Strobes on Food


, ,

A week ago, I was invited to attend a photography workshop hosted by iCenter, a local reseller of Apple products. The speaker was an acquaintance, someone I met when I volunteered a year ago to help with Typhoon Haiyan survivors.

So, with my Nikon D5100 in tow, we were given tips on how to shoot food.

And after much experimentation with the lighting, I tried to shoot…


There’s too much light, and it had to do with my camera settings. I took another shot, and this time, a tighter one.


But blurry… so, here’s another one.


Better, I think! But I also think that I could have done better, if only I had more time with the subject.

Well, I had to scoot and let someone else practice. And so, I had to deal with the special treat they gave to the workshop participants. I just had to take a picture of it first, before taking a bite.


And how I love them, being so Christmas-sy! (I’m Joy to the World, remember?)


Thanks y’all, for stopping by.

See yah!


Horror Office


, ,

This is a short story, hurriedly done and posted outside our office door, as we dressed up as ghosts for the Halloween. {yeah, I know, this is super late! But better late than never…}

†† This is a story of six hardworking employees in one of the offices here in Oakridge Business Park, which happened in February of 2002. ††

All six of them were trying to beat the deadline that day, and had to go on overtime. The group agreed to go home by 11pm. Unfortunately, that never happened!

Unknown to the group, is the company’s security guard’s evil plan for that most gruesome night. The guard fell in love with Miguela, one of the lady employees. But love didn’t smile on him. Rather, he was scorned and mocked by this woman and the group she’s working with.

And so, on that dreadful night, when everyone but the six had gone home, he masterfully executed his revenge. He took them out one by one, when one of the group would go to the restroom, they were grabbed by the guard and butchered. He raped Miguela, before he mutilated her body and cut her head off. He placed her head on his desk, and capped the night with a loud BANG!

He knew, he will be caught and so, ended his own life to be with his lady love…

That was 12 years ago, and a new company called Catapult has settled in this very spot. And it is said that sometimes, especially when the moon is darkest, these ghost employees can be seen scuffling around, still trying to beat their DEADline.


That’s all Folks.

See yah!

The Cat in the Hat


, , , ,


I can never forget this cat…

for he’s my favorite cat in the world!

And while my classmates and friends in grade school were busy playing after school, I would burrow my head in one of Dr. Seuss’s books and be with the Cat in the Hat.

Late last week, a high school friend reached out to me and asked me to do something for her Kids. That is, to bring into life this Cat AND…

Thing 1 and Thing 2!

It got me excited, of course. But she came to me late last week, requesting that I make the costumes for her Kids who will be using them today. Oh my… what a dilemma!

In the end, I cannot refuse. To be able to execute them, from my heart and mind, and to see 3 adorable Kids donning my creation, is something I just cannot pass up.

Because of the limited time, I couldn’t make the blue “wigs” for Thing 1 and Thing 2, but I definitely was able to do Cat’s top hat!


From the first moment she told me, I always thought of the top hat to be crocheted. And I did just that!

So, here are the Harmels …


What do you think?

I hope I gave it justice… 🙂


See yah!

Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth


, ,

For thousands of years, people spoke of a fountain or spring that is said to restore YOUTH to anyone who drinks/bathes of its waters.

Writers have told of this magical body of water, and thousands have searched for it. It’s a myth, they said.

But what if that fountain is just a symbol? What if, it can be found just within you?

A friend has given me a copy of this book by Peter Kelder, that explains in detail the Five Rites (a set of yoga-like exercises that are do-able) that will help balance your energy centers and secrete hormones to make you youthful again.

Click on the image of the book below, to open your copy.


I have done 11 of each Rite now for 40 days, and feel that my back is stronger with the pain gone. I have not gone to a masseuse since, when I would go twice a month for a massage before I started the exercises. Yes, I have grey hair and though it is not that obvious, I do notice some black hair growing back!

