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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Have a New Home

Mango Pearl has moved to a new home, simplybelle. Please come and visit me when you have the time. I will treat you to delicious home-made cookies and some hot tea. Thank you!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Our Memorial Day Drive At Roosevelt

First off, I would like to familiarize my blogger-friends with what Memorial Day is (thanks to Anna for pointing that out). Memorial Day is a United States holiday that is observed on the last day of the month of May. It is the day we pay tribute to our men and women who had died while serving our country, the USA. Flag are flown half mast (ooops)in government and federal institutions as a sign of respect to our heroes.

During memorial day weekend, many people from different places in AZ, mostly from the cities, flocked to our place, which boosts higher elevations and cooler climate. Visitors camp out by the river, in the mountains or anywhere that is cool. Our main road, grocery stores, gas stations are jam-packed with people. It is like a madhouse. Sometimes, it is best to just stay home until the crowd has subsided.

This Monday morning, we decided to go for a long drive to Roosevelt lake which is about an hour-drive from home. I promised my friends to check on her vacant house once a month while they are away. We made sure that the drip system in the yard was in good working order. Of course, I took the camera along so I could take many interesting views along the way. I noticed that the lake is loaded with motorhomes, trailer, boats, and cars from all over places. There are so many activities that are taking place from boating, fishing, jet and water skeing, camping, and just merely sightseeing.

Roosevelt Lake was once the largest man-made lake in the world. When it is full, it can cover more than 88 miles of shoreline, big enough to hold large crowds. It is such a beautiful and popular place to cool down and to frolic around during hot summer days.

We have good memories in this lake with family and friends. When we hadn't sold our boat, we liked to spend our weekend here boat riding while the kids jumped in and out of the boat and swam like little fish until their lips turned purple and puckered. We also used to go fishing here and caught quite a bit of good-sized crappies.

My husband took the above two pictures of the lake and me.

Boats, motorhomes, and trailers crowded the shoreline for the memorial weekend.

This is the marina where people in the area store their boats.

The arch bridge was completed in 1990 right before the Roosevelt Dam was rebuilt

The Theodore Roosevelt Dam was built in 1903 for irrigation, electrical power, and recreational purposes.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Payson high school football field.

Today was a very special day because it was a day my daughter, Lexie, was graduating in high school. The graduation ceremony started at 7 PM sharp but Lexie left the house at 4 PM. We only live about a couple of miles away from the high school, which takes about 7 minute-drive. At 6 PM, I was in the back porch watching birds and hummingbirds roaming around in the garden like little helicopters.

At 6:30 PM, we got in the car and headed down to the high school football field where the graduation was about to unfold. It was a good thing we came early as the parking lots were getting filled quickly. The graduates were already starting to assemble behind the gate. I looked around searching for Lexie amidst the crowd but couldn't locate her. I wanted to get a shot of her before we proceeded to the seats. Just as I was getting comfortable in my seat, I decided to go back where the graduates were gathering in an attempt to find Lexie again so I could take her graduation photo. With the sun blinding my vision, I had no luck finding her. Just when I was about to give up, I suddenly heard someone yell out, "mommy!" amongst all the crowd's noise. It was Lexie. I quickly took a couple of shots and went back to my seat.

When it was time to sing the graduation song, I saw Lexie and a couple of her friends stand up and join the rest of the choir at a far corner. Then, I heard a familiar voice. Lexie was singing! It really caught me by surprise. Her voice filled the football field. It sounded good! I turned to my husband and he had a proud look on his face or so it seemed.

Next was the presentation of scholarship awards. I wasn't expecting much from our local community because my eldest daughter didn't do quite well 2 years ago. The most I anticipated were two awards only. Surprisingly, I heard her name called, not once, not twice, but five times, worth a $1,000 or more each. Another big surprise! Thank God!

As the ceremony was about to end, we decided to advance down to the sideline of the football field and leaned against the fence because my husband was exhausted from sitting. I asked him what he thought of his daughter singing. "What singing?" he responded. "You were not aware it was your daughter singing a while ago?" I asked. "No!", he answered. "Why didn't you remind me", he added. "I thought you knew just from the sound of her voice" I said. Hehehe, yes folks, he missed it.

Upon arriving home, he asked Lexie to sing the song again to refresh his memory. It all came back to him. Thank goodness. hehehe.

Note: The football field was quite a ways out. I had the camera with the telephoto lens on so I had a good look of her from afar. Also, my husband had trouble hearing in one ear.

Lexie happily marching

Lexie singing the graduation song, "You Raise Me UP."

