Sunday

A day = 24 hours

A day = 1440 minutes

A day = 86400 seconds

If I spend 44 hours/week at work this would mean:

44 hours = 2640 minutes

44 hours = 158400 seconds

I have 168 hours a week so:

168 hours – 44 (work) = 124 hours

124 hours – 49 (sleep) = 75 hours

75 hours – 65 (family and friends) = 10 hours

10 hours … Physical activity + Read a book + Meditation

Thinking about the value of every day, every minute and every second of my life in a week helps me to understand that if I organize my time I could really do a lot of things. Life is a journey and time is a precious and vital component to make it worthwhile.

“Limonsito” Calamondin – Citrofortunella microcarpa

After 27 years, in a Villa found in the Province of Treviso, I finally found someone who has this plant in his garden. I was really surprised to know that this plant can also be grown here in Italy. So, I decided to go and look for it in one of the plant nurseries here in the Province of Treviso and I was lucky to find it. And the plant nursery owner was so surprised that I wanted to buy this lemon shrub. So I told her that in the Philippines, we use to make a drink called “calamansi juice” which is the Filipino version of Italy’s “limonata”. I was really amused to see that on the plant’s tag, aside from the plant’s scientific name another indication was added ” limone da bellezza”…without knowing that this plant is not only ornamental but it’s fruits can also be used to prepare excellent lemonades, the extract can be used to treat itching and insect bites and I remember that when I was still living in the Philippines, my mom used to let me drink “calamansi juice” to loosen the phlegm during times when I had cough. This is how to prepare Calamansi Juice:

8 green Calamondin fruits, cut in half
Sugar to taste. I usually drink this juice adding 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup of cold or hot water. Hot during the cold season and cold during summer

To separate the seeds from the juice, use a strainer or sieve
Add strained juice to the cup of water and then add sugar

Happy drinking!!!

* Some say that it is better to drink this juice before breakfast but I think that this juice is good any time of the day.

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After 5 years….

Enough to make 2 to 3 glasses of “Kalamansi” juice.

It’s not easy to grow this citrus tree in Italy. Unfortunately I cannot plant this tree on the ground but in a clay pot and keep it protected during winter. I am really happy that after all these years, with a climate such as what we have here in Italy, it is still alive and this year, it really gave me enough fruits so I could make this special drink which really evokes in me a lot of beautiful memories with friends and family in the Philippines.

Wishing everyone a pleasant weekend!

Mirabilis Jalapa

“Four O’clock flower”, “Belle de Nuit”, in Italy this flower is called “Bella di notte ” – one of the best things about having and loving flowers is the joy of planting them and the privilege to see something which only nature can bring. An amazing sight of natural colors which can really make a hard day seem a memory.

It’s already Autumn in Italy. I miss the colors of spring flowers, the warmth of the summer sun, now I see the falling leaves of autumn… the red/brown and golden colors that can brighten a gloomy Autumn day. Today, I saw the vibrant colors of the “Bella di notte” and it swept away the troubled thoughts and it brought me back to reality.

Wishing everyone a pleasant day!

Scrovegni Chapel – Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Veneto, Italy

Hello everyone! The experience that I had in visiting this 13th century Chapel in the Veneto region left me in awe that 3 days after visiting it, I am still here wondering what it was like to live in the Renaissance era. It must have been a promising period – a period of political, economic and social transformation. The visit to this historical jewel was even more interesting because we (it was a guided group tour of 25 persons – only 25 persons were allowed to visit the Scrovegni Chapel at a time after passing 20 minutes inside a decontamination room) started this tour with a theatrical representation about life in that period and it gave us too, a glimpse of the history of this Chapel (frescoed by the great painter GIOTTO) and who commissioned it, the Scrovegni family – Enrico Scrovegni and Jacopina d’Este.

