Mothers, Thank you.

Mother.  That is what I call her, Mother.  Not just me, also my siblings and her siblings.  She is a Mother to everyone and everybody. 
She was once given an award as Mother of the Year back in the Philippines.  And I am in search for this award since it was lost in the shuffle due to many movements in our lives. 
I have a second Mother that my Mother prayed for Her intercession so that my life be spared.  Her name is Our Lady of Perpetual Help and my Mother named me after her.  She is the Mother of Jesus Christ. 
The portrait of Mother painted by my brother, Danny, and an Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 

 
Related Link:

Intruder Alert… A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Not only there is violence in the outside world such as Boston, but there is also violence in WordPress bloggers.  I am here to warn all of you of this blogger that I welcomed to the circle and unbeknownst to me, “it” has a hidden agenda. 
I do not take delight in exposing anyone, but I want to give you warning how evil operates in the guise of Freedom of Speech at the expense of others.  “It” feeds on others and as a responsible blogger, I want to throw some light on this.
Beware of this blogger: thebloggingpath.com.  These are the selected entries that I discovered that “it” posted.
Prayer Journal
hebloggingpath.com/2013/04/22/urban-dictionary-hurt-feelings/
thebloggingpath.com/2013/04/22/flippant-define-flippant/
thebloggingpath.com/2013/04/22/20120422-prayer-journal/
thebloggingpath.com/2013/04/21/give-me-a-word-theseeker/#more-197557
thebloggingpath.com/2013/04/19/feed-me-please-theseeker/#more-197445
Popular Prayers
I am sorry that I am the bearer of bad news.  Please help me pray for this situation.  Thank you.
 
This is in response to: Daily Prompt: Stranger
 

Forgiveness in Action – March Monthly Peace

The monthly Peace Challenge for the month of  March 2013 is about Marching Towards Forgiveness. 
Forgiveness is just a not a word for me.  I can only forgive through action.  I can think about it, I can meditate about, I can wish about it; none of these would work for me.  I can only show it.  And here is a great story about forgiveness. 
As John Paul II took the hand of his would-be-assassin, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness. 
One of the bullets that struck John Paul II remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. 
 
By Brother Randall J. Meissen, LC
4/27/2011 JohnPaulMoments.com (johnpaulmoments.com) 
ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) – On December 27, 1983, as John Paul II sat in a bare, whitewashed jail cell of Rome’s Rebibbia prison, he was unprepared for the question voiced by an unshaven prisoner to his side, “So why aren’t you dead?”  
Why aren’t you dead? 
Death had appeared all but certain to bystanders when three bullets fired by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca tore through the pope’s flesh on May 13, 1981, staining the pope’s white cassock with deathly scarlet. 
Ali Agca was a professional assassin, he had aimed at close range, and he had aimed well.  But somehow, the bullets missed lethal targets, one grazing the pope’s right elbow, and another deflecting off his left index finger before passing through his abdomen, a fraction of an inch from a major artery.  
By John Paul II’s assessment, “It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path,” and permitted that “the dying Pope. stopped on the threshold of death.”  The assassination attempt had taken place on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and the pope had no doubt that his survival was due to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
In gratitude, the Pope gave one of the deadly bullets to the bishop in charge of the shrine at Fatima, Portugal.  To this day, that bullet remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary housed at that shrine. 
However, as John Paul II sat at the side of his would-be-assassin, Ali Agca expressed fears that this Lady of Fatima might come after him next.  The pope stated the contrary; he himself had come to forgive, not to harm.  But Ali Agca did not ask for forgiveness.  
Thus, as the pope took the hand of the gunman, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness.
 
Source: Catholic.Org

The nominees are: drum roll please…

Where would this writing take me?  It has taken a life of its own.  For some readers, it shined on them. 
Thank you gegebearbear of Two Rights Attempting To Make A Left for giving me the Shine On Award. 
“To me this award is for the blogs that shine, make you feel good and are inspiring to the reader. The blogosphere is a large place and there are so many blogs out there that deserve this.”
 1. Nominate 15 blogs, as well as recommend notable blogs that tickle your fancy.
2. I believe there were some questions to be answered, but I’m not sure. So, I plan to skip this part.
Today is a sunny day and it’s a good day to nominate writers who lifted up my spirits and bring out the goodness on me: 
 
The Shine On Award requires you to nominate other blogs To Enjoy Posting this Award on Their Own Blogs( list of 15 is below) and suggest other blogs that tickle my fancy.
The nominees are: (not necessarily in this order)
1.    mischievouseyez of my thoughts my life
2.   bellaremy of Hoof Beats and Foot Prints
3.   tkmorin of Bite Size Canada
4.    sakura and me of depressionexists
5.    layasna of Unfamous Diary of Pulubing Turista
6.   wileyschmidt of Wiley’s Wisdom
7.   prettywitgla33 of My life as a teen in college……
8.   Patricia of Today, I think…
9.   carldagostino of I Know I Made You Smile
10. grandmalin of Breathing Space
11. katecrimmins of Views and Mews by Coffee Kat
12. nrhatch of  Spirit Lights The Way
13. michelle w. of Daily Prompt
14. mroh of Comic Soul
15. mysoresoul of Photography, Pain and Life
And since the questions are missing after a thorough research about The Shine on Award, I decided to start one.  Just only one.  Tell us one thing about you. 
My answer is:  There’s always a song in my head and this song is for you all. 
 
Shine on.  Pax tecum, Seeker. 
P.S.  Please ensure that you notify your nominees.

A Song, A Book, My Name

Funny (not funny ha-ha) asking me that question.  I just finished watching the DVD of Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven.  It’s a modern adaptation of John Bunyan’s beloved classic tale. 
Pilgrim’s song is a song that is constantly humming in my head.  I grew up with this song and I love the lyrics.  Pilgrim Progress is a required reading at school, a literally tale written by John Bunyan when he was imprisoned.   Perpetua is my second name. 
I found the lyrics after coming from a pilgrimage at All Roads Lead Home.

 Pilgrim’s song

Man is lonely by birth.
Man is only a pilgrim on earth.
Born to be king, time is but a temporary thing,
only on loan while on earth.

Like the wind in the tree,
man has been rather reckless and free.
Thrown far and wide, we long to settle down beside
the stream flowing through eternity.

Like the grass on the lawn,
we will pass by the way and be gone.
A lesson to learn, we walk but once there’s no return.
Time is always moving on.

Man is longing for One,
for a song and a place in the sun,
a home up above where ev’ry day is lived in love, for
rest when the journey is done.

 

A reminder that I am pushing the Pause Button in Daily Prompt as mentioned in my post Forty Days and Forty Nights.  Until then, care take of your sweet self.

Thank you for asking Daily Prompt All About Me.
 
Pax Tecum.  Perpetua

Being Born – A Gift

I know I am just passing through in this life, a pilgrim.  This is not my home.  I should have not been born as I mentioned in my post My hero.  
A lot of people had a surreal experience.  It just a matter of being aware or in tuned to what is happening in your body and out of your body. 
To cite an example, when I was just a little girl, I was having an afternoon siesta.  It’s a requirement that children must have a good afternoon rest.  My older siblings will ensure that we take a nap. 
As I lay asleep, I was looking down at my body sleeping like a baby and my other self is up on the ceiling attached by a golden thread.  It was scary for a mere child and I said to myself, bring me back to my body, Now!  Whump!  I’m back, opened my eyes, felt a tremendous headache.  That was my first awareness. 
It happens all the time, I just have to keep myself grounded otherwise, I will be floating in air.  People call me crazy, who cares.  It’s a gift.  It’s nothing new.  Look at all those great people such as Carl Jung, William Blake, Gopi Krishna, Padre Pio, Dag Hammarskjold, etc. who have such gift. 
Let me share with you what Dag wrote titled Markings: 
I don’t know who or what put the question
I don’t know when it was put
I don’t even remember answering
But at that moment
I did answer Yes
To Someone or something
And from that hour
I was certain
That existence is meaningful
And that, therefore my life,
Is self-surrender
Had a goal. 
Think about this. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Surreal.  Come and join us, you’ll discover who you are.

Show and Tell

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Teachable Moment. You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else does it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself? 
From time to time, at work, we are cross trained and switch duties.  
At the beginning of this year, I switched duties with someone in our team.  As for teachable moments, all of the above is how I learn.  Just reading the “how to manual of procedures” doesn’t cut it, because the manual is written after the fact that it has been tried. 
Even people in higher level, when I explain a certain process to them, I’m asked “show me”.  If nobody shows me the proper process, I am bound to make mistakes at work.  And I could easily say “not my fault, I wasn’t trained or nobody told me”.  I dislike saying this statement; therefore, all of the above.  Show and tell; then read the manual. 
I just remembered a beautiful poem about when children learn and here it is: 
Children Learn What They Live 
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilt
BUT
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live 
WITH WHAT IS YOUR CHILD LIVING
 

Source: Circle of Moms

 

First name basis

The Filipino way, most people’s first name is Maria.  There are so many Maria’s in our family, me included.  However, we don’t use our first name.  I use my second name.  My only wish is I wish I wasn’t named Maria. 
The trouble started not in my childhood.  It started when I came to Canada.  
The officers saw how long my name is, they started using Maria.  Employers did the same thing, Maria.  Well, I felt there is no use in contradicting them since they are having a hard time pronouncing the name.  
When I say my second name, the common response is, Huh?  How do you spell that?  P as in Peter, E as in Eve, R as in Richard, P as in Peter (again), E as in Eve (again), T as in Tom, U as in Uranus, A as in Apple.  Perpetua.  What? Petula?  Never mind, call me Maria.  The names that I just called out, they understand, but not my name. 
As for being Maria, oh the trouble I go.  Maria seems to be a troubled name.  People started singing “How do you solve a problem like Maria”.  Sound’s familiar? 
It was only in 2010 that I decided once and for all, I will use my name that I am accustomed to hearing.  Perpetua it is.  Again, my colleagues of 13 years, they kept on calling me Maria.  Sorry, folks, I am not responding to that! 
So here I am, as a Canadian Maria, signing and dancing to the Sound of Music. 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Childhood.  Come and join us, it will make you sing.

