Saturday, December 29, 2007

parenting moments

these all happened yesterday--

1. Paolo calls me up to ask if he can spend New Year's Eve with his boy cousins from his Dad's side. (He's been out of the house since their Christmas break started last Dec. 21, first sleeping over at his cousins from my side, then with his cousins from his father's side... everyone loves having him around, and we have to "schedule" his visits because everyone wants him first!)

anyway, i say, "sure, palangga (dear)."

silent pause from him. "aren't you mad at me, ma?"

me: "why would i be mad, palangga?"

paolo: "because i haven't been home for so long. they say you're going to get mad at me."

me: "are you happy where you are 'langga? do they feed you well? are you safe?"

paolo: "yes, i am, ma!"

me: "that's what matters, langga. of course i miss you, but what matters is you're happy where you are."

i could see him grinning at the other end of the phone.

paolo: "you sure are a strange mom, but im glad you're my mom! i love you, ma!!!"


***


2. i was lying on my tummy in bed, writing on my journal, last night. Bea was beside me, happily chatting away while i nod from time to time and say, "uh...huh..."

after a while, i sense her squirming around and wriggling on the bed, her arms stuck to her sides. "what are you doing,'langga?", i asked her.

"i'm a worm," she says.

"why are you being a worm?" i ask.

"i want to know how worms move," she explains.

so i let her squirm around on the bed, even as i try to write.

after a while, she declares, "i move by pushing my knees, mama. but worms don't have knees... so, how do they move?"

(this was the little girl who once asked me too if ants had eyelashes, and what our eyebrows are for!)

: )

well, what could i say except my standard reply these days, "Look it up in Google."

: ) : ) : )

***

3. after dinner, while cleaning up, Thea blurts out to me, "Ma, L (her groupie friend from their band) says he likes me!"

i grin at her and say, "i know."

"how do you know, ma?"

"i saw him gazing at you the last time i brought you to your band practice. he had this shy, lovesick look in his eyes."

"he asked me to watch a movie with him, and i don't want to!" but she's smiling as she says this.

"uh... oh... just tell him you're not allowed to go on couple dates yet 'langga. (until this moment, i have never mentioned this to her.) group dates, yes, but no couple dates until you're 18 or 20..."

"i know, ma (she knows??? how???), but it's not that... i just see him as a brotherly friend... i already like R (this other guy from another school who calls her on the phone every night; i haven't met him so i don't like him yet!)... i don't want to be playing around!"

(playing around, my God! it's not as if they're committed or something, and i tell her so. and then i pick up where i left off in my lecture and try to explain to her as gently as i can that even i didn't go on couple dates until after college, because her grandpa was so strict, and i realize only now why and he was right, about curiosity and trying not to get too involved with someone or something you're not ready for yet, yada, yada, etc.)

thea cuts me off gently with just 3 words: "yes, ma. hormones."

i stare at her, and then i smile sheepishly as she smiles understandingly... like i was some kid she was patiently humoring.

huh???!!! : O

My Favorite Quotes Today

"Initial response illustrates a great deal about someone's personal philosophy." -- Jim Rohn

***

"A character is a completely fashioned will." -- Novalis

***

And this one, from my favorite author:

"Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit." -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Friday, December 28, 2007

Something Old, Something New

it's that time of the year again-- a time for looking back and looking forward, reviewing old dreams and creating new ones, which usually includes dreams for a better, happier, more abundant life, including money but not just money.

i've talked about this in my other blog. some visitors here may visit my other blog too, so this might already be familiar. still, here it is again, The Science of Getting Rich, in capsule form--

There is a universal energy from which all things are made. This energy fills the entire universe.

When you form a thought in your head, you tap into this energy, and you actually create that which you are thinking about.

Mankind has the ability to create a thought and cause the subject of the thought to be created within this field of Universal Energy.

To activate this ability, we must learn to harness our creative mind. Typically, we function with our competitive mind. But to create things with thought, we need to activate the creative mind.

We can come into harmony with this Universal energy through the act of expressing gratitude. Gratitude unifies our mind with this all encompassing Universal energy.

To manifest something new, simply hold an image of what you seek in your mind. And express gratitude to the Universe for having granted this to you. To achieve wealth, apply this same principle - hold a clear vision of the wealth you hope to attain. Then express gratitude that this wealth is coming to you. You must have unwavering faith and devout gratitude.

All that you include in your mental image will come to you through the physical realm - through the process of natural ways such as trade and commerce.

To claim this wealth, you must be active. You must do all that you can do each day to make this vision a reality. Especially strive to deliver to others something of value greater than what they paid you for.

Those who practice these instructions will get rich. And the riches they receive will be in the exact proportion to the definiteness of their vision, the fixity of their purpose, the steadiness of their faith, and the depth of their gratitude.


To participate in a free online course on The Science of Getting Rich, please click here.

To download a free copy of Wallace Wattles' 1910 book in ebook form, please click here.

Happy, Prosperous New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Life in 2008

my numerology forecast from Tarot.com (it has a free basic numerology calculator you can download, too!) for 2008 (i'm posting it here for easy reference and review in 2008 : >)--

This is a year of dynamic change, Jeanette. Many surprises will come your
way. Be open and ready to embrace new opportunities.

Do not be overly careful this year. This is a year in which a major step forward
can take place if you are willing to take some calculated risks and do a little
gambling. Wisdom and prudence is the key, but you will definitely be faced with
choices that require fast action and a willingness to act before all the facts are in.

This is an exciting year in which you will be required to promote yourself in
order to take full advantage of the opportunities that await you.

There will be increased opportunity to travel and possibly a change of
residence.

You may be tempted by the desires of the flesh: too much food, alcohol, sex,
and drugs. Be careful and discriminate. You could make mistakes in these
areas.

You will have some unexpected adventures and lucky breaks this year.

This can be an unsettling year if you try to cling to outmoded methods or
characteristics. This a year to throw off the old and adopt the new. It is a rebirth and a release after last year's struggle.

This is a year in which change takes place consistently, and particularly so in
April and May. July is a breakthrough, a time to enjoy life. September can be
intense, while October requires tact and balance in relationships.


a change in residence?! desires of the flesh?!!!

heehee... interesting year coming up, indeed!

bring 2008 on!

***

(Click here for a free sample Numerology Report)

2007 Book Launch

Sunday, December 23, 2007

the age of innocence

while sitting here just now, distractedly cleaning up my yahoo mailbox (still stuck at 300plus : <), paolo comes up to me grinning widely and giggling and trying to control himself as he whispers to me--

i know now there is no Santa Claus!

i turn around, half-surprised (in the back of my mind, i sensed him earlier going through the whole house opening and closing drawers and closets... somehow i suspected he was looking for their gifts...), but feigning innocence --

what do you mean? i say.

he danced around me and whispered as he giggled even more--

i saw our gifts in yaya's (their nanny) room, covered with a blanket!

what else could i do but grin back, sheepishly?

***

after some moments, i asked him though--

how do you feel, palangga (dear)? don't you feel sad or cheated?

he quickly hugged me and said--

noooooo, ma! i think it's funny, youuuuu!!!! i love you, ma!!!

***

and then bea came up to sit on my lap, asking what all the giggling was about.

paolo and i looked at each other, and i just said--

ohhh nothing, palangga... we just read something funny in my email.

bea wanted to know what the email was about, and i said i deleted it already.

***

just yesterday, bea woke up excitedly to find a handwritten note on special paper with glittering fairy dust underneath her pillow.

mama, look! the tooth fairy came!!!

(of course, it was thea who made the specially crafted note, while i inserted the P100 bill, the night before...)

this is what the "tooth fairy" wrote--

Dearest Beatrice,

You have been a very good girl this year. I and the faeries have been very proud of your kind and generous acts.

I have told Santa of your wonderful behavior this year, and he might be on his way to give you what you asked for on your wishlist. I also told him about your brother. He, too, has been a very good boy. Your older sister is a sweetheart, and so is your mother. Be good to all of them.

Inserted within this letter is my little reward for you.

I hope you continue to be the wonderful girl that you are now.

Merry Christmas,
Fyora


: ) : ) : )

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Message from the Universe Today : )

It's not just that when one door closes, another door opens.

When one door closes, Jeanette, choirs burst into chorus, orchestras orchestrate, bugles bugle, marching bands march, dogs catch Frisbees, cats 'chow, chow, chow,' pigs fly, and 10,000 new doors open.

