Thursday, April 18, 2024

A Year Ago in Paradise

Ahh, Google Photos reminded me that it's been a year since we visited a beautiful resort in Sipalay. I'm sure more people know about the resort now since a news anchor featured it in her vlog. We managed to visit Manami Resort before it officially opened, thanks to a friend who made the arrangements. 

If I were to describe our experience in one word, I'd say it was "peaceful". There was only a handful of people in the resort. We enjoyed the place with our friends minus the crowds. The resort is secluded so don't expect to see other commercial establishments. You eat, sleep and enjoy within their premises. If you're a bit adventurous you can go island hopping too. 

We were happy just staying in the resort for 4 days. I especially enjoyed just sitting on the balcony and watching the sea, birds flying and waiting for sunset. We certainly enjoyed swimming and basking under the sun. At night we used the mini pool in our villa. I got to nap a lot of times too. That's my kind of vacation, doing nothing. I think I've had enough adventures in my life, so just lounging around is my kind of thing now. 

I would have probably gone back by now, but I'm currently avoiding the airport since they announced they have electrical issues. I cannot risk being exposed to heat in case their a/c doesn't work. Well, there are other places to explore. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How to Beat Heat Exhaustion

I've experienced heat exhaustion a number of times already. I'm prone to it because of my medical condition. Even just a few seconds of heat can ruin my entire day. That's the reason why we have a constant quest to cool down our home. 

I asked a friend who is into construction if putting sprinklers on your roof helps. I saw a news clip about a technician who installed sprinklers on his roof. It automatically goes on at a certain temperature. He claimed it reduced the temperature in his house. I asked my friend if that's effective and if it won't cause your roof to have algae. He told me it's better to install double insulation on your roof. 

Well, installing double insulation on one's roof is an expensive and complicated process. Another friend suggested using an ice pack. Wrap it in a small towel and insert it on your armpit and other pulse areas. That will help quickly stabilize your temperature. I should have done this when I had heat exhaustion before. We have reusable ice packs in our freezer which we use as cold compress for bruises or swelling. So knowing we can use it as first aid for heat exhaustion is good information. 

Of course, stay hydrated all day. Don't wait until you get thirsty before you drink. Don't bother to go out as well since it's really, really hot. I've switched back to purchasing groceries online since it's too risky for me to go out. I'm a vampire for now and just step outside when the sun has set. I also moved all my potted plants under the bamboo trees to protect them from the sun. Some of my herbs were starting to fry even though we watered them regularly. If things get worse I'll set up a net for them. 

Oh well, take care everyone!

And, happy, happy birthday to my FIL, Dad! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Eagerly Awaiting my Updated Craft Room

There was one last thing that needed to be done in our basement, the flooring. We should have had it done last year before the cabinets were installed, but our contractor said it was still okay. The tile issue spread already, so we decided to have it replaced as a precaution.

My craft (a.k.a. maker room/sewing room) has changed a lot in the past 30 months. Here's how it's changed -

The work will probably be done in the next few days. I have to figure out how best to re-arrange my stuff. I probably need to sort and categorize everything before I put them back in the shelves and drawers. Lots to do! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, April 15, 2024

Summer Spruce Up

Our house used to be the newest on our street. Not anymore since our neighbors had their homes renovated after we moved in. The construction, the dust and the noise that comes with it have been challenging for us. Good thing our homeowners association has been very efficient and kind. They came to our rescue a couple of times already. 

It's been almost 2.5 years since we moved to our current home. Since we're having the flooring fixed in our family room, I thought it would be a good idea to do some improvements outdoors. Took the opportunity to have some things re-painted. I think it's been five years since the house was renovated, so it's about time to re-paint.  

We recently changed some outdoor lighting fixtures. It's smaller than the old one, so the gate post needed to be fixed. I found an old photo of my childhood home and the post lamp looks a lot like what we have just installed. Sweet! We like the new lamp better than the old box one. We kept the old one for future use (maybe for Mom's garden?). 

The cats had also scratched out part of our front wall, so we had that repaired too. What needs to be fixed though is our front lawn. The Bermuda grass is almost dead. Annoying weeds that have been hard to remove have taken over. The bamboo though is still very healthy, but hard to manage. I'll probably work on that later this year when it's cooler.

