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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Singapore

We are doing an A-Z meme in our blogging group, Blogging for Fun. This week, we are working on letter S. I am posting my Fun Friday post a bit late. It has slipped my mind. I got busy catching up with friends on facebook.

Singapore

My family and I visited Singapore last July 2009.

Singapore is a micro-state and the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. It is substantially larger than Monaco and Vatican City, the only other present-day sovereign city-states.
 
click on a photo to enlarge

I have never seen so many orchids in bloom all at the same time. 

Bromeliads in all it's vivid coloring, thrive healthily planted in drift woods.

It is such a sight to behold, especially to a bromeliad-lover like me.

A visit to Singapore would not be complete without a picture by the Merlion. Singapore's symbol. The Merlion is an imaginary creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Its name combines "mer" meaning the sea and "lion". The fish body comes from Singapore's ancient name back when it was a fishing village. Temasek  meaning "sea town" in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name, Singapura, meaning "lion city" or "kota singa" in Sanskrit and Malay.

 Romantic arches... paradise found!

Songs of the Sea is a mesmerizing show featuring pyrotechnics, water jets, brilliant lasers, captivating music and other dramatic effects.





Clarke Quay is also the name of a road along the quay, part of which has since been converted into a pedestrian mall.

We enjoyed a cruise along Clark Quay and was able to bask under the fading sun. Simply beautiful!

We had dinner at one of the fancy restaurants by the Quay. It was surprisingly reasonably-priced considering the breath-taking view. It was quite an experience for my nieces, they really enjoyed the feast.

And the day had to end.

One of the best treats I got from our Singapore visit was a meeting with a blogger buddy and Salitype sister, Cher. Cher and I had breakfast together. We had soft-boiled egg and soy sauce. Cher introduced me to kaya toast. Yum! Thank you for the treat, Cher! I look forward to yet another meeting.


I hope these photos are scenic enough for Scenic Sunday.

Click the badge if you want to see more scenic views. Happy Scenic Sunday!





Saturday, February 27, 2010

Now You See It...

Mr. Squirrel found an acorn


Now you see it...

Now, you don't! 
 Teehee...

Have you noticed, almost everything in the picture is brown! I like the natural print on that wood. Curious as to what this wood is for? Those are the legs to support large trash cans @ The Houston Zoo. It's anything WOOD @ The Brenda Photo Challenge.


Check out other participants @ The Brenda Photo Challenge.


For more critter photos, click on the button below.





Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Frugality Is A Lifestyle

Last night, I caught up with my friend Adi through facebook chat. The first thing he asked me was "Do you still have a job?" Alarmed for his sake, I quickly answered, "Yes, and you?" He said, "Yes, but 94 pink slips were sent out today!" Oh my, 94 pink slips. That would mean 94 people just become jobless in one harrowing day. Adi and I fell into conversation. Nobody is spared. It might be the 94 now, but who knows, it can be me or even you next time. With this in mind, my husband and I try to be frugal at all times. Not tightfisted, but just wise in spending. I always make it a point to save coupons, hunt for coupons and discounts online. Most often than not, my meager effort saves me a lot of money. Nowadays, almost everything has discount codes already, it's just a matter of doing a sensible research.

I have handed down the value of frugality and innovation to my three nieces. I taught them to always arm themselves with discount coupons whenever they plan to buy something. Last week, my husband and I drove to Arizona to spend the spring break with my sister and her family. The girls (my nieces) wanted to buy a pair of shoes for each one of them and a decent top to welcome spring. I reminded them to check for discount coupons first, and they found some for Old Navy. This store has merchandise that are reasonably priced for school use. In short, inexpensive goods. The type that can be thrown in the washing machine several times a week.

With two dogs and a cat, they would really need to have a constant source of discount coupons for pet food. With a little research, they found one for PETCO. Yay, little by little discount search is slowly becoming a habit.

There are many ways to save money, all it takes is a little innovation. Before you know it, frugality has become your way of life. This type of lifestyle is definitely bound to reap plentiful harvest someday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Car Is Common In Your State?

