Monday Musings: Hopeful

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It’s a cloudy day in New York today. I’m not complaining. It makes for a cooler day which I don’t mind at all. The day went by so quickly. The speed with which it went by left me exhausted at the end of it all, and here I am.

Postcards on hold. I know. Trying to wean myself from the load of the hobby, and almost succeeding. It actually takes a bit of time to send out postcards– from picking the cards, addressing, stamping and writing on the cards themselves. I’m preparing a special set of cards to send away via an even more special route, but work and other plans today put a dampener on my plans. I need to focus more on the collection than the swaps. Over the weekend, I sorted my newly acquired vintage postcards over the last couple of weeks and I have quite a heap to work with. And if I’m to pursue my other passions, something’s got to give.

Outgoing postcards
Trying to resist the urge to crochet. I’m really trying to focus more on the sewing, and hopefully start on the jewelry again, before I pick up another crochet hook. It’s helped that the project I’m thinking of will require new yarn, and the thought of buying more yarn is a big deterrent to beginning the project. I have quite a yarn stash and I would rather start on a project that uses up what I have, than begin a new one which will require additional spending.

Gothamchick, the blog, will be back soon. I am always saddened when I see how few and far between my posts are, but heavily disappointed that I haven’t written anything on that side since December. THAT has got to change. I am almost tempted to totally reformat the space, but that has been around for quite some time. Another major project that needs tweaking.

So there’s my Monday and I can’t believe I’ve been writing as much as I have. Maybe the meditation on creativity has indeed provided a much needed push. Whatever it is that has stirred my creative juices, I do hope it keeps coming.

Monday Madness

Some Monday’s are just crazier than others. Today is one of the busier than busy ones, and I’m trying to steady my footing in the midst of everything buzzing around me. And I am just hoping that it turns out To be better as the wet and windy start have way to what is now a sunny and gorgeous day. Sometimes the universe grants us a reprieve and just makes everything okay again.

My brain is rating to write because writing helps me to steady my gait, but I am thinking in bullet point instead of complete sentences and paragraphs. It’s one of those days.

The weekend. That’s something I can focus on. My “now” is still in motion and I haven’t quite caught up with it. The weekend, though, has come and gone.

We had one nice and colder Saturday and a very rainy Sunday. I stayed home with my little guy just getting things done and resting and recharging.

Someone requested a Christmas ornament which I was excited to make — but it took me a while to decide on what kind of ornament it would be. Polymer clay was an option but I couldn’t find the right colors! Then I had a eureka moment and found myself hammering artistic wire and working with glass crystals. That ornament is a blog post in itself — for later.

I skipped the usual chores and focused on preparing meals for my not so little guy anymore. We went for a haircut which, nowadays, is a neighborhood barber named Boris who is a rockstar in the boy’s book as far as “cool” is concerned. We had lunch at a Japanese restaurant we both like and bought Halloween candy. I like simple weekends when I can still take care of him like I used to when he was much younger. I know that the time when he will shun that kind of attention for time with his friends is drawing near. Sometimes I pretend like I want him to act like a bigger kid, but in truth, I wish he’d stay the baby he is to me.

That was the weekend. But back to this Monday.

So the day ended on a happy note. While I don’t think that tomorrow will be any easier, I’m thinking it will not be as heavy as today when things were revealed and big changes are looming in the horizon. Not for me, but things have a way of trickling down.

I’d rather focus on the happy and the positive. No complaining, like I agreed and promised. Yes, I know, I’m more than okay.

And the sun will shine again

#Sunset over #Manhattan -- sometimes I get lucky.. I've fallen in and out of love with this city and have fallen back in love with it again.  I'm here to stay.  This is where my #JourneyToHappy is taking place.. Getting there, holding my little guy's hand

Sundays usually find me thinking back to a weekend I wish wouldn’t end.  But this time, I’m actually looking forward to Monday.  I had started this post while sitting over my ribeye steak dinner and then had to stop after one paragraph to tend to my number one customer at home who was busy doing his homework.

Weekends should be three days, I always say — and the week, 6.  Ha!  =)  I can’t wait for Monday.. and yet I know I’ll be hitting the ground running at work, and there will be a thousand and one things to juggle.  I’ll live — and I’ll do it all with the Monday optimism that I try to infuse the day to help me get going.  (I have to have something beyond the caffeine!)  But I’m getting ahead of myself..

The weekend was productive, indeed.  Didn’t quite get the gown but got to fit a bunch (6 in all!) and found one but they didn’t have the right size.  The good news is that yes, I lost a size (Confirmed!) and maybe I might make it to the lower size yet.  (Ha!  Optimism…)

Everything went well including another Saturday trip to the city beyond the gown search.  I ate at the counter and sat next to these nice young men who ooohed and aahhhed my burger and shakes — and then I finally went back to Envelopper NYC in Chelsea to get some invitation supplies.  (Work in progress.)

