Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Hugging

I get at least 8 hugs a day from Miggy and more from Sweetie. A friend told me that one should get at least 8 hugs a day. An article from SciHealth said that hugs provide a lot of benefits. It helps reduce stress. It gives your immune system a healthy boost. It may lower heart rate and blood pressure. And it could help with depression. 

I live for hugs and I brought up Miggy to love hugging. The first thing he does in the morning is hug me and it's the last thing he does when he says good night too. It was really difficult for me when we were apart because of the pandemic. The first thing we did when I finally got home was to hug. 

Hugging is good for you! Do it at least 8 times a day. It will help you feel good throughout the day :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: Mug Rug

Pretty soon it's going to be Christmas again! Memes of Jose Mari Chan have been gracing the stream again. This tells me it's time to start thinking about Christmas. I really like making gifts instead of buying. I wasn't able to make any last year because we were so busy moving back and moving homes. 

I made mug rugs once and I think I sent cheese cupcakes with it. Most of my friends though used it for decor haha. They said it was too cute and precious to use to keep their mugs warm! Haha. 

Here's how I made it -

More information on how I made it is on m y craft blog:

I quilted and did some embroidery on the project. I like adding some embroidery to it for fun! I need to look through my list to figure out what to make this year :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 29, 2022

Home in Mondays: Must-have First Aid Kit

I had a sad birthday. My boys did all they can to cheer me up yesterday. Surprise after surprise came. I was ecstatic about it, but deep down I just felt broken. 

The past few months have really been challenging health-wise. I have been able to do less and less activities and that really frustrates me a lot. I started to be able to do more activities again after we got back from Bohol, but COVID-19 hit our family. I probably had it too, but with less viral load. I fought it so I could take care of my boys. Then air quality went bad and things have been downhill.

The struggle is real and yesterday I finally gave in and cried. I felt so helpless and hopeless. Aside from feeling unwell the help I'm supposed to be getting hasn't come. I've also been feeling down because I haven't been able to see my Mom. 

Sweetie though reminded me that I should not worry too much. He reminded me how strong I am and told me how proud he was I was able to help edit a book for Mama Mary despite everything. That made me calm down because it reminded me what I should hold on to whenever I face challenges, my faith. 

The first aid kit for anything is your faith. You can add a prayer book or stampitas, a rosary, Holy Water and a medallion too. What's most important is your relationship with Papa God. 

Build your spiritual first aid kit because you need to have it anywhere you go. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Miracle Sundays: Grateful

It's my birthday today! I wanted to have a nice lunch celebration with family, but I've been having fever and severe asthma the past few days. I haven't gone out in the past two weeks and the test is negative, so it's likely just severe asthma due to the bad air quality. I really wanted to finally see my Mom, but for safety we're isolating again. 

The past few months have been challenging. The boys are well now and I'm still around to create more memories with them. It's almost ten years now since I had heart surgery and my doctors told me just before I went home they almost lost me back then. They've been quite fascinated on how I'm able to bounce back. 

It is a miracle brought about by faith and loads of prayers. I remind myself everyday that there is so much to be grateful for, never mind that I can't function like I used to. What's important is I still have time to create more happy memories with my family. 

And to celebrate my birthday, I thought I'd list ten things I'm grateful for:

1. My family for loving me and being the best support system in the universe.

2. My friends who always know when I need cheering up and providing kwento about the outside world. 

3. The surprises my friends send me. It's been hard to lose weight from all the food they keep sending, haha. 

4. Mom being okay. I was worrying a lot about my Mom because of the bad air quality. She's been unaffected. She has lungs made of steel. (Got mine from Dad).

5. Kuya, for being him.

6. Nosy neighbors who have been providing a lot of entertainment online, haha. Gais, chill lang kayo.

7. The person who has been cleaning up the foliage next door. Hope that helps alleviate the caterpillar issue. 

8. The yellow vented bulbuls who visit us everyday. 

9. Grab riders.

10. Everyone who prays for me. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Propagated Ginger from Kitchen Scraps

We got a boatload of ginger from a friend. Made salabat and ginger candy out of it and since there were some nuggets left-over I thought I'd try to grow more from scraps. I tried it a few months ago, but I failed. It did not work out because I just immediately put the scraps in soil. I learned that you need to let some roots grow before you plant it in soil. 

