About Me

United States
Belle is a mother of 2 beautiful teenagers aged 19 and 18 years old. She is originally from Bato, Catanduanes. She loves fiddling around with computer on her free time.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My L

"Mom and dad, I made it! I made it to the all region choir!" "I was ranked 9th!" "Wow, congratulations!" I replied. She then handed me a packet which contains instructions, music, and a letter.

It says in the letter that the Arizona All-State system is recognized as one of the finest in the country. Lexie is happy! She has every reason to feel that way and I am proud of her. Though along with the prestige and honor, comes the responsibility of learning brand new music, which she has to learn ahead of time before the festival. This is to ensure a high quality choral experience, focusing on artistic communication, and not have to think or worry of just singing the notes and words correctly.

To get into all Region Choir, each student is required to sing solo in front of the judges. They are judged according to pitch, musical detail, vocal technique, vocal tone and color, diction, and other factors such as stage presence, style, communication, etc. She scored 54 out 60. Not bad, eh? Moreover, each student is required to do sight-reading, which is the toughest part of the whole audition unless the students have prior piano knowledge. Fortunately, she had had piano lessons in the past so it gave her a slight edge in the competition.

February 19-20 is All Region Choir performance. There are three things that they need to bring: sharpened pencil, a bottle of water, and a "focused" self. And an attire suitable for worship.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Charred Pot Stickers

Ohmigosh! I am manifesting some signs of Alzheimer or something. Or could it be pre-senior moment? Since I turned the magic 40, I seem to be forgetting many things. This Sunday morning, I planned on fixing a brunch for my family and the first thing that came to mind was pot stickers. My family loves pot stickers with a store-bought dipping sauce. I took the frozen pot stickers out of the freezer and lined them up side by side on the pan. I added a fourth of a cup of water and let it boil for a while on low heat so it would thaw completely. Well, since I am fond of multi-tasking, I went into my bedroom and puttered around for a while. My bedroom is 20 paces to the kitchen. Then I got my hands on the computer, which was a mistake because it made me totally forgot what I was cooking in the kitchen. Peks man! I thought my daughter A was fixing herself some brunch. I yelled, "A, are you cooking something?" She didn't answer. I continued to fiddle around with the computer, and at the same time, the severity of the burning smell was increasing by the minute. I yelled at my daughter again, "A, something is burning, go check the stove!" I heard no answer.

It finally dawned to me that I was cooking something. I rushed as fast as my legs could carry me to the kitchen. There I saw charred pot stickers, unfit for human consumption! I felt bad! I felt horrible! Good thing my husband and daughter didn't give me a hard time and and looked for something to munch on instead in the pantry while I was getting ready to cook another dish. This time, I stayed by the kitchen the whole time.

My question is am I the only one experiencing this problem? Or was the computer to blame?

Mountain Community

The dichotomy between fire and snow. Yes, the prescribed burn continous in our area. The other day, smoke covered our whole neighborhood prompting others to leave the area for a day until the smoke subsided. It is like a flu shot, we need to take a small portion of the smoke now to avoid getting full blown wild fire in the summer.

The first picture shows our community. My husband took it while I was at work. As you can see, we are surrounded with national forest, away from hustle and bustle of the city, about 70 miles northeast of Phoenix. It is one of the few ozone-free places in the nation. It is one of the prettiest places in AZ. Everything is within 10 minute-drive from home; school, church, piano lesson, theater, shopping, etc. I used to walk from work during summer to get my exercise, which usually took me 35 minutes. I would ask my husband to drop me to work and I would walk home. It is a good way of getting my exercise out of the way being that I am a busy mom.

Temperature is around 12 to 15 degrees cooler than in Phoenix. We get nice blue sky most of the time. Our highest temperature that I can remember is 105 degrees F and it seldom goes right below zero for our coolest temperature. We have four seasons: winter, spring, autumn, and summer. My favorite seasons are spring and autumn. We have perfect temperature around this time of year and we don't use heater or air conditioning. People from Phoenix flock here during summer to avail of our cooler weather and camp out by the stream and in the mountains. There are plenty of hiking trails around mostly forest service roads for the national forest, which I enjoy doing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Goodies for my T.