All this, though, didn’t eclipse the sad news I got our Friday evening, that a high school batchmate and fellow Paulinian, Liezl Martine had passed away after losing her battle with cancer after 7 years.  That was a battle well fought by one of the sweetest persons I know.  And I’m not saying that just because she is a celebrity — she’s one who was but never acted like one, even back then when everyone looked at her with such awe and adulation because of her famous parents and her career as a child actress.  We weren’t close — but I know she’s one person who, if I saw her walking a distance away, would not pretend she doesn’t remember who I am.

I am actually closer to Arlene, her cousin, who was a Paulinian from her grade school days.  I remember a few trips home ago, I had actually asked for Liezl’s home address to send her something, but I wasn’t able to — Arlene’s message back was that I should go and see her.  I never did.  I did revel in the positive updates via Facebook.  She shared her cheery countenance every moment she could, savoring life and doing everything she could to live it to the fullest.

That was a tall order considering she had traveled the world over so many times — for the most part, it was going back to places she liked.  This was one person who could truly speak with authority if and when you asked her a question about some famous exotic travel destination because she’s the one who’s been there, done that.  But that isn’t what I envied her the most for — it was the undying love and devotion of her husband, Albert, the more famous one of the pair and yet the luckier one by all indications, having had Liezl as his better half.  And yet he returned that love with equal if not more dedication.

It brought us yet to another “life is short” moment.  Liezl was a year younger than me and she lived and cherished every day she was given, so that was yet another stark reminder that we have to live life to the fullest.. just like Liezl showed us how to.

To the Muhlach and Martinez families, my condolences.  Liezl is in a better place now.  It may seem like an endless night — but the sun will shine again.  Monday is here, it’s a fresh start.

Rest in Peace, @liezlmartinez -- to those she left behind, find comfort in these words from #colleencorahhitchcock's poem #ascension.  Liezl lives on in our hearts..

 

Monday Musings: of Milestones and looking ahead

It’s another Monday and while it’s warmer in New York, it was a tad wet in the morning.  The day gave in to sunshine eventually and I think Spring finally got here!

I usually write my Monday Musings Sunday evening, but the day just got away from me.  So let’s give it a try as I chase after the clock with minutes to Tuesday.

Happy 75th Birthday, Mama.. I don't normally post pictures of myself here, but this is one of those occasions I will in paying tribute to the woman who molded me into the #mother I am now.  Taken December 2013 when I was home last.  Can't wait to see youHappy Birthday, Mama!  Like I posted on Instagram, I don’t usually post pictures of myself here — even if I do have the profile pic in that corner and this corner on the other blog.  That might change in the coming months, but I still do it with a lot of reluctance.  That’s my mom and I from December 2013 when I was with her last.  It’s been more than a year, and a homecoming is overdue.

While I’m missing her birthday, I do expect to celebrate when I get there — not just her birthday but mine, my brother’s (on April 7) and my bestfriend, Jonathan (April 4), as well as my sister-in-law.  (April 18).

But today is the 75th birthday of my beloved Mom.. to her I owe much of who I am today.  She continues to be a pillar of strength for me not just as  a daughter, but more importantly, as a mother.  I can only pray for more years with her — more so at this time when I need my mother’s loving care.  Even when she had reason to judge, she withheld judgment and simply told me the decision was mine to make.  And time and again, she has reminded me, I always have a place at her table, a room in her home, wherever that may be.  I love you, Mama.

Can’t wait to see you in just a few weeks and truly celebrate this milestone with the rest of your brood.

And speaking of birthdays..

I’m preparing for a better and happier birthday celebration as the Pinay New Yorker turns 49 in a couple of days.  Yes, I’m old.  But I’m happy I’m where I am right now.  I know it’s taking a step backwards saying last year was the worst birthday ever and anything a notch above would be a whole lot better — but I’m looking forward to nicer things and a better celebration this year.  Even if it means celebrating it with me, myself and I.

I’m busy picking a gift to myself.  Nothing fancy.  Just a little perk that will help make the day special.  I would’ve loved to watch Billy Joel on April 3, but like I had written, tickets ran out!  I’ve been making do with blasting his music on my iPhone instead.  (Not quite as good, but it IS still him singing.

I haven’t quite planned the day yet — I have to be at work — but it will be a birthday week yet.

Spring is finally here.  Just when I was about ready to get more of my winter coats cleaned — not to be put away but for extended use — we got a pretty nice day that seemed to give a good preview of spring being just around the corner.  I’m not holding my breath about winter finally going, though.  There were winters when the bigger storms still hit us in April.  Hopefully not.