Every morning, as I sit by the passenger seat of my carpool's car, my eyes feast on ... what else? Cars! Yes, even as we talk about the day ahead or reflect on our previous day, my eyes take in the cars that we pass by. Yes, I had to say pass by because we are privileged to be in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. One major advantage of carpooling is being able to cut travel time by passing by the HOV lane. This is particularly good in the morning.

As I gaze at the cars that we pass by, I can't help but associate a majority of cars to a certain state. In the freeways of Houston, very seldom will a person see a porsche. There are a few, yes, but am thinking, cars like these would most likely be found in California, along Beverly Hills Blvd. Although I saw one that I immediately fell in love with. A gorgeous porsche 911 carrera. Lovely! Texas is better known as the truck country. Uh-huh, I see a lot of dodge ram on the road and sometimes, a couple of jeep too. How about in your state, what cars populate your road?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Taken last July 2009. Doods and I visited my sister and her family in Arizona.


click photo to enlarge


My husband, Doods (in blue shirt) and my brother-in-law, Marlon (in green shirt)


Click the badge if you want to see more scenic views. Happy Scenic Sunday!



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Industrial Cleaning Services

My friends in Australia, particularly in Melbourne boasts about waste management, Australia. Well, I had to give it to them. Melbourn is one of the cleanliest city to live in. It is not just their Clean and Green Movement that is working, the companies that poprlate Melbourne are also esponsible enough to dispose of their waste the right way. Industrial cleaning services, Melbourne is a one stop shop for your waste and resource management.

The thing is, if companies seriously want to manage their waste wisely, it is an  important consideration that they have an onsite personnel specialising in Industrial Waste collection, sorting and removal of materials off site for all industrial waste streams produced. Especially for those hazardous wastes. If every company will adhere to this call, it would be a huge help to the community and a huge step towards a cleaner, greener environment, elsewhere, not just in Melbourne.

Car Watching

Car watching is the most common thing available to a passenger that has to drive 40 minutes to work, five days a week. Yeap, that's me. I carpool with a co-teacher and friend aboard her ever dependable hyundai elantra. Poorva and I have been carpool buddies for some three years now. It is always pleasant to be able to talk to somebody who experience the same joys and frustrations of the day. She and I are both early-childhood teachers.

In the morning we have ample time to talk about family-related matters. It feels good to share things with a friend. On some days, she calls home to India. Morning is the best time to call home and talk to her mom and dad. During those times, when she's on the phone, I look out and watch the world. Sometimes, in place of people watching, I watch cars go by. I can't help but admire cadillac cts, really sleek car! My niece's favorite is the chevy camaro popularized by Bumble bee of the movie Transformers. Hyundai sonata looks like another cool vehicle. Well, if asked, Poorva's hyundai elantra is still our favorite, it has been our silent listener to our many secrets and our constant companion throughout the many years Poorva and I have been carpooling.

Pelicans

Some three weeks ago, Doods and I drove to Galveston, Texas (an hour's drive away from Houston). We stayed on the beach, walked along the shore and frolic with the waves. After driving near the sea wall, we reached a port and saw several  pelicans. I was fascinated. It was my first time to see these creatures.

Pelicans are gentle creatures. They are so friendly, some would even allow a human to touch them lightly.

"done swimming..."

waiting for lunch

off to fish

"move out, am landing!"

"What's for lunch?"

shy

Doods, hanging out with the gang

choir singing


For more critter photos click the button below.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Naruto Shippuuden

What is it with Naruto that makes it one of the most searched anime characters? Middle school kids, even high school kids go gaga over the spikey-haired guy. My bestfriend's daughter even saved up to buy a Naruto doll and has posters of Naruto in her room. My gosh, in youtube, it is always on the most-viewed section!

