Archive for the ‘seasons’ Category

Doesn’t this look like Spring?!

Exotic Flowers, Lush Greenery, O'ahu

Okay, the photo above was taken from the Honolulu Zoo close to the Orangutan enclosure and not from around HUE-JEAN. Tropical countries like Hawaii have wild plants, flowers and the likes that look like they’re having a good time coming out of the earth. Elsewhere in the U.S. (at least in my immediate surroundings), the wild ones look like weeds! hahahaha!

Since the beginning of the official Spring day, yesterday was, well, looking like Spring indeed: in the mid-50’s, no rain! but a bit overcast. As much as rain is needed, I just about had enough of the cold low 30’s to mid-40’s.

So yesterday, being Thursday, was a walk training day. Upon waking up early afternoon, I already noticed it was going to be a wonderful day to walk. This time I didn’t have to prep much. ‘Prep?’, you asked. ‘Who needs to prep to walk?’ Wellllll, layers of clothing for one. A hat. Pair of gloves. Maybe raincoat/rain-pants. Water bottle. You get the drift. 

Sooo, this time, with just Capri pants, tank top (imagine that!) and a hooded pullover, no water bottle (I already drank 4-8oz. water supplement prior to the walk), I went about plotting my route. 7-mile walk! It feels liberating when you are not bogged down by paraphernalia.

I started shadow-walking the marathon route for the first time. This is just peachy. Because, during the first mile itself, I found out a small hill has to be tackled; not bad at all. However, after several miles of flat ground, another hill at the mid-8 mile mark will be the problem. How do I know that when I only did 7 miles. Well, when I plotted my route for yesterday, I started my walk at the 8-mile mark. Had to park my vehicle at the tennis court area near it. Plus, there was a public bathroom. And that’s important. Actually, I plot my walks where there would be accessible bathrooms I can use.

During my walk, I made sure that I looked around the surroundings. I noticed that the cherry blossoms were having such great time blooming. Daffodils were also swaying to the breeze. There’s just so much green now, one can’t help but have their spirit uplifted. Birds are even happier and noticeably chirpier(?). But the walk itself in the university neighborhoods was quiet and serene. Until I realized that it’s Spring Break and those rambunctious college students are GONE! Yay!

Today calls for more sunshine and in the upper 50’s. I’m on my way out to do a harder walk:  steep, steep hills. 4 miles. Starts right up my doorstep.  The end point and prize: a light lunch of chicken, tuna or egg salad with healthy soup from……Barry’s of course!

Speaking of healthy, I’ve been eating and drinking ‘HEALTHY’ lately. That means, LESS FAT, LESS SUGAR! Darn!

So, till next blog entry, please be happy, happy reading my blog! hahaha!

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Darn that groundhog! Actually, I think it’s cruelty to animals to have a hibernating groundhog plucked from its burrow (para satisfacer a algunos ESTUPIDOS humanos tradicion) of predicting the seasons. It’s almost always, the groundhog predicts 6 more weeks of winter. It never fails!There’s a reason why: when the human official of groundhog day takes him out, what does the poor animal sees in bright daylight —– throngs of pendejos applauding. If I were a groundhog, I’d surely want to go back to my burrow; hence predicting another 6 weeks of winter. hahahahahahaha!

So far, I’ve been distracting this seasonal affected disorder that infects me every winter time. But six more weeks, I don’t know how I could hold my head up. And the cold, brrr!

Even this creature has come back!

Pink Eyes!

What creature? That is my Christmas cactus reblooming. Amazing, huh?

Tada! Christmas Cactus

The plant sure brightens the home atmosphere. I have two of these. After the first time the plants lost the flowers, I’ve been putting them in complete darkness daily for at least twelve hours until the flower buds came out again.

Colorful things are needed to uplift the spirit! I’m sick of gray, and more gray. I wish Spring is here already!

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I dread it when time change begins in Fall. It’s the official countdown to Seasonal Affected Disorder for me.

SAD is not so bad during the months of October, November and December as there are quite big distractions, e.g., son’s birthday, Halloween, even the annoying Thanksgiving and peaking at hubby’s birthday, Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

January…..I dread January as well as the coming February and March…..all before the next Spring Time Change. Nothing, not even major holidays, to divert attention to. Nada!

These are the times, when all over the horizon is GRAY, GRAY and GRAY. Moods are gray too. Bleak outlooks.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest has been such a wise decision, except we, er I, wasn’t prepared for its Winter, Spring and even the first part of Summer seasons, when RAIN, more RAIN, FOG, more FOG, and endless GRAY come into play. Snow, actually, makes things come alive, be it for a brief time. And the plunging temperature that comes with snow makes one wishes for RAIN. With rain means higher temperature.

