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Showing posts with label Friday's Fave Five. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friday's Fave Five. Show all posts

08 October 2010

Firft in Englifh, of ancient liberty

My reading pile is still a pile - book reviews, press releases, SEO pieces, but TGIF! I'm putting them all aside to have a look back at my week. Which to be honest has been a bit bumpy as far as work is concerned. Thank goodness there's personal life to run to and where we have better control over the happiness meter. I took my own sweet time enjoying life's little pleasures --

1. Cousin weekend. Being an only child, the closest person I have to a sister is cousin Vi. Her young sons are well-behaved, loving, brainy and they call me Auntie :-) Meals and chatter with them are quadruple the fun. I love them even more for agreeing to stay at home while Vi and I went shopping at a night bazaar.

2. Camera. When a hesitant techno-ignoramus finally approaches features on a gadget, the result is fun galore. This is Milton's justification of the blank verse of Paradise Lost. The literary legend used f for s, a strange character for c and so on. I found it fascinating.

3. Silent beauty. To avoid harmful rays, I walk behind the guard house to the office and back. The path is dark, but I know a secret. This:


4. Lanzones. Two kilos for ฿50.00 ($1.70). They're great on the taste buds after drinking morning coffee.

5. Croaking at the top of my voice: for He's more wonderful than my mind can conceive, He's more wonderful than my heart can believe! He goes beyond my highest hopes and fondest dreams....

Two cleaners peeped, "Ajarn Mae?" I thought the hallway was completely empty. Ah well, they would never know that only half an hour before my solo concert I was dealing with a psychological attack in the vice president's office.

Visit Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story for more faves.

24 September 2010

Butterfly Kiss

It's Friday and time for a look-back:

1. Paying attention to my nook on its wakey mode. Monday I arrived at work an hour early. Brown birds were chattering precociously on the still-empty parking lot. The gardener's dog was munching a rubber slipper behind the gate. The place smelt like it had never known pollution of any kind. I liked what I witnessed.

2. Multi-lingual multi-tasking:

- ears listening to an earphone song, nakalimutan mo na bang tumawa? (have you forgotten to laugh?)
- fingers composing a text message, nikaon na si CJ? (has CJ eaten yet?)
- eyes scanning a PR paper, "... government to mobilize resources for defense and military establishments"
- mouth clarifying instructions, mai ao tini; song akhan sippeht (I don't want it here. Send it to Bldg. 18)

*Three languages, one dialect lasting less than 3 minutes. I thought it was fun.

3. Apple pie with warm custard sauce; beef cheese tacos garnished with tomatoes and cilantro eaten over good conversation with a girl friend

4. A friend emailed how his little relatives 'came tearing through his house unannounced.' The upside was getting a butterfly kiss from 3-year old Olivia.

5. Bonus at the hair saloon. I was there for a routine shampoo and blow dry. But a saloon professional went the extra mile by giving me a head massage as well.

For more or to join, head over to Susanne's Living to Tell the Story.

17 September 2010

From the land of castles and crumpets

Less than 24 hours after sharing last week's highlights, my next set of faves was guaranteed. And weekend wasn't even over yet. I don't know what I did to deserve it but I'm thankful -

1. Church. I went. Really. A friend suggested it and I made a snap decision to go. Something became clear to me again: the reason I insist on having a day off work in a week is to calm down from it all. No matter how seldom, it's good to recharge spiritual batteries.

2. Hearty lunch at an elegant Thai restaurant with an international menu. We had lasagna, avocado salad with cantaloupe in oil and vinegar dressing, banoffee cheesecake, etc. The bonus? Stairs up for grabs: cost effective for calorie-burning.

3. Dasa is a second-hand book store with a coffee shop on its second floor. There were several titles I liked. It's gonna be a new haunt certainly.

4. Peterson Gallery. Priced from $2,000 to $163,000 - pianos galore! Once in awhile I wander into places like this. And I fancy another trip.

5. A call from the land of castles and crumpets. It came over dinner of fried noodles, chicken and shitake mushroom. While sipping my kiwi juice, an earlier mix-up of numbers was affectionately explained to me. Twas a sweet ending to a perfect beginning of a fab week.

See more faves @ Susanne's Living to Tell the Story

09 September 2010

A little boy's tiara

It's a week abundant with life's little pleasures, and I'm enjoying such a great Friday mood with the FFF ladies over at Susanne's Living to Tell the Story. If you are dropping by from Mommy Moments, please scroll down a bit; thank you. Now the highlights of my week --



1. Birthday dinner at Cabbages and Condoms. A friend put up with my fondness for dining out and exploring restaurants. C & C supports social development programs of the PDA, an organization that complements the Thai government's effort to promote family planning.


2. Cafe de Tu. We took the sky train to get to a posh mall for dessert. There's a lovely ambience for a slice of chocolate banana cake and a long glass of iced lemon tea. It was sheer relaxation verbalizing ephemeral wishes. From the high ceiling pretty lamps cast off a warm, soft glow making the place conducive for twilight dreams.


