Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Glimpse of Keltendorf (Celts Village) in Steinach am Donnersberg

Of course, IC's class is also planning an outing this coming school year just like MCs. Their chosen place is Steinbach am Donnersberg, which is the highest peak in the region of Rheinland-Pfalz.

What's funny is that we could see the  said mountain from our house located in the region of Baden-W├╝rttemberg :-) Yes, we live in the boondocks.

We drove to Steinbach to check out the youth hostel but we ended up fascinated by Keltendorf Steinbach, located nearby.
The tower at the Celts Village
Although the Celts Village was closed, we found ways to take a peek. If there's a will...there are pictures!
Celts Village in Steinach

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Visiting the City of Worms in Photos

This is found on the bridge entering/exiting the city of Worms
The city of Worms is located along the Rhine River and is known for its Cathedral. It is the only German member of the Most Ancient Europeans Town Network and one of the major sites where the ancient German Nibelungenlied took place.

We always pass through this town whenever we would get our supply of wine from our favorite wine maker, and we do visit Worms if there's a town feast for its rides and kiddie attractions.

But the only time I remember really taking a stroll through the town was with a baby MC and my now deceased in-laws. They brought me to a small corner restaurant serving the best fish soup in town. It was so small and the fish soup so good, people had to wait in line outside!

Anyway, MC would be having her school outing in Worms this coming school year and she wanted to see how the hotel looks like. Curious, really. I am, too. So, off to Worms we go. Let me show you the photos now.

The Cathedral of Worms
The mini Cathedral located in front of the Cathedral
The Dom Terrassen Restaurant is located in front of the Cathedral, at the back is the youth hostel,
next comes a church and then the museum.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We Support the Million People March to Scrap Pork Barrel in the Philippines

We are wearing black shirts and displaying those banners because we wanted the people back home in the Philippines to know that we are supporting them on their march to Luneta on Monday, August 26.

And because I agree with Junep Ocampo...

1. BECAUSE WE CARE. The greatest sin is not to commit a crime but to be indifferent. Yung wala nang pakialam. We're going because we want to show our children that we care for this country and we care for their future and that there are certain things in life worth fighting for.

2. BECAUSE WE ARE ENRAGED. Yes we are angry. We are angry at how some government officials are stealing the money that is supposed to be for projects meant for uplifting the lives of the poor. We are angry at how Janet Lim Napoles spent billions of money supposed to be for the poor. And we are angry because such things will continue if the pork barrel is not completely scrapped.

3. BECAUSE WE ARE HOPEFUL. We are only a small family of six. We are but a tiny ripple in this ocean of life. But we know that a tiny ripple joined by millions of tiny ripples eventually becomes a tsunami. Millions of tiny Filipino families like us who care for this country can create change.

People of the Philippines, let's do this for the future generation. Let's do this for ourselves. Let's do this for our country. Let's do this because we respect ourselves and our country. Let's go!

P.S. Now, I informed the girls why we are doing this. I told them this is a show of support for the Philippines who is fighting for their right to have a better life. They totally agree that the Philippines and its people are worth fighting for.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August Harvests

I can't believe we are still harvesting more than enough this August. We really thought the snails have taken over after the long rainy days.

I have to thank my husband's persistence in doing almost everything for the plants and trees in both gardens to survive. He would wake up early, around 5 am, to work: pulling weeds, trimming branches, mowing, watering the plants, repairing fences, etc. etc.

Now, what do we have? Let me show you.

The peache tree located near the mountain garden's gate is already thriving and the fruits are ripe!
But the other peach trees needed more time.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Watching the Stars, Sleeping Under the Stars

My husband has been planning this night since MC requested for a telescope for Easter. Although MC and her Papa have been both busy learning this new 'toy', there was never an opportunity to really enjoy it.

So, last Friday was the night. My husband got the telescope and the star guide ready around 8 p.m. We were hoping to get a glimpse of the Perseid Meteor Shower, if at all. And my girls begged me to make a party out of our star watching night, meaning they want food and drinks, of course! How we slept under the stars, I will tell you later.

First, our learning adventure.

The moon was bright, it turned out to be the Waxing Gibbous. My girls and I had to google most of what we see thru the lens, not that we don't trust my husband, but just because his chart was not so fast.

