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Sunday, February 28, 2010

On Snowy White

We have had quite a week with snow. On Monday, the snow was up to 8 inches deep and the children had their snow day off from school. We were out there digging ourselves out at the back door, and shoveled out our driveway, plus sidewalk.


Yes, it was cold and freezing when the wind kicked up, cutting through our clothing, but watching the children had fun building snowman, throwing snow balls, making snow angels, and spotting these shadows were more than making up for the temperature.


I caught this bush shadow where no one had touched the snow yet. Giving enough time, the children would invade this spot for their snow collection, or just running through for the fun of it.


There was nothing better than having fresh snow and sun shine combination. At least I can see the shadow of nature outside. I will have to enjoy it for now, and wait for summer to come back soon.




Thanks for being here!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dancing in the Wind

You have come to the right place
To get a dose of pink today
Now watch these lovely flowers
Dancing, swaying in their gorgeous ways


When your eyes are open
And your heart is ready to embrace
You will find joy and happiness around
In the most simplest form on earth


These lovely flowers have much to offer
They can make you stutter and cheer you up
Or have you marvel at the beauties they hold
Looking at them with fresh pair of eyes.


If you ever need a doze of happiness
Go out in nature and just look around
There in the green grass you might find
A little critter or flower to make you smile.

Thanks for being here!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fasting Meal

We celebrate the first Friday of Lent with a simple meal. Our meal was not fancy, just enough protein, grain and vitamins for fasting. I like simple cooking, easy meal plan, and uncomplicated baking.

I made a batch of these Red Lobster Style Cheddar Cheese Biscuits, and you can find the recipe online too. I made some adjustments to cut down the salt content for health reasons.


Gather Ingredients For Dough

  • 2 cups Bisquick biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 melted tablespoons butter, prefer low sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Ingredients For Brush On
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, prefer low sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley or chive
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


Making the Biscuits
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree.
  • Mix biscuit mix, milk, butter/margarine and cheddar cheese thoroughly until soft dough forms
  • Drop dough by using two spoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, then take them out to brush on the butter mixture below, and bake for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix melted butter, garlic powder, and dried parsley or chive. Brush this mixture over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Make about 10-12 biscuits.


While the biscuits were in the oven, I boiled up four eggs. Then I slice them into six pieces, and top them over my Spring Mix salad.


Before serving the salad, I sprinkled on top some cranraisins, and light Italian dressing. That was our dinner for last Friday, and maybe a few more to come.

Tips
  • I bought a bag of ready mixed organic salad for about $2.50 to feed three, which was a steal
  • Substitute parsley, or chive for the herbs of your liking such as rosemary, or basil
  • Make sure your margarine or butter contains low sodium or the biscuits will turn out too salty to eat since the cheddar cheese is a bit on the salty side already
  • Healthy meal and very affordable
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Thanks for being here!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

F is For Friends

I am sitting here in front of my computer screen, and staring at the letter "F" for many hours now. Still, I can't find what I want to write about this F word! No, don't have a dirty mind. You can laugh, but don't finish that word, unless you really have to.

I thought of F for Friends, for Fun, and for Foes! However, digging back in my childhood's memory, I decided to write about Friends.

During the course of years I lived with my aunt, we moved to different areas many times, thus I didn't have friends, and couldn't remember if I had any friends at all. Once, my aunt was permanently assigned to another area which had boarding school/convent combo, I was already mature enough to realize that I had exactly three friends, two girls, and one boy.


My two girlfriends were the ones that made life bearable for me, and they were two years older than I was. They came from broken homes, and terrible environments, both had to endure horrid treatments from step-parents. The biological parents took the last draw by sending them to our boarding school to save their lives.

The three of us connected. I was the baby of our group at 10, and they were 12. They felt the need to protect me, but couldn't, so they gave themselves the role of care givers. After my beating session ended, they would bring me water to drink, and took care of my wounds. At times, when my aunt didn't allow me food, they would save portion of their own, snicked around and fed me. When they were punished with no foods to eat themselves, they stole from people's gardens and temples to make sure that I had at least a bite for my stomach.

I survived by my friends' generosities, and goodness. These two girls became my life lines-my real support system but without tubes or machinery hook-ups!


Our strict tradition weren't allowed girl and boy to be close, so the boy that took on the role of guardian over me had to stay invisible. He often walked behind me, made sure that no kids plowed into me or knocked me down. He fought with those that teased me about my physical awkwardness, including his own little brother.

One time, my aunt caught him giving me a cup of water at the well after our long walk to the beach and back, she was fumed with wild imagination, and the punishment for me was to kneel from eight until midnight in the middle of the convent/boarding school court yard, wearing a sign confessing my sin for flirting.

After this incident, the boy became even more of an invisible shadow, but I knew he would still be my hero if I ever needed him.

These were my three friends which I had lost, but could never forget!

Check out other entries at Jenny's blog!


(View my Childhood Series here!)




