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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Day I Swore I'd Be a Healer

     It started out as an ordinary day. Just one of those days when I was busy just being me...I had a simple life. I had simple dreams. I merely wanted to have a family of my own; kids to take care of...probably a garden of roses; a busy kitchen; a dog and a cat.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Of Parenting and Online Marketing




One of my fondest childhood memories is being carried by my dad on his shoulders. It made me feel huge! It felt like flying, almost.




Being a kid had its ups and downs definitely.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughts on Solitude and Scotland

I love watching the world go by. And yes viewing other people and capturing moments of relaxation is therapeutic to me coupled with staring at the beauty of nature all around us.

Sometimes solitude has its merits.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Morpho

 Blue Morpho Butterfly
The blue morpho butterfly is one of the largest butterflies in the world, with a wingspan of 5- 8 inches.  Their native habitat is in the tropical forests of Latin America from Mexico to Colombia. 
 Their metallic blue color

Bummed! But Okay

Breathe in......
Reserved 2 nights stay at Sequoia National Park to snowshoe and ski around world's giants- check!
 Giant Redwoods in Snow
My Snowshoes
Thinking about vacation makes me breathe in joy and happiness....
From Sequoia National Park we will  move to the coast.....to dance in a field of wildflowers

Monday, March 26, 2012

Road Trip

"Which car do we drive? Do we drive the sedan?"
"Or do we drive the SUV?"
"Or, do we rent a car?"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joy Everywhere

Sea Gulls In Flight, La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA

"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars...

Font's Point, Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Fonts Point, Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Fonts Point overlooks the Borrego Badlands in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, which is in the Northeastern region of San Diego County. Anza Borrego Desert State Park is one of California's largest State park, and there are several thousand miles of hiking trails within the park's trail system. Fonts Point is our favorite spot to watch sunset whenever we go hiking in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

No Place Like Home

I always enjoy farmers market. I love the taste of local home grown vegetables and fruits, and also, of home made various delicacies that represent different nation's cuisines that is freshly prepared by the vendors that may have come from different countries. One of my favorites that I always look forward to during the farmers market day is buying avocado. This fruit reminds me so much of home since I used to climb avocados when I was younger, and also make avocado ice candy and sell it in the neighborhood. Just like in the Farmers Market. Each stall has clear tarp of different colors, which really adds more festivity to this simple day. I always look for the blue tarp stall because that is where I get my avocados!
The cost of avocado in the supermarket is very expensive

Friday, March 23, 2012

Polvoron

Polvoron
Whenever we review for a Chapter Test, or a Unit Test, I would usually give the review in a competitive quiz show, or competitive students' presentation. Students also love it because it is during this time where they may get a prize, which usually is just Hershey's chocolates. However, some students asked for Ghirardelli Chocolates for a change ( gee, they can be picky, choosing a more expensive chocolate, maybe tired of Hershey's). To my surprise, some students shouted, "what about polvoron?"

Headache Turns to Joy

 Breathe In....I got a new Thinkpad, laptop upgrade (again!) at work.
 Breathe Out...I still have little headache from the bad headache I got Tuesday when I worked so hard trying to sync my two laptops.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here Comes The Rain Again

Oleander Blossom with Raindrops
Though we got some heavy rains this past weekend, but the reality is, San Diego is still way below the average rainfall for this time of the year. This winter season had really been warmer and drier for us, though the past weekend was an exception. There were heavy snow in the local mountains, in fact, up to 1,500 ft elevation. The surrounding mountains right now look so white, but I am missing the usual display of wildflowers that I usually see this time of the year! I wish the rain that came is still not yet too late to cause a wildflower explosion. 
Jade Blossom with Raindrops Reflecting other Succulents at Home
Luckily, though I am not seeing a lot of wildflowers in the slopes and valleys, I am seeing some kind of succulent and other flowers exploding at home. Our lilies are now showing bulbs, I can't wait for them to fully open. A lot of aloes have started to bloom, and so our aeniums and other succulents. The flower explosion at home inspires me to look at decorative rain chains 
rain chain I am presently eyeing to add as decor
where I can direct some of the precious water fall to some of my more water-needy plants. These rain chains can be extended using chains rain such as below.

