This headline from the newspaper today caught my attention. That dreadful disease is actually near our place and what's worse is even if the boy died in Amang Rodriguez Hospital in Marikina. He actually resides in San Isidro, Antipolo City. I know not exactly where that place is. But one thing for sure. Whenever I use my mobile network's feature "friend finder" and a loved one happens to be inside our subdivision -- my inbox would read "Kingsville Subd. (our village) Bgy. San Isidro..." I know for a fact that it should have been Bgy.Mayamot, still that goes out to say that Bgy. San Isidro is actually just around the corner. Scary.

I have been hearing Meningococcemia since 2005. I was actually pregnant with our little guy back then and all those scary stuff being told that just a respiratory droplet from the infected person will spread the bacterium far and wide and can get someone dead in the next 24 hours. Cruel disease.

Here's straight from the news:

Boy dies of meningococcemia in Marikina

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A four-year-old boy died in a hospital in Marikina City from what doctors believe to be meningococcemia.

Dr. Ricardo Lustre, director of the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center (ARMC), ordered hospital staff to trace the last persons who made contact with the victim, Richard Aure, so they could be given proper medical attention.

Aure, of Barangay San Isidro in Antipolo City, was rushed to the hospital last Sunday but was later declared as dead on arrival. His body was sealed to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Lustre said the ARMC refused to accept incoming patients as hospital staff quarantined the emergency room and other areas where Aure’s body passed. The hospital resumed normal operations at 4 a.m. yesterday, 15 hours after Aure’s arrival at the ARMC.

Lustre instructed hospital personnel to wear surgical masks and take medicine to avoid being infected with meningococcemia, an acute and potentially fatal infection of the bloodstream.

Respiratory droplets released by an infected person who sneezes or coughs can spread the bacterium that causes the disease. Non Alquitran

This artwork is composed of seeds, millions of them, I suppose. It was such a sight to see such work of art done in the middle of the park (Serendra). Most seeds I don't recognize, but I saw one whole layer of unpopped corns. Brilliant and artistic! Too bad, I wasn't able to catch its lovely entirety, all I had was my trusty cam phone to take this shot.

The top 16 super foods for women (and maybe for men, too)--
Tea
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, cancer, and weight management

Women who drink about 4 cups of tea a day lower their risk for heart disease, stroke, and breast, colon, and brain cancers. Phytochemicals and possibly caffeine in tea also help with weight management, if combined with a low-fat, calorie-controlled diet and exercise.

How to include more in your diet: Skip the bottled teas, since most of the health compounds are lost in processing. Instead, brew a pot at home and fill your thermos or water bottle to meet both your fluid needs and get your 4 cup quota.

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Salmon
Why it’s good for you: Prevents heart disease, depression (including postpartum depression), and memory loss, encourages optimal brain and vision development in your baby

You are hearing a lot about the omega-3 fats these days and salmon tops the list for the tastiest, best source of these healthy fats. The omega-3s reduce the risk for blood clot formation and may lower blood levels of the bad cholesterol, which helps prevent heart attack and stroke. These fats help the brain develop properly, which is critical during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The omega-3s also boost levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, and might lower Alzheimer’s risk by up to 60%!

How to include more in your diet: Of the top ten most commonly eaten fish, salmon tops the charts for omega-3s, so to keep the blues at bay include at least two 4-ounce servings a week in your meal plan: top a field of greens with sliced salmon and walnuts and toss in a light vinaigrette made with olive oil (avoid soybean and sunflower oils, which contain omega-6 fats that undo some of the benefits of the omega-3s). Or, choose foods fortified with the omega-3 fat DHA.

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Old-fashioned oatmeal
Why it’s good for you: Diabetes, weight control, heart disease

This simple, old-fashioned favorite helps maintain a healthy weight thanks to the magic combo of fiber and water, which fills you up on fewer calories and digests slowly so you are satisfied between breakfast and lunch and less likely to be grazing at the fridge or vending machine. In addition, the type of fiber in old fashioned oats, called beta glucan - a soluble fiber, when mixed with liquid forms a viscous gel that helps decrease cholesterol absorption and lowers blood sugar levels, lowering the risk for both diabetes and heart disease. Old fashioned oats have much more fiber and staying power than instant or quick-cooking oats.

How to include more in your diet: Before you go to bed, do the prep work for Nutty Apricot Oatmeal by placing 1 /2 cup old fashioned oatmeal, 1/6 cup chopped dried apricots, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and dash of cinnamon and almond extract in a preheated, wide-mouth thermos. Add 1 cup of steamed fat-free or low-fat milk and close tightly. In the morning just open the thermos, sprinkle with 2 tsp. slivered almonds, and you have a warm, delicious breakfast waiting for you!

