Sunday, February 5, 2023

Miracle Sundays: What "The Sandman" Reminded Me

We finally started to watch "The Sandman" after finishing "Stranger Things". Episode 4 featured Lord Morpheus battling Lucifer. It was truly an interesting battle because they battled through their mind. They would state their weapon as they battled. It was a battle of wits. It came to a point when The Sandman seemed to be on the brink of death. Lucifer shot "anti-life" against the King of Dreams. He won when he countered it with "hope". 

Some discussions online said that Lucifer could have countered it with "Despair". I disagree. The antonym of despair is still hope. Hope, joy and optimism defeats despair. The film certainly made me think about it. Despair is one of the things I have experienced when I had my second PE*. It plagues me whenever I feel unwell. 

“What power would Hell have if those here imprisoned were not able to dream of Heaven?” - The Sandman

It was hope I felt when the new meds. It helped me breathe again. It's what I feel when after a bad day I feel I have more energy. And with hope I can dream to feel more alive. But it's only possible if you have faith. It was Matthew (the raven) who nudged  Lord Morpheus' to fight back. He told him he believed that they would be able to get out of hell. 

Pray so that you may have hope and continue dreaming. 

*PE - pulmonary embolism

 #BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Plantita Saturdays: Bamboo for Your Garden, Yay or Nay?

We were surprised our home came with bamboo planted all around the garden. It was pretty and it would sound very calming whenever the wind went through it. The bamboo was planted beside the wall and has been providing us with a nice shade. It's the type of plant that's very resilient. You just need to water it a few times a week and put fertilizer sparingly (I put only when I remember). When one stalk dies, another one usually grows.

We learned a few things about caring for bamboo. It gets gnarly to take care of. Here's what you have to watch out for if you plan to use bamboo for your garden:

  • They grow really fast. We've watched shoots grow from a tiny nob to a foot in less than two weeks. Sometimes we get surprised it's already over a meter. 
  • There are shoots that grow almost 2x taller than average. Some outliers grew taller than our house! And because they can grow really tall, they tend to bend at some point. It's been covering some of our solar panels for our lights which has been a bummer. 
  • Bamboo produces a LOT of leaves. That means they also shed a LOT of leaves. You will definitely get a work-out from sweeping every few days.
  • The other side about the shade bamboo can provide is it keeps the sun away from plants you're trying to grow! It's partly why some of my plants died (i.e. tomatoes). 
  • It's hard to control where the shoots sprout. We have bamboo growing outside of their "row". I'm also trying to figure out how to wrangle out the shoot that grew inside one of my tumeric plants. By this time they're probably so intertwined haha. We were advised to fence in the bamboo to keep them from growing everywhere. 
Well, despite all the work that comes with taking care of bamboo, we're keeping it. I might try to clear out a row so I can grow veggies properly. I'll have them transferred to my Mom's or maybe have them planted in some bald spots. 

If I had space though, I'd rather have a tree :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, February 3, 2023

Blast from the 80s: Cheese Pie!

Sweetie got some cheese pie from Shell's Select the other day. I haven't had it in a very long time (possibly decades!). My Mom used to buy it a lot back in the 80s. It was commonly sold in the supermarket. I haven't really seen it sold anywhere else (tbh), so this was a rare treat. 

The cheese pie was surprisingly packaged really nicely. It used to be packed on paper plates and covered with cling wrap or clear plastic. This one was branded and packed in "fancy" packaging. It also came on a nice thick plate and wrapped neatly with plastic. 

We all laughed after our first bite. It tasted almost the same as my milk cheese cupcake! Now I want to learn how to make cheese pie since it should be a bit less evil (I mean less calories) than a cupcake, hehe. The pie was about PhP200. Far cry from it's original price back in the 80s! Select carries a lot of interesting pasalubong items. Reminds me to go look for my favorite chocolate cupcake.  Yaaas!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Throwback Thursday: Happy 10th My Heart

Realized my photos are messed up. When I searched for January photos from 10 years ago it showed I was in Australia, Bohol, Tagaytay and other places all in a span of two weeks. I realized my camera's date setting was not set properly that's why it recorded our recent Bohol photos as 2013 photos. Yikes!

I soon realized where I really was 10 years ago. I just had mitral valve repair and was recovering slowly in Singapore. It's been a decade since Dr. Shankar and Dr. Koo worked together to put repair my leaky valve. I'm forever grateful for the care they gave to me. 

Lake Sebu, April 2013.

A lot of patients ask about what happens after getting your mitral valve repaired. I enjoyed five years without any maintenance meds. It felt very much like getting a new lease on life. I was very much a busy bee and traveled like crazy. Two months after my second surgery (I had water in my heart), I did a TV interview (how crazy was that). 

TV interview, April 2013

Then I went to Lake Sebu in Cotabato after the interview. By June I was hosting a huge event in Indonesia and I went up the Borobudur temple. I spent the rest of the year and the next five years hopping from one country to another. 

