Showing posts with label the mama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the mama. Show all posts

Monday, January 18, 2016

What's Wrong with People?


"Today is a holiday," I reminded the Mama this morning. "So, no mail. No library. No banks. No schools."

"What's the holiday?" the Mama asked.

"Martin Luther King Day."

"Is this the day he was born?"

"Yes."

The Mama sighed. "The good people die too soon. Poor man."

She shook her head. "The crazy person who killed him. Too many crazy people. What's wrong with people?"

The Mama's question had me pondering throughout the morning. My conclusion, at the moment: Insecurity. Fear is based on insecurity. Anger? A person gets angry because she does not get her way, which puts her in an insecure position. Jealousy is essentially feeling insecure for not having what someone else has. Greed in a person is due to his insecurity that he don't have what others have.

Unfortunately, there are greedy, angry, jealous, and fearful people in this world who manipulate our insecurities for their purposes. I like to think that the majority of us have our heads screwed on straight and can see through their inhuman minds and souls. I have faith that positive light prevails over negativity.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Attempting to Speak Ilocano


Ilocano is the Mama's primary language. It was the Daddy's as well. Ilocano is one of the languages of the Philippines. I'm one of those second-generation people who can understand their parents' primary language proficiently but is a doofus when it comes to speaking it. I don't even think I spoke it before I went to school, which was probably because the Only and Older Brother was already in school when I came along.

Because we've lived with the Mama for over 12 years, I've gained back much of my comprehension skills. It's a good thing. As the Mama has gotten older, she is speaking more in Ilocano without realizing it. Her hearing is pretty bad, which has me thinking that a lot of the time English sounds like jibber jabber to her. I've started using a word or two of Ilocano, when I can think of it. Of course, my Ilocano also sounds like jibber jabber to her.

Doesn't matter. Broken Ilocano talk, here I am. 

Adda iti kayat mo? Is there anything you want?

Awan. Nothing. 

Ado.  A lot.


Today ABC Wednesday starts Round 18, which begins my third round with the meme. Whooo-hooo! This cool meme was started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continues today under the helm of Roger Green and his ABCW team.  Thank you!  If you'd like to participate and/or check other participants, please click here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Only the Mama!


On New Year's Eve Day I noticed this rose bud. The odd thing about it is that its branch is among several rose branches sitting in a bucket of water that the Mama set aside in early October. She pruned the branches from the rose bushes in the front yard and was going to plant the branches in the backyard. But, then her health sidetracked her.

This is the first time I've ever seen a rose branch in water take blossom. Another surprising thing is that we've had cold temperatures, including frosty mornings, for several weeks. I can only think that the Mama's love for her roses is strong and the roses love her back.

By the way, the Mama is doing better. If you're interested in what happened, you can read about the Mama's health in last Sunday's post.


Today, I'm hooking up with Our World Tuesday. To link up yourself and/or to read what's going on with other participants, click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Eden Hills' First Friday's Hunt

I'm participating in a new meme called Friday's Hunt, which is hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. You can link up until Sunday, in case you're wondering if I know what day it is. If you'd like to join in and/or check out other participants, click here (after you read my post, I hope.)

A is for Artichokes



I'm used to seeing fields of artichokes near the coast. So, it's very strange to see them growing in our area, which is about 40 mile from the coast. I wonder if the artichokes taste any different.


Week's Favorite



Yesterday, the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and I received a trés cool gift from Cousin Kuting (which means tiny and cute in Ilocano). It's a large sturdy canvas bag perfect for everything that needs being carried. Molly the Cat sniffed it, which I take to mean that perhaps if need be she would jump into it and be smuggled into somewhere that we need to be secretive about. But, that's not the neatest part about the bag. Cousin Kuting printed a photo of the Husband and me dancing on one side of the bag. That's pretty sweet!

Celebrate



For the past two months, the Mama has been getting shots to build up her red blood cells because her anemia got dangerously low. It was very tough going the first six weeks. The medication took a lot out of her. She lost her appetite. She could barely walk and everything—joints and muscle pain, hearing loss, and so forth—that was physically wrong with her seemed worse. She mostly slept.

This past week was one of the best weeks for the Mama and that's cause for celebration. She looks great. Her appetite is back. She sleeps less during the day. She has more energy and is looking around for things to do. She hasn't gone outside yet—the first winter that she hasn't played in her garden every day—but that's okay. It's very cold and when it isn't, it's raining. And, she's being her normal complaining self.

Cheers for the Mama!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Warm Hearts


“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
~Anonymous, Greek proverb

I read that Greek proverb this morning on Facebook. It reminded me of the Daddy when he planted peach, pear, apple, persimmon, cherry and fig saplings around the backyard of his and Mama's house. "These trees are for the grandchildren," he said. I recall thinking how lucky those kids would be to climb the trees. The Mama moved before the Only and Older Brothers' kids were old enough to try them out. I like to think that other kids did.

