Sentimental value over practicality.

parked-car
Image Credit

We have a sport utility vehicle that my siblings and I got for our Dad back in 2014. It was a limited edition Ford Everest that my Dad loved so much he took care of it like it was his own child. Even after years of using it, the SUV is still in very good condition. He would not let a weekend go by without cleaning it, either wet or dry cleaning. Once a year, he would make sure to bring the SUV over to a mobile car detailing in Toronto to get it thoroughly checked and cleaned including the interior of the vehicle. Change oil, wheel alignment were just two of the additional services he would avail of once a year as well. He was that vehicle owner who took car safety very seriously.

My Dad was our designated driver. He would drive us around, to work, to school (for my nephews and for my sister who teaches at a nearby school), and to anywhere around the city for errands. He would drive us and accompany us to the mall should there was a need to go there. He never complained because he just loved driving and loved being with all of us. He kept on telling us that he felt at ease when he knew our location especially when he was with anyone of us outside the house. He was our protector.

My Dad passed away March of 2020. Before the pandemic broke out, he passed away too soon. He was just a little over sixty years old! But, I guess, that is life for everyone of us. Alive and kicking today, could be gone tomorrow in a blink of an eye.

Now, our dilemma: only my youngest sibling, my brother, and his wife can drive the SUV. But they have their own car that we now use on almost a daily basis or when we need to run errands. The SUV is now sitting in our garage. We are in dire need of tips on how to maintain an SUV. We turn it on from time to time and we make sure to get it cleaned but it is now being driven like it used to when Dad was still here. My siblings and I talked about getting it sold but sentimental value would always win over practicality. We did not want to part ways with the vehicle because it was Dad’s. It was like selling our father in a way. We did not want to see it go to waste so it is either I will enroll in driving school or really sell it to someone we know.

We will decide soonest. I am hoping we can finally set aside our sentimentality and sell the vehicle so other people can still use it.

Continue Reading

Squeaky clean house.

clean-house
Image Credit

Our house should have been well-protected from the elements. We made sure of that more for the sake of the kids. Who wants their kids being bitten by the bugs? So, we made sure that no mosquitoes or any other insect that will inflict harm on the kids will get in the house. There are quarterly pest controls being done at home as well as general cleaning once twice or thrice a year. But do you know those no see um bugs? Ah, I hate those little biting midges!

No See Um Screen Rolls is my solution to those pesky little things. I’ve read about no see ums online and it brought me to Quality Window Screen. It made me realize that the easiest way to make sure it won’t enter the house is to buy noseeum screen mesh.

I am sure it’s not just me but many adults with kids at home out there feel this way, too, but you know how you can feel so protective of your young love ones especially those living with you under one roof. You want to do everything in your power to make them feel secure and safe, even from something as little as those no see um biting bugs.

Since it’s been raining nonstop for the past several days now, I think it’s best if I ask my housemates to clean up doors, windows, and furniture especially those on the ground floor. We can change curtains now and vacuum the sofas as well as the mattresses.

I can’t wait for the whole house to be squeaky clean again and free of those pesky bugs!

Continue Reading

Reorganize and repair.

One of my aunts called me out of the blue last weekend. Like majority of us in this side of the world, she is experiencing cabin fever. She told me she would go crazy if she would not take on a couple of projects to take her mind off the situation we are all in now. I am talking about the ongoing pandemic. She wanted to ask me for suggestions on what she could do while stuck at home most of the time. Two things I suggested to her: reorganize her furniture and appliance repair.

home-reorganization
Image Credit

My aunt’s house is a combined two big houses. The main house is the original house that they bought years ago. The second one, the smaller of the two houses, was bought just recently. The idea was to renovate it and put it up as a rental. But plans changed and they combined the houses into one. It is one big house! Five bedrooms with another one in the basement, a huge double kitchen, two dining rooms, a big family room, and a wide backyard. The backyard is big enough to hold celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties.

Reorganizing her furniture will occupy a lot of her time. The idea came from a conversation I had with her about two or three years ago. A neighbor was selling their house and my aunt was telling the owner to move the furniture around so the aesthetic of the interior would change. She loves spending time choosing furniture and appliances, planning where to put those, and reorganizing it. She told me that I really gave her a good idea because she wants to move the sofas, couches, and recliners around.

