Archive for December, 2004


It's New Year’s Eve!

I started work early as I had to go grocery shopping. Our fridge was almost empty.

When I opened the blinds, what did I see? Snow on trees. They looked like soft cotton stuck to the branches. White snow looked pretty on the branches of the evergreens. When I opened the doors to check how much snow fell, I could hardly open them. I started clearing our front steps. I was thinking about my courier guy. I shoveled a little bit of the snow with my dustpan, just enough for him to go up the steps. But we really needed to shovel the pathway so that he could enter the yard. There was about three feet of snow. I’m lucky that I don’t have to venture out there. Poor delivery guys and mail carriers.

(Although this picture was taken last year, this is what it looks like after a blowing snow.)

Sis and R shoveled the snow. I would have helped if I didn’t have to work and wasn't pressed for time.

My supervisor e-mailed the WAH staff wishing us all a Happy New Year. He also said that he wanted to stress how important all of us are and that he really appreciates the good results we have contributed to the office. He also added, “It’s probably hard to feel like you’re part of the team when you work from home and don’t get a chance to interact with other staff or management.” These are exactly my sentiments. I was touched by his e-mail.

I learned that some people were not able to go to work. Our courier has been cancelled as well. There was no delivery today. It was a good thing that I had quite a few claims left. I worked at least 5 hours. I suspected that I might have to make up the time lost. We will know on Tuesday.

When I finished my work, I tried to call a cab but I couldn’t get through. All lines were busy. I was ready to take the bus to the nearest Safeway but I asked sis if she could give me a ride to Superstore. She agreed, as she was going out to shovel Mama’s driveway. Mama couldn’t get her car out the back lane in the morning and she took the bus to work. My niece A and Angelus went with sis to help.


December 31, 2004 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment


It was very windy during the day. We could hear the ice pellets blowing against the house. There was a blizzard warning.

December 30, 2004 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment


I worked. R doesn’t have work until January 3. Then he will learn when they will be laid off. Sigh!

Gameboy marathon yung 3.

December 29, 2004 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

A call from the Middle East

My cousin Lou called from U.A.E. to greet us a belated Merry Christmas and a (advance) Happy New Year. She said that she had a hard time getting through. The lines must be busy. I asked her if they were affected by the earthquake. No. I asked about her Christmas. She said that it was not a holiday there because it’s a Muslim country. Although, some white employers gave their employees a day off. I think naghanda rin siya at nag-karaoke daw sila. New Year’s is a holiday there. But their store (a photo shop) will be open. Parang sa ‘Pinas din. Here in Winnipeg, stores are closed on Christmas and New Year's Day.

There were already 40,000 people dead and 11 countries affected by the tsunami.

December 28, 2004 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Jumping off the walls

I made mac and cheese and pizza for supper. Ryland whispered to me, “Mommy, this is like a party.”

Too many sweets and too many chocolates made the two young ones hyper-active. They were jumping off the walls. They were jumping and running all over the house. BONG. Something fell. One of the picture frames in the living room came down together with my gold trimmed reindeer ornament – the present I got from work. The antler came off, so did the golden box it was standing on. I didn’t get mad but Ryan and Ryland were speechless when they saw it broke.

December 28, 2004 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

Devastating news

No work. Sis and I decided to drop off our inaanak’s present. Then we went to Long & McQuade because Reggie wanted to try out flutes. I told him before that I couldn’t buy him a new instrument. He just wanted to try out a few. All three kids went with us. Ryland fell asleep on the van. Reggie tried three professional flutes. They were quite pricey, ranging from $2,000 to $7,000. He’ll have to wait until he’s working to buy one of those.

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring was on TV. Although we have it on DVD and watched it before, we still watched it. After the movie, I watched the news about the tsunami in South Asia. It was so devastating. Nine countries were affected killing 25, 000 people.

December 27, 2004 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Magkapatid nga kayo

Merry Christmas. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. Ryan and Ryland were up before me, went downstairs and opened their presents. I started cooking crab and corn soup. Last night, I cooked pancit, baked cookies and made fruit salad. Instead of the traditional turkey, I bought barbecued chicken. Ryan gave me a present, an angel that he did at school. It was made of a tiny flowerpot and a wooden ball for the head. Ryland had a present for me as well. It was a candleholder made of a Gerber jar covered with multi-coloured tissue paper and trimmed with red beads, similar to the Red Lobster necklaces we got during the Taste of Manitoba.

R didn’t get up until past 8:00 a.m. although I kept waking him up earlier. He was still eating breakfast when Mama came over at 8:20, told him to hurry up because we didn’t want to stand up in church again like we did last year.

When we came outside, Ryan said, “Why is there nobody outside?” There wasn’t a single soul out there. I told him that in the Philippines, the streets would be full of people on Christmas Day. No wonder Filipinos here want to go home for the holidays. Mas masaya raw kasi duon.

The church was elegantly decorated. In addition to the silver stars that have been hanging above the altar since the first week of advent, the altar was decorated with bright red poinsettias. There were clear glass cubes and white cotton strips that looked like ice and snow. There were several three-feet tall Christmas trees adorned with Christmas lights. There were also boxes wrapped in shiny gold paper. The boxes have white paper on top of each printed with the words: Joy, Love, Forgiveness, Peace, Hope, Charity, Justice, Faith, Jesus – the gifts of Christmas. The huge crucifix at the front was covered with a long dark cloth with a big eight-pointed silver star. The walls were decorated with green wreaths adorned with more silver stars. I saw people dressed in their best, well only the ones who weren’t wearing their winter coats.

During the sermon, which was a very nice one, Ryan started to have a tummy ache. I asked him if he had to go to the washroom. At first he said no. After a few more times asking him, he said yes. We went to the washroom. When he came out I asked if he “went.” He said no. When we came back to our seats, I smelled his utot.

We had lunch at my sister’s place. She prepared spaghetti, lumpia, ham in pineapple, and garlic bread. Mama made puto-bumbong and cheesecake. I brought the food that I prepared last night and this morning. Mama mentioned that she saw Myra yesterday and told her, “Mommy, nakakatuwa naman si Reggie. Napakamaginoo (He’s a gentleman.)" Last night, when we talked to R’s Tatay on the phone, I heard R told him, “Namumupo si Reggie, ano.” He does say PO. Well, I guess that we must be raising him right. I am proud of him.

After lunch, we took lots of pictures and opened presents. I heard sis say, "A, look at the present I gave Lola, it’s a sewing machine.” I thought to myself, what was she talking about? I was the one who gave it to Ma. Sis got the same present I got for Mama. It was a watch in a sewing machine trinket. And it turns out that we bought it from the same store. “Magkapatid nga kayo,” said Mama.

My pamangkins gave me a thank you card. They wrote very touching words like: “Thank you very much po for taking care of the little ones when they were sick and preparing the food during lunch. Thank you very much for substituting for our parents and helping our younger siblings with lunch. Thank you for taking care of us while my mom and dad were in the Philippines.” I was happy to know that they appreciated my help when all I did was allot 45 minutes of my day to them during those 2 weeks and let the sick ones stayed with me during the day while I worked. It was Mama who helped the most. She stayed with them and cooked for them. This is what families do. And I just want to stress that it feels good to hear the words "Thank you."

We watched Spiderman 2 there. Later at home, we watched Jet Li’s “Hero.”

I was so exhausted at night.

December 25, 2004 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

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