Thursday, May 26, 2016

Back From Cancun

Cancun is not for everyone. And not all who goes there are spring breakers boozing around the beach making a fool of themselves.

In my few trips to Cancun, I have just once seen a crazy nightlife and that was when we stayed in the heart of Hotel Zone, where the hotel/resort we stayed in was a stone’s throw away from Hard Rock CafĂ© bar. But the hotel zone is just a small part of Cancun. Sad though that many who visit Cancun only get to see that part.

In truth, Cancun has many resorts and beaches and other establishments that cater to families and nonparty goers who just like to lazy about in the sand sipping some fruity drink with a kick.

In this just concluded vacation, I was lucky to stay in the Hotel Zone, but far from the maddening crowd where I joined others in beachcombing. We visited the famous ecological theme park XCARET, which is about 1 to 1.5 hours drive. If you go to Cancun this is a must visit. For no particular reason did we not visit this park in previous visits, but since on this visit we had nothing on the calendar but relaxation by the beach, we thought it was time to see it. We were floored by the beauty of the park, the variety of activities to suit everyone’s tastes and physical capacities and fed the hunger in this culture vulture.

I must say, we are already thinking about our next visit which is in 2 years. Yah, we don’t want to do Cancun in a yearly basis, because after all there are so many beautiful places to explore and only so little time to do it. But, we’ll be back Cancun, just save the lounge chair on the beach for us.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Blah, blah

*****Here is another post that I found sitting in my draft folder.*****

My yard is looking a lot better now after working on it over the weekend. Weeds waist high sprouted after the El Nino blast of the winter. Only the upper half of my back fence was visible from the house that is how tall the grasses were. After two days of pulling weeds, we can see the neighbor’s house in the back again, LOL!

I am the youngest in the family and my folks were older when they had me. And because I was the youngest and the only girl in the family I was sorta kinda spoiled a bit. No chores for me. It did not help that I was a sickly child and have a mom who panics about my health a lot.

So now that I am a grown-up and have my own house to take care of, the thought of cleaning up the yard is difficult. My instinct is to hire someone to do the job. Heck we had done so in the past. We drove to Home Depot where the day laborers are situated.

This time around the husband was keen on us doing the job. We need the exercise to begin with, plus we can save the money for the future vacation.

However, weeding sound innocuous right? The morning after is the real test. My muscles are sore and achy and I had to do the weeding all over again on Sunday. Exhausted and achy but happy that we did the job ourselves. No way is the backyard job complete but the hardest part is done. We didn’t go anywhere this weekend, because it’s backyard day. Reward for achy muscles came in the form of a impromptu at home tapas happy hour. We scoured the cupboard and the refrigerator and came up with crackers, smoked salmon, olives, goat cheese and almonds and we had a couple of bottles of adult beverages just in time for the Warriors game on Sunday.

Back to the backyard woes, we are thinking of either cementing it or putting stones just so the weeds don’t grow anymore. A guy who does backyard jobs came to the house on Saturday and checked out the job and promised to give us a written job quote. Too many expenses when one has a house to maintain. I’m getting a head ache. But doing something now is better than waiting and waiting.

Monday, May 9, 2016

So blessed, don't be stressed.

Oh lordy, I need a vacation so badly that all I ever think of is a get-away. I’m so obsessed with some time off it’s pathetic. All my free time I spend surfing the net, looking at every deal they have on GroupOn, Travelzoo, and whathaveyou. Seriously. I’m even so excited about the upcoming R&R in Cancun. I normally don’t get excited about Cancun. I know I’m so spoiled. I got a wake-up call about how blessed I am when I was talking with friends of ours, another married couple, and we were planning something to do because her birthday and our anniversary are on consecutive days in late May. When she suggested something to do, we both told her that the date is no good since we already have plans (Cancun) and when she asked, we both shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal (well it wasn’t). That Cancun wasn’t a big deal, but of course to some IT IS a big deal because they haven’t been there. She jokingly said you both acted like your plan is to go to the grocery store and not Cancun. And she was right. Thinking about it that night, we might have been jaded by the fact that we could “easily” go there, whereas others may consider that a trip of a lifetime.

