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Friday, March 30, 2012

Inspirational Lenten Songs from YouTube

Happy Friday, everyone! What a lovely, sunshiny day, today, over here in 757! Thanks to God for the beautiful, fantastic weather in our area. How's yours, folks, out there? Hope you're doing well.

As we get closer to the Holy Week, we continue our Lenten journey with Jesus Christ in mind. We are mindful of His saving grace, and His passion, death and resurrection (Paschal mystery). Being one of His followers is such a challenge to all of us. Hence, we have to equip ourselves with a strong faith that will guide us and lead us to Him. One of the ways to do this is to surround ourselves with inspirational songs and articles that help us to stay focused on what it takes to be a Christian. From YouTube, here are a couple of videos I have chosen to embed with this blog post, with the hope that they help us in our deep reflections during the season of Lent.

Thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos. Thanks Google and Blogger, as always. Take care, everyone! And have a nice weekend!-chris a. quilpa, 30March2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Episodes of Pain at NEX/Commissary Today

Good day, everyone! How are you guys doing on this pleasant Wednesday? How's the weather in your area? Mild temperature is what we have over here in 757. Though it's sunny all around, we're also having a windy day today! Gusty, at times. Other than that, we're doing alright. Thank you, God. And thank you, Jesus!

This morning, past eight, I decided to go to NEX/Commissary because I wanted to buy one of the home items (Aroma rice cooker) sale they have starting today. I arrived there just in time for their opening of the NEX store at nine. I asked one of the sales representatives if they carry that item that I'd like to purchase. He said they don't, but suggested I have to go to NOB/NAVSTA in Norfolk where they carry the said item. I would be fooling myself if I don't admit that I was a little disappointed! That's true. But, what can I do but to accept the fact that they don't have that item there. One more thing that added up to my "disappointment" was that I couldn't use that five dollar coupon I have for a SIM card for my camera because of a different code on the coupon. Besides, they don't carry that SIM card item that's supposed to match with my coupon. What they have in store doesn't have that HD (High Definition) feature.

Driving to Norfolk, by myself, is too much (or not good) for me, especially if I have some medical conditions that prevents me from traveling long distances. That's why I scraped off (from my mind) that idea for me to buy those sale items I mentioned above. That's okay, I said to myself. No big deal. Instead, I found myself buying some tubes of toothpaste which I carried with me on my way to a Subway restaurant for breakfast. There, I had that breakfast combo (bacon, egg and cheese with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar). Mind you, I was their very first customer. As always, I gave a dollar tip to the young lady who made my sandwich. (I've been trying to do that each time we eat there. If there are two people who prepared our sandwiches, I give each one dollar, and tell them "it's for your soda.")

After breakfast, I walked out my way to the Commissary and bought groceries. I tell you, I began to experience back ache/spasms while filling up my cart with stuff to buy, i.e., bags of vegetable salad, meat products, canned goods, orange juice, frozen pizza and cakes and chocolate bars, etc. Man, I tell you, my lower back pain is getting intense as I paced myself slowly from isle to isle. The back spasm continues and has become unbearable that I had to ask someone to help me to load in another cart four cases of bottled water. Thankfully, I have had someone, a grocery bagger, who pushed the two carts of groceries all the way out to our van in the parking lot. As always, I gave two dollars to the helper and thanked her for helping me load my groceries.

Arriving home, I slowly unload my groceries one bag at a time. I left those four cases of bottled water still in the trunk of our van. I've got to compose myself and if I feel better, I may or may not bring them inside the house. But as of this time, I just couldn't do it. (I know, I can't afford to re-injure my back. Not again, please, Lord! (The truth is, I'm not supposed to be carrying heavy things or exerting efforts that jeopardize my "damaged" lower back (spine) that has caused my permanent disability.) God, help me to bear my chronic lower back pain, especially when it hurts so much that the spasms are unbearable! Help me, Jesus, to relieve my pain. Thank you.

Upstairs in our bedroom, after eating a banana, I took one pain medication ( a muscle relaxant) and placed one Lidoderm patch on my lower back. And here I am sitting on a chair on my bedside while doing this blog post. Trying to manage my pain (it has subsided a little bit), I'll be lying down in bed after posting this.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thanks for your time. Take care. Have a nice day, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 28March2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Reflections

Plenty of sunshine today, Tuesday, over 757 (Hampton Roads)! It's cool, chilly, and breezy! (The temperature dropped dramatically, from previous days' high 70s to low to mid 50s today! I'm wondering if or whether I have to turn on our centralized heating system back at home, after I've turned it off last week! We'll see...) Anyway, thank you, God! Thank you, Jesus! We're alive and moving! Good day, everyone!

Lots of things and happenings going on in our world, as usual. Our Roman Catholic Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, has left Mexico and is now in Cuba. (May God bless him and his entourage! And all the people and pilgrims there in Cuba, and in Mexico. God bless us all!) The U.S. Supreme Court Justices have started hearing, arguing, debating since yesterday about the legality or constitutionality of the universal Health Care Law for all Americans (a.k.a. "Obamacare"). There's this ongoing investigation about the alleged killing of a 17-year old Trayvon Martin by a reported Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Yes, there are lots of news, and more news, here and there, everywhere around the globe. Lots of information we hear or read, receive, or ignore. And, lots of stuff to do, but can't do them all because of varied (and valid) reasons. Anyway, what is important is that we try to do what is pleasing to God. To try to do His will, not ours. Let's not get distracted in our Lenten journey through Easter, shall we? Stay focused, they say. And, we do our best.

Thank you, Lord, for all the (good and unpleasant) things going on around me. Thank you, God, for letting us do good for ourselves and for others. Thank you, Jesus, for inspiring us to sacrifice, and to accept pain and suffering as part of life. And, thank you, Almighty God, for our faith, family and friends.

As always, thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos I embedded with this blog post. Thank you, Google and Blogger, too. Thank you all people of goodwill.

Until next time around, friends. Thanks for your time. Take care. Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 27March2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

What a Lovely, Sunny Monday!

Good day, everyone! What a beautiful sunny Monday today over 757! The glowing sun is up with its blazing light that gives warmth and comfort to us all! Lots of sunshine today, with high temp in the mid to upper 60s. Thank you, God, for today! That's all I can say. Thank you, Jesus!

I love spring! Colors of yellow and green, and blue are everywhere. Other colors, too, of the rainbow, add beauty to our environment. What a beautiful world we have! I'm always delighted to see colorful flowers, here and there, everywhere. Same thing when I see budding leaves of trees and shrubs and bushes on the sidewalks, in somebody's garden or backyard. Truly, it's interesting to see and to be in a kaleidoscopic, busy and noisy world we have! Birds's songs are so fantastically sweet to hear, especially in the early morning before the sun breaks on the horizon. (I know, some of them they're flirting with each other, trying to be romantic and get connected, you know.) Their songs wake you up, at least in my case. I don't know about you but I tell you this: I have had this kinda unique (excellent) hearing capability that I can hear even the slightest noise from afar. (I doubt if this is an effect of lots of pain meds I've been taking before.) But, seriously I have that gut feeling to admit that I have an excellent hearing capability.

