So much for being here

I’m griping again.  I hate neglecting this space, and yet work, motherhood and life in general always get in the way.  What can I say?  I try.

Not even having the app on my phone has helped regularize the posting, but I try to sneak in some writing whenever I can.  It is always top of mind, but translating thoughts into action don’t always happen automatically.

There is just so much that goes into blogging beyond writing that it isn’t always that easy.  You think, you write.  You try to come up with an appropriate graphic where applicable.  You edit, you write some more, then you hope you finish your post.  Then there is that sense of accomplishment when you finally see what you wrote as a live post on your corner of the web.

One of my dream jobs is to just write and write without having to worry about other things.  (Like the laundry, what to cook for dinner, and if my little guy is doing his homework.)  But writing is a luxury I have been fortunate to occasionally retire to in the midst of my everyday toil.  The good news is, I’ve started writing poetry again (yay!), and that in itself is a feat.  After more than a decade of a creative drought, the words are coming again, even if in small doses.

I have been rather busy beyond whipping up pancake breakfasts and have been up and about.  Adjustments at work, travel down under (!) complete with a layover on the way and back in Manila, and projects to be started and completed make for quite the list of future posts, but there is never enough time to write.

So I will try and restart this whole “write more regularly” bit by hitting “send” now. 




Spring had a change of heart

I don’t know about you but I don’t remember having such a cold spell during the spring in NYC all the 15 years I’ve lived here.  I had to go out to grab more wire and lunch for the boss — and while I’m wearing leggings under my thin pants, I braved the streets with my favorite pair of heels these days.  I thought I’d rather feel pretty than walk comfortably, but I made it out and back. (The price of vanity!)

So it seems Spring had a change of heart.  This IS cold.  It’s that kind of cold weather that makes you wonder what made people think wearing just a t-shirt in 40-something temperatures was safe, let alone sane.  It’s THEIR body, so I am just concerned about keeping myself warm.  (I did go to the office in my knee-high boots in anticipation of rain.)

I had brunch this morning with my chicken sausage and whole wheat low carb bread, so I’m skipping eating anything this lunch time and coming back with my lunchbreak quips.  (Literally posts written and published within my lunch hour.)  It was that or grab my wire and keep crochetting.  I’m mighty proud of what I’ve come up with and am still testing my maiden creation.

Work in ProgressI’m pretty happy with how sturdy it is but I’m already improving on it as I’m working on the next piece.  I crochet the wire onto each stone individually and then assemble them into a cohesive piece separately.  The stones are undrilled tumbled (meaning smooth) nuggets ranging from rose quartz to different types of agate.  It’s a very colorful mix but the gold serves to highlight the composition even more even if only the front portion of the stones are visible.  They are a little chunky and heavier than your normal single pendant but it’s not like having a rock tied around your neck.  (Comments welcome.)

So how did I do with last week’s Friday Five?

1. Mail my letter to L, send out a postcard.  Doing the letter today, the postcard next weekend.  (Heading to DC!)

2. Write an art journal entry.  Did this twice.

3. Finish and list at least one item on Etsy.   Uhmmmm… got busy creating but no listing.

4. Go through the contents of the fridge and throw out the stale stuff.  Did half of it but couldn’t throw the other half.   Promise to do this before the weekend.

5. Take out the spring/summer footwear.  Done!

I just wish spring would come and stay… We still can’t put away out thicker jackets and coats because it still IS terribly cold.  The allergies, though, are here with all the allergens floating in the air.  Beauty has it’s price, after all.  You get all the flowers blooming everywhere, but when they bloom, they release spores and other tiny things that give us human beings allergies in its many shapes and forms.  We just have to live with it.  That’s the reason why come allergy season, I heed my pediatrician’s advice to my then always sniffling toddler years ago to take an allergy pill in the morning everyday.

Can you believe May is just a day away?  I am almost relieved that April is over.  This month has been heavy on the heart for many reasons, and no matter how I try to stay upbeat about things, the best thing that’s happened is the month has passed.  I look forward to May, though.. my boy is turning 10 in a couple of days!  During this time of the year, I always go back to that day  I held him as a newborn on my hospital bed, whispering things to him.  I look at him and I don’t even have to ask — right before me is God’s love embodied in this wonderful, loving, compassionate human being I am proud to have brought into this world.  Someday, he’ll make someone very happy when he chooses who he will spend the rest of his life with — and he will be a good father to the babies he wants me to help take care of.  And I will.