3. Work over lunch at Fuji. Now comes a hard, raw bit. I had to carry work to one lunch but it helped that I like Japanese cuisine and cracked 80% of the job right there on the table. Thanks to the Giver of blessings: the untouched 20% spared me indigestion issues.


4."Everything smells so fresh after a storm." It's been raining on my nook. I've been musing over these words from one of my favorite films, Ladies in Lavender, starred in by two of my favorite actresses, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.


5. Mommy Moments. This is a brief account of some of my fave moments with CJ, integrated as my fifth Friday fave and entry for today's Mommy Moments theme, Wacky right below -


As I lamented CJ's stance against being photographed, I realized that my constant attempts to click away anyway have gained a few wacky results.



On board a yacht in Hong Kong, a weary single mom was hoping to experience a lovely night watching the famous Symphony of Lights while cruising Victoria Bay. Soft music, butter cake, mint tea, silver strappy heels, it was her moment.



Fat chance. A little brat decided to grab her crowning glory.



That's how my tiara ended up on his head...

It made me determined to snap more shots. But at The Peak the next day, CJ's stance didn't waver. Well, they say if you can't beat them, join them. I did and with Auntie Chette's perfect timing, we got this moment together.





Wacky Mommy Moments at The Mommy Journey.

03 September 2010

This I give to you (pamana) and birthday week highlights

This is a 2-in-1 post today. I sort of incorporated the contents as they are related and fall into similar concepts for both memes which are equally significant to me. If you are dropping by from Mommy Moments, please scroll down. Thanks. Friday's Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story is right next -

It's probably a matter of orientation: I am used to uneventful birthdays. What I'm not used to is missing a few things. But I didn't and this week's faves are about what I'm thankful for the most:

1. Monday which was the day came and went peacefully. No issues at work, I ate what I wanted to eat, did a little shopping and I easily found the 'celebration' restaurant for tomorrow. I'm excited.

2. Greetings from good friends. I didn't expect anyone to call or email but they did and I appreciate that.

3. A promise in the sky, woot! See heaven's kiss on earth to boot.

4. Ticket to David Foster and Friends concert in October purchased with a 10% discount. My seat is not too close to the stage that I'd be having Peter Cetera's heels on my nostrils, and not too far that I'd be squinching for Natalie Cole's facial expression. I'm anticipating a lovely night with the Canadian Tenors, Ben Studdard and The Hitman himself.

5. Cj's progress. This has to be my best birthday present. While watching a second cousin fix my mother's dog's leash, he uttered, "oh, it's entangled." The other report is that he sang Into my heart and Bayang Magiliw (national anthem) by himself last night. He also minded his homework which involved reading. I like the reading part. Selective mutism now sounds a bit less daunting. Celebrating my birthday tomorrow will be yummier.

***********************

No, I'm not bequeathing my son a bookstore. Although the idea is wonderful and if I owned one he'd naturally inherit it when I'm gone. As I am no rich Mama, Cj will just have to settle on books that I am accumulating. One goal is to instill in him a love for reading.

Not very long ago, my ex went pensive on me, "If I die suddenly there's --- for Cj from my ---. The lawyers will sort it out." I thought of the divorce mess that Cj is caught in and quietly realized, "no hon, you go pray to your Buddha while I drop on my knees to my own God and hope that our kid develops faith in a power that will help him rise above this adversity we caused him."

A long shot, I know. But despite the setback I'm banking on the value of non-material things for Cj to live a happy life he deserves.

See what Moms are passing on to their kids at The Mommy Journey.

27 August 2010

Final act of love


Except one of these faves, all four are talents of the male species. They shine!

1. Decaffeinating
I had coffee overdose during my recent island holiday. I have to abstain from the drink to function well at work. The attempt must have been fairly successful. No more twitching eyelids.

2. Helpful guard
By the time a film I viewed was over, the mall that houses the cinema was long past its operating hours. Devoid of shoppers the building suddenly looked gigantic and eerie. Emptiness disoriented me and I could not find an open exit. Alas, the only familiar spot was the basement parking. I tarried there stubbornly deciding that I'd rather do a vigil than call the Ex for help. About a minute into feeling like an idiot, a guard appeared and in halting Thai I explained my plight to him. He radioed for a taxi and I got home safely.

3. Cheerful driver
Wednesday afternoon: "ta-ta, it looks like rain" and I was a few yards away from my apartment. I jumped on one of these mopeds plying the inner streets. As raindrops started pelting my face, the detergent-smelling driver began singing unabashedly. He's so cute I can't supress a smile as I handed him the 10-baht fare. Talk of singing in the rain and I like the song too.