Let me see if I feel like going out, taking a short walk outdoor. I don't want to think that I worry about pollen scattered everywhere. I just need to breathe fresh air, I guess...
 One of the songs about springtime that resonates in my mind is in the video above. I'm sure you've heard about it before. Well, enjoy the music and the videos that I embedded with this blog post. As always, thanks YouTube and to the uploaders of the videos above. (No, I don't own the videos. No copyright infringement intended.) Thank you Google and Blogger, too.-chris a. quilpa, 26March2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yesterday and Today

Hello, everyone! A pleasant good Sunday to all of us! We're now into the fifth Sunday of Lent, ladies and gentlemen! How's your observance of Lent? So far so good, huh? That's good.

As you well know, it has been showering or raining over here in 757 since yesterday. For the past week, however, the temperature has been going consistently mild, in the high of mid 70s. Today's forecast is mostly cloudy with scattered showers, thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, per meteorologists in our area. High temp is in the low 70s but tomorrow, Monday, it will be in the upper 60s, and Tuesday's high will be in the mid 50s---much cooler but with plenty of sunshine! Now, with the gradual change in temperature, Spring is undoubtedly just around us, folks! So, let's enjoy it and appreciate the beauty of the natural world, God's creation, while we can.

Although I've read a couple of blogs (especially the ones I've been following), I didn't feel like writing a blog post yesterday. Honestly, I was tired, and lazy, you know. Here's why. My wife and I left the house early to go to DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for our two vehicles that need registration renewal. As usual, the waiting time to be served or attended to by one of the receptionists was over an hour but it was worth the wait. Then, we went to pay our bill in one of the banks that financed one of our cars. We even dropped by at a store-market where we bought my favorite unsalted roasted peanuts. In short, we accomplished our goals that day. We even had "brunch" at one of the chain restaurants. We both chose fish-fries combo, with coffee and sugar and cream (for me) and sweet iced tea (for her). We were the very first costumers to dine there yesterday because it wasn't noontime yet. But, later on, as time passed by, diners kept arriving by two's or three's or more, like one family, you know, especially those who just came from a sport's practice from their school. While there in that eatery, I did prepare some of the bills that we'd be mailing or dropping by at the nearest post office close to our house. Well, I know what your'e going to say. Yes, we're still mailing some of our bill payments, and not online or automatic bill payment.

 Thanks to God. Our young adult son came home since yesterday. I was already in bed when he arrived Friday night, closed to midnight, I was told. Anyway, we're glad and thankful he's home again, even for a short period of time. He'll be going back to The Capital this afternoon because he's got work tomorrow.

In today's Mass, I'm glad and thankful that our son did the First Reading (of the Holy Scripture) for me (for Maureen, who was scheduled to do the reading, but called me last week to ask me if I could do it for her for reason that she wouldn't be in today's Mass). My wife and I have already been scheduled today to do Cup 3 and 4. I wouldn't mind doing the two tasks but since our son came home for the weekend, I had to delegate it to him and he didn't hesitate to do it at all, for he's been on the Lector's List, too, like me.

This time, our parochial vicar, Rev. Fr. Jarek  officiated today's Mass. As always, he's that jolly fellow. I admit, I'd miss him when he gets transferred to a new assignment this July. He's such a spirited man of God! At the sacristy while we were preparing before the Mass, we had a good rapport. We had an animated brief conversation. He's cool.

Lunchtime, we went to a buffet restaurant in Chesapeake, with our son's two friends. We had a good time, enjoyed the variety of food served, while engaged in a wholesome conversation with our son and his friends. I had a good slice of that medium rare grilled beef plus cooked veggies and a slice of corn bread, and a glass of sweet iced tea. There, I happened to see my former Shipmate or co-worker and his family, and later on our neighbors James and Felecia (who are leaving the area and moving to adjacent city, not far from us.) As usual, we exchanged pleasantries. They're such good acquaintances or friends, you know. Thanks to God for having known them for years.

Well, this is all for now, folks. Until next time around. Thanks for having time with me. Take care.-chris a. quilpa, 25March2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Walking Outdoor on a Beautiful Friday!

Thanks to God, it's Friday (TGIF)! It's another day filled with possibilities and surprises! The sun is up there, giving light to the weary world! And springtime is truly here. It's nature at its best! Enjoy, while we continue to observe Lent!

Thank you, Lord, for everything---my faith, family, friends! I've nothing more to ask of you but strengthen my faith and love for you and your only Son, Jesus Christ, my Inspiration for living. Help me, God, to do your will. As a sinner, I'm sorry for what I've said and done that may have inflicted pain or hurt others. Forgive me and make me an instrument of your Love. Amen.

What a nice, sunny Friday today! Outside, it's bright and glowing with the golden sun around! Thank you, God! Well, I did go out and take a walk around the block this morning. I feel good today, that's why. (Thanks to God!) Although I still experience minimal lower back pain and left hip pain (but not as excruciating as the past two-three days), I believe I have recovered. And, with my faith, intact, I feel comfortable to be out there again and enjoy the bright sun and the rest of the wholesome environment where I currently reside. Craving or longing for fresh air outdoor, I just walked with my own pace, stretching my legs and sore feet and ankles. But, I felt good, really. Along the way, on the sidewalks, I met joggers and walkers and we greeted each other with a smile or "good morning!" I saw this one middle age woman, walking with her leashed dog, who was trying to go the other side of the road (because on the sidewalk where we were walking, there was the sign that reads closed!). Anyway, I just continued strolling around the neighborhood. I think, I've just walked for 40-45 minutes, when I reached our front door.

One thing, before I left the house for a walk this morning, I've decided to turn off our heater. Just to give it a break, you know! The mild weather, with high temp in the low 70s, warrants me to turn off our heating system today, that's been on for months before the start of winter. Yes, it's springtime, folks! Enjoy the bright colors all around us. And the sounds, too! Now, everyone, let's sing the song of Spring!

To everyone, smile and enjoy the beauty of springtime!

This is all for now, folks. Until next time around. Take care and Have a nice weekend!-chris a. quilpa, 23March2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Poetic Thoughts to Welcome Spring

Ah, it's springtime, no doubt! What better way to welcome Spring but with our poetic thoughts and reflections. My friends, let's enjoy and appreciate (and be thankful to God for) the beauty of nature in springtime!

"...And Spring arose on the garden fair
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere
And each flower and herb on earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
---Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant"

"...The nymph of springtime I am
Eyes bright, with tomorrow's promise
And hope for buds
And seeds to bloom
For dreary canvass to shed
Into a kaleidoscopic world."
---Leofina Jane Galleta, "Springtime"

Thanks YouTube and the uploader of the video I used and embedded in this blog post. Thanks Google and Blogger, as always!

And, now, folks, here's a product of my literary attempts. I do hope you like it. Thank you very much.

The Glowing Spring

When the sun is up
And the sky is clear
There is warmth all over 
There is no more fear.

As the land turns green
Our vision's keen
And everyone gets excited 
For the arrival of Spring.

While the sea is inviting
To beach-lovers cavorting
We hear melodious sounds of Spring
Welcoming the renewal and revival
Of living and loving
In sunny, glowing Spring!

We see flowers blooming
Leaves of tress sprouting
Birds of same color chirping and singing
Butterflies fluttering
While busy bees buzzing, humming
Life---so wonderful in Spring!

