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Friday, May 31, 2013

Another (New) Chapter in Life

Thank God, It's Friday! TGIF, as they say! Glad and thankful to be alive and well!

The morning after I turned sixty, I have no clue what to do but to thank God that I'm alive, and doing well, I believe. Today is another day, the beginning of another chapter in my so-called wonderful life! Oh, to be sixty feels like a child wanting to know and learn more, curious and yet cautious...Though we've grown through the years, with life's challenges and changes, ups and downs, we remain committed to move on, go on living, with our Faith, family, folks, and friends near or far, for as long as we can, and try to make a difference in others' lives, in various ways and capacities. Yes, I try to continue to stay active and positive (and optimistic) while living in/with pain due to my physical disability. I have already accepted my condition and there's nothing that I can do but live it and try to manage it, with less discomfort as possible. With my Faith, I hope and pray to be good always to do His will.

Yesterday is done and gone, and all I can say is I had a good time enjoying, savoring life while dining out at Red Lobster with my loving wife Freny and special friends like Mike and Myrna, and their granddaughter Baby Emily. My two amazing young adult children, Andrew and Tintin, and sis-in-law Rose were not able to join us because of their schedule at work. Anyway, so glad and grateful I was that Freny took a day off from her school-work yesterday so she could be with me to celebrate my 60th. I can't thank you enough, Mama. You're such an amazing, caring woman and mother to our two children. Thank you for your love, and for what you've done and continue to do for our family. And, thank you for your company. Btw, to all my family members, folks, relatives and friends near or far, who greeted me and wished me Happy Birthday yesterday, via Facebook, I sincerely thank you all. Thank you for my presents, too. You, guys, made my day yesterday a special one. I can't thank you enough, you know. May God bless and keep us all safe from harm!

Life is like a book, with its chapters. As we browse and read each chapter, we learn something. As we move on to another chapter, we learn something new, while at the same time we stumble or come across something that either affects us, positively or negatively, or gives us an insight to ponder and consider at as we continue living. Our life is an unfinished book, for as long as we're alive and doing well. The book is closed when we're done, and chapters discontinued. For as long as we're living, chapters continue to be read, written and wrought.

So, as I open a new chapter of my life, I continue to do what I have to do: to live in the present moment well and try to enjoy life with others, sharing what I have and what I can do to make life bearable and worth-living. I try to continue sharing my thoughts, via Blogger, and doing something that makes me alive and healthy, happy, and engaging. I try to continue to get involve in my church, do the best I can to help, in various ways, and make life-world better. That's all, trying to live simply each moment, each day.

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for keeping me company. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us and keep us all safe from harm!"-chris a. quilpa, 31 May 2013    

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hi, everyone! Good Thursday to all of us! And Happy Birthday to me! Can you believe it, my dear folks and friends that another year has been added to my life's existence here on Earth! Wow, that's a blessing from Above! Thank God, for we're alive and well, so far. Thank you, Almighty God, for my Faith, family, folks, and friends near or far. Thank you, family, folks, friends...all of you have enriched my life, adding colors and wonders it! All of you have been a part of my life, in good days and bad.

Sixty, me, already, today? Wow! Unbelievable but true. We're getting old, Man! I know, we have weathered a lot of challenges as we keep pace with the changes taking place in our life-world. What matters to me is that we're alive and well, I believe...that we try to live each day to the fullest, living in and enjoying the present moment well. Btw, my sincere Thanks to all who wished me Happy Birthday today.

This morning, before my wife Freny and I left the house on a birthday date with special friends like Michael and Myrna, I have had the opportunity to post on my blog and to share to my Facebook friends my Birthday Haiku that I've just scribbled at about seven this morning while I was still in bed. Prior to that, I have prayed my rosary, and offered my thanks to our Almighty Father for my life, Faith, family, folks, and friends.

So where did we go to celebrate my 60th? For lunch we went to Red Lobster in a neighboring city. I had a good time. We all had a good time. Myrna and Mike brought with them Baby Emily, their granddaughter. She seemed to have a good time, too. A couple of the restaurant's servers came to our table and sang Happy Birthday to yours truly. That was sweet of them. Thank you, guys! (See the photos below.)