4. Husband / Father's final act of love
As an experiment I watched the Manila hostage drama on CNN to see if I could stomach a tragedy made even more horrifying with every second I was reminded that it was not Hollywood but real M16s happening live. A significant part of it was a man who threw himself across his wife and 3 children when the hostage-taker began finishing them all off. My mind raced back in time. I bowed my head in renewed gratefulness for Calvary.

5. Isaac Asimov's observation
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries is not Eureka! but 'That's funny!'" It lightened up my research work this week.

Visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for more faves.

20 August 2010

The week's faves - Island Edition

August 12th, the Thai Queen's birthday is a national holiday here. That was Thursday and what luck, work bosses decided to give us Friday, the 13th free too. I and a couple of friends headed off to Thailand's second largest island, Koh Chang (Elephant Island), referred to by some as the Oriental Eden of the East. It's difficult trimming these faves to five but I'll try...

I. Nothing beats waiting for dinner chatting on hammocks! Behind us blazing rays of the setting sun blanketed the sea; the sound of waves gentle and the breeze therapeutic. Nature was addressing the ACs cooling our city offices - this is how you treat weary Bangkokians, gentlemen.

*The restaurant: Saffron on the Sea
*Main course: deep fried white snapper with mango and carrot strips, sweet basil, chinese celery, and cashew nuts
*Drinks: tequila sunrise drank at sunset and tempered by ginger and lemon grass tea

II. Okay, I took work to the island. But I calculated that in a place so beautiful inducing ideas for research would be a piece of fishcake, and it was. Toying with concept maps, I didn't regret not joining my friends at White Sand beach where they checked out a few bars and live music.


III. Exploring the rocks. Fun fun fun! And a 19-year-old memory came dancing back:

My cousins to their father: (pleading like brats) Come on, Papa. Please buy us that beach house in Aplaya...

My uncle to cousins: (looking overruled and drawing a resigned breath) You really want that property huh, kids?

Cousins in hopeful chorus: Yes!

Uncle with affectionate finality: OK. I love you so I will buy it... (and turning cheeky without warning) if you all stopped schooling first.

Its return accorded me equilibrium while I was maneuvering this boulder. The comic look on my cousins' faces when they were handed the trade had me in stiches inwardly. The wind pumped fresh oxygen into my lungs sending fondness back to my heart. I love my sometimes crazy family :)


IV. Island - hopping. I snoozed half the time on the boat like a classic old maid, (a nickname we tease each other with) and worked the camera for my friends who went snorkeling around each island we sailed to. My phone registered locations I could hardly pronounce, and the boat showed us sights to daydream on. And on. And on....


V. Bonus for a sinker. What's brilliant about this shallow part of the ocean I could shriek in delight is the presence of multi-colored fish here and there swooshing close to your body! We took hundreds of photos, and on one which was taken by our guide I discovered something - a big turtle below us was captured on the shot. What more could someone who can't swim ask for?


Head over to Susanne's Living to Tell the Story for more faves.

30 July 2010

A promising foretaste

It has been a fun-filled week. These are my faves:

Black Forest
Usually I resist and often I am successful. But just this once I gave in to one slice of chocolate delight. Sometimes I wonder about the status of my workplace: is this still a university or has it turned into a party hub? Ok, it's still a university where birthday parties happen. I'll worry about the expanding waist later.

Alone time
Work on Wednesday made me forget to eat. By the time I came back to my apartment I was famished. I treated myself to brunch at my favorite Japanese restaurant. Isn't it also lucky that I got seated right away?

Items that serve one's intended purpose
This sounds to me like a shopping result that's worth the money: books that kick off stress, footwear that weaves 5-second dreams of a suit-clad 21st century Cinderella and accessories that compel you to relax.

Time out with friends at an album promo tour
When you've done nothing but focus on your job for a long time, it's always fun to socialize outside work. Emotional and mental batteries get recharged.

A promising foretaste
Near the stage when the artist (of the album promo) belted out Whitney Houston's "don't... make... me close... one more door...." I remember a youtube clip of her singing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Dodgers last year. Charice is coming back to Bangkok in October with David Foster. There's a household name to look forward to.

Visit Susanne @ Living to tell the Story for more faves.

09 July 2010

Decisions, decisions

A few not-so-routine stuff and a rare one in the offing, out come my week's faves:

1. "You're blooming... are you dating?"
someone at work suddenly asked me that. I laughed hard and coughed out, "what? of course I'm not!" He walked away looking pleased and determined at his own conclusion, "I knew it...you're dating." Now if it were true... but well, I loved the laughter.

2. String-tying ceremony (I forgot my cam but here's an idea)
the charm of the tradition unfailingly upholds cultural identity

3. Walking on soft earth
a refreshing break from tick-tocking on concrete all the time

4. Outdoor warmth
an assignment requires me to be out of the office for four hours every Friday this term. The warm morning breeze works better on me than freezing AC's. Bye-bye, shrinking skin.

