Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank you for helping us.

My dear friends, this is the map of my country, with the darkened areas severely affected by the Typhoon Ketsana over the weekend. 12 hours of rain (a month's worth), 20 feet of sweeping, muddy floodwaters in Marikina, Pasig, and Antipolo, and over 300 thousand lives displaced.

This is an excerpt from the letter of my friend Melodie of Immateur Anthropologist, to me, and I forward it to you.

If anyone from abroad is planning to send donations in cash or in kind to any of the relief organizations in the Philippines, please be informed that at this point, the relief orgs prefer that assistance from abroad be sent in the form of cash/funds.
Help is needed ASAP and relief orgs do not have the time / personnel / resources right now to arrange for the release of any shipment of goods from customs. They need the funds to purchase food, medicines, drinking water, toiletries, blankets, mosquito nets, etc.

here for an updated list of verified relief orgs. (More organizations are setting up their own operations.) Some of them do not accept cash donations of course as they are government agencies. But maybe you can send help through your relatives here.

Here is the link to the Philippine National Red Cross.

We thank you for helping us help our countrymen. Please contact any Filipino in your neighborhood, and see if their church accepts help by any means. Thank you so much.

(photo lifted from Yahoo Pictures)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Litratong Pilipino: Palengke

The title literally means Philippine Photo/s: (the) Marketplace
Since the holidays are coming up, I'm taking the opportunity to showcase some of the products that are very much part of the Philippine tradition: the Christmas parols or Christmas lanterns. These are usually made of bamboo, crepe paper, and a candle inside (I don't know how it's done without burning the lantern). More sophisticated ones are made of shells from Capiz, a region in the Philippines known for its mother-of-pearl shells.
Parol comes from the Spanish word farol, which means lantern. Our intricate tradition owes much of its roots to 400 years of Spanish influence. Seldom will you see a Filipino household without at least one hanging parol by the window at Christmastime. It symbolizes the star that led the Three Wise Men to the manger where Jesus was born.

This is an example of Capiz-shell-made Christmas parol, for export. You bet it is expensive. But go to the Philippines and even kids will make you export-quality ones! LOL!

The guitar shows the Philippine flag. That's all for now, folks. Hope you enjoyed this one!

(photo source:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I swear

Earlier today, Aris was running a fever, and had all the classic symptoms of a cold. That was all it had to take to set the stage.

I had done everything else from the medicines, the massage, the fixing and changing of the sheets. Even the tissues, small trash can just for him, the alcohol for his hands. And the remote. Everything except for one. He wanted to cuddle. I relented after he'd begged about three times. Locked in that firehot hold, I braced myself for the expected monologue. "You don't want to come here because you think I have swine flu? Well, at least if I die, this is the last thing you'll remember." I told him to can it. Did he? Oh no. "And then, when I die, you're free to marry again. You know." (Will you stop?) "Is it time for my medicine yet? I've probably overdosed myself, maybe I will really die soon." (Arrrghh! Eeeee! All this drama, I don't want to hear another word of it any more.)

Of course he was teasing me, but he was so corny and I finally managed to bite his arm and run for my life.

This house is full of it. Even the three year-old has the bug. When denied something he really likes at the moment, he goes "Mom, look at me. I'm sad." Eh?

And how so the first born? Last night, he showed me the letters he made for Santa. (Don't ask.) He wrote 4 letters, asking for 4 different items for each of us. I said, "Well, remove the apostrophe in like's." That was it. He threw into a fit because he said he used an inkpen, and erasing was hard. I said to rewrite, there was plenty of paper. Did he? No. He went to the room and wrote this:

and gave it to me. I said, "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings Matthew but I just want you to write well. What would Santa say?" It didn't work. He came back out with this:
Man above! What's with the testosterone level in this house? So I said, "Come here, let's talk." He came out and I gave him a lecture on how a seven-year-old who is in the advanced classes should be careful with his letters. I said, a smart boy listens to his mom and does not get frustrated so quickly. Blah-blah-blah. I guess that did it. Eventually, he got 3 letters done. Except for one. He said, "Mom, what does Dad want for Christmas?" The Dad, of course, heard, and was on cue, "If I live to see Christmas, son."

