Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Family Tradition

(Photo by me, Tasha)

I’d like to share with you one of my family’s traditions. When my family and I came to live in Wyoming in 1994, we started a family tradition with my sister and her family, which we still practice today. Every first Saturday of December, we go up to the mountains to hunt for that Perfect Christmas Tree. Perfect has a very relative meaning in this subject. The mountain-harvested Christmas trees do not look like the tree farm bought trees that have a perfect, robust, and green appearance. The perfect mountain-harvested Christmas tree is something the tree farm owner would discard in the landfill. Unfit for the market! You know that saying, “A face only a mother could love,” right? Well, it applies in this situation also, especially that we’ve worked hard to find it and bring it home.

We may never have a perfect tree farm bought Christmas tree, but we’d never give up our tradition for one, either. We treasure our tradition because it gives our families another reason to get together, go up to the mountains, and enjoy a fun-filled day. First, we gather at my sister’s house and then leave when everybody’s present and accounted for. Laramie is only 45 minutes drive from Cheyenne, but it never fails that we stop at this fishing tackle store there, just off I-80, before heading up into the mountains. I suppose it’s a part of the tradition, too. It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t stop.

On our drive, the kids are talking through the two-way radios. When the kids were little, there were just two vehicles and two 2-way radios. This year, there were four vehicles, so there were four 2-way radios. We make jokes and make comments about anything and just have fun using the radios along the way.

Once in the mountains, we park our vehicles alongside the narrow road. (You don’t want to go too far to the side or your truck drops off into the snow drift-covered ditch and you get stuck in the snow—four wheel drive and all.)

Hubby's vehicle still didn't get washed from his bison hunting trips.

For all the years we’ve been going up there, we always park and walk into the same area. We’re traditionalists, I suppose. We routinely see snowmobiles whizzing up and down the sides of the roads. One of these days, we’ll join them. We’ve been telling ourselves that—year after year, but still haven’t gotten around to doing it. Maybe next year. Yeah, right.

We put our snow boots and snow shoes on. (Hubby usually helps me put mine on.)

Off we go. Many times we’re the first humans to walk through the virgin snow. We see deer and rabbit tracks, but that’s about it. We’ve been up there in different weather conditions—pleasant to bitter cold, snow falling and/or blowing, white-out or blizzard, cloudy and sunny. This year, it was a gorgeous, sunny day. My family and I walk all over, stopping occasionally to take pictures and to critique each potential candidate until we find our perfect Christmas tree. Once we make our choice, we cut it down and then drag it to the truck, huffing and puffing.Hubby and his saw.

My brother-in-law usually brings a pot of his favorite chili recipe, which he heats up on his camping stove. My sister boils some water to make hot chocolate. I then bring out the shredded cheese, Chili-Cheese Fritos, and some desserts from our vehicle. We sit in camping chairs that my brother-in-law carries in his truck all year round, while the kids go sledding.

This year, one of my nieces towed the others up the road while they rode the toboggan that was tied to the back of her truck. Once up on the summit, they’d untie the toboggan and, then, off they’d go down the slope. They’d repeat the same maneuver until lunch is ready. Of course, it’d take forever to get them over to eat. There’s just something magical about eating piping-hot chili and drinking hot chocolate out in the cold outdoors. They taste heavenly. When the kids are done eating, they’d go back sledding until we’re packed and ready to head home.
This is our Perfect Christmas Tree after hubby decorated it with glass ornaments, white lights, and gold and silver balls.

Because Gabe gets into everything now, we hardly put Christmas decorations out, especially the breakable ones. We still put a few out that are not breakable.

Our Son and his son, Gabe.This is Gabe, smiling at you.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you share some of your family traditions, as well.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to you, my friends, for not having visited your blogs lately. The past two weeks have been so hectic, meeting friends for breakfast or lunch, attending parties, going shopping, Christmas decorating, and just meeting everyday life’s demands and responsibilities. Don’t think one minute that I’ve forgotten about you; I have just been very busy. And it looks like it will be this way at least until after the second week of January. By then, I’ll have put on another 20 pounds. I’ll be Mrs. Pillsbury Dough Boy, for sure.

In closing, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year!

With Love,
Tasha

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Gave Into Temptation!

I was only in this country three months when hubby and I drove from Florida to Pennsylvania to visit his family in December 1977. It was my first long trip in a car. Along the way, we passed people with backpacks, holding signs, asking for rides. I asked hubby why we didn’t stop to give them rides. “This is something you have to learn in this country,” he said. “Unlike the Philippines, you just don’t go stopping and giving people rides, if you want to live.”

“What do you mean?” As naïve as I was, hubby had to explain to me all the dangers of giving rides to strangers.

“Oh, but they look tired, cold, and hungry. I feel sorry for them.”

“Well, you just have to feel sorry for them, Tootie, because we’re not stopping to give them rides,” hubby said. I was truly heartbroken for them. I still am when I see them out there. I’m always tempted to give those hitchhikers rides. Actually, I gave into temptation and gave a guy a ride a year and a half ago. Needless to say, hubby was not happy. I was scared to death the whole time. So, as much as I like to give them rides, I’m not going to anymore. You’ll find out why.
Anyway, I was driving up in Vedauwoo (pronounced as Vedavoo), looking for the outdoor performance by the University of Wyoming dance troupe. It’s a type of dance in which dancers are tied to long ropes as they perform their aerial dances. I couldn’t find the place, so I stopped on the side of the road to check the map again. The man I passed a while back walking from the direction of Interstate 80 (I-80), approached me, unexpectedly, in my van. He asked if I could give him a lift to his truck somewhere on the other side of the wooded park. I saw that he only had the can of gas with him and looked very tired from walking. I was reluctant to give him a ride, but he pleaded. It was just him and me out there in the boonies. I said, “I can’t because I have to be somewhere. I just can’t find the place right now.” As soon as I said that, a voice inside my head told me that perhaps I wasn’t suppose to find the place so that I could give this man a ride. The next thing I knew, I was asking him where his truck was while allowing him to get into the passenger side.

I called hubby on my cell phone right away, saying that I was going to be late meeting him for lunch because I had to give somebody a ride. I wasn’t making any sense to him. He was clearly baffled. We didn’t plan a lunch date, so why was I calling to say that? He asked where I was and what I was doing in Vedauwoo. He had forgotten about me going to the outdoor dance performance. It was my subtle way of letting the man know that I was in contact with my husband that if he had any evil purpose, that he might want to think twice before doing it. It was also my subtle way of letting hubby know the general area where to find me or my body, just in case. After driving a while and not finding his truck, I became very suspicious and very nervous. I talked to him some more. He didn’t talk very much. In the mean time, hubby had been calling me every few minutes wanting to know if I was okay. I said yes. He wanted to know if he should come over, or if he should call the police. I said no, and that we still haven’t found the guy’s truck. So far, we had been driving an hour and a half, looking for his truck. Hubby suggested taking him to the Highway Department to see if anybody there had towed his vehicle. I told that to the guy. He agreed. I also told him that I had to go to work. I was so relieved after I dropped him off at the Highway Department’s parking lot. Whether he went inside or not, I don't know. I didn't wait to see. I hurried to drive away from him incase he'd ask me to drive him around some more.

I’ll never know if the guy truly got turned around and had lost his bearing, completely, which he had claimed. Supposedly, his truck ran out of gas around 2 a.m. on the other side of Vedauwoo. He then hitched a ride with a Semi truck to Laramie, which is 15 miles west of Vedauwoo. While in Laramie, he went to a bar, which explained the strong alcohol smell in him. It could have been worse if the smell of gas didn’t dampen it. From Laramie, he hitched a ride with a semi-truck and got dropped off at the entrance of the park. From there, he walked up to where I was parked. Either that or he was running away from the law. The smell of gas was so potent that dogs would not have been able to follow his tracks.