Naruto is like a super hero who has evolved to fit the the kids' taste. His fashion statement and his extra ordinary powers amazes the kids. The fact that he is young allows the young people of today to easily relate to him. Boys and girls alike are fascinated by this young hero. Truth be told, I do not know much about him, but I can't help but write about him because he is so popular. I guess he is pretty much like the Superman of our time. If your curiosity is piqued then go ahead and search him out, you yourself might even get hooked! Hahaha!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nevada Insurance

We frequently visit Nevada, Las Vegas in particular. Not because we are gamblers, contrary actually. Whenever we visit, we seldom, or sometimes, we don't even, gamble.  We like the shows. Most of which are even free. One show even has a life-sized ship that gets wrecked and sink, completely submerged, and out of sight! Imagine that.

If you are a shopaholic, you will have a blast shopping at the many boutiques in  Las Vegas that carry popular brands. If you are tight in the pocket, you would love side walk shopping at the countless side walk stores lined up at Vegas blvd. Not to mention the bazaars!  Las Vegas is not only frequented for the shows and shops, it also boasts of reasonably priced accommodations and good food.

But sadly, like most places that tourists frequently visit, Vegas also has a catch. Auto theft is frequent. There are a number of reported cases in Vegas. If you're planning a visit to Las Vegas, include Nevada insurance in your list. This will help you keep your peace and enjoy more. It's better safe than sorry.

It's Another Girl!

Finally, my sister and her husband found out the sex of their baby... it's a girl! My nieces, my sisters three daughters, are all excited! My mom too is so thrilled! Needless to say, my husband and I are excitedly looking forward to the arrival of the family's latest bundle of joy. We still have fondest memories of the days when our three nieces were babies, toddlers.. preschool age. My sister and I lived next door to each other, so my husband and I got a chance to hang out at their house and play with our nieces.

Some friends and I are gearing up for a baby shower. This will be fun, not only for us, but for my nieces as well. We want  to include them in the party. We checked out some items online for gifts. The girls want to buy their baby sister a gift too. It's an opportunity to practice generosity so we encourage them to participate in the shower. We saw jellycat, ooh the girls are crazy for stuffed toys. They also like cutesy baby clothes from appaman. But for the baby's delicate skin, finest towels from barefoot dreams should be on the list. The girls are not only interested in the gift giving part of the party, they even want to join the decorating! Oh, we can't wait!  Yes, it's another girl!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homeowners Insurance

What we call basic human needs has evolved from simple food-clothing-shelter to something more intricate. Our society has become more complex. It has included personal relationship as part of our human needs. Humans are not only concerned with acquiring and enjoying their basic needs. They are also concerned in protecting every one of these.

It is not enough that we have a house. It is essential that we protect our house, and its contents. Nowadays, homeowners are more educated about ways to protect their assets. We have become aware that, in a snap, we can loose a lot, if not all, of our assets, in a fire, burglary, or both. Homeowners insurance Somers, CT will give you that security to enjoy your home and know that it, and its contents are secured in good hands.

Society say a basic human relationship is also a basic need. It is automatic for us to make sure our loved ones are not only protected, but will be well-provided for even after we are not around to do it for them. It is always wise to secure a life insurance. Life insurance, Somers, CT will give you that security that you are looking for, for your loved ones.  Life insurance, Tolland, CT does not just deal with life insurance, it is also your one stop shop for both life insurance and homeowners insurance. Why shop separately, when you can do it with one company.  When our basic needs are properly met, we function comfortably in our society. The thought that our assets are secure, and our loved ones protected, gives us a sense of peace that makes us happy and productive.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ski In Argentina

As spring is just around the corner, now is the time to plan for your spring getaway. The early bird always catches the best deals. Yes, this is the best time to secure the availability of some of the best accommodations during this busy holiday season and also get good deals on your favorite airfare. If you're looking for a good place to visit, Argentina offers a variety of experiences for the young and the old. Argentina offers more than a soak in the sun. In between snorkeling days and a joy ride in a speed boat, you may also visit the bustling cities and experience the latino-lifestyle. Dance to their music and learn from their intriguing history.

