Pages

Monday, February 26, 2024

Got Some Wall and Post Lamps

The lamp on our front window hasn't been working for awhile now. I also noticed it deteriorated a lot over the past year. We had an electrician check it and he said it was substandard. No wonder it looks like it's ready to fall off. I'm also not fond of the lighting fixture on the gate posts. I think the bulb will go out soon so I told Sweetie we should look for nicer fixtures. 

We were planning to go to a home depot. It's been so hot lately and it won't be a good idea for me to go to one. I don't want to have a heat stroke like that time we went during summer. Uh-uh. We went out for errands the other day and ended up at Alabang Town Center. We were trying to avoid crowded areas and ended up passing by a section of lighting fixture stores. 




I saw Robles Heritage had a good selection of wall and post lamps. Marvin, the store manager, helped me look through their items. He also explained the material and some history of Robles Heritage. I'm familiar with the store and know it's been around for a long time. I used to visit it way back when I would imagine having my own house. 




We found something we liked, but told Marvin we'll check first with the architect if it's fit for our wall and post. We just came back for it after having lunch. The good news is Marvin gave us a nice discount. He also gave his number in case the electrician would have questions. We decided to get lighting fixtures from a reputable company since sometimes when you just buy stuff online you don't really know about the quality of the item. 




We're happy with our purchase. The aluminum material of the lamp is quite thick and I expect it would last a long time. We're making it a point to be more proactive with choosing materials for the house now to make sure we get good quality materials that will last long. We just need to have it installed. Hopefully soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Daddy Daughter Dates

We've been watching Young Sheldon for awhile now. I'm really glad it's on Netflix already. I had previously watched parts of it whenever I traveled (SQ ftw!). We re-started watching from season 1 and one of the really cute episodes was when George brough Missy for a daddy daughter date. She even dressed as a princess. 


Pasacao, 70s.


The episode reminded me of my daddy-daughter dates with my Dad. We would usually head to Quad and eat at his favorite restaurant, Ling Nam. He would usually get beef noodles and siopao. At that time I was still very picky with what I eat, so I would eat the siopao skin. Daddy didn't like it and I'd eat it. We did that until I eventually appreciated eating the whole siopao. 

Those dates extended to indulgences. It was Dad who bought me my very first cassette tape, Michael Jackson's Thriller album! Eventually I discovered McDonald's. Mom never allowed me to buy happy meals, but Dad would always indulge me. On Sundays, Dad would always buy me a Twin Popsies after hearing mass.

Fond core memories I treasure. Sweetie gives me the skin of his siopao whenever we eat. I still eat Twin Popsies whenever it's available (I think they call it Twin Pops now). I just got an orange one the other day from Makati Supermart. It used to be one of our go-to places when it was still in Makati. Dad and I would usually exit the supermart whenever Mom took so long and we'd eat spaghetti there. 

Miss you Dad <3

Happy EDSA Anniversary! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, February 24, 2024

My Cacti Bit Me

It was my Mama Lola who liked collecting cacti and succulents. I remember she had her collection in a corner of my Mom's garden. Since then I had been curious about having my own.

I started buying but for many years I always failed. I eventually stopped since it seemed like a waste of money because I couldn't care for them properly. A friend though gave me some. I still killed about half of what she gave but in time I improved. I researched and asked the nursery about the right soil to use.





Now I get to enjoy re-potting my cacti and succulents every few months when they outgrow their pot. What's great about taking care of cacti and succulents is they're pretty low maintenance as long as your soul mixture is good. 





I spent about 3 and a half hours re-potting the other day. I use gloves, of course, but one cacti bit me through my glove. Ouchie! I continued working on them though since the prick is no different from my sewing pin bites. Haha.

Now I just need to remember what day I should water my cacti and succulents. Summer usually changes the schedule because it's too hot!

#BeKind #StaySafe 


Friday, February 23, 2024

"Old Town" in Bacoor

One of my favorite cafes (restoes) in KL is Old Town White Coffee. I like their white milk tea and visited it whenever I got the chance (usually at KLIA on the way home). They eventually opened a branch in Singapore and frequented it after mass on Sundays. Even managed to bring Mom there (she loves milk tea too!). 


