Winter berries

Scarlet berries break the grey
winter, life stripped to its bones
pristine under the cover of snow
beauty skin deep
pierced by thorns dripping blood
seeds of life.


I am so looking forward to spring.  In the dead of winter, even the Barberry bush that I normally do not care for, has its merits.  It has little red berries that lend a little color to the sad winter scene.  🙂



If I would have the will (and I pray so), I will not be posting this Holy Week.   So, I am having a little posting party this Sunday night by  joining Cee’s and Jake’s photo prompts this week, Circles and Curves, and Sentimental Value, respectively.

I had a difficult time deciding what to post for Cee’s challenge until I saw Jake’s prompt.  Of course, there are perfect circles with a lot of sentimental value in my possession.

Without much ado, here they are:

Engagement Ring
This is my engagement ring. My then fiance, now husband, and I shopped together for a ring. My one weakness was solicitous sales associates. The lady was so nice, the price of the ring was right for my graduate student of a fiancee, and I had difficulty saying ‘no” to the nice lady, so right there and then, in the first store we visited, I bought the ring much to my fiance’s surprise and consternation. At that time, of course, he was more concerned with landing a fiancee than quarreling about my shopping methods. He, therefore, had no choice but to go along with me.
Wedding Bands
More shopping was involved in the selection of our wedding rings. By then, my fiance had learned a thing or to about my shopping habits and anticipated my actions. 🙂 Besides, with just a few weeks before our wedding and more certain that he would have a wife anyway, he was more inclined to argue, err, discuss rather, with me about what sorts of rings we should have. 🙂

Have fun with Cee and Jake and visit their respective pages – just follow the links below – to see what others have come up with in response to the challenges. Meanwhile, thanks all for visiting.   If I do not drop by your pages anytime soon, I promise to see you around Easter time.  May you all have a blessed week. 🙂


  SUNDAY POST LOGO 2013 120 x 100


Nah, I do not have photos of grand scenery and landscapes.  Rather, I have pictures of roses, one of my absolute favorite flowers.   They are always beautiful and captivating.  They are even more so when they are given by someone with much love and thought.


Roses 3


The past weeks had been a busy one for my husband what with work piling up.  We hardly had time to chat at night after  the children are all in bed.  He just had to do his work which at this time of the academic year is piling up.  At around this time, my stress level goes up too because, perhaps, I have less help around the house, and simply because, I am me. 🙂



One evening, he came home with a box of chocolates and this bouquet of roses.  He wanted to cheer me up.    In years past, I would dry the flowers he gave me and keep them as souvenirs.  I stopped doing that when my containers started to fill up with old and dusty dried flowers.  Now, I found a way to preserve  these lovely souvenirs efficiently – through pictures and some nice blog post. 😉

Roses2So, with this little entry, I am honoring the love and kindness and the man who has kept me enchanted and captivated. 🙂

For more CAPTIVATING posts, please visit Jake’s page.  Just click this cool badge:

 Now Jake, I am finally able to use your new badge. 🙂

Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday to you all.



Because I am a mother and I do believe that this world belongs to the future –
Baby hope
Just because, I need something feel – good for this theme (and something to more or less fit this photo even when the letters turned out to be green, bleh!)  🙂    –
Because I like poems and Emerson is good poet, an American thinker,  and we just read about him in home school the other day – 🙂

I am joining Sunday Posts’s HOPE. 🙂 For more HOPE responses, please check on the link. 🙂  Thank you and have a great day to all.  Stay warm and safe if you are in the path of Nemo, the Nor’easter. 🙂


Christmas Tree
This is our family Christmas Tree. It is decorated the way my husband’s family decorates their tree – with Christmas balls, lights, tinsel, and a star. I love the simplicity of the tree and the way the lights reflect off the tinsel and glass ornaments.

So, Jakesprinter wants to see some Christmas from us.  And Christmas is what he will get. 😉

C is for children and cookies.  They go together.

These cookies – cartalattes, amarettis, pizzells, peanut blossoms, tea cakes, sugar cookies, etc. – appear on the table only at Christmas time. The recipes for some of them are closely guarded secrets.

H is for Happiness that especially shows after receiving a nice gift. 🙂


R is for the rising sun that I chanced upon on Christmas morning, lending the snow a golden glow and making it seem warm when it wasn’t.

Christmas Day started with a golden sunrise.  I would have missed the moment but I was up early to prepare for Mass.  When we were almost ready, we learned about a winter storm warning and not wishing to go through a repeat of last year when our vehicle fishtailed on he slippery roads, we stayed at home.  What do you know?  The sun shone bright the entire day.  How disappointing!
Christmas Day started with a golden sunrise. I would have missed the moment but I was up early to prepare for Mass. When we were almost ready, we learned about a winter storm warning and not wishing to go through a repeat of last year when our vehicle fishtailed on he slippery roads, we stayed at home. What do you know? The sun shone bright the entire day. How disappointing!

I is for the Incarnation, God becoming man, the reason for Christmas.


S is for the Stockings that hang from the fireplace and stocked full of goodies by Santa’s elves. 😉

As the family grew, new stockings were added to the original five that my husband’s family had. Christmas morning began with checking out the stockings’ content.

T is for Time with family and loved ones.

Family Time

M is for the Meals that we got to have together, for the Memories wrought by just being with each other.

It was a sourdough-pancake-and-scrapple kind of morning.
It was a sourdough-pancake-and-scrapple kind of morning.

