Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Lending a Father, Missing a Husband

Sunday, November 24, 2013

OLA: Lending a Father, Missing a Husband

Suzanne's exercise machine
Suzanne' sent this card to me
Bill arrived yesterday, November 23, he had been gone since Oct. 28. Suzanne, his second child and first daughter, had hip surgery the day after his arrival. The doting father took Devin and Cassie to school and back, cooked meals, and generally kept the house in order while she was in recovery. Suzanne loved that I lent him Bill and sent me a card that said, 'More herds can't express my gratitude.'

Just when Bill was to come home, she suffered pulmonary embolisms in both lungs, an unfortunate complication of surgery, being hugely immobile for a long period of time as well as owing to genetics (see Bill’s own bout with it on ). Bill extended his stay for four days until the weekend when the thanksgiving holiday will give the famly more time to take care for her.At least he got home in time for my birthday!

Bill being picked up by the shuttle
Suzanne's goodies for Bill
Yes, Bill is a good father. But he is also a good husband. I missed him but I knew how to cope with the situation. Before he left, I asked him to take me to the Oriental Store. I bought all that I needed for a walk down a Filipino culinary memory lane: daing na bangus, pinangat na isda, paksiw na isda, escabeche, ginisang patola, ginisang ampalaya, ginisang upo, chicken tinola, beef bulalo, each one four times, dishes I have missed a lot. For breakasts, I alternated pan de sal with red eggs or coco jam, champorado, and congee. Every day was a Filipino Feast.

ginisang ampalaya (sauteed bitter gourd)
Last January/February, the first draft of my book was completed when Bill also spent a month with his eldest child Jim in Boise, Idaho while they were preparing a portion of the 16,000 sq. ft. property, which they were paid for a case they won, to be used as their office. This time around, I also found the time to complete my edit of the manuscript. I have now sent a copy each to Suzanne and Claudine, my second child, for their review. As soon as they finish their reviews (Bill has done his), the manuscript will go to a professional editor. Then it may conceivably be ready to be published!
daing na isda (deep fried marinated milkfish)

escabeche (sweet and sour fish)
In addition, I have been able to create my new FB account, dissociating it from Bill’s and rebuilding my own base. I have also created our website, The Cruising Lifestyle, at, and our FB business page, The Cruising Lifestyle. These are all being prepared for a stronger online platform with a brand. My present platform now consists of a blog with 250,000+ views and a FB page with 1,500 friends. I have yet to work on my twitter and LinkedIn pressence. I am told that the blog should have about 30,000 views a month (the highest I have gotten was 22,500) and a FB business page at 3.000 Likes (0 so far!). So I have both an intensive editing period and a long marketing campaign to go before my target date of June 2014 book release!

bulalo (stewed beef shanks)
Then it was during this hiatus that the Haiyan tragedy struck the Philippines (please see my post Bill, my children and I were able to coordinate our donations. Although each of us had contributed separately to relief efforts (Bill donated to the UN World Food Programme USA), April got us to focus on the rebuilding efforts by contributing as a family to Gawad Kalinga. For just P20,000, one house could be rebuilt for a displaced family. They all donated their Christmas gifts from me to the fund. In addition, Deejay, husband of my first-born Trisha, designed a Tshirt (Help. Hope. Heal.). If he sells 50 of them, another house can be rebuilt. Please go to
Help. Hope. Heal
Bud's birthday @ Sourdough Pizza
Finally, our new friends on the block took care of me as Bill asked them to. Once Bonnie brought me to the grocery for some needed pantry items.We also went out for Bud's, Bonnie's husband, birthday at Sourdough Pizza very near Viewpoint.
Suzanne and her crutches
Suzanne got Bill for a month and I missed him for just a tiny part of that (hehehe). My book project got the push it needed. I also thoroughly enjoyed my walk down a Filipino culinary memory lane! And we were able to, from around the world, help in the relief efforts of central Philippines. Although I rarely saw the light of day, except for my daily walks to the Fitness Center, it was a very productive time for both Bill and me.  


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  2. Good that Bill is retired and able to do those things. Good of your family to sacrifice Christmas presents for the donations to help the Philippines. Bet Bill was glad too miss those meals, even though they probably tasted a lot better than they look!

    1. Those dishes are comfort food for Filipinos!


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