Kind of makes you want a door to close, huh?

The Universe
P.S. Another door opens, Jeanette... "good grief."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Did You Know 2.0

the power of technology in changing lives... how are we dealing with it in a way that affirms our humanity, not devalues it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

moving the Dream forward

it's 5:50 a.m. here. i am about to prepare my favorite spot for meditation, but Thea left the pc on when she went to sleep and the light from the pc screen draws me like a moth to a flame, as always. : )

so i check my emails just to get a quick run-through of what's in. (there're still 278 emails in my yahoo left to clean up! sigh.)

i am quickly attracted to two emails from the same sender, though.

they are from the new york-based literary agency i applied with online for sending two more of my children's stories to last december 11.

they want to see my work for evaluation!!! : )

***

they explain their criteria for evaluation: commercial viability of the work, writing skills of the author, and whether the evaluator personally likes/is touched by the work.

i think im good with the writing skills part already, and so far, i have gotten good feedback from these two stories, which have already been workshopped twice. it's just the commercial viability aspect i still need more information on, though.

i've submitted these to local publishers here; they like it, but i think, because of the topical themes involved (bullying/violence in school and a mother's breast cancer), they are hesitant about its "commercial viability". hmmmmm.

but i believe in my stories. im one writer who doesn't write until the idea really grabs me and won't let me go. i don't waste time writing and re-writing when i don't have a solid idea that has grabbed me yet, so i just usually simmer and "think-write" for years. so, because i believe in these stories, im sending them out again and again and again, even if that will take me the rest of my life doing it. : )

im casting my net wider, though. and it's in line with my lifelong dream of going international someday, getting my stories read by people of all ages, races, creeds and persuasions everywhere, and touching people's lives for the better in some way...

***

some days ago, i received a free subscription newsletter from one of these "gurus" who've made a success of making money online, and i was struck by what he said-- that the only difference between Success and Failure is Action, that those who eventually succeed spend time each day acting on their Dream, moving it a little bit forward in whatever way, if they can't move it much yet... and not listening to naysayers at all (there will always be naysayers anyway)!

and that's precisely how im spending my days here now, just acting on my Dreams a little bit more each day, helping the manifesting process along any which way i am moved to do so. im also not listening much to naysayers anymore; i've gotten rid of that habit years ago! : )

God bless me, God bless these Dreams, God bless my Path and the people I meet and work with along the way!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dotcomology: Everything You Needed to Know

This FREE ebook is what I'm studying right now. It's downloadable free from here.

Here are additional FREE newbie training videos, too! : )

If one is resourceful and persistent enough, one doesn't really have to spend a lot to start an online business of one's own, that's what I'm learning these days.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why I Like PIPS

this is one of the reasons why i decided to go for Stone Evans' PlugInProfits System (PIPS)-- the regular FREE newsletter (i signed up for the free newsletter weeks ago, before i decided to be part of the PIPS) content i'm getting on the way to building my own online business. a sample of their honest-to-goodness, direct advise is shown below (of course, i also realized they would promote the advantage of PIPS but it convinced me since what they said makes sense), which helps me think, reflect and plan my own way through, too:


Fast-Track Your Journey to Home Business Success
Copyright © Stone Evans, The Home Biz Guy


No one has ever logged onto the Internet for the first time and
started pocketing dollars in a really short period of time. As
with all things in life, there is a learning curve.

SOME PERSONAL HISTORY

Just a few short years ago, I was a working stiff just like you.

One day, I bought and read a book called "Multiple Streams of
Income" by bestselling author, Robert Allen. Immediately, I
began my journey.

Every night after work and after my wife and children went to
sleep, I would get online and explore different ways of using the
Internet to make money.

In the two years that followed, I spent over $10,000 racking up
credit card debt buying eBooks, membership sites, special
reports, opt-in leads, and joining every "guru" recommended
business opportunity that flew into my email inbox.

I stayed up learning, working, and drinking coffee until 5:00 in
the morning, month after month filled with the hope of making
money online.

In my third year of working part-time to build a home based
income, I finally broke through and earned over $100,000 in just
twelve months from the Internet.

BECOME THE MASTER OF YOUR LEARNING CURVE

Research the lives of all of the "gurus." The one thing that
you will learn is that my own experience is not unique. Most of
the high earners on the Internet experienced a learning curve
very similar to my own.

Chances are that your curve will also be similar to mine, but it
is my hope that you can get to the top faster than even I did.
Three years was a long time to struggle, but every ounce of
struggle was worth the reward I have finally received.

In order to shorten your own learning curve, you must do a few
things differently than the rest of us did. You must become the
master of your learning curve.

THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS IS A STRAIGHT LINE

There is only one way to shorten the curve on the Internet:

You must plan to succeed!

Here is the deal. Most people put up a freebie website and select
a few affiliate programs to add to their website. Right out of
the gate, most people are running for the finish line without any
real plan in mind.

After a few short weeks, people begin to see the writing on the
wall that says, "This is going to be a long hard road."

People check their hit counters daily for six weeks before they
realize that getting traffic to their free site is going to be
tough.

At this point, they begin developing their first batch of
advertising. Then they spend countless months finding places to
show their advertisements for free. Some make an even more
drastic mistake by blowing thousands of hard earned dollars on
their new and untested ads.

These are the people who will learn the facts of life the hard
way.

In time, they will learn how to make their advertising work for
them, but most will earn very little money from their affiliate
programs.

At this point in the learning curve, most people throw up their
hands and walk away from their dreams in utter disgust. Instead
of a walking away point, this should have convinced the
struggling online entrepreneur that they were simply traveling
the wrong road.

YOU MUST PLAN TO SUCCEED

From day one, you must begin to learn about the nuances of web
promotion. Read everything you can get your hands on. Don't just
read the hype, back it up with the opinions of others who have
reviewed the same programs before you came along. Learn from
their mistakes and successes.

As you begin to learn, you must also look to make a decision. Do
you want to step into a pre-built program that is designed to
help you to succeed, OR do you want to create a completely new
program of which you are the sole owner?

If you decide to step into a pre-designed and complete turn-key
online money-making venture, then you must select the right
venture to step into. If this is your decision, I encourage you
to check out the Plug In Profit Site here.

If you decide to go the journey on your own, then do all of the
necessary research, planning and preparation that is needed for
your success.

PREPARE TO SUCCEED

Decide what you think you would want to do, and then figure out
how your planned site will generate a real income.

Internet old-timers know about hundreds of corporation domains
that existed with IPO millions, but did not have an actual money
plan that could sustain their business model. Most of these
companies were among the hundreds of companies that bellied up in
the 2000 dot bomb experience.

Don't blindly believe in your plan. Research others on the web
who have undertaken similar business models and see if they have
survived. Study your competitors in depth to learn what is
working for them and what did not work for them. To better
understand what has or has not worked for competitor websites,
check out their time lapsed progressions using the Wayback
Machine


Once you have determined your money plan, then you should
undertake the development of a business plan and a marketing
plan. Utilize professional assistance if you need to do so. While
creating your plans, make a determination as to which domain name
you think would be best, then register it along with a hosting
account. You can do this at Host4Profit in Step 2 on this page.


Once you have developed your business plan and marketing plan and
have run them through several revisions, then it will be time to
buy your domain name and to begin work with a site designer and
developer. You may need to have your domain sitting on a web host
for your site developer, but this is not always necessary. While
they are doing their work, enlist a copywriter to help you with
your site sales copy.

When your site designer and developer have your site working, you
should then undertake significant testing to make sure everything
works as planned. It is much harder to fix problems on a
operational site than it is to fix problems on a site that has
yet to be launched.

When testing is done, then you should fill in your sales copy and
then shoot for launch. Of course, you already have a marketing
plan in place, so your preparation here will be simply a matter
of putting the pieces of the puzzle into place.

You are finally ready to open for business. Don't be afraid to
spend the money to bring your dream alive. Time can replace money
in the goal of starting a profitable online business, but money
invested can shave years off of your company's growth.