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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Water Jewel on Lavender Clover

My fascination for common weeds began when I discovered the macro function on my camera. At this time, about two years ago, I went through a long period of depression, and I thank God for leading me to find joy.

Clover After the Rain

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Passing On The Beautiful Blogger Award

Last week, Polly at The 5th Sister gave me this Beautiful Blogger award, and I was wordless! Imagine that! I had to let it sunk in.

I'm happy of course, and I thank Polly for thinking of me. The 5th Sister as she is known, truly is a beautiful blogger. She has a wonderful blog, supportive, and inspiring. If you have not visiting her yet, I recommend you do.


As bloggers, we all want to have a community of supporters, who would encourage and accept what we do as individual's choices without judgment. I'm confident to say that I've a very great group of beautiful bloggers in my circle.

Without further ado, I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs.

It's hard for me to pick out what blog to pass this on, because there are so many blogs that I like. If you want or don't want to accept it, that is fine too.


Thanks for being here!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Indescribable Feelings of Anger

Every other weekend, I have the golden opportunity to be by myself and do what I want, but I also have to deal with the X. I dreaded more than words could describe!

I was wrong in my thinking that once the divorce was final then I would be free of him, body and soul. Oh, that was definitely a wishful thinking! It would never end as we have children together. No, I am very civilized toward this person that I despite with every hair on my head. Maybe because of my niceness tolerance that he still holds the upper deck of the cards.


He shows up whenever he wants, and he brings my child back whenever it suited him. I have sat endless hours at the truck stop, where the court decided for us to meet, waited for him to show to pick up my children, and waited for him to drop off the kids.

I waited through summer, winter, fall, and spring time with the buzzing of truckers around my locked car in fear. Hours on end have wasted just waiting for him even after many exchanging phone calls to meet on time! This man had no respect for me, whatsoever!

No law, no judge, no one, no divorce paper could make him behaving any differently! Not only I had to suffer through this waiting; my children suffered too! The car became our prison! The man used his power to the max!


I felt trap! I felt un-free! I felt as if I still live under his thumb! Everything is about him-around him. No, no, not felt, but is, still am living my life in his mercy. Will there ever be fairness in this world? Forget about taking him to court! I don't have money! He is friend with all the judges and lawyers in his area where our divorce took place.

Are you kidding? And then what about the kids? What should I do to spare the pain for the kids? How far can I take without putting the children in the middle? So I shut up, and take it! Just shut off and tolerate it! After many fights back and forth, I decided the best thing to do was to just let it goes, swallowed whatever this man decided to pull.

The years went on, and 10 moons later, I'm still here taking this undesirable treatment...

Thanks for being here!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Branch On Concrete

I found these photos from my lost archive, and they were dated late in November. I am happy of course. Even though we have good weather this week, I couldn't get any pictures because of the melting and dirty snow everywhere.


I remembered finding this branch of leaves from my little boy's school, and brought it home to exam the amazing Christmas colors on it. It was beautiful when I held it up and saw the shadow.


It wasn't easy to take picture with just one hand, so part of this branch was bit out of focus. I love the curve in this shadow.


I love this last photo because I could see the beautiful colors on the leaves, and the shadow looks so interesting.




Thanks for being here!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gorgeous Pink Zinnia

One of the things that I look forward in sharing is Pink Saturday theme. I have so much fun looking through my archives of over thousand flowers and things that I've collected. I also didn't realize there are many pink photos.


I love zinnia flowers in different colors, and I grow them from seeds during the summer months. They bloom way into November, and continuously give flowers for me to enjoy.


I watch them grow, and carefully record their stages by taking pictures of them. The pink zinnia flowers I have producing this gorgeous shade.


What I miss most about summer is the glorious colors of everything around me. I love watching things grow, whether it is flower or my vegetable garden. There is such a satisfied pleasure to see a simple seed thriving into life.


Zinnia flower has a very complicated structure in the middle. There are layers and layers within one. They are amazing and leave you marvel at God's creations.

Today, I introduce you to Amanda at Self Sagacity. She has an amazing, beautiful, and wonderful blog that I like to visit.

Thanks for being here!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Hot and Sour Fish Soup

Lent has just begun this week, and I am part of those million Christians who need to fast. I have no complaints because I love seafood so really I don't feel like I'm fasting at all. Maybe I should fast on seafood instead!

I ordered this soup in a Vietnamese restaurant, and it cost me around 15 dollars for a large bowl. It fed about two adults, so I decided to re-create my own without the MSG, and at a fraction of the cost.


Gather Your Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of cat fish steaks, or cat fish nuggets if you prefer no bones
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • A handful of okra, washed and cut into 1 inch
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, washed and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • A few slices of ginger root
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and cut into 1 inch
  • 1/2 cup of canned chunky pineapple pieces
  • Bean sprout
  • Cilantro
  • 1 red hot pepper, sliced
  • salt, black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
Prepare to Cook
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the pot
  • Sweat the onion, tomato pieces, and ginger slices
  • Fill the pot with water, and bring to a boil
  • Season your broth with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste
  • Add in the cat fish, okra, pineapple pieces, and celery
  • Cook until the fish is done, and turn off the heat
  • Add in your bean sprout
  • Top with cilantro before serving

This recipe sounds complicated because you'll need lots of ingredients, but once when you have everything cut, prepare; cooking it is a breeze. Just make sure you taste the hot and sour part of the soup then work it up to your liking.

