Flower Delivery

Someone rung the doorbell, and then rung it again. It could not be Sis, she must have called first before coming. I hurried up to the door wondering who might it be. Then it banged on the door. Gosh. When I looked through the peephole, there was a lady I don't know who. With a 500,000 volts stun gun in hand, I had no choice but to open the door. She asked if the name was mine. Yes? She gave me a live plant/so green a gardenia with one white flower and a white ribbon, and leave. Gosh, who might had sent me flower? I read the paper pinned to the ribbon. It was really for me. I scrutinized the plant examined it thoroughly; surely there was no bomb on it? I thought. Could there be a camera in the leaves to monitor me or what? Then I found the paper was a little envelop and when I read what was inside, it was from my in-laws, hubby's brother and sister in-law, Roxanne and Duane, just thinking of me since I could not go home for Lola's funeral. Gosh! My mind was so corrupt, or overly cautious? A bomb and camera in the plant? Well. It's a very lovely plant, I like it. The thought counted so much, it is so comforting to know people around care so. No other people like family. It is very lovely, that the butterfly hides behind it.

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The White Dress.

I was talking and seeing my family through ym. We had a good time. Well, how would you face someone in the family who was gone for 35 years and just shows up and do comical things? There's another side of the story there, but sometimes life is so funny, or we take it so funny when someone acts funny things seriously, without realizing it. And I love funny things! But something struck me inside today. It's just different when we talk about what were the things a person who recently died doing in the final days. I could sigh with smile but there is still that little feeling inside. My Lola must have been so proud and happy of the dresses we bought for her for my wedding that she kept hugging and kissing it. The white dress! I didn't know that she liked it that much, and I didn't know also when was the last time she got a new dress before that. It must meant so much for her. I could not scale the excitement she might have felt with that dress even when she just sit on a chair or lie in bed all day long. But to hug and kiss the dress? That is very striking. It could be taken as a sign that she would depart already from what all she had, but that dress was the closest, dearest for her. How I wish I could be there. They were all so proud and happy of all the small things we did for them, for Lola, which we could have not done, and that is what made me feel uneasy. And we could always do better things. It's so humbling so see their pride and joy. Just the same, if we do small things for others it will make a difference in their life, how much more if we do greater things for like us ordinary people out of pure intentions, out of love. We will leave all things and possessions behind us, but it is what we have done good that really counts in the end. We might not understand my Lola's speech when she was alive, but I know she is happy lying in there, in the white dress.

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Broadcasting DXFE Online

It has been there for a while, but I'm so glad that I found rhenaaron's post in pinoy info recently. DXFE of the Far East Broadcasting Company has their streaming online. I was so excited and so glad I could listen to it on the background. We used to listen to the radio station at home; my youngest sister was the most avid though, but we really love it. And we, sisters, love to greet each other through it. But aside from that, there is really inspiration in listening to the good news radio, with the unchanging message in a changing world.

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Belly Dancing

Belly dance is a Western name for an Arabic style of dance developed in the Middle East. Otherwise known in many incarnations as oriental dance in Europe, oryantal dansı ("Dance of the East") in Turkey, or simply as "Middle Eastern Dance" by Some American devotees. The term belly-dance is a creation of Orientalism, and is first attested in English in 1899. it is popular in North Africa, throughout the Middle and Near East, and in the West.

Oriental Dance or "Raks Sharqi" in its most classical form, translated from Arabic means "The Dance Of The Orient", or sometimes raqs baladi ("national" or "folk" dance). The term "raqs sharqi" may have originated in Egypt.. The term "Belly Dance” was first used by the French when they saw the undulations and the body isolations, "The Dance of The Stomach". Also, it was called "Danse Du Venture", or the dance of adventure. In the ancient Middle East/Mediterranean, the belly dance was first performed as sort of a birthing aid. Basically, the sisters of the women giving birth, would aid the new mother by undulating and rolling their bodies in natural, curvy snake -like movements to help with the delivery of the baby. It is a dance as second nature as breathing, and it got its start not as Entertainment, but for childbirth..