Yes, never again will I give a stranger a ride. I was very fortunate that nothing bad happened to me.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Darling Grandbabies

My husband and I are twice grandparents now. Our son and his girlfriend thought it would be cool and fun to make us grandparents early. Well, we didn’t take it too kindly, I tell you. After all, we’re still too young to be one, you see. Ha! Ha!

Hubby and I were crushed and greatly disappointed with our son when we learned about his girlfriend’s pregnancy. Both of them were barely seventeen at the time. Still babies themselves. Neither one was prepared for parenthood nor for any adult responsibilities. His girlfriend was already four months into her pregnancy when we were informed, which meant to us that the seed was planted when they were only sixteen years old. Too young, indeed.

Tensions mounted between our son and us, for which I had shed a lot of tears on the matter. There was also a time when the two lovebirds broke up and only gotten back together the day of their son’s birth. So, before our grandson arrived into our lives, there were tears of sadness, anger, and heartaches all around us.

When Gabe arrived, all of that seemed to have gone away. He had patched up our broken hearts and bridged our broken family together again. We love him very much. He’s such a joy to watch. He loves to get involved in conversations, even if he can’t articulate any meaningful words yet. He entertains us with his theatrical antics, smiles, and giggles. He's full of energy, and likes to get into E...verything. He’s now almost two years old and doesn’t know what to do with his sister.

Gabe at six months old

I said he gets into E...verything, right? Well, here he is in the next four photos.

Gabe at twenty-two months old. A budding pianist, perhaps?
Or, a singer in a band?

Or, the best Foose ball player?

Or, the best DVD rearranger?


Of course, our son and his girlfriend didn’t learn from the first time and thought it would be fun again to make us doubly disappointed with them. So, nine months ago, they brewed the same recipe and this month, presented us with another grandbaby.

Mereyah arrived a week late. I think she’s taking after granny in that department, ALWAYS LATE. Except with her, she started before birth. I hope that doesn’t continue, or else, she’d be reminded, “You’re just like your grandmother, always late!” I hate the thought of that. Poor child and I’d be turning over in my grave each time, too. I much rather her be likened to me for my good qualities (ahem): “You’re just as dependable as your grandmother who always keeps her words and never abandoning her love ones and friends. You’re just as loving and as caring as your grandmother who cries at everybody’s sad life stories, who gives comfort to anybody who needs it by lending her ears to someone else’s ranting, or by offering words of inspiration or consolation.” Or, “You’re just as generous as your grandmother who gives willingly and generously to those who are less fortunate than she.” Sorry about those bit parts. They're self-promoting, I know. But just ignore the thought. I'm just trying to make a point that granny (moi) has commendable qualities as well aside from her "late-eriosis" disease.

Anyway, Mereyah didn't want to leave her COMFORT INN. She was happy and content there. I don't blame her, since it's a jungle out here. But the doctor wanted to induce the delivery. She was almost born on the day of my surgery. Thank goodness, she had the sense to wait for me. She communicated with the doctor, via ultrasound waves, to hold off on the inducement. I tell you, even inside her mother's womb, she knew already who is important in her life. That's my angel. She okayed the inducement and then made her swift entrance into this big, big world two days after my surgery. By then, I was well and ready to meet her.

For now, Mereyah sleeps, feeds, poops, and sleeps some more. As the saying goes, she sleeps like an angel. See for yourselves.

Mereyah at few hours old.

Mereyah at one day old.

Even though my husband and I preferred for our son and his girlfriend to have waited until they are older, have stable jobs, and are married before having children, we can not just look away and ignore these grandchildren now.

What would you do if you are in our shoes?

Thanks for visiting and reading.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Are You Sexually Active?

I kid you not; I was asked this question last Friday (a week ago). I wasn’t sure whether I heard the question correctly or not. After all, it is such a very personal and private matter that I was sure I misheard her. So I said, “I beg your pardon?”

“Are you sexually active?”

I immediately broke into hysterical laughter. I was at a loss for words! I was like, “Ah….what kind of a question is that?” I’m sure I was beet red from embarrassment about her question. I was laughing so hard, while apologizing to her for my reaction. “It’s just that I have never been asked this question before,” I told her.

“I’m sorry, too. But there’s just no better way to ask the question. I guess I could say, 'are you getting any?’” I erupted into laughter at that, too!

I still didn’t know how to answer her. But my first thought was, “It’s none of your business!” On the other hand, I could have acted like a smarty pants and said something like, “Well, I had sex with my husband last week. Would that count? And I really do like to be more active in that department, but it’s in the middle of a hunting season, so it just has to wait.” Instead, I opted for the simplest of answers. “Yes.” Ooh, that word sounded obscene, all fo a sudden.

What prompted this question anyway? The woman I mentioned earlier is a nurse. She asked me the question when I went to the hospital to do my pre-op tests. I know that she just wanted to make sure that I am not pregnant before I was to be given a general anesthesia or any medication that might be harmful to a fetus. But I still think that there was no reason to ask that kind of question, since the doctor already ordered a pregnancy test on me. That should have been enough. That was all that they did on women patients in the past.

I thought we were done until she asked me another question. “Are you taking any street drugs?”

“Excuse me?”

“Are you currently
taking any street drugs?”

I must have looked like a druggie or a junkie that morning for her to ask me that question? Okay, I may have been acting silly and a little out of sorts that morning. It was because her first question prompted me to laugh hysterically and was still laughing when she asked me this question. On top of that, I worked the night before my appointment with her at 10:45 a.m. So, I was sleep deprived! This, however, didn’t mean that I was under the influence of any legal or illegal drugs! For heaven’s sake! Besides, studies show that lack of sleep tend to make people act as if they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How would you handle or respond to sensitive questions; such as, these?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Winter Stories - Part 1

All photos of the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado that are featured here were taken by me during our family vacation in early June of last year. I took the photos from inside our vehicle, using my pocket-sized digital camera, while the car was going 75 miles/hr.

Two nights ago, winter arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This prompted me to come up with an idea to write about my winter stories, which I’ll be posting throughout this winter season. I only hope that I will not bore you during the course.

As info to my readers outside the U.S., the official winter season here in the U.S. is from December to February. To me though, winter is when I start wearing winter coats, gloves, scarves, boots, and when the snow starts falling. Even though the first snowfall this year in Cheyenne had come a week later than most times, I'm still not ready for it. Don't get me wrong. I like snow; I just wish it comes only a couple of months a year, preferably from December through January, rather than the usual seven-month stretch.

On October 28, 1977, I journeyed from the Philippines to the U.S. It was an exciting and a very scary experience for me. I was barely nineteen, never been in an airplane before, and never travelled more than 200 miles away from home. But I've always been on the the adventurous side all my life, so, I gave my sister and brother-in-law and a couple of friends hugs and kisses, said my goodbyes, and then boarded the airplane. I definitely felt anxious about my flight because my heart was beating fast and my breathing, irregular. I often had to breathe deep and slow in hopes of calming myself down, but they didn’t work. Of course, on take off, I felt more anxious. I closed my eyes, held my breath, and gripped at the armrests on both sides. My neighbor must have noticed my freight because he started making conversations with me. The conversations really helped.

I was okay for a long while until we started descending in Hawaii when I felt that sensation of my stomach being up to my chest and throat. That falling sensation was very disconcerting to me that even conversations could not distract me. So, of course, I once again closed my eyes, held my breath, and gripped the armrests. I have flown in airplanes many times more after that journey that those things that bothered me before are now trivial. Thank goodness.

On a layover in Los Angeles, I phoned my sister here in Cheyenne. She asked me if my plane will be stopping in Denver. I didn’t know exactly how to read my itenerary from my multiple plane tickets, so, she told me to ask the people behind the counter. I was told yes. I then relayed that to my sister. She said she and her family will drive to Denver, Colorado to see me.