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Until next time around, my dear folks. Thanks for your time. Take care. Have a beautiful and wonderful day, everyone! Happy springtime! And May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 22March2012


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reflection and Revelation

Since Sunday evening, I have had physical discomfort. I've been in pain, literally. On my lower back down to my coccyx, hips. Obviously, I felt that tremendous, stabbing pain on my lower back. (The feeling is that of an open wound, stabbing, with spasms that's so painful and excruciating, and radiating down to my legs! Yes, I've had sciatica.)

I believe that I re-injured my back after doing some lifting/carrying some grocery items from Sunday's Commissary shopping after Mass. Trying to be of help to my wife, I have had to assist her bring those grocery items to the house. As you may know, I have had chronic lower back pain problem for years. (I've been diagnosed with DDD/DJD, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.)

I know and am very much aware that I should not be lifting or carrying heavy objects over ten pounds, per my doctors's order. I'm guilty of this, at times. I can't help it but do something to help. I know, I should help myself first before helping others. But, I don't know. As I've said, I can't help but to help.

On Monday, I didn't do anything but to nurse myself in our room. Of course, I did some praying. I offered my pain to Jesus and tried to manage my pain by lying down in bed and meditated on the sufferings of Jesus when He was crucified. What I feel or felt was nothing compared to his. That's a consolation for me. That made me feel better.

I admit, I have good days and bad days, just like everybody else. I look good in the outside. But deep inside me, I've already been "damaged" because of those invasive procedures done to my lower (lumbar) back spine when I was still active U.S. serviceman. The Pain Management, in the naval hospital where I worked and eventually retired, didn't actually manage my pain (in my belief) but damaged and did more pain and harm to my body (and soul). It was so hard for me to accept that I'm already disabled, not only physically but mentally. (My eyes are already drowning as I continue writing this blog post!)

I feel depressed, at times. I feel good, at times, too. But, when my whole body pain, especially radiating from my lower back all the way down, is becoming unbearable for me, nothing matters. Except my faith in Jesus and our Almighty God! And that makes the difference on how I live each day as if my last. My faith in God and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ (my Inspiration/Savior/Redeemer) is the only one that keeps me alive, and going in life.

Tuesday, yesterday, I have had to go to my follow up appointment in Internal Medicine, about my lab test results on my cholesterol. (I'm glad and thankful to know that my cholesterol level went down! But I have to continue taking my meds, probably for life!) To the nurse practitioner who saw me, I mentioned her about my current condition and about my chronic lower back pain. I told her that I may have "re-injured" my lower back. She advised me to continue with my current medications and prescribed me a new one, a muscle relaxant and for inflammation. When I left her office, I thanked her for the opportunity of seeing and helping me.

While waiting for my number to be called in the Pharmacy (a lot of patients were waiting there!), I decided to attend/participate the 1130 Mass in the hospital's chapel, on the third floor adjacent to the OR. Thanks to God for that opportune time. I felt relieved after receiving the Eucharist or Holy Communion (the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ). Yes, Jesus relieved my pain!

At home, I'm presently recovering but still in pain. But I try to continue  living my life each day, as if my last. As Lent continues, and as springtime has arrived, I live now, the present moment. I thank God that I'm doing  okay while the sun is up there.

Until next time around. Thank you, Jesus! -chris a. quilpa, 21March2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Here's an Irish blessing I stumbled this morning from one of the Catholic blogs I'm following:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields; until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand!

Every year, Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17. Though it's a religious holiday, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated in Ireland for many centuries. The celebration honors the commemoration of the life of Patricius, who, at an early age was a slave and later became a priest and Bishop and eventually canonized as St. Patrick, has become popular worldwide. The celebration is marked by parades and the traditional wearing of anything green. The first Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York was held in 1762. 

St. Patrick was born in Great Britain in the early 400's A.D. as Maewyn Succat. He was kidnapped when he was young. He was brought to Ireland and became a slave. According to The Confessio, his autobiography, he escaped when he was about 22, and entered monastery. That's the time when he adopted the name Patricius. After he his monastery life, he went back to Ireland as a missionary. In his evangelizing Christianity to Ireland nation, which at that time was practicing Druid paganism, he encountered many obstacles and conflicts with The High King of Tare. But later on, Patricius came to an agreement with the King and eventually was allowed to spread the message of Christianity to the people there. That's when he converted many, if not all, Irish people to Catholicism. For this reason, he was made a saint by the Catholic Church. Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D. That's the reason why on March 17, each year, we celebrate this religious holiday, St. Patrick's Day.

Every St. Patrick's Day, we see and hear these words: green, gold, clover, shamrock, leprechaun, horseshoe, druid, Christianity, Irish legend, Guinness, etc.

Until next time around, folks. Thanks for your time. Take care! Once again, Happy St. Paddy's Day, everyone! As always, thanks YouTube and the uploaders of the videos above.Thanks to Google and Blogger, too.-chris a. quilpa, 17March2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Dose of Vitamin D: Outdoor Walking Under the Sun

Good Thursday, everyone! Another bright and sunny day over here in 757! Thanks to God! We're doing well.

Again, this morning, folks, I have had a dose of free Vitamin D---from outdoor, walking around the neighborhood with plenty of sun and clear blue sky! Again, I met fellow strollers and walkers. There was this black woman with a cute small terrier on a leash. There was this mother and daughter tandem walking side by side. There was this runner or jogger in shorts. There was this biker. There was also this Caucasian man who was kinda tired from his jogging or running that he stopped in the middle of the biking/walking lane. But, of course, I took pictures of trees along the way, and people I met while walking and/or running.

I heard some chirping birds on growing green trees. It's fascinating to see them hopping from one place to another, hiding from bushes and shrubs to crossing to the other side of clear roads. It's a delight to witness the blooming flowers and new sprouts of pure green baby leaves on different sizes of trees planted along both sides of the road. Breathing fresh air in the open, while passing a man-made lake with a number of ducks and Canadian geese is truly invigorating.

Truly, it's a wonderful feeling to be out there walking under a bright, sunny day. As I went on around the neighborhood, I felt the soothing mild breeze. Such was a relief to me. Although I felt tired, with achy left hip and knee, I feel good, after my outdoor walk. Thanks to God for a bright and beautiful day today! And, thanks to Jesus, my Inspiration!

Thanks YouTube and the uploader of the video I embedded in this blog post. Thanks Google and Blogger!

Thanks, folks, for your time. Until next time around. Have nice day, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 15March2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Walking Around the Neighborhood on A Beautiful, Sunshiny Wednesday

What a wonderful Wednesday today! Thanks to God, the weather is bright and beautiful! Full of sunshine and surprises out there! How's it in your area, folks? Hope and pray that you've got mild and pleasant day or beautiful day, I should say! Enjoy while it lasts! It's such a perfect day, really, to be out there under the bright sky and sun! Ah, spring is all around us, no doubt!

Yes, I got a dose of vitamin D today! Thanks, Jesus! Aside from my morning breakfast of organic 1% low fat with two slices of 100% whole wheat bread sandwich withNutkao ("fantasia di cacao", cocoa and  hazelnut spread) from Italy, I got a raw dose of vitamin D from the sun. Yeah, I did go out and take a walk around our neighborhood. It's such a perfect day, folks, at 1030 this morning, to stroll around and enjoy the bright and sunshiny weather. Thanks to God, I was able and determined to go out and around our neighborhood! So beautiful and so perfect to be out there and enjoy the sun and sightseeing.