The visit to this amazing Chapel really made me feel so fortunate to see how a work of art, so profound and so beautiful that after so many centuries it has the power to evoke joy, awe and sense of gratitude for such a priceless legacy to a lot of persons, including me. I think that the city of Padua (Padova in italian), famous for its University, the Botanical garden, the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, Pedrocchi Cafè still has a lot of treasures to be seen.

Last Judgement, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Veneto, Italy

Kiss of Judas, fresco by Giotto

Giotto’s interpretation of one of the three theological Virtues “La Carità – Charity”

“Envy – L’Invidia”, Giotto, Cappella degli Scrovegni

A part of the city of Padua by night

Life is a journey…

Marmolada, the queen of the Dolomites

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5A6E4D7A-CA01-4CFE-8C88-80C465C7E3B2One of the best things about living in the Veneto region is the possibility of being in one of the best territories  in Italy. Honestly, I was so busy coping up with everyday life that it’s only lately that I started to realize (maybe because I have more time to spend for myself), that I live near one of the most interesting and beautiful parts of Italy. Venice is a few minutes by train, Verona, Padua and the  Dolomites is just a few hours drive away. Although it took me a lot of years to realize that I am living in a region with a lot of sites considered by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a world heritage but I also believe that this is the right moment for me to begin to understand the value of  everything around me. Travelling is surely one of the best way to savor and to appreciate more deeply life in all its aspects.

From the moment I saw the morning star shining on top of the Sorapis mountain, the Dolomite mountain ranges (declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site) have fascinated me enough to make me visit it or walk its trails every year. As I have written in an article in a  local journal more than 20 years ago, the beauty of the Dolomites evokes in me that intense and beautiful sensation  whenever I see some beaches in the islands of Mindanao and Visayas, Philippines. A simple yet profound way of nature to say, “Hey! look at me, I’m beautiful, priceless and I’m always here for you! the only thing I ask is for you to love and take care of me.”

 

Yesterday I woke up thinking what particular place to visit this weekend and pop! How about visiting a museum dedicated to the heroes who fought in the Marmolada range in the Alps during the First World War?  The Museum is truly interesting to visit (unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. The two pictures above were taken at the entrance to the museum.) but after listening to the audio guides about the life of the soldiers and the objects recovered during that war displayed in the museum, I just can’t help myself feeling very sad. War is never the solution. Love is.

Wishing everyone a pleasant Sunday!

 

 

Venice

I woke up thinking about Venice. Today is Monday, this very historical and beautiful city is just a short train trip away so, I thought, it would be more fruitful and enjoyable to visit this city and learn something than sitting at home and watching TV. Guess what I learned? A deeper knowledge about the famous venetian painter “Tintoretto” – Jacopo Robusti ( unfortunately it was prohibited to take pictures of the exhibition) and… Venice is always full of tourist even on Monday.

Pictures from “Palazzo del Doge”, Venice

It is a very hot day but Venice still has the power to cool me. Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

Travelling is…

So many thoughts came to my mind these past days and it was like going back in time. I thought about the latest trip to Paris and a city near the Italian border called Annecy and the short stop at the city of Geneve in Switzerland and it was like feeling again that sense of excitement and awe that I felt at seeing new places. Indeed, there is so much to learn from this world, unfortunately the time that I have is not enough to visit more places and to learn something more. The chest where I store my golden memories is too small to contain everything savored and all those moments still to be lived. Life, inspite of everything is a very interesting journey for me.

“Freedom or death” this phrase really gave me the idea that freedom is the beginning of evolution. A monument inside the Pantheon in the city of Paris

Giardino del Palazzo di Lussemburgo, Parigi

Notre Dame, Paris

Museo d’Orsay, Parigi

Place della Concorde and the Obelisk that once marked the entrance to the temple of Luxor in Egypt. Awed and feeling privileged to have seen these.

L’Opera, Parigi

Place Vendome and the historical bronze column

Annecy, Parigi

Container gardening? – in the background the church of Notre Dame Liesse

May this coming week be an opportunity for everyone to learn more, to share the best in us more and to LOVE more.