I boarded my next flight. However, instead of landing next at the Denver airport, I landed at the Miami International Airport—my final destination. I asked one of the stewardess why we didn’t stop in Denver. She said that Denver was never in the itinerary. Oh boy, oh boy! My sister and her family had gone there for nothing! Why then that I was told that my flight stops in Denver? Perhaps my heavy Filipino accent got in a way with my English that the woman behind the counter misunderstood me. I still have my Filipino accent, but it’s probably not as heavy as it once was, since people don’t have a hard time understanding me now when I speak. Either that or they’re used to the way I talk.

My husband, fiancé at the time, and his friends met me at the airport. My arrival was a long awaited one—over a year. It must have been true love, for hubby to wait that long for me to come to America to marry him. I’m still pretty blown away after all these years, thinking about it.

Anyway, back to my sister. When we talked on the phone again, she explained that they were having a snowstorm when I called her from L.A. It was around 1 a.m. Her husband had to install chains on the tires of their car to make the trip to Denver. You have to understand; this was over thirty years ago, before the advent of four-wheel drives. They bundled up my two-year old nephew as they drove to Denver in the snowstorm. I felt terrible about it when I learned about their treacherous drive. I was so thankful they were safe. If not, I’d be feeling the guilt up to now.

Well folks, that’s all for now until next time. Thanks so much for reading.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Trip To Jackson Hole

Hello Everyone. It’s so good to be back, home. I like going on trips, but I’m always glad to be back home also. The trip to Jackson Hole was a lot of fun. It took us seven and a half hours to get there by car (that included gas, food, and pit stops). The first half of the trip was fairly boring--just miles and miles of nothing. It was okay though because we took the opportunity to listen to some music and just chat. A. L. is one of my supervisors, who works strictly on days, so those chats with her made me know more about her and she about me.

After we passed Lander, we finally started seeing more trees and could see the mountains over the horizon. For at least another hour or so, we were in the mountains. Tall evergreens and Aspen trees blanket the mountains on both sides of the roads.

As we drove further into the forest we came upon several cars parked along side of the road. People had their telephoto lenses pointed towards the side of the mountain. This usually happens if there is wildlife nearby. Sure enough, there was a small grizzly bear feasting on some wild berries. I got my pocket-sized digital camera out of my handbag and took some pictures.

We learned that the bear is two and half years old. If my memory serves me correctly, that was the first time that I’ve seen a grizzly bear in the wild. I’ve seen a few black bears, but never a grizzly bear until that time, so that was exciting. It was A. L.’s first time ever to see a bear in the wild, and she’s lived in Wyoming all her life! She was telling this to one of the men with a telephoto camera. The man said that he’s from Cleveland, Ohio and that it was his second trip to Wyoming this year, and each time, he saw bears. Another man from Indiana joked to her to make sure she’s not going to be telling that in front of a television camera.

You see, we, in Wyoming, don’t venture out much in our own state, but somehow we take time venturing to other states. Take my kids, for example. They’ve been to many tourist spots in at least ten different states, but have yet to see Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, or Yellowstone Park here in Wyoming. We’ve taken them to those places when they were very little, but they can not remember any of them.

We drove off again. When we were passing the majestic Grand Teton, I took pictures of it while the car was going 70 miles and hour, so, the pictures are not the greatest of quality. A.L. had to be in a meeting at 2:30 pm, so we couldn’t afford to stop again to take pictures.

Our days at Jackson Hole were filled with attending seminars from 8 a.m. to 5 p. m. with an hour of lunch in between. It was exciting to learn new things and review on other things. All of the speakers at the conference have doctorates and are experts in their own fields of specialties. They were very engaging speakers who were able to capture our interest from begining to end. They peppered their speeches with lots of humor, which helped a lot. I was able to stay awake for all of them. At night, we socialized with others (it was expected of us to do so). One night, we were invited to a barbecue dinner and then to an ice cream social after that.

Another time, we had two hours to go downtown to do some shopping before dinner and night social. On nights that we didn’t have any social engagements, I worked on assignments for my professional continuing education.

The night before we left, we attended a banquet where we were entertained by some comedy acts from Utah. After that, we went to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in town. Yes, I had myself some mixed drinks. Two other people bought me two shots of something. I still managed to walk straight up, but I’m glad I wasn’t driving. I felt the full effect of the alcohol the minute I hit the bed. I fell asleep without changing clothes, washing my face, or brushing my teeth.

By the time the conference ended four days later, my brain had enough scientific and technical mumbo jumbo it could absorb for a long while. We left Jackson Hole soon after the last class on the last day. I wish we had extra time to spend venturing out to see more of Jackson Hole, to go up to Yellowstone, or to go on a whitewater rafting down the Snake River.

For two days, after I arrived home, I helped my husband butcher an antelope and a deer he harvested from his week-long hunting trip. I expressed to him that I didn’t particularly enjoy doing it. At the same token, I don’t like him taking the animals to a professional butcher because I don’t trust how they clean and pack them. We’ve heard from other people that we may not get our own meat. Some say that some butchers keep the best part of the meat, without us knowing it. It’s a necessary evil task I have to do for my hubby. I know, Heidi in Healthnutwannabee, is perhaps going to gag if she happens to read this post. She’s vegetarian, you see. Sorry Heidi.

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you too much. Thanks for reading.


Friday, September 5, 2008

My Dear Daughter

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Past Lives--Part 13

Dear Friends,
I'm finally here to present to you my contribution to this writing project. It's not to the perfection, that I'd like it to be, but I still hope you'll enjoy reading it while ignoring the errors. It's my own fault for producing a mediocre piece of writing, for I waited to the last minute to write it. I might still be doing some editing while you are reading it, so don't be alarmed if you see something now but then it disappears, or vice versa.

I'd like to thank Eric S. at Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy for allowing me to use the last paragraph of his story to incorporate it into the first part of my story.

"One grabbed his hair and pulled his head back, while cutting a line along his forehead, and yanked Lukas's hair, scalp and all painfully off his head. Lukas began to scream out in pain, and the other Indian came over and grabbing his beard pulled his chin up. Lukas felt the knife, slice deep, through his neck.
Lukas could feel the blood running down his neck. He tried to scream, but the only sound that came was a sickly sounding gurgle. The third Indian that had remained sitting until now, got up and walked slowly toward Lukas. He drew Lukas's own knife from his belt, and drove it deep into Lukas's chest, pulling upwards. He then reached inside Lukas's open chest, and cut out his heart. With a wild terrifying war cry, he held the heart up for Lukas to see, as he died"

Whenever you see itilicized words in the first part of my story, they are from Eric's last chapter of his story. Above is his last chapter in its entirety.

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Past Lives is a collaborative writing project which features creative and clever stories from bloggers around the world. Our story starts with a fictional Australian character called David. As a last ditch effort to resolve his phobias David goes through Past Life Regression (PLR) therapy. Join us as we follow David’s past life journey through different times and continents

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Beads of sweat form on David’s forehead. Even though David is lying on the lounge bed, he appears restrained. With a stiffened body, he has his head going backward as if somebody’s pulling his head back as he struggles to pull it forward.

David is reacting to what is happening to Lukas (his name in this particular Past Life in Part 10). David looks trapped in his tracks as he struggles to free himself from whatever that is holding him down.

One grabbed his hair and pulled his head back, while cutting a line along his forehead, and yanked Lukas' hair, scalp and all painfully off his head.

David is twitching and moaning. He’s in extreme agony by the look on his face and by the way his body is contorting.

Lukas began to scream out in pain.

“Aahhh!!! You Bastards!” David is now vocalizing Lukas’ screams and thoughts. “If ya’ think ye can get me to drup on my knees to surrender to ya, yer dead wrong! I’d rather die, standin’ proud thun to give in, you Bastards.”

