And the BER Months are here again..

The Philippines purportedly has the longest Christmas season which officially begins during the first “ber” month: September.  Christmas carols start playing on the radio, and Christmas decor start popping up in storefronts, and soon, in the streets and building facades all over.  That’s something I truly miss about home.  This goes on way past New Year’s with the Feast of the Three Kings on the first Sunday of the year following January 1st.

While there are festivities and decorations here in New York, they are very neutral and muted compared to the “Christmas everywhere” feel back home.  First, not everyone celebrates Christmas here in New York — and with everyone trying to be politically correct about holidays and other sensitivities, the attempt at being festive falls short unlike back in Manila.

I am looking forward to a different kind of Christmas this year, although I am almost wary of making definite plans that far.  I am waiting on a life event that is still hanging in the balance to date, and until that comes to pass, everything remains a hope.  I had promised my little guy we will really go all out with the decor this year, but I had made that declaration thinking everything would have settled down by now.  It hasn’t.  So there..

I have always been big on Christmas.  Even when there wasn’t much to celebrate with, I celebrated it.  For one reason or another, my Christmas celebrations here in New York have not been as consistent.  It’s time to change that.  One time we were having our mother-and-son talks a couple of months ago, he asked if we could really decorate for the holidays.. as in REALLY.   I will never forget how my boy’s eyes lit up when I said yes.  That’s a promise I have to make good at.

It was chilly this morning as I walked to the bus stop.  I made a mental note to gather my sweaters and jackets now that the temperatures are dropping as we go into fall.  The coats?  Not quite there yet.   I just love the way the seasons goad us on to move forward, reminding us that nothing stops the world from spinning round and round.  That no matter how life may deal us a blow here and there, or how we find ourselves stumbling through each passing day, the world will keep turning and won’t stop spinning to give us time to regain our footing.  It’s up to us to pick ourselves up and keep going.

 

 

Fall anew

It’s definitely autumn in New York again as the temperatures have started dipping into sweater weather.  I almost wore a coat but I’m glad I didn’t put one on, because we’re still on the cusp of saying goodbye to summer and embracing the next season of fall.

What’s more, September is quickly slipping by.  I was just writing about greeting the “ber” months, and here we go with saying goodbye to the first of the series.  Having come from a country whose seasons are divided into “wet” and “dry”, the so-called “ber” months (months ending in September) are supposed to signal the start of the colder season which isn’t really cold — just cooler.  It’s also the start of the holiday season which, in Manila, is basically Christmas for everyone.

Here in New York, September essentially signals the start of what is actually the last full season of the year: autumn or fall.  Although some people would argue that spring is the most spectacular season visually, I beg to disagree and vote for fall as the most dramatic of all.  It’s the time when Mother Nature puts on a very dramatic display of changing colors that can flit from one color to the next from day to day.  Before you know it, the trees are bare and winter is here.

School has also started.  I’m trying hard to train my new middle schooler to work on his homework more diligently and in a more organized fashion.  As a working mom, it’s hard for me to try and do this from the moment he comes home to the time I walk in the door.  We had gotten into the habit of him calling me when he walks into the house — and for a time we did homework partly by phone.  As an 11 year old now, I’m trying to train him to do his homework on his own, with me chiming in for the more complicated tasks.

I guess he is still hung over from summer.  The volume and quality of the homework is also something he is still getting used to.  Still, we have a lot he and I have to get used to from this point forward, not just because he’s advancing in school but because life, in general, is giving us more to handle.

I am trying to get my bearing straight again — and while I have made a lot of progress, I am far from getting there.  There are days when I try to tell myself I’m functioning, I’m able to get up in the morning and go to work and go through the day and go back home and be a mom.  And yet I often find myself feeling like I’m functioning at less than half my usual self.

I have at least two questions posed to me at pinaynewyorker @ gmail dot com that needs answering, and yes, I have not forgotten.  I have several projects in the works, but the only one which has really seen any progress is the afghan I’m crochetting for my new-mom friend, Laine Laine.

Over the weekend, I continued to clean out my closet, sorting out the bigger sizes.  There were several pieces I hadn’t even worn from last year, mostly because I needed to work on the pants’ cuffs, and while I thought I could make them work with a belt now that I’m almost two sizes smaller, they would’ve been too obvious as being a bigger size and not flattering to wear at all.  So off they went to the “to give away” bin.  I already organized my cardigans, sweaters and scarves.  At least I am making progress in letting go of the things I hope I will NEVER have to wear again.  Those pieces that I had a hard time parting with were easier to throw away after I put them on and saw for myself how much bigger they were now that I have lost some weight.  Someone else back home can make better use of them for sure.

