Thursday, October 23, 2008

National Infertility Awareness Week

(Again, in lieu of "My Husband Rocks", I write on another topic since this week is designated as the Infertility Awareness Week. MHR will be back soon, I promise!)

A couple is considered infertile if they are unable to have a baby within a year of trying to conceive. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples in the US - that is about 7.3 million infertile Americans. I have no statistics for other places but it is possible that the ratio averages out to that as well.

Some infertile couples succeed in having a baby with just a few "tricks". Some need the big guns of assisted reproductive techniques.

Meanwhile, no words nor videos can completely capture what infertility is and its effect on couples but I will try to attempt it anyway, because in order to make more people more aware about infertility, someone has to speak up.

Here is a video that tries to capture the emotions:

Some of you may think that "I will die for that" is overboard . You may be surprised that there are a lot of infertiles who do think that way, at one time or another.

Going through fertility treatments affects couples physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Western fertility treatments are intrusive and involves a lot of hormonal rollercoaster which affects both the physical body and the emotional state. They also entail a huge investment without a high guarantee of results. But most of all, the journey to baby tests the faith of the people involved.

If you have friends and family who are on the infertility road, there are many ways you can support them. Here are at least 2 things that you can do:

Infertile couples are struggling with these potential losses:
1. Loss of control
2. Loss of individual genetic continuity
3. Loss of a jointly conceived child
4. Loss of the pregnancy and birth experiences
5. Loss of emotional gratification surrounding pregnancy and birth
6. Loss of an opportunity to nurture and parent a new generation

Simply speaking then, Christ said to "Love your neighbor as yourself." So even without reading through all the stuff in the above website, the key operative term is to be gentle and sensitive to those who are going through the infertility path.

As for us, we put our trust in the Lord...


A Real "Cops" Moment

Last Wednesday, I was in such a hurry since I was already late for a get-together with the ladies in town... and I still had to drop off Daddy Ely at Josh's house... and I still had to pick up my "secret" Asian food :) for the Asian get-together theme.

It should have served as a warning to me when I saw a big truck being ticketed a few meters from the subdivision entrance.

But of course, I was so deep in my thoughts about calculating how fast I should drive on the backroads to minimize my tardiness.

Then as I approached the 20mph zone while running at 35 mph, I saw 2 motorcycle cops... 1 of them followed after me. No siren, no flashing lights. Phew!!!

But a few meters later, I noticed his flashing lights. At first, I was confused whether it was me. Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!! But of course it was me since there are not other cars in the immediate vicinity. Panic!!!

So I pulled over and this is how my conversation with Officer S. Lucio went:

RELA: Good morning, officer.
OFFICER: Good morning, ma'am. Did you know that you were running at 55 on a 40 zone?

RELA: Ahhhh... not really...
OFFICER: May I have your driver's license and insurance please?

RELA: (Pulls DL and insurance and gives them to officer.)
OFFICER: (Checks the docs.) Do you still live in William Cannon Drive?

RELA: No, officer, I no longer live there. I live over yonder (no I did not use that word :) )
OFFICER: Since when have you moved?

RELA: About 10 months ago...
OFFICER: Okay, I will explain this to you later. (Goes back to his motorcycle, pulls out his folder and starts scribbling.)

RELA: (Thinking to self - Oh, no! My insurance premium will go up! I will pay for the speeding ticket - more expenses! Just when I am in a hurry, I end up being more late! I should have trusted my instinct earlier to drive within limits! I should have heeded my own mantra of "better alive and late than dead and on time")
OFFICER: (Comes back to the driver's seat area.)

RELA: Is there forgiveness here, officer? (Takes off shades, bats eyelashes... no, I did not do that...despite the "desperation".)
OFFICER: I will explain this to you...

RELA: (Thinking to self - Sounds hopeful!!!)
OFFICER: I will give you a citation for speeding as a warning only. Otherwise, the fine will be steep.

