Monday, March 18, 2019

Blue Curlicue Roses

My mother got sick after Christmas last year. She had abdominal pain that was not relieved by analgesics. I was worried with the persistence of the on and off pain that we brought her to the hospital where she was subsequently admitted, after abdominal CT scan and MRI revealed enlarged and inflamed gall bladder with gall stones. She was subjected to Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (removal of the gall bladder through four small punctures in her abdomen). Amazing how she was able to survive the surgery at the age of 93! Praises to God! But this post is not about the surgery or how she recovered from the ordeal. 

This post will feature the crochet projects I made while taking care of her in the hospital. I stayed in the hospital for more than a week since her admission until discharge after surgery. That meant sleeping on the hospital couch, eating hospital food, assisting nurses with some procedures she had to undergo, doing office works at the same time...

I brought yarn and crochet hooks with me when I packed our things for the hospital admission.  Sad to say, I was only able to carry my daughter’s blue yarn. That explains all these blue roses I made.

Using the Curlicue Rose pattern featured by Jennifer Dickerson of Fiberflux, I was able to make these blue roses. I just modified the pattern by adding more stitches to make bigger roses. See, not all roses are red! But blue roses can be rare, they say.

Aren’t they pretty? Here’s a showcase of them all at the garden outside my mother’s hospital room. Tadah!

"Blue rose symbol of Eternity
and everlasting destiny
Almost non-existent rare and hard to find
just like the one that's on my mind"

Amanda Seigler

What other colors of crocheted roses would you prefer? 
Please comment on the box below. 
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Monday, March 11, 2019

Glimpses of Phuket: Patong Beach and James Bond Island


Did you finish watching the video? It’s a bit long, I know, and it's okay if you didn't. I will be featuring some of the photos in this post, anyway along with my stories. This is a continuation of our escapade in Day 1. If you haven’t read my post of Day 1 yet, you may view it here. Just make sure you get back here. 

Oh, there you are now! Are you ready? Come on, let's go!

Day 2. With hubby attending the conference the whole day, I had all the time for myself. Hmmm... what could be a better itinerary than exploring Patong Beach, one of the popular beaches in Phuket. 

How about a morning stroll along the beach, for a start. 

Patong Beach was just a few blocks from the conference venue. With my google map on, I started walking towards the vast expanse of the beach. There it is!!! Now, left or right?

To the left, I went.

I believe this is the symbol of Patong. I really don’t know the reason why 
but I kept on seeing these figures around.   

It was early in the morning so I deliberately didn’t open my umbrella. I didn’t even wear my hat. I wanted to feel the sunshine. Tourists were just starting to arrive at the beach clad in their swim wear, with their beach mats and towels. I watched them enjoying the lure of the tan under the beach umbrellas.

Here's a panoramic shot of the beach I took while walking. 
How I loved looking at the cool green waters. I so enjoyed taking photos. 

So there I was, taking photos and videos while walking. 

I had all the time to savor the sight of the sea. Walking on the sand was so relaxing! Thanks to my walking shoes. No leg pain. No foot aches. I just walked, walked and walked. I felt sand getting inside my shoes.

Sneakers on the beach? Hmmm... oh, yes, I deliberately didn’t wear my flip flops as I had no plan of getting my feet wet. I had plans of walking around, remember?

I haven't been to my country’s very own Boracay Beach  that's why I was amazed at this panoramic view of Patong. Although I read a review of Patong Beach that says it is the least among the other beaches in Phuket. It might be true because during the city tour I saw just so many tourists in another beach we passed by to pick up another tourist.

Then from the beach, I walked back to the hotel taking another route, a longer one, hoping to find a market where I could buy some items to bring home. Unfortunately, I walked past the place, without me knowing it. 😬😡😢

I walked quite a distance without my hat or umbrella under the scorching heat of the sun. No wonder I was so thirsty when I arrived at the hotel. I ate some street food I bought along the way.

In the afternoon, I walked to the beach again before meeting hubby at his conference site. It was only 4:00 o'clock  in the afternoon so there was enough time for another stroll, this time, on the other side of Patong Beach. 

I loved the view from this side of the beach. It was the opposite side from where I strolled earlier. It’s that part  that I marked in the photo. I saw rocks and trees from a distance.

found a big rock. I sat on it. Watched the tourists. Enjoyed the panorama. I lingered under the shade of the trees, watching how tourists grabbed the heat of the sun for a tan. See all the photos and videos.

Where I sat was a perfect site to hide myself from the sun. Was it a shame to hide myself, while all the tourists bathed themselves in the afternoon sun?

I enjoyed watching the tourists walk, swim and bathe under the afternoon sun. 

I also enjoyed taking videos of the beach and the tourists allowing the waves to hit their feet, making the sand their seat.

I loved listening to the sound of the splashing waves.

I wonder how many stories I could have made had I stayed longer? But then I had to leave the beach to meet hubby at the conference. Guess what, he received the Best Presenter award! I told him about my day-stroll and I wasn’t mistaken, he wanted to see the beach, too! So that explains these photos.

After our walk down the beach, we planned to go to the nearest market to shop for pasalubong. But I was so tired after the whole day walk, I ran out of energy to do as planned. We had to call it another day. 

Day 3.
For our last day in Phuket, we both decided to go on an adventure to James Bond Island. We were both excited to take a ferry boat ride to see this very popular tourist attraction.

From our hotel in Patong, we were picked up by the tour bus going to the other side of Phuket where we had to take a ferry boat to Phang Nga Bay.

On the way, we stopped at a hillside where we had to get off the bus to climb some flight of stairs. The bus driver said we were at the Viewpoint overlooking Phang Nga Bay. 

