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Missing Christmas

The spirit of Christmas in my country officially commences every September of the year, that being the first month with the suffix –ber. It is in this month when FM Radio stations start playing Christmas melodies and jingles; small and big stores display colorful ornaments, assorted sized series lights and various toys for all ages; bungalows and nipa huts glow in the dark with Christmas lights and parols (Christmas lanterns); young and old sing Christmas carols from one house to another; schools, companies and churches organize parties; and kris-kringle (exchanging of gifts) is likely to happen.

While my experience of a white Christmas here is something I would cherish, I miss celebrating Christmas in the Philippines- with my family and friends. Christmas in our family is not anticipating Christmas eve with opening of gifts under a big gorgeous tree. It isn’t about shopping or putting up a Christmas tree with glamorous ornaments. It is simply being together.

As kids, we are usually asked to go to bed early while Mamang prepares a special dinner. My favorite is her own recipe of hamonada (ham). She and Papang will wake us up between 10:30- 11PM for dinner. I remember one time, after hugs and kisses to the kids, Papang carried Mamang to our balcony and shouted Merry Christmas from there. It was funny! We then sit on the table to eat then wait for 12AM to chance on the actual Christmas day. Hugs and kisses again and back to bed.

As boring as it may sound, I miss those times… I miss Christmas with my family.

Anyhow, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!


Busy but fun Saturday

I swear, I intended to spare half of Saturday for studying. Now my alibi is- something unexpected came up to which I can’t say no.

I got up late then decided to go with hubby to the Boulware’s house. Sister Bridget needed him to install her new DVD-rom while we needed Brother Raymond to fix our rotors. I knew I would do nothing there but it's too late to regret. I have already wasted my time. When all was said and done, it was time for us to grab our lunch then fetch Kareen.

Kareen is a schoolmate in college. I and hubby are years older than her so we never really knew each other back then. She came here for work-related training but since our schedules were never the same, we never had time to go out together except last Saturday. Hubby and I have already set our schedule to help Brother Thomas feed the homeless and when she learned about it, she gladly volunteered to help. We got her busy and she seemed to have enjoyed doing it.

We went to Golden Buffet for dinner where good Asian food was served. We chat about almost everything, laughed a lot and had a good time. We just drove her around town since it was already dark and very cold. We took pictures of the Christmas lights wherever and whenever we can. Time to drop her back at the hotel came and so we wished her safe trip to the Philippines.

I was already very sleepy by the time we arrived home. I had fun! But now, I also need to cram for my finals this Saturday... Wohoo!

Random busy-ness

All in all, our Iowa trip for thanksgiving was fun and heartwarming. I was glad to get to see my church family once again and for hubby to have finally met them. Hopefully, we’ll be back on June 2010 for my graduation.

Needless to say, the days following our arrival home were busy. Besides our normal routine of eat-sleep-work-church-home cycle, our to-do list required priority. I’m enumerating (not necessarily in order) them here to help me regulate my time management (ahem!).

  1. Unpacking- almost done. White teddies from Nay Linda are happily sitting in our living room couch. Plants are settled to give life to our little abode. One of the two boxes is now empty. The other one is still sitting in the living room with some stuff that I still need to sort out.

  1. Laundry- done! Many thanks to my great hubby who patiently did them all and organized clothes accordingly. Hugs to my wonderful tanin>:D<…

  1. General house cleaning- not even started. This needs time and a much serious work. Looking to get this done over the weekend.

  1. General car cleaning- seems impossible. Neither hubby nor I would risk our lives, freezing in the cold of winter just to clean the car. This may have to be postponed until Spring. We’ll see…

  1. Front car rotors fix- scheduled to be worked on this weekend. I really appreciate Bro. Boulware for being very helpful with any car issues we have. Hopefully, this gets done this weekend.

  1. Course assignments and lessons- in the process. I am working on this, I promise!

  1. Biko for office potluck- done! I bake sweet rice for our department party. Only about a one-third of it vanished after the party. I am not sure if office people did not like it or because there was just too much food. Anyway, I brought the left over to Brandenburg, to which Ate Doll said it tasted really good.

  1. Visit Ate Doll and Kuya James- done! We drove to Brandenburg after work last Friday. It was one busy weekend. We made a slideshow for Kuya Buboy and Ate Millette’s wedding in Texas. I regret not being able to take a picture of the final output though. My energy was all consumed, I totally forgot!

  1. Christmas cards and gifts- needs to get started with this tonight… I want to make sure we have enough for everybody.

  1. Scrapbook- pending. I want to get started with this before the year ends because when 2010 is here, there will be a lot more memories waiting to be documented.

  1. Sewing projects- was started and needs to be continued. I have many more sweaters and skirts to resize. I’ll get back to this after my final exam.

By the way, I noticed how boring my blog have been especially without pictures. But hey, I am busy. I can’t put off my thoughts and take pictures first before blogging. I promise to post pictures though as soon as I find time…

December…

I can’t believe it already is!

I can’t help feeling sad as I drove to work this morning.

I miss home.

I wish I could spend Christmas with my family this year.

Thanksgiving 2009

It is not our first thanksgiving together but it is our first time to actually celebrate it.

Last year’s was only hubby’s third week in this country so we just decided to spend quality time. We drove around town hunting for Black Friday bargains and devoured a lunch buffet at Golden Coral. Nothing much happened the weekend after that except for another amazing Sunday service.

Unlike the previous though, this year is a busy one. I received a text message on a weekend before Thanksgiving asking me about our tentative plan of visiting Iowa for the long weekend. I confronted hubby with a little hesitation but without much ado, we made an impulsive decision of spending this year’s Thanksgiving with our church family there.

We braved the busy interstate highways, narrow motorways, light rain and the wispy snowfall on a cold Wednesday winter night. It was a smooth 10-hour drive until we reached Fairfield when our GPS misbehaved for a little bit. It was twilight when we toured around the campus vicinity. The cold winter breeze caused me to miss the days I spent there and built friendship with crazy but wonderful people. They are the good friends that made it easy for me to fight homesickness.

After introducing hubby to the little university, we headed our way to Agency. It was sort of melancholic driving on the country bounded by vast lands of arid cornfields and some portions of bald sleeping trees. My body was tired but my mind was wide awake, active enough to remember the all those days gone by. My heart was overflowing with gratitude and praise as I thought of where the Lord has brought me from. He is soooo good to me!

Hubby finally met Nay Linda. After the hugs and stories, we went to Crystal’s place for the Thanksgiving dinner. We had a sumptuous turkey banquet and spent the rest of the day with more stories from everyone. Then I finally felt sleepy, I longed to go back to Nay Linda’s place so I can dive to bed.