Really. Only in this family. In the end, he got his letters sealed. I don't know what he asked the bearded man to give his dad. I hope the boy had sense enough to ask him for FORTITUDE for his mother to bear with more of this onslaught in the coming years.

This Way Thurs-Way!

I think we were on our way to Williamsburg, VA when I spotted this. I don't know what that means, really. Please enlighten me.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - If Women Controlled the World

These images were emailed to me by another friend. Aren't they funny?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts


Fall has fallen. It is 4:15 in the morning, Sept. 22nd. My son wants snow TODAY but I said we live in North Carolina, where it hardly ever snows even in the deadest of winters.

I am very sleepy. But I am at work. The floor is quiet, thank God. Some nights are just glorious. (But I prayed really hard for this from the HOUSE, not just from the CAR, on the way here.) Answered prayer, thank You, Jesus!!

Yesterday, my neighbor knocked on my door with a plateful of tamales. Now I DID not have the slightest idea what it was, but tasted one. Very flavorful. I brought some to work last night, and Zulma (remember Zulma of the Picadillo post?) said she could guess my neighbor was from El Salvador because the food was wrapped in banana leaves. She also said it was a killer. That means very good. She said nobody makes tamales better than her mom and that the one I brought last night was cooked well. I heated mine up quickly and ate it hot. With my hot cup of cocoa. Sumptuous. (Don't know what tamales is? I had to google it myself - it's made of corn husk, pork or chicken, and an assortment of vegetables. The meat and vegetables are inside the soft, flour-y mixture. Go figure.) But now I have to make it up to Senora Carolina and dream up some dish to return the favor. Ai-ai-ai, gotta brush up on my Spanish!

I am presently reading Sakharov Speaks. Sometimes.

I want to eat some PILI. Not the candy. The pulp. And dip 'em in soy sauce with pepper and a dash of lemon.

I'm wondering how long it takes to carve a pumpkin because Matthew wants us to do one.

That's the end of my random thoughts.

Good morning ~ hope this one is bright and sunny!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Macro Monday Entry

We were at Farmer's Market a week ago, and had fun snapping pictures! The owners of these pumpkins had them in all sizes! Happy Fall!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Stills - The Purple Color

Halloween is in the air, I guess. Can you tell?

Today's Flowers

[One day, as a crowd milled around, jostling and elbowing Jesus,
a woman drew near
with faith in her heart and one thought in her mind:
"If only I can touch the tassel of His cloak,
I'll be healed!"
She did - and was healed.
Then Jesus stopped.
"Who touched Me?" He asked.
Dull-witted, as usual, the Apostles answered,
"Master, how can You ask such a question
when there are so many people
pressing about You on every side?"
But He ignored them and insisted,
"Someone touched Me.
I can tell My healing power's been at work."

By this time, everybody realized something serious'd happened.
They held their breath and backed away,
then blurted out:
"I didn't do anything."
"Don't look at me!"
"I didn't even come near Him!"
And the poor woman,
trembling and alone in the circle they'd cleared,
admitted, "The one who touched You - it was I."]
(Text source: That Man Is You by Louis Evely)

I love that book, I read portions of it every once in a while. I thought the text goes well with the flowers I chose for today's meme. I hope you enjoyed both. Beautiful Sunday, my friends!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Six-Word Saturday

(picture source: Funny Pictures of Babies)

is MOM!

It is the most popular word in the house, and this being a Saturday, it reverberates around the walls, at maybe 100mph.

'Mom, look!....'
'Mom, I said milk.'
'Mom, how does meat feel in your hands?'
'Mom, where are the scissors?'
'Mom, c'mere!'
'Mom, the house is on fire!' ~~~okay, I made this one up.~~~


I haven't joined in a while. I hope this pretty much explains it. (grin) Have a good one, everybody!


Have you ever been in a sticky situation, where it called only for split seconds to make decisions? I often find myself doing that.

