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Showing posts from October, 2010

Filipino-American Halloween

I was taught that on this day, we remember our ancestors and that no matter where we are in life, we should never forget that "we" are here because of them. Earlier today, I drove to the mall for some window shopping, and I couldn't help but smile at the shoppers and sales clerks in Halloween costumes. I saw kids dressed as ladybugs, fairies and other fairytale or action hero costumes; they were the cutest as they visit each shop dangling their baskets half-filled with sweets.

Although I've lived in the US since I was 17, it's still vivid in my mind how my parents prepare for November 1st. Before this day, the men in the family would visit our relatives' graves, paint the headstones and make sure the surroundings are cleaned and cleared of weeds. Family and relatives would contribute to the paint cost and almost all the time, this results to a family squabble.

The evening before November 1st, our house would be filled with a permeating smell of sweet coconut…

Scare Me!

Posted by Arden Wallace

I can't believe that it's time for haunted houses again! I love this time of year! I love racing out to see the hottest haunted house or the local theme park transform into a haunted hideaway! I don't even mind waiting in line while it's freezing outside. As crazy as it sounds, the Halloween themed music, black lights and horror costumes remind me of being a kid again. Nothing beats being bundled up, surrounded by your friends and having a great time while you walk through the 'House of Horrors' as the characters scare you, or at least make a good attempt! The only thing that would really scare me is if I come home to a house that has been ransacked, which is why I always activate my Home-Alarm-Systems before I leave. I don't need to come home to a true horror site! It's comforting to know the only screaming I will be doing will be followed by laughing on a fright fest weekend! I can't wait to see what horror movie theme they…

A Request And An Award

Please allow me to make another request.
If you still haven't voted for your top ten PEBA nominees, please vote here.  I am nominee number 2 and my entry is entitled Outside Looking In.  Thank you so much to all who took the time to read my entry. Special thank you to Cher for promoting my blog.
This is an exciting time for PEBA, as they've posted some of the chosen judges for this year's 3rd Annual PEBA International Blog and Photo Awards. Please support their cause.

Lui, thank you for this award.

The Rules:

Be sure to thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
Share 7 things about yourself.
Pass the award to other bloggers who you think deserves it.
Be sure to let the bloggers know you chose them to receive the award.
Here are seven things about me:
For months, I've been thinking of baking pandesal, but I'm not sure why I still haven't done it.I don't like my hair cut at the moment. My hair curves in funny ways.I think autumn is now my f…

Part 2: Virginia's Skyline Caverns

As we went deeper into the caverns, we met more characters inside and went through narrower pathways. If I'm not mistaken, the tour lasted from 45 minutes to an hour. When you do take a cavern tour, make sure to bring a sweater or jacket with you, as it gets cold inside. Also, wear comfortable clothing and shoes with a good grip because it could get slippery inside. Our tour guide said that if water drops on you from the ceiling, it's called the cavern's kiss and it is considered lucky. I'm happy to say that I've been kissed by the cavern and that I feel lucky.

How about a little geology lesson? One of the reasons why I wanted to visit Skyline Caverns is because it is one of the few caverns in the world that houses the rare Anthodites.  According to, Anthodites are also "called "Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom" and that they seem to defy gravity. Their delicate white spikes spread in a…

Hide and Seek Halloween

Content by Sol Rosales

This year is going to be different from the past few halloweens my family and I have went trick or treating on. We usually just take the kids to a local neighborhood and let them trick or treat for a couple of hours. However, this year we are going to a hide and seek trick or treat festival. There are hidden treats everywhere within a maze and the kids along with my husband and I have to find as much candy as possible. Whoever finds the most wins a cash prize also. There is also going to be booths set up within the maze like games and face painting. I know the kids are going to love maze and I am hoping they find the most candy so I can enjoy the cash prize. There is also going to be a best halloween costume contest and I am almost certain one my kiddos will win. This year the boys are going to be a turtle, a fish, and a mouse. The girls are going to be a lollipop and a tootsie roll. No matter how the maze and contests turn out I know we are going to enjoy the r…

Part 1: Virginia's Skyline Caverns

If you happen to be in the Virginia area, don't fail to visit their caverns. I highly recommend Luray, Endless and Skyline Caverns just because I have visited all three. To my experience, each cavern has a specialty. Luray is known for its impressive, almost gigantic formations. Endless for it's name alone "endless" passageways and a fossilized mammoth's tooth. Skyline for its Anthodites (a.k.a. Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom) - that radiate spike formations resembling flowers, which I will be featuring on my next entry (Source:  I like visiting caverns because it reminds me of the caves I've visited in Sagada. I guess it's a process I do to ease my yearning for my mom's hometown.

