Monday, December 4, 2023

Our Beautiful New Christmas Tree

We were in the middle of decorating for Christmas a few weeks ago. We decided to get a proper Christmas tree. One I expect to last for many, many years. The one I got in 2021 looks like a water bottle brush, so I wasn't fond of it. I like the bushy green ones like what Mom used to use in our home. I also always wanted to have a tree that has a wow factor, LOL. 

Found some foreign currency and that's what I used to get a new tree and additional decors. We were offered to have it done up by the store. I agreed since I know it's going to be physically hard for us to do it ourselves. I also wanted to see how it will be done, so we can just follow the pattern next year. 

Here's how it turned out -

I made the tree skirt last year. This is how it looks -

I think I might add a few more red decors. Or if I have time I'll make some red decors. Also need to buy additional lights!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Today I Pray For --

Today I pray for healing. The past few weeks have really been challenging and I am grateful to be alive. I did feel some panic when I felt really ill. I felt my body was battling something it's never fought off before. Granted that the pain was familiar, but my body isn't the same as it was before. 

It was love that made me fight back. I prayed hard and imagined God's healing light going over me. I pray for more love, patience and strength. I still want to build more happy memories with my boys, my family, my friends. 

Christmas is just around the corner. I had grand plans for Christmas. I even bought a new tree, additional decors, a simple parol and wreath. I want to celebrate like how Mom used to when I was growing up. She made sure our home was fully decorated, we always had good food and she made sure we were early for the midnight mass. I wanted to do it that way to remember her since it's our first Christmas without her. 

And that's why I pray for healing and for the stamina I worked hard to increase the last few months. If it doesn't, I will focus with what's most important, celebrating Jesus' birthday. 

Today, I pray for healing, not just for me, but the whole world. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Garden Update After Being Away for 3 Weeks

 My boys tried to keep my plants happy while I was in the hospital. They'd go home in the evenings to feed the cats and water the plants. Of course, this meant the usual routine was disrupted. The herbs were normally watered twice a day. I usually used a soil meter in the afternoons to make sure they were not overwatered. 

The orchids had a special watering routine. I'd give them garlic water once a week and spray the roots whenever they were dry. The gumamela plants were watered twice a day. The rest of the plants I'd water in the afternoons. Watering the plants is part of my exercise regime and I started doing part of it again today. I'll probably conk out soon, haha. 

As expected, some plants died while I was away. I haven't seen the herbs yet, but Sweetie said some of them look really sad. Told him not to worry, we can just buy again when we're able to go to Tagaytay. The orchids survived with some leaves wilting. I must have done something right because the buds that started three weeks ago have started to bloom. Yay!

I nicknamed the philodendron, Jack. It grew at least 2 more feet the past few weeks. I added a long bamboo stick to hold it up. I'll trim it once I get better and will start a new pot which I plan to put indoors. The aglaonemas are doing well. I hope to see them produce flowers like what I saw at Mom's house. 

Jack the Philodendron

The cacti and succulents are all doing well. I think they were happy to have dried soil. I think I asked Sweetie to water them once while I was away. Rubber plant soil was super dry, but it likes it that way. I've yet to check my veggies. The mustasa died while I was away, but it was already doing that direction even before my first admission. I'll just plant some again. 

The gumamela plants are fine albeit with some yellow leaves. Sweetie said they produced some flowers while I was in the hospital. I sprayed them with neem oil today and will resume spraying apple cider vinegar maybe tomorrow to keep the mites out. I probably need to prune new leaves also to encourage them to produce flowers again. 

Going to nurse them back to good health.

I hope to get some poinsettia for Christmas. Maybe I'll find some next week if I get my energy back. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, December 1, 2023

What Really Happened

This will be my last post about my recent misadventure. I was hospitalized for a total of 16 days (4 + 12) last month. It was tonsillopharyngitis that turned into strep throat. The first admission should have dealt with it, but the vein where my IV line was attached swelled. It was really painful, so it was removed at around 4 in the morning (less than 48 hours after it was inserted). 

It was late afternoon before I was given my next dose of antibiotics. I was feeling a bit better and was discharged on day 4 without antibiotics (just Betadine, Difflam spray and pain meds). Two days later I started feeling unwell. I asked Sweetie to call the doctor since he said to call him if I had any issues after discharge. I started taking antibiotics again 3 days after I was discharge. I took it religiously but I fell very ill after my 6 am dose. I had a fever and severe chills. The boys wanted to bring me to the emergency room, but since I had meds already I told them I should be fine.

