Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Is Caregiving the Hardest Job in the World?

If you ask me, the answer is a resounding yes. If you need more details why caregiving is hard please read the following links. If you are a caregiver and reading this blog, I like to hear from you.



And here is 30 inspirational quotes for caregivers:


In the meantime, I finally was able to hire a Tagalog-speaking Home care aide. She is employed by another agency ( Partners-in-Care) based in Auburn. She is in her mid-30 and has more than 3 years experience in home care. Macrine and I liked her on her first day last Thursday. She even cooked us a Pinoy breakfast( longonisa, scrambled egg and fried rice). She can worked only on Tuesday and Thursday. She resides in Yuba City, about 70 minutes drive. She would not have accepted this job because of the long commute, however currently she is taking a Social Work class here in Sacramento on Tuesday and Thursday Afternoon. I have a feeling we will not see her after her class ends here in Sacramento State.

To summarize on MWF I have home care aide help( Helping Hearts) from 9:30AM to 1:30PM as well as on T and Th. However on Sat and Sun David and I have Home Care Aide( a Private Friend) from 9:30AM to 5:30PM. Thank you Lord for giving me financial support( from my savings) and the ability to pay for this expenses that is not covered by my medical insurance and Medicare Benefits.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Boac and Its Historic Heritage Houses

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

There are several articles on Boac' heritage houses on the Internet. However, one that attracted my attention because of the fantastic photographs and its perfect and accurate description of the simple life in Boac is from the blog ( 2016) of Bernardo Arellano III, habagatcentral.blogspot.com as follows: I have the permission of the author to repost this in my blogs.


I have also written articles and devoted several blogs not only to Boac, but also to the whole province of Marinduque-our second home as follows:



https://marinduquemyislandparadise.blogspot.com/ and


This is one of several heritage houses in downtown Boac. This green house is now owned by my sister-in-law, Mrs Siony Jambalos. It is just across the Boac Hotel-another heritage house in Boac.

Note: This blog is inspired by the recent fire in downtown Boac that destroyed several of these heritage houses and businesses in the first floor of these historic homes. Luckily there was no human fatality from the catastrophe. I am praying for the successful recovery of the owners of the building and businesses that were affected by the fire.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Message of Gratitude-It is Indeed a Small World

Rena Lathrop and Husband ( From Rena's FaceBook Page).

Some time ago, I received this message( in Ilonggo) via FB messaging. I was surprise of this unexpected message of Gratitude. This message brings back memories of my life in the Philippines and reminds me of the history of the Land Reform Movement in the Philippines in the early 1960's. The Agricultural Land Reform Code (RA 3844) was a major advancement of land reform in the Philippines and was enacted in 1963 under President Diosdado Macapagal. It abolished tenancy and established a leasehold system in which farmers paid fixed rentals to landlords, rather than a percentage of harvest. The 2nd phase of the land reform program (CARP) was instituted under the Cory Aquino Administration(1986-1992). All my 10 hectares of inherited Riceland in Barrio San Geronimo, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines were affected.

A typical rice field scenery in rural Philippines. This picture reminded me of the 10-hectare of Riceland I inherited but had not give me a single income after the 1963 Land reform was instituted in the town of Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines.

Hello Tito David, kamusta? Ako si Rena, bata nga subang ni Ramon Badayos nga taga San Geronimo.

My Translation: Hello Uncle David, How are you? I am Rena, the oldest daughter of Ramon Badayos from San Geronimo.

San Geronimo is one of the barrios of Barotac Viejo Iloilo Philippines. I inherited a 10-hectare parcel of Riceland from my parents. Ramon Badayos and his mother is one of the ten of my mother's tenant in San Geronimo. In my case with one exception during and after the land reform almost all rental and rice products were no longer paid to the land owners. During and after the 1963 reform, my mother (and Me) and my sister who manages my land in my absence had never received the fixed rental supposed to be paid to the land owners as required by the Law. During this time, I was already residing in the US and had received zero rentals* from my 10 hectares of inherited Riceland in San Geronimo, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo, Philippines.

Here's the message:

Tito, gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa imo in behalf ni nanay kag tatay sa tanan nga nabulig nyo sa amon. Tungod sa imo duta may naestaran kami kag nakuhaan sang amon palangabuhian sa kada adlaw. Dako gd katama ang nabulig sang uma kag sa bukid kay maski ano ka pigado kag sakripisyo ang amon na experiensyahan, nahimakasan kmi nila nga napatapos sa pag eskwela. Thank you so much. God bless you more and your family.

