Saturday, December 30, 2006

A bit crusty....

but tasted similar to scalloped potatos. Didn't know if the oven would work. Put the rack too low and burned the food. All of it was nice and dry. Luckily the burnt flavor didn't eminate throughout the parts we did it!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"No manacotti is the meal, Makati is the city"

Told Babs that her question about the city name would end up on my blog. Would have to quote her. So there it is.

Having a good time with Aunt Babs and Grandma Joy. Just getting ready to make our Christmas Eve meal, improvised scalloped potatos, ham, green beans, rolls, and a glass of wine if we can find a wine opener.

Rachel Ray would be proud of my scalloped potatos. Well, I should reserve that comment until we taste them. Couldn't find frozen hashbrowns, so I bought frozen french fries. Will cut them up, add sour cream and cream of mushroom soup, throw some cheddar cheese on it and bake. Don't know if the oven works, so the scalloped potatos may be sauteed.

Went sightseeing yesterday to Intramuros and downtown Manila. Enjoyed lunch at Max's Restaurant, with the tag line of "the restaurant that fried chicken built." Sat in the restaurant section holding a christening party....yes a christening at a restaurant similar to Sizzler's.

Went to a free concert at the mall of Christmas music. They ended the event with the fireworks I have linked on my You Tube account. Now that I successfully did this, more videos to come.

Finally broke down and bought a coffee maker. Hadn't done so on principle. The fact is the furnished condo should have a coffee maker. But two coffee services bought at Starbucks is equal to the cost of the coffe maker. So had to do it.

Will have toast on Christmas morning. Borrowed the toaster from Loree's condo. Yes, another principle thing. I texted before I purchased one at the mall. Getting real good at texting.

And guess what? Another important day shared with Jon Bon Jovi. Walking into the lobby of the condo with Loree's toaster and I hear...."never say goodbye.." by my buddy Jon.

The Manila Adventure with Bon Jovi continues....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth...

James and I have revised the lyrics to.... ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE TWO TRUCKS FIXED. Check out the photos...the trucks are at Burien Toyota. We'll find out if the trucks are totalled or going to be repaired.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shooting in My Color Modes- Sepia tones WOW

Ahh embracing technology and all it's amazing capabilities. Signed up for my You Tube account so I could publish the short movies I've taken on my digital camera. Took great pictures of Reyde's birthday, movies of his Christmas program where he cried the whole time, pictures of him hugging Santa, Jay's last day at AMMEX I-Support, the AMMEX Christmas party, movies of the employees singing, JAY singing, all to be lost to Canon not programming the 'ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO RESET THE MEMORY CARD? THIS WILL DELETE ALL SAVED ITEMS."

I spent Sunday afternoon reading my camera instruction booklet, figuring stuff out. Changing colors, changing tones, increasing volumes, yatta yatta yatta. Went to listen to Jay singing and there is nothing to playback. Oh shit. Read the booklet and see that it says in the booklet that resetting the memory card will erase everything. BUT CANON DIDN'T PROGRAM THE IDIOT PROOFING QUESTION "ARE YOU SURE?" I cried.

Here's the Sepia tone pics. Yeee haww.

James Mom and Aunt arrive on Tuesday night at 11pm. Joy is bringing the video of our house in Normandy Park. If I figure out how to download that, maybe I'll publish the movie of the trucks and the damage from the wind storm.

We are so grateful for the generous, kind people in our neighborhood. Got the call on my Friday night at 11.30 from Amy.

"Hi Amy, I was just getting ready to call Mom and see how everyone faired through the storm."

"Well, that is what I am calling about. (my stomach met my toes.) Mom is okay but her truck is not. Her cell phone is going dead, can you call Jim and Joy and ask them to come help. She's a bit shaky."

So I first call our neighbor Bill to see if he can come help. He said he's been outside and it looks pretty bad, that he can go over in about 15 minutes.

"Can you go right now? My mom is a bit shaken up."

"Sure." Thank God for Bill. Mom's SUV is toast, James truck is toast, and the fence is toast. But having a guy around made Mom feel better.

I came over to the condo and got my insurance policies, told James, and he got ahold of Jim.