Since there's a heat wave, any outdoor work is only done early in the morning. Gary and Marvin move to indoor work by mid-morning to make sure they don't get heat exhaustion. We also remind them also to stay hydrated. My target is for them to gain 5 pounds by the time they finish the work (hehe).

#BeKind #StaySafe 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Busy Sunday

It was a busy day today. The boys brought Meredith to the vet for grooming. We noticed she was scratching too much. The vet said last week she didn't have ticks, fleas or mites. Her blood and skin was checked, but there were no issues too. The vet recommended to have her washed with medicated shampoo. Since we've never bathed a cat we thought it was better to have the vet's groomers do it. 

Meredith had her first appointment today. She was quite anxious on the way to her appointment. The groomers said she would eventually get used to it. She came back smelling really good. Her fur was so smooth and bright. She is scheduled to do weekly grooming for 4 weeks. I hope that would help with her scratching. 

I myself got busy sorting another box of Mom's bead supplies. I was so surprised to find it. I think she brought it to our home without us knowing because it was my first time to see the box. I finally found some beading materials I've been looking for in the other boxes I sorted. That's how I knew this was a box she had brought to our house in one of her visits. 

Sorting one box of bead stuff takes so long. I thought I'd finish it today, but I need another day to finish it. I've been transferring the beads to uniform ziplock bags since most of the old holders are quite dusty already. I didn't know Mom had bought a lot of beads. When I left my bead boxes with her before I left for Singapore she told me she wasn't really into beading. Haha. She got hooked because she more than doubled my collection. 

I hope I'll finish sorting the box tomorrow so I can move on with decluttering. We want to really finish organizing our home so we can have friends over. Mom said it will take time and it's really taking time. I have suspended any sewing projects for now so I could focus on decluttering and fixing our home. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Adjusting for the Cats

Eversince feral cats decided to "adopt" us, we realized it required a lot of adjustments. Sweetie recently put together a video showing some things that could get affected in your home (outdoors) when you have cats. Luckily, we only have feral cats and they prefer to be outdoors. They've taken residence in our laundry area. We can't have them indoors because of my health and our home isn't pet (and child) friendly. 

Here's the video:

And here's a list of other things we've had to adjust:

  • Garden and plants - biggest adjustment we had to make was with our side garden. It was the best place to grow veggies since it would get morning sun. Unfortunately, the kittens had been sitting on the pots (see photo above). RIP my veggies. I have since removed all my potted plants from the area. We also had to put spikes on the planter to keep the cats from using it as a litter box. 

  • Goodbye vertical garden - I really wanted to grow veggies so I had a vertical garden installed. I would find my pots on the ground and soon realized they were using the grids as a ladder to reach the roof. I had it uninstalled last week. 
  • Spiked water tank (and washing machine) - since we removed the vertical garden, the kittens have been using the water tank as a jumping board to get to the roof! We're afraid they might damage the pump and the pipes, so Sweetie had to put spikes on top of the water tank to prevent them from going on it. 
  • Helmeted faucet
    - we thought there was a ghost using the water since we hear the water pump working even without any of us using it. The kittens have been jumping on the faucet and have accidentally turned it on many times! Sweetie put a box on it when I was in the hospital, but I suggested to use a water bottle so it's waterproof. It looks like a helmet now, haha. 
  • Fortified walls - Kaley Boo had been hanging out on top of our front wall. No harm about it, we thought. Apparently, she scratched off the top of the wall and exposed a pipe. Of course, we're having it fixed. 
  • Dressed up car - the cats absolutely love hiding under the car. Good thing we decided to add on a cover for the engine. We wanted to make sure cats/kittens won't be able to hide in the engine area. Well, they like hanging out on top of the car. After some surveillance, we finally saw who was going on top of the car, Meredith and sometimes the Intruder. Sweetie found a cover on Lazada and this has helped keep them away. That's also why I got Meredith a cot, so she can enjoy being on higher ground without having to go on top of the car. 
We love the cats even with the adjustments we had to make. They give us so much joy and love. I just 
remind them to stay out of my pocket garden since they already own the side garden (haha). 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, April 12, 2024

Achieved New Biking Time!