Lunch break’s done.. Back to work!




Keeping up

Keeping up with the journaling

I’m trying to get back into the habit of posting here more regularly again. It’s lunch time, and I’m trying to make sure I don’t go beyond the break to write.  Just like I’ve been trying to be good with doing my art journaling.

You try to sort through the many thoughts running through your head and try to remember the ones you wanted to write about.  I’m kind of stumped.

It’s a beautiful but terribly cold day.  I made the mistake of walking out without my headgear nor my gloves, which made me postpone my plan to walk to one of my favorite bead stores to pick up more craft wire.  It’ll have to wait for until later.  Or tomorrow even.  I’m in no rush.  The promise of warmer and higher temps makes me smile, but I’m not holding my breath.  How many times has the weatherman said we were going to hit this and that and ended up 10 degrees lower than promised? (Again, someone make sure that Mother Nature gets the memo, please!)

I need to dig into some Fourth Grade arithmetic because the tyke has a unit test tomorrow.  Unfortunately for him, he seems to have gotten the gene that made numbers disagree with me when I was younger.  But we are both trying.  Motherhood and homework are bestfriends and inseparable, and I only wish I wasn’t grappling with other issues and could be at my 110% for the boy.  Nothing earth-shattering.  I think I’ve gone through that the latter part of 2013.  My world has settled to a numbing calm, but it’s also ground to an almost halt.

Sometimes I find myself standing still in the elevator or while waiting for the bus and I find myself wandering off in thought.  And there’s that creepy wish within not to move an inch this way or that.  Like I just want to stand there and not have to go… to anywhere.  But I always need to go — out of the elevator, out of the building, onto the line, and on the bus.

Spring is just around the corner, they say.  (They were counting down to it in the news this morning.)  Again, I’m not holding my breath.  In the 14 years I’ve been in New York City, I’ve experienced one of their worst winter storms one April maybe a decade or so ago.  (Too lazy to google.)  Almost a quarter of the year done.  Six months to the most challenging time I’ve had to go through.

Another audible sigh.  Of relief.  I’m still standing.  My world is in a status quo that it isn’t.  That statement doesn’t and yet at the same time makes a whole lot of sense to me.  At a time when I am weighed down by a forced moratorium on raising expectations, I’m actually bouyed by the thought that I made it through the last six months.  Scarred but not beaten.  Not feeling the winner but holding the trophy…

Lunch break’s over.  Time to get on with life again.

Chicken Cobb Salad for me, please

Chicken Cobb Salad LunchDieting makes lunch a little complicated because it means thinking healthy. I opted for a Chicken Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (14pts) from Pret A Manger which has an out let in all four directions from where my building sits. They have outdone even the ever-present Mickey D’s.

I went to a vacant guest office, closed the door and sat to enjoy my salad. I like salads because you can’t wolf them down in a rush. It took me all of 25 minutes at a leisurely pace. I feel full despite the fact that Pret’s salad’s are modestly sized. It gave me a chance to soak in the view from this corner office and just spend a quiet lunch hour. (I told the receptionist I was going to pray.

Well, it was a quiet moment to reflect and pray.

I’m praying for my family back home, for this young mother who wrote me and whose questions on law school I will answer over the weekend (promise!), and for those who don’t know prayer or what it’s all about.

Happy Friday, everyone!

DIY: Handmade card printed on a brown bag and tag embellishments (+Lunch)

The last two days have been very hectic and busy — but today, I just took a step back and let myself recharge.  Here’s another handmade card with words of inspiration I picked up online:

Handmade Card: Brown Bag print: LIVE LIFE

Handmade card: Dedication within


Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peek into what I had for lunch today, courtesy of the Thai food cart on 43rd close to the corner of 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas.)  I thought I’d eat something light.. Care for some?

LUNCH: Thai Style Dumplings
LUNCH: Uber spicy Green Papaya Salad

Have a "durger"

It was a crazy, crazy morning that started off with tepid shower water.  Not warm enough to get wet in, so I dialed the emergency hotline for maintenance and they had my hot shower running in half an hour.  Still, it set me back by a full hour which was rather nerve-wracking given all the deliverables today.  But I made it.