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Dark chocolate
Why you need it: The ultimate comfort food, heart disease

Chocolate’s botanical name is theobroma cacao, which appropriately translates to “Food of the Gods.” Besides the fact that nothing curbs a craving for chocolate, except a bit of this melt-in-your-mouth delight, the cocoa powder in dark chocolate outranks just about any food studied when it comes to antioxidants. The level of antioxidants can be measured in any food by a test called Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC. A serving of dark chocolate measures 9,000 units on the ORAC scale, compared to an average of about 2,000 units found in typical servings of fruits or vegetables. This might explain why dark chocolate lowers heart disease by 20%, probably because it lowers total cholesterol, reduces blood clots and inflammation in arteries, and keeps arteries elastic. Chocolate also might lower the risk for hypertension and diabetes.

How to include more in your diet: Skip milk chocolate and Dutch processed cocoa, which have next to no antioxidants. Choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa powder. Chocolate is calorific, so you must limit serving to about an ounce:
1. Include a small amount of high-quality dark chocolate with meals or soon after. You’re less like to binge that way.

2. Buy individually wrapped pieces, so it’s portioned for you ahead of time.

3. Use cocoa powder as the base of your chocolate treats, since it has no cocoa butter and is low in calories, yet packed with antioxidants.

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Tomato paste
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, healthy skin, and fibroids

Women average less than 3 ounces of canned tomatoes daily, which is no where near enough. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in the red pigment in plants that might be a heart saver. Maintaining high blood levels of lycopene could lower heart disease risk in women by up to 50%. Another study suggests that lycopene also might reduce the risk for fibroid tumors, which affect up to 45% of women.

How to include more in your diet: The first place to start is to consume more lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and tomato products like paste, juice, and sauce. Cooked tomato products have more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. One study showed that lycopene is absorbed 2.5 times better from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes. You’ll need seven servings or more a week, each containing at least 10 milligrams or the amount of lycopene in about 1.5 Tablespoons of tomato paste or two fresh tomatoes. The redder the fruit, the higher the lycopene, so add vine-ripened tomatoes to salads and sandwiches, since they have more lycopene than tomatoes picked green and allowed to ripen later. Add tomato paste and sauce or canned tomatoes to soups and sauces. For a quick snack, spread tomato-based pizza on a toasted English muffin, top with low-fat cheese, and broil until cheese bubbles.

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Oranges
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, cancer, cataracts, skin, and aging

Oranges are the number one source of vitamin C in our diets, which is the most important water-soluble antioxidant in the body, associated with lowering risks for a number of diseases, from heart disease and cancer to cataracts and premature aging of the skin. Oranges also are an excellent source of folate, the B vitamin that helps lower risk for birth defects, heart disease, cancer, and even memory loss. They are an excellent source of potassium, especially for those women battling high blood pressure or who are on diuretic medications that cause potassium depletion (sometimes just increasing potassium-rich foods, such as citrus, in the diet is all it takes to lower medication dosages!). In addition, oranges supply both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers, such as pectin, are especially important in lowering risks for disease like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For example, one study found breast cancer risk decreased 84% when vitamin C intake was high.

But that’s just the tip of the nutritional iceberg. The humble orange also houses more than 170 phytochemicals known to lower risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory conditions in women.

How to include more in your diet: Switch from chips to orange sections for a mid-day nibble. Mix orange sections into orange-flavored yogurt, dunk orange sections in fat-free, dark-chocolate syrup; pair oranges with sweet potatoes in a salad; use fresh orange juice and maple syrup for marinades; mix orange sections into guacamole, rice dishes, and tossed salads; sprinkle candied ginger over orange sections for an after-dinner snack.
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Wheat germ

Why it’s good for you: Stress, bones, thyroid, and diabetes

The heart of the wheat kernel is a gold mine of nutrition. A half cup serving of toasted wheat germ supplies more than half of a woman’s daily magnesium needs, a mineral that three out of four women don’t get enough of, yet is essential for reducing stress, building bones, and regulating thyroid function (which affects 20% of postmenopausal women) and heart rate. Magnesium also aids in the production, release, and activity of insulin. Several studies, including one from Harvard School of Public Health, found that women cut their risk of developing diabetes by 48% when they consumed magnesium-rich diets. In contrast, low intake of magnesium increases risk more than three-fold. Wheat germ also supplies husky amounts of vitamins, including 100% of your daily need for folic acid, 50% of your vitamin E requirement, and decent amounts of trace minerals, such as iron and zinc.