I'm so pleased with myself. I achieved 11 minutes and 49 seconds of spinning today. Yay! I thought we were doing just 10 minutes, but my PT said he dupped me and set it to 12 minutes. It helps that I'm able to talk while exercising. 

My PT said I'm on schedule to reach my "biking outdoors goal". We're taking it slowly since it's too hot anyway to go out. I also don't have a bike yet, haha. I only have the bell (the that goes kringkriinngg!) which I got from Daiso in Japan many years ago. Yup, that's how long I've wanted to go biking again. 

In time I will!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Were You Part of the Happy Savers Club?

I was a young child when my Mom opened a savings account for me. The Happy Savers Club was a promo of a bank meant to encourage young children to start saving. I don't remember when my Mom closed the account, but the last balance was 231 pesos, haha. She eventually opened a proper account for me.

My Mom was a banker. She retired because of me. I was a handful to take care of since birth and that forced her to retire. She told me her first job was a bank teller and she eventually moved to the bank's headquarters. She loved going to the bank and I was always in tow. That's how I learned and became comfortable doing banking errands. 

Mom's way of teaching was always practical. She used newspapers to teach me how to reach. I remember she'd have me read the headline out loud everyday. That's what she did with banking chores. She had me fill out the bank slips for my accounts. 

When she opened a new account for me after the Happy Savers Club, she told me to have a goal. I don't know when I declared that I was going to save for my future wedding. I mostly deposited gifts and savings from my allowance. The account grew very slowly. I eventually didn't use it for my wedding, I used it to pay for graduate school tuition. 

It was worth spending my lifelong savings for schooling. It really helped me progress in my career and helped me make smarter decisions for me and my family. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Beating the Heat

Oh boy, it's been like an inferno the past few days. I've been staying indoors in a cool place and keeping hydrated to make sure I don't get heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Since I had heart surgery and my PEs I've been very sensitive to heat. Just a few seconds of heat has been disastrous for me. 

Here's what we do to beat the heat:

  • Use the air conditioner - my threshold is 30'C. I'm like grocery items that have to be kept in a cool place below 30'C. LOL. That's the reason why we installed solar panels in our home. It really helps us with the electricity bill. I told a friend yesterday, it's better to use your A/C than get sick and pay expensive medical bills. 
  • Stay hydrated - I had the misfortune of having UTI last week. I think I got dehydrated while watering plants (the irony noh) and so I got sick. I'm now making sure I drink water more often. I'm trying to hit 3 liters per day. 
  • Drink buko juice - we drink buko juice at least once a week. It's better than drinking sugary juices since it gives a lot of benefits for your body. It's an energy booster too!
  • Fans, fans, fans! - I think we have more fans than rooms in our house. We also have rechargeable fans in case of emergency (no electricity). Air circulators which we discovered recently have been very useful. I honestly like them better than huge stand fans. 
  • Water your plants after sunset - my pulmo reminded me to stay out of the sun for now. I mentioned it to him I moved my plant watering time to after sunset. He said that works well since the water doesn't just evaporate with the sun. 
  • Lighter meals - we're on a meal plan five days a week. I avoid eating heavily on the other two days.
  • Avoid caffeine - I normally have two cups of coffee everyday. A hot one for breakfast, iced in the afternoons. Or milk tea in the afternoon. Since the temperature started hitting >31'C I switched to drinking juice in the afternoons. 
  • Wear light comfortable cotton clothes - I've ditched wearing t-shirts and wear sleeveless shirts now. Good thing I inherited some sandos from Miggy (I got a bunch and didn't know they were too small). 
Take care of yourself and your family. I hope the heat doesn't get worse!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

She Didn't Like the Cat House, Fluffy Bed and Box

Brimsley's family isn't fussy. They so far like everything we provide for them. Meredith though has been very choosy. We got her a house and tried out best for her to go inside. She's been using the furry bed, but not as often as I expected. I guess it's been too hot. She used to have a box with a rug, but she preferred to just lie down on the floor. 

