Life Archives

February 8, 2008

A birthday weekend

This a birthday weekend for me. Today, Friday, friends from work surprised me with a surprise get together / happy hour at the local cantina. I thought that I was just having dinner with 2 friends when more than a few showed up! What a treat! Now if I only knew how to upload some photos, I may be able to say it (the first of a series of celebrations) and show it as well. The celebration continues....

Did I say birthday weekend? Yes, my birthday was actually on the 9th, My children took me to Cafe Bastille in the city - San Francisco, that is. After lunch we did the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. My children must think that their mother is some kind of cultured to plan such a day. :) I did have fun and enjoyed Baby Mikey's (the grandson) first museim visit. He is 6 months old.

February 13, 2008

Four Things About Me

This is something that I am stealing from Jill's Blonde Momentos. Great way to get to know someone - a little bit-

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Mom
2. Teacher
3. Elementary School Principal
4. Federal and State Programs Manager

Four places I have lived:
1. Cebu, Philippines
2. Yap Islands, Micronesia
3. Palo Alto, CA
4. Fremont, California

Four places I have been:
1. Paris, France
2. 24 states of the 50 in the U.S.
3. Philippines
4. Japan

Four Favorite Foods:
1. Filipino food
2. apple pie ala mode
3. Palma's and Charity's Baked Brie and Fig Jam
4. pasta, marinara sauce, or cream sauce, and lots of parmesan cheese

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Maui or any of the Hawaiian islands
2. Paris
3. Some warm beachy clime in the Philippines
4. Lake Tahoe, if it was warmer

March 5, 2008

Celebration of health and grandchildren

My three children, daughter in law, sister, and grandbaby Mikey went out for a celebratory dinner tonight. (Grandson Izzy was with his dad.) I had my one year check up yesterday and was told that my CT scan, and blood work showed clear results and that I am free of cancer. It has been a little over a year since my surgery and chemo treatments. I had some serious anxiety the night before the MD visit and was so relieved to receive the news!

Last night I baked up a storm. My other grandchild, Izzy, was to bring cookies to school for their preschool bake sale. One requirement - no nuts! I think they meant the food kind not the grandmas who are crazy enough to bake cookies with their 3 year old grandson. haha... That sure was a fun experience well not counting the extra sugar and extra flour he poured into the bowl. Life is grand! (Now if I only knew how to post photos, I can totally brag!)

March 13, 2008

Age Quote

Today's Quote

Age is all imagination. Ignore years and they'll ignore you.
-Ella Wheeler-Wilcox

I wish I could really ignore the years. I am finding it hard to get up from the floor when sitting around the carpet with my kindergarteners. I feel the age on my knees, back, etc...

Maybe I should work summer school to start the eye-lift, chin lift, and whatever else lift fund! Can they do this without knife and blood involvement? I am too chicken for any type of procedures... I am doomed to sagging skin!!! LOL

March 22, 2008

Good Friday

I thought of myself as a pretty good Catholic. I am not too sure after I went to Good Friday service tonight.

There was Mass and Veneration of the Cross. People lined up to genuflect and show reverence - some kissed the cross. Somehow, I can't remember this ritual ever...

I know I am forgetting things after my chemo treatments... so perhaps this is one that I have totally forgotten. It is that or I have never really attended Good Friday service in the past, or at least it has been a very long time since I attended one... Maybe because Good Friday is not a holy day of obligation!

A friend of mine sent an email last Thursday that forwarded a message from his brother that said "go out and wash some apostles' feet"... That I remember from Holy Thursday service ...

March 30, 2008

Young Child In My Thoughts

One of my good friends has a grandson, Matthew, who just got diagnosed with cancer. It breaks my heart when I hear news of young children with huge and immense challenges. As a cancer survivor myself, I know what is ahead of Matthew when he starts treatments. My heart and prayers go out to the young man. It just does not seem fair for an 11 year old to go through this.