Nirvana – State of Bliss

Should I have been born as a Buddhist or a Hindu, I will make sure that I reach Nirvana in this life, a state of bliss, therefore, no reincarnation.  Reincarnation is kind of boring in my opinion.  One life is enough. 
And more importantly, I would like other spirits to have a chance to be born and experience life. 
I think Einstein was a cat in his previous life.  And here’s a proof. 
DP Feb 8, 2013 humour_reincarnation
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Reincarnation.  Come, join us and share your thoughts.

The Evolution of Medicine

In Canada, I pay medical premium for a minimal cost.  The amount of taxes that is taken out of my income is about 30%.  That’s a lot of money considering my income is so little.  I assume the tax is used in part for the medical system. 
Sometime in the 90’s, I was hospitalized for 4 months.  Should I have paid the cost of hospitalization, I would become “mental” thinking how I am going to pay the bill.  I am grateful that it was fully paid by the government. 
My knowledge in medical system is next to nothing; therefore, there is nothing intelligent I can contribute to this post except for insane Medical Humour. 
The Evolution of Medicine 
I have an earache … 
2000 BC – Here, eat this root. 
1000 AD – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer. 
1850 AD – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion. 
1940 AD – That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill. 
1985 AD – That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic. 
2000 AD – That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root. 
Suggestion for the Automated Switchboard of a Psychiatric Hospital. 
Thank you for calling.
 If you are obsessive-compulsive, press  ‘1’  repeatedly. 
If you are co-dependent, ask someone else to press  ‘2’. 
If you have multiple personalities, press  ‘3’, ‘4’, ‘5’  and  ‘6’. 
If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want;  just stay on the line and we will trace the call. 
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a voice will tell you which number to press. 
If you are depressed, it doesn’t matter which number you press, we won’t answer your call anyway. 
If you are a GP, forget about referring a patient because there aren’t any beds.  
 
Source: Humour MedJokes
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Healthcare.  Come and join us, it will expand your mind.

Tell me and I will tell you mine.

A week from now, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, is the beginning of abstaining from what we like most for 40 days and 40 nights. 
When I ask the kids what they will give up, they normally choose chocolate, candy, pop, television, Facebook (right!), etc. 
On a higher scale, Patricia from Called by Joy provided this list to give us other ideas. 
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement – be full of hope
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness
Give up complaining – focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism – become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments – think kind thoughts
Give up hatred – return good for evil
Give up negativism – be positive
Give up anger – be more patient
Give up pettiness – become mature
Give up gloom – enjoy the beauty that is all around you
Give up jealousy – pray for trust
Give up gossiping – control your tongue
Give up sin – turn to virtue
Give up giving up – hang in there 
Let’s pretend for the sake of this prompt, more importantly,  for the sake of Daily Peace, what will you give up?  Tell me and I will you mine.
Hang in There

Hang in There

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Open ending.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Morning Wake Up Call

I have a wonderful use for the phone, an alarm clock that plays beautiful melody. 
For most times, I let it ring and screen my calls.  There is a caller ID which is a very nice feature.  This is the one of gizmo that I might say a necessity in a household equipped with an answer machine pre-recorded voice. 
I had so much fun when I first installed this machine.  It was a surprise to my sisters that I finally starting to blend in.  Beings sisters, they are nosey, called me and left messages. 
Sister #4 – what is your name, you manly voice.  Who am I phoning here?  (laughter in the background) 
Sister #6 – You are hiding a man in your house (more laughter) 
Sister #5 – I like your answering machine.  It’s very nice. 
Back in the Philippines, we had party lines.  I used to entertain them on the phone just because I was being naughty.  One party line became so enamoured with my voice.  Pretty scary because he came all the way to my place and left me a gift at our door step. 
That was the end of my relationship with a phone pal when Mother found out.  Grounded, I am no longer to use the phone. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Phone.  Come and join us, it’s fun. 
A request to the readers:  No pingback please unless you have actually read, left a comment or liked this post.  Thank you for your consideration.

Genie in a bottle or 12 Steps program

Did you say major changes? Sure, I want to have a baby, let me go window shopping and buy one.  Sure, I will visit the a sperm bank to find good genes.  What a silly decision. 
I made a 360 degree turn yesterday and I am still thinking about the what if situation.  
Yesterday was Sunday and I left the mass early because the priest is boring.  I could have easily changed the situation but I stayed until closer to the end.  I did not wait for his blessings. 
Walking as fast as I could in a cold rainy February zigzagging around people, I made a 360 turn.  What made me do that?  My peripheral vision saw a person sitting on the cement outside the mall.  
Meet April in February 3, 2013.  
I asked are you ok?  Then she started crying.  She’s a new face in the block.  I recognize most of the street people in Metrotown Mall.  April made a wrong decision last night according to her, was accused of lying and hates being called a liar.  She left the facility where she stayed for two months to change her life, slept on the street last night and unfamiliar with the city. She came from the Island, up north of BC.  The time was about 2 pm. 
All of this happened out of a blue, don’t ask me why I paid attention to this stranger.  I don’t like WHY question.  Therefore, I did not ask April the why question. 
Did I make a conscious decision to help her?  Yes or No? No. Did I hesitate?  There was no hesitation in my part, I just acted.  She needs a place to stay for one night; she’s looking for the Aboriginal Lodge. 
I’ve asked April only one thing.  April, I want you to pray to your God to help us find you a place.  She sheepishly said yes with a worried look on her face. 
Skipping all the details, I found her a place to stay by 7:30 pm.  An emergency shelter.  We were wet, shaking like a leaf, tired, cold.  We shared a cigarette before we parted and made sure she was inside this beautiful blue looking mansion in a residential area that I’ve never thought it existed closed by where I live. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Changes.  Come and join us, it will change your life.

More than what a genie can provide

When I injured my back due to work related activity, enter Workers Compensation Board (WCB).  
Having an exposure to WCB, I learned that this body has to work in an ergonomically correct environment in order to suite my needs.  The chair, the height of the desk, lighting, keyboard, etc. has to be measured.  It’s all fine and dandy; this body can find no comfort.  The constant pain reminds me that I am still alive and I am grateful for that.
Can the genie grant me new body?  I think not.  Therefore, a perfect space for reading and writing is a mere illusion.
However, I find the joy of writing in so many ways as long as I carry with me a small notebook.  I am a constant note taker.  There’s a box of notebooks or journals I’ve written on daily activities about the injury.  Oh well. 
Here’s a thought.  When I moved to Room 306, for reading and writing-table, all I had was a cardboard box, a 3×4 piece of wood and a chair.  I love this make shift table.  The kids used this as their drawing table.  One drawing is still on the table, the face of Calvin; hair all sticking up and the silly grin on his face.  This piece of wood still exist. 
As for the box, it’s gone.  I have to throw it out because of a silly squirrel.  
One sultry day, I left the balcony open.  I came home that the box was all chewed up because the squirrel is a climber and got into Room 306.  UGH.  My favourite table is now chewed into bits and pieces. 
Fast forward, no more squirrels and this is how my best place to write looks like.  With classical music in the background and the drapes wide open so that I could see the hummingbird, it’s heavenly.  More than what a genie can give.  Perfect.
Source: Nephews FaceBook

 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Writing Room.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Mother Earth

I love Mother Earth and for this reason I became an activist in so many ways. 
Indulge me on this one: carbon footprints, zero mile diet, recycling, bike to work, think green, nature of things, save the children, etc. 
To put things in perspective, I cannot save the whole world.  I know I can do one thing for myself and Mother Earth.  I gave up my freedom to fully go where ever I go, when I want.  My car. 
This decision was a difficult one.  In order for me to make a decision, I always think “two things”, a choice.  Asking myself what do I want to give up in order to make a positive impact to Mother Earth and humanity:  Cigarettes or Car = 2Cs. I have divulged this information about me in my post about Pilgrims Progress and Flawed: Guilty. 
Listing the pros and cons, they are both cons.  What about the lesser of two evils, they are both evils.  What is easier?  Car it is.  
What made me choose the car?  The pollution: all that carbon in the air that is killing the plants and animals.  Greenhouse effect is what the scientists call it.  The oil and gas industry is a greedy corporate industry.  Think of Athabasca Tar Sands that is happening in Canada.  Oh, don’t get me going on this Daily Prompt.  My blood is boiling at this minute early in the morning. 
People are so righteous when it comes to smoking, even the government. When people see me smoke, I hear nasty remarks and poor attitudes, they are holier than thou.  I ask them: Do you drive a car?  Huh? is their response.  What does car got to do with cigarettes?  Do you have time to listen to me while I smoke in front of you?  No, is the response.  Then stay away from me and keep on walking.  I am killing myself when it comes to smoking, I know that.  You have no idea what I gave up for Mother Earth! 
There’s one less car now in Vancouver.  Mine. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Global.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 

Hello my name is

FLANGIPROP – A bold, earthy, and aromatic flavour of new Starbucks blend.  Coffee beans that is ethically grown and in a fair trade market, grown by the indigenous Filipino hill tribes.
 
