An Angel Named Lydia

It is with  sadness and tears in my eyes, that I would like to inform everyone that our dearest Manang Lydia passed away last December. She died because of a vehicular accident when she was on her way to attend Simbang Gabi in her hometown in Samar.

At first, I could not  and did not want to believe it really happened. I cried myself to sleep that night and cried the whole day in bed the next day, our 3rd wedding anniversary.

She could not just die. She has so many dreams for her family. She has many talents that she has not taught me. She has not given me the recipe for the siomai that we have been trying to perfect. She hasn’t heard Aki say Payyyyyys (surprise!). She is only 40 years old. She has 4 biological and 2 adopted kids. She does not have a lot but she gives and gives and gives. She promised to come back and take care of me when I give birth to my next child. She’s active in their church. She could not just die. Not that way. Not now.

If you have been reading my blog, you’d know that she was not just an employee. We love her and treated her like family. The last time we talked which was November, she said she’d coming back this January. Maybe, if she woke up late that fateful morning and decided to miss the mass, she would probably be here in with us. Or maybe, she could have just went back to Manila a few weeks earlier and attended the Simbang Gabi here instead. I could have had a partner in potty training Aki.

I think about and worry about her family too. When we last talked, I semi scolded her for not telling me that Elmer, her husband had been sick and needed medication. Her dream for Angela, her eldest, if for her to finish HRM and work for the restaurant of her cousin in Japan. As for Ella, Manang wants her to pursue her daughter’s dream of being part of the police force. For Jeffrey, her only son, Manang wanted to buy a small piece of land. Can someone who has so many dreams, who has many dependents, who is active in church and in the community,  die just like that?
Oh well, I try not to think about her death and just try to think about how she was when she was alive.

I remember her everyday. All the time.

I remember her every time  I look at my roses. I was supposed to replace them with other easier-to-maintain plants. We have somewhat neglected the roses ever since Cheryl left. The plants did not flower for around 2 months. But, on the week, Manang became and angel, one  of the plants bloomed a very red rose.

I remember her every time, I go to my in-laws’ house and see the make shift basketball ring that she made. Aki received three rings and managed to ruin all 3 of them in just a matter of days.I told Manang to throw the rings away. Instead of following my request, she took one of the rings to my in-laws and attached it to the gate so Aki can play basketball anytime.

I remember her every time it rains or when the sun is high. She fixed my umbrella without me asking her to.

I remember her every time I see the DIY hook that she made so we can use the beams in the roof of service area, as sampayans.She is always been like that. Very proactive and resourceful.

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My Picky Eater’s Top Food Picks: Banana Waffle Sandwich

Ingredients

2 Whole Wheat Bread

1 Banana – Em shared some surprising banana facts here

1 Tablespoon Star Margarine Sweet Blend

Simply mash the banana. Mix with the margarine. Spread on the bread. Put another bread on top. Toast in the waffle maker for a minute or two. Cut into fun shapes. Yum-oh in less than 3 minutes.

I was supposed to put some cinammon but I could not find where Lotlot kept it.

Success!

After several bites around the edges, the sandwich looked like a dog. Or at least I was able to convince Aki that it had a head, a tail and legs. Aki made a house and a ladder with a door. Continue reading

Our 2012 Family Goal: Wealth Management

That is my fancy term for save more, spend less and investly wisely. Doesn’t  “wealth management” sound more motivating? Every time I pass by MiniStop and get tempted to buy another cheesecake ice cream, I silently say “wealth management” to myself and then walk away. Same case when were eating out last Saturday. Simply saying “wealth management” made that  all-meat pizza seem less appetizing.

Here are our specific steps to  get closer to our 2012 goal.

1.  Review our Finances. We made the following files
– Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth
– Summary of Constant and Variable Cash Flow
– Mutual Fund and UITF performance trackers

2. Organize our financial documents.  Should something happen to one of us (knock on wood!), this expandable folder will make it easier for the bereaved spouse to move on.

3. Go back to budgetting. I am proud to say that Franco and I are very good at staying on budget.

4. Learn more about financial planning
– Read books – check! I highly recommend these two books.


– Subscribe to financial planning blogs. I did not just put them on my favorites. I subscribed to the blogs via email so I won’t miss a post.
–  Attend a seminar. This is still a question mark. I think we know the basics already. What we need would be guidance on how to invest.  Enter specific step # 5. Continue reading

Best Cakes in the South

Are in The Cake Planet!

If you are heading south this coming weekend, go go go go go! We are not dessert people and in case you haven’t notice, I don’t have posts on restos that we visited.  So recommending this secret bakeshop in Bicutan  means their cakes are really really good!

This is the Santa Cruz. Isn’t that the most interesting name for a cake?  John, the owner and baker, was there when we visited. I could not decide which of his cakes to try. I just told him to give me a slice of  the most interesting cake that they have. The Santa Cruz has layers of chocolate mousse, chocolate cake and lemon cream. My husband who does not like citrus-y desserts liked it! I was in love!

Franco, who grew up with lactose intolerance which resulted to avoidance of anything sweet except for longganiza, ordered the usual – chocolate cake. True to its name which I don’t remember but it sounded like Flourless Super Moist Chocolate-y Cake, it was super moist and chocolatey!   Continue reading