About Me

My photo
I created this blog so that I can share my opinions, my favorite topics, my life and my journey through life when I was a child, teenager, a single woman, in love, as a mama, and now a widow. But despite everything, Life MUST go on, and let's stay surviving it, with God's grace. :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Clogged Toilet

Please excuse me on my topic. If you are eating, you can read my post later.

For those interested, you may continue reading....

As you all know, I am a widower, meaning almost all the household repairs and decisions are made by me, myself, and I, of course with some help and suggestions from my teenage son.

Last night, my toilet got clogged. And, as what I have been doing, being so dependent on "Mr. Google," my first solution, is to look for ways to fix it using the internet!

And let me share with you this article.

Step 1: Begin with a plunger

« Previous Photo

For about 90 percent of clogged toilets, you only need one special tool—a plunger. Buy one with an extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end (lead photo). It's designed to fit toilets better so you can deliver more “oomph” to the plunge. You could pull a woodchuck from a hole with one of these things. It'll unplug sink and tub drains too, if you simply fold the flange back into the bell.
A poor flush means that your toilet drain is either partially or completely plugged. A toilet that's completely plugged—a no-drainer—is obvious. The toilet bowl will fill to the brim with flush water and perhaps overflow. Give the water level 10 minutes or so to drop, then attack the problem with a plunger (Photo 1).
However, most clogged toilets are slow drainers, that is, flush water partially fills the bowl but doesn't rush out and clean away the waste. The water level remains high, then usually drains down to normal height within a minute or two. You might not know the toilet is clogged until you flush it. So if you suspect a problem, test the drainage first as we show in Photo 2. If it doesn't drain, don't flush it. Reach for the plunger.
Photo 1 shows how a plunger fits over and seals the toilet drain. Wear rubber gloves—things can get messy—and follow these plunging tips:
  1. Make your first plunge a gentle one. Initially the bell is full of air. A hard thrust will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom and you!
  2. Once you force out the air, plunge vigorously in and out, maintaining the seal. You'll be forcing water both directions in the drain, which will effectively loosen most clogs. Stick with it, plunging 15 to 20 times if necessary.
  3. Be patient. Try alternating between steady strokes and occasional monster heaves.
  4. Keep enough water in the bowl so the plunger stays covered. Trying to force air through the toilet trap won't generate much pressure.
Most of the time, this is all it takes to clear the clog.

Step 2: Reach for the snake

« Previous Photo

If the plunger won't open the drain, or if you can force out the water with the plunger but the toilet still won't flush well, reach for the snake (Photo 3). A drain snake is a long wire coil with a corkscrew-like tip that you feed into your pipes until it encounters the clog. Then you turn the snake clockwise, so that the tip screws into or through the clog and breaks it up. Or the debris winds onto the wire so you can pull it out.
Even the least expensive snake (Photo 3) will clear a toilet. But the closet auger (Photo 4) is a special type designed to get around the first bend, keep debris at arm's length, and yet still spin the coil to hook “foreign objects.” A rubber sleeve protects the enamel bowl from scrape marks. These snakes are short because most obstructions catch in the first S-bend or at the floor flange. (Plumbers report that the most common foreign objects are toys.)

Step 3: Major surgery if all else fails

If the clog resists all your efforts, you'll probably have to pull up the toilet. This job will take several hours, because you have to turn off and unhook the water supply, partially disassemble the toilet, and unscrew it from its mounting ring. Chances are, you can then get at the problem. Be sure to buy a new wax ring and new mounting bolts to reseal the toilet base to the mounting ring.
However, if other drains in your home are plugged, or if water comes up through them, the problem is probably farther down in the main drainpipes, often out of easy reach. For those clogs you may have to call a plumber. Plumbers are expensive, but they can put your bathroom back in service fast, even if there's a major blockage.
Master plunger
Master plunger
Toilet Do's and Don'ts
1. Avoid chemicals. Don't be suckered into thinking that powerful chemicals will do the messy work for you. They sometimes work, but they're slower. And when they don't work, you have a drain full of corrosive water on your hands. If you tried chemicals and they didn't work, run as much water into the toilet as possible and let it sit overnight to drain through the clog. Then, when you plunge, wear safety goggles and rubber gloves to keep the water out of your eyes and off your bare skin.
2. Keep the toilet cover down, especially if you have small kids, so toys and hairbrushes won't fall into the toilet.
3. Don't pour hardening compounds down the toilet. These include such things as drywall joint compound, grease, caulk and wax products.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Long week because of the class suspensions

