In our trips to France we bought tickets to the cabaret show at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris. It is marked by the red windmill on the roof. It used to be a place where courtesans would perform seductive can-can dances. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction offering cabaret, a form of specially designed entertainment featuring music, song, dance, or drama. The entertainment, as done by an ensemble of female and male actors appeals towards adult audiences. The topless actors all beautiful and physically attractive.

We had good seats mostly for a group so, we had other tourists at our table. We opted for just champagne but they also serve dinner It was an unforgettable experience, a feast to the senses, beautiful & extravagant and the venue’s atmosphere was romantic France. If you can spare 110 Euros (champagne only) I recommend it. If you want the whole experience with dinner you’ll need around 190 Euros. Go for it!. You just don’t want to live, you want to live more!

Photo show tourists just coming out of the show, middle age to geriatric. And the long line behind them for the next show. All of them loving life.

My Pup-pups

This two pup-pups are the secondary loves of my life. The primary loves are of course humans. My daughter coined that word pup-pups because they are less than 35 lbs. and will always look like pups. They are sisters and sooo love each other that they are stacked up sleeping on my lap.

They came into this world in unusual parentage. The father is a huge Bernese mountain dog and the mother is a small dachshund. So, Penny the older one is an ‘Oversized’ dachshund (notice the big paw) and Ellie the younger one is an ‘Undersized’ mountain dog. My love for them is unconditional. I am gentle. Most of all, I am unselfish towards them.

Spiritual Button

My parents were hard-working upper middle class people. Why upper-middle class? Well, a maternal aunt lived with us and it became a three income household you see. Most of my schooling was in a private convent Catholic school from kindergarten to high school run by the Benedictine sisters. In college, it was the Maryknoll sisters that influenced me.

Catechism was a subject in school although the Bible was never used in class. Bible reading was a home assignment. I remember nuns in their habit teaching us the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Mary, Nicene Creed among others and making us memorize them. They also prepared us for confession and open communion. Open communion was a day of celebration. Families were to witness their children receive the Eucharist or the Host, the bread. This tradition was our expression of faith and of obedience to Christ. Truly, I felt the Catholic spirit.

I am 54 years old and I have read the Bible and I am going at it for another round. I took to heart the Bible readings. I owe it to Jehovah God or Yahweh to learn about him first before I delved into ALL the worldly books. When I go to the library or at Barnes and Noble I walk straight to their spiritual section and non-fiction particularly Historical section. I checkout the latest, revised and new editions of the Bible and sometimes find female version of the Bible. I also love reading about historical individuals (i.e gladiators, Josephus).

Most people would say, “You’re so devout!”. I would tell them, “I can’t say devout, but I am conscious of my spiritual need!”.

Photo: Library of Celsus in Ephesus (in the seasport of Kusadasi, Turkey); I am on the lower left side my back facing camera.

The Grand Tetons

My husband and I found out that you don’t need a lot of money to go on a vacation. We didn’t have enough money since we were raising two kids but we wanted to take them to a place outside of the normal, where they would appreciate their parents, the road and nature before they grew up into their teen years and by then no longer want our company. Airplane travel was out of the question. My children were 9 and 10 in 2000.

We set our sites on Wyoming particularly the amazing Grand Teton National Park. The park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. Elevation is 13,800 above sea level. “The naming of the mountains is attributed to early 19th-century French-speaking trappers—les trois tĂ©tons (the three teats) was later anglicized and shortened to Tetons. (Wikipedia)”

We stayed at a motel in Jackson Hole and drove to the park. A 7 day entrance pass for Grand Teton and Yellowstone was at that time $25. To maximize the monies we made a side trip to Yellowstone. As of 2017 entrance fee went up to $30 but Yellowstone National Park now has a separate entrance fee.

Trip Planners are very helpful. We chose the Jenny Lake Trip Planner. We got on a boat and explored the Jenny Lake district. It was getting very cold. You could see dark clouds rolling in. We hiked up enjoying the mountain scenery, passed through forested trails and finding access to meadows. We were so lucky to see a bald eagle and fortunate not to see a bear.

