Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A MORNING'S WALK - PLUS ONE CHALLENGE


It's the usual morning walk but this time with a difference.  I decided to climb higher up the hill! Yes, I knew that the slopes could and would be mighty steep and the roads not in tip-top shape unlike those on the ground..... but sometimes you just have to be foolishly in love with Mother Nature to do the silly thing other people my age wouldn't do. :-)

And so, on with the morning walk and climb............... 


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 The first trek up the hill. Oh no, this isn't a deserted place. It's a subdivision (you know that already) but situated by the side of a mountain... or a hill... whatever. 


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See the lady there sweeping the front of her home. She does that every morning everyday. And so do her neighbors.  Rounding that bend there will take me to the next incline up the hill.

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The thick mass of trees on the right is a forest conservation area.  You can hear a chorus of birds with their usual morning concerto. They never miss a note. Music to the ears!


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Dark?  The sun hasn't filtered through the trees yet. It's biding its time coming out from behind the other side of the mountain. No worries; residential houses line the street on the left. They're up early ... in fact I could smell the hot dogs and sausages being prepared for their school kids' breakfast. :-) 

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That looks flat to you??  On the contrary. That is quite steep... STEEP!  So I had to move slow. This was when I thought --- a wooden staff would be helpful this time as it would serve as my third leg. To aid my legs which felt like crumbling under this ordeal.  Almost made me think -- 'what was I thinking... going up the hill!?!!' Aaarrgghhh.... !!!


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Nearing the top now.... Was I thankful to be in my rubbers as each step was  a sure needed grip on that steep slope.  Was very careful because of the many dry leaves, some decaying and could be slippery, spread out on the road like carpet. heheheh..... :-)


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Made it!! And that tree there seemed to be smiling at me with --- 'Congratulations, kiddo! Welcome to the top of the hill!'  :-) 

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And so did the sun say 'Good job!' as it shone brightly through the trees. :-)

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And I got more than I had hoped for ---  all these wonderful gorgeous flowers!  Words not enough to describe each one of them in all of their beauty and glory!! :-) ... :-)  I may not know their names, except for the famous ones, but it doesn't matter now.  Sufficient to say that nothing would or could ever compare to any of them as they showed off their most brilliant Mother-Nature-signature-smiles. My cup overflowed with joy and delight just looking at them! :-)
















 

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Well, after having had my fill and a wonderful time spent with Mother Nature...   I decided it was time to head back down the hill.   That again may look flat and level to you ... but that is a steep slope going down!!  I had to be extra careful lest I slide or roll down and end up with bashed bones and crushed ego!  The pull of gravity downwards is much more felt on a very steep slope such as this. Negotiating that slope can be quite tricky for a little ole lady like this one... heheheh :-) :-)

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Whew!! Finally, back on ground level. 

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And getting hot as the sun was now inching its way higher up to the skies.

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A couple of blocks more to go and I'm Home!  This was such a lovely early morning walk!!!  :-) :-)

A lovely blessing from on high. Thank you!


 

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ON A DAY-BY-DAY BASIS


2016 --- I like how that sounds. I like the flow of time. It's telling us "I move... so you move, too. But be sure you know where you're heading."
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The new year has opened its door to us. Let's get both our feet in. Not one foot in the door.. but with the other foot left behind. Get in and close the door behind you. Whatever happened in the past is now history. Its all now gone except for the lessons we got from it. That is what the past is for... as an archive of lessons learned.
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Begin anew. Build new goals... plans... objectives... targets... destinations... expectations... hope... dreams. You may not be able to do it all in one sitting (Who can anyway?!!) and don't even try. Easy gains have no lasting effect. It's always those things done with persistence, determination, steady effort, hard work, study, passion, and with a can-do attitude --- all these combined always hit the goal. Small effort perhaps?.... that matters, too.
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Be patient. Those things worth doing can sometimes be so boring, tiring, monotonous, and it can get on your nerves too as you feel that you're heading nowhere but a dead-end. But --- persevere because each day holds its own promise and potential. Keep pushing..... keep hammering..... keep going..... keep building..... and live at the same time. Life is beautiful!
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Wishing you blessings of abundance in the days ahead. God bless you.