The dance does have mysterious and mystical roots. During pagan times, women danced in the absence of men—a sort of goddess worship. And as most goddesses were mothers and reproduction was an enigma, it is understandable that the dance focused on the belly.

Throughout history, the dance was performed by women for women, a tradition that continues in Saudi Arabia and other conservative Muslim countries. However, there was a period in the old days when the dance became performance art (entertainment) and was then performed in the presence of men and women.

Belly dance or what was long ago called the dance of the waist, does have a documented history. The dance is traced back to India through a group of gypsies who left the region many years ago and whose current generation, known in the world of dance as the ghawazee, now called Egypt their home.

During the migration from India, the dance evolved and spread throughout Asia and the Middle and Near East. Cultural exchange, whether through war or in peace, made belly dance what it is today.

Slowly Middle Eastern dance became more of an entertainment related art form. This dance was first brought to America just over 100 years ago at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893 by "Little Egypt". "Little Egypt" was the first, and more people then ever are collecting memorabilia of her famous belly dance.

Most of the basic steps and techniques used in belly dance are circular motions isolated in one part of the body; for example, a circle parallel to the floor isolated in the hips or shoulders. Accents using "pop and lock" where a dancer either shimmies or makes a striking motion in her shoulders or hips are common, as are feats of flexibility, rolling one's belly muscles, balancing various props like baskets, swords or canes, and dancing with chiffon or silk veils.

The movement vocabulary of belly dance is a conglomeration of styles from many regions-Lebanon, North Africa, Egypt, the Arabian Gulf, Turkey--as a result of cultural exchange historically through trade and shifting national boundaries. While Middle Easterners make the distinction between "city dance" (stage, cabaret) and "country dance" (regional folk dances), Westerners use the umbrella term of "belly dance" to refer to a broad range of styles united in the use of certain isolation movements, the most prominent and pervasive of which are the isolations of the hips. In addition, isolations of the chest, shoulders, head, and hands as well as serpentine and undulating movements of the torso are often found. Another common trademark is a varying degree of flirtation and coquetry. The rhythms and instrumentation used from area to area often have some commonalties despite great regional variations but in all there is an emphasis on percussion.

Now, the elements that make up Oriental Dance is a combination of agility, fluidity of movement, grace, creativity, physical aerobic strength and proper Egyptian technique. Class and elegance should be the top priority, coupled with talent.
Middle Eastern dance form is as esthetic and holistic as it is misunderstood. The Belly Dance is a spiritual connection between mind and body. Belly Dancing is as majestic and regal as classical Ballet but, differs because it offers it's practitioner's a total experience, a sense of well-being, joy, freedom and most importantly, is a celebration of the feminine soul and inner spirit through movement.

Something as beautiful as the Belly Dance cannot be exploited, unless it is taken out of it's intended context and it is placed into the wrong hands. Also, with some closed-minded audiences, sometimes the belly dance itself can be misunderstood. It can be viewed as sleazy and "something a nice girl does not do". That depends on who the belly dancer is. If the individual is trashy, than so will her performance of this art, and it will be cheapened. Also, there is nothing funnier that when a dancer hides lack of true talent by constantly using ridiculous props in her shows, and never really dances. Belly Dancing is not at all a strip tease. It is just so ignorant of people who refer to stripping as "EXOTIC" dancing. Exotic means "from a far away land". The belly dancer does not remove her costume, the costume is very much a part of the dance routine. A belly dancer is proud of her costume, and it is crucial to wear the most elaborate and elegant dress to convey class and professionalism.

Middle Eastern dance is a reflection of the performer, and it can be misrepresented and in turn kills the value for other performer's who are pure artists, PERIOD! Belly Dance is a dance of the heritage of Middle Eastern culture that transcends a wide variety of nations reflecting a common art with different variations and styles. Since this is a dance of another culture, a lot of Americans fail to realize this. It is important to understand the customs, religions, ideologies, and the Arabic mind set of the people. It is also important to understand the language, in order to properly interpret the feelings, emotions and meanings of the songs. It is too easy to say you are a teacher when the instructor herself does not understand 100% the cultural dance that they are improperly conveying it impressionable students. This dance is different than tap, modern or jazz dancing. One can learn steps, but may not be able to perform it, for this art emanates from the heart and soul. It can appear mechanical and choppy if not felt on a personal, internal level. For example, Hawaiian dancing, The Hula, is more of a cultural interpretation of that region and the movements all mean something.