The coffee of the future.
February Coffee Blend: Source Starbucks

February Coffee Blend: Source Starbucks

 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Flangiprop.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Little Things Mean a Lot

As I sip my coffee this morning, I looked around taking stock of what little that I have in my sanctuary.  I have already shared with you how small Room 306 is in my previous post. 
Come to think about it, there are a few items that are irreplaceable that has so much memories attached to it.  Little things mean a lot that money cannot buy. 
Mother kept this one and only letter that I wrote to her when I was just a mere child.  I only found this when we were going through her belongings when she died.  I should really move this to the bank’s safety deposit box. 
There is a pencil sketch of me that another pilgrim did, he was a Franciscan priest.  I was actually surprised when he called me to sit for him.  Hmm… my dirty mind working.  Mea culpa, he meant well. 
A cutting of the “bamboo plant”, Mother started this as single piece of stick.  Now it has grown big, bloomed and I have given away some cuttings for others.  This is the “Mother” plant.  But then again, how am I going to carry this out. 
I have an altar that has a couple of items that belongs to Mother; they are antiques of Madonna, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Our Lady of Lourdes.  Mother has a devotion to Our Lady. 
Finally, I want to keep Mother’s fur coat.  I know, fur coat is now passé.  Wearing this occasionally makes me feel the warmth of Mother’s arms around me. 
Wishful thinking in response to Daily Prompt: Burnt.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

The Power of Love

This morning, I responded to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Should you wish to read my post, it’s titled What Matters Most. 
Since the post is about fire, I would like to share this story that I received via e-mail that has been passed around.  
And the story goes: 
During an early morning response to a house fire in Santa Rose de Temuco, Chile, fire fighters witnessed the unbelievable. A mother dog risked her life to save her puppies from the fire surrounding the burning house, which started because of a car bomb.

The mother dog, Amanda, raced back and forth between the house, putting her 10 day old puppies in the safest place she could find – a fire truck!

She didn’t stop racing back into the fire until all of her puppies were safely away from the fire.  The firemen on scene could not believe their eyes. Most people have never seen a dog this smart or this brave!

 After rescuing all of her pups from the blaze, Amanda sat down next to them, protecting them with her body.  Onlookers called an emergency veterinary service and she and her pups were rushed to the hospital.  Aside from one puppy being treated for serious burns, the entire family are alive and well – thanks to the bravery of Amanda! What a heroic mother!

Isn’t this story amazing – The Power of Love.

What Matters Most

For the sake of this prompt, these five items are all in my purse.  It’s a small card holder that has my identity: Driver’s License, Medical Card, Social Insurance Card and Credit Card.  In addition, I will put on my shoes, an outdoor coat and apartment keys.  These are what matters and all I need. As for the rest, material things can be easily replaced. 
In reality, summer 2005, I was lying flat on my back in the middle of the living room, playing with Maurice, the cat. Lying on my back is all I can do due to a work related accident, I was on health leave. My lower lumbar suffered soft tissue injury from lifting a heavy box.  Tsk-Tsk. 
Clang, clang, clang goes the fire alarm.  Now what?  This is exactly what I need!  Maurice was startled and went into hiding.  Cats are very sensitive creatures, they prefer quietude like me. 
I slowly got out of my back, heard the commotion outside.  I do not have a cage for the cat so I grab my backpack.  Looking for Maurice, I stuffed him in the bag.  Grabbed my bag with my identification cards in it, shoes and apartment keys I slowly left the apartment with Maurice.  
We descended down three flights, not an easy task for my back.  In the meantime, Maurice was screaming his head off in the bag and trying to pacify him that everything will be alright. 
Outside, everybody is gathered and five fire trucks are already in front of the building.  Commotion, chaos and we were looking to check if everybody is out.  Checked, everybody is accounted for. 
The firemen did their thing.  We stood outside in a warm sunny day, chatting, joking, exchanging pleasantries, and catching up with what’s happening with our lives to keep our mind off matters.  
It seemed like forever.  Finally, the firemen proclaimed, ALL SAFE – FALSE ALARM. Hooray, the crowd shouted, we all returned to our apartments and we lived happily ever after to date, especially Maurice, the cat.
What matters most

What matters most

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Something to Look Forward To

At this time of the year, when I look outside my window, all I see is darkness.  Winter Time.  As the days move forward, we are now gaining more daylight and that is something to look forward to.  More light. 
The view from my window, are balconies of the next low-rise apartment complex.  From the distance, I can see the Rogers Twin Tower at Metro Town.  A third high-rise building is slowly rising.  I can see the construction crane.  
For most time, when I look outside, I look below.  Right in front of me is a Holly Tree. 
The Holly tree was a giant wiry mess then.  The owner wanted to cut it down.  I beg to the Manager not to cut it down for there are so many birds and animals that take refuge on this tree.  Thank goodness, the tree was spared.  The bottom part was cleared, now we can see the trunk and stand underneath.  The tree top was trimmed, now I can see who lives behind the tree. 
I love this tree.  The Hummingbirds made it their humble abode.  They own it now.  Underneath the tree, I cultivated the earth and turned it into a garden. I named it, “Holy Garden.”  Why Holy, it’s a long story. 
As for now, I left the Christmas trimmings on it.  See what I mean?
Holy Tree Garden

Holy Tree Garden

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Window.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 

Monday Evening – The World is Our Playground

 
baby james camping
Butterflies, ladybugs, dragonflies
grasshoppers and beetles
these are all that we need
as our little playmates for entertainment
in the field of the Lord. 
Tadpoles and frogs
lizards and spiders
we hunt them down
in the abandoned lot
in the field of the Lord. 
The world is our playground
nature makes us joyful
the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain
these are our brothers and sisters
as we play in the field of the Lord. 
When the wind blows, we fly a kite
when the rain falls, there goes our paper boat
when the sun shines, we run to the beach
when the moon rises, we play hide and seek
The world is our playground. 
Full of laughter and wonder
There is so much freedom for running around
We use our imagination to make up a game
No need for seesaw or swing
A merry-go-round is unheard of. 
We can go anywhere in the world
And play a game
In the field of the Lord.
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt – Ode.   Come and Join, it’s fun.
 
Sorry about this morning, woke up on the wrong side of the bed :(.  Feeling much better now.  Ah, it’s fun to be playful, don’t need a playground after all.  Good Evening, folks. 😀

Monday Morning – Humour Me

This picture is taken from niece Lucy’s Face Book.  Write your caption about this picture in the comment section. 
fb boy and camel
 I need to jump start my first day of the week. Monday in my side of the world and the moon is full. 
Earning a living, this statement is perplexing because somehow some people meet their death at work.  I would like to change this statement to:  Earning a dying. 
BOO… bad joke.  Okay, I’m out of here. 
Dear Monday,
thanks for having the word ‘mon’ in you. That’s French for ‘mine’ in case you weren’t aware, Monday, but it makes me think of you more as “my day”, and frankly that sounds like a much more promising start to a week 🙂
sincerely,
me. 
Source: walklittle walksmall.tumblr.com 
Bad news for today.  Warning:  Not for the faint of heart: Queens Playground – New York. 
This is not, I repeat, not a response to Daily Prompt – Ode.  Dare I say Come and Join, it’s fun.

Death, A Trip of a Lifetime

75 years old is my cut-off.  Take it or leave it.  I just don’t want God to forget all about me and let me live till the turn of the next century. 
I have discussed this with my sisters what I want to wear in the casket.  It will be my red dress that Mother made for me when I was in my twenties and still fits me.  The dress has been used by my sisters and nieces, and I keep on telling them to take good care of it because I need it for my burial gown.  
On the checklist is the reading at the mass, what songs to play (happy songs, please), no black dress in the funeral, cremation and of course, the Last Will and Testament. 
There, I am ready, any time, take me home. 
As for the Requiem, vengeance is mine.  I want to surprise them with an envelope to be read in the church should the priest allow it.  And at the end, one slide show, a pre-recorded  of my  last statement and a projection of my beautiful smile. 
The reading would be about Beatitudes, the teaching of Jesus Christ that in my opinion replaces the Ten Commandments of Moses.  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. 
And in my pre-recorded voice: Lunch on me, let’s party and dance. And a smile.  Let’s move to the church hall. 
 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 
Read this:
Enjoy every moment you can

Stormy weather

This brings up too many memories of “voyage of the seven days” from the island to mainland when I was growing up in the Philippines.  Back and forth, can’t remember how many times.  And the stormy weather is not good for your stomach, I must say.  As a little girl, it was fun to ride the waves. 
We lived in one of the 7001 islands, Davao City, and the mainland is Manila City.  In order for the older siblings to have higher education, they have to be shipped out to Mainland.  Sometimes, I go with them, sometimes I stayed with Mother in the Island. 
The rest is history.
Source: Cafepress.ca

Source: Cafepress.ca

 
May I be excused in reading Wikipedia.  I’d rather be with Rod Stewart. 
 
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Shipwrecked.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 

Life of Contradiction

If a picture can paint a thousand words

Then why can’t I paint you.

Picasso drawing by Carl D'Agostino

Picasso drawing by Carl D’Agostino

 Experimentation With Copy Art by Carl D’Agostino

 
Life of Contradiction – A Poem
 
One stormy night
In the middle of the day
Two dead boys
Stood up and fight
Back to back
They faced each other
They drew their swords
And shot each other
 
I don’t know where this poem came from but I memorized it way back when I was in elementary.  I loved it so much that when I start thinking of so many ifs in life, I play this like a broken record.  I guess I have mastered the Life of Contradiction. 
I am happy the way I am, no need to be a master of anything when I can’t even be a master in this School of Life. 
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Skills.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Life is Grand

Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie Sixteen Candles 86% positive.  When I think of myself as part of the movie, I am Robin, not Molly Ringwald.  Molly is a rotten tomato for her role and Robin’s role is the “crazy” one who had nothing to do with her day so she joined this group at school for a day.
Anyway, Life is Grand.  At sixteen, I was still climbing trees.  I love tree houses and imagined myself living in it with Tarzan.  All I want is a simple house where I can live happily ever after. 
Fast forward, no Tarzan, no treehouse either.  And Life is still grand.  I have shared with you what my place looks like and this is the link:  Clean Slate – Simplicity. 
As for the tree house, it exists up in Whistler Mountain.  To view, click on this link: 
Secret Treehouse.  Tarzan who built the treehouse is way too young.  Should I pursue him, I will be called the Cougar Lady.  
Secret Treehouse at Whistler, BC

Secret Treehouse at Whistler, BC

 Life is Grand. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen.  Come and join us.  It’s fun! 
 
