Saturday, June 16, 2018

Grand Daughter Marina Brewster Katague Graduating Today

My second youngest grand daughter, Marina, youngest daughter of Dodie ( my oldest son) is graduating today with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology* degree from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Congratulations Marina!

Dodie informed us last week, that Marina has already a job offer at the university and has a contract for three years. So for now her goal of going to medical school is on hold. So Dodie and wife Ruth are free of college expenses. Dodie plans to early retire next year. He and wife Ruth plan on travelling all over the world. Dodie also plans on finishing his second novel, Devil's Mountain during his retirement years. Six months after retirement, he plans on working part time back in his office as a Prosecuting Attorney for Contra Costa County, Martinez, California.

This month I have learned of many families with graduating children. Two weeks ago, one of the CNA's at ManorCare called in sick. In reality he did not go to work, because his oldest son was graduating from high school. Last Saturday, our favorite Pinoy grocery store was closed. Today I asked her why it was closed. She said it was graduation day of her oldest son in college.
Marina and older sister, Alix ( Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Cornell University, 2017). Sino ang mas maganda?

Macrine and I have now five grand children with Bachelor Degrees. One more to go. Looking forward for that day and hope I will still be kicking and alive when Carenna my youngest grand daughter graduates from college.

*Kinesiology is the scientific study of human or non-human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dodie, Sierra and the Wheel Chair Ramp

Sierra, Ditas Dog enjoying the wheel chair ramp built by Dodie and David III last week

Last week Dodie* and David **( my two sons) built a wheel chair ramp from our patio to the garage so we can easily transport Macrine to all her doctor's appointment without hurting our back lifting her. The next day Ditas and Carenna visited us bringing Dimsum goodies from downtown Sacramento. Thank you again, Dodie and David. Also Thank you Ditas and Carenna for the visit prior to your planned summer trips all over the US, Hawaii and Iceland.

The last 22 days had been hectic when Macrine was still in Rehab. Someone has to be with her 24 hours because of the danger of Falling. David and I as well as the caretaker alternated watching Macrine during her stay at Manor Care. Since we paid extra for a private room I was able to sleep in Macrine's room in a recliner chair ( not too comfortable). However, thank you Lord I survived the 22 days without a major back ache.

During my stay at the Rehab, I got to know more than a dozen Filipino-Americans nurses and CNA's( certified nursing assistants). One nurse is working double shift to save money for a down payment for a house. Another nurse is working in another nursing home, so he can save money for his child college education. A CNA Dad's recently died. She had a power struggle with relatives in Northern Cebu of the burial procedure of her Dad. She wanted her Dad cremated here in US which will save her money. Her relatives in Cebu wanted the body shipped to the Philippines. The estimated cost at that time was closed to $8000 versus $2000 for cremation here in US. Of course her relatives in the Philippines expected her to pay for all the expenses. She said her relatives in the Philippines thinks she is rich here in US and money just grow on the trees and ready to be harvested any time. I heard of this a hundred fold before! What a misconception of life here in the US.

A typical private room at Manor Care, Citrus Heights, California

Again, I am thanking all friends and relatives who wished for Macrine's rapid recovery via telephone calls, visit, and FB messages. May your tribe increase and hopefully you have a good and cool summer season wherever you are.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Have You Tasted a Macopa Fruit ( Mountain Apple)?

When I was growing up in the Philippines (late 1930's), we have a macopa (tambis) tree in our backyard. Here in the US it is called Jambu Wax Apple or Mountain Apple.

I have not tasted the fruit since then. Recently a FB friend posted a picture of the macopa fruit( from her backyard) that aroused my interest and reminded me of the taste of this delicious fruit. The blog below list all of the tropical fruits growing abundantly in my orchard in Boac, Marinbduque. Needless to say, the macopa tree is not in the list.

I did some search and here's what I found: ( see reference).

Macopa – Syzygium samarangense – is a tropical fruit that grows very well in the Philippines. The fruit is bell shaped but the name macopa is from the Spanish word copa which means a goblet or wine glass. If you look at the fruit upside down it resembles a cup. The fruit has light fibers and one seed inside. The color is varied from light green to pink and red to dark maroon coloration. It is often the dark colored one that’s the sweetest of all.

The tree grows up to 12 meters and quite prolific when its time to flower. The flowers are white and keeps flowering even if some fruits are ripe, so you have a continuous supply of macopa all summer long.

The fruit is not so sweet compare to a regular apple, its actually a bit on the bland side. But it is a refreshing fruit and have enough moisture to quench your thirst. Besides, there are healthful benefits ( you can get from this macopa fruit. It contains vitamin C and other antioxidants which are considered cancer-fighters.