Old Town White Coffee in Kuala Lumpur


We went on a road trip the other day and passed by a place called, "Old Town". The signage looked a lot like "Old Town Coffee"! When we got closer I laughed out loud when I saw the whole signage, "Old Town Lechon". It was a take-away place for roasted chicken and pork belly. They definitely don't serve coffee or milk tea since next door was "Kaffee Kafe". 


It's funny but, oh boy, I hope they don't get in trouble like what happened to MangDonald's.


I know there's a branch of Old Town White Coffee here in Manila. We've been planning to visit it, just haven't had the time. I hope it will taste the same since the Toastbox* that opened years ago was incomparable. Anyway, we'll come visit soon!

Oh, and just wanted to greet my Kuya a very happy birthday! 




*It's now called Nanyang and is much better.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, February 22, 2024

My Yoda Collection (a Part of It)

It's been a while since I've tended my Yoda collection. I had a spur of the moment inspiration to organize my shelf last Friday. I thought it would be nice to fix it since it's just behind my sewing table. My collection started because of Hadi. We had a Halloween contest at work. The team with the best area decoration would win.

Hadi was so competitive and even if there were just three of us he said we should join. I had a trip scheduled so I told him to go ahead and plan it. When I came back our area was decked with Star Wars items and print outs. My desk represented Yoda complete with green fabric, Yoda toys and print outs. We did not win and I got to keep the toys. 




I placed the toys on top of my monitor and word got out I was collecting, haha. I started receiving Yoda themed items from my family, friends from all over the world and one of our tech persons even 3D printed me one! To be honest, I only started buying a few years later because I always received them as gifts. The best ones I bought were from Hobby Off and some shops in Japan. 

Parts of my collection were in Singapore and some in Manila. I finally put them together when we moved to our current home. I was so surprised to see I have so many small Yoda figures I own, so that's what I put together first. My plan is to eventually take individual photos and do some research about them since I bought most of it pre-loved. I usually unbox the newer ones because I want to enjoy seeing them (I have some duplicates that are untouched). 


Can you identify which one was 3D printed?


I was organizing my Funko Pop Yoda collection when I discovered the leak, so that stopped me on my tracks. I'll probably organize the rest on another shelf or when I have an idea when the leak will be fixed (it's right behind Yoda!). Yoda probably used his Jedi powers on me! I wouldn't have discovered the leak if I hadn't re-organized my collection. Whew!




In time, I'll get everything fixed!

#KindBe #SafeStay


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Finding Balance

I was able to write a couple of posts last weekend which allowed me to take a break from writing. I didn't force myself yesterday to write a blog post for today since I still needed time to find my balance. Such is the life of someone with PTSD. When it's triggered it takes me awhile to go back to my regular, happy, chill state.




My PTSD was triggered by several factors. I've been able to rebuild my coping mechanisms, but one thing piled after another so I had to work hard to get back to normal. The following activities helped:

  • Prayer
  • Communicating my frustration
  • Re-potted my cacti and succulent collection (it has grown since Ate Rose gave them to me). 
  • Wrote a business analysis. This helped allow me to look at things from another perspective. 
  • Ate food I like and had a frosty. (I'm so ready to go back to my set meals haha). 
  • Worked on organizing my craft room. Also did some sewing.
  • Spent time with the cats.
  • Did pulmo rehab (mega deep breathing exercises ftw).
  • Short roadtrip with the boys. Getting a good dose of sunshine probably helped.
  • A little retail therapy. (Got a new Uratex stool for my gardening activities).
  • Stopped and smelled the flowers. 
  • Talked to a friend who reminded me I'm an ideal client
  • Stayed offline for awhile. 




Spending time outside probably gave me a good dose of vitamin sun. I feel a little sunburnt after our short roadtrip today. It was good to be out and about. I even spent more time watering the plants. This allowed me to be calmer and distract me from the issues at hand. The problem with PTSD is when it's triggered everything goes out of proportion and I start feeling unwell. 

I feel a bit better now and will hopefully get better sleep tonight after being out most of the day. I know I'm still fragile, so hopefully the universe will cooperate and be safer for me. I wasn't like this before. I used to face tough times by looking at it straight in the eye. I didn't even blink when I had heart surgery. It was the clots that wore me down. 