Related Links:

I’ll Be Watching You

Excuse me Dear DP, I know today is Sunday, church day for me.  Are you a Priest who wants to hear my confession and absolve my sins?  I feel like I am in a confessional box today. 
I Plead the Fifth.
Seriously, we are talking about deadly sins here.  It’s scary enough that we are constantly under surveillance.  Even public washroom have signs “I’ll be watching you”. By the way, this song is a stalker’s song. Gee, even in the washroom, there is no privacy. 
Talking about watching, I’ll use a softer word: notice.  After Sunday mass, I get so hungry after the service.  You know, that lengthy sermon that one makes you hungry.  Sister #4 and I bee line to the nearest restaurant once a month.  I notice restaurants have cameras, too. 
Here’s a restaurant called Char Grilled and they offer the best T-shirts.  The site of  CharGrilled.
 
DP Jan 20, 2013 chargrilled
 
In answer to your post, not biting on this one.  Thank you very much. 
One Minute Meditation:
To a disciple who was forever complaining about others the Master said, “If  it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people.  It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.”    Anthony de Mello, 
SJMORSEL:    The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the less control we have.   –Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Rule Breaking.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Rated “R”

No such thing as my last attempt for I refuse defeat.  Not in my vocabulary.
I love motorbikes and the joy of riding it.  A two-wheeler powered with diesel, way better than an ordinary bicycle.
A friend of mine took me up in the mountain to teach me how to ride a motorbike.  Why the mountain?  For one, it’s quiet and safe.  The ground is mother earth instead of concrete pavement.  Obstructions are trees instead of pedestrians.  Oh, it was so much fun.
However, being small in stature, I can’t reach the ground when I hold up the motorbike in stationery.  Minor problem.  Just let myself fall, bike included on top of me.
I didn’t mind it at the time during my younger days.  Scratch and bruises.  I envisioned myself driving in the fast lane, free as a bird, hair was blown by the wind.  I can feel my adrenaline pumping.
Reality set in, my friend realized it’s not a sport for me.  What?  Please don’t give up on me.  He did.
Relationship included.
Well, I shall return and this time with a vengeance and with full respect.  In due time, I have to treat my body with respect.  A three-wheeler. 

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Apply Yourself.  It’s fun, come and join us.
 
Check this out:
blog.artandstory.com
Which language to learn next by Happy Hermit
My terrible french by Lazy Syndrome
 

next is the brain

Charity begins at home
My heart is the best organ of my body, next is the brain
The best garden booster, Black Earth Soil
There are seven energy centres in our body which is called “Chakras”.  When I meditate, what is best for me is to connect the point in my head (brain) with my heart (home). 

Chakra-Pillow-signage-1[1]

The heart is for compassion, the brain is for intuition.
And here’s a song  I’m always going home.


This is in response to Daily Prompt: Free Association. It’s fun, come and join us.

A Solution or A Problem

In a crisis, I ask myself, am I a solution or a problem?  If I am a problem, I remove myself.  If I am a solution, I’m in. 
For my sweet niece, Lucy, she has the best answer in her Face Book.  Too smart for a tender age, full of wisdom for a young mind.  I will follow a child.
 
Posted in Lucy's Face Book

Posted in Lucy’s Face Book

 As for my faith, I will always say this prayer:

Lord, grant me
the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
the courage to change the things that I can
the wisdom to know the difference

And I will be guided by the Holy Spirit.

 

This is in response to Daily Prompt: In Crisis.  Come and join us.
 
 

Share is a verb

I LOVE SHARING and it’s my favourite word.  Share is a verb.  It’s an action word.  This was my opening word in my post Monday’s Peace News Captured on video. 
Sharing is very self-fulfilling.  It brings out the humanity in me especially LOVE.  In my reflection, this love is a gift from my God that is meant to be shared.  
So, here go I… 
After yesterday’s Daily Prompt: Polite Company, I am still deeply moved by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history, not so much about the controversial topic about religion and politics. 
Out of deep admiration and respect for him, I want to share this song with you:

We Shall Overcome.

And a beautiful story Morning Story: Do Unto Others.

Have a blessed day.

Pax Tecum, (Peace be With You)  _/\_ Seeker

Monday’s Peace News Captured on Video

Share is the word I instill on the children in order for them to become giving or eventually selfless when they grow up.  Share your toys, share your food, share your clothes, and more sharing. 
One thing I have noticed ever since I joined the computer age is the “share” button.  The feeling of “I think it’s not so bad being to be in this age after all.”  I happen to like sharing and giving. 
I re-opened my Facebook account this year because I feel left out.  My family and relatives are now all connected in Face Book.  My intention is to make this site active to share my faith and to keep the faith alive in our family. 
One day my nephew shared a YouTube about “the good in people were captured on video”.  Isn’t that wonderful?  I love good news. 
And now it’s my turn to pass it on to you to spread Peace on Earth.  It will be the best 1:36 minutes of your Monday. 
  
More good news:  God loves you.
On this day, 1783 Peace of Paris was ratified.
In closing:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. ~   John 14:27
In response to Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headline:  click here for details
 
Related Articles / Links
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond

DP: Clean Slate – Simplicity

“Daily Post: Clean Slate – Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?” 
The place is the tiniest room in a three storey older tenement.  It’s a bachelor suite measuring around 500 square feet or less, big enough for a simple life.
Room 306 is the back part of the third floor of Royal Manor.  She just loves that name and she started feeling regal already.  Seeing the bright living room with balcony, plenty of natural light is very conducive to a healthy living for the new tenant requires natural light in order to survive the long winter ahead.
A balcony, she feels so blessedly rich.  She can picture what plants to grow, eventually.  No animals allowed is the agreement she signed for.  That is just fine by her since she doesn’t want any responsibilities.  All she wants is to take care of herself and live a life of solitude.
The tenant is a minimalist.  All she brought with her is an old bed and three dressers for her clothes.  She loves dressing up.  No sofa, no chairs, no table for she threw in the towel.  A clean slate, a new beginning.
Ah, she can now breathe.  No more stuff that suffocates her life.
Over the years, the room is gradually filling up and it has maintained its simplicity in life.  A sofa, plants, folding dinning table, a cat.  Plenty of light and life. She now loves living the life what God has intended for her. 
Living room

Living room

Take Two – All Things Bright and Beautiful

“DP Prompt: Take Two – Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.”

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Poem by: Cecil Frances Alexander

 Related Articles:
All Things Bright and Beautiful Poem post by cristines
Hummingbird blogspot by mara gamiel
As a matter of cat by Ella on WordPress
 

This Is Your Life – eBooks

“If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.” 
Just don’t feel writing what book that would be, today.  I can only imagine the book will be a Trilogy like Lord of the Rings.  That’s how sometimes I picture myself in book form.  There will be no ending. Fourth booking coming soon. Furthermore, it will be an eBook form. 
Instead let me share this beautiful video which I would prefer to call “Where on Earth is Matt?” instead of “Where the Hell is Matt?”  I find it uplifting. 
Hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a good day, everyone. 
In keeping with his doctrine that nothing be taken too seriously, not even his own teachings, the Master loved to tell this story on himself:
“My very first disciple was so weak that the exercises killed him.
My second disciple drove himself crazy from his earnest practice of the  exercises I gave him.
My third disciple dulled his intellect through too much contemplation.
But the fourth managed to keep his sanity.” 
“Why was that?” someone would invariably ask. 
“Possibly because he was the only one who refused to do the exercises.” 
The Master’s words would be drowned in howls of laughter.
Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL:    The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself. ~  Giovanni Ruffini (1807-1881)

What your fortune cookie tells you

“Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?”  I choose something else entirely. 
The cheapest way for my family to dine out is to go to a Chinese restaurant, New Lakeview Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant manager knows us and it’s the only restaurant, I think, that is crazy enough to accept a boisterous huge family. My family is loud and that’s why I live alone, away from the maddening crowd. Can’t really stay away from them far too long because sometimes I need to hear real voices; otherwise, I hear voices in my head. We try to meet at least once a month for a group birthday celebration; one big party for all celebrants of the month.  
After chow time, my nephew made a suggestion when it’s time to crack open our fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

 “When you read your fortune cookie, make sure you add at the end of the sentence ‘in bed’  nephew said in his soft-spoken English accent. 
 “Are you talking dirty again?” the adults turned their head to nephew and exclaimed this in unison.
 “No, you guys are the one who is thinking dirty. I just want to have fun. Just play along with me. OK?” nephew retorted.
 “Sure, sure.” adults agreed.
 Just imagine all the ruckus of laughter as this is being spoken loudly.  So here are samples of the fortune in the cookies
 Sister #6: A thing of beauty shall bring you great joy … in bed (she’s happily married)
 Sister #5: You will soon be blessed with unexpected good luck … in bed (she dedicated herself in RCIA – Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
 Sister #4: You will be the centre of a special group’s attention … in bed (she’s one of the celebrants)
 Sister #2: Your genuine talent will find its way to success … in bed (she gave up her sewing business as a dressmaker in order to propagate the Devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague)
 Me:  Desires that are not extravagant will be granted … in bed.  OMG.  I was the laughing-stock (no comment)
 It was so much fun. Thanks to my Rocking Nephew, there is a whole meaning on fortune cookies.  Huffington Post begs to differ and wrote an article about how ridiculous the messages are.  Click on this fortune cookie to read.
 Of course, we say grace before meals even though we are in a public restaurant. The family that prays together stays together.
Prayer before meal:
We come to join in the banquet of love,
Let it open our hearts and break down the fears
That keeps us from loving each other.
            sung by Dominican Nuns at mealtime
 MORSEL: If you judge people, you have no time to love them. — Mother Teresa

1984 – What do you see?

