Painted inside the taxi cab I rode this morning:
The Lord is my shepered
I shall not one
Mine, this time.
I stopped wearing contact lenses almost a decade ago, and I do not touch my eyes with my fingers, yet every few months or so, I get a darned irritating eye infection—a stye. The curse of oily, bacteria-prone skin. (There is a blessing that comes with it, though: I'm not going to get wrinkles any time soon.)
Yesterday morning, I woke up with a sore right eye and sure enough, when I checked in the mirror, there was a little red spot on my lid. So now, after bathing or washing my face, I have to go through the extra step of cleaning my lid with Blephagel on a cotton bud. Sigh. It's not as if my morning and evening rituals aren't long enough! But a girl friend told me this morning that her daughter's ophthalmologist recommended Johnson's Baby Shampoo for everyday eye washing. (Her daughter's prone to styes too—way worse than me.) I have no idea why it should be any better than plain soap, but I'm willing to try it if it means no more mysterious eye infections.
All that discussion yesterday about dinnerware got me thinking (again!) about ours. What exactly do I want our dinnerware to be? Of the four everyday-use sets we have, it's the fiesta pattern—the pattern's real name is "Diablo"—that I like the most. I'm not exactly a pastel and small flower pattern kind of girl. The thing is, I do get tired of seeing the same pattern year in and year out, which is why I tend to rotate the small stuff in the house. Dinnerware, place mats, shower curtains, towels, bed sheets, table runners… you name it. If it's easy to change, I will change it. (I'm like that with scents too.)
The closest to an ideal dinnerware set for me would be several stoneware sets (I'm strictly casual) of one model made by one company in all its different colors. So I went surfing and I actually found it: Fiesta, made by the Homer Laughlin China Company. They have more than a dozen colors! Oh wow! I'll be able to mix and match to my heart's delight!
In those "10 things every woman should have" email lists that keep getting passed around, one of the items is "a complete set of dinnerware for 2 dozen people." I am going to fail that one. What I do have is seven sets of dinnerware, good for four people (starter sets) to a dozen. (It's a good thing we don't have large dinner parties at home. Here in Manila, it's so much easier just to have those in restaurants.)
One set is the Christmas dinnerware which we use from the first Sunday of Advent up to Three Kings Day. Two sets are real porcelain (my mom's, or was it my grandma's?) which we hardly ever use because they're not microwave-safe (one even has gold trim—imagine what'll happen if that gets in the microwave!).
The four remaining sets are safe and convenient for everyday use. The wheat design is what my family used before I got married. The fiesta-colored plates are a wedding gift. The Corelle set is a gift from my sister. And the fourth set, I got from exchanging my credit card points before closing the account.
Just as I rotate shower curtains (read Quick bathroom facelift), I also rotate our dinnerware, though not as often as the shower curtains of course. Some years, I change sets every three months or so. The whole of last year, we only used the fiesta pattern. Depends on my mood, schedule, and (even when I have the time) whether I want to bother taking the new plates and place mats out, washing them, and storing the just-used set.
I've started 2008 with the Corelle Forget Me Not set with green and lavender place mats. Let's see for how long this time.
I've been planning to write a piece about hand bags because of what my girl friends did the two times we went shopping together this past month. But I read Chey's blog this morning, which is about the contents of her hand bag and it got me to thinking about mine, and I realized that the heaviest item in it is my key chain. (I'll write about my bag OC-ness and frustrations some other time.)
Last year, our 13-year-old dog developed an ear infection from ear mites, poor thing. So our vet prescribed two kinds of ear drops for him, applied two times a day.
Dexoryl is a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial and anti-fungal preparation which can kill ear mites too. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helped relieve his pain. I don't remember now how long we had to apply it, but we were instructed to stop as soon as the vet gave the all-clear.
The second item, Epi-Otic, is a general skin and ear cleanser. Its active ingredients are only lactic acid and salicylic acid. It's good for cleaning moist, waxy and stinky ears (watch out for stink—it's always a sign that something's wrong), and the literature says it also helps remove dead tissue from the skin. This one, we have not stopped using, but since it's for care and maintenance rather than treatment, we only have to apply it twice a week. I also put a few drops on a cotton swab for cleaning his ears.
Our vet says that pet cats and dogs are really prone to ear infections so we have to pay special attention to them. One instruction she gave to help avoid future infections, and which I follow religiously, is very simple: put cotton balls inside his ears when bathing him. As much as possible, water should not be allowed to get inside the ears. Bacteria and fungi thrive in moist environments, which is what happens when water gets in.
The web comic book of a friend of a friend begins tomorrow, January 21.
I don't know Hai, the artist. Neither do I know what the story's about, nor the frequency and duration of the serialization. But I visited the site and the teaser graphic—the book cover—caught me (SF&F's my favorite genre) so now, I've the site bookmarked so I can check it everyday. I sure hope I won't get disappointed!
Thanks to an email sent by a young friend this morning—which had me grinning from ear to ear—I'm going to start a series of blog entries featuring funky home gadgets and furniture. Here's the first: knife blocks.
Do you have pottery inside the house? The kind that's glazed outside but unglazed inside? (And no plant in it please!)