About the Author:
------------------------------------------------------------
Stone Evans helps ordinary people all over the world make
money online with affiliate programs. If you can follow 3
easy steps, you can get your own customized website,
autoresponder (email follow-up software) and pre-written
email marketing campaign professionally designed and
installed and ready to pull in profits for you in 24 hours
or less! See details at and sign up today at:
PlugInProfits.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

my own, my first!

i have my own and my first business site up and going now-- Avalanche Of Blessings!

of course, the really first business site of my own is the author website inspired by B, and which content im still currently working on. then, the mother site for this site, Avalanche Of Blessings.com, is something i'm also still currently working on, hopefully to be unveiled by Christmas Day.

it's just that, in the course of my research, i was also already itching to get some action done and see how it really is, like an on-the-job training even as i learn the principles of online marketing and keyword research and SEOS, etc.

so i found this site, PlugInProfits, and decided to invest in this test. they build your own site for you, set up your products and income streams for you, help you with responding to your customers, and many other stuff-- all you have to do is help market your site by generating traffic. in other words, it shortcuts all the other work of having your own internet business so you can just focus on generating income through effective marketing methods.

for an initial plunk down of only P60/day (that's just like eating one Happy Meal a day) for my first month and even much less in the suceeding months, i figured id take the tuition to learn more even as i already start earning. the alternative is to keep researching and learning,... and earning nothing yet. so, of course, im taking the more promising alternative.

anyway, im just on my second day now, getting familiar with all the resources PIPS (PlugInProfits System) provides, as well as contacting their helpdesk for every question that occurs to me. so far, they have been very patient and accommodating with me, even when i ask really stupid-sounding questions (hey, im a newbie, and im paying for this stuff! so i have that privilege :>) whose answers are either already in the FAQ or in some previous welcome email they sent.

and im having a lot of fun! : )

i question my self: what feeds my hunger for this new adventure? the money itself, which is the usual and most obvious reason? or something more?

hmmmm... in some ways, it is the money. it could sure help pay for a number of things the kids and i need and want... faster. but then, again, even without it, we're already happy as we are, and we'll either get those things we need and want eventually, or find we don't need or want them anymore somewhere down the line anyway.

i think it's something more. i've never been one to just work for money alone anyway. heck, i volunteer and help out in projects that fire my passion, even without getting paid!

i think it's about the challenge and thrill of conquering a new territory, a new as-yet unexplored world for me, and finding more about my strengths and gifts and limitations, too, in the process.

that's what's been missing lately from my previous work and even volunteer projects-- just more of the same. and i guess, i've been yearning for this new pioneer kind of feeling and challenge again.

more to update next time. i'm having a really interesting and fun time doing keyword research . heehee.... just for a taste of the interesting pieces of tidbits i'm discovering along the way-- i didn't realize "hot women" and "mature women" ranks way up there in the list of most often searched keywords more than "beautiful women" and "young women" are!!!

: ) : ) : )

Monday, December 10, 2007

getting serious

i am getting serious with my new dream. (hmmmm... well, it isn't really new, but the method for achieving it is... i've always envisioned myself working from home earning multiple streams of income as the ideal work and life style for me, and im well on my way there now with my offline freelance writing and paid speaking/training projects and all).

this time, though, i want to try out earning online, for my self. (there's the online family business i've been working on for 4 years now as one-woman customer care, marketing and liaison person, which has trained me and taught me to see how exciting and challenging the global world is out there, and how i --we Filipinos, actually-- can be up to par in engaging it successfully.)

heck, im on the net so much and have been quite a good customer of so many (mostly info) products and services all these years, i figured i might as well get on the other side of the fence and start sending the money flow my way too, instead of my just sending it out from me. : )

for the past two weeks now, i've been sleepless doing intensive research. it is amazing how i can't stand 30 minutes in one stretch doing the data analysis for my project paper, yet sit for hours on end lost in my business research.

i am starting to see my way through the forest and the fog, and i am very careful to hold on to my credit card and not buy guides here and there just because of their impressive sales pitch and marketing hype. im quite the gullible and impressionable type and i've learned my lessons already (i should, by now!).

needless to say, i am excited, if only to see where this will lead me. if there's one thing this one year break from my regular work is telling me clearly, it's that i don't want to go back anymore, i feel i have achieved all that i have set out to achieve there, and i want to explore new challenges now, on my own, and being on my own.

my excitement is double this morning. a few days ago, i signed up FREE for this affiliate training site, and today, i just got an email telling me i've just had my first affiliate signing up under my account! : )

what i like about SFI is the training and support it gives, especially to newbies like me, and also the opportunity for me to train and help others as i also learn and grow. my education and training background comes in very handy, also my online personalized customer care experience from the family business. when one signs up, one is interviewed for one's background and goals, which helps them help you better. and so far, the assistance I've been getting is helping me ease out of my anxieties and confusion, at least.

it looks like it has a good track record, too, from the research ive done so far. it's been operating offline since 1985 and online since 1998, a member of the Better Business Bureau, as well as the International Association of Home Business Entrepreneurs (IAHBE).

anyway, baby steps. i'll share my progress as they come. : )

p.s. maybe, in a way, i have indeed been "dying" lately-- dying to an old way of life, of thinking, of perceiving possibilities, and being born to this new one, the world of endless, global possibilities!

God bless my way, as God has always done so!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

my favorite quote today

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature… Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -Helen Keller

Friday, December 07, 2007

my last trip

"Give everyone thy ear, but few thy voice." - William Shakespeare

this might as well sum up how i've been lately, especially during my last trip for this year, the one the PJ team took to conduct a training in cagayan de oro.

unlike in previous trips, i dreaded leaving home, and i was excited to come back home. during the stay, i was mostly reclusive, keeping to my self. when people stayed out later at night to drink, sing karaoke, eat and fellowship some more, i went straight to my resort cottage to read, write, meditate and sleep early. of course, i woke up earlier than most everyone else, too, and i did more of the same. i also took long, solitary early-morning walks up and down the mountain resort.

i wondered at my own subtle yet powerful change, too. i wondered if i was dying soon, really. how come the things that used to thrill me and excite me, like going away on trips to exotic and not so exotic places, only tire me now? how come i just want to stay home most of the time now? how come i'm starting to painfully long for my very special someone to be with me here, now, in all ways, to share all these things im seeing, doing, experiencing?

if i wasn't dying soon, i wondered if this is what it means about really "settling down"... or growing middle-aged. : )

and i wondered all these wonderings mostly during the looooooong waits (due to constantly delayed flights) at packed airports.

it got bad at the manila domestic airport on the way home. across me was a middle-aged British-looking guy happily snuggling with his pretty 30-ish something Filipina wife (i looked at their hands; they both wore identical wedding rings). seated right in front of me was a much older couple, an American guy who pretended playing slave to his bossy Filipina wife, but one could see they adored each other with the way they gazed at each other even as they talked.

i wanted to transfer seats, but it was jampacked, the only alternative was to stand or walk around while waiting for my flight.

it didn't help that surprisingly, for this trip, i didn't particularly enjoy talking to my travelling companions either, whose talk only further tired me out.

i have had a lot going on in my mind lately, even before the trip, mostly about my life direction and career plans, and how i just want to stay home now and write, and care for my kids... and hopefully, my future husband someday soon... if God brings me to that, as i find more ways to just stay home and earn multiple streams of income so i don't jeopardize my kids' comfort and long-term security...

i just don't like talking to people much nowadays.

the first night i was back home, i wept my self to sleep.

these last two days though, i have mostly been on the pc, alone and quietly, studying keywords and search engine optimization and home-based online business stuff... still, i've been mostly living in my head these days.

sigh.

what is happening to me???

thank God the kids at least seem to understand, as they just patiently let me be and try not to get in my way too much.

sigh.

i want this last trip of the year to be my last trip now (although i know there are still 3 or 4 upcoming trips first half of next year again... sigh!).

the next trips i want to take, i just want to take with my kids and special someone already, no more with other people.

many sighs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

whew!

busy morning here. and it's not even lunchtime yet.