We went to a Mexican restaurant on Friday and had lunch there. I learned that I don’t like enchilada but loved the hot cheese and salsa mixture for my chips. It was hubby’s first time but I think he was a-okay with the food. The rest of the afternoon through the night was spent at Crystal’s place, decorating her giant Christmas tree.

Saturday was shopping day. We met with Crystal’s friends and ate breakfast at McDonalds. As soon as we got to Des Moines, we hopped from one shop to another and I did my little share of reasonable and affordable shopping. Great bargains in every corner of the shops are too inviting but I was firm enough to avoid swiping. Lunch was at Old Country Buffet which was good food too. We went to a Filipino store to grab some ingredients for our dinner recipes. I and hubby cooked them rice, pancit and chicken curry, to which Patrick and Crystal said were good.

I prepared our stuff early on Sunday. Nay Linda had me choose which of her plants and her white teddy bear collection I want to bring with me. Needless to say, the wagon was stuffed with everything. Then we brought Nay Linda at Riverside Restaurant for breakfast before going to church for the service. I was so happy that Nell finally got to meet most everybody. A little bit of talking after service came the time to leave. It was another 10-hour drive and rain poured more than half of the time. I was a bit worried (as always) but the Lord kept us safe.

We got home past 10PM that night and our apartment is all messy up to now. We’re both still too tired to get anything done….Hohum

Thanksgiving

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As the spirit of thanksgiving lingers all around, I want to itemize everything that I am grateful for…

• a great God Who is forever faithful despite my being unworthy of all His goodness

• a joker who endures being a hubby to an unpredictable wife that I am

my parents and siblings who loves me and supports all my aspirations in life

true friends that stayed behind when most people already left

a church family that stands by the principles of holiness, worships One God, still believes in miracles, sings and prays like no other

• the church ministries that are helping me grow as a Christian and appreciate God’s works in the lives of people

• the school that helped me come to US and be on the job that I am in now

• the job that pays off the monthly bills, supplies enough allowance for my family, gets hold of our other needs and still permits me to save a little

• my employer who gave me the opportunity to be part of this company I go to work everyday and agreed to help me with visa matters

• my manager, team leader and teammates who always assign me feasible tasks, are always approachable for anything I need and for conniving to extend my contract

• a good health that had always kept me and hubby going

• a dependable car that comfortably transports me and hubby from point A to B

• my driver’s license that will finally allow me to drive anywhere and everywhere on my own

• my sewing machine that patiently assisted me to resize some sweaters for winter and come up with more projects

• our little but well-insulated apartment that provided us with enough warmth during the blazing summer days and freezing winter nights without having to turn the air-con or heater on

• the food we eat that gives nourishment to our bodies, reminding us of the Lord’s providence

safe drive everyday that’s proven God’s protection over us

All these and everything else, I thank and give HIM praise!


Random thoughts...

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).”

In life, we don’t plan for failure, sickness, heartbreaks and loss. In fact, they happen unexpectedly most of time. Sometimes we can handle them, other times they hurt so much, they leave us crippled and helpless. While others are strong and determined to rise and get going, others dwell in darkness and choose stay in the pit they are in. The former is always a better decision rather than being stuck in obscurity and remain miserable. Easier said than done, I agree but then again, everything happens for a reason.

We fail so we can practice some more. It is embarrassing sometimes but giving up will only prove one’s failure. We learn from past mistakes and practice makes perfect. In time, we will master whatever skills we need to be successful in and realize that success is sweetest when it comes from faith in God, hard work and patience.

We get sick so we can take care of ourselves better. We sometimes work too hard even if our bodies are likely to surrender. We prefer junk over the green healthy food just because they taste better. We shrug off the thought of exercise in our schedule, we choose to lazy around like we are always exhausted. Health is wealth but most often than not, it is taken for granted. We do not want for some sickness to make us realize how important health is, do we?

We go through heartbreaks to experience love- be it to love or being loved. It may not always be a happy ending but be blessed with the opportunity of being in the relationship and all the laughter and tears that went with it. Continue praying for the right person, leave the doors open and God will surely send someone, who, He intends for you to spend your happily ever after with.

Losing something we value or someone dear to us is a painful experience. When he takes something away, He replaces it with something better. Nonetheless, this is only applicable to something tangible. Losing someone we love is a whole different story. However we grieve and want to hold on, we have to let go and let God. Everything we have is His. We just have to be grateful He gave us the chance to build memories with our loved ones who are already called to be with Him for eternity.

While we dread life’s unfortunate circumstances, we rejoice in every milestone of success, smile in a hint of recuperation, share hugs to show love and celebrate every victory won. But seldom do we realize that life’s catastrophes are purposely designed for our own good. We often get confused why things happen and the view doesn’t always look good at our perspective. Remember though, that He sees the bigger picture. He knows better and His ways are always higher than ours. We just have to trust in what He’s doing.

Not-so-good

I made mention about this on a post after my birthday but I suppressed further details of it.

Anyway, I had an appointment for my road test on that day but unfortunately and unexpectedly, the left brake light isn’t working. Thus, rescheduling is my only option. I wasn’t confident I’d pass but all I wanted was to be DONE with it. Waiting for a few more days only felt like prolonging the agony.

I got my permit and insurance cards from the police officer and was asked if I wanted to set another appointment. Without any clue on how the problem could be fixed, I politely refused. I must make sure that the brake light gets fixed before another appointment needs to be CANCELLED AGAIN. While still in the office later that afternoon, I called hubby and he assured me that the brake light problem is nothing serious. The bulb can be easily replaced and dear Taurus wagon will be good to go.

So I called DMV… I graciously reminded the police officer about our conversation earlier. I knew I was talking to the same one who asked me if I wanted to schedule another appointment. Sadly, I was dismayed to hear an angry irritated tone on the other line. This time, it’s him who wanted to have the brake light fixed before scheduling me for another road test appointment. Okay, okay… I understood his point but he can always say it in a nice way, right?

On the next day… I called DMV again, this time hoping that it will be another officer picking up the phone. After a few question-and-answer from the line, another appointment was finally set for me.

I was schedule to take the road test this morning. My plan was to come to the office early and get out for my appointment and come back to render the remaining hours.

At the DMV office… I was nervous but pretended I was alright as we sat and waited for my turn. When my name was called, I went out and started the car as instructed. I silently prayed for a safe drive, recalled Bible verses and sang songs that have given me comfort in knowing that Jesus will be with me in everything I do.

The examiner finally came out, checked on the signal lights and then rode the car. I drove through the spiral cautiously and perhaps, obviously nervous. He started a conversation to lighten up the atmosphere and assured me that it will be okay. He was very kind, he did not give me hard time though he tends to be too friendly and talkative sometimes, I can hardly focus on the road (Lol). After a few commands, we drove back to DMV’s parking lot and I shyly asked if I passed to which he smilingly replied, “Yes, you did.” (WOHOOO!!!)

