On Adulting

Monday was a national holiday commemorating the Day of Valor. As it is with long weekends, many took the opportunity to take a vacation and create memories with their families and friends.

As for me, well, perhaps seeing my Facebook status may give you an idea of how I spent the day.

I had deliverables due early that evening so I cut my weekend short and sat down to work. All the while my mind was drifting away, thinking that I would rather be doing either of these things instead:

    • Visit Amir and Arkin (my nephews who are growing up sooooo fast!)
    • Crochet/Knit
    • Read a book
    • Do more meaningful work
    • Have an adventure!

Yeah, adulting is hard. Being an adult with responsibilities sometimes means prioritizing the less fun stuff.

And when I say hard, I’m not referring to having to get a job and spending so much time working. Sometimes that’s the easy part.

It’s about being responsible for yourself and your own needs.

And when you have to be responsible for others. Of course, no matter our age, our actions always affect other people in some way. But when your actions and decisions mean life and livelihood for someone else – that can be scary shit.

But adulting is fun too.

Though I miss Christmas vacations and long summers, I don’t miss sitting for long hours in a classroom. I really did not enjoy going to school. It surprises me, to this day, that I did pretty well as a student. Believe me when I say that I understand kids who are difficult in the morning of a school day. I was THAT kid.

So I love NOT having to go to school.



I am pretty sure there are so many times when it’s fun being an adult but I am for sure having a hard time recalling right now. Hahahahaha!

7 of 100 🙂

Puppies Day Out!

On March 13, Chiclet gave birth to three healthy puppies.

First photo - Chiclet nursing Pandora, Roku, and Shadow

First photo – Chiclet nursing Pandora, Roku, and Shadow

We are so proud of Chiclet! Truthfully, we thought we had a week before delivery, so imagine the surprise when the husband came home from his shift to find two wee puppies! The third pup soon followed. Buti na lang marami kaming cardboard boxes from grocery shopping – he was able to make a bed for the new mom and her puppies lined with soft clean rags. No need to buy a new crate.

Sometimes, I feel like Chiclet needs a break from breast feeding. We find her snuggling elsewhere every once in a while like she’s craving a moment of peace!

Sometimes mama just needs a break. #chicletonyxapitana

A post shared by Vera S. Ocampo-Apitana (@verabear) on

When the puppies turned two weeks’ old, we took them out for their first visit to the Veterinarian. They were so precious crammed into one big shoe box! They were well-behaved, and didn’t fuss. Not even when they got their vitamin shots.

I’m still amazed that our baby Chiclet carried three babies in her tummy, and gave birth all on her own. She has been a very good parent. Sirius, on the other hand, has been left out a little because Chiclet doesn’t like him fussing over the babies at all. We just make sure we give him cuddles too so he doesn’t feel so bad.

So now, we’re a household of two humans, two adult dogs, and three puppies.

See how behave the puppies were while getting their shots:

That’s 6 of 100, blogged!

Stitch Count – April 2018

Time flies when there is so much happening around you, doesn’t it? Isn’t it also true though, that at the end of a certain period of busy-ness, one realizes how much time has truly passed?

For example, I can hardly believe we are well into the second quarter of the year already. March went by like a blur, and so have the months of January and February.

One of my goals this year is to keep on crocheting and knitting. 2016 was a very productive year for me as a crafter, but 2017 was a different story. In fact, the projects I finished so far this year were those that I did not finish last year. Let’s have a look at those projects:

Baby Blanket for Kayzel

My best friend lives overseas with her family. Her daughter Kayzel, was turning a year old, and I decided to make her a blankie. I followed the Fluffy Meringue Blanket tutorial by The Crochet Crowd. I did not get to personally hand over this beauty when they were here early this year, but it’s finally going home to Kayzel by the end of this month. Finally!

Here’s a sneak preview of the pink and blue blanket:

Learning the Brioche Stitch

Knowing that it was going to be cold in Taiwan for our trip, I decided to make myself a scarf. It took such a long time though, because I also made the decision that I was going to knit it (thinking it would be faster), and that I was going to learn to do the Brioche stitch.

Well, I did learn a new stitch. I also picked a lovely ball of Sugar Free Yarn for the project. But what I didn’t pay attention to was the need for a lifeline. A lifeline is literally a life saver for those times when you realize that you missed or dropped a stitch. The lifeline is a string that you pull through a good row (and re-attach every few rows) so that when you make a mistake you won’t have to frog the entire fabric. Let’s just say that I frogged so many times.