Argentina offers more. If you want to reserve the beach for your summer vacation, you can decide to just go ski in Argentina. There are countless Argentina ski resorts that provides  diverse fun in the snow . At  Cerro cathedral ski resort there are wide variety of  mountain activities to choose from. Enjoy Cerro chapelco and experience a rendezvous with the famous chapelco mountain. Go snowboarding, trekking, mountaineering and more. Do not delay, make that booking now and be one of the early birds who will enjoy a good deal, if not the best.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Trucks and Rodeo

They say everything is big in Texas. I say it's true! Even the vehicles. Yes, ma'am, Texans love trucks. Texas is  known as truck Country. The trucks are not just big, they are also stunningly accessorized. Truck owners really invest in dressing up their trucks. They buy truck accessories and they make sure their trucks are well maintained inside and out. One of the favorite accessories is the bull bar. The truck bull bars are available in many different styles. If you're interested in accessorizing your trucks, Westin is the place to stop and shop.

This month is big in Houston. It's rodeo month. This is a very much awaited festivity. Everybody looks forward to the Houston Rodeo. Guests from other states travel just to experience the rodeo. Even people from other countries visit. The popular vehicle on rodeo days is the truck. It will hold just about anything. It's used for delivering live stock and equipments. The rodeo is also a time for truck owners to showcase their well-decorated trucks.

If you have time to spare, do not hesitate to visit the Houston Rodeo, enjoy the live stock exhibit, the many different contest and shows. And feast your eyes on a grand truck parade.




Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) French aviator, writer

click photo to enlarge

Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends!


If you want to see more magnificent monochromes, visit Monochrome Weekly,  hosted by Aileni. Thank you, Aileni!




Debt Consolidation

The other day, two friends and I went out to dinner. We were in the middle of a sumptuous dinner when my friend, Marcia, remembered  she has to pay some bills online. Geez, we had to eat a bit faster because she has to make it home in time to pay the bills, one or two of which might incur late payment charges if she does not get to do it on time. There goes the long wait time and our meal. We were able to finish dinner but had to abandon leisurely conversation. *sigh*

It's such a hassle to pay bills that have different due dates. If you are paying it via mail, you have to have stamps ready, and the hassle of mailing it. If you have to do it online, you have to remember several user names and passwords. With so much to do, a lot of us have a tendency to incur late payment chargers. Not only is it waste of money, it also affects the credit score.

If you are having trouble managing your finances, it is not too late to seek help. Credit counseling  can introduce you to debt consolidation. Debt consolidation provides people with that much needed financial education and budget management information that can help you get out of debt, or at least pay your debt on time.





Copper Cookware

I have attended a lot of cookware demonstrations and I almost purchased a set! But in the end, we settled for the time-tested styles and materials that we have grown up with.  Recently, a friend of mine mentioned Ruffoni copper cookware.  Yes, it is made of copper. This type of metal is malleable and ductile, which makes it a good conductor of heat. Most high-end cookware manufacturers prefer copper  to any other materials. Copper cookware can distribute heat ten times better than stainless steel or even glass.  

Doods is fond of stainless steel, but am thinking of giving  ruffoni cookware a go. My friend who recently bought a copper cookware, is very convincing. She has been enjoying hers and she said, the fast conducting characteristics evenly distributes heat and cuts down her cooking time short. Other than the features mentioned, she also likes ruffoni because it's easy to clean. With today's hectic lifestyle, anything low maintenance is always the commodity to settle for.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red @ Brenda's Photo Challenge

Here's my entry for Brenda Photo Challenge. 
Theme: Red

Cattleya

My niece, Catie and her dad

Red Cardinal

Bromeliads

Visit other participants @ Brenda Photo Challenge.
I can't wait for the next challenge!

Thank you for hosting this fun meme, Donna!