The other Indian came over and grabbing his beard pulled his chin up. Lukas felt the knife, slice deep, through his neck.

”Aaahhh!!!” David screams again.

Dr. Harlowe wants to stop the session. He has so much sympathy for David, and David’s obviously in so much pain right now, but Dr. Harlowe doesn’t want to interrupt David in the middle of his PLR. Based upon previous sessions, it’s clear to Dr. Harlowe that David is almost at the end of his journey in this particular life. Therefore, he held off on waking him up.

All of a sudden, Dr. Harlowe can only hear garbled mumblings come out of David’s mouth. David struggles to free himself one last time. Sweats have been profusely coming out of his face, and his clothes are completely drenched.

Lukas could feel the blood running down his neck. He tried to scream, but the only sound that came was a sickly sounding gurgle. The third Indian that had remained sitting until now, got up and walked slowly toward Lukas. He drew Lukas's own knife from his belt, and drove it deep into Lukas's chest, pulling upwards. He then reached inside Lukas's open chest, and cut out his heart. With a wild terrifying war cry, he held the heart up for Lukas to see, as he died.

David’s body goes limp. Only his chest is moving up and down now. Dr. Harlowe and Petra, his assistant, both let out a big sigh of relief, since they were completely tensed during the entire session. They stayed unmoving for a few minutes to gather their composures. Dr. Harlowe and Petra haven’t seen anything like it before that they themselves were pretty shook up. Dr. Harlowe turns off his analyzer and monitor.

“That was an extraordinary event!”

“For sure,” Petra says in agreement. “He sure worked up a sweat this time, didn’t he?” she says as she grabs a clean towel from the drawer and wipes the sweat off David’s face, neck, and arms as much as she could. When she finishes, she takes her seat back.

“David, at the count of three, I’d like for you to wake up, remembering everything that had happened. One….two…three….” At that, David wakes up, looking so worn out and weak.

“Whew! That was some bloody, awful way to die, Doc!” David starts to shiver as he talks to Dr. Harlowe.

“Would you like some coffee, David? You were in a tremendously bad situation that you couldn’t stop sweating and now you’re all wet.”

“I’m sorry, Doc. Hot coffee sounds really good. Thank you.”

Petra gets up and hands David a blanket from the drawer.

“Thanks Miss Petra.”

“You’re welcome, David.”

“Petra, I think we all deserve some hot coffee today.” Petra acknowledges the doctor and then leaves to fetch three cups of coffee from the employee lounge room. When she came back they drink their coffee, more as a celebratory drink than anything else.

“You come back here next Tuesday (Past Lives—Part 11) and we’ll go over what we’ve done so far. Then I’ll give you ten days reprieve to recover a bit, since these sessions have been taking a toll on you.”

“That would be great, Doc.”

David had enjoyed his rest from his PLR. He went for another PLR (Past Lives—Part 12) after that very traumatic experience and was relieved that his experience in it was not as brutal. David had another break after that because Dr. Harlowe had to go on a 2-week conference in New York.


“Good to see you again David, You look well-rested. You look very good, too. Must be going on a date with someone special?”

“No, Doc. I just feel awesome today. A friend gave me his old computer and showed me how to blog. Do you have a blog, Doc?”

“Don’t have a clue what a blog is, David.”

“Oh, anyway, my friend set me up a blog site and showed me how to chat with people around the world. I met this girl, who goes by the name of Sutebean. She came to visit my blog and left a comment, so I returned the visit, and we’ve been talking to each other now for a week. She seems very nice, Doc.”

“That’s wonderful, David.”

“I can go on and on talking about her, but I know we have a session to do. I’ll keep you posted when time allows.”

Dr. Harlowe, for the first time, is seeing some improvement with David. David is more upbeat and more on the positive side today than in any other time before. Dr. Harlowe and Petra notice David’s new haircut, his well-shaven face, and his clean, ironed shirt. He’s a very handsome man, now that he’s cleaned up. To the doctor’s analytical observations, these are signs of big progress in David’s condition. Dr. Harlowe is optimistic.

“Ready, David?”

“Ready, Doc.”

Dr. Harlowe turns on the recorder, along with a video camera. He thinks that it would be nice to start videotaping the actual process, which of the several lecturers and researchers at the conference he had attended in New York have suggested to do. “At the count of three, I want you to go to the years between 1831 through 1849. One…two…three…” Just like a switch, David is already into a deep sleep, answering questions on demand. At that, Dr. Harlowe allows David’s Past life to take over.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 13

The year is 1847.

“Father, I am not a prisoner who needs to be guarded! I demand that you remove Lt. Anderson away from me!”

“Young lady, don’t you ever talk to me in that manner again! Go to your room, at once!”

“I hate you!” I stump my feet all the way upstairs to my room. I glare at Lt. Anderson as I pass him by. He is always serious and at attention, like a post. Even though he is not showing any emotions outside, I am sure he is laughing inside, and thinking what a brat I am. Ooh, how I hate my father. I wish my mother is still alive. She would be on my side, I know it. I want to run away—away from here, because I feel like a prisoner in my own home.

It has been three days now, since Father sent me to my room. So far, I have just been sulking. Lt. Anderson has been dutifully stationed himself just outside my room. He is a very handsome man and looks very dashing in his military uniform, but he never once talk to me. He is just there, watching me like a hawk. I tried to talk to him or to make friends with him, but he just does not say or react to anything. He is all military. “Yes Miss Pearson. No Miss Pearson. Can not do that Miss. Pearson” If only he is a bit friendly or playful once in a while, I might start to like him, or perhaps, even to fall in love with him. On the other hand, it is good that he is not friendly anyway, because I certainly do not want to be like my mother, who gets left alone most of the time while my father is somewhere else doing his Military duties.

Althea, the maid, is very kind. She brings me my meals inside my room and also gets my bath ready everyday with some nice warm water that she heats up in the kitchen. Each time she comes up, we chat a little because Father forbids her from spending too much time with me. Outside my room, and downstairs inside my father’s study, my father shouts. He’s always shouting, it seems.

“Has Lillian come out of her room, yet?!”

“No Sir!” Lt. Anderson replies.

“Althea, go get her cousins Victoria and Julia. Maybe they can convince her to come out of that room! And if they can not get her out of that room, I’m going to drag her out myself!”

Father’s booming voice sounds ominous, and I shudder at his threat. Unfortunately, I have inherited his personality trait, because I am just as stubborn as he. I like the idea that my cousins are coming over, though. I love both of them dearly. I wish I could see them more often, instead of once in a while during summer time when they are home from the boarding school. They are a bit older than I and are both away to a boarding school. I hope to join them there this coming school year, if I have not yet run away.

Cousin Victoria, oh, how I admire her artistic talents. She can produce some of the most amazing paintings that the King of England would proudly hang in one of his palaces. As young as she is, her very first painting is already hanging at the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. As for Cousin Julia, she can always solve the hardest mathematical equations. Often times, she has tutored me when I had difficulty in anything that is Mathematically-related problems. And as for myself, well, I guess I am just this brat that Father can not seem to contain in the palm of his hand. I really am not a brat, you see. I am only a brat to my father and to that Lt. Anderson. I consider myself as a free spirited person, who wants to spread her wings and fly as high as she can go. I am into anything and everything that is beautiful. Mother used to tell me that I made her laugh and happy, so I must have a talent in comedy. But why, I wonder, that I am not able to make Father laugh or make Lt. Anderson laugh? And so, I am still finding my own talent. I have found that I like to write short stories. My mother and my teachers had said that I have a way with words, that I should be a writer. So, who knows, if my talent truly lies in writing?