#thankYOU .. For joining me on my journey to "happy".  #JourneyToHappy #thankful #newsensation #grateful #countingmyblessings #movingonAnd the Project might finally get off the ground.  It’s been stalled by life in general (and that thing called “work”).. I’ve been working on my pieced flowers again and hope to start with the actual postcards when I get back from Manila in May.

I’ve been focusing on this “Journey to Happy” which I’ve referenced in many of the projects I’m doing or have done, as well as my web presence.  It’s a reminder to myself to keep going and to keep doing things to finally bring me to that state of “Happy.”

Here’s to a great week ahead with a little bit of rain but warmer temperatures.  Another year for my mom — and a productive week for us all.

Monday Musings: Expecting snow yet again

It’s a few minutes past 6am and I have another 15 minutes to let the color mousse in my hair set in — it’s one of those mornings when I have to multitask between breakfast and other routines.  So I thought I’d sit here and write a post in the meantime, and since my brain is still in weekend mode and unable, as yet, to write a full post, let’s do our Monday Musings bit: a collection of snippets I pull together on Mondays.

A good breakfast is having a favorite treat: like giant sesame balls.  I just love sesame balls — or buchi as we call them back home.  I have an Asian grocery a short drive away which has a bakery in house which makes them in this humongous size.  As in tennis ball size!  The only problem is that the Sunday lunch crowd usually grabs them early on, but I was there around 11am yesterday and I managed to get 3.  So I had one for lunch, another for an afternoon snack/part dinner, and one for breakfast today.  Yummy!

So to keep on my weight loss journey, I always switch a treat for a meal or make up for it with extra physical exertion.  That way, I don’t overload on calories and sabotage my fitness goals.  I’m a little disappointed I have plateaued yet again, but I am proud to say I haven’t gained weight despite the occasional indulgence.  This, of course, means that I will have to go on the “shock phase” of my diet yet again to regain my footing and hopefully break through the plateau I’ve hit.

I am thankful for another week — even if they said we’re expecting rain and snow yet again, specifically today.  Everyone back in Manila and in most parts of the world which don’t see snow are so awed by it.  It IS quite a sight when it is falling, more so when it’s a glowing sky above and the snow starts to really accumulate in a thick coat on the ground and everywhere else.  Until you have to walk under it and get to work in the slush or slippery ice. And worse, when things like your iPhone falls on the soft snow and you don’t even hear a thud.  (And it is never returned to you, of course.)

Yes, I lost another phone — and I’m waiting for the replacement.  It’s back to the good old reliable blackberry for me, in the meantime, which I carry anyway as a backup.  The iPhone 5s was on the Good app which was good, but which had to be prompted to refresh unlike the blackberry which keeps refreshing as the mail comes.  The good news is, I’ve been told that the iPhone 6 actually runs on Outlook which should be much, much easier.  (We shall see.)

Again, I hate the hassle of losing almost 2,000 photos on that phone, just when I was about to back it up, having learned from losing thrice that much in pictures the first time I lost one.  (Lesson learned!)

It is heartening to see France uniting against violence in the midst of the terrorist attacks of last week.  I didn’t quite see it but heard about it in the news, and I am sure that the newspapers will be awash with coverage of the weekend demonstrations with the French coming together to show their solidarity as a country sans religious distinctions.  That, to me, was a triumphant declaration that violence will never be tolerated, and that there is a lot of good in humanity out there — no matter how deep the hatred may lie in certain factions of society.

It shows me there is hope that peace will prevail, and that the hand of violence will always be slapped down shackled, if need be, by the voice of the majority.

Of course as a New Yorker, I cannot help but fear that the same things might happen here.  I hope not.  Let this be the one and only incident of such a nature.  That is my prayer.

Well, time to get ready for work.  I hope everyone stays safe.  Let’s say a prayer for those who lost their lives on both sides in the tragic events that occurred in France last week.  Paris is, and will always be, one of my favorite cities.  I hope to one day go back and walk your streets again..

Remembering Paris: one of my rare personal photo treasures -- taken many years ago with a shot from one of the clocks within the Musee D'Orsay showing the Louvre across the Seine.  One day I'll take that third trip to Paris yet and maybe take a better sho

One of my favorite shots of the Louvre from one of the windows outside the clock of the Musee D’Orsay.