Now, I am wishing, that this sunday, according to the forecast, my song would be, "here comes the rain again..."
Raimbow Over Twin Peaks, as seen from Home
Rain, with sun, brings in life and more beauty to life. 

Paragliding

Breathe in....one of the simple joys I love is hiking by the ocean and sitting on top of the bluffs after the hike to watch for sunset. The sight of flying birds and paragliders are a bonus for me.
Paragliding at Torrey Pines
Paragliding is a fun and adventure activity you can do in San Diego. The Gliderport is set on top of Torrey Pines Bluff where the crashing of the chilly waves on a warmer land causes an updraft that serves as the natural driving force of unmechanized paragliding.
If you are interested to do this activity, there are tandem flights with a licensed paraglider. You can visit Torrey Pines Gliderport Site here.
Find out more about this sport in my post Do You Think You Can Fly and Do You Think You Can Fly 2. 

Trying to conserve

Content by Sol Rosales


My new year’s resolution was to try to conserve energy in my house. I started by searching energy company Texas to see if I could qualify for fixed-rate energy at my house. I then made a list of all of the light bulbs in my house in an effort to replace them all with energy efficient light bulbs. I sat down with the rest of my family and told them that if they leave a room, they need to turn the lights off as they leave. I have switched out a few of our appliances for energy star appliances and plan to make the switch with all of our appliances eventually. I placed power strips around the house and plugged in all of our electronics to them. I try to remember to switch them off before I leave for work each morning. I even plan to set our thermostat a few degrees cooler in the winter and a few degrees warmer in the summer. I know that my efforts may seem a little extreme, but I really want to stick to my new year’s resolution this year.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Still Have Not Roughed It Out


 Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK
If there is one thing we have not done yet but a lot of people had mistakenly assumed we had or regularly do for a lack of lodging choices is camping. For almost 6 years now since we bought our camping gears, we have not tried sleeping yet in our down sleeping bags to give us warmth for the night, and where the only separation between the caressing winds of nature and us is the tent. Where we would be able to hear the sounds of nature in the night and look up at the stars through our tent's dome. 
 Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK 
Though whenever we took a road trip for an adventure vacation, we would always pack our camping gears, but they always end up not used. Our purpose of bringing them around is that whenever we get stuck in snow and would be forced to camp out, we have the necessary items that will shelter us from the elements. 
  Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK
Sometimes, I would talk sweet to my adventure partner about camping on the road, and the answer I always get is this: "Dear, if there is a choice to sleep comfortably on a nice bed with so much space to stretch and relax and get a hot shower for a more rejuvenated body to hike the next day, give me one very valid reason why I should sacrifice these?" What one valid reason can I give? To be right there next to the whisper of the winds and the shining stars? Ahhhh, so romantic to think about that, but the reality is, I am also afraid I can not sleep well on a cramped sleeping bag, and the tent is not warm enough that I end up sick the next day, feeling weak and sleepy and have no energy to hike. 
 Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK 
Besides, there are many places where the lodging is right next to nature such as where we stayed in Lake Lucille, Alaska. All the pictures above were right outside our porch. 
So many of our nature loving friends and family who go backpacking have been encouraging us to join them for a backpacking trip, but we always say no. I can't be like some of my friends who do the stair-master in the gym with a 50-lb backpack. I can't hike in our local mountains here to the peak with lots of stones in my backpack to make it weigh 50 lbs or more for a week or two of training before the backpacking trip just to be sure I will not delay nor stop the group from conquering their hiking goals. In short, we are nature-loving people who have not really sacrificed the luxuries of a nice bed and hot shower like most nature and adventure-loving people do. At the end our day hikes, we always look forward to taking a nice hot shower, enjoying bath towels, and if in case we forget to bring some of our dental supplies, we can always ask the front desk to send us extra supplies. I think most hotels get their Hotel Supplies and Restaurant Supply at really very reasonable cost that whenever we ask for "extra toothpaste" because we forget to bring ours, we don't only get extra toothpaste tube but we are given so much toothpaste tubes and several toothbrushes to last several vacation. Whenever we ask for extra towels, or more plates and bowls, we always end up getting more than what we are asking. Sometimes, when I look at the Resort Supplies and Catering Supplies, I wonder where must they get them at an affordable cost with such high quality that serves the varying needs and demands of their finicky guests. Luckily, I found PeachSuite Hospitality Supply where not only hotels, resorts, restaurants can buy items, but also people like us who don't necessarily buy in volumes. What is great is that though I may be able to get small items from them, but the price is still like buying them in bulk. I guess, that is one of the reasons why up to now, we still have not roughed it out of the doors yet, because we always wanted to bring the feeling of being home whenever we take adventure trips. 