I felt a bit better by Saturday afternoon. I could barely eat though since my throat was very painful. It felt like a metallic object was lodged in it. I couldn't even drink water. Gargling warm water with salt and Betadine (separately) helped and I thought I'd be okay. I was very wrong because 15 minutes after I took my 6am dose on Sunday, I fell very ill again. I felt my heart was battling something. Miggy said my lips were turning blue. The boys insisted I should be brought to the hospital. 

The ER doctor on duty did a great job at hastening the process. I was immediately given pain medication, was swabbed, a phlebotomist extracted 11 vials of blood from both arms and I was x-rayed right on my ER bed. I was very anxious and couldn't lie down properly. I felt I had water in my lungs. Shortly after my x-ray I was given some Flumicil. It's a powder that's mixed in water and tastes like Sprite. They thought I may have pneumonia and they called in an infectious disease doctor to take over my case from EENT. 

It takes about 6 to 7 hours in ER before you're transferred to a room (if you're to be admitted). I was given antibiotics before I was brought up. The next few days were fuzzy and filled with more tests and vampire extractions (everyday!). It was later in the week when one of the doctors said that the bacteria was identified, Streptococcus. You get it from droplets from an infected person. And it was indeed a relapse.

I rarely go out (probably twice a month max). We all still wear masks whenever we go out. That week we went out and had lunch. The resto was very humid since their a/cs were not working properly. After brunch we went to the grocery and bumped into friends. Our friend said he also got sick a few days later. Miggy also felt unwell. We probably picked up the germs from the hallway to the toilet or the supermarket. 

My second admission stretched to 12 days because the doctors had to take a wholistic approach because I have other medical conditions. They had to protect my heart, my lungs and make sure the bacteria did not hide elsewhere in my body. The infectious disease doctor told me it's a good thing I was brought to the ER immediately. They were able to prevent the issue from progressing to pneumonia. Whew. I went through a lot of tests. It felt like a year worth of tests was squeezed in one week. 

I'm grateful for my doctors, the nurses (minus the one who blew up a vein), the med tech folks,  phlebotomists (minus the one who caused me two huge hematomas) and the kitchen manongs who tried their best to make my food palatable. I tried to write down all their names, but there were days when things were super fuzzy. I'm also grateful for all the prayers and food from family and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

*Made this detailed post mainly for my benefit. I'm sure one of my doctors would ask for a detailed recount one of these days.

**Also grateful for a friend who helped connect me to her insurance agent. I went without medical insurance for 20 months! You never really know when disaster strikes, so it's best to be covered. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Discharged on Bonifacio Day

Finally got discharged today! Hooray! 

It's a good thing I gave feedback after my first admission because the discharge process was done before lunchtime. We were afraid we'd get stuck waiting for discharge until evening. We got lucky today and finished early.

Thank you for all the prayers and care 😘

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

One More Night

Thought I was going home today, but the Neuro doctor wanted to observe me for another day. We also have to wait for results of the scan. 

I'm feeling much better compared to yesterday. I'm still weak, but I think I'm ready to continue recovering at home. I've just been having nasty headaches since Friday. Doctors want to make sure it's not a clot.

Nonetheless I'm excited to go home! See the cats and kittens, my plants especially the orchid that's about to bloom, and just be with my boys. Christmas is also just around the corner! Before that though I want to celebrate Mom's 88th birthday. 

Grateful for all the prayers, love and care 🙏

Btw, my doctor said it's flu season until February, so best to wear a mask when you go out.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Can't Wait to Go Home

Still at the hospital. Neuro investigating the unusual headaches I've been having the past few days. Hopefully they'll clear me after the tests.

I miss being home and doing mundane tasks. I miss my plants, the kittens and my sewing machine. We were in the middle of decorating for Christmas when I was hospitalized. At least we have the tree up.

Can't wait to go home!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, November 27, 2023

Hall Pass to SB!

I'm off the dextrose now! Yay! They haven't removed the IV though since I still need to complete the antibiotic treatment. Doctor has also given me a hall pass to go to Starbucks and the chapel. He said it should help me get back to my normal equilibrium.

I'm also able to eat properly now although I still prefer softer food. I've been eating mostly fish the past two weeks. Will need to avoid sweets until my throat heals.