My cancelled appointment was supposedly on a gloomy afternoon. It rained as soon as we left DMV that afternoon. While the pissed human in me whined the disappointment away, my spirit settled in the thought that everything happens for a reason. I could have failed the test that day because: 1.) I always don’t mind turning the wipers on even when the raindrops have already blurred the windshield and 2.) I easily get tensed driving in the rain which leads me to commit a lot more driving mistakes. So really, what I have considered to be “not-so-good” could have been for my own benefit.

I have been hoping forever to get my driver’s license and today, in His own time, I finally got it! Thank You Lord, I PASSED!!!

No poo

I love my hair. It may not be beautiful for other people but it is just the most precious for me. I regret to admit though that I have been ruthless in my purest intent to show it some love. It has become a subject to my fancy of well-advertised products as well as my research of home-made solutions.

Supposedly natural, my most recent experiment was to go “no poo.” This simply means eliminating shampoo from my grocery and shower to-do lists. I know, it sounds absurd to take a shower without shampooing your hair especially a long one like mine. My modest investigation with Mr. Google wrapped up into settling on shampoo bars.

While most reviews were positive, I was miserable with my own results. I gave it a grace period of a week to two, hoping it was just the adjustment phase. My hair was overly greasy and it felt dirty. I did not want to think of giving up since I ordered two shampoo bars so I thought I can find a way to get things right. A few more google searches suggested baking soda and ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse. I was desperate so I was willing try everything just to thrive in going natural. Outcome was not the greatest, but at least, it wasn’t too bad as the previous. I went on alternating baking soda and the shampoo bar and did frequent ACV rinses. Though my hair was more manageable, I was unhappy. It was too oily for me, it felt nasty. I remained miserable freaking out when I comb my hair in the morning and see strands of my most precious on the floor or all tangled in my comb.

I tolerated the effects of no poo for more than half a year until my birthday last Tuesday.

I made up my mind and decided to go back to basic.

I grabbed Herbal essences shampoo and conditioner for long hair.

My hair is soft, feels cleaner and smells way better.

I am happy and hopefully so is my most precious.


The good thing

Two things happened yesterday- the good and the not so-good. While I want to blog about each of them, I prefer to keep the latter to myself for now and promise to blog about it when the right time comes- that’s when my negative emotions have entirely lost its chances to flare up.

18th is the day after my birthday which is the same day I received my new toy...

- my new sewing machine.

With hubby’s help, I managed to move things around our little apartment to give my dear makina a decent space. He also helped me complete the upper and lower threading to get me started. I ran a straight line stitch on a blouse I picked from a free box in the university for my practice which turned out pretty good (at least for me).

My first project is to resize the sweaters I got from a sweet and kind lady from the church. Then hopefully I can work things around with the pretty skirts too. It already feels like too many of them to work on and too little time. And oh, I need to grab some stuff for my sewing kit!

My 18th

That was 10 years ago. I was in the 2nd semester of my 2nd year in college patiently enduring the complexities of computer science then. While most teenagers plan and hope for a grand debut celebration, I envisioned mine to be one of those ordinary days in my life.

Let me reminisce....

I grew up with lechon (roasted suckling pig) almost always present in my birthday photos with most of my childhood/neighborhood buddies present in them. There were actually no games and prizes to make each celebration something exciting for us kids. All I remember is how my mom would personally organize and manage the menu for the party. She plays chef, my Aunt Celia is the assistant while I and my cousins were the little tasters of their masterpiece dishes and their official errand runners. Three or four of our Uncles play the butcher roles and two of them are in charge of roasting the suckling pig that will serve as the highlight of the celebration. The party starts with me, as the celebrant dressed in a beautiful birthday outfit, posing for a solo shot with all the food on the table. The fairytale-accented cake and the mouthwatering lechon are both scribbled with “Happy Birthday Donnalyn” on them. All my little guests will then surround me and the table for a group picture-taking. After a few more Kodak moments, everybody will sing “Happy Birthday” followed by the most awaited tsibugan (eating) time.

I can picture almost the same scenario on my first teen birthday except that my guests were not so little anymore. I was then given the choice on how I would want my birthday to be celebrated on my next teen years which got simpler each year until my personal preference ended up to treat each supposedly big day of mine to be something ordinary. I went to college in a city far from my family and no birthday celebration is a good way to spare my stingy self from spending my own allowance.

Fast forward to my 18th birthday…I did not have plans of celebrating it but I wanted to do something special for myself. My hair, considerably long (for the world), became my object of affection. I went to the salon alone and you can figure the rest of the story. Back to my boarding house, I found everyone busy at the kitchen that left me dumbfounded when my landlord declared that we are celebrating my 18th birthday. To ease the shame I felt, I asked about the expenses and was assured that I need not worry about anything. I can’t remember what exactly was served except that I know for sure that rice was present. Although nothing extravagant, my 18th birthday was made special by people who cared and that meant so much to me. (This is just one of my best birthdays, by the way. Other meaningful ones, I hope to blog about someday...)

Reality is... that was 10 years ago- when life was a lot less complicated: when all I thought and be concerned about was to maintain a grade point average for my college scholarship, graduate on time and earn a good-paying job thereafter. As I look back, I see how I hurried myself up to get past that point in my life. Though no regrets, I wish that I had the kind of relationship I now have with Jesus as early as those days.

When I laid myself to sleep last night, it finally sunk in to me- I am 28. The increase in my age goes to show in the kind of responsibilities I am dealing with and the concerns that give me great deal of anxiety at times. Life has been tough and still is. Mine is a drama of battles won and lost. Some remain to be fond memories but some needs to be buried to its grave. What keeps life going though is the fact that Someone up there sees me through all the highs and lows.

Life is indeed tough but I claim to be tougher for I believe that “greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world! (1 John 4:4).”

Still in great denial

But there’s no way of stopping the time… Suffice to say, it is officially my birthday in Philippine standard time. Thus, some of my Facebook friends already sent their birthday greetings by either sending me personal messages or posting them on my wall. Thanks to Facebook for reminding people about it that will hopefully increase the number of my very few birthday greeters (*Lol*).

I am staring blankly at the monitor screen as I force my idle mind to come up with something to blog about. So, I pause and think...one, two, three, four, five times…and still nada! Truth is…It has not sink in yet that it’s already my birthday! I still can’t accept the fact that I am another year older… (*Sigh*)

“I don’t know” was my answer to friends and loved ones who asked me of my plans a few days ago. If asked the same question now, I will still give the same answer. I don’t have any big plans for my birthday except for prayer service tomorrow. What happens after that will be something impromptu.

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday, happy birthday...Happy birthday to me... Somebody help me sing! I need to convince myself it's indeed already my birthday.

When excitement is pre-empted...

...agony is prolonged.

That's how I feel! I have been waiting forever for my sewing machine. 3, 2 and finally 1. One more sleep and I get to play with my new toy.

