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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Miracle Sundays: For Mama Mary

I just realized it's been five years since I contributed to Book 5 of Fr. James B. Reuter, S.J.'s book "Mama Mary and Her Children". I flew home for the launch which was held at National Bookstore. I met Tita Cherry (Castro Aquino) and got to see my friend, Rowie Matti, again. It was a special occasion for our family because my Kuya also contributed a story for the book. I took a leave and flew home so I could attend the launch. Of course, I brought my Mom with me. 

I knew Rowie and Tita Cherry were preparing for a new edition of the book because they asked if I could contribute or have my Mom contribute to the book. I tried to convince my Mom to write, but there were pressing matters at home which prevented us from meeting the deadline. Little did I know that God had other plans for me to contribute. 

In early July, I heard about the passing of Tita Cherry. I reached out to Rowie to send my condolences and for some strange reason I offered to help edit the book if she needed it. Fast forward to early August, my boys were in quarantine due to COVID-19. Rowie messaged me five days before her editing deadline with the publisher, she needed my help. 


Mama Mary and Her Children Book 5 launch, September 2017.


It was really a bad time. My boys were still in quarantine. I was taking care of them full time and I was exhausted from doing everything at home. To top that off, my right arm was constantly in pain. I could barely lift anything and typing on my laptop caused more pain. But, I said yes. I did not hesitate to give my help even though I knew it would be challenging. 

After Rowie sent the manuscript, I immediately worked on it. Finished 40 pages on the first day. I told myself, I would do 40 per day and I should be finished by Sunday. It took me about two hours to cover 40 pages. Told myself, easy peasy. I ended up not editing anything on day 2 because I was in so much pain. I did exercises, put on salonpas, tried different pain relievers and oils. I was avoiding taking meds because I already have a lot of maintenance meds which I take. Day 2 was really bad I had to take a pain reliever. 

I made up on day 3 and finished 60 pages. My arm was so painful by the time I finished. I prayed to Mama Mary to heal me so I could finish editing the book so Rowie could meet her deadline. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning in so much pain, I took another pain reliever and prayed harder. I was feeling a bit hopeless on Day 4 because I was once again in pain. Told myself I'd just work through it and again said a little prayer to Mama Mary. I even took off the wrist brace because it was getting in the way of typing in my comments. 

Going through the last 60 pages was somewhat a breeze. There were just a few typographical errors, spacing issues. I felt like I was actually reading a published book already. Halfway through the 60 pages the pain in my arm dissipated and I was able to focus on reading the stories word for word, period to period. And it was truly a joy to go through all the stories. It was a good reminder to me that I am Mama Mary's child and that she would always be there for me. 

God really works in mysterious ways. I hope Rowie meets the deadline and that the book will be out by Mama Mary's birthday. 

Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe



Saturday, August 13, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Got My Blue Ternate to Bloom More Flowers

Got some blue ternate seeds from this shop and planted them last summer. It took awhile before it sprouted. When it did it started to grow longer and produce many leaves. It just grew longer and longer with no flowers in sight. 

I thought maybe I was doing something wrong. Did some research and found out that you have to prune it a bit. It's the way to tell the plant to start blooming. After three months since I planted the seeds it finally bloomed on June 3. It was just one big flower. It was so pretty.




I noticed though that there were tiny dots on it. Also noticed that some of the leaves were being eaten by leaf miners. I immediately cut them off. I got excited when more flowers started to appear. Things quickly went bad when we suddenly had an infestation of caterpillars. To save the plant, I physically removed the caterpillars and treated it with neem oil. Surprisingly, the plant seemed to like the neem oil and started to produce more blooms. 

The caterpillars though left the plant weak. It looked sad and got more sad when I got busy taking care of the boys when they got sick. I eventually found the time and started giving the plant some fertilizer. I also sprayed it with neem oil again since the caterpillars came back. After two weeks it started producing big blooms again. 

I think we should be able to use the blue ternate flowers for tea! Yay! The secret sauce to getting your blue ternate to bloom more is TLC + weekly fertilizer + neem oil twice a week. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Sentosa Grillfest

Back when we lived in Singapore, we used to stay in Harbourfront. On weekends we'd walk from our home to the beach. It would usually take us almost an hour since we also play Pokemon Go while walking. It was a 3 km. walk. How I miss those days I could walk that far. 