“You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.”

 Hotmail In Box:  No new mail.  I might as well read all the letters then.

Vanakkham – Greetings to you.  Mentally, I am in good health and my well-being is calm.  I like praying and I dislike quarrelling.  I receive so many suggestions and ideas about to live like a guide to others and how can I live without giving any difficulties to other and how can I be of help.  I shared everything to my friends.

With God’s grace and your love I am living peacefully.  I will remember you in my daily prayers.  Since I can’t write this letter, our field worker has written this letter for me.

Yours lovingly, signed with a thumb print

These are bits and pieces of the letters I received from PMB1245 Child ID.  My foster child’s name is Kulandai Samy.  He is much too old for a foster child, older than me.  He is blind.  And I am speaking on behalf of Samy.

I’ve never read a single word of fear from a blind person.  He cannot describe what’s in the room for that matter.  Samy, has given me so much joy since 2009.  Twice a year, I received a letter and annually a Christmas card enclosed a photo of him.  He does look so peaceful. 

I received a call from the agency that Samy died of a heart attack last week, beginning of January 2013.  Now, he is forever peaceful, united with God. 

Kulandai Samy, where ever you are, I thank you for coming into my life.  I’ll be seeing you in the next life.

*One Minute Meditation*
Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no
matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.
–Thomas Merton
 
Related post from WordPress:
Fear of the unknown: by seeker
A question for me; Was he afraid?  story by tkmorin
What you don’t know: by shadoza
The Only thing to fear: by jodahfirst
The voices in my bathroom were real, Oh God: by allthosesmallthings

Last Words

Last Word

Last Word

 
With all my love and prayers.  God Bless You All.
 
Daily Prompt: Last Words
November 21, 2012
You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever. Write it.
Just Catching Up.  😀
 
 PS:  I will be in hiatus starting January 1, 2013.

DP: Teacher’s Pet – Don’t Call Me Stupid

My name is “Pet”, short for Perpetua.  And this is a story when I was in Elementary School studying at Ramon Magsaysay Cubao High School (RCMHS), a public school system. 
This must have happened when I was in sixth grade.  I was a very tiny person with BOOMING voice, similar to Owen Meany in the book written by John Irving “A Prayer for Owen Meany”.  Being small, I was always placed and seated at the front row.  But in this class, I was seated somewhere in the middle row.  I think the class was History and Geography. 
Teacher’s Pet?  I wasn’t called “Pet” by a teacher.  I was called “STUPID”.  I can’t remember what the question was raised by the Teacher nor can I remember what I said.  All I remember was I was called “STUPID”. 
I stood up and on the top of my voice I exclaimed  “DON’T YOU EVER CALL ME STUPID!”  Oh no, this is a No-no.  As a student, no one ever answers back to a Teacher; as a child, my role is to listen and obey. 
You could hear a pin drop in the classroom.  I wasn’t sent to the Principal’s office.  No response from the teacher nor there was a feedback from my scared classmates.  No note to take home for my Mother.  Class carried on. 
Report card: FAILED on History and Geography.  I love history and I know my Geography.  I can tell all the names of 50 states of United States and its capital.  I know Philippines has 7,001 islands on low tide; on high tide, one island is submerged, only 7,000 islands.  It’s a cinch to memorize when my brain cells are intact, at that time. 
Did I care if I failed?  Nah, who cares?  Nobody calls me stupid. 
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.”
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”― Albert Einstein
 
Related Articles:
HuffingtonPost: After A Teacher Calls Your Child Stupid: by Karin Kasdin
Don’t Call Me Stupid: Ross Mountney’s Notebook – WordPress
Don’t Call Me Stupid: by Kara Tointon – BBC UK
My Teacher, Who Pets some and Tries All: by All Those Small Things WordPress
Teachers Pet, Teacher who had a real impact on your life: by myvividvisions WordPress

DP: Helpless – Lost Generation

 “Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?”
It’s now day three that I am under the weather.
I am so sick and tired of being sick with coughing, sneezing and dull achy feeling.  Living alone does not help.  I feel so alone in this world.  I want my mommy.
The weather is uncooperative.  It has been raining for a week now, cold miserable winter day.  I am so bored all cooped up at home.  It’s so depressing looking at the weather.  I want the Sun.
Be patient.  This too shall pass.  It’s hard to be patient being sick with colds.  I know I’m not the only one suffering with this blooming cold.  I caught this from commuting, from work, from who knows.  No point of blaming.  I just have to have a lot of patience.  Where can I buy patience?
What am I going to do about?  I will cook more chicken noodle soup, cuddle up with my cats and a dose of hope from the Lost Generation.
 

Daily Prompt: Quote Me – Does Evil Exist?

 
“Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?”

When it comes to what I believe, I bear in mind that the word God might be different to other belief system.  If you are reading this, the word God should be replaced by whatever higher power or inspiration you believe in.

Here is a man who questioned everything.  And he answers it, too.

The question is “Does Evil Exist?”

His answer:
“Evil does not exist or at least it does not exist unto itself.”
“Evil is simply the absence of God.”

Thought provoking.  This poster hangs on the west wall of my sanctuary.  I stare at it every day.

I want to know God's thoughts ... the rest are details.

I want to know God’s thoughts … the rest are details.

DP: Resolved – Consider it Done!

Woe is me, I woke up so serious yesterday morning and it’s only day one of 2013.  I hope this is not an omen of events yet to come.  Hey, Seeker, gotta have faith, remember?  I know, but the devil is working overtime.  I have been told to lighten up, bohoho.  OMG, what a switcheroo to 2012.  Something is seriously wrong with me.  I have to seek out my friends in Facebook. 
I have to have a resolution not just a goal.  With this comment, I resolve to lighten up.  How do I do this? 
I know, Crude Oil is a very compassionate loyal friend.  I have to drop him a line or two. 
Seeker

Seeker

 
Crude, time for an oil change.  It’s New Year 2013. Are you happy? Seriously. A request.  I’ve been told to lighten up.  I think I should learn to find my funny bones and grow some wings like an Angel.  Angels do fly, don’t they?  They don’t take themselves seriously.  And I am taking this seriously.  I have to lighten up.
Crude Oil

Crude Oil

 
Happy New Year! Am very happy:)  Did you say “bone”?  Seeker, that is not funny to mention “bone” to me.  Just because I love you, I will help you.  Ok, close your eyes, Seeker and make your wish. And woof, thanks for asking 🙂
Seeker

Seeker

  
I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish…..
Oh, P.S.  My 6 letter word for 2013 is WISDOM, may I have this too?

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

 
Grrr…. Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.  Hocus Pokus, your wish is your command.  You may have your wings as for the rest, I’ll get back to you.  Gotta find me some “bones”.
 
                                                       Ta Da…. 
WP 2013 Jan 2 Crude Oil
 
                                           Your turn.  Make a Wish.
 
 

I think I shall never see…

When I look outside my balcony towards north, facing the horizon, I could see Grouse Mountain of North Vancouver. When it’s covered with snow on a beautiful sunny winter day like today, it’s spectacular.  I feel like making a trip and climb the Grouse grind.  Not. 
I cannot due to just being plain lazy.  Then I look down below.  Sigh.  My beautiful tree is no longer there.  I gave that tree a hug all the time.  I love watching the squirrels going round and round the branches.  The racoon checking out the tree at night for food.   My winged friends make it their home to nest. 
When it starts to flower and seeds, so much pollen floating in the air.  Much too much pinecones and don’t mind if I have to rake them out.  The beetles in summer months come out at night.  Lucy and Maurice the cats exercised their hunting skills. 
One year, Father Winter came with a vengeance, covered the tree with snowy splendor.  And then… sad, the branches cannot carry the load of white powdery stuff.  Needless to say, I bid goodbye to the tree and all I have left is this memory. 

Daily Post: Stroke of Midnight – First Night

“Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?” 
First Night is what we call it here in Vancouver.  In my life, it’s a family event.  We all gather around anxiously preparing for that countdown.  Children are excited and they are the first one to blow the whistle.  Hush, it’s not midnight yet, but they can’t wait to be the noise maker.  
The dining table is filled with food.  More food, same as Christmas.  Ugh.  I can’t bear to see the same food.  My body is already screaming for simple food that I am so used to.  Baked, boiled or broiled.  The arteries are now starting to clog up.  Cardiac delight is what I call this traditional Filipino food.  We died eating happily. 
Is it New Year’s yet, kids are screaming.  In a minute, we’re almost there.  How many times have we said this “in a minute” to the kids?  They have no concept of time.  We have said this all night long. 
COUNTDOWN:  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Happy New Year!  Hugs and Kisses.  Open the windows and let the Spirit of New Year in.  Pots and Pans are all out of the cupboard.  Banging on them is our noise makers.  We were shouting out on the top of our lungs for the neighbourhood to hear.  Play the music; will somebody please play the music? 
  
All of these happened in my younger days.  At the stroke of midnight, I was at home happily ensconced in the couch watching the celebration on TV with my cats Lucy and Maurice.  My own little family, not with the crazy clan that I love dearly. 
Of course, I played the Feliz Navidad, cha cha cha; all by myself, sending out prayers and blessings to the world, just like any other night.   Then, lights out, nanight. 
Thank you Lord for another day.

