Showing posts from April, 2012


[caption id="attachment_10694" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Prang Sam Yot, Lopburi[/caption]

Prang, in architecture, is a tower-like spire, usually richly carved. It's a common Hindu and Buddhist shrine element from the Khmer Empire. In Thailand prangs appear only with important Buddhist temples. They were adapted by Buddhist builders around 1350 - 1767 in the Ayutthya Kingdom and 1782 - 1932 in the Rattanakosin Kingdom. ~ Source

It's the annual monkey party in the Thai countryside of Lopburi.  Prang Sam Yot is famous for being the party venue every year. Those prangs teemed with monkeys when I arrived. I stood opposite while deciding which entrance to approach.

Check out more of what's happening around the world -
ABC Wednesday  *  Our World

Organizing Happiness: review

Do you sometimes think bad moods you feel may be due to the disorganized state of things around you?

If you suspected so, Organizing Happiness can help you, like it helped me deal with clutter issues, acquaint or reacquaint yourself with habits that will make you and others happier, and use spiritual weapons and organization inspiration for happiness.

The longer I have been busy with job and social responsibilities, the farther I have strayed from bible-based advice on living an organized life so well-presented on this ebook.

Being used to having paid help do cleaning and cooking chores for me, my place has become a war zone of clothes, books, stilettos, and my kiddo's toys here and there  following changes in our living arrangement. Having the practical illustrations and gentle advice of this darling ebook around mitigated my personal struggle with domestic chaos.

Author Lorrie Flem's attribution of clutter on "not having a designated place to put things" nailed it for…

CJ's convention and CaCoy's colors

My moment as a mom this week was to enlist CJ in a Children's Convention on May 3-5. He is going with Grandma. I gladly anticipate results.

As an auntie I recall a happy dining moment with nephew CaCoy.  We - cousins, spouses and kids lazed an entire week away in Huahin, the Thai royal family's summer home. One of those evenings we had dinner in the night market opposite the beach.

I marvel at CaCoy's changing colors.  With a half Spanish paternal Grandma I swear he was pale pink as a baby. With football in school his ecru skin slowly vanished. Then he went chasing coconut bugs in the glare of the tropical sun. That was the final straw. He turned midnight black without further ado.

Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection


In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

Charlie Quillen asks:
Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?
Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad inspired me to change the way I look at money.  Kate White's Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy GirlsDo helped me change the way I evaluate myself.  The Da Vinci Code inspired me to change my attitude toward The Bible.  The entertainment of puzzles in Dan Brown's work and its references to concepts that ring a bell around times long ago when the Bible was spoon-fed to me, sparked a fancy to rediscover non-fiction mystery that the Bible has abundance of, as well as advice and knowledge that never gets old.
Thursday 13: Inspiring changes. Which ones speak to you best?

1. Change brings opportunity. ~ Nido Qubein
2. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo,…


It was a quiet Khmer morning. Friends and I were traveling to Siem Reap. The van we were riding in slowed down by a procession. Curiosity managed to snap a shot of what looked like a miniature house carried by a truck. As it disappeared into gathering speed I saw a coffin inside it.

The deceased apparently had something thousands of his countrymen we visited at the Killing Fields the day before never had - an obsequies.

Smells green

Children. Don't they amuse or annoy and even confuse when they are cheeky? When they call a white object blue and accompany that declaration with a cute smirk - at least I, as a PDD mom find my mind in a pirouette over a little cheekiness from my boy.

Grandma chats with a neighbor. The chat goes on for awhile and CJ plays precocious: "Shut up!" hands on ears and pretending to be distressed, "I'm going to sleep. Everyone, quiet!"

A friend's son, Daniel (the chubby chinoy on his mom's lap) behaves like CJ in some ways. While the rest of the family gathered around the TV for a pinoy movie to conclude our dinner, Daniel and I sat on the bed where he nailed one delightful observation:

Daniel: Auntie, what is that?

Me: (examining the bottle) A liniment. What color is it, Daniel?

Daniel: Green.