It has almost been one week since the heavy rains and flood of  "Habagat" of Typhoon Maring, causing the suspension of classes for most schools. My son is at home for days, and with sore throat. He eats only food with "sabaw" because of his painful throat. I already cooked all the meals I know that is best for him, like nilaga, sinigang, tinola, noodle soups, chicken sopas, and I'm running out of recipes! Needs something that can soothe his painful tonsils. I'm giving him a vitamin c boost, pineapple juice, told him to drink lots of water, a warm water and salt gargle, and strepsils. What else can I give him? Help!

Reminiscing my experience as an Evacuee (Ondoy)

September 2009. That was when Tropical Storm Ondoy (Internationally called "Ketsana") hit Metro Manila, starting at midnight. It was a Saturday and my son's school had make up classes on that day. But at 10 a.m., the rain was consistently strong since midnight, non-stop. I called the school and learned that classes had already been suspended. The flood is knee-deep already. He was looking for possible ways to get home, walking and trying to ride public transportation, but no vehicle can pass through most of the roads! I was working at home and texting him. Till I saw that the houses which are down on our street are submerged in the flood till the first floor, I already panicked! I immediately decided to get to where my son was. My husband was sick and had wounds so he cannot accompany me. My brother in law went with me. Wherever we go, we cannot find a street without chest-deep flood. We tried and walked and walked but to no avail. I decided to brave the raging flood and crossed the street so we can get to my son. It was a blessing that the barangay rescue team near the school is helping everyone stranded. Until now, I am having a hard time putting words from this experience. I have to stop and take a deep breath just remembering that day......

We were asked to hold on to a big rope tied to two big trucks in order to cross the street because of the heavy current of the water, where my son's school was. As advised by the rescue team, I have to be at the barangay hall, and just wait for them, the rescue and my brother in law to get my son. My son was already stepping on top of a food kiosk and he is already submerged in flood till his knee. Imagine if he isn't on top of that food kiosk! Meaning, the flood is almost  5 feet deep! Not to mention the flood's current, since it was just near a river. We are constantly texting. He gave me his exact location and the rescuer, with my brother in law went to get him. After a few minutes, or hour, I think, they came back WITHOUT my son, and said they cannot pass through the flood. This was when i went hysterical. I told them I will be the one to get my son. My brother in law talked to the rescuers. And after their talk, the rescue team said they will come back and get my son. That was the longest wait i had endured, with all the prayers i can give to God. And at the same time talking to my husband on the cellphone. I can just imagine how he felt on that day, not having a choice but to wait for us at home and pray for my son's safety.

And at around 4 in the afternoon, the rescuer came back, carrying my son on his back, and another rescuer, bringing his school things and his shoes. I almost cried and almost embraced that man, who got my son back. I didn't even knew his name. But i was able to thank him so many times. God is really good. God always answers our prayers!

When i got my son, he was shaking due to the wet school uniform he was wearing. Its good that I brought with me a jacket, which almost got soaked in the flood if I had not raised it above my shoulders when we were crossing the chest-deep flood. He was very hungry. His last meal was the breakfast he ate at home, before leaving for school.  And the barangay team, was there to HELP us in all our needs. I see them as our angels. They gave us dry clothes and food to eat. I vividly remember my son, eating like he has not eaten in days. He ate his, and my share of rice and corned beef. Those people that helped us, has a really big big heart, specially the rescuers. God is so good, He sent them to us. I'm crying now as I recall every little thing that happened on that day. It's like a movie, replaying on my mind. Though I didn't knew all their names, I am always, until now, praying for them. That life will be good to them, and that God pour His blessings upon them.

