Parsons Vineyard and Winery

End your day with a glass of wine

How to Make Wine At Home

February 11th, 2014

Winemaking at home is allowed in the US and some parts of the world. However, the wine shouldn’t be sold and there is a specific allowed limit per year. Making your own wine has its advantages including having cheap wine in the house in case you have surprise visitors and, you can create your special recipe. Winemaking shouldn’t be hard if you have the right tools and know how. However, it can be potentially dangerous if you don’t have all that’s necessary. The following is a short guide in the home brewing process.

Wine making equipment

  • Glass or plastic container. If plastic go for 1 or 2 recyclable plastic
  • Rubber stopper into which you will drill a hole to attach to the airlock.
  • Airlock- can be commercial airlock, balloon or pvc pipe attached to vinyl bag
  • Funnel
  • Bottles
  • Stirrer
  • Sanitizer
  • Siphon

Ingredients

Many people believe that wine is made from grapes only. Although the world’s best wines are made from wine, you can make wine from almost any type of fruit provided it contains juice. You can decide to blend fruits for juice or, buy juice from the local store. A rule here is that the amount of wine you want to make is directly proportional to the amount of juice you use.

Sugar is the next ingredient. Yeast needs sugar to become active. You can use any type of sugar including brown sugar and corn sugar. You can also use honey but this takes longer to ferment.

Yeast is another important ingredient. It’s the active ingredient in the wine making process. There are different types of yeast available. Wine and champagne yeast is the best for your project.

A selection of chemicals including yeast nutrient, potassium or sodium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate.

Sanitizing

This step involves getting rid of any bacteria and microbes that make the wine making equipment home. The reason why this step is so important is that such microbes might interfere with the fermentation process spoiling the wine. The potassium metabisulfite mixed with water will act as a great sanitizer.

Mixing the ingredients

For 10 gallons of wine, you will need

  • 10 gallons of your preferred juice
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons yeast nutrient
  • 200ml solution of 2.5% potassium or sodium metabisulfite

Procedure

  1. Pour in the 10 gallons juice into a container and add the 4 pounds sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the potassium metabisulfite and yeast nutrient and stir to mix.
  3. Stir to remove any dissolved gasses in the solution
  4. Pour half the solution into the fermenting container and add yeast before adding the remaining half of the solution.
  5. Cork the fermenter with the rubber stopper and attach the airlock.
  6. Place the wine in a cool place. 65⁰F to 75⁰F is recommended. Keep checking the wine and ensure the airlock is tight and let the wine stand for at least four weeks. It’s usually ready once it clears up.
  7. Once the wine has cleared its time for bottling. Sanitize the siphon and bottles.
  8. Remove the airlock and replace it with the siphon tubing. Insert it such that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the container where yeast has settled.
  9. Place the container on a high surface.
  10. Suck on the tubing allowing the wine to flow into the bottles. Cap the bottles and label them if necessary.

Choosing Wine for Different Occasions

January 23rd, 2014

Wine makes a great complement for meals served during special occasions. It helps to strengthen the flavors in food as well as create a lively environment where people can chat and make merry. For most people planning a get together during a special occasion, selecting the wine to serve is harder than deciding which meal to serve. However, there aren’t any fixed rules in wine selection. The only thing to remember is that the wine and food flavor should simply complement each other. None should override the others flavor. Most people will generally select wines according to the type of meats if any, which will be served during meal time. Red wines go best with red meat and white wine with chicken and fish.

That said there are a few things you might want to consider when selecting the wine to serve during special occasions. They include the following.

The first thing to consider when selecting wine to serve is possible flavor interactions. Since wine will be served alongside food, consider what will be overall flavor felt after pairing several spoons of a meal and a sip of wine. As mentioned earlier, one flavor shouldn’t override the other. The wines flavor should complement or even strengthen the food flavor. For example, if you are serving a sweet wine paired with an even sweeter meal will complement the food, taste sweeter or, make the food taste even sweeter.

Second in your consideration is the nature of the meals to be served. Meals consisting red meat tend to be heavier and are best served with the fuller and heavier red wines. Lighter meals do well with the drier white wines. This is perhaps the reason why most people simply pair red meat with red wine and vise versa.