I once had to do a straight catheter on a man who had urinary retention. He'd been calling all shift for assistance to the bathroom, each time with zero output. Bladder scanning revealed 306ml of urine. I obtained an order for a straight catheter, which would immediately empty his bladder and offer relief. I was right INSIDE, about 4-5 inches, when a CNA slowly knocked on the door and whispered to my ear, "Sorry to interrupt, Cherie, but whenever you are done, Ms. X in Room So and So had died."

WHAT? The nearest nurse was a floor away. I told her to call the Supervisor. BUT at the same time, I had to do something, immediately. Pronouncing the dead was one thing. Making SURE that the person was truly deceased was another. To top it all, leaving the present procedure you are doing right in the middle of it just complicates everything else. What to do?

The urine by now was NOT flowing. (And to this day, I wonder why. Catheterization is a very easy procedure, and one I'd done countless of times prior to this incident.) I inserted a little more. Thirty seconds more. None. I decided to withdraw, and explain to my patient that there was an emergency. I said I was going to be back as soon as possible.

I rushed to the said room with my stethoscope, and did my assessment. The patient in Room So And So was really gone. I pronounced her dead by 1:45am. The Supervisor did not show up till after 20 minutes after that. I couldn't have waited that long.

In the meantime, no action from Mr. Catheter's room. Then, about 30 minutes after I left him, his call bell rang. The patient had GONE on his own, for some reason. My earlier poking must have stimulated his bladder, and as a result, he went and WENT, wetting his bed, and everything. By this time, he had also been waiting for me. But the CNA and I were busy with the body. And then I had to do the necessary notifications. It was all bad timing. The CNA rushed to him as soon as she was done. I was fortunate to have worked with a good one.

Needless to say, the gentleman was not very happy. To him, I would always be the nurse who left him, and from that day onwards, would not allow me to do any catheterization on him, although he would let me stick his arm for blood work.

Looking back, given the same unfortunate circumstance, I don't think I would have hesitated to do exactly the same thing. But it is instances like this that leave me bothered, wishing in my heart that things could have happened differently, but also knowing that just at that very moment, couldn't. And I am often left feeling bad about myself, sorry for the whole sick situation.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Litratong Pilipino: Karatula Blues

(rough translation: pay before undressing - a sign by the poolside)
(uling, please, ULING - meaning charcoal)
(er, you get it, right?)

These were emailed to me by a friend a while back, which I thought to save for future 'use.' Well, here they are! (With all due respect.)

But, puh-leeesee forgive me for laughing myself off of my chair. Hahahahahaha!!!!

This is a first post for me for Litratong Pilipino (Philippine Photo/s), another meme. It is late, but I hope you still enjoy this post! Karatula, which was the theme I chose to join, means signboard.

Mommy Moments: Treasured Pictures

I find looking at my son's baby pictures very relaxing after a tiring night at work. These are pictures of Matthew and AJ when they were 3, and a few months old, respectively. At 3, M already acted like a big brother, so protective of AJ. Now, AJ is 3, but still acts like a baby. LOL!

This is my first time to join the Mommy Moments meme. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Lord's Commandments, Interpreted

Matthew writing ways on how to keep holy the Sabbath day

Our son is enjoying his Sunday school. When they first learned about the Commandments, it was most interesting how the kids interpreted them. They were even taught a song to help them remember all 10.

When we got home, M set to work. I was wondering what kept him up. He said he was writing house rules. He was writing rules on how to get closer to God. He put them up the kitchen wall for everybody to read. Here they are:

1. No pushing.
2. No punching.
3. No fighting.
4. No yelling or screaming when a person is sleeping.
5. No teasing.
6. No bad words.
7. No scaring.
8. No breaking.
9. No scratching.
10. No switching of lights on and off.
11. No panicking.
12. No worrying.

Now, I have no doubt he means his brother and himself. But isn't it amazing how little kids can actually translate the fears of the adults, too? Worrying, for instance, which Catholics (like our family) seem to have a monopoly on. But I guess no one is exempt.
We all know too well that the Commandments can be summed up in one word: LOVE. The sad part is, sometimes we need kids to remind us about it.

Friday, September 11, 2009


The clouds looked like sharks fighting, at the break of dawn.
I think this is a better shot, taken just a split second later.
Closer now.
A few turns and moments later
Finally, at the beach.

We went to Wrightsville, NC, and enjoyed the beach two days ago, with friends. We've been to three different beaches this summer, and had a great time!! Thank God for good weather!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


My friends, I have a thousand and one things on my plate right now, so I can't blog long. Instead, I'll leave you with another one of our family anecdotes:

We all brought Matthew to school today. And it just hit me! One surefire way to keep Aristotle awake in the car is:

NOT coffee
NOT Red Bull
NOT rolling the window down an inch when the aircon is on
NOR music, NOR plenty of talk:

JUST let Cherie drive. Wee-heeeee!!!
Hope everybody has a fabulous day ahead, and gets to finish his/her tasks!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Big Boy Joy

paid for it himself with his own money
had himself harnessed
and up he went


Sorry for the blurry images, guys. I wasn't EXACTLY thrilled.


Well, we're women now. But these are the 'girls' from my hometown in the Philippines. Sisters, friends, schoolmates. Now fellow-bloggers! I am so proud of them!! Please visit their sites, here in no particular order:

Jesusa's Corner

Anna's Tasa

My Hodgepodge

Thinking Aloud

In time

The Immateur Anthropologist

Of Mirrors and Reflections

These are the girls I grew up with, and who are a big part of what I am today. Next time, I'll tell you all about our hometown.

P.S. Would you head on over to AT LEAST one of their sites and then come back afterwards? Don't click that COMMENT button yet...I want to know what you think of 'my girls!'

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pepper Surprise

I didn't know until I saw this garden that we could use pepper to adorn our flower beds. Did you?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Before I continue,

here's a CELTIC BLESSING I found while cleaning up some clutter today:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rain refresh you on your way.
May you go with God for all your journey,
now and forever.


This is dedicated to all of you who read my blogs, that the Lord may guide you in your decisions in the coming week. God bless, my friends.

My Weekend Memoirs

We spent some time with friends over some traditional food. Below are two of my favorites. Please bear with me, if you don't like them.
Philippine rice cake, wrapped in banana leaves

Fish stew, with garden-fresh vegetables

US residents, let's enjoy our long Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nancy Saves a Feral Cat

I just love Nancy because she is all-heart. She is one of our most devoted, hard-working clinical assistants. She works double shifts as much as she can so she can enjoy her time off with her animals, all of which she has acquired by adoption.

She moved to NC from New York about seven years ago, and settled in this old house by Jordan Lake. Soon after she moved in, she's noticed several dogs milling about her area. Those were hunting dogs. One day, she tracked them back to their owner, and, long story short, the owner didn't want them, and Nancy had her first pets. Not long after that, she found a goat and I think two horses in her property. Whatever happened, they are now hers and thriving. In time, she also became the instant owner of two stray cats, one of which I named Boots.

Well, about a week ago, she was telling me about this feral cat she saw by the side of the road. Two nights ago, she was saying, she's finally trapped it, and took it home. It wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink. But scratched her like the devil.

Yesterday, she had the poor thing spayed. The reason she took it she said, was, she noticed it was TINY, but that there was a litter of kittens beside it (wherever in the woods), and a few more older-looking ones. So Nancy thought, this cat may have been pregnant twice already. Well, guess what, she was pregnant again when the vet spayed her. Of course, she's lost this litter now, but, hey?

What's with all these pregnancies? Can we do something about feral cats? It just tears me up! Is there a way to catch all the tomcats and have them neutered?

I am not a cat person, but I care for animals just as much as I care about people. It is a very sad situation, just leaving all these animals at the mercy of the environment. It's sickening.

This Flu Season

It is so funny - I wrote about us Filipinos heralding Christmas by the first of September. The weather starts getting cooler in the Philippines then. Well, guess what. It did over here, too. NC weather is so dreamy now. And I have started imagining the leaves turning into a mass of colors. Autumn is my favorite season of all, it is so pretty. But alas, autumn, too, brings with it a host of respiratory diseases. Many cold viruses thrive in low humidity, not the least of them H1N1.

