Thursday, February 09, 2017

I've forgotten what variety my blueberry bush is, I can only say the blueberries come out large and sweet. This plant has been my delight for the past eight summers. I love my potted blueberry bush. I pray for it  every winter though, as I just leave it outside  and do not put any sackcloth to protect it. I think blueberries are  cold-hardy as this one has proven itself. 

 Looking down from the deck, I check if  some berries are ready for the picking.

 Come summertime, my son's additional chore is to pick blueberries for  breakfast. They go in either pancakes, cereals, quick breads or  yogurts.

now I see I have lotsa white hair on top of my head...hahaha

 Sometimes, I do the picking myself just for the joy it gives me. This blueberry bush has given me much delight in the past eight years. It has given me my $18 back many times over!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sarah Ramdath

Sarah Ramdath

Do you sometimes find yourself thinking about people in your past? Then wonder about where they could be and what they could be doing now? Then you go to Google and try to see if you could get any information, maybe reconnect.  Well last Friday night I was texting with my  friend  Cherrilin whom I just reconnected with after we lost touch after the Sandy storm that hit Long Beach. Then we started talking about our students  at work from 20 years ago and just reminiscing the old days. I sent pictures (of some of these now adult kids) which I gathered from the internet.Then the question, "How about Sarah Ramdath? Have you found anything about her?(Sarah was one of the teachers at work) "   I said I didn't find her on Facebook. Then I realized I haven't tried googling her, so I typed her name and the first thing I saw was "Sarah Ramdath Obituary." No it couldn't be Sarah. She's young, always fun, so full of life, full of tricks and laughter. I looked at the picture closely and confirmed it was not her. I thought, "Phew! Plus this one's from Georgia."  Sarah lived in New Jersey.  Then I went down the list, and did not recognize any of the pictures. I looked at the Whitepages and found her name and her family members' names. I got on Facebook and searched her youngest son's name. Voila! There was Regan, but only one picture and not much information. I searched her husband's name, and there I saw he is active on Facebook posting God and church-related thoughts. I scrolled down to see if I could find any posts with Sarah on it and there was one  from January last year with Sarah's beautiful face  smiling. The words took my breath away. A TRIBUTE TO A GREAT LADY.... (my heart pumped faster...I thought...surely you can give a tribute to someone who's alive, right?)

My excitement of having found her instantly turned to shock. She passed away January 24, 2014. 
I relayed each information I was gathering to Cherrilin, and each information broke her heart. Before she knew all these, she told me she wants to find Sarah and thank her for all the help she's given her.  When Sarah left the workplace, that was the last time we saw her. Although we never kept, we remember all the fun we had.

Sarah Ramdath...I met her in church August of 1995, when I first came to America. Just as I was at the tail end of my summer vacation, I was getting ready to go home to the Philippines, Sarah told me her workplace needed a Toddler Teacher. I went for the interview the next day, and got hired right there and then. That started my life in America. Thank you Sarah.

Yesterday, I could not get Sarah off my mind. It's  strange to think that this world has no more Sarah Ramdath living in it... my heart felt sad. I reminisced all the laughter she caused in our workplace... her witty comments...her pranks. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a subtle smile on her lips when she was being naughty. 
wanted to call Cherrilin and tell her I am sad, but I thought Cherrilin must be thinking of her too. I should let her alone with her thoughts.  I grabbed my sketch book and drew magnolias. I colored them pink. The back and forth act of coloring the petals helped numb my hurting heart a little. I zoned out. I drew and colored and drew and colored all morning...all afternoon...all evening till my lids drooped. 

I'll call this series of drawings Mourning with Magnolias.
This is for you Sarah Ramdath....  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Story of My Engagement

After four years of dating on and off, Steve finally came to his senses (ha!ha!ha!) and realized two things. First, he is getting old (at 40? oh yes!!!) and more importantly, he will NEVER find another Florisse if he dilly-dallies some more. So it was October 15, 2000 when he decided to pop the question.

When I went home that day, I was at a loss for words so I let my hands do the storytelling.

That morning of October 15, 2000, I went to Time Square Church in New York to help interpret the sermon for the Deaf. I remember putting on my red wrap-around-skirt and blouse that had big white  hibiscus prints on it.

After the service, Steve and I had lunch in a hole-in-the -wall Italian restaurant called Basilica. 

As our habit after lunch, we took a walk at Central Park. When Steve suggested we ride the carriage, I felt funny because he is not  that kind of guy. He loves to walk and after dating him for four years, a carriage ride sounded fishy.  And so we got on it and not long after we got on, he asked the carriage driver to pull over, then he...

knelt down and said, "Would you be my wife?"

I zoom in: look at my eyes so big! Of course I said , "Yes!"

The people passing by clapped and cheered. Then Steve sat back with me and asked the carriage driver to resume his driving, and the horse went cloppity-clopping happily.

If you know me, you wouldn't be surprised why I have a picture of that very moment. (I never go anywhere without a camera.
Tee hee!

That was 15 years ago...and counting!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

My Zygo Plants

Thanksgiving 2015

After 15 years of being married, this Thanksgiving 2015 was my first Thanksgiving in my home with my son. We usually spend Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law, but this time I asked my husband to go by himself and have a longer visit with his mom without having to think of my son and I hanging around, inevitably cutting the visit short. I want him to hang out with his mom as much as he can during the visit as we are not able to see her every week since we live 8 hours away  from her. I know he misses her a lot and wishes we could have dinners with her every Sunday, so he consented to my suggestion. 

Am not a turkey person, neither is my son, so I just baked two cornish hens in lieu of the turkey. Made some side dishes and crackle-top cookies.

We stayed home and had a relaxing good time, reading, watching movies, surfing the web, chatting over tea.

We dressed up a little least the top for the pictures. Down below we were clad in our comfy pajamas! tee hee!

A daisy topped the preening.

Otherwise called crinkles, my son ate them with moose track ice-cream.
(UGH! too much sugar!)

Friday, June 05, 2015

Sisterhood Get Together May 2015

For some reason one sister (at the last minute) could not make it to Long Beach, so our NY get together took a little detour westward to Indiana and back. Since she could not come to the agreed place, so then, we go to her. Niece Toki came to the rescue with her huge Armada and transported us to where we needed to be. It was a long ride but fun for all the munchies we passed around,  funny and serious talks as well as the quiet moments that came with it.

A ministering angel shall my sister be. ---William Shakespeare

So the sisterhood attendance totaled 6 once again. That easily called for an arrival photo shoot (after we stretched our stiff muscles from the long ride).

A sister may be the keeper of one's identity, the only person with the keys to one's unfettered, more fundamental self.     ---Marian Sandmaier

It wasn't long before we started cookin' and settin' the table for our dinner. It's so fun to be doing things with sisters. Our lives brought us to live in places apart from each other and so times like this are precious.

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.

----Isadora James

We wanted to visit our beloved brother-in-law  Tim who has blessed us in so many ways by his gentleness and kindness.

A fast dinner was made to enhance the excited conversations brought in from far away places.

So we grew like to a double cherry,  seeming parted, but yet, an union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.  ---William Shakespeare

I know some sisters who only see each other on Mother's Day and some who will never speak again. But most are like my sisters and me...linked by volatile love, best friends who make other best friends ever so slightly less best. ---Patricia Volk

Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.

--Carole Saline

She is  your mirror shining back at you with a world of possibilities.  --Barbara Alpert

She is your witness who sees you at  your worst and best, and loves you anyway. ---B. Alpert

She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. ---Barbara Alpert

Sisterhood is a condition people have to work at. ---Maya Angelou

Sisters share the scent and smells ---the feel of a common  childhood. ---Pam Brown

Because there's one thing stronger than magic: Sisterhood.  ---Robin Benway

Sister to sister we will always be...

We acquire friends and we make enemies, but our sisters come with the territory. --Anon

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ---Pam Brown

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves---a special kind of double. ----Toni Morrison

Sisters are for sharing laughter and wiping tears. --Anon

My sisters remind me, by their very steadfastness, that truth, beauty and goodness exist in the world, and that no matter what, there are and always will be people loving people through thick and thin. ---Anon

In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend. ---Catherine Killigrew

Help one another is part of the religion of sisterhood. ---Louisa May Alcott

Sisters are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering  how to fly.  --Anon

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden. ---Anon

Sisters are blossoms in the garden of life. ---Anon

In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips. --Anon

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ---Marion Garrety

Sister to sister we will always be, A couple of nuts off the family tree. --Anon


Sisters are like cookies and milk, whether things are sweet or crummy, they're better together. ---Anon

How do people make it through life without sisters? ----Sara Corpening

One woman is a tiny divine spark in a timeless sisterhood tapestry collective: All of us are wild women.  --Jan Porter

What's the good news if you haven't a sister to share it?

Children of the same family, the same blood with the same  associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connection can supply. ---Jane Austen

Sisterhood is powerful. ---Robin Morgan

Sisters are friends and defenders---listeners, conspirators, counsellors and sharers of delight. And sorrows too. ---Pam Brown

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. ---Amy Li

In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend. ---Catherine Killigrew

A sister is a friend forever. --- Anon

The best thing about having sisters is that I always have  friends. ---Cali Rae Turner


Sweet is the voice of  a sister in the season of sorrow, and wise is the counsel of those who love us.  ---Benjamin Disraeli

When I say I won't tell anyone, my sister doesn't count.  ---Anon

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs  without fear of the future. --Book of Proverbs

You may  be as different as the sun and the moon , but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her as she needs you. ---George Martin

(who is that hunkaDude in the background?)

Time with sisters is a joyous occasion. ---F. Scouten

One woman is a tiny divine spark in a timeless sisterhood tapestry collective: All of us are wild women.  ---Jan Porter

Sisters are your personal counsellors and  encouragers. --F. Scouten

You can be as  crazy as  you like  with your sisters. Your antics will always be funny to them. 

 --F. Scouten

You think I'm crazy? You should meet my sisters!!!

To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and  sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of  time.  ---Clara Ortega