Have I been too spoilt with God’s blessings that I don’t appreciate every single blessing that I receive? Please let it not be. Please don’t let me be ungrateful.

In other news, how is Mother’s Day people? Did you spoil your moms or did you get spoiled. My mother is at an age where she no longer cares about what she says especially if she gets a gift that she doesn’t like she will tell you in your face when everyone else in the family is present. At her age, she is done pretending she adores (but doesn’t wear) all the sweaters we buy her. So I told all my brothers that Mom likes three things: take her to a buffet lunch, bring her flowers or flowering plants and give her gift card. The memo was also sent to all her grandchildren! I salute her for being frank. If you can’t be honest with your kids and family who could you be honest with? She wears her “grumpy old lady” role to the hilt.

We took her to the buffet, let her eat all the oysters and crabs and fish she can handle. Let her have some ice cream for dessert too. Let her live, we say. And this is another big blessing that I have, my mother lives a very full life and in her advanced age is able to fend for herself. My family and I may not see each other eye to eye (literally and figuratively) but the fact that we live within a 5-mile radius of each other is such a blessing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Charity Begins at Home

I grew up in a conservative household. The fact that I am the only girl in a brood of 5 and the youngest may have contributed to the fact that my parents, my mom specifically, put me on a short leash. It was home, school, home. Day in day out. If I wanted to go somewhere else, it’s a major production. I must have a chaperon. Thankfully I grew up with nieces and nephews who are closer to age so there’s always someone to tag along with.

Also very unique in my household is that my dad specially wanted the gate locked by 6 pm. Even his relatives who would drop by after sundown would not be able to come in. Dad’s house rules. By the time I appeared in their lives, they had raised their 4 boys, was expecting their first grandson who arrived 2 months after I did, and had exhausted their energy raising the kids and worked like mules to keep everyone fed and clothed. So I understood their reluctance to change the way they raise their daughter.

Because of dad’s strict rules of no visitors allowed after sundown, we rarely had anyone staying over. I remember only two different aunts – mom’s sister and mom’s cousin – who stayed with us for a week or so. Not that my parents were uncharitable, they are lax in giving handouts and help, they just don’t like people staying over. My dad also was sick for a long time, so it’s really understandable that he is not keen on entertaining.

Now when I got married and visited my in-laws I saw the way my husband was raised the exact opposite. In their household, they always have people around visiting for a day or staying over. Their house is open to people who need a roof for a night or more. It was so different. At first I was so uncomfortable with all the people coming and going. Then I understood that my husband’s generous spirit and his easy-going nature was cultivated by his parents.

So when we got together he wanted to adopt the house rules from his childhood. Now we always have people in the house, not relatives, who comes for watch party. Last night, a week night, a school night, our friend and his step son came over to watch the Warriors game. The minute the son entered the house, he said he was too hungry and ready to eat. I felt so wonderful knowing that someone not related to me by blood feels so comfortable to say things like that. Little by little my aversion to people coming over my house that is not blood related is dissipating. My husband’s good attitude about charity and hospitality is rubbing off on me. Hallelujah!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mission Accomplished

Finally something that I've been planning on doing for months and months, maybe even a couple of years, was accomplished this weekend. I finally got to clean out my closets. Two, yes, for someone who doesn't shop much and who has no fashion sense, my closets certainly filled up. The reason behind this is that despite the fact that I regularly weed out items that I simply don't like to give to Salvation Army, I have so many clothes from when I was still single (celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary this month) that I kept because I liked them so much even though they didn't fit any more. Don't worry I don't buy trendy clothing that goes out of style so the clothes I donated were still okay. Some of them were worn once or twice only. Oh those were the days when I shopped like money grew on trees.

When the husband saw what was happening, he joined in and cleaned out his closet. When we were done, there were 6 bags and 2 boxes of clothing that we dropped at Salvation Army. I felt so good and so light to see room in my closets.

Now the good thing about donating clothes is that I got to buy new ones for me. I don't shop much, but when I do I get more than one. So I got 3 new tops and hubby got 2 new pants. This shopping trip is going to last me for a long time.