Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

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Happy New Year to all my friends. Sorry for the delayed new year greeting its better late than no greeting at all. Hope your start of the year is great with many opportunities along the way. My start of the year was pretty quiet and relaxing. The weather has been very cold it was just nice to stay at home. It was a totally different celebration compared back home where the weather is tropical. Everyone gets to enjoin the fun, fireworks outside when it is warm. Any new yea's resolution for you guys? I guess we always set our resolutions at the start of the year but as for me I try my very best to accomplish everything.
Let me give a recap of has transpired during 2008:
January, right after start of 2008 we were both back to work. Basically nothing special had happen for this month beside the celebration of the New Year. Todd and I have been wanting to go for a vacation just to give ourselves a break from the cold weather. We had a few snow storms during this month.
February the month of love. We went for a dinner not on Valentines day but the weekend after to celebrate. We just exchange cards trying to save on gifts, lol. We were both wishing winter will be over.
March glad that the weather had settle down. We were looking forward for Spring and busy planning for our camping activities. 18th of March was my Mama's 69th birthday I called her and greeted on her birthday. She has been very sickly lately and has been back and forth to the hospital.
April we both celebrated our birthdays. As we both grow older it was just a simple celebration we were just thankful for all the blessings and good health the Lord has given us. Todd gave me a card with a scartch ticket inserted hoping we will win but it didn't happen. It was just more for fun. I had been busy tending to my garden.
May we went camping to Four Mile Creek in time for the Victoria Day. We did enjoy it very much with the beautiful weather. Todd gave me a Harley Davidson riding jacket for mother's day. My sisters from Tennessee and South Carolina were planning for a visit to my place. I had the chance to talk to Mama on mother's day on the phone. Glad that she is doing better.
June was stressful for both of us. Our little chihuahua Joel got sick thought he won't make it. He had a slip disk and can no longer walk. We thought we had to put him down thanks God the steroids work on him. He made it alright. At the same time my Mama was confined in the hospital again after attending my niece debut in Davao. We thought that was the end of her for she was really in bad shape. She was already giving her last wishes to us as we talk toher on the phone. Thanks God she was able to survive but was getting weaker. Aunt Charlene passed away on June 8' 08 alone in her house. We were sad knowing her passing but happy that she is now in the hands of the Lord. My sisters and their respective families came over to Canada for a week visit. We had so much fun. We took them over to the Niagara Falls and experienced the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Aside from enjoying the beautiful scenic view of the Falls we took them to Canada's Wonderland. It was a busy month for both of us.
July was Todd's shutdown at work for a week and I booked the time off also. We went on camping to Allegany State Park in Pennsylvania. The park was very huge and nice but we didn't like the site that we were into. It was close to a swamp and the grass were never cut. We had some walks in the trail and visit to the musuem. We had some big camp fires. We only stayed there for 3 weeks and off we moved to Four Mile Creek in New York. The dogs really enjoyed there time we let them walk in the park. We were supposed to stay there for a few days but we got a call that Sharon's(Todd's sister-in-law) mom passed away. We had to packed up and leave to be with them. Todd and I had put some garden stones in the front garden. My Malaysian Mumps were starting to grow and have some leaves after winter season. We had a couple of bike rides as well.
August 7th was my 2nd anniversary at work. I got my work evaluation with flying colors and a merit increase which made me happy. We still went on weekend campings or sometimes just crossing the border to shop and be back the same day. August 24 was the Christening of my friend's baby and I was one of the Ninang. It was Sunday and not know that my Mama was no longer doing well. 25th of August I got a call from my sister that Mama is in the ICU unconscious. I was very exhausted and worried we have been talking back and forth with my family. I was not able to go to work. At 2:10 pm I got a call from my cousin that Mama was gone it was just right after we spoke with her on the phone. My world turned up side down I alone at home. I didn't know what to do I wanted to be there with her right at that moment but I was thousand miles away from her. I flew back to the Philippines on 28th with my sister to attend Mama' funeral. I can't understand the feeling I had in me. It was a sad trip back home.
September 5th we buried our dear Mama all of my sisters were there. We were complete it was the reunion of 5 of us. It was hard to bear the pain losing both of your parents but had to accept it for this is the cycle of life. I had the chance to meet my friends, relatives during Mama's wake. Todd was left here in Canada for no one can take care of the dogs. It was a double pain I had emotionally and physically for my right fingers were burned a day before I had to flew back. I had to go to Chong Hua Hospital to have the burns treated and secure a medical certificate for travel. 11th of September off my sister and I flew back to the US. We felt sad leaving our sister behind alone in our ancestral home. 9-11 we arrived at Atlanta, GA the security of the airport was very tight. We parted our ways in Atlanta. She was bound for Raleigh, North Carolina airport and I was for Buffalo, New York. Todd met me at the airport. It was nice to be back again.
October was the Rosary Month had been trying to pray the rosary everyday. I was back to work but still felt lonely and sad. I tried to work hard as much as I could to pay all the expenses incurred. We had the Canadian Thanksgiving on the 13th there was no Turkey for us. I just prepared roast beef for dinner. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on the 20th. Todd took me for dinner and gave me a pearl ring. It was the fall season my Malaysian mumps were in full bloom. The garden looked very colorful. I had been crocheting some scarves for the cold weather. It was also Mama's 40 days I had completed my 9 days novena for her soul. I was happy that I got a gift card from work for their appreciation of my hard work.
November is getting close for Christmas. I had said to myself I won't be putting any decorations for Christmas I just want to let this year passed. I am still grieving. The weather has been getting colder and the economy has not been doing good. Todd was worried about lossing his job. Good thing that back in August we were trying to scale back on our toys.
December was the last month of year. Winter is here we had our snow storm very early in December. We were planning to go to my sister in Tennessee provided we both get the time off. Everyone was busy for Christmas for Todd and myself we just agreed not to exchange gifts trying to save. He had bought a remote car starter for my car that was a good idea especially that my car door won't close if it gets very cold. I gave Todd my gift certificate that I got from work in October. He wanted an MP3 player. At work we had a sumptous plot dinner and we all enjoyed. I got some cookies and chocolates from my friends. We celebrated Christmas Eve on the road to Tennessee. We had fun at my sister's house had to chance to be with the kids. It was on 26th of December that we found that my sister is having a baby. We were all happy there is a new addition of the family inspite of the loss of our Mama. Thanks to my sisters for the wonderful gift for Christmas.
2008 has been a great year for us inspite of the sad moments, frustrations and problem we encountered along the way. I leave the worries behind and let the memory of the lingers in my heart to cherished forever. Hope your 2008 was full of blessings. I am thankful to our Lord Almighty for all the strenght, love and guidance he had given and for always being there for me. I love you Lord and I praise your Holy Name. To our parents though you are both gone but in our hearts you will stay forever. We love you Mama & Papa and misses you so much. Till we meet again.
I wish all the best for the year 2009. I am hoping this will be a year for me for more opportunities to come in life. Hope we will be able to get out of this recession.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shemar's 18th Birthday