Your third consideration is the stage at which to introduce the wine. For most people, special occasions call for different types of wine. Each wine is served as a specific point during the meals. If this is your case, timing is important. Here’s a simple tip. Serve crisp wines before meals. These tend to be drier and, promote salivation and increased appetite. During meals, serve either red or white wine depending on the type of meal served. If you are serving dessert, sweet wines will work best.

Fourth in your consideration is the age of the wine. Many people believe that aged wine is best. But this isn’t the case when it comes to pairing your wine with food. White, fruity and crisp wines are best served when they are young. The reason for this is that they tend to lose their flavor as they age. Red wines on the other hand are best when they mature.

You should also consider the different flavors available beyond red and white. This will give you an idea about which wine can be best paired with the meal you want to serve. These flavors include crisp, dry, fruity and sweet. Crisp wines are acidic and go well with meals with acidic flavors. Dry wines have little sugar in them while sweet wines have a lot of sugar in them. Fruity wines have a fruity smell in them.

Sports Gone Bad

June 29th, 2015

My brother Chris loves to incorporate health and fitness in his daily routine. He runs, plays basketball and swims every week whenever his time permits it. Lately, he has been also addicted to watching UFC on TV and even on the live ones. I was surprised to know that he is also currently training with MMA fighters and he told her wife that he would have loved to compete professionally if given a chance.

I talked to her wife, Caroline and she told me that she does not want her husband to participate in such a sport because she does not want him to get hurt. She added that she read a few articles about injuries about the sport and they were so gory and gruesome and she does not want those things to happen to her husband, as she loves him very much. She also told me that it is even a deadlier sport than boxing. I told her that she should talk to her husband about her concerns about it.

An hour ago, I received a call from our mom that my brother, Chris was brought to a hospital because he suffered shoulder subxulation during on one of his every day MMA sparring. She told me that his friend called her about what happened to my brother. He said that my brother’s opponent was trying to submit him with a shoulder lock, but my brother did not want to submit because he wanted to try a move to counter his opponent’s attack. He was not able to execute his plans and it resulted him to his injury. My mom asked me if I could pick her up and visit my brother in the hospital. I told her that I could, but she has to wait for an hour because I still have something to do in the vineyard. She agreed and told me that she would be just waiting at her home.

I rushed to finish all the things that I would have done in an hour in just less than thirty minutes and I was so tired, but I didn’t have a choice because I also wanted to see how my brother is doing. My mom and I went to the hospital and saw my brother lying on his bed, smiling, while her wife was sitting quietly beside him. Our mom reprimanded him for joining such a sport. She reminded him that he still has a family and they could not afford to have an injured man of the house that could not support them. Chris became serious and he apologized to us for joining such a sport and promised not to do it again.

We heard a knock on the door and I opened it. It was Chris’ doctor. He was looking for his patient and I invited him to go in. My mom introduced herself to the doctor and she asked him about her son’s condition. He told him that he would be having shoulder blade pains for weeks, and he would be prescribing painkillers for the pain. He also told us that it is advisable for Chris to rest his shoulders for a few weeks while wearing a sling to keep his shoulder stable.

A Dash of Salt

April 30th, 2015

I really miss my parents, most especially my mom. My mom and I have really been close when I was growing up until now. We used to see each other every day, but everything changed when I started to take over the winery business. I know that it is going to be very rewarding financially, but I just miss the times when we just hang out in the kitchen and she teaches me our heirloom secret recipes. She also taught me all the things that I needed to know when growing up. From simple things like how to act and dress properly as a woman to more complex ones like how to handle relationships.

My mom once told me that she was also close with her mom. She shared that our grandmother used to have kidney stones because she was fond of eating salty and oily foods. Her mom also did not drink water as she needed to. My grandmother died because of the infections that occurred because she did not want to have surgery on her kidney stone as soon as possible because she was hoping that it would just pass through her urine, but the doctor told her that the stone was too big. My grandmother was afraid of being under the table, so she really waited for the stone to pass through her urine. My mom was still a teenager that time. She asked her mom about what do kidney stones feels like and she told her that it was really painful. She also added that she could not pee properly as she had frequent urges, but she could not go. Her doctor gave her many options, as they are many home remedies for kidney stones like making a concoction of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon. She drank it every day, but it was too late because the infection got the better of her. She died after two months and my mom was so devastated by her loss.