The activities I listed above are some of my coping mechanisms. Being busy with offline activities really helps a lot and whenever negative thoughts intrude I combat it with a prayer. Of course, hugs from my boys added to my happiness well. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Problem Solving: How My Suppliers Can Care for Me Better

It's 3 in the morning and my mind is still racing from the issues that has been frustrating me the past few weeks. I thought it would be better for me to put on my thinking hat and look at the issue from a coaching/MBA grad perspective. (Dean Pax Lapis did tell me once I'd make a great mentor/consultant, hehe).



Short summary of the issues:

- Contractor taking months to get back to us on a punch list sent months ago.
- Pest control firm not able to clarify accounting questions. Firm owner obviously not able to manage her staff properly because they've been just ignoring her directives.

There are other issues but I thought I'd process supplier related ones first. 

Back in graduate school I thoroughly enjoyed going through case studies. Figuring out the problem and thinking of a solution excited my mind. The skill came in handy at work and I was always given hard to crack problems. 

I was playing a game on my tablet when I realized the business issues my suppliers were facing. It's the reason why they've been handling me badly as a client. Both companies are led by entrepreneurs, an architect and a pest control expert.

These are what I think they're struggling with:

- capacity
- controls
- moving up to the next tier of business ownership

Capacity

We've been experiencing dismal service from our architect the past few months. They did really well in our first few projects, but left a number of things unfinished. They haven't met any of the deadlines they set and only respond after several follow-ups. Well, we heard they got a lot of projects and it seems they can't keep up. Good problem to have but they should take a step back and assess what they need capacity wise. We also heard that they're not able to keep skilled worky, so maybe that's one issue they should work on.

The pest control company also probably has a capacity issue since their billing system has been very erratic and messy. I wonder if they only have one accountant?

Controls

Managing multiple projects and clients can be made easier if you have proper controls in place. In a previous company I worked with sales was decreasing fast. I was given the chance to be the president's PA for awhile when my boss went on leave. So I was told to figure out what was wrong. I immediately asked about sales reports and was flabbergasted to find out they were being submitted on handwritten forms. This was submitted weekly and listed the prospects visited by sales.

It was a very interesting problem to solve. I went through the sales reports and had it digitized. The issue? Sales personnel were only visiting an average of ONE client per day. They had a target number to visit or call per day and it was definitely more than one (I don't exactly remember how many since this was circa 2003-05). This translated to lower sales . The solution? I challenge the VP IT to create a sales system. Of course, the whole sales department and VP IT hated me after that because I got them to work. 

So, I wonder if my suppliers have a proper control system in place to respond to client needs. I guess not because scheduling is all over the place and I've been trying to clarify my bills since October.

Moving to the Next Tier of Business Ownership

I remember succinctly my professor in marketing, Mr. Garcia, during one of his lectures. He said the biggest hurdle entrepreneurs have to go over is when the time comes their business grows and you have to put properly skilled managers in place. It is always hard for the entrepreneur business owner to relinquish control over certain aspects that can be reassigned.

I saw this happen to a  company I worked with in the past. Instead of hiring properly skilled people to manage departments, they promoted from the ranks. Mind you, that is not a bad thing but you need to ensure that ther person has the skills to manage teams. It is good to hire managers from outside also to add to your company's talent pool. Properly skilled and talented people help grow your company. So if you're a business owner, think about what aspects of your job can be delegated or outsourced so you can focus on growth and ensure that your clients are happy and will stay with you.

***********

I'm quilting a huge piece right now, so I thought maybe I use Tuesdays to sure things I've learned in the last 25+ years before I retired. If you have a business related question, feel free to ask. I have an MBA, completed coaching training at G (I was the only one who graduated from my batch), etc.* aside from just being a hobbyist trying to survive chronic illnesses :)

*My resume is probably on LinkedIn, but I'm not looking for work since I'll die from stress, but do ask questions. It will help keep my brain working.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, February 19, 2024

Discovered a Leak :(

Last Friday, I was suddenly inspired to re-organize my Yoda collection. Miggy had fixed it a few months ago, but there were still some unboxed items. So, I set aside my plans to sew and worked on re-organizing my Yoda collection. I happily took photos of the Funko Pops and while I was at it I decided to switch where they were on the shelves. 