Wednesday, it is! With much anticipation, I immediately tore the box open as soon as I saw my package sitting on a toddler table just beside our apartment door. I noticed the styrofoam broken but my agitation and desire to see and hold my new toy outweighed everything else. I held and cautiously positioned it on the table as if welcoming it with comfort to its new home.

I got the most affordable and which I think, is most suitable for me, so simple yet elegant. As I meticulously inspected every bit of detail in it, I came across the very reason of my skepticism to place an order online. One small part (which the manual refers to as the bobbin winder) is broken. I immediately suspected UPS to be the culprit. They must not have handled the item with care.



Considering the inconvenience of returning the item and believing it to be impossible, I sadly stared at my new toy, hoping the damage is not anything serious. Hubby insisted that I can call Overstock and see. Agreeing it won’t hurt, I dialed their 1800 number and was so pleased, surprised and grateful with the Customer representative that I talked to. Without much ado, she filed a replacement for me. Thank you Lord^..^

I am expecting a call from UPS anytime for them to see or get the item. I cannot deny it though. I am itching to play with the damaged toy while waiting for its replacement. Their tracking system shows the replacement will be out for delivery on the 18th. I can’t wait but oh, I can do nothing but wait! I can't be too excited again and end up upset. Maybe I should memorize the manual for now…



Something am excited about...

That's a long title! I apologize, my brain is not working.

Anyway....

I have this suppressed jealousy of apostolic girls wearing long denim skirts. I so love to own and wear one. Unfortunately, both my petite body structure and my cute height always give me a hard time finding one for myself. When I finally came across a website online, the skeptical in me took over my desire leaving me suspicious of the length of their skirts. Besides that, the prices plus the shipping and the handling fees are just too much for my budget.

Given that fact, what-ifs toned with my creative imagination invaded my unused brain cells forming the idea of sewing my own skirts, dresses and perhaps tops. This put together a feeling of excitement in me resulting to days of online thrift hunting and nights of contemplation. First, I need to assess the feasibility of projects I intend to accomplish. Are they realistic enough considering my beginner capacity, time and funds? I searched for free skirts and dress patterns online which seemed easy so I gave this a big check on my note. If that is pretty easy, next one’s a bit harder. Which sewing machine suits me best? After reading recommendations and reviews, I opted to go for a used but still reliable one. Craigslist and Ebay did not offer a wide affordable selection so I checked on my last resort. Overstock sells refurbished items in very reasonable prices. A bit doubtful on second-hand items, I was torn between giving this an X or a check mark.

While constantly thinking about my new found wish, I talked to Jesus in between. If it’s just a stubborn want, I pray that He will spare me from wasting money but if He sees it as my need then I pray that He will guide me to spend wisely. Funny, perhaps crazy, but through the course of my relationship with Him, I learned that I can be the silliest; the most stubborn girl that I can be yet He still listens faithfully and loves me regardless.

As I was getting more serious about this, I considered another drawback. What about the fabric, the thread and such little bitty things I need for my projects? Will they cost as much (if not more) as buying actual clothes from Walmart or Target? I thought again. Maybe I should just buy clothes I really need than invest on a sewing machine and experiment for which I am not really sure of the outcome.

After prayer meeting last monday, a sister from church approached me and told me she got some stuff for me. To my delight, it wasn’t just one but five of bags of her slightly used clothes. What a blessing! “You can have everything or choose whichever you like and bring the rest back to church so others can choose from them too,” she whispered as we hugged and bade goodbye. With much excitement, I immediately tried each blouse and skirt as soon as we got home. Most blouses and sweaters were too big (as usual) for me but a few skirts were my size- fits just right! I was so happy looking at the skirts I selected but was bit upset about not being able to pick any of the blouses especially the sweaters, which are what I need most for this chilly weather. I consoled myself with the thought that maybe someone else from church will be blessed with them. I went to bed with a heart overflowing with gladness and gratefulness for the free extension of my cold weather wardrobe. My thoughts formed into modest outfits- my new skirts paired with matching tops. My eyes heavy and sleepy, I started my journey to slumber land with the thought that I need not sew my own skirts now but the question where do I get these tops was at the back of my mind?

Getting up late the next morning, I just picked a blouse I tried on the previous night which sitting on top of one of the bags. Looks big on me but I have no time to change and still hit my 8AM office time in. I was so conscious with what I wore to work yesterday. I kept looking at my blouse as I walked around the laboratory, the hallways and even when I sat on my office desk. I tried as much as I can to figure out on what should have been its size or what can be done to suit my petite-ness. A light bulb flickered into my almost dead brain giving me the brilliant idea of resizing it. This suggests the possibility of doing the same to the rest of the blouses and sweater that were too big for me. Then the concern of experimental sewing resulting to unwanted outcome will not hurt as much as buying new fabrics and everything else needed to sew my own tops.

I searched for ideas on resizing sweaters and such online and realized how simple the steps were. I went over all the used sewing machines I have been looking at since the last two weeks. I was all ecstatic to find one that fits my budget on sale. I took a deep breath and finally placed my order yesterday.

Uh oh! That was one impulsive choice. I totally forgot to consult Jesus about it all. It just seemed that the heavens conspired to put everything in place for me to go for what I want. What to do? All’s done so I just hope I did the right decision.


Fear not!

Being alone is not something I dread. I am a loner and I love just me and myself moments. It helps me befriend and get to know myself better. It makes me ponder upon things that matter most to me and those that really don’t, enlightening my mind towards better choices. It has become my outlet of emotions that allowed me to unload everything thereby making me feel better during the lowest lows of my life. Alas, I am fearful and darkness is one of my phobias. And although aloneness doesn’t seem to be a problem for me, being alone in the dark is a whole different story.

Being alone in the dark lets my mind wander the farthest it can go only to discover the worst imagination possible. Unreasonable paranoia had caused me sleepless nights. Shamefully, I am no good Christian. Although I continued praying, reading my daily devotions and never miss church, I was overly mired with my fears failing to realize what role my faith and my relationship with Jesus should have played in such circumstance.

One morning I found out that I slept with my apartment door unlocked. Too careless of me, I murmured to myself. I hurried off to work brushing off the thought of how the Lord has protected me that night. My day went on as usual. Weeks passed and I kept elbowing my fear on my own, until the Lord finally poked me in an ordinary conversation with someone from church. “You need not be afraid of anything. You’ve got the Holy Ghost!”

Fear not. That’s what He has been attempting to tell me amidst my fears. Foolishly I neglected to listen; I ignored Him so many times. An article stated that “Fear not” is mentioned 366 times in the bible. That serves as a reminder everyday of the year and that’s more than enough to assure somebody as fearful as I am that the Lord desires for me to overcome my fear and trust in Him. Isaiah 41:10 says “Fear not for I am with you….”