"You Raise Me Up"

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

There is no life, no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But then you come, and I am filled with wonder;
Sometimes I think, I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

You raise me up... To more than I can be.

Lexie receiving scholarship awards

A close up pic.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Payson Hummingbirds

I took these pictures this afternoon while relaxing in the comfort of my back porch. They were fascinating to watch!

To all my blogger-friends, the perpetually moving jewels of Arizona!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Arizona Flowers, Birds, etc.

I have been enjoying taking pictures of everything that is around me. This morning, still in my morning pajamas and sans my morning tea, I went out in the backyard with the camera dangling around my neck.

Then later in the afternoon, my husband and I went for a ride around town and took whatever subject struck our fancy.

And ladies and gentlemen, here they are:

I just planted this Petunia in the pot a week ago.

Yellow gold flowers

This particular flower thrives in extreme hot climate of downtown Phoenix.

I have been admiring these flowers right where I deliver mail for a while. I just love the bright red color.


I finally got a picture of a hummingbird flying in mid air.

This hummingbird flew on the tree branch right above where I was standing. The picture turned out to be bigger than its real lifesize.

A Raven on top of the Saguaro cactus sippping nectar, I supposed.

A deer that never strays off.

I took a picture of this hammock because my daughter in college can't wait to get home and do a lot of reading in this hammock this summer.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Graduate

My daughter, Lexie, is graduating in high school next Thursday. Oh, how time flies by so quickly. Not too long ago, she was just a timid little girl entering kindergarten, hiding behind daddy's legs. Now, she is all grown, ready to be boomeranged to college.

I took a whole week off and plan on spending the best of it with her. I might throw a small party the following day after graduation. Why the next day? Graduation is going to be held at 7 PM and so by the time the graduation ceremony is over, it will be a little too late for a party.

Last Tuesday, we attended her last spring concert at school. I didn't realize she was singing a duet of "Travelin' Soldier" with a friend. They sang really well.

Three graduating students from the modern choir were honored with a certificate and a pin by the choir teacher. One of them was Lexie.

When I went to work the following morning, I received bright and congratulatory wishes from my co-workers. It caught me by surprise as I don't subscribe to our local newspaper. Apparently, she was chosen by the Kiwanis Club, as the "Student of the Year" and the "Most Improved Student of the Year" by the PHS teacher. Kiwanis is a group of volunteers from the community dedicated to changing the world one child at a time. I asked Lexie what she did different this year that merits this recognition. She wasn't sure. She thought she worked just as hard in the previous years both in academics and community service. I gave her a pat on the back for a job well done.

She then asked her daddy to mount the plaque on the wall adjacent to her sister's "Young Woman of the Year" award.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Tire Blow Out on the Highway

Yesterday, a friend of mine and her husband met us at a restaurant in the valley for a Mother's day lunch. There were five of us: me, my husband, A, my friend, and her husband. The food was great! We banqueted on steamed crabs, raw and cooked oysters, clams, mussels, yummy duck, lechon, sushi, fish, barbeque pork, chinese dumplings, and many more. I could only eat so much. I didn't even eat rice. I was stuffed! My husband had his fill.

After lunch, we went on our separate ways. My friend went to Costco, while my daughter and I went shopping in the mall. My husband stayed in his usual favorite place..the bookstore. I purchased a cute blouse for myself and my daughter bought two cute summer blouses. Then we headed home.

We were maintaining a speed of 67 miles an hour on an uphill grade when we suddenly heard a big blow, immediately followed by the thumping and banging noises. We were within several miles from our town. My husband said, "hold on! hold on!" while he tensely tried to hold firmly on the steering wheel. I didn't know what was happening. The car was shaking so bad, accompanied by a pounding noise. I was scared! We never experienced something like this before. I looked back and saw a woman pull over to the side. I saw pieces of tires flying all over. I looked over to the other side of the road and saw a big drop off though there was a railing to protect us. Eventually, the vehicle started slowing down and my husband was able to begin to apply the brakes and quickly pulled over on the shoulder. My husband warned us to never slam the brakes when a blow out happens so we will not lose control of vehicle and cause it to swerve all over the road. Wait until you regain control of the vehicle, then you can start applying brakes. He also cautioned not to panic. Also, it is best to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

We got out and saw the tire totally ripped off. The wheel's well was broken, too. We were all shaken! We started unloading the back of our vehicle to search for the tools for changing tire. Since we bought this vehicle nine years ago, we have never used the jack, the tire arn, etc. It tooks us a while to figure out how to unhook the doughnut spare tire. My husband tried poking in every hole he could find with the tire arn and eventually found the right one and unravelled the spare tire.