So I put the scraps in a container with half an inch of water. I just used tap water and it took almost a week before it started to grow roots. I changed the water every other day. After two weeks I used rain water and was so surprised that the roots and stem grew so fast overnight. 

After four weeks I decided to plant the propagated ginger in soil. I selected the ones that had healthy stems and roots. The roots were pretty gnarly, but it was easy to split up. I put 3 to 4 knobs per pot to give it enough space to grow bigger. I'll have to wait 8 to 10 months before I harvest the ginger. 

It's been a few days since planted the propagated ginger in soil. I put them in the garage area so they don't get direct sunlight. They seem to have adjusted well and the leaves are now starting to unfurl. Looking forward to harvesting ginger next summer!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, August 26, 2022

Lakwatera Fridays: Dalareich Chocolate House in Bohol

We made it a point to set a day to visit Dalareich Chocolate House during our vacation in Bohol. Sweetie and I met her at work, but never got to meet her in person. So even though we've both resigned from our jobs we thought it would be good to meet her in person and finally visit her chocolate house. 

Dalareich warned that the chocolate house was a bit hard to find. It was an adventure to find a hidden gem. Luckily there were signages so we didn't have a hard time finding the house. We were greeted by Dalareich when we arrived. We're grateful she accommodated us even though we arrived during their lunch break (sorry!). Anyway, she was a gracious host and surprised us with a sampler of their chocolates. 

We had a great time chatting about chocolate and tech. Dalareich said it was great to bounce off ideas about tech (she's an engineer after all). On our end we enjoyed learning more about chocolate and it's history in Bohol. And here's a short video of our visit. It includes some valuable advise from Dalareich about chocolate for the elderly!

One takeaway I have is for me to learn to love dark chocolate. I still have the palate of a child apparently (haha) since I still prefer milk chocolate. Well, if it's as good as what we sampled at the chocolate house, then maybe I'll learn to love it. Just remembered we got some tableya. Hope Dalareich offers her classes again so I can learn how to properly prepare sikwate and I want to learn to bake with chocolate soon. 

If you want to visit Dalareich Chocolate House, you may contact them through their FB page. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Throwback Thursday: Back When I was a Baby

My birthday is coming up and I thought I'd look at my baby pics. Last time I did was when we scanned it when Sweetie and I got married. Some of the photos show some of the things I already liked even as a child. 

The Beach

They used to call me "kutong tubig" (water flea). My parents always had a hard time getting me out of the water. I only learned my lesson when I got severely sun burnt once haha. I was deliriously happy when I was able to spend time at the beach in Panglao last July. Wish we could come back soon.

Being Playful

I remember running around with Daddy's slippers. Dad was also very ticklish and we normally show affection by tickling family. 

See that "Hello! I'm ___" sticker? 

This is where I got the idea for community mixer stickers. And this is me putting order in chaos. 

Introvert Me

I played Elizabeth at the Little Moppet Nursery School Christmas play. This was when I realized I don't really like performing in front of an audience. I was also extremely shy and didn't like crowds. I still don't. 


I never outgrew having stuffed toys and I collect Yoda figures. I came 13 years after my Kuya. I guess they were all excited because I ended up with so many toys. Mom still has some of them. 


I always had mocha cake for my birthday parties and that's still what I like. My taste has expanded though, but I still go back to mocha cake. 

One of the projects I want to work on in the coming months is to scan all our old family photos. I was lucky I was able to scan some of my baby photos before Typhoon Ondoy, but the scanning technology back then wasn't as good. Hope to find the photos so I can re-scan them. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Drink More Water :)

I've been drinking 2.5 to 3 liters of water daily in the past 2 years. That wasn't always the case because I used to like drinking colored beverages more. My doctors kept reminding me to drink more water. I managed to raise it to 2 liters per day, but my body needed more. 