Hope to go home soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Goofing Around

I thought I'd be discharged today. Obviously didn't happen. Haven't been shifted to oral meds yet. I trust my doctors and from what I feel, I'm not ready yet.

My poor boys are worn down too. They keep watch all day and night. I know I gave them quite a scare. We're coping by praying and finding simple joys.

Sweetie thought it would be funny to outfit me with Miggy's old PE shorts and a matching school shirt. It was pretty comfy and I used it as my sleepwear. All my pajamas and jogging pants need to be laundered already, lol.

I'm also happy I encountered another great phlebotomist. Her name is Rosa. I barely felt the needle she inserted. Told her I'm putting her on my toplist. Hopefully Caloy will be back tomorrow. 

Praying Papa God will heal me soon.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, November 25, 2023


Slept most of the day after a difficult night with the vampire. The failed attempt was really painful. Half of my hand bruised. Good thing nurse Ronnie took pains to find my favorite phlebotomist, Caloy B. He's the best I've encountered anywhere.

My doctor told me I would really feel exhausted because my body is battling the bacteria. They were able to finally identify it as the streptococcus bacteria. It causes strep throat. The treatment for me has been very aggressive to ensure it doesn't affect my heart.

I don't think I'll be discharged yet since I haven't been shifted to oral medication. Hopefully soon. I'm just really grateful and thankful for all the care being given to me by my boys, the medical team, the nurses and the kitchen staff who has been lately giving me yummy desserts. I had peaches for dinner! Yay!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, November 24, 2023

Simple Joys

Day 6 at the hospital. Had a misadventure last night. My right hand finally had enough of hosting the IV needle and swelled up. They moved the IV to my left arm, TWICE. RN Mike successfully inserted the IV needle on the underside of my left forearm. Ouchie.

Another scan was done. Doctors are worried the infection may be hiding in another area. They want to make sure I don't relapse again in a few weeks. I haven't been poked this many times since heart surgery.

Looking at the bright side, there are joys to this misadventure. I was hoping the kitchen would serve me pancakes for breakfast. And they did! I was so happy and Manong said he can ask the kitchen to cook it for me. Yayyyy.

My right arm has recovered a bit now and I was finally able to brush my teeth properly. I had to rely on my left hand for five days and it was really hard. Even typing this post is easier now since I get to use my right hand.

Doctor also said I can eat anything I want. He even suggested to get some ramen, haha. Now that's something to be really happy about!

I'm looking forward to going home soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, November 23, 2023

My Boys, My Rock

Day 5 at the hospital and I just wanted to thank my boys for taking care of me. The doctor on top of my case also said it was a good thing they brought me in at the right time. 

Google Photos made this compilation of our adventures. We've been very careful, but you never really know when a pushy, nasty bug bites.

I'm hoping to be discharged in a day or two. The doctor wants to make sure I'm fully loaded with antibiotics so I don't relapse again. They said that there's a strange increase in double infections.

Be careful everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Day 4, Out of Danger

Thank you Lord, today my doctors informed us my heart valves and lungs have not been affected by the nasty bacteria. The doctors put me on high dosage antibiotics. They had to aggressively counter the bacteria to ensure it did not reach my heart. 

I felt my body battling the nasty germ and despite just being in bed I feel exhausted. It's alright, what's important is we win this battle. No idea yet when I'll be discharged.

Thank you everyone for the continued prayers 🙏

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

The Past 24 Hours

Lots of activity the past 24 hours. Doctors have been rushing to resolve the infection I picked up on top of the tonsillopharyngitis issue I originally complained about. The bacteria was likely hospital acquired.

Went through a flurry of tests. I had to be prepped in the wee hours of the morning, so I didn't get much sleep. Doctors though said my condition has improved. No idea when they will discharge me.

On happier news, Mama Brimsley gave birth to two kittens yesterday. They look exactly like Grogu when he was born. After scouting around our house she chose the box we left in the laundry area. We didn't want her to give birth in the garage again for safety. We think there's at least one more coming. We plan to have the kittens adopted when they are weaned away. Let me know if you're interested!

Thanks for all the prayers 🙏

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, November 20, 2023

Missing the Kittens

Missing our cat family at home. They're still very much feral, but it works for me since I can't really have pets. They just come whenever they want to, eat, then leave. Miggy though adopted the kittens. Mama Brimsley weaned them away already. We're still not sure if they will stick around.

