! Not that a uniform is necessary, but with all the animals and babies around here, one might as well! Dexter has totally outgrown his aquarium. He even cracked the bigger one because of his tendency to butt the corners with his head. At least I think that's what he used to do. Now he has the front lawn to roam around in. Just to be sure that the mischievous puppies don't bother him, we put this protection around him. Dexter basking on the grass; cage borrow

Washing the Dishes

I read a story once about how washing the dishes is not simply doing a chore. It's more of learning how to bask in the pleasure of doing something, simply for the sake of being. I wish I could find the story again, but I have tried to no avail. I am probably missing a deep lesson here, but I remembered the story as I find myself doing the dishes for the nth time since I went back to my parents. It's not like there isn't anyone else who would do it. Truth be told, I hate doing the dishes. That should be "hated", I suppose. These days, I actually look forward to the soothing flow of warm water and the squeaky clean feeling of the dishes after they have been rinsed. Distraction is a word to describe it, I suppose. And boy, do I know all about distraction. Believe it or not, I have read and searched more about all sorts of stuff that I am not even remotely interested in! All for the sake of distraction. From restaurant equipment for sale to how to properly take


From the latecomer to the Coldplay bandwagon. Even though I know you can't really fix anyone but yourself.

Price Tag

Or is it tag price? I remember the first time I heard this song. The band at the beach resort where we were staying played it every single night. Having stayed there for a week, it was inevitable that the song just got stuck in my head. Even as I was falling asleep, I heard "Cha-ching, Cha-ching! Ba-bling, ba-bling!" in my head. I guess it's not that bad of a song. It was just overexposure. So last night, I went to meet old high school friends with whom I used to play guitar. I had not touched a guitar for eons, and I couldn't even bring up memories of how to play particular songs anymore. Hence I had to resort to the easiest piece in front of me: Price Tag. Talk about funny. Song aside, last night's experience was another of those reminders. I used to love playing the guitar. During my rebellious youth, the guitar was my constant companion. Maybe I should pick it up more often, even if my fingertips cry out in pain after strumming a verse! I suppose the

Morning Words of Encouragement

From 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. 7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  8  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed ; perplexed, but not in despair ;  9  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  10  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  11  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  12  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.   13  It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” [ a ]  Since we have that same spirit of [ b ] faith, we also believe and therefore speak,  14  because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more peo

Christmas Lesson

Without a doubt, this Christmas was the most painful one yet. I am hoping it will not be outdone in the future, but I am also merely thankful for the family that God has given me. I have not appreciated them enough, and over the weekend, I just felt like the Prodigal Son (well, daughter). That being said, I am glad that my sister practically dragged me out of bed to join the family for Noche Buena. Being surrounded by people who love and accept you no matter what - that is priceless. A good reminder that we ought to be the same with those who are important to us! This Christmas, there were several family members who couldn't be with us, but it was still a good celebration. The bottom line for me: There are times when you need to put aside your own issues for those important to you. Now for proof snapshots of the evening. Paul, Mark, and Dad getting ready to chop up the lechon! Tito Nonoy doing the lechon in.

On Waiting

I really am not the most patient person on Earth. I am probably at the bottom of the list, if there were one. These days, though, I am learning about patience and waiting on a different scale. Sometimes, I do not even know what it is that I am waiting for. With all the turns and ups and downs that my life has gone through in the past months, I can barely trust myself to make sound plans for the near future. One moment, I think of going to another country in January. Then I realize my finances can't hack it. The next moment, I look at online bachelor degree programs - self-improvement is always a good idea - but then there is not one program that stands out for me. There are so many things going through my mind, so many plans - but which is the right road to take? I have no clue. This leaves me with the last option: WAITING. There is that word again. I wait. For what? I wait for the time when healing comes, the kind that allows one to make sound, rational plans. I wait for

Rest in Pieces

Sam and Eli at the Dentist

A couple of weeks ago, Sam and Eli went to the dentist for the first time. Well, it wasn't the first time for Sam, but it was for Eli. They had a blast - at least before the actual examination and cleaning. With a clinic like you can see below, it really is no wonder that the kids enjoyed themselves! A playhouse any kid would want at home! Inside the playhouse.

Slitting the Piggy Bank's...Butt

I have had this red piggy bank for years, which I used to store mainly 5-peso and 10-peso coins. When I left the condo over a year ago, I decided to leave the piggy bank at home. After all, I knew the kids would enjoy the benefits more than I would. And boy, was I right! The other day, my sister decided to slit the piggy bank open in time for Christmas. While we didn't get millions, I think that the several thousands (split between Silas, Sam, and Eli) is more than enough! (Sure, we had to borrow some of it. Lean times...but at least we're not worrying about too many debts these days. The house has been paid for, my salary loan is over and done with, and we have no  rv loans  to worry about!) Anyhow, more than the money, it was the delight of the kids that made everything worth it. Elijah doesn't want to let go.

