Hi! I’m Jhecca. I love to eat, sing, dance, laugh, watch movies, craft, create, read, learn, grow, take pictures, travel, and discover. I just want to document life, the way I see it, the way I live it. As I share my life’s journey through my writing, I hope I can inspire others to do the same.
Only a week left and February is almost up! So, what happened in January? Here’s a snippet of my life in boxes.
1/365: Ready to conquer 2016 with a bang! I originally wanted to make my own planner but wasn’t able to. So I settled in using the ever-reliable BDJ planner. PS. This is the 3rd year I’m taking part on the Project365 challenge. I really hope I could finish it this year.
2/366: New year means new haircut! Hair Color: 7/43 – Medium Red Gold Blonde Thank you to the accomodating staff of CUT: Encarnacion Group of Salon! 🙂
3/366: I have a knack for cutesy pens, notebooks and papers and crafting stuff so when I saw these sticky notes at @daisophilippines yesterday, I bought them. It’s fun when I unwrapped them and found out that they’re literally “sticky notes book”: they can be folded like a notebook. Perfect for my planner decorations! 🙂
4/366: It’s the first working day of the year. I brought a new coffee mug with me for my caffeine fix at the start of the shift. Are you ready to slay? Coz I am! 🙂
5/366: Quick meetup with @elriz_ before his flight back to Saudi tomorrow. Bon voyage, dude! At thanks sa libre. Hehe. See you again next year! 😉
6/366: I was going to buy stirrers but there are no available design choices so I got these cutie match chopsticks instead. The missing piece is already in my coffee mug. Talk about alternatives. 😉
7/366: Finally got to meet our Project Management Office manager from Chanhassen, Rob Matthes. He’s such a cool guy. ^_^
8/366: I was early for work so I decided to drop by NBS for some pens and adhesives. I couldn’t resist the urge to buy these mini deco tapes when I passed by the craft section. Yessa will be delighted to see the stickers as she’s been requesting some for days. Happy mom and happy kid!
11/366: All set for tomorrow morning’s activity: jogging with my workmates after our shift. I’m excited to have a more active lifestyle, since they say sitting is the new smoking. Push for a healthier self! 😉
11/366: All set for tomorrow morning’s activity: jogging with my workmates after our shift. I’m excited to have a more active lifestyle, since they say sitting is the new smoking. Push for a healthier self! 😉
12/366: Because being sick is as easy as 1-2-3. Not-so-happy pills for me tonight.
13/399: Can’t you see?
14/366: When you’re sick, your money goes down the drain. My doctor jokingly advised me that if I want to live longer and see my kids grow, I should quit my present job. A bitter pill to swallow, but maybe it’s time I take his joke seriously. Hmm.
15/366: I have to stay out tomorrow for a series of checkups so I have to bring my medications with me. TicTac has a new purpose: a handy pillbox. I put some deco tapes on it for a chic look. ^_^
16/366: First meetup for the year with two of my few favorite people in the whole wide world – my college buddies, JM and Tina. Thank you for another addition to my memory bank, filled with great food and laughter. I really enjoyed the few hours we’re together. Thank you also for your gifts to my kids. Very much appreciated. ♡♡♡
17/366: Yessa handed me my phone and asked me if we could take a picture. So here we go. This is our most decent photo for tonight. 😁 Good night, world! 💤
18/366: Back to work after almost a week of absence. Hello, Monday shift.
19/366: Because I got so curious with @brotherloui3’s post he even caught Solenn Heussaff’s attention, I tried Kopiko 78°C too. And I have to agree, it tastes really good. New coffee addiction. ♡
20/366: Thank you to my generous teammates for these goodies. @lau_lubiano, thank you for the chocolates and Robert Timm’s coffee. ♡
21/366: Meet Kelly, my new companion. Together we’ll do cool art. ♡
22/366: Did a little art attack with my toddlers using my stick markers and some popsickle sticks. Now they won’t tinker with my planner goodies stash. At least for a while. 😀
23/366: From Mr. Kimbob to S&R to Cold Stone Creamery. Stress eating? Nah. Just fighting the bitterness with sweetness. Rewarding myself after a stressful week.
