Thursday, November 30, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Monday, November 27, 2023
Sunday, November 26, 2023
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Monday, November 20, 2023
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Saturday, November 18, 2023
Friday, November 17, 2023
Thursday, November 16, 2023
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Monday, November 13, 2023
Sunday, November 12, 2023
Saturday, November 11, 2023
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
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!
Thursday, November 9, 2023
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.
#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.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
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.
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
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.
Monday, November 6, 2023
Sunday, November 5, 2023
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!
Saturday, November 4, 2023
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.|
Friday, November 3, 2023
I cook a lot of pasta dishes. Most are far from what is served in restos. My boys and friends say they like my pasta dishes. What piqued my interest in learning a few more pasta dishes is Miggy. He doesn't like red pasta. He prefers white or pink pasta. So the past few months I've been experimenting on pink pasta recipes.
When I found out pasta al telefono uses tomato and cream I've been trying to find the best way to prepare it like how restos do. I finally found the secret to resto-style pasta. We randomly bought some canned tomato from a gourmet shop. Sweetie pointed out to me when I cooked pasta al telefono last week that I should use the cans we bought.
|Next time I'll use penne pasta|
I honestly had no idea that it would turn out well. A friend pointed out to me that I could use another brand. The brand though was 10x more expensive than the canned tomatoes I used. Since my boys liked the one I used, I think I'm going to stick to it (will try the expensive one if I'm able to justify buying it hahaha).
So, what's the secret? Well, it's in our latest video on the "Recipes for My Son" channel. You can watch it here:
I wrote down the recipe here: https://recipesformyson.blogspot.com/2023/11/the-secret-to-resto-style-pasta-al.html
I think I'm gonna buy more of those canned tomatoes, hahaha.
Thursday, November 2, 2023
I was going through some documents Mom left in her cabinet. I found an envelope with the name "F.S. Enrile" on it. I recognized it as my Mom's handwriting and figured it must be papers relating to my grandfather (Papa Lolo). I never got to meet my Papa Lolo because he passed away five years before I was born.
I only met my Papa Lolo once. He said hi to me when I was 4 years old. We were in Tito Mon's home in San Francisco and I was looking out of the window. If I remember correctly I was probably sulking because Kuya and I were fighting over the thermostat. He wanted it warm, I wanted it cold, haha. Then I saw Papa Lolo smiling at me. I responded loudly and said, "Hi Papa Lolo!". Then I looked back and told my family that Papa Lolo was outside. I was immediately removed from the window. It's only ever happened once again, but with Gabby, my nephew.
There weren't that many papers. Found a very brittle copy of Papa Lolo and Mama Lola's original marriage certificate, some letters and memos during the Japanese occupation. It was interesting to see how much movement was controlled in 1942. My grandfather was in the military and was probably monitored very closely.
Papa Lolo was part of the Death March (April 9, 1942). Mom mentioned this to me when I was growing up. She said he saved a comrad from being stabbed with a bayonet. She said that person eventually had a son who eventually became a bank president*. Anyway, from the papers I found it seems Papa Lolo's movements were closely monitored and he had to get clearance whenever he moved.
|The folded part refers to any change in occupation. |
(I didn't want to stretch the paper since it's quite brittle already.
Here's a clearance signed by the mayor of Manila, Mayor Leon Guinto. I honestly never knew he was a former mayor of Manila (to think I spent a decade studying at St. Scho!).
Papa eventually moved back to Pamplona, Camarines Sur and this was acknowledged by Mayor Macario L. Francisco.
I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the family. Mom said they moved around a lot because of Papa Lolo's rank. I asked her before and she said it was really hard. She said it was a good thing there were soldiers who would help carry their trunks. I did see some of those trunks because Mom had it in the house. Mama Lola also had it in her house in Naga City. They were huge!
Seeing the papers made me think about how God truly plans everything. Papa Lolo was born in the middle of the 1905 pandemic (followed by a cholera outbreak the year after). Then they went through war. Papa Lolo survived the death march. He and the family survived all of that and here we are with children and our children have started to have children too.
I realized I mention my Mama Lola more than my Papa Lolo here in my blog. That's because I don't know much about him. I only "met him once", so finding old papers relating to him was a nice discovery for me. :)
*Mom's first and only job was for a bank (I hope I'm remembering her stories correctly!).
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
I was so sad to hear about the passing of Matthew Perry. I watched "Friends" a couple of times already and Chandler Bing is one character I will always remember. I watched the show on and off when it was broadcasted on TV. A friend years later gifted me with a set (I think it was best friend Darwin who gave it to me).
I watched the whole series following a bad break-up. I was feeling much better by the time I finished all 10 seasons. I think the show helped me look ahead and move past the pain. The way the show made me laugh is probably the secret to healing.
|Central Perk Singapore|
I still actually watch "Friends". I re-started watching it during the pandemic through Netflix. I play it whenever I can't think of anything to watch. Never mind the bad puns that people flag about the show. Those things were funny when it was created.
|Replica of Monica's kitchen.|
Rest in peace Matthew Perry. Thank you for making me laugh and for being part of my healing journey. :)