Most Americans believe that all belly dancers are female. Traditional belly dance is preformed by both sexes. In the Middle East, men perform more of the folkloric dances, like the men's stick dance. Some male performer's include: Yousry Shariff (NY and Egypt), Mahmoud Reda (Egypt), Ibrahim"Bobby" Farrah (NYC), etc.

Health and belly dancing
The benefits of belly dance are both mental and physical. Dancing provides a good cardio-vascular workout and helps increase both flexibility and strength, focusing on the torso or "core muscles", although it also builds leg strength. Many belly dance styles emphasize muscular "isolations", teaching the ability to move various muscles or muscle groups independently. Veil work can also build arm, shoulder, and general upper-body strength, and playing the zils can build strength and independence of the fingers. Belly dance is suitable for all ages and body types, and can be as physical as the participant chooses. As with starting any new exercise routine, people would be wise to consult their doctor before starting a belly dance regimen. It's also important to talk with the belly dance instructor to find out the level of difficulty in the classes. The practice offers mental health benefits including an improved sense of well-being, better body image and self-esteem, and the generally positive outlook that comes with regular, enjoyable exercise.

Aside from the joy inherent in learning a beautiful dance art, enthusiasts report a wide variety of benefits gained from the practice of Middle Eastern dance:
· Satisfaction from achieving new levels of physical mastery
· A feeling of camaraderie, community, making new friends
· Strengthening, reshaping and renewed acceptance of one's body
· Greater freedom and range of self expression
· Relief from back pain
· Familiarity with different musical styles and cultures
· Spending time for yourself
· Bringing joy to others
· Girl time
· Fun Fun Fun!

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My Lola

We are now waiting for my final paperwork this time before I can legally leave and enter the USA, and we are planning already for me to go home once I got that. It's been my heart's desire to go to my paternal clan and visit with them since we seldom see each other. But just this morning I was told that my Lola, my paternal grandmother, passed away today. I was torn between sadness and joy for her. So sad that we lost her and since we are still on the flesh, can't help but cry, but also glad that she finally rested from such what might have been a very gloomy last years of her life. She had a stroke, and half her body was paralyzed from a heart attack due to fear when someone opened her door one evening, and it was so hard for her to talk, and for us to understand what she was saying. It has been so hard for us all, and I know it was much harder for her. God take care of her soul.

The graveyard does not respect ages of people and we don't know when is our time, only God can tell. It has always been in my "life list", since we can not avoid it, to have these songs sung on my day: My Redeemer Lives (Vineyard), Just a Closer Walk With Thee.

My Redeemer Lives
(John Willison)

For I know my redeemer lives
And in the end He will stand on the earth
For I know my redeemer lives
And in the end He will reign on the earth

Though my flesh it be destroyed
Yet with my eyes I will see God

For I know that my redeemer lives
And I will stand with Him on that day

Oh my heart it yearns within me
For the day when Jesus returns
Oh my heart it yearns within me
For the day when Jesus shall reign

Though my flesh it be destroyed
Yet with my eyes I will see God

For I know that my redeemer lives
And I will stand with Him on that day

Copyright © 1993 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

Though this flesh it be destroyed, yet with our eyes we will see the One who formed us from dust, and we will live with him, forever.

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From Johnny to Lotis :-)

we love this song so. it is sung from the heart it makes both the husband and wife so touched especially when he dedicate it to her. Dedicate it to your wife as well, as hubby did. it is so sweet, and so romantic. i once have read about almost all songs are for unmarried couples and it seems so few if there are are dedicated for husbands and wives, of course all songs will do, but if we dedicate it to our partners, it is just so refreshing for our growing attraction and love. isn't it great? take my hand, we'll make it, i swear.

