Because I have nothing better to write about or talk about, let me introduce you to some women I met in New Hampshire – the liquor store part, that is. 🙂

Here is somebody that I might be envious of –

and someone I can almost identify with –

Here is somebody I wanted to be when I was a little girl.  It would have been nicer if she was happy instead of blue 😉  In my adult years, when I was down and well, blue,  I did try to visit one of their convents.  What do you know?  The door was closed on me because the professed ones had their retreat –

Here’s someone I want to stay away from my husband –

Here’s somebody you wish is not your real estate broker.  An apple, for paradise.  Peleeezzzzz! 😉

Here is somebody with a name nobody should ever be called with.

Here’s somebody I will stay away from.

Well, I just love taking photos of interesting labels when we visit a New Hampshire Liquor Store outlet.  We always stop by on our way home from Maine.  It is an interesting place.  It also keeps NH income tax free. 😉




Today, we (Catholics) commemorate the  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  God, in His loving kindness, did not permit that the woman – who by a singular privilege was immaculately conceived so that she would be worthy to carry in her womb God’s only begotten Son – should suffer decay of body after her death.  Therefore, her body and soul were raised to Heaven upon her death.


I do feel like one right now. 🙂  Besides, that title will go well with my collection of pictures here.  Tell me tell me, what is your favorite?


Wait wait wait! and here’s the best yet.

No worries.  The ingredients are rather ordinary:


Cheers to a beautiful day. 🙂 May your head be not like any of these. :-))




In Bayanan where I grew up, the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene is a big event.  People who have been away from our place, like myself, would usually schedule their around the Fiesta, as we call it.
Here is the life -size statue of St. Mary Magdalene that is displayed prominently in our little parish church that has been dedicated to her. The Priest who initiated the construction of the Church more or less 70 years ago was named Magdaleno. Hence, the choice of the patron saint.
She has always been garbed in these colors – red and gold. It seemed that long ago, when a new color scheme was used for her clothes, a flood , an unknown in our place, happened during her Feast Day. Since then, we kept her ‘theme’. Saint Magdalene to us is a family member. Many of us from Bayanan identified ourselves as coming from her Parish instead of the socio-political entity known as Bayanan. To many, Saint Magdalene and Bayanan are synonymous.
The Fiesta (which in the Philippines)  is usually a grand celebration, not only for the  community as a whole,  but also for each member  household.
This is our little parish church built  like the old Spanish Churches. It has thick walls, arched windows, and a little dome. A real bell used to hang from the belfry and rang merrily or sadly as befitting an event. An elderly lady, whose name now escapes me but whose image is clearly imprinted in my memory, used to ring the bell. It rang the Angelus hours, it rang before Masses, it rang for the Consecration. It was a backdrop to my growing up years.
In the olden days, (I am speaking here specifically about my birthplace) people would go into  debt so that they could lay out a feast for those coming to visit.  It was a big open house where even strangers were welcomed in homes.  I  doubt if that is still true these days when houses hide behind gates.

Days before the big event, the community would be busy decorating the neighborhood with colorful buntings and banners.  Families would clean  up their houses and surroundings.   Novena Masses were celebrated in the parish church.  The Festival Committee organized  the events and entertainments.  On Fiesta Eve,  a procession would be  held after the  last Novena Mass.  Later in the night, the people would have festivities in the village plaza  just across the Church.  At home, friends from neighboring villages would come over bearing their own utensils to help with the cooking.  On these nights,  I’d go to sleep to the rhythm of  knives  pounding the chopping block.
Here is the float of San Pascual Baylon, ‘guest’ of long standing in our fiestas. Saint Pascual is the Patron Saint of the nearby parish which used to be a part of the Parish of Saint Mary Magdalene. Lore has it that after the Parish of Saint Pascual was established, the latter no longer participated in our Feast Day procession and vice versa. It seemed, however, that the Saints themselves were not pleased by the new arrangement that during their Feast Day celebrations where one was not represented, there was downpour so heavy that no procession was ever held in their honor. People took this to mean as their sign of disapproval of the new regime. Thenceforth, one (at least the representation of one) would grace the other’s event. Processions have not been interrupted since then. I am just glad to know that friends look out for each other forever. 🙂