Looking back I did a lot back then because I felt I had to prove to myself I was alive! I even wanted to run a marathon. Of course, that did not happen, haha. I'm grateful though I had those good years where I was able to serve and meet many people across the world. So happy 10th to my heart! Keep ticking!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Wellness Wednesdays: Chronicling

I have now been blogging daily for 3 years and a month. It started as a 30-day challenge which I've been trying to do since 2014. I did it successfully for a few years, but there were years where I'd start but forget to do, haha. I remember I'd blog on the train on the way to work (originally an hour and 15 minutes commute). 

Back in 2020, I was on break when I started the challenge. Twelve days into the year, the Taal Volcano erupted. Soon after Miggy accompanied me back to Singapore. I ended the month with a blog post about "Jarring January". It was an interesting start of the year and I had a lot to share, so I continued blogging. By mid-February, things started to get weird. We wanted Miggy to stay with us in Singapore, but we couldn't extend his visa. He went home and shortly after that, borders were closed and lockdowns started to happen. 

I continued writing everyday because it helped me make sense of what was happening. The time I spend blogging helps me calm down. Writing forces me to organize my thoughts and ground me. It also forced me to be productive especially when I started getting sick. When my health declined my doctors made me promise to keep my brain working. Blogging has been the easiest way for me to consistently exercise my mind daily. 

The challenge of doing a daily activity is overcoming those days when I don't feel like writing. There are days when I just want to rest. It also gets stressful sometimes and it's better for me if I prepare the post a day before. It's less stressful that way (exactly what I'm doing right now, lol). There are days when I'm in the zone, I write two to three days in advance. Yeah! 

This year I thought I'd try something I've been attempting for a few years now. Vlogging isn't really my thing, but I think the next best thing I can do is chronicle one second everyday. I'm off to a good start and was able to take a photo or video everyday the month of January. Yay! Here's the vid!

Now let's see if it spills over to February! 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Getting Decors for My Craft Room

I hope I can start using my craft room again by early next week. I had the opportunity to visit Papemelroti in person after almost four years! I've just been buying from them online, but the experience is so much different when you visit the shop. I'm so glad the shop in Glorietta is still around. Sadly my favorite resto, Don Henrico's, has been replaced! It used to be beside Papemelroti. 

I was so happy I had the opportunity to pop-in Papemelroti yesterday. Thought it would be nice to find some decors for my craft room. I already have a unique clock, but I want to add a couple more things to make the place more cozy. Papemelroti feels like home. I've been visiting the same shop since the 90's! 

I went through all the corners of the shop to familiarize myself with what they have now. Last time I got to visit was in November 2019. They have a lot of new stuff and it seems they have retired some items (i.e. wrought iron decor, they only have flat metal ones now). They have a lot of clocks and wall board decors now. I went through all the boards. I liked a lot of stuff and was so confused, haha. 

I ended up getting two items. A #Create board and a cute message board. I #Create board would be perfect for the craft room. I think I'll stick to the "create" theme for the craft room since that's what it's meant for. I have a couple of miniature sewing machines I collected. Oh! And I have a thimble collection from my travels. I'll bust them out once renovations are done. :)

#BeKind #StaSafe

Monday, January 30, 2023

Home on Mondays: Condo Kitchen Renovation

One lesson I learned through the years of home ownership is to get your place readied before you move in. Our first home was a condo unit. We weren't able to ready it before we moved in because we already extended our rental. We had to cross out our rental expense because we had a mortgage to pay. So we moved in with just a fridge, haha.

It was hard because it was Christmas so all our orders for furniture were delayed. We slept on the floor for a long time. Our clothes were in boxes and it was a huge mess (yes, we made the same  mistake again). Eventually we got our furniture, but it took a long time to get everything organized. 

The old look. 

Since we realized we should have added built in cabinets in the bathrooms. The kitchen was useful, but we didn't have enough space to place our kitchen appliances. Our fridge was too big and the electric stove and oven took a gazillion years to heat up. The cabinet doors in the bedroom ate too much space. Our large bookshelf was an eyesore because it looked so cluttered. We knew it was time to upgrade.

Finally after 10 yeaars we had the unit updated. We removed everything in the unit. Got help from the angels to pack everything. We moved it to our new home. Thought I'd start with what we did to the kitchen. Here's how it looked before move in -

Just after we moved in -

The messy lived in kitchen just before we left -

Here's what we changed:

Electric range to induction stove but kept the rangehood exhaust

Oven to built in electric oven

Side by side fridge to a normal 2-door fridge

Small sink changed to a larger sink

Added a side pantry cabinet

Weird purple countertop changed to off-white

Cabinets were spruced up too (finally removed the plastic on the handles hahaha)

Our shiny new kitchen after the changes :)

Now I want to move back, haha. 

Renovation was made by Alab Design & Construction (website and FB). Thank you Alab team, Arch Wansi, May, Mang Jo, Tukoy, Allan, Alvin and Kuya Gary!

#BeKind #StaySafe