We spent the whole night on that evacuation center/barangay hall, since all the streets are still flooded. At 4 in the morning, the barangay vehicle slowly sent some of the evacuees home. And we were safely home by that time. Again, God is really good and He will never never leave you. Just TRUST him.

Image source : http://www.juice.ph/cms_images/19635/Bagyong%20Ondoy%20-%20Flood.jpg

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Big Clan is a blessing

We used to see each other almost every Sunday. My father’s six (6) siblings with their own children. Our family is a big one. We go to one church together, which was founded by our great grandfather. That's why the family is active in church. Most are choir members, some are involved in other church activities and groups. After church, we all go to one house and eat lunch together. We spend the whole afternoon till after dinner there. When we are all together, a house could easily be full of family members and laughter! We sometimes even put a table on the street! That's how it is in our neighborhood. We all had a happy childhood. Me and my cousins were very close. Almost every month, there is a birthday party for a family member. Sometimes, we had a get together every week, spending the day and late nights eating, the men drinking beer, watching tv, us - the kids - playing, sleeping siestas, watching movies, and many more things that we enjoy doing together.

Until one by one, my father and his siblings started to pass away. Each family getting bigger and bigger, One sibling of my dad transferred to the province, some left to work and live in the U.S., and the Middle East.

We all now have our own families. With each family getting bigger, the new generations are now starting to grow apart, no longer close with each other, like we used to, in our generation. I get lonely sometimes. As much as I want to spend some time with my whole, extended family again, we all have grown apart, live our own busy lives. We seldom see each other any more.

Our weekly get-togethers has been reduced to once, or twice a year, How I wish we could be the same again. But, I guess, this comes inevitably as time goes by. I really miss my cousins. I'm sure they also miss our get-togethers. This is the cycle of life, I guess. At least, I am so blessed to have experienced this kind of bond that we had with my big clan... :)

Positive Habits

I received this article in my email today. I need this kind of messages most of the time. It might also give you the positive boost you need in your daily struggle to reach your goals....

The Story of The CEO and the Yellow Notepad

By Dan Robey

It was just a yellow, legal sized notepad,
but it made this millionaire CEO's sales force
more successful, productive,less stressed, and 
happier,at work and at home. 

How could a simple yellow notepad have such power?

Here is the story:

The millionaire CEO gave each of his employees
a yellow, legal sized notepad and a pen. He also gave them
these simple instructions:

Carry the notepad and pen with you at all times during your
workday. Keep it handy, and within easy reach.

In the morning write down a short "To Do" list in the notepad, list
the things you want to accomplish that day.
You should also make a list of short term and long goals
both personal and professional.  

During the day use the notepad to record every name and
phone number of anyone you talk to or come in contact with. Write
down email addresses, flight times, and reservation numbers,
meeting times and dates, record virtually every bit of important
data into your yellow notepad. 

Here is how the millionaire CEO's workforce benefited from this
simple positive habit, and how you can also regardless of who you
are, or what you do.(businessmen, housewives, students,CEO's, etc.) 

Every piece of important data was instantly available 
to them. They became more productive immediately. When they needed
to call someone back the name and telephone number
were just a glance away, communications in the work force 

Think about how this simple habit can help you. 

What was that fight number again? What was that policy number the
insurance agent gave you 3 days ago? Just look in your trusty
yellow notepad, it is all there! What were the directions to the 
wedding? It's all in your yellow notepad!

Here is another tip;

Every morning read the goals that your wrote down in the notepad,
read them aloud and visualize yourself as already reaching 
your goals. 

Your yellow notepad becomes a Rolodex, Meeting Planner, Map, and
one stop source for all of your important information
that you gather every day. 

Remember how you used to write down that information on
little bits of paper? Remember how you could never find that one
piece of paper with the phone number you needed?)

You will not believe how many ways this little positive habit will
benefit your life! You will be less stressed, more efficient at
everything you do, you will see yourself reaching your goals, your
self esteem will improve. 

Buy a Yellow Legal Notepad today and get started!

