Ten Things of Thankful 178 (Election Week Thankfuls)

Hello everyone! Hope you are all fine. Cold here in Bavaria, had some snow in the morning, now melted. Him Indoors and I are both coughing like crazy, but we’re glad it’s the weekend, we can relax and hopefully, get better. Ten things of thankful, yes, I’ve got loads to be grateful.

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Starting with my Mom. For three weeks, she didn’t have any companion to assist her in the house. Her PA left without saying anything and there was my mother, waiting for her until she rang and said, she didn’t want to return anymore. So panic, panic, everyone asking around if they knew anyone who could help and voila! Found one. One of the nieces of my friend, so we sent her some airfare ticket from the province to come to Manila. Happy with that result.

Aurora is my mother’s name
Daybreak she came
Such a beauty
Out in the sea

Creating an aura of hope
She always cope
Always has been
Serves with a grin

And in our lives she’s the centre
Perfumed with myrrh
The love she gives
Superlative!

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

HRH the son and his beautiful bride are happy on their new place/new town. She started with her PhD, he is volunteering in a charity foundation for three months and then he’ll try to look for a job next year. Good luck to them.

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Yesterday, we had a phone call from the in-laws. He was taken to the hospital for some kidney stones. He’s back now, was given some medicine and asked to wait. He goes back in two weeks to be scanned and see what the next procedure is. Hope it works and he gets better so they can come here for Christmas.

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Thankful for freedom and all men and women, generations after generations, all over the world, who sacrificed their lives to give us our freedom.

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Thankful for my job, I’m still enjoying it and I still see it as my hobby.

Thankful for the memories. It was my Mom’s birthday last week and next week, it would be my Dad’s, bless his soul. We miss him.

Thankful for the autumn this year, now welcoming winter.

I woke up this morning, the air was fresh, cool breeze and dark time. Fog all over our garden, children on their bikes, waiting for each other to go to school. Summer is over, children are cheerful with their back packs. The wind whispering as crispy leaves fall from trees, heaps of gold, brown and red on the ground. It’s also time for harvest, our grapes by our front door and the two apple trees at the back. There was not a lot of harvest this year, enough to stew the apples for apple crumble and pies, and the grapes for some juice. We are very grateful for the produce. It’s also the time to take some of our plants, like olives, banana and palm plants in the house, as well as our pet tortoises. No more garden paradise for them. They are staying in with us.

autumn like a dream
when the wind brushes the leaves
fairy tale that weaves

kids back to school
cheerful to see each other
summer is over

harvesting apples
crisp copper leaves falling off
chilling the air

(c) ladyleemila 2016

For: Ten Things of Thankful 178 (Election Week Thankfuls). Also for: 30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12, ALL SEASONS -NOVEMBER ENJOYMENT (November 13)

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30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 8

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What are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for our family, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. all different characters and we all belong together.

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Look at this black and white photo
Golden anniversary of our grandparents
We were all there, some not even born
Most of them were not with us anymore
And so with this in mind, my homage

Tatay was my idol, a great reader
Died of Parkinson’s disease, still reading
He put the meanings of the difficult words
Wrote them in pencils at the side of books

Nanay, still beautiful in her old age
Long wavy hair, deaf as a post
Her cooking, shall we say, creative
Mixing things we normally don’t mixed

Tia Carol and Tio Fred, both in heaven
Both doctors, humble as pies
Good storytellers, took life leisurely
Spoke the dialect I cannot understand

Tio Alex, bless his soul, only brother
Worked in Customs, good looking
Tia Ludy, still with us, still elegant
Brought the kids on her own

My Mum, my darling mother
Pregnant with our youngest brother
My Dad, I still miss him, now gone
Memories in our hearts and souls

All siblings and cousins
Now all with own families
We used to play together
Our own family portrait

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: 30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 8.

Also for: NaNoPoblano Day 8

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Are we there yet?

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Views merged with the light and speed, the son is asleep at the back of the car, we’re listening to some opera, road trip from Germany to Britain is always fun. Car packed with goodies from Germany, our suitcases and some sweets, snacks and drinks. Son wakes up, listens to his music, then gets bored, asking when we are arriving.

Are we there yet?
Street lights and fast cars
Family’s road trip

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 8th 2016 75 words haibun, Photo Challenge #138

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 7

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Home Thoughts
by Carl Sandburg

THE SEA rocks have a green moss.
The pine rocks have red berries.
I have memories of you.