 

Writing Frenzy

I’ve posted prolificly over the weekend, and I’m not quite finished yet. Halfway through, yes. (Thank God!)  It’s me cramming, like always.  My deadline is on Saturday.  I am seriously thinking of requesting for an extension from my swap partner in the 30 days journal swap.  But I might make it.. yet.=)

I’ve really enjoyed the writing despite the pressure of producing the work with the deadline.  I should’ve started sooner — but I didn’t realize I was going to lay it out like I have.  I hope to produce 5 more prompts tomorrow, although not necessarily putting it up here simultaneously.  I have the 4-5 prompts which I have chosen to keep private, too, and they’re supposed to be some of the more difficult ones to answer.

I’ll get to them soon enough.

Meanwhile, Happy Easter everyone. =)  We heard mass earlier, had lunch, headed home and rested.  (I wrote, cut my pages, and worked on my Book of Treasures.)  I really should be turning in soon.  I have to pull together a “Stuff-an-envelope” swap for tomorrow. 

Monday.. and April!  It’s officially the second quarter of the year.  Can you believe that?  Here’s to another week…

Monday Morning in Manila

I thought the sun wasn’t going to come out.  The sunrise was pretty muggy today but it looks like we’re going to have some sun today after all.

Day 6 in Manila.  I have so far accomplished at least one (or two, depending on how you count it) of my goals, which was to surprise Mom, and then surprise her afterwards with the party we threw her last Saturday.  It was a great way to celebrate her 72nd birthday.  Sometimes we still get taken aback when we realize she’s now 72 years old.  I guess to us, she’ll be forever around although we know she won’t be.  Her physique is already changing dramatically.  Fe says she seems to be shrinking… old age. =)

I was hoping to go on my promised trek to Manaoag midnight Saturday so I could catch the first mass at 5am, but I was too tired and no one could accompany me on the midnight journey by bus, so I opted to stay at home instead.  Awake by 5am, I instead opted to head to Baclaran and hear mass at the Redemptorist Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.  I went by myself, hailing a cab and tried to chase the sunrise.  I was there in 20 minutes.

I stood there.  I lit my candles.  I prayed.  I know He heard.

I treated myself to a merienda-size asado siopao and some sesame balls for breakfast (which, at 2 tiny smaller-than-golf-ball size buchi balls for P29 was highway robbery!).. grabbed some suman by the gate and then I hailed a cab back home.  I was home and changed by the time my siblings got up.

I let jetlag catch up with me until Ofie woke me up early evening.  Their turn to go to mass.  She just wanted to have me go out and stretch — so I acceded.  We headed to Eastwood where I checked out the stores in the mall while they went to mass.  Dinner at Rufo’s then home again.

I walked into FULLY BOOKED and browsed some of their goods, and came upon an anthology of quotes from Paolo Coelho’s works.  One quote in particular struck me and I copied it onto my blackberry:

“Anyone who loves must know how to lose themselves and find themselves again.” –

Paolo Coelho, from “By the River Peidra I Sat Down and Wept”

I’ve read Coelho, but not this particular book.  Might be my next Coelho read.

I was up and about until 1am.  I tried to blog but that has not been as easy the past couple of days — maybe it’s the jetlag or the stress and pressure of the things I hope to accomplish while here in Manila. =)  Might be because I’m not feeling too well…

I wrote longhand entries instead in the notebooks I have been lugging around for some friends I’m leaving them with before I go.

I packed a few things I need to drop off today — and I’m trying to arrange my schedule for the week.  Before I know it, I’ll be heading home.  Angelo was asking what happens if I need to stay longer — I told him I can’t.  My boy misses me…but not as much as I miss him. =)  Makes me want to jump on an earlier flight home which I might just do if it’s available and manageable given the meetings that need to happen sooner than soon.

Another week has begun…

I’m getting ready to leave work now (at 6:22) but I thought I had time to write a few lines here, and DELETE THOSE SENSELESS SPAM COMMENTS that have been flooding my comment box.. Wow.. people actually think that despite my moderation of all comments, there is a chance that their nonsense and shameless plugs will actually make it to publication.  NOT.

One of these days I’m going to publish some of these idiotic comments that are good for a few snickers here and there at least.  Entertaining, indeed — you’d think they would give it a little more effort to feed my blog with spam, and to at least leave a generic enough comment to “mask” their true intent.  But hey — that’s marketing for you.

So I started another week here, and Monday is almost done.  I’m thinking about what we’re having for dinner which is only half the question since the one who ultimately decides is the one holding the steering wheel on the way home.  I ought to declare a dictatorship on father and son where their stomachs are concerned to make life easier, but our daily family meals is one of the highlights of my day.  That means Dinna’s diner stays open.

It’s terribly cold again and there is talk of yet another snowstorm coming our way tomorrow and well into Wednesday.  Hmph!  Let it end please.

Meanwhile, I have to say goodbye for now and maybe I’ll visit again later in the midst of the paper punching, pasting and maybe I might yet get to make a pair of earrings or two.  Maybe.