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"i wish we'd all been ready"

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Another World

Hubby had just been in Dubai when he sent me a very amazing email: Dubai, another world. So rich and great that they use it for engineering the place so make it so unique and beautiful. So interesting! Vast structural projects here and there in the past, present and the future. Growing rate is so fast. Look at the homes in the leaf of the palm! Engineers are flooding! And my fellows and classmates in college have been there. Well, that's good, so many Filipino engineers are employed there and I am happy for that. "Can you imagine the problem in operating these cranes?" Well, one day, we will be the one to take charge of the operation, lol. But in the mean time, I am engineering with my sweet sweet husband.

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Wedding in the USA

Our Wedding
October 14, 2006
Louisiana, USA

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Wedding in the Philippines

September 28, 2006
Tagum City, Philippines

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They call it human nature, (that's bad a nature!) that there are people who are "raised eyebrows" when others seem to be successful, or just getting a bit higher than what they used to be. Instead of supporting them morally, rejoicing with them, and be happy for them, some seems to get bitter over it, and in their very depths, afraid to be emulated in what they're trying to be unique. People whose hearts are governed by greed and pride that will never get release unless they do something that will demoralize or embarrass the other, or something that will prove that they are still at the top. Bad and sad but that is first hand. There is no malice in the heart, yet, someone over there is about to burst by what we obtain. There is nothing to be insecure about if we get what we have with pure intentions. Those who envy are those who have malicious minds. Hecks, they are not our business, and let their pride consume them; still, we cannot keep silent if we are stepped upon. We pity to those people who are dealing with their own personality difficulty. They want to be the only one in the position and get all the attention; superficial people as they are, deep inside, they are empty and lonely that is why they are full of insecurities especially over those who are peaceful. One’s passion of anger, pride and envy will never be sated unless we are of accepting heart, secure in our own selves and happy over others’ gain, and with that, we will be lifted higher still, just as pride consumes the envious heart more.

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Gone Fishing

It's such a wonder fishing is seriously taken as recreation here. It's a great hobby, and if you catch fishes this big, you would be as proud. What made me gasp at it was that those fishes reached that big; well, in some place, they won't reach that size for they will be caught, even to the smallest fry. :-) It just pays. (Tanner and friends.)

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Things That Concern Us

Today is my one of the times when I felt so lonely. And it is the first time I felt it this way. For no reason at all, I cried after looking at some pictures that didn’t concern me any. Something had moved me inside, a deep humbling feeling and provoked all the ignored nostalgia there. I just sit still, almost shaken, and my tears started to fall. I couldn’t understand the feeling of sadness, I didn’t know what to do, and I just sat on the front door sill and cried. Everything was a blur in a bright afternoon sun. Such hypersensitive emotionalism that I didn’t feel this much before. But it was just a passing feeling, few moments of seeing life in the most humble way my heart was stricken. Lonely as it was, I am glad I felt it for I think I really need it. Sometimes we have to close our eyes and cry it out in order to see things clearly, things whose lessons change us, may it be from things that don’t concern us any.

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You are paralyzed from the neck down..

I watched a movie recently and something leave an irritation in my mind from a scene when a doctor sincerely and seriously told his patient that he is paralyzed from the neck down. What an agonizing news after waking up from a "coma". Had it not been because of his will to get rid of the filthy fly on his hand, he would have not known that he is not paralyzed, instead he was as healthy as he had always been. There are some people who want to control and imprison others who are of so free spirit into their own worlds. When one tries to reach out, the other would put a wall and say "shut up, do you think you know everything?" things; all that you say comes back to you negatively, or you can not even say a word. It sounds to me like from a man of bitter life and envy to the one whose life is vibrant and healthy, or the man who just get too much care from his partner that it became all about him, he sees nothing about her, or simply who does not respect anymore, or just being his sad sorry self. One fine woman shared to me that burden, and the urge to not to talk anymore; and I see it too. It's all about freedom! Her freedom to be herself, her freedom to be heard and be appreciated, and respected, most of all. Even just a little amount of it each day will help to keep the love going, but when it is gone, he will finally realize that he himself has actually been paralyzed from the neck down, and it was just her love and caring that kept him walking, even without a head.