Friday, January 1, 2016

KEEP LIFE SIMPLE






----- Keep life simple. That was Mom's favorite mantra. Don't make things far more complicated than they already are. Life is complex enough, so don't make it hard or harder for yourself anymore than you should. Better yet, find ways to simplify. While you're at it, enjoy life!

Wishing everybody a Happy and Blessed NEW YEAR 2016!





DEAR GOD.... THANK YOU!



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DEAR GOD,


THANK YOU VERY MUCH..............

.....for everything of this earth living and non-living and for the universe
.....for family and friends, and people You have sent into our lives
.....for the gifts of talent and abilities
.....for Your protection, guidance, provision, comfort, and divine understanding
.....for blessing us so much more than we deserve
.....for always being there in our coming and going, in our falling and rising
.....for those things we can't see, hear, touch, nor understand and yet which You continually do for our sake
.....for Your loving mercy and forgiveness
.....for loving us unconditionally
.....for helping us in our life journey
.....for life
.....but most especially, thank you for YOU!


Teach us how to love you more. Teach us to use our lives to serve the greater number and the better good. By Your design!


Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHRISTMAS TRADITION - A Family Treasure



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The perfect words to understand family Christmas traditions.....
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I have read this on my dear friend's page, to quote......


"It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul..."

- Caroline Kennedy


 MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone! God bless you and your family.


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

TO YOU ALL........

To my dear friends here in the blog,

a heartfelt MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May the season bring to you bountiful blessings from the heart of God .. way beyond measure -- far more than your kind hearts can hold.  Thank you for the gift of your friendship. 

God bless you and your dear dearest ones now and evermore.

Ellen





Friday, December 11, 2015

LIFE CANNOT BE LIFE WITHOUT PEOPLE IN IT


 
 
 
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I was on my way down the hill at the tail-end of my morning walk when this silver-haired gentleman-foreigner heading my way from the opposite direction on seeing me slowed down and greeted me with a huge smile and a question... "How many times do you go round the neighborhood?" I replied "Twice, most times." To this he smiled even more and said.. "Good for you!" And walked past me still wearing his big wide smile..
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Apparently he too was doing his usual morning routine. And so were other Filipino residents of the neighborhood at that early hour. But one thing looks quite clear to me.... Filipinos are shy .. in fact, just too shy to jump at the opportunity to make friends or simply share the good vibes of the moment with someone. They hold back too much that the golden opportunity flies by swiftly and becomes lost forever.
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I remember Mom said this long ago....... "The art of giving and receiving does not come naturally to many. But it can be learned. Start with loving yourself, life and everything in it."
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Life without people would be similar to a landscape of meadows, mountains, rivers, forests running endlessly beyond the horizon and even farther. Magnificent but somehow incomplete. Full yet empty.
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People, on the other hand, bring into life those thousand-and-one things which make it come pulsatingly alive. Challenges... perceptions... insights.... excitement... adventure... joy and happiness... creativity... productivity... emotional diversity... development... growth, etc. Add to the same pot the worrisome and wearying disputes... arguments... sorrows... questions... destruction.... conflicts... negativity... and other things more which make you want to bang your head on the wall. These things happen between man and man interacting and colliding in a manner they alone best know how. We can include what happens between man and nature interacting and colliding too.
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Life cannot be life without people in it. Truly by God's design.
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Wishing for you and your family God's blessings beyond measure.



WORRYING WON'T TAKE YOU UP THE MOUNTAIN

 
 

  