You betcha, I brought with me my camera and cell phone when I left the house for a walk around my neighborhood. Of course, I took some shots along the way. I took pictures of trees, with baby leaves coming out. I had one picture of a tree with flowers already coming out. Likewise, I did take photos of bikers, jogger, walkers, like me, etc. I got lucky to have taken a photo of two Canadian geese by the side of the man-made lake. I met a couple walking with their dog, then a young adult male walking with his terrier, too. (We got to know each other with the same name, Chris. I came to know he works at Apple.)

In one of the subdivisions, I happened to see three men doing some lawn maintenance service on a house at at a corner lot. While I was passing by them, a black man, probably their boss, approached me and introduced his name. He did his sales pitch on me. That is, if I need a lawn maintenance service, or landscaping work done to my yard, he can be of service. He handed me one of his business cards with Danelle's Tree & landscaping Services printed on it. I asked him how much does he charge for lawn mowing and hedge and trimming. It depends on how large your lawn or backyard is, he said. It starts at $50. He told me to see their work on the house they're doing now tomorrow and I decide if I can have a work contract for my lawn and backyard. I said, "I may call you." His name is Danelle.  

I continued my walking, at my own slow pace. I think, I was able to walk for half a mile already? Good Lord, I couldn't believe it! But, my left hip and left knee have been bothering me. I've been feeling the pain as I was going on with my strolling around the neighborhood. I've walked that far from our house. But, I manage my pain by humming a song or two, while I was vigilant around my environment. Cars passed by; another walker passed over me. I just took my time, being out there under the sun and bright sky. I heard a few birds singing, while hopping from tree to tree. I wanted to capture one, but it flew away immediately! God is wonderful with all the natural beauty I see around! Believe me, folks, I've been enjoying those fleeting moments while outside! Thanks to God, I'm alive and well! I did something for myself today! I did try to improve my health by walking around. I feel good, Lord God. Thank you, Jesus, for having given me the strength and stamina today!

It was noontime when I came back home, achy, tired but feeling good. Yes, I don't have a reason to complain. But, just to be out there again under the sun is truly wonderful! It's great to see nature and meet people around the neighborhood. How blessed we all are in life, being with nature outside!

Thanks YouTube and the uploader of the video (I embedded in this blog post). Than you, Google and Blogger. Thanks to God for the beautiful day today! Thank you, Jesus, for inspiring me to be/do good!

Well, folks, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thanks for your time again. Take care and Have a blessed day, everyone! Ciao!-chris a. quilpa, 14March2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Several Ways to Observe Lent

It's never too late to observe Lent, as one Catholic priest/blogger opines lately in his latest blog post. (I'm one of the many who's following his blog, almost daily.) I agree with him. If we didn't have a good start, start all over for a better result, this time. If, along the way, we stumbled and fell, let's get up and start walking again! It's just like the old adage If at first you don't succeed, try again. Yes, folks, let's not give up hope immediately. Let's try and try until we're out of breath.

Lent is the opportune time, for us, to reflect on what matters most to us. We're aware that we're surrounded with material things, as part of our life. We're aware, too, that we have others out there who are deprived of the things we enjoy. What do we do as part and parcel of the human family? Don't we have a responsibility toward ourselves and others? Being good and kind to ourselves and others, sharing to and giving up something of what we have for others, and praying for others, the world---these are ways to jumpstart, or restart, observing our Lent.

We have physical, mental, social, spiritual life. We age; we grow old. We change. Eventually, we die, literally and figuratively. Such activity, or process, is inevitable and inescapable. It's a fact that we have a physical life span here on earth. But, as Catholics and Christians, we believe in dying and resurrection, and life everlasting with our Creator, Almighty God.

As long as we have hope, faith, and charity in our hearts, we're doing well in life. With our good and gracious and loving God with us, we're saved from damnation. We have a place in His Kingdom, we believe.

As always, thanks YouTube, and the video uploaders. Thanks Google and Blogger. Thanks to all who do good for others. Thanks to God! And, thank you, Jesus, for saving us and inspiring us to live a life of faith!

This is all for now, folks. I do hope and pray that you're doing well so far. Until next time around. Thanks for your time. Have a nice day, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 13March2012

Looking Forward to Springtime

It's a rainy Tuesday morning over here in 757. Thanks to God for He brings rain today to cleanse or wash away the dust and the dirt on some parts of our land. He moistens the ground so plants can breath fresh air and flowers start to appear, making the landscape beautiful in our sight! Good and gracious God, I thank you so much for this transition from dusky winter to a revitalizing spring. But dewdrops and spotty rain showers are welcome! Then, here comes the sun, again! Wonderful sight to behold!

It's getting more consistent to note that temperature in our area is in the high of low 70s throughout the week. I, personally, like this mild weather. I prefer spring, of all the seasons. Why? There is the revival and renewal of the soul and spirit, to me. Not that it's Lenten season leading to glorious and triumphant Easter but the mere fact that there's growth and life after months of hibernation. It's fascinating to see the sprouting baby leaves of trees and plants. Much more so to blooming flowers, with their captivating, exciting, sweet smell, everywhere! Ah, so lovely and adorable to see! That's nature at its pristine and unblemished way. What a beauty in the meadows and hills and plains and valleys and mountains, lakes and rivers and springs! Thank you God for these creation of yours!

Yes, I'm looking forward to springtime! One more week to go, huh. What about you, folks, out there? I know, you're tired of having "gloomy" weather with tons of snow in your area. (We had only a couple of times of flurries in our region.) But, as the saying goes, there's a reason for every season. Amen to that.

Well, this is all for now, friends. Thanks YouTube and to the video uploaders. Thank you, Google and Blogger. Thanks to all for having the time with me. Until next time around. Have a pleasant day, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 13March2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Confused Haiku


the more i know now
the more i don't know the truth
the more i'm confused.

the more I learn now
the more i don't understand
the more i'm confused.

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Early to Bed, Early to Rise (to Read Blogs?)

Happy bright and sunny Monday, everyone! How did your weekend go? Did you go anywhere? Did you do something that is pleasing to our good and gracious God? Good. Hope and pray that you're doing well this Lenten Season.

Last night, I went to bed early. But I woke up early, too, this morning, at five o'clock.I just said "thank you, God!" That was my short prayer, folks. So what did I do, while Mrs. was still in her deep slumber? (She'd wake up after six for her school-work.) I turned on my laptop and read "Catholic" blogs, first. One of the blog articles that caught my attention was about this priest in Washington, D.C. who "refused" or "denied" communion to someone during the funeral Mass of this someone's mom. As I understand, the said priest is suspended from his priestly ministry and now on administrative leave while the investigation of this case by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. continues. I did read some of the comments made with mixed reactions or feedback. Was the priest right in denying giving communion to this someone (who happens to be a lesbian?) because of his religious conviction? Or, are there other issues involved connected or linked to the suspension of this priest? I, myself, don't know the real story. I hope and pray that the truth comes out, with God's guidance and enlightenment.

From there, I visited and read other links or blog posts from the ones I've been following. Well, I just wanted to gain more insights into what others have been writing about. Pretty interesting, and encouraging, these "Catholic" articles were! There's this one about a deacon who, I just learned, is a retired U.S. Navy Commander and doing well in his parish. There's also this blogger, a Catholic convert (from Protestant religion) who writes, in one of his posts, about his experience as an English teacher in China when he was in his early 20s.

Another blog post that I read pertains to this S.J. priest (who happened to be free of responsibility one Sunday) and decided to attend a Tridentine Mass (Latin Mass) out of curiosity? What's his impression after the Mass? His take was not to adapt it, given the choice, when celebrating a Mass. Can you blame him, folks? But, of course, there are faithful out there, mostly older Catholics, who like the old tradition, Latin Mass. That's their choice, or preference, too. Well, let's respect them, just as we extend or do the same respect to this priest. Period. What I know is that the Vatican allows Catholic churches to celebrate Latin Mass for as long as the officiating priest is comfortable with it.

Well, folks, from blogs, I shifted to YouTube videos, specifically on what's going on in Syria. But before that  I watched a video of a U.S. official delivering a condolence statement about the recent incident in Afghanistan involving a U.S. soldier who, according to news media like NPR, allegedly  massacred 16 innocent children and women there. (I had to pause for a while and prayed for the dead and the U.S. soldier.)  And, yes, going back to the ongoing uprising/revolution in Syria in connection with this Arab Spring. There's this young British man of Syrian descent who has become an activist and did witness and report chaos in Homs, in Syria. Then, there were other videos from YouTube about Syria. Yay, I don't know who to believe. Confusing, that is! Lies or propaganda? There are demonstrations, in the video, that support the regime of the current Syrian administration under President Assad. Likewise, there are videos in YouTube of Syrians who want regime change. That's why they're out there protesting, sacrificing their lives. God, I pray for peace in Syria and the rest of the world! Please, God, stop and end violence and killing of innocent people all over the world!

This is all for now, folks. Would you join me in praying for peace around the world. Thank you. Until next time around. Have a great day, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 12March2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Post-Sunday Post

Thanks to God! My wife and I arrived home safely in 757, past eight tonight. We had just brought our young adult daughter back to her University college dorm this afternoon. Yes, her "early" one-week spring break ends tonight. She and her fellow Univ students resume classes tomorrow, Monday. Well, at least, she has had a week's off from schoolwork. She, however, was able to get things done, for herself, while on "vacation." She has had her periodic dental check up and her annual medical check up.

Nope. I didn't feel like eating a heavy dinner tonight, when my wife called me for dinner. I just settled for a small plate of vegetable salad and a cup of orange juice, and four pieces of A Hint of Salt Ritz crackers. That's all. After all, I've been munching No Salt roasted peanuts and a piece of Gala apple on the road on our way back home to HR from C-ville. Yes, I feel tired already, especially my lower back that's been aching from almost six-seven hours travel (back and forth). Even if I'm just a passenger on the driver's side, I admit, I just couldn't tolerate to be sitting down for a long period of time. I have chronic lower back problem, folks! Now you know why? But, I try to manage my pain in such a way that I can still function and be of help and not a burden to others.

As usual, my wife did the driving. As always, I try to keep her company, each time we're on a long trip on the road. Going to C-ville, we didn't do any stop at a rest area. We were just cruisin' smoothly. But, going back home, we had only one stop at the second Rest Area, a.k.a. Welcome Center.

Guess what or who we encountered there inside the lobby of the Welcome Center? Two of our children's former schoolmates in high school and the parents of one of the two. We shook hands, exchanged Hi's and engaged in a pleasant conversation, as usual. J and T were asking about our son and our daughter, too. We told them they're doing well. J and T are two of my son's good friends or buddies. When our son is home, they always have a get together, sort of. They're like that.

Well, folks, this is all for now. Until next time around. It's 10:32 already.  Good night, everyone! (I need to go to bed now.)-chris a. quilpa, 11March2012

Sunday with Our Bishop

Happy sunny Sunday, everyone! Hope and pray that you're doing well so far. As always, we're alive and well. Thanks to God. Thank you, Jesus, for being our Inspiration!

Ah, Sunday, a day with our Lord, Jesus Christ! Yes, it's always cool to attend or participate in church services, especially, on Sunday Mass such as today. Why? It's a day that we got to be with our Archbishop of our Diocese who officiated the Mass. I feel overwhelmed by his presence for he represents our Catholic Church leader, Pope Benedict XVI.

Prior to Mass, I came across our parochial vicar at the sacristy---with a growing beard! I was surprised to see him with beard! As always, he and I have good rapport. I thought he's gonna concelebrate the Mass today. But, no. He has to go to one of the clustered parishes, like our pastor who announced last Sunday already that he wouldn't be with us today.

Today, I also happened to see one of our brother Knights (of Columbus). I assumed that he and some of the council members were there because we have with us our Bishop. Likewise, I bumped into our former church music director after the Mass. We had a brief conversation at the sacristy, while my wife and I did wash all the cups, vessels, pitcher, etc. used during the Mass. That's our assigned responsibility if we (as Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion) are scheduled to do Cup1 and 2 (administering the consecrated wine, the "blood" of Christ to our faithful parishioners). My wife and I were scheduled today. That's exactly what we did. Our young adult daughter (whose last day of her spring break ends today. We'll be bringing her back to her college dorm for they have classes tomorrow, Monday) and my sis-in-law (who has already arrived, since last week, from a month's vacation to our nativeland) were waiting for us at the back of the church while doing our work in the sacristy.

After Mass, we had lunch at Seafood Restaurant. (We haven't been there for a while). As always, we enjoyed our food. Then, we went home for we've got to get ready for our trip to C-ville.We have had to bring our daughter back to her college dorm this afternoon. Yes, her Spring break ends today, folks. It's back to books again for her and her colleagues at the University.

Okay, friends, this is all for now. I'm being called downstairs. Until next time around. Have a wonderful day! (We've got to leave now for C-ville!)-chris a. quilpa, 11March2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ilokano Poem "Arab Spring" on My FB Page and The Philippine's People Power

Happy bright and sunny but cool Saturday, everyone! Thanks to God that we're alive and well! Thank you, Jesus!

Reminder to all of us here in the U.S. of A. to set or adjust our clock (and our timepiece or watches) to one hour forward before midnight tonight for the so-called Daylight Savings Time. Thank you.

 Just this "early" Saturday morning, while still in bed, but already awake and anxious, I got interested listening  to Travel with Rick Steves on NPR (National Public Radio). Mr. Steves, the host of the show, has two guests---one from Morocco and the other from Alexandria, Egypt. Their topic was about Arab Spring, a series of anti-government protests (or sweeping "revolution" going on) in the Middle East and North Africa since last year when Tunisia ousted their leader. Then, it was followed by Egypt and Libya, and Yemen where their leaders, too, were overthrown.

As I continued listening to Rick Steves and his guests, I was anticipating for the three to mention what's going in Syria these days in which I heard recently of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, now a UN envoy, visiting the place. I was disappointed, but nevertheless enlightened about the discussion.

Then I rose up from bed because I had an inclination to use the rest room in our bedroom. As usual, I always bring with me something to read and/or write. While using the rest room, I found myself scribbling some "Ilokano" words. And from there, I have written this Ilokano poem entitled "Arab Spring" (which I transcribed it to my Facebook Notes and eventually shared it to my FB friends).

I'm very much aware of this People Power in the Philippines, that, to me, has influenced other countries like the ones in the Middle East to protest, to have a wave or a series of unrest among the disgruntled people.

Yay, the world is changing rapidly at a fast pace, thanks to the Internet. Change is inevitable in a volatile world such as ours. And we have to embrace it, whether we like it or not.

Thanks to YouTube and the video uploaders; thanks to Google and Blogger, and to Wikipedia for all that they do. Thanks also to Facebook, and other social media that help promote peace and justice, and equality for all! Thanks to God and to Jesus Christ!

Once again, folks, don't forget to spring forward one hour of your clock or time piece before midnight tonight.

Well, this is all for now, my friends. Thanks for your time with me. Until next time around. Take care. And have a nice weekend, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 10March2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Up & Down Moments Today: My Bearable Cross

Hello, everyone! How's life treating you nowadays? How's the weather in your area? Over here in 757, it's a "shady", rainy Friday, my friends! Yes, we have lingering showers over here. I consider that a blessing, still. (I've kept on using "shady" when I mean it's "gray" or kinda "gloomy".) But, that's alright. Once in a while the sun has to hide from us. It's just a way of telling us not to always expect a bright day in our life.

In life, we've learned that we have sunny days. We have rainy days. We have calm days; we have windy, rough days. It's not always smooth sailing in life, at times. That's life. And, it's just up to us, folks, how we deal with it. As we keep on living, we learn to adjust to all situations that take place in our life, right? That's very true. It's really up to us what kind of day we can have, even if the weather outside is uncomfortable or pleasant in our sight.

This early morning, I have experienced my "cross." Where, why, how come? Let me explain. As a retired person, I don't usually wake up early. I'm not used to since I retired from working. But, this morning, I have to rise up early because I accompanied (or gave a lift to) our young adult daughter (still on "early" Spring break from college, I mentioned this in my previous blog post. Thank you, if you're following mine.) to her follow up appointment in the hospital at 8:00 o'clock. The fact is, I've been going back and forth to clinic/hospital the previous days, accompanying our daughter in her periodic appointment, i.e. dental, medical, annual physical check up. It's timely that she's on spring break so she's time to take care of these things.

Thanks to God that, despite the rainy condition over here, we didn't encounter that heavy traffic on freeways, as it used to be, especially in the morning rush. And thanks to God that I found a parking spot quickly at the groundComfy with my black raincoat (mind you, it still fit me, this U.S. Navy-issued gear that I have for almost 27 years!), with my Wrangler blue jeans and Navy blue round neck long-sleeve cotton shirt, I breezed through the catwalk that connects the parking garage to the second floor of the hospital. And, thanks to God that I found a parking spot quickly at the hospital's parking garage.

Upon arrival at the clinic (in the hospital) where my wife and I, and our daughter are usually seen (she's still considered or qualified as my "dependent" because she's still in school, eventhough she's a young adult already), I happened to see one of our "friends" who works in the Commissary. I told or let my daughter to join the outpatients falling in line to check in while I did engage a small conversation with this middle-aged female friend of ours, married to a Caucasian retired U.S. serviceman. (I didn't see or haven't met her husband, though.) I learned from her that she has had an abdominal surgery a week ago and that's probably she's there for a follow up. She mentioned she was recommended not to work for a couple of weeks or a month. I told her to take it easy and to really have time for herself, to take care of herself and not just work and work. (I know that she's trying her best to work and earn or save money so she can share or help out her family back home in the Philippines.) I told her to take it easy as I found my way to the waiting area or lobby of that clinic. In a few minutes, my daughter was called in. I just lounged there in the waiting area where there were three or four outpatients waiting for their turn to be called.

As soon as I got settled, I started to pray my rosary, while the TV set, mounted on the wall, was on to CNN. I tried to stay focused on what I was doing, praying silently/quietly, despite an environment that has some distractions. But my attention was then shifted to this baby who was being carried by his mom and being  with his grandpa. The baby and I made connections because he was smiling at me a couple of times! That moment to me was wonderful. (Thanks to God that I brought with me my camera. Unbeknownst to his family, I took a couple of shots of that moment when the baby was making connections to his grandpa and one with his grandma. Such a poignant moment. So candid and wonderful those fleeting moments! I'll see if I can upload them and/or embed them with this blog post.)

I was on my fifth Sorrowful mystery, which is the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when my daughter was done with her follow up appointment. I asked her how did it go and she started telling me about the results of her blood tests. She told me she's got a little high cholesterol as she showed me her lab results. Likewise, she mentioned about low thyroid thing and that her female provider, a nurse practitioner, wants to follow up with her thyroid. In the course of our short conversation, I noticed my daughter to be irritated and kinda rude the way she answered me or talked to me and I felt hurt at that moment. OMG! So this is how kids nowadays are! They're inconsiderate and they don't seem to know or realize that the way they talk or respond to question can sometimes hurt feelings. Sometimes, I'd rather be quiet and still. But, the fact of the matter is, they still "bother" me---my immediate family members. They can't leave me alone, in peace. And yet, when I opine or share my views, they react negatively. They seem to conspire as if I'm the bad or fall guy. So, I feel dejected, that I don't matter, as if I'm the underdog. That's when I feel hurt deep down inside. That's when I feel frustrated, too. That's when I self-introspect, asking myself what/where did I do/go wrong? As a parent, trying to be a good one, to please everyone, I feel, at times, taken for granted, that I don't matter. (Who wouldn't be, if it's obvious that my wife, their mom, always seems to tolerate them---our two young adult children to not grow in responsibility! It's hard to deal, at times, when they, all of them, don't want to take or are not having responsibility in life, even if I let them experience to do things on their own, i.e., cleaning their respective rooms, getting involved in preparing food, washing their dishes, laundry, such that they should learn to be responsible and not to be depending always on me or others. That's why, at times, I just let go of things. It's not worth preaching responsibility. They will learn on their own as they go on living their life. I. for one, don't want to spoil a child, because I learned life the hard way. I hate to tell you this but I learned to be responsible at a younger age. I was a self-supporting student when I started school. I know, I live in a different world far from where I learned responsibility at a younger age. And I'm proud of who and what I became and attained. Good morning myself, but I have to be frank, folks, out of eleven children in my family, I was the very first one to finish college. Even though we lived through hand and moth existence, I was able to earn a college degree. And, I'm proud of that. But, children nowadays, especially those who've never experienced hardships and sacrifices in their life, don't know fully well what life is, on a global scope. Yes, they still have to live it and experience it in various ways. I know and am very much aware of my strengths and limitations. I know there are lots more to learn while I am still alive. But, at the same time, I do believe that experience is the best teacher in life.)

That very moment, my good and pleasant feeling, a while ago, was changed to feeling down as if today I have my "cross"---something that I have to bear temporarily! (That moment, I just tried to contain myself, to control myself from freaking out or getting upset or angry. I was telling myself, this is how kids nowadays treat their parents, as if their co-equal, that they become disrespectful and insensitive. I can't help it, at times, to be feeling down when I noticed or felt like being taken for granted. I feel that I deserve to be treated with respect. Despite having physical "disability", I still try to be helpful and to be good to others, my family included. Even if I wanted to be left alone, I still have myself ready to get involved with other aspects of my family life because, I know, that my immediate family members, still need me, to help them out financially in their undertakings, i.e., education, livelihood, etc. Being independent, most of the time, God knows, there have been moments when I want to be left alone such that I don't want to mind others' business just like I don't want others to mind mine. There's obviously this personal relationships dilemma in our family, especially involving kids, in-laws, etc. It's hard, at times, to deal with these issues.) Ah, life is! So simple yet complicated, at times! Especially when you're married for a long time!)

There, folks, was my moment of  encountering my "cross" today. But, I can adjust and adapt to such situations. As I have said, it's up to me to make my day sunny and bright or rainy and sad and down. I thank God for having given me the opportunity to share His Son's suffering on the cross today. After all, life is still wonderful, as I remember that very moment at the clinic with that smiling baby. Yes, I encountered Jesus today. Thanks to God!

Well, my friends, this is all for now. Thanks for sharing your time with me. Until next time around! Have a wonderful Friday, everyone! TGIF! Thanks to God, It's Friday! Have a blessed weekend, too! Take care now.-chris a. quilpa, 09March2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

What A Cold, Cloudy, "Shady" Monday! Thanks to God!

Good morning, everyone! How's life treating you nowadays? Do hope and pray you're doing well, as we continue our journey throughout Lent and Easter.

My wife has left for her school-work, just after seven this morning. With our alarm-clock-radio on NPR, I just finished praying my rosary, while still in bed. And I feel good despite the "shady" weather today. Now, looking outside from our room, I saw these Canadian geese on the school playground. They're all together, like forming one long line. How calm and peaceful they are, in my view or observation! They're so quiet and unperturbed. Thanks to God for having them in our midst. They're truly a delight to see!

Here I am, folks, sharing with you again my passion. I know, I admit, I've got much more to learn while I continue to seek and understand the Truth. As a sinner, with flaws and physical "disabilities", I have good days and bad days. (Having this fibromyalgia and chronic lower back pain is no joke. It's unbearable, at times!) But, I try my best to manage my pain, literally, and my frustration (when things don't go right in my life, in my view or way of thinking). How do I continue to manage it everyday? With my belief/faith and trust in God and His Son, Jesus Christ who's my true friend and inspiration in life! "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not into thine own understanding; In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path," (Proverbs 3: 5,6) Yes, I offer my pain and sorrow to Him; my pain is minute compared to His when He died on the cross for me, for all of us. Mine is nothing to His suffering when He was crucified. I know, I'm sharing a portion of His suffering. I know this because that's what I've been praying for all the time---to share in His suffering, resurrection, and glory for the redemption and salvation of all. Me included, of course.

I'm not worried about yesterday or tomorrow, for I just live now---the present moment. Yes, folks, I just live now, the present moment, trying to cherish the moment that is fleeting. I thank God for creating me, Jesus Christ Christ for inspiring me, my family for everything they do, and others for keeping me going in life.

As always, I thank Google and Blogger, Facebook and Wikipedia, and YouTube for all they do to make the world connected or wired (not wild!). Thanks to all the people who share their time, talents, treasure! May God bless us all! Always!

Until next time around, folks. Have a nice day, everyone! Thanks and Bye!-chris a. quilpa, 05March2012

Sunday Story with Music from Boyce Avenue

It's a soggy Sunday today over 757! And for tomorrow's weather forecast is there's going to be a mix rain and snow around, with high temp in the mid 40s and lows between 32-37 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, what I can say is let it be. It's still winter season anyway! How's it in your location, folks? Do hope and pray that we're all doing well in spite of all the good and bad news around us. What matters is we're alive and making it. Right, my friends?

This morning, my wife, our daughter and I attended or participated in church services at our parish. Thanks to God! Though my wife and I were not scheduled as volunteer Eucharistic ministers in today's Mass, I was tapped to give or administer holy communion to our parish choir members. Yes to God! No problem, you know. As always, when the need arises, my wife and I are ever ready and available to serve or to assist during Mass. For the glory of God!

After Mass, we all agreed to go to NEX/Commissary for lunch and to do grocery shopping there. That's what we did. We had Sub sandwiches, and coffee. Unexpectedly, after lunch while we were shopping at NEX, we encountered our former neighbors, both retired, and also doing some shopping there. As always, we exchanged courtesies and pleasantries, and stories of our families. As always, too, we had good rapport and lively conversation, even though we haven't seen each other for months or a year?

From there, we had groceries at the Commissary. But, we decided not to fill up our car's fuel tank at the gas station there. Instead, we had it outside, at a gas station close to our place, on our way home. We saved a few cents, though.

Now, what did we have for dinner? Well, we just had our left-over Sub sandwiches that we saved during lunch. I had my dinner in our room, with Boyce Avenue, because I was busy online, listening to Boyce Avenue on YouTube, while blogging. Even up to this time that I've been writing this blog post, I'm all ears to their music. Can you believe it, folks? (If given the opportunity, would I go to one of their concerts? A resounding Yes, of course! But for now, I just settle listening to them via YouTube.) I don't know about you but I love listening to this American acoustic rock (indie) band. I'm not tired of listening to them. Not at all, man! They're cool, especially Alejandro, the lead singer of the Manzano brothers! He's exceptionally good, or great! He's got that soothing voice, to me. He's just like singing lullaby, you know. I don't know but I just feel relaxed and entertained listening to this band. That's just my personal opinion, okay?

Thanks YouTube, and to BoyceAvenue. Keep up the good work! And thanks to Google and Blogger.

Well, I better sign off now, folks. Until next time around. take care. And, have a good night, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 04March2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Listening to the Boyce Avenue while Blogging & Resting

Intro Note: We just had our dinner, folks. As I'm writing this blog post, I'm listening to playlist songs of the American acoustic rock band Boyce Avenue. (I've mentioned about this band in my previous post, if you guys remember.) I like listening to their songs. Alejandro, Boyce Avenue's lead vocalist among the Manzano brothers of Sarasota, Florida, is cool. He sings well. I like his clear, mellow, melodious voice, with his guitar or piano accompanying him. I like his version or interpretation of some (adapted) songs that he sang or recorded, like this one by Coldplay. Listen for yourselves, folks. Isn't he good or what?

Today, 03March2012, starts the "early" one-week Spring Break for a number of colleges and universities in our State. I wonder if other states' colleges and universities have their early spring break, too, like my daughter's. Perhaps they'll have theirs later.

Anyway, I had to cut short my blogging this morning. Guess why? You bet, my wife and I had to pick up our daughter in her college dorm. Though she's got a driving license already for a year or two, she doesn't drive yet for she doesn't have her own car. Not 'til she graduates this May. She'll get one, a new one, possibly a Toyota, like his brother's, as our graduation gift to her.

We left the house past noon, not having lunch yet at that time. I, for one, didn't feel hungry yet, anyway, for I just had a bowl of home-cooked oatmeal with organic milk, 2% fat. (I've mentioned this in my first blog post this early morning.) I usually eat brunch, especially during weekdays that I'm alone at home, you know.

