Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gardening 101: Shrubs and Trees

We have lots of gardening to do. Our front and back yards need attention and we started to see our neighbors fixing their gardens too. They said that they usually do gardening after Victoria Day but since the weather is changing, imagine the Cherry Blossoms in High Park bloomed last week, we can start because the weather is great.

Last year, we started to buy the Emerald Cedar trees and plant them beside the neighbor's award winning garden. Lito wanted to build a fence using the trees to make that side more private and the kids can play around. This weekend, the trees were on sale so we bought the trees to complete the fence. I just hope they will all live. This is how it looked:

Lito planting the trees. The yellow shrubs are called Northern Gold Forsythia (Perennial)

When Spring came and the sun showed up, there were lots of bulbs sprouting in our front and back yards. We were just surprised at the yellow Daffodils that sprouted and the leaves of the roses, peonies and hydreangea started to come out. I'm so excited at these perennial flowering plants to bloom.

Tips in maintaining the Shrubs and Trees

1. Trim the branches before the first frost. Maintain the form by cutting the branches only a few inches on each.
2. Rake the leaves near the roots, you can leave some grass trimmings but the leaves should be cleared out.
3. Apply fertilizer specific to shrubs and trees during spring.
4. Have a professional cut the trees.
5. Do not cut when the buds come out.

Last winter, there was this ugly plant that only showed the branches. It was opposite the nice trimmed yew, so you could imagine how it looked compared to the evergreen. This ugly plant has leaves now and there were buds starting to show. Our neighbor in front approached me one day while the kids are biking. He asked me if I knew the plant opposite the Yew. I said no idea. He said that in the whole street, our house got the nicest set of flowers and shrubs in Summer when they are in full bloom. he told me that the plant he is referring to was his favorite because its flowers grow as big as a plate and they look good. They are called Peonies. I googled it and got excited to see the flowers in my garden.

Honestly, I don't like gardening because I didn't want to get my hands dirty. Hahaha. I don't like to see worms much more touch them. I don't know if I have a green thumb because I already killed some of the plants I brought home from the office.
But Lito is a proven green thumb so I will just rely upon him to tend our garden and I will just do the weeding and watering hahaha.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Pata Tim with Pineapple

I was craving for a Paksiw na Pata but I didn't have banana's heart so I ended up doing Pata Tim using pineapple juice and tidbits as added flavor. here's the recipe: Pata Tim Ingredients: 1 kilo pork’s leg (pata) 1/4 cup soy sauce 3/4 cup pineapple juice 3/4 cup oyster sauce 5 cloves garlic; crushed 1 tablespoon rice wine 1 tablespoon pepper corns 1 red onion; chopped 3 bay leaves Lettuce (fried in 2 minutes) Pata Tim Cooking Instructions: In a stock pot with enough water, simmer the pork pata with all the ingredients until fork tender.  Add hot water if necessary to replace the evaporated liquid. Drain and cut the meat from one side and separate the bones. Save 1 cup of broth. Place lettuce in a platter. Put the pata over the lettuce. Set aside. Pata Tim Sauce Ingredients: 1 cup broth of pata 5 tablespoons cornstarch Salt to taste Pata Tim Sauce Cooking Instructions: In a skillet, combine broth, cornstarch, and salt to taste. Bring to boil until sauce becomes thick.  Pour the sauce on top of the pata. Serve hot!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Great Teacher

The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.  ~William Arthur Ward

These teachers are our parents, school teachers, relatives, friends, mentors, boss, church leaders. They have molded us into what we are today and still continue to teach us. I have met all kinds of teachers mentioned above but only those I remember are those who inspired me to apply the things I learned, Some of them also challenged me to do better and excel. I am grateful to those who really made an impact in my life. I am also inspired to share all the good stuff to those I can especially my children.

I realized that it was hard for my Mama And Dadilo to teach me when I was growing up I was a stubborn kid and learned most thru trial and error. Now that I am a parent, I find it also challenging to be teaching my children. But like what my mentors and leadership gurus say, the best way you can teach someone is by walking the talk, doing the deed, setting a good example. It's really hard but that's what parents Are supposed to do - to inspire the children in applying what they learned.

Great teachers reap great rewards because those who learned from them didn't stop from learning, but moves on to teaching others and inspiring them as well.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

First Easter Egg Hunt

From Wiki: An egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs, real hard-boiled ones or artificial ones filled with, or made of chocolate candies, of various sizes, are hidden for children to find, both indoors and outdoors.

The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it.

This is our very first egg hunting in our own backyard. The first batch of "eggs" was eaten by the squirrels. Ksi naman nilagay na agad 2 days before Easter, hahaha. Imagine the plastic eggs were broken and the wrappers of the Swiss Chocolate mini bars (favorite ko pa naman ang mga ito) scattered in our lawn. Anyway, I had to secretly buy the goodies and plastics eggs and prepared them after they had gone to sleep to keep the surprise.

Here are some of the photos from the fun activity they had:

Before the egg hunt


Saturday, 7 April 2012

My Fear

“Daily I live with [one] fear--a healthy fear if there is such a thing. [It is] that I will miss something God has for me in this life. And it is mind-expanding to contemplate all that He wants me to have. I don't want to be robbed of even one of God's riches by not taking time to let Him invade my life. By not listening to what He is telling me.”
― Carole Mayhall, From the heart of a woman

Friday, 6 April 2012

Be blessed at the Queensway Passion Play

This Good Friday, we watched the Toronto Passion Play at the Queensway Church. Not only did we witness the good performance of the cast but also we were blessed as we marveled through the scenes that brought us back to the time of Jesus. We experienced the deep meaning of our Christian roots. The Passion play is being presented around the world, in the Philippines it's called Cenakulo. This year, the calendar coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. As we journey through the scenes, the meaning of the Passover Lamb and the coming of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem made sense, he was the true Messiah and the spotless, pure and best Lamb for the offering. I learned that in those times, they use the best lamb which came from Bethlehem. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. When He died on the cross, He redeemed us. The blood from the Calvary that spread to the city when it rained became the atonement. Atonement means to cover sin or to be reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice.

All the scenes in the play are awesome. It's like watching the pages of the bible come to life. They even have a donkey in the stage. What really struck me was the perfomance of Mary Magdalene. The role was played by Jodi Jahnke, she was so good. She played Kim of Miss Saigon and as Rosemary Pilkington in another play. I learned new things like the women of Judea who keep their tears in a jar and put perfume in it. The scene where the jar of tears and perfume was poured at the feet of Jesus meant a lot to me. The tears meant life's burdens, disappointments, cares and problems but when you pour it out to Jesus Christ, you trust and believe that He will do something about it. The act brought tears to my eyes because I know sometimes I am keeping the cares of this world to myself and not pouring them all to God. I remember all these verses now;
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your cares because He cares for you
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Come to Jesus Christ, Believe and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Be blessed. The Toronto Passion Play at the Queensway Church runs today 7:00 PM, tomorrow 2:00 and 7:00 PM and on Easter Sunday at 4:00 PM