First, we put rocks behind each wheel to stabilize our vehicle. Next, we loosened all the knots to the tire before raising the jack. Some people would apply the jack first before loosening the knots. Not a good idea because if you lift the jack up, the wheels will be hanging in the air, then when you try to loosen the knots, the wheel spins or the jack could shift off while loosening the knots and the vehicle could crash to the ground and might even hit somebody.

Suddenly, I saw another vehicle pulled over behind us. They were my friends. They passed us on the highway and was unable to stop so they looked for a safe place to turn around a few miles away and came to the rescue. It felt good seeing them. Earlier, I was hoping that they would see us and somehow they read my mind. He helped my husband finish installing the tire.

We drove slowly home while my friend kept a good distance behind us to make sure we were okay. We noticed that there were three other vehicles which also experienced a blow out right about in the same area. I wondered why. We stopped on one of the vehicles and offered help. A guy driving a motorcyle who also cared to stop thought that it might have been caused by the heat outside making the tire swell and blow out. It could also be that the tire was defective.

What a Mother's day experience! Hope you know what to do when faced with this situation.

Note: our four tires are only a year old.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Largest One-Day Food Drive In the Nation

First, I would like to thank all my blogger-friends who sent me emails and greetings for Mother's day. Happy Mother's day to all of you! I, along with my co-workers, were extremely busy today collecting food as we were delivering mail to help hungry families. This is a yearly event and is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Last year, carriers collected about 70 million pounds of food nationwide--one of the biggest. Locally, we accumulated about 6,000 pounds of food and were quickly transported to our local food bank to replenish empty pantry.

So, for those of you living in the US, did you remember to set out food by the mailbox?

Yes, we do have families who are using or have used the food bank to survive. A chinese friend of mine lived off the food pantry for a brief period while going through separation. There are more people out there who are in dire need of food but too embarrassed to tell their friends and relatives about. It could happen to anyone of us anytime, any day, hence, the importance of giving.

Here is the conversation I had with my friend D concerning the food drive later this afternoon:

D: How did you do?

Me: Slow in the business part but I made up in the residential area. I picked up about 10 buckets of food. What about you?

D: Not too good. Those rich people neglected to set out food.

Me: {laughing and murmuring to myself) I wonder if they even knew what was going on.

Probably, most people were not aware of it. Believe it or not, my husband didn't know about it. I know we sent out cards to the customers reminding them of the food drive. Likewise, we had it announced in our local radio station, and even had it published in our local newspaper. My husband only reads first class mail, the rest, he tosses away in the brown file, which explained his unawareness. But hey, if for some reasons, you missed it, no big deal. You can still donate non-perishable food at your local food bank.

Taken Saturday morning along with my gorgeous co-workers. Can you find Waldo, este, Belle, in this picture? (geeesh, I forgot to suck in my abs and halata bang gusot ang damit ko? hehe)

I cleaned out my pantry last night and found these unused cans and boxes and asked my husband to set them out by the mailbox.

The next pictures show the food waiting for pick up.

I should have gotten more food than what is in this truck but my supevisor drove through my some parts of my route and picked up whatever food left out, which was a big help.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Backyard Creatures

Took these pictures today.

These are the birds that come in our backyard on a daily basis. They love our bird baths. First, they come and take a bath, turn around and poop in it, and take a nice big drink. Ehew!!! How unsanitary!

Has anyone of you seen hummingbirds? If not, look at the first two pictures. See, how small they are? They are the smallest birds in the world, about ohhh, 2 inches in length. They can only be found in north and south America. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by quickly flapping their wings. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. They can hover stationary, too. Talking about agility! They are a delight to watch especially those with interesting colors. So far, we have two hummingbirds in our backyard, but later in the summer, they come in droves and in different kinds.

Sometimes, there are 4 or 6 hummingbirds vying for a place at one feeder. Males are very aggressive and territorial. They will chase anyone hovering around their feeder and this goes on all day. I often wonder how those less aggressive ones get their meal.

This Black Chinned hummingbird finally sneaked in and had a chance to get his meal without getting chased by Anna, the aggresor. He/she must be scaring other one or must have dozed off. See Anna in the next picture.

I presume, this is Anna because of the iridescent pink colors on the head. You can barely see it. Click on the picture for better image.

I believe the next two pictures are gold finches. Finch is shown doing his usual bath-poop-drink routine.

Lovely gold finch on the Juniper tree. Juniper tree, by the way, gives out pollen that affects most people here including myself. We can't escape from it because our forest is surrounded with it. Nasty tree!

I carefully took this picture of the quail through the blind from my bedroom.