Welcome to Nature's Cottage!

Thank you for dropping by. I'm not quite sure what exactly this blog will be yet. Join me in our journey of evolving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A few thoughts

It's been a busy few days for me. Beautiful moon the past few nights and mornings! I sleep right next to my window so I usually do a little peep in the morning once I've woken up to see what time it is. Since the days have gotten longer, it's still usually quite dark when I get up.

I always try to take advantage of planting while the moon is waxing- and towards the full moon. Everything always sprouts so much faster because after all, the moon has a scientifically proven gravitational pull which helps  plants grow. During its waxing period, the pull of the moon is upward- encouraging plants to grow faster. During its waning phase, the pull is towards the earth- so it's a good time to plant the root crops and such then. I've got at least 50 arugula plants coming up at the moment, plus two trays of bokchoy. I'm waiting for everything else to sprout.

I'm also job hunting. Aside from my work now, I'm looking for something else to help me start saving up. No luck so far. Anyone know of any online jobs I can get?

I'm most likely getting married in about 6 months. How crazy is that? Sometimes it feels almost wrong. Yesterday I went for a road trip with my mom and sister. I did most of the driving which was fine until the last two hours (we were driving for about 10 hours). My neck was going spazz and I had a skull-splitting headache which would throb when I'd get up and walk around. Thankfully, it went away when we got back home.

Anyway, I'm quite exhausted tonight. I'll share photos of our trip by and by. In the meantime, it's a great opportunity to just lay on the roof tonight.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Money matters

I've been extremely busy with my schooling recently. Not much time to do anything else. I've had a pretty good week otherwise. I've got my final's week coming up in a few days, so I've been busy catching on with deadlines.

I've also been worrying a lot about money and trying to figure out how to start making more- enough to start saving.  I was caught rather off guard tonight when one of my very nice and definitely trust-worthy teachers started encouraging me about investing in the projects of one of the biggest companies in the country. I think it's a great idea.  Now to start making enough money to invest! I might have the tiniest share in the company for starters.

I've worried a lot about money since I started to become more aware of it- which started when I was 9-ish. I grew up very comfortably no doubt. We had a family beach house, big houses we grew up in- cars (old as they have always been), etcetera. We just didn't grow up having our own money. Or at least, we hardly would have any. My grandparents would give us money every now and then when they would see us - but my parents rarely gave us money. Now I realize it was because they hardly had any money either. But we never went hungry or felt like we lacked anything.

I'm happy to have been raised in the simplistic way that I was. When I started staying in a lady's dorm I was just relieved I didn't have to have all the bottles of cream, facial cleansers, makeup and what not that the other girls had. Ironically, my skin was better than almost all of the girls there at that time. A coincidence or something for them to think about- I don't know. I have never been much of a dresser (much to Sam's disappointment)- but I look decent enough and dress up when I need to.

Money definitely makes the world go around. It's always best to have some of it on hand or at least have a bit to fall back on.  I wish I could say that right now as I'm running pretty low on funds. Things have just not run so well money-wise in the past two years for me. I always figure though that - just like with other things in life, sometimes you're down, and sometimes you're up.  We try and try and it'll just come. There was that sage who said that there are 3 things that cannot be changed when a person is born- namely, the length of one's life, what one will learn/study, and the amount of money one will earn throughout his/her life. That kind of simplifies things doesn't it? It explains why some people stay poor no matter how hard they try, and some people get rich without even trying.

Anyhow, wish me luck in my money matters. I kinda need it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lessons from the playground

A good friend of mine always says that the playground is one of the best places to learn about life. In particular, the see-saw:

Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. Life goes on, and it'll always be like that. Sometimes there are days which are dreary.  Some days are even worse, where the night never seems to end. During those times, we tend to dive into how bad the situation is and worry and worry about how it will probably never get better anymore. But later on- hours, days, weeks, or years later- things are good again. The sky turns blue and everything is just right.  During those times, we tend to dive into how great everything is and hope it stays like that.  But it won't. It's just the way it is in this cruel, ever-changing world.

Sam has been down with a bad stomach bug for the past 5 days. I wish I were somewhere nearer him to help him out.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Letting go

Some parts of this post was from a few days ago. I was with too many people and couldn't get myself to finish writing this because it kept making me cry again.

There are times when I really would rather be alone so I could cry my heart out. There are times and places which just make it impossible to find some much needed alone time. Tonight's one of those nights I'd rather just disappear for a while. It's at times like these that I have to remind myself that things in this world all pass.

It's just a passing show. Sometimes things are good and other times they're not. This world- which can appear to be a vibrant paradise, can also be pure hell. Practically everything is beyond our control. Don't even try to plan. Just go with the tides of life and pray that the tides are guided by the Supreme Lord, and will not lead deeper into misery and sadness.

My sister and her little family got here yesterday and left today. They were here for about 26 hours.This reminds me of the night I realized that my sister was gone- not just for a few months, but for a while longer. (It turned out to be nearly 3 years- what would we do without skype?) I cried almost all the way home, and it was a 7 hour trip.

I'm one of those foolish people who's taken my family for granted for years. It took several kicks in the but and heart breaks to make me realize how important and how supportive your own family really is.  My sister's visit brought us all closer to each other. It's something I know I'll look forward to doing and being a part of again... hopefully not too long from now. It pains me knowing soon I too will be the one leaving. There will be two of us leaving. Crying in the airport and making the immigration people wonder why we're crying. Crying because we don't want to leave all the people we've loved and who've loved us all our lives. And so we'll let go a little. Sometimes we just have to give something in order to gain another. The question comes of course, is it worth it? Time will tell.

Having said all that, I am thankful for what we have, and the time we have. I am grateful for what I have and am hesitant to even pray for more- because I know I have much more than countless others. Sweet Lord, keep us always close, protected, guided and serving together, no matter what geographical locations.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A walk to the river

We took a walk by the river. There were so many beautiful and interesting things to see, and so many things to do.

We saw some black pigs (not in the wild) or half boars. The mom/sow looked very intelligent, and had two little piglets who cracked me up. They cocked their ears when we spoke and looked us straight in the eye with obvious curiosity.

 I got the giggles from looking at this chicken whose feathers all curled up towards her head.  But she was very pleasant. You could almost feel her smiling at you. Yet another reminder not to judge by looks.

And of course, there was the river. The water was so sweet, cool, and clear.  It was perfect for the tropical heat. 

Isn't it amazing how- even when you run, jump, hike, and play in nature somehow you're not quite as tired? After 4 hours of hiking and swimming in the sun (and eating lots!) we were all refreshed. It's definitely a nice change from being radiated all day.

Have a nice week!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A little trouble

It's been a busy few days for me.  Had so much work to catch up with I couldn't think when I was talking to Sam today. We haven't talked in a while so that was rather annoying for him. I'm not sure if anyone else gets zonked like I do after a long day of computer work and studying though. I get all taxed out.  I just basically want to lie down and listen to him talk even if I don't have much to say- but it annoys him royally.

It's just one of those many bumps on the road of life.  Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. It annoys me that everything seems to be my fault tho. Whenever we're going through a bumpy part it's my fault. Why do I always have to be so spastic anyway? Sometimes I just seem to screw everything up.

My dad and some friends of mine went up to the waterfall today but I wasn't able to go because of a few deadlines I had to meet. In the meantime, I'm just taking some time watching some crazy videos on Yahoo.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day. I'm going to be at the cemeteries at a Red Cross Station from 8am to 5 pm tomorrow.  Hopefully we don't have to use our First Aiding skills!

Tonight I was thinking of my maternal grandmother who died more than ten years ago... and another friend who died last year.  I wonder where they are now.

Anyway.. back to work.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Picnic

Yesterday my dad took us (the family) for a swim in a nearby waterfall.  After more than 20 years of going back and forth to this place and living here for the past 5 years, I can't believe it's the first time we've see this gem.

We walked through rice fields:

By the river and sometimes, through the river:
 It was so beautiful all the way that we could've stopped and had our picnic in almost any of the spots.  But it was a bigger treat to walk a little further (I love hiking and walking) until we reached this:

Unfortunately, the only camera I had on hand was my cell phone's camera.  So my photos don't do justice to the real beauty of the place.  Besides, there were so many things to see during our hour-long hike, and I needed to focus on what I was stepping on and what I was going to step on next to avoid any accidents.  That aside, nature is truly amazing.

We spent almost the whole morning and a bit of the afternoon hiking, stopping for swims when we felt too hot, and just enjoying our time outdoors.  I've been living by the beach for several years now, so walking through the beautiful, lush forest and by the soothing water was a whole different flavor that I haven't experienced for a while. Besides, all the other waterfalls I've gone to were in the mountains thousands of feet above sea level.  The scenery was completely different.  Pine trees, regular high-land wild flowers and the like.  In those places, the water was so cold that it's not possible to stay in it for very long or your hands and feet start going numb and you get pins all over. But here, surrounded by mountains of tropical forests- where the palm trees grow in groves, or huge banyan trees seem to have either grown out of rocks, then through time, grown over and all around huge boulders, the water is as perfect as can be.  It's cold in some parts, but the sun and rocks are there when you need some warmth.  

After our walk, I was thinking about how good I felt.  I hadn't felt that good in ages. I felt so alive, not even tired after all the hiking in the sun (it wasn't sunny all the way, thanks to the trees). 

My dad walked bare-foot most of the way. As a teenager he left the city and lived deep in the forests with indigenous people until his early twenties. As far as I can remember he's always looked back fondly at those years he spent in the forest. He says this place where the waterfall is reminds him very much of those places he stayed in (the little hut he stayed in was just on the river bank) years ago.  When we were kids, he'd always take us on hikes. I remember how he'd put me on his shoulders (when I was younger) or carry me piggy back when I'd get too tired during walks. Then as we got older, he'd bring us to more challenging hikes that took several hours to complete.  Yesterday was another one of those memories to put aside and treasure. 

It's terrible to think of how the "modern person" can live their whole life in a cement and metal box, surrounded by so much noise, breathing either artificial or polluted air, and counting a day in the mall as relaxation or somehow a wonderful family outing.  Get outdoors.  Nature nurtures.  Learn to walk again, not on cemented pathways or straight cut wood, but on the soft, cool earth and on the uneven rocks.  Breathe the air that's fresh and alive.  See how beautiful real trees are and feel the wind against your face. Go into nature and live again.