Someone started a website for Matthew. I am going to try and add that link here. I feel that the more collective good thoughts and prayers there are, the better it is for Matthew. (It sure worked for me!)

April 4, 2008

Lots To Be Thankful For

I often tell myself that that "Aging gracefully" phrase is a lot of baloney. I have been waiting for that to happen and I am giving up on it. However, I still have a lot to be thankful for.

Example: As one gets older, it does take time to look for some of the things to be thankful for, so here I am taking the time to look!

I am sitting here, taking the time to ponder. Eureka! And I am thinking how nice it is (and being thankful) that wrinkles don't hurt!

April 15, 2008

April 15th - I'm going postal

I hate April 15! I hate paying additional taxes when it is in addition to an already high withholding. So I wait until the very last minute to work on my taxes and mail it on the very last day as well.

So I went to the post office this morning, arriving there at about 7:40AM. There was a schedule on the door that said they open at 8:00 AM. Inside (lobby) there was a line starting to form. So I joined in. I am third in line.

Then I noticed there was another posting on the inside door (closed at this time) that the post office opens at 8:45AM - unitl 10:00 PM perhaps to accomodate last minute taxpayers like me. In the meantime, the line behind me is getting longer! I shared what I read with the folks in line.

A braver person knocked on the door, well window actually, where people pick up parcels. One postal employee opened the little window and the brave person asked her about the 2nd sign on the inside door. The postal employee assured us that they will open at 8:00 AM (some 3 minutes from the door knocking event).

So about 8:05 the inside door opens. I was joking to that perhaps there will only be one window open.... From my mouth to some Post Office April 15 God's ears ... there WAS only 1 window open! YIKES... The line behind me was now about 30 person long! I was so proud and happy that I am third in line.

So #1 in line went up to mail his returns. I noticed that #2 in line had loose papers with checks paper clipped to the loose papers. He then asked the post office lady to provide him with envelopes. To my surprise, the P.O. lady complied!

I signaled to the lady that perhaps she could help me while #2 was stuffing his returns and addressing the envelopes. She ignored me. The clock is ticking and I needed to go to work...

8:15AM, a second window open. The P.O. lady #2 decided to rearrange her counter space, dust her computer, count her change, etc. as I wait. When she was done, she called out to me with a loud announcement that she takes only CASH. I told her that I had it and if I did not, I was going to beg, borrow, and / or steal from the people in line who will be more than helpful because "WE are in this together". That got some laugh from some people in line.

P.O. lady #2 repeated as I approached the window that she is "CASH ONLY". I told her that I had everything, cash, credit card, debit card, check, blood, sweat, and tears. What I did not have were an arm and a leg as I gave that to the IRS!

See, I hate April 15 because it impairs everyone's thinking, including mine!

April 22, 2008

Six Word Memoir

I thought about this when Jill first posted this on her blog and once again after Deborah posted it in one of the forums. I am not the most original or creative one, so I thought about what it would be for me...

Here are two that I have been toying with ... not my original thoughts, of course, but I thought these fit me... I teach students who are children of newly immigrated families. So my classroom is pretty diverse culturally and language-wise. I thought the six word sentence below is appropriate for my work. It also carries over to travels - when I step into lands where the language is "foreign" to me... Examples Japan and France... hmmm ... smiles go a long way -

Everyone smiles in the same language


To teach is to learn twice

The sentence above is very appropriate in the work that I do and in my life goals... I am always a learner - pursuing something all the time...

May 6, 2008

Salang Pass Afghani Restaurant

I live in a town / city where there is a high concentration of Afghani immigrants. We have a part of our town called "Little Kabul". Lucky us, we have the opportunity to enjoy the Afghani culture and its food... Yummm... So here is a little peek at one of the Afghani restaurants in my area... It is a small restaurant with some "take-off-your-shoes-and-sit-on- the- cushions- on- the- floor- sitting" as well as regular sitting. Being old, I opted for the table and chairs this time...