I spent half of my lunch break today buying goodies for my daughter, S. I thought I will send her some sweets to nibble on while studying late at night. I didn't realize she has tough subjects this quarter at Stanford U. Her human biology lab takes 5 long hours. My stomach will definitely growl if I don't have in-between snacks that long of a stretch. I just learned that she doesn't carry snacks or even a bottle of water to the class. So mama insisted that she should.
These are the goodies I bought: rice crispies, kit-kat, lindt, and york chocolates, and beef jerky. I had to be careful in choosing which chocolates to buy because she is allergic to all kinds of nuts.

I have very kind customers (couple) in my route who frequently give me fresh home-made macademia cookies. N, the wife, walked to the mailbox today to hand me these cookies. They tasted scrumptious! I just had to control though that I didn't over indulge myself otherwise I will end up with wider hips. The most I eat was one and I then put them in the back of my van so I wouldl not be constantly sniffing its torturing aroma. People like them are the reason why I love my job.

I could send those cookies along for her roomates to feast on or I could take it to work to share with my co-workers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Burn Baby Burn!

What a quick turn of events in our area! One day it was snowing, the next day, it is burning up! Strange! I saw lots and lots of smoke! I yelled at my husband, "S, come on, hurry, there is fire in nearby mountains!" He came running to the living room and was just as alarmed as I was. I said, "Get the camera, and let's drive to the scene." I was still in my pajama outfit being that today is my dayoff and I like to lounge around in my comfy PJ. "Change into jeans, quickly", my husband dictated. I quickly combed my hair, and I couldn't care less how my face looked. "No one will be able to see me, I will just stay in the car", I whispered. We got on the car, and drove off. When I got closer to the scene, I saw several people in yellow outfit. Who could they be?

As we got closer, the fire seemed to be spreading...
Then I saw people moving...
They are the firefighters...what are they doing?

Ahhh...it finally dawned to us that the fire was a prescribed burn. They were burning the brushes out so that when the fire season comes, the neighboring houses will be safe from possible wildfire caused by lightning. Summer time is our monsoon season and is usually accompanied by scary lightning and thunder. Lightning has caused many wildfires in AZ and I am thankful that our community is doing pre-emptive measures in minimizing such occurences. We live at the foot of the mountains in which wildfire can happen anytime caused by lightning strike. While my brothers dread for super typhoon in Catanduanes, we, here, are fearful of fire. Imagine your newly-built house being engulfed by a ball of fire? One time, I arrived home full of gray ashes being out all day delivering mail, and not to mention the carbon dioxide I breathed in big doses. And fire can linger on for weeks. Older people who have respiratory problems need to be evacuated into a smoke free area or they could die.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Flashback..Mt Rainier Trip

Crab fat, anyone? Caught it myself.
Breathtaking Mt. Rainier, WA., taken with a Sony Cybershot 3.2 mega pixels
Close up of Mt Rainier

Last summer, we went to Seattle for my husband's side family reunion. The reunion was held in Packwood, WA, which is in close proximity to the beautiful Mt. Rainier. We were excited visiting WA. again since we once lived there before coming to AZ. Before we headed to the reunion, we spent a whole week of fun and adventure in Seattle. We went crabbing and fishing in an island in WA., the highlight of our trip. We brought ring traps and baits for the crabs. Once we secured the bait in the trap, we submerged it in the water. That easy! The trap was fastened to a rope, which we then tied around a sturdy post. We made sure that we checked the trap every half an hour. The most exciting part of crabbing is the pulling of the trap especially if it is loaded. The trick is to reel it in as fast as possilbe so the crabs have a slim chance of escaping. Hurry! Hurry! my friend would scream. We probably caught 10 crabs (combination of dungeness and rock crabs). As soon as we got home, we wasted no time boiling all 10 for 15 to 20 minutes. Then came the next fun part...feasting. I chose the biggest one and cracked the shell open. Juices squirted out! I was so excited to see the white-yellow fat inside the back of the shell. See picture above. It tasted so heavenly. What a delicacy!