I ended up not finishing the scarf in time for the trip.

But it’s done now, and even if it’s a little short (I only had one ball, and did a double pull), and has a lot of imperfections, I love how it turned out.

Secret Paths Shawl for Vanette

For a dear friend who is moving to a colder geo, I decided to whip up the Secret Paths Shawl by Johanna Lindahl.

I loved working with this particular yarn (also Sugar Free), and this was my first time to make a triangular shawl. It really came out lovely.

Currently, I am working on a laptop case using hexies. I don’t LOVE the colors I’m using because I just went with left over yarn from previous projects, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still love the end product. Hope to share that soon!

What projects have you completed this year? Doesn’t have to be yarn projects, do share! 🙂

5 of 100, stitched!

Stitches and Words

Today, I made the decision to rename my webspace.

Welcome to the newly re-christened STITCHES & WORDS!

Daily life is filled with these – stitches, because I crochet and knit, and words, because I love to read (and now also rekindling my love for writing). I realize that right now, that is what this space is all about, and really why I’m doing #100daysofblogging in the first place:

re-stitching this old platform

It’s hard for me to remember now why I started my first blog in 2004; I also can’t recall why I kept doing it with some regularity for 10 years. I’ve blogged in at least seven (7) different spaces in all that time. That probably means I loved it. Right?

But what was it I loved about broadcasting my life online, pre-Facebook? Was it the idea of articulating my thoughts and feelings into a (sometimes) cohesive Post? Was it interacting with readers (not saying I had any), and fellow bloggers? Or maybe it was knowing that whatever message I had for the world, I had a platform to express it. Perhaps, all of the above.

It seems easier now to figure out why I stopped.

There are so many creative, dynamic, and beautiful blogs out there. And I let myself compare my work with theirs, as if it was a competition. What’s worse? I declared my blog/s the loser.

In 2014, I talked about a Reboot. I came as far as changing the layout, writing an About page (which now needs rewriting), and then not much else. This time around, I’ll just keep writing and see where this goes. The blogging scene may very well be a huge jungle where everyone fights for their audience, and sponsors, but I don’t necessarily have to take part in that.

Let’s just keep writing shall we?

4 of 100, published!

Oh, but subscribers, readers, and sponsors would be nice too! ?

The Don’t Buy List

Do you have one? A list of items NOT to buy?

For a two-person household, grocery-shopping doesn’t need to be a weekly affair. It’s become a fortnightly husband-wife bonding activity to walk through the aisles of the grocery store and debate about what makes it to checkout (like how many bags of chips he’s allowed to have).

Having a grocery list is really helpful (as I’m sure you would already know) – it keeps us from adding unnecessary items onto our cart. Every once in a while I remember to write a short list of must-buy items after asking the husband what pantry items need to be replenished – he would know better because he’s the Master Chef in this family. I’d really hate for him to get frustrated when he starts to cook only to realize he’s missing an ingredient or seasoning (also, if that happens, it’s his fault. Haha!).

At other times we just don’t have a list at all. What for? Even with one we end up going thru each aisle at the store anyway. Lately, I felt like we’ve done a better job at making wiser choices – the tape receipts are getting shorter and we’re getting closer to sticking to the budget. There are also sections that we ignore and old favorites that we’ve stopped bringing home (our purchasing habits changed a bit since I made the choice to take the path to true wellness – hope to write about this soon!).

A few weeks ago, while at the kitchen sink, I noticed that we had one too many bottles of ketchup. Then a quick check revealed that we also had one too many bottles of a few other items. We had a good laugh about this, but I knew, there was a lesson there somewhere.

We’ve also had too much toilet paper, bath soap, etcetera, etcetera.

That’s when I realized that we needed a Don’t Buy List.

The Don’t Buy List is for items we are well-stocked on – at least for the next two weeks. Having such a list becomes handy when there are on-the-spot decisions about the next week’s menu – do you want spaghetti? how about tuna-macaroni salad? At least we can check our list and know that, for example, we don’t need to buy more canned mushrooms or pasta.

But the list isn’t comprehensive and isn’t an inventory of every grocery item we still have in the house. What get’s on the list are just those obvious ones that we already have too much of, or won’t run out in the next month. Certainly, we don’t mind having extras – but too much at a time just means we could have used the money for something that would have been more urgent. With a small living space, it also means we’re not storing too much of what we don’t need right now or in the immediate future.

What do you think about the Don’t Buy List?

3 of 100, blogged!

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