My daughter and I went out to Salang Pass Restaurant tonight. There was a review of this restaurant this weekend on the PBS TV Channel 9 station's Check Please Bay Area. The three foodies / program guests from the San Francisco area came all the way to Fremont to try out this restaurant... All three had good reviews of the food. I have dined here a few times before before but thought we'd try it again...

We started out with one of my favorites here - the Borani Kadoo. It is pumpkin sauteed in and seasoned with garlic and topped with a special yogurt sauce. The restaurant gives the diners some salad and naan (bread) to start with, so I had the naan with the Borani Kadoo... delicious!


We then had our entree... My daughter picked Quabili Pallow. It is described as baked brown basmati rice with seasonned lamb and topped with raisins and juilllene carrots.

Continue reading "Salang Pass Afghani Restaurant" »

August 5, 2008

A day at the beach - Still on Staycation

Today, the Staycation continues. We headed for the beach. Inspired by Barb Cabot's eloquently written post about beach memories, we headed for the beach today... towards Half Moon Bay.

It is nice to travel the usually busy Bay Area freeways in the middle of the day on Monday. There was no traffic so we made it to the beach in good time. We stopped at the San Gregorio beach where Izzy loved playing in the sand...


Continue reading "A day at the beach - Still on Staycation" »

August 6, 2008

Homesick for Samboan

I am pretty content with life and really happy about being a transplant from the Philippines to California.

Then one of my cousins sent me a series of pictures she took of my hometown. Homesickness sat in! I miss Samboan, Cebu. It is in the middle part of the Phillipines; about an hour by plane from Manila. It is where I was born and where I spent my elementary school days. It is a pretty peaceful place... everyone seems to be related to me... and can potentially know everything about me...Inspite of that, or inspite of it being small and confining, it has some awesome assets... like this sunset...


Continue reading "Homesick for Samboan" »

August 21, 2008

By The Sea

I grew up in a little town by the sea. I have not been home in about 3 or maybe 4 years. My relatives are torturing me. My younger cousin and neices sent me some pictures of my favorite part of that town called Samboan. Here they are enjoying the sea....


Continue reading "By The Sea" »

August 26, 2009

Re= Introducing Samboan to Tracey

August 6, 2009

My daughter, Tracey, barely remember the town I was born and grew up in. Her last visit (prior to this one) was some 15 years ago. Time to reacquaint...

Samboan is about 150 kilometers from Cebu City. With road conditions, it takes one 3.5 hours to get from the city to Samboan... through some really funky towns.... and delightful sights. :)


I borrowed the two pics from Tracey... some creatures compete with pedestrians trying to cross a road well traveled. :)


Life is simple in Samboan... uncomplicated. No one hurries... My mother says that. That is one of the reasons why she abandoned California residency.

We started many a day in the sea ... swimming and / or snorkeling. Most mornings some little kids are up and early waiting for Tracey to get into the sea . They frolic with her. Happy children with not a care in the world.

The one in the middle, Kikay, really enjoyed visiting Tracey; made gifts for her and collected shells to present to her new friend, Tracey.

Reese and her sister Angel loved swimming early in the day as well.

Continue reading "Re= Introducing Samboan to Tracey" »

September 25, 2009

A fan of David Lebovitz - Fanatical

I follow David Lebovitz's blog... read his website deligently ... own his cookbooks... not that I really cook... but did you know that cookbooks are good reads?

So David is in town. I decided I have to see / hear him. His first appearance (that I know of) was in Emeryville. I ordered tickets. I talked my daughter, Tracey, into going to one of his appearances. Since Tracey now lives in Emeryville - the venue, Charles Chocolates, was in her hood, I thought it would be a great idea if she went to meet David too. :)

So I went to Tracey's apartment on Wednesday night, hurried her along as I did not want to be late for David's apparition. :) David's talk was scheduled from 6-8PM. So we get to Charles Chocolates around 6:15 PM... 15 minutes late ... to find the parking lot to ourselves. We went to the front of the building to check things out... What? Did they shut the door for late arrivals? Now, I am going to be p&@$ed.... Afterall, I drove up the busy freeway and fought rush hour traffic to get here!