Then we headed to Packwood for the family reunion. On our way over, we noticed that the cherries and blueberries were in abundance. We pulled in to the blueberry farm. I wasted no time helping myself to fresh, sweet, mouth-watering, little round fruits off the display. I probably had my fill from nibbling here and there. The owner didn't seem to mind..hehe. Nothing can really beat fresh fruits...they were delightful. We bought one flat and gorged on it everyday.

When the reunion was over, we drove to Mt. Rainier. We took a hike and went as near as possible to the top. It was breathtaking! There were many interesting things to see along the way. Took those 2 pictures above.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Niceheart Tagged Moi

Five things that happened to me because of blogging:
  • I was able to convince my husband to buy me an expensive camera so I can take good pictures. Cruise inspired me to try photography. He definitely has a knack for it. However, I found out that I don't really need an expensive camera to take good photos. Less expensive cameras do just as good if not better. Now, I am tempted to get that S2IS.
  • Don't leave home without my camera. When my husband, daughter A, and I went shopping yesterday, the whole surroundings were draped with white snow, the sky was blue with nice patches of clouds...perfect for photography! I immediately remembered my camera. Uh oh! I left it home so I begged my husband to make a quick turn around but, of course, he didn't listen. :( I managed to take few pictures when we got back though the clouds didn't stay where they were. See my post: Snowstorm in Payson.
  • Sleep deprivation. The first thing I do when I get home from work is turn on my computer. While the computer is booting, I quickly go to the bathroom (just to show you that I do practice multitasking). Sometimes, I don't start my aerobics until 10:30 PM and finish at 11:30 PM. Then I blog hop for another 15 minutes, then take my shower, and before I know it, it is 12:30 AM. My gosh, few more hours and I have to go to work.
  • Household chores are usually half done. "These dishes can wait, or there is only one load of laundry left, I will do it tomorrow or the next day" I often murmur to myself. I do finish it by the end of the week when I am about to start another set of chores. One of my new year's resolutions is to try to spend less time on computer and more on household matters, but I don't see it happening just yet.
  • Last but not the least, I get to meet people from all over the world. I get to snoop into peoples' private lives, how they celebrate birthdays, Christmas holidays, etc. I also learn some valuable information that I can benefit from.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snowstorm in Payson

View from our living room

View from the backyard
Another view from the backyard

We just had our first major snowstorm in Arizona this year--dropping about 8 inches of snow. It looks beautiful outside. I am glad today is Sunday so I was able to sleep in and didn't have to deal driving on the treacherous road. However, tomorrow, whether I like it or not, and whether rain, sleet, or snow, I have no choice but to go to work. The mail delivery must go on. I just have to make sure I have chain on my rear wheels. Last Saturday, which was the second day of the snowstorm, I opted not to use cable. I was doing well until I reached towards the tail end of my route. This woman has a special delivery next to her house because she is physically unfit to walk to the mail box. For a while, I thought I would skip her for fear of being stuck on her loose-gravel-driveway. After much thought, I bravely swerved into her driveway, and suddenly, I started going sideways. Then, my rear wheels were spinning "Oh uh!", I mumbled. I was having fun at first, and when I realized I was getting close to the ditch, I thought I better get serious and do something. I gave a little tap on the accelerator and after several attempts, I successfully managed to get out of snow. Whoah! close call! I made a U turn instead of attempting to go forward because the path ahead is quite narrow, which could pose more problems. Once I made it on the road, I looked back and saw the huge mess I created. I learned a lesson to trust my instinct.

Calorie Computation Based on Weight

I am seriously thinking of losing the 5 pounds I have gained over the year. The sexy photo that you saw of me was taken the Christmas of 2005 and I don't look quite like that anymore. I sustained a knee injury probably due to excessive use of treadmill. So, I avoided running for a while and have concentrated on low impact aerobics and weight lifting.

Yesterday at work, our kind cleaning lady brought two boxes of freshly baked, mouth-watering doughnuts and I knew one of it had my name written on it, but I was able to resist the temptation. I patted myself on the back for a job well done! If only those people would quit bringing those yummy goodies...