Thanks to God. We arrived home safely before 8 p.m. today from C-ville. That's almost six hours, round trip, on the road to and from C-ville. Though I was not the driver (my wife was, as usual), I still felt kinda tired from sitting long, with back spasms. I admit, my lower back has been acting up, hurting again today. (This has been my ongoing problem of mine---chronic lower back pain, that led me to "early" retirement from work in the Service. Thankfully, I was able to finish 20 years in the Service that entitled me to retirement pay, etc.) But, I can manage the pain, you know. God helps me, via His Son, Jesus Christ. I believe so. My pain isn't that bad, after all. Thanks to God.

Until next time around, folks. Thanks for your time. Take care. A nd, good night, everyone!(Now I can listen more to the Boyce Avenue, in our bedroom, while resting.) Thanks YouTube and Google and Blogger. -chris a. quilpa, 03March2012
(P.S. I haven't figured out how to adjust the posted time of my laptop. As you know my laptop was given to me by my nephew Tony who lives in California. Posted time of this blog post is incorrect. Since I live in the East Coast, add three hours to the posted time, okay, my friends? Thank you.)

The One-year Old Poem About Birds Outside, Shared to FB

A blessed Saturday to everyone! Hope and pray that you're doing well, this Lenten Season, amidst the things and happenings around us. Let's all hang in there, folks! A little sacrifice is worth pursuing/observing for our well being. Life, with God, is worth-living. I do believe that.

A few hours ago, while listening to songs (playlist, on YouTube)of the Legend and the one and only Superstar in Philippine Entertainment Industry, Nora Aunor, I just shared one of my "Ilokano" poems, written one year and one day ago, today, to majority of my Facebook friends (who are Ilokanos). The original Ilokano poem "Dagiti Billit iti Ruar", translated "The Birds Outside" tells exactly what is, the birds outside by the school playground, that I witnessed or observed last year while I was in our backyard, by our deck, walking around, after having breakfast (of a bowl of cereal with organic milk, 2 % fat, and a sandwich bread with Nutella hazelnut-chocolate spread). And, it was a "sunny, bright day, however cool but a little breezy, good for my lungs! Healthy!" That was the note I scribbled on my 2011 binder-journal from which my Ilokano poem mentioned was written. Even up to this time of writing this blog post, I'm still enjoying the melodic, mellow, golden voice of legendary balladeer, Nora Aunor. Thanks YouTube and to those people who uploaded the music/videos.

Yes, yesterday, folks. A lazy Friday, for me. I didn't write a blog post, as you may have observed. Yes, I didn't feel like writing one, although I visited my blog a couple of times just as I did visit FB, too. Actually, I was just chilling out, watching videos and soap operas on YouTube. And, reading my favorite Catholic blogs, just to update myself. Thanks to our devoted bloggers (one deacon, a clergy, a layman who's into evangelizing business). And, yes, I found another couple who are new evangelizers, too, via their social media networking. I applaud them all for what they're doing. All for the glory of our Almighty God. Kudos and more power to them all! I also did share to FB friends about articles I've read (and strongly believed in) from publications I "liked." I do hope and pray that some of our FB friends had the time to read them.

Well, I've got to sign off now, friends. My wife just handed me a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast. Okay, until next time around. Thanks for being with me. Have a blessed day, everyone! Take care. Ciao!-chris a. quilpa, 03March2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Praying and A Hospital Visit

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today is the first day of March, another month of the year. After yesterday's rain, signs of springtime are evident over here in 757 today---warm, sunny weather in the upper 70s, leaves of trees sprouting, flowers starting to appear, birds singing in the early morn. Well, I'm looking forward to Spring. Are you, too, folks? Hope you're doing well in life, as usual.

How's your observance of Lent going on? Well, friends, just do what you can---to do good for yourself and others for the glory of our Almighty God and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. I know, there are things that we can give up or sacrifice, even for a while. There's certainly one thing that we can always do: pray. After all, praying is a personal and yet universal religious practice. Praying for ourselves and others is a a powerful weapon to combat/overcome difficulties and temptations in life, I do believe. Praying can heal. Praying can help change our life-world for the better. Praying eases our pains. Praying can truly transform us to be more human and divine, like the saints. These are just my take on the benefits of praying. Over time, in the course of my journey through life, I have experienced how prayer has helped me as a sinner. Realizing the impact of prayer in my life, I try each moment, each day to find time to pray wherever I am. I always try to communicate with our Creator God, praising and thanking Him for giving me life. It's a good practice to pray each moment to help strengthen our faith and our nurture our spiritual life, just as breathing or eating or drinking to nourish our physical body to be healthy always. Okay, let's move on to another topic, shall we? Thank you.

Wow, I couldn't believe it! How could I have forgotten to turn off my headlights once I've parked our van in the top floor/level of the hospital's garage? I just found this out after I was already in the hospital building and have checked in to the Department/Clinic where I have a follow up appointment. I know, there's an explanation to it. No, I wasn't late for my appointment this morning. I had plenty of time, actually. Yes, plenty of time driving around the hospital's garage looking for a parking spot. Mind you, it was almost full, in all levels! How did I end up in the top level (fifth floor), open space, of the hospital parking garage? Well, that's where I found a parking spot. I really couldn't believe it! I've never parked up there in my eleven years of working at that hospital, even before I retired from the Service. Each time I have a periodic appointment there, in this Clinic or that Department, after retirement, I've always parked in the ground floor or ist or 2nd floor utmost. But not this time, folks! Yes, I have had to go up further to see the azure sky in that open parking lot, fifth floor. I'm not complaining, though. God must have had a plan for me why He let me go all the way up to the open space in the fifth level of the hospital parking garage! Only I forgot to turn off my headlights. (You have to turn on them once you enter into the hospital's parking garage.) Anyway, I mentioned this to the active duty military guy at the front desk of the Rheumatology Department where I have a follow up appointment there today, this morning, usually every five or sixth months. He offered help, in case my battery is weak and I couldn't start my van. Wow, I said, "thanks, man!"

So glad and thankful I was that I was seen by my regular rheumatologist on time. We had a good rapport. And, my visit with him didn't take that long, either. Just approximately 20 minutes only. Thanking him after he saw/examined me, I walked back to the garage and turn my headlights off. Then, I went back in to the hospital building because I have to go to the Pharmacy (for a new refill of one of my meds) and to the  Lab for some blood tests which my Doc ordered for me, and finally to the Radiology Department where I have to have an X-ray of my right foot (I've been having pain on my right foot lately, that's why my Doc ordered an X-ray). Well, that's also my opportunity to visit my old Clinic or   Department where I used to work when I was still active duty. You bet, I was glad to see my old pals or colleagues/co-workers who are still working there. (Others have already retired, like me.) Our artsy civilian QC supervisor is still there! Unbelievable! I wonder if she hasn't found that word "retire" from her dictionary! She has long been there when I first reported for work in the mid 1990s. Now, you're asking me if I miss my old or former work? No. Not at all, folks! Only the people that I used to work with! That's it. You know, when you've been working together for that long you established friendship and that camaraderie and brotherhood. But if you're talking about my old job, no! Definitely no! I don't miss it. I've given my best when I was still working there, with no reservation at all. God knows how I've worked!

Thanks to God. I arrived home safely. But hungry, too. (I'm ready for my lunch, you know. My stomach is growling!) Until next time around. Take care. Have a nice day, everyone! Ciao!-chris a. quilpa, 01March2012