So I shook the door which turned out to be locked... chained ... locked... Shook it again... Shhh, do not tell anyone what happened after...

Anyway, I was a day early...DARN! So we went to dinner... will blog about that restaurant one day...

I was determined to see him, so I went back the next day - yesterday, Thursday. Success!

Upon arriving at Charles Chocolates on the RIGHT DAY, I spotted David eating Charles' SMORES...a $5+ block of graham cracker, chocolate bar and marshmallow square. David says one can make a dinner of it!




David talking about his "The Sweet Life in Paris"...So casual and cool.


After his talk, he signed books... including my ... Sweet Life.. and Perfect Scoop.




This is part of the crowd lined up to meet the man.

Would he think I am a stalker if I go see him in San Francisco on Monday? hmmm. I need a copy of The Sweet Life in Paris for Tracey... who incidentally want to temporarily relocate to Paris...

January 18, 2010

Emergency Alert

I have never seen a real Emergency Alert System come across the TV screen. Yes, I have seen lots of samples of what to do in case of real emergency... but just a few minutes ago a couple of these came across my TV set.


Scary. Warning was for people who are outdoors to take shelter immediately. Severe thunderstorms predicted just south of where I live... and here I am complaining about rain. I hope there won't be severe damage and people are safe.

February 9, 2010

Busy February - birthday month

Somewhere between groundhog day and Abe Lincoln's birthday is ...February 9th. My birthday! I am at the perfect age... Somewhere between "Younger than Springtime" and "Older than Dirt".

Anyway, this birthday week has been great! It started out with me coming to school on Monday, February 8th and being told that I won the Superbowl pool. Yeah! I do not know football so I did not watch... and just put money into the pool to be a "team player" at school. :) And I won... Double Yeah!

Tuesday, my birthday, was made special when Mike and Jessie came to my classroom to bring me this gift and two trays of cookies for my class. My class was excited to meet Mike and Jessie ... an of course to partake in the cookie treats!

Beautiful orchid! Thanks, Mike and Jess!

My children called and wanted to go to celebrate but I had some mandated meeting at school to attend, so celebrating will have to be done at a later date. I did not mind so much attending a PTA Founders Day meeting on the evening of my birthday because I started celebrating my birthday month with my family with a weekend trip to Monterey ( blog post to follow) the weekend before my birthday week.

It is a short work week. Friday is forlough day... a non-paid day off... I'll take it... rest... :)

March 31, 2010

March Madness Reflection


A reflection piece is good way to evaluate the success of any project. Judging from my calendar, I was not too successful with this one. :)

I joined the madness in the hopes that I would be able to blog daily. After getting back from San Diego, I had problems logging on to my own blog. Then I had trouble uploading photos... I did try to blog daily... But I did miss a few days!

I hope I'd be able to do better in the future... or rather - that I have interesting happenings daily so I may be able to do daily entries.

April 1, 2010

It's April


When I moved to this country decades ago, the idea of a day of pranks baffled me. Some pranks are harmless but others do go beyond that so now I try to remember all day that I may very well encounter or be 'victim' to some "harmless pranks".

Where or how did that originate anyway? Just wondering...

April 16, 2010


Tax time is always "taxing" for me. Ok, sorry for that corny comment. But I was on heavy denial when it came to filing my taxes this year.... So I became the classic "Ms. Last Minute Filer". I had a lot of company at the Post Office... and most of them around me were filing extensions.... Not only are we filing last minute, we are filing for extensions! I am in good company!.