Her backyard is another sub-project she could take on as she is in the process of getting furniture for it. And a hot tub as well.

Another suggestion is to take charge of the maintenance of the appliances. And another great idea, she said. She is already looking for an expert to do her washer repair. Cleaning of all her air conditioning units plus a check on the HVAC is also due.

I told her that there are a lot of things that she can do around the house. Instead of focusing on being stuck at home, I told her to focus her attention on things that she can now do while she has a lot of time in her hands. Aside from those two suggestions, she can also check on her electricity costs and how she can cut down on consumption. Another idea is to grow herbs. She has a green thumb so she can utilize that.

I was also feeling listless the past several weeks but when I pinned down the cause, I made sure to tackle it head on. I diverted my attention through reading and writing.

Any suggestions on what projects to take on now that majority of us are stuck at home?

Continue Reading

Celebrating my siblings.

siblings
Image Credit

When I was younger, I resent the fact that I was always held accountable for my siblings. I am the eldest and I was always told that it was my responsibility to guide and protect my siblings no matter what. I knew for a fact that my mother brainwashed me so that being responsible would be deeply ingrained in me. And it worked! Up to this day that we are older, I still feel responsible for my siblings, even the one who already has a family of his own. I would check on them from time to time. I would make sure that my sisters are all safe and sound at home before I close my eyes at night. That’s me when I got older, now.

But back then, when an opportunity to escape from the responsibilities presented itself, I would grab it. Every time I could escape, they’d find me in my grandma’s house. I really just wanted to be left alone, to read, to play, to do everything without the burden of taking care of the young ones.

These days, I love being around my siblings. I think as we grow older, we appreciate so many things that we used to take for granted. A simple request to accompany my sister for an appliance repair is a cause for get-together already. Lunch or dinner together, coffee afterwards. Then, hanging out at someone’s home.

Just last week, my sister-in-law was asking about this dishwasher repair she found online. That conversation became a catalyst for a weekend staycation in one of the sibling’s places. It was such a memorable one.

Nowadays, I celebrate my siblings. I am grateful that I have not just one but four siblings plus a sister-in-law. I have two nephews. I am surrounded by love all the time and I feel blessed because of that. Not every person out there has that to his name. Yes, we are now orphans because our parents have passed on. And we miss them a lot especially when we are gathered together. My mother was the one who taught us to celebrate every moment we have of each other and we do that now more than ever.

Life is short. My siblings and I know that for a fact. Our mother died when she was only forty eight years old. Our father passed away before this pandemic hit the world. He was sixty two only. Both were too young. So many parents out there live to their eighties, nineties. But ours passed on early in their lives. So, we celebrate each other whenever we can. Because we all know how fragile our lives are. Who knows when we will be taken away from this world? Not us. We do know, though, that it can be today or tomorrow. Or a decade from now. So, we love each other fiercely nowadays. We celebrate being together and we celebrate each other.

You should, too. You don’t know when a love one will be taken away from you.

Continue Reading

Growing number of plant-fans everywhere!

plantsAre you one of the numerous fans of various house plants that have been posting in social media about it, left and right? I love plants. I have grown up surrounded by it because of my mom who was, primarily, a big fan of orchids. But I must admit I am not as big a fan as others who really shell out their hard-earned money for the newest “it” house plant being sold at the moment.

Still, the PlantShed flower delivery is bookmarked because we all love a house with plants and flowers in it. Succulents are our favorite right now. A high school friend of mine gave us a couple of succulents and it’s thriving, thanks to my sister who takes care of the plants we have.

I remember when my brother was getting married, my sister and I took care of almost everything related to the church and the reception venue. The flowers, in particular, we really made sure were ones guests would remember even years later. We were successful in that area, I must say. People remembered the beautiful white flowers we chose for the church, bouquets, boutonnières, and even centerpieces for the reception venue. Cally Lily is the primary flower we chose. It was really beautiful!

Plants, flowers, are not just to be placed at home. Every celebration needs to have flowers, in my opinion. If a special someone will be celebrating a milestone, you can always rely on gift delivery from Plant Shed in New York City, or elsewhere for that matter, so you can convey your felicitations.

A house plant, a bouquet of flowers, a succulent in a cute pot, or even a bonsai. Almost every person I know will thank you if you give them one now.