Since then, my mom has been very cautious about putting salt on food. She has always been educating my brothers and sisters, including me about how drinking water is very vital for our body to excrete toxins from our body. She also cooks our food with less salt or sometimes, even without salt at all. She taught me how to use certain spices like basil, rosemary, tarragon and thyme to replace the void of not using salt on our meals and she was right that food could still be very delicious and scrumptious even without using salt.

It is just funny that only our dad does not follow my mom as he always have a salt shaker near his plate during our meals. I asked my mom about it and she told me that she is so tired of arguing with my dad. She told me that our dad told her that what life is life about if you did not enjoy it. The ironic thing now is that our dad was diagnosed with hypertension last week. Now, he could not argue with our mom anymore about the salt thing.

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

March 30th, 2015

I have been very busy dealing with the accounting for my winery business. I have spent long hours sitting in front of my laptop and typing and crosschecking receipts all day. I have not even had time to see my family on weekends. My dad learned about what I was doing and he suggested that I get an accountant to deal with it because it would cost less money and time. I told my dad that it looked like that I am going to follow his suggestion because I have been dealing with back problems lately. I added that I currently have a middle back pain, while last week, I have dealt with a right side back pain, like this. I just sought the help of a good masseuse last week to alleviate my back pain. I also took some over the counter pain pills because I could not tolerate the pain much longer.

My dad told me that his best friend’s son is a chiropractor who could help me with my bad back. I was reluctant at first of his idea, but when he told me that he was the one responsible for curing my dad’s back problem years ago convinced me to have a consult with the chiropractor. He gave me the doctor’s card if I wanted to call him and book an appointment. I told my dad that I would call him later. I called Dr. Anderson’s clinic and I spoke to his secretary. I asked her if I could schedule a consultation tomorrow and she told me that the doctor has a slot for 10am to 11am. I told her that it is a perfect schedule for me. I thought to myself that I could still do some errands before going to the consult.

I came on time the next day for my consult. I met Dr. Anderson and he seems nice. I told him that my father referred him to me. He was surprised that I am already a woman and that I look good. He added that he recognized me, but unfortunately, I have not. He said that he used to see me playing with my friends at the vineyard, while he just sits with his father. I told him that I remember a kid who used to visit with his dad and was very timid and shy. We both laughed and he told me that it was him. He mentioned that he used to frequent our vineyard with his father when he was younger, but he had issues back then about socializing. Anyway, I told him about my back problem. He asked me politely if I could lie down on the bed to see the alignment of my spine. He pressed lightly and he told me that it has a perfect alignment, but I had lots of muscle spasms. He asked me if I wanted to have a spinal manipulation as he thinks that it could benefit me a lot. In just a few seconds, it worked wonders on my back. He advised me to always stretch every day and use a comfortable chair if I plan to work all day in front of a computer. I asked for the price of the consult and he told me that it is on him. He told me that I could visit him again next time if I wanted to and I smiled.

Thankful for all the Blessings

March 2nd, 2015

I recently learned that my older sister Jen wanted a tattoo to cover over the ugly stretch marks because she finds it very unsightly.  Although, I think that the stretch marks on breasts is going to be complicated and delicate.  I asked her to first consult my dermatologist to cover all the bases and ask if there are other available treatments for the removal of her stretched marks.  I gave her my doctor’s number and offered to go with her.  We called the doctor to check if there is an available appointment this afternoon and we were fortunate enough that someone cancelled hers before we called.  We went to the clinic and consulted my sister’s condition.  The doctor told her that she can try a process called laser stretch mark removal wherein she’ll use a powerful laser technology to reduce the look of even the darkest stretch marks without her harming surrounding skin.  I told my sister it’s a better choice than having a tattoo done over it.  She decided to get the treatment next month as she still has to tend to her babies.