This was in Japan. 

Drinking at least 8 glasses of water everyday helps prevent UTI because it keeps your kidneys running smoothly. It also helps your circulatory system since it prevents clots from forming. And, it keeps your skin clear and healthy. Those are just some points my doctors pointed out to me whenever they remind me to drink more water. 

To train myself to drink more water, I always have a water bottle with me. When I was working I had a 900 ml Lock & Lock bottle on my desk. I made sure to drink a bottle and a half throughout the day. I normally refilled it after lunch. I didn't mind going to the toilet more often since that added to my step count and it also served as a short screen-break for me (optha said to get off the screen hourly). 

When I started working from home I used a water bottle that won't spill. I switched to it since my workspace was smaller. The bottle is 750ml so I refill it 4x a day. I still drink coffee and milk tea (1-2x a week), but I don't count it in my liquid intake since I don't think it really contributes to hydrating me. My doctor reminded me though not to drink too much in one go, since that's bad for your digestive system and can cause GERD. Drink like a princess, haha. 

I feel much better whenever I drink the right amount of water per day. I rarely get leg cramps too. I guess even with all the weird stuff going on in my body, my skin has remained clear because of all the water I drink. The one and only time I was seen by a derma was when my cardiologist was reviewing me for a rare disease. The derma just told me to use moisturizer everyday. I guess I wasn't too interesting for her haha. 

Drink more water and it'll help you prevent a lot of issues :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: T-Shirt Memory Quilt Blanket is Done!

Woohoo! I finally finished my t-shirt memory quilt blanket! I started working on this on May 11, 2019! I worked on it on and off because the materials were in Manila. I eventually brought it to Singapore in January 2020. Thought I'd finish it there, but I didn't since I got busy with work and then was in and out of the hospital. 

Told myself I'll finish it this year. My deadline kept moving mainly because of my health. I just worked on it whenever I felt well. Worked on it slowly, but surely. I made bite-sized targets until I finally added the binding last weekend. The last stitch was added on August 20, 2022 (3 years 3 months and 9 days/831 days). 

Here's a tutorial on how I made it:

I also have a step by step guide here in case you want to try making one.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 22, 2022

Home on Mondays: Air Purifiers I've Tried and Tested

The air quality has been really bad the past two weeks. I'm not sure if it's caused by the increased movement of people, increased factory production or because of Taal Volcano's frequent gas eruptions. I've been having more sneezefests and asthma because of the bad air. 

I was forced to buy an air purifier when I lived in Singapore. Smoke from surrounding countries would reach Singapore every year and I remember one time the AQI reached 300+! It's like what we're experiencing now. The sky hasn't been blue for a few weeks now. 

I bought my first air purifier ten years ago. It's probably the most simple one since you just insert a filter in it and it helps purify the air in your room. I have since acquired a few more to fulfill my needs. Here's what I've tried and tested in the past decade:

1. Atmosphere Sky Air Purifier

I was looking for a medical grade air purifier when a friend recommended the Atmosphere Sky Air Purifier. Medical grade air purifiers have a three-layer air filtration system. Hospitals normally use HEPA filter grade purifiers. I've been using this for two years now in bigger rooms (can cover up to 465 square feet). It does a great job in cleaning the air. Only downside is the expensive filters which you need to change when it gets very dirty (I changed mine after 2 years).

Here's the unboxing video I did when I got it two years ago -

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Yes.

2. Xiaomi Air Purifier

I have two Mi Air purifiers, Gen 1 and 2S. I got my first one a few years ago since it was recommended by a friend who lived in China. I figured it should be good because it was made where the air is constantly dirty. Reviews were also good. I'm still using the Gen 1 air purifier. It saved me when I had to set aside the Honeywell one (filter got too dirty). I got a second one in 2020 for my home in Manila when Taal Volcano erupted. I think Mi air purifiers are the most economical. They're more affordable and the filters are inexpensive too.

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Yes, probably the newest one.

3. Honeywell Air Purifier

I have the Honeywell HPA710WE1 air purifier. It also has a three-layer air filtration system and if you use the germagic filter, it should also help kill COVID-19 (read that here). I have been using this in the master bedroom and it's been effectively cleaning the air. My respiratory doctor advised that I should sleep through the night and having clean air helps. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night coughing. I think across all my air filters this is the most efficient one in cleaning the air. The only gripe I have about it is the filters are very expensive. I just found out recently that the version I got is quite rare. I couldn't find any local supplier for the filter, so had to ask my bestie to buy for me in Singapore. 

Used vs. New filter

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Yes, only if I have the budget. Will probably check first if the filter is available locally.

4. Whirlpool Air Purifier

This air purifier was heaven sent! We got it for free when we bought our fridge. Well, not really sure if it was from a promo because we just found it tucked away in the extra room where our contractor kept all our deliveries. They said it came with the fridge. Well, thank you Whirlpool Philippines/credit card company for the free air purifier! I've been using this air purifier in my craft room and it's done a good job since it also has a HEPA filter. I usually stay in my craft room during the day and it's where I hide whenever the air quality gets really bad. I also just checked and the replacement filter is about the same price as the Mi one.

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Hmmm, only if 1 and 2 are not available.

5. Novita Air Purifier

I have an older Novita air purifier. This was probably the second one I bought in Singapore which I got for Miggy's bedroom. It still works and the filters are still available. Novita is a good brand and so far the one I have still works. 

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Only if 1-4 is not available.

6. JML Air Purifier (AP20)

This purifier I bought randomly from Ace Hardware after Taal erupted. I didn't have an air purifier in our Manila home and it was the only one available at Ace Hardware when we went out. Our rooms were smaller in the condo, so it did a good job cleaning the air. Nowadays we bring it whenever we travel since it's small enough to fit in a suitcase. 

If ever I need another air purifier, will I buy this again? Probably not. I think it's best used for smaller rooms only.


I have one more air purifier and I honestly don't remember the brand, haha. It still works and probably has the most inexpensive filter. It was the first one I bought from a hardware shop in Singapore. I think Miggy's been using it in his bedroom (will check!). It's useful only if you're looking to rid the air of dust, so it'll be better to acquire the newer air purifiers. 

Aside from having air purifiers at home, it's also important to track the air quality. I track air quality through since they have contributors that provide localized information. I recently downloaded the app on my phone and it searches for data that's nearest to you. I've been thinking about getting a sensor, but they're quite expensive so I just use data that's available. Even without it my nose has been a good indicator (haha), but preventing asthma is key. 

Take care everyone, the quality of air has been really bad. Wear an N95 mask if you're going out. Aside from the respiratory meds my doctor gave me I also use Young Living RC to help me. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Miracle Sundays: Judgment

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.” (Luke 6:37)

I wonder if there is anyone who has successfully avoided judging others. I watched a video where they did an experimented to see if young children would play with children from other nationalities. They did which goes to show that we learn biases and start judging others as we grow up. 

Being judged is painful. When I had Miggy at a young age I was judged by people who I thought were my friends. I was even told, "Sayang ka." Since then I became more careful about who I trusted. I could say that probably caused me to be more picky. It works both ways I guess. 

I paused writing this post last night because I realized there's so much to unpack about the verse. That "Sayang ka" incident happened 28 years ago. After that happened I hibernated and focused on my son. I never forgot it since I still see photos of that friend. If I let what she said affect me, I wouldn't be where I am now. 

Snakes are probably the most judged animal noh?

What I learned from that was to be more understanding of others. The other person you may be judging may be going through challenges. That's also one reason why I have avoided posting opinions and comments on what's trending. It's so easy to give our opinions now on current matters. Keep your peace and just keep your opinion to yourself if it's not really going to help the person. 

Happy Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Plantita Saturdays: Must-have for Your Plants

It's been a roller-coaster ride for me and my garden the past few months. The most challenging period for us was the higad invasion. Half of my plants died and it was a daily battle to control the infestation. The plants that survived were left weak and needed a lot of TLC. They have bounced back now and I hope they will start bearing fruit soon. 