'been up since 5am, just picking a few emails from the 85 emails already in my inbox to open, read and respond to.

one email from my publisher got me cross-texting with another colleague, the storyteller who was here last month for the storytelling workshop in tandem with my booklaunch. apparently there were some misunderstandings on fees and costs, and i've been coordinating with both to clarify matters, texting, emailing and calling.

in between, had to bring Thea to her friend K's house, with K informing us at the last minute that her mom can't take them to the airport for K to see her boyfriend off after all, so it fell upon me, of course, to take them to the airport-- me driving in my nightgown (K's house was only in the subdivision next to ours, so i didn't bother to change)! even as i drove, mama called. thankfully, when she learned i was driving, she said she'd call later...

then, as i arrived home, J from the PJ office texted to tell me that our flight for CDO on thursday is at 9am, not 630am, thank God! and then L texted from the bank too to tell me my Euro honoraria would be deposited to my account instead since the bank didn't have any Euro smaller bills for withdrawal. hmmm, ok. i texted her back to go ahead (what else can we do if i want to get my full honoraria, down to the last Euro?).

as i was doing this, my brother Tope came to consult with me re his project paper, as i greeted him happy birthday, and we also talked about family (another episode in the long-standing tragi-comedy drama series) stuff and updated each other. he asked to borrow my car to go to the bank and run errands (as his car is in manila now) and i let him.

B said hi on the way to his own errands. i love this sweet man. it's always a joy hearing from him. : )

meanwhile, Bea's here with me watching tv. it's Sportsfest time at school and since she's not into any game or sport, she just decided to stay home with me.: ) my girl. the tv isn't helping me much concentrating on my own project paper, though...

im starting to get panicky. i have to have Tope's and my own project paper done by wednesday, before i leave for CDO, so Tope can print and submit them and schedule us for our target defense date of Dec. 7.

can i do this in two days?

probably, without sleeping.

but ive noticed this year that i can't handle no-sleep straight-through-the-night writing projects like i used to before (i even do straight-through-3-nights before!)... sigh. signs of age, i guess. hmmpfff! (if not for this, i absolutely relish and look forward to growing older! the older you get, the freer you are to be you... my uniqueness used to be considered nerdy, then crazy, now attractively interesting... i look forward to being full-blown attractively eccentric, a gorgeous globetrotting grandma, with my nose thumbed at all the madding crowd!)

...


hmmm... what am i doing rambling here?

i guess i just want to get all this stuff in my head down here --framing, in manifesting language : ) -- so i can get it cleared to focus on performing miracles with Tope's and my project paper!

oh, God, help!

and this is for mama, too, who hasn't called back. this is the answer to your unspoken "how are you today?" when you called earlier. : )

i love you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How Two Words Changed My Life

Two words which will change your life!
from Rhonda Byrne,Creator of The Secret:

There are two words that, when spoken, have the most unfathomable power to completely change your life. Two words which, when they pass your lips, will be the cause of bringing absolute joy and happiness to you. Two words that will create miracles in your life. Two words that will wipe out negativity. Two words that will bring you abundance in all things. Two words which, when uttered and sincerely felt, will summon all the forces and vibrations in the Universe to move all things for you.

The only thing standing between you, happiness, and the life of your dreams, are two words...

THANK YOU.

Gratitude is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to transform your life. If you become truly grateful, you will magnetize absolute joy to you everywhere you go, and in everything you do. In fact, without gratitude, nothing can ever change. Your life will change to the degree that you use gratitude and begin to feel grateful. If you are just a little bit grateful, your life will change a little bit. If you are very grateful, your whole life will change. If you live gratitude every single day, you will become one of the greatest human beings on the planet, and the light of your life will uplift our world.

The greatest human beings who have ever lived showed us the way with gratitude, and by their example became shining lights in our history. Einstein said "thank you" hundreds of times every single day! Ancient wisdom dating back thousands of years gave us the truth about gratitude. Every single religion speaks of giving thanks. All the sages and saviors of the world demonstrated the use of gratitude in all their teachings.

Of the thousands of letters we receive from people whose lives have become miracles after experiencing The Secret, every single one of them has made gratitude their way of life. It is impossible to be negative when you are giving thanks. It is impossible to criticize or blame when you are feeling grateful. It is impossible to feel sad when you are in gratitude. Most people are sporadically grateful, however, to change your life with gratitude, a new way of learning how to be truly grateful is what will bring unlimited happiness into your life.

So how do you live in gratitude? Begin your day by feeling grateful. Be grateful for the bed you just slept in, the roof over your head, the carpet or floor under your feet, the running water, the soap, your shower, your toothbrush, your clothes, your shoes, the car that you drive, your job, your friends, your refrigerator that keeps your food cold. Be grateful for the weather, the sun, the sky, the birds, the trees, the grass, the rain, and the flowers. Be grateful for the stores that make it so easy to buy the things you need, the restaurants, the utilities and services and electrical appliances that make your life effortless. Be grateful for magazines and the books that you read. Be grateful for the chair that you sit on, and the pavement that you walk on. Be grateful for your favorite music that sweeps you away, and for movies that make you feel good. Be grateful for your phone that connects you with people, for your computer, for the electricity that lights up your life. Be grateful for air travel that flies you everywhere. Be grateful for the roads and traffic lights that keep the traffic in order. Be grateful to those who built our bridges. Be grateful for your pet, for your child, for your loved ones, for your eyes that enable you to read this. Be grateful for your imagination. Be grateful that you can think! Be grateful that you can speak. Be grateful that you can laugh and smile. Be grateful that you can breathe! Be grateful that you are alive! Be grateful that you are You! Be grateful that there are two words that can change your life!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The more that you practice gratitude the more deeply you will feel it in your heart, and the depth of the feeling is the key. The more deeply and sincerely you feel it, the more you will bring absolute bliss and happiness on every single subject. Watch what happens in your life when you practice gratitude every single day and in every single moment and in every opportunity that you can. Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful. If you are blaming, you are not being grateful. If you are complaining, you are not being grateful. If you are feeling tension, you are not being grateful. If you are rushing, you are not being grateful. If you are in a bad mood, you are not being grateful.

To understand the power and the magic of gratitude, you have to experience it for yourself. So why not begin by deciding to find 100 things a day to be grateful for? As you practice gratitude every day, it won't take long before gratitude is your natural state of being, and when it happens you will have unlocked one of the greatest Secrets to Life.

***

technical notes:

According to the Laws of Manifesting (Law of Attraction, Law of Deliberate Creation and Law of Allowing), the Universe responds to your vibrations, not really your actions. And your vibrations have a lot to do with the thoughts you think, and the feelings you feel as a result of the thoughts you think. So, saying "Thank You" is the best and quickest way to getting into vibrational alignment with your Desires. And when you're feeling good and joyful, you are inspired to be and act in ways which cause you to attract what you Desire, because you are now finally in compatible vibrations.

So, in summary, the principles are:

1. Vibration (vibrational Alignment with Desire, specifically), not action (unless Inspired Action, inspired from proper vibrational alignment in the first place)

2. Thoughts, not time-space-distance, rule!

This is the scientific explanation. And I guarantee, from my own experience, readings and learnings-- it does work!


personal notes:

when i started out in the habit of saying "Thank You", though, it was just to keep my self from falling into despair.

five years ago, at 34, i left my marriage, and with 3 young kids to support, with grudging and stinting "support" from their father then (i had to employ moral suasion even among the in-laws to make him give to the children what was already his responsibility)-- i was financially-constrained, and heavily in debt even (as i assumed all the marital debts just so i could be rid of him).

those early months and years made it much easier to complain, blame, worry and be fearful; but my overriding concern at that time was that i will NOT have my children remember those tight times with feelings of negativity. i didn't want them growing up with that legacy. i could still give them something even if only in terms of happy, positive memories, no matter what our circumstances were.

so i even took to singing Julie Andrews' "My Favorite Things" and writing my thanks yous everyday on my journal, feverishly-- just to prevent my self from falling into despair, which sorely tempted me then. how could i create happy memories for them when i myself was not feeling it? so adopting the habit of Gratitude was a desperate and emergency measure, in a way.

look at me now! : ) who would believe that i can take a YEAR'S UNPAID leave off from my regular day job today just so i could stay at home, be with my children more, and do more of what i really loved to do-- writing and communicating and even traveling!

and it's not as if i'm awash with my own personal cash savings to fund this year's off. people think that; i let them. : ) they don't believe i'm telling the truth that i'm just living by God's Grace, day after day, month after month!

they think i'm crazy to follow my heart, and to keep saying thank you before for not much to thank about...

well, my life now is my only reply.

so, THANK YOU-- to them, to the past, to life's circumstances and challenges, and most of all, to God and the Universe!

even with my children now, i've taught them to just say thank you when they pray, instead of asking God for what they need and want. for what they do need and want, i've taught them to thank God already in advance! : )

so, THANK YOU. it really works. : )

Friday, November 16, 2007

don't laugh now...