That reminds me, my mother gave me a box of beautiful stationery, along with a beautiful wooden pen with some engravings on it, six months ago. Here they are. I remember the first time I held it in my hand. I ran my fingertips on its smooth, dark mahogany wood and then onto the engravings.

“To My Beloved Daughter on her 16th Birthday”

Mother said that she had to special order it from England, since nobody makes this kind of pen here in America. It took three months for it to arrive, she told me. Remembering Mother now moves me to tears.

“Oh, Mother, why did you have to die so young? Did you not know that I love you? If Father would have been here, I knew you would not have died with a broken heart. Oh, how I miss you so. I miss the times we had our walks in the flower garden, had our talks and tea at the veranda. And mother, I do not understand why Father have me guarded like a prisoner? I do not understand!”

“Miss Pearson, are you alright?”

I am taken by surprise.
Is that Lt. Anderson's voice? It can not be. It sounded too friendly and too sympathetic. But then again, who else could it have been? Perhaps Father had put somebody else to give Lt. Anderson a respite. I have been crying and sniffling that whoever is outside my door must have heard me cry. “I am alright,” I say. My curiosity gets the best of me, so I open the door. “Oh, it is just you.” I do not know what has happened, because he asks me if he can say something. I am dumbfounded, to say the least. “Y...y...yes, you may.” I am usually the one who instigates a conversation, and once I get going, I never stop. So I am just not myself, all of a sudden. My heart starts to thump heavily.

“I have been meaning, for days now, to ask if you would like to accompany me to the Officers’ Ball tonight?” He said it so shyly, looking down at the floor, and sneaking a glance at me. I am not aware that there is an Officers’ Ball tonight. What happened to the Miss Pearson this, Miss Pearson that? What is his ulterior motive, I wonder? Has Father paid him extra to do this, just to get me out of my room? This last thought infuriates me.

“No, thank you,” I say haughtily.

“I apologize, Miss Pearson, for asking. I was out of line.” All at once, he takes his place by my door and stands at attention. I notice him turn very red.

I close the door and go to sit on the edge of my bed. I replay the whole conversation in my head. If he apologizes for asking me, then perhaps, Father has nothing to do with it? And oh, that sad, pathetic look on his face, how could I be so unkind? Maybe he really does want to take me out to the Ball, and he is asking me, wholeheartedly? Besides, I would not know about the Ball, since I shut myself in for three days now. I can not wait until cousin Victoria and cousin Julia arrive. They will be able to advise me of what I should do.

Oh good, I hear Althea’s voice. They must have finally arrived. I dash out of the room to see my cousins. I do not see my cousins, instead, I hear Althea telling Father that my cousins are invited to a Ball, and that they are unable to come. In my excitement to see my cousins, I did not notice that Lt. Anderson followed me downstairs. I am sure that he has heard everything I heard. I am crushed. I run upstairs to my room, and Lt. Anderson follows. I was rude to him earlier and many more times in the past. Perhaps it’s not too late to accept his invitation?

“Lt. Anderson.” I am now the one who is stumbling and feeling unsure of how to say the things I want to say. Not looking into his eyes, I say, “Is it too late to accept your invitation?” No answer. “I shall rephrase it another way, Lt Anderson. I would be more than happy to accompany you to the Ball.” Still, there is no reaction from him. I am now feeling frustrated. However, I have one more ammunition to try. After all, I was the rude one, so I should try one more time to see if the Lieutenant is going to respond. “I apologize for being rude and unkind to you. I hope that even if you are not taking me to the Ball that you would accept my apology.” I wait a moment, but still, he does not respond. I now accept my defeat and start to close the door.

“Please, Miss Pearson, may I request permission to speak freely?”

“Of course, Lt. Anderson.” He moves from his place and faces me. This is the first time that I really get to see his dark-brown eyes. They are tantalizingly beautiful. They are perfect for his handsome face.

“I accept your apology, and I still would like to take you to the Ball. I shall ask your father’s permission right away. May I be excused?”

“Certainly. But before I go with you to the Ball, I would like for you to call me by my given name. Also, I would like for you to feel at ease around me. Not to be acting as my guard, if you get my meaning?”

"Yes Lillian.”

“Now, that sounds much better. I shall wait for you to hear what Father has to say.” I watch him go to my father’s study. I now notice my cheeks so warm, and my heart beating irregularly. I am very excited about going to the Ball with the most handsome man on earth! I wish we were more in the best relations much sooner. He comes up in a hurry with a smile on his face. He lifts me up from the floor and tells me that Father said “Yes”. Oh, I almost kissed him! We hug so tightly until we realize that we have only known each other a few minutes ago. So, he puts me down. Even though he has been guarding me for four months now, it is only now that we truly made the acquaintance.

“I am sorry, Lillian. I could not contain my excitement.”

“No need to apologize, Lieutenant. I liked that you are human after all.”

“Now, if I am to take you to the Ball, nothing of that Lieutenant word from you. Call me Richard.

The Ball is perfect. Cousins Victoria and Julia both look beautiful and elegant. Richard is the perfect gentleman, treating me like a princess. As we dance, we gaze into each other's eyes. He whispers in my ear how lovely and captivating I look. I say, “Please do not say such words to me, for I might fall in love with you.”

“But I do wish for you to fall in love with me.”

“But I am only sixteen years old.”

“I shall wait for you until you are ready for me.” And so, I allow myself, and we both fall in love tonight.


Fast forward to the year 1849, two years later.

Richard did wait
for me until now. In fact, we had our lavish Wedding just a few days ago. Cousins Victoria and Julia were my bridesmaids. They are both married now and living happily with their husbands. Father and I have made amends shortly after the Ball. I sensed that he had always hoped that Richard would be my husband. Since our reconciliation, I am able to make Father laugh, all the time. He told me that I am witty and a great comedian. He explained to me that when Mother died, he became very protective of me because he did not want to lose me, too—his only child.

Life has been great for Richard and me. Presently, we are on our honeymoon, excursing the Niagara Falls. I have never been here and neither has Richard. We've heard that if you are to wish to be someplace else right now, that you would want to be at the Niagara Falls. They are absolutely right.

This place is beautiful beyond description. It is rugged, natural, and majestic. The Seventeen miles and two days of horseback riding from Buffalo, New York is well worth seeing this natural wonder. We are staying at this little makeshift Inn because that is all that is available in this part of the state. Tomorrow, we are going to the Canadian side. We were told that the view there is much more spectacular than from the American side.

Last night, Richard and I made love for the first time. We both agreed that we would wait until on our honeymoon, and so we did. We kissed and made love until our thirst and hunger were satiated. I wake up this morning, still savoring about last night.

Today, however, is the day that we are going to cross the bridge to Canada, and I am very nervous. Terrified, might be more like it.“Lillian, Darling, I need you to hold on to the ropes the entire time. Just look at where you are stepping and not at the water below.”

“Yes, Darling.” Richard takes my hand as I step onto the bridge. Not so bad, I tell myself. We step further and further. I feel the bridge sway violently under my feet as I go further. I feel a little dizzy and become distracted. I make the mistake of looking down at the water below. It feels as though I am being pulled down by a strong magnet. I stop in my tracks and can not move anymore. Richard does not realize that I am not right behind him. He is already well ahead of me when he looks back. I see him coming back for me. He is saying something, but I can not hear him over the roaring sound of the waterfalls. I am going to faint, I know it. A sudden burst of strong wind knocks me down. I lose my grip of the rope, and my body goes limp and gets wedged in between two bridge rails made of heavy duty ropes. My last memory is that Richard is running towards me.

“Lillian! Lillian! Hold on tight!” I hear Richard saying. I somewhat recover from my fainting spell. When I realize about my situation, I panic and accidentally kick my feet on the slat of the bridge, pushing myself out of the bridge. I am now completely hanging upside down on the ledge of the bridge!. The only thing that is holding me are my boots that are entangled with some of the ropes that make up the bridge. The red heart-shaped locket Richard gave me as a wedding gift dangles below my head.