This trip was so memorable and we took a lot of pictures. I actually am revisiting it right now as I write this blog. If you have any plans … the Jenny Lake area is undergoing rehabilitation. Work began in 2014 and will continue into 2018. Check other trip planners. You can go to the National Park Service.

Red Telephone Box

I took this picture of my daughter inside a red telephone booth in 1996 at the United Kingdom Pavilion. This pavilion was at the Epcot theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. The time was spring break.

This red phone box was a British cultural icon throughout the world but the number of phone boxes in the 1990s has declined sharply due to the increase in popularity of cell phones. I just remember open phone booths just like at the airport or at the mall so, this photo is now a classic.

Where do we find a red telephone booth in popular culture? In the DC comic superhero Superman. You know, when Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent discards his work clothes and transforms into the costumed superhero inside a telephone booth. It’s cool, right?

Emotional Intelligence

What does this mean? Emotional Intelligence. It’s the buzz word of the 21st century and forever. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines emotion as a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object (person) and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

I’m 54 years old now and looking back I was really emotional starting in my 8th grade until my 39th year of life towards people. I felt most of the negative behavioral and social emotions like anger, anxiety, embarassment, jealousy, frustration, humiliation, resentment, hurt, shyness compounded by no self-confidence whatsoever. I am also petty. I contributed these issues with my upbringing. You see my culture is respect for elders and the phrase “be seen but not heard.” I attributed this to happiness, joy and love. I am really a happy person who loves to laugh and make people laugh.

When I turned 40, my primary care physician prescribed an anti-anxiety drug. The feeling was like the heavens opening up literally. The feeling was so good. I found myself. All those personal issues I had “Gone!” just like that and I gained self-confidence. Am I emotionally intelligent? Maybe yes but with help which means I deceived you. Photo is from Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Wikipedia).

Chinese Herbal Therapy

Last September 2016, my hubby and I travelled to Bejing, China. I had sprained my knee a month ago and supported it with a brace as I ventured off to see the sights of the city particularly the Great Wall. It was painful to stand without support from my hubby. In fact, I was on a wheelchair in some portions of the tour like the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, China Zoo etc.

The Great Wall Tour included a visit to the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences where we were going to have a foot massage. The massage was very good since we were doing a lot of walking. After the massage a doctor approached me and since I had a brace on my knee he definitely knew the cause of my pain. With a translator he recommended 2 bottles of herbal medicine. I am Asian , 54 yrs old and I have confidence in Chinese herbal medicine. I purchased for total of $100. After one week the pain slowly healed and I’ve been cured. No more pain and I can stand and wear HEELS again.

Sleeping Beauty

I always thought that Sleeping Beauty referred was the Disney animated musical fantasy film about the sleeping Princess Aurora who awakens when kissed by her Prince Philip who breaks the curse.

As I retired at 50, I realized that I am a sleeping beauty. I sleep 10 hours a day. Seriously. So I trust that my cells have repaired and regenerated. No wonder I’m so curious to read, see, listen, talk about what I read, saw and heard.

Crispy Pata Dish

Filipinos love their pork. Pata is Spanish for pork leg. Pork is deep fried and so it is called Crispy Pata. Mostly a party mainstay but in my household it isn’t. It is challenging to find a whole pork leg with skin at the local grocery stores so, I venture out to the Mexican market where I find the perfect meaty and fatty leg.

Deep fried the meat comes out moist and tender and the skin golden and crisp. This is accompanied by various dipping sauces. Filipinos love their sauces. There is the crispy pata sauce (breadcrumbs, vinegar and liver pate). Another sauce is vinegar with soy sauce & chopped red onions. Banana ketchup, yes, I said banana. The Philippines used to be the number one supplier of bananas. But my favorite is with vinegar, it is my version of liquid crack. For more information go to KawalingPinoy.com