5. Hard but exciting choices
a weekend with colleagues in Beijing or a few days in Bangkok with someone I haven't seen in two decades? There's only one slot on the timetable for either. Being sweetly torn does not happen everyday. I'm warming up to it.

Visit Susanne @ Living to tell the Story for more faves.

02 July 2010

Soul alight


This Friday is just great! I had a few irritants up my back and didn't count on coming up with a set of faves, but although life sometimes looks so dim, it also has pleasant surprises so here I am --

Possibilities
I'm working on publishing a couple of academic articles and found a feasible place for them.

Facebook thrill
It's been 22 years since high school graduation, and so wonderful to reconnect and reminisce with former classmates and teen crushes.

Another sentence, clear and straight!
There's something I'm fixing nowadays. It's why I was absent from the blogosphere for some time (wrote a page about it). CJ is making significant progress and I'm on cloud nine. Although he uttered "I'm the winner, you're the loser" to his friend, I'm okay with that. I mean CJ sounds like he got some of his Dad's cold and hard, competitive stock market spirit; but as long as there is improvement or anything better than the present clinical impression, I'm for it.

Friends who ask and listen
and don't chicken out even when you sound scary and toxic. The best part is they offer positive advice, and I'm so grateful they're around.

Eclipse
No matter how momentary, it is amusing to ogle at the teeth-chattering scene, feel like an 18-year old again and forget problems.

Visit Susanne @ Living to tell the Story for more faves.

16 April 2010

A quiet week

Thailand is celebrating Songkran (Thai new year) this week. Water-throwing which characterizes the occasion has been reportedly mild especially in Bangkok where protests are still going on. It's untraditionally dry where I live and in general things have been quiet. I like the week just the way it is:

A place to purchase necessities in peace
I usually stay indoors during Songkran because I don't like to get drenched. To do the same thing this year I hoarded food so I didn't have to go out at anytime during the entire week. I'm glad I was able to do my shopping without having to worry about stray bullets or being trampled by a mob.

A friendly man in uniform
After buying everything we needed, CJ and I stood waiting opposite the mall for our ride home. Vehicles on the highway were sparse. The cop directing traffic approached CJ, and playfully tugged the Ultraman doll which seems perenially attached to CJ's hand nowadays. Then he went back to his job. It all happened within less than a minute but the smile coming out the officer's masked face spread to my face too.

Baby sitting gone easy
Out of the blue CJ stopped drinking milk from the bottle. An abrupt, sort of without preamble decision of his. YAY to the end of almost six years of bottle-related inconveniences! I'm exceedingly relieved and pleased.

References
I made use of my free week brainstorming. There are parts of research where offline sources are more helpful than online back-up. Such books were good litter on my bed.

Rebirth in my fridge
This is the result of more or less 60 dinners in restaurants, and take-out lunches. I had fun discovering it, wished I had an earth-filled pot so it could go on or time for city gardening -


Share what you love about your week
with Susanne @ Living to Tell the Story

09 April 2010

Treat from the sky

Bangkok is in a state of emergency. I tried shopping yesterday but could not because protests have shut down major malls. There are no signs that anything's going to be resolved soon. As I am right where the action is I am hoping that my travel plans won't be affected. Meanwhile the rest of us are still working normally and that's a lot to be thankful for. I am also happy for other blessings:

Treat from the sky
Monday night it rained, saving me extra AC cost. Tuesday night a full moon was visible. Due to light pollution it's not every night that city residents get to see a sky adorned with a smiling heavenly body.

Helping each other
Sorting taxes is beyond me honestly, but some colleagues are good at it and willing to do it for me. In return I do something for them they'd rather not; like write the institute boss' speech around time constraints for research. Tension was high but when it was over it was hilarious how we were all in a dither while the boss just extended his hand for the folder that contained his speech and went on addressing the audience like a surgeon would go about in an operating theatre, expecting a nurse assistant to know which instrument to put into his hand. I just love cooperation that results in a positive working relationship.

"Jesus is gold"
It's what Cj said when he saw an image of Jesus on a clip I was watching. Kids. But well, the Man is, isn't He?

Hitting two birds with one stone
I got my 90-day report done while having a re-entry permit stamped on my passport. With terrible traffic, travel to the Immigration is stressful since its office has been moved so far away. There's also a crowd to wrestle once there. It's quite a relief to accomplish two requirements for a single fatigue.

A meeting that turned out well
The usual drab meetings, ouch. I'd be more thrilled with fast and clean execution of orders over minimal drama. This week's faculty meeting is just fab. Cambridge experts graced it. Professional woes were heard.

~Share what you love about your week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story~

26 March 2010

Hazel-eyed Jane Austen


As a fan of Jane Austen, I am extremely pleased with the plethora of information about her on the web. It goes without saying that I spend hours immersed in Austen blogs and equally delightful related sites. There is one I want to focus on, and it is the source of my faves this week:

Sadish

Jane Austen's World
A classic party inside! I am drawn to this promise:

"This blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details"

A good trait
Vic, the blog owner writes on "About Me"

"...If you would like to share a new site, or point out an error, please email me. (Yes, I am fallible. I'll own up to my mistakes and will make the corrections with a polite smile on my face.)"