Speak to me of how you miss me.
Tell me the hours go long and slow.

Speak to me of the drag on your heart,
The iron drag of the long days.

I know hours empty as a beggar’s tin cup on a rainy day, empty as a soldier’s sleeve with an arm lost.

Speak to me …

What are you thankful for today?

I am grateful for my two homes, the Philippines where I was born and bred and Germany, where I am happily living with Him Indoors.

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The shore that call us home
Was the title of the poem
By Samuel Hazo in 1949
Makes me think about my life
Every time I go home and meet my
Family, friends and relatives again
After some time when I’m here
And they are there living differently
Yet parallel to each other, there’s this
Nostalgic feeling, of being home again
This land or these islands I miss so much
It doesn’t matter where I am now, and
I’m building a home with my family here
But over there where I used to call home
Full of childhood memories, of school,
Of college, of my first experience at work
First love, first kiss, first of everything
These experiences made me and taught me
They gave me a solid foundation of how
It is to be me, all the trials and errors
They gave me the confidence to try and
Explore different things and I have proved
That I can do it no matter where
So even when I’m happy here
I’d still be a girl with a fringe
I’d always go back to the shore
That calls me home, the Philippines

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

home is happy
home is cosy
home is warm
home doesn’t regret
home doesn’t mind sharing
home grows with love

it doesn’t matter
where or what is home
home is with Him Indoors
and HRH the son
our three tortoises
our flowers in the grden
things we share
experience and memories
I love our home!

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: 30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 7. Also for: NaNoPoblano Day 7

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Him Indoors’ Supplies

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This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with the blog, Doodles and Scribbles. Thank you Maria!

Once a year we drive to Britain. We usually stay the night in Maastricht and then carry on driving to Calais, take the tunnel to Dover and drive to the Midlands. HRH the son and his beautiful bride meet us and they also visit Granny and Grandad for the week. It’s also an opportunity for me to visit my brother and family. On the way to Britain, our car is full of our suitcase, some beers from Bavaria as we have the best beers, as well as boxes of wines and Sekt, as they are cheaper and we’ve got a better selection of wines. On the way back, we have to fill the car with Him Indoors’ British supplies, as I call them – HP sauce, Worchester sauce, cheddar cheese, salt and vinegar crisps, malt vinegar, Branston pickles, Patak’s curry pastes, ginger snaps, teas, boxes and boxes of black tea, etc. He made shelves in the cellar and we usually fill them up when we come back from our drive to Britain. Him Indoors and his supplies – love him and them!

For: FFfAW Challenge – Week of October 11, 2016 by Priceless Joy

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Ten Things of Thankful 172 (Magic) #10Thankful

Hello everyone! There’s magic in the air and I’m loving it! Hope you are all fine. As I’ve said last Thursday, got lots of little things to be thankful about.

I’m smiling because the weather here in Bavaria is lovely, our Indian summer! We have just been swimming this morning and it was brilliant. I’ve hanged clothes outside to dry and the tortoises are happy in the garden. We’re also happy sitting in the garden, drinking our fizzy drinks and admiring the flowers. I have taken lots of photo, as usual, of the flowers, of the leaves changing colours, of the falling leaves, of shadows and other stuff. This morning I’ve video-called my mother. She’s getting better in using the tablet and she rang me herself, how cool is that! In social media, I’ve greeted my cousin, who celebrated their 25 years wedding anniversary and they have renewed their vows in the same church where they were married. It was nice to see them, together with their 6 children and they were all lovely in their white dresses and suits. My friend from Iran is now back from her holidays and we agreed to see each other next week. And tomorrow, Him Indoors and I are going out for a Chinese, the one where we used to eat when we first arrived here. We’ll be cycling there tomorrow evening. So that’s my smile this week. Cheers everyone!

P.S. the sky tonight’s so heavenly!

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What else? I’m thankful that we have a long-weekend having Monday off as it’s Germany’s reunification day. Him Indoors is out buying food until Monday (shops are closed tomorrow and Monday, so panic buying for everyone!).

Grateful that HRH the son and his beautiful bride have found a flat in their new place where they will have the next phase of their lives. She’s doing her PhD and he’s hoping to find a job, having just finished his Masters. “White rabbits” to them!