Jen just gave birth to two beautiful babies.  It’s the first time that our family had twins so we we’re all so excited for her. She and her husband Nick knew that they we’re twins but they opted not to know their genders.  They wanted it to be a surprise.  God is really good that He gave them a boy and a girl. She named them Lily and Liam.  Lily is a little bit older than her brother for about approximately 2 minutes.  Nick was having problems in planning on what to do with their nursery room since she has a boy and girl twins.  Nick and Jen just decided to paint the room with a light colour. They chose to paint the wall aqua blue and the ceiling to the shade of marsh green.  They specifically wanted the room to reflect brightness, happiness and calmness hoping their babies will absorb the effect it brings.  They also planned to have an artist draw a simple kind of kid friendly mural.  They thought of the theme sea animals as both Nick and Jen enjoys water related activities like diving, surfing and swimming.
I remember, Nick and Jen once invited me for a diving trip but unfortunately, I wasn’t available because I was too busy dealing with my vineyard. We were having problems with wine production that day because some of my workers were sick so I couldn’t afford to be absent.  I was needed to assist them to have better manpower.  We needed a thousand bottles of wine at the end of the week and we were still short for about two hundred bottles.  I decided to stay even after our normal working hours.  I am so lucky to have such good workers that I also treat as friends because they also stayed and helped me finish the needed tasks.  I gave them bonuses because I want them to know that their good service wasn’t taken for granted.  I really love my workers as they always give more than they’re required to do.

Nothing to Worry About

February 14th, 2015

Vineyard is on my top list of the places that I consider home. I also treat it as my sanctuary as it oozes calm into my veins. If something happened to my vineyard I’d be devastated as I lived my whole life around it. Since I was a young child, I am used to the smell of the grass, the grape blooms and the friendly chatter of our workers. I love coming here to play with the workers’ children as my mom and dad let them in because both of their parents worked for us thus they didn’t have someone to take care of them in their homes. Until now, I still see my friends and treat them as family. Occasionally, we still hang out like the old times. A few of them works for me and they’re really efficient and good workers.

One of them is Anna who I made a supervisor because she’s got great time management skills and excellent people skills. She’s in charge of the overall production and quality control of the grapes that are going to be made as wine. She’s really a hard worker since I never had a memory that she missed work. She regularly goes to work at 7am until 5pm. She’s really required to go in at 8am but she said it’s better to go earlier to get more jobs done. I really love her work ethic so I gave her a raise a few months ago and she was so thankful about it.

Like any other kind of day, I always talk to Anna on mornings to delegate tasks and be updated with our job orders. We were talking and I noticed that she was coughing non-stop. I asked her if she was okay. She said yes but I didn’t believe her because she looked so weak. I touched her forehead and she has a slight fever. I immediately called our family doctor to ask him to come and see her. The doctor came and checked Anna using a stethoscope. She made her take deep breathes as he listened. He also asked her if she smokes and if she has trouble sleeping as of late. The doctor told us that she has a slight fever, shortness of breath and some mucus build up. Anna was afraid if she has pneumonia but the doctor told her that it more going to bronchitis vs. pneumonia since the latter usually has high fevers. He still needs to get her a chest x-ray and blood test to confirm. I told Anna that she has nothing to worry about because I will shoulder her bills including her medicines. She was so relieved to hear that as I know she was having financial troubles lately. The doctor told us that bronchitis remedies aren’t that pricey such as those mention at www.treatingbronchitis.org. He reminded her to lessen smoking as it aggravates more mucus build up and always drink water whenever she coughs to soften mucus to easily expel it out. I told Anna to take a few days rest as I can manage the vineyard on my own for a while.

Red Cap

January 12th, 2015

Anna is a good childhood friend of mine. Her parents used to work for my mom and dad’s winery. We grew up together playing around the vineyard of my parents. We also go to the same school that is just near our home. I was two grades above her because I am older.

Recently, I have promoted her to be my winery’s supervisor. She has really been a good help to me as she is very dedicated to her job. She is a very wonderful person and a joy to work with. Her scope of work includes supervising the overall production of wines per day and conducting daily performance and attendance checks of our workers. I used to couldn’t afford not to show up every day at my winery because I was afraid that it wouldn’t run well without me, but now that I’ve promoted her, she makes my job a lot easier. Lately, I just made myself locked inside my office finishing my paperwork duties, while Anna is on the field. She reports and updates me about our production two to three times a day depending on the situation.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Anna has been bearing a red cap all day. I thought that it was just because of the heat outside, but it appears that she also wears it indoors. I just ignored it, but I observed that she has done it for consecutive days. Since we are good friends to begin with, I asked her about it. She asked me first if I could keep her reason a secret because she is ashamed of having it. I agreed and she told me that she currently has scalp folliculitis, like these, which has been bothering her for the past month that is why she keeps wearing a cap even indoors. I asked her if she already consulted a doctor regarding about her condition and she told me that she still have not because she does not have time because of work. I told her that I would give her a sick leave with pay tomorrow, so she could finally go to a doctor for a consult. She thanked me and she added that she would ask her boyfriend to accompany her tomorrow. I told her to keep me updated because I am concerned about her.