Daily Bread Today: All Is Well

I just want to share what I read this morning. You never know, it might be just what you need to get through the day. Recently, my husband and I were reacquainted with a young man we had known as a child many years ago. We fondly reminisced about a Christmas program when Matthew had sung—in a perfect boy soprano—the song “All Is Well” by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith. It was a wonderful memory of a song beautifully sung.  All is well, all is well; Lift up your voice and sing. Born is now Emmanuel, Born is our Lord and Savior. Sing Alleluia, sing Alleluia, all is well.  To hear the words of that song at Christmastime is comforting to many. But some people are unable to absorb the message because their lives are in turmoil. They’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, persistent unemployment, a serious illness, or depression that will not go away. Their hearts loudly cry out, “All is not well—not for me!”   But for those of us who celebrate the birth of our Savior—de

A Night at Isdaan

"Isdaan" is the Tagalog word for "Fish/Fishing Place". There is a new restaurant by that name a few minutes from my parents' home, and we decided to go there for dinner last weekend. It was an experience to remember, but not in the positive way. First impression: wow! The place is HUGE and is decorated in the weirdest possible way. Here are some of the most striking statues scattered all over the place. Apologies for the weird colors in some photos. For some reason, the iPhone's camera didn't like the lighting. At the parking lot   Silas looking strangely at Erap

Why Journaling Is Important

For some reason, tonight, I decided to go back and read my old blog posts. I went back to 2009 and 2010, when I was going through the toughest time in my life. 2009 seemed bad, but there were good moments. Post after post, I found myself rediscovering something I didn't realize I had lost in 2011: the simple joys of life . I got caught up in new and exciting things, yes. I was happy for the most part, yes! But what I didn't realize - until now - is that I was in the process of creating a new me. In spite of a broken marriage and an even more broken heart, I was going through life like I had never done before. The tone of my writing, the words, the photos - all of them reflected a person who was living life the best she could. Somehow, along the way, I got sidetracked. The good thing is that I have these realizations now, and they give me something that pushes me to get through this (once again) tough time in life. I may be in the rut. I may have different (or not-so-diffe

Why I Support HB 1799, or the Divorce Bill

This post has been in my mental incubator for months. Ever since I heard about HB 1799 , more commonly known as the Divorce Bill, the topic has been on my mind. And I knew I was going to write about it. I am finally starting to put my thoughts to paper, but I honestly do not know where this will lead. I grew up in a Christian household. Not the Catholic kind, but the Bible-thumping Southern Baptist kind. From the get go, my parents instilled the love and fear of God and His teachings in me and my sister. Part of what I learned to believe - and what I still believe now - is the sanctity of marriage. Just so we're clear. As with every other single human being on Earth, we go through a continuous series of changes in life. That little girl who held on blindly to faith is gone, replaced by a woman who has gone through some of the craziest crap she can imagine. A woman who still holds on to the very same faith. Sure, I may not go to church every Sunday. My perspe

Pushkin's I Loved You

Last night, I revisited an activity that I used to engage in a lot when I was in university: reading poetry. Memories of long hours sitting on the floor, leaning against the antique shelves, and inhaling the musty aroma of books that were printed before I was born flooded my mind. It was lovely. An hour or so with my old friends Dickinson, Wordsworth, Longfellow, Neruda, and Poe was more than enough to bring me to a quiescent state. I also made new friends in Elizabeth Bishop and Alexander Pushkin. One of the latter's poems has stuck with me all throughout the night. It's a sad, yet soulful poem. I'd change a sentiment here and there, but I think this poem is one of the most hauntingly beautiful passages I've read in a while. I Loved You I loved you, and I probably still do,  And for a while the feeling may remain... But let my love no longer trouble you, I do not wish to cause you any pain. I loved you; and the hopelessness I knew, The jealousy, th

Home Appliance Blues

There was a point in my life when I was all excited to settle down. Quite naturally, that involved going around the stores, looking at all sorts of appliances to fill up our home. Gone are those days, but staying with my parents for a while has gotten me thinking about home improvement again. Sad to say, the house that I grew up in is in a sorry state. On the one hand, I feel like getting little things - home appliances - that can help my parents enjoy life more. I have been looking at web sites like this  air filter homepage  just for the sake of looking. After all, with the kids in the house,  indoor air quality  is of primary importance. There are other little things that I am sure they would appreciate, but it just seems it's not what I can do right now. It's definitely not a good time for me, but that is actually beside the point. It's not like I haven't brought home some "new" stuff in the recent months. I have been blessed to have been able to bri

iPod Nano Repair?

It looks like my trusty 5th gen iPod Nano had given up on me. It's been around 2 years since a friend brought it over from the US, and I haven't been really using it much in the past year. After using it last night to listen to audio books - I think the battery just got totally drained - I was surprised to find out that it wouldn't charge at all this morning. I have had it plugged into the MBA all afternoon, to no avail. I hope that it is just the battery, as it seems that can be replaced easily enough. It's not that I will die if I don't have the Nano, but it is handier to use than the iPhone when on the exercise bike or when on the road. To my Manila-based friends, do you have any idea where I can have it repaired (aside from the Apple Store, obviously) on the spot? Or is it a better idea to buy a new mp3 player that is way easier on the wallet? Photo via

My Wish

About 2 years ago, Rascal Flatts was practically what I listened to the whole time. Lately, I have been listening to them a lot again, and this song came to mind as I was thinking about some of the people closest to me the other day. We do all have our wishes and dreams for ourselves, but there are times when you just want to carry some of the burdens of the ones you love most. Watch this video. I am pretty sure that it will touch you as well.

Picking a Smoking Pipe

Smoking is a habit that is hard to kick, but this is not a post that argues the pros and cons of smoking. Instead, it offers an alternative to the manufactured cigarettes that most people smoke. How about looking at pipe tobacco instead? Not only are they more aesthetically pleasing, they do have health advantages as well. If you are ready to try using smoking pipes , you ought to know how to pick a good one. There are tons of pipes to choose from, and those made from briar are always a good choice. Briar pipes are made from raw material that is exposed to the elements, hence the material has its own unique characteristics - characteristics that great pipe makers take into consideration when crafting their creation. One thing to look for: a good pipe is shaped so that it follows the natural grain of the briar. Believe it or not, there are some pipes which follow this grain so perfectly that they can go up to $10,000 per piece! Pipe tobacco smokers will recognize the name Bo Nordh,