The proverb also had me thinking of the Mama and her wonder of planting the apricot and avocado seeds from the fruit that we've harvested from her trees. This year two of the second generation apricot trees bore fruit. I have no doubt that all the other apricot and avocado trees will do the same one day. It'll be one crazy fruit forest out in the backyard when the trees grow up.

I love that my parents are among the people in the world who have the heart and vision to plant trees for the future. I shall continue on the tradition.




Heart Warm Wednesday
is a new weekly meme hosted by the kind-hearted Jenny Matlock. Click here to read posts by other participants. There's still time to link up, it you'd like.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Jade Plants and a Rose


I didn't notice the good-luck jade plants growing next to the Mama's red rose bush by the patio until I started playing with this photo in Photoshop. Now, why did I think the jade plant in the front yard is the only one sporting white flowers? Silly me.

The red rose was what caught my eye the other morning when Molly the Cat and I went out to stalk a squirrel we saw tiptoeing along the fence. A bird distracted Molly from the squirrel. Not good hunters are we. Which is just as well. After all, what would we do with the squirrel had we caught it.  Fortunate squirrel.

From the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and Me, Su-sieee! Mac:   
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Another Jabberwocky Down!


"Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"

We slewed a Jabberwocky, my friends. We did!  Hooray, Hooray!

We being the Mama, the Husband, and me.

Today's Jabberwocky being the Mama's annual Christmas shopping trip to J.C. Penny's.

Once upon a time, the Mama walked back and forth across the mall. Today, it's an effort to make it through one department store. We all wondered if she could even make the walk from the sidewalk to the door. She does not believe in canes, walkers, nor wheelchairs.

On wobbly legs, the Mama plodded slowly through the crowded aisles. I was her eyes looking at sizes, prices, and colors. The Husband scouted out the store: What are the other departments on this floor? Where are the cash registers? Where is glassware? Which is closer, the elevator or escalator?

The Mama sat often. On boxes, on shelves, and on chairs. The Husband stood guard and kept her company while I sought items to bring back for her to check from the comfort of her seat.

Yes, indeed. Today was a warm-hearted adventure. The Mama did well. The Husband did well, as did I.  Together, we can handle the jabberwockys.

Today, I'm linking up to Warm Heart Wednesdays, hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock. Click here to join in or check out more posts.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Warm-hearted Rose


We've had frosty mornings for the past two weeks now. I'm pretty much used to it now. Yesterday, I noticed a rose bud waving as I was raking leaves in the backyard. Then I noticed several more here and there around the yard. They are the Mama's blooms.

Today, I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a new meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Click here to read joyful posts.



Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Search for the Missing Teeth


"Are my teeth over there?" asked the Mama, as she slowly shuffled towards the kitchen.

Hence, began an all-day search for the Mama's dentures.

We went through her clothes pockets, looked behind and under things, moved things from here to there in her bedroom and bathroom, the kitchen, the hallway, and the living room. Several times.

The fortunate thing was that the Mama had not gone outside into her garden that morning.

The plus side to the Mama misplacing her dentures was that she found her cute, green hand towels and she reorganized her bathroom. I also think she was mentally stimulated by the challenge. I thought I could see her brain cells tightening as she recalled more of her path between the kitchen and her bedroom.

So, where did the Mama finally find her dentures?

Precisely where she put them. In her vest pocket, which was on her bedroom closet floor. The one piece of clothing she normally wears that we had not thought to look through. Oh well.

I'm actually grateful that the dentures went missing. I discovered we could all keep our sense of humor and be all low-key about it all. That hasn't always been the case. Also, the Mama has been a lot more in the moment since then. And, she was able to smile big for the camera on Thanksgiving Day!



I'm linking up with Warm Heart Wednesday, a joyful meme hosted by the lovely Jenny Matlock. Yes, yes, I know it's past Wednesday. That's the cool thing about the meme. You have several days after Wednesday to hook up.  If you'd like to participate and/or read other warm-hearted posts, please click here.


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mama's Happy


Today is a sunny day, but quite chilly because of the wind factor. According to the thermometer, it's about 52 degrees in the sun.

Molly the Cat came inside about 20 minutes ago. How about the Mama?

The Mama says it's colder inside, even with the heater on.

She'd come in if the garden happened to be inside.  Maybe.




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cheers!

Is it coincidence that there are dates in both the Husband's and my family that are common? Or, is it synchronicity? I prefer thinking it's the latter. I also prefer not figuring out how it's so.

That said, November 15, for example,  is special for both the Husband and me.

November 15 is the Husband's Dad's birthday. Jim would've been 97 years old today. Happy Birthday, Jim!