Anna and her boyfriend Steven went to the hospital the next day. The doctor examined her scalp and he told her that antibiotics could easily treat it. He instructed her to buy a week’s worth of antibiotics and it would heal gradually for days. Her doctor also prescribed her with dry scalp remedies that she could try like mixing a concoction of oils like tea tree oil, olive oil or coconut oil with honey and lemon juice. She just needs to apply it on her scalp and let it stay for thirty minutes and then rinse it with warm water. She needs to do it every other day until her symptoms fade gradually.

Personality Type Indicator

February 22nd, 2014

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is a sort of psychoanalytic assessment questionnaire that is designed to quantify a person’s preferences with regards to his or her perception of the world as a whole and the decisions he make because of it. Studies have shown that people really are governed by such classifications and abide by set rules of convention, even if they had no prior notice that they belong to either one of the groups in the first place.

The way we experience the world outside may be described into four distinct ways. We experience the world through Sensations, Intuitions, Feelings, and through Thinking. According to scientific literatures, every one of us is guided by one dominant feature among the four. There are also subtypes which identifies more clearly, the functioning of a particular person based on his preference on how he views things.

The population of the world may be subdivided into sixteen personality types namely: ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ENTJ, wherein the individual letters of each type means: Extraversion (E), Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Intuition (I), Thinking (T), Feeling (F), Judging (J), and Perception (P). These four letter type dynamics further delves into a person’s inclinations and partiality with regards to how things really work.

The importance of identifying what types of personalities are therein a person has many uses. One of them is fining their seemingly proper fit to various aspects of society. One personality may be more conducive to work than another, one personality may be more submissive to orders, one may be more open to suggestions, or more aggressive to commands or to any given stimulus, whatever they may be. These things are very important to know on the onset to be able to foresee if the person on hand is apt for whatever the task at hand is.

Another implication of personality types is its perceived role in human relationships. For example, INFJ relationships may be more on the quiet side and more to themselves than ENFJ relationships which are typically outspoken and are wont to profess their love to anyone, any chance they get. It also delves on what results may be acquired or expected if a relationship pairing is on opposite sides of the spectrum and the consequences that may ensue in the union of the two.

As for me, I already took the test and found myself to be an ESFJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging) type of person. I don’t know if it is really good for me or something but it was only used to describe what I am made of, my personality that is, and it is up to anyone’s interpretation what that could really mean. ESFJ’s are described to be always focused outwardly and deal with things in their own way, and based on their own value system. ESFJ’s are a people’s person and they love to know more about other people. They are also known to go out of their way and try very hard to bring out the best of whomever they are with. Wow, mostly good stuff huh.

Somehow I think I really am that way but unfortunately I have no way of knowing exactly. Of course I am biased with regards to myself and see myself as only good, so it is eventually up to other people to describe me on what I really am with regards to what kind of personality I have. Good thing there is that test which kind of makes things a bit easier for us. So what type of personality do you have?

Irritatingly Painful Bunion

March 4th, 2014

I would have gone and performed my rounds much earlier if it weren’t for this bunion that is giving me a hard time lately. I was supposed to have inspected the vineyard as the grapes were very close to maturing, which may also mean that harvest time is just around the corner, a most hectic time for us here at the farm. It is imperative that I go there myself as it is me who is in charge of identifying the correct ripeness of the grapes needed for our class of wines.

Wine making is no easy thing as you have to consider very many variables and processes with the grapes, which are all needed to be perfectly grown and precisely timed, to even produce one bottle of good wine. The grapes being ripe do not necessarily mean that they are already right for the wine making process as different classes of wine require different stages of the grapes ripeness. Besides, it is my very own vineyard so I like to be very hands on with all the things happening there.

I would have gone there barefooted if not for my father imploring me to rest a bit, as he said that I might aggravate my bunion further if I go there on my present condition. So after struggling a bit with my thoughts, I relented and stayed at home. I propped my feet up on the coffee table, put some ice over the offending area, popped some analgesics for the pain, and I drifted off to meet Peter Pan in Never-never Land. Of course with my thoughts still on the eagerly ripening grapes on the field.