Learn How To Teach

Some people say anybody can teach. Others think it's a gift.  I believe it's a skill that can be learned.  Anybody is good at something, and  they can share their knowledge any time they want to.  Education has two major components. The content that will be taught, and the strategy by which this knowledge will be put across to the students. The teacher is expected to have a mastery of both to ensure a positive outcome, to ensure that learning takes place.


Before doctors can become doctors, they need somebody to teach them to become one. Doctors who are good with what they do, might not be as skilled with imparting such knowledge. They still need a medical teach the teacher course for doctors. This medical teaching course will help equip the doctors with the teaching strategies they need to be able to put their knowledge across to their audience.  Teaching is not just content and strategies, medical teaching course for doctors has curriculum, and allows the doctors to have training in adult education. The teach the teacher course program also includes teaching techniques to develop and write the correct structured learning objectives. In a nutshell, this highly interactive course will provide a teacher practical  tips to help them improve their teaching skills.




Friday, February 12, 2010

It's My Birthday


  and a birthday comes once a year,
Mine is today!
I derive my birthday prayer from the words of Arundhati Roy

To love. To be loved. To never forget my own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around me. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Are What You Drive

Everybody has an idea of what type of car they want to drive. A car normally fits a personality. An Audi a5 that is elegant, fun to drive, oozes with class and refinement, can easily be seed driven by young professionals who are at the top of their game.

The Lincoln Mkz  on the other hand, with it's sleek exterior design, a technology that is second to none, an intelligent all-wheel drive, an in-car voice activated communications and entertainment system and a finely-tuned suspension is the car for those who know how to wield power.


 A volkswagen new beetle would look good on younger people. It looks sassy and artsy. Not too heavy to look at and yet not tiny either. A class of its own. My co-teacher, Lynn, drives a yellow one, and it really fits her petite stature. The beetle is an old favorite because it is low on gas mileage.

Then there are luxury cars such as the Cadillac Escalade which is the favorite of celebrities! It is popular for its artfully-framed headlights, elegant grille, impressive performance capability and comes with layer upon layer of chrome. Clearly, a star of the road.

I guess in the end, the type of car you drive will depend on the lifestyle you live.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Classic Toys

Every Christmas, I buy simple gifts for my five-year old students. There are 20 of them, so Teacher Santa's budget is in a tight scrunch. A couple of years back, I blogged about the first time I ordered toys online. I did the online thing because after canvasing elsewhere, I realized, most things are cheaper online. Of course, typical first-timer, I encountered a disaster. I over-looked the shipping date. The online store was professional enough to provide buyers an estimated date for the shipment to arrive. I saw the date, but failed to associate it with the date of our Christmas party! Turned out, the estimated date of arrival was on the actual date of the party. Fast forward, I was not able to use the toys that I ordered. I bought a new set, but no worries, I was able to use the late merchandise the next year. Lesson learned for me!

Despite my initial shipping blunder, I have since then been ordering online. It's so much cheaper and saves me a lot of time. The ones that never go out of mode for kids are the action figures! Last year, Spider man was a favorite among my boys. Cool huh! The girls, who wouldn't be thrilled with a doll, but I cannot afford a dollhouse. Teehee. Oh but they do like the classic toys too, like the jump rope and jack stones!

The good thing about classic toys is, they do not go out of fashion. Last Christmas, I found several after-Christmas sale online, and did not hesitate to purchase some. I stored them up for next Christmas. Come Christmas rush, I'd be several items ahead in my check list. *winks*





Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beautiful Reflection

It was a rainy day, we just had lunch, when we stepped out of the restaurant, my eyes were caught by this lovely pond and ... the lotus with a sunken stem and a beautiful reflection.

I believe that whenever we rise to the surface like this lotus, most often than not, we too have a sunken stem that supports us...





For more watery shots, check out Watery Wednesday by clicking the button bellow.





Learn Piano Chords

When I was in second grade, my mom bought a piano and found a piano teacher who will come to our house twice a week to teach us (my two sisters and I) to play the piano. I learned to play the piano by reading notes. For as long as I can remember, this is the way I played. But when I was in high school, my sister and I joined our local parish choir and was introduced to playing piano chords Notes are good and  sound better ,however, playing piano by chords is so much easier to do and easier to learn.