Rough Translation: Uncle, I just like to express my thanks to you for the help you given us in behalf of my mother and Father. Your land where we live and obtained our livelihood has helped my parents a lot and was able to send me and my siblings to finish our education. Thank you so much. God bless you more and your family.

My Response: You are welcome. Are you still in Fairfield, Ca? Your two kids are handsome.

Rena response: Thank You (Salamat). Yes, we're here in Fairfield, in Cordelia (sa may Cordelia).
Note: Cordelia and Fair Oaks is within 80 minutes driving time, less if there is no traffic. It is indeed a small world!

My Response: Come visit us when you have the time. My wife and I are in our 80's ( matanda na). We are old already. My wife has Parkinson's and have a hard time travelling. We are blessed that our son lives with us and help me takes care of his MOM. Rena, I am touched by your message. I remember your Lola very well. She was in my Mother's house almost every month before the Land reform. May I post your message in my blogs?

Rena Response: Thanks for the invitation. Yes, I will be very glad if we can come and visit your place. We will be travelling to Washington State next week to visit my husband's family. We will plan a schedule to come over at your house when we get back.
Yes, you can post it in your blogs.

Si tatay amo man gihapon, gapananom lang ghapon ka mga utanon kag baligya sa banwa during harvest. He loves working in the field. Kag ang sa bukid damo sila nga napundar, kay ang ika apat ko nga manghod amo ang ga atender didto. There's so much memories in the up hill area and it is very hard to let go. Malipay gid ni si tatay kon mahambalan ko siya nga naka exchange ako ka conversation sa imo.

My Rough Translation: My Father is still the same. He plants vegetables and sells it to the town market. My 4th youngest brother takes care of the land and fields. My father will be happy to know that I am in touch with you.

Looking forward for your visit. How old is your father( Tatay na?)

*Note: Just recently I heard from my sister in the Philippines that one of the tenants and his heirs have been faithfully paying their rental to the encargado for a number years. However my sister who manages my lands has never received those payments.

Anyway, The above message brightens my day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hip Avascular Necrosis and Medical Marijuana for Pain Control

A closed relative was just recently diagnosed to have hip avascular necrosis (AVN)- giving her pain every now and then. The orthopedic doctor gives options for treatment ranging from the less risky and invasive to the more risky and higher risk of treatment. Less risky and invasive is pain management, followed by removal of hardware, hemiarthroplasty and the most risky and invasive is total hip replacement. This was discussed by our orthopedic surgeon during our recent visit. The surgeon did not informed us on the stage of my closed relative AVN. According to the link below if the AVN is still in Stage 1, Core Decompression surgery might be a viable option.

Currently my closed relative is still in poor health so total replacement is not an option. For her pain she is just taking Tylenol. However, there will be a time later when Tylenol is not enough to ease her pain. I am thinking pf CBD- a marijuana drug now available at Dispensaries here in the State of California. I am now in the process of talking to our Primary Care Physician on this subject. The links below discussed in detail hip avascular necrosis and medical marijuana for medical use. If you have experience on the use of marijuana for pain control, please let me know. Thank You!

AVN: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/osteonecrosis-of-the-hip/

Medical Marijuana: https://bottomlineinc.com/health/alternative-treatments/cbd-medical-marijuana-without-the-high

Monday, July 9, 2018

Another Trip to the Emergency Room and an Overight Stay at the Mercy San Juan Hospital

Last Friday morning, Macrine can not moved and confused and slept until 1PM. She was feverish (100.4) and I had a feeling another UTI infection is brewing. She had her Catheter replaced the day before. I checked her blood sugar and it reads 150 ( normal). I called our regular Family Physician ( his office was closed) and talked to the Physician on Call. He agreed about a possible another UTI attack and asked me if I want an antibiotic prescription. I said I think we should just call for an ambulance for the Emergency Room of the Mercy San Juan Hospital. He agreed.

We called an ambulance and arrived at the ER about 1:30PM. After 4 hours of the numerous standard tests in the ER, Macrine's urine was positive. Her other blood tests though were Ok. She was immediately given an IV antibiotic and fluids. Macrine appeared in good spirits after 5 hours in the ER. Since she did not eat breakfast or lunch, Macrine was hungry. The ER was able to get her a turkey sandwich and Cranberry juice. Macrine eat her sandwich with gusto. The ER physician recommended an overnight stay until the results of Macrine's urine culture is done. The attending nurse including the Chief Nurse and even the Indian-American housekeeper was very friendly and helpful to me during Macrine's 5 hours stay in the ER.