I seemed to have overslept and woke up with a start. I forgot to set my alarm and my father never thought of waking me up as, according to him, I was sleeping like a baby the last time he saw me. I got up to put on my work clothes and off to the field I went, never really putting any attention to the bunion which grounded me in the first place.

Thankfully the grapes were still a week away from the desired ripeness and I was not late for anything yet. After talking with some people, I went home thoroughly relieved that I did not fail in my duties and it was during my drive back that my left foot began to ache again as the bunion was being pressed upon by my ill-fitting shoes.

Bunions seem to run in my family and are hereditary creatures, as both my father and grandfather have them. Mine is of the Tailors bunion variety and it grows on the side of my foot where my pinky finger is and not on the side of the big toe, where bunions normally grow on. It’s like the bones of the pinky finger is trying mightily hard to stick to the bone next to it, causing the anchor bones on the toe base to protrude and form a bump on the side of the foot.

I’ve been meaning to buy the best shoes for bunions but haven’t really had the time for it though, get some recommendations here. Maybe this is its own way of telling me to better act on it soon, or else suffer from excruciating pain in the near future. Anyways I got some time on my hands, one week exactly, and I will buy my bunion shoes as soon as possible.

How relationships work?

March 22nd, 2014

I’ve always felt that relationships can make or break people. A relationship doesn’t have to be with someone, it can also be with family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances. Relationships are always complicated because we make it one. When we are asked a yes or no question, some answer it with a long, whole rant instead of answering it simply with a yes or no. As I’ve said before, why complicate things if it’s already complicated.

It feels good to have someone special in your life as you will always have someone to rely on, to be your rock whenever you feel you can’t embrace the pain no more. I’ve had my fair share of relationships, some good, some bad that I thought were meant to be forgotten, but what I’ve learned in life was the bad things that happened to you happened for a reason. The reason being is making us aware of all the mistakes we’ve done in the past and avoid them in the future.

Think about it, those people who haven’t failed and fell down are those who don’t have a clue on how to rise above it all. Remember that everything that happens in our lifetime are all opportunities to learn, stand tall and grow as a person. Those battle scars will enable us to be better human beings.

I lost my grandmother to thyroid cancer 10 years ago. I grew up with her so she was like my mom. I’ve never felt the only child syndrome, like the ones describe here, as I have 7 brothers and sisters. I’d like to think that between her eight grandchildren, I was one of her favorites as I’ve always spent my summer vacation in her home. We used to do things together like cooking and gardening and I enjoyed it greatly. I was really devastated when I learned that she has cancer. She has stage 4cancer and I didn’t know what to do.   All I did was cry and pray. I sometimes even tried to stay away from her to make her passing a little lighter but I was wrong. I couldn’t stay away from someone who loves and cares for me whatever I do. Instead, I tried spending all my time with her whenever I’m not busy with school. I’m glad my friends understood what I was going through, as I wasn’t able to hang out with them the way we used to. My grandmother and I never talked about her illness; instead we talked and reminisced about the good times.

Day by day, little by little, I started to accept that she was dying. She had a good life and she needed to rest with our Creator.   The whole family was there when she died. We all felt sad that she was gone, but we should accept the fact that it’s the cycle of life. We will all go through the process. It’s just that she was born earlier. We called her death the celebration of grandma’s life. I’m glad that I changed my mind not spending my time with her. If I didn’t, I couldn’t forgive myself. It was one of the best times of my life. A friend of mine asked me how to get over someone, I just tell this same exact story or refer them to this site www.simplerelationships.net. We should learn to treasure the happy memories in life and learn from the bad.

Decisions, decisions…

March 22nd, 2014

I haven’t seen Monica for a long time. Our friendship can be traced back to our early years as our moms are best friends so whenever they hangout, they also brought us and it made Monica and I very close friends. She’s been pretty busy with managing her landscaping business. It’s a good thing that she’s free today so I invited her over to the vineyard. She also brought her only daughter named Cristy. She’s already 7 years of age. She has blonde curly hair, freckled cheeks and a smile that lights up a room. She’s on the stage where she often asks questions and very talkative.