If yes, then you have a perfect opportunity to make any room in your home smell absolutely wonderful with almost no effort! Just pour an entire bottle of home fragrance oil (most come in .3 fl oz size) inside the pot. That's it.
Clay is porous, and the oil will be absorbed by it. But since the exterior is glazed, the oil will not seep into the base and ruin your table, mat, cloth, or whatever you have the pottery on. And the scent will last for about two months. No need for tea lights, and no danger from an open flame.
In my almost three months of blogging, I have yet to post any of my recipes. I'm reluctant to do so because they're not really recipes. As my husband can attest to, I have a strange way of cooking. I also have a strange way of deciding what to cook in the first place.
First, I decide what my main ingredient will be: fish/seafood, poultry, pork, beef, in that order of preference. Then I go to the produce section of our well-stocked local grocery and stand there looking at what's available and fresh. And while I'm standing there (looking like a fool, actually), I'm making up the dish in my head. What's the base? Will it be dry or a stew? If dry: Marinated? Grilled? Stir-fried? If a stew: Cream-based? Tomato-based? Clear broth? What flavor? Filipino? Chinese? Italian? Then I start loading the cart with the vegetables (there always has to be vegetables!) that I imagine will taste well with the base. After that, I go on to choosing the herbs, spices and what-have-you. Then, with my cart loaded, I stand there looking at it and ask the final question: Is there anything else I can put in the dish?
After I cook one my concoctions, I try to write everything down. But you can imagine that nothing is precise. Because just as I make things up in the grocery, I also have to wing it during the actual cooking. So if I do start posting my dishes here, I think I'll have to label/tag them as "un-recipes" so you know that some creative cooking will be required.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?" Jesus said to him in reply, "Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Fun! I was surfing Blogger's Blogs of Note earlier this week and one of them was the Santa Claus Blog: Periodic Updates From North Pole, Inc. Chairman & CEO Santa Claus. The entry I read said that he and Mrs. Claus were off to a vacation in Maui and that when he comes back, he'll be negotiating with the CEOs of toy companies (for supplies) and with various governments (air space issues). So I left Santa a note, wishing him an enjoyable vacation, good luck with the negotiations, and reminding him to visit the Philippines more often this year. And dear, dear Santa emailed me back!
I grew up with that tag line, and I think it really must have brainwashed me because now, Hallmark e-cards are the only ones I send to family and friends abroad. They have e-cards for every occasion, every milestone, and "just because." There are traditional and classic designs, cartoons, graphic illustrations, beautiful photos—and many of them are interactive.
My love affair with mint and eucalyptus is not limited to shampoo. I especially love it in soap. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any in supermarkets. I am lucky that we have a friend that makes handcrafted soap—Annomi Soapworks—and several of his variants have mint or eucalyptus: Eucalyptus Lavender, Peppermint Scrubby, Minty Lavender and Blue Mint Swirl. Some are smooth, some scrubby. He usually only frequents bazaars, but he lives close enough to us that we can go to his house if I want to buy some.
Like the shampoo, it's the sensation of coolness that I adore. Especially in one particular area. Which area, you'll have to try mint soap yourself because I am not mentioning it here. Let's just say that sensual is definitely the word you'll be using to describe it too.
I suffer from seborrhea / seborrheic dermatitis, thankfully only on a particular spot on my scalp, near the nape. (For you lucky ones who have no idea what seborrhea is, read the article on MedicineNet.com—just don't laugh!)
Late last year, Unilever launched it's newest shampoo and conditioner in the Philippine market, and it has quickly become my (current) favorite hair product. Clear, the Ice Cool variant (I think of them as flavors, actually, but then that's me). Even if I didn't need its anti-dandruff properties, I'd probably use it anyway because it has mint. Mint! I love the sensation of my head literally feeling cooler, especially from the conditioner because it has to be kept on for several minutes.
Three Kings Day (officially, it's called the Feastday of the Epiphany in the Catholic Church) also marks the last day of the Christmas season for most Filipinos. In its most shallow sense, it means that's when we take down all our Christmas decorations.
And that's what I have to start doing tonight.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Uh-oh. I think I've caught the glitter bug.
When I started this blog, I promised myself that I am not going to use glitter graphics, either on my site or my friends' and family's. Sigh. I guess it was inevitable, though. I have glitter glue, glitter gel pens, loose glitter, glittery embossing powder. So what's a few glitter graphics for the web?
If I leave some on your site, however, feel free to delete them. Just as I delete those on my site every now and then. They tend to make loading slow, and I just hate it when the thing's hosted in Photobucket and the "bandwidth is exceeded."
Toothbrushes, that is.
My dentist only told me two things about toothbrushes (not about brushing—that's way more than two). One, buy brushes with soft bristles. Not medium, and definitely never hard. Hard bristles are not good for your gums. Two, change your toothbrush every six months. I forgot to ask why, but I can only think of two reasons for it—it either has something to do with the bristles or bacteria.
Just to make it easy for me to remember, I change our toothbrushes at the start of the new year, so that's what I did this morning. July 1 is harder to remember, but I get by. I usually make the mistake of changing brushes on June 1 though—easier for me to remember because that's our wedding anniversary.