“Richard! Please hurry, I am going to fall! My boots are slipping from the ropes!”

“I am almost there Darling!” he says, but in his haste, he stumbles down. His right hand lands in between slats.

“Oh Richard, I think I am going to fall! Hurry please, Richard!” Richard gets up finally and runs towards me, but my boots are now completely off the ropes.

“Lilly……yan........!” Richard looks helpless, seeing me plunge to my death.

"Richaaaaaaaard! I love you...........!”
---------------------------------------------------------------------

For the next Past Life, you can hop on to Natasha's Fabric of Life, who will be doing Part 14.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Remember When

I know that Father's Day is long passed, but as I said before in my Unspectacular Quirks post, I'm seldom punctual. So, today, I'd like to dedicate this post to the love of my life.

Hon, I know that I haven't been a perfect wife, but still you loved me unconditionally. Out of the young and gorgeous women in your life who wanted to be with you, you chose to be with me instead. Young, naive, and poor as I was, you took me into your life and showed me the world. You loved and nurtured me, patiently, until I blossomed into the woman I have become who can truly give and reciprocate the love you so deserve.

We've had our ups and downs along the way as many married couples have. But I admire you in your steadfastness and commitment to our marriage, even when, at times, I'd like to leave and just throw everything away.

Within the first year of our marriage, I asked you to send me back home to the Philippines. Having never been away from home and away from my family, I felt homesick and despondent. Even at 22, you had the maturity to tell me to give ourselves a chance, before resorting to what I'd asked of you. From different cultures and backgrounds, you and me, you thought we needed time to adjust and to get to know each other better.

When you first learned that we'd be parents, you were ecstatic, beyond comprehension. As much as you loved hunting and other outdoor sports, you gave them up to dedicate your time to fatherhood. The children's activities with school, martial arts, basketball, volleyball, and soccer games had replaced hunting and other outdoor sports you loved doing with your friends.

Almost thirty-one years of marriage, two children, and one grandson and a granddaughter on the way later, you're still standing by me, loving me and supporting me while I achieve my dreams and goals in life.

I dedicate this post to you, my love, along with this beautiful song by Alan Jackson--
Remember When. And if the time of my demise arrives before yours does, I'd like for you to play this song at my funeral to remember me by.

With All My Love,
Tootie


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Unspectacular Quirks Meme

I have the misfortune of having discovered one of the Desperate Housewives blogger in New Jersey who goes by the name of Roxiticusdh. If you happen to see her in your blog surfings, run for your dear lives! She’s the Queen of Tags. In Henson’s Hell, she got Henson in a lot of trouble when Henson was trying to accomplish one of her tag assignments for him. It’s all in fun, of course.

Now, where am I? I’m sure that by now you were able to discern that I’ve been putting off writing down my unspectacular quirks, by going around the bush, huh? Besides, who on earth would want to be telling the world about their own unspectacular quirks anyway? But I’m running out of things to say, and a certain desperate housewife is waiting desperately. Actually, I’ve put this off for almost 2 mos. But because I told her I would do this, I have to honor my word. So I suppose I have to get on with this assignment. Sorry Roxy for this has taken me this long to post this. Better late than never, right?

Okay, I can only come up with one, so, I had to ask my husband and daughter what irks them about me. I thought I was perfect. Hah! Was I 360 degrees wrong!


1. I’m a procrastinator. I do almost everything at the last minute. This is one of the things my hubby dislikes about me. I’m glad that he’s around to nudge me, or should I say, nag me? Hehe.

2. I’m forgetful. When I procrastinate too long, I have the tendency to forget things. Hubby once again comes to the rescue to remind or nag me about my dental appointment, for example. I remember Birthdays and Anniversaries…...most of the time. The times that I’d forgotten about my hubby’s birthdays, he’d be hanging around, making small talks with me (when he should have been leaving for work), waiting patiently for me to say something. Eventually, he’d give up and in the tone of Eeyore, he’d say, “Gee, you didn’t even remember my birthday.” Oh….and when he sounds like that, I just fall to pieces. I’m such a nincompoop.

3. I’m seldom punctual. If there’s something my hubby hates about me the most, this is it. He’s the opposite of me—always early and punctual. Hubby tells me that I’ll be late for my own funeral. I guess this is a good thing because when that happens, I’d like to watch my own funeral on the sideline for a while to see who’s going to be attending and who’s going to be crying for me. I also would like to hear what everybody will be saying about me—good or bad. He, he, he. I tell you, no matter how early I get done getting ready to go anywhere, I still manage to be a few minutes late. It’s because I’d find something else to do while waiting for the specified time of departure. By then I’m preoccupied with something and then misses the time. Something that anybody can count on me, though, is that I am very dependable. I may be late most of the time, but I always show up, unless something incapacitating comes up that keeps me from showing up.

4. I don’t eat bread crusts. I remove the outer crust before I eat bread. But then I love pizza crusts and rice crusts, so go figure.

5. I steal all the covers. When I sleep, I pull all the blankets to my side. I’m not aware of this of course until I wake up and find my hubby without cover, shivering in the cold winter nights.

6. I sleep with my blanket over my head. I don’t start out that way, but for some reason, I ended up that way. You can just imagine what my hair looks like when I wake up. Eeeeeeee!!!…………
Do you see why I've put this off this long?
Okay, I’m done. The End. Your turn.


Being the Tasha that I am, I’m not going to tag anyone. But you’re welcome to tag yourselves if you don’t mind sharing your Unspectacular Quirks with all of us.
Here are the rules: (only if you like rules and want to play by the rules.)
1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours...
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them…
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

MAMMA MIA!

I’m sorry friends if I seem to have neglected you this week. It’s just that this week has been so hectic for me. My friend and coworker SB and I have been going to the gym or to the park to exercise or walk after work. Then after that I would have breakfast with my sister one day, lunch with hubby one day, visits with my grandson and his mom couple times, attend to my elderly neighbors, do yard work and housework, and run lots of errands here and there. I also hosted a baby shower yesterday, and last night my hubby and I double dated with our daughter and her boyfriend to go to see “MAMMA MIA!” the movie. By the time I know, it is time to go to sleep and then to work! Today, however, I’m off! YAY! But before coming to make my rounds, I’d like to tell you about “MAMMA MIA!”.

For those who don’t know “MAMMA MIA”, it is one of ABBA’s songs which is also the title of a musical show and now a movie. And if you're not familiar with ABBA, it was a popular Pop group from Sweden that started in the 70’s and kept active into the 80’s. The ABBA’s songs inspired the creation of “MAMMA MIA!” the musical show, which made its debut in 1999. With the success and popularity of the musical show, it inspired the making of the movie version. This year, the movie version opened in the theaters yesterday, Saturday.

This is a story where a young woman is about to get married. It is also a love story between two young people, but it mostly tells the love story between the young woman's mother and her father. The young woman is also interested in finding her father, whom she's never known. She happened to find her mother’s diary and found names of three possible fathers. She sent each one an invitation to her upcoming wedding, which really complicate matters. Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Collin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amands Seyfried, and Christine Baranski star in the movie. In the musical show and in the movie, ABBA’s most popular songs are showcased where a song is sung for each corresponding scene.

My husband and I saw the musical version of “MAMMA MIA!” last year in Las Vegas when we went there to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Yes, you read it right. 30th wedding anniversary! I know, having reached this milestone in my marriage and having reached 50 years of age, I truly feel old. LOL. No wonder why I fantasize about wild romances for my stories, eh? I have lived such a normal and non-controversial life (which I’m so glad for in real life) that I write and create stories so controversial, juicy, and full of glamour for my novel, which is so opposite to my own. Hehehe. Anyway, enough of these diversionary talks and must get back on track with the movie.