After lunch, Mike and Baby Emily left while Myrna, Freny and I headed to NEX and the new Commissary where we bought some groceries. Then, we brought Myrna to her house where Mike was babysitting Baby Emily. The latter, in her bathing suit, appeared to be enjoying her pool in front of their house. From there, Freny and I dropped by her dentist to pick up something for her. Then, we drove home, passing by our first house, back in 1995, and has been a rental property for almost eighteen years now.

That's it, my dear folks and friends. (I can't wait to show you my birthday presents. See the photos below. I forgot to include in there Andrew's and Tintin's gift for me: 2 DVDs, in addition to the birthday card with $$.) Thank you...thank you! Thanks to my family, especially to my loving wife Freny and our two amazing children Andrew and Tintin. To all of you, my dear folks and friends, many Thanks for your greetings and presents.

                                          Photos (c) 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 30 May 2013

Birthday Haiku*

*Scribbled on an available piece of paper within my reach at about seven this morning, while I was still in bed, after praying the rosary, and thanking our Almighty Creator-God, our Heavenly Father that I'm alive and well, here's my Birthday Haiku that I've just composed today and I'm sharing it with you all, dear folks and friends, and accidental readers of my blog, near and far...Thanks for being with me, this time.

Birthday gifts given
making celebrant feel good
making him special.

Oh, to be sixty
it's a one-time occasion
in life, that is sweet!

Best ever presents
to be alive with our Faith
family and friends!

Thank God, I'm alive
to enjoy my Life today
that's all that matters.

(c) 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cotton-Like Clouds Over Hampton Roads

Cotton-like, floating
over wide solid blue sky
lifting spirits high!
-chris a. quilpa

Hi, folks and friends! I'd like to share with you (with the photos below) what I witnessed and captured with my digital camera this afternoon while I was in my backyard, specifically chilling out, sitting quietly and peacefully, alone, in our wooden deck or backyard porch? Yes, I "feasted" myself on this bright, beautiful Wednesday afternoon with the purity of the clouds, the solid blueness of the wide sky, with the bright sun still up, over Hampton Roads. Thank you, our Almighty Creator-God! Thank you for the beauty and all the blessings of life here on Earth.


Photos (c) 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around, folks. Take care and enjoy the rest of the day! As always, I pray, "May God bless and keep us all safe from harm always!"-chris a. quilpa, 29 May 2013

Decal Renewal

Hi, everyone! Good Wednesday to us all! Thank you, God, that we're alive and well. And thank you for today with lots of sunshine and summer-like weather, and the excellent customer service we received at Pass and Decal Office. Thank you, Jesus!

Guess, or can someone tell me, what time is it, my dear folks and friends? I know, it's already Wednesday afternoon (and past two) as I start creating this blog post. One more guess, please! Give up? Let me tell ya...It's time to go to the Pass and Decal Office in one of the nearest military installations in the area. But why, you query? The answer is the title of this post.Yes, I have to renew my military or DOD (Department of Defense) decal for this old (vintage?) Avalon that we have, otherwise I and my family won't be allowed to get in to any military base with my private vehicle, even if I have in my possession a valid military (retired) ID card. FYI, my decal expires at the end f this month of May. So, I need to take care of this ASAP.

That's right, folks and friends. It's decal renewal time! Thank God that we're able to go this morning at NNSY (Norfolk Naval Shipyard) in Portsmouth. That's where I went again last year for the same purpose. There was a slight change of venue this time, although it's still in the same building. Before, you have to go up the right side of the second floor of the building. This time, it's the left side, first floor of the same building. One thing that's obvious, too, was that the office to secure/obtain decal was too small to accommodate lots of customers to the point that the line of people extended down to the stairs. This time, their office is more spacious. Thirdly, waiting time to be/get serviced (customer-wise) last year was way beyond thirty minutes or maybe past an hour. This time, it takes you five-ten minutes. I'm so thrilled that I didn't have to wait that long for my number to be called. This is what I call efficient and effective (quality) customer service. I'm satisfied with what I encountered today at the Pass and decal Office. Kudos to the change and to the staff-personnel, specially to the woman employee in window 4 who assisted or helped me secure my new DOD decal that won't expire in three more years, unless worn out or unreadable.

After I've mounted the new decal, I drove to the NEX and had brunch at Subway. Then, after about an hour hanging in and out of NEX, I found my way to fill up my fuel tank at NEX's Gas Station/Package Store where you can purchase alcohol or wine, snacks, etc. From there, I proceeded to the new Commissary building where I bought a bag of rice, one 2-lbs. Old Fashioned, 100% whole grain, Quaker Oats, five piece of avocado, a bag of celery and a small bag of peeled mini carrots, two cases of Dasani bottled water, and those bags of rice cakes of different flavors. That's it. No meat, no juice, no dairy this time. (We still have some stuff in our ref/freezer. Plus, I did buy orange juice and other veggies at Kroger's yesterday. And at Food Lion organic milk, 2% reduced fat.) Surprisingly while at the new Commissary, I met my former command master chief who I learned, after informing him that I just renewed my DOD/base decal, that there won't be any more DOD/military decal for your vehicle needed to enter a military installation, effective June this year? But, of course, with an exception---one that involves something...Really? Does this means that it's cost-savings for the DOD, as a result of sequestration, cutting down (military) spending. That printing of those decal involves spending $$$. What about security? And what happens to those employees working in the Pas and Decal Office? Will they be furloughed or reassigned or not have employment or jobs? I don't know. If this is good news or not, it's unbelievable what master chief has mentioned really. Anyway, let's wait and see. Sign of the times, huh?

Personally, I don't like decals mounted on the windshield of my car. It just adds to the distraction of the driver, I guess. The view from the windshield should be free of any decorative stickers or whatever label or printed matter that's glued or stuck to the glass. I remember about those years when we have city decal that's renewable every year, and it's a pain in the head to be scraping off the old to place the new. That was phased out by the city because it's a waste of taxpayers money for printing those decals. But, the one thing that we didn't get away with? We still have to pay for that yearly city decal fee, sans the decal. Money revenue for the city, huh? On the other hand, if it's the regulation, nothing I can do. I welcome it if they phase out the decal, you know. I don't mind paying the whatever annual fee. Enough of ranting about this thing...What matters is I just got  a new DOD decal for my "oldie but goodie" Avalon today. Thank God.

Btw, I still need to obtain another DOD/military/basedecal for one of our cars. Actually, it's Andrew's because his has expired, I think so. Though he was here this past three-day Memorial Day holiday, there's no way I could renew the decal in his car because, as far as we know, the Pass and Decal Office doesn't open on weekends and holidays. That means that it has to be on a weekday for a new decal to be issued to us, with all the required paper work or documentation like, for example, car registration form, current State inspection form, proof of  auto insurance, and your driver's license, and valid military ID card to show or present to one of the window employees. That means that I have to have the above-mentioned requirements from Andrew to be able to have new DOD decal for his car. The reason why we have all the DOD decals on all of our four cars is that if in case there's an emergency and if Freny or myself needs to be seen in a military hospital, one of our kids, if s/he's available, s/he can drive us to the nearest military hospital/clinic in his or her car, or one of our cars. Does that make sense to you, guys? I hope so.  

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you, my dear folks and friends, for your time. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless and keep us all safe from harm always!"-chris a. quilpa, 29 May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lingering Thoughts on Memorial Day

Thank God, that today is such a beautiful, peaceful Monday! With plenty of sunshine and mild weather, there's nothing to worry about but enjoy the day, with hope and freedom, and thanksgiving that we're alive and well.

Yes, it's a gorgeous day specially in Hampton Roads area where today, the last Monday of May, is filled with flags, flowers, wreaths in our Veterans Memorial cemeteries everywhere, and elsewhere. What is its significance, you ask? It's Memorial Day, aka Decoration Day, a federal holiday for US of A that is observed annually on the last Monday of May! It's a special day to honor and commemorate our fallen service members-veterans of war and peace---our unsung heroes who lost their lives in defense of peace and freedom for all. Yes, they paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom and liberty which we now enjoy. Thank you, valiant veterans for your service and sacrifice. May you rest in peace. Amen.

This morning, after doing my routine, I offered a simple prayer for our departed, fallen heroes of war and peace. Praying the rosary online, with the rest around the world, I reflected or thought of the sacrifices and sufferings our soldiers of different wars have endured, and their last moments, especially when they were out there in harms way, in the battlefields. I remember the other casualties of wars, the innocent victims, and their families left behind.

(Some thoughts lingering on my mind, today, as I learn to continue to live and try to enjoy life: Lessons of wars, invasions, and occupations abound in relation to preserving peace and order, and safety throughout the world. Questions arise such as 1) Is war necessary to achieve or maintain peace and stability of a region or a place in the world? 2) Is war justified? 3) Must war be waged to attain a purpose or an agenda? 4) So far, have we been more peaceful and secure in our world, with all the wars that were or continue to be fought?)

As I keep on pondering about life, here on Earth, I ask myself these questions: If life is so precious, why are there other "wars" out there that prevent it from nurturing and flourishing? Why do we (love to) engage in battles so much so that we want other lives to suffer or perish from our sight, that we want to be always victorious and the others defeated? Is this our nature as man, or human being---to be always fighting for our life, for supremacy, in a battlefield, since time immemorial? So what's life for? Life for life? Always opting, hoping to win? What about other lives out there who want to win, too, and have the right to live free from everything that hinder them to grow and prosper, like everybody else? Wow, what am I thinking, with these silly thoughts? Sounds philosophical, huh? Jesus, I don't know! I hope I'm making sense to you, my dear folks and friends. Let me stop here.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for reading my piece of mind. Take care and have a safe, peaceful Memorial Day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 27 May 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend with Andrew and Tech Upgrade

Hello, everyone! Good Sunday to all of us! How are we doing so far on this Memorial Day weekend? Hope you're enjoying it.

So glad and thankful I am to see my young adult son, Andrew, home again. He has been home since early Saturday morning for the three-day Memorial Day weekend. He has seen some of his friends in the Hampton Roads area since yesterday. (I learned from him last night when he arrived home that they had a great time at Va Beach.) I believe I mentioned this in my blog post yesterday when my wife Freny and I were at Automotive Dealership and Service Center. Anyway, thank God that we're alive and doing well. On the other hand, I would love to see or have our young adult daughter Tintin home, too, so we'll all be together as a family again, but she can't make it. She has a commitment, I learned. Well, what I can say but such is life. She has to do what she needs to do, you know.

This Sunday morning, we attended/participated in the 9:30 Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church with our pastor, Rev. Fr. David, the celebrant. Freny and I participated in the Holy Communion  rite as volunteer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, assigned to do Cups 3 and 4, administering the consecrated wine (Blood of Christ) to our fellow parishioners.

After Mass, we had lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Portsmouth. We were their diner-customers, you know. At first we thought they weren't open yet. But they were already. (See the embedded photos.) We missed Tintin, but what can we do. She's in D-ville. And we're in Hampton Roads.

Well, our plan after lunch was to go to T-mobile office but they weren't open yet 'til 1:00 pm. So, we had less than an hour to kill time. What we did was we went to a store near T-mobile's to just buy whatever that fascinates us, merchandise items that are bargain, sort of.

Then, we found our way to T-mobile. Purpose? To do some upgrading of our electronic gadgets and family plan coverage. I know, Andrew has been bugging us for some time now about upgrading our cell phones to a more complicated gadget that has this and that features, etc. That means Freny and I have had to do a lot of playing and learning with our new "toys." As you know, guys, we belong to the old school of thought, the so-called "baby boomers." Yes, I do admit we're technologically inadequate, not savvy yet. But we're learning something new everyday. I admit, I'm a slow learner with new technology but I'm hanging in there and not giving up, for as long as we're alive and doing well. While at T-mobile's, I let my camera on for a couple of shots taken. So, here they are, my dear folks and friends. See for yourself what my old digital camera has taken. Sales representative Andre' here, as you can see, is busy doing his customer service, helping us get upgraded...technologically?

He's been accommodating so far, answering whatever questions we have. I'm very much aware that upgrading of our phones to a smarter? ones does cost us money, and extra effort/s on our part, learning our new "toys."

Well, my dear folks and friends, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for your time reading this blog post of mine. (I have to check out my new gadget and I think it need to be charged. Talk to you later.) Take care care and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!"-chris a. quilpa, 26 May 2013

Photos (c) 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa