Tag Archives: USA

A Welcome Celebration

29 Apr

What a difference with another year passing by for birthday celebrations! The existence of Covid-19 makes it hard for us to predict what can happen with its spread making daily situations so volatile. We cannot plan special occasions so far ahead because things are constantly evolving. Even as I write, the SOPs will change again come next month.

Two years ago, my birthday dinner celebration was a muted affair. We stayed home because of the pandemic and had food delivered. There were scores and scores of containers for the meal. It wasn’t the best in presentation, but being at home made up for it, given the virus fear and lockdown circumstances. Last year, it was a blur, and honestly, I don’t remember what we did on my special day.

This year, things are a little bit different. A spontaneous four-day gastronomic journey that began on Sunday to celebrate instead of a golf getaway like we usually do. Moreover, we just went on a golf trip to Forest City recently, so another trip now is too soon. This mission to discover new food to savor in the run-up to the actual birthday is much appreciated for the chef in me to have the week off from making dinner nightly! Woo hoo.

Lovely fine dining Japanese dinner
We ate to our fill!
We came home to cut my yummy Lemon Pistachio birthday cake
We played a post-birthday round of golf!

The birthday dinner was also a welcome change for various reasons. It was the first fine-dining experience after the many lockdowns we had during the pandemic. Secondly, it’s the first year with M1 joining us, being away for her education, and missing my birthday celebrations for the last six years. All in all, a welcome celebration. A toast to a good year ahead for me, and be in the best of health and mind.

Some Good Cheese

21 Mar

I love cheese, and I used to eat it a lot. But sadly, in recent years, my body cannot handle the cheese intake. The dairy is too much for my tummy because of my Endometriosis issue. Sometimes it is not just uncomfortable bloating – there are accompanying aches of varying degrees.

So I stopped eating cheese to protect myself from the unnecessary pain, avoid pizzas especially, burgers with melting cheese slices, fries with gooey cheese – you get the idea? Last year, this changed.

When M1 returned from the US, she introduced lactose intolerance supplements to me, something we were unaware of before. And what a lifesaver this supplement has been for me!

When I feel like having cheese for my meals or even a big cup of boba milk tea, I will pop the supplement first before consuming the food or drink, and it helps. There is no bloating or discomfort. My life has changed for the better when it comes to having dairy.

Recently, we bought some good cheese to eat. Creamy, rich, and bursting with flavors, the cheeses are just heavenly. Thanks to the lactose intolerance supplements – I eat happily without pain or discomfort.

Good cheese these two

Something New from the Garden

11 Jan

Our garden is full of plants and edibles. But I have to admit I am not the green fingers person managing our garden. It was only during the lockdown phases the last two years that I learned to appreciate it. I can identify Creeping Charlies and unwanted weeds and even made an effort to plant vegetables for our consumption.

You can find the usual air plants, stag horns, and bromeliads that hubby has besides some other plants, small trees, shrubs, and the one big frangipani tree that we love very much. Then there are the edibles like chili, curry leaves, fruits, herbs, and some vegetables spread out here and there. The space is balanced between plants to appreciate and food to eat to be sustainable.

When M1 came home last year, she brought back some corn seeds, glass gem corn, to be precise. At that point, we were not sure whether the corn could grow in our environment. Hubby, being the green fingers maestro, tried. After almost five months, he has successfully grown some glass gem corn! Wow.

Glass gem corn from our garden!

It does not matter that they are small and puny in size upon harvest. The fact that the species can grow in humid and wet conditions is good enough. Both corns are not as colorful compared to what we see on the internet. Nonetheless, they are very pretty looking, and we are most pleased with this new thing from our garden.

The Other Baker

19 Nov

It looks like hubby is not the only person who bakes in our home. M1 is quite a baker too. I supposed this came from her lockdown periods when she was still in the US. With nothing much to do, baking was an outlet to keep busy.

But our other baker bakes adorable stuff. She baked these cute little bear cookies not too long ago. Pretty to look at, delicious to eat too. I hope she will continue to indulge in this whenever she has the time.

Want some bear cookies?

Gain One, Lose One

20 Sep

It was the beginning of Summer when M2 came home, and it was great. With the lockdown imposed, we felt safe in our bubble at home. Then M1 returned from the US not too long ago, and we were complete.

But just when we are comfortable with both girls being home after being empty nesters for some time, the situation has changed again. The Summer holiday has ended for M2, and she has to return to college. Within a short time, we gain one and lose one.

M2’s Summer vacation is officially over, and yesterday, she flew back to Ireland. I’m tracking her journey at flightaware.com as she is still flying when this post is published. I only hope she will be on time to arrive, unlike when M1 returned.

Sending M2 off at KLIA

During this pandemic, every country has its safety measures for international travelers. Although Ireland’s SOP is very different from the one imposed in our country, M2 must self-isolate even though fully vaccinated upon arrival. Rules are rules, and they should be abided by to stay safe.

Here’s wishing her all the best for the Fall semester ahead, and stay safe!

My New Putter

6 Sep

Whenever M1 returns from the US, we get a lot of new toys and gadgets! Her return this time is no different, and there are several new fun things again. One of which is my new 32-inch Raspberry Red putter called the Peanut Putter.

The Peanut Putter!

A whimsical yet ambidextrous and very easy-to-use putter, I think this will be good for me to reestablish my putting dexterity. Having laid off golf for four months already, I think I have lost some putting ability. Sure we have the chipping net in the garden, but that’s for chipping and pitching. Putting is a different game altogether. And even though we have the putting mat, it is not the same.

So if and when the time is right for us to go back to playing golf, my Scotty Cameron putter will have to make way for my Peanut Putter to debut. I hope the occasion will come sooner than later.

Proud Parents Again

30 Jul

Amid this pandemic and trying lockdown, there is good news to share. M1, our firstborn, passed her Masters Thesis Defense yesterday (our time), which is equivalent to the day before for her in the US. It is indeed a blessing to be proud parents again, and we are most thankful this arduous journey is now complete.

This time around, the achievement is more meaningful because she had to endure the lockdowns and work around the disruptions because of the pandemic. And she prevailed. Words pale to describe the relief and joy for all of us. Well done, for lack of a better word; we couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishment.

Out of Quarantine

28 Jun

The wait is finally over! M2 is out from quarantine today. No words are needed to describe the joy and relief for all. We are together again except for M1 who is still in the US.

A Milestone Anniversary

18 Jun

Last Saturday marks the 8th Anniversary of my blog! Wow. I am amazed that I have persevered for so long to keep this going. But all this achievement is unattainable if it wasn’t for the support of all my readers.

The blog has certainly evolved from a journal to share the antics of my girls and my travels. Along the way, I picked up new hobbies, the girls grew up and went off to college, and the travel escapades were lesser.

The travel non-escapades were more evident in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken over the world and disrupted many things taken for granted.

Well, I certainly won’t take the things I do for granted and am thankful to every one of my readers as you follow me on my whimsical endeavors and daily musings. Happy Anniversary and happy writing to me!

A Virtual Celebration

19 Jan

A memory feed popped up on Facebook this morning: M1 turns 18 today, and we celebrated. That was six years ago. Today she turns 24! Dang, time sure flies.

Wasn’t it just yesterday she turned one, and we had friends and family over for a party? Then the next thing I know, we were at her graduation commencement in the Summer of 2019. That was the last time the whole family was together. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree.

With both girls pursuing their education in two different countries, it certainly is hard to have a birthday celebration. Add in the three different time zones that we are all in, a virtual get together is the only way – either a FaceTime or WhatsApp group call for this occasion.

Happy Birthday, M1! Stay safe.