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    Charmed Life
    Thank you for visiting this blog. I have recently transferred all my post in my new blog. I will not be blogging here anymore. I hope to see you there.
    Life’s a Charm!
    www.lifesacharm.net

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The Path We Have Taken

Originally published on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008.

From the book, The Gifts of Life and Love by Ben Zion Bokser.

The Path We Have Taken

An innate conservatism often holds us back from embarking on new adventures. Sometimes this is a brake on progress. Yet in its own way it makes a contribution to our happiness.

The world is rich in endless possibilities. Each is a path that might be pursued, that would offer many fulfillment to one who will embark on it. But if we followed the call of every possibility, we would be forever on the go. We would dissipate our strength by trying the impossible, to go in many directions at the same time, or to continue shifting from direction to direction.

Life demands that we concentrate on a given path, that we pursue it till we reach its final end. We cannot know what a given path has to offer unless we pursue it for some time, resisting the call to embark on new adventures as a diversion from the task before us.

There are times when the path we have chosen has disclosed its defects, and it becomes necessary to leave it in favor of a new path. Then it is time to abandon the promptings of a conservative disposition with its call to caution. But it is good that human nature tends to surround what we have with an aura of love, and to defend it against the disrupting pressures of a changing world.

Life is full of possibilities. Often, we face the dilemma to choose which direction to take and to be happy and content with the choices we have made. If we could only split ourselves, live different realities at the same time and could somehow go back where we have started, it would be easier and life would be a life without regret. But to live life, we are only given a one-way ticket, one chance. There is no going back and time is forever lost.

In the road of life, a light illuminates but only a part of the way. With religion, tradition, custom of society or laws of the land, or with whatever that tells us what is right and what direction to follow, the course will still be walked with uncertain steps. For all this is only a partial light and it does not clearly indicate what path that must be taken. It is for this reason that every choices made based on certain facts and circumstances are fallible and short-sighted. Thus, our mind must be open to new knowledge and wisdom which time will hopefully bring. In light of the new knowledge and wisdom, we must continually, carefully review and reassess the choices we have made.

However, our innate conservatism prevents us from taking new direction even when the path we have taken is in its dead-end or deviates from our life’s goals, happiness or betterment of living. This conservative disposition calls upon caution as its main reason. It also asserts fondness towards familiarity and resistance to the pressure of change. But sometimes, it is a mask of fear – fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of another possibility of dead-end and failure.

But whatever is behind our conservative disposition, do not lose sight of the goal. With faculties intact, knowledge, wisdom and a dose of courage, it is important to move forward following the direction of our life’s goals and to be not held at a stand still, for in the road of life, we move backwards by standing still in this fast moving world.

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Men in my Life

Soon there will be four, but right there’s three men in my life.

Hubby and Me. Photo taken on December 26, 2009

Hubby and Me. Photo taken on December 26, 2009

My loving hubby, Michael. He is more than I could ever ask for in a man, a husband, a father to our kids! I’m so glad I married him. While I was trying to find a recent picture of us together, I realized that we don’t take pictures of us as much anymore.

Matthew's Star Wars Tent. Thanks to Grandma for this fabulous Starwars Tent.

Matthew's Star Wars Tent. Thanks to Grandma for this fabulous Star Wars Tent.

Matthew, my little man. So adorable, with the sweetest smile. At 3-years-old, he has managed to melt my heart and drive me insane at the same time. No matter how old he gets, he’ll always be my baby.

This is me and my brother JC, on his way to the Senior's Ball. Photo taken on 2007 March 25.

This is me and my brother JC, on his way to the Senior's Ball. Photo taken on 2007 March 25.

The other man I’ve not written about so far is my baby brother, JC. But he is not a baby anymore. The last time I saw him was during my vacation in the Philippines in 2007. He was graduating high school then. He is pursuing college now.

We are a generation apart in age, 12-years age gap. When he was so young at a toddler age, it’s so funny that we, his big sisters and big cousins, would call him Kuya, which means older brother. I think he carried being called ‘big brother‘ very well. He grew up not getting in too much trouble, especially as a teenager. He grew up to be very observant but you’ll have to guess what goes on in his mind because he is not so outspoken, not too expressive.

He was in pre-school when I left home for college. As a big sister, I regret that I didn’t see him grow up. So I don’t know how much a positive influence I am for him. But he’ll always be my Kuya! I always love him and hope great things for him.

‘Thank a Veteran’ Day

Photo: Michael in Training

This is hubby taken when he was 17-years old during his training in the US Army. He served during the Gulf War in the early ’90s and had gone to various parts of the world for different missions. He recently just retired after 23-years in the Army Infantry. Unfortunately, I met him and we got married during the later part of his service so I didn’t get to witness so much action. But then I’m just glad that I met him at all.