Since my trip to the Philippines is just around the corner, I am really putting forth extensive effort in losing these 5 stubborn pounds so I would look decent in bikini. In my experience, cutting down on food alone will not help me lose weight. I have to exercise regularly at least 4 times a week and maintain a healthy diet.

Here is how I calculate the amount of calories that I need. At 5'3", I weigh 110 pounds. For an active person like me who exercises 4 times a week or more, I multiply my weight by 16; 110 x 16=1760. That is how many calories I can take to maintain my current weight. But I want to shed 5 pounds so I then multiply 1760 by 0.2 which yields 352. That is how many calories I have to cut down in order to lose weight at most 1 pound a week. So, 1760 minues 352 is equal to 1408, number of calories I have to stick to get back to my ideal weight.

For a person who doesn't exercise at all, multiply the weight by 13. Let's say, she weighs 120 times 13 equals 1560. That is how many she can take to maintain her present weight. Now, if she wants to lose weight, multiply 1560 by 0.2, which is equal to 312. That is the amount of calories she needs to cut back to lose weight without exercising.

And subsequently, for a person who exercises 3 times a week, multiply weight by 15 and so on and so forth.

Any questions?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mango Pearl..Exposed

I guess it is about time that I reveal the untold, off-the-record secrets of Mango Pearl. How I do I feel about it sexy mom? I am all for it, after all, at 40 something, what do I have to lose? Who do I have to impress? No one! Life is short, so vive la vida loca!!

  • Padded Butt secret: When I was in college, I was a midget! I weighed under 100 pounds. I had flat chest and flat butt...double whammy! I looked ugly in denims. Flat chest was not a problem as nice padded bra would take care of it but what about flat butt? One day, I saw Maricel Soriano on television and I told my sister-in-law, "Maricel is skinny, yet she looks pretty". "But she looks toned", my sis-in-law quickly responded. Hmmm, "how do I power my butt into shape" I asked myself. Suddenly, I thought of an idea. "My shorts!" "I will wear it under my pants and I will have a nice looking butt!" No one ever suspected I was wearing shorts under my pants. Little did I know that many many years later, I will be endowed with a J-lo-look-alike-butt. See it for yourself..hehe.
  • Amazing Secret: This particular one is more of an attribute. My husband thinks that not very many people can do it. My toes are my third hand. I can pick anything off the floor using my toes. My husband sometimes will ask me, "honey, can you hand me the calculator?" Just for the fun of it, I will use my toes to pick the calculator and toe it to him. He gets a kick out of it. He tried it many times and he couldn't quite do it. Can you? Try lifting a 10-pound dumbell?
  • Lethal Secret: I refuse to let my children outsmart me..sometimes. "Mommy, you don't know anything, mommy, I am smarter than you" lines I often hear from my youngest one. Yeah right! Let's see! Though it is not my intention (really) to sleuth on them, but there are times when I a forced to invade their private territory because the looks of it is beyond my tolerance. Invasion of their room can be entertaining and rewarding, and I usually end up staying longer as planned. I usually come across many great finds! Nice folded letters, goodies under the bed, etc. Of course, I will help myself to a bite of chocolates. Lucky, I am not fond of chocolates. Will I open the letters? I will leave it up to you.
  • Looking Teenager Secret: At 5'3", I weigh 110 pounds. I am probably lighter than my children..psst! Whenever I go shopping, I usually find myself in the teen section of the store because clothes there fit me better, accentuate my curve, and a little cheaper.
  • Embarrassing Secret: My motto is "Refuse to Look Old. As long as I can afford color treatment and hair cut every 8 weeks, I will not dare expose the true color of my real hair. A teacher of my daugher in high school refuses to get her hair colored because she thinks gray hair says I am mature, I demand respect. But the reality is when men see gray hair on women, they will think they look old and unattractive. So, should I give in to gray? Not Now! Maybe later.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yummy Salsa

"Mom, can you please make salsa", my daughter asked. She loves to eat salsa with tortilla chips. I don't always prepare it for her except when I have a long weekend. I happened to have one last week and so she and I went shopping yesterday and bought all the necessary ingredients. It is easy to make. All you need to do is cut up the ingredients into small pieces, add salt, lemon juice, orange juice (about 2 T), and a dash of tabasco (or more if you have a high hot-o-meter tolerance), and that is basically it. It is good to eat with tinapa, tuyo, and rice or with chips (mexie-style). It is a healthy dish, actually and so I don't mind making the extra effort fixing it for my children.

My ingredients for Salsa: tomatoes, onions (not shown), avocados, cilantro, lemons, tabasco (not shown), salt, and orange juice (not shown)
As always, I use veggie and fruit wash for washing vegetables and fruits to get rid of wax and pesticide residue.

Yummy salsa.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Puraran Beach House Up for Sale

The breathtaking Puraran beach.

I have mentioned about my beach house in my previous entry and I am pushing it at the top of the page so people will know. Yes, it is up for sale. The house is located in the island of Catanduanes, in the town of Baras, in the barrio of Puraran. The house is just a short walk to the ocean shown above.

Puraran is a surfer's paradise. It has powerful waves that break into corals 100 to 200 meters from the beach. Surfers and tourists from all over the world come to this place to take advantage of the majestics waves that people rave about or just to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You practically have possession of the beach all to yourself. It is a perfect place for photography. The beach is nestled by the mountains on the east side. Over on the right side of the beach is an awesome place that resembles the scenes from the "Sounds of Music." When I visited the place, for a moment, I thought I was in Austria...breathtaking view! Surprisingly, a white tall guy with a German accent appeared out of nowhere, not too far from the grass where we were seated. He actually owns a house in this area...lucky him! How did he ever find this place? I found out that he has been touring Catanduanes for some time now and he felt in love with the place.

Two resorts here offer basic accomodation for reasonable cost. For Ph300, you can have a room and two meals. The meal is mainly composed of rice, fresh fish, veggies, and a bottle of water.

This house is still going through finishing stage. When it is done, it is going to be up for sale for Ph4, 000,000, which includes furnitures and appliances. The house should be finished by March or earlier. Personal items are not included. So, if you are a retired surfer and would want to live frugally in a state of the art house, this is a perfect place for you. A place where you can get the most out of your retirement money and still able to live like king and queen. You get the catch-of-day right at your doorstep most morning from the local fishermen, and lobster, in season, at reasonable prices. If you are interested, email me at liwayway07@yahoo.com.
Beach house photo taken at 90% completion
Master bathroom
Stairwell is made out of handmade narra wood.
Close up of the kitchen with hubby (didn't give my hubby a chance to suck his tummy in)
Dining room from a different angle
Kitchen and dining room

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wild King Salmon from Alaska

We had baked wild king salmon for dinner last night given by my friend, Elaine. She gave us three meals worth. Thank you dear friend! For two years in a row now, they have been going to Alaska for salmon fishing for a whopping cost of $5,000 per person plus tips of $200. Imagine that? She and her husband enjoy fishing immensely that is why they don't mind paying such a large price.

I usually use salt, pepper, cut-up basil, and lemon juice to flavor the salmon to preserve its delicate taste. However, last night I didn't have lemons. I didn't want to make a trip to the grocery store that late either. I asked myself, "what can I use instead of lemon?" I gazed at my pantry for a while. Suddenly, I saw a bottle of unopened Zesty Italian dressing, my saving grace. I immediately grabbed it and drizzled about 2 tablespoons on the whole salmon, plus the salt, pepper, and basil flakes. I added some slices of onions and tomatoes and tossed in three average-size potatoes good for three people...my husband, A, and me. I baked it at 375 degrees, 20 minutes long. I had to keep close watch of it as I didn't want to cook it one minute longer. You don't want to overcook salmon. After 20 minutes had elapsed, I took the tray out of the oven to see if the salmon was cooked. Nope, it wasn't quite done yet. I shoved it right back in the oven for no more than 3 minutes.

Boy, the salmon tasted so heavenly with baked potato, and fresh green salad on the side. It was cooked just perfect!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Show, And Not Tell

I was reading on tips on blogging and one known blogger suggested that a writer must show and not tell to make writing interesting. Hmmm, this is something that doesn't happen overnight. What I can do to improve my writing is to just practice, practice, and practice. And when I am done with it, I will practice some more. Just like playing a guitar, you don't become an expert overnight.