I was surprised to see some odd spots at the back of the glass cabinet. I didn't think much about it, but I saw bigger spots when I removed the stuffed toys on the bottom. I noticed some droplets, so I got a flashlight to see it better. There was quite a lot of droplets and Sweetie said that spot had a water pipe because it was originally supposed to be a spot for a sink.

Uh-oh. :(




Only way to get it fixed is to remove the glass cabinets. We'd have to get the supplier of the glass cabinets to remove the cabinets. Also means I'll have to remove my whole collection. Sigh. Well, I guess it's also a blessing in disguise since we wouldn't have found out about the leak. 

I'm taking it as a sign to finally get our family room flooring fixed. The tiles have been cracking like crazy (since we moved in! Very bad workmanship!!!). It's just going to be a huge hassle to remove everything again. To think we're still decluttering. Oh well, new home project coming up!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Frustration

 "I will remember my covenant between me and you." Genesis 9:15




I must admit I'm not great at managing frustration. I get all worked up especially if it involves paying for something. The past few weeks have been really challenging. Found out our sockets weren't put back properly. The piano guy overcharged us and hasn't finished his job (excuses the past 3 months). Pest control company told me we owe them money when in fact we overpaid because of their confusing statement of accounts. Waiting for a document for over a month now. Found out my Mom's garden is turning brown because the helper hasn't been watering the grass and plants.

I have reached out and requested for help/clarification nicely. Followed up nicely. And followed up more, firmly and nicely. I know I could sound super sungit so I asked help from Sweetie to follow up. He got frustrated too, haha. 

Patience is a virtue and I was reminded today by Didache that God keeps His promises. Humans are humans and I just need to remind myself that things will eventually be resolved. I've nicely asked for clarification and help and I have to stay calm because getting worked up will stress me out. I would end up getting sick (I'm already having tension headaches). I already vented my frustration and came up with a spreadsheet to help one of our suppliers. I just hope and pray something will move. 

In the bright side, a friend is surprising me with an unexpected gift! It will hopefully arrive in a few weeks! :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, February 17, 2024

New Coffee and Cake Place in Our Neighborhood

Went out for errands today and passed by the gas station to visit 7-Eleven. Discovered that El Roi Cakes & Bread is already open. It's been a month since we were in the area so we didn't know it was already open. We dropped by to check it out since they had a sign out front saying they have coffee. 




The spot used to be Potato Corner, but it has transformed into a very cozy cafe. Aside from coffee, cakes and pastries, they also sell coffee beans, tablea and other local products. After preparing our takeaway, the owner, Kevin, went out to chat with us. He explained that they get their beans from Sultan Kudarat from a cooperative. This helps the farmers since it eliminates the middleman. 




Sweetie and I got a cold and hot beverage to try. We had to take it out since we got some ice cream from McDonald's (haha). We plan to go back to try their pastries. Just couldn't at the moment since we still had some from Chef RV's cafe. They had interesting strawberry pastry options. Yummm!




If you're from my neighborhood, the cafe is located at Caltex. Another cafe option in the same area is B1T1. (Map here).

*No gardening update for now. I've been busy making sure the pothos I re-potted last week will survive!

#BeKind #StaySafe


Friday, February 16, 2024

Let's Make Some Bistek Tagalog This Weekend

Before I start experimenting on fish recipes, I thought I'd make some bistek tagalog first. It's been awhile since I made this and I realized we kept using pork when we were still in Singapore. I don't know why, but I couldn't make the beef soften up when we were there. I got some breakfast steak from Lander's and I thought I'd try my luck again. 




And it turned out really well! I changed the soy sauce though. We normally use Datu Puti whenever we cook, but I used Lee Kum Kee first draft soy sauce this time around. The bistek tagalog turned out really tasty. It was another dish where we couldn't stop eating, hahaha. 

Here's how we made it:


Complete recipe at: https://recipesformyson.blogspot.com/2024/02/recipes-for-my-son-bistek-tagalog.html

Let me know if you tried the recipe :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Vintage Finds: Typewriter

Recently found a portable typewriter in my childhood home. It reminded me of Mom's huge Olympia typewriter. She used it to teach me the proper way to type. I remember I was so amazed with it I even had them put it beside my bed on the floor. It was so heavy though, so it stayed there until my parents got annoyed with me typing in their bedroom.