RELA: Thank you, officer!
OFFICER: As for your driver's licence, you will need to call the Judge before Nov 20. Before you do that, have your DL changed to your current address so that when you call they will dismiss it and will just charge you $10. (Only!!! Dance of joy!!! Anyway, I forgot what the $10 was really for, perhaps for processing fee or something like that???)

RELA: Thank you very much, officer!
OFFICER: You're welcome, ma'am. Drive safely.

So that is my first real "COPS" moment. I am just so grateful that I did not get a speeding ticket!

Praise God for being in control even in this small detail of my life!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I "Need" An iPhone

Yes... and of course the pink version would be pretty:

pink iphone Pictures, Images and Photos

This shiny toy would "simplify" my gadget arsenal...
- Cell phone
- GPS (although the iPhone does not "speak")
- MP3 player/recorder
- Palmtop
- Camera

See what I had to pack for my ultra-short trip to California last weekend...

Without the power supplies:

With the power supplies:

Aaarrrggghhhh!!! Can you imagine the space these things occupied? I literally had to put them into a separate shoulder bag to make sure they don't get crushed and so that it would be easy to locate them (and not "lose" them in the blackhole that is the knap sack!)

I wonder if "Santa" is going to be early and not wait for Christmas :)


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Yet Done

This is the poem that I mentioned last Friday's post in Kathy's Facebook when she shared her Dad's death.

When I needed you to raise my child,
The way you have raised me;
Not yet done,

To spend more time with you,
To argue and debate with you,
For you to tell me how much you love me,
And I, half turn to go, tell you how much I love you.
Not yet done;

Not yet done,
In showing you my child,
The same child you had always wished for me to have
Not yet done,
To share with you the joy of my motherhood,
When even I nearly lost hope,
Not yet done;

Not yet done,
For you to help me with my dreams,
To help me with my wedding plans,
And to walk me holding my hands;
Not yet done;

Oh Dear God, I'm not yet done,
But in my Faith I keep,
I let go and look back
How you raised all of us, me
In that respect,
Dear Dad ...

So well you've done."

Just like Kathy, I have so much gratefulness for my parents and how they raised me even through my rebellious phase.

Just like Kathy, I settled down late in life... so bearing children is a real challenge.

Just like Kathy, I would have loved to have my parents see their grandchildren and perhaps help raise them too.

But the Lord has other plans.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Man of Few Words

Manong Idrong was a fixture in our lives, specially in our growing up years.

Manong Idrong had the best yard in our town. Everyday, I would see him tending to the greenest patch of grass in town or watering his healthy calamansi plants. Whenever we need calamansi, we would just ask him for some in his garden. We were taught how to remove the fruit since we did not have prunes. He also had santol, jackfruit, balimbing, sampaloc (tamarind) in his backyard…and yes, we got showered with their fruits too!

Manong Idrong always accommodated us when it was time to watch TV - either basketball or Combat - in their house. We would sit on the wooden sofa, on the marble floor or the most coveted spot - the upholstered circle stool! During the basketball games, Manong Idrong, my Dad and I rooted for the same team Toyota while my sister Ria would cheer for the other team Crispa! And Manong Idrong and my dad would be like sports commentators or analysts while we watched the game. The TV times were fun social times!

Manong Idrong was also very generous. When he goes to the Subic base commissary (he was a retired navy so he had access), he would share the apples and oranges that he buys there. Those were precious - rare and expensive - for us. It was at their home, too, where I first tasted roasted turkey! It must have been Thanksgiving then when we ate the turkey at their house… but having not heard about Thanksgiving, of course, what just mattered was the delicious turkey!

Manong Idrong was always well groomed in his white shirt and denim pants even at home! I vividly remember him sitting de-quatro and busily reading his newspaper, but always with a ready smile to greet us.

