Nasty Sunday


What a nasty weather we’re having now here in Chicago. We’re getting wet snow and it is cold out there. I haven’t even looked out of the window to see the state of my car. Maybe I should so I would know if I have to go out there tomorrow earlier to clean it.

While in Monterey, California, my friend said they’re having a lovely weather.

Am jealous! I can’t wait to be in the tropics a year from now.


Posted in California, Day-to-day | 6 Comments

Travel Theme: Mischievous

The last time my sisters and friends were involved in a mischief, we got in trouble with the instigator. Sometimes, mischiefs could backfire if you have a short fuse. So to be safe, I am picking some birds who are up to something or nothing good, mischief and no one is going to get hurt should things not work out their way.


Caught this bird with her stolen dinner of blue crabs at the fish dock in Chesapeake.


The young bird above has been heckling the sea gull for some catch she got. They went back and forth. Maybe they are a family and the the young one is asking for food from its mother.

Posted in Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Word In Your Ear Challenge: Pots


My friends complain that I take too many photos of food. Perhaps they are hinting as to the cause of my heavy frame but I take it in stride. I love food and photography, one has got to do what makes one happy and that’s me.

Unfortunately, I haven’t taken photos of pots. Perhaps I haven’t seen pots of consequence lately. I remember seeing them in museums like in the Thomas Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, VA but thinking, like many photos I have taken, they’re left in my album just like that – museum pieces but never to be seen again.

But for this challenge, I have a perfect pot. This was taken at San Juan de Bautista Mission Church in California.

It was said that during the time of the mission, they served more than a thousand meal each day. So am not really sure if this pot was dedicated to just making candles. Am sure it multi-functioned to cook some meals.

The mission itself is huge, bigger than any I’ve seen so it’s not surprising that meals were communal.

Posted in California, Churches, Photo Challenge | Tagged | 10 Comments

WPC Challenge: Serenity


What is it with nature that we always feel an affinity and kinship to it. Other humans can cause us so much turmoil and even though nature might be unpredictable at times, it is always there to embrace us as soon as it calms down – unconditionally.


I’ve always said I love the greatness of the oceans but seeing the Grand Tetons humbled me. For how can one ignore its beauty and the flatlands around it, everything is at peace and instant serenity. And even though there’s the threat of rain brewing in the horizon, it just makes you feel the presence of a Higher Being, that pretty much many things are beyond our control. A feeling of acceptance and humility.

My entries to this week’s WPC Challenge: Serenity. Go here to join and see more interpretations of the word.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Travel Theme Challenge: Minimalist


Not having a proper macro could be a challenge in creating a minimalist photo, I believe. That being the case, I will enter in this challenge the simplest photos I have taken.

They had a late Fall-like weather in Northern California when I went. It was wet but I was glad that the leaves were just turning yellow and orange.

One afternoon, after visiting the Butterfly Sanctuary we went to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was a small one. It will be another blog. But I took a picture of the stairs. Somehow I liked that they painted it all white adding to the natural light in the structure. Stark in its simplicity, the walls were bare too. Simple could be very beautiful.

Pt. Pinos Lighthouse

Pt. Pinos Lighthouse

To see more entries or to join, go to Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack here.

Posted in California, Photo Challenge, Vacation | Tagged | 13 Comments

WPC Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

This week’s challenge is about “Warmth”. Wherever we are, especially during the holidays, there’s a lot of love and affection going around. I hope you had enough warmth to give someone and got them in return. Just the act of giving is enough to fill your hearts with warmth.

My cats are always snuggling together. Sissi (the gray one) especially likes to hide under the covers, one time my nieces whom I have asked to care for the cats thought I was already home from vacation when they saw my unmade bed. When I called my aunt said “the kids thought you were back”. Right away I knew it was Sissi.

They spend their days huddled together in a chair or on my bed. However when I sleep they each have their own corners.


The location of the photo below is Carmel. Took this on my first visit many years ago when the weather and therefore the water was warmer for anyone to get wet without fear of getting hypothermia. This photo gives me a warm feeling because I would want to get in the water myself and play with the waves.


And here’s a more recent Carmelite scene. I’ve never thought of that and why not? Taking a folding chair at the edge of the water to enjoy the scene and sound of the surf. These people really knows how to enjoy life. Aside from their chairs and blankets to ward away the chill, they would have a small picnic basket with a bottle of wine. Would you venture to guess what’s in the basket?


To see more interpretations of the Challenge, go here.

Posted in California, Photo Challenge, Sissi and Pixie, Vacation | Tagged | 2 Comments

A different perspective

Tatang with his some of his boys

Tatang with some of his boys

My call to my niece today was quite very early. I glanced at my phone when I woke up and found the sad news. Her father-in-law just passed away at the early morning dawn this Christmas Day.

She said that their Christmases from now on would always be so sad because they would always remember that “Tatang” (Tagalog for “father”) died this day. I agreed. How could one deny that?

After the sermon today at mass, the priest with what seemed to be an afterthought mentioned a Christmas card he just received. This was different because inside was a letter from the sender who recently passed away. Posthumously. It looked like the sender was expecting his leaving and so sent the priest a very thoughtful letter. He was not bitter, in fact he was grateful and sounded triumphant.

He wrote that compared to all Christmases he’d had in the past, the best is yet to come. The best one he would get after so many years of a very successful life and career as a teacher and principal. He felt he’s done his share on earth as God asked him to do. Finally as promised him, he would get to meet the Lord and nothing on this earth could beat that. How comforting he wrote that he would be joining his parents whom he knew to be very good people and friends who’ve left ahead of him would be welcoming him.

The story about the content of the letter was great timing. It was so unexpected and yet in my mind resonated very well with my niece’s predicament. If she and her new family all looked at it in this perspective, this sad event in their lives could turn to be a happy one. Their father is going to be with his Creator. What a great honor to be called to heaven on his birthday.

I met Tatang briefly during our short vacation in Chesapeake this summer. His home was with his son Jun and my niece but during our stay, he was moved to one of his other sons so he could have constant company while they were busy with us. We didn’t want to displace him but I did understand their reasoning. Besides we would be a distraction to his everyday quiet life.

There were a couple of occasions when we all gathered together with him. I could remember his ever present smile. He explained that he had difficulty talking but he tried to be a gracious host – his eyes twinkled as he talked. His daughter mentioned that he would ask to go to the grocery only to badger her to buy items for our breakfast. She sent us bagfuls of groceries paid for by their father – eggs, sausages and bacon. Always thinking of his children. Am sure he would have wanted to be the perfect host had he been younger and stronger.

I immediately liked him. I could sense his kindness and sincerity. I have an affinity for people like him – proud of his children, generous with a gentle heart. What a great father he was, he was well respected and well-loved. What he didn’t say he said with his eyes. Sometimes language need not be vocalized. You could sense in their actions and tiny nuances their sincerity and what’s in their heart. They speak louder than words if you look very well.

To “Tatang” – rest in peace. Have a merry Christmas in heaven!

Sadness only come with regrets for things one thought you could have done. As a parent, their children could do no wrong. To Tatang’s family, may your hearts be filled with happy memories of your father every Christmas. The many joys and blessings he’s shared, the wonderful memories. There should be no sadness in the next Christmases to come.

Posted in Family, My Core | 4 Comments