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Mystery of Fragrance

It was very early in the 90's morning and the fog was still around my cousin's house when I woke up. Mmmhhhmmm, what's that smell? So fresh and so fragrant! I couldn't help but inhaled the perfume repeatedly! No other smells could compare to it! It felt like I was in paradise! So very fragrant, rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli! My cousin Miss Louie said it was ylang-ylang. Hubby bought me seeds to plant since it's my favorite fragrance/flower and researched this for me...

Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata) a.k.a Perfume Tree.

Originating in the Philippines, ylang ylang means “flower of flowers” or “fragrance of all fragrances.” This fragrance is traditionally used in aromatherapy to sharpen the senses and to temper depression, fear, anger, and jealousy. For these reasons, and also because of its reputation as an aphrodisiac, the flowers are spread on the beds of the newly married in Indonesia. Modern aromatherapists find the scent strongly sedating, easily sending the most reluctant sleeper off to dreamland. Science, on the other hand, regards ylang ylang essential oil more as a mental stimulant. Can it be both? Quite possibly it stimulates people’ s minds in one way while relaxing them in another.

Ylang ylang is also widely used as a cosmetic when mixed with coconut oil. People throughout the tropics use it to protect their hair from salt water damage. Today, as one of the most abundant and least expensive of the true floral-smelling essential oils, it is a favorite in perfumes and cosmetics and is even added to some beverages and desserts. The essential oil varies greatly due to climatic and botanical differences. As a result, there are several commercial grades with distinct scents.

Therapeutic properties of ylang ylang: Antidepressant; stimulates circulation, relieves muscle spasms, lowers blood pressure, relaxes nerves.

Uses for ylang ylang: Of all the essential oils, ylang ylang is one of the best at relaxing the mind and the body. Simply sniffing it can slightly lower blood pressure, although taking a bath with the oil or using it in a massage oil greatly enhances the relaxation experience. It can be helpful in cases of stress, shock, or anxiety. When used as a hair tonic, it balances oil production. Add about 6 drops to every ounce of hair conditioner. Note that when one buys Ylang-Ylang oil on the Internet, he or she has to pay 10 to 20 times as much as it costs in the Philippines. That's enough profit to think about growing one's own groves of Ylang-Ylang.

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Leave and Cleave

I had to leave my family and live with my husband and fly with him to the USA. That was a great decision and we bade tearful goodbyes, and separated ways 2006. We arrived in NAIA and I was just thankful he was with me, for I knew it would not be that easy if I had to fly alone. We landed in Guam at night and stayed there for several hours since we caught the earlier flight from Manila; better early than delayed. In just few hours of flying I was out of the Philippines and in the US Territory already, I could not go home that easy!. I had no hard time with the immigration port of entry in Guam, just a question or two and I was cleared with my fiancé with me. Aloha, Hawaii! We had to check through our baggage again and groom ourselves and change clothes. Such long hours of trans-pacific flying, that meant I was getting farther from home. The flights were comfortable and smooth and after seven long hours in the aircraft, we arrived to Houston Airport. It is huge and the automated train is a darling. Peoples were white and black and with colorful hairs; that knocked to me as a reminder that I was in America already. Then the last of the five flights we would take to get to my fiancé’s home. It was in a much smaller plane with propellers. At last we arrived to Louisiana, the state name that before I took as the most beautiful and wish could go there. Boarding passes would go to my scrapbook later on as remembrance.

My first impressions of the US right from leaving the airport.

My first observation upon going out of the airport was that the drivers rarely use horns not like in India. Everything was smooth. Roads are good, and the countryside is pretty, with the trees and the trimmed grasses. It is a lovely expansive place. Big people are evreywhere. God is gracious.

Meeting family members
At long last we arrived to his lovely home. My father-in-law then was there to greet us. What a welcome. Just when I got out from the truck he hugged me. And everyone hugs a lot! I was not used to that actually. Except with my hubby, though. After resting a while we went down to his parents’ house and met my mother-in-law. She’s a smiling woman and hugged me, had to hug her too. I gave her presents, a native product of the Philippines, a shoulder bag, with personal accessories inside which hubby told me she likes to wear. I felt welcome (they should) and glad that they are so nice and good people.

