Potsticker Pity


This was originally supposed to be posted before Christmas… But things got busy. (And I may have been not ready to re-live this experience, just yet). Anyway, here it goes.


I work for a really nice couple somewhere in San Diego- I keep the Mrs.’ sweet ol’ mom company, and pretty much hang out with her a few days out of the week. We watch Shirley Temple movies, take long walks, exchange silly stories about our childhood, and talk about good-looking Cary Grant is. And sometimes, when we are feeling a little rebellious, we might go to McDonald’s and order some senior coffees.

Who knew a 19 and a 91 year-old would have so much in common?

Ok, I will admit… Not exactly your typical 19 year-old.
I also have a collection of cat sweaters.
I’m kidding. Really.

What does this all have to do with Potstickers, you ask?
Read on, lovely person.

So, one night, I had to whip up dinner for myself and sweet “Alice” (not her real name). Lemme just tell you- lunch was a hit. I heated some rotisserie chicken, mixed veggies and rice pilaf with almonds (it wasn’t from scratch- but “semi-homemade” as the young ones are calling it these days).

With the freezer door wide open, as I peered into the icy plethora of frozen foods that had the potential of becoming my next masterpiece, I smiled and recalled the earlier success.

I’m pretty sure my eyes twinkled (like in the movies) when I saw the bag of frozen potstickers sitting on the 2nd shelf. “Booyah!” I thought to myself. “Wife material. Right here.”

Disclosure: I’m Asian. And potstickers are an Asian thing, yeah? my little niece loves potstickers and, My sister, her mom, swears by them.

My parents on the other hand, don’t buy frozen ones cause they have preservatives and yada yada yada- they are sort of health nuts, and it gets a little annoying sometimes, but these days- I’m turning into one (Shhh. Don’t tell them).

The bottom line is: heating frozen potstickers was a foreign concept to me.
(Still is)

So I yank out the bag- it read- “ready in 10 minutes!”

“This can’t be that hard”

Cue the scary music.

10 minutes later, I have a huge ball of half-cooked, half-not cooked potstickers on the pan- all soaking butter and 1/2 cup of water. Picture this: uncooked brownish, pinkish meat, oozing out of slimy dough. I felt like it was gonna come alive and jump out of the pan… All Frankenstein-style.

I started to panic, knowing that the people I work for were in the next room (with their cats and dog)- not that they would fire me or anything. I just thought that I was gonna impress them somehow.

While I poked the “evil blob” (I named it, yes) with a fork, trying to relentlessly salvage my wounded pride, I tried to think of the positive side of things.

“If this thing attacks me, at least they’ll hear my screams.”
“Who needs a wife who can cook anyway?”
“My kids will just have to learn”
“At least the dog won’t be hungry tonight”
“One day, I will laugh about this”
“Today is not that day”
“Darn it, should’ve worn the cat sweater.”
“Pride cometh before the fall”
“I wonder if they have cat sweaters that ‘meow'”
“The Asian community should disown me”
“Heck, I’m going to disown me”
“I will never touch a potsticker in my life”

Somewhere among those musings,
the pan turned black.
Something started to smoke.
Someone entered the kitchen.

And I was going crawl under the dining room table.

They held their composure, but I could hear a nervous laugh, here and there- and I’m pretty sure they wondered if the smoke alarms were on.

I mumbled a few stupid things I’m sure about how directions on frozen food packages lie, and how I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy started by the government.

But the one thing that I cannot forget was when I thought I seemingly found a loophole out of my misery: “OH look!” I said in jubilation, “it’s expired! It expired a month ago!”

And I was oh so close to adding, “so this mess is not my fault! I am still wife material!”

Then, my false hopes were shot down when the Mrs. responded, by telling me that it’s fine to freeze stuff before the expiration date and she just had some potstickers the night before.

I knew that. I do that at home all the time.

“Shoot me now,” I thought to myself. Right about then, I was ready for “evil blob” to jump out of the pan and kill me.

Actually, The Mr. was kind enough to help me salvage what was left of the bunch of potstickers. And, thus, some of my pride.
Maybe the 2% that remained.

A little part of me likes to think he did that cause he knew I was embarrassed.
But a big part of me knows it’s cause he was afraid I might burn his house down.

Well…The Mrs. did seem a little jumpy that next time I put a pan on the stove.


Hello Fall, Where did Summer go?

Yep. Last time I checked in was July… and now it’s October. Crazy. I entered my password wrong quite a few times logging on, and realized that’s been way too long since I’ve “blogged” about everything and anything.


Since summer, I’ve wrapped up a NA program, started college and a new job, and had a birthday, got more involved in volunteering; some family has moved away, some friends as well… lots of change.

Last night I was just thinking how if you told my 13 year-old self how grown up I would be at 19, I would’ve gone hiding someplace you could never find me. Responsibility can be scary, man!

Maybe that’s apart of why God doesn’t give us all the details. We would probably faint to hear of all the things He has planned for us- I’m sure some are pretty exciting and amazing, and some are just plain scary if we try to tackle them on our own.

