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Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a cliche that rings everywhere  when spring comes. I myself am guilty of using the words as often, but hardly bulging to accomplish the merest of task -let alone start! I do not have a lot of excuses because as teachers we are always accorded some 9 days of no school (two weekends included) for spring break. However, this year is different.  This year is the first time my three nieces will experience spring here in America, and they will spend their first summer break (in America) here with us in Houston. That is morethan enough reason to clean, sort out and organize!

Am not suppose to be pushed in a corner to do spring cleaning, but sadly, I seem to be. What with too much school work, I can't help but use spring break as a time to recharge. Anyway, this year is different. This year, my husband and I are excited to do spring cleaning because our only family in America will come and spend about two months with us. Yay! On top of my three nieces, my sister is due to give birth on the third week of May! This would galvanize Doods and I to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny in the house. A baby ...wow!

We are so use to just the two of us in our house. I can foresee a lot of changes about to take place. There's hardly any bathroom organizer  in our guest bathroom. That's one of the things I need to remedy. My sister has a huge family of six! Yikes! But more than the organizers, I need a lot of cleaning to do! How long has it been since I cleaned the carpet of the guests rooms -I hardly enter it! *sigh*  But am thinking, I need to do an intense carpet cleaning. I checked the carpets and realized, it needs deep carpet cleaning already. The game room where heavy traffic happens needs some steam cleaning. After an intensive cleaning, I need  humidifier, especially with an infant coming to the house. Gosh, that's about a whole year of cleaning compressed in two months! However can I manage? Geez, I guess I"ll start with investing on good quality  housewares and home maintenance gadgets, and do it slowly but surely. Stress-free! (teehee) I can do it  little by little on weekends and stretch my cleaning days 'til  the early days of summer. I do enjoy cleaning and organizing. It's the rush that I do not like. So I guess, this year,  spring cleaning isn't limited to just spring.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

Macro Fruit

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



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

Thank you for hosting this fun meme, Donna!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Moving Made Easy

When my sister first came here to America from the Philippines, they stayed in a two bedroom house. It would have been ok since my three nieces are still young enough to share one bedroom. The con was, the single bathroom that everybody had to share. Whew, there would be a long line every morning! After much deliberation, my sister and her husband decided to move to a four bedroom house. The girls really liked having their own room, the extra bathroom was a huge help.

With three young daughters and a pregnant wife, my brother-in-law had to get help with packing and moving. It would have been difficult for my brother-in-law, good thing there's moving truck For help with packing/boxing needs, there is always a one stop shop. If so desired, U-Pack also provide movers who are well-trained to move heavy furniture and appliances. If you encounter the same dilemma with your moving, try U-Pack. They made moving easier for my sister and her family, surely you'll find them a huge help too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Elks and Deers

Amazing sightings! Chanced upon these critters on our way to the Grand Canyon. They were moving in herd. When we spotted them, we parked farther away and walked ever so soundless to avoid scaring them off.







For more critter photos click the button below.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seagulls @ Galveston, Texas

 Doods and I took a walk at the beach and saw these fascinating creatures.

This guy is looking chic with his rumpled fluffy feathers

Seagulls live anywhere between 5 to 15 years. The average is probably 7 to 10 years. Some have been known to live over 25 years.


Seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. Most animals are unable to do this, but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes, specifically designed to flush the salt from their systems through openings in the bill. That is why you'll see seagulls near large bodies of water such as the Great Salk Lake where fresh water may be hard to find.


Some gulls do migrate, especially ones in the northern parts of the world, such as Alaska. Like other migratory birds, they go south during the winter to where the pickins' are better. The migratory patterns vary widely depending on where they reside in the summer, but they can travel thousands of miles to find better food sources.

 Source:   All About Seagulls

For more critter photos click the button below.



Friday, March 12, 2010

Visit Branson Missouri

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring of 2008, my co-teacher and friend, Excem McCasland and her husband, Scott, invited Doods, I and several co-teachers to spend the spring break with them at Branson, Missouri. My co-teachers and the McCaslands are from Houston like us. Before exploring Branson with us, the McCaslands stopped by for some days at their friends' house. After which they have gone to Branson where they waited for us. They got there some days ahead of us and stayed at Hilton Branson Convention Center. They enjoyed the place tremendously because of its friendly people and clean surrounding. The ambiance was also to boast. The place offers good deals and a number of amenities to enjoy. It has amazing packages that can cater for both big and small groups.