... but would you believe im not only learning how to prepare healthy and yummy-tasting food these days, im even studying how FOOTBALL is played, ... and enjoying the process, too!

imagine that.

i never thought i'd come to this. : )

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Words Have Power: 10 Tips for Kinder Speech

By Judy Gruen

In our media-driven society, it's easy to forget the awesome power of words. Words have enormous power to hurt or to heal, to make or break reputations, to uplift or degrade another human being. In this way, the words we speak literally change the world and how we view the people in it. Here are 10 ways to improve the world and ourselves through channeling our power of speech for the good.

Click here for the full article.

1. Avoid (gossip and) gossipmongers.

2. Talk about ideas, not people.

3. Think before you speak.

4. Use your words and your smile to uplift others.

5. Truth is no excuse; (practice verbal self-restraint.)

6. Judge others favorably; (always look for the good in people; there always is.)

7. Don't badmouth yourself either!

8. Change the subject when gossip begins.

9. Share bad news only if you must.

10. Be careful with praise (that it doesn't exclude others, too).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Santa's Early!!! : )

Wowwwwww. Life gets even better and better!

Lopue's East Mall just texted: Bea won in their RAD Bike raffle promo!!! : ) : ) : )

And just the other day, she was telling me she wants to add a bike to her Santa wish list, too, after she heard Paolo tell me he wanted a bike for Christmas!!!

Thank you, God!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


- by Dylan Thomas

Thursday, November 08, 2007

10 Questions to Ask Yourself and Be Your Own Life Coach

pls. click on the title above for the full article. as for me i just want to list the 10 questions here for my own reminder and to keep my focus.

when faced with a life challenge, it is good to ask one's self these questions for inner guidance...


1. Is this Good for Me?

2. What does My Body have to Say About This?

3. What are My Values?

4. What would Jesus (Mary, God, Goddess, Grandma, any role model) do?

5. What Am I Not Seeing Here?

6. What Really Matters Here?

7. Where Should I Act and Where Should I Step Back?

8. What Would Make Me Genuinely Happy? (i love this one! this is the criteria i basically go by, aside from no. 3 above)

9. Who Has Some Guidance for Me Right Now?

10. What Is the Divine Intention for My Life Today?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stop Acting Small

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.


-Marianne Williamson

Monday, October 22, 2007

all's well

i've brought the last of the guests to the airport this morning. it has been a full, abundant, joyful and meaningful week.

the paper i delivered at the Reading Association of the Philippines Demofest last Saturday afternoon was good, i believe. in the first place, it passed my own standards. then, too, after i delivered it, a number of people came up to me to ask for a copy of it, as it wasn't in their kits. so, maybe i did get my message across, which is what i prayed for.

i had lots of fun entertaining guests and new friends, too, driving them around bacolod, and showing them the food delicacies and the sights, amidst the Masskara Festival. i wondered why they kept apologizing to me for taking too much of my time and energies, when i enjoyed their company too!

i slept the whole day of Sunday and even most of today, too. it's my postponed jet lag catching up on me, i guess. after Honey and i arrived from the States last Sunday, i didn't have the luxury of winding down, as it was immediately off to last meetings with the bibliotherapy-book launch- storytelling team, going for my on-the-set tv interview, welcoming my publishers' staff and showing them around, also fetching N, our guest storyteller, and taking care of his transportation needs the whole time he was here and even assisting him in his tv interview too, providing support for the bibliotherapy lecture and the storytelling workshop, and, of course, being fully there for my own book launch, even as i researched and wrote my paper overnight for the reading association demofest.

now, it's back to my "ordinary" life, but it's really not so ordinary anymore (well, come to think of it, it never has been!).

next to dos:

- update butterfly business stuff
- help Papa with renewing the store rights award in my name
- checking and returning my MA students' papers
- finishing my Project Paper too, so i can turn it in by Oct. 30, schedule my defense early November, and finally earn my MA Conflict and Reconciliation Studies degree
- finishing 3 more projects: FCQ, Kaisa and Rubin's manuscript editing
- and finally and most importantly, working on the content of my author website with B, and buckling down to writing my 1 story/month target for the rest of my leave (7 months to go)!

***

mama's still in the hospital for pneumonia. im concerned, of course, but the last time i talked to her on the phone, her voice sounded strong and full and she seemed upbeat, even welcoming the hospital stay as a chance for her to fully rest and sleep longer than she is used to at home. so, i guess, that's a very good sign.

one time, when i was still there with her last month, and she was starting to talk death wishes again, i acknowledged her desires yet also reminded her, half-jokingly, "ma, don't die on me yet. you still have to see my two remaining dreams in life come true-- become an internationally-published, best-selling, critically-acclaimed, and well-loved author of children's and other books, whose stories touch and transform people's lives and live on long after i do; and be happily married to my True Soulmate, for real and for keeps!"

she smiled at that, and seemed buoyed by the idea.

***

i'm just enjoying my time with the kids again. we celebrated my homecoming a week late by my treating ourselves out to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch earlier today, after i fetched them from school.

it's exam week for them this week, so they only have morning classes. after the exams are over, im planning to take them and their cousins to the Waxworks tour at the Negros Musuem, for a Halloween treat. : )

one of these days, im treating my self again, too, to my long-overdue beauty salon and spa treat! i haven't dated my self in quite a while! : ) : ) : )

***

i brought home the three choicest of the two dozen roses B sent before i flew home. they're on my bedside table. i brought home his card and even the package stamps too! : )

i look at them every time, and feel very blessed for having B in my life now.

for the first time in my life, i am in love without the attendant anxiety and insecurities and uncertainty and agonies that used to accompany my falling in love states before. (and now, i wonder if they were more delirium than really falling in "Love" as Love is meant to be!)

for the first time in my life, i am amazingly feeling... peace, and contentment, and just sheer joy, from being me, and from loving and being loved. i can actually relate now to how it's described in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8... how it should be, how it really is.

i hope and pray this consciousness stays with me this way, for good, no matter what the outer circumstances and challenges might be that will inevitably assail us, as with all relationships.

i pray for B, and B and i, all the time now.

***

all's well.

God always sees to it; i know that now.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

more success

the whole day storytelling workshop yesterday was a success, too!

the children's library, where it was held, was jampacked. participants even came in earlier than the registration staff! we expected only around 30 participants, but ultimately, 64 were in, and they were all attentive, participative and energized by Manolo Silayan's very substantial and stimulating workshop.

at the end of the day, the participants organized themselves into Alitaptap (Firefly) Storytellers Association - Bacolod and even elected their own officers and set the date for their next meeting already!!!

which is what the whole "Books Build, Books Heal" campaign was about-- to tap, organize and develop a pool of volunteer storytellers for the Negros Museum's Storyteling for Children Program!!!

: ) : ) : )

ohhhhhh, thank you, God, for good friends, good and talented people, and everyone coming together to create something good for children and the culture of reading and books altogether!!!

***

i've been up since 2am starting and finishing the paper i am going to present at the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) Demofest today. it's 5:46am and im done and im proud of what i have come up with, too!!! : )

'good thing i kept files of old papers saved; it made my research and referencing easier and faster!