A is for the Anticipation that makes children light up with excitement and check for the tags on the presents.


S are for the Snacks that sustained one throughout the day while he waited for  Christmas dinner.


…and here’s a wish for wonderful surprises in the coming year.  Happy wonderful new year to you all. 🙂


Follow the dragon image for more Christmas photos. 🙂 water-dragon-poster


Prayer Candles -resize

Scented with incense

wrapped in hymns

filled with prayer

on angel wings

the soul contemplates heaven.



Jake, really, truly!  Your challenges are getting harder by the week.  Concepts?  Can anything be harder than that?  When you threw in the word,  I could only think of an idea, something that is real but intangible.  So, tit-for-tat! 😉 For your Concept, I throw in Prayer.  🙂  So there!

  Please follow the dragon to find out how others responded to Jake’s idea. 🙂


First of all, my apologies for being unable to visit and comment to as many blogs as I could these past few days.  We spent our holidays in Maine and we had a busy and fun time with family.  Thank you all for visiting me anyway. 🙂

Second, Rommel of The Sophomore Slump so kindly featured this blog in his post.  I am so humbled and floored by his generous words.  His blog, my dear friends, is an excellent photography and travel blog, among others.  Visit his page when you get the chance.  Thank you Rommel, by the way.  I still have to write my thank yous in your page though. 🙂

Last, I am joining Jakesprinter’s weekly challenge – Natural Resources.  I was floored by his challenge for a few days.  Then, I realized that I was in that beautiful state of Maine (as long as I do not get swamped by the snow).  I just had to look around to see that Maine is all about natural resources.  On our way home,  I made myself busy by pointing my camera any which way, hoping to have a passable capture. I even asked my dear husband to pass by a more rural route (not the one we usually take) so I could have a photo of wilder Maine while on a moving vehicle.

So, here friends is my contribution to the theme.   Thank you for coming over and please visit Jake for more responses. 🙂



Next to New York, Maine is considered as the largest state in the northeastern part of the United States.  However, with only about 1.3 Million people compared to New York’s 19.4 Million,  Maine  has more available land  that lend well to agriculture (at least for the 6 warm months of the year).   Farmlands dot the roads that we traverse going to the center of the State.  They are usually planted to corn, potatoes, apples, and other Northern crops.  Some farmlands, however, have been devoted to growing hay to feed the animals during wintertime.

Route 7, ME.
Route 7, ME.

Apart from agriculture, a great chunk of Maine’s land  is woodland area.   Maples, Ash, Oak,  and other deciduous trees are common.  But  most common of all are the pine trees and evergreens that gave Maine its nickname, The Pine State.    Along with farmlands, they border the  main roads and rural roads of Maine.

Route 7, ME
Sebec Village Road, in a portion known as God’s Country. This is normal civilization in rural Me – there are very few houses in this area. Going this way, we passed by a stretch of road known as God’s country – a place so remote that there were no houses, no telephone lines, and no power lines in the area.

The forest is home to many wild animals.  Deer crossing the road are quite common year round but especially during fall and spring.  There are bears which I have the pleasure of not meeting in the wild.  There are moose, one of whose kind kindly visited my in-laws’ yard some years back.  There are the smaller varieties such as foxes, raccoons, coyotes, among others.   Then there are the wild turkeys.  They are frequent pests guests in my in-laws’ yard – they eat the crops in the garden.  Just recently, they helped my FIL harvest the grapes he intended to make into wine.

The turkeys are headed to a scorched piece of land which may have been planted to wild blueberries. After the harvest season, the wild blueberry plants are burned to prevent the growth of weeds.

Owing to Maine’s vast amount of forested land,  timber became central to the State’s economy.   Maine is  a major producer of wood and wood-related products.

The  evergreens provide lumber for the various lumber mills that are still operating in the State.  The Milo Road in Dover-Foxcroft hosts  Pleasant River Lumber, a  big wood products manufacturer in the State.  During the worst of the economic downturn, there was a markedly reduced operation in the lumberyard.  There were less cars in the lumberyard, less inventory, less activity.   It seemed to have weathered the worst of times which is good news for the people of the nearby towns.  The lumberyard is a major employer in the area.

Pleasant Lumber Mill, Dover-Foxcroft, ME.

The lumberyard supplies customers in the East Coast region.

Some wood processors were not as lucky, however.  This building used to be the home of Moosehead Manufacturing Co. (“MMC”). Powered by the nearby Piscataquis River, MMC  was  known for its high quality furniture.

This is the factory building that was vacated by the Moosehead Manufacturing Co. in 2007.

Piscataquis River

There were many other wood related companies that went the way of MMC.  When I was in school in far away Philippines, I used  pad paper  with the Pine Tree State logo at the back of the cardboard supporting the paper.   Later, I learned that the logo meant that the materials for the paper at least came from Maine.   Today, however, many, if not most,  of the paper mills in the State have shut down.

The coming Christmas season will breathe life to one of Maine’s industries – wreaths and Christmas Trees.  Many wreath makers will be busy in their homes and business offices producing this wonderfully scented door decorations that proclaim “Christmas!”   The Christmas Tree farms that line the road to Bangor would be busy.  Trucks from all over the Northeast would be heading southwards full of this cherished Christmas decoration.  Meanwhile, with the coming of snow, the woods will echo with the roar of  snowmobiles and the sloshing of cross country skis.