P.S. from  Dan

The contents of this email are not to be considered as medical
advice. Always consult a physician before beginning or changing any
exercise, diet or nutritional program.

I have personally reviewed the products featured in my newsletters
and I give them  my highest recommendation.  I am an affiliate of
the products featured in this newsletter and the income
derived from these sales will aid in the expansion of
 and "The Power Of Positive Habits" on the web. This gives me the
resources to expand so I can continue to create articles, blogs and
offer you a free and reliable resource of self improvement

Source : The Power Of Positive Habits website

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Missing You Again....

Sometimes I'm okay, feeling a lot like you're just out of the house like in the office or with a meeting somewhere.

But there are times that I still cannot describe how I feel. The intense hurt comes back. I fully entrust to God my feelings when I feel like this. But I guess I'm only human, missing your physical presence, our conversations, the lessons you imparted, the experiences you unselfishly taught us, including me, our only son, and also my sisters! You were such a great addition to the family. You came just at the right time that me, my sisters and my mommy needed a man in the house. I never thought or imagined that you would leave us this early.

Image source : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=600354203340739&set=a.296146143761548.67493.296144553761707&type=1&theater

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Snails in Coconut Milk (Guinataang Kuhol)

I miss this food! My Aunt (and my father's family) introducted me to all the exotic food that I have learned to eat and love when I was growing up. One of these is "Guinataang Kuhol" (or Snails in Coconut Milk). You can easily buy this "kuhol" in all the palengke (market) in town. We get the meat of the snail using a toothpick. And it's really so delicious! Let me share with you its recipe from the website of Chef Boy Logro.


  • 1 kilo kuhol, soaked in water for an hour and tail ends removed
  • 2 cups, coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, pounded
  • 3 thumb-sized ginger, crushed
  • 3 pcs labuyo, chopped
  • 1 pc lime
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, pounded
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • spring onions for garnish
1. In a pot, cook the coconut milk, with the ginger, lemongrass, onions and garlic. Bring to boil, while constantly stirring. Cook for about 5-10 minutes
2. Add the kuhol and season with fish sauce, ground pepper and sugar. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the spinach. Remove from heat.
3. In another pan, melt butter and add labuyo. Wait until butter is a little brown then turn off heat and squeeze a little lime juice.
4. Drizzle chili lime butter onto snails and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Bhutan All-Organic Farming pledge

How I wish we can all convert to 100% organic farming. Let me share with you this inspiring article on Bhutan.

A Bhutanese farmer puts her harvest of chilies on the roof of a shed to dry and protect it from wild boars, deer, and monkeys in 2006.

James L. Stanfield/National Geographic/Getty Images

The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan drew international attention a few years back for saying gross national happiness should trump gross domestic product when measuring a nation's progress. If you're going to prioritize happiness, the Bhutanese thinking goes, you'd better include the environment and spiritual and mental well-being in your calculations. (Not everyone in Bhutan is happy, and many leave as refugees, as Human Rights Watch and others have noted.)

But Bhutan, which has only 700,000 people — most of whom are farmers — has another shot at international fame if it can make good on a recent pledge to become the first country in the world to convert to a 100 percent organic agricultural system.

Last month at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley said his government is developing a National Organic Policy because the country's farmers are increasingly convinced that "by working in harmony with nature, they can help sustain the flow of nature's bounties."

Going all-out organic is a lofty goal for any country given that many farmers — and poor farmers in particular — covet chemical fertilizers and pesticides to enrich their soil, boost production and keep diseases and pests at bay.

But Andre Leu, an Australian adviser to the Bhutanese government and the president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, says it's very doable.

"I don't think it's going to be that difficult given that the majority of the agricultural land is already organic by default," Leu tells The Salt.

Indeed, the synthetic chemicals and fertilizers that are used so widely in countries like the U.S. are only available and affordable to a few of Bhutan's farmers who are widely dispersed across the rugged and mountainous terrain sandwiched between India and China. But very few of the organic-by-default farmers have been certified as such by third-party institutions. (Certified organic food, by the way, makes up less than 1 percent of the world's calories, and is mostly available to wealthy consumers.)

