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I have wanted to start my own garden for as long as I can remember. I dreamt of a garden full of vegetables: petsay, tomatoes, string beans, carrots and raddish, pepper etc. I have studied the how tos over the internet but watching a local Agri Dabaw of a barangay helped me to finally start my own. (Aliontongs experience into organic gardening)

1. Composting: There is so much biodegradable material around our small backyard plus garden clippings and kitchen vegetable scraps. Our rambutan tree has so much foliage that has to be trimmed regularly to have a good harvest. To compost the material I used a simple chicken wire and bars. This allows for air to circulate. Initial efforts to decompost did not work because I had only one pile and newer material is piled on top.  Now I have 5 “boxes”

Compost Pile

of compost with the one at the back as the older pile. Mistakes I learned: compost has to be watered regularly so that it will not be dry nor should it be soggy. I have to turn the material to decompose properly.

2. Seedling Preparation:  Anticipating the soil from compost to be ready soon I can now prepare my seeds for planting starting with petsay.  Here I used a plastic egg box for my seedling beed. If this seeds will germinate, then in 10 days it would be ready for planting.  I will also need to prepare an organic pesticide and I am thinking of pepper (siling labuyo) and raddish mixture.

DSC06656

3. Wait and See

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Card making is a great a stress reliever and a great way to express your creativity.  I love the cards my children gives me for Mothers’ Day or Christmas or whatever event. As they get older these become momentoes of their childhood.

After cajoling my friend from England for card materials,  which arrived recently,  I started using the card kit. It was easy enough as you they have adhesives. It was just a matter of putting together the embelishments.

Lesson 1. Using Stamp Pad is not as easy as it seems. It can easily smudge up the work if one is not careful. In the meantime, I will stick to computer printouts for my greetings.

I inherited from my sister, Grace, her food processor before she left for the USA about 4 years ago. It was relatively new with a broken rod because she tried to slice “ubod” for her fresh lumpia. I guess the processor was no match to the ubod. I had the part replaced and  presto I was set to discover the wonders of this kitchen gadget.

I had a lasting  affair with this processor as I would search recipes online that required using the processor…ha ha ha. Of couse this included lots of cakes and floats till I learned to make “ice-cream”. Our family home evenings have become a little more special when the kids knew I used the processor. Sometimes, they would try to skip the the program for evening and go to the main event …”SNACKS”.

After a long and fruitful SERVICE to my family, the food maker had to rest for a while until a good “mechanical doctor” could be found. It stayed behind the cupboards along with the other kitchen gadgets that were not working. Until I started sending all of them to the junk yard except for the food processor. Mainly because I knew it would still work, it was a gift from a dear sister and was quiet pricey.

Initially the technician fixed my washing machine. He replaced the timers and I had a machine  good as new. After fixing the machine I told him about my food processor and asked him to take it to his house and if he can have a look. Within 3 days he brought the item back in good working condition.

Now I am set to rediscover my food maker with a twist. My children have started to be on the heavier end of the weighing scale thus I will need to prepare more vegetables and fruits!!!

I love walking with my buddy (my husband) and have been doing so for

Rubber Shoes and weights

Rubber Shoes and weights

about 6 years,  it was fun and very refreshing but when I became a WHAM (Work at Home Mom), I seem not to find the time for exercise and Norman had to leave extra early for work to take the children to school.  Besides I did not want to walk out by myself. The tell tale signs of increased weight has started to manifest 1) clothes did not fit 2) I panted even at the slightest of activity 3)my blood pressure was at an all time high!!!

I tried many aerobics cds but could not endure. These exercise cds were mostly high impact and very strenuous for me . Just the thought of crunches and steps up were so discouraging, until I found the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home System

With Walk at Home, it is so different. I simply love these exercises, it allowed me to do my routine indoors in a minimum space and burn more calories than my regular walking could do for me. I could do these exercises everyday and feel a sense of accomplishment  that I have completed a mile walk in 20 minutes (including stretching) or a 2 mile walk in 30 minutes.

With a comfortable rubber shoes and weights one can start walking:

Basic steps

1. Basic walk or marching in place
2. side steps (variation: 2 side steps)
3. leg kicks
4. knee lifts

We can even walk while cooking, doing the laundry or watching the TV. What about when you’re waiting for a ride to come along – which in this part of the world can last up to 30 minutes. No one can know that you have walked a mile or more with your side steps or leg kicks.

Because it is so easy and fun, I aim for a 5 mile walk everyday. Let us Join Leslie Sansone walk the pounds away

Feb 8 2009, is Joshua’s 8th birthday, made even more special because it is his baptism. He is to be baptized and confirmed by his father. For Norman and myself, it is a fulfillment of a promise made a long time ago that each of our children will be baptized on their birthdays.  I never thought it would be hard nor would it be long.

During Mickey’s baptism,  problem after problem arose  as we were fetching our children from their grandparents in Zamboanga City. Which included vehicle breakdown and road block and finally reached Ozamis City at approximately 6pm. I said that the final test would be if there was NO water in the baptismal font!!! And how we were to find the baptismal font ready. So that my daughter, Cheryl Mae entered the waters of baptism on her birthday at seven in the evening with our family and Uncle Larry and Tita Wilma Jane in attendance and for Mickey it remains to be one of her most memorable spiritual experience of her life.

Justine was baptized in Marikina amid the flood and rains. We left our house while the water was slowly rising. We also had to transfer to another chapel in the stake because the water in the font of the  Sumulong chapel was unclean.

Chocolate Candy Making

The ERC, Davao (Employment  Resource Center) sponsored a training seminar on Chocolate candy making with Bang Tan training us on the how to while Philip teaching us on the costings. It is very easy and with a very small capital one can start a homebased business. Basic Equipment necessary are already available in our homes. And the product is very easy to sell. I bought 2 chocolate valentine molds for my starter set.

For my first attempt I made 30 pcs heart shaped lollipops for Joshua’s classmates  and over 60 pcs curly top shaped chocolate candies many of which went to my official tasters (my kids) and the verdict…masarap mama!!!

As previously mentioned that Aowa as charged by DTI was to “cease and desist business operations“and that if they are at the malls they have misrepresented themselves. After my scam experience we felt that these “thieves” must not be allowed to further scam people so that my daughter filed a formal complaint with the Mall management against Aowa. Mall management found her allegations deserving their attention so that today we were invited to a meeting with the Aowa and the Leasing department of the Mall.

They informed us that after review of the case they found the complaint meritorious and as they searched the internet, they found the charges on the net alarming and therefore immediately suspended Aowa operations at the mall. He was also emphatic that there should be full reversal of credit charges. This is the very reason why we do most of our shopping at this mall because they are so consumer oriented.

As we rest our case and learn from this experience we invite others who have been scammed, as called for by Assistant Secretary Angel L. Pelayo, to be vigilant. File your complains with mall management somehow they too will listen to you for they stand responsible to have leased mall space to Aowa. I may have lost 2 work days but it was worth it. There is just NO offer too good to be True!!!