After being awake all night and all day, we decided that I should sleep first before going to the 9 pm show. When we walked into the theater, there were only six other people there. They looked like about my husband’s and my age. So, my daughter and her boyfriend were the only ones in their 20’s there. I was very surprised that the place was not packed, considering it’s the opening day. My husband and daughter, however, pointed it out to me that there are other theaters in town showing the same movie and also that we went to the last showing for the day. I suppose they made sense. After 15 min. of advertisements and another 15 min. of movie previews, the movie finally started.

The movie opens with a solitary image of a woman in a small boat. The woman disembarks from the boat when she reaches the beach and then goes to a mail box to drop off 3 envelopes. Her face is then shown as she sings the first song of the movie. It turns out that she’s the young woman who is about to get married. From that point on, the movie takes off with its packed-full of singing, dancing, and with all the outlandish acting by the main characters, lending lots humor to the movie.

The music and dancing is so contagious that I almost went to the front to start dancing. I just didn’t want to embarrass my husband and my daughter. Even in my chair, I still moved my body, tapped my feet and fingers to the beat of the songs. I also cried during the wedding scene. The scenery of Greece where the movie was filmed is as captivating as the movie, and Amanda Seyfried’s singing is beautiful. I also liked the scenes where the locals have participated.

In conclusion, even if Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan didn’t have the best singing voices, the movie is still a real fun and a feel good type of movie to go to see. It is pure enjoyment and entertainment, in my opinion. It is funny, entertaining, poignant, and oh so romantic. I definitely recommend this movie to everybody
.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Four Things

Jules at “Arduous Nimcompoop" blog (http://arduousnincompoop.blogspot.com) tagged me. I don’t particularly like tags. But this one looks fun and easy, I said okay. Of course the four answers just didn’t make it for some of them. You’ll see that I’ve given more than four answers to some of the questions. So here goes:

Four jobs I've had:
1) Convenience Store Salesperson/Cashier
2) Waitress
3) Air Force Medical Laboratory Technician
4) Medical Technologist

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1) The Sound of Music
2) Grease
3) Back to The Future
4) George of the Jungle (with Brendan Fraser)

Four places I've lived:
1) Florida
2) Nebraska
3) Texas
4) North Dakota

Four Pet Peeves:
1) Arrogant, Self Centered, Snob People
2) Rude and Impatient People
3) Lazy and Negative people
4) People Who Don’t Keep Their Words

Four TV shows I love ( Except for Fox News sometimes, I don’t watch much TV anymore, so I have to list the ones that I used to love to watch):
1) Star Trek (the original one)
2) Jeopardy
3) Little House on the Prairie
4) The Six Million Dollar Man

Four places I've vacationed:
1) Glacier National Park, Montana
2) Disney World and Busch Gardens, Florida
3) The National Parks in Southern Utah
4) Niagara Falls, New York and Canada

Four of my favorite dishes
1) Spaghetti and Pizza
2) Steak and Potato
3) Filipino Food and Other Oriental Food
4) Ice Cream, Cheese Cake, Apple Pie and Apple Cobbler

Four sites I visit daily:
1) Google: GMail, Blogger
2) Entrecard
3) DIGG
4) Work site

Four places I would rather be right now:
1) Hawaii
2) Australia
3) New Zealand
4) Being A Successful Published Romance Novelist and Living Independently Wealthy (LOL)

People I tag: I’m not going to tag anyone, but everybody’s welcome to tag herself or himself. Just let me know, so others and I'll be able to come and read it in your blog. If you don't want to post it in your blog, post it in my comment section. It's good to know a little bit about our blogging friends. I'm sure you agree?

Thank your for reading and for participating.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What Tarot Card Am I?

I visited Liz' Simple Reveries site (http://simplereveries.blogspot.com/)and saw this in her post. I thought it would be fun to find out what kind of a tarot card I am, so I took the test. I'm now posting the result of it here. Enjoy.


You are The Hierophant


Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.


All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.


The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I’m in Heaven

There I was, checking out my Entrecard drops inbox, and then I saw it. It’s a newbee in my place that I haven't seen before. It's saying "VISIT US TODAY". I took it's meaning literally and accepted the invitation right on the spot. (I know, I should be wary of strangers, but what the heck, it looked pretty harmless with its inviting face, how bad could it be?) So, I clicked on it and paid it a visit. I wanted to thank the owner or owners for dropping me an Entrecard. When I arrived there, I liked what I saw. The blogsite’s design and layout are impressive. It has many bells and whistles, arranged in a very organized way.

No one seemed to be home at the time, so I let myself in. I opened some doors and peeked through but still didn’t see anybody. I took the liberty to roam and browse around like a snoop while the homeowners or rather the blog owners were away.

I learned that the owner goes by the name of Eric S. He's married to someone who loves to play video games. He says that this works out pretty well for them. At least they don't fight over the computer or the TV. He with the computer and she with the TV. From what I gather, they breed and raise Chihuahuas. In fact, Eric’s avatar is a Chihuahua.

I was in a bit of a hurry at the time, so I quickly went to read his latest post. Poor him, he was in misery with a toothache. He wrote a very nice post. I wrote my thank you note and then left. I wanted to read more, but work was calling for me.

A few days later, I went back to see if Eric saw my thank you note and to read more of his posts. Just like before, no one was home. I let myself in and started reading his post. I was impressed with his style of writing and what he had to say in "Mondays Awesome Writers of The Web"--dated June 23, 08, so, I kept on reading. Then all of a sudden I was reading something about The Big Picture—A Novel”. "Woow, this is me and my novel he's talking about!"

It turns out I was reading an independent and unbiased review about my novel. I was pretty blown away by what he had to say about my novel. His words levitated me and sent me to heaven. I was walking on clouds, for days. I’m still in heaven and haven’t come down to earth, yet. I’m very glad now that he had a toothache (sorry Eric), even though I felt bad for him at the same time. Otherwise, he would not have discovered my novel. Hehehe. What surprised me also is that he never left any comments in my blogsite before, until yesterday, that is. So for me to read such a great review about my writing is pure heavenly.

I’m so ecstatic to share this terrific news to everybody I know, so here’s the link if anybody’s interested to see what Eric had written about my novel that's making me go gaga. LOL. While there, you might want to read “About the Author”. It’s an excellent and an interesting read.

http://smalltownmountainboy.blogspot.com/

Thanks again Eric for the great review you gave my novel. I can’t thank you enough.

Monday, May 19, 2008

HALF A CENTURY OLD SPECIMEN!!!


Yep! You read it right. Half a century old specimen! Right away, you're asking yourselves, what dinosaur specimen is Tasha talking about? Not so fast, my cyber friends. Half a century may sound like a prehistoric age, but not in my dictionary. And the dinosaur specimen you are thinking of is me! Sad to say, but true. I'm already brooding over this milestone I have reached. So, don't make it any worse than I already feel. Besides, dinosaurs are full of wrinkles; not me.

I'm officially 50 years old this month, and already, I received a welcome message from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Do you know that according to the AARP, I'm already a senior citizen? Unless I start cashing in on my senior citizen discounts, I say, I'm still a JUNIOR citizen. Lol. How could this group say that I'm already a senior citizen when everybody I know thinks otherwise? Anyway, I should not fret what AARP says. I trust what the people around me say.

The Saturday before my birthday, my sister treated me to a nice breakfast at Shari's Restaurant. My sister came by the house at 9:00 a.m. She and I left my husband and daughter playing Rock Band--my husband with the guitar and my daughter with the drums. When we arrived at Shari's, we ordered our food. We drank lots of coffee with tons of creamer. I looked outside and it was snowing heavily. "For heaven's sake!" I said, "It's in the middle of May!"