The best thing I did for my plants was to research and ask advise from friends. There are a lot of resources online where you can learn. My go-to resource has been Epic Gardening on YouTube and I usually watch local gardeners as well. The most important lesson I learned though when I was resuscitating my plants was to be consistent in your care. 

And the most important item to have on hand for your plants is neem oil. It provides vitamins for your plants and protects your plants from pests. Spray it twice a week and you'll keep your plant happy. Just make sure to do it late in the afternoon so they don't burn your plant. My blue ternate and tomatoes have benefited a lot from getting a soft shower of neem oil twice a week. 

I also realized that my plants super love rice water. I give them some once a week. It certainly helped them become lush again. My mayana plant is now back to it's bushy old self. I've also been using it for some of the plants I re-potted. They're all now well-established. 

Now that my plants have recovered, I hope to plant some new ones to replace those that didn't make it. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Lakwatsera Fridays: Our Outside World Bubble

We're back to just staying home again. The boys decided that it is far too risky to go out since a lot of people are getting sick again. Our pulmo also advised to stay home. Well, we were able to enjoy running errands last summer. We usually did it on weekdays to avoid crowds. 

Here's a list of favorite places we'd visit on weekdays:

1. For grocery shopping - Makati Supermart in Alabang

2. For brunch - Cafe Breton Westgate branch (with matching Titas of Alabang gossiping about how big their houses are hahahaha)

3. For doughnuts - Krispy Kreme in ATC and there's a drive-thru in Magallanes

4. Takeaway lunch - Makati Supermart Coffeeshop (spaghetti FTW!), Dayrits in Magallanes, and AngryDobo in Westgate

5. Clothes shopping - Uniqlo Westgate branch (it's huge and there was just a handful of people when we went)

We've been meaning to explore and check out the Molito Lifestyle Center. It's been years since we visited that area and we heard there are new must visit places. We also noticed new strips opening up in the south. Well, we're back to just staying home for now. We haven't been able to visit Mom yet. One day at a time for now. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Throwback Thursdays: Waterbom in Bali

One of my fondest memories is visiting Bali when the kids where all still minors. Their age ranged between 10 to 17. Miggy was just 12 years old when we went to Bali as the Apolo 11. Kuya and his fam were the Apolo 7, while my parents and me and Miggy made up for the 4. For a few years, we would celebrate the holidays in Indonesia. Kuya figured out that it was cheaper to fly us in versus them flying home. 

In one of our trips, we spent time in Bali. Traveling with a huge group was crazy. We constantly had to count and make sure no one was left behind. It was harder when the kids were younger. It was more fun though when they were in their teens. That was the time I realized they were indeed growing up because my niece just dropped the news on me that she already had her first heartbreak! I thought they would stay babies forever. 

We eventually visited Waterbom in Bali. It's a huge water park. It was like a huge version of Splash Island. My nephews and nieces dragged me and Miggy to go through the crazy collection of slides. I eventually gave up because all of it required going up several stories of stairways, haha. What I enjoyed though was the lazy river. We all piled up on huge salbabidas and just let the water push us through the course. 

We had a great day at Waterbom. It's one of those happy days tucked in my core memory. The kids then were still so young, but I realized they were already starting to become their own person. They are all grown-up now. All have graduated and some have gotten married already. I'm glad we got to experience Waterbom back then. Maybe next time there would be new chikitings in tow. 

What's your favorite fambam memory?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays: Are Hand Massagers Helpful?

Last week I wrote about my pain reliever collection. It came up because I injured my arm and it's been hurting. I think it's my torn ligament that got triggered, so I used ointments and PT exercises to alleviate the pain. I had to do that since Sweetie and Miggy were still in isolation when the pain started. It would've been too risky to go see a doctor by myself. 

When Sweetie ended his isolation, he introduced me to his collection of hand massage gadgets. Yes, with an "S", haha. He's been trying to find the best hand massage device for a few years now. I never tried it since I did not have a need. I was following some hand massage videos, but the gadget made a huge difference. 

