Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Holiday Letter

2008 has been a year of learning and trials for us. The most important thing we learned is to live fully no matter what the situation. It’s been a year of 1st times and life happenings.

Our first times were….

  • January, we participated in the Iowa Caucus. We met many enthusiastic people, who like us participated and volunteered for the 1st time. Our guy did not win, though.
  • August, we camped at Rocky Mountain National Park. Sleeping in the tent was more fun than we thought it would be. No, we did not see any bear (thank God!). Two new terms were coined by Jason -- hybrid camping and bi-time-zonal. Hybrid camping refers to sleeping in the campsite but going to town to hunt for food at the supermarket. Bi-time-zonal because our bodies continues to live in central time but we need to follow mountain time. We learned how to use a pail for a commode because we were too afraid to venture out of our tent at night for fear of bumping into a bear. Starting a fire without lighter fluid was a challenge but can be done. We met nice people from all over; and probably will never see again. Running down the mountain in the middle of a hailstorm during the height of Summer was unexpected. Park rangers confirmed this rare occurrence. We had a lot of fun and we plan to return, someday.
  • November, Loraine voted for the 1st time in the Presidential Election. Next time she will request an absentee ballot due to long lines and somewhat chaotic atmosphere. It was an honor to participate in this historic election.
  • Loraine started a blog in April to practice her writing skill in English. Through her blog, she was able to connect with other Filipino bloggers living in different corners of the world, who shared the same experiences. It became an outlet and means of expressing her thoughts. It is somewhat scary at times to open your life like that..

Life continues…

  • Jason and Loraine continue to work for Mercy; Loraine’s father for WalMart in Ankeny.
  • We met new friends and re-connected with old. November, we attended the wedding of Jacqui and Alex in Clarion where we also re-connected with Fort Dodge people. We visited Susan and Tyler who live in Kansas in December. Susan is Loraine’s schoolmate from high school, as well as neighbor in the Philippines. We had a great time talking about old times as well as catching up with each other’s lives.
  • Jason continues to burn night oil studying for his Accounting degree which he plans to finish someday.
  • Vegetable gardening continues to be a big part of our Spring and Summer. We look forward to expanding our operation next season.
  • The chance of finding someone you know in a crowd is so remote, especially in Des Moines, yet Flora Lea Foster was able to find us, unexpectedly. It happened summer of 2006 at the Farmer’s Market. Then , again this fall at the Des Moines International Food Festival. We hope to unexpectedly see her again next year.

Overall, it’s been a good year for us. Despite the recent economic downturn, we are grateful for all the blessings we received and peacefulness we feel. And we wish the same to you …

Jason and Loraine

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Life happening...

Quite frankly, I am apprehensive of writing another post in my blog due to following reasons:

  1. Bloggers who are lot better writers than me found out about my blog. I feel so unworthy. It is my fault because I left comments in their blogs and gave my blog name in the process. I cannot help it. I am nosy!
  2. It seems like I am more inspired to write in this site when I feel melancholic. I don't want people to think that I am such a negative person (which is highly possible). But who cares what people think, right? I am such a sucker for acceptance.
  3. My command in English language is still limited even after 11 years of living in US. I am really digging at the bottom of the barrel here, people, since I started my blog.
Anyway, what keeps me going is that this blog keeps me connected to people who are sharing their expat stories and who are going through life experiences like mine. It is nice to know that I am not alone in my infertility issues; that there are Filipinos like me living in foreign countries trying to maintain their identities while integrating to their new societies (which will probably be a lifetime ordeal for me).

Okay, enough of my dramatic sentiment. Here's what's going on in my neck of the woods...

The Weather

Brrrr! Blustery! The average high now is in the 20's (Fahrenheit) and the lows is in low teens. Wind chill needs to be factored in, too. I have to dress in layers for my job because of the temperature difference between the outside and inside of my patients' house. My skin is dry. Nose is somewhat bloody and buggery. Hands and lips are cracked. Hair static -ky. I am a mess! But there is some kind of peacefulness during winter (Actually, it is not officially winter yet--not 'til the 21st). Outside the comfort of my warm home, time seems to stop and everything transformed into glass that can break at anytime. In a windless day, nothing seems to move except the heat that turned into smoke coming out of me when I exhale and from house chimneys. It is eerie yet beautiful.

New hobby

I never thought I could learn how to knit until I met a lady who owns a small local yarn shop in my town. I met her couple of months ago. Due to multiple road construction in our area, I was detoured to another road. During idle moment at the red light, I browsed at the shops around me. It was providential. I saw her sign. Unable to control my curiosity, I went to her shop. Upon opening the door, I knew I was in yarn heaven. "Touching is free. Help yourself," she said. That's what I did. I've been crocheting for more than a year now. So, I can appreciate a good skein of yarn. She offered to teach me how to knit . Due to my busy schedule, I did not take her offer until 3 weeks ago. Not bad for a beginner, huh?

To be continued....