24/366: Don’t let anyone dim your sparkle. Ever. Shine on!
25/366: Story of my life on Mondays. I Good thing I was able to take a 2-hour nap earlier. I will be working in an earlier shift the rest of the week. Crunch time!
26/366: “And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all.” ~ Jodi Lynn Anderson, Tiger Lily
27/366: Happy mail from @imeeskitchen! I think it’s my first time to win an online giveaway. kiki emoticon Thank you so much for the cutesy stuff, aside from the actual giveaway items. I’m contemplating on buying a journal, so glad you gave me one. ♡♡♡
28/366: Woke up to a happy mail once again. kiki emoticon Thank you Ms. Belle! Washis just in time for the Love Month. ♡♡♡
29/366: Good vibes Friday! Treating myself to a sweet doze of caffeine: Chocolate Macadamia Chiller. ♡♡♡
30/366: Finally. Our Manila Walkatour! We spent the whole morning roaming the streets of Intramuros and then Rizal Park. Had lunch at Lucky Chinatown and walked our way to Divisoria. I think we’ve surpassed the 10,000 steps. It’s nice doing random walks and getting lost together with someone special to you. ♡
31/366: Meet my forever grocery buddies: my daughter Yessa and my son Yael. After our errand, we ordered our dinner from one of their favorite places: Jollibee! One of the multitude of reasons why I love Sundays. ♡
Crafts, food, coffee, friends, lovelife and the most important aspect of my life – family. These are the things that keep me sane in this crazy world we live in. How about you? How do you document your life?
P.S. Based on the photos, I’m not a photographer – and you don’t have to be one to start your own Project365. So, go and capture your days in photos! 🙂
Roadtrips and going to at least 10 tourist destinations in Metro Manila are included in my Day Zero Project list. I, together with my boyfriend Alex, started the roadtrips last January 30. Where else it may be? No other than Philippine’s capital city: Manila!
Our itinerary: Intramuros and Rizal Park. As shameful as it may sound, I don’t have any memory of ever touring these places in my 29 years of existence. I may have gone off in one of our school fieldtrips before but I can’t remember, hence, I’ve decided that Manila should be first in our series of Metro Manila walkatours.
I did my homework prior to our tour, so here’s a little bit of history. Intramuros is the oldest district of Manila. It is a city inside a defensive wall built by the Spaniards in the late 16th century. The fortification protected the city from foreign invaders. It is also known as the Walled City, as “intramuros” is a Latin word which means “within the walls”. It was damaged during World War II, was restored and became a National Historical Monument in 1951.
We met at 7:00am and rode a Pier-bound jeepney from my office building at West Avenue. We got off at Plaza de Roma, which is the starting point of our walkatour. Plaza de Roma, also known as Plaza Roma, is one of two major public squares in Intramuros, Manila. The plaza is considered to be the center of Intramuros.
The plaza is a prototype of the Spanish colonial city planning. Like in most old towns in the Philippines, where the church, the municipal hall and houses of key officials surround an open court or plaza, Plaza de Roma is surrounded by what used to be major government buildings.
Standing at the center of the plaza, cast in bronze, is the regal statue of King Carlos IV. The statue was locally made at Fort Santiago’s royal foundry or the maestranza. It was erected to honor the king for sending the first smallpox vaccine to the colony.
In front of Plaza de Roma is the Manila Cathedral. The Roman Catholic Basilica is the seat of the archbishop of the archdiocese of Manila and is located in the Intramuros district. It was originally built in 1581.
While taking pictures at the magnificent Manila Cathedral, we were approached by pedicab drivers and kalesa (horse-driven carriage) drivers who offered tours at PhP50 minimum to P300-500 per person. We refused all offers since we’ve decided to tour by foot. There are lots of vendors roaming around, selling various items like handmade accessories, rosaries, tourist maps, bottled water and pica-picas. We bought a pair of wooden bracelets and a pink beaded rosary for me.
Other buildings surrounding Plaza de Roma are Palacio del Gobernador (now Commission on Elections) to the west, and the Casas Consistoriales, also known as the Ayuntamiento de Manila (now houses the Bureau of the Treasury) to the east.