I had been eyeing a cot on Lazada. I was hesitant though since they only had it in wood. Meredith is our biggest cat. The sizes available were too small. I saw one made of steel and big enough to fit puppies. I thought that would work so I got one for Meredith. It soon arrived and it was easy to set-up. 

As usual, I was excited to give it to Meredith. We set it down on the garage where she usually eats. I sat a few feet away from her to observe her reaction. She looked at it. Smelled it. Circled it. Then ignored it. Since nothing happened, we decided to let her be and went inside. 

Few hours later we checked the CCTV. She warmed up to the cot an hour after and stayed on it for almost two hours. I was so happy that she liked it! Friends said that cats like hammocks and staying on elevated places. We see Meredith going on top of the trash can and that's the reason why I've been trying to find her a better bed. I'm glad the cot worked! :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, April 8, 2024

Best Buy for Summer

A month or two ago some friends were raving about circulator fans. I got curious since there are parts of our house that need better air circulation.

I checked the different brands they mentioned online, but still wanted to see it in person first. I wanted to know how different it was from regular fans.

Chanced upon several brands at Ace Hardware and was impressed with the Firefly circulator fan. We bought one and we've been happy with how it works and helps cool our living room. I also like that it provides the temperature of the room its in. 

I bought another one on Lazada last week during the 4.4 sale. From 4,600 I was able to buy one for 2,583! Collecting vouchers really help! The new fan is now in the kitchen. It blows more air than the stand fan and doesn't take up so much space. 

Stay hydrated and cool everyone.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Father B

For a few years we had one of the kindest and friendliest parish priest in our neighborhood. We nicknamed him Fr. B whenever we mention him in conversations, but call him Fr. Bernard in person. I found this photo of him with me and my parents when he came for a visit. I think this is already after he had left for another assignment. 

c. March 2008 with Fr. Bernard McEachern, C.P.

I had grown up knowing many priests. First one was Fr. Quaranta who baptized me. He's from the SDB order. When our parish was fully established we had Passionist priests. The first ones I met were Fr. Edward Diviny, CP and Fr. Harry Reusch, CP. They first visited our home when I was still a toddler and I thought they were giants. I remember that moment probably because they were so tall and they had cologne on. Beats me why I remember it, but it's a core memory. I always saw them because my parents were part of the team that helped build the church. 

Years after my troubled teenage years. I was a product manager already by this time.
Thank you Fr. Bernard for saving me :)

Fast forward to the time Fr. B became our parish priest. I'd always remember him because he was there for me during my troubled teenage years. He helped make sure I went on the right path and he baptized Miggy. I was so sad when he left and since felt orphaned for a spiritual advisor. Luckily, I met Br. Gene Tianco, FSC, when I was in college. He helped continue what Fr. B did for me. After Br. Gene passed away I prayed to have another spiritual advisor and Sr. Lirio Guillermo came along. 

I still miss Fr. B. He was really involved in the families of his parishioners. I keep in touch with him every so often and mentioned Mom's passing in my last email. I hope and pray he's doing well. I just remembered him since I also found cards and letters sent by my parents' priest-friends. Of course, I had met a lot of priests along the way and they're all dear to my heart. I was thinking, maybe I should re-publish the articles I wrote about them? 

I hope to have our home blessed again in time for my Mom's first year death anniversary. :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Goodbye Greenbelt One

My earliest memory of Greenbelt was going to National Bookstore to buy school supplies. My busmate's dad used to be the store manager and that's why we frequented Greenbelt. Also watched movies there and do some shopping.

I more frequently visited Greenbelt when I was already working. My first job's office was nearby and we'd usually have lunch at the food court. I remember witnessing a bag being stolen once. I mentioned it to her when I noticed she had no idea her bag was taken. She ran after the thief and managed to get the bag back. It was a bag of a lawyer with her clients' passports. 

Eventually I moved jobs, but still frequented GB to watch movies and to eat at the restaurants that replaced the food court (and the restos in the newer buildings). Also celebrated birthdays, had reunions and as my roles changed I did events and attended events as well. 

My most significant purchase at Greenbelt 1 was my dream two door Whirlpool refrigerator in 2012. I remember the year because that was when we moved in to our first fully owned home. (The fridge is still working!).