In the vineyard, we have a dog named Dom. He’s a very large dog as he’s of a pure Doberman pinscher breed. He is colored black with some rusts, muscular, has cropped ears and tail, and his stature reflects courage and intelligence. He may seem look threatening but if he sees that they’re my friends, he won’t hurt them. Cristy took an interest on him since she’s fond of dogs. She has a pet poodle in their home. She asked me can dogs eats bananas. I didn’t know the answer so I told her to try feeding Dom bananas. I asked some of our workers if we bananas but to no avail. I told Christy we’ll try it next time or maybe she can try feeding her pet at home. She smiled and told me that it was a good idea. She also showed me a picture of her pet named Cookie. She’s well groomed, has a pink ribbon around her neck and a shiny white coat of hair. She added that they only feed her hypoallergenic dog food as he is sensitive with other brands of dog foods, you can learn more about that type of dog food here. Monica agreed and told me that it’s really pricey but if that pet is making her daughter happy, then it’s okay.

Monica also told me about the problem she was facing with her landscaping business as she was having a hard time monitoring the money in and outs and now she is almost in bankruptcy. She suspects that her supervisor, her right hand man, must have been scamming money from her in a long time because recent reports on paper and the actual money in receipts have lots of discrepancies when she checked. It’s sad that it happened because she really worked hard for it. She used to work for an advertising company where she saved up for a couple of years and then decided to resign to pursue a different path, a landscaping business, where she has a passion in.

Monica’s mom taught her to plant ornamental plants and herbs in their backyard when she was young. Since then, every summer, they both worked on their backyard to enhance its appearance then they even tried working on their front lawn. Their neighbours were impressed that they were just the two who worked on them. Too bad her mom lost the battle with cancer last year. I asked her about what were her plans but she still doesn’t have a clue on what to do. I know she can help Monica with the problem she’s dealing with now.

Thing that I will miss

April 3rd, 2014

Running has always been my routine every weekend. I run from 1-2 hours depending on the weather and my mood. It’s not that I’m a health buff, but it makes me happy as it makes me forget about other things. I really enjoy running until I suffered sprains and now, sinus tarsi syndrome. I have been dealing with it for a while now. I’ve consulted doctors about my case and most of them told me that I developed it because of the repetitive actions of my ankle and feet when I run. They advised me to try other sports like swimming and cycling as it has lesser tensions or no tensions at all on my legs and feet.   They also told me that I’m prone to sprains and later on, sinus tarsitis because I have flat feet. I’ve been using a specialized shoe for over-pronated feet, but I still get injured often.

When I think of it, I always have sprained foot ever since I was young. I’ve always wanted to try and play new sports but I often ended up spraining my feet. My friends think I’m wimpy, but then I think that’s not the case. My podiatrist instructed me to have an MRI scan to determine the cause of my constant spraining. The result was unfortunate because it showed inflammations on the fibrosis area, therefore making me positive for sinus tarsitis. It was sad and breaking news for me because running is already a part of me. He advised me to rest my feet, ice the area and take non-steroidal inflammatory medicines like Ibuprofen whenever I can’t tolerate the pain since there will be more consequences if I abuse the drug. He also told me that I can undergo rehabilitation once the pain goes away if I choose to do so. The most complicated treatment would be surgery which could remove any chronic synovitis or inflammation and scar tissue and the reconstruction of the ligaments of the foot. The surgery option is way too complicated for me so I chose to rest my feet and take it from there. He reminded me to be patient as the recovery needs time. I listened to him as I don’t want to aggravate and make it worse than it already is. He also informed me that I can still walk but I can’t run over a mile.

I’ve been resting my feet for months and I feel great now. There are no more constant pains whenever I walk. Instead of running every weekend, I tried to relive my old passions like cooking and photography. I used to enjoy them while I was in college. My mom is so happy that I have more time to spend with her because she’s my cooking buddy. I bought a new lens for my old DSLR. I also bought a new pair of shoes that my podiatrist recommended. I still need another form of exercise so I’ll probably try cycling since I can always borrow my brother’s bike as opposed to traveling hours to get to the nearest pool because I live outside the city.

Pregnancy Scare

April 12th, 2014

I am afraid to have kids of my own. Do not get me wrong. I love kids, but the thing is that I fear the process of being pregnant and all the things that I have to go through. I have seen many of my friends and families who had a hard time dealing with their pregnancy, as I saw them to have mood swings often and they even had the silliest cravings that they could think of.