It was almost 6:30PM when we had an available room at the Main Hospital. The room was located at the Russell Towers in the 5th Floor. It was a single room. The room was small but had space for a lounging chair for me to sleep for the overnight stay. The attending nurse and Chief Nurse for the night shift were Filipino Americans. At first the nurse thought Macrine was Chinese-American. Later on when she realized we were Filipino-Americans, she became more friendly. Her service was excellent. She changed the dressings on Macrine's wound on her right heel. She monitored her IV and turned her every 2 hours. In the morning at 7AM the end of her shift, she introduced us to the Day Nurse who was a Caucasian. The Day nurse appeared haughty and aloof, but the Nurse Assistant was very helpful and cheerful( also a Caucasian). The Nurse Assistant immediately asked me If I wanted coffee and I said yes. She said she will be back after she finished getting the VITALs of her other patients.

At 7:30 AM I had my free coffee. At 8:00 AM, the nurse assistant brought us 2 breakfast TRAYS, ONE for me and the other for Macrine. I was surprised since I did not expect this. I was ready to go down to the Hospital Cafeteria and buy my own breakfast, but this unexpected service was indeed very much welcome. At 11:00AM the Physical therapist came to evaluate Macrine. At 11:30AM Mele came to relieve me. The Physician who is supposed to make a decision whether Macrine will be release in the Hospital has not arrived. When I came home at 11:45AM, David received a text from Mele that Macrine will be released today as soon as the paper work is finished. David went to the hospital to help Mele for Macrine's homecoming. At 1:30PM, I called Macrine's room. Mele answered that the discharged nurse is still working on the paper work. At 2:30PM Mele and David was in our garage transporting Macrine from the car to her wheel chair. Before entering the house, Macrine enjoyed a cigarette at 100F temperature in our outside patio. At 3:00 PM I went to the Pharmacy to pick up Macrine's antibiotic tablets (10 tablets of Amoxicillin).

All in all I am very happy of the services of the nurses and physicians and other personnels of Mercy San Juan Hospital. We are lucky this time that Macrine's UTI was a mild one and was caught up early. Thank you, Mercy San Juan for the excellent services of your medical personnel and other support employees for a job well done.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Maintaining Our Sanity for $120 per Day

Three weeks ago, David and I decided we will hire help to take care of Macrine so we can have relief even for just 4 hours per day on week days and 8 hours on Saturday and Sunday. This was the best decision we made so far.

David is worried that I may not be able to afford this extra expense because home care/custodial care is not covered by my insurance. He suggested I apply for a Line of Credit from the Equity of our Home. A good suggestion- because you do not get charge interest if you do not use your line of credit. So far, I have save enough to cover this extra expense in our budget and also cutting unnecessary expenses such as our Casino Outings and Dinner Expenses.

I thank the Lord I have the financial capability to pay $120 per day, so David and I could have our sanity and peace of mind for at least a few hours per day. As Caregivers of a Love one, we need also to care of ourselves first. I am reposting the following Caregiver's Prayer by Kelly Combs.

"Being a caregiver is hard. Whether it is your aging parents, a sick spouse, or another chronically ill person, the weight can be overwhelming, even as it is done in love. We can’t do it alone, but when we partner with God, His strength can sustain us. I hope this prayer blesses you or know someone who is a caregiver. Please feel free to share it.

Dear God,

I’m feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do. I’m tired Lord, the work is hard, and so I come to You.

My role here isn’t easy, but it’s one I wouldn’t trade. I know I’m following Your will, but my strength’s begun to fade.

You said Your yoke is easy, and that Your burden’s light.

I need to rest my soul in You, and lean on You tonight.

I pray for peaceful, restful sleep; to wake fully restored.

I hope that’s not too much to ask of You, my precious Lord.

I pray that You renew my strength because in You I hope; Then I will soar, and not be faint, and You will help me cope.

You modeled loving-kindness, teaching us to be like You.

That gives me the strength to care. I know it’s what You’d do.

So I will keep care giving, on the bad days, and the good.

I’ll love the way You love me, treating others as I should.

Please bless the one for whom I care and hold us in Your hands. Together, with You, we will make a strong cord of 3 strands.

And when I get to heaven, and stand before Your Son,

He’ll call me faithful servant and say to me, “Well done.”

– Amen"

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