Happy that I spoke to my mother and she’s fine and in good spirit. We talked about her 80th birthday celebration for next year, planning for a big party, of course, with all of her children and grandchildren all over the world coming to the Philippines to celebrate with her.

Grateful that school term in the language school starts next week. Looking forward to seeing my new students. I’ve just ordered some new books, too.

That’s it from me. Keep the magic in you! Take care everyone x

For: Ten Things of Thankful 172 (Magic) #10Thankful, SEASONS – BEGIN OCTOBER FEASTS

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Inang’s Sewing Machine

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

The photo prompt made me remember my Dad’s mother, “Inang” which is a Tagalog word for mother (could also be a dialect from their province, Bulacan). My Dad’s father, “Amang” died during the Japanese occupation and left a young wife and two children, my father who was 5 and my Aunt, who was three. Inang managed that by sewing clothes for people, she first worked in a clothes factory and then did it privately. Inang worked days and nights so they could survived. I remembered Inang and her old sewing machine. She sewed our school uniforms. Bless her soul.

For: Friday Fictioneers by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo Challenge #128 – Painting the Moon

With this brush, I paint the moon for you
Crossing out the storms and bad weather
Having the sky the right greyish hue
Giving some parts a mysterious blur

Entering some stars that sparkle at night
With this post, I count my blessings
You’ve always been my knight
Never hurting my feelings

That you’re here by my side
And we’re both free
Both enjoying the ride
And watching the prix

That our only son with his bride
Are making their marks in the world
Of course, with our support and guide
And a kaleidoscope of images whirled

Turning every chance into challenges
Therefore, I’ve got nothing left to wish for
As we climb mountains and cross bridges
Waiting for more things to explore

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

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Source: Unknown

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For: Photo Challenge #128, Wordle 263 Aug 28 by Brenda Warren

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The Ultimate Blogging Challenge: Day 1

From Caitlin: Here is the first day of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge and I can’t wait to get started!

If you don’t know what this is, click here to read more. There is no sign up and you are free to join as and when you please.:)

Right! Today is all about us getting to know you better.

I would like you to create something that represents you in some way. It could be as simple as writing a [insert number] facts about me post. Or, it could be a story of something that inspired or influenced you as a person. You could even share a piece of artwork that you feel a connection to, whether it was created by you or not.

The possibilities are endless and you can go as “off-topic” as you like, as long as it has a strong relation to you and lets us get to know you better.:)

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I was 23 when I first left my country. The first time to be away from my family, the first time to travel to Europe, my adventure. I could still remember that day when they all took me to the airport, my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends – quite disheartening, actually. I was sad to leave them, but at the same time, looking forward to my journey.

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A week after I’ve arrived in France, it started snowing. I couldn’t believe my eyes; the whole world was blanketed in white! It was so incredibly gorgeous and perfect, no footsteps in it, just lumps and bumps where plants sat in the gardens and cars entirely covered in snow. I was mesmerised. As soon as I’ve felt its powdery texture, I thought to myself, “This was the White Christmas people were dreaming about.” I couldn’t imagine that just a week ago, from sweltering morning – traffic starting to build up in Manila. The noise of cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and jeepneys beeping and honking, children going to school and adults to work, street vendors selling taho (soya) or peanuts. Such a difference! A normal hectic day in Manila compared to a peaceful, snowy one in France.

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Four years later, I was returning to the Philippines. I have lived in Switzerland, Germany and the United States. I worked as a Secretary to the Ambassador of Ethiopia at the United Nations Office in Geneva. I did the English correspondence and dealt with his appointments. It was a great diplomatic experience. Then I went to Germany to do some laboratory training. I’ve got my Chemistry degree from the Philippines, so I was able to get a 6-month training at BASF, Ludwigshafen. There, I met Him Indoors, who was also doing some training. Action and reaction, love happened and we were sad to part ways after the training. I went to Los Angeles, California, USA and he went back to the UK to finish his Chemistry degree. In the summer, he visited me in Los Angeles and we decided to get married. That was the reason I was returning to the Philippines – to tell my parents that we were getting married.

