Thursday

Just a few days ago, there was snow storm warning in the county we live up here in North East Atlanta. I was skeptical because the news was like that last December on Christmas day, and there was no snow. We waited if it would indeed snow, well, it didn't. It snowed in the Nothern most part of Georgia and in the elevated parts,but not where we live. I was hoping I would experience snow even for a day. It's okey, it just rained, it was cold though. I had to bundle up even inside the house. I don't want to crank up the heater. Gas bill is soaring high this winter.

The days have passed by so quickly. In a few weeks, the season would change into spring. I love spring, the colors, the beauty, the liveliness. It's just awesome. It lifts up the spirit.

And I will start my small garden. It would be mostly in pots, but would be nice to bring out my plants that I have brought inside to keep them from dying. My pineapple is starting to bear fruit. I'm excited. I haven't noticed it until yesterday when I saw new leaves sprouting and when I looked inside there's a baby fruit growing. I know, I have such, small joys. I have planted that pineapple from the top of a pineapple I got from the grocery store and it grew. It took me two years or more, but it's bearing fruit. I have another one, which is still growing, I also planted it from the top of a pineapple we got at the grocery store. I fed them fertilizer and they just grew robustly. I can't wait to see how big the fruit will grow. I guess it would help when it is exposed under the sun.

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Moving to another place means adjusting to new things. And of course meeting new friends. Since mving up here, I haven't had the chance to meet a lot of Filipinos for months, so I tried different ways of networking. Just yesterday I was able to meet one Filipina from Bukidnon. She and her husband came over our place for a short visit. Well, we chatted for sometime over the phone and she seems a nice lady. She is pregnant and she's in her fifth month. We just chatted for a short while, before they

left I sent her some "ginataan" and "puto" which I made after she called me on the phone telling me that they are coming over. They are very nice couple. I had fun chatting with them even if they didn't stay very long. They are getting ready for their travel to Illinois to visit her husband's parents. And then after that they will be leaving for a long vacation to the Philippines. She is going to have her baby delivered over there and of course have her family help her. I think it would be awesome. Plus the long vacation until December, I wish I could go for a long vacation like that. Her husband has been to the Philippines about four times already, so he knows what to expect. He was telling me he would probably miss some stuff, like the convinience of having hot shower. But I guess, he is willing to adopt to the life over there since he agreed to have this long vacation. I don't know when will I go back next for a vacation again to the Philippines. I had fun during my last vacation, it would be expensive to stay that long though. Hopefully everything will turn out well for them.

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There are times that I miss Filipino cuisine, that's why I am happy to have found an International Farmer's Market closeby. It's mostly Korean, but they have some Filipino stuff like hopia, tocino, some Pinoy seasoning mixes like sinigang, pancit, adobo. And they have a variety of vegetable and fruit selections for even lower price compared to Kroger or Publix. One of my favorite recipe that I often make is "Pinakbet"


which consist of bitter mellon or bitter gourd (ampalaya), okra, eggplant, long beans (sitaw), onions, ginger, tomatoes, garlic of course "bagoong"(fish sauce). I get them all at this farmer's market. They also have an isle full of Pinoy condiments like Silver Swan soy sauce, banana ketsup, canned goods, and snacks like Nagaraya, chips and cookies. I aslo found these tiny pomelos called "Oro Blanco" literally means white gold, it is white inside while some pomelos are pink. It is in the citrus family, it looks like a big grapefruit, except it is a tiny pomelo. They are produced in South America.





And this Tiramisu. It's good with coffee. They are small Italian cakes. Love them. I had been looking them for long time.


Chances are, if you love Asian cuisine you would love going to this place. They have all kinds of Asian stuff, especially Korean foods, even cooking utensils, I love those Japanese kitchen wares. If you happen to pass by Suwanee, Georgia, check out the place. I'm sure there are lots of them in the area. This one is the closest to where I live. It's called ASSI Plaza, International food. Some people who haven't been to Asian stores would think you are out of the country when you step into ASSI plaza. It reminds me of grocery stores in Hongkong. Some of the stuff are all labelled in Korean or Japanese or other languages, so if you are not familiar with it, you wouldn't know what it is unless it has English translations. Of course Filipino stuff can be labeled in Tagalog and English together, so it's so easy to find them if you are looking for Pinoy stuff. If you are really into these kinds of Asian goods, might as well go to Buford Highway, Georgia, the biggest international market is located over there with live fish and other live seafoods like blue crabs and crawfish in tanks. I have been there a few times, and you can really find lots of exotic foods. So, if you happen to be in the area, this is one place to check out.



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I am also excited, I am meeting some Filipina this Saturday at a friends' house for dinner. It's really the best way to meet other Filipinas through gatherings like this. Some other places would be at the church. Of course anywhere else, it's just that I can't sometimes I can't tell whether they are Filipinos or not. I see lots of Asians but I always know if they are Filipina, because they would ask; Filipina ka? It is also such mutli cultural over here that there are lots of other nationalities that may look like Filipinas like Hispanic people and other Asians. I don't really care much nationalities, in fact I would like to meet and befriend people of other nationalities. Of course it is easier to meet fellow Filipinas. It's nice to be able to find groups of Pinoys in the area. To be able to hang out, cook Pinoy foods and have fun the Filipino way.

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