I am still afraid of some things in my life. I have not mastered the skills in dealing with it but I resort to better options. Instead of endlessly whining and worrying about it, I choose to consult to Him about it. I cannot always say the right words but He knows my heart. It does not only contain those silly phobias of snakes and heights. He knows every little bitty thing in it and He knows how to take care of each of them. Sometimes I can talk to Him about it, sometimes I can only cry but regardless, being broken in His presence gives me perfect peace.


Pardon me

…for I know that I have been slacking off from blogging again.

My alibi consists of the following:

First, I was overwhelmed with what science explains to be the effects of global warming. My mind is satiated with so many thoughts but I just cannot organize them all into one sane blog entry. I am baffled with mixed emotions due to recent adversities happening in different parts of planet earth that left me undecided on what or which to blog about the past few days.

Secondly, I was busy or pretended to be with the following:

  • My job- It’s treating me fairly well and I’m grateful for it everyday.
  • DE course- I’m still struggling to overcome my laziness to catch up with the lectures and although I am able to beat deadlines of my home works, I get sleepy going through the power point notes for the midterm exam next week.
  • Car hunting- After almost a month, we got another car! It’s still a Ford Taurus only a later model and a better one at that. I so love the leather seats and the keyless entry. I wish it has a sunroof but I love it nevertheless…

That would be it and xOXo for now...

Tropical storm Ketsana

Although there’s nothing serious about the accident last Friday, I can’t help feeling thwarted waking up the next day, considering the steps that we need to sort out to get our car fixed. My thoughts were again clouded with anxiety built up with laziness to do what needs to be done. It was raining. Probably the reason I chose to delay getting started for the day.

While I revel at the warmth of our apartment on the cold breeze of an autumn morning, I sleepily surf through my facebook home page. I was planning to post a shout of gratefulness for the previous day’s misfortune or maybe blog about it. What caught my attention though was a friend’s plea to pray for her relatives and our fellow Filipinos struggling against a tropical storm in the northern part of the country. Since storms are rampant in the Philippines, I paid little concern about it. Yet another friend posted a shout out with a similar content. Out of curiosity, I searched for news about the said storm.

My own worries melted away as we watched the news. I realized how negligible my cares were compared to what my kababayans were going through at that very same hour. My heart felt the anguish of what the killer typhoon “Ondoy” has brought to my countrymen. Houses were torn down to pieces, some of which were dragged by the enraged current of floodwaters. Unfortunately, some people were left with no choice but to hold tight to these very same pieces of wreckage to hopefully save their lives. A video footage showed a family waving their hands, maybe screaming for help as the raging flood hauled them off together with their ravaged homes. Others managed to climb up to their roofs, not only anticipating rescue but also trying to evade the growing wrath of floodwaters- they were drenched, cold and hungry at the same time.



Photos courtesy of Inquirer.net
I know both the national and the local government sections were and are still doing their best to act upon the situation. Yet it is sad that Filipinos always have to suffer before apparent issues are addressed. Floods and landslides have always caused lives of many families due to typhoons but no serious action was implemented to solve the problem since time immemorial. None that I can tell since we always end up listening to the same news stories when the country is faced with a calamity. I understand that this is not the time to point fingers and blame anybody. But I do hope that this will be a lesson to the government- that before savoring that luscious million-dollar meal at a New York restaurant, may these government officials remember the less fortunate people in the country. The agony of our poor fellow Filipinos was prolonged since there were no immediate rescue equipments available. That money spent on a grand restaurant may as well be spent for reliable equipments in preparation for fury disasters that may hit a poor country like ours.


I was teary-eyed watching the aftermath of the recent catastrophe that struck the Philippines- not only for the properties ruined and lost but mostly for the lives shattered especially those of the little ones. As much as I feel sorry for my fellow Filipinos, I am proud of those who went out of their way to help in any way they can. To those who braved the floodwaters to rescue people, I salute you for your courage and to those who donated cash or good, God bless your hearts for your generosity.

To those of you reading this entry, please help me pray for all those devastated by typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines. More than anything they still need to know that God is still good amidst this heartbreaking incident in their lives.

A minor bump

A minor bump

That’s what made my heart uncontrollably jump up and down last Friday afternoon!

We dropped by Walmart to get a bottle of solution for my contacts. I drove on our way home and as easy as I can, I pedaled on the brake as the red light signaled. Hubby and I were good until we were shaken by an abrupt loud sound that budged our car forward. I turned to look what had just happened and was saddened to realize that a large GMC truck just hit the rear of our poor car.

Hubby immediately went down to investigate how the driver of the truck was. While they made a friendly conversation, my knees were shaking as I reached for the fone to dial 911. I don’t know why now but I was so scared to death! Hubby came back telling me it wasn’t my fault. The truck driver stepped on the gas rather than the brake on the red light. She's an old lady, who wanted to leave after giving us her insurance information. We waited a while and I could tell both of us grew a bit upset when police only showed up almost 30minutes after I called. I was wondering if they would have responded the same way if it was an emergency of life and death situations. Anyway, we were given a piece of paper with case number after the officer wrapped up his mini investigation.

We spent a pretty penny for tune up, oil change and engine oil leak repair last Thursday which we thought improved the car’s condition. Unfortunately, accidents happen unexpectedly. Our car is again in bad shape now. Thankfully, the other party’s insurance will cover the expenses for the damaged caused this time. Even so, thank God nobody was injured or hurt in any way.

Eyes eyes baby!

I lost my precious eyeglasses on our way back home from Gatlinburg. We turned the car seats upside down but still did not find it. I forced myself to have an eye check up last year to know if there’s anything wrong with my eyes. The right one worried me much. It gets numb when too tired and a vein below it tends to protrude. Not only did it make me look harassed, it also bothers me a lot. Far from serious, doctor said that my eyesight is not that bad except that my eyes may be too strained facing the computer for more than 10hours a day. He prescribed me glasses for that problem and my eyes were cooperative enough to make me feel better.


Unfortunately yeah, because I am CARELESS, they vanished without my blessing. My right eye looked miserable for almost a week without it. I walked in to another clinic for a second opinion. Doctor said that my right eye was weak compared to the left. I opted for contacts and left the clinic with disposables on my eyes for a week observation.




Although the first week was a bit work- putting them on and taking them out every few hours, I love the comfort they give than having to wear eyeglasses. It’s my second week now and I guess I need to order a year’s supply as soon as I can to get them for a cheaper price- not a want but definitely a need!

Officially fall

Yesterday, it was.

My tomatoes only gave me two immature fruits.

Can you tell how unhealthy they are?

I blame the shades of this big tree on our patio that deprived them

of their much needed sunlight.

With that outcome, I'll probably switch to the idea of planting lettuce

on the same pots next year.

We'll see...