For accompanying a song or choral singing, playing by chords is the best option. I know how to do it, but am not yet that good with chords. Am very  interested to polish my skill with the chords.  Am seriously planning to learn piano chords.  My sister can play piano chords because she has accompanied the children's choir in our parish. Years ago, a piano teacher is always required to learn to play the piano, nowadays, piano lessons are available online. This summer, am thinking of polishing my piano chords. If you are interested to learn, but have been too busy to do it, this is your chance. Learning to play by chords is available online and does not require going out of the house and driving to a piano school.  Give it a try.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Invest In Your Flooring

When Doods and I were looking around to buy a house, we prepared a check list to remind us of the important things that we need to look for. Location was a main consideration. Neighborhood, the community, another.  We were not in a hurry to buy a house. We had plenty of time, so we took it slow. On weekends, we would be out scouting around and visiting models houses. We had fun doing it. Finally, we found one the fits our lifestyle. It is situated in a good neighborhood. Had the amenities we want. It even has the lay out that I really like.

Finally, it was time to sign some papers and get down with the specifics. At that time, we were new to home buying and needed a lot of help. I called up several friends who have already bought a house. I asked for important things to remember. My friend, Grace, was a huge help. She said, one of the things we must pay attention to would be the flooring.  At least have the floor upgraded to the one that we really like. She warned us that changing the floor when the furniture are all set up in place would be messy and  troublesome, not to mention, the minor (or even major damages) that changing floors might incur. After much deliberation, we decided to upgrade to Spanish tiles for the formal living room and formal dining room. These areas do not have heavy traffic and not as used up as the upstairs game room and downstairs family room. For the family room, we settled for  laminate flooring .  This area has heavy traffic. On top of being  a TV room, it is also where Doods assembled his gaming console. Upstairs, we have carpet. I still like the feel of walking barefoot on a soft padded carpet.  It has been five years since we moved to our home. I am really pleased we went for the floor upgrades. It is so practical. Easy to maintain and it added character to the house.

Protect Your Mortgage

I hear about foreclosure all the time, but do not worry my pretty head over it since both my husband, Doods, and I have stable jobs anyway. Teaching is pretty much stable. As long as there are children, we have a job. But we overlooked the reality that there could be other circumstances that might force me, or Doods to stay home without pay. Like what?  Er, like getting sick! Then it happened. To say unexpected is an understatement. I got sick. I am young and healthy, but reality check, it can happen to just any one of us. I was sick and had to undergo several surgeries. Worst, other than the major surgeries, there were procedures that I had to undergo that required that I stay at home a lot. Surgery, despite having an insurance, still required co-pay. This means, unexpected expense. On top of that, after I have exhausted my leave, I had to be in a no-work, no-pay state.

The surgeries were successful. Even as I was well on my way to recovery and had to stay home, Doods and I were thinking about our finances. Our payable do not stop just because I got sick. The bills have to be paid, and mortgage settled. My leave was used up, I was not getting paid anymore during my recuperation days. The first thing we did was to think of how best we can protect our mortgage. We sat down and re-compute our finances, check our income and savings versus our expenses. Then our friend introduced us to American Residential Law Group. This company does not take away the mortgage that needs to be paid, nor do they pay it for us, they just help people work around a payment scheme that will work best for both parties: The lender and the borrower. If you are ever in the same situation us we have been, get in touch with this firm. They will help you protect your mortgage.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lantana

Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
 





I am grateful for the hosts of Today's Flowers for taking time to run this wonderful site. Thank you Luiz, Denise, Laerte, Valkyrien.

To see more wonderful blooms, click on the badge below.




Saturday, February 6, 2010

Investing In Gold

My carpool buddy, Poorva, has a lot of beautiful gold jewelries. She said, the best accessory for their traditional Indian clothes, the Salwar Kameez and even their simple saree blouses, is gold. She has thick gold necklaces and assortment of gold bangles that are very artsy. It's simply beautiful. But gold is not just a beautiful piece of accessory, it is also a good form of investment.