I don't know if Mom kept the Olympia typewriter. It looked like the one I saw in a museum in Singapore back in 2012. I haven't seen it for a long time now, so Mom may have given it away. It's my first time to see the portable one, so it must be Titay's. I brought it home to clean it up and see if it's still working. I miss typing on a typewriter. 




I enjoyed it and was thrilled we had typing classes in high school. My college batch was the last one that had typing classes. Actually we only had it for a semester because they changed all the typewriters and we had basic computer classes in the next semester. Remember the game "Typing Tutor"? I loved that game and always tried to beat my speed, haha. 

Also watched Howie Severino's documentary, "Type Kita". I originally thought it was a Valentine episode! Turned out to be about typewriters, haha. At least now I know where I can have the portable one repaired (if needed) and where to buy a new one (if I want to). It was funny to see how the younger generation didn't know how to use a typewriter. Sorry na, I'm from the last generation that experienced the offline and online world. Anyway, you can watch the documentary here.

Did you know that there's a strange trend in our country? There's always a spike for the search term "typewriter" every May/June (moreso from 2004-2014). I guess it's because it's usually the start of the schoolyear?


Given the chance, would you still use a typewriter?

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Need a Break? Take It

I haven't been in the mood to write the past week. I haven't been feeling well and just want to work on my quilt project and sleep in. So I'm not going to make this post long.




I have a friend who's been sickly. She's been hospitalized a couple of times in the past few months. I went through that phase also in late 2020 to the whole of 2021. Aside from being warded I saw my doctors almost every week and I had physiotherapy in between those appointments. It was really hard for me since I could barely walk without experiencing shortness of breath. 

So I learned to heed my body's needs. When it doesn't feel good, I rest. I minimize my activities. I already did the biggest change in my life -- retired. I can't pick up from where I left off anymore since I have a chronic illness. Everyday is different. So I told my friend that maybe she should think about taking a longer break to let her body recover properly.




I'm an extreme example though, but if you're able bodied and generally healthy, rest if your body needs it. Don't push too hard, there's always another day. Rest, relax, recover and enjoy life :)

Oh, btw, Happy Valentine's Day!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Joining the Comic Book Board Bandwagon

I ordered comic book boards from Amazon a few weeks ago. It's much cheaper to buy from Amazon than from local online shops. I got two sets of 100 and a cat yoga calendar to qualify for free shipping. It didn't take long before it was delivered. 

Now you might be wondering, do I actually own comic books? TBH, I don't. Not even one! Haha. I was researching how best to organize my fabric since it needs to be re-arranged. I've been having a hard time getting what I need since they were stacked on top of each other. I joined a quilting/sewing room group and read that most quilters use comic book boards to organize their fabric. 




My fabric stash is very small compared to quilters abroad. I've so far organized one shelf and I like how it looks. I could easily look through my fabric and also know more or less if I still have enough. I'm surprisingly more than halfway of the first set of fabric and I haven't even made a dent on my stash. Sweetie asked if I'll finish the 200 boards I ordered. At the rate I'm going I think I won't have enough, LOL. 

The comic book boards help with keeping the stash evenly folded. TBH, I'm not sure if I'll buy again since the boards are pretty flimsy. I will have to compute, but it might be cheaper to just get chipboards or reuse boxes. Other quilters don't advise using comic book boards. They said you could just use a ruler to measure the fabric while you fold it.




The comic book boards have been useful though since it's spurred me to work on organizing my fabric stash. How do you organize your craft materials?

#BeKind #StaySafe


Monday, February 12, 2024

What's Up with Rubber Duckies on the Head?

The past few weeks there's been a lot of people posting photos of having rubber ducks on their head. A lot of people are buying it and a friend said it was around PhP40 in Binondo/Divisoria. Another said it could go up to PhP150 at ToyCon. 

The trend has been ongoing for awhile now and TBH I still have no idea why people are doing it. After some quick research I found out that rubber ducks represent innocent fun. So maybe that's why people are wearing ducks on their head. To remind others to chill and just have some fun. The toys have been available on Lazada/Shopee for awhile now. They're even available as headbands or ponytail ties. 