Walking southeast from Plaza Roma passing via the left wing of the Palacio del Gobernador is Postigo Street. This street is named after the gate at the end of the road –Postigo de Palacio. This was the gate where Jose Rizal passed through from Fort Santiago on his way to his execution at Bagumbayan in 1896.
We climbed up the wall through the stairs beside the gate and walk down towards Baluarte Plano Luneta de Santa Isabel, passing by the San Ignacio Church ruins. We continued trailing the wall along Sta. Lucia St. until we reached Sta. Lucia Gardens.
We then went down to Galeria de los Presidentes dela Republica Filipina, a site where murals of past Presidents are displayed.
Strolling down Sta. Lucia St., we then turned right to Real St. At the corner of Sta. Lucia and Real is the ECJ Building, formerly the site of Casa Nueva, or the provincial house of the Agustinian Order. When it was destroyed by a fire in 1932, a two-story Adamson University was constructed; this eventually was destroyed in 1945.
Farther down the street is the San Agustin Church & Museum – the oldest building in the Philippines and the last genuine heritage symbol of Intramuros. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Note the missing bell tower, intricately carved doors, Chinese lions and amazing trompe o’l’oeil interior murals. We didn’t get to enter the museum though.
At the cobblestoned street of General Luna across the massive San Agustin Church is Plaza San Luis – named after one of the original four barrios of Intramuros. The plaza consists of Casa Blanca, Casa Urdaneta, Los Hidalgos, El Hogar Filipino, and Casa Manila. The replica houses where constructed based from archival building plans representing domestic architecture built during the Spanish regime.
Its ground floor houses shops while the second and third floor was conceptualized as a lifestyle museum showcasing colonial furniture amassed from different ancestral houses. Inside the mini villas are restaurants, a cafe, souvenir shops, a museum, a hotel and a venue for events.
Passing the arched portal of the plaza, we were transported back to the Spanish colonial times; rough whitewashed adobe walls line up the arcades, pathways are paved with flagstones, and intricate latticed capiz (mother of pearl) windows rounds up the upper walls of the courtyards. Deep wells, fountains and turrets are also featured along the maze-like passageways.
A fine dine restaurant now occupies the second floor – Barbara’s, where one can dine like a mestizo.
Aside from gift and specialty shops, the complex has a museum at Casa Manila – a Marcos reconstruction of a Spanish residence that showcases exquisite interiors . It contains late 19th century and early 20th century furniture found in a typical Filipino illustrado or the priviledged class home. Again, we weren’t able to enter the museum.
From Plaza San Luis, we passed by the residential areas until we reached Mapua Institute of Technology. We climbed up the wall again to Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao where the canyons are located. Facing the Manila City Hall, it was built as defense against the Chinese population living near the walled city.
Our next stop is Baluarte de San Andres. Across Baluarte de San Andres is the former site of the mother house of the Augustinian Recollects known as the Yglesia y Convento de San Nicholas de Tolentino. The church was famous for its four-story bell tower of decreasing dimension and devotion to Nuestro Senor de la Pacencia. The site is now occupied by Manila Bulletin.
And this is a dead end, there’s a “no entry” sign from this part of the wall to Baluarte de San Diego. There is a sign post which reads: “Watch Out For Flying Golf Balls.”
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It was almost 10:00 am and we haven’t eaten a decent breakfast yet except for a Dunkin’ Donut and brewed coffee so we decided to go down the wall and searched for the nearest place where we can eat. Avoiding fastfoods, we ended up at Dencio’s Diner and ate a hearty meal. We needed the nourishment for the second leg of our walkatour for the day: Rizal Park.
I will leave our Rizal Park adventure for my next post. 🙂
I’ve been doing Project365 for 2 years now, since it’s included in my Day Zero Project list. But unfortunately, I never got to finish them. As a single mom working to raise two children, most of the time I get so busy that I forget to take a photo or forget to upload for days that they pile up and then I become lazy to update.
So, what is Project365? Simply put, Project 365 is taking one photo a day for a year. Whether you’re using a fancy DSLR, or simply using your phone, you can start your own Project 365. There are a variety of great sites and even mobile applications you can use to share your photos, to find inspiration and keep up with other photographers’ efforts.