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EDSA REVOLUTION / FEBRUARY 1986 Catholic nuns and supporters of the EDSA people’s revolt greets a soldier on board his V-150 armored tank at EDSA. PDI PHOTO/BOY CABRIDO

The EDSA Revolution of 1986 in the Philippines. I was part of the crowd – a bizarre mixture of people coming and going in every direction, military tanks and cannons with their soldiers greeted with flowers and food, burning tires, activist flags and streamers, vendors selling their wares, vehicles parked everywhere and some beeping their horns, portable radios, foreign correspondents and religious altars. Strangers flashed wide grins at each other. People were marching, praying, crying and singing all at the same time. It was one of nonviolent protests that led to the departure of the then President Marcos and the re-establishment of the country’s democracy. I was there. I wanted to make a difference. I was part of that history.

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We got married on the nicest day of June (it was the only weekend it didn’t rain, thank God) in the UK. We prepared a big fish (baked) with mayonnaise, red and green peppers, chopped carrots on top. I also cooked spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce and other Filipino dishes. Him Indoor’s mother baked the cake, and did the other dishes. We prepared before hand, so we used the fridges of their neighbours to store them. My cousin from Germany and her husband came and she was my Maid of Honour. She wore a Royal Blue Dress. I wore a creamish dress from the Philippines, made of pineapple fibre, like silk. It was exquisite! Him Indoors wore a dark blue suit, with his great grandfather’s pocket watch. We got married in the Register Office, which was a magnificent timber building and the oldest building in the country. It was so romantic!

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Four years later, Him Indoors was accepted to work in Bavaria so we moved here. It was a new place for both of us, not knowing that we would be still here after 27 years. HRH the son was born here and he considers Bavaria as his home. We’re happy here – we have the mountains to hike or ski in the winter, and the lakes, beer gardens and parks to walk or cycle in the summer. It was just the right size for us, not too big a city and not too little a village. We have a terrace house and a garden. When HRH the son was born, I decided to stay at home and looked after him. We did lots of things together, from toddler groups, music school, kindergarden, school, etc. I volunteered to work as one of the librarians in their library. When he was 10, I started thinking about going back to work. I did some training, a Master’s in English Language Teaching. Now, I’m a freelance English trainer/teacher. And so, my journey continues.

For: The Ultimate Blogging Challenge: Day 1 . Also for: Sandbox Writing Challenge #52 — Finding My Way

Ten Things of Thankful 165 (Inspiration) #10Thankful – The Indian Wedding

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all fine. We’ve just got back from India to celebrate HRH the son and his beautiful bride their Indian wedding. We had a great time. Beautiful K’s parents hosted the wedding and everything was organised, from when we arrived in the city, to the henna evening with all the food (chicken, prawns, squids, curries, papadoms, etc.) and Kathakali and other Indian dances and martial art and fire performances. Not to mention we all had henna art work. We finished the night with dancing.

Him Indoors’ brothers and their families were able to join us and we were all happy that they could join us. HRH the son was happy to see all his cousins. The wedding started with the chanting and the first ritual is welcoming the groom by the bride’s family. Beautiful K’s brother washed his feet, dried them and greeted him with a garland. He then held his hand and guided him to the Mandapam or the stage. Beautiful K is brought to the Mandapam by her parents, along with young girls (their friends and cousins) carrying Deepam (symbolic to casting light along the way). She then took her place next to the groom on the Mandapam.

HRH the son and his beautiful K seek our blessings and all the elders. The Thaali or the wedding necklace is blessed by the priest and handed to HRH the son. The Thaali is a leaf shaped locket strung on a yellow thread which he tied around the beautiful K’s neck. The Nadaswaram is played loud and the couple exchanged garlands accepting each other as husband and wife.

HRH the son and his beautiful K took seven steps representing nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and harmony and understanding.

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He then showed his bride the double stars of Arundhati and Vashishta, symbolic of marital fulfillment and loyalty.

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The wedding feast followed, known as Sadhya (banquet in Malayalam). It is a variety of pure vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in Kerala, India.

I’m really grateful that we can share with you our happiness. Here’s to the bride and groom, may their future be as bright as the ceremony, and be blessed forever. Have a great week everyone!

What made you smile this week?

For: Ten Things of Thankful 165 (Inspiration) #10Thankful, Weekly Smile 32 #weeklysmile, Three Things Thursday: August 11, 2016, Circus at Mercato Mall – Echoes of my neighbourhood, #MySundayPhoto – Blenheim Palace /August 14, 2016, Hello Kitty Bike (Sundays In My City), Tell Me Something Good #18

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