According to the World Food Program, Bhutanese farmers mainly grow rice and corn, as well as some fruits and vegetables, including potatoes and oranges. But as demand for food has grown in recent years, the country has been forced to import rice and other foods from India, and today Bhutan is a net food importer.

One of the few products Bhutan exports to the U.S. is red rice; Lotus Foods sells it to chains like Whole Foods. Bhutanese red rice is more nutritious and tastes nuttier than white rice, its boosters say, and is well-suited to pilaf, as Monica Bhide reported for NPR's Kitchen Window earlier this year. The rice does not have organic certification, but Lotus Foods says it been grown without the use of pesticides or other chemical inputs for centuries.

The Ministry of Agriculture says the organic program, launched in 2007, is not just about protecting the environment. It will also train farmers in new methods that will help them grow more food and move the country closer to self-sufficiency. The ministry is now training extension workers in organic methods and giving farmers who go organic priority for government assistance.

Not everyone is so sure that a 100 percent organic Bhutan is a great idea. Leu says he's found some resistance among researchers at the Ministry of Agriculture who've been trained in conventional farming techniques abroad.

And an article last year in the Bhutan Observer notes that many farmers who grow export crops like apple, Mandarin orange, and potato already rely heavily on chemical fertilizers and could be reluctant to give them up.

Still, Leu is optimistic that Bhutan's burgeoning organic agriculture research centers will eventually be able to come up with organic methods to boost yields and manage the problems of these crops.

"All these problems are solvable, they just need a few more years of research to come up with some more effective solutions," Leu says.

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/07/31/157645902/bhutan-bets-organic-agriculture-is-the-road-to-happiness

Monday, August 5, 2013

High School Reunion

Just recently, we had our high school reunion. After so many years, it really is so good seeing them once again. I feel like 13 again! We ate, talked, took a lot of pictures, watched a trip-to-memory-lane videos, voted for our batch's reunion officers, sang videoke, laughed, laughed and laughed. Did I say we laughed? Oh sorry. Hehehe. We really had a great time. The organizers did a very good job. The program was nicely arranged and the emcees really made the night full of laughter. We had games, trivia questions on our crush, ex-boy/girl friends, love, adventures, teachers. A lot of memories were reminisced on that trivia part of the program.

You share so many things with your high school friends and I'm so blessed having all of my six bestfriends from high school. Until now, we still see each other during the christmas vacation. All of us are godmothers to another one's child. Though we seldom see each other, we now make it a point to get in touch through the social media. Since most of our kids are already grown up, we can now enjoy and go out more often. It's been a week since our reunion but until now, I feel like i still can't get over it. Here are some of the artists i remember during my days as a high school teenager...

How was your high school days? Do we share the same smile when we think about it? :D

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Teenage years

Teenage years. I think so far, this is the most challenging time on being a parent. Specially if your husband is not physically present. When my only son was growing up, I would give him all the love that I can give. I am guilty of being an over protective and "over-loving" mother at times. And whenever I can no longer discipline him, I would ask my husband to do the disciplining. I can still remember my husband telling me that if I will not change my relationship with my son, he will give me a problem later in life. I never, never imagined that i will be left all alone in disciplining him, since my husband passed away. My problem with my son is not that big. He is quite a good person, "basically," though I feel that he is insensitive with us, his family. Am I a perfectionist? Sometimes i feel that what i did to my parents when i was a teenager is bouncing back on me! I hope and wish that this is just a phase! But being a parent, we should never give up and never be tired of molding the personality of our children. As long as we ALWAYS remind them to be good christians, to the extent that we might sound like a broken record, we must never quit on them. Aside from us, we must always ask for God's help in giving us and our children, wisdom. When my son was a little boy, I would touch his head while he is sleeping and pray over him to God to help him grow to be a good fine man. That is our only prayer as parents, and also that they would lead a happy and successful life.

Lord, I know that you will never leave us alone. Help all of us, parents, to lead and guide our children to being good Christians. That's all Lord. We know that you entrusted us to them. Thank you Lord for being there and giving us grace in handling so many difficult times. Amen.