Here is an interesting short story written by my daughter when she was a sophomore in high school:

I stared at the monstrous river that blocked my destination. The sun's rays beat down on my face as I squinted toward the other side. The rushing waters looked like it would sweep anything crossing its path down to oblivion. Tampico, the Shetland pony I was riding, neighed. Could I cross the river, and could Tampico make it through the rushing current? The river looked too brutal, so I decided it was not quite time to try just as yet. I turned around back towards my house.

Everyday in the summer, I would ride Tampico up and down the driveway of my house. Tampico was a white pony with a long, fluffy tail. He was very gentle, tame, and best of all, brave. And yet everyday, we would both face the same challenge of the surging river, daring us to cross its sparkling yet mysterious waters.

"Dinner" I heard my mom call out. I could feel my stomach churning and anticipating the delicious meals my mom always made. The river could wait another day...right now it was dinnertime.

The next day, the sun welcomed Tampico and me outside as I fed the pony some apples from my family's orchard. I could hear boats sailing through Lake Washington, which was just a mile away from my house. The dazzling surface of the lake blinded my eyes when the sun reflected off of it. I thought about the river. The weather looked a little bit gloomy and a few patches of clouds filled the sky, but the current was not as strong as it had been, so I thought it would be the best time to cross.

I mounted Tampico, and we slowly made our way out of the orchard towards the river's muddy edge. I glared at the river as if trying to read its mind...trying to find the exact moment when the river would be most vulnerable and easiest to cross. I did not mind the challenge, but I did not want little Tampico to drown. The stream looked serene and peaceful, rather than angry and full of revenge. I dug my heels into Tampico's side and nudged him to move forward. He looked up at me with longing eyes and asked if we could wait just one more day to cross, but I knew we had waited too long for this journey. It was time to cross the river. It would be the biggest challenge of our lives.

After seven years of staring at the furious river, which no kids in our neighborhood ever dared to cross, Tampico and I gracefully made our way across the stream. I breathed in a sigh of relief, and pride set in my mind as I held my head up high. I was the bravest kid in the neighborhood.

We were halfway across when, unexpectedly, the river started to take on a dark and gloomy shade. The water began to churn mysteriously, and haze settled around us. Fears built up inside me, and I could feel my heart beating more rapidly every second. We were no longer in the tranquil river we had first started to cross... it had switched personalities and turned into an enraged accumulation of fury. Splashing waves crashed against the riverbacks, and icy shards of rain began to fall.

"Neeeiiiggghhh!" Tampico cried out in fear. I could sense him struggling to keep his balance on the rocky bottom.

I gripped on to Tampico's neck with all my might. "Hold on Tampico! We can make it!" Just a little bit farther in the distance was the othe side of the river. If it would just calm down for a moment, we could make it.

But it was too late. Tampico lost his footing and we were both tossed around in the river. I couldn't see anything because the water clouded my eyes. I coughed and coughed trying to keep my head above the surface. I could hear Tampico panicking. The droplets of water boisteroulsy laughed at us as it splashed our faces and I could hear the rocks on the bottom giggling and tittering at us. They had all tricked us into crossing the deadly waters.

Suddenly, I felt a hand grab my wrist. I turned around only to see that it was my mom. "Stephanie, didn't I tell you not to play in the street?" she asked sternly.

"I wasn't playing in the street, mom, I was trying to cross the river!" I insisted, trying to grab Tampico. "Help Tampico! He's drowning!" I helplessly cried.

"You and your imagination, pick up that bicycle of yours...Tampico...whatever you call it, and go inside!"

