Let the children play

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Children nowadays play with technology. It’s quiet this way. Only the adults are noisy from telling stories, asking too many questions, laughing and plenty of dark jokes targeted at you.  One has to have broad shoulders to deflect shady puns … Continue reading

Draw me something

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“I want to be a paleontologist.” “A paleonto what?” “I love dinosaurs and I want to take care of them.” “Well, you love Barney, Bamm-Bamm and Dino in Flintstones.  That’s only cartoons; besides dinosaurs are extinct. There are no more … Continue reading

Octoberian Costume Birthday Party

Fearing that I will miss the birthday party for the month of October while I was walking the Camino, they waited until most of us are present.  We celebrated it in style: costume birthday party just in time for Halloween.

It was all start cast:  Mini Mouse, Ginger of Gillian’s Island, Captain James of Star Trek, Ghost Buster, The Venetians, Race Car Driver, Pirate, Nemo, Nurse (a real one), Lulu the gypsy fortune-teller, M&M, Pikachu, Priest (a real one) and much more.

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

The leading person who turned 60 years old is my brother who looks like David Suzuki.

Lulu, the gypsy fortune-teller is a very memorable character in our family life.  She was my mother’s friend.  How she suddenly appeared in our life remains a mystery.

Suzuki and Lulu

Suzuki and Lulu

Mother has a way of helping out people.

I remember how Mother helped Lulu take a bath.  Lulu was apparently so dirty that the water turned brown.  She doesn’t speak our language and we only spoke English to her.  She came in and out of our apartment, bee-lined to the kitchen, helped herself out on any food to eat and made herself at home even Mother was not around.  Lulu called my mom Mother as well.  Mother is Mother to everybody and everyone.

Having had her fill, she takes out her Tarot card and starts reading them.  Talking to herself mostly and suddenly, she will say, Mother is here.  Huh? No she’s not, I said.  Next thing, Mother walks in the door.  How did she do that is beyond me.

Lulu gives Mother a reading whether she likes it or not.  Mother doesn’t mind.  I don’t know if Mother believes in fortune-telling or palm reading because it is quite contrary to our belief system.

One day, Lulu read in the card that we are going far away to another land.  Mother did not believe on that either.  And it did happen.  How did she do that?

Back to the party.  The Filipino tradition, if it’s our birthday, we are responsible for throwing in the party, bring our cake and eat it, too.  We do not wait for anybody to throw us a surprise party.  We do not wait for anybody.  We let the whole world knows that it’s our birthday and we invite as many people as we can to help us celebrate.  Celebrate we did.

As for my costume, I wore my hiking gear; boots, poles, backpack, hat, waterproof jacket and pants, iPad in a red leader pouch,  a camera, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, etc.  Gosh, cannot believe I carried these for 15 days.  Eventually, I had to divest myself since it was boiling inside the house with all these characters and cooking going at the same time.

The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim

The cake is always gigantic.  There was no blowing of the candles because most of us are sick of colds and we definitely want to keep the germs to ourselves.

Birthday Cake

Good times, good times.  Happy Birthday to us.

Related link: Tenth month of the year

Home of the Topnotchers

I was searching for the University of East where I studied back in the Philippines.  Finally, they are now on line however the history is still yet to be updated.  I have so much fond memories studying.

This University is really top-rated.  No such thing as being humble based on its logo.

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That is tall order and I cannot reach that for I am only five foot and two inches tall.  As a freshman, I prefer to have good times and date the men in the Engineering Department.  I was a flower amongst the thorns.

There is one person, though, who jumps so high that she became a topnotcher.  She must be about four feet and eight inches tall.  They say dynamite comes in small packages.  And that she is.  With that small head, she is all brains.

Thelma

Was my Mother very proud of her dreams to educate her children?

She was more than shock to find out about this.  Her perseverance and dedication to raise her children with good education no matter how poor we were was a great sacrifice for her.  Mother, we are proud and love you for providing us the life you didn’t have.  Thank you, Mother.

I know I will be in deep doo-doo for flaunting this.  Here’s to hoping that she hasn’t been reading my blogs.

Thelma was the top-notch.  We are siblings and she is the second Octoberian who celebrates her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Sister!

God Bless.

A Celebration In The Park

Happy 125th Birthday, Stanley Park.

It was a two-day event celebrating Stanley Park’s 125 years on August 24 and 25, 2013. 
One could easily get lost in a 400 hectare of land and many trails within the park.  Just to walk around the wall is about 10 km and takes me three hours. 
There were over 200 activities going on.  Too many to choose from.  Staying at The Lost Lagoon could practically occupy me the whole afternoon.  There is music, sports, walking tours, opera, adult zone, kid’s zone, flower zone, you name it, spread all over. 
Since I wasn’t prepared, I asked the volunteer which is the best place to go?  She pointed me towards Second Beach.  When I arrived at the beach, it’s mostly for an adult section with beer garden.  Of course, on the beach, there is more human skin showing than clothed people. This is not my kind of place and entertainment.  I’m too young for this kind of activity. 
Off I go and did a 180-degree turn, retraced my steps and walked in the opposite direction headed north. 
Lucky me, this side is more picturesque and a place to relax. There are so many shades of summer in the Rose Garden that it took my breath away. 
 

I pretended that this is my garden and filled my being with the freshness of the garden. 
And who is Lord Stanley?  He was the Governor General of Canada in 1888 and helped keep the park.  
 