Why you should do it?
There are a lot of different reasons why you would choose to create your own Project 365.
It can serve as a photo diary, giving you a visual recording of an entire year in your life.
It can improve your photography, since after all, practice makes perfect.
In the process it will push you to learn more about your technique, about what your camera is capable of doing, lighting, composition and more.
It will make you more observant. When you know that you have to take a photo a day, you’ll notice a lot more around you. You’ll find yourself looking for photos everywhere, and seeing little things you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Your ultimate masterpiece could be out there waiting for you. There are a lot of photographic opportunities and if you commit to taking a photo a day, you’re more likely to snap that perfect photo.
Starting your own Project365
Take a camera with you every where you go. It can be your SLR, a small compact camera or your phone.
Think ahead. Sometimes you’ll find an interesting shot without even trying, particularly if you’re out and about a lot. If you’re not, or if you’re having a slow day, it’s good to have a list of ideas that you can photograph. The list can include places, subjects, techniques you want to try and more. There are 30-day photo challenges always coming up online. You can use them.
Post your photo at the end of the day. Don’t be in a rush to get your photo up straight away. You never know if you’ll come across a better photo later in the day. By posting at the end of the day, you know you’re always going to put your best photo of the day.
If you see an interesting shot, take it. You might think to yourself that it’s not worth it, but with digital photography, what do you have to lose? You might not find something else to shoot by the time the day comes to an end.
Look for inspiration. Keep up with your favourite photographers’ work, study the greats, keep up with other Project 365ers. There is no harm in seeing what other photographers are doing and emulating it.
Try different photography techniques. Try your hand at macro photography, see what it’s like to take night shots, and more. Play around with your angles and experiment with your lenses. Not only will this give you more ideas, it will also improve your technique and you’ll learn a lot more about how to use your camera.
Share your work with others
A huge motivating factor in keeping a Project 365 project going is to share it with others. Getting feedback and comments will definitely make you want to keep taking photos. There are several options available to you.
The famous one is 365Project where you can upload one photo per calendar date directly on the site or through email. After uploading your photo you can select the date the photo was taken, add a description, title and tags. Browsing photos shared on 365Project can be done by date, popularity, tags and more. Members can follow one another, leave comments on photos and add them to your favourites.
Other Project365-specific websites are Blipfoto, Shuttercal, and Momentile. These sites also have their own dedicated iPhone and/or Android mobile apps.
You can also choose to use other service like Instagram, PicPlz or Molome mobile applications, photography sharing sites like Flickr, 23hq, or if you want a really slick experience, give 500px a try, and blogging platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. You can also create a specific album on Facebook, or on Google+ and upload one photo a day.
My Project365 Journey
Because I’ve been inactive for months now, all the photos in my 365project.org account has been deleted. Good thing I also created albums during my Year 1 and Year 2 in my Facebook account. I’ve started the challenge again this year through my Instagram account, and I’m very much hoping that I’ll be able to finish it with flying colors this year.
Have you put together your own Project 365? Share the link with us in the comments.
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
~ Ellen Goodman
Another year has begun. I’m pretty sure your social media feeds are littered with page 1 of 365 posts, New Year’s resolutions, goals, bucket lists and so on and so forth.
I, for one am also excited with the fresh start the new year has to offer. Clean slate. 365 blank pages. New challenges. New lists of t0-do’s and goals to fulfill.
I hope everyone will stick to their goals and resolutions until the next New Year celebration. Let’s make this year our best so far! ❤
In my previous post, I have mentioned the 10,000 steps challenge. Maybe you have heard about it. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles. A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day, while the average adult walks about 5,000 steps daily.
So where does the magic number come from? The origins of the 10,000-steps recommendation aren’t exactly scientific. It’s believed that the concept originated in Japan during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. As Olympic fever swept through the country, pedometers became a raging trend. One company came out with a device called a manpo-kei, which literally translates to “10,000 steps meter”.