One of the nicest things about early morning walks is the chance to watch the day unfold. Trees seem to look greener, flowers brighter, animals on the street light and cheery chasing each other on the paved streets, and people... Well, people are a good mix of both great and not so great. I get a good feed of both in that morning walk.
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Great disarming smiles come from people who have learned how to make peace with the world and life. Wan smiles come from people who are not there in the moment. Their thoughts, as a friend once said to me, may be on some worry or care, mostly of yesterdays, which they can't shake off or won't because it's their comfort zone. Can you believe that? Worry as a comfort zone? Perhaps they think that worrying is the thing to do. And that NOT worrying makes them LESS responsible or efficient.
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Well, when worrying tries to mess up my day, I turn to this verse.....
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Matthew 6:25-27 -- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
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Peace, as God has promised us.
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The absence of worry, as life has taught me, enables you to have a clear clean field to sort out issues with. It affords true discernment as to what is important and what is not. Then you can decide better what to do with it without the unnecessary fuss and flurry which usually accompanies stress and anxiety which in turn clouds the brain. That, in all good reason, is the responsible and efficient way of dealing with issues, problems, cares and woes. As a good friend once said, "Worry makes me lose sight of my goal. Makes it harder to climb the mountain."
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True, people can't help worrying. Worry, as seen to be, has its uses too. But don't overdo it. It's a struggle not to worry, I know. A habit hard to shake off; worry warts abound. I struggle with that, too. But be kind to yourself and save yourself frequent trips to the doctor, too.
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You might miss God's blessings if all you do is fill your mind and heart with anxiety. Free space for awesome blessings to come in!


Further, life is beautiful; you might be missing that too when all that you do is worry.

Wishing God's bountiful blessings upon you and yours.


Friday, December 4, 2015

LIFE CANNOT BE LIFE WITHOUT PEOPLE IN IT








I was on my way down the hill at the tail-end of my morning walk when this silver-haired gentleman-foreigner heading my way from the opposite direction on seeing me slowed down and greeted me with a huge friendly smile and a question... "How many times do you go round the neighborhood?" I replied "Twice, most times." To this he smiled even more and said.. "Good for you!" And walked past me still wearing his big wide smile..
.
Apparently he too was doing his usual morning routine. And so were other Filipino residents of the neighborhood at that early hour. But one thing looks quite clear to me.... Filipinos are shy .. in fact, just too shy to jump on an opportunity to make friends or simply share the good vibes of the moment. I remember Mom said this long ago....... "The art of giving and receiving does not come naturally to many. But it can be learned. Start with loving yourself, life and everything in it."
.
Life without people would be similar to one landscape of meadows, mountains, rivers, forests running endlessly beyond the horizon and even farther. Magnificent but somehow incomplete.
.
People, on the other hand, bring into life those thousand-and-one things which make it come pulsatingly alive. Challenges... perceptions... insights.... excitement... adventure... joy and happiness... creativity... productivity... emotional diversity... development... growth, etc. Add to the same pot the worrisome and wearying disputes... arguments... sorrows... questions... destruction.... conflicts... negativity... and other things more which make you want to bang your head on the wall. These things happen between man and man interacting and colliding in a manner they alone best know how.
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Life cannot be life without people in it.
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Wishing for you and your family God's blessings beyond measure.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

FLOWERS GRACING MY EARLY MORNING WALK


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This morning I decided to do something different with my early morning walk ..... to take pictures of flowers down the paths winding round the hilly neighborhood.
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You see, sometimes we, in-spite of our brilliance, don't notice our surroundings as much as we really should. We simply gloss over the terrain not minding the many wonders, big and small, God placed in there for our enjoyment and pleasure.
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We know it's there but we take it all for granted. Just as we think that the trees around us will always be there and so pay no attention to them. Not realizing that even trees, or all of nature for that matter, also need our attention and care. They too, as we all know it, take care of the air we breathe and the ground we walk on, and the water that rains down on our fields.
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Life on this planet is a give-and-take. A symbiotic existence.... there is something you have that I need or something that I have that you need. An interdependent relationship between man and man... and man and nature.
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So this morning I decided to pay closer attention to my walk. And with heightened expectations hied off with the rising sun so eager to see lovely surprises packed into this particular morning landscape. By God's design.
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These pictures were taken with my phone. It could be better with the right tool I know........ but this little ole lady makes do with what she has. I think in this case, it is the object and not the tool which is magic...... magically Magnificent!
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Of course, the morning walk wouldn't be complete without the usual trip to the talipapa (market) for fruits... banana, lansones, mangoes, pineapple (later sliced and slid into the refrigerator to cool). Added to my basket too were.. golden squash, sweet potatoes and saging na saba.
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Great day.. indeed! Thank God!
May God bless you and your dear ones.