The last time we were able to hang out in Sentosa was when they had the Sentosa Grillfest in 2019. I invited some friends to come with us since I thought they would enjoy the experience. The event was set-up at Siloso Beach Walk. It was a short walk away from Beach Station and you could smell the yummy food being grilled while walking. 




There were a lot of different stalls and you could tell which was good from the long lines. Good thing we came a bit early and planned what food to buy. There were a lot of tables and chairs scattered across the venue, so it wasn't really hard to find a place to eat. It's been three years and I guess the food was okay. What I remember more was the heat. As my HS classmates term it, hulas na hulas kami, LOL. Well, here are some photos of what we had -







I know they have similar night markets here. It's not near where we live and I wish we had this in our neighborhood. I miss strolling through night markets and eating whatever smells good (haha). I wanted to go to the Legazpi Sunday market, but the boys are stricter than ever. What I'll do for now is research what food we could get for delivery. I know some popular restaurants also sell their ready-to-cook food. 

No new lakwatsas for now. You may want to check out our latest Bohol adventure, here's our travel diary -




#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Pixar Exhibit in Tokyo

I got to visit the Pixar Exhibit at the Mori Arts Center the last time I visited Tokyo. It was just a stone's throw away from where I was staying, so I thought it was something I could do after work. I was interested to see the exhibit since Miggy was about to finish his animation course. I thought it would give me a better understanding about the process of producing an animated film. 





I was given a good view of how Pixar creates its films. The first part of the exhibit walks you through the process of creating a film. I would usually ask Miggy how they created things and seeing how Pixar does it made me understand better why it takes so long to create a project. 



It was fun to see how Pixar created some of the popular characters from their movies. They had sculptures and sketches on display. Then as you move forward through the exhibit they would show how the character develops into what you see on screen. How I wish I had Miggy with me when I went through the exhibit. 



At the end of the exhibit I bumped into my colleague. He also went around and I bumped into him at the museum shop, haha. He was picking up a few things for his family. The shop was already closing so we both rushed to finish our shopping. After going around the visit I called up the boys to update them about what I saw at the exhibit. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: My Pain Reliever Collection

Friends have been reaching out to me to ask what ointments I use. So very Tita! Hahaha. Well, I am one since I have a lot of nephews and nieces and a gazillion people call me Ate too. It's been a week and a half since my arm started feeling painful. Ouchieeee! I probably injured myself from unboxing and transferring some heavy items. Oh yes, I got myself in trouble while the boys were in isolation. 



Usually some exercises my physiotherapist taught me would fix the issue. My mistake was continuing to work whenever my arm felt better. We're really afraid to go to a doctor now because of the increased number of cases. I haven't even set my follow-up appointment with my cardiologist. The last time we were in the hospital there were people coughing everywhere. We haven't been able to visit my Mom also since the boys are still coughing. 

Anyway, to alleviate the pain I've been exercising my arm, putting on some ointment and Salonpas. I drank Panadol for a few days when the pain was unbearable. I've had this pain before and it was solved through physiotherapy. I've been using some of my ointments and oils though this past week. Here's what I have --

Salonpas - this is the first pain reliever I used haha. There are now many different variants and the one that provides the most heat is the "Tiger Balm" patch (only available in Singapore so far). I still prefer Salonpas because you get burned if you forget to remove the Tiger Balm patch at least an hour before you take a bath (a lesson I learned the hard way). Salonpas has many variants too, so far I like the ones that come from Japan. 

BSI Medicated Spray - I learned about this I think from a local doctor. I used to have a lot of leg cramps and he recommended this since it's used by a lot of athletes. We have beside our bed in case of rude awakenings caused by cramps. I rarely use it for my legs now and tried it on my arm last week. It worked well. 

Tiger Balm - I started using Tiger Balm when I lived in Singapore. They use it for all types of pain! I normally use it for headaches and other body pain. I don't use it now since I think it needs to be replaced already haha. I have asked a friend to buy a replacement for me. 

Panaway by Young Living - I use this oil together with V6 carrier oil. It's what I've been using it for my arm this past week. I use a roller to slather it on and then I lightly massage my arm. Pain is usually gone after a few minutes. It's also good for bruises. Do check with your doctor though if you take meds because it can interact with it. 