America, a free country... except during tax time. :)


Even Einstein felt the same way I do about taxes. I had to ask for some help. I am in good company.

So, this one was made by no Einstein. LOL...

I do not think he or she even took, much less knew, and found calculus easy.

April 26, 2010

Choices I made

This past weekend, I made some enjoyable choices. I had intended to work in my classroom, get caught up on things but ... that will have to wait another weekend.

Saturday, I spent with friends- dinner and a movie. Sunday, I played with the grandkids, who were on a "staycation". Correcting homework will have to wait.






July 15, 2010

High School Reunion #1

I graduated from an all-girls-high-school in Cebu, Philippines. It was time for a

About a year ago, a few of us (residents of the San Francisco Bay Area) started planning one to happen in San Francisco. We made phone calls, sent emails, and sent snail mail to see if there were former classmates out there who may be interested in coming to San Francisco for a reunion. It seemed like there was great interest so we proceeded to plan.

(photo borrowed from Delia) The organizing team: Connie, Delia, Sarah, Imelda, and my self.

We visited many a hotels, some at Fisherman's Wharf, downtown San Francisco, etc... looking for good deals. We went to lunches in many places to try food and still find good deals.

I had my son, Mike and his friends make us a logo for various reunion souvenirs.


I enjoyed all the planning... and enjoyed the event even more when it actually happened this past weekend... well extended - aka long weekend.

So we gathered at Hotel Des Arts.. .Suite 201, the hospitality suite which also happened to be my "home" for three days.

Here are the happy "gatherers" -

Early arrivals enjoy re-acquainting and eating various dishes including Petit Pois. :) In the photo (for those who were not in attendance, and trying out to figure whose who after so many years) - Dylin, Marinela, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Rose.

Rose, Lagrimas/Ging, Ethilda, and Concep...

Delia, Danita, and Dahlia joined in the group photo... there's more....

Connie and Ichu...

Imelda and I squeezed in there...

Luke and Jun - The patient spouses of Marichu and Dahlia, respectively, who put up with all the noise, giggles, and women talking simultaneously... and still managed to understand what was said!

We were so noisy these hotel guests were curious about the group and stopped by. We invited them to join us for dinner... The younger one did. The couple held out for sushi.

Marichu and hubby Luke were apologizing for the noise a gaggle of women can generate... :)

The mango and ube (purple yam) cake that Sarah made to commemorate the graduation year for the then 14 and 15 year olds... Too young to finish high school - looking back but we did not go through 7th and 8th grade... no junior high in the Philippines then...

More University of San Carlos - Girls' High School graduates will join in later - to be continued...

August 3, 2010

High School Reunion - Tour of San Francisco

Time for me to get back to some reunion blogging.

Friday, July 9, 2010. The is actually the first day we are all together and will be spending the day reminiscing, I am looking forward to renewing friendships, some of the gals I have not seen for decades!!!

After breakfast the gals and some patient spouses waited for a tour bus to pick us from the hotel and take us on a day tour of San Francisco.

Here is how this started - plans and all. Delia called tour bus companies, found a good deal, and booked a 50-passenger bus thinking there will be that many joining us... per the intitial interest survey... and count. (Bus and driver - check.)

Inside of the tour bus... Editha Canton, in red leather jacket, joined us that morning. Across from her is Gloria Lingaolingao.

I asked Tracey to sort of plot out a tour route.. and she did. I showed the route to Delia at one of our meetings... it looked doable...

Now the day is upon us and we will try the route out. Bus pick up from hotel and we made our way to the Civic Center... San Francisco City Hall. We are on our way.

Hydie/ Lita Madula and Imelda share a laugh (already) ... Behind them is Ghela, Gloria L's daughter who joined the group as well.

In front of City Hall... with Tracey. BTW, Tracey came to the city early to join the tour... That was a real Godsend because she became our "tour guide" and did such a great job of giving us some information about the sights and important landmarks of the City.