Upon turning into Skyline Caverns' entrance, my eyes were easily diverted to the colorful trees surrounding the entrance. Fall is so prominent in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. This house serves both as lobby and en…

Mushrooms & ABCs Of Me

Last week, I was so busy looking up and taking photos of the yellow and red maple trees when I nearly stepped on these mushroom beauties. Oh what a mess it would have been.

I think it's important to look down so as not to miss the beauty below.
 Here's a funny quote on mushrooms: “Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it's the real thing until it's too late.” (Bill Balance)---------- Here's something fun to do. The ABCs of Me Advocate for: human and animal rights
Book: I'm trying to finish Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Career: energy policy research
Dreams: to be healthy, to be a good friend and partner, to see my family happy, to see the world
Essential items: lip salve, hand lotion, ipod and planner
Favorite song or music: I don't listen to a particular music these days, but I listen to pop and country while I'm driving.
Good at: research, multitasking, travel planning, keeping up with my bills
Hobby: travel, photography, writing letters, bl…

Thank You

Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes and kind words.

I am doing fine and that I am back at work today. I was able to see my hematologist on Thursday and that I need to schedule a couple of doctor appointments in the next few weeks. The four-day weekend was pleasant and relaxing. Although at times, I still can't stop worrying about what's going on with me healthwise.

To take my mind off from my current concerns, PW and I drove to Virginia where we took a tour of the Skyline Caverns and spent a day driving through the Shenandoah National Park, where autumn foliage is beautiful and awe-inspiring.

I will be posting some photos soon and I hope everyone's having a wonderful Monday.

Beauty and the Beast

I appreciate the guest post, Marian Combs

Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite animated movie has been Beauty and the Beast. And anytime it's on satellite TV from, I just have to watch it no matter what. I'm just a sucker for the inner beauty storyline where Belle is able to see past the Beast's ferocious looks to see the tender man underneath. Plus, what girl doesn't love animated musicals? Okay, so there are probably plenty who don't, but I happen to be one that loves them. I think all the voice actors and singers who sing on Beauty and the Beast are tremendously talented. Anyway, the story has this creepy, but supposedly hot looking Gaston guy chasing after Belle only because she's the most beautiful girl in town. Turns out though that Belle is something of an intellectual who enjoys reading books and stuff. When her father Maurice is imprisoned by the Beast, Belle offers t…

ER Adventure

Who would have known that I'd end up at the ER on Wednesday? I guess there's always a first for everything, and this was my first ER adventure. My trip to the ER was more of a precautionary move, as I lost consciousness again at the train station on Tuesday evening. I hate fainting because it feels like dying especially when everything turns black and then you drop like a leaf. After fainting at the train station, I still managed to drive myself home.

It was Wednesday morning when I had the chance to report what happened to my hematologist, and so he insisted I check in to the nearest ER just to make sure there's nothing else going on. And so I spent almost the whole day at the George Washington (GW) Hospital, hooked to an IV and under observation. Apparently, my platelets went down to 35 coupled with dehydration. The doctors and nurses who looked after me were so nice. Thank you, GW!

IVs are not my favorite.
Since yesterday, my office insisted that I stay at home and recupe…

Costume Party

Guest written by our friend Solomon Thompson

Halloween is the most fun time of the year, and shopping for costumes is one of the best things about the day. No matter what age you are, dressing up is a great way to relive the days of yesteryear and forget the real world, if only for a few hours. Every year I dress up and attend a costume party.

Before I leave the house, I turn my home security alarm, from, on, and head out the door. I usually go to the Halloween specialty store that is right down the street for my costume purchase. I love their selection of costumes, as well as the super low prices that they offer. There are so many different costumes, picking the perfect one is so hard! This year I have chosen to dress as a vampire. I purchased my costume, as well as fangs, makeup, and a pair of fantastic books to complete the look. I am very excited to attend the party this year, and can not wait to see the other costumes people will be wearing.

All I Want For Christmas

I'm super excited about  All I Want For Christmas, an exchange gift swap between bloggers, which is being hosted by Prinsesa's Anatomy. Click here to read the mechanics and to participate.