Well, today, I received a letter from the county of Durham Health Department, and it goes thus:

Dear Licensed Nurse in Durham County:

Your name was made available to our health department by the NC Board of Nursing. We requested the information to assist us in developing a list of currently licensed county residents that will be available to help with a mass H1N1 immunization effort. Names of nurses were also provided to other health departments across the state.

At this time, it is projected that the H1N1 vaccine will be available between October 15, 2009 and January 31, 2010. As a community, we plan to inoculate up to 60,000 residents (depending on the guidelines), and we expect each person to require two vaccinations. It is during this time period that we will need many volunteers to help us staff mass immunization clinics.

If you are willing to volunteer, please fill out the enclosed survey and return it in to us. The survey can be folded and stamped for mailing. There will be no payment for your service, just a 'thank you' from many grateful citizens.


My friends, I encourage everyone to please have yourselves be vaccinated against H1N1 and the seasonal flu. They are different from each other, but are equally hazardous. Always wash your hands, and avoid touching your mucous membranes. Stock up on juices. Air out your house as often as possible. Keep warm.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Long Life

All right. I was heating my food up one night, and one of the staff saw me. And stopped. Because I was using a microwavable bowl. I said I was trying to be more healthy. I said, it was bad enough that I was 'nuking' my food without using plastic. So....

She was fascinated.

Well, another co-worker who overheard us joined in and said, I have something that you might like, Cherie. And I did like it, so here I am sharing it with you.

This is taken from wikiHow, the how-to manual that anyone can write or edit:

How to Live a Long Life

1. Eat healthy.
2. Introduce regular exercise into your life.
3. Develop a sleep schedule.
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. Think first. (all about safety, protective gear, looking before you leap)
6. Reduce causes of stress and depression in your life.
7. Give up smoking.
8. Be safe. (all about avoiding potentially dangerous activities like skydiving, bullfighting, or marriage heheheh)
9. Stock up on antioxidants. (fruits and veggies)
10. Avoid overindulgence.
11. Have yearly physicals.
12. Wear sunblock.
13. Try not to be afraid. (don't be afraid, be aware.)
14. Drink lots of tea.
15. Eat dark chocolate.
16. Drink one glass of red wine a day. (or consider eating red grapes instead)


I have a patient who told me his wife is still living and they've been married 59 years. I said, wow, that's a long, solid time! He said with a chuckle, Well, I've learned how to take orders. LOL!

Well, maybe we should, too! Here's to a long, healthy life, my dear friends! Cheers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I received a call from one of my closest friends in college, which is eons ago. It was so good to hear from her. We fell into good-natured reminiscing.

I received an email from one of my schoolmates in high school (er, double eons ago) about helping someone from our hometown (in the Philippines) write an essay.

I also received a message in my Facebook inbox from a co-worker, apologizing for her crass behavior the day before, and thanking me for pointing it out to her in private. (Her attitude affected the team.)

A few minutes ago, a friend had popped up in my yahoo messenger, and we played catch up.

And last but not least, you've all written comments on the dangling legs/feet picture, so I am writing this to divert your attention. Hahahaha!!


May God bless us all.

Wordless Wednesday

We were enjoying the ocean view from the balcony of our hotel room, when upon looking up, we saw these. While we sat on chairs, these kids sat right on the floor and dangled their legs. Fun is just spelled in so many different ways.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Job Description for Parents

Some of you may probably have already read this before. This is hilarious! I got this from my son's Sunday school teacher, who said she received this one day in her email. Longish, but loads of fun! Enjoy reading, everyone!

Or preferred title
Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not from someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, and an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
None required unfortunately. On-the-job-training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunites for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Try this, Mommies...

I noticed that AJ had a little cough this morning, and thought I'd try a remedy I'd read about a while back: I applied VICKS all over his feet and put socks on 'em. Before noon, and throughtout the day, the cough was gone.

About Me

My photo
someone very blessed to walk this life with you