A familiar word
It's an adjective but it's also my name. James Austen Leigh, the author's nephew describes his aunt's physical attributes -

“ ... full round cheeks, with mouth and nose small and well formed, light hazel eyes, and brown hair forming natural curls close round her face.”

Jane Austen: Christian Encounters by Peter Leithart
There are many Austen publications and reviews out there, but this is the first time I saw one of a book written by a christian pastor and Austen scholar at the same time. What magnets me to this review is Vic's closing comment which mirrors an inclination I have for someone with whom I have a volatile relationship: my own mother whose moral beliefs and practices often clash with mine -

"The references to Jane’s religion and Christian beliefs were interwoven into the narrative in an unobtrusive and restrained way. I had feared a lecture; what I received was enlightenment and a book I shall share with my Christian mother who is always asking me: “What is it about Jane Austen that makes you such as devotee?” Read this book, Mama, and you will understand."

Regency wedding dresses
I must be the only divorcee who is still crazy about wedding dresses lol! Ok, not exactly crazy but perhaps a better phrase would be 'like anyway and no matter what'. Admiring vintage fashion is high on my bucket. This Jane Austen's World post, as well as Social Customs During the Regency Era contain a rich list of links. Before I go hyper I think I should pause with this quote Vic included to celebrate a niece's wedding

"The handsome veil of Mechlin lace, A sister’s love bestows, It adds new beauties to her face, Which now with pleasure glows. Friends brothers sisters cousins meet, To attend the happy bride, And Queer’s joy is all complete, The nuptial knot is tied -"


Share what you love about your week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story

19 March 2010

A Chance and Class of 1988

Friday's Fave Five: A Second Chance
Please scroll down for Friday Photo Flashback

This week has been a lot better than last week. One significant thing led to another. I'm happy about and grateful for:

a second chance
It looks like it is and I consider it to be so after a mistake I made on these anti-virus programs wiped out all my pictures. Most of those I label "precious" haven't been sent to email or stored in a flash drive or posted on any social network site. Everything vanished. I tried hard to be cheerful and carried on but the loss was such a nasty cloud over me last week that I grew two canker sores. Then I worked again on restoring them but without expecting anything anymore. Tweaking and hoping I tried these hidden files that warn you not to open them or your other files would be messed up. I had nothing else left to lose anyway so I risked it. Alas! there they were! The saying "you value a thing when you lose it" had never taken a more distinct meaning. It taught me a few lessons as well: always have back-up and don't take things for granted.

a place to stay
I was getting worried that it's already mid-March and we haven't booked a hotel in Hong Kong yet. Finally we have. I acknowledge Chette's searching prowess. The place she found is not just new with a good price value. It's also in the midst of everything we need and want to do.

Alice in Wonderland
It's a beautiful film and I enjoyed watching it.

Shirts and blouses that fit
I just love it when I go shopping in a large mall and I find what I want right on the spot. I get to go home quickly.

Chat about a cat
Meet Kareltje, one of blogosphere's most famous felines. When I headed over virtually to the Netherlands to say hi to Anya (Kareltje's human Mom), CJ was watching video clips on another window. We talked --


CJ: (digressing from youtube) Mommy, Garfew?
Me: (on an impulse to correct) Garfield, Baby Pooh. But it's Kareltje ... (and wishing to evaluate the correction) ... who's that?
CJ: Orange!
Me: What is Kareltje doing?
CJ: Circle!
Me: How does a cat sound?
CJ: Karew fat!

It's either a situation that heralds the need for audio-visual comprehension overhaul or the influence of these Baby Einsten Art DVDs or something I have no idea about. So much for a master's in Communication.

Thank you, Anya for letting me use Kareltje's photos.

Share what you love about your week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

**********

Friday Photo Flashback: Matutum View Academy, Class of 1988
Please scroll up for Friday's Fave Five

There's Vivian, there's Daisy, George, Heartwell, Norman, and I'll try to remember the rest later. This was taken on a Friday afternoon after beautifying our class garden; most probably why we were not wearing our uniform. That's our homeroom adviser, Mr. Israel Tigley, grinning in the middle front row :-) Most of these classmates are on Facebook. Some of them may recognize themselves after the tags. (Guess the pic will enlarge when clicked on)


Share your old photos with Alicia at More Than Words.

12 March 2010

Street 55


Here comes Friday! And here we come with our faves:

Race cars
- that are extremely speedy by design but accident-free because they're stationary in the mall; at least the seats are. CJ enjoyed the rides so much. Although we argued about our time there, I collapsed in laughter beside him while he maneuvered his way through obstacles, between nudges, and into a crash. CJ was so calm amidst my hysterics. He gave me a reproachful look which made me shut up and resumed laughing until I finally regained my poise.