I'm still in the hospital. Feeling a bit better thanks to the multitude of doctors and nurses taking care of me. They originally thought I had pneumonia on top of tonsillopharyngitis. It was luckily caught early and downgraded to upper respiratory track infection. They said I probably picked it up from the hospital last week.

We also got a better room in the other tower. I could actually see my old office, haha. The nurses on this section are much more responsive and happier. They remind me of the nurses who took care of in whenever I was warded in Singapore.

Not sure yet when I'll get to go home. Doctors are running more tests. I hope they'll finally catch this nasty bug.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Back in the Hospital

Woke up at 6 to drink my meds, then things went downhill. Boys decided to bring me to the ER. Did a gazillion tests.

Well at least I have a nicer view. Makes me feel like I'm in Singapore.

I guess the vampire nurse wasn't done with me yet. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Shut Down

Unfortunately had a repeat of last Saturday's events. Decided not to go to the ER since my doctor gave additional meds. I also felt I could rest and recover at home. I'm also afraid I might pick up something at the ER if we go. 

Just resting for now.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, November 17, 2023


Unfortunately, the throat pain relapsed. I guess they shouldn't have stopped the antibiotics immediately.

Resting for now.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Simple Joys

I'm still recovering from the infection and I've been feeling woozy today. I tried fixing our parol, but my body reacted immediately so I'm resting for now.

First thing I wanted to see when we got home were the kittens. They came to the side garden as soon as we parked. I got to peek at them from the barrier and they kept meowing at me. It felt like they were telling me they got worried and they were glad to see me back home. I was worried for them too since we haven't left them alone since they were born. 

My gumamela plant also bloomed a beautiful flower the next day. I had been treating it since mites were taking over. I'm glady efforts paid off because they are recovering now.

Our home is currently very messy. We were in the middle of decorating for Christmas and sorting through some boxes. Fixing things will have to wait for now. Will rest for now :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


It took awhile for the doctors to figure out what brought me down. A lot of doctors interviewed me at the ER and even when I was admitted. Final diagnosis was tonsillopharyngitis. I remember I had it when I was five years old. You don't forget the pain. That's probably why I remember.

I'm finally home now and will have to rest to recover properly. Doctor said it might take two weeks, then I have to see them for a check up. Strangely my antibiotics was stopped, probably because I've been having side effects from it. I'm also glad the steroids was immediately discontinued. I don't like taking it since the effects last two to three months when you wean away from it. 

My friend Rose said, "This too shall pass." Indeed, it will and I have to take better care of myself so I caught fight back the germs whenever we go out. That's the life of an immunocompromised person. It's a constant battle to be stable.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me 🙏

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Updated My Sewing Chair

Got myself a cute pink swivel chair two Christmases ago. I used it mainly as my sewing chair since I get up a lot and the wheels make it easy for me to reach something from my cabinet. 

Eventually the chair became unstable and I had to add a pillow to make the seat more comfortable. At some point it was unusable so we set it aside. 

When our sofas were reupholstered, we asked the workers if my chair was still repairable. They suggested to change it to legs. It would be more stable and would last longer. We sent it together with the sofas.

I also decided to have the chair reupholstered since the seat was already uncomfortable. It would have been cheaper to just buy a new chair, but I think this one will last longer. Its back together with my sewing table.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, November 13, 2023

Preparing for Christmas

We were very busy last week at home. Likely picked up some germs when we bought groceries and Christmas decors. We've also been working on decluttering my childhood home and moved some stuff. I probably had a hefty dose of dust from my Mama Lola's sewing machine.

Well, before this setback one of the things we were able to do is buy some Christmas decorations. I want our tree this year to be as vibrant as how Mom used to do it.

We first went to Rustan's. The decors were really beautiful, but very expensive! The tree I liked cost Php25k. It was way beyond my budget and the amount does not include the decor. Yikes!

Luckily, there was another department store nearby. They had more affordable items. We were able to buy a tree and additional decors. Ah, it will be our tree for many years to come, haha.

Since we've accumulated several smaller trees over the years. We're sending them to family and friends so it can be put to good use. I realized I don't really have that many decors because I've been mindful about space. It's been also easier to decorate because our decluttering coach organized the decors. Yay! 

