Monday Musings: Waiting on Spring

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I had about a dozen ideas lighting up in my head between the last post on February 7 until today. I decided I would spend my lunch hour typing away as spontaneously as I can, even if I’m not too happy about the fact that I’m writing about my Monday Musings again.

While most of the workforce is enjoying a long weekend, I’m here with that half of corporate America that doesn’t observe President’s Day as a day off. Luckily, I remembered to check the bus website to track my ride and made it in time to catch an alternative route which involved a longer —- but very pleasant walk—- down Park Avenue. I wish I had more time to spare, though, as I was just so taken by the sculptures dotting the islands between 34th and 42nd before I ducked into Grand Central station. I have quite the 30-second clip to upload to my Tiktok account later, and I have already vowed to take a more leisurely stroll down the avenue to capture all of the sculptures. (I had to skip some to make time to say hello at my favorite Park Avenue Catholic Church on 38th).

Park avenue

Kismet. Fate – or destiny.. or the universe speaking. Perhaps it’s simply age, but I’ve learned to be more accepting of what the universe lays on my feet. For example, if I am rushing out and find that I left something, I don’t fret about it or upset myself unnecessarily. I just say I wasn’t’ meant to be on that bus, or I have to be on the next one. Years ago, I would’ve run back to retrieve what I had left behind, and huffed and puffed my way to the bus stop to try to make the schedule work. Or I would be disappointed when something I thought would happen doesn’t happen. Just not meant to be – at least not yet, I tell myself. It leads to lesser and more manageable disappointment, if at all. And makes for a happier and less aggravated me. In no longer hold promises as a pact set in stone. It will come to be, in time.

My day in 30 seconds. Just as I blog for my own personal benefit (attempting to create a written journal to go back to at a later time), I’ve taken to summarizing my day in short clips I’ve been uploading to Tiktok. Why? Personally, it’s my way to appreciate or sum up the day. From my usual walk up to my perch in Midtown to maybe a lunch or dinner, a special project, or simply something that caught my eye on any given day – it’s a quick glimpse into what transpired. Those 3-second shots or longer clips actually serve a purpose and have a meaning only I really understand. It’s been fun trying to catch snippets of my day and weaving them together in such a short clip.

Palindrome Tuesday. Defined as “(a) word, phrase, sentence or number that reads the same backward or forward,” Tuesday, February 22, is a palindrome date. “2.22.22” backwards or forwards is the same. I participated in a group swap with the Philippine FB group and offered some to swap to a handful of others. I’ve slowed down considerably the last couple of weeks and have been doing other things. Time to start putting away the postcards? Not quite there yet, and don’t really intend to.

Palindrome postcard

Sewing away. So the fabric has been cut, and I’m searching for my interfacing. I’m trying to get this project going so I can move to the next. I still haven’t quite decided on the lining but I know I have more than enough to choose from.

Where art thou, Spring? One of my favorite parts about winter is actually putting away the winter gear and storing them until next year. We are nowhere near that as temperatures over the weekend dipped to below freezing yet again. But there are warmer days up ahead, even if uncharacteristic of the season. I will take any warmer weather I can get until spring finally makes it here.

Misty Monday

I actually have a monicker that’s shoe-related somewhere, and the number one question I get asked when people find out I’m Filipina is how many shoes I have.. I will proudly say not as many as the infamous Imelda, but just enough.  Unlike my Starbucks mugs and postcards, there’s no shoe collection to speak of.  However, I am a good shopper, so a “Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Off” deal on rain boots at a boutique near me saw me getting 2 pairs. One was a short pair, and the other the usual tall ones.


#HappyFeet this #rainy day in #NYC. #rainboots #shoelove #shoes #boots #readyfortherain #cuteshoes
I picked them in a funky floral print and a lace mock up, and I’m quite happy with my purchase.  So my feet will be well dressed and dry as the rains come.  Like today.  $42 for both and I even got a free item — I chose a pair of practical flip flops.

Happiness!


#FoggyNYC #nofilter #cantseeathing #mynyc #myny #NewYorkCity

Monday wasn’t meant to be a sunny day and it was obvious from the start.  It was wet outside (hence, the raingear), and temperatures have dropped yet again.  (Our heat is on, for one. =(..)  I know, I shouldn’t be complaining.  But we expect April showers and it’s June.  Almost summer, imagine?

So what do I do on days like this?  I wear my rainboots, of course.  Dress in the proper coat (pink raincoat to the rescue) and just brave the elements.  The rain was pervasive but mild.  We don’t really get mist in the Philippines.  Like I kiddingly tell the people who ask me about seasons back home, we only have the wet and dry seasons.  No spring, no fall and no winter.  It’s summer or it’s not.