"That's Wyoming," my sister said. "Don't you remember one year? It snowed in July?"

"It must have been one of the years we were vacationing somewhere." We drank some more coffee. In between sips, we chatted and gossipped. We took our time eating our food. By the time we knew it, it was already 11:30, and the snow finally stopped.

We left Shari's and drove to the mall. We shopped till we dropped. I bought a lot of clothes, and they were all for me. It was kind of selfish of me, I know, but I was enjoying myself spending money just for me that day. So, spent, I did. When we finished, we stopped at one of the food places at the mall and ordered some icecream and some pretzels. The time was already 3:00 p.m. We were suppose to get our nails done, but with me not having slept from working the night before and still having to go to work that night, my sister decided that she should take me home so I can go to sleep. I agreed.

While unlocking the front door, I could feel my body was so ready to crash on the bed as soon as I got inside the house. But as soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with a: "Surprise!" The house was full of people. Our neighbors were here. Some people from work were here. Relatives were here. And my friends were here. My first reaction was total shock. I cried. I never once suspected that my husband was giving me a surprise birthday party. My sister and daughter were in cahoots with him all this time.

My husband and daughter had to work triple time to clean and decorate the house and then to pick up the food and beverages. Yes, my husband gave me 50 balloons. I'm glad he didn't give me 50 different gifts to unwrap. It took me at least an hour to unwrap the 49 gifts he gave me last year. So, I told him to please Not to do the same this year. As much as I appreciate receiving presents, that was a bit much.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Her 21st Birthday Gift


I haven't heard of anyone getting a revolver on their 21st birthday before, until recently. This is not something I had seen on t.v. or had read in news papers. It actually happened to our very own family.

As a 21st birthday present, my husband gave our daughter a Ruger SP101 revolver. He mentioned it to me before he bought it, and I had mixed emotions about it then and still do. But our daughter expressed interest in wanting to go with her dad (my husband) to do some target shooting at the firing range. She said she would not go hunting with him, but that she would like to go target shooting with him at the firing range.

Intead of lending one of his guns to her, my husband decided to buy our daughter her very own. For months, he checked the internet until he was satisfied that he found the dealer with the lowest price before he bought the gun. The gun was shipped to a local gun dealer in town where the legal transaction was handled before the gun was brought home.

I have to admit, the gun looks snazzy. The weight and the grip handle were just perfect for her small, delicate hands. She was pretty stoked about it. She loves playing with any kind of shooting video games, so she should love it more with the real thing.

One weekend, she and my husband attended a two-day pistol safety training for conceal weapon permit. I asked my husband why she needed a concealed weapon permit when all she was going to use it for will be at the firing range. It's not like she's going to be carrying it in her purse at the school compound where weapons of any sorts are prohibited, you know?

He explained that even though the class was offered for concealed weapon permit, it's more for educating people, like our daughter, about their guns and how to use them properly and safely. The class also teaches them the legal aspect of using the gun for self denfense.

I must say that our daughter's gun is properly registered and is safely stored in my husband's gun safety cabinet, for now. So, there's no cause for panic about my daughter owning a gun. She's not carrying it around with her. She may, at some point, when she's going to be on her own, after college. At which time, she maybe using it more for self defense. For now, she can't wait to go to the firing range with her dad to see if her video games shooting skills are just as good with the real thing.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I CAN JUST SEE MYSELF NOW

I haven't seen a Psychiatrist in my entire life, yet. But I might have to see one soon. I can just see myself having this conversation with one.

Dr.: What brings you here?

Me: I came here to seek help for my addiction.

Dr.: What sort of an addiction?

Me: I think I'm addicted to blogging.

Dr.: Blogging?

Me: Yes. Blogging.

Dr.: Can you elaborate more?

Me: Well, it all started with a friend wanting me to visit her blog site. She wanted me to write something. So I did. When I first attempted to write in the comment section, though, the darn thing just kept rejecting me. You know, like the way you get rejected by somebody else? I got frustrated. Dumb me, I didn't see the place where I was suppose to log on or sign up. Didn't know that I had to first sign up for a GMAIL account and then to sign up for a Blog account. WHEW! My friend, owes me big for having me go through all that trouble, just so I can blog her. Or, should it be the other way around, now that I'm having a time of my life, blogging? Sorry, doctor, did I say too much already?

Dr.: No, no. You may continue. I'm still taking notes.

Me: At first, all I did was going to my friend's site to read what she had to say, then read comments from her guests. I enjoyed reading her posts and of her guests' comments. I soon learned that by clicking on a guest's blog's name in the comment page, I could go to that blogger's site. When I found a screen name that sounded cool or interesting, I clicked again. I read their profile, their posts, then their guests' comments, and then wrote my own comments on the ones I found interesting. I kept on clicking away, repeating the same process. By the time I knew it, I got lost in cyber space, losing my way back home.

Dr.: So, then, what did you do?

Me.: Fortunately, I wrote my blog address down, before getting lost. I typed my blog address in the web and walla! I was home. A month later, my friend asked me where my postings are. I said, "What postings?" She said, "You have to write something about anything, then I'll come by to blog you." A bit pushy, isn't she? She was asking way too much of me. It seems like a lot of work to do. After all I'm suppose to work on my novel if I want it finished the end of May.

Dr.: You're writing a novel?

Me: Yes. It's my first attempt.

Dr.: What's the title?

Me: "The Big Picture". Actually, this is just the tentative title for it. I can't decide whether to call it The Bastard, The Author, Forbidden Love, or something else.

Dr.: What Genre?

Me: Romance.

Dr.: Ah....I prefer medical suspense or action/ drama myself. Romance novels, to me, are just smutt stories written for lonely women. I'm not much into chick flick stuff.

Where were we? Lets continue on with your blogging problem.

Me: (Who asked you? Jerk! Romance novels, to me, are just smutt stories written for lonely women. Hah! Whatever! But.(followed by a big sigh)...I'll have to get on with the program. After all, this guy is getting paid $150.00 an hour. Maybe more, if he's in California or New York).

Dr.: At what point did you think that you are addicted to blogging?

Me: I wrote my first post and then followed it up with a few. When I became a little more adept at going in and out of my site to visit other sites, that's when I found out I'm addicted. Now, that's all I do after work. I can't stop. I have to visit all the nice cyber friends, I've met, to chat with them before going to sleep. My house and yard work are being ignored. My husband feels ignored. And my novel has been put in the back burner.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Going Fishing


Yesterday, three of my women coworkers and I planned to go fishing today after work. So, yesterday, after work, I went to get my annual fishing license at the Wal-Mart store. In the state of Wyoming, the price had gone up by 20%. Instead of $29.50, it's now $36.50. This includes the conservation stamp. I don't know if it's mandatory to get the conservation stamp, but I got one anyway. Besides, I'm told that the additional revenue generated from the sales of the stamps will help more in fish management and conservation.

When I went to work last night, the women (P,C,S) and I spoke with so much enthusiasm about our impending fishing trip. P will bring some shredded chicken enchilada, which she already cooked last night. C will bring some dessert. S will bring some cut up cheese and vegetables. And I'll bring some fruits. We'll be at the lake from 0830 hrs. to 1300 hrs. so we need some food to sustain us. We'll make a day of it, have a picnic, and just chill out as we fish.

Unfortunately, by 0400 hrs., things at work just went from good to bad and then to very bad all around. We were all stressed out that by the time 0730 hrs. rolled in, our enthusiasm to go fishing had vanished completely, and decided not to go fishing anymore. Funny how things quickly change in just a matter of a short time.

Hmmm....I wonder if God created this situation to keep us away from an imminent danger that awaits us at the lake if we had gone. The thought gives me the chills.

My First Solo Road Trip

I’m inspired to write this post after reading my friend, Lilly’s post . I encourage everyone who reads this to visit her blog because she’s...