He continues his service by providing mentorship to students as a Tactical Officer in a military school here in Alabama. And he still gets to wear his military uniforms.

Today, Hubby and the school’s marching drill team are on their way to a parade in celebration of the Veteran’s Day. They are all dresssed up in their formal military uniform including Hubby. Buckles and shoes are all shiny and bright. And they are even wearing white gloves. They all look sharp and patriotic.

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Prayer to the Guardian Angel

prayg
This is the traditional Catholic prayer to the Guardian Angel.

Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom God’s love commits me here.
Ever this day/night be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule and guide.
Amen.

I learned this prayer in kindergarten. I grew up praying this before going to sleep and before going anywhere. We even prayed this in school at the end of the last period when it was time to come home.

As a child, I sincerely believed in the power of this prayer that i didn’t feel safe going out anywhere or even going to sleep without reciting this in my mind. As an adult, I don’t pray as much anymore. Whenever I do pray, my prayers have become less memorized.

Photo taken from Christian Clip Art.

To read more HEADS or TAILS entries, and for more details,
visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

Parents’ Nightmares and Parents as Nightmares

I came upon this TV show while flipping TV channels. It talks about urban legends that are mostly funny but some are scary. One of them disturbed me a lot. I think it’s because when I watched it, and heard the story for the first time, I was pregnant with Matthew and overwhelmed with maternal instincts. I was, at that time, in the peak of preparing myself to become a parent for the first time.

Anyway, the story goes like this:

There was a girl and she was babysitting. The parents had gone out to a party and had left their infant at home with this sixteen-year-old girl. So she was babysitting and they phoned just to see if everything was all right. She said, “Oh. Fine! Everything’s great! The turkey’s in the oven.” The mother went, “Oh, okay. Fine.” and she hung up. Then she looked at her husband and went, “The turkey’s in the oven? We didn’t have a turkey!” He said, “What’s the matter?” So they decided they had better go home and see what was the matter. Maybe there was something wrong with the babysitter.

They excused themselves from the party and went home. So they walked in the house and saw the babysitter sitting in the chair freaking out. She had put the little infant in the oven and had thought it was a turkey.

– Reference: Wasted and Basted, Snopes.com

There are other variation in this story. Sometimes it is incorporated with the babysitter being high on drugs. Knowing that it’s an Urban Legend, it’s suppose to have not happened at all in real life. But it still gives me the chills. It makes me think about real life dangers that could happen to my child. I cringe at the thought of them.

And then, I watch the news. There are so many cases worse and scarier than this urban legend. Little kids or even babies as young as a month old in real life are being killed. Crimes against innocent children are bad enough. What could be worse is that some crimes were committed by the children’s parents. Cases of shaken babies, for instance. Or when babies are left forgotten in the hot car by their own parents deliberately. I have also read about mothers cutting off their babies hands to elicit sympathy from people. So that they will get more when they beg for money and food. And how about those parents who kill their newly born baby because she is not their preferred gender. As a mother, these acts – I just can’t understand. When the parent, who are suppose to be the child’s protector and the ultimate caregiver, becomes a child’s nightmare, it’s disturbingly sad and scary! And if they could do harm to their own children, what’s going to stop them from harming other people’s children? What’s scarier is they could be the next door neighbor, the school nurse or the postman.

To read more HEADS or TAILS entries, and for more details,
visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

Money is Green

Philippine BillsI came from the Philippines where the bills have different colors for different denominations: P5 is green, P10brown, P20 is orange, etc. Then I got acquainted with Japanese Yen, which also follows different colors and sizes for different denominations. Y1000 is blue, Y5000 is purplish and Y10000 is tan.

Then the US bills. I find the the US bills are the least colorful currencies. The spectrum of colors is so limited – green or black on white background on ALL the denominations. From 2003, new redesigned bills were introduced, the first significant design change in 67 years. These bills features new and subtle background colors, but they still look too green and too alike!

I have once mistaken a $10 to $1. I can’t blame the money for that. I can only blame myself for not paying attention. The bills just look the same to me. If I have given the $10 bill to a cashier, I would have gotten some change, but I gave the $10 bill as a tip for a service rendered that cost less than $10. And you don’t get change from tips.US Currency

Of course, there is reason for US money to be green. The ink used is green. Making bills out of this special green ink makes the bills difficult to counterfeat. The introduction of new redesigned bills with the new and subtle background colors is an attempt to stay ahead of currency counterfeiters.