It is better to add a little vinegar and hot pepper pieces at the beginning, and then bring them to a higher level if you so choose.

Tips
  • Replace cat fish for your choice of fish
  • Shrimps and squids work well with this soup also

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

E is For Endurance

Getting beat gave an inadequate feeling of shame and unworthy that often accompanied those who had been abused, even though they were just innocent victims. My life started out in the orphanage with these feelings, and a sense of isolation.

The physical abuse came very early once I arrived at the orphanage to live with my aunt. In fact, it was as soon as the first night I cried for my mother. She started by gently scolding me for being spoiled by my parents, reminded me that I was a useless person for society, and that was the reason I was left in the orphanage.


I couldn't stop the sobbing for missing my family, but I could block out her scolding and her verbal assaults. I didn't believe her. I kept woken up crying during the night for the comfort that I was used to. I felt a smack here and there on my body, but they were not as painful as my heart was.

All through the night, the beating became stronger. I felt her hands across my cheeks. I felt her belt across my body. I felt a long stick on my shoulders. I felt a book on my head. That seven year old girl didn't care. She cried harder to go home. We both endured our differences. She gave the beating, "Let see how long you can keep up", and I endured the pain, much, much longer than one beating session.


My first night at the orphanage marked my beginning journey of being a punching bag. It only started at night when I missed my mother then accelerated into the day. Then it became daily, and turned into any time of the day, or whenever she got mad.

Survival instinct kicked in, the little seven year old girl learned to just take it, kept quiet, and went on with life. The beating became something I got used to and had to endure throughout the next eight years.

Check out other entries by clicking on the image below!



(View my Childhood Series here!)





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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sun Flowers After the Rain

I love sun flowers, and I saw them in different colors other than the normal yellow ones for the first time last year. These sun flowers had more of an orange tone to them, with streaks of red lines on their petals.

My little boy loves to grow sun flowers, and he uses them to compare to his height. Some grow much taller than he is, and I'm happy to see him tending to his sun flowers garden.


These two sun flowers were caught under some other stronger and bigger plants, but the rain sure didn't miss them at all. The heavy water seemed to damage one, thus created these gorgeous curvy petals.


We plan on harvesting the seeds from this year crop, and grow them around our garden. The bees couldn't have enough of them and they brighten up our whole back yard as well.





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Monday, February 15, 2010

I Power Raw Thoughts and Feelings

I have been blog hopping like mad these last two months to find blogs that I can relate to, and what I learned left me baffling in my effort to understand.

A blog or site, to me, belongs to that blogger, and it's that blogger's home, a personal space. With that said, when I arrive on a blog, I respect that person's feelings, thoughts, and expressions. I wouldn't come to someone's house and ask that person to change how things are in his/her home to suit my taste. It's just simply wrong!


So do you want to know what left me baffled? Maybe not, but I will tell you anyway. I had been quiet, and silenced for all my life about what happened in my past. I finally summon up all my courage to write about that experiences, and release those suppressed feelings of shame, inadequate, unloved, unwanted, plus millions other questions that floated around in my head for all these years.

Having these "negative, depressing, bad experiences" I understand and relate totally to the person's need to let them out.

I cross paths with these bloggers, and sometimes I read these kind of comments below.

  • Living in the past
  • Too depressing to read
  • Don't write negative things
  • Move on with your life
Come on, I mean if a person takes time to write their REAL LIFE DRAMA out, don't you think that he/she have jumped over all of those hurdles already? If they were still living in the past, didn't move on with their life, would they still be here to write about it?


I respect people that use their imagination to make up a great story, but I respect those that went through hell and back, and wrote out their true experiences much more. Yes, I agree that these REAL STORIES are sad, depressing, awful, and terrible some time, but these stories have deep volume. They MIGHT help someone out there to feel that they are not alone or crazy in their thoughts and feelings.

I wouldn't ask a fantasy writer to write his/her true life drama if he/she never has one or experiences one. So for those that can't handle this sort of story, respect the bloggers that write out their RAW THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.

Personally, I am very lucky so far with my story. I have great support, understanding, compassion, and very loving comments from my new found friends in blogland. To those, I'm very grateful, and deeply touched! Thank you!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Curvy and Swirly Things


When the sun comes out to play
So was I, looking to shoot
Those shadows of things on the ledge
Of curvy and swirly from summer past.


Spending time outside is the best
My lung fills with fresh cold air
And numbness on all my finger tips
Watching nature dances with joy!

Thanks for being here!


I write what I feel, how I feel and whatever I like at the moment

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