I was going to write about “letting go” in a different sense, but that’s another blog post altogether.  Inspiration from one of my journal entries as I wrote one this afternoon after a long lull.  I didn’t mean to pause in the blogging this long.  I thought I was doing good — but the nine days that lapsed between this and the previous post leaves much to be desired.  I have to remind myself I’ve been trying.  And I WILL keep trying.

 

 

 

Monday Musings: Is the long weekend really over?

Okay, we’ve been kind of wanting for a long weekend — and this is the last one until Thanksgiving, believe it or not.  At least for us of the non-Jewish faith here in New York.  I’m not complaining — just wish we had more of these ‘Is it time to go back to work?’ kind of weekends.  I’m actually looking forward to work this week — probably because it’s a short week for us.

Back to school!  I have heard fellow parents breathing out a collective sigh of relief on this one.  I just don’t get it.  Maybe it’s because I only have one, and my little guy has been on auto pilot whenever I was at work.  I’m excited more for him being in middle school now (yes, he is moving on to sixth grade!), while at the same time kind of dreading the waiting for the call to tell me he’s home, telling him to “take off your socks, do your homework, it’s dinnertime” and all that routine resuming.  (I might be part of the minority in this regard.)

In many ways, we’re expecting it to be a little different beginning this year for many reasons, but I’m looking forward to it as I see my little guy growing up.  We’re still in a mental tug of war about the cursive writing, but I’m so happy his cousin, Julia, had gotten him started on it.  “It’s sooooo hard..,” he complains.. and I know I just have to keep pushing, and push I will.

He received a reading assignment at the start of summer and has been reading in earnest but has been trying to charm me into reading the book to help him with it.  (Could this be number 2 in my “read 6 books” this year list?)  I haven’t given in, but I know it’s something I can easily do.  Maybe.

#SwirlsOfColor in #crochet using #doublechain #shellstitching for an #afghan I'm making. Love how #crochetting a #repetitivepattern can be #sorelaxing. #crochetprohect #hadmade #crafting #crafts #handmade #madebygothamchick #crafttherapyEarnestly trying to get ready to get crafting again.  I’ve been busy with the crochet hooks and have been momentarily sidetracked by an afghan project.  I like doing afghans when its a repetitive pattern and when you have a chunky yarn — and I am working with both.  I’m on my fourth ball and expect to be finished after another one plus the trim.  It’s supposed to be a surprise for a friend so other than show an itsy-bitsy swatch here, I’d rather talk about it when the project is done.

In the meantime, I’ve started organizing my materials and hope to start finishing up some of the pretty bows I have designed now that the French Barrette Style Hair Clips I ordered are here.  More on that later but can I just say I love Amazon Prime?  I had tried it a year ago and then cancelled my membership — and then recently signed up a couple of months ago and have been loving it since.  If you order from Amazon a lot, then you will appreciate the free two-day shipping for Prime eligible products (caveat: not all products on Amazon are covered!) — and there’s the Amazon free streaming of all these fab original material plus classics to new releases.

But back to trying to get back into crafting.. so I have tried to start getting organized again but have barely made progress because I have quite a stash to go through.  The shop has been dormant for a bit but I’m hoping to get it ready for the holidays — and I will be around this time.  In my cleaning up, I managed to find a box full of items previously listed, so it’s a matter of relisting those first few pieces.  I am excited to try out some new techniques, though, and will try to carve out regular time to post and create again.

I invested in a dozen Sterilite 16428012 6-Quart Storage Box, White Lid with See-Through Base just to be able to sort the items that have just been thrown together.  I am planning on creating a crafting corner from now to the end of the year to help me get everything together in one space, hidden from view except when I want to do crafting.  So in the meantime, I need to sort through what I have.

And as I sort, I have made a decision on which items to find a new home for.  During my last trip home, I promised my friend, Raine, that I will send her my Artist Trading Card collection to keep or dispose off as she would wish.  I had a fun time creating and receiving some outstanding pieces, but I think my current collection of postcards, Starbucks mugs and pencils are more than enough to keep me happy.  I am trying to find other things I can find a new home for as I try to get myself organized.

The “BER” months are here..  which means thinking of the holidays, holiday cards and holiday presents.  I want to make this year special for my little guy and me because we have so many new things to look forward to.  I want to make the house very festive — and I want to make a special holiday card to send out to friends.  I am already updating my address book — and trying to think up of something nice to do.

The holiday season has officially started in Manila — and I think it would be nice to keep in step with “home” this year.

Just a few more hours of the weekend left — so let me get on with some last minute errands and chores, like a 20-minute walk around I’m supposed to start making a habit of from here on.

Happy Monday, everyone!!