Summer Thriving

(Because May is the month of mothers, all four of this month’s Sunday/Monday posts will feature my Ma’s garden and all the pretty, lovely, beautiful, delicious things that grow there. Today, some flowering plants take center stage.) ūüôā

I cannot remember a time when my Ma did not keep a garden. Wherever we lived, from the large house and lot that I grew up in to the tiny structure with the nipa thatched-roof that we had to build on borrowed land after we lost almost everything, Ma always managed to cultivate a garden.

As soon as she and Dad acquired the land where they now live, she started planting all sorts of fruit trees and flowering plants on it (even before they made plans to build the house). All that sowing has been paying off in large measures of gorgeousness. Ma chose tropical plant varieties that grow all year round but especially thrive during summer. So from March to June, which is summer in the Philippines, everything in the garden is either abloom or bursting with fruit or both.

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Recycled*: Insturctions

*Some of you who read¬†my recent¬†guest post¬†may have wondered what my old, now-private blog was like. Or maybe no one did but I want to imagine that you did, so … tadah!!!.Let me introduce you to¬†‘Recycled’, a new regular (well, until I run out of ‘scraps’) feature where I will re-post some of the stuff my perfect 10 readers used to enjoy (?). Now you will be privy to the best, most edifying content the web has ever produced, hah! ūüėÄ

First up, something from when we were moving into our new place…

Now I am off to revitalrate myself.


Drool Day: Bruno and Jigs Edition

Dear Human Mama,

While you’re taking your time sipping that coffee that you think tastes better than a Tasty Treat, we are taking over your blog. You see, we have a problem.

You know those pet ‘beds’ we’re supposed to sleep in? The ones that you think¬†need to be washed often? Well, your washing them has made them not only un-smelly (which we hate), but worse, all clumpy and flat and twisted in the wrong places. That’s why we keep booting you out of your bed at night. (Really, Mama, try sleeping¬†on the floor¬†the whole day.)

So here’s the thing: we need new beds. And we’re now presenting you with these options. (Please note that they are all obviously easy to clean and will match our existing furniture — we know you love them matchy-matchy things).

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There is no such thing as a thanksgiving day in the Philippines. What we have are separate fiestas that celebrate the bountiful harvest and produce of various towns. There’s also Eidul Fitr, a day of thanksgiving for our Muslim countrymen. But no national thanksgiving day.

And that’s too bad because we’d do well to have one. Most of us for most of the year are unforgiving of ourselves and of others,¬†cynical about systems and what-have-yous, and suspicious of our government and that traffic light that turns red every time we’re almost at the intersection.¬†Some even make a daily¬†living out of being snarky (morning AM radio, anyone?). ¬†A day to break away from all that will be a blessed relief.

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6 Years of Cold Noses

It’s his birthday. Everything else takes a backseat.

Every morning, after he comes back from his walk, this dachshund goes to my side of the ¬†bed and touches his nose to mine. He does not turn away until I reach out to pat his head and whisper ‚ÄúHello, Bruno, good morning‚ÄĚ. Then he pads off to his dog bed and goes back to sleep.

He’s been doing this since he was a puppy.

Happy birthday, my boy. I wish you knew that I will never tire of everything you do. Well, except for the barking part, but no dog can be perfect.

Collections, Collections

300 pairs of sneakers. That’s what a young actor recently claimed he already has in his collection. Not nearly Imeldific, of course, but it got me thinking: in varying degrees, most of us seem to be collectors of something. I don’t mean clutter or dustballs or cobwebs. I mean stuff. Things. Knicknacks.

Some of us may hoard books, old vinyl records, concert ticket stubs, movie posters. Maybe you have a thing for baseball caps, bottlecaps, figurines, vintage cars, show programmes or stuffed toys. Three women in my family collect refrigerator magnets. And who does not know at least one cousin who keeps a shelf-full of tsotchkes from every wedding, baptism and debut she ever went to?

When we were kids, my sisters and I collected stationery, preferably from¬†Sanrio¬†(or from Sanrio clones —¬†I remember a notebook cover printed with ‚ÄúOh my sadness. Lookiking¬†out of those grey eyes.‚ÄĚ).¬†My eldest sister still has some of the Hello Kitty pencils from those days and they are part of a growing stockpile of colorful pencils. But her more showoff-able collection:¬†tiny chairs. ¬† Continue reading