Thank God for Jim. Jim headed over, took Mom to the store to get food and lukewarm coffee. In the meantime my claims are in and they say we can cut the tree off the trucks. Jim cleans up our yard and gets the trees off so the towing company can take the rigs away.

Mom is still without power, and my other neighbors Ross and Margo brought Starbuck's coffee to her today, and Bill to the rescue again, helps Mom load the dogs in the rental car.

Mom is now warm and toasty in her house in West Seattle. With the doggies. Oh and the turtles. Gotta make sure they don't freeze, so her sleepover is complete.

Thank God for Mom.

Chestnuts Roasting...

at Landmark? Yessiree Bob...couldn't believe my the veggie section I spy chestnuts roasting...under bare bulb light. Had to confirm it..."are those chestnuts...yes mam would you like to I just want to take a picture..."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Birthday Boy

Just a little celebration for Reyde today. Got a little overwhelmed with all the attention, but overall he had a great day.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

"That looks cluttered now."

"Oh you mean we are trying to make this look elegant?"

It's Sunday and we've spent the entire day inside. It's rained and blown the entire day. I actually pulled out the only pair of sweat pants I brought. And while it has been really dreary weather, it's still so warm that Reyde is in shorts, and we've had the sliding door open to enjoy the cool breeze.

Have gotten in the Christmas spirit today. Created our Christmas card online with Although I am going against my Christmas card #1 rule, (which is sending cards that are generic and not signed,) I am pretty excited to have done this techno savvy thing. Hope you all like it. And for those of you that won't receive one; I don't have your address!

Thank God for Warm 106.9. Have had Christmas music in the condo as we decorated our Pinoy Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Click on the site and get a steady stream of holiday spirit.

While I took the photo of the finished tree, "Feliz Navidad" came on the computer. Coincidence? No, it's the magic of the season at work. And while I wanted to pick up the phone and call somebody and scream the chorus "I WANT TO WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS....I WANT TO WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS..." I'll have to be content with Reyde now singing the words feliz navidad as he makes paper airplanes with James.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me

Putting one of my all time favorite photos up.
Because I can, and it's my birthday.
And I'm gonna it's my birthday.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Finally, the Boracay photos

What you all have been waiting for...our photos from Boracay. Click on the link below to see paradise.

I tend to be long winded, so I'll do my best to summarize the weekend in 5 million characters or less.

Thursday morning, I got off work at 6am, came home, woke the boys up, finished packing-almost forgetting Reyde's life jacket, and headed off to the airport. Got there early and caught an earlier flight. Reyde had no problem getting on the plane as I expected he would be nervous with all the noise of a propeller plane.

Just a quick 75 minute ride. I slept about 45 minutes of this- thank God. Took a quick van ride to the boat launch. From there is was 15 minutes to the actual island. Hopped on a van with open sides and drove to the resort. Greeted by numerous employees, we received a welcoming necklace made of some vegetation, and a cool bevie...that being Tang. They love Tang here.

Our room was ready, we quickly got our suits on and headed to the pool and the ocean. Reyde enjoyed the pool more than the ocean and I think this had to do with the pool having sides. He could tell where the water started and ended. Oh and probably the fact that fish would bump into his legs in the ocean.

Spent about 3 hours in the water, came in, got dressed, and had lunch in the open air restaurant. I ordered calamari, chicken adobo, sauteed green beans, cheese egg rolls, and a cheese sandwich for Reyde. The day and swimming tuckered him out; he fell asleep at the table.

Had a 2 hour family nap, got up and had dinner at the beach. It was incredible. No wind, tropical jazz music, lanterns, and some really good grilled food. Reyde ate like a champ, I had noodles with alfred sauce made for him. After dinner, we played on the beach in the sand by lantern light. The temperature of the air was high 70s. James couldn't believe what we were experiencing.

Friday we stayed at the hotel and played in the pool and ocean. I had a pedicure on the beach. The lady used sandpaper and a rock for leverage to remove the dead skin on my feet. They have never looked so good. James headed down afterward and had a pedicure and manicure beachside. Enjoyed some tasty adult bevies on the porch as Reyde took a nap.

Dinner on the beach Friday night. Unfortunately James ate some bad oysters and got really sick. We had planned to go on a boat ride and snorkeling on Saturday. We cancelled, and the boat guy was kind enough to take care of James; got fresh coconuts and told James to drink the juice to help his stomach. What a nice guy. And the juice helped.