Spinach and Butternut Squash Soup

This is not one fancy soup with a lot of ingredients. Rather, this one requires simple cooking.

Here are the ingredients:
Spinach
Butternut squash
garlic
onions
ground turkey
sea salt and pepper to taste

Here is the simple preparation:
1. Sautee garlic and onion until they are caramelized and brown.
2. Add the ground turkey, and stir with the garlic and onions.
3. Then, add the butternut squash and water.
4. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
4. Let boil, then, add the spinach leaves just before you turn off the fire.

very simply done, just right for me who may be lacking time sometimes to cook.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Banana and Strawberry Crepe

Main Ingredients for Banana and Strawberry Crepe
Weekend mornings are my breakfast delight, because I have time to make a freshly prepared breakfast :) Unlike on weekdays where we had to rely on fast breakfast, mostly all fresh fruits and hardboiled eggs :) I don't complain though, since I love fruits! In fact, right now, I just feasted on Manila mangoes. Anyway, going back to the crepe, here is how I prepared it:
Filling:
1. Slice banana and strawberry as shown in the picture above.
2. Very slightly pan fry the banana and strawberry in low fat butter.
3. Remove from pan. 
Crepe:
1. Stir flour, 1% milk, stevia ( natural sweetener ) and eggs in a small bowl.
2. Pour batter into pan that is greased by low fat butter. 
3. When the top looks cooked, put some bananas and strawberry.
4. Fold the crepe. 
Banana and Strawberry Crepe
Enjoy, breakfast is ready :) 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shopping In The Rain

 It has been heavily raining today, and will be so until Monday. Because our past weekends had been super busy wandering, we decided to take this weekend to slow down, literally. Our slowing down before meant hiking and smelling the wonderful scents of nature around in the coastal hills, canyons, mesas and mountains. Today, our slowing down meant some home shopping and doing tax.
 Happy to say that we are finally done with tax, and also learned about insanity deals from nomorerack.
Since I am looking for gift ideas for high school and college graduation, I had been spending some time online to compare prices. How excited I was to see really a charity deal :) I saw some free crayolas from "nomorerack", of course, they won't go to the graduates but to me! Being a teacher, I need a lot of freebies since I do spend for my classroom's needs. Anyway, the day has been really productive for me, since I found some really good deals that costed me very little yet the items are actually very expensive! They are items that a newly college graduate would need to have. I can't wait for the items to get here at home. Rainy day is indeed a rain of blessings!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A box of Memories

Yesterday, my brother and I drove off to the home of a male cousin we haven't seen for quite some time. He is a few years older than me and has visited quite a number of countries. We talked of old times as always..of days playing under the sun and those wild, carefree days. While them boys discussed things I didn't take much interest in I drew out my camera and rummaged through his collection of memories. He loves everything that looked unique and perfect for their home and garden.


This one's Oh Captain, my Captain...It is placed on top of their huge aquarium. I loss balance while taking a shot hahaha because Captain here is smaller than my fist and I took time trying to make him look big, and fell off the floor manipulating my cam haha.
Then my eyes were caught by these sweet honeys here, piggy and moo on a side table that made me think of aaahhh sorry, food. Chicken noodles....oh wait none of them have wings why did I say chicken? Must still be the efffect of falling off balance.

This one's a reminder of the atrocities of War. I am so thankful that for now at least, there is World Peace. I forgot to ask my cousin where he got this piece which almost got wrecked when my nephew tried to manipulate its wheels. Little boys, they are always fascinated with wheels..


And here is my favorite...a laughing chair! Apparently not originally his but first belonged to a sister who gave it to him after his son refused to stand from sitting on it...He particularly asked me not to use it haha,

This one's a carving hanging on their wall of a native male that looked so dainty at first I thought it was of a female because of the head gear.

Then I went outside and saw a butterfly and got lucky with a shot before it flew away. I then went back to my cousin and bro and chatted with them about a website of address plaques, residential mailboxes, house signs and whitehall mailboxes and other products realizing that he is so into house and garden improvement stuff. I'm sure this solid brass chikadee faucet he could install adjacent to their address plaques will fascinate him.



When I told him most of their stuff are custom made and there is free shipping on all plaques, 110 percent low price guarantee on their products and more he smiled and almost handed me the laughing chair for me to take home and own hahaha....hmmmm that didn't happen though but he gave us a variety of unique plant seedlings to grow aaahhh the gift of family and happy memories...forever priceless...



I'll return to their home and beg for Mr. laughing chair..wish me all the luck in the world hehe,

post and pictures by
Zen a.k.a kulasa


Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

     It's been so long. I miss talking to you. I miss the way you'd laugh when I'd say for supper is your favorite fish and vegetables..and the way you would pretend to be glad when I'd say it is chicken, my favorite. And how can I not love the way you'd say WOW with the energy of a 5 year old kid when I'd announce dinner is sauted "monggo," the all time family favorite. We have this funny relationship of being each other's number one fan at the same time number one critic. Remember that time you taught me how to sing one of Karen Carpenter's songs? You wrote the lyrics on a chalk board and line per line you sang them for me patiently waiting for a right note to come from my lungs or wherever it is supposed to come from and ended up frustrated haha. And then there's Mathematics we would argue about. You being the ultimate genius in numbers would show me multiple possible solutions leading to the same answer and me being the dumbest when it comes to numbers would say "that isn't what my teacher told me". ...and you would end up saying "just copy what I wrote and I'll talk to your mentor in school if she says that is wrong." Now there's the ocean we both love! On weekends you'd take us fishing and I'd watch the sun go down as you held your fish net with the concentration of a cat.
      Hey, too many things have changed since you took that flight. I'm already staying in a house upon a hill. Your van is still running. Your youngest grandson actively talks and runs around now and guess what? Mom already got to disneyland.
Remember that time she asked you to make a mailbox? Gosh it took you around a week to fulfill mom's specifications hahaha. You loved her to the end of the world and her wish was your command but know what, the mailbox you made was never her liking though she pretended hard it was so as not to break your heart hahaha. But that is just the way love is, right? Making each other feel they are the best even though the world might not agree. Lucky for us, there is now this website that offers mailboxes of all sizes, styles, color, finish and material.

     Streetside, wall mount, monogrammed..name it, they have it! Whitehall mailboxes are available at WhitehallMailboxesDirect.com an organization that stands behind their products and services and sells whitehall products at prices always on sale; huge selection of differrent styles; with expert customer service to assist you and what more there is free shipping on all whitehall mailboxes. So what do you think dad? Shall I click order on line now and surprise mom with a box from us? You and me, you being now just a memory and me..the gift of a lifetime that you left her when you went to a destination far away up there in the clouds....

where letters are sent for free each time we clasp our hands in prayer....

lovingly yours,
Zenserly

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Choosing and Dealing Cars, Showroomlogic.com and Possibilities


I used to know how to drive. I think I still do. I just need to do it! Now there are things in life we never thought possible. The thing is we could only go as far as we want to. These days I am mostly left inside the car in the company of our dashboard buddies, froggy and plantie.


And I have come to a point where I really want to be able to transport myself where I love being most. Ha ha, out there where nature awaits! Now the problem is, the hubby has to buy me a car first. I won't buy one for myself. He has to buy me one to get me really drivin' ha ha ha. So the hunt for the right vehicle for me to own starts now. A good thing car dealers no longer have a hard time advertising their merchandise because of web sites such as that where one can find dealer SEO. Car dealers could avail of several vital services in such a car dealer website such as being able to advertise not too expensively. Back links, videos and blogging would aid in the dissemination of information on their products allowing buyers to view their dealership many times. Facebook app for car dealers  increases the visit of buyers to the advertiser’s page as each click would lead to their main website.  Buyers like me who frequent social networking sites would surely benefit from such a wide range of good choices offered. The faster we could decide on which and where to buy. Car dealer SEO, is indeed a great help to that seller who will make the hubby ultimately purchase for me those wheels that lead me where I am happiest...with nature with the aid of Showroomlogic.com...the possibilities are endless...
photo of our old car on one of our joy rides where we drove to the end of a rainbow by the fields...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wish I Can Bring You Home

Blooming Aenium
It's wonderfully spring now around our house, the blooms are inviting me to spend more time gardening. My weekends now is divided between hiking early and then, enjoying my plants late in the afternoon. 
Blooming Ice Plant
Whenever I go to Armstrong Garden, or Home Depot, I feel very rich with these plants! A medium sized pot sells for $10-$15, and a very small sized pots sell for $5.00. The larger sized pots sell for $20-$30. With the number I have of these plants at home, I feel like a millionaire! :)
Blooming Jade Plant
I never bought these plants. Some of them I took from the trails of wandering and brought them home, and some of them, neighbor gave me because I showed my excitement in seeing them :) 
Blooming Aloes
If there is one thing I wish right now, is to share these priceless richness back home. I know, for most people, visiting home country means seeing friends, family, wandering, and more wandering. Somehow, being the lone girl in our family, I have that desire of arranging our home again. I wonder how my garden now looks there, if my orchids and my mom's orchids are still surviving and blooming. The orchid blooms were happily hanging in some of our trees. I do miss them a lot!
Aloe In Bloom
I wish I can bring some of my plants here back home. They are my priceless treasures right now. I wish I can plant some there, do some gardening, and where their blooms would remind my father about me here, still his same girl, still enjoying gardening, still have a green thumb to grow plants!
Sadly, I am not sure if I would be able to pass the custom inspection at the international airport. :( Ahhh, because I am not so sure I can bring these plants home, I am instead thinking of spending a day or two when I visit home in the Philippines simply arranging our house. My late mom always loved curtains, bed skirts, bed covers, table covers, new kitchen utensils, etc. Despite she is no longer around, but keeping our house look neat, tidy and pretty always bring me pleasant memories of her. I really can't wait to be visiting my home in the Philippines, where I would again be arranging our living room, kitchen and bedrooms. Slowly, I am shopping for the project I have in mind when I visit home. I go online looking for good designs of Bed Skirts, Mattress Covers, and Satin Pillowcases, and compare the prices and designs online and in the stores. I can't wait to bring them home and put them on our beds. I can't wait to move the sofa around :) I can't wait to be out in our garden, harvest some of the sweetest and juiciest fruits, and most of all, I can't wait to be in the company of beloved family I miss, and friends I hold dearly in my heart.