The first thing I did in the US
In total we flew a total of 22 hours plus the time of waiting in between. The first thing I did was to sleep and sleep and let my body adjust to the different time zone. Sleep pattern was not right plus I was experiencing jet lag. I am 14 hours in the latitude away from home. I woke up every 3:00am, why at 3:00am I had no idea, and it took me three to four days in experiencing it.

Shopping for the first time.
We shopped for groceries at Wal-Mart and Super1. Wow! It is so expensive here (compared from home) though they are of low prices already! Gosh, I could do so much already with $300 worth of groceries at home. Okay I would not convert again. The vegetables! Wow, the eggplants are so big like an “upo” I can’t help but laugh in surprise. God is gracious. The clothes! So expensive, and we had hard time looking for my size. Everything is big. So we had to shop in the Internet next time to find the right size for me. Ohmy, I just didn’t comment when I saw the VS bill. We could buy motorcycle at home with that. And the footwear! Well, I would just not try to convert it. Cost of living is high. I had to teach my self to stop converting the figures if I would have to have peace of mind when shopping. Everything is expensive. But the quality is at it’s best.

First food.
He cooked for us the first days I was here. Lasagna, he grilled chicken quarters, and grits with butter, egg, cheese, and bacon in the morning. I thought that was too much. I didn’t like it that much at first but it tastes so good now.

First restaurant.
We ate in a Mongolian/Chinese restaurant that gives fortune cookie upon giving the bill. It was so nice buffet and everything is good in the eyes but too much for the stomach. It was very good.

Meeting other Filipinos (Pinoys)
I met Rainelle on the embassy upon our interview day. She would be headed in Florida. We communicated through email, and when she finally here, we called each other. We have not met though since then. The first Filipina I met was Joy, through her neighbor who is my mother-in-law’s friend. With her husband and Fil-Am kids, they went to the house and it was through her that I knew Asian/Oriental stores here. Then my brother-in-law Jamie met another Pinay, atë Marilou and she came to the house also and great that she knows my husband before then. They’re so nice ladies, upon the first meeting we are feeling close. It was good to know and meet them, and by chance, they’re also Bisaya..

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Sleepless, Bugs

I finally made it! My Internet connection just dropped down, totally lost. Maybe a bug anything brought successfully despite the updated protection we have, or maybe a mess I have just gotten into. It became worse and a highly technical thing. I must fix it or I will not be able to connect. I didn't have any know-how about OS and all other configurations, and if I don't have to sleep for two days to fix it, so I was sleepless. We spent long hours over international phone calls just for hubby to assist me. What a relief when it finally connected. We might have not fixed it with the technician over the phone, but he really helped and hinted me ideas which made it worked. It was my ever first time doing that. And I learned a lot from it. A lot. It was just easy after all.

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I'm Amazed By You

The first offline message I got from hubby today is a link to this song which is our favorite. He is very romantic. It is just a perfect love song. He introduced it to me. Maka-inlove ba. Hehehe. I love it. Grabe.

Every time our eyes meet
This feeling inside me
Is almost more than I can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I've never been this close to anyone or anything
I can hear your thoughts
I can see your dreams

I don't know how you do what you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I'm amazed by you

The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh, it feels like the first time, every time
I want to spend the whole night in your eyes



Every little thing that you do
I'm so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I want to spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I'm amazed by you


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The Day Counting Starts

This Sunday the Daylight Savings Time will begin. Hubby reminded me to move the clock up one hour, and he will be home earlier by one hour, and I said, "I would move it to five weeks!" I wish he would not go, but we have to deal with it, it's not the first time, but I am kind to empty when I go back home from the airport and be alone, except with Lady Gishi. At least now, I have more things to attend to to keep me busy. Hopefully my tulips will all grow and yeah, what a welcome for hubby when he comes home with the flowers blooming. I will make sure of that!

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