Like snow, there is a certain magic to the mist.  You don’t see it but feel it falling gently on your skin.  There are times when it falls strong enough for you to feel wet enough to whip out the umbrella, but there are times when you will just let it fall and put your face up to the wind.

In a naughty mood, I had texted a friend earlier if he could make the rain stop.  His curt yet hilarious reply: “I can’t make anything happen these days.  However, I spoke briefly to the rain department who said that I should stop calling them.”  I literally laughed out loud, while on the phone, upon reading his quip.

It was misty when I stepped out for a quick coffee and hug from a dear old friend from college who popped up from Connecticut.  I suddenly get a message he was at the consulate, five blocks away.  It had been a while since we last saw each other — so I grabbed the chance to catch up.  Those chance meetings — unplanned, though they may be — turn out to be the things that make one’s day on a misty Monday like yesterday bearable.  And don’t forget about the rain department!

Tuesday sees us with similar weather, but I can hear the birds chirping outside.  That can only mean that it hasn’t been as bad.  Not quite as windy (hopefully), and maybe, the sun will wake up from it’s slumber and stretch out even for a bit.  We’re not even hitting 60 today, temperature-wise, and that IS cold.  I guess it’s a day for coats, and maybe a decent pair of warm leggings.

This is the way we live here in New York.  Makes me miss the heat and humidity that everyone hates about Manila.. If you guys only knew..

Monday Musings: “Where did that other sock go?”, French Onion Soup and other tidbits

MondayMusingsLogoI had promised myself I would try to turn in early today, but just as I was about to call it a night, I found myself drawn to my laptop to attempt a last minute post that I hope will be published Monday.  (There’s a way around that..)

I had started it on the way home earlier but as always, a hundred and one things got in the way.  This is supposed to be a hodgepodge of thoughts that I try to pull together most Mondays.  There are times when I succeed in actually starting the post even before Monday hits, but this weekend was pretty busy and today was particularly chaotic.  I just hope things eventually ease up midweek on.  Tomorrow, hopefully, will not be as brutal.  This is not meant to be a coherent post — more like an enumeration of shot quips.  Be warned, though, that brevity is not one of my stronger suits.

“Where did the other sock go?”  Don’t you just hate it when you find yourself puzzled as to where half of a pair of socks suddenly goes missing?  I probably have like a a whole shoe box (if not more) of them tucked under my bed, because I just can’t throw them away as I constantly hope to find the missing half.  Maybe someone picked them up by accident?  Maybe I missed the hamper when I took them off and the other half landed somewhere else?  Maybe it’s true that the laundromat actually “eats” socks.. but almost always, just half of a pair and never both!

I’m loving French Onion Soup these days.  Blame it on Maison Kayser.  I’ve been there at least once a week, and usually to have a bowl of their French Onion Soup.  We have one close by on 40th between Fifth and Sixth Avenues by Bryant Park, so if you’re in the neighborhood, go try it.  I heard, though, that the Tuna Nicoise wasn’t all that fantastic.

The BESt French Onion Soup EVER from Maison Kayser on 40th between 5th and Avenue of the Americas.. And Franck took very good care of us, too!  #withPeterO #maisonkayser #frenchonionsoup #bestfrenchonionsoupever #foodtrip #foodporn #gastronomictreat #manh Snow on the first day of spring.  I found myself visiting a friend somewhere around Central Park West last Friday and finally fulfilled my wish to photograph Central Park in the midst of a snowstorm.  It was just totally awesome to be there, umbrella in hand, trying to keep the huge flakes from hitting me, and snapping away on my iPhone.  I managed to grab quite a few shots in the midst of it all and even that, in itself, was quite the experience.  I would’ve gotten further into the park, but it so happened I was wearing the wrong boots and just couldn’t risk getting all wet and soggy, or worse, slipping in the snow.  Sometimes I just get lucky.. like Friday.  I will post a photo essay on the photographs I managed to snap up — soon.

#CentralParkWest : I would've walked deeper into the park but the snow was falling hard and I wasn't wearing the right boots! #wintertospring #1stDayofSpring #mynyc #mynewyork #manhattan #centralpark #nofilter #aaoc #snow

And yes, Spring finally arrived!  I spent the weekend going into the city to browse some stores and try to find the elusive gown, and while New York continued to be chilly up to Monday (and tomorrow, reportedly), still, it was evident that the snowstorm of Friday didn’t quite stop Spring from finally arriving.

The snow is gone.. the air is crisper — and while we’re all tempted to dress lightly — we’re not quite there yet.