I am in the Heart of God.
I bask in God's Love and Abundance.


things just keep getting better and better!

thank you, God!!! : ) : ) : )

Friday, October 19, 2007

success

the wedding --- er, book launch : ) --- was what i hoped it would be: well-attended, by family, extended family and friends, both old and new; the books browsed through, read and bought (or bought and read) well; people coming up to me telling me their thoughts and feelings about the books; people having a good time mingling among themselves during the cocktails, while i sat in a corner signing the books; people bringing their kids and the kids moving around freely, browsing through the children's library (where the program was held) shelves, picking out books they liked, and reading intently even as the program went on; kids lining up too to have their books signed and personally addressed to them (one kid whom i asked what his name was, said, "Lastikman"! : >); people listening attentively to the short talks, my quite emotionally-laden talk, and Nolo's wonderful storytelling rendition of "Tight Times". i even got interviewed again by the ABS-CBN tv crew on the spot, just before the launch started, for the evening news! : ) : ) : )

it had the look, feel, ambiance that i couldn't really succinctly describe but secretly hoped it would have. almost the same look, feel, ambiance my dream wedding would have, when i wed again someday. : )

i bared my heart and soul at home, and home finally began to understand what my passion was about, and, with wide-open arms, welcomed me in.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

pre-wedding jitters

i have just sent out the last of the invitations.

it's the afternoon before my book launch tomorrow, right in my own home city, but it feels like im going to be wed!

i have had my two books actually previously launched-- the first book in 2004, at the University where i studied and now teach, but it was a small, intimate launch; the 2nd book at the recently held National Children's Book Day last July 17, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, where I also received my second Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga Prize.

this time, though, i'm (re)launching them, right at home, and making it open to the public, right in the midst of the Masskara festivities, too.

somehow, i feel more jittery now than the previous two original launches.

it feels like i am going to be wed-- not to a person, but to my Dream, really casting my die now-- not just writing on the side, but writing children's books for keeps-- in front of everyone, right at HOME, where it could both hurt and heal.

somehow, it's okay to make your Dream public in faraway places and to people who don't know you; but at HOME???

that's why it feels more like a wedding than a book launch.

you wed only in front of people closest to you.

this is it, now, Dream. no turning back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

still

it's 3:44 a.m. here; i've been up for around 40 minutes already.

even while apparently "doing" stuff, like checking my email now to clean up my inbox, i am as still as a baby who has just woke up.... a kind of alert, watchful stillness.

i am savoring this moment.

it's like the moments of stillness, of perfect bliss, that i get to in my meditations have transferred over to this moment, even when im not consciously meditating.

i have just jotted down all my things to do for this week. somehow, they don't disturb this stillness even, when before, a year or two ago, this would start me hyperventilating in anxiety and growing panic, at the so many things to do in so little time...

right now, i am just... still.

all is right with my world.

all is Perfect, in fact, even as all continually change.

in my meditations, my favorite and "highlight mantra", which i have coined my self, is this:

I am in the Heart of God.
I bask in God's Love and Abundance.


this is It, right now.

i'm living it.

i'm being it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today

THE DAILY MOTIVATOR
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Do you realize?
+++++++++++++++++++

Do you understand where you are right now? You are in a
place, a time, and a set of circumstances toward which
you've been moving your entire life.

Do you realize the enormous opportunity that now exists? You
are more experienced and better prepared than ever before.

Each past failure is now a positive and valuable lesson that
you've learned about what works and what doesn't. All the
disappointments you've ever known have now combined together
to create a powerful and meaningful determination that
permeates your life.

By this point in your life, your dreams and desires are more
in line with who you truly are than they've ever been
before. And now you're perfectly positioned to actually
achieve them.

Do you realize how truly unique and powerful this very
moment is? This is the moment when you can begin to fulfill
your greatest possibilities.

This is the moment you've been working your way toward for a
long time. You are here at last, so fill your world with the
lifetime of richness that you're able to give.

Ralph Marston

............................................................................
This is the Daily Motivator email edition.
Copyright (C) 2007 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All rights reserved.
Visit The Daily Motivator web site at http://greatday.com for an
archive
of more than 3,000 daily messages, inspirational photos and more.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Horoscope Today

Although you may not be inclined to play lightly with others now, it's just because you have more urgent business. Your emotions have opened wide and you don't want to miss the opportunity to feel something so strong. Still, there's that gnawing fear of the unknown. Don't try to talk your way out of this journey. Jump on in, for the water is wet and deep.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Long Ago and Far Away..."

by Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes


Long ago and far away
I dreamed a dream one day
And now that dream is here beside me

Long the skies were overcast
But now the clouds have passed
You're here at last

Chills run up and down my spine
Aladdin's lamp is mine
The dream I dreamed was not denied me

Just one look and then I knew
That all I longed for long ago was you

Dreary days are over.
Life's a four-leaf clover.
Sessions of depressions are through.
Every hope I longed for long ago, comes true.

Long ago and far away
I dreamed a dream one day
And now that dream is here beside me

Long the skies were overcast
But now the clouds have passed
You're here at last

Chills run up and down my spine
Aladdin's lamp is mine
The dream I dreamed was not denied me

Just one look and then I knew
That all I longed for long ago was you

Just one look and then I knew
That all I longed for long ago
Was you.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Intuition

the best definition i've heard so far, from Deepak Chopra--

"Intuition is the voice between thoughts."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Honey's Report

i got a kick out of reading my sister Honey's report of our 12 days here so far, which she sent via email to family and friends, and i'm sharing this with you : ) ohhh i love how she describes it! --


Just a slice of life im enjoyin' here. some things that remind me i'm in a 1st world country when going household shopping with my mom (please read in Southern/Georgian english accent, okay?):


doors automatically open even if im 3-4 steps away
revolving doors revolve fast...really fast... at first, i feel like joining a jumping rope to slide in..teehee! or where superman loves to change.

groceries are called warehouse stores, true! double or triple that of sm supermarket
grocery carts have built-in seats for adults too! not just for kids (kapoy lakat ay)

cashiers are automated computers like atm to pay for groceries..
i insert dollar cash and they change it too
reminds me of the airport at Delta..self check-in via automized terminals
grocery packers pack goods with only 2-3 items per plastic bag
so imagine going home with more than a dozen packages for just five days' supply

credit cards are preferred than cash in making payments
vegetables section have a sound-effect: thunder and rainstorms then
you get hit by hidden sprinklers to give a shower effect...cool!
baby tomatoes, baby potatoes, baby eggplants, baby carrots everywhere
pre-sliced vegetables, ready-to-cook julliened items for convenience's sake
giant sized tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, carrots, plus...more
and the seafood section? oh my! surely caterers' delight!
all are fresh, neatly filleted and packed
meat section too with samples of packaged ready-to-go themed cuisine food trays to choose from
and lots of food-sample carts, sa sampling pa lang, mabusog ka na.

their cakes and breads..one week na, namit pa...
label says, no preservatives man...hmmm hmmm..
people of all colors greet you all the time "how you doin?..doin okay ma'am?"
when you say "thank you", be prepared with a loud reply "YOU ARE WELCOME!" gurl!

when yo go lukin' for cheap items? go walmart...for cheaper itmes..go "food stamps stores"
for newer bright items? go publix, or costco, jc pennys..etc.
never an outing with momma without buying flowers, oh beautiful flowers already arranged in bouquet-ready-to-go too!.

nice to just sit around and do people watchin'
but be ready to put a smile on your face as if you are admiring..
rather than staring...

and so many obese people, im not kidding
if i am large-sized back home, i am small here...

abundance of food everywhere...
to think of hunger in 3rd world countries
sometimes shocks me

i love lookin' at families go together
saturday mornin' is grocery time for folks here...

no yayas, no family helpers..
nice to see parents lugging around babies
with two or three others following behind

so that's it for now...
"driving and life in the streets" next.


This is Honey Grace Catalan, CNN (Chill! NannnaNaaaanaaaa)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

two glazed doughnuts, a banana, and ice cold water.

that's what i just had for breakfast-- after walking about two or three miles around the community with my sister, Honey.

it's quite a change from my usual big breakfast fare in Bacolod of rice, eggs, meat or fish, and Tipco juice.

but, i guess, ironically, in a land of (excess) food Abundance, i am learning to scale down.

i eat only an average of two meals a day now. each meal is quite big enough, with really large servings. i am not able to fully digest one before another one comes along.

one time, Mama brought us to Atlanta Bread Company, a fastfood place, really, and also serving soups, salads and sandwiches. each of us ordered their Half-and-Half special (half soup, half salad; or half salad, half sandwich), and it was good, like all food here seem to be. but we couldn't finish our Half-and-Halves even... that's how big the servings are.

Honey and i joke around that we love it here-- we get to fit into Petite sizes (when we're Large and even Extra-Large back home!) and we look slim and dainty compared to the huge number of men and women here who not only fill up their clothes, but even overflow them, if not for their wearing really huge tent-size shirts and pants and dresses!

the other day, Carmen, Mama's assistant in shipping the butterlfy wings products, took us to Stonecrest Mall and treated Honey and i to three Victoria's Secret panties each (which were on sale for 3 for $30). we couldn't decide which sizes we were as the flimsy, lacey and silky panties all looked almost the same size. we asked the ample saleslady which size she thought we were, and she looks us over briefly and declared, "i think you'd fit into Small!"

oohhhh, women's heaven!!! : ) : ) : )

***

Georgia is beautiful, pleasant, with an old-worldish charm, a slow-paced lifestyle(compared to L.A., our brief layover, and Hong Kong, what we know of New York, etc.), with lots of trees and greenery all around-- a lot like Bacolod and Silay.

for our 12 days here, we have only gone to CNN and downtown, a lake named Blalock, and looked over the beautiful houses in the newer, upscale side of Atlanta in Peachtree City. most of the places we go to are the food and grocery shops-- Publix, Costco, the smaller convenience stores-- as those are the only places Mama can only go to these days now. With her thrice-weekly dialysis sessions, she gets easily tired. so, it's her friends who take turns taking us to the other places.

i have yet to visit the Martin Luther King, the Margaret Mitchell and Gone with the Wind Museums, as well as Stone Mountain Park and Six Flags.

as in Bacolod, im not really into the mall and pop culture touristy spots like the Coca Cola Museum; im more into the arts and culture and history sites, as well as the nature sites.