Exploring Street 55
An agrestic Bed & Breakfast is a charming surprise in a city like Bangkok, but I find that tiny but very dainty corner most delightful. It sells girly party accessories and looks like a shop from a fairytale.

Walking on the grass under the trees with a fuzzy breeze
- is a big comfort against the heat.

Sorting our trip home
Fares increase by the hour; but I'm glad it's only CJ's ticket I had to add a few more hundred bahts to. Mine remained the same as last night's figure. At midday today I closed the deal or risked paying more. The best thing is that my holidays were approved by HR before flights became unaffordable.

"Don't allow yourself to be bored. It's an insult to life"
It's a line from a co-participant's post of yesterday's Thursday's Thirteen. Boredom has been the reason I began blogging. I have been enjoying the experience ever since and thankful for online friends. Here's hoping the insult is now redressed.

Susanne hosts Friday's Fave Five. Head over to Living to Tell the Story for more faves.

05 March 2010

Internetlessly happy


It's Friday and time to identify highlights of the week:

A young reader to nurture
After getting over a bill fright when an expensive overseas call had gone on for almost an hour, I rang cousin Vi to see when can we have another slumber party (read: splurge on food and talk all night). Vi described her 8-year old son's developing love for reading and knack for observing things. My ears perked up. It's my kind of news! Then Vi said, "I hope he'll be like you..." She didn't have to say that to make me look up my bookcase and check what could I give the boy. I'm inspired already.

Jesus in Blue Jeans and Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex
These are the only books so far available in my stack most likely suitable for Kakoy (Vi's blossoming bookworm) and I'm reviewing them for him. I'm delighted anew at the gems on the pages, and having a grand time thinking of what else to send him.

Welcome surprise from the author
I included these titles (preceding faves) in my Thursday 13 list yesterday, and this morning I found a comment that goes like this: Thanks so much for your recent post and for mentioning my book Jesus in Blue Jeans. Blessings on your path. Laurie Beth Jones

No internet
The very state freaks me off, so what makes it a fave? It has become a good tool in curbing Ceejay's appetite for Ultraman. I don't like what I see in those clips. Ceejay's stubbornness at getting what he wants could sometimes be overpowering. My lack of time to deal with it is alarming. The absence of the internet turns out a big, quick help. I no longer care that I have to go out to get on with life, like right now I'm on an internet cafe. It's a relief not to worry anymore.

A new routine
So I surprised myself by not making that frantic call to the internet service provider to fix my connection pronto! I offered Ceejay an alternative: back to his Bible Story Books. I'm happy that he conceded. "Circle," he calls Elijah's raven-delivered manna. No more late nights. Here's to a better style - creep out of bed at 4 AM to blog. Bye bye Ultraman.

Susanne hosts Friday's Fave Five. Read more faves or join us at Living to Tell the Story.

26 February 2010

Song from a mom's heart

Friday's Fave Five: Love will find a way
Please scroll down for Mommy Moments

Tension hovered over my week. It's related with preparations for a future endeavor, but then it's usually the way with such kind of stuff. I'm glad, like always, to reach Friday and engage in a healthy exercise of finding what is positive about the week. Once again, thank you, Susanne for Friday's Fave Five:

i. Story of strength and courage
I haven't been following the winter olympics, but the news story of figure skater Joannie Rochette made me reflect on life's beautiful attributes.

ii. This week
Final exams are going on - light work all week with lots of free time for us invigilating, not taking the finals.

iii. Cashing a check and saving it
When my gradschool transcript was released, I kept my ID card in my wallet and shifted my thoughts on stuff unrelated with studies. Maybe I was too happy to not think about research for awhile I also forgot that I still have some cash deposit left at the university. As getting back to research work got more intense this week, I remembered the money. But it is long overdue. I know claiming it two years after the deadline is ridiculous. But I was curious and I risked my face at the finance office anyway. The nice surprise? They issued me a check! No questions. No raised eyebrows. I love my alma mater :)

iv. Mango season
My workplace has hundreds of mango trees on its grounds. Branches are becoming heavy with the ripening fruits. The big boss allows us all - faculty, staff, birds and students to eat all we want. I'm busy and haven't eaten a single mango yet, but I'm enjoying the sight of pretty heels, sneakers and chirping feathers feasting on the luscious blessing.

v. A sweet theme
Mommies of the meme Mommy Moments are sharing songs they sing for or with their kids this week. Love will find a way gives me a break from hyperactiveness since CJ keeps still when it is played and he is prone to hug and kiss more than get into mischief.