My 60-ish friend has all grey hair, and is still doing 5 reps of each set, but what’s amazing is, the black baby hairs that are growing on her head! For real! I saw hers and that’s when I started to take a closer look at mine.

Of course, I always say, don’t believe me. Try it! See what it can do to you!

And tell us about it.




Thanks for dropping by.

See yah!

Grandmothers Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge


, , ,

At first glance, I fell in love with it.





I knew I have to know how to make it, whatever it takes!

Good thing is, the site was given and so, it did not take me ages to look for the recipe. But wait, there’s more! Granny did not only give out her best-tasting recipe, it also is available to be shared right here!

Thank you, Grandmothers Kitchen!

And so, here goes the oh-so-yummy, Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge.

Ingredients include:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Candy thermometer


Note: Making perfect fudge can be a bit tricky and sometimes fudge will crystalize or not set. This old fashioned recipe makes a fantastic fudge. It is best to have a candy thermometer on hand so you know you have reached the necessary temperature.

Butter an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.
Grease the sides of a medium sized sauce pan with butter.
In saucepan combine sugar, cocoa and milk.
Stir to blend, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
Place candy thermometer in pan and cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees F (114 degrees C).

*If you are not using a thermometer, then cook until a drop of this mixture in a cup of cold water forms a soft ball. Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it is the right consistency. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers.

Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract.
Beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until the fudge loses its shine.
Pour into prepared pan and let cool and cut into small squares.

Original Old Fashioned Homemade Fudge Recipe found at Grandmothers Kitchen Recipes.

So when you’ve tried this recipe out, you can tell us about it too!

See yah!

United Nations 2014 Celebration


, ,

It’s the time of the year once again, to celebrate United Nations Day.

My Kids were pretty excited to try out their costumes, and participated in the parade!

My daughter chose Egypt,

and was the young queen, Cleopatra.


Sophia, as young Cleopatra


with her teacher

I have made the costume myself, and took me close to two weeks to finish, due to my busy work schedule. Materials include a meter of white alpa geena cloth, a piece of metallic gold cloth for the yoke, belt, headdress and bangles, and a blue georgette (see-through) cloth for the cape. I also used a lot of beads and faux jewels to decorate the yoke and belt. The dress design was pretty much simple, but it was the beadwork that took much of my time to finish this costume.


For the headdress, I used black yarn, which I crocheted myself to give a braided-look, and  attached a golden clamp at the ends. What I also love is IN2IT’s black eyeliner, which was smooth and easy to apply and cool to the skin. It had a gel-kinda-feel, and thank my sister-in-law for it. It’s now in my list of things-to-buy this Christmas.


As for my son, I bought him an authentic “bahag” (loincloth) from Baguio City. It’s original and was woven by an Igorot.

Imagine my frustration when he told me, he is not joining the program. Fortunately, he later on decided to join, and bravely donn the bahag. Here’s how he looked with it.


The day ended.

My daughter then asked me, “What will be my costume for next year?”

Well, that’s one great question,

and I have got a lot of time to think about till next year.




Time to relax now.

See yah!

Goodbye, My Angel … Tschüß, mein Engel!


, , , ,

I know,

I never visit this site as regularly as before.

And every time,

I always give an excuse.

But in the deepest abyss of my heart, I have longed to be here.

August had been a special month for me. Special, because I have found one of the greatest love of my Life. Now, it is still special… in another way.


August 23rd – 25th were not easy days.

I received a call from Germany, letting me know that Stefan had a heart attack. His first … and last one!

It was a sad news, and a very painful one, for it was so sudden. I was shocked! He was so full of life, with no trace of sickness. And yet, it happened. So many times during the phone call, his mother would ask me, “Joy, bist du noch da?” (“Joy, are you still there?”) For many times, I felt my tongue left me.

The 24th of August would have been our 4th official anniversary. But if we’d count the unofficial ones, it is close to 10 years that we’ve been together.