Who would have thought that Tracey would make a great tour guide... :) Behind us everyone taking advantage of the photo op.

Tracey mentioned that SF City Hall architecture was inspired by the Les Invalides (Paris). Can you see the similarities?

San Francisco

Les Invalides

The group in front of City Hall....


Continue reading "High School Reunion - Tour of San Francisco" »

August 4, 2010

Tour of San Francisco - Part Deux

Tracey, our tour guide, continues narrating some relevant trivia/info about the city she loves.

While at Golden Gate Park, we stopped at the DeYoung Museum. We took advantage of the 360 degree views of the city of San Francisco the De Young museum tower had to offer. (I am noticing how big our purses are. haha)

Danita wanted us to ponder on Monet. :)

From there we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Stopped at the Vista Point on the Marin county side of the bridge.


It was a pretty windy day... with the bridge partially covered by the famous San Francisco fog.
Wind, chill, nor fog were no deterrents ... not to those who wanted to pose for photos! :)

Sausalito was the lunch spot for the group. Some went shopping, others went sightseeing, and enjoyed lunch at different places. I opted to treat our tour guide, Tracey a lunch at the Spinnaker. Nice.

Lunch was great. This was her "pay" for being our tour guide. :) She does not charge very much. ;)

Some candid shots of the girls in Sausalito - from Danita's files -



Done so soon? Almost...

Continue reading "Tour of San Francisco - Part Deux" »

August 5, 2010

Flowers around San Francisco

I know, people go to San Francisco to see the sights, architecture, museums, etc.

I do too... but some flowers caught my attention while I was in the city this summer... during my recent high school reunion.

I took pictures of many floral specimens up Lombard... Perhaps because I have been here so many times...and had no plans of climbing up the crooked street.

Around Lombard Streeet -

To climb up or not... the question of the day.... But the view is beautiful from down below...

Up close. Aren't they glorious?
Marichu among the bougainvilleas.

Did I say this was a favorite photo spot? Here's Rose.


January 15, 2011

Off to the Coast and other stuff on a Saturday...

Saturday, the beginning of a three day weekend. Yeah!

Tracey asked me if I wanted to go with her and one of her former college roommates on a quick trip to the coast. It was a great day, so I said yes! Besides anytime a young kid asks an old person to tag along with them - is always A OK with me!

Since I went to bed early, I headed my alarm and got out of bed early,

6AM - got out of bed and did what every other person in the United States do on any given Saturday... enter the exciting world of laundry.

6:15 - to who knows when - played on the computer and do my normal waste of time activity! Who invented this addictive online activity? That person needs to pay for some of my therapy because I can not even imagine how much of my life I've wasted since I discovered AOL in 1997!


7:00 or something = made some coffee and breakfast... put clothes in dryer and back to the computer... Did I say something about addiction? Is there comprehab?

8:30 - thought I better shower so I can make that trip to the coast... and yes, I did... not going to the coast smelling like last night's nachos...

9:00 Sort of folded the clothes on kitchen table... they are still there and it has been over 12 hours! Geez, I need help... as I am still on the computer.

9:30 the housekeeper who promised to come at 9AM today arrived (surprise, surprise, she has stood me up for a couple of weeks! ) ... with two of her kids... Something is conspiring against me... seriously!

9:45 - who cares? I am off to the coast... the housekeeper can have her kids at my house, whatever ... (Tracey suggested I find a replacement! )

10 - Tracey, Yung, and myself are off to the coast. Oh, Yung is driving so I can "FaceBook" all the way there! Did I hear "Addict"?

11 - We are on our way towards Half Moon bay... is it October? I see pumpkins!


One of these trees will be decorated someday far away and beautify someone's home...not mine as I have given up on Christmas trees because I decided it takes longer to "de-Christmas" and I am not having any of that any longer...


We arrive in Pescadero... Beach Time!



(A later post on the town of Pescadero... Love that little town!)

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