Me: (muttering to myself) Thank goodness I don't have to smell like a quack doctor's patient with this product. (then back from my private thoughts) Come Dani…

Literary pet peeves

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

Bookish Sarah asks:

What are your literary “pet peeves”?

Put too many swear words in a story and I lose interest. Too much cursing sounds like limited vocabulary, stunted creativity. The other one is something I have experienced for the first time - a novel with an unlikeable character. The Wise Woman is my first Philippa Gregory. If I wasn't fond of historical fiction (besides thinking that Gregory is brilliant at her genre) I wouldn't have minded not finishing the book. The heroine is so unlikeable almost every page developed in me a distaste of her that even her death in the conclusion didn't convince me it redeemed her. I want my reading experience (outside work) to be a pleasure; not characters that I don't enjoy.
Thursday 13: Unusual words that begin with letter N
You may be familiar with or have encountered the following words already. If you do not know what they mean, I hope you have as much fun guessing …


According to the Phrontistery, nesiote is an obscure word. But defined, nesiote sounds as modern as can be.  It means living on an island. My family trooped to an island for a reunion last year.

This is part of the Fisherman's Village on Elephant Island in Thailand. Nesiote probably applies best to fishermen who live here -

Albert Einstein wishes that "somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will."
Laurie Anderson claims: "as a New Yorker, I'm someone who lives on an island and looks across to America."
George Gordon Byron in a letter to Thomas Moore mentions "the greenest island of my imagination."

This was rather a grey morning but my reverie was full of bright colors as I maneuvered these rocks. A world-class violinist washes up on shore.  Ladies in Lavender fades to a fact: I just love island - living during holidays.
ABC Wednesday

Getting kids to eat healthy meals

It's a challenge; and understandable enough: if it's hard getting adults to eat healthy, how do we go about this business on kids?

I check what I am doing or not or have doneagainst professional advice that I read.  MedicineNet nutrition experts suggest ways for parents to guide their children to eat a sound diet.

Avoid power struggle
"Do it because I'm the parent" or worse, "Eat or else..." Have you said something like that to your kids during a meal? Once I told my son, "no eat, no play." I realize it could be a form of slight power struggle. He ate but couldn't have understood why he had to eat in order to play. Author of The Parent's Toolshop Jody Johnston Pawel explains that this rationale does not work for long.

I had no idea children have to be exposed to a new food 10 to 15 times before they accept it. If they play with a berry on their plate, parents are advised not to give up but keep encouraging them to eat. Suggested e…


Are you a mabsoot?  The world will most probably light up if you are. What makes you a mabsoot?
This blue sky holiday on a sunflower field made me go, "and I think to myself what a wonderful world!"  I was quite a mabsoot.
The Dalai Lama says "happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." I thought I would make a little experiment; see what would an action mean to me so off I shopped in Chatuchak, a huge weekend market known to bring seasoned shoppers to their knees.  I came home with sore feet, but thinking the Dalai Lama was right.

What really made me a mabsoot after shopping like a madwoman was my vintage loot.  It makes my heart dance as merrily as it did when I browsed the graveyard at St. Mary's church in the shadow of Scarborough Castle and found this -
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
That's Abraham Lincoln. And I tend to agree with him. Making up your mind to be happy is easy, and not as costly as s…

A smoking computer, a real phone and a reason

All the while I was imagining CJ's computer was being used mainly for homework and educational entertainment. Oblivious me. The use has been more like games. It is probably time to buy a new computer again as the old one overheated last night.  Smoked to kingdom come. Bye-bye Pooh Bear (nickname of CJ's computer).

So the Grandma complained that after Pooh Bear, CJ's attention has been on her phone.  I asked what he was doing with it. "Games of course," Mother sounded exasperated. "But he's never been exposed to that sort of thing," I countered.  "Well, hello Girl, it only took your son one look at his cousin doing it, and now he's into soccer, soccer, soccer!" Ops....

These boys have a little explaining to do.

The poor Grandma tries to hide her phone lest some mischievous fingers tinker their way to it. They usually do and when she needs to use it, she hears this:

"Buy me a real phone Grandma so that I will not borrow yours. Tell Momm…