We started out as friends. No, without benefit. It was purely platonic. He had a girlfriend, and I had a life of my own. But we were a team. We supported each other through life’s ups and downs. We were best of friends. And so, it was so much later on in the relationship that we realized and decided to be life partners and raise kids together.

We have lived, laughed and even, fought. Yet the most important thing is, we have loved each other and stayed true, till Death parted the two of us.

But I know that the separation is only physical. Death is when we discard our earthly suits, to be one with the Source of All, to process what we have learned here and later on, might come back to learn some more. Death is the birth of our Soul, our true selves, into the Spirit World. It is when we go back Home, and become our true Selves.

As humans, we have been programmed to weep for the death of a loved one, to be attached to the outer physical covering, which is the body. We know not the Soul, who lived inside the body. We have forgotten of it, somehow.

Knowing about this cycle of Life and Death has kept me (or at least, I have learned and still continue to do so) unattached to all that is physical. My mother and my kids are not my own, and so is Stefan. Even my body is not my own, and not mine to keep. I wept, but not for long.

What’s left in my heart is not pain, but only Gratitude and Love.

I am so thankful that we have met. That in my mess of a life, he found me and literally, picked me up. He had taught and helped me in various ways, so many but don’t want to enumerate for he already knows. He was, for me, my personal Angel, sent to help me along the way. And now, his great work is done.


Thank you, Stefan! Vielen Dank!

Ich habe Dich ganz, ganz liebt, mein Schatz.

Until we meet again…


Take a Moment for Mesothelioma


, ,

Here I am again!

Been gone for a month, I guess, and it’s not because I don’t have anything to share to you guys, but it’s all because it is sooo difficult to juggle my time between work, family and my groups. Then after a late Sunday night meeting I had with one of those groups, I silently promised to myself that I will have to sit down and write.

A while back, I received a message from Heather Von St. James, asking me if I could help her out in spreading awareness about Mesothelioma. In my previous 7 years of being in the allied medical profession, I have never heard of it, and before I answered Heather, I first had to answer my own question,

“What is Mesothelioma?”

I immediately had to go to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance site.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs, called the mesothelium. It has three recognized types:
1. Pleural – the most common form of the disease
2. Peritoneal – occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity
3. Pericardial – that which is seen in the pericardium, the heart’s lining.
“So, what causes it?”
The disease, generally, is a result of occupational asbestos exposure, but sometimes environmental exposure can be the culprit. When products containing asbestos deteriorate, asbestos fibers can be inhaled and may be lodged into the lining of the lungs, resulting to Pleural Mesothelioma, or if swallowed – can result to the Peritoneal type.

Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer in the U.S. even more than 30 years after the peak of its use.
“But, what is asbestos and where can it found?”
Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals, used as a fire-retardant and insulation material. Factories and builders use it because of its wonderful properties like: its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical breakdown, strength, sound absorption and affordability. And so, it is used in roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling materials, textile products, cement compounds and automotive parts.
We do not get to worry when these asbestos-containing products are intact and stable. It is only when they get damaged or break down and the minute asbestos fibers get airborne and inhaled, then it would be very hazardous indeed. Therefore, it can be found in many older homes, schools, factories and commercial buildings.

Here’s more about Mesothelioma:

mesothelioma facts

Mesothelioma Facts

To know more about Asbestos Occupations, click on the link: Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
And as I have mentioned earlier, asbestos is used in a lot of products and sites so to know more about them, click on: Asbestos Products

“What about Treatment?”
Conventional treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Because of the rareness of this disease, it has been a great challenge to run research studies to compare treatments and find out what the ideal treatment is for every stage of the disease. Therefore, the major goal for treatment of Mesothelioma patients is to reduce pain, and to prolong a patient’s life as long as possible.

Looking at all this, I do not think I would be able to bear the pain, of one suffering from the disease or of a family member having to see their loved one suffer. And now that we know about it, what we can do is to prevent ourselves from contracting it, or if you think you’ve had contact with asbestos materials, it would be best to consult a good doctor who knows about Mesothelioma.