November 15 is the Mama's and the Daddy's wedding anniversary. They would've celebrated 68 years together. Happy Anniversary to the Mama and the Daddy!





Friday, November 13, 2015

Changes Made by Ms. Molly by Golly


See Molly the Cat. See her sleep. She sleeps on what once was the Mama's favorite chair to sit when she read the newspaper or her novels and biographies. The once-upon-a-time favorite chair of the Mama's is now one of Molly's favorite places to nap.

I don't think the Mama cares that Molly has taken over her chair. There's no more daily paper to read. We stopped it because it cost over $80 a month for mostly advertisements and selected pieces of old news. We still get the weekly local paper, which the Mama reads on the sofa between watcher her favorite games on television.

Maybe the Mama will reclaim her chair from Molly if she decides to read her books when the weather gets too cold and wet to go outside. We shall see. 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Happy Zone


Today ends the round of Alphabe Thursday hosted by the wonderful Mrs. Jenny Matlock. It's also the final round of the meme.  Jenny has decided to retire it due to her health, which I hope the doctors can resolve very soon. Thank you, Jenny, for being you.

My theme this round has been the Places I've Been. Hence, for the letter Z, I give you some of the places that almost always put me in my Happy Zone.


In the Water


~ Photo taken by the Husband.


In Hawaii


~ Photo taken by the Husband.


In the Mama's Garden




At a Library (or Bookstore)




Wherever the Husband and I Dance


~ Photo taken by Lisa Q.


Any Where Tilda-Hilda and I Ride




Around the House with Molly the Cat




Any Place with the Mama




And, Most of All, Everywhere with the Husband


~Photo taken by a friendly woman amused at our antics.


 There you go, my letter Z for Alphabe Thursday. To join in or to read other Z posts, click here.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ten Minutes on the Ladder Today


Rattle, rattle, rattle.

"Sounds like the Mama is playing with the ladders," said the Husband. We were in our office in the front of the house. Fortunately, we can hear the rattle of ladders through the window.

I sighed. Looking away from the computer, I said, "It's time to give her medicine anyway."

* * * * *
The Mama stood holding onto the fruitless persimmon tree, the six-foot ladder propped on the ground next to her feet. She looked both guiltily and defiantly at me.

"What are you doing?"

"I need to prune the persimmon tree," she said.

"Here, take your medicine," I said, handing her a cup of water and the pill box. "Move away. Let me do it."

"I can do it," she said.

"Yes, you can. But, I'm doing it," I said, struggling to put the ladder in the narrow space.

"Just those two branches shooting straight up," she said. "Not the one with the fruit."

Climbing the ladder, I saw that she had already cut a few branches that she was able to reach from the ground or standing on her three-foot ladder. I sighed.

* * * * *
"Don't cut the branch with the persimmon."

"That's an apple," I said.

"That's a persimmon."

"No, it's an apple."

"Persimmon!"

"Apple!"

"Are you telling me that the persimmon tree now makes apples?" she asked in her you're-crazy-how-are-you-my-daughter voice.

"It's a branch from the apple tree," I said in my you're-nuts-how-are-you-my-mother voice.

"Show me the apple branch," she demanded from below.

I pulled down the persimmon branch. The apple hung clearly from its branch.

The Mama laughed.  I laughed.

"I thought the persimmon tree finally had fruit," said the Mama.

"Shall I cut off the branch?"

"Go ahead."

Altogether, it took me 10 minutes to prune the fruitless persimmon tree, which would've taken the Mama half an hour. I quite enjoyed it—the sawing, the clipping,  the precarious perch on the ladder, and the following of instructions from the Mama as she sat on her tiny green bench beneath me.

No doubt, the Mama missed that very satisfying feeling of standing on the ladder pruning away.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Mama's Vegetable Garden


Here's a treat for you and me—a photo of the Mama's vegetable garden in the late 1990s. I'd say this is probably late February or early March. Are you as surprised as I am how few fruit trees and flower bushes were back there?

The Miracle Tree, by the shed on the right, was spindly. And, the apple tree way in the corner wasn't visible. Only the lemon tree, on the left, was going strong.

The Mama's vegetable garden was much bigger back then.  She was in her mid-70s. A youngster.

Here's how her garden looked this morning.  It's smaller and much of it is not visible. The lemon tree is hidden behind the apple and avocado trees. You still can't see the apple tree in the corner, which is now very tall, because of everything else.

I can hardly wait to show the Mama the photos.



Friday, September 18, 2015

Putting Things in Perspective

Lately, I find myself whispering, "I'm an old person."

I snicker. I chuckle. I laugh out loud.

I shake my head. Am I not dreaming?

I shake my head. I am in awe that I'm actually old.