Hope I'll be well soon because I haven't started any preparations for gifts! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, November 12, 2023

I Held Up for 2 Years

It's been two years since we got home from Singapore. I told myself I'll try my best not to be hospitalized. I had a few skirmishes, but I generally just recovered at home.

It finally happened. My tonsils inflamed. It hasn't happened in a long time now since my doctor's in Singapore how to prevent it.

I was five the last time I had this kind of pain. It must have been caused by the heat, dehydration, and the dust from decluttering. What did me in? A slice of chocolate cake last Friday night.

Woke up in pain. I couldn't swallow so I gargled warm water with salt. It relieved me a bit so I decided to do an online consult. Ordered my meds online too. After awhile I started having unimaginable chills. Drank paracetamol and the chills died down after 40 minutes. By then the boys decided to bring me to the ER.

And that's how we ended up in the hospital after two years. They're taking care of me very well and Kuya even got to stay awhile. Please pray for me and I hope I'll be home soon. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Removing Powdery Mildew from Gumamela Plants

The gumamela plants I bought in Tagaytay produced a lot of flowers within a month. Then I noticed that the flowers started falling off even before they bloomed. I noticed some powdery mildew on it and sprayed neem oil* on the plant. It worked, but it did not resolve the issue. The lady bugs** I found on the gumamela plant were not enough to solve the issue too.

After two weeks of spraying neem oil every few days, I looked for another solution. I read it's better to spray apple cider vinegar*** onto the stems of the plant. Luckily, I had some apple cider vinegar so that's what I did the past ten days. I sprayed the stems every few days. I also checked the leaves for any fungus on it (always wear gloves when working with plants!). 

It looks like it worked because I don't see that much powdery mildew anymore on the plants. I also removed infected leaves and flowers. I noticed the gumamela plant  growing flowers again too. Whew! I'm really bent on making sure the set of plants I got from Tagaytay live because I already failed in it ten years ago. 

Learning how to tend to your plants is easier nowadays because you can search for anything on the web. You can also simply take a photo of the issue and use image search to find an answer. Plus you can also join groups to learn from others. 

I always wondered how my Mom knew so much about gardening. She had very few books and she didn't like going online. I realized she knew her plants well because she spent a lot of time with them. That's how she's been able to keep her garden beautiful.

*Neem oil spray - neem oil + castille soap + baking soda + water in a spray bottle

**Lady bugs - they were probably in the plant already when I bought it

Friday, November 10, 2023

Yummy Baked Salmon in Honey, Lemon and Butter

We got used to eating salmon when we lived in Singapore. It was more commonly sold in the grocer than tuna or other fish we're used to locally. That's how I learned this recipe for baked salmon. It's very easy to make. We've only cooked it since we got back home sparingly because it's been hard to find good, affordable salmon. Eating salmon at restos is also quite expensive, so I've been on the lookout for something affordable. 

When we did our grocery run early this week, I was happy to find out that Cold Storage has started to distribute their seafood products locally. It finally reached the grocery we frequent. It was also affordable and within our budget. Two packs of salmon is the equivalent of one salmon dish at a restaurant. So this week's cooking lesson for Miggy is how to bake salmon.

It turned out well :)

Here's how we made it -

Let's bake again soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Dad's Advice for His Children and Grandchildren

Finding a lot of treasures the past few weeks. Found copies of "Dad's Advice for His Children/Grandchildren" last week when I was sorting some documents. He wrote the piece back in the turn of the century (2000). He was only 67 years old at that time and far from showing any signs of forgetfulness. 

There was a lot of weird sentiment at that time that things may change a lot. The "millenium bug" probably contributed to that fear. The new century felt like new territory. Changing 19 to 20 was met with a lot of trepidation. The first thing I checked when the clock struck midnight was my computer. Dad probably felt that weird feeling also and that's why he wrote this advice. 

Dad got sick five years later and had surgery. He didn't like hospitals and seeing doctors. He had colon surgery and recovered eventually. It was only 11 years later after he wrote the piece when he passed away. He really made sure all of us grew up properly to be good citizens. 

I re-read the advice and thought about how I'd fair against it. 

#1 - of course.

#2 - this one I overdid that's why I had to do early retirement.

#3 - I try to, but I must admit there are things on my to-do list that hasn't been completed for months now. 

#4 - I've struggled with this since I was born. My excuse is I have sleep apnea.