There is a fruit called “tambis” in other parts of the country. I’m sure it is in the same family as macopa with a slight difference in size and coloration. Here's also a short video of the fruit for your viewing pleasure.


*The blog below listed all the fruit trees in my orchard in Amoingon, Boac, Philippines.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Music for Relaxation and Meditation-Benefits of Listening to Classical Music

Amoingon Beach, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines-Front yard of the Chateau Du Mer Beach House

The last 22 days had been hectic since Macrine had been confined in the rehabilitation hospital. Yesterday she was finally release still with a Poly Catheter because she can not void, But she is on her way to recovery I hope with home health physical therapy. So today, I just feel like relaxing and meditating with the following collection from YouTube.

Track List:

00:00 - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545
04:08 - Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K. 525, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik": I. Allegro
10:39 - Piano Concerto No. 19 in F Major, K. 459: Allegro
22:55 - Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major, K. 299: II. Andantino
30:27 - Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-Flat Major, K. 447: III. Allegro
34:02 - Piano Sonata No. 5 in G Major, K. 283
37:53 - German Dance, No. 3, K. 605, "Sleigh Ride"
41:14 - Divertimento in B-Flat Major, K. 137, "Salzburg Symphony No. 2"
43:20 - Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K. 183: I. Allegro con brio
50:59 - Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216: III. Rondeau: Allegro
57:42 - Divertimento in D Major, K. 136, "Salzburg Symphony No. 1": I. Allegro
1:01:44 - Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: I. Molto allegro
1:09:14 - Flute Quartet No. 1 in D Major, K. 285
1:13:32 - Piano Sonata No. 6 in D Major, K. 284
1:31:04 - String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465, "Dissonance"
1:41:49 - Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-Flat Major, K. 570

Some Benefits of Listening to Classical Music:
► Stress-relief and relaxation
► Increases concentration and focus
► Improves memory and mental alertness
► Assists with child brain-development
► Lowers blood pressure
► Helps fight depression
► Improves sleep quality in adults and babies

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Photo Memories of the Chateau Du Mer Hall for Wedding Receptions

The month of June reminds me of weddings and wedding receptions. Here in the US June is the most popular month of the year to get married because of the hot weather as well as June is the month in honor of JUNO-Goddess of Love and Marriage. However, in the Philippines, June is not the most popular time of the year to get married because it is the start of the rainy season.

Speaking of weddings, I just read in FB that my niece ( Stephanie-daughter of my brother Efren from Sydney)got married to her long time boy friend, Jay Barretto in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy. The photo below is from the FB page of Marie Barretto, mother of the groom.

Chateau DU Mer had hosted more than 100 wedding receptions since it opened for the public in 2002. The following photos are mostly from the album of Rosette Pitero Sotta

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Aging in America-Need for Home Health Aides/Nurses

Four Decades ago, when I was in my 40's, I happened to visit a nursing home in Chicago, Illinois. I was shocked and depressed to see so many senior citizens in need of assistance just to cope up with their daily activities. This feeling comes again every day when I visits Macrine in the skilled nursing and rehabilitation hospital where she had check in since the 19th of May. The ratio of the elderly patients for rehab to home health aides/nurses per shift is about 1 to 20. In this rehab hospital that Macrine is staying, the aides are primarily members of the minorities populations-(non white)-Hispanic, Asian, black, Filipino, Chinese and Indian Americans. According to the stats they are poorly paid. Thus the care of the elderly is compromised because the aides are overworked and too many patients to take care of. Underpaid and without a strong union, home health aides make an average wage of about $23,000, according to the New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum. "Instead of white men who make stuff, the group is increasingly made up of minority women who serve people,” he writes. Indeed, immigrants account for almost a third of the in-home health-care workforce, and one in five of them are undocumented, by one estimate.

A rapidly growing elderly population might be the most important yet inevitable feature of the country’s economic future. Why aren’t voters hearing more about it? Here's an excerpt about how the Aging Population is changing America( see reference below). It mentioned the need for home health aides/nurses and rise in health care spending.

"Does the inevitable aging of America carry obvious public-policy recommendations? The need for home health aides should factor into the conversation about immigration, yet I have heard nothing on the campaign trail about how the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. currently relies on a steady supply of immigrants. The rise in health-care spending for the elderly will force debates about the most humane and affordable way to care for those who need it. The next presidents may not serve as grand architects of public health policy, as Obama did. Rather they may have to serve as tinkerers and handymen, making targeted fixes to keep the house from falling apart.

"As Americans live longer, poor and middle class retirees will need more savings. The U.S. government could discuss an expansion of Social Security for the poorest, or new ways to force—or “nudge”—even low-income Americans to save enough money to last their extended lifetimes".

Do you agree? Let me hear from you!



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