I shrug it off. I put it in perspective. The Mama is over 30 years older than me.

And, you know where she is right now. Playing in her garden.



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Success!

Hurrah!

The Husband and I found a market yesterday in Santa Cruz that sells beef liver and beef soup bones that I can trust. The Mama has been wanting soup-bone soup lately, too.

We bought three half-pound frozen containers of liver. Two containers went into the freezer, while the liver in third one was cooked with onions, garlic powder, salt, and soy sauce for the Mama's and my dinner last night. The Husband does not eat liver, no matter how much I tell him I cook so he'd think it was steak. He won't bite. So, he got leftover Chinese food to eat.

This morning, I asked the Mama if she liked the liver. "Yes," she said. "I feel stronger." 

Yay!

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Mama's Labor Day


"In the Philippines, it was Labor Day when Junior was born," recounts the Mama every year, as the holiday approaches. This year was no different. This year, I wondered if the Mama was being funny and has been waiting years for me to laugh at her joke.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pinnacles National Park

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been
The Pinnacles National Park is a comfortable drive away—about 30 to 40 minutes—through gorgeous rural landscape. I sometimes think that I can pedal Tilda-Hilda there one day. Yes, we're still going out nearly every day, but only around the neighborhood. I'll do an update about us tomorrow. Maybe. Back to the Pinnacles.


The Pinnacles is truly odd topography in Central Coast California. It's a lone mountain, straddling San Benito and Monterey counties. On the western side (Monterey County), the Pinnacles seems to pop up from no where above Salinas Valley. From the distance, you think it's simply a low, nondescript mountain. Nope. It's when you go into the park that you see the amazing, inspiring rocky spires for which the park got its name.


Once upon a time, millions upon millions of years ago, the rock formations that make up the park was part of the Neenach Volcano in Southern California.  Over the millions upon millions of years, the Pinnacles crept nearly 200 miles northward, with the help of the San Andreas Fault, to its current spot. Mind boggling, isn't it?


Congress designated the Pinnacles a national park a couple years ago, but it has been part of the National Park Service since 1908 when it was established as the Pinnacles National Monument.
Being a national park is different. There are more park rangers, more park programs and activities, and more marketing, which translates into more visitors. The Pinnacles has the distinction of being the only national park near the Pacific Coast, between San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Here are some of unique things about the Pinnacles National Park. To learn more about the park, check out its website.
  • The rock formations are made of ash, lava sand, and rocks that burst out of the ancient Neenach Volcano.
  • The caves are known as talus caves, which were formed by the way the huge boulders fell upon each other.
  • There are 400 bee species at the Pinnacles, which is the highest number of bees per unit area of any place in the world.
  • Twenty-three bat species live in the Pinnacles, including the Townsend's Big-eared bat.
  • The Pinnacles is a release site for juvenile California condors that were bred in captivity. Currently, 32 condors fly freely through the area.


The Pinnacles has two entrances, with not a road to connect the two. The western entrance is in Monterey County, while the eastern one in San Benito County. The campsites are on the eastern side of the park. The temperatures get into the triple digits during the summer months. Just saying.


The Pinnacles was one of the places where we took visitors for a picnic and a hike through the caves and up to the reservoir. Come to think of it, the Daddy and the other men stayed behind barbecuing while the women and children hiked.  When the Only and Older Brother was a youth counselor in San Francisco in the early 1970s, he brought a few of the kids down to the Pinnacles for their first camping experience. He invited me along, which my first-time camping too. I had no idea the stars could be even brighter.


The Mama loved going to the Pinnacles. She says the wind through the mountains reminds her of the Philippines.  The last time the Mama hiked in the Pinnacles was over 20 years ago. We were on the western side, heading for the caves. About halfway there, she decided to go back to the picnic tables. Not to worry, she said. "I know where to go."


When we got back an hour later, she wasn't there. Panic attack! Another hour passed before the Mama ambled into the parking lot on her own. She missed the turn to the parking lot and headed up the trail to the high peaks. She told us rather calmly that when she got up to a high point, she saw the parking lot, and turned back.

I told her that we thought she was lost and the rangers were out looking for her. She didn't like that at all. "I was okay," she said. "Tell them not to put my name in the newspaper." That's the Mama.


Click here to check out the other participants of Alphabe-Thursday, which is hosted by the wonderful Jenny Matlock. Yup, today is the letter P.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy Birthday, The Mama!

We will celebrate the Mama's 90+4 birthday by eating chicken feet, fried shrimp with heads, chow mein, sesame balls, and whatever else suits the Mama's fancy, while we watch Shirley Temple movies. And, when she says "Let's take a break," she will probably go into her garden and plant a few flowers.

I love the Mama.


I am sharing the Mama with Our World Tuesday