When Heather first wrote to me, I have learned that she’s a Mesothelioma survivor, and I thought and told her that she is one brave Soul, that after winning her battle with the disease she is now working to spread the word about it. I believe in her cause. Awareness does help. So, thank you Heather, for opening my eyes …

To Heather, and everyone at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance,
and to those suffering from the disease, and their families,
I send my Joy, Peace, Light and Love.

Thanks for stopping by …

See yah!

Events, Anniversaries and what not…

It’s a gloomy day today. Well, at least it was, till it rained cats and dogs! This is just the kind of day that makes me want to just lay on my bed, doing nothing … but today is just different!

I finished a whole round of the Metis set and 110 situps.

I went out early, to hand my extra seeds to a friend.

Washed my dirty baseball cap.


And these are not the things that I do on a regular basis.

Sounds like a miracle!

And even with the gloomy atmosphere, I cannot help to notice my sunny disposition. Today is just a special day for me. It’s my fifth month being a happy Catapulter, and therefore, I am now a regular employee. I did not expect to get a raise … so, read my lips:


you get the idea how much that is.

And now, WordPress just congratulated me, because I signed up with them a year ago. Imagine that! WordPress remembered, and I did not. hmmm… Could that be a sign of something?

I don’t know.

You tell me. 🙂 

‘love you, Folks! but bye for now…

see yah!

It’s a Jungle out There! — Part I


, , , ,

Zombie apocalypse, WW3, a Life of Pi moment, Hunger Games, an airplane crash into the Amazon — and you’re the only survivor thingy, The End of the World, and what not …

those were just some of the ideas that got to our head.

Whatever it is that we are preparing for, I do not know really, but our group has signed us up for a Disaster and Survival Skills Training for two Saturdays this month. It was not compulsory and it’s not for free, but of course, I signed up. Why would I not want to survive?

And who better to train us than the experts of this field? RAPID, or Rescue Assistance Peacekeeping Intelligence Detail, Inc. is a group of volunteers, with only one Motto and that is to save lives.

I took up the training, especially now that I have joined a trekking and spelunking group. The skills would be useful, should we stay in the mountains overnight (or more days) – or if unfortunately we get stucked in the jungle somewhere. Well, hopefully not! So, this is just in case disaster strikes, we’ll know what to do.

The first part is more on the classroom setting: how to get food and water, how to make a shelter, to guard against hypothermia or make snow shoes and improvised sunglasses, how to tell whether a plant/animal/insect is edible or not, water purification, how to start a fire without use of matches, life-saving skills, etc…

our small group of Survivors

our small group of Survivors

one life-saving technique taught to us

one life-saving technique taught to us

What I love most is the part where we teamed up, went outside and got dirty. 😀

each team member was bound to each other, as we looked for fuel and stuff that we can use for our cooking

each team member was bound to each other, as we looked for fuel and stuff that we can use for our cooking


we're proud to be the first team to start the fire and cook our food

we’re proud to be the first team to start the fire and cook our food

and built an underground oven too

and built an underground oven too

our improvised water purification system

our improvised water purification system



I don’t usually believe it when someone says, “Believe me!” because I am the type of person who’ll first try it out. But yeah, BELIEVE ME, the food we cooked tasted great, especially the fish we cooked in our underground oven. The leaves and the trapped smoke has brought out a kind of smell that made the food soooo delicious as it reaches the palate.

And so, here I am, looking forward to next  Saturday of more survival fun. I anticipate hours of running after chickens, killing them (ewww, don’t know how!) and cooking. Also perhaps the actual making of a shelter, and so much more!

Do you think that maybe I should take up Archery, too? (for a Hunger Games-type of survival) 😀 LOL.

And lastly, here’s what I learned and will always remember.

It would take 3 weeks for us to live without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without air — but only 3 seconds of panic to die.

So whatever situation you are in, always think, think and think. Don’t lose that head.

Thanks for stopping by…

see yah for Part II!