It was our first time to visit Branson, so we made sure we maximize our five-day stay. It was not difficult to know what places and attractions to visit. It's readily available online.

Goofing with friends

The Titanic museum is a two-story building that is unlike it's traveling counterparts. It towers above Country Highway 76 in it's massive 100 feet height. Holds 400 rare artifacts in twenty galleries. It gives a titanic-at-sea effect because it is anchored on water. We missed Titanic's maiden voyage, but was fortunate to discover her through this wonderful museum in Missouri.

Me, Rossa, Luz, Escam and Nelly

Another thing that we greatly enjoyed in Branson is the quack-tastic adventure aboard the amphibious vehicle, a WWII replica DUCW. Ride the Duck is a tour that combines music with historical accounts. We got to tour the Ozarks and afterward enjoyed the splash as we cruised the lake. Our friend, Excem, also got to drive the duck. how cool is that!


One of the scenic spots is the Table Rock lake, a man made reservoir impounded by Table Rock Dam. Commercial marinas populate the lake. The Department of natural resources operates a fish hatchery downstream from the dam. The fish in the hatchery is used to stock Lake Tnaycomo.

My co-teachers Luz, Excem, Nel, Rossa and I

Fish hatchery, downstream from the dam

Our five days went by too fast. There's still so much we haven't seen and explored. We will definitely back. My sister and her family have moved here in America. We are excited to show them around. We checked out Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, it has accommodation for big groups like us. It's located at the heart of downtown Branson. How cool is that!


Visit my sponsor: Reclaim your Vacations!!!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Texture Layering

I have been enjoying photoshop since I first tried it almost a year ago, the same time my husband, Doods, bought me a camera. But I have never done photo layering. I've heard about it, but never bothered to find out how it's done. Today, I discover a link in Ann's blog that pulled up a site that generously shares not only tutorials on photo layering, but magnificent textures for layering as well. Am thrilled!

My gratitude to Jerry Jones of ShadowHouse Creations for generously sharing the textures and giving free tutorials in texture layering. Amazing effects, Jerry. Brilliant blog site! You are quite the guru. Thanks!

Thank you also, Ann, for sharing the link with us.

Here's my first ever attempt at texture layering. I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to more!

click the photo to enlarge

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.
~Author Unknown



Monday, March 8, 2010

Moody Mansion

I am happy to show a little of my world @ My World Tuesday. Thank you to Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia for hosting this wonderful meme.


We went to Galveston, Texas to see the Moody Gardens and we came across the Moody Mansion. This is just one of the many old houses that has been preserved in the Galveston district. We did not go inside that day because it was an overcast and had rain forecast.  Nevertheless, I took photo of the facade of the beautiful mansion. It's still gorgeous even after all these years. I look forward to seeing the inside of this mansion.

click any photo to enlarge










Click on the badge to discover photos that will showcase the bigger world out there!





Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday Blooms

My husband, Doods, and I took a walk at the park yesterday and saw these beautiful blooms. I do not know what they are called, but they are so pretty, I was automatically drawn to them!





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

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





Saturday, March 6, 2010

George Bush Park

 This afternoon, Doods and I took a walk at the park. Snapped some photos and allowed the lazy day to relax us.

click a photo to enlarge

George Bush Park


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



Hardworking Bugs

This is the reason why I carry my camera everywhere... hahaha

Doods and I went to Houston Garden Center and was checking out some perennials, so many blooms to choose from, but I was more interested in the bugs! Hehe...




Now, on the ant, I did some improvisation. I prompted this super tiny critter to climb up on a piece of stem, then I took the shot behind a dark door.

Same trick here...


For more critter photos click the button below.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thailand

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 T.

Thailand

Prasat Phra Monthian Dharma (The royal pantheon)

Grand Palace

click on any photo to enlarge

Temple Guards

Doods the "dragon" sipping "dragon fruit juice"

Dragon fruit, it taste like a combination of peach, apple and strawberry





Wat Arun is located on the west side of Chao Praya River
(opposite Tha Thien Pier)
Boat ride to cross the river to Wat Arun is only 3 THB

Wat Arun "Temple of Dawn"





Wat Pho - Temple of the Reclining Buddha



one coin, one wish. . .

Food is inexpensive in Bangkok. Grilled prawns at the side walk - 40 THB only, per stick!

The people are religious. They stop and solemnly pray whenever they see a statue of their God. This was taken in front of a mall.






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