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Mommy Moments: Song from a mom's heart
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Songs that I sing to CJ are say, more than a few and varied, but all short, mostly improvised and sometimes off-key. Those choir-singing days seem so far away now. Suggestive of his nickname, Baby Pooh, I pick lines I love from Little Mr. Roo, and sing them to him --

Little Ceejay Pooh (Mr. Roo), Let the stars shine over you, no one knows you like I do ... Don't grow up too fast, too soon. Save some time for dreaming. Settle in, settle down let me see that sleepy yawn on your face, Close your eyes I will love you completely and always...

image

The entire lyrics were on a post-it note in my computer at work for a couple of years. Nowadays we listen and sing along to Love will find a way from Lion King, CJ's fave and mine too.



KIARA:
In a perfect world
One we've never known
We would never need to face the world alone

They can have the world
We'll create our own
I may not be brave or strong or smart
But somewhere in my secret heart

I know
Love will find a way
Anywhere I go
I'm home
If you are there beside me

Like dark turning into day
Somehow we'll come through
Now that I've found you
Love will find a way

KOVU:
I was so afraid
Now I realize
Love is never wrong
And so it never dies

There's a perfect world
Shining in your eyes

KIARA and KOVU:
And if only they could feel it too
The happiness I feel with you

They'd know
Love will find a way
Anywhere we go
We're home
If we are there together

Like dark turning into day
Somehow we'll come through
Now that I've found you
Love will find a way

I know love will find a way

Chris hosts

Moms are sharing songs today at The Mommy Journey

19 February 2010

Books and roses

Friday's Fave Five: Valentine Edition
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Celebrating valentine's day without a romantic date is nothing new to me. What's relatively new is having Ceejay as my valentine date for two years now. It keeps getting better and this year it's even all that I wanted it to be and more. My faves this week are all about this year's love day.

How to be a Gentleman 101
The idea is to begin lessons on giving gifts to ladies other than Mommy or Grandma Philippines and Grandma Thailand. We hadd it simple but sweet: roses for my friend Chett. I was thrilled that Cj followed instructions and Chett was happy to receive the roses.

Red roses and a long, blue & white dress
I thought the blooms were riotous and I enjoyed looking at them. I also finally wore the dress I almost forgot existed in my wardrobe. Bought a year ago, it was lucky to have served its purpose on hearts day.

Little preferences for the day
The original plan was lunch at Fuji and then dessert at Cafe de Tu, but since Chett took along her niece, Gyanna who wanted chips, and Cj wanted the same, we went to Mos instead. What's important was we allowed the kids their choice. No Mommyish law to eat vegetables. Complete sanction to eat what they wanted.

A bookish valentine
We took five escalators up people-watching at the same time, past the Lamborghini and Porsche galleries towards Kinokuniya, a large bookstore inside Siam Paragon. Grand time amidst literature!

Bubbly laughter
Chett and I left Gyanna and Cj alone for a bit while we looked around for some light dinner before going home. About five steps away, I saw Gyanna covering her face with her hands and then flashing Cj a wide grin saying, 'hah!" I loved what I observed: they were both laughing. Gyanna is a sweet, adorable girl. Her vivacious personality worked well with Cj's shyness. This was my happiest moment.

Susanne hosts

See more faves at Living to Tell the Story

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Mommy Moments: Roses and books
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On Valentine's eve I took Ceejay out buying roses. I told him that one was for Mommy and the three were for Auntie Chett. I was teaching him how he, as a soon-to-be-young man is supposed to act during love day. I heard myself saying flowers, Ceej are given by gentlemen to lovely ladies. While watching me remove the thorns he rehearsed, for Mommy... for Auntie Chett.

The notorious Bangkok traffic got even more intense on valentine's day with the Chinese new year celebrations. But we braved the jam and I didn't mind that it took almost forever to reach Siam Paragon. I was so glad Ceejay wasn't shy this time and actually handed the roses to Chett. On Facebook Chett commented, "made my day...."

Then we proceeded to our favorite haunt: Kinokuniya

Books, roses and a little guy learning how to treat women nicely: this was my idea of a fabulous valentine.

Chris hosts

See little valentines at The Mommy Journey

12 February 2010

Peace talks and a love message

Friday's Fave Five: Peace Talks
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Peace talks
In a previous FFF post, I mentioned that students from another school fought with our students, and our billboards were damaged but I was oblivious. Well on Tuesday this week administrators and student representatives from that school came and did peace talks with us. This time I made sure I wasn't oblivious to such a good and happy event.

A playful fish
One of the fish in the pond at work somersaulted just when I passed by. It swished and backflipped. I thought I just imagined it but the gardener also stood watching the same fish in the same pond doing the same antic.

Dental appointment
After 3 weeks of searching I finally found a dentist who explained all I needed and wanted to know about CJ's teeth. There are problems. Ex is playing hard ball with me on the insurance. My mind whirled as the dentist went through words like x-ray, infection, operating room, sedation. But I'm thankful that I'm no longer ignorant of what's going on and can therefore start thinking of the next steps. It made me breathe easily.