I never had a rubber ducky toy. Bath tubs aren't popular here, but I always thought they were cute because of Ernie in Sesame Street -




I do have a huge duck/chick stuffed toy. It was given to me by Marcus and Shirni a few years ago. It's one of the few stuffed toys I kept after decluttering. It's so cute and it sits on top of our revolving shelf. I keep it there to remind me of happy days.

Here's my entry for the duck on head trend, LOL -




Do tell me if you know what's the reason for putting ducks on your head.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Metanoia

Started the day really late. I wasn't feeling well when I went to bed last night. Unfortunately I inhaled some fumes that found its way in my craft room. I decided to sleep in so I could rest more. I chanced upon the word "metanoia" in today's Didache reflection. It means, "to change your mind" or "change direction". 

At this point, I'm not really changing anything major. I'm focusing on changing how I look at certain things. One thing I did this week was to change how I look at my garden failures. I was really sad when my lettuce seedlings did not make it. I've been delaying sowing new seeds because... I'm procrastinating. 

So last Friday I worked on looking at what I'm successful with in my garden. That's what I was supposed to blog about yesterday, but the cats almost ruined my ornamental plants. Mom's aglaonema which I repotted are doing very well and has grown a lot. 




The calathea I bought from a neighbor a year ago is now so big! It also grew a new leaf! 




The gumamela plants are also starting to bloom again. Yay! 



The philodendron I re-potted a few weeks ago has been growing new leaves :)




I didn't get to appreciate my ornamental plants yesterday since two cats fought and uprooted my pothos and almost cut a rubber plant in two. I ended up fixing the plants yesterday and hope they'll recover. This morning though, Sweetie caught the orange intruder cat lying on the newly planted pothos! Argh! I fortified it with bamboo so the cat won't be able to sit on the plants.  

Gardening takes so much effort and any progress has to be appreciated. I told myself that's one of the changes I want to do for myself. Instead of beating myself over failures, I should celebrate whatever success I gain. And you should too :)

#BeKind #StaySafe



Saturday, February 10, 2024

Cats Fought and Uprooted Some Plants

I heard yowling just awhile ago. I went out to investigate since it sounded really close. I peaked through my craft room and saw the orange intruder cat entwined in my pothos. I quickly got my phone before I went out in case there was an emergency (Sweetie and Miggy stepped out for some errands). 


Post cat fight scene.



By the time I got out, the orange intruder cat was jumping out of a pothos pot. Grey was now tangled with the pothos, but quickly ran out. I was just glad he was okay. The orange intruder cat was huffing. Grey obviously defeated him and he ran out to the street as soon as I reached the area where they fought. 

Here's what I witnessed when I went out to investigate:



Grey has been battling the orange intruder cat for a few months now. He's been trying to take over Grey's domain (our house). They usually fight though in the street. It seems they fought over Meredith. Grey has been wooing her (see here) and probably the orange intruder cat was doing the same. 

Meredith was lounging near my ornamental plants. CCTV showed the orange cat intruder was near her and that's probably why Grey attacked. I got worried when I saw the intruder cat entangled in the vines. I planned to cut it off if needed that's why I got my phone in case there was an emergency. 

All cats are fine now. Meredith looked so forlorn since the male cats have been manhandling her. We're going to bring her to the vet as well. As for my plants, I'll fix them later. Good thing it's not a very hot day. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, February 9, 2024

You Won't Be Able to Stop Eating Chorizo Pasta

"I don't know how I'm going to stop," is what Sweetie said when we started eating the chorizo pasta for lunch. My answer to him was, "Me too!" 




I've been making chorizo pasta using Dayrit's chorizo Macau for a few years now. I just randomly tried making it when we were still living in the condo. I bought some chorizo from Dayrit's and had no idea what to do with it. There were 3 huge sausages and you can only have so much if you fry it, haha. So I got curious and looked up pasta recipes. Randomly mixed up the ingredients and came up with my version of chorizo pasta. 




I originally used Molinera crushed tomatoes and that's what I've been using ever since. We recently discovered La Fiammante cherry tomatoes, so I thought maybe I would try using cherry tomatoes instead of the usual crushed tomatoes. Oh my, it turned out much, much better! 

