Dec 25, 2011

Christmas thoughts

I had a very Merry Christmas this year. Finally reunited with my loving husband..Sweet! We had a delicious  Christmas dinner and I received so many presents that it was just overwhelming.
With the jolly atmosphere its kinda hard to dampen my spirit...but of course I was a little sad thinking of the pets back home in Antipolo. I just hope they are getting enough food. As for care and love, Im not sure about that. The people in our house (except for one brother and his wife) dont give a shit about the animals. With 4 dogs left uncared for, one of my sisters in law still went ahead and bought a shih tzu (that cost 200USD) instead of adopting one of the cats or dogs in the house. I guess an Aspin (local dog) or Puspin (local cat) isnt good enough for her. And when I thought it would be a bag, clothes or shoes that people need to buy to validate their social standing in life, I guess fancy dogs/pets have a place in that list too.

Im just hoping that the other cats I left behind will be okay until its time for them to travel here next year. I cant stay sad thinking about the state of the pets back home. One of my brothers is doing his best feeding the dogs and cats and also updating me on whats going on. Ill have to move on with my life here and I admit Im having a grand time.

I havent seen most of the city but I did get to see Central Park, The Rockefeller Center, FAO Schawrz Toy Store, The Zoo,Times Square, The Met and even watched the Rockettes. We have been out shopping a lot too. Bought some items to replace my old ratty wardrobe. I came here with a tiny suitcase with old photographs, my diaries over the years, important documents and other sentimental stuff. Im not really a fan of shopping but lately Im starting to really enjoy it! hahaha maybe its because there is just so much to see plus there is always a special sale every week. I also cant help but think of stuff to get my family and pets back home. Im planning to send them a Christmas box early next year and there is just so much out there, Ive gotten chocolates for starters. Then will get toys for the kids too. I also have the household help in my Christmas list. Ate Mariel.
Ate Mariel has worked for my family for over a decade. She's been a trusted handywoman and a friend to me for years. She has proven her worth many times over. I took her out on her Birthday before I left the country. I also gave her my old TV and DVD player not because I am kind but simply because I had to get rid of clutter before I packed my stuff.

It was just moving to see her so happy and excited. She has no idea I was a lot happier than her that day. I never thought some of my garbage could mean that much to someone else.

in front of our house with our dog Murgeet

Ate Mariel at Budget Lane restaurant
Delicious sinigang for the birthday lunch treat
crispy liempo
Birthday cake
the crazy looking tree at Budget lane. they seem to have put a hole on the ceiling instead of getting a smaller tree

the ancient tv

She also prepared a special meal for me when I went with her to her house. Her house may have been small but it was clean and the family was very warm.

their cat

the tv
my old toys neatly placed in their house

yum. the delicious pancit malabon
one of their dogs
Ate Mariel's mom and 2 more of her pets

I miss Ate Mariel and her kids. They are a reminder to me that it doesnt mean just because a person is poor it is a reason to be unhappy, mean or ungrateful. She is one of the very few people I truly consider blessed because despite the very little she has in terms of material things, she is kind, happy and honest. She is a very hardworking person who does everything for her family and remains unselfish. She kinda reminds me also of our friend Nuri from Singapore. Nuri is the household help at the HDB we stayed at. We would leave our cats with her during our trips to KL, Thailand or the Philippines. Nuri would never request anything from us in return and she and her boyfriend would even treat us out to dinner. Ive seen photos of her house in Indonesia and although she sometime laments over her problems with finances, she remains steadfast in her faith. She is a rare kind and Im lucky she is my friend.

How often do you meet such kind of people ? People who dont have much but have unselfish hearts. I have met people who have money but arent satisfied with it. They steal from their own family and even friends. They take the good people around them for granted too and if they can they would hang everything they own on themselves for everyone to see.  They believe that respect and admiration can be earned by how much money you can show off. Not for wont work.

I would say that Im fortunate to have met a man who knows whats more important. Money is of course important but over the years you realize that it is not everything. Having really good people around you who truly love, respect you is what is truly essential and priceless. You can always make money but its hard to find good people who will stick by you when times are hard.

Im very grateful for how things have turned out this year for me. Im in the most exciting city I can think of, with my soulmate and our 2 brat cats. What more can I ask for ... a warmer weather probably. hehehe

Right now the weather is killing me though. Im still not accustomed to the very cold weather but the good coat, beanie, gloves and boots have kept me warm and toasty. I know the holiday is an excuse to pile on the pounds but I cant help it coz there is such a very wide array of delectable dishes. We cook most of the time at home and I am even learning how to bake now!

Some photos of the really good food we had.

cookies I made!!
yummy chinese take out

a really GOOD burger at good burger's
Mom's homemade Vanilla cake. It was so good!
yummy mix for pasta
Olive garden's appetizer
Beef something pasta. I forgot what its called
Olive Garden's perfect ravioli
Chicken dish my husband had at Olive Garden

Kung Pao Chicken I cooked!=)
Classic Chili I cooked!=)
Lemon Garlic Tilapia . not yet cooked!=) turned out delicious although it was so easy to prepare

Im really having a great time here! So many surprises each day for me and the girls and a lot of places to see.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas too=)
More photos in my next post when I do find the time to write one after the New Year celebration.
Dr Seuss, the Grinch and the DApper

Dapper and Thumper
 A trip to Chinatown


humongous lobsters
omg ! kryptonite!
fruit stands
huge melons
barbecue stand
Some snippets of the city

union square

central park zoo

central park
Christmas dinner!

green bean casserole, baked mac and baked ziti

sweet potato souffle was amazingly good!
And the cats had their Christmas treats as well!

the black grinch

gifts for the girls

Marble and her little plate of dumpling and shrimp toys

the plate of treats
dapper with her "shrimp" (filled with cat weed=catnip)
Thumper with her shrimp