Gardening · Memoirs of a Mummy

A Lazy Gardener’s Update

When was the last time I blogged about my garden?

I can’t even remember.

Here is what is growing now

I have a citronella plantation. Hehe. I think we have around 8 now.


Aside from the kangkong patch, we also have a talbos ng kamote patch.


Look, we have ampalaya again. I miss Manang Lydia.


Continue reading “A Lazy Gardener’s Update”

Gardening · Mrs. Monologues

Weekly Gifts from Manang Lydia

Manang Lydia may have moved on to the next life but she still continues to be a blessing to our family. We remember and silently thank her every time we pick our ampalayas ( Erwin, that’s bitter gourd in English), during weekends.

These were our bounty last last weekend. Continue reading “Weekly Gifts from Manang Lydia”

Gardening · Memoirs of a Mummy

Bitter Dilemma

We have a problem. A bitter one. The ampalaya (bitter gourd) crawled upwards into the neighbor’s house. From what I remember from the days when I used to watch Ipaglaban Mo, if your neighbor’s plants and their fruits are in your property, they are yours.

The wall is too high for us to reach even with a ladder. I also  noticed that some of the ampalayas dried before they are mature for picking. Maybe because they are in direct contact wit the neighbor’s metal roof.

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Gardening · Mrs. Monologues

In Memory of Manang

I am trying to renew my love for gardening. Ever since Cheryl left, I somewhat lost my interest in plants. My love for gardening temporarily returned when Ate Nida who has a green thumb like Manang, came but she left quickly and unexpectedly. After learning the terrible news of Manang untimely death, I thought I will never enjoy gardening again.  When out of the blue, last weekend, I realized that the best way to honor her memory, would be by taking care of the garden that she loved.  I found myself uprooting and replanting flowers at 12noon.

The yellow flowers remind of orange segments. They were given to me by my SIL last Xmas. If I am not mistaken, their name is Acapulco. The bright red plants are from my mom’s garden. She has a lot of these. The next time I go back to Elbi, I am going to get more of them.

Oh Manang, we miss you everyday.

Akisms · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues

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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Mrs. Monologues

The Last Dance aka Ang Huling Hele ni Manang

Aki had no idea that this was his last dance with Manang.

Normally, he can nap by himself. However, on Manang’s last day, he was not showing any signs of sleepiness even if it was already 3 hours past his nap time. It was as if he knew that he had to make the most of the next hours. I asked Manang to rock Aki to sleep for the last time.

Growing up, we always had yayas. There was Manang Ading and Ate Paz. I loved them dearly but I don’t remember crying when they said goodbye. With Manang, even if she was with us for less than a year, I could not help but cry. I did not want to show her that I will miss her, that we need her  and that we really want her to stay, but when I handed her the envelope of the print outs of her pictures with Aki, tears uncontrollably fell. I did not want to show her how sad I was. I bowed my head and turned around  so she would not see me crying. But she asked me a question so I had to  show her my crying face. And when she saw me crying, she started crying as well.  I told her we will miss her and we know that her family needs her more than we do. She then confessed that she had been crying for the past few nights because she would be leaving with a heavy heart.   She said she already has the blessing of her husband to come back after the construction of their house which would be in 2 or 3 months time. Of course, hearing that made me really happy but I felt very guilty.  I know her family needs her. She should be thinking of her family instead of worrying about us.

Before she left morning of the next day, she surprised me with her last gifts – sewn hems of my office pants, a monogram pillow that I have been wanting to do, and a traditional sipa for Aki.  

I could not watch her leave. Instead, I distracted my broken heart by taking pictures of my broken-hearted son.

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Decluttering & Organizing · Mrs. Monologues

Bodega Makeover

Manang’s last major project was our bodega makeover. I wish I was able to take a “before” picture. When I woke, the bodega was already turned inside out.

We tackled the big items first particularly Aki’s baby stuff – the two playpens, baby basins, stroller, carrier/rocker, and high chair. Just when we were “on the zone”, we  got off track when we could not disassemble the high chair. Good thing, I was able to keep the manual. So after 30 minutes of figuring out  how to detach ech segment, we were able to fold it up and put every part in the original box. After packing all Aki’s baby paraphernalia, we covered them in  trash bags to protect them from dusts and insects.
Next we gathered all the christmas decors, wiped them clean, covered the breakable with layers of crumpled newspaper and put everything in a large plastic basket.  For the rest of the items, we identified each if they are to be kept, thrown or given away.

Without further ado, I present, my organized bodega!

Hidden in the clutter were these treasures. I have forgotten about them. Good thing, we scheduled a general cleaning before Manang left.

Most important treasure that I unearthed was Aki’s baptismal certificate. Why it was in the bodega, I do not know.

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Memoirs of a Mummy · Photoshoots

Aki and Manang Photoshoot

With a heavy heart, I would like to announce that our dear beloved Manang is going back to Samar for good. It is sad that she won’t be with us anymore when we have our family photoshoot next month. Good thing, we have the nicest photographer. She agreed to have a mini photoshoot just for Aki and Manang.

That is Wiki Jr and Tiki Jr. Last year we bought Aki a pair of java birds, Wiki and Tiki. One died because of solitude. The other one just disappeared. Wiki Jr and Tiki  Jr are maya birds.  We let them go after the photoshoot.

Here are the rest of the pictures.

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Gardening · Mrs. Monologues

My Fairy Yard-mother

I love Manang Lydia.

There are soooooo many things to love about her that I can start a blog solely about how lucky we are to have her in our lives.

Today, I will just blog about how she rubs her green thumb on me.

Last Sunday morning, I found her outside the gate, doing this….

She was removing the leaves from the branches of the bush that she trimmed. Why? She wanted to make an organic fertilizer. Aside from homemade fertilizer, she  also puts egg shells and waters  my herb garden with the pinaghugasan ng isda.

And this pair of shorts that she was wearing? It used to be Franco’s polo shirt. She sewed it using her hands. My slit pa!

Dear husband could not believe it. He could not believe he agreed to give away his favorite Blued polo shirt (see Prizes and Blessings for back story). Hehe

Back to gardening. Manang just came back from a 2 month vacation leave. Yep, we were yaya-less for two months. To keep outrsanity, we decided to stay in MIL’s house until she came back. Her pasalubong?

Bamboo sticks for the garden! Now those stray  cats can’t get near my herbs.

The side yard is so rocky.  We asked the neighborhood gardener how much would it cost to cover it with grass. He said at least 11K for that small patch of land.

To make my garden a little prettier, I bought plant labels. They are totally unnecessary but they make me happy. That is what is important, right?

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Memoirs of a Mummy

Toddler Shoes from Singapore and from Samar

In just a span of 10 days, Aki got 2 new pairs of shoes from people we love.

Not that he needs new shoes. His shoe collection is more or less 20 pair strong. Thank God for hand me downs. We don’t need to buy shoes until several years from now. And by then, we probably inherited several more preloved pairs.

This one from Singapore care of Ninang Ameronie.   Aki’s skull and cross bones onesies would look great when paired with these shoes. Only problem is that those onesies don’t fit his fat belly anymore.

Continue reading “Toddler Shoes from Singapore and from Samar”