Last year, I saw my sister Jen’s experience as she had lots problems handling her pregnancy with her twins, as she was not mobile enough because of her sudden weight gain. To add more problems were the symptoms that came with pregnancy like nausea, vomiting and frequent urination. Imagine, my sister carrying twins inside her uterus and she has the constant need to go and pee every minute. She even resorted to try to stop the urge to pee, but it caused her to have a urinary tract infection or UTI. Her doctor advised her to try to endure it because it is for her kids, as she does not want them born with an infection. Her husband Nick, didn’t get it about why she was always moody that time, so I told him about what my sister was going through for their family and he finally understood.

metal taste in mouth

My sister even experienced metal taste in mouth and the doctor told her that it was because of her overactive and raging hormones. It was really weird that my sister also experienced a sweet taste in mouth after the metallic taste. Her husband Nick was so concerned about it and he asked for second and third opinions. All of the doctors told him the same thing that it was an unusual symptom, but it would fade away gradually as her pregnancy progresses. The doctors explained that my sister has dysgeusia. It is a condition wherein someone loses her ability to taste properly. Besides pregnancy, the doctor told them that its other causes are smoking, gingivitis, cancer and even depression. The doctor told her that pregnancy symptoms like this would not last long. My sister also told her doctor that she recently experienced loss of appetite and the doctor told her that it is connected with her dysgeusia. She advised her to always brush her teeth and scrape her tongue to counter her weird tastes from time to time. Thankfully, it is already my sister’s second trimester and all of the signs and symptoms wore off except for the frequent urination. My sister told her doctor about the good news and the doctor said that she should enjoy it while it lasts because she should watch out for her last trimester.

I really admire women who endure and embrace the whole process of pregnancy, especially my mom and my sister Jen. I really love the idea of having kids on my own, but not now. Maybe, I still have fear towards it because I am still not ready to be a mom.

Buying Myself an Aquarium

April 30th, 2014

I’ve always been fascinated by aquariums large and small, and ever since I was a kid I have always wanted one. My parents, ever loving and doting as they are, always made sure that I get what I needed and also what I liked, so I did get my longed for aquarium just by asking them for it. But as with other things that are easily acquired, there was a catch.

Always wanting to teach me the valuable lessons of life, my father along with my mother, made me work around the house to earn the money that is needed to buy the aquarium. And ever the dutiful daughter that I was, I followed their wishes and worked hard so that I might buy my very first aquarium.

I did the dishes and vacuumed the floors, I helped mom cook and was an assistant to dad whenever he did repairs around the house. I learned to clean my room and put my toys and other stuffs in their corresponding places. I woke up and slept early, and I stopped badgering my brothers, to which they were eternally grateful of. I did a lot of things for which I was now very thankful of, as it kind of developed in me that persistence and diligence that would serve me well when I grew up.

The time eventually came when I saved up enough money for the aquarium and dad accompanied me to the local pet store to buy one. There I saw many different kinds of aquariums containing may kinds of colorful fishes darting every which way inside the clear waters of the aquarium. I saw a little ceramic house that spouts bubbles of air in its chimneys and also the beautiful mermaid, with her long red hair, sitting still on a big rock, I kind of thought that maybe she was waiting for me to buy her and stuff.

I only had enough money for the tank and its corresponding air tubes and stuff, also for several fishes, five to be exact, and the mermaid and the little ceramic house. I would have wanted to buy the giant sea clam which opens up every so often to release air bubbles but my money ran out on me.

We were supposed to be leaving the store when a little fish caught my attention. I didn’t get to see it before when I was choosing fishes because it was hiding and swimming around the bottom of the aquarium. What got me really interested in them were their long mustaches on either ends of their mouth. I thought it was very funny looking at them and I imagined several of them swimming side by side busily pestering other fishes, which was kind of like me with my brothers.

The shop owner told us they were Cory catfish and said that they were the cleaners of the aquarium because they eat up all the excess foods that are generally not eaten by the other fishes. My eyes light up when I heard about cleaners and eaters because that was what I have been doing for the last few weeks and that they were kind of like me in a way. I really liked them and I knew my dad noticed it, but I really don’t have any money left for them.

My dad told me he would buy them for me if I continued being good to my brothers and never bully them anymore, his sort of catfish bait to lure in his catfish, which was me in this situation. What?! I protested. But I really liked to have them in my aquarium. Well to make a long story short, I eventually got them and still had my way with my brothers.