Just the other day I took a shot of this very same frame and it was snowing like there was no tomorrow.  Today was cold but the sun was out.. Couldn't be better! #Spring #SpringinNYC #BryantPark #midtown #MidtownManhattan #manhattan #mynewyork

Another week and another season begins.  I feel as though I am beginning so many new things this week, some of which started the previous week.  New resolutions, new realizations.  You come upon the not so obvious things that make such a profound impact on the way you view things when it finally hits you.

You find yourself more daring, and more easily given to taking a chance.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been through so much in the last 20 months or so that I feel I can weather most anything, at its worst, and it’s about time I reaped the rewards — if I get lucky and I end up with a win.  Sometimes, even I surprise myself.  A friend told me I was brave — I said, I think not.  I can’t explain why certain decisions I make now are the complete opposite of what is expected of me.  Maybe I’ve stopped trying to live up to expectations and instead am trying to live my life the way I want it — keeping on my journey to happy with a better focus on taking care of me.

So goes life.  Happy Monday, everyone.

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.

And so it goes

I have always been a big fan of Billy Joel’s.  I had resisted buying any music on iTunes of his for the longest time because I had his CDs.  I never got around to ripping the music to the right format, though.  Then before the weekend, I discovered that he had a version of my current personal anthem, “To Make You Feel My Love” and there was no stopping me from getting Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of his Greatest Hits.

I’m still missing “It’s Just a Fantasy,” and probably a couple more from the older albums.  No rush.  I’ve been listening to the song of the same title of this post “And so it goes “, over and over again.  It was never really a personal favorite like “Lullabye”, “All About Soul” and “Uptown Girl” — not until now.

I guess the songs we listen to hit us differently depending on the particular time in our lives that we listen to it.  I had heard the song before.  It just didn’t resonate with me.  Until this weekend.  I have missed you, Billy Joel.  I’m still hoping I can catch your series over at Madison Square Garden.. maybe latter part of the year.  I am hopeful.  I wanted to watch the April 3 show and had looked it up early enough but hesitated to purchase the tickets.  Well, I really didn’t have any idea who I’d ask to go with me and I didn’t want to go alone!  Then I finally decided I would just buy a second ticket and decide closer to the date, and then the tickets were sold out.  Message from the universe: wait a while longer.  So maybe in the summer or fall?  Even if I have to go by myself.

“In every heart there is a room,
a sanctuary safe and strong.
To heal the wounds
from lovers past,
until a new one comes along..”

Here’s to another week ahead.. and spring…

We each have our challenges.. but we also have our share of blessings.  Reasons to smile and be hopeful.. people who help us go through the most difficult times with a sense of purpose.  I choose to focus on the things I ought to be thankful for.. like those who have taken my hand and joined me in my journey to “happy”.  Let’s.

From fog to glorious sunshine

I can literally run out of the office this minute but I thought I’d take a moment to share some snapshots I uploaded on Instagram today — just for those who are not on Instagram or following me there as Gotham Chick.  (Hint, hint!)

I looked out into a gloomy sky this morning and this is the view that greeted me.

Foggy NYC: no filter, and no, it’s not black and white. It was THAT kind of a muggy morning but at least the rain has stopped. Then the sun decided to come our! #mynewyork #mynyc #muggymorning #fogovernyc #nypl #midtown #nudtownmanhattan #fog

I was almost giving up on a sunny day but lo and behold, even before I could upload the picture, the sun came out in full splendor and it’s sooooo hot outside.  Picture this:  Manila is currently at 82 degrees — and New York is at 75!  Ta-dah!!!

So to celebrate, I’m sharing some macro shots of some glorious flowers that have been sitting in my iPhone.  It’s such a lovely day we have to share this:

Almost Friday!! Spring is here and I do hope everyone stops and takes time to enjoy the colors of the season. #ny #mynewyork #flowers #nature #spring #almostfriday

..and this:

One of the things I love about spring is it’s being a never-ending reminder that life is beautiful! #lifeisbeautiful #spring #flowers #optimism #nature #mynewyork #lily

.. and finally, this:

Sometimes it takes some rain to make us appreciate the sunshine, and a cold winter to show us the glory of spring. #flowers #spring #sunshine #mynewyork #enjoytheflowers

 

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!

 

 

 

Reaching for calm

I’ve been churning out posts that never went beyond “DRAFT”, so they are still sitting here in my dashboard, and all but one are still in limbo — the one having been permanently relegated to “PRIVATE”.

I’m just trying to find a semblance of balance — of calm — so as to be able to write with less emotion and less passion and without anger.  There are times when it’s as easy as counting from 1 to 10, and there are times when I actually have to utter a prayer just to bring myself “back.”