Other than oil, gold is a good asset in commodity trading. Gold has always been a precious commodity from then til now. More and more people are finding that buying gold can be both profitable investment and a strong foundation in today's economy.

But before investing in gold, it is always good to understand how gold works, how to buy it or where to buy it from. If you experiment and just buy without know-how, you're in danger of making a lot of mistakes. It is always safer to be properly guided. Goldline International has an Investor Kit that can greatly help anybody who is looking into gold investment. I think in the long run, gold is one investment that will definitely pay off.

Uprooting

Last May, my college friend and her family moved to America from the Philippines. It was not easy to uproot. So many things to take care of.  There were important documents, old photographs,  and other sentimental treasures that has to be packed.  The move was physically draining and can put an emotional strain on just anyone. But at the end of the day, there is joy, just thinking of a better life ahead. Free education for the children and a good job waiting for my friend.

When they got to America, there were important concerns that needs to be dealt with right away. Getting a house tops the list. Acquiring a car is second. Unlike in the Philippines, there isn't an abundance of public transportation in Massachusetts. Depending on what country, item number two falls under basic needs. They were able to get a simple three-bedroom house and a second hand car. Another concern when you have these commodities would be the insurance for such. My friend went online and found that a very good  insurance, Insurance Franklin, MA can take care of both. Auto Insurance Franklin, MA can do their car and Homeowners Insurance Franklin, MA would be good stop to get insurance for their house. Now, at least the basics have been taken cared off. I hope now that they have been "planted,"  they can grow new roots and bloom where they are planted.
 

Birds of Different Feathers

This is my entry for Camera Critters. I did the Blue Heron for my first entry and this is my second one. This post was inspired by my blogger friend, Betchai.

Birds of different feathers DO flock together

I like this idea very much, this is very evident with the five-year old students in my classroom. Individual differences flourish and unity in diversity prevail.

Seagull: Hey buddy, I found a lotta fish over there, follow me!!

Pelican: Coming! Right behind you, pal!

This is part one of the Pelican Story... more to come   :)


For more critter photos click the button below.



Friday, February 5, 2010

Exercise Should Be Constant

When I was back home in the Philippines, I use to hit the gym once a day. But when we moved here in America, I slowly became busy and had less time for the gym. Little by little, I started to forego exercise for good. At the end of the day, I would feel too tired from dealing with twenty five-year olds (my kindergarten students) that I would only have time for shower, a quick bite and then am off to my couch for a good book or an old movie. My lifestyle was such that I slowly gained weight. A year and a half ago, I found out I have a six-pound tumor. Fast forward, I had two major surgeries in an interval of three months. But it's all behind me, am already cancer-free for a year now.

My oncologists have a long to-do list to stay fit and healthy. Exercise tops the list. There's so much to be gained by exercising and there are many ways to exercise. The most important thing to remember about exercise is, doing it on a regular basis. It has to be constant. Doesn't matter if you stay in the gym for an hour or hit the treadmill for 30 minutes a day, just do it regularly. Reality check, I do not always have time to go to the gym. At the end of the day, I only have about an hour to spare. Thank God for a wide variety of exercise DVDs that are available online. I discovered  Slim in 6 this is good for busy people. It starts with a 30-minute beginning workout, which is all the time I can spare until I gain confidence in the program. My husband, Doods, like the Power 90, this type of workout deals with sectional progression. I saw Insanity Workout, and it reminded me of my best friend, Esa, who competed for Miss Body Beautiful for Slimmers World, way back when we were in the Philippines. Wow! Perhaps someday I can do this Insanity Workout! For now, I set aside an hour a day to workout, after all, running after twenty five-year olds is more than enough exercise for me! Oh well, what counts is that it's constant.