The telescope is ready, the munchies are ready, the drinks are ready 
To give the girls their party, I took a pack of frozen mini berliner and slices of freshly-picked peaches from our garden for their munchies. My husband grabbed a bear and there's water for the girls. And then there's the candle light :-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Welcome to the World, Zeth Alkin!

Zeth Alkin 
Your Tita (aunt) was busy packing and repacking for our camping trip when you were born last August 2, dear Zeth Alkin.

But I did notice that the world felt more wonderful and looked more beautiful, I am sure it was because you're a great addition to the human race.

I am pretty sure your mom and dad, and your super makulit big brother, Zyle, are now enjoying smelling your gentle baby perfume.
I am pretty sure your grandparents are now fighting for the chance to have you in their arms.
I am pretty sure your cousins, aunts and uncles are now busy shopping for gifts to bring to you.
I am pretty sure friends and other loved ones are now making time to visit you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our 12th Wedding Anniversary

On our way back home from the Baltic Sea camping grounds
IC said it best, "how awful that we are spending your 12th wedding anniversary in the car!" I totally agree with her. It is a far cry from our past wedding anniversary celebrations: fine dining, all of us fully-made up and yes, relaxed.

Well, we had hoped to extend our camping along the Baltic Sea but the place is just fully-booked. Therefore, we had to spend our wedding anniversary folding our tent, packing our bags and saying goodbye to their newly-found friends in the camping ground, and then, driving back home (an almost eight hour drive!).

We had dinner in a resting area, and it was fine dining Burger King style :-) So my husband said, promise, we would make up for it on Sunday (it's a Saturday). What happened on Sunday? We stayed in bed until Rikki woke us up at almost 11 a.m.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Tribute to a Beloved Nephew: Erwin Borja Vasquez (March 22, 1984 - August 8, 2013)

Dear Erwin,
I heard you're gone.
I heard you left around 4 p.m. last Thursday, August 8.
You left forever, leaving all the pains and aches behind.
After being hospitalized.

You're only 29.
But I guess it simply time, to meet your mom again.

I know we planned to see each other again: to get-together, to party, to celebrate, to exchange stories and share laughters.
You know what I would do about those plans now?
Get back to those thoughts, to our chats and remember the fun we had.

I am thankful for your ready and quick answers everytime I leave you private messages.
I am grateful that you're a dog-lover just like me.
I am happy that you found the perfect partner.
(Remember, I hoped to get the chance to meet him?)
I am glad you get to enjoy your life. Short but sweet, right?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blackberries, Plums and Peaches

freshly-picked blackberries from our backyard garden

We plan to go camping in a few days time but before we leave, we had to visit our backyard garden and our mountain garden to check on our fruit-bearing plants and trees.

In the backyard, our blackberry bushes are thriving. We have been harvesting them since last week. Yet, after only two days of not going down the garden to pick them, I ended up with a basketful and a caught a few thorns, too (ouch!). No way could we eat them before we leave, and our neighbors also have blackberry bushes, so I decided to freeze them. We can't wait to enjoy a blackberry smoothie/shake when we get back! I might even experiment and make an ice cream concoction out of them. Any ice cream recipe suggestions would be welcome.

The tomatoes would have to be watered and we asked a neighbor to do it for us. Since they are also thriving faster because of the weather, we also told them to harvest them for their own use.

As for our red beets, I don't know if they would survive. I have been looking forward to enjoying a cold red beet salad this summer but we have to wait a little.

plums and peaches from our mountain garden

Meanwhile, my husband and our dog drove up to our mountain garden. He wanted to make sure that we are leaving the garden in good condition. He also harvested some fruits that are ripe enough like these plums and peaches. Guess what we'd have for snacks this afternoon? Yes, peaches and plums :-)

I still cannot freeze those plums because they needed a few days to ripen. As for the peaches, the girls love them so much they were gone after a few minutes.

Now, there were gooseberries, too -- but our dog was faster than my husband. Rikki munched on them while my husband was busy on the peaches and plums.

The grapes, the other peach and plum trees, and the pear trees need some time. I hope we'd be able to enjoy them ripe and good when we come back from our holiday camp.