References:

This is my HEADS or TAILS entry. For more details, visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

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Seasons of Love

Enjoy a musical treat.


Excerpt from Lyrics:

In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in a life?
In 525,600 moments so dear, how do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

In 525,600 minutes, journeys to plan
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?
In truth that she learned, Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned, Or the way that she died

It’s time now to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate,
Remember a year in the life of friends.

Remember the Love, measure in love
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love, spread love
Measure your life in love, in seasons of love

From the movie Rent(2005), based from the broadway musical. I personally like the movie and I would like to see the musical play. The setting is in Christmas 1989 in New York about the lives of starving artists who are struggling to pay their rent, when all they have are the films they’ve shot, screenplays and music they’ve written. Poverty, addiction and AIDS stricken, they measure their lives in love.

How do we measure life?

In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In days? Or weeks?
In inches? In miles? In travel miles? In place we’ve been and people from different places we’ve met?
In laughter? In friendships gained and regained? And holidays and shows that made us smile? Or the people we have pleased?
In strife? In bridges burned? In the number of enemies? Or jobs and stresses handled?
In truths learned? In the PhD’s earned? Or the truths learned from raising a child?
In times that he cried? In the number of heartbreak, or deaths?
In the way that she died? How about dying of AIDS, or breast cancer? How about childbirth? Or war?
How about love? In love shared, love given, love spread? In lives touched with love? In the people we love and those who truly love us.

I’ve visited so many entries on Heads or Tails: Love today. It seems like a lot of people are measuring their lives in love, as I try to do myself by focusing not on the opportunities I’ve missed, the PhD’s that I should’ve had, the trips I’ve never travelled or all my past heartaches and pains. My life is about love, the love I have for my family and friends, the motherly unconditional love I have for my child and all the love and care from all those who truly love me.

This is my HEADS or TAILS entry. For more details, visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

 
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Old Blanket

From the book, The Gifts of Life and Love by Ben Zion Bokser.

Old Blanket

A child will clutch an old blanket or an old and battered toy, and will not let it go. He takes it with him to bed, as though it were his most priceless possession. Parents are occasionally baffled, but the child is only affirming a principle that dominates all life. He is attached to the familiar.

Amidst the shifting things which make up the world of common experience, it is comforting to hold on to something which does not change. It gives us a feeling of stability and permanence. The blanket is precious precisely because it is old and worn, because around it cluster many sweet memories of being tucked into it by the tender and loving hands of mother, night after night. The blanket is an anchor that holds the tiny ship to the shore, while yet permitting it to venture a little way in slow motions of discovery and exploration.

We all clutch old blanket of one kind to another. We feel a special attachment to objects, and places, and people, because they carry happy memories for us. We hold on to ideas and persist in habits because they carry the compulsion of the familiar.

This compulsion of the familiar maybe injurious. It makes it difficult for us to grow up, to change, to respond to the call of new ideas. Yet we could not meet life’s demands without it. For this is the source of our loyalty to all that we have and to all that we are. It gives us a feeling of security and permanence, amidst the anarchy of change which we see all about us.

The attachments to the familiar is a device that God has put into our nature, to make sure that we shall live in the three dimensions of time. We are moving from the present into the future, and we are meant to take our past with us.

What is your old blanket?

I have not one but too many old blankets – stuffs that I clutch on because they have been with me for a long time and I couldn’t get myself to throw them away. They hold very special sentiments. They are reminders of who I was, where I have been and friendships that came with it. They hold both good and bad memories, that sometimes they uplift my soul and sometimes they drag me down to sadness.

With these stuffs, uncluttering is especially hard. But in time, I have learned to be selective in what to keep and to let go of some of them. Sometimes in order to move on it is important to recognize that some stuffs are just stuffs.  There are those in our past that has forever left an imprint in our lives and we just have ourselves, the person we have become, as the ultimate reminder.

This is my HEADS or TAILS entry. For more details, visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

 
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A Memorable Christmas Gift

There are just so many that come to mind, but some of the most memorable gifts I have received would be the gifts my husband gave me for Christmas in 2003. He was still my boyfriend then.

The jewelry box was the ideal gift for me that time, since I do not have a decent place to place all my accesories. He found it irritating tedious that I had to to untangle my necklaces everytime I have to use them. So he gave me that – a very nice wooden jewelry box! It has little drawers, a special compartment where I can hang necklaces, and it is topped with a mirror and ring compartments. Inside this jewelry box is another gift!

What more could top the jewelry box, but an engagement ring! He had sort-of proposed for marriage a month before but he found it fitting to formally propose to me on our first Christmas together.

We got married two weeks later.

This is my HEADS or TAILS entry. For more details, visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

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