And that's how Sweetie and I finished the whole batch of chorizo pasta in two meals. It usually stretches to three to four meals, but this time we finished it in two meals, haha. It's a very simple dish to make, here's how I made it:




Enjoy! And Kung Hei Fat Choi!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, February 8, 2024

What to Do with Old Documents?

We got a bunch of boxes full of old documents from my childhood home. It probably came from Mom's old steel cabinet. I wasn't hopeful since the steel cabinet stank. I requested the decluttering team if they could clean it a bit. They did their best and I was short of wearing a gas mask and hazmat suit when I went through the documents. 

We got busy with tests and doctor appointments so we left the boxes outside our family room. Few weeks later it started to really stink a lot! Ugh. I spent last weekend sorting through it. I wore a mask and gloves. The blue gloves I used turned grey after I finished sorting the documents. 

My Dad didn't have a lot of things, but he had a lot of documents because he was a lawyer. He was into corporate law and later on did real estate cases too. I asked advise from a lawyer on what to do with decades old documents, he said I could dispose it already since all notarized documents are submitted to the court. He said it's best to burn it. I said we'll just shred it so it can properly be recycled. (I also figured out that most of my Dad's clients are gone too, so no one will really look for the docs. Dad's been gone for 13 years now).



My Mom, on the other hand, rarely wrote. She's the one who kept things organized. The only documents that were personal to her were her garden club lists. I'm actually surprised there were very few CWL related literature, just some random certificates that were not given out. Of course, all the bills were there, Meralco, Nawasa/Maynilad, PLDT etc. were there. She never threw away anything, haha. We normally only keep up to five years of bills, then we scan and shred it. If you take over a house anyway, you just need the real property title to transfer ownership of utilities plus a recent bill. 

Other old documents I found were letters, post cards, some random photos, and certificates. Most interesting were my Papa Lolo's transfer documents signed by Mayor Leon Guinto. Also found Papa Lolo and Mama Lola's original marriage certificate. My Mama Lola was just 16 when she married Papa Lolo who was 24 years old at that time. I'm hoping to find their wedding photos since I've never seen it. 

My Dad used to write to my Mom a lot when they were dating. Mom kept those earlier letters since she only gave me those that Dad wrote closer to when they got married. I think she kept it from me because they were still students when they started dating. Dad would write to her so they could meet up. He was quite busy though since he was a medical student at that time. I hope to find some note or writing on when he decides to shift to law. 




Of course, I'm keeping the letters, certificates, Dad's multitude of writings and letters to the editor (as far as the 70s!). I plan to scan them so I could share to family. I'm just thinking at least Miggy won't have to sort through my writings since they're all here on my blog, haha. All of Sweetie's love letters before we got married went under water due to Typhoon Ondoy. He's the one keeping the notes and cards post-Ondoy (and he sometimes scans it haha). My clutter will be digital, lelz.

I've been able to trim down the multitude of boxes to one filing box. I sorted the documents and categorized them into envelopes. Some I will give back to my cousins since Mom had kept documents for her siblings too. I think there's still more to sort. Oh well, good luck to me!

#BeKind #StaySafe 


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Delete? (Dealing with Baggage)

In the Philippines we have a more appropriate term for "baggage". We call it "bubog" which means pieces of broken glass or shrapnel. I think it's a better term since trauma is painful and broken glass causes wounds. "Mga bubog sa puso", shrapnels in the heart. Filipino language is indeed beautiful don't you think?




Anyway, I saw a friend post this on his timeline, "Delete conversations that hurt you whenever you read them. Delete phone numbers. Block contacts. Restrict. Mute. Unfollow. Remove negative energy from your life. Do whatever it is that you need to do in order to heal and create a positive environment for yourself."




Which brings me to today's "wellness" topic - should you delete/block/mute/unfollow people/circumstances that bring negativity and stress to your life? In my experience, YES. I have experienced this a number of times and I had to do this to protect myself and my family from the circumstance (people) causing stress. 

I try my best to hold on as much as I could, but my health suffered because of that. It's important to know when you should stop holding on so you can protect yourself. I had unfortunately held on and suffered the consequences of getting sick. I have since learned to move on when I feel I'm being taken for granted or being taken advantage of.