I haven't been able to go back to Greenbelt since January 2020 when we had a mini family reunion. That was also the last time I walked from Greenbelt to Landmark to SM which I frequently did from work (probably why I used to be so thin!). I didn't know that would be the last time I would visit Greenbelt with my Mom.

Greenbelt 1 holds many happy memories for me. It was a place that saw me grow up, fall in love and have a family. I have so many experiences and fond memories I would attribute to it. I've been through this before when they rebuilt Glorietta, removed Quad and connected everything. Rizal Theatre became Makati Shangri-La and many more changes. Change is inevitable and it would be great to see a new Greenbelt soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Friday, April 5, 2024

10 Minutes!

Achieved 10 minutes on the stationary bike today! I clocked in 9 minutes during my last pulmo rehab and could barely speak while spinning. Today, I managed 10 minutes while chatting with my therapist. 

I was worried I would have a hard time since I had been busy packing all week. I was too tired to practice spinning. Lo and behold! Being on my feet for several hours a day helped! And even though I was feeling a bit unwell today my body managed the session very well. Whew!

I'm so happy I made some progress. How I wish it could also translate to increased heat tolerance! Unfortunately, I had to spend a few minutes downstairs to check something. I had to run back upstairs since it was too hot. I promptly fell asleep, haha.

Oh well, just need to make sure I stay hydrated!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Kaley and Her Kittens Moved Out

Woke up to the sad news that Kaley and her kittens moved out. Sweetie was surprised to see the nest empty early this morning. Gary, one of the workers, said he saw her with the last kitten leaving.

The house was strangely quiet save for the hammering of the tiles. No cute kittens meowing. There was also a lot of leftover food since Kaley didn't eat her share.


We know it's normal for Mama cats to move her kittens if she doesn't feel safe. We had a lot of people coming the past few days for house works, so maybe she felt it was time to move. She's a feral cat and they really like hiding.

We miss the kittens already. They gave us two weeks of additional joy. We still have six cats, Brimsley, Mando, Grogu, Eevee, Pikachu and Meredith. I'm sure we'll eventually see Kaley and her kittens again. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Ran Out of Energy

I was a busy bee during Holy Week. I had to pack up my craft room. I made a schedule so I don't get overwhelmed. I followed it religiously, but still ended up working 4 to 5 hours a day.

Monday was crunch time, kso we had to work double time to clear the basement. Promptly got sick since I probably got dehydrated. I also spent time watering the plants and doing some gardening. 

I just rested yesterday. I managed to get up by early evening to water the plants and visit the kittens. I still took it slow today and made sure to be fully hydrated. Feeling better now, I will still take it easy tomorrow so I could do pulmo rehab on Friday.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Sewing Room is Back to Zero

It took me a week to empty my sewing room. We had to clear our basement for some renovations. We delayed it for a year. Looking back, we should have done that work before the cabinets were installed. It would have saved us from packing up our stuff. I had mentioned it to the contractor, but my request was ignored and they went ahead with the cabinet installation.

Well, on the brighter side, this gives me the chance to redo my sewing room. I actually call it my maker room since I don't just sew in it. I also work on my other hobbies in it, so it's more appropriately called the maker room. 

My plan is to re-arrange my materials. I started to wrap my fabric in comic book boards. I like it since it looks more organized. I have to sort some boxes where I stored some notions. I need to put it all together and store it properly so they are easier to find. 

I'm trying to figure out how best to use my Mama Lola's sewing machine. It's an electric old Singer sewing machine which probably doesn't work anymore. It came with the traditional Singer black iron bottom. I've been looking for a company that can help turn it into a proper table to make it useful. I still want to keep it since it's been passed on to me (plus my grandma's sewing kit). 

We will hopefully finish all the work in a few weeks. My sewing stuff is all over the place, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to work on any projects in the meantime. We'll see :)

#BeKind #StaySafe

Monday, April 1, 2024

Moving Back to Singapore

Packed our stuff and ready to go!

Happy April Fools day. Hrhrhr.

We seriously packed our stuff during Holy Week for some repairs.

#BeKind #StaySafe