For the first few years of working nights, winter had not bothered me to the point of tearing my hair out. It was on the 5th year. Totally drove me nuts! From then on, I had to find diversions fast. I found plenty alright. Mostly in the form of taking classes upon classes. All kinds of classes……top most of which would be Spanish immersion, cooking, martial arts and dancing classes (see next paragraph). Once, even joined a tour group for seniors even when I wasn’t of senior age. Had to beg to get in. The highlights were touring local popular stops and even extended tours that span more than 100-mile radius from home. And then there was the rowing club… the rowing practice was year-round… even in dead winter, when we dragged our frozen tooshies to practice.

Well, this year, here is one of choice dancing classes I’m considering:

English & Scottish Country Dancing  I’ve never been interested in line dancing before. Never liked country music, except for a few. But English, even Irish, dancing is totally new to me. They are not as popular as the other ballroom dancing of mambo, samba, salsa, swing, hustle, etc. But with ‘waltz music’, I can imagine being in England in ‘Victorian periods’, dancing and meeting marriage-potential rich lords and even a prince in grand Victorian ballrooms, like we see in the movies.

Little did I know English-Scottish dancing to be challenging, although I know Viennese waltzing steps. To say the least, I HAD FUN. It’s literally a sweat activity, meaning there’s a workout feature to it. 

Anyway, the Eugene group of the Heather and Rose Country Dancers has no website. I was told by one the organizers, Leslie, that the Eugene group is unique in that there’s a sense of community in the group. They prefer to include newbies and have no specific rules of pairing by gender, by skills, etc.

So, being a newbie, I was hesitant to come in last night to check out the group. I wanted to just observe the dance and make a decision from there. I did, however, call Leslie with inquiries. Last night was the first session of a 12-week program. So, when I appeared in the middle of a 2-hour session, all attention was on me. Everyone stopped dancing. I was on the spot as everyone wanted to know who I was. Oh, you don’t know HOW shy I am when it comes to being a center of attention to anything, especially when I do NOT know who these people are. AWKWARD MOMENT!

Then before I could even say I just wanted to observe the dancing, Leslie dragged me into the group and the lesson began, er, continued. The first few minutes were truly awkward for me… a total failure following everyone’s steps. The group didn’t mind. They insisted. They persisted. That was good. I stayed even after the class ended, socializing and meeting members. That meant the lesson and the people were enjoyable enough to endure that initial awkwardness.

Twelve weeks of English-Scottish country dancing here I come!

I decided to join the group. Yipeeeee-hay-hay!

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Wishing for a White Christmas

Throughout the past week, the weather prediction was of plunging temperatures, wind chill factor, and snow.
Well, yesterday, we had some white powder up the hills but none on the valley. I thought the snow would stick, but it was gone in a matter of hours.
The forecast for this Sunday was more snow. We woke up to sunshine, but brrrr! temperature. Sunday is not over and I’m watching the weather channel ever so often. I’m hoping that it would NOT SNOW tonight. This is my first work night back for the week. I’m responsible for the lab system maintenance and my manager prays I don’t call in ‘sick’ on those nights I have to take the system down. This is one of the nights. Users will rejoice, but system may be vulnerable for the rest of the week if maintenance is disrupted.

The rest of the week will be in the low 20’s for the highs and teens for the lows. Winter is here.

Please don’t snow this early. If only mother nature can wait a bit. I’m wishing for a White Christmas.  Of all the years that I have lived in the United States, snow and Christmas Eve/Day never aligned themselves. Never ever! Nevertheless, there’s still that hope for a white Christmas. To someone who always had a tropical, warm Christmas experience growing up in the islands by the Equator.

Since there wasn’t much snow yesterday to capture in picture, let me show you a snow photo taken at the end of 2003.

At Dawn!

Isn’t this amazing?! This scene is behind our house. It may look so beautiful but the snow icy weather played havoc to commuters that time. For the first time in years I’ve worked nights, management had to accept less than the number of employees (IT and lab techs alike) manning the lab that night. I couldn’t make it; the truck couldn’t get out of the sloped driveway. Taxis did not want to venture up hill, so there was no choice but to stay home. (And rejoice!) Luckily, there were no pressing emergencies happening that night at the hospital. The New Year revelers stayed home.

Still, I wish for a White Christmas. BECAUSE I’M OFF for this year’s holiday.

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Farewell to Summer

It actually rained this morning! Fall is definitely in the neighborhood.

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