#5 - I have a lot of meds, so I really can't do both. 

#6 - keeping to it.

#7 - I'm only alive because of Him. 

#8 - I have streamlined a lot and especially stayed away from the mariteses.

#9 - My doctors are saying I'm not getting enough rest. Balance is what I need. 

#10 - of course! He is the only one we can completely trust. 

I was the one who typed this note for my Dad. I typed it under protest because it didn't feel right since Dad was still strong at that time. If I remember correctly, we even fought because I delayed typing it. I'm not sure if he distributed it because there were a lot of copies when I found it. Since my siblings and my nephews and nieces are scattered all over the world I decided to post it here. It may be useful also for others :)

Miss you Daddy.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

What I Learned About Saying No

I used to say yes to everything, especially for work. I just kept rolling and rolling until I used up all my energy and my well went dry. I did realize at some point that I had too much on my plate and it was sapping the life out of me. My attempts to push back were heard, but ignored. 

My doctors assessed me well. They knew I didn't like putting anyone down. I felt guilty whenever I turned down something and that was really bad for my well-being. The stress eventually bit me hard and I found myself in and out of the hospital for a whole year. 

I realized a lot of things when I was hospitalized several times. Being forced to rest without access to the internet also does wonders for your well-being. Here's a few things I learned: 

(1) The path to learning to say no starts with loving yourself. It was late already when I realized it. My body permanently said no to any activity that could stress me out. 

(2) Set your priorities straight because your decisions and activities can critically affect your future. I would have probably been in a better position medically if I took time to recover after my first pulmonary embolism in 2018. 

(3) Listen to your body and your doctors. Be your own spokesperson and speak up when you are unwell. I had to push for a second opinion because one doctor just kept dismissing my issue as severe asthma. I should have taken note of the doctor's name who laughed at me when I demanded a referral to see a new pulmo. I should have sent him the results of my scans. 

(4) Saying no doesn't mean you're letting people down. It means you are prioritizing yourself and your wellness. It also doesn't mean you are being selfish. 

(5) Surround yourself with people who will support you until you're well. 

It is a journey and learning to say no (without the guilt) takes a long time. Just take it one step at a time and you'll get to a place where you love yourself and have better balance with your life. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Mom's Unfinished Quilts and Her Favorite Patterns

Found a bunch of unfinished quilts in Mom's bedroom last week. Some already had wadding on it, but I guess she was still looking for backing fabric to use. Some looked like the beginnings of a huge blanket. She was the one who taught me to keep my hands busy. A testament to that is one of the blankets she made from scrap fabric. She didn't put any wadding in it, so we're using it for part of our sala set for now. 

Mom loved to follow patterns from a book. She'd make templates using a thick folder. That's how she taught me the basics of quilting. Her favorite pattern was the fan block quilt. I've never tried making it. The curve makes it tedious to make. Mom loved it though and would even make it with lace. 

If Mom wasn't making fan block quilts, she's be making circle blocks. It's even harder. I remember she tried to teach me how to make it and it was really challenging. Another pattern she also likes making is the basket block. I remember she got this pattern from the one quilt book we used to own. 

I think Mom's favorite block are half-squares. She's made a number of quilt blankets out of her half-square projects. She likes it because she just uses scrap fabric. Whenever we went to spotlight she only liked buying fat quarters and refused to buy fabric by the yard. I think she was fascinated with combining colors and she was good at it. 

I just took photos for now of the unfinished quilts since I'm sure there are more at home. Mom had the habit of using baskets for her different projects. She'd leave it around the house and work on it wherever she decides to hang out. If she wasn't gardening, she was probably quilting and sometimes that made it hard to contact her. Don't ever call her when she's in the zone, LOL. 

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Great Way to Remove Countertop Stains

Traffic in our kitchen is pretty high everyday. We start our day preparing our coffee and then we cook or heat up leftovers throughout the day. We try to keep the countertop clean, but it is really unavoidable to have stains on it. We were told to just make sure to wipe the countertop to avoid stains. 

I tried using baking soda and vinegar, but noticed it's not too friendly for countertops. The combination is too abrasive for the surface, so I try to clean stains with Thieves. It gets most of the dirt out, but there's a stain by the sink that I haven't been able to remove for awhile now. 