Spring is finally here.  Everyone is rejoicing even if we’re all bundled up and still in jackets because of chilly temperatures.  I like that the trees are abloom again.  It does get a little tricky deciding on the proper outerwear to walk out of the house in — do I wear the thick lined coat or something lighter and not as bulky?  Do I put the scarf in the bag or do I wrap it around my neck?

Happy administrative professional’s day! Got these from the boss which was a total surprise! #thankyou #flowersforyou #administrativeprofessionalsday #yourock #appreciation #flowers #thelittlethingscount #proudtobeanEA

Everyday, I’ve been trying to do something I know will relax me before I lay down to sleep.  Be it browsing a magazine (I now have three to gawk at) or fiddle with my tools in my continuing experimentation.  I’ve taken a liking to crochetting gauge 28 wire and I think I’m getting the hang of it.  Now if I can only assemble it into a statement necklace as I’m picturing it in my mind.

Not quite there yet, but I try not to push myself too hard lest I end up working on it until past the witching hour.. I need my rest — not for beauty reasons but for the simple reason that I need it to function productively the following day.

So I got these flowers from the boss at the end of the day, hand delivered and sent to me, and voila — a thank you for a thank you.  Gorgeous flowers, they are.

Spring as it unfolds

Spring 2013: The tree by PS213

One thing that has always had me in awe year in and year out since I moved to this side of the world is how dramatic Mother Nature’s changing of the seasons happens.  Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall — each season is marked by very pronounced changes that serves as a reminder that time will stop for no one.

Even as the trees shed their blooms, the carpet of petals that gather on the ground directly under it is yet another statement of constant change.

Twenty minutes to midnight and I can hear my boy snoring ever so lightly.  He’s a big boy and has always been a big boy.  When he was a baby, my mother used to get worried that his snoring might not be normal.  (Apparently, none of my siblings nor I snored when we were younger.)  The doctor assured me it was normal.  Besides, it wasn’t a real snore — you could just hear him breathing more audibly.

I can’t believe we’re halfway through May now.  Spring has taken a step back yet again with our temperatures dipping to 40.  I wish the weather would make up its mind temperature-wise.  I felt the heater and it’s on again.  And to think I was getting ready to wear my summer clothes already.  I guess not yet.

I spent the weekend creating necklaces — for myself.  I managed to finish five necklaces in all — including the one for Lou and a friend.  I revised the necklace for Lou to have a pendant of Our Lady of Lourdes as its focal point.  I made one for another friend who is a devotee of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   I have been on a creative streak, yet I have managed to botch up my necklace for the wedding this weekend.  I had initially bought 4 strands of gorgeous pearls and bought an additional 2 strands last Friday, but when I put them side-by-side, they were of different shades.  I will go and check out which shade has additional strands I can get to complete 6 strands in all.

The good news is I might eventually get the chance to do a photowalk through Bryant Park — maybe tomorrow on the way to my pearl supplier =)  I actually did manage to stop and take some macro shots of tulips that had already bloomed and opened.  There’s more in the park.  Tomorrow, it is!

There will never be another time

Spring Pink

This is part of the gorgeous curtain of flowers now covering one side of our courtyard.  Every day on my way out to the bus stop, I take a moment to snap a picture, and there are marked changed each and every day since the buds sprouted and now that the flowers are in full bloom.

I remember seasons past when I would be hurrying through the walkway, muttering to myself a reminder to take a picture “later”.  Of course, by the time “later” came, the scene I wanted to snap a picture of earlier is already gone.  It’s a truly awesome portrait painted by nature.  I mean to post the pictures of the stages of its flowering and shedding but I want to wait until the flowers start to fall to the ground as they are wont to.  When I have the full set, I will post it here and share the wonders of spring.

Already, gorgeous clusters of blooms have sprouted from Monday’s buds.  I will take yet another set of shots tomorrow.

It’s just another reminder that life slips by so fast.  There really is no such thing as “another time”.  There will never be another time — it just goes and goes.  You let it slip by and it’s gone.

I’m taking a break tonight after working on my folk tale journal earlier during breaks at work.  It feels good not to be running after a deadline.  I do have a deadline, though.  But I’ve been given a reprieve.

So I’m taking a moment to enjoy the flowers.  Even the tulips in Bryant Park are now abloom.  Perfect time to snap away, but life has been hectic at work, and there was so much activity with May Day here in NYC — demonstrators filled the park and the sidewalks and surroundings were awash in blue.  All those cops around made me hear the theme song of  “Blue Bloods” in a loop in my head.

Maybe tomorrow.  (There I go again, falling prey to that trap of thinking “there will be another time”.)

It’s been a while since I last went on my macro-flora photo walks.   I have to get to it soon or I’ll lose out.  Tomorrow, it is!