Contagious smiles
One was CJ's when he opened his box of old but favorite toys from his dad's house. The other smile belonged to a little girl riding on a moped. She just kept smiling at me :)

A film still
I browsed around and found this:

still

Quiet, cool and quaint, no wonder stories are woven at settings like this. Maggie Smith starred as an English novelist who invited train bombing survivors to recuperate at her home in the Italian countryside. You must have guessed the film title already.

Susanne hosts


There are more faves at Living to Tell the Story


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Mommy Moments: Love Message
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This month marks my one year of blogging. Despite believing otherwise I must have eked out a few solid lines from the heart. Today the topic at Mommy Moments is message of love. I don't think I could wax poetic when it comes to the most important man in my life...

I almost skipped this week's Mommy Moments but expressing feelings is essential to good relationships so I will try to croak one out.

My dearest Baby Pooh,

You're a handful, don't you know that? Oh yes, you are and I'm sure in time you will agree with me. Yesterday your dentist told me you need serious procedures. I didn't tell her you're eating candies as much as Pooh Bear is eating honey. Or that your milk was in my purse as we spoke. But I did tell her that you're scheduled to play with Roo, Mickey and Simba at Disneyland on April 26th. The procedures would be arranged after.

Everytime you sketch a dinosaur, color it pink and say, "this is mommy" on, of all canvasses, my research sheets, I'm on top of the world.

Sometimes you're a screaming machine and I'm yanked out of my reverie, but this I would do eventhough I'm scared: I would go through hell and back for you. Now don't go competing with Mozart on who's got the bigger head.

Love,
Mommy

P.S. Toys galore the moment you stop drinking milk from the bottle. I might even drop Baby from your title. Deal?


Chris hosts
Moms are doing love messages today at the Mommy Journey

05 February 2010

Regency delight and love language

Friday's Fave Five: Regency Period Cake
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Ambience of Banana Leaf
Restaurant dinners continue to be the trend for us this week. Rustic charm has always been a big hit to me and Banana Leaf's got it. Buckets of real wheat, garlic and pumpkin hang adorning the wall. Plus the sweet and sour fish and chicken with cashew nuts and mushroom are a real pleasure.

J Lo Live
This was a gift to me two years ago. Cj is too young to be choosy with scents. He smiles playfully when I spray it on him and I laugh inwardly thinking he is a boy wearing a girl's perfume. This week we both smell the same :)

Cyberbanking
I finally dragged documents and myself down K Bank to register for online financial transactions. Spending only what I earn suits me best as I avoid debts and the convenience of sorting expenses any time of day in familiar surrounding is always welcome.

Music in the air
Whatever happened to the PA system at work? An old song was coming off it this morning. The sound led my eyes to the open gym where members of the ballroom dancing club were practising slow dance steps to You Needed Me. It was an auditory treat to think that this PA normally trumpets off announcements like "those who have INCs in Taxation 101 please proceed to...."

Regency period delight
I browsed sites about Jane Austen, one of my favorite authors, and found this very delightful thing. The post includes instructions on how to create it. Although I'm not baking anytime soon nor am I a huge cake eater, I'm blown by the loveliness of the idea that one day I will come up with this thing of beauty on my table.

Susanne hostsYou can read more faves at Living to Tell the Story

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Mommy Moments: Love Language
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Based on Chris's Thursday post about love language as described by Gary Chapman, this is how Cj and I communicate our love to each other:

Words of Affirmation. People need to hear compliments. Simple "thank you" or "you look wonderful today" is important to this people.

Cj always says, "Thank you Mommy" everytime I give him his milk. I also say "I love you, Baby Pooh" constantly, besides affirmative adjectives when he shows me his drawings (eventhough I look like a dinosaur most of the time) or shapes he forms from his blocks.

Once in the Philippines I was curious as to who Cj was playing with outside the house so I went to check. As soon as he noticed me, he stopped playing, put his hand on the back of my legs (that's all he could reach at the age of 2) and addressed his playmates, "My Mommy." At first I didn't realize that he was introducing me to his friends, but when I did, I thought I just experienced one of life's greatest pleasures!

Acts of Service. People receive love through acts of service like fixing the bed, preparing a meal for them or doing a chore for them.

Now that I'm taking care of Cj singlehandedly, I get to do what I never did when a caregiver was around. I would be lying if I said that on top of my official duties outside the home, domestic chores do not tire me. They certainly wear me down but when Cj does what I ask him to do like, "turn off the light, please;" "hand me the spoon, please;" "go to the computer, Ceej and please play a movie," I am thrilled and ready to face another day.

Physical Touch. People need to be hugged, touched, or sit close together.

Cj gets this love in abundance; he responds well.

Receiving Gifts. People need to receive thoughtful, not necessarily expensive, gifts.

Check.

Quality Time. People equate love with spending time with them like listening to them, walking, talking and the likes.

*sigh* As a working single mom quality time seems to be my shortcoming. But I'm working on improving the situation.


Chris hosts

Click here for more love language

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