Speaking of newspaper, I took a picture of him back in 2006 to send to the Philippines as a required proof that he is still alive on the date of the newspaper. I will come and post back that picture once I find it. :(

On that same trip, I had my first call and experience of 911 when he had difficulty breathing. The firemen came and by then his breathing had eased up.

Manong Idrong was a man of few words but if he had a strong opinion on something, get ready…he will say his piece! He has a wicked sense of humor - dry wit and impeccable timing.

Despite living a privileged life in the Philippines (he had the only brand new Mitsubishi Galant in town way back maybe in the 80's!), he was humble. I can't remember what topics we were on - I imagine it is about praises about him - and I distinctly remember his gentle, quiet voice saying "haan met, ading" (not really, my young cousin).

These are why I will miss him, too…

I am grateful and honored to have known him and to have fond memories of him.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

MOURNING - Death of a Parent

In lieu of "My Husband Rocks" post today, I am posting on 3 men who passed away in the past week... And although all of us (no one is exempted) eventually go that way too, their deaths struck a chord in me.

They are all aging fathers… and it reminded me of losing my own Dad about 8 years ago, too. But today, I just wanted to share a few words about these fathers. I will publish separate posts about them to honor their memories. Bear with me in the next few days...

Manong Idrong
is husband to Manang Atang and father to Manong Peter and Carm. We were neighbors in San Marcelino, Zambales for as long as I can remember. Manang Atang and my mother were very close - mutual confidante to each other. Carm and I went to the University of the Philippines together and even became dorm mate and roommate then. I was part of her wedding entourage. That is how close our families are… and I feel the loss of his passing away too.

Attorney Quiano
is Kathy's dad. I have always felt that he and his family were a fresh addition to small town San Marcelino - him with his different and large ideas. I was very touched by the poem Kathy posted on her Facebook (I think it is an original by Kathy's husband) since it resonated a lot with me.

Smokey Jackson
is Pastor Jeff Jackson's father. I have met him once only but I knew about him from the stories that Pastor Jeff and D'Lynda shared. Last Sunday when I asked how he was, D'Lynda said something very obvious but yet sometimes difficult to put into the right words - "he is feeling better yesterday but he is dying".


Our fathers are precious -
… spend as much time as you can with them
… give them your FULL attention
… be patient with them even when they are difficult

Because when they are gone, they are physically gone.



We can see each other again if we believe that God exists, God loves us (very much!), we are separated from him because of sin, heaven exists, and that Jesus is the only Way - no other name - to God and eternity in heaven.

We can see each other again if we make Jesus our Savior and Lord. It is easy to "say the prayer" but God is not mocked - he knows if we truly mean what we are saying. Also, it is not humanly easy to follow Jesus as Lord because we have to take up our cross and deny ourselves in this world of self-entitlement. But is there really a better way to live now and for eternity?


Meanwhile, Paul's instructions about love is found in his letter to the Romans contains this in 12:15b -"mourn with those who mourn". So off I go to 2 funerals this week…

You guys have a great weekend though...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I don't know how these guys make money out of this but apparently they do. Otherwise, they would have been out of business a long time ago! (Also, I rarely blog about this (and 2 in a row, too!) but I am compelled to share this.

Alright, do the math...
$25 gift certificate for $10.
Further discount that...
$25 gift certificate for $2... (jaw drop)!!! How, oh how???

How much gain does get?
How much gain does the actual restaurant get?

Maybe I should quit asking those questions... the advantage is mine, anyway :)

Last Friday, I updated the coupon for the 70% discount which meant that the $25 gift certificate costs $3 only.

I just updated it again with the new coupon for the 80% discount! This means that the $25 gift certificate now costs only $2!!! But only for 36 hours from midnight today Tuesday to noon Wednesday.

So do not tarry, go get your $25 gift certificate for $2 at! (See right sidebar for the Coupon Code to avail of this promo!)

Will they ever get to 90% ($1) ??? Greedy, greedy...

How To Use the Coupon Code

A Break From Home-Cooked Meals


Friday, October 10, 2008

How To Use the Coupon Code

The $25 gift certificate is sold regularly at $10.