I sighed and picked up Tampico. I knew I wouldn't stop trying to achieve my goal of crossing the river. Yes, the raging, taunting river may have only been 26th street, and Tampico may have only been a bike, but there's nothing wrong with a little imagination.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Most Anticipated Arizona Rain

Arizona Rain by S.

rocking back and forth
on the white wicker chair
each sting of the glassy pearls
pricking the sheltering porch rail
humorously magnified
by the motionless of the wind
soaking in the rain
ba-rum-pum-pum only
by the drumming of my fingers
tapping the white wicker chair
so only the rain,
the welcome pitter-patter of the rain
the ching-a-ling-ling of the wind chimes
and my drumming echo
beyond trenched coat clouds
a broken resonance
as the steel droplets cut through the wind
leafy plumes reach out,
streched, and trembling
from so many dry days
so many seasons glanced over
a last enamored wash of rain
until nothing
but slowly sleeping morsels of dust
leftover droplets disguised as glass
the thankful, satiated flora
and my discordant tapping

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Pleasant Valley Trip in Young, AZ.

One afternoon, my husband, and my daughters A and S, suddenly, decided to go for a ride to Young, AZ. It is an hour and 15 minutes drive from where I live. I decided to stay home to finish my household chores, do some errands in town and mainly, to be left alone.

This is A posing with the sword that belonged to Geronimo when he surrendered. He was a
feared leader of the Apache Indian in the 1800. To the Apaches, Geronimo embodied the very essence of the Apache values, aggressiveness, courage amidst adversities. The Spaniards raided and killed Geronimo's young wife and child, thus, caused him to hate the whites and vowed to kill as many as he could.
My daughter, S, posing in front of the cabin where Frank used to live in 1946. Frank Chapman is the owner of this property. The house is no longer livable at this time. It has a musty odor not having been occupied for a long time. Frank now owns a modern house.

Frank teased the girls that he wouldn't mind having them in exchange for horses. He did not only say it once but several times. The girls didn't care for his sense of humor and were rather pissed off! My husband went along with joke and told the guy that he is not easy person to deal with and that he would want many many horses from the exchange. The moment they arrived home, A rushed inside and told me the story. I thought that was funny.
When the creek changed its path coming too close to the backdoor, they had to move the cabin to a new location. In 1946, Frank spent his childhood years in this cabin. Original cabin was built in 1878. Many years thereafter, rooms had been added but this particular cabin was the original one. If you see closely, you will see round bullet holes which were presumably from Indians' attacks. There are also some bigger holes to put the gun barrel through to defend themselves from attackers. It was sure a hard life those days. I wouldn't want to live in fear and in constant watch of my back in my own home.
This is the oldest tractor from the Pleasant Valley. It doesn't work anymore.
This saddle was used by Olga Young in about 1900 for 50 years. She was the postmaster of the Pleasant Valley, which was later named after her. So, that is how Young got its name.
Good shot of my husband holding the sword of Geronimo. Notice the two buttons of his shirt came undone? Hehehe...

Here are some qoutes from Geronimo, the great warrior.

  • I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds, and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes
  • I was living peacefully when people began to speak bad of me.
  • Now I can sleep well, eat well and be glad. I can go anywhere with a good feeling.
  • The soldiers never explained to the government when the Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians.
  • We took an oath not to do any wrong to each other or to scheme against each other.
  • I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us.
  • There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.
  • When a child, my mother taught me to knell and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection.
  • Sometimes we prayed in silence, sometimes each one played aloud, sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us...and to Usen.
  • I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Resolution

Today is January 1, 2007, and here is my New Year's Resolution

  • Exercise at most an hour a day, 4 days a week.
  • Eat sensibly.
  • Be happy.
  • Work at a comfortable and relaxed pace.
  • Getting to know more about God by studying Bible.
  • Spending less time on computer and more on the household matters.
I did pretty good controlling my appetite last Christmas. I don't remember eating desserts on Christmas day and New Year's dinner. My friend's delicious homemade apple pie last New Year's eve was hard to resist but for some reason, I totally forgot all about it and missed eating a piece. It was probably because I wasn't feeling good that day because of flu.

We had our Christmas dinner over at a friend's house. I bought three kinds of desserts: apple pie, pecan pie, and biko. Biko disappeared quickly. The apple pie and pecan pie were barely touched. I didn't take any leftover desserts home. It is one of my tricks to stop me from indulging. Now, am back to eating rice and bagoong for weeks...hehe

How was your Christmas and New Year's dinner?