Prayers and Flowers

Last Sunday morning, I found myself thanking the heavens and the universe for what I have and don’t have. I was sitting in a bench in a park, reading my magazines. I was looking for an easy gingerbread house recipe. I am thankful for the extra money for magazines, for the less hectic schedule that will allow me to squeeze in a couple of craft activities and for the inner peace that I finally have. Aki was playing hide and seek with his martial arts buddy, Alfie, son of Franco’s best friend. Aki is free from illness, is big enough to play on his own and is having a blast being a kid. Franco was in a nearby house, playing Brazilian jujitsu with his team mates. In a few weeks, he will have more time to do the things that he really wants. I said a little prayer to thank Him for the challenges and opportunities that Franco has been showered with these couple of years. I want to think that the reason why one of our wishes was granted only recently is because we were not ready yet. All this years, God has been preparing us.

There are a couple of things that I am praying for right now. I am claiming that I will get them. It is just a matter of time. If not this week, hopefully next week or sometime next month.  When my prayers are granted, I want to be ready. I am already planning the schedule, processes and back up plans.

I thank God everyday that my family now has time to stop and smell and admire the flowers in our garden.

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Science in Action

What is wonderful about having a garden is the daily exposure to science. Last weekend, Aki and I were enjoying chasing friendly butterflies. Someone told me before that friendly ones are newly hatched from their cocoons. I wondered if the 3 butterflies grew from our garden. Aki and I checked our plants and saw empty cocoons in one of the calamansi plants. This is the same plant that a hungry caterpillar greeedily munched on.

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Then, upon checking our other calamansi plant, we saw three caterpillars!

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By this time, I already imagined taking care of the caterpillar siblings and watching them transform into a cocoon and finally becoming butterflies. What nice memories that would be for Aki. Continue reading

Garden Updates

Hello! Super thanks to everyone who still visits my blog despite the lack of posts lately. And a bigger thank you to those who go the extra step to leave nice comments.

Anyhoo, some interesting happenings in my garden..

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Guess what happened after I picked the very first tomato I grew? Both tomato plants died

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Speaking of death, I have given up on my bell pepper plants.  I left only one plant. The biggest and most infected one. I am letting it die a natural death. Interestingly, my lone sick bell pepper plant has been a magnet to unique insects, like this yellow spider.

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I replaced the bell peppers with Chinese swamp cabbage aka upland kangkong.

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Kangkong flower

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I also planted some citronella plants in the kangkong plot. Can you see the brown grass hopper?

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAki and I also found this spider that looks like a dried leaf or twig at first.

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Have you seen a retro inspired bug? We have. Continue reading

Hoisin Honey Eggplants

I invented this recipe in celebration of our ever first harvest of my dearest eggplants. Ever since my friend and Aki’s godmother, Ameron, reintroduced me to eggplants, I have not met an eggplant dish that I did not like.  That is why, of all the plants in my garden, the eggplants are my favorite.

Ingredients

4 eggplants, sliced

3 tomatoes, sliced

olive oil

2 syanse-ful  hoisin sauce – Sorry, I did not measure. Our syanse or laddle is small though. It is just a little bigger than a serving spoon

1 syanse-ful of honey.

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Images from the Garden

Photo-dumping because I am too lazy to insert each photo.

Lola Do’s Container Veggie Garden

Growing up, I thought my mom was my complete opposite. Now that I am a mom myself, I see a lot of my mom’s key traits in me. Like her, I like to read  on topics that affect or may affect my family. I have grown to hate clutter although Mom’s tolerance is much much lower. I hate eyesores but that ends there. Mom would proactively look for clutter, clutter that I don’t even recognize, and fix the place up. Like Mummy, I would be happy to stay at home rather than spend Friday nights with friends. Lately, Mummy and I developed a special interest in gardening. We have been interested in plants for quite sometime but it was only last April when we started to take care of plants that will give us food eventually.

Look at what I saw in her container garden. Oh wait, let us define container gardening first, shall we? Take out your dictionaries as this definition might be too scientific for you. Container gardening is gardening in containers. Haha. Instead of planting the plant directly into the land, plants are planted in containers. When space is limited, but enthusiasm is not, container gardening is the way to go. Mommy actually has  a vast lot behind her house but she prefers her container garden, situated right beside the house, in the then-piggery, now parking space slash sampayan.

In Los Banos, the local government supports gardening by giving free seeds and compost. I wonder how the local government of other towns and cities support urban farming. Whenever I pass by a squatter’s area or see a beggar, I can’t help but wish that the container-gardening bug would bite them too. Instead of asking people for money or complaining about how poor they are, if they get into planting their own food, they would be self-sufficient. Malunggay, one of the most nutritious plants ever, needs almost zero maintenance.

Anyhoo, I would like to share images from my mom’s veggie garden.

Ginger in a used plastic box

Seedlings in styropore

Seedlings in taho plastic cups

Cranberry in a jumbo laundry soap container

Onion and garlic in old shelves

In old tyres

Petchay

Upland Kangkong

Bataw


Most of her other plants are in these black plastic planting bags

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The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

A few months ago, I shared a video that made me cry buckets of tears.

Normally, I am giddy excited every Friday afternoon. I live and breathe for weekends. Long weekends are even extra-special. There is so many projects that I want to work on, so many recipes to try and so many movies to watch.  On stressful days like today and the past 7 days, make that 10 days including the heavy rains, thanks to the monsoon, all I really want is to go home and have a boring, uneventful weekend with my family.

I wish all our weekends are as simple and memorable as that of the last weekend of July.

Saturday, 7:36AM. Aki washed his urine-soaked shorts. Normally, when he forgets to use the potty, we ask him to wipe the mess. He was extra-industrious that morning and even volunteered to help Ate Dorina in the laundry area.

Saturday, 8:50AM. Aki made breakfast bohgoh (burger). Yum!

Saturday, 10:33AM. Mother-son bonding at the garden. Aki helped me spray the homemade pesticide to white bugs which have been attacking our chilli plants.

Saturday, 12:42PM. Aki showing Daddy that he is ready for more martial arts lessons. Here he is, practicing his “guard” on the unwilling sparring partner… Me!

Saturday, 4:21PM. Gaye marries Aaron! So happy to see my good friend so happy! What made the day even more special is the announcement from our other friend, Nyl, that she is getting married too! Happy happy!

Sunday, 6:45AM. Ironman went to potty. Funny little man is very much into superheroes nowadays. When he feels like being Ironman, he asks us to wrap a gold ribbon around his hand.

Sunday, 9:04AM. We are late for church! Because Aki insisted that he wears his favorite The Hulk pajamies over his clothes. Thankfully, he let us take of the pajama when we arrived.

Sunday, 9:26AM. “Penge nine hunded toins (hundred coins), fis (please)!” is what Aki just told me.

Sunday, 9:28AM. And this is why I hate attending mass inside a mall! The guy in white is the pasimuno.
I hate that the kids keep on running and playing.
Interestingly, Aki kept chasing a big kid who was playing with a toy gun. Aki kept saying, “Hey, no bengbeng. Stop it! Bengbeng bad! No bengbeng!” Inasmuch as I was happy to see him standing for what he believes in (or what I made him believe in), I am sure the big kid was pretty annoyed to have a small kid who was very passionate about his beliefs, run after him.

Sunday, 11:02AM. Look what I found in Booksale! The top 1 of the top 100 children’s books!

Check out the complete list here

Sunday 12:45PM. My baby can ride!
Is he ready for his first bike?

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