Friday, September 26, 2008


Autumn's Hidden Beauty, Rt. 9, NH Photographer: Cynthia Sorel
EVERY SEASON IS great. Yet, specific ones tend to relate to certain people. It's no secret that I love autumn. It's one of my favorite seasons for so many reasons. Cool breezes. Chilly nights. Extraordinary display of color. Soft woolly sweaters. Apple cider. Pumpkins and jack-o'lanterns. Scarecrows perched on porches. Needlework projects. Halloween. Thanksgiving. And, of course, there's December - my favorite holiday of all times...which the first 20 days is still part of autumn. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT AUTUMN?

Play along and tell me what is your favorite season and why? I'll put Autumn first in my ranking, then Spring, then Summer and my least favorite is Winter - I love the first snow of the season but after that it is just plain BLAH and BRRRRR, especially, if you live in New England.

Get This - Survey Results -

Sunday, September 21, 2008


LET US NOW officially say "goodbye" to the SUMMER and I hope everyone had a great season. Mine was considerably wonderful and something to be grateful about despite of my BF's illness. I also thought I should pop in and say "HELLO" to everyone. It is gorgeous here in southern New England but our evenings are now dipping into the 40's or 50's.

I would also like to acknowledge everyone's continuous support, prayers and sweet e-mails about Joe. My posts are so scarce at this time but I just want to let you know that I still find time to visit yours.

Joe's spirits are surprisingly high after all that's been dealt to him. Although, it's been tough, we're taking it one day at a time.

Finally, some bounties from my tiny organic vegetable garden! I really thought that I wouldn't be able to reap and taste the fruit of my labor as it is now almost October.

And let me introduce you to the AMPALAYA (Momordica Charantia). Some of you might have recognized this veggie at your local farmer's market. It is both a nutritious vegetable and a trusted medicinal herb that grows abundant in many regions in Asia and South America. It is known in the west as CHINESE BITTER MELON or BITTER GOURD. The melon has a bitter taste due to the presence of Momordicin and it has the most documented scientific reports that cite its blood sugar-lowering benefit. It's really an ugly looking vegetable and considered an acquired taste because of its bitterness.

One way of enjoying this vegetable is to cook it with beaten egg - as an omelet or in scrambled eggs (fabulous!) or as a salad with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro in vinaigrette dressing. And the trick to minimize the bitterness? Rub the slices with rock salt. Rub them well! This part is fun...both me and the ampalaya get a salt scrub. When done, rinse ampalaya slices with water and let drain.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


FIRST OF ALL, I'd like to thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart for the great outpour of love, warm thoughts, great support and prayers that you sent our way during these tough times. My hugs and kisses to everyone....oh, how I wished you all lived near me! Life is the same as usual @ Casa Maria... more doctor visits and tests for Joey and for as usual. I did take a full day off from work yesterday just to be with him.

Well, on to some happy notes... was COLD this morning! FALL is really coming on strong around here. I am always excited for the coming of each season although I must admit that DECEMBER is my all time favorite. The fall wreath is hung and the house has been dotted with artificial pumpkins. Yesterday, Joe insisted that I could get 3 pots of mums as he has a roll of quarters that he'd like to give to me and so I did...wasn't that so sweet of him? I shall take his coins and that'll make me $10.00 richer, hah!

I have noticed around the blogland that a lot of you including myself have started working on a project or two that are normally set aside for cooler weather. I picked up my knitting needles again and am currently working on a simple scarf. One night, I was bored at work and AHA... why don't I teach myself how to knit? After countless of tutorials from the internet, I was so proud to say that I was never too old to learn a new trick...

I recently picked up an old bible from Saver's and I found this beautiful quote handwritten on one of the endpapers and I thought I shall share it with you...
"All the water in the world cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside it. All the sorrow in the world cannot sink a person unless it gets inside the mind. If your mind is so full of good thoughts, and so full of good thoughts for others there won't be any room for sorrow and self-pity to get in".
- Mary Pickford

Monday, September 08, 2008


SORRY FOR THE gap in blogging... I just couldn't bring myself to write about anything upbeat at this moment. Things are just so rough for Joe and me. Joe has been on heavy pain meds to mask the excruciating back and stomach pain but they're not really helping. At this time, I am hoping for a miracle since he refused to see his oncologist. I've tried to convince him and every time I mention about doctors or hospitalization he shuts me off.! Sigh... I've been calling my mom in the Phillipines crying and asking her to pray for him. My job offers a Work Life Assist program at no cost and I've been thinking about calling the hotline for a much needed counseling.

The amazing thing is he gets up each morning and tries to be upbeat and he wants me to do the same. He's been enjoying fishing lately. His 13 year old nephew Troy will be over tonight and he's really looking forward to fish with him tomorrow.

I'm stepping off my soapbox now... I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! I, for one, am ready to embrace cooler weather. I've have been knitting again and I went to the attic last night and grabbed a few of my cross stitch projects that I've been meaning to finish. I have also been organizing and decluttering the kitchen to keep my mind occupied.

Monday, September 01, 2008


I WAS ALWAYS told to eat my greens so I sliced up this delicious masterpiece (courtesy of Victoria magazine)...a mixed greenery...a fruitopian dream...

A fresh taste of lime and a hint of creme de menthe bring out some great flavors and also a great aroma that can't be missed. What a sweet treat for this gorgeous first day of September in southern New England! Click HERE for the recipe.

And my 'Queen Elizabeth' rose treated me with its very first bloom of the season...although it's a late bloom there is certainly no gloom with this beauty!

Happy Labor Day everyone!