Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Good day

There are days when I feel like we're drowning and there are days when I feel like we're just surviving and it's like we're just doing enough to get by. My/Our todo-list has a backlog a mile long and there just aren't enough (free) days for all of them.

However, I am pleased to note that I had a good day today and got some of the big ones done.

(1) Solar panels were installed on our roof 2 weekends ago but they didn't finish the electrical work. I tried to get them to schedule the work on a weekend again but the next available weekend date is not till late July. I decided to just schedule it for today and work from home to get it over with. Even though we're allowed to, I try not to abuse the "work from home" privilege.

The electrical work is now done, it took 6 men in 3 trucks 5 hours to complete the work. Ang dameh! 

The next step is to get the city inspector to come over and approve their work, will have to work from home again on that day too.

(2) Check out the hedges in front of our window in the picture above and see how overgrown they are. That picture was taken 2 weeks ago and today, the hedges are even taller. Parang jungle na! The landscaper we called for spring cleaning last March was a no-show and is not returning calls (now that I think about it, baka undocumented alien sila tapos na-deport ???).

Then we have these trees in the side yard that we want to remove, I just found out today that they're fig trees. They go dormant in the winter and become active again when spring rolls around. Unfortunately, leaves and other debris collect near the roots and it's hard to clean. Last season, we didn't dare try to touch it because some animal made its nest near the roots - we hope it was a rabbit but it could've also been a raccoon. Scary!

We also have hedges in the backyard that need to be pruned and vines from our neighbor's yards are growing into our yard too. I've called 6 other landscapers to date and none have called me back. They're probably all booked up and busy these days.

This morning, since I was home, I saw our neighbor's landscaper mowing the neighbor's yard (it was their weekly maintenance) so I went over and ambushed the guy. We now have an agreement and he's coming over next Monday to remove the trees, prune hedges and will do the clean up. He'll just bill me for the work afterwards. Ayos! We may ask him to set up a plant bed in the side yard, but we'll think about it after the trees have been removed.

I also got a quote for regular weekly or bi-weekly lawn care, we'll think about this in the meantime kasi regular expense na ito if we go for it. I'm sure that once hubby gets a taste of having professional lawn care, it'll be hard to convince him to mow the lawn again. I don't think we're ready for this at this stage since hubby also wants to get a new car this year.

(3) There's this balikbayan box that I've been meaning to pack up & send out. The stuff I needed to pack have been sitting in our library for weeks, we look like a warehouse already. My goal was to get this picked up by the forwarder on or before the weekend of June 12 but I wasn't able to do it because I've been swamped.

So this afternoon, during my lunch break, work was relatively light so I figured I'd pack it already so I can have it picked up this weekend. It didn't take long because I've already prepared the stuff I'm sending long ago. When done, I called the forwarder - whose owner, by the way, happens to live nearby - to set up a pickup schedule. Since they live in the area, they've been very accommodating and oftentimes would even come by at 7p/8p on a Saturday. So while the guy on the phone was checking their calendar to see if they can squeeze me in for Saturday, the owner comes by and hears my name and asks "is she home now ?". When I said yes, he offered to come pick up the box right away.

Again, ayos!

Work-wise, I've had to deal with a few reported defects today and all issues turned out to be non-issues for us (well, they are still defects, but they weren't caused by our side). How great is that ?

At this point, our to-do list is still substantial.

We are still behind on laundry but our pile of clean clothes waiting to be folded/hung/or ironed is bigger than the dirty pile so I will chalk this as a win.

The magnetic board that we bought more than 3 months ago is still waiting to be hung (it needs special mounting hardware/techniques) but since we got the power (reciprocating) saw last week, we're one step closer to getting it done so I will chalk this as a half-win.

We still have not painted our MBR, this admittedly fell off our radar so am targeting the 4th of July weekend for this. How I wish I was still young enough again to feel okay luring friends over with a bbq/painting party.

There's still a lot on our plate so you can see how I really needed today's victories. Thank you, Lord, for this amazing day and as always, You have great timing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day!

Q: What do the most macho fathers do on father's day ?

A: They use the newly-bought power tool (whoohoo!), a reciprocating saw, to cut down dead tree branches.

The dead tree was cut down last week by the crew who were installing the solar panels but they left it for us to clean up. The branches had to be cut down into shorter lengths and bundled up so they can be picked up by the city on Wednesday (our day for yard-waste collection).

My initial thought was to buy a hand-axe or a hatchet so we can just use the palakol to cut the tree down into smaller pieces. Hubby, always on the lookout for an easier way, suggested we get a reciprocating saw instead.

We had fun shopping at Harbor freight tools. We got this and a hedge trimmer for such a great price. Don't really know if they'll stand up to heavy-duty use, but for ocassional DIYers like us, having access to affordable tools is great.

For ~$24 (and it also came with a free LED light), the saw is already sulit as getting someone to come in to do it will surely cost much more.

Note that we've been trying to get someone to come over to prune our hedges and to cut down these undesireable & dead trees, the first landscaper never showed up (the ones who did our spring cleanup last year). We have called 5 more landscapers to date and none have called us back. I think it's probably because our job is too small and this is their peak season

... as I finish typing this post, I hear our garage door opening, hubby is taking out the lawn mower pala and plan to trim the grass too. (Yay!).

Thursday, April 30, 2015


2 weeks after I first tried to germinate seeds, my sweet corn and sugar snap peas are ready to be transplanted to a bigger container.

Mommy just needs to get more potting mix.

Hitting rock bottom

My health has, unfortunately, hit rock-bottom.

I knew my control was slipping and that I've been gaining weight lately, but I didn't realize that the overall effect on my health was going to be that bad.