Honey and i plan to learn and master the MARTA (train and bus system), but we haven't gotten around to it yet. we are still enjoying just basically staying at home with mama, talking, cooking (i know the basics now! yippee!!!), doing housework (i am discovering that i love washing best, particularly dishes, laundry-- anything that gets my hands into water!), talking long walks, meditating (me, while Honey prays), working on the pc (me, mostly), massaging mama... just bonding with mama and each other again as women now, something we never got to do while we were growing up.

***

we live in East Point with mama and our stepdad, Larry, at Ben Hill Road, in an older community. Larry is a big boss at the school board. we like him. he is quiet and wise, gentle but firm, and funny, too. like the father everyone should have.

there are a lot of black people here, as Atlanta is 60% black. but, unlike the tv and movie stereotypes, they are educated-looking, conservatively dressed, polite and friendly.

same with the white people, too. by the way.

***

we only got a whiff of L.A. culture in our layover at the airport, but immediately, one could tell the difference. there was an over-casualness and informality there, while here, upon landing at Hartsfield Airport, we could immediately sense the more conservative and formal atmosphere of the people and Atlanta.

***

i like it here. the weather is very similar to Philippine weather. and the lifestyle fits my own preferences and needs, too.

except for the excess food everywhere, that is.

every time i eat with others, and there are still huge leftovers which just get thrown away--and this, after one or two more meals eating the leftovers--i feel sad, because i remember our folks and street kids back home, who barely have enough to feed themselves one decent meal a day.

when i get assigned to throw the leftovers into the trash bin, i am careful to wrap them separately and cleanly-- just in case some hobo somewhere gets into our trash and finds our leftover food for his/her own need, although i haven't seen any hobo yet.

***

Mama wants at least one of us to stay here longer with her, but we can't. Honey has only a month or so on leave from her tv hosting job, while i have to get back to my book launch and other projects.

but, we're also open to the idea of maybe coming back again soon. we have 10-year-multiple-entry visas after all.

we'd like to come back with our children and family next, though. we'd like them to see the sights we see, experience the experiences we live here, and realize for themselves, too, how, the world is really so much bigger, wider, and more abundant than how we've been conditioned to live it so far, way back home.

***

now, if only there's a way to ship the "leftovers" (i would rather call them excess food, in the first place, produced too much and over and above what people really need) here to the rest of the world out there, too.

life would be so much better.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"He Brought Me to You"

thanks to Rousel in my Multiply network who posted this first. i never even heard of this song by KC Concepcion(Sapphire? i'm kind of getting mixed up) and Christian (Bautista? sorry... i am not very familiar with today's pop artists now)... but i love the lyrics and im keeping them here for posterity.

this is how my life is turning out to be right now... a dream is coming true... i'm keeping my fingers crossed as it's happening, but a dream is coming true, at last.


HE BROUGHT ME TO YOU
--------------------------------------
[Christian]
In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
And His masterful voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do

So I sailed across the mighty seas
Pursued knowledge of the highest degree
Took to learning new skills
Experienced new thrills
Felt my life was completely fulfilled

[Christian]
At the end of my amazing quest
After proving myself
By achieving success
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare

For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, trusting and true
And behold, my dear Sapphire
He brought me to you
He brought me to you

(Reply)

[Sapphire]
In search of my life and my one true love
I prayed to Almighty God above
And His compassionate voice directed me to
The many things I was destined to do

And in my private reverie
I read of lands across the seas
I imagined enchanting hallowed hills
Growing beyond my window sill.

(Reply)

[Sapphire]
And through all of these my fancy quests
I cherish the secrets up close to my breast
I hoped to find the prize so rare
A priceless treasure beyond compare

For God promised He would bring me love
A love without measure, trusting and true
And behold, my dear Christian

[C] And behold, my dear Sapphire
[Both]
He brought me to you
He brought me to you

[Both]
My heart knew this without a doubt
That's what destiny's all about

[Christian]
God promised He would bring me love

[Sapphire]
A love strong and true

[Christian]
A promise He fulfilled above
He brought me to you

[Sapphire]
He brought me you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

today

today i leave for Atlanta, Georgia, to be with mama again, as well as with all my two other precious siblings.

in exactly 6 hours and 30 minutes, my sis Honey and i leave for the manila airport on our way out.

today is also a New Moon with a Solar Eclipse-- a time for fresh starts, and leaving the past behind.

6 years ago today, i arrived from Hungary and Romania via Paris, my first trip abroad-- the day after the world changed and terror struck half a globe away-- deciding i didn't want to be married anymore.

... oh how much i've grown and how far i've come since then!

...

my bags are packed, my papers ready.

but my old life is still hanging on.

as i write this at almost 5am, running against time running out--

- i have to finish updating my personal and business, especially the business, emails, as i will be offline for at least 2 days;

- finish autographing the books for distribution in 3 hours;

- finish writing the solicitation letter to our Chinese Family Association for sponsoring the book launch cocktails;

- finish checking my students' Grad. School papers and return them later this morning (or maybe i should just ask Thea to bring these to the Grad. School later in the day, huh? but still, i have to finish checking...)

- deliver the books, the solicitation letter and the Grad. School papers;

- by 6am, call the water tank repairman again to come ASAP as the water tank chose to break down again last night, the eve of my departure (but i focus on the silver lining: at least this happens now while im still here and i can do something about it, not when the kids are left alone with the housekeeper to fend for themselves);

- still feeling mixed emotions from the recent outburst with B... and just finished watching Belief.net's "Give Each Feeling Its Time" short video clip, which is making me deeply reflective about Love's Lessons again, NOW, when i also have to be working double-time too, and can't really afford to muse and contemplate (i can do that later in the airport and in the looooong flight)...

today, i leave for a new phase in my life, a new world and adventure, even if only for a month. i am sure i will come back transformed, as most trips usually inspire... fast-tracking personal transformations because of the temporary hold on living up to the everyday social pressures and roles one has to conform to in mundane life...

today, i leave, and yet some part of me holds back, too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My Soul's Advice

in my early morning meditation today, i asked for guidance on discerning the true path of my Heart, of what (or more appropriately, Whom) to choose... now that opportunities for fulfilling my romantic dreams are again suddenly developing...

i waited for quite a while in meditation for an answer to come, but there was just... Silence.

and then, as i finished my meditation and softly blew out my meditation candle, the gentle answer came as a clear, strong voice in my head:

Whoever shares your spiritual path.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Quiz Result... Teeheee...!!!

click on the title above to get to the quiz, "Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman Are You?"