Did you remember my post talking about budget

and my sweet goal to eradicate unnecessary spending?

Well, I have to confess

I did not have any luck on it.

I surrendered to my desires

AND

just swiped the plastic again...

No, not just for one BUT for TWO pairs of BOOTS!

Hubby did a good job convincing me to get both of them since

they're both LESS than HALF the regular price.

I have to agree with him.

It's a good deal

AND

I say

a smart bargain for the cold season.

Burden


taken from turnbacktogod.com

Meeting with the Manager

He called a 30-minute meeting yesterday. It was a short-notice so I thought it would be nothing serious, maybe just some information that our department needs to know. Indeed, it was. He enlightened us to put our worries aside and just work. The “budget cut” meetings of the management team has already been put to halt and “lay offs” seem to be quiet these days after a few months of being the loudest issue here.

Although I don’t always feel the greatest about my job, I am more than grateful I have a work to think about and a workplace to go to every day. I appreciate the Lord’s providence that I am able to pay monthly bills on or before their due dates. I thank Him for making me a blessing to my family back home. Though not luxurious, I feel blessed that we can afford short vacation trips out of town or simply go on road trips. We can shop for our needs and spare a little for our wants. These and so many more… A day won’t be enough to blog about the Lord’s goodness and greatness in my life.

Our meeting yesterday was good news. Since my contract was extended, I’ve thought about thanking my manager personally many times. Yesterday seems to be a perfect timing to approach him or maybe email him after the meeting. As usual I was too shy… After agonizing myself about it for a moment, I realized one thing- praise is due to the One makes things happen.

The Lord has turned things around for me countless times. He let me witness His amazing power over what is impossible to my human eye. He is beyond what words can describe. I can never never thank Him enough and I just love Him today!

Gloomy Monday

Monday, I noticed is labeled to be the most hated day of the week by most. That plus a gloomy one won’t recompense the previous statement.

Unfortunately, today is one of those Mondays.

I received the unpleasant news yesterday and I cannot help being affected up to now. It breaks my heart to know how my parents were disheartened with what happened. I talked to them over the phone yesterday and I stood strong as our conversation went on. At least, I pretended I was. I cannot make them feel how much I wanted to break down and cry. I do not want to add up to their worries. I just wanted to make them feel better. I just wanted to make them smile and assure them that things will be alright. My eyes welled-up with sadness, my voice breaking at times, I cannot remember what else I told them except that I kept telling them to pray about it and let God take charge.

It is raining outside. I love rain drops but I also always pray that it won’t pour. Sometimes God’s will coincides with my plea but sometimes it just don’t. Likewise, with what happened, I pray that He will let this pass very soon. I am not sure if He will, neither do I have a clue on His plans. But I just want to give it all to Him and trust in Him. He still knows better!

Budget, budget, budget…

Never again will I opt for cheap vacation packages unless certain of every little detail that comes with it. I have requested my debit card be closed after dealing with our recent vacation reservation nuisance. Thus, all our purchase following that was initiated with swiping the plastic again.
I dread using my credit card. I dislike thinking about fees, amount due and due dates. It seems to me like I have no right to enjoy ownership on things that aren’t really mine because I have not paid for them in full yet. No, no. I don’t mean to sound like I have never had debts in my life. Well, at least not for luxurious motives but mostly to accommodate my responsibilities as a breadwinner of my family. I have been there and still am. AND maybe that’s the very reason why I detest the idea of credit cards.

Anyhow, my practice of diligently paying the bills on time and trying VERY hard to wipe out unnecessary spending helped me manage my debts wisely. Although I have not fully eliminated the idea of debts from my vocabulary yet THAT leaves me now with only obligatory monthly dues such as house and tuition loans and utility bills.


I can’t conclude so soon though since I am left with no choice but to use my credit card again. Cash is another option but I am not used to bringing cash all the time with me. SO I decided on coming up with a budget accounting and see how this goes. I am really hoping I will be able to save a few bucks with this idea.



Good bye long dress, skirts, sandals and bags... Byebye shopping and good luck to me!

On going back to Kentucky...

We checked out early from the hotel on Monday. We stopped by the factory outlet store again to do a little bit more of shopping and dropped by at the free preview of the Titanic.

It opens on April 2010 which appears be a very cool museum for me to which I am excited to visit come its grand opening.

We were supposed to go see two more sites but with the traffic jam, we decided to just get past the one in Sevierville and go straight to an indoor aquarium further away from highway 66. I have never been so frustrated with a horrible traffic here in America except at that time. I got easily irritated with hubby’s giving space to other drivers trying to merge to our lane. Traffic was severely slow and we were hardly moving any distance after one car and another then another was given a chance by my generous husband to go ahead of us. Before I can punch hubby’s face, I diverted my attention to taking pictures. Traffic got a little better until we discovered its root cause.

I got scared looking at the scene.

I thought it was a big bike under the Chevrolet truck, but looking closely at it, it was a car smashed under the big truck. I could hardly imagine any survivor in that small car.

I loosened up a bit as we drove passed it and continued to our destination for a break- Bass Pro Shops. It was an outdoor equipment store.

Most items were expensive but certainly of good quality.

When it’s time to go, hubby told me to drive. I was so tensed, I cannot get rid of the remains of car wreck we just witnessed. I tried driving but I was all anxious. After almost bumping into a van running at 90MPH, I finally told hubby I can’t do it. We again stopped over the nearest rest area which was already within Kentucky boundaries. We took a 15minute break and drove again. We got home at almost 8PM. I thank the Lord for keeping His hand on our trip but I can’t help thinking about the accident.

I searched for news the following morning only to find out that it was a 6-car crash that injured 18 people -2 of them, a mother and a child in critical and the another one in serious conditions. I do not know how they differentiate critical and serious here but I do pray for a miracle among the victims, especially those in terrible state. Some news stories reported that culprit was suspiciously drunk who stupidly tried to escape from authorities.

Labor day weekend

I hope everyone had a great one!

Despite a few dire circumstances that I have to deal with, I remained resolute to resume our plan for the long weekend. I had a hard time searching for hotels, motels, cabins or anything reasonably priced since most nice affordable places were already fully booked. After so much net surfing and searching, I managed to make my last-minute reservation on Friday afternoon. With our bags packed, we left for Pigeon Forge in Tenesee on Saturday around past 8AM and got there almost 12 noon- checked in to the hotel, ate our lunch, rest a bit then drove to Gatlinburg.

It was a smooth 15-minute drive along the zigzag roads bordered by trees similar to Bohol’s man-made forest. I enjoyed the sweet smell of the woods with a cool serene atmosphere. I wish I could have gone down to pose for a picture with the trees as the background. Cars were unfortunately running fast and it doesn’t seem to be a picture taking spot.