The Coupon Codes I add in the right sidebar though will further reduce that. The Coupon Codes are further discounted by:
50% - $5 for the $25 certificate
60% - $4 for the $25 certificate
70% - $3 for the $25 certificate

Actually, the same Coupon Code can be used for their Dinner of the Month Club. The Dinner of the Month Club is a way to receive $25 certificate monthly for the selected period - 3, 6 and 12-months.

The Dinner of the Month which is valued at $300 ($25 * 12 months for the longest option) regularly costs $120. With the Coupon Codes, they are typically discounted in a similar rate above:
50% - $60 for the $300 value
60% - $48 for the $300 value
70% - $36 for the $300 value

When I get new information on a Coupon Code, I revise the right sidebar on this blog. I add in the appropriate price, Coupon Code and applicable date.

So when you see a Coupon Code that is still within the applicable dates, you can use it to get the deeply discounted gift certificates! Otherwise, you get the gift certificates at their regular prices!

So when you are ready to try and take advantage of these discounts, just click on and you will enjoy these:

  • A great savings to you
  • An easy way to discover new dining experiences from one of more than 8,500 restaurants nationwide
  • The perfect gift anytime


A Break From Home-Cooked Meals


"My Husband Rocks" Friday - 2008.41

Al rocks because he's a musical man. I did tell you earlier that he is an artist by avocation, right? Well, it's not just visual arts...

He also plays the piano/keyboards and guitar. Here's a video of him accompanying Josh, our 5-year old nephew, play the hymn "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus".

I know, I know... I'm actually featuring Josh here more than Uncle Al :) Uncle Al will probably take down the video because it does not "showcase" his best playing :) :) :) So watch it while it is still up here!

Anyway, one time I had a very bad headache and just like the other times, I refused to take a painkiller for it. Al massaged my head and other reflex points. Then, he remembered hearing about listening to a stringed instrument play being able to ease up headaches. So he grabbed the guitar and played it. In a few minutes, I was one sleeping babe! And when I woke up, I was one happy and thankful woman!

And that is why My Husband Rocks!


How about you? Why  does your husband rock?  Join us as we focus on our husband's (or husband, or husband-to-be,  or wife-to-be) strengths and potentials.  Write about it and go link to Katy Lin's blog on the latest "My Husband Rocks" Friday post.

Have a great week-end!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mango Poblano Chile Quesadillas

Yvonne and I ate at Hula Hut a couple of weeks back. I ordered the Mango Poblano Chile Quesadillas based on her recommendation. Here's a photo of that:

Her cousin thought that the item was odd tasting and that "You Austinites are really weird" or something to that effect. Well, I'm just a transplant but I think it was quite interesting - in a good way. I thought it was like a crepe.

So, I tried it at home and I still liked it. Here is the recipe to make 3 large servings (about 300 calories each)...

1/2 Fresh mango, diced
1/2 Poblano chile, diced
Cream cheese - 2tbsp per wrap
Tortilla wrap (I used the Jalapeno Cheddar (yellow) and the Garden Spinach Herb (green) flavors)

• Just spread the cream cheese on the tortilla wrap.
• Add a third of the diced fresh mango and a third of the poblano chile. Press down the mango and chile gently just enough for them to "embed" to the cream cheese.
• You can eat it directly without all of those other preparations!
- If you want a crispy wrap, you can put the wrap on flat pan and heat it up for a few minutes. (Spray oil optional.)
- If you want the poblano chile to be softer, you can cook pan fry it first before using them.

If you want it to be more savory, use the yellow Jalapeno Cheddar wrap. If you want it to be more neutral-tasting, use the Green Spinach Herb. You can also use the plain tortillas, too!

Try it and let me know how yours went!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Miggy!