Lately, I heard someone say, “God gives generalities because He wants the daily dependency on Him.”

That reminds me that it’s not all about our life goals, or the “American Dream” (happy, successful, happy) but it’s about getting to know God; Going where He leads us, because we get to learn more about Him and experiencing new life because He gave us new purpose and hope through Jesus.

And once you take that step to follow Him, make sure you hang on tight- ’cause life will be quite a ride!

//the difference a dot makes//

“Brain damage? Say what?”
Ok, let’s back it up a bit.
I was home alone babysitting my teen nephew and 6 year old niece. Their parents are in another state, by the way. And my parents are at work.
Little niece wakes me up in the middle of the night, crying, complains of being dizzy and wanting to throw up. She’s burning up.
I give her some of the cherry medicine which tastes horrible (but makes her feel much better).
I make a mental note to buy a thermometer that actually works (Ours was broken!) once I get up in the morning.
Here comes the hard part (or so i thought): I have to keep the kids away from each other. Nephew cannot get sick. He has a heart procedure in a few days(!).
(Which would actually work if our house wasn’t so tiny…. hah)
Ok, so we are back home- I take her temp. (with the brand spankin’ thermometer we bought from CVS– i took her with me)…. wait half a minute… 
I think to myself, 
“This can’t be too bad, right? People get a hundred-something fever.”
next…. I calmly pick up the phone at call her mom.
“Yep she definitely has a fever…. a hundred-six…
yes, that’s what I said… a hundred-six… No, I’m not kidding… do you want me to take a picture?… Yes, ok, I guess you don’t need a picture….
 E.R.?! WHAT! She looks fine to me! Brain what?….. Ok, I’m going to wipe her down with some cool water first… Yes I know its serious… Nevermind, I’ll take her now.”
I dash to the kitchen, leave out some lunch for the nephew and warn him not to open the front door to anyone.
Niece (with an ice pack in one hand and ice water in the other) and I hop into the car and head to the urgent care down the street.
We pray out loud–I told her to “repeat after me”– i needed to know if she was was conscious! And we most definitely needed God’s help and peace!
quick heartbeat… shallow breath… 
yes. that was me. Please, she had to be ok.
The medical assistant was taking my little niece’s temp again (the MA dashed to get the thermometer right when i said “a hundred six”).
“One hundred POINT four”
Me: “OH THANK GOD! it went down!”
I call my sister on the phone again,
“It went down… a hundred point four… what do you mean?.. no way could it go down to that from a hundred you say?… well, it’s either the thermometer is broken or I am blind…. Well, I guess all that matters is she is fine… ok… It’s new… I guess we’ll return it now…”
Well, the MA overheard our discussion, and sheepishly said… “Maybe you…. maybe you…. read 100.6 to her as 106.0… thats why she told you to rush her here. Because if my thermometer pulled up 106.0– I’ve would’ve told you to get out of here and go straight to the E.R. since they are better equipped to deal with children her age.”
I didn’t even have the common sense to blame it on the thermometer and told the MA about my error…
bright red and flustered… like I was talking to a priest at confession (!) except for…. 
1) I am not Catholic
2)The waiting room looked nothing like a confessional box (at least you don’t show your face at confession!)
3) She ain’t no priest
THE END. That’s it. We aren’t laughing about it yet, but I do have a fever right now (ha) and
i make a point to read every “point” (YES-PUN INTENDED) I see on the thermometer screen.
You may be asking, “Why in the world did she write a blog about this?”
Maybe I am doing everyone (and by everyone I mean the handful of people who read this blog haha) a public service to remind them that a dot (or a period or a point or whatever) definitely makes a difference. 
Sentences would go on forever, no one would ever get any spare change, and you’ll make a complete fool of yourself.
Or perhaps the makeshift confession with the stranger at the urgent care wasn’t enough, and I wrote this in hopes of further embarrassing myself.
(But seriously, especially in the medical field, points are of utmost importance! Oh the things that could go wrong if you don’t chart them or misread them!)

Clinicals: Day One

A “clinical” is basically when students get out in ‘real healthcare world’ and put what we’ve been learning into practice. It’s a great way to see what you’ll be doing when you get hired.

Nursing Assistants (a.k.a. “CNAs”) usually work in long term care facilities and get to interact with the residents the most.

So… One of the highlights of the experience thus far- and one that will stick with me for awhile-

Here we were, students- awkwardly walking around the dining hall for the first time; we were trying to find ways to talk with the older residents without freaking them out (yes, we were happy to see them- but a little hyper due to our nerves acting up, I believe. At least I was!).

Then a sweet old lady, with beautiful auburn hair, called some students (including myself) to her table. She leaned back comfortably in her wheelchair, and gently clutched onto the blanket on her lap. She greeted us with a smile, introduced herself to each one of us, and asked for our names- then proceeded to tell us about herself.

“I was a nursing assistant for 20 years, before I had a stroke and came here. I enjoyed my job very much. I would do it all again. But I am happy now; I