We realized we were entering the city center when traffic started slowing down. It looked like the town was too small for the crowd as it seemed like everybody in America actually spent the long weekend in Gatlinburg. What I expected to be something relaxing has worn me out. The busy streets packed with both people and cars reminded me much of Cebu’s oldest street- Colon. There are several candy stores, wood carving and souvenir shops, ice cream depots, dress and handbag botiques, Ripleys amusement arcades, and a whole lot more. It was definitely a place to spend if not waste a good fortune.

In the meantime, we decided to just drive around town to contain the look and feel of the place since we can park no where. We settled on driving back to Pigeon Forge after a while to get some groceries, go shopping a little at the factory outlet stores then rest to recharge our energies for the next day.

It was past 6AM but it was still dark when we drove back to Gatlinburg on Sunday. It was definitely a better place without the massive amount of tourists. We drove to the mountains for which the view was breathtaking despite the gloomy skies. We drove around town once again to pick the different spots we want to go to later in the day.

We made our way back to Pigeon Forge to prepare for church at Sevierville, a roughly 5-minute drive from our hotel. We were giggling most of the time but we were so blessed with the preaching of the host pastor. He has an incomparable sense of humor!

Back to the hotel, we ate our lunch and got ready for a fun time at Gatlinburg in the afternoon. What was supposedly a 15-minute became a 2-hour drive. I fell asleep while hubby kept his eye on the traffic. It has gotten worst than the previous day. Thank God, we were able to catch sight of a free parking spot immediately then the fun started.

Skylift

I was scared looking at it but I also wanted to reach the top and witness an overlooking view of the entire city of Gatlinburg. Hoping to conquer my fear once more, we hopped into our seats on our turn then up, up and away we went. Thinking about it now, I feel like crazy! I was clinging to hubby as tight as I can, the whole time on our way up and on our way down. I bet you can tell on the picture.


Earthquake the Ride

This is a scary train ride. I wasn’t that impressed but I screamed my lungs out several times. I feel ashamed about it but some parents, with their children, laughed at me while their kids remained calm and composed.

Mystery Mansion

This is a haunted house which I find creepier than the Earthquake ride. I again squealed countless times while hubby remained calm and smiling while we toured up and down the old mansion.



We walk and walk and walk around town







went in to some shops...











then took some more pictures...


until we got exhausted

and decided to just go back to the hotel.

Another lesson learned...

In connection to my previous post, my account was indeed cleared the next day. What I thought was my request for cancellation was actually the vacation package agency‘s action to reverse the charges they made to my account. I received the confirmation letter which made things a little more dubious for me. A few calls to their customer service advised me that my account will STILL be charged but ALSO ASSURED me that we’re good to go and enjoy our vacation. That gave me a little peace but my instinct kept me searching for more online reviews from their previous customers. I came across a review where the customer was charged more than twice the amount she could have paid for the hotel accommodation without making a reservation through this agency, ONLY BECAUSE SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS. I dialed the customer service hotline again. After playing the recording of my reservation, the representative found out that I was never asked if I am a citizen. She told me that the manager requested for a full refund of my transaction.

I would have felt better after that conversation but I also read complaints of promised reimbursements from them that never transpired. To make the story short, my account was undeniably charged. I cannot reach them during the weekend so I called them again this morning. Accordingly, the refund request made by the manager has to go through their accounting department for approval. I am hoping for its approval but I also called my bank for the closing of my debit card to avoid future charges from them- better safe than sorry.

Excitement flipped

Frustration unveiled.

I have been looking forward to the coming Labor Day weekend. I considered the fact of an unpaid holiday being compensated by the great smoky mountains of America sceneries.

After a week delay of making hotel reservations, I finally made a phone call this morning to do it. As always, I was a bit skeptical to give my credit card details BUT remained a fool to give it anyway. I was asking about the receipt and was told that a confirmation email will be sent in the next hour or so. An hour passed me by… then two then three, no email received. Needless to say, I went from a paranoid to a panic mode. I called the same number again and was told that my information is not shown in their database. This time the customer service said that the confirmation email will be sent within 24 hours.

I called my bank inquiring if there’s anything I can do to hinder the charges to my account. Bank representative assured me that there were no incoming charges so far, which means there’s nothing we can do but wait til we see pending charges that I can request to be revoked. As I hanged up, I was hoping to see a confirmation email but still NADA!

I check my online banking account as frequently as I can, until the incoming charge finally showed up. I called the bank again and requested for the cancellation of that transaction since I have not received any confirmation email from that particular vacation package website. SO there are two pending transactions on my online banking account- one is the vacation package charges and the other is my request for its cancellation.

NOW here I am awaiting 24 hours for the clearing of my account, hoping that my request for cancellation will prevail over those scam charges.

Celfone with A Map

SO he won’t get lost in America. Papang actually meant a GPS. That’s what he wanted for a birthday gift. Of course he was kidding. That would be useless in the Philippines.

I called him this morning. It is still the night of September 1st in the Philippines. I greeted him happy birthday but told him I do not have a gift. He said never mind but reminded me again that he wants a celfone with a map when I come home.



My father has grown old. Neither him nor us knows how old exactly because his birth certificate was falsified by his father long time ago. I bet his mom is the only person that may remember but she’s passed away years ago. So there’s really no one who can tell now. Today is his birthday and he assured me that his father have not falsified the date.

I thank the Lord for this special day of Papang. I am so blessed to serve a God Who can turn around and make things happen. I can’t praise Him enough for all He’s in my life.

To my dear Papang, happy happy birthday! Thank you so so so much for all that you are to me, Nin and our family. I love you so very much.

Stingy me GONE liberal

Hubby’s tummy seems to be outgrowing his pants’ waistline. He isn’t buying my idea of online shopping for clothes but I succeeded in trying to convince him of going shopping at Target.

Hubby's choices...

I swear.

I was just looking at the purse section…no plans, intentions or anything of that sort.

Unfortunately…




I did not resist!

I just can’t.

I splurge a few bucks on my first expensive chick purse, which he says and I think is worth it.

Then bought another baluyot office bag.

Which by the way, made me feel MORE guilty SO I did not check my online banking account until yesterday and this morning again only to bring me into conclusion that I should have bought the pair of flat shoes I tried on last Sunday at Target...

But no, no, no…I was sane enough to control myself. I really think I spent much already.

Okay now...

I need to dust off cobwebs from everywhere here… You see my previous post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a week now and SO I realized I needed to post it before it decomposes to something forgotten.

Soo, it’s Tuesday! I had the next longest weekend to our July 4th one. No, we have not gone on a trip out of Lexington. It started on Thursday, not because it was a holiday but simply because revival service at GFAC started that night. We were blessed to have visiting Evangelist Norman Brian preach on our Thursday, Friday and Sunday night services.