Continue Reading

Entertaining the kids during this pandemic.

gamingThis pandemic has brought out the creative and skillful in us. Can you imagine a time in our lives when majority of the adults are working from home and the young ones attending their classes online? To be honest, I am still reeling from the changes that this virus has brought in our lives.

In our home alone, two kids are attending their classes online. Both classes are in the morning. My younger sister teaches her pre-school classes online as well. And then two of us accountants are also working from home. Can you imagine the chaos when we are all using the internet and then the speed suddenly fluctuates? You can only imagine the noise when the lot at home shouts for the internet connection to be checked and restored. At night, when everyone is relaxing already, the television is on, most are on social media through their mobile phones, the kids are playing video games… that’s when it hits you. This pandemic has given us a chance to spend more time together and it is one of the positive things that we should be grateful for.

So, anyway, I am sure the adults in your home are struggling to entertain the kids so cabin fever won’t set in. I will share two ways that we skillfully thought of in order for the kids, and the kids at heart, to have fun while stuck at home to avoid exposure to the virus.

Super-TetrisBond over online games. Friendly competition is the name of the game, my friends! I have a seven-year-old nephew who is very competitive and would really learn ways on how to defeat everyone who plays against him. He knows some of the newest video games these days but I thought how much fun would it be to teach him some of the classic games from my generation. Pac-man, Galaga, Super Mario, Street Fighter… Just some of the games that I got hooked on when I was younger. I am grateful for smart television these days, you can easily play online games while lounging on the sofa in the family room. That’s what my nephew and I have been doing the past several months.

We discovered online Neon Invaders, Pac Rat Game, and Super Tetris! Ah, Tetris. My nephew was hooked the first time he played this! We would spend hours beating each others’ high scores. My heart skips a beat whenever I see my nephew enjoying a game from my youth.

I believe most of us older ones know how to play Tetris. You just have to use arrow keys in order for the pieces to fit in and create a straight line. Fit until you find yourself racing against time. It’s so simple that you won’t feel pressure while playing. You can easily play again and again. Trust me, you’d think it was a no-brainer game, not as much fun as other games out there, but you will be surprised at how much time you will spend lining up those falling bricks.

Get those thousand pieces puzzles. And slowly fit the pieces to complete it. Believe me, the kids will go crazy finding every piece that matches the ones that are already sitting in their places. Ah, the hours you will spend just doing it…

Need more skillful ways to entertain the kids?

Continue Reading

Sofa for everyone.

sofaAre you one of those families that converge in a single place at home even though there is a lot of space to sit or lounge at? I belong to one of those families.

My sisters and I love chatting. Even our sister-in-law loves to chat. Since we all live in a single house, we often chat. And we love to do it while eating. Also, when we are in front of the television in the living room. You can just imagine the abuse our chairs would get from us. We would sit there for hours at times, even the nephews love to relax and play with their tablets while lounging with us around.

Just last night, I realized just how much we are in need of a new sofa for the living room. A sidearm is already broken while several sweat stains can be found on the chocolate brown sofa. We are in need of a trip to the furniture store Fredericton soonest.

In choosing a sofa for your home, here are two things to make sure you check: lifestyle and dimension.

When buying a sofa, make sure you choose the right dimension. You don’t want to get a bulky sofa for your small living room. Right? It might eat up all the space you have in that section of the house you want to put it in.

What to do? Measure the space where you plan to put the sofa at. Make sure your measurement is correct. When you are in the store, give your measurement to a store assistant to help you find the right sofa. Check available colors and fabrics. And count the number of people who can seat on it.

We always choose neutral colors. We used to have a gray sofa then we chose a chocolate brown one after. We also always choose leather. Easier to clean and maintain. The fabric ones can easily get broken especially when there are kids at home. Just a pen or scissor can tear one apart.

And, then, consider your lifestyle. Some people love entertaining at home. You choose a roomy sofa, easier to clean and maintain, and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. For people like us, a sofa is really for lounging, a place where we can sit for hours. It is what we use to chit-chat, watch television, read a book, and just chill. Some buy a sofa for aesthetic purposes and nothing more.

Also, consider if you have kids at home. Better choose a sturdy one even if it is pricier than most. Kids tend to jump on anything soft so you know that the new sofa will be used as a trampoline of sorts.

What’s your choice?

Continue Reading