Durger, Mac & Cheese Bites, DoughnutThen I had to hit the ground running when I got to the office, and things only settled down at 12:30.  I was hungry and exhausted and my brain was fried.  I told the boss I was stepping out for lunch.  So I walked…and walked and came upon the “Trusty Truck” parked on the south west corner of 4oth and Avenue of the Americas.  Free tasting of their macaroni bites — hey!  And they were yummy… so I ended up ordering a Durger which, by their definition, is a burger in the shape of a hotdog.   And of course I got a full serving of macaroni bites. Durger, Mac & Cheese Bites, Doughnut

And I had spied this tiny doughnut kiosk the last time the tyke and I had gone around Bryant Park and I decided to stop by. $3.00/doughnut but DEFINITELY worth it! Go and look.. I got the Dulce de Leche which was just delicious!
Durger, Mac & Cheese Bites, Doughnut

I know, I’m being bad.  Seriously need to look at losing weight — but it was one of those days.  Besides, I’ve been good.  For the most part. =)  There are days when I want to be thankful that I’m working, but then it overtakes me and I start pining for my bed.

One more day then it’s the weekend.  I hope to make room for our Christmas tree and put it up. =)  Can’t wait.

It’s a cold, cold day in NYC today.  I’m thinking of taking out the scarves I’ve knitted and crocheted out of the closet.  I might finally trim my current project and attach the accessories I was hoping to put in.  (Pictures coming..)

In Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool (Happening right now)

Woke up with pain in my throat and rode to the city with my sinews aching.  Downed two Dayquils and will hopefully survive it through the day.

When my bus drove by Bryant Park to let me off, look what greeted me… CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL.  I was late — as in REALLY late — but I couldn’t go up without snapping away.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

My favorite Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain has been “dressed to the nines” in wool and surrounded by all this warm and fuzzy garb.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

The public is actually allowed to sit in these beautiful lounge chairs in different shapes and sizes.  Even the ever-present park chairs have been all dolled up!

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

Not to be spared, the trees were also outfitted with colorful wrappings of wool.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

And look who’s standing guard?  I thought it was the real deal but turns out it was a mannequin.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

They’re even giving THIS away!

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

The wool looks so soft and plush and just huggable, but the asthmatic in me would think twice of diving into all that goodness.

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

Bryant Park: Campaign for Wool

What? No one told me I could take a real lunch hour..!

I’m an Executive Assistant to a C-something here in one of the so-called Fortune 100 companies whose headquarters is located in Midtown Manhattan.  Even when I had a second assistant helping me out, “lunch” was usually taken in front of my computer screen, catching up on news from back home online.  I couldn’t quite fathom why some of the older assistants on the floor would actually grab their purse, eat and sit alone in the cafeteria or with each other, maybe watch the common TVs spread around the eating area, and actually stay away from their desks a full hour.

Not me.  I’d take out my lunch, clear the immediate area in front of my keyboard and choose the newspaper article I would read.  There was the occasional lunch with a colleague or two, but very rare.  When I ventured out, I would usually drift into any one of my favorite beads or notions store lining the streets around Avenue of the Americas for my crafting needs.  Time for something new.

Up until two days ago, I never really exercised my right to a “Lunch hour”, opting instead to go and grab a bite when I grabbed something for the boss or occasionally doing a personal errand around Midtown where I work.  I am finally with a boss who actually eats and minds short lunches, but that means I have to be at my desk as he munches away in case someone calls.  My next door neighbor on the Executive Floor, though, has been egging me to go out and take a walk even for just a few minutes — and there was the voice of experience talking to me.  She’s been at this job the last three decades or so, and I’m just about to round up my first.  And she was persistent… so I said, not a bad idea.. let me try it.  Forget that it was cold — I have my coat and my light scarf.  I’ll live.

So two days ago, after days and days of telling myself I WILL SIT IN THE PARK AND TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE in the middle of the day, I finally found a late lunch hour to squeeze in maybe a modest thirty minutes of “me” time.  I grabbed my iPad, breezed down the two elevators taking me to my piece of midday heaven, ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and surveyed my new lunch spot.  It was chilly, but I was giddy with the thought this was just me and my book (currently reading EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert alternating with A STORM OF SWORDS by George R.R. Martin).  I kept glancing at my watch to make sure I had enough time after allotting myself a half hour for this “experiment” of sorts.

I glanced around and looked at the other people sitting at their tables.  Suits on the cell..  Backpacking tourists enjoying a “New York” lunch.. Stay-at-home moms pushing strollers… what struck me was there were a lot of individuals who were obviously dressed to go to work just enjoying the park as they had lunch or staring off to nowhere, or as they tapped away on their handhelds.  Kindred spirits trying to take a break like me.  (So this what be what most normal working people do.)

As rain was threatening in the skies, I picked a spot under one of the garden umbrellas (just in case) by the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain.   There’s something about the sound of the water spraying onto the pond surrounding the fountain that I find most soothing.  I wish that it weren’t so cold but I was bundled up.  Spring seems to be constantly teasing us here in New York, disappearing behind the chill that has fallen upon the city the last couple of days

I’m finally taking a lunch break.  I like it.  No rushing from the office to some store or the bank.  Just letting it all hang loose as I had my little piece of heaven there for half an hour.  I ate my sandwich and read.  I glanced at my watch and was surprised that I had all but taken half of my allotted time.  I read on and took a few pictures.  Bliss.

The next day, I returned — again with my iPad– ordering my grilled cheese and I inched closer to the lawn.  (Getting braver.)  I stayed close to the fountain.  I spied some pigeons.. children playing in the grass (finally open to the public), and I just took it all in.  I tried drafting a post right there and then, but I changed my mind after realizing writing was “taking me away” from enjoying the moment.  So I just sat there, read some more, and looked around… I breathed it all in.

A half hour of me.  Maybe later I’ll write some letters or a note or two.   Or maybe I’ll just sit and watch.  I might even stretch my half hour to a full hour of just me.  Hey, I work hard– and for someone who doesn’t get overtime pay, I deserve an honest-to-goodness break.  (It makes my 9 to 10-hour stretch from 8:30-6 or sometimes even 6:30 more palatable.)  Before anyone goes crazy over the “no overtime”, the company seems to think I’m paid high enough to not be entitled to the additional pay.  Of course I don’t agree, and the only way to get the better deal is to take that full hour break.

I’m all excited by the coming summer when the park will be abuzz with a lot of lunch hour activities.  Maybe on super busy days, I’ll take a table on Broadway or something.. or I might stay indoors in one of the public areas — one of which is right across my building across from the park.

Again, bliss.

On My Lunchbreak

I am typing rather awkwardly as I just came from the ladies’ room after painting my nails.  So since I can’t do anything much else, I thought I’d try and compose a blogpost.

I’ve been on the Dukan diet for the last 5 days and I’ve lost 5 lbs which is quite encouraging.  The diet, like any, is not without pain — I have been stuffing myself with egg whites during the day and steak at night.  I’ve cooked the steak on a non-stick pan, on my George Foreman grill and last night, I boiled it ala “nilagang baka” which wasn’t really too bad.  The struggle isn’t as bad as it was with the Jenny Craig system before, but I still end up dreaming about food at certain times of the day — but not so much because I am feeling hunger pangs, but rather because I just miss eating regular food.  (Like dessert please…)

Can you believe it’s already Thursday?  And we are moving onto the second half of September(!).  The “ber” months are here… (The thought made me smile.)  We are still set on a trip home by the year’s end, but I’m not quite at that “sure to go” phase just yet.  We haven’t quite decided on dates, but I have a feeling the airfare will determine that for us.

Angelo is back in school and we already had our first injury yesterday.  He had scratched his neck and nicked a mole which bled profusely and panicked the school nurse and his teacher.  At first they assured me everything was well and they had bandaged and taken care of it, only to call me an hour later telling me the bleeding had not stopped.  So I dragged Alan home and practically fought my way into the patient list of our pediatrician for the evening, only to discover it wasn’t much of a wound, but it did bleed a lot when the doctor cleaned away the scab to examine it.  (Doctor says: “A mole is somewhere where there are a lot of blood vessels, so you bleed more when it is injured.”)  I got a note from him and I wrote my own note, and I haven’t heard from the teacher nor the school nurse today so I am keeping my fingers crossed all is well.

Lunch break over.. back to work for me.