In the Philippines it is a tradition that once your daughter turns 18th a debut party will be held. A debut party is a grand celebration of a girl’s 18th birthday and it also a way of presenting her to the society as a lady. It can be celebrated simply but meaningful. There will be 18 candle wishers for the debutants female friends or family members and 18 roses for the debutants male friends or family member. The 18 guys will be bringing a rose as they dance with the debutant. Most of these guys plays an important role in the debutante’s life can be dad, brother, childhood friend or boy friend.

Yesterday the 1st of June my niece Shemar had her 18th birthday, her parents gave her a surprised birthday party. She didn’t have any idea as to the follow of the program. My mama and my sister flew to Davao City to attend her birthday. My brother in law sent us an email to prepare a video greeting for her but unfortunately wasn’t able to make one. My sister Grace from South Carolina and myself just downloaded the Skype program for us to give our birthday wishes to her live.

Since we have 12 hours time difference I have to get up early on Sunday so that I won’t miss the phone call. I phoned my sister at 7 am she said they are still having dinner and program follows, while waiting for the call I tried to go back to bed but my mind was wide awake to make sure I won’t miss as it rings. I got the call it was around 9 o’clock in the morning. I was able to give my birthday wish to her, I can hear on the background how happy the celebration was, wish I was there.

My birthday wish for her to have more birthdays to come and blessings; to prioritize her studies before anything else for that is the only possession no one can ever take it away from her; and to finished her studies for that is best gift she can give to her parents. She said thank you and was crying for joy. I couldn’t control it my voice as she started to cry I cried too, hay too emotional. I just missed her and the rest of my family too back in the Philippines.