Hand massage gadgets

I tried the black one first. It was quite overwhelming and gave too much pressure, so Sweetie aborted the massage after a few seconds. He told me that the long, white one would leave dots on my hand after the massage. I've seen his hand with dots several times after using it, so I skipped using it. The best one among the three was the small white one. 

The "Comfier" hand massage device also has good reviews from Jay. I've been using it for over a week now and I feel my arm is almost back to normal. I think what also helped was the heat it would provide while it's massaging your hand. I read that heat is better when you're lower arm hurts. I've now reduced the arm exercises. I also don't use as much pain reliever anymore. 

I guess as you age these gadgets help provide relief. Prevention is key though and as my doctors keep reminding me, keep moving! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Creative Happy Tuesdays: How to Make Curtains

Creating something always makes me happy and calm. My doctor encouraged it when I eventually got depressed after going through several medical episodes. It helped center me and it became part of my therapy. 

When we moved back to the Philippines and moved to our new home, the first thing I had to make were curtains! None of curtains I owned fit the windows and sliding doors, so I resolved to make them. Making it by myself allowed me to choose the fabric to use. It allowed me to explore other types of fabric. 

It was my first time to make curtains. I figured it would be easy compared to quilting. Got help from the boys to measure the windows and sliding doors. After that I got linen fabric on Shopee. I was happy to find out that there were so many suppliers from Divisoria selling on Shopee. 

Here's a tutorial how I made a simple rod curtain -

Step by step guide also available on my Needle Adventures blog.

When I have time to make, I'll probably try other types of fabric :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, August 15, 2022

Home on Mondays: Is Shipping Your Home Items to Your Home Country Worth It?

We did the big move back home in November last year. We choose between sending our items via LBC or by shipping it. It was 10 years worth of accumulated stuff, so we decided to get help from a shipping company. 

We made a detailed list of the items we were set to bring home. We eventually decided to ship our things because of our toy and fabric collection and appliances (TV, piano, several air purifiers and kitchen appliances). We thought it might be too risky to ship those items via balikbayan box. Our cleaner also told us that the TV she sent back home was damaged. 

Requested for a quotation from several reputable companies. They came to our home to inspect the items we were going to ship to assess how much it would cost. We eventually chose the one that was associated with the company that brought my items when I moved to Singapore. We asked a gazillion questions and we were reassured that our items will arrive safely. 

Our things were packed a week before our flight. At the end of the second day all our items were put inside a container van. It was locked and immediately loaded on the ship. The shipment arrived three weeks later and delivered to our new home on the first day of December. 

We finished opening all the boxes last summer. We had a spreadsheet of everything that was packed and how many boxes were packed. It was almost double of what we estimated if we sent everything via balikbayan box. The cost would probably have been the same. 

The advantage of shipping your items back through a shipping company is they have people who would help pack your items. The items are insured and they make sure everything will arrive in one piece. So far, only one item has been missing, my old MSI laptop. The drawback though were unforeseen additional expenses. 

We were charged additional fees for the volume. We were surprised about it because when we unboxed most of the boxes were not full. What was more painful was getting charged the customs fee six months after the items were delivered. The fee was 250% higher than what they quoted. The amount really affected our budget since we were originally told that there were no charges anymore. 

So, was it worth it? I think it was since it was not possible for us to pack the items ourselves. All our appliances and collections arrived in one piece (old MSI laptop still MIA). We could have probably saved money if we split up our items. Sent the appliances and other risky items via a smaller container van. Then send less valuable items via balikbayan box. We could have also de-cluttered months ahead of our scheduled departure, but that would have been dependent on being well enough to do it. 

We were initially happy about getting all our items in one piece, but that was quickly erased when we were given an unexpected large customs bill. The receipt showed that it was billed in November 2021. We were only told about it in April 2022. They also gave empty promises about a discount and allowing us to pay in installments. So the happy service turned sour and left us disappointed. 

We just decided to pay it in full since we just want them out of our lives. Shipping your items back home? Do think twice about it. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

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