Today is your birthday

When she celebrates her birthday, it means that mine is just around the corner.  Today is her birthday.  POTEET. 
What is the meaning of a name? 
  is for petite, perfectly petite person
O  is for ornate, nothing plain here!
  is for thoughtful, the caring you.
E   is for enchant, for enchant you will.
E   is for expressive, not one to hold within.
T   is for thoughtful, the caring you.
Who is Poteet?  Mother nicknamed sibling #9, Poteet. 
We all have nicknames from: Ate, Kuya, Detse, Nilds, Beng, Tel, Jun-Jun, Danny, Poteet, Tyrone, Dondi, Angel and Lady, yours truly. 
I try to remember her birthday to figure out how out I am.  
This year, I thought I am older until I asked Poteet how old she will be.  Much to my chagrin, I am actually a couple of years younger than I thought.  So why do I want to get older?  Thinking older, age wise, makes me dream of retirement age.  Knowing my real age, that means I have to work two more years. 
There goes my dream.  Back to reality. 
Okay, this is not about me.  It’s about Poteet’s birthday,  
Happy Birthday, Poteet and here is a blessing song:  May the blessings of the Lord be upon you…  And you know the rest. 
As for the customary song: 
 
 
 

On This Day, Dalai Lama’s Birthday, he turns 78.

Lhamo Thondup was born on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China, northeast of Tibet, to a peasant family. 
The true value of existence is revealed through compassion

The true value of existence is revealed through compassion

At the age of 2, he was identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. Young Lhamo was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama.  Tibetans believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors. 
Dalai Lamas are believed to be the reincarnation of Avalokitesvara, an important Buddhist deity and the personification of compassion. Dalai Lamas are also enlightened beings who have postponed their own afterlife and chosen to take rebirth to benefit humanity. “Dalai” means “ocean” in Mongolian (the name “Gyatso” comes from the Tibetan word for ocean). “Lama” is the equivalent of the Sanskrit word “guru,” or spiritual teacher. Put together, the title of Dalai Lama is literally “Ocean Teacher,” meaning a “teacher spiritually as deep as the ocean.” 
Ask the Dalai Lama who is he is.  His simple answer is I am just an ordinary monk.  
On a personal note, I did have a chance to be in his presence with Desmond Tutu.  Together they were full of wisdom and both promote world peace.
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Our Company is Required

Baby James wants our company today to celebrate his first birthday at Baby’s crib.   He is throwing a theme party, Super Hero.  On top of that, baby wants us to help “Sweet Sheripie” his mom to fight off stinky diapers and sleepless nights. 
Boy oh boy, this is a job for, Super Nanny.  And that won’t be me! 
I can’t believe a year has gone by when he was born, welcome home with Gzi Gzi (Gorgeous Grandma), graduation day, christening day, first Christmas, first Easter, and now his birthday. 

What I think, Baby James will be a good companion for me when I do gardening and we will plant our own garden
Apprentice Gardener

Apprentice Gardener

Happy Birthday, Baby James!  And this is my birthday song for you. 

Older and Wiser

Trying to encourage Lucy (my niece) by her mother (sibling #9) to study French immersion during summer was a battle.  
Lucy has a hard noggin with a motor mouth.  Nothing can persuade her to take a free course.  
It’s free, for crying out loud and it’s only half a day.  It will be good for you to take advantage a free class. You are doing so well at school. What are you going to do all summer?  Said sibling #9. 
Nobody can make me.  This is my life.  It is my summer, and I don’t want to study!!! Said Lucy. 
Well, think about this.  This summer, instead of spending time with you in the afternoon after school, I might as well work all summer long.  You will be at home with Dad and, your birthday is coming up, there will be no birthday party.  Think about it.  This is the ultimatum of sibling #9 to cherished daughter, Lucy. 
When her birthday came, I posted a birthday wish for her on her Facebook along with so many greetings from her friends.  Her response was: 
Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! I feel wiser already! 
Happy Birthday, Lucy (middle)
 Hmmm…. She must have thought about it and realized Mother is always right. Apparently, she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.  Wise choice, Lucy.  That munchkin in the middle is sweet Lucy. 
P.S.  I just sent a Facebook message to sibling #9 asking how old Lucy is.  She responded: 12 years old, sometimes too mature for her age…

Today is Your Birthday

When it comes to birthday celebrations, we celebrate with gusto even though the birthday celebrant is absent in body, however, we know the spirit is there.  
Yesterday, we celebrated Mother’s birthday but today is her official birthday.  Weekday is hard to get together due to school and work.  Should Mother still be alive, it will be her 93rd year.   
The most wonderful birthday celebration we did for Mother was when we gave her a surprise one.  We rented the church hall and invited her siblings and their children, family friends and anybody who knows Mother.  Mother has a big circle of friends and the hall was full.  To keep this as a big secret was a challenge but we succeeded.  Or maybe, Mother was just playing along so that we don’t get disappointed.  Well, it doesn’t matter, it was fun. 
What I remembered the most was this part. The grandchildren all came out bearing a rose to present to Mother.  Mother loves roses.  There must have been 14 little feet marching towards Mother.  It was delight to see how happy Mother seeing her precious grandchildren with a rose on hand.  Good times, good times. I treasure this memory.  
Apparently, we gave Mother a trophy. This part, slipped away from my memory.  Thanks to my niece, Nicole who remembers it and she has the trophy.  Ta-dah, here is Mother’s Trophy.  She celebrated her 70th year. 

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Mother, wherever you are, we thank you for the gift of life and we love you.  From your children and grandchildren.  
As for the birthday song, I play this for everybody.  Happy Birthday, Mother.