This is my Quest…

A writing challenge: New Year’s Resolution not a dream, not impossible… 
Many times I resolved to make a resolution, a total failure.  Therefore, I resolve to fail less… three is doable.  It will be more of a goal, and not a resolution.  I make my goals fun and enjoyable, not a chore.    
  • Every year, I make sure that I do one thing that I haven’t done in my life.  For example, last year, I learnt how to bake cookies and cakes.  I was well liked by those cookie monster and cake fiends.  A very expensive way to learn.  Done.  Next?  Next is learning how to bake a traditional ham or turkey that my family always make.  The guinea pigs are my next door neighbour who made me mushroom soup for Christmas.  And I did, ham first.  We had it for New Year’s Day.  Now my neighbour wants it to be a tradition.  Are you kidding me?  The turkey has to wait.  The guinea pigs will be my nieces.  I promised them to have a YaYa cousinhood at my place.  They were pinning since they have not set their foot in my sanctuary.  They saw the pictures in the Facebook and how they love to check it out.  Yah, right.  It will be a dry get together, I said.  They agreed.
  • Gardening.  What new plant would I want to try this year starting from seeds?  This would take time visiting Garden Centres, reading Garden Magazines and visiting Community Gardens.  I enjoy gardening and it’s so much fun.
  •  Walking.  This is a must since I am planning to join Walkers’ World this year to Santiago de Compostela.  It’s vital that I am able to walk at least 10k a day.  That is equal to walking around Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC.  Not a big deal, since I do walking meditation and I have now a camera to take pictures along the way. Can’t wait.

A Prayer of New Beginnings by St. Mary

God of new beginnings, we are walking into mystery.
We face the future, not knowing what the days and months will bring us
or how we will respond.
Be love in us as we journey.
May we welcome all who come our way.

 
 

Daily Prompt: Use It or Lose It – Going, going, gone

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence: “I thought we’d never come back from that one.” 
I know what you are thinking.  Every end of the year, you are thinking of New Year’s resolution.
  • Resolutions vs. My take on this
  • Loss weight – I can’t, this is me.
  • Eat healthy – go vegan? No way
  • Quit drinking – I’ll go thirsty
  • Exercise – is lifting a finger to type Daily Prompt counts?
  • No clutter – okay, just one corner, the bedroom
  • Join the gym – this I quit.  Spent too much monthly fee for naught
  • No more war – I’m moving to Switzerland
  • Turn a new leaf – time to rake the autumn leaves
  • No this, no that – tit for tat
  • Do’s and don’ts –  do or do not according to Yoda
  • Talk less – who can out talk to you?
  • Listen more –  I’m plug-in to my iPhone
  • Go back to church – this I love doing
  • Meditate more – much oblige
  • Less is more – no money to spend
  • Save more – no money to save
Blah, blah, blah – I’ll leave this for my family who can’t stop talking about “those were the days” 
Every year, I thought we’d never come back from that one.  I don’t, but I get sucked into it.  All those broken promises and I hear “I forgot” is the excuse.  Excuses, Excuses, Excuses.  I tell to myself, sorry?  What happened to those resolutions?   No more excuses, add that to the list.  Yikes.  How can one get away with this? 
This I will come back every day.  Just for Today:  It’s an article written by Dear Abby that I pasted on my wall.

“Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is.”
“Just for today, I will face reality.”
“Just for today, I will change those things I can change.”
“Just for today, I will accept things I cannot change.” 

It’s actually a Prayer of Serenity which I mumble to myself every day.
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.” 
 HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
 

DP: The Early Years – In my dreams

“Write page three of your autobiography” 
Chapter One – Where is Father? 
Page one:
Wednesday child is full of woe, so the saying goes, but life itself is full of woes. I was born on a Wednesday…. 
Page two:
What’s wrong with this baptismal picture?  Mother is carrying me, she is so beautiful…. Where is Father…? 
Page three:
The house I lived in Davao City, Philippines.  It’s a beautiful big house and darkness envelopes my little brain.  Dark and alone in the mezzanine, I was looking down at the wooden bars.  Can’t see what’s down below but I can see myself sitting on the wooden flooring.  A doll in my arm made of plastic and hairless.  One eye missing, the other eye closed as if it’s sleeping with long black lashes.  The arms are movable as well as the legs.  The head can turn 360 degrees around just like the head of the girl in horror show Exorcist.  It’s a hand me down doll from my other six sisters, I am the youngest amongst the girls.  Why am I alone in the dark?  Have I just woken up or am I sick?  Where is everybody, yet I silently sit in the dark, not a whimper came out from my innocent lips? 
Another image:  I was standing at the foot of the bed starring in excitement at this small baby lying in the middle of a humongous bed.  My youngest brother, he is Brother Number 6.  Brother 4 and Brother 5 were standing beside me.  I was suffering from a cold and mucous.  Being sick, I have to stay away from a newly born baby.  Mother does not want the baby to catch my colds.  A mucous started dripping from my nose.  I stuck my tongue out, curled it upwards and licked the slippery white substance to clean off the upper part of my lips.  It’s salty and thick. 
 Where is Father? 
  
  “Lady, I’m lonely.  Come and stay with me.”  Grandma asked.  I obeyed Grandma’s request for I was terrified of her.  I climbed into her coffin.  One of my legs is already in the coffin and Father showed up.  “Lady, go home.  Mother needs you.”  Then I woke up.  Father came to visit me, in my dream.

WPC: 2012 Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

Pick the best pictures from your 2012 and have those pictures tell everyone about your year 
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind.  
These are what matters to me in 2012.  From life to death.  New Year should always start with new beginnings, a new life.  But year 2012 stared with someone dear to me being called back Home.  Not just dear friends but dear companions, the Cats in my life.  Angels I call them now.  From sorrow to joy, with the birth of my nephew’s son, this is a delightful surprise.   Baby James is a new life and a beautiful beginning for the year 2013 not just for me but for everyone in my family.  
Shalom Aleichem.  To Life! 

 

Daily Prompt: Un/Faithful – The Wind

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t. 

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Who Has Seen the Wind?
          By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

 
Have you seen the Wind? 
Felt It?
            Taste it?
                        Heard It?
                                    Smelt it? 
  
Do you believed in the Wind?  This is what faith means to me.  I believe, I hope.  Faith is a grace, a blessing. 
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God”   A quote from St. Paul to the Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8.

DP: That Stings! – Flight of a Bumble Bee

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

When was the last time I borrowed a book from the library?  It was such a long time ago.  There is a period in my life that I devour all the books at the library and suddenly BOOM, I stop reading. 

Bite me, I dare you.  Vampire books are enjoyable to read because they bite.  What stings them is that they still have their humanity, the love to be amongst the living.  Ah, love, it makes my heart grow fonder.  It’s lovely to feel the love of the Vampires.  I feel so much love.  Just wait a minute, that doesn’t sting.

There are a couple of books beside me that I pick up to read between TV commercials.  I tell you, I can read a chapter by the time the ads are over, too many commercials on TV.  “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum and “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard P. Feynman.  These books are filled with humor and they both sting, a little.

The book that I keep on coming back that I never seem to finish reading is titled “Awareness … the perils and … opportunities for reality” written by Anthony de Mello.  This is not an easy read or a romantic novel.  This book cuts through the core, and I bleed just by reading it.

When I picked up the book, it opened on this chapter, and I quote in part:
At a loss for Words:  “God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity.  But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the ready radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason. We don’t have to quarrel about a word, because “God” is only a word, a concept.  One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgments.”

 And this is the part the stings, hurts and takes a lot of reflection.
“Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices drop your judgments; and you will see that.” 
 I fight and struggle with this regularly as I write my post and read others. 

DP: Immortalized in Stone – Professional Day

“Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?
Yeah, no school.  It’s Professional Development Day.  What can I do to take advantage of this day?  Teachers have so many options offered by their association.  Staffs have two courses course offered by their union:  Dealing with Difficult People and Assertive vs. Aggressive.  The venue is located at one of the schools.  Since I am a staff member, I registered for both. 
The school was empty when I arrived.  It’s strange to be at a school with no children running, playing, laughing. The hallway was so eerily quiet. The office was manned by administrative support staff.  The classroom where the seminar was held has a bulletin board with different articles posted.  Having an inquisitive mind, when there’s a bulletin posted, I read what is posted be at school or lamp-post.  
Two articles caught my attention: “Stop workplace drama” and “Myself and the world around me.”  One of my peers wanted a copy of “Myself…”  I offered to take a copy for him since I know where the photocopy machine is located.  I also wanted a copy, and I used my camera to take a picture of “Myself…”  The picture didn’t turn out properly.  Thank goodness my peer has a copy. 
Should I want to be immortalized, I want a plaque written according to “Me and My World” placed at school ground and head office.  This poem speaks volumes about my second life in another part of the world.  The flags which she drew happened to be the same country were I came from, Philippines, and we both now belong to Canada.  I am proud of this child and for the teacher who helped her shape her mind and for the parents as well.  I contacted the teacher at the school if she could ask the student to allow me to share her poem.  Request granted.  Sharing is the best way to learn, and I am sharing with you a brilliant child’s mind about Know, Belief, Wonder, Fear, and Dream.  
Janzen Camara is the Author of Myself and the world around me.  She is a Grade 10 student of Tupper Secondary School, one of 108 schools of Vancouver School Board.  Thank you, Ms. Janzen Camara. 
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” – Albert Einstein

DP: Gimme – Traditionally Speaking

Christmas in the Philippines is one thing I miss here in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  It is the happiest and most awaited celebration. The Philippines is so rich with traditions.  The Christmas lanterns, caroling, fireworks will start in mid-December.  Noche Buena is what we call it meaning Christmas Eve.

As a child, it’s hard to be patient; can’t wait for Christmas and it just doesn’t come fast enough.

The focus is attending midnight mass, a birthday celebration for Baby Jesus.  After this, we go home and have a feast.  I mean the feast of traditional Filipino food.  The gather is circled around my family and anybody who does not have a family to celebrate with.  This is the real meaning of Christmas for me.

There is no Christmas tree, and we do not believe in Santa Clause.  What we believe is the Three Kings.  Three Kings arrive on the first Sunday of January.  That’s the time we received gifts in our family.  This was fun.  What we did at the eve of Three Kings, we lined up our shoes on the stairs, one pair only for each sibling.  When we woke up, run down the stairs, our shoes were filed with candies.  We really believed that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar (names of the three Kings) came bearing gifts.  Gifts of candies not Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold.   This is how we end our Christmas.  It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever.

Three Kings

Three Kings

 “Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?”

Being with my family, visiting relatives and god parents to pay respect and ask for their blessings are the best gift I received.  I couldn’t ask for more.  No toys.  Sometimes, I received money but it wasn’t important for me.  What was important is we give one another our love and faith-based on the birth of Infant Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph.

DP: It’s Alive – Icons Galore

“Write a Q&A-style interview with an inanimate object.”

I can’t.  I am speechless.  I am listening.  
This “inanimate object” is most awe-inspiring. 
There is no Question. 
The answer is in sharing the mystery.
Merry Christmas Everyone.  Blessings to you and your family.
Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity

DP: Study Abroad – School of Life

“If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?”
A year?  That’s too long to study for my feeble mind.  And who’s going to take care of my lovely furry companion?  Go away and miss Christmas with my family and friends?  I have to think long and hard about this.  The longest time I was away from my sanctuary was six months when I was searching for myself. 
After so many years of studying in colleges and universities, I don’t know if I can handle the stress of burning candles at both ends.  I don’t know if I would be able to ace those final exams.  As far as I can remember, those study days were brutal. 
To stay in the spirit of prompting, I will focus on the word “abroad”.  In my lingo, that means travelling. I can incorporate the studying with travelling as a pilgrim on earth, a school of life.  Now that sounds more palatable. 
I would like to study and learn how to paint an Icon.  Icons are depicting of religious images.  In my faith, it’s a spiritual work of art.  Should I become so enamored with this subject, I want to become an Iconographer. 
As to where I can go abroad to take this course, Google is the best search engine for the Iconofile Resource Guide.  There are two places that I am interested at: Versailles and Amsterdam.  I think I will skip Amsterdam for I must keep my body, mind and spirit pure (meaning stay away from the red light district and smoking a joint or two).  Versailles is a better choice for I was just there in October 2012 pilgrimage.  And then I can learn how to speak French.  Oui?  As for Christmas, I can always stay at Espace Bernadette  for a retreat, a silent retreat to be still and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirits. 
Holy AngelsLiseux, France

Holy Angels
Liseux, France

Here is an Icon that I took a picture of at Lisieux, France.  I could just lovingly gaze for an extended period at this Icon and be transported as if I were invited to sit with these Angels.  I am always curious about what they are discussing.  What do you think they are talking about? 

 A Prayer
Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God’s love commits me here
Ever this day, be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide
Amen.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: SURPRISEd by LIGHT

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Sunrise!  It’s always a delightful surprise to see the sun rises.  No two are alike.  The sunrise was taken successively with just a simple borrowed dilapidated Kodak camera from my sister.  I don’t own a camera but I received a free gift of memory card from Fuji.

The 2011 pilgrimage was memorable in a sense that I went on top of Mt. Sinai.  It was a trip of a lifetime.  In order for us to be on time before the sun rises, we have to start climbing in the dark at 1 a.m.  A local Egyptian boy guided our group.  I took the easy way up, rode a camel part way and climbed at least 1000 steps up to reach the summit.Once reaching the summit, we waited for a while.

It was dark and cold.  I could hear a lot of murmur, whisper, laughter, prayer.  Our eyes were fixated on the black horizon in order not to miss the first glimmer of light.  And then, the sun quietly made its presence known.

 With a song and a prayer in my heart, I hummed this melody to my God:
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

DP: Just a Dream – “Eye” dreamed.

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us what you find on the other side.

Dreams, I like dreaming even if it turns into a nightmare.  Nightmares are just dreams, nothing to be scared about.  It’s scarier when I am wide awake having to deal with everyday living.  Pick a door?  When I pick a particular entry that opens to the unknown and enter it, what’s behind one door is connected to the other gate.  It does not really matter which door I choose.  This is what I call a dream within a dream.  I can quickly go back to a dream and continue dreaming.

There is a particular dream that is etched in the most recesses of my mind, body, and soul.  The time was the early year of 1998.  I was temporarily living in the basement of my friend, Jan, as I was on my way to be of service to ABC (AIDS Baby Centre) in Chiangrai, Thailand.  That basement was hellish, but I told Jan, I will turn hell into heaven.  And I did.  Jan just loves how I transformed her basement into heaven.

About the dream, skipping the details, this is the ending:  I opened my eyes, and I saw a single EYE surrounded by luminous light.  The Eye was staring at me.  I don’t know how long I started back.  And suddenly, fear kicked in, and I said: “Lord, I am not ready for this.”  Then I closed my eyes and went to deep dreamless slumber.  I woke up and missed out the better part of the morning, it was almost noon.

Ever since I become fixated with eyes.  I look at everyone’s eyes to see if I could capture that eye in someone else.  I am longing to go back to that “Eye” dream. I am now ready to look straight to that “Eye.”  As a result, my nightly prayer before I lay down to sleep, my last words are:  “Lord, come and visit me in my dreams.” 

DP: Forever Young – I happen to enjoy aging.

If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water? 
IF, the BIG IF, let’s play along with this idea, shall we?  
Researching the history behind the Fountain of Youth at Wikipedia , this water has a restorative power; it will restore me back to my youth days. 
Do I want to go back to my youthful days and have to go through the growing pains again? I definitely will forgo drinking the water.  Why?  I happen to enjoy aging.  It is fascinating how the skin losses its elasticity, hair color turns into an arctic white, being long in a tooth or losing a tooth or more.  Elders have so much experience in life, for they have gone through it and lived to tell tales. Listening to their stories is so enthralling. So, again, the answer is a resounding NO. 
Looking back at my youthful year of 16, I was sweet and never been kissed. Being youthful also means my mind will never mature, none the wiser, no wisdom at all.  Being young, there can be a negative connotation behind it, because I was up to no good. I must say I was still climbing trees at that age.  I remember my Mother sent someone to get me down the tree because I had suitors waiting at home. Yuk, men, I’d rather climb trees.  I reluctantly went home to face those Peter Pans. 
I’d rather grow old, have a youthful mind and remember.  It’s better to have a good memory and remember those days I thought would never end. (click to play the song). 
Faith is better than drinking the fountain of youth. And in my faith, I’d rather drink the Water of Life. 
One Minute Meditation:
“How shall I attain Eternal Life?”
 “Eternal Life is now.  Come into the present.”
 “But I am in the present now, am I not?”
 “No.”
 “Why not?”
 “Because you haven’t dropped your past.”
 “Why should I drop my past?  Not all of it is bad.”
 “The past is to be dropped not because it is bad but because it is dead.” | Anthony de Mello, SJ
 
MORSEL:   Every man is his own ancestor, and every man is his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past. – Frederick Henry Hedge (1805-1890)

DP: Plead the Fifth – WHY? The answer is blowing in the wind.

What question do you hate to be asked? Why? 
Really?  What kind of question is that? Plead the Fifth?  Plead what? Plead the Fifth Amendment?  Is that what you mean? 
Plead the Fifth Amendment?  No way, I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination.  This is my answer. 
“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 
It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 
We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 
Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 
Tell the truth, try, you might like it. 
One Minute Meditation:
“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ
 

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DELICATE – WHAT’S IN YOUR MIND?

“Delicate could be the tracings of frost on a window, a child’s tiny fingers and toes, the intricate pattern of a tree’s canopy, or something yet-to-be-discovered. So much of this challenge depends on your interpretation of “delicate,” and we look forward to seeing the range of images you capture.” 
In my humble opinion, everything is delicate.  
Life itself is delicate, and we have to treasure it.  The whole world is tilting in a fine balance, and we have to respect it.  Our minds, our precious minds, nurture it; for without this, the whole world will not survive.  How do I start with that?  Of course, it starts with me. 
I came across these pictures at the school board where I work.  I took pictures of them and filed them away for future use. Today is the ripe time to share with you what Delicate means to me.  They are priceless.

With the recent event yesterday at Newton, Connecticut; I dedicate this Delicate post for them. 
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.”   The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery 
Teach Your Children Well.  (play this song)

Daily Prompt: Dear Mom, Life got in the way

Write a letter to your mom. Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to. 

This is a bitter-sweet prompt.  I will tell you the sweet part first. 

As much as possible I try not to hold back my love, what I have to say and do what needs to be done to make Mother happy.  And I did, that was on February 14, 2000. 

Having just returned from a Mexican pilgrimage, I had a brilliant idea to start sharing my pilgrim experience.  The best way to do that was to throw Valentine’s party and celebrate Father’s death anniversary to surprise Mother.  But of course, I had an ulterior motive; to write a “blog” in longhand. I do not own a typewriter nor a computer then.  My family will be the guinea pig for my first “blog.”  All of my siblings came with their children.  It was a successful party.  Mother was thrilled. This is sweet.  Everybody received the “blog.”  No reactions from my siblings, I wasn’t happy.  Mother enjoyed the “blog.”  This is sweet.

When the party was over, everybody went on their merry way. Somehow, life got in the way; work that is. A few weeks later, Mother called me at work:  “Lady, come and visit me.”  I said, “Yes Mother.  I will be there for the weekend.”  I didn’t.  I forgot. The following week, my phone rang early in the morning.  It was my sister.  “Lady, Mother died this morning.”  That was March 31, 2000. This is bitter. 

Now, if I’ll write this letter, will she be able to read it? 

My Dearest Mother,
        I am so Sorry. 
        Please forgive me for not coming to visit when I said yes. 
                                                                                         I love you.  Lady

 

DP: Circle of Five – “Five Degrees of Separation?”

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with? 
This prompt reminds of the movie “Six Degrees of Separation.” It also conjures a process of elimination on my part.  In order not to offend anyone in my circle that is still living on this earth, I will narrow this down to the people who have left the planet. 
Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal – During my high school days, I was smitten by this man. I fell in love with his words. Noli Me Tangere translated in English “Touch Me Not”. We were required to memorize and recite the verses in Spanish. Spanish is a romantic sounding language. If only I could touch him right now. He is the national Hero of the Philippines. He fought the Spaniards using just his pen. And his Pen is mightier than a sword. He founded a nonviolent-reform society. One day, I will return to the Philippines and visit the jail where he was imprisoned.
 
Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George – we are practically neighbours. He lived in Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver; a few minutes where I live here. A native of Canada of First Nations origin. I have the book he wrote “My Heart Soars” as part of my book collections which is not that many. Once in a while, I visit the church reserve to be with the First Nations elders and listen to their stories.

 

 

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman

Ah, Richard Feynman. Doesn’t he look mischievous in this picture? I met him in Isla Mujeres in Mexico. This American couple introduced me to “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman.” Ever since I became so curious in life because of his curiosity. He’s so contagious. I could easily “pick” him up anytime, that is, the book.

 

 

 

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe – He’s a new guy in the block from Poland. We were supposed to visit the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, but due to flooding, we didn’t make it. This is a bit morbid, but I want to know what he thinks of Adolf Hitler. Definitely, I do not, I repeat, do not wish to spend time with Adolf!.

 

 

 

st. bernadette

Bernadette

Poor Bernadette. Somehow I really did not like her at first when I was at Lourdes in Oct 2012 pilgrimage. She’s a bit whinny for my taste. But, this is a big BUT, when I stayed overnight at her place at Espace Bernadette where she died, I had a change of heart.
 
To date, I still don’t know what it is. Yes, that’s the gravatar I am using. I am beginning to feel so fondly of her just having her presence as I write the Daily Prompt. My hope in the future is to spend more time in Espace Bernadette in Nevers.
And she can tell me her favourite massage “Every human being is precious in the eyes of God”.

DP: TIME CAPSULE – SURPISE ME.

The year is drawing to a close. What would you put in a 2012 time capsule?

Aaah…. Panic, aaah!  Not enough time; that’s only 21 days from now.  I need more time and notice.  Can we change that to the year 2013, please, Mr. Michelle, please?  OK, fine.

Let me see what I can gather in my treasure chest and a gold mine of ideas.  Think, thank, thonk.  Thonk, it is.

What I can see in my kitchen is a clear plastic bottle of pop, that’s good enough for a time capsule.  In the pantry are dry goods; too big for the pop bottle.  How about catching a genie and imprison it in the bottle.  Be serious, now, thonk!  Oh, a bag. What’s in this bag?  Checking, more bags within the bags, checking the bags within the bags, more bags.  Gosh, I am such a pack rat.  But look what’s in the bags; small plastic bags of seeds.  YES, seeds.  They will fit in the capsule.  Oh, this is so exciting.

Opsey, no name on the seeds.  Well, that would be part of the fun.

These seeds came from my garden, collected them from the community gardens, from friends and families, from travels while on the pilgrim.  They are seeds of flowers, vegetables, and trees.  They are small things that will fit in the bottle, and I will leave instructions on what to do with them by following just six simple steps.

  1. Earth (garden soil in a pot or any vacant land will do)
  2. Bury the seeds on the earth (not all at once, space them out)
  3. Water (don’t drown the seeds)
  4. Lots of light and warm temperature
  5. Nurture it with love and patience
  6. Relax and wait for the seeds to sprout.

The time capsule will be sealed with a kiss, a prayer and a hope that it will be found by someone who will plant the seeds and eventually create a garden, just like mine.  A garden that will attract little creatures like hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies.  A garden where one can only be, to pray, be thankful and be grateful to Our God, whomever you may conceive Him to be.

Holy Garden

Holy Garden

Once this is done, I will go the beach of English Bay, throw the time capsule in the waters, watch the waves carry the capsules into open waters and whisper Bon Voyage.

One Minute Meditation

The disciple asked for a word of wisdom.
Said the Master, “Go sit within your cell and your cell will teach you wisdom.”
“But I have no cell.  I am no monk.”
“Of course you have a cell.  Look within.” – Anthony de Mello, SJ

MORSEL:    Seek refuge in the attitude of detachment, and you will amass the
wealth of spiritual awareness. Those who are motivated only by the desire for
the fruits of action are miserable, for they are always anxious about
the results of what they do.    –Bhagavad Gita 2:49-50

Daily Prompt: My Hero! – When I grow Up, I want to be just like you!

Tell us about your hero.

When I grow up, I want to be just like you said my niece to me lovingly as if she was looking at an angel at a tender age of under 10 years.  Children don’t know how to lie, just yet, they are open and honest; children have 20/20 vision, they can see an angel.  Ah, such sweet innocence as pure as driven snow.

I felt so vain, I am her HERO.  HOLD THAT THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE! No, don’t even think about it, NEVER!  When you grow up, you are going to be YOU!

Modesty aside, I am the hero not just to my niece also to my nephews, other nieces and younger generations since I am Auntie Mame to them.  Now they are all grown up, matured and have a place on this earth, their views have changed.  I am pretty sure if I’ll ask them who their hero is, it won’t be me.  Oh well, such as life.

Turning that question inwardly: asking, musing, pondering, thinking, talking to myself; who is your hero, Lady? The answer, really honestly and seriously.  I can easily say that my Mother Lucia is my hero for she gave birth to me.  She fought for my life when I was being conceived in her tiny womb.  I should have not been born.  The fetus is self-abortive says the doctor.  You will lose the baby.  Mother has such great strong faith and determination.  She wants me to come into this world for she loves me.  She prayed hard to all the angels and saints; to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for her intercession.  Should my life be spared, Mother will name the baby after Her.  What?  How does she know if it will be a baby girl?  What if it’s a boy?  Our Lord of Perpetual Peter Pan?

TADA, fast forward, 55 years later. Here I am at WordPress, pressing the words about my hero.  Long have I been waiting for this moment to speak boldly who my hero is.  I must say I am a little bit concerned that I may be laughed at should I tell you the 5Ws of my hero.  But I will stick to the rule: WHO.

I have so many heroes, not just one. My heroes are those little things that we seem to take for granted.  My heroes are those that saved my life aside from my Mother Lucia.  The most recent episode in my life, they are Lady Bugs, Hummingbirds, mustard seeds.  They saved my life and sanity.  And I am sure there will be more little things to come.

All kidding aside, my real hero based on my faith is nothing but a little child, Baby Jesus Christ.  He saved not just my life. He came to this world to save the world and mankind. Should you want to know the story of Baby Jesus, Google it!

Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ (song)

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ

DP: Childhood Revisited – Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.  

Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

There’s a song in my head: “Those were the days my friend, we thought we’ve never end, we’d sing and dance forever and day.”  Plenty of playing, praising and singing. Growing up in a family of 13, I am number 10, it takes its toll.  I have nine siblings to be obeyed and be respected because they are older than me; three younger brothers to play with and dominate them.  My turn, hah!  Aside from uncles, aunties, and cousins, we are a multitude of the stars.  As God said, “Go and build me a nation,” we did.  Actually, that’s just the way life was in the Philippines.  The more the merrier and plenty of love to give, receive and share.  Not like that “Godfather” movie, you’ll end up with a horse on your bed. Yikes.

The word to describe today’s post is hypermnesia \hye-perm-NEE-zhee-uh\

Noun: abnormally vivid or complete memory or recall of the past by according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/

I know it’s better to remember good times, good times but this one particular memory brought awareness in my little brain.  My sisters love to make collages, and they post them on the wall just above the bed we all share. This is one of the pictures.

Feed the Children, please

Feed the Children, please

This image thought me so much, and I did not learn this from kindergarten school.  From this collage, I learned to love and compassion as I grow up instilling in my heart and soul that we all have to help the children for we were children once before.

The greatest teacher for me, in my background, is Jesus Christ.  Let the little children come to me.  Pax Tecum,  Seeker.

DP: Obituary of Lady Perpetua Siglos

Daily Prompt: In Loving Memory

Write your obituary. 

Our Lady Perpetua Siglos is Called by Joy.  Died happily doing what she wants to do.  Lived life to the fullest.  Rest in Peace.  Rest is boring.  In heaven, there is no rest but a continuous celebration of life with God.  We the living that are left behind are jealous of Lady’s leaving the earth.  We will miss her infectious determination.  A sister to the Yaya Sisterhood, an honorary member of the KofC for her brothers, constant gardener, lover of all beings, embraces the whole of mankind unconditionally.    Auntie Mame to her nieces, nephews and younger generations.

A pilgrim on this earth.

Come and join us at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Church.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the David Suzuki Foundation.  Burial at Forest Lawn Garden followed by dinner, dancing, and devotion.  Come and Join us.

Lord of the Dance (song)