How to include more in your diet: Sprinkle on oatmeal or yogurt, add to cookie and pancake batters, mix into muffin or meatloaf recipes, or blend with honey and peanut butter for a sandwich spread.


Your short-term action plan: Schedule a checkup with a cosmetic dermatologist so you can determine your specific skin type. "A consumer can't really do that on her own," Sadick says, so you'll need professional help to determine exactly what your skin needs. Ask whether your skin is healthy, whether you're at risk of skin cancer, and if there's any way you can slow down aging.

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Extra-lean red meat

Why it’s good for you: Fatigue, memory

Beef has gotten a bad rap, probably because so many cuts of beef are drenched in saturated fat, the bad fat that clogs a woman’s arteries and leads to heart disease, colon cancer, and other ills. But, extra-lean beef has a number of good qualities, with iron topping the list. Iron is the #1 deficiency for women, with estimates ranging from 20% to 80% of women being iron deficient. Iron is the key oxygen-carrier in the body. Without enough iron, the tissues - from your brain to your muscles - literally suffocate for oxygen and that causes fatigue, poor concentration, and increased susceptibility to colds and infections. Not only does extra-lean beef contain a good dose of iron, but the type of iron, called “heme” iron, is really well-absorbed (30% versus as little as 5% in beans or other vegetables).

How to include more in your diet: Look for meat that is clearly labeled as grass fed (grass fed meat has more conjugated linoleic acid a heart-healthy fat). You only need about two 3-ounce servings a week, so don’t get carried away and start ordering 16-ounce steaks! Add thin strips of lean, grass-fed sirloin tip to a stir fry, super-lean ground round to chili beans or spaghetti sauce, or have an eye-round roast once in a while (just load the rest of the plate with tons of veggies!). Treat your meat to an antioxidant-rich rosemary and thyme rub, since studies show these herbs rid the body of cancer-causing substances by up to 87%.

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Sweet potatoes
Why it’s good for you: Healthy Skin

A serving of sweet potatoes supplies five times the Daily Value for beta carotene, which might lower your risk for cancer, boost defenses against colds and infections, and protect the skin from sun damage. Beta carotene accumulates in the skin providing partial 24-hour protection against sun damage. The more carotene-rich produce you eat, the more skin protection you get. Bright orange veggies also supply hefty amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and iron, and more fiber than a slice of whole wheat bread.

How to include more in your diet: Microwave a sweet potato and top with maple syrup and pecans. Puree and add to soups as a thickener. Use instead of potatoes in salads. Slice sweet potatoes into wedges, salt, and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes for golden fries. Cook, mash, and use instead of noodles or rice as a base for any dish.

You know the Bible 93%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
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Time and again, I have mentioned how we as a family value our environment and share in our blogs how we do it. From buying “green” things, purchasing items that do not contain harmful chemicals that will leave residue to the earth’s surface, using leakproof cloth diapers over those more famous commercial disposable ones, and much more.

I just found out that there are just about more that we could actually do and as more and more people are becoming aware of global warming, lots of solutions have come about and gives us consumers that better choice. Like for instance using HDPE Milk Bottles. It’s just true, we really have to do everything in our ability to reach out to our lone mother earth. This is just about the best we can do to give hope to the generations after us.

Have I really been doing paid blogging that long? I checked the tab from my PPP Dashboard that says "my posts" and true to what my senses have been telling me, I just finished my 100th post for them and I am so thrilled! It's just one of the milestones I hope to have recorded. :-)

Thanks Hails for this tag. I appreciate it so much that I don't just involve the hubby in blogging via tags and memes, I even get to have him as my blogging partner and blog together in our Marriage and Beyond site. But my appreciation don't end there, here's a compacted list of what I love most about him. I know I can go on and on and on but I needed to stop myself and trim it down to 7. Here it goes...

1. He is God-fearing. Despite the many things that have pushed him to leave his calling, he has stayed put, pressed on towards leading His people through the local church he now pastors.

2. Hubby loves to shower me with gifts, even if I insist him not to. He has this funny antic, like for instance a few weeks before my birthday he'd get me something special and say it's for my 70th birthday. It's his way of saying he cannot not have something else to surprise me with on the day itself. I would tell him one gift is enough. But he'll find all the crazy excuses, 69th birthday, 68th and so and so forth. At one point, I got nerved, because I found it impractical. But later figured, he must just love me that much. :-)

3. His diplomatic nature.

4. He loves me like no other.

5. He is such a great lover!

6. He puts up with my crazy moods and he's getting better at handling me by the year.

7. Having no model of a good father (his was an ever absentee one), I must say he is really doing good at being a great one.

