My Dreams

Kids Praise and Cookies

After walking to McDonald’s to meet up for brunch with the boyfriend, we walked to Hi-Top a block over to buy dog food and some brown sugar. I felt like making chocolate chip cookies and though I didn’t look at the recipe I wanted to try, I knew I’d be needing brown sugar.

On the way to the grocery, I saw that the House of Praise was already open. Though I was across the street from the open doorway, I saw the rack of Kids Praise and I was drawn to it.

We went in, then out five minutes later with this:


As a kid, I grew up listening to and singing along with Psalty. How many albums were there? I forgot. But we must have had all of them! Everyone at Sunday School knew the songs and we’d often perform them in the annual shows we’d mount.

I must admit, I still could not help but remember my Aunt when I started listening to this album, but that need not mean sad thoughts.

One of the dreams I’ve had, or one of the things I listed as stuff I’d rather do, may soon start to happen.

I intend to start teaching my nieces and nephews the songs in this album, and if they want to, we’ll mount a mini performance for friends and family. What a wonderful way to learn about Jesus, and cultivate their talents right?  Today our kids, tomorrow Sunday School. Haha.

And what a coincidence too. While I was baking cookies today, I heard the kids singing outside. And they weren’t singing their usual picks – Love Story, Jai Ho, etc – they were singing tunes they learned from Vacation Bible School. Yay!

So I can’t wait til we can start doing this, but I’ve got to map it out first, have some sort of schedule. I hope they’d buy into this, the big girls too.

The Year of Pleasures – Elizabeth Berg


There’s one thing about going to the hospital alone – the wait time allows me to start or finish a good book.  In April when I started visiting doctors to see what was up with the never ending cold that I had since the year started, I took The Watchmen with me. Many times though, I found myself not being able to concentrate on reading so I only managed a couple of chapters.  This time around, Elizabeth Berg was my chosen company.  I had the book The Year of Pleasures with me when we went to Baler – it appealed to me like a book fit to read while on vacation. I thought about reading while we were on the road but it was impossible with the bumpiness of the ride, and also because I found admiring the view of the countryside a better pastime.  While Alfred was taking a siesta (still at Baler), I was out at the 2nd floor verandah, put my feet up and started to read. But the cool breeze and the lightness of the surroundings just took over me.  I felt that the afternoon was too beautiful to just spend on reading.  So I gathered the kids who were with us  and tried to do something with them instead (right before heading to the water again!).

Today, I finally finished the novel.

I’ve read Berg’s True to Form and Never Change and remembered really being moved by both stories.  I knew what I was in for when I picked this one up.

The Year of Pleasures is about Betta Nolan who lived a very happy life with her husband John. But the novel isn’t about Betta and John really, because the novel starts after his death.  Betta sells their home, and then drives to the midwest in search of a new life.  It’s wonderful how she found her new home, made new friends, but also reconnected with old ones – friends from before she met her late husband.

The book showed me that there is no single proper way to grieve the loss of a loved one. But it’s also a good resource for someone who may be suffering, so that she may find strength and pleasure in everything that happens around her, even in the small things.

It talked to me about dreaming too. And that it’s never too late to pursue something, specially when it is what will make your heart happy and your life full.

It also made me aware of how true it is for some of us women to totally lose ourselves in our relationships. Not lose in the sense that we have no identity, but… That we get too engrossed in our own little couple-world that we shut everyone else out – without meaning to.

It gave me comfort that Betta reconnected with her college roommates whom she hasn’t seen nor heard from in decades. They remained friends, but they never forgot her. It was amazing how they were automatically there for her when she let them know she needed them. No resentment. That’s what true girlfriends are about.

I fell in love with Betta’s house and her new neighborhood. I could live there, I would love to live that life. I love the idea of her quaint shop – What A Woman Wants, though if it was me, I’d setup a pastry shop/bookshop.

But I was also thinking how stupid it was to move in to a new place, all by yourself, and not install an alarms system! I mean Jovani (a character in the book) had a point – what if someone came in through the door and you didn’t hear it? I lived in a quiet neighborhood and I was left on my own a lot of times, even when I was younger. But no matter how safe you feel, it’s still better to be secured. I know that installing alarms systems is not the norm in most Philippine households, but Betta’s in the States – she should know better! Haha.

There are gems of wisdom in the book, but what stuck with me was a line John spoke to Betta – Don’t let your habits become handcuffs.  Just become you’ve been used to something doesn’t mean you can’t do it a different way or have something else entirely.

Sometimes I think about what will happen to me if the boyfriend dies…

Then I was also thinking, having been away from work for three days because of these flu-like symptoms, that I really don’t want to work anymore. And it’s not because I hate work, or that I don’t like what happens at work. No. Because I was actually happy to be at work these past two weeks. Conflicting, aren’t I? Hear me out.  I like what I do there, but I know I could be happier doing something else. So I think that’s what I’m going to work on.  I will prepare my life so that I can leave and do what I really want. It’s going to take a long time to get where I want to be to do this, but I will work on it.  If I can make half my current month’s salary doing what I love to do, I will quit my full time job. Seriously.  I don’t want to wait until a tragedy happens (like in Betta’s case) before I find an excuse to be daring and to live the life I’ve been imagining for myself.

(It’s probably not going to happen, but it’s good to think about these things, you know? Haha)

I just dug through my blog archives, and you know what I’ve found? This book has been on my to-be-read pile since September 2008! Crazy!

Visit the link below to buy the book from Amazon, or to read reviews from others. And if you’ve read it, tell me what you think okay?