Deep Relief by Young Living - I mainly got this essential oil blend for Sweetie when he was doing rehab for his knee. It's really good to use after exercise since it helps relieve tension in your muscles. I use it sparingly since it can interact with my meds (those blood thinners are really nasty!). 

Fastum Gel - this was prescribed to me by my spine doctor. It helped alleviate pain in my lower back. I used it once or twice this past week for my arm. My doctor repeatedly told me though not to use it after two weeks of application. He said to give it a rest in between uses.

Rumalaya - my doctor originally prescribed the joint supplement when I was having severe backpain. It really helped! He also gave me this ointment to try. It's what I've been using this past week to relieve my arm pain. I think it's working well with the exercises I've been doing. The boys also use it. 

My friend was shocked with my collection of pain relievers, haha. I was asking her about her heat lamp since heat would help my arm. It was a very tita conversation, hahaha. I realized as you age you really need to surround yourself with people your age. They would understand the changes in your body and provide advise on what you could do. 

Managing pain is something you should do. I cannot function very well when something is painful, especially if it's toothache level kind of pain. I was flat on my back last Monday and I had a slight fever because of the pain. Sweetie was really worried and kept checking my temp. He only relaxed when my temp went down after taking some Biogesic. The Biogesic also helped with the pain, so I was finally able to move around by evening. Whew!

Of course, please check with your doctor before using stuff on yourself! If you notice I don't have Vicks on my list. I'm unfortunately allergic to some variants of it, so I just avoid using it. 

Hope you're having a great, healthy day!

#BeKind #StaySafe


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Craft Tuesdays: Preparing the Binding for the T-shirt Memory Quilt Project

My arm felt a bit better today, so I resolved to make the bias tape/binding tape for the t-shirt memory quilt project I've been working on. I've not been able to work on it for a month now. My plan is to finish it, by hook or by crook before my birthday! Haha. 




Luckily, I already cut the fabric to make binding before I went on break. Finding it though was a challenge! I looked through the boxes in my fabric cabinet and couldn't find it. I eventually gave up looking and prepared the table to just cut a new batch. I was looking for a pencil when I found the strips in my sewing basket. This just means I need to do some tidying up in my craft/maker room. 

Set-up the table with the wool pad and silicon baking sheets to help absorb the heat. I usually use an ironing pad at the base too, but I got lazy today. I have to protect my sewing table to make it last longer. I already checked and they don't sell similar tables here in the Philippines. 




Took me two hours to finish 8 binding strips. I was taking it slowly so I don't irritate my angry arm nerves. The salonpas probably helped since I finished it without pain. Tomorrow I'll attempt to start binding the quilt. It's already loooong overdue and I want to work on other projects already!

I still prefer to make my own bias tape since it's quite expensive to buy. I use a bias tape maker which has helped me immensely. I used to make it by hand without an iron! It's really important to keep learning about your hobby because it will make you grow and develop. I do most of my projects now with a gadget and I'm able to complete projects faster. Happy crafter, happy me! 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Monday, August 8, 2022

Home on Monday: Keeping Your Home Tidy

I'm on a journey to get my home fixed and get it tidy. Since the boys were in isolation for two weeks I decided to do something about our "Studio Ghibli inspired" home. Merging two homes is really hard. We have two of everything in our kitchen. And you can just imagine how much clothes we have from shuttling back and forth between Manila and Singapore. 




I know I have to aggressively reduce our things. Keeping those that spark joy has been a long and tedious process, so I needed a new strategy. I searched on YouTube and found a channel that seemed friendly for people like me. Kallie, the content creator, said that being tidy doesn't happen overnight. It's a journey.

So last weekend I embarked on the journey. I started by opening up the boxes from our old home. It was full of kitchen stuff. It was quite easy to set aside things we don't need anymore. We'll find new homes for our pre-loved items once we're done with our clean-up. 

I felt so accomplished when I emptied the boxes. I also sorted out the pile of paper bags and baking tools that need to go to the baking items cabinet. One thing I learned from the channel is you should follow the space that you have and not the other way around. That's good to know since we're planning to fix our kitchen cabinets soon. I could map out where I put everything before we work on it. 

Oh yes, it will definitely be a long journey before we could have a tidy home. Mom always kept everything tidy and clean. That's something I did not inherit from her, haha. But it's something I could learn :)

#BeKind #StaySafe