Walk-In Bathtub

Having had two major surgeries, I know the the limitations of people who are and/or have been handicapped. When I was an "invalid," one of my many limitations, were standing up for a long time to take a shower, however quick I try to do it, it still causes some strain, how much more taking a bath! There were several faulty provisions that Doods and I created -some, right out funny- but we had no choice, but to do it. I remember putting a small mono-block chair on the bath tub, just so I can rest my shaky legs (whew!) Only hassle with this is the danger of slipping before I can sit myself on that chair, or the chair slipping after I have seated myself. Many other funny and dangerous tales to tell, am just glad, it's all over now.



The things is, when I was in that situation, I would occasionally check online to see what provisions can be done for situations like the one I was in, or even after I got out of the situation, I still feel inclined to do some research. Thing is, invalid or otherwise, am more relaxed sitting down while I bathe. Dunno if it's just me... but I can work that scrubbing and lathering better when am seated. I saw something really cool, I enclosed a photo. It's called a walk-in bathtub! This one I saw online has an anti-scalding mixing valves and air jets. Yes, you've heard right, air-jets, not water jets. Though this walk-in tubs have water jets as well.

It's a state of the art piece of comfort that we owe ourselves. Gosh, teaching kindergarten is fun, but it requires a lot of standing up in front of the classroom, roaming around to check on the student's work, bending down to assist them, squatting by anyone who needs that quick instruction and assistance, never mind, running in the playground and catching bugs! Ha! The list can go on, at the end of the day, I am wishful for a relaxing  walk-in bath tub where I can sit in a comfortable cushion and have a jet massage. Oh yes, please! I owe it to myself!



Oceanfron Myrtle Beach Resort

It is barely spring, but we are already scouting for a place to dive in this summer.  Am sure we are not the only ones. Who wouldn't? My lips are chaffed from cold sores, as I type. An awful reminder of the nasty winter most of us are experiencing right now. My nieces, who lived in a tropical country all their lives, moved to Arizona last July, and are almost  traumatized by the violent dessert storms, thick snow blankets, and below freezing temperature. It is their first time to experience winter in America. The first bouts of snow were delightful to them, having seen none all their lives! They enjoyed frolicking in the white covered grounds of their garden and the school grounds, but dealing with it everyday was something else.

To help them cope with this initial shock, their mom (my sister) and I are cooking up a different type of beach experience. Beaches are what they are used to, having lived in the Philippines, a country with 7,000 islands. Fun in the sun will help lessen the shock of the winter-experience.

Every little chance we get, we look around online for a good place to visit this summer. My sister found Oceanfront Myrtle beach resorts.  Myrtle beach is an ideal place for a vacation, a place rich in beauty and culture, travelers find a bounty of unique experiences each time they visit the place. Myrtle beach resorts  has so many activities to choose from, Oceanfront Myrtle beach resort offers visitors a stunning array of fabulous vacation options. Accommodations range from luxurious 5-star resort to family-friendly condos; activities can be adventurous as kite surfing or as relaxing as a day by the pool.  My husband, Doods, and my brother-in-law, Marlon, are thrilled when they found out about the golf course. Yup, Myrtle beach resort  has a wide variety of golf courses. Doods and my brother-in-law has always been thinking of trying golf. This summer that just might happen.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Petronas Twin Towers

It is Fun Friday once again at our blogging group, Blogging for Fun. We are doing an A-Z meme. This week we are working on letter P. I am posting my Fun Friday post a day early.

Petronas Twin Towers

My family and I visited Malaysia last July 2009. A visit to Malaysia would not be complete if you have not climb the Petronas Towers.





My husband, Doods, and brother-in-law, Marlon
(I had to crouch low on the ground to get this shot -hahaha)

At the back of the Petronas is a picturesque park with a beautiful fountain and a refreshing pond. A lot of people hang out in the park in the afternoon. My nieces had fun playing by the pond.

The first few floors of the Petronas are made into a shopping mall.

Amazing glass-walled elevator allows the people a birds-eye-view of the mall







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