Friday night we walked the beach to the market area. Fun area, and the place where everyone parties at night. If we didn't have Reyde, we would have gone out. Had dinner at Jammers, where Jay recommended we go for a good hamburger. It was good, and fun to watch people stroll the beach.

Got back to the resort for beachside massages. James first, then me. Amazing. The gal used toasted coconut oil. Again, no wind, perfect conditions.

Sunday we went on the boat ride. Snorkeling first, then we headed to Puka Beach for the most amazing lunch. Reyde didn't want to get out of the boat, so the boat guy, Alex, hung out with him while James and I snorkeled. Saw some blue starfish. And we utilized the fast food serice and had some ice cream out on the boat.

For lunch we headed to Puka Beach, yes as in Puka Shells. The origin of the famous necklaces. I bought one as well as a rosary made of puka shells. No, not Catholic but everyone has them so I thought it would be a good souveneir.

Lunch....and I think I told some people about it....but right on the beach, you can see the pictures. Garlic prawns, steamed crab, grilled blue marlin in a marinade of soy sauce, calmansi juice and oyter sauce, pancit, white rice, and fresh french fries. The flies appeared, but so did our waiter with a fan to fan the food and keep the flies from landing. Now that is service.

Headed back to the resort for a rest, which ended up being a dip in the pool, and then on to the ATV ride to the highest point on Boracay. This is where the locals have created a destination and a way to make money. We rode ATVs, well a buggy for Reyde and I, along dirt roads, past residential homes and the back sides of hotels, up to a lookout tower. A bit rickety and I got a little nervous...but went at any rate. The stairs were not even, the terrain rough, and the lookout totally not to "American safety standards." But I sense that the locals figured out a way to make money on the tourists. And when in as the locals do. Reyde petted the monkey, and then I watched to make sure he didn't touch his face after that! The guide for the ATV ride carried Reyde up the stairs and the lookout tower, we didn't have to carry him at all. Then we took a long ride afterward back down to Puka beach to see the sunset.

When we returned the ATVs and paid for the trip, the lady asked where we were from. Seattle. Oh goodness, excitement, showed me her cell phone to say that her sister lives in Seattle, here's her number, and let me get you a souveneir. We left with 2 necklaces and 2 bracelets.

Had dinner at the restaurant on Sunday evening and then back out to the beach for massages. The lady gave us a bottle of toasted coconut oil to take back to Manila; she is the wife of the boat guy. 8 children. Oh my.

Monday we played in the water and headed back to Manila. It was simply amazing. James says it is the best vacation ever. Wants to go back. Me too...but need to figure out how to swing it.

It's so hard to believe that we are living this experience. Who would have ever imagined that we would be living in Manila, and visiting Boracay. I mean really, Boracay wasn't even part of my vocabulary.

We are thankful to have been given this opportunity.

Tuesday afternoon

According to James, "that was the best lunch ever." Just finished lunch made by Ms. Puring. Now doesn't that look delicious and boy do I feel like Oprah! We had pancit and lumpia. And for those of you wanting to brush up on a little culinary knowledge...check this link.

And here's the updated version of the James game....

Friday, December 01, 2006

Boys will be boys

Look at this...James can relax...left to his own devices, hours of amusement can be had with a simple toy gun.

The goal of the game? Stick the bullet to the ceiling and then catch it when it comes down.

On that note, I'm headed to bed to take a siesta. It's 3.50 pm and I've only slept a couple hours today. Need a couple more to function at dinner this evening. Headed to Kaya Korean

Restaurant. Yummy tasty Korean BBQ.

Oh yeah, and here is Reyde sporting a new haircut. Thanks Dad!

Weathering The Storm

Typhoon Reming (international name Durian) came and went on Thursday. It was due to hit Metro Manila but strayed off course and hit south of the city, about 60 miles.

Friday was a slow day in the city; I assumed that people had planned to not come into the city with the pending storm. Wow, they take things serious here.

Found out later that night that Friday was a national holiday. Bonifacio Day.

Here's "team Wendy." Kristian Rosales in the center and Mark Palomer are sales assistants that will be working with me in 2007. As you can see we already think alike...we all wore navy blue on Friday.