Evangelist Brian Norman

Thursdays is our midweek service. Service last Thursday ran longer than usual. The Evangelist had so many things to teach about that the church can forget about the time and just enjoy his teaching. We had section E youth rally held on Friday night. The church was crammed full with beautiful people of God from different towns in Kentucky.

Saturday was an outreach day which was joined forces together by 54 people. One group went out to visit the backsliders; another group went out to Sunday school children’s parents and another handed out flyers and music CDs to some neighborhood. I wanted to go see the Sunday school children’s parents but hubby was burdened to visit a friend and his family who have backslid in countless ways. We were given three cards, each with the backslider’s name and address. Two of them have no definite address so we finished up visiting only our friend. I got several flyers so we handed them out and inserted some on car wipers in the same neighborhood. Although others showed respect, some of the peoples’ responses were sarcastic. Even our own friend declined our invitation to Sunday service. It is sad but as the Evangelist puts it, it is between them and God. I believe it doesn’t end there. More than the flyers, it needs prayer, fasting and dedication to win a soul.

I regret missing the Saturday evening’s seminar held by the Evangelist on how to pray for someone during altar call. We simply ran out of time shopping and window shopping until the time have come for us to go home, eat lunch then meet Morgan before the circus. We met with other church folks at Rupp Arena and enjoyed the show together. Nobody was too old for the circus show as we laughed, sang and fooled around with Tom the clown.

We went to church early on Sunday, actually way too early than usual. We knew there will be many visitors due to outreach the previous day. Lo and behold, we were not mistaken. Most seats were already taken but we managed to find a spot for ourselves. The church was once again crowded. Visitors came as well as the backsliders.

I cannot put into words how awesome the outpouring of the Holy Ghost was. Like the prodigal son, many responded to the preacher’s call for repentance and sought for the face of the Lord during altar call. It’s amazing how the Father can simply wrap His arms around this son who have failed Him numerous times. He knows the depths of our hearts and yet, loves us the same.

Oh my, oh my…

I was reminded of hubby’s silly expression as I thought of my blog this morning. I know I swore to update this more often BUT I was again caught off guard with cramming for my final exam and…let’s just say, “work-related” stuff.

Anyhow, here I am again…hoping to blog as much as I can about everything and anything that I can remember.
SO here it goes in no particular order:


Durian

We were supposed to grab just a can of coconut milk at a small Oriental store near GFAC one Sunday. I was staring here and there at cashier’s counter when I came across “Durian $1.79/Lb.” My face lit up with glee as we exited the store carrying about a 4-pound durian. It was frozen so we ended up enjoying an all natural ice creamy durian!

Lengua de Gato (Tongue of a Cat)

These are my favorite cookies back home. I don’t dare facebooking much at work but next to blog-hopping, I recipe-hop a lot. So when I chanced upon this lengua de gato recipe, I worked on it as soon as I got home. I love cooking and so much more with baking. It’s a stress therapy for me.


Blouses and Skirts

I have been surfing/shopping for modest clothing online. Although a bit skeptical about the sizes, I eventually gave in and placed my orders. It wasn’t too bad even if I ended up with some least-favorite items. My most favorite is the long denim skirt. I love it!

UK Arboretum

We went to the Arboretum for the 2nd time this year. It was still gorgeous with the summer atmosphere this time of the year.

Updates… updates....

"Such a pessimist Donnalyn." That was a remark from my employer's Account manager. It was just the normal me freaking out for a missing time sheet on my Insite account. Needless to say, I worried- called the hubby immediately to share my paranoia with then shoot an email to my employer for confirmation of my gibberish thoughts… But really, with the lay offs still happening here in the office (particularly in the lab where I am sitting at), I think that was JUST SO NORMAL OF ANYONE, especially for a worry-wart like me to have reacted that way.

Anyways…I know, I know. I owe my blog some cleaning here and there. Too many things passed me by and I certainly wish that I'd be able to recollect my every emotions and thoughts on each of them.

Lay offs still continue to crop up in my workplace. The latest news I got today is 2 more people will be dismissed; their last day will be on September 4. Last week, I was saddened by the fact that one of my teammates was let go a few weeks ago. His last day was last Friday and on that same day I received a farewell email from another person who’s work here for more than 30 years already. A month ago, I was shocked by a friend’s report that 4 of them were called by their “Agency”, all 4 notified of their last day at work. A day after that, an office mate sitting next to the desk across me, bade farewell to some guys in the office. It’s sad and it scares me. I have no idea how many more people will be tagged and when this will ever end. I just hope and pray that the economy will pick up very soon.

I wrote a short tribute for her birthday this year. She was a sweet old lady with a very pure heart and with so much wisdom to share. If I remember correctly, it was when we came back from our July 4 trip that she was brought to the hospital. The congregation was asked to pray for her. She was brought home after 10 days as doctors decided they can do nothing for her anymore. Cancer was all over her internal organs. When we went to visit her, she gently nodded as I introduced ourselves as the couple from the Philippines. My fears were overcome with pity; my heart broke seeing her in such condition. We sat by her bedside for awhile. Before we left I went close to her again and whispered, “We love you Ms. Sarah and we will miss you…” Ms. Sarah Lewis passed away at the age of 102 last July 27. A lot have been said about her during her funeral service last Saturday. My tears were contained in my eyes. I miss her sweet little voice that never fails say “Take care sweetie…” whenever I kiss her good bye on Sunday services. As much as I miss her, knowing that she’s with the Lord makes feel alright.


Photo courtesy of prayforcory.com

The Philippines is grieving for the loss of former President Cory Aquino. She stood strong and brave when all else was doomed by the tyranny of late President Ferdinand Marcos. I do not remember much of Cory’s era except for the fact that without her courage and strength, the fire that kept the flames burning for the nation has long been gone. Being the icon of democracy for the Filipinos, I say, she deserves all the love and respect the Filipinos pay even at her grave now. I am not a fan but I do know that I cannot thank her enough for the freedom she fought for the country.

On the lighter note…


July 21 marked my first year anniversary on my job. It is truly a miracle that my contract was renewed despite the prevalent lay offs going on. I truly am appreciative of the Lord’s AWESOME goodness for which I really don’t deserve. I praise Him and I thank Him for everything. I am keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes high for more of His promises come.


Surprise, surprise! I surprised the hubby with a GPS. I secretly purchased an affordable one from Amazon, which was delivered to the apartment within 2days. He enjoyed himself (I think) playing with it, although looks like we need to plan our next big trip ASAP so we can optimize its usage. Hopefully after my final exam ^..^


The hubby and I started our afternoon walks at a nearby park. For the purpose of: 1. to get his butt off the couch after eating, which otherwise, he’ll eventually fall asleep no matter how hard he tries to remain awake; and 2. to get myself back to walking for an exercise. I am gaining weight. I like it a bit but not too much of it please!

Guess ‘NUFF said now… I can’t promise but I really hope I can update my blog more often from now on.