Matthew Genesis Pantaleon-Figueroa is my sister Ria's firstborn. It's really a boy - like Taz, if you know what I mean!!! :)

Miggy, as he is commonly known, is 4 years old today!

Happy, happy, happy 4th birthday, Miggy-bung!!!

Here are some photos of famous mukhasim, some with Tita Rela…

2005 Jan maybe? - Baby mukhasim at home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

2005 Aug - Mukhasim in Boise, ID

2005 Aug - Yellowstone, Wyoming

2006 Sep - Boise, ID

2007 Oct - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Preparing to go to Paul Baloche concert

2008 Feb - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

2008 Apr- Zilker Park, Austin, TX

May you grow up in the knowledge of the Lord!

'Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise—"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."'
Ephesians 6:1


Monday, October 6, 2008

What Can $10 Buy?

A lot in a garage sale!

And to think that we did not plan on going... but since we were up on our usual regular waking time on Saturday, we went.

Here's what we bought last Saturday at our community garage sale:

  • $1 Dress - Satin cotton cloth
  • $3 Speakers - Brand new. Still wrapped in plastic.
  • $1 Business Card Scanner - Brand new. CD was not yet opened.
  • $1 Web Camera 
  • $1 ClipArt CDs - Woo hoo!!! 5 CDs. Published 1996… just don't use the images of people because the hair and fashion style gives away the age! 
  • $3 Tennis Racket Bag - This was the most expensive item. The man knew how to sales talk!
That's my kind of garage sales - go early, nice cool weather, great buys, finish quickly. We were back home by 9:30 am.

How about you? What has been the best stuff your $10 bought you in garage sales?


Saturday, October 4, 2008

"My Husband Rocks" Friday - 2008.40

This is starting to become MHR Saturdays instead of Fridays! Oh well, in this case it is better late than never... :)


Al rocks because he talks ... a lot. And I am not referring small talk here since he does not feel at ease with that. And I am not referring to loud talk too - you know, the ones where the boys usually get to talk and laugh loud about sports, cars and stuff. No... not those kind of talking...

I'm referring to talking to me, the wife.

When Al gets home, he just needs a quick opening like "How was your day?" or sometimes, he does not even need an opening! He would enthusiastically start talking about what he thinks about Richard Curley's Homeward Bound or Hank Hanegraaf's The Bible Answerman radio talk shows for the day. Then he goes about his work day - the highlights and the challenges. He's usually hungry too, so if I have dinner prepared already, then we continue to talk into dinner and even after that.

When we have something "important and serious" to talk about, I just ask him when we can do that so that he is conditioned. I think he likes having those "scheduled" rather than spontaneous since he then does not need to shift focus on whatever he was into. He then knows also that when that "schedule" comes, that is when he needs to focus on such "important and serious" subject. (BTW, when we were still not married, I think he would feel uncomfortable when we schedule this kind of talk. Perhaps, he feels "safer" now???)

One topic that needs no scheduling though is DREAMS... You know, the "what I want to be/do when I grow up" kinda talk. (NOT the "when I sleep, I have this dream" type.) We both like that. (And did I mention that we are both Dreamers???)

Anyway... So sometimes, when I hear jokes about men not talking ... I draw a blank because the one I got - he talks. A lot!

And I love it!

That is why My Husband Rocks!

I am just soooo grateful for having a communicative husband. :)


How about you? Why  does your husband rock?  Join us as we focus on our husband's (or husband, or husband-to-be,  or wife-to-be) strengths and potentials.  Write about it and go link to Katy Lin's blog on the latest "My Husband Rocks" Friday post. 

Have a great week-end!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

The System Still Works

I got plenty to blog but got little time right now (and perhaps the next few weeks)...

So before you miss me a lot for not posting frequently, I decided to post quick funnies...

Yes, my system (my brain) is still working pretty well, but look what system works really, really well:

Check out more funny animals and even funnier captions at I Can Has Cheezburger!

Al and I think that the site is hilarious!!!


A Few of My Favorite Songs

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