I was puzzled when I was asked to give another urine sample when I went back to the clinic the following day to get my results. The doctor explained later that she wanted to do a pregnancy test for me because that might explain the unusual results in my bloodwork.

It turned out negative, but for a while there, my hopes were up. We have been considering having another child recently but given my most recent checkup, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through a pregnancy with this many health issues going on with me. It wouldn't be good for the baby.

I have to thank my company for giving us an incentive to get our annual checkups done (there's a gift card when you complete certain activities). I am not the type to make an effort to see the doctor for checkups if it weren't for that incentive, my husband is the same way too so we both have to be thankful for this.

I teared up a little as I was reading the results, how could I have let it get this far ?

Anyway, sabi nga ni friend/ofcmate "at least alam mo na, pwede mo na gawan ng paraan." and he is right. My husband says the same thing and that we should treat this as a wake up call and start making lifestyle changes.

When we got home after daycare pickup, I turned on the tv and searched for an exercise video on YouTube. Ang dami pala!  The good news is that I was able to find time for exercise, kaya pala because Swe-cha generally entertains himself when we get home from daycare. The not-so-good news is that I was panting at the 5 minute mark and at 15 minutes, I found my muscles shaking and I couldn't move them anymore, not even to sit down on the floor. Thankfully, Swe-cha let me do this for 30 minutes without bothering me. He just sat on the floor watching me and applauding every now and then.

I had the realization that my fit days was really that long ago. Those days when I could easily do 3 straight hours of advanced aerobic classes ? those were long gone.

More realistic this time and considering that I still have aches and pains from yesterday's exercise session. I searched for a beginner's exercise video. Eventually, I settled on Zumba. I found it doable and after a message saying "don't judge yourself, just have fun!" on the video appeared, I started having fun. Ang tigas ng katawan ko and I don't even know if I'm doing the moves right. Boy, am I glad that I don't do this professionally - nakakahiya.

Swe-cha was a bit more difficult today, he wanted to be hugged, he wanted me to sit beside him, he wanted to write and do all sorts of things. He kept asking me to turn off the tv and at one point, was able to get hold of the remote and actually turned my video off. this resulted in my having to start over, until I was able to finish the 30 minute exercise.

The good news is that, at this point, I see results of my hard work (exercise and diet) immediately. I've lost 1 lb daily for 3 days now. Hope this continues para ma-inspire ako and maka pag 2-piece bikini for summer (mwahahaha!).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When friends don't LIKE you anymore...

I've noticed recently that some friends have not been LIKE-ing my posts on FB.

I know it's not mandatory but since I think it's a way to say "hey, I saw this pic and I think it's nice that you were able to do this" quickly. And when I don't see that, I get the feeling that it is deliberate and that they are sending a message. After all, it doesn't take a lot to click that little thumbs up button.

Have I offended or frustrated them in any way? Granted, we haven't really been as close lately as we were before and don't spend much time together, but I do see them LIKE-ing posts of other friends who are much farther away so distance / spending time together must not be a factor.

In any case, as sad as I am with the message they are sending me, there is really no sense in wondering (who knows how & what they are thinking ?) and I just have to move on. After all, why force someone to like me/us ? Eh kung di nila ako like, edi hindi. What am I to do ?

Over the years, I've seen people cull their friends - some do that to get rid of toxic people in their lives, some just don't have time for people they consider acquaintances (and not friends) - so maybe I am being culled.

Sad, matagal rin ang pinagsamahan namin.

Anyway, kung hindi na nila ako gusto maging friend okay lang, Pero I'll always be here with my heart & hand waiting in friendship.

Sana lang malaman ko what I have done to cause them to boycott me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

South-facing window

While I was fretting about getting a portable / mini greenhouse and doing the research, hubby asked me how and where I planned to set it up.

I haven't quite figured it out yet, I told him, but what I really needed was a place where I could set up my seedlings and have them face south. Ideally, they should still be inside at this point but should be placed at a South-facing window.

So hubby asked me which way was South and I pointed to the South wall at our home and pointed out that there are no windows.

And he asks... uh,... how about the window in the 4th bedroom, can I make use of that window ? But, he points out, it's going to be warmer up there, compared to the rest of the house.

My husband is a genius! We don't have any South-facing windows in our living area but I didn't think about the bedrooms. The 4th bedroom is perfect because it really gets a lot of sun and it is unoccupied. We just use it to store semi-opened moving boxes and unused toys so I can keep the door locked (to keep Swe-cha out) when I'm not fussing with the seedlings. The fact that it is warm is also perfect, that's how a greenhouse is supposed to be - warm but not too much.

It's been a day since I planted my sprouted seeds in a seed-starting potting mix and a lot of already poked their heads out and have started sprouting the cotyledon leaves.

It'll be a few more weeks, I think, before the seedlings will be ready for the planting bed but I am so excited and really hope that they make it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vegetable garden

We've always wanted to have a vegetable garden but we didn't start one last year because we were going to be away for a vacation and so our raised planters remained empty (other than the weeds that sprouted - boo!). I bought seeds last year but decided, at the last minute, to not plant them.

This year, I tried to germinate (not sure if this is the right term) the seeds that I bought last year.

Since these are from last year, I wasn't sure if they're still viable so I decided to go with the paper-towel method. I soaked some paper towels, spread the seeds on the wet towels and sealed them in a ziploc bag - sort of like a mini-greenhouse. I made sure to label the bags, of course.

3 days later, the seeds have sprouted. I didn't completely open the bags so I have no idea if all seeds are good or not but here's a peek-preview. I may leave them in the bags for another day or two but I am thinking about getting a small greenhouse to put in the back, hopefully, tomorrow.

Sugar Snap Peas (the vine variety)

Sweet corn

Rio Grande Tomatoes


Beefsteak Tomatoes