I sure love this tag! I am tagging |Aiza|Delish|Jen|PinayMama|PinayMommy|Ella|Mhel|

For the next two weeks, starting this Monday, hubby will be gone to oversee two batches of a summer youth camp, April 15-18 and April 22-25, as over all camp director. The theme is “Heroes: Ordinary People with an Extraordinary Calling”, which follows after the TV series Heroes, but subtly redirects to Bible heroes/ characters mentioned in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. This is the 3rd time hubby will be directing the youth camp for Camp Kabataan, a group, composed of pastors, that has a purpose of strengthening youth ministries by organizing annual summer youth camps as a harvest event and leadership training for youth ministries.

This year, there are a lot of people in the Camp Kabataan team that have gone so hubby’s experience this year is quite stressful especially with regards to bringing on people for his leadership team. In fact he has shared to me that there are a few committee responsibilities that will be covered by him and his partner who is the camp director for the second week. One committee he mentioned was the committee for sports and games. In fact, one responsibility of that committee that he and his partner will be covering today is the purchasing of stuff for that particular committee. How he hopes to be able to find just one place to stop at and purchase the things they need and I’m sure he could use those black friday sale right now so they would not go beyond the budget for the sports and games committee.

Hubby and I have been preparing our son, Jed, for his absence this next few days. We sure will be missing him around. We hope that God would guide him and give him wisdom as he directs the camp of about 600 to 700 participants.

One of the things our family is looking forward to is getting our current rusty old car replaced and for us to buy a reliable used car. There are a lot of odds when it comes to buying used cars. One of the more important things to consider is the engine and mechanism of the car to be bought. It is important to get the car checked first by a good mechanic to keep repairs to a minimum. Although, it is somehow expected that used cars to have some kind of sicknesses here and there, you would better the odds if this first important thing will be done.

Why replace? We have been painfully enduring the current one we are using. Because believe it or not, when it rains outside, it does rain inside to, if you know what I mean. And every time the poor hubby would get his pants wet (no not because he peed, but because of rain water directly pouring over his side of the car. Way back before our son was even here, the rain would pour in the middle, just beside the rear view mirror, we had it repaired to the tune of $250 and look what we’ve got some months after, it just transferred to another place and the worse place yet – the driver side. I used to help him catch those rain water from a glass, now I won’t be able to do that anymore because its in his side. And it could be troublesome. We just really pray that the Lord enables us to get this one replaced. We figured it would be more costly to have this replaced than actually buy a new one.

To love the limelight is just about one of the most natural thing for a person. Attention right from birth is what we crave for. For me honestly I am more interested in getting that attention towards my son. If ever I would be able to do a live show from my blog, it will sure to be of him flaunting all those things he is so fond of doing.

Doing live tv is now made possible by BlogTV.com. It’s really neat. When I heard about it, it first sounded foreign because I know it costs a lot to do broadcast tv, but well, yeah they are able to do it and even get bloggers to utilize it right from their blog. Check their site out and see how easy it is. They have such a user friendly site that it will be like a snap of finger and you’ve figured out how it works.

Even before we were blessed with our own home, we were always careful and made sure our home is secured and is installed with one of those security systems the one we used from the second apartment that we rented, we have installed an alarm which we got used to having up to the last apartment that we rented.


It just occurred to me that we have not installed one now that we have our new home. I guess we have taken for granted that we live in a subdivision. But then again, I remember back in 1999 our house got ransacked and thieves practically took off with all of the jewelries me and my mom had. It was one scary time for us then.


We have to take care of this the soonest, for that peace of mind. Although we cannot really control things, it is always wise to reinforce than to later regret when we know we could have done more from our end.

I choose to count my blessings even as we are currently going through some tough times. One of which is the fact that I have upgraded a tad from formerly using a lowly Pentium 3 desktop which always bugged down last year to my current Core Duo Megabook lappy. I remember the frustration of using that unit even after upgrading its memory for hope of improvement. It would just turn off without warning and what’s worse is it did just in between jobs that I needed to finish.


But before we were blessed to have bought this, I have always dreamed of having a Macbook. Not that I am in any way unhappy with our Megabook’s performance. But being the tech savvy that I have become, I have learned from various reviews and user testimonials that there are a lot of applications and goodies that a Macbook offers. Those cool apple games would have been such a steal. I even found a site where I can download mac games. I am not that addicted to games, online or otherwise, but it sure can be a good diversion from the everyday busyness of life from time to time.


From a Macbook dream to settling for a Megabook, I figured that was not bad. If specs will be compared between the two, Megabook even has a higher one. I may not be able to get a hold of those ingenious mac games but the specifications I am now working with is good enough to last me years of working on being efficient in my current job.

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