I was advised by a cleaning company to try using Spotless. They said I could use it to remove stains. I got one container from Ace Hardware and I finally tried it yesterday. Instructions said to wipe a little on the surface with a damp cloth. I tried it on a small part first to make sure it doesn't ruin the countertop. The stain came from an Ikea dishrack that rusted. 

I was worried I wouldn't be able to remove it. Wiped a little on the stain and was surprised the spot slowly disappeared. After I finished the area I moved to the side of the sink that had a stain. Some baking soda stuck to the surface and I haven't been able to remove it (aside from the stain). After wiping the area gently with the paste I was surprised the stain cleared up. 

Aside from countertops, Spotless is good for ceramic and chrome surfaces according to the product info. Just make sure to try on a small part first before going all out to make sure it doesn't ruin your item. I'm so happy I was able to remove the stain yesterday. I will surely include this product in my cleaning tools arsenal, haha. 

What's your go-to product for cleaning stains?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, November 5, 2023

That Time I Gave Up

A friend pinged me the other day and told me about his complicated love life. I told him I used to be in that boat too. I kept stumbling and my heart experienced too many heartbreaks already. I let myself heal after a long relationship and then I started to date again. 

I thought I was better off because I knew what red flags to watch out for. I was wrong because I learned about more red flags I should avoid. I eventually gave myself a deadline. I told God that by the end of the third quarter of 2007, if I hadn't found the one I would accept that I was meant for single blessedness. I was so set to focus on Miggy, my career and possibly do my doctorate. 

I planned it that way so I could keep sane and so I could stop hoping. Early in 2007, I read the book of Bo Sanchez, "How to Find Your One True Love". He said you should focus on making more friends and don't just fall in love with anyone who shows interest. Just pray. So I did that and along the way I learned more red flags. 

In the last few days of September 2007, I experienced another disappointment. I had a friend who was showing a lot of interest. It did not work out. He was another huge red flag. I felt more frustrated than disappointed actually and on the plane ride home I told God I was read for a life of single blessedness. I told him, "Lord, it's September 28 and my deadline is 48 hours away. I know I've made a lot of mistakes and this is probably because I'm too willful. I give up. Please take over and navigate my life." 

I got home and was so jetlagged, I ended up chatting with Sweetie after midnight. It was the 29th. At that time we were best friends. I told him about what happened during my trip. Then he said he wanted to tell me something. It took an hour or two before he finally confessed that he wanted to court me. 

And that's how God wrote our love story. My friend told me He probably heard me loud and clear because I was literally up in the air when I made a desperate plea. Have faith, there are things that you should leave up to Him.

Happy Sunday everyone!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Reviving Orchids, Huge Improvement after a Month!

Taking care of orchids wasn't something I wanted to do. Three were passed on to me last May. I honestly had no clue how to care for it. It did not turn out well. All of them almost died, well, one is still in ICU. I just couldn't get the hang of watering it. Mom had a lot of orchids and the only thing she taught me was to use charcoal, water well and remove the white hard skin. 

So I followed her and watered the orchids everyday. It ended in disaster. The roots rotted and I realized unlike Mom, the orchids that were sent to me were cocooned in moss. It kept the roots of the orchids wet. I guess that's how they do it to keep the flowers looking fresh. I didn't know you should immediately remove the moss and re-pot it. 

Yup, it was that bad.

I only found out when Kuya gave me orchids for my birthday. The flowers started immediately! I thought it was just the flowers, but it didn't look well after a month. So one fine October day I got to work. I followed the advise of Happiness Garden. Removed all the orchids from their pots and took out the moss. I removed the roots that rotted and gave them a garlic and ginger bath. Then I re-potted them in a terracotta pot with coco cubes as the main medium. 

After removing the medium.

To ensure I wasn't overwatering I would stick my finger under the roots to check for moisture. I give them a garlic bath once a week and then I just spray them with rain water almost everyday. The leaves now have a nice sheen and the roots have grown. I was really surprised to see the youngest sprout a new stem after just a few weeks. I think it will eventually sprout some flowers. 

Hopefully a flower coming soon!

One month after. Roots are a nice shade of green.

Mom always reassured me I don't have a brown thumb. I just need to work on learning how to care for my plants better. Orchids though to be honest are hard to care for. I need to check Mom's orchids to see how she had been potting them. I know she also attached them to driftwood before. I also need to discover how she had been able to make them produce flowers all year round. 

#BeKind #StaySafe