Okay, here's my wish list:

Something small: a phone charm
Something big: kulinarya cook book
Something cute: stationery/writing pads
Something soft: teddy bear or hello kitty or kim sam soon's pig stuff toy :)
Something techie: blackberry
Something fancy: dslr camera
Something (insert your favorite color): pink or baby blue
Something wearable: necklace or bracelet
Something you need: a journal notebook
Something you can use for work: monthly planner (small size)
Something sweet: anything milk chocolate but milk pastillas, dates, kinder bueno, or cloud 9 will do

All I Want For Christmas:  I am not picky and I will appreciate any present(s) given. On the more specific side, I'd love anything pink/blue and cute. But for this Christmas, all I want is to be home with my family.

Capturing Fall 2010

Yesterday, I decided to spend a day with my Nikon. I know that my former apartment has these red and yellow maple trees, so I decided that, that was our destination for the day. Nikon and I were not disappointed. The maple trees in my old neighborhood were engulfed in their full autumn glory - waiting to be captured and immortalized.

 As the sun shone directly on the maple tree, it lit up every leaf.  Yellow maple leaves.  Vibrant red.  Maple trees are a favorite.  Some trees have fully adjusted to autumn, some are still starting. As the trees change their color in autumn, their leaves fall and pile up to paint the ground yellow and red.

Farmer Cat Ready For Hibernation

Look who I found snoozing on my flower garden today. It's farmer cat. I guess after the busy spring gardening (see her at work here) and the fall harvest, she's taking her time napping and hiding at my flower garden. Well, I'm quite happy to see her all comfy and warm, as the weather has been cooling rather fast.

I think I need to talk her into putting some Halloween costume for the kids. I think she'll make a wonderful Halloween cat or she can watch the sweets for me.

A meowy Saturday to all!

The Dog Who Drank The Witches' Brew

Special Request
If you have not voted for your Top 10 PEBA blogs yet, please take a moment to vote here. Thank you so much for all who have voted. I'm hoping my blog will make the top ten.
It's Friday and I'm so ready to kick my shoes off and relax, so I've decided to post something lighthearted and also in line with the Halloween theme. Enjoy and happy weekend to all.

After the apple picking, we picked a spot to relax near the farm's straw maze close to some Halloween decorations like the three witches brewing some potion. Then this dog comes along and goes straight for the witches' cauldron. I guess he was so thirsty from the apple picking or pumpkin hunting.

A dog's gotta do, what a dog's gotta do.
Bury my face in the witches' cauldron for some witches' brew. I'm possessed and stop taking my photos...grrrr. Potion is working and I feel wasted. The potion didn't work. I'm still itchy. Damn fleas! Fake witches!


Purple Bike

It's been a long time since I rode my bike.  I actually wanted to buy a new one, but since it's still a good, sturdy bike, I decided to keep it.

The recent weekend was blessed with beautiful autumn weather so I thought it was time to get back on the pedal. So we packed our bikes on PW's truck, drove to Gettysburg and spent the afternoon biking and just enjoying the scenery.  It was exhilarating to feel the wind through my hair as I freely rode my bike through several downhills. Although Gettysburg looks flat in the photos, there were uphill climbs that made me huff and puff.

My bike and historical Gettysburg. Passing through green, open fields. This old water pump reminds me of the same one we have in the Philippines. There stood a bike and a few civil war cannons. Shade and getting some rest. Segway tours in the park. A brush of yellow.

Deep Fried Oreos

Guest post of the week by Val Flores

In several trips to the Jersey Shore, I noticed that many of the vendors on the boardwalk sell fried oreos. After buying some, I decided that it would be cheaper to just make them myself. They were absolutely delicious but too expensive when buying them on the boardwalk. Thankfully, when I watched a program on my tv from on how to make fried oreos, I just had to give the recipe a try!

To make the fried oreos, you just take ordinary pancake batter. Mix the batter to the boxes specifications, adding water instead of milk. Some people also opt to add a teaspoon or two of vegetable or olive oil to the mixture. I find that using the pancake batter just as it is is sufficient enough for an amazing tasting treat. Dip oreos into the pancake batter and place in a deep fryer that is heated to 350ยบ. Wait for about a minute and turn the oreo around gently, using tongs or a fork. Once the oreo is nice and golden brown, remove it and lay it on p…

Pumpkins And Gourds

In addition to apple picking, we also joined a throng of people psyched for pumpkin hunting. I thought pumpkins will be scarce this Halloween due to the recent flooding, but I was amazed that a lot of the pumpkins thrived and survived. It was lovely to see the kids out with their parents at the pumpkin patch, and it was a delight to see the deep orange pumpkins scattered all around.

colorful gourds that come in weird shapes and sizes pumpkin pyramid and on the right is the apple orchard pumpkins for sale pumpkin patch with the catoctin mountains as backdrop
Happy Tuesday!