Phang Nga Bay Panorama seen from the Samet Nangshe View Point

Samet Nangshe View Point has very quickly gone from being unheard of to become one of the most popular areas giving a picturesque panorama of Phang Nga. It is well known for its stunning view of limestone islets of Phang Nga Bay. 

Here, take a closer look at the island. I hate to confess that I missed this beautiful sight. I wasn't able to take photos. While all the previous shots were taken by me, all the shots below were taken by hubby. Of course, I have his permission to post, applying the dictum, "What is yours is mine". 😀😁 Giving credit to whom credit is due!

Guess what happened ... I was almost on top of the view deck when I started seeing stars and my vision started to dim. I had to hold tight to hubby's arm as there was no place to take a seat except the stairs. Too bad, hubby was not able to take more shots. He was already getting his camera ready attempting to capture the breathtaking view of the place where we were heading! He managed to take these beautiful shots though. I saw the bay through my blurring vision but I was afraid I would pass out so I just had to close my eyes. Hubby escorted me slowly back to the bus. Then off we went again to a private pier where we took a ferry boat to Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island!

The ferry boat
James Bond Island, where the movie "Man with the Golden Gun" 
starring Roger Moore was shot in 1974.
Very picturesque and photo worthy, indeed! 

A one-day tour of Phang Nga Bay would also feature a floating Muslim village, sea kayaking, and fascinating view of limestone mountains. 

I had to stay on the boat because I felt so dizzy. I insisted that hubby go and join other tourists canoeing around Hong Island, one of the famous canoe sites in Phang Nga. Hong means room in Thai. Canoeing around the area of big and small limestone mountains gives one a feeling of being surrounded by a large hall with two doors. 

Waaahhhh, this makes me so envious! I didn't enjoy this experience of taking selfies at these famous and beautiful tourist attractions 😞😢😡 
See this selfie shot of hubby with James Bond Island at the background.

Hong Island

Photo of James Bond Island taken from inside the Hong Cave

The tour allowed some time for swimming and relaxing. Hubby didn't swim as he was too busy and amazed taking photos of everything he saw and before he knew it, it was time to go. 

Well, I was able to fake a smile when hubby insisted for a selfie at the pier, while waiting for our bus to arrive  to bring us back to the hotel. See, I looked pale and sick. I still felt dizzy but was able to walk holding on to hubby. I had to close my eyes on our way back to the hotel and slept without having dinner on our last day in Phuket. We were not able to go anywhere to buy pasalubong. 

I was so thankful that I woke up feeling so much better to pack my things to go to the airport. That meant I was spared the need to see a doctor. We had a few hours of lay-over again in Kuala Lumpur International Airport so I had time to sleep again --- in a bench. What an experience it was! 

Bye, Phuket!
Thank you for keeping us company in this travel. Till our next trip! 
Did you enjoy this trip with me? Do leave a comment below. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Tokwa Dishes: Sautéed Mixed Veggies with Tokwa

I confess tokwa was not a frequent resident in my kitchen a few years ago. Let me say that again. I was not a tokwa lover before. I didn’t usually buy tokwa dishes. Is there any better way of saying that? Well, honestly I didn’t like tokwa very much. But one day, I had a chance of eating fried pork and tokwa (popularly known as tokwa’t baboy) prepared by Cafe 1475 in the hospital where I work. Oh, I hate to admit that I liked it! ;)

The next time I went to the grocery store, I saw a nicely packed and clean-looking tokwa which gave me a compelling desire to try a tokwa dish.

This is what I did—- a simple and easy-to-do dish.


Tokwa, sliced into chunks
Onion, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
A bunch of string beans
A bunch of okra
1/2 small zucchini, sliced thinly
1 piece eggplant, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper

Here’s how:
  1. Place oil in pan.
  2. Fry tokwa in oil until both sides turn golden brown.
  3. Remove from pan. Set aside.
  4. Sautee onions and tomatoes in remaining oil.
  5. Add string beans. Simmer until tender. 
  6. Add okra, zucchini, eggplant and leeks.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. Do not over-cook veggies. 
  8. Add fried tokwa and serve. 
Enjoy your meal with fried or grilled fish or pork. 

Do you think you would like to try this dish? Please leave a comment below if you did. More tokwa dishes coming up!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Tinolang Talakitok (Fish Stew)

Talakitok (Trevally) is usually served fried with sweet and sour sauce or steamed with pickled mayo dressing. Today I'm featuring a Talakitok dish I served a month ago. Initially, I thought of just serving it fried with curry powder 😁 but multitasking took its toll. Seeing some veggies while cleaning up the veggie bin and  frying the fish, at the same time, this instantly came to mind. 


300 gms. Talakitok, (Trevally) sliced
Salt and pepper
Curry powder
2-inch ginger, sliced
1 medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
2 pcs tomatoes, cut
1 medium sayote (chayote), sliced
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
4-5 pcs okra
1 pc eggplant, sliced
1 bunch saluyot (jute) leaves

1. Clean fish. Rub with salt, pepper and curry powder on skin. Let stand for 20 minutes.
2. Fry fish in oil until golden brown. Set aside.
3. Saute ginger, onions and tomatoes.
4. Add sayote slices. After one minute, add water. Simmer until sayote slices are tender.
5. Transfer fried fish to the veggie mixture. Season with fish sauce. Add salt and pepper according to       taste.
6. Add okra and eggplant.
7. Add saluyot leaves.

Serve with steaming hot rice.

Here it is my new recipe--- Tinolang Talakitok. Hubby doesn't eat rice so he took greater portion of the fish and veggies 😭😭😭

Fish and vegetables may be served separately from soup

or together

Whichever... according to your preference.

Come on now, lunch is ready!