My blue skies and chocolate retreat

So I am quite psyched about the unit improvement, can you tell? I’ve like posted about it how many times in the past several days? Hehe 🙂 The sad thing though is that I can’t really own the idea for the design because I will have to take budget into consideration. And I still won’t be living there anyway, so we’ll just have it look ready enough to be rented out. 

If I could really have my way about it (or if I was really planning on moving in), I’d choose between having the kitchen area expanded, or just have a home theater feel to the entire unit itself. I mean, there’s got to be space for my oven (which is getting to be farther and farther from my reach), and then ample space for everything else, including a big table. Right? So there’d just be the kitchen, and then the bedroom. If there are guests, there’ll be comfy seating around the dining table.

home-theater-sconceOr, like I said, we’d take the existing kitchen area but have no dining table; there’d still be a partition for the bedroom, and then the rest of the space would be a home theater. This wouldn’t be my first option because I don’t have money for the equipment anyway. I mean, what’s a home theater without an HDTV LCD/Plasma screen, or projection TV, and bad ass speakers? Ahh. But I saw these home theater sconces that are really quite cute to have. Okay I changed my mind, even if I don’t end up with a home theater, having maybe two sconces like this would create drama for the room wouldn’t it? The contract with the designer includes additional lighting fixtures, maybe we could choose something like this? Although I think what she really meant was lighting fixtures on the ceiling, so I’d probably have to pay extra just to have something like this installed.

The designer said that we can choose the additional fixtures ourselves, I think she actually meant that we’ll have to buy them and then just give it to them for installation. I don’t have a concrete idea of it yet, perhaps we’ll know more on Wednesday. That’s just two days away! She mentioned that she’ll have something for us to take home, the design rendering, to look at. Haha 🙂

Thursday Thirteen #15 – 13 things I’d rather do than go to work

And I’m not just talking about a simple reluctance to get up everything and go to work. No, this isn’t just because I am lazy (because I am lazy). And it isn’t because I hate my job, boss or co-workers either – because I don’t. I enjoy my job too, it’s just that, I’d really rather prefer to stay at home where there are a million and one ways I can be more productive.

Funny how I used to think that I wasn’t that kind of girl. For Twilight fans, you know how Bella thinks she’s not the kind of small town girl to get married right out of highschool? I had thoughts like that too – about not being the kind to stay home while the hubby went out to bring home the bacon. And it’s not just about earning money for the family – it was more of the idea of really doing something that I was passionate about. For a time I fantasized about being a communist rebel (not exactly a glamorous career); then I also dreamed of working in a top corporation and making it big. When my life revolved around working with children’s NGOs, I knew that was my place in the sun.

But as I grew older, things changed and my perceptions changed along with it. I know now that when it came time build my own family, when it was time to have babies, I would not be able to keep myself away from home on a regular basis. Not even for an eight hour shift.

Lately, this idea of just staying at home has been occupying my mind and it isn’t just for when I had babies anymore. Why should I have to wait? Why can’t I just start now?

Thus the theme for this week’s 13: things I’d rather do than go to work.

+ Blog about so many other things that matter to me and the world (sheesh I’m still not done with the Bohol posts) and bloghop like crazy.

+ Watch DVDs

+ Read (I’m down to 11 books from last week’s list, but really there are several more that didn’t go up there)

+ Workout. Swim. Learn Tennis again.

+ Finish my digital Scrapbook project for the girls. Start scrapping our Bohol vacation.

+ Find online freelance article writing opportunities.

+ Fulfill Truffles orders

+ Bake (for family, and also to sell) and/or go to baking school.

+ Spoil my dog (so he would look more to me as his owner/mommy, than to my mom and dad)

+ Spend time with my nephews (read them books, for one, but there are so many other things we’d be happy to get busy with after school)

+ Learn other things – design stuff, like digital signage or even cards or whatever. I’d love to learn the ins and outs of Photoshop (if only that course I wanted to sign up for wasn’t out of my budget range).

+ Get involved with Sunday School at Church.

+ Find part time involvement with the NGOs I worked with in the past – I’d love to setup a new website for Asia ACTs or write stuff for them. And I’d love to facilitate workshops for ECPAT and the young people.

This seems a merry mix of things and I’m aware it all sounds like stuff I already can do while still working a regular job. The thing is, these are all distractions for me at work and I don’t want to be like that. When I’m at work, I want to be focused. That’s the only way I can be really productive. When I’m at home doing any or all these things – you won’t believe how focused I could get. Hehe.

Or, I really am just lazy. Haha 😉

As always, checkout my previous TT’s here and here. Also don’t forget to sign Mr Linky, and leave a comment so I can go visit you too. 🙂

Verabear the Social (green) Entrepreneur

Envirosax really had me inspired. It’s a great concept and I love that it has designs and comes in colors that make it look cool to bring your own shopping bag. I mentioned in a previous post how I agree that it is indeed a step in the right direction. The only thing that would make it even better (and cheaper) would be if the product was sourced and made locally. No more jet fuel to take it to the Philippines too.

I broached the possibility of producing and selling reusable shopping totes to my boyfriend, and briefly to my dad. They said it is a good idea. I hope Alfred doesn’t forget that he promised to help me find the materials and assist me in my attempt to make them. As far as I know, there are no products like it in the Philippines. The canvass bags really just won’t do because they are bulky and this kind of bag would appeal as a second (or third) bag that one can carry along with them everyday. The bayong wouldn’t fit in my purse so that’s no competition.

I’m thinking that sellers like Bags in the City and the Multiply community in the Philippines will help me sell these. I actually am excited. Perhaps finally, I’ve found a way to redeem my social conscience and still earn on the side. Maybe in the future I will enable others to create and earn for themselves too. All while helping contribute to a greener Philippines.

Me and my dreams.

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