I am glad to know that the parishioners from other villages are now joining the procession. It used to be the ‘sole’ domain of the people from Bayanan. SInce this is more a religious festival and a celebration of the parish – which is a Church geographical division (as against a political/government group which Barrio Bayanan is), the participation of the parishioners from other barrios is just fitting.
Mornings would find us enveloped with the aroma of  freshly cooked food as we got  ready for the Mass.  On this special day, we had the luxury of choosing from several scheduled Masses.  I often attended the one celebrated by the Archbishop who makes a special trip to our Church  for the Feast of Saint Magdalene.  He would concelebrate the Mass  with other  visiting priests.   Afterwards, we visited with neighbors and relatives to sample their tasty  offerings.
They slowed down the carriage so I could take a picture and have it posted on Facebook. 🙂 That kind of favor was not so strange in a place where everybody knew everybody and people are most likely related to the next person. The man in green is a second cousin and the rest know our family and its ancestors.
Alas!  We could not prolong our stay until the Feast Day.  Due to (my husband’s) work commitments,  we had to leave  before the July 22 celebrations.  However,  we were able to witness the procession.   Acknowledging that many could not participate in the procession because they are busy in their respective homes during the Feast Day or are at work or at school, the Parish moved the procession to the Sunday immediately before the Feast Day.   The new schedule was kind of odd to me but I was quite thankful and happy to be in it again.   My eyes misted when I beheld the procession.  It was a especially lovely day for me.
We need our Musiko. The Fiesta is not fiesta without the Musiko making the rounds the day before and during the Fiesta. As children, we would stop whatever we were doing to watch the Musiko and the majorettes twirling their batons.

I am linking with Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Tradition with this post.  What a timely theme it is for me. 🙂  Do head over to her page for wonderful, colorful interpretations of the theme.

Have a great day. 🙂


The dark clouds trembled

Liquid silver mixed with dust

frogs sang through the night.

It rained a lot during our trip.

When I first set eyes on my mother’s garden, I was surprised that there was not much in it.  “The plants died.  It was too dry,” she explained.  The following day, rain poured in.   There was thunder and lightning.  There was so much water it sounded like a thousand hooves were dancing on the roof and crashing on the ground.   It rained for days.  Then there would be a few days of sun and then more rains.   I hope her garden recovers in time.

Closer to home, there have been thunderstorms and rains in the last few days.  But the water did not seep through the ground.  The soil is still dry and my plants are thirsty.  I hope for a nice rain tomorrow.  But not too much or the tomatoes will crack from imbibing too much water.   And no.  I am not being complainy. 😉  I am just being a diligent tomato mistress.  See how pretty unmarked ripe tomatoes are?

Lemon Boy Tomatoes
Juliet Tomatoes

Happy Monday to you all. 🙂


For this week’s challenge – CREATE – I am posting two of the projects I did  a year and three years ago, respectively.

The first one is a crown of rosettes that I made for the traditional May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary last year. This was fashioned from twisties that were, well, twisted together to make the round frame; white and pink ribbons to make the rosettes, and beads, and an assortment of bows.

The second photo is of the flower girl basket that I made for a family member’s wedding 3 years ago.  We got the basket from Michael’s and spruced it up with nylon, lace, ribbons, and beads.  I fashioned some of the  ribbons into little rosettes which accented the orange and gold bows that I made.

My mother is pretty good with fabrics – she being a seasoned seamstress.  It is from her that I got the interest to tinker with cloths although I never learned to sew.  When I was a child, I helped her put beads on the dresses she was making.  I also saw her make cabbage roses at one time or another.  When I was in grade school, we were taught how to make flowers out of  crepe paper.   I enjoyed doing it.  Since then, I would sometimes fiddle with tissue paper or any longish and soft paper to make flowers when my hands get twitchy.  That helped me fashion rosettes from cloth when I needed to.  To hold the form,  I stitched the folds in places.

Thank you for dropping by.  For more responses to the challenge, please visit Weekly Photo Challenge: Create.

Happy crafting. 🙂



Cook. Wash Dishes. Wash clothes. Fold clothes. Change diapers. Repeat.

Sometimes, it feels like those are all the things she does. How inconsequential. How routine. She will look at herself, her unglamorous self, feel inadequate and descend into a blue funk. Through the blue prism, she sees her friends wearing clothes with names wondering which shoes or bag to go with what, or what next plane to hop into, and talking about career milestones.

There was a time when she lived just like the women she knew. She would go to work, sit before a computer when there were no clients to meet, read tons of legal documents, plod through the day, meet friends after work, sleep (a little), go to work. Repeat. “Empty.” She thought of her life. She would sink into a blue state and  from there  looked at married colleagues and friends and would say – “I wish I have my own family.” Her wish came true. She got married and chose to leave the life that would have let her wear clothes with names and hop on a plane when she wanted to.

Now older and wiser, she realizes that whatever state of life one is in, there will be times of discontent. There will always be those days when things get overwhelming and she will wish to be somewhere where life seems easier and more glamorous. Yet she knows, in the recesses of her heart, that even in her funk, she will still choose washing dishes, folding laundry, changing diapers, and cooking dinners as her life motif. In this, her world, she has realized her dreams and has found joy. More importantly, through those little inconsequential chores, she loves.

Soon, she will hear her child, whose bottom she just cleaned, giggle and  her world will be right again.

The above piece was written for

Trifecta: Week Thirty-Two.

The challenge this week was to write a response between 33 and 333 words to the word “BLUE”, i.e.,3  a : low in spirits : melancholy
    b : marked by low spirits : depressing <a blue funk> <things looked blue>

Thank you for dropping by.  Have a great day.