One thing the "advise" above doesn't cover is what happens when you have healed? Well, it's something I only realized yesterday. Once your ready and your heart has healed you can then unblock, unmute, unrestrict, follow back. Sometimes you have to take chances especially if it involves family. Don't hold on to grudges because it doesn't do any good in the long run. Now, if nothing has changed and it just brings back the negativity, well... you know what to do. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Design Wall is Up!

It's been a couple of months since the board in my craft room was installed. I originally planned to use a flannel blanket to cover the board. It would be easier to set up fabric on it according to other quilters. I bought the blanket and was supposed to cut and sew it to fit the board. Months dragged on, but I ended up procrastinating since it's a huge job. 

I saw a felt board in National Bookstore a few weeks ago and thought it would be perfect. I didn't realize that fabric could stick on felt too. I would have needed six of the felt board. It's expensive though, plus I wanted my design wall to be white. I looked around Lazada and found felt board grids normally used the same way as corkboards. I thought it would be a good alternative since it's much cheaper than the felt board in NBS.




I got a few last week and tried to stick fabric on it. It worked. I also have the option to use the grid side or the flat side. Since the felt grids came with velcro stickers it was also easier to install on the board. I would have needed a carpenter if I used the felt board from National Bookstore. 

Finished installing the second set of felt grids today and I'm happy how it turned out. I could also use the blanket I bought if I need my design wall to be "stickier" for fabric. Well, I'm going to use this for now. It's going to be useful since it's hard to see if pieces match and if they're the right size. 




The design wall will also be useful when I take photos of my projects. Here's the very first baby quilt blanket I made almost 30 years ago when Miggy was born. I could appreciate it better from the design wall. I'm surprised the embroidery I made 30 years ago is still intact! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, February 5, 2024

Most Memorable Food I Ate While Traveling

I got the idea for this post from The Poor Traveller. Not sure if it was Yoshke or Vince who asked on their FB page what's the most memorable food you've eaten while traveling. I used to travel a lot for work, so there's usually something I remember from each country I've visited. 

So here's a few I still remember:

Pakistan



Brain and balls! Definitely memorable since I was the only one brave enough to try it, haha. I did it for my scout brother, Badar. The brain's texture was definitely something I've experienced for the first time. I think I was too weirded out after the first try and didn't have a second serving. Eating it is supposed to do wonders for you. The balls normally known as soup #5 in the Philippines, but in Pakistan it's prepared differently. I think it was grilled? My memory is a bit fuzzy about it since we ate it in the dark (there was a power outtage). So since it was dark my colleagues tried it too.

Vietnam



Scorpion! They told us it can be poisonous if not cooked correctly. Also best not to eat too many since sometimes it can have a side effect. I just tried a tiny bit and it tasted like crab. 

South Korea



Raw octopus! It was still moving when it was served to us. It was honestly hard to pick up with chopsticks since it was slippery. I ate it with a lot of soy sauce and just swallowed it immediately, haha. I had a bit more when it stopped moving (I was scared it might get stuck in my throat!). 

Bangladesh

The spiciest chicken nuggets in the world! My scout brother, Monirul, invited us to his home. He knew I don't eat spicy food so he had his cook make me some chicken nuggets. I was so excited, but was so shocked with their idea of "not spicy". The nuggets were freshly made, but still had bits of pepper in it. Needless to say, I drank a lot of water that night. 

Taiwan

The best chorizo in the street market! I don't really like chorizo, but eating a stick of it in the street market was truly unforgettable. The closest I could get here is the one from Dayrit's. 

General Santos, Philippines




Tuna sashimi, of course. We got to experience tuna being carved right in front of our eyes. That meant bottomless sushi for the whole night! 

Zurich



Very expensive plate of pasta! We had an allowance for food, but that plate of pasta cost two-thirds of my daily allowance. It was good, but after that I would just buy ready to eat food from the nearby supermarket. 

Japan




Uncle Fumio's sukiyaki! Celebrating New Year in Japan was a very unique experience. We stayed at Uncle Fumio and Tita Pet's home and got to celebrate new year with them. To this day I couldn't forget Uncle Fumio's sukiyaki. It's the best one I've tried in the whole wide world!

I'll try to remember if there's any more memorable dishes I've had when I used to travel, so I'll leave this post open-ended! :)

#BeKind #StaySafe