My result:

You are a Goddess, pure and simple.
You are the epitome of grace, beauty and strength.
All women secretly want to be you
And all men yearn after you.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Today's Quote : )

"When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." -- Barbara J. Winter

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Bedtime Story

the other night, i came home very late at night from the week-long trainers' training my PJ colleagues and i were conducting. i was hungry and tired and sleepy, and after a quick dinner and shower, i was set to retire for the day.

as Bea dozed off beside me, Paolo rummaged through my bedside drawer to look for some stuff of his that he placed in there. i was also dozing off too when he nudged me to ask what the thing that he was holding in his hand was.

it was a sealed box of condoms from long ago.

i mumbled something like, "ohhh... it's for my health, palangga (dear). let's go to sleep." and i took it from him and put it inside the other bedside drawer by my side of the bed.

knowing Paolo, he didn't let me off the hook. "yes, but what does it do for your health?"

after a careful pause, i sighed and said, "it's so babies aren't made before we're ready for them."

paolo: how?

me: let's talk about it some other time... when you're more grown up and ready."

paolo: i want to talk about it now. i'm ready!

me: i don't think you are. you're only 9 years old. you have to grow up to be a young man, at least, to understand these things.

paolo: i am grown up now! and i want to understand now. try me. you said im a smart boy!

me (after a very loooooong pause): ok. you already know how babies are made, right?

paolo: yes, when the sperm and the egg meet.

me: okay, good. and you know where the sperm and the egg come from, right?

paolo: yes, from the penis and the vagina. when a man and a woman have sex.

me (a longer pause): okay. that's right. so the thing in the box that you saw is used to wrap the penis in so the sperm doesn't come out to meet the egg.

paolo (long pause too): so why do you have it with you still? are you having sex?

me: nope, not right now. you see how it's sealed? that means i haven't used it even.

paolo: but why do you keep it still? do you plan on having sex?

me (really long pause): i wouldn't call it just sex, palangga. ... i call it making love. someday, when i fall in love again and marry, i would want to make love with my husband, too.

paolo (loooooong pause, and when he spoke next, his voice was breaking, and he was starting to sob): i don't like it. i don't like it at all.

me (quiet)

paolo: why do you have to make love to your husband?

me (sighing): it's one special way that a man and woman who love each other show their love for each other.

paolo: can you not show it some other ways?

me: of course, palangga. you can, and you should. but when you love your husband or your wife very much, you want to share your body with them too, not just your heart. you feel it in both your body and your heart. it's as natural as breathing and eating.

paolo: where will you do it?

me: in the privacy of our bedroom of course.

paolo: what if i want to go inside your bedroom? and where will i sleep?

me: you will have a room of your own palangga. if you want to go inside, you can just knock.

paolo: and you will stop having sex?

me: yes.

paolo (long pause): ok.

me (quiet)

paolo: i'll just make another bedroom for you that says "do not disturb". you can do it there.

me: ok. thank you.

paolo: what if i don't want you to have sex?

me: i'm sorry, then. even if im your mom and i love you very much, it is my body and my heart. it's my choice on whether id want to share it with a man again, and with whom. love means respect, too. if you love me, you will respect my choice, as i respect yours. don't i respect your choices and not force you to do things you don't want to do?

paolo: yes.

me: let's go to sleep, palangga...

paolo: what if your husband does not want to have sex but you do? will you force him?

me: no palangga. i will wait for him. in the same way that he cannot force me too if he truly loves me.

paolo: i heard that in Sunday School! Love is patient.

me: yes. that's right.

paolo (really long thoughtful pause, but his breaking voice was becoming fuller now): now i know why Manang won't tell me about it.

me: about what, palangga?

paolo: about the thing i just saw.

me: ok.

paolo: but i understand now, see? after 5 minutes, i understand!

me (smiling now): yes, palangga. come here and give me a hug. i am proud of you. you're growing to be a fine little man now."

paolo (hugging me back): and i know what a prostitute is, too!

me: what is it, palangga?

paolo: it's someone who shares their body in sex so they can be paid with money.

me: yes, you are right there, too.

paolo: why do people do that?

me: because it's a way for them to earn the money they need.

paolo: why can't they just work for it some other way?

me: i don't know palangga.... maybe no one will give them work, and they need the money bad. maybe they haven't gone to school and they can't work at other jobs..."

paolo: when you have sex with someone you do not love, you're like being an animal.

me (long, amazed pause): ... yes. you are right, palangga. and it's not a good feeling, too.

me (getting a better grip): " ... and men who have sex with prostitutes; they make the prostitutes even more helpless."

paolo: so love is about respecting choices and being patient.

me: yes, palangga.

paolo (long, thoughtful pause then gives me a tight hug): "good night, ma. i love and respect you ma!"

***

whew!

that was quite a surprising and dangerous call for me!

one never knows when the really important moments and opportunity to mark a young soul's life comes.

children do keep you on your toes.

oohhh, thank you God, i believe i navigated that one well, huh?

This Made Me Misty

i didn't realize how my 14-year-old has grown so much and so beautifully, in her mind, heart and spirit. these are excerpts from her latest blog post; the addressees are not named, but i could tell these parts were for me, her sister Bea, and her dad.

5.) You are the best and I mean that. You have seen me grow from my Barbie dolls and scribbles to my writings, sketches, music, and performing -- all of which I call art... that I have inherited from the artist herself, whom, also gave life to me and two other wondrous artworks. I treasure how you are not like the others. Instead of telling me to study hard and pursue a good career, you teach me to embrace learning and to nurture the gifts I possess and use it to best of my ability. Instead of simply grounding me and keeping me from my friends, you explain my mistakes and make me realize how important it is to look before you leap -- that every decision counts in your life. Instead of answering me if I look fat in my clothes or if my thighs are too thick, you teach me to love my body and my femininity -- both of which what also makes a great, real woman. What I have greatly learned from you though, is to follow your dream. You don't see that much nowadays, but you are living proof that a dream has been fulfilled. We are like best friends sometimes, too. Some souls take forever to look for that right guiding force in which they find refuge and comfort in. But isn't it a coincidence that God made us family?

6.) You are awesome even though you are only seven years old. You can be a pain in the ass when you're being whiny, but most of the time, I know they raised us all to be good kids. It's cute how you are nurturing and care for others at your age, and it's often comforting. I love it when you let me dress you up. I love it when you make me feel like someone important. I appreciate and cherish how I'm someone you look up to and would like to follow someday. That strangely encourages me and you don't know how I try to do as much as I can to set the right example. It makes me happy when you're happy, and even more happy when I make you mad. Just kidding. I love you anyway, even though I like to make fun of you and you sometimes hate me for it. You're going to be a great woman, nevertheless. It's funny when I talk about it now, but I am serious. Seeing you grow and looking out for others as much as you look out for yourself, I often wonder if you already know too much and you're just keeping silent about it as if it's some secret power or something. Haha. I love you.

7.) You know, even though you may not see it much anymore, I still love being your little girl. When I make mistakes and do something stupid and all the world goes against me, it's awesome how you still care and make me feel comforted even through a simple text message telling me how you love me. I love how when I'm sick or not feeling well, you get me stuff and treats to make me feel better. And how you check up on me if I'm okay. It might not be much to some, but it often means the world to me. Even though you and her aren't going to get back together anymore, it doesn't matter, I'm happy either way because I love you both. Either from monsters under my bed or stupid boys that break my heart, I know that I'm protected in your big strong arms. It's cool how we share the same birthday. That's mega rad. Sorry I don't reply much, I run out of load a lot... which I also get from you. Anyway, I love you, too.

she didn't say anything to Paolo, though. : ) maybe nothing needs to be said to him for now. : )

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Positive Energy, Negative Energy People


From "Positive Energy," by Judith Orloff, M.D.:


Certain people give off positive energy, others negative. It's the quality of someone's being, a measure of love with which they've led their lives. It also reflects the inner work they've done, their efforts to heal anger, hatred, or self-loathing, which poison us like toxic fumes. Energetically these linger, precluding joy from shining through. It's important to grasp, however, that once you undertake the process of healing, it changes the quality of even the negativity that remains. Don't be too hard on yourself-we're all works in progress.

SIGNS OF POSITIVE ENERGY IN PEOPLE
+ They exude an inviting sense of heart, compassion, and support.
+ You intuitively feel safe, relaxed, wanting to get closer.
+ They emanate a peaceful glow.
+ You feel better around them. Your energy and optimism increase.


SIGNS OF NEGATIVE ENERGY IN PEOPLE
+ You experience a sense of being demeaned, constricted, or attacked
+ You intuitively feel unsafe, tense, or on guard.
+ You sense prickly, off-putting vibes. You can't wait to get away from them.
+ Your energy starts to fizzle. You may feel beleaguered or ill.


I'm a big fan of being proactive in generating positive energy. The First Prescription's formula for success: Do whatever makes your inner light burn brighter. In other words, try to treat yourself and everyone else with love. It's a constant process of tuning in: finding people who support your spirit, trusting your gut-centered decisions to guide you. Then you won't end up in a relationship that looks right but feels wrong. Or miss the chance to meet a loving man or woman because he or she doesn't fit some preconception. When you're with trying people, aim for the high road; find common ground, rather than inflame negativity. The care with which you approach life is intuitively evident in your energy field. We can feel each other's love: that's the great attraction. Spread openheartedness around.