Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Driving on my own!

Since, I got my license I am now enjoying the freedom of driving alone, not bothering my husband to take me to places I want to go to like going to town, grocery store, visiting my filipina friends. I am driving to places that four months ago I was strangely scared to even get out of the main road. So here I was on my first real driving challenge I gave myself last sunday.

I decided to attend church service alone since my husband was working that night. When I told my husband about it he was a little bit apprehensive but told me to call him immediately once I get home. I went to the 6pm service. It was raining, it was dark and I was determined to go to church. I ventured out on my own. I was somewhat nervous because this would be the first time for me to drive on a rainy night. Got to church in one piece. Darrell Mc Neil greeted me and asked if I drove myself to church alone, with pride I said yes and he said you go girl and next time I'm sure you'll be riding your husband's Harley, wow the feeling was heaven lol!

After the service, I decided to drive around town checked out the christmas decors and dropped by my filipina friend's house Jeannette's. Unfortunately, she was still at work so I decided to head home since it was still raining I carefully steered the wheel back to the house. Got home again safely.

I know I still have a long way to go as far as my driving is concern but at least little by little I get the hang of it. I know it worries my husband when I go out alone especially at night and it's raining. His paramount concern is my safety but driving solo helps me gain much needed confidence plus I'm beginning to love the liberating feeling it brings to someone who back home was even afraid to just even sit in the front passenger seat much more learn how to drive. Out here I was forced to beat my own fears because I got no choice but to make it on my own.


Birth Month Tag

I am not really on this tagging "thing" I was tagged many times in the past but have spoiled it. To me it's like "chain letter" hoopla. And so I changed my mind and here I am. Sorry to my other friends who've tagged me before, my birthday is coming that's why I'm doing this (vested interest huh!

I was tagged by Liza of Mom of Two about my birth month. I will then highlight the traits that tells the truth about me.

1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them. 2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (see below). 3. Pick your month of birth. 4. Highlight the traits that apply to you. 5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them. 6. Let the person who tagged you know when you've done it!

My Birth Month

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Loyal and generous. I know I am loyal to the bitter end!

Sexy. Hmmm I guess I am sexy, at 4'11 104 lbs lol!

Patriotic. Veryyyy Proud Filipino and I love America too!

Active in games and interactions. What can I say if I could still play football with Colton for an hour at 40 yrs old I'm still active and fit hehehe

Impatient and hasty. A little bit but more on patient, hasty no I'm organized I plan & think first!

Ambitious. Influential in organizations. We all have ambitions but I want simple things in life! Influential could be yes and no!

Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Oh yes!

Loves praises. Oh no! have a hard time handling praises!

Loves attention. No again, most times I want to be oblivious and be on my own it has do with age, I think hehehehe!

Loves to be loved. Who doesn't want to be loved?

Honest and trustworthy. Oh yes! Biggest lesson I've learned through the years is if something is said to me in confidence, I'l take it to the grave!

Not pretending. NOPE

Short tempered. I've learned to deal with it, I've improved.

Changing personality. NOPE

Not egotistic. NOPE

Take high pride in oneself. Yes and No

Hates restrictions. It depends, Yes and No

Loves to joke. Oh yes!

Good sense of humor. Oh yes!

Logical. I guess I am logical!

The Twelve Months

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving everyone, here's two of my favorite thanksgiving quotes for all of you!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good..." Psalm 100:4, 5a

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, November 19, 2007

Whoot I got my driver's license!

I have to tell everyone about this. Finally, after my second try I got my driver's license today.

I was more confident the first time I tried but unfortunately the old lady at DMV office failed me for two reasons: One she said I was erratic on stopping and taking off. Two I failed backing-up straight line I went over the next lane I wanted to argue but I know it will be an excercise in futility. On a happy note my three point turn was perfect. I've known friends who failed that part . I practiced backing up for over a week still I felt like I won't be able to pass another road test.

My husband psyched me up. He kept telling me don't sweat it, if you fail take again and again till I make it. So off we went to the DMV office. My biggest fear is to be paired with an official who is scrutinizingly strict like the old lady I was with last time. My husband gave me some last minute instructions. The only thing I could do was pray that the Lord will lead me to the right DMV personnel, wisdom, and protection.

Once inside the office this middle aged bubbly lady served me with much enthusiam, and courtesy. I was a nervous wrecked but I don't want to give the official that impression. The lady gave me the biggest moral boost by just being herself jovial, bubbly and warm. When I cranked up the car eased our way out to the main street my fear are all gone. I was natural. She told me to go straight and make a right turn at the stop light and she started complementing me that I was cautious of the speed limit, giving signal, looking over the shoulder, etc etc . I was instructed to make a 3 pt. turn and backing-up straight this time she started writing on her score sheet (I couldn't see it) I was on the verge of breaking down again but my good sense won over that. After 5 mins of driving around town she told me to head back to the office. Up to that time I had no idea if I nailed it.

When we got out of the car she asked me if I have money and I said my husband has the money she laughed. By then my husband said I guess that means a celebration. It was only then that I knew I passed it. After four months of incessant yakking and sassing from my husband about my driving I finally made it. I am now a legal driver even if hubby will suffer another over $1000 additional expenses for my insurance.

It was a big achievement for someone like me who have not even tried driving back home. Credit should go to my driving teacher my ever dearest husband. Thank you for the little patience, for all the tears I shed while you said I was stubborn for not listening to you, thank you for the two times we stopped talking for an hour because I was pissed off at you, thank you for making me feel like an idiot because I made so many wrong moves, thank you for the time I passed the written test but I forgot my glasses and we have to drive back home 20 mins both ways and you didn't say a word, thank you for you all the arguments we had over my driving (we never fought about something even for once till he started teaching me to drive). It all paid off. So where's the celebration, my dear you owe me bigtime? For that I want Hooters chicken wings and shrimp.

Went to Tennessee and left my cam!

I was out of blogworld for two days. Went on a road trip to Tennesse to pick-up the car that our friend Joe bought for his wife Jacque. It was an 8hr trip. We left saturday afternoon got to Lebanon, Tenesse around midnight stay in a hotel hit the road again the next morning for a 30 mins drive to suburban Smyrna Tennessee 10 mins outside of Nashville. Got Jacque's car and then we proceeded to Nashville (the home of country music).

We had Arby's breakfast on the way to Nashville then hit the road again, miss the exit to Grand Opry House drive another mile to the nearest exit. I love downtown Nashville and since we've talked about going to the famous Grand Opry and do a little sightseeing. Unfortunately we hit a snag, the road leading to Grand Opry was being repair we got lost in a dead-end. We turned back and my husband decided to hit I-40 and head back home.

I got so annoyed. I was quiet for about 100 miles out on the interstate. When we stopped to gas up he told Joe (who's tailing us on Jacque's new car) that I was pouting and barely talked to him because we didn't get to go around Nashville. Well, I finally decided to start talking to him when we get back to the car. My irratation to my husband was coupled with the camera that I left in the house. How can I forget my camera when it is my bestfriend.

Anyhow, it was a perfect ride the view's beautiful. Then the ever brat that I am told my husband that our dinner should be in "Hooters" or else I will not talk to him again for the rest of the trip back home. Two hours later I changed my mind because my husband told me I it's not a good time to eat hot wings or shrimp, he said the moment is not perfect for that. I don't know how he convinced me to have Olive Garden instead of Hooters when I've already set my heart to Hooters I guess it's the woman in me I get swayed easily by my husband suddenly I was a turncoat. Dinner was great I was recharged. Got home late, crushed and burn.

This morning when I woke-up I was a little bit upset that I forgot to bring my cam (couldn't get over it)and take pictures of our journey. I'll just have Nashville etched forever in my mind picture or no picture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Politics, Prejudiced or Plain Ignorance!

I've been trying to find work for the last four months after I got my greencard. Going through the whole immigration process is crazy enough but what's more stressful I realized is finding a job and proving your worth around here.

At the beginning, my husband and I were confident that with my big city credentials and work experience it will be easy for me to find job around here. We're thinking that the community college or the country would be an ideal work for me since it is alot nearer for me than the city which requires an hour or more of driving.

Two weeks ago I got my fifth rejection letter from the community college. When I saw the envelope from the community college I knew it's going to be the "thank you for applying letter". Right then and there my tears just rolled down. I immediately called Jacque (my filipina friend) cried my heart out we ended up crying together.

What made me cry? It was out of frustration because the position is for Accountant and the requirement and the skills they need perfectly match mine even though they only need someone with an Associate Degree. What made it worst is that we heard from the grapevine the one hired was previously a co-worker of the boss. Of course we have a "mole" inside. The college website gave emphasis on equal opportunity employment so when I applied I was banking on that premise. It was an over-statement.

I had the same experience with the county too. I applied one time for Tax Assessor but since I have no experience here my application process stopped at the first level and wasn't able to get to the next step. A lady at the gym once told me that the county plays politics, she said by the time they call you for an interview they already have someone in mind for that certain position and everything is just plain "procedure". That is my problem around here. How can I compete with people who has all the right connections? Or how to win my prospective employer their trust that I can do the job. Trouble is they don't even know where the Philippines is. Now, I believe even educated Americans need lessons on geography.

Last week, my husband and I sent another application at the county this time the HR lady advised me to be patient and just keep sending resumes. She also articulated that they usually hire someone whose presently working even if it's just small jobs but not labor intensive fastfood thing. I wanted to refute her at the same moment but I restraint myself for fear that she might throw my resume on the bin. I have not mentioned it to my husband but my hunch is I'm doomed and I'll never get a call again. She's just tacky. I felt she's prejudiced and doesn't value hard work. I don't know.

I've also learned from visa journey.com (my support group) that first time immigrants will always have a hard time jump starting their careers. It takes time to be assimmilated into the whole immigration process and live like everyone else. I should also accept the fact that I am not alone in my predicament, countless others are on the same boat like me.

My job hunting experiences should be a poignant reminder to myself that as an immigrants I am like an extra-ordinary fish swimming in the shark infested ocean, it will be always tough to stay a float. I know that corporate world is a dog eat dog domain but I never knew that the state or government world is far worst.

Anyway I think the Lord has other plans for me, all I need is to trust him to lead me to the best job for me. As always I just need to sit still while he works magically on something thas is best for me no matter how elusive it may looks to me.

Harley ride again!

The weather has been warm today compare to the cold blast it had the last two weeks. I've been unable to do my routine because of the "friggin" (oooops excuse me for my language) cold the south has been experiencing lately. This sudden change in the weather is a welcome relief. My husband decided to fire up the Harley to get some some good ride. With a light fleece jacket on hand off we go.

As soon as we got into to the main road oh "yeah" the loud Harleys are once again taking over the roads. It was a beautiful day, the temp was only around 70's time to squeeze in a good Harley ride no wonder everyone is out riding. We had a blast riding around town, to the Harley shop. What a breeze a single day of good weather could bring to Harley lovers like us, wish most days would be like this.

I snapped some pictures for all of you. The frost we had last week, the changing of the trees, our front yard this rainy morning, our roads, etc.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


This morning, while driving the car to the mailbox suddenly there's a chistmas song over the radio "Karen Carpenter" singing Merry Christmas Darling (I don't know if that's the correct title) it just hit me. I cried unabashedly it's because this is my frist Christmas away from home. I felt lonely since Christmas is my favorite holiday of all time.

I'l miss the kids on the street caroling or all the kids on their new clothes on christmas day, all the food during "noche buena", the christmas party at work complete with the christmas presentation all preparation and endless rehearsals last year our christmas theme was Broadway and you would'nt believe how talented filipinos are, the group that won did the musical Chicago it was superb (live singing), Miss Saigon, Footloose, Les Miserables, Cats, Rent and our group did Mama Mia (I was in the chorus).

I'l also miss the family gathering, reunions & parties, endless karaoke, puto bumbong, the smell of kastanyas, holiday traffic, all the little trinkets you I received from co-workers & friends, bonus, all the good food, the ayala decors or the malls.

Oh please bear with me I'm being nostalgic again. Talked to my mother last night she told me she has already put up her christmas tree and chistmas lights outside the house, the santa sleigh has been up outside and more decors are being prepared. I miss home but I'm happy that I'm not going to miss my husband this Christmas, life is good and so is sweet Jesus.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shadow's Back for Good!

"We got a new addition to the family", Kelly announced to me one afternoon while he was busy doing something in the pasture and I was on my daily afternoon walk. I shrugged went back to my business but at the back of my mind I was thrilled thinking "great Steph's finally pregnant". Wrong! After Kelly finished his work he drove his four wheeler in front of me and said Shadow's (his horse) coming home and after a brief talked he told me he's on his way to get him.

Thirty minutes later Kelly called me at home and told me he got Shadow at the pasture. He asked me if I wanted to get out of the house to see him. I hurriedly head outside to see Shadow back home and was shocked to see two horses. So we got Shadow and Little Joe as the newest addition to our growing family. I've never seen Shadow before but my husband talked alot about him especially when Kelly was still in active duty in Iraq. Shadow's their baby. Two years ago he sold it to one of his buddies who apparently got a dozen other horses. NC weather this year has been so dry that the drought has not produced enough stock of hay plus it has become too expensive so Shadow was given back to Kelly.

I've never been around or near any horse back home. Now that I have new additions to our ever growing family and keep me company these horses are a delight to see them chewing on the grass and look at me while I do my usual rounds (actually walk) in the afternoon. I even volunteered to Kelly that I'l feed him every morning. As usual my ever "doubting thomas" husband said how can I feed them when I stay late in bed everyday plus I'm a scary cat. He's correct though it's a big responsibility caring for 6 young'uns under my wings (two grandbabies Colby and Colton, two beagle puppies Oscar and Fred, and two horses Shadow and Lil' Joe). It's a hard fact that our family is getting bigger every now and then.

The last three days I 've given them his horse treats. I was thrilled when he took the treats on the palm of my hand and nibble on it like crazy. We bonded, now everytime I call his name he comes near me. Horses are the gentlest animals I've known but if you're not careful they'll buck and you'll get hurt. My husband has given me some instructions on how to feed them or get inside the "wired" fence. I seriously took it by heart because I've heard horror stories of broken limbs or accidents involving these gentle creatures.

Then realization hit me, I've never dream in my life I'll be living in a country almost like a farm or to bluntly put it live life like old retirees (still too young for that) around animals. We got squirrels, deers, rabbits, racoon, beaver, fox (never seen one tho'), possum, and every animal in the movie "Barnyard" plus all these birds that I've only seen or read in the books. Oh what a simple joy all these numbnuts could give to a weary soul like me. I felt invigorated just talking about them, who said country living is no fun eh!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Little Macy's Benefit Ride!

Last saturday was the annual benefit ride for Little Macy. The cold weather has not deterred motorcycle enthusiasts from joning the benefit ride including this filipina who despite the leather jacket was still fighting the biting cold (that's what leather chaps are for honey!). I dread this weather but for little Macy's benefits I'l do it again or over and over.

So, who's Macy? She's a rambunctious, innocent and lovable four year old luekemia patient. I've known her because her family sits in front of us at church. At sunday services little Macy's presence is always a welcome relief since she always has this ready, sweet, infectious smile for everyone. She's everyone's little sweetheart.

Anyways, Macy's ride was a good one. She got a pretty good size of crowd. The food's great and one more great thing about the ride was the company of friends and fellowship with Harley enthusiasts. I didn't win the poker run but I won a special door prize which is a set of car cleaner (not bad). I have no idea how much the ride generated but for sure it will help Little Macy's hospitalization and medicine expenses. So here's a little thank you note for all the people who came to ride with us see y'all again next year. Thank you too Little Macy for warming our heart, our body and our soul on a cold morning ride.