Happy 18th birthday to you, Shemar!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Garden Make Over

Two weekends ago we have been working on our garden in the front yard. It is just a small garden and most of my flowers are mums - annual plants and they usually show case their beautiful flowers during the fall season. Right now they are just starting to turn green after hibernating during the winter season. I have mini pink roses that are starting to have some buds it might take a while before the flowers will bloom.

We just put some edging stones on the garden and put 3 bags of the red mulch for the garden to look fresh again. We just change our garden lights to solar lights too. I wanted to add some figurines on the garden but little expenses there and here add up really quick. This year I will just let go of the figurines and have it next year or if can save some money then I will buy some. Todd painted the signage which we have in the garden.

I have taken some pictures of the garden but still no flowers.

Work Shift Change

At present I am working afternoon shift from 2-10 p.m., Mon-Friday and I have he weekend’s days off. Todd and I worked the same shift everyday. Since we have two dogs, our neighbor is our pet sitter and it cost us money too around $160.00 every month. At work last night I was thinking of just requesting for a change of shift just to save the money we have been paying the dog sitter.

Today while I was at work I talked to my supervisor about my changing my schedule to (9:00 am– 5:00 pm Mon-Fri or 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Mon-Fri). She told me to fill up the request for shift change and it’s up to our Operations Manager to approve it or not.

I am hoping they will be kind enough to grant my request, just keeping my fingers cross and if not better luck next time. I have to hand in my request tomorrow.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer Job in a Sardines Canning Factory

It was summer vacation before I go into 2nd year high school in 1987. The friend of sister worked in a sardines manufacturing company and they were looking for students who wanted to work for the summer. She brought my resume and I got hired.

They manufactured tuna sardines, the place had a very strong smell that it will stay in my clothes. I was working in the labeling department, it was easy I just have to put labels on the can big or small and do the packaging after wards. The assembling the box is quite heavy for they are heavy duty boxes and the loading of the cans. I gained so many friends in the place for working for two months.

I worked there for two consecutive summers and the next summer the plant changed management. It was an experience working in the factory but the only thing is the place stinks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reminiscing Childhood

I was talking to my sister Grace from South Carolina and Lany from Tennessee and we had so much fun reminiscing our childhood days back in Mandaue City. We were talking about how we take turns in buying “frances bread” at the late Yaya Caring’s bakeshop early morning before we go to school. All of the goodies Yaya Caring’s bakeshop had were all yummy. We missed the chichay bread (w/ sugar and cheese in the middle), the cinnamon bread (yummy icing on top), the bake siopao (w/ egg and bake potato), the ube ensaimada (very sofy and w/ sprinkled sugar on top), the fresh lumpia, the marble, custard and cassava cake and a lot more.

During summer vacation we worked for our neighbor who has a hanging rice (puso) business. Puso means cooked rice wrapp in weave palm leaves. We weaved the palm leaves and back then we were paid 10 cents per 100’s and it rose up to Php1.00 per 100’s. That was our summer job, we were paid every week. Friday and Saturday were busy days we can weaved 5,000 palm leaves. We saved our pay for the opening of classes for June.

We have a Chico tree in the front of our house and we used to climb on top and we have designated places on the branches. We had so much fun and when our Nanay who owns the tree saw us from her house she will come down bringing the whipping stick, oh boy, we had to hurry to avoid the whipping stick. My sister was the one left on top she couldn’t come down.

Those were the days of our childhood. If we could go back the times and be kids again.

A Summer Vacation in Ontario

Sheilvy and I have been friend’s way back in 1993 when I was still a working student at the Fine Arts Dept at the University of San Carlos. She is like my younger sister; she was there thru good and bad times of my life. When I graduated from college we seldom saw each other but if we get the chance to meet or talk on the phone it would take hours to finish the conversation. I get to know her family also same as her with my family.

It has been three years now that I have not seen her but we still communicate with each other thru email. Weeks ago she sent me an email informing me that she wanted to visit Canada come summer time. I was delighted and excited knowing her plans. She needs an invitation letter from us to support her visa application. Todd and I both signed the invitation letter for her which I scanned and emailed to her. In her last email she said “she will be filing her application this week when she gets her day off”. If she gets lucky then she will be flying from Dubai to Canada for a visit. Todd and I have already planned our itinerary for her when she comes. I hope there are still fare tickets available for her planned trip.

We just hope her tourist visa will be approved in time for the summer here in Canada.

We will see you soon Shlvs!