Since then 10,000 steps has become a commonly-acknowledged goal for daily fitness across the world. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, for example, recommends “a daily walk of 8,000 to 10,000 steps”. The UK National Obesity Forum says that a person who walks between 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day qualifies as “moderately active”. The American Heart Association uses the 10,000 steps metric as a guideline to follow for improving health and decreasing risk of heart disease, the number one killer in America. Even the World Health Organization recommended the average daily steps of 10,000 for a lifestyle to be considered active.
Why 10,000 Steps?
Experts say that 10,000 steps a day is a good number to reach. As well as being easily digestible, it’s challenging while also realistic. But the target appears to be a relatively arbitrary figure. Fitbit, a US-based smart pedometer and fitness tracker company, set a default goal of 10,000 steps a day for its members. Human, another iOS app, inspires users to be active for 30 minutes a day instead.
The 10,000-steps-a-day goal is said to be enough to reduce your risk for disease and help you lead a longer, healthier life. Studies conducted suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience various health benefits such as lower BMI, reduced weight and waist size, improved sleep and reduced stress, increase in fitness and energy levels, improved glucose levels for overweight individuals and less risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease.
One of the well-known studies was held last 2010 by the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). It involved 98,000 participants from 65 countries, mostly living sedentary, and motivated them to walk 12,693 steps per day for eight months. Research conducted by Monash University in the GCC’s founding city of Melbourne, Australia, cited proofs of the long-term effects of the GCC.
The 10,000-Steps Program
The 10,000 step program is a good program to help get people motivated, or to get sedentary people moving. Unless you have a very active lifestyle or profession, reaching 10,000 steps on a given day is a considerable stretch to your daily routine. It is recommended that most individuals fit 30 to 60 minutes of dedicated walking (or other exercise) into their routine at least 3 to 4 days a week. You can start with as little as ten minutes per day and gradually increase your walking routine. A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day.
To reach 10,000 steps, it is necessary to create some structure in your walking routine. This could mean a lifestyle change for most people. Some suggestions on how you can increase your daily steps are outlined as follows:
Take a walk with family or friends. Or walk your dog. Walking alone for long distances tends to be boring. It would help if you’ll buddy up with someone. If no one is available, listening to music or audiobooks will do.
Use the stairs instead of the elevator. I’m doing this with friends, and it’s surprising to note that I find it enjoyable.
If you have a car, park farther from your destination. Or better yet, walk to your destination. This would also help you cut your gas and parking fee expenses. Two birds in one stone.
Get up to change the channel, instead of using the remote control.
Window shop. Seriously, I hate malling. But I have a boyfriend who likes window shopping. So he’ll be helping me on this one.
Walk around the neighborhood.
Step it up inside.Indoor walking workout DVDs are available and allow you to get moving regardless of the weather. Recommended are Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds series as well as Jessica Smith’s Motivating Walking
Walk with a purpose.Compete with other friends to see who can walk the most steps in a week. One side benefit of this is you’ll be looking for opportunities to walk. Once you settle into the challenge of walking 10,000 steps in a day you will be surprised of how creative you can get.
If you still find it hard to reach the 10,000 steps target, consider breaking your step goal into three smaller goals throughout the day: a morning walk, a midday walk, and an evening walk. You can also split up the steps during a normal workday (8-9 hours). That means several half mile walks (less than 10 minutes of time), or just over 1,000 steps per hour, spread out across the day. It won’t be realistic for everyone to do this at work, but it may be realistic for some people to take a few 10-minute breaks during the workday—then squeeze the remaining 10-minute walks before or after work. Set a timer on your phone or computer and walk just 5 minutes every hour of the day until bedtime.
Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your steps each day. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time. Pedometer apps are also available in Google PlayStore and iOS AppStore. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook, and keep notes on how you feel, how your body is improving, or other changes you are making to improve your health. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.
I admit, I’m not a health buff. I grew up in a family who takes daily house chores like washing the dishes as exercise. The usual reasoning is, “I’m not fat, so I don’t need to exercise because I’ll only get thinner.” – which, I have come to realize later in life, is utterly wrong. My father used to be the only one who is blessed with excess weight, but he took a considerable lifestyle change when he opted to cycle to and from his work. This resulted to him losing weight and he admitted that he felt lighter and freer to move.
I, on the other hand, continued to be the lazy girl that I am. I think I just started having some physical activity when I studied college in the University of the Philippines Diliman, where walking is the primary mode of getting into classes because it’s so much faster than riding the jeepneys. I can say that I’ve exceeded the 10,000 steps daily target in my whole stay in the university.
Being a full-time employee working on an eight-hour graveyard shift five days a week for over four years, I find it even harder to find time for exercise. I spend most of my day sitting: in front of the computer in the office, while commuting to and from work, while eating meals. My physical activity was limited to a little walking from my workstation to the floor’s comfort room or pantry and little chores at home. Very sedentary I must say.
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
~ Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative
I began to be concerned when I came across an article saying that sitting is the new smoking. I’ve also noticed that I get too tired easily, and I get sick more frequently lately. This got me thinking that I should take my health seriously, especially now that I have two kids depending on me.
As if on cue, my teammates and I were having our lunch break early this week when our conversation drifted to health issues. We then came up to an agreement of using the stairs instead of the elevator when going home. That means we’ll go down 11 floors, from 14th floor to 2nd floor (our building has no 13th floor).
We started last Wednesday morning. The night of the same day, I felt my legs ache whenever I use the stairs in the office. The weird thing is, the pain felt good. Quoting John Green from his novel The Fault in Our Stars, pain demands to be felt. Indeed. I then decided to take the next level: the 10,000 steps challenge.
I downloaded a pedometer app in Google Playstore and started tracking my daily steps. I’m not surprised to learn that I only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps daily, with the sedentary life that I have. An opportunity presented itself last Saturday though. My boyfriend and I were deciding where to eat breakfast. It was only past 9am, and the nearby malls in our office building were still closed. UP Diliman is just 15 minutes ride away, so we decided to eat in Rodic’s Diner, a famous tapsilogan inside the university premises. Since we’re already there, we spent time walking around the 2.2-km Academic Oval. Guess what? I’ve exceeded the 10,000 steps! 🙂
It’s just the beginning. With the kind of life I’m so used to, I know I still have a long way to go to be healthy: eat healthier, drink more water, exercise more, sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.
As cliché as it may sound, health is
wealth. We have to take care of our body before it’s too late.
From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they’re discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they’re separated. Alex’s family move from Dublin to America – and Alex goes with them. For good.
Rosie’s lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever – and keep her at home in Ireland.
Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles – or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie’s mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?
Where Rainbows End (also known as Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) is Cecelia Ahern’s second book, published in 2004 after her number 1 bestseller P.S. I Love You. The story is told through letters, emails and instant messaging about the ever changing relationship between the two main characters, Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart. Reading about Rosie and Alex from age 5 to 50, it felt like I knew them their whole lives – which is kind of true.
Cecelia Ahern gave me a sleepless and probably the longest night of my life so far. It’s been so long since I’ve bookbinged a novel for an entire night without even a blink for sleep. I just can’t put it down! Many times I’ve wondered why Cecelia was torturing me. What did I ever do to her? 50 freaking years! Imagine that! But then, love moves in mysterious ways. And yeah, clichè as it may sounds, everything happens for a reason, eventhough sometimes I want to punch fate right straight into its face!
I love Rosie with all my heart. She, along with all the other characters in the story, made me ride in a rollercoaster of emotions all throughout, making me laugh at their witty lines and bawling my eyes out the next moment. But most of the time I want to slap Rosie and twist Alex’s arms in frustration. WHY CAN’T BOTH OF YOU JUST FREAKING CONFESS YOUR BLOODY FEELINGS AND GET OVER IT AND LIVE FREAKING HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
I may sound exaggerated, but Ahern’s work dethroned Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Tiger Lily at the top of my Books-I-Love-And-Hate-At-The-Same-Time list. Maybe because it felt like reading my own story: being a single mom and all, and having a bestfriend (who is also my boyfriend, by the way) named Alex. I just wish I don’t have to wait for another 30 years before I get my happy ending. 😀
P.S. The book already has its movie adaptation shown last 2014, topbilled by Lily Collins and Sam Claflin.
Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, two groups of migrant workers — and two very dangerous men — came through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm. And suddenly mysteries are flooding Luke’s world.
A brutal murder leaves the town seething in gossip and suspicion. A beautiful young woman ignites forbidden passions. A fatherless baby is born … and someone has begun furtively painting the bare clapboards of the Chandler farmhouse, slowly, painstakingly, bathing the run-down structure in gleaming white. And as young Luke watches the world around him, he unravels secrets that could shatter lives — and change his family and his town forever….
***** “The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a ‘good crop.’”
John Grisham is known for his legal thrillers and their film adaptations. The way he began his novel, A Painted House, it somehow told us it’s not one of his typical works. The novel is a historical fiction where there is no single lawyer involved but a lone policeman, set in rural Arkansas in 1952.
The novel is narrated in first person by Luke Chandler, a seven year old boy who sounded more of a teenage boy to me. The Chandler family are cotton farmers, and the novel chronicled their life from late summer to early fall, when they harvest their crop with the help of Mexicans and hill people. Luke is forced to grow up quickly, taking in responsibilities like waking up at the crack of dawn, picking cotton all day until his hands bled, and going to bed at almost midnight. This happens six days a week, Saturdays as exception since they only tend to the farm for half a day. We’ve experienced their simple joys like listening to a baseball broadcast while resting at night after supper, their despair with difficult harvest, their wariness of people from other regions, the town gossip and the ever present preachers. The farmers have to be tough, or they won’t survive.
Luke will hear things he shouldn’t hear and see things he shouldn’t see. These experiences will change him, as he battles between right and wrong. He realized that their farm where he grew up is not even safe, and that life is not as easy as he wants it to be.
Grisham introduced several characters that were engaging enough, although the plot did seem to drag a little bit. Throughout the book, I was pretty much on an everlasting search for the plot since the introduction at the back made it sound like it’s an interesting one.
After about six chapters, after Luke kept secrets after secrets, I thought that a concrete story will finally come around. But the author offered no resolution at all. I did finish it, because Grisham did a good job of making me really curious how it will all turn out. The ending made me feel that there’s a sequel to it, because there were so many questions that were left unanswered, like what happened to all the characters that the author introduced to the readers.
Grisham’s narration is easy to read and very descriptive. This not his typical work. If you’ve never read Grisham until this book – PLEASE don’t judge him by it.
In the world we are living in today, we get caught up with so many mundane tasks, the frenzied life that we are brought up to face every single day. May I ask you, have you paused for a moment and asked yourself: What am I living for? Is this the life that I’ve dreamed of living?
When we’re young, we’re so excited to grow up thinking that life would be so much better. When we’re already adults, we wished for those days that we’re still young and have nothing to worry about but eat, play, sleep. Then we start waiting: waiting for Fridays, for summer, for Christmas, for holidays, for paydays, for the perfect moment. Why? Because during those times, we can escape from the rat race temporarily. Reality hurts, right? But it’s the bitter truth many of today’s generation are experiencing. Most of the time, we forget to live because we’re so busy making a living.
So, do you have to wait for the perfect moment to be happy, to work on your dreams? Because if you are, then you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life. The truth is, there’s no better time to get started than right now.
Waiting until Monday — or waiting for any time you feel signifies a “real” starting point — to work on your dreams, passion, or to just live the life you want only does you a disservice. If you’re ready to create something better for yourself, quit waiting for tomorrow. Quit waiting for some indeterminate point in the future. Quit telling yourself, “someday.”
Someday is not a day of the week. Start now, with who you are, what you have, and where you stand. It’s time to decide: are you waiting until Monday, or are you going to show up and get to work now?
So stop waiting until you finish school,
until you go back to school,
until you lose ten pounds,
until you gain ten pounds,
until you have kids,
until your kids leave the house,
until you start work,
until you retire,
until you get married,
until you get divorced,
until Friday night,
until Sunday morning,
until you get a new car or home,
until your car or home is paid off,
until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter,
until you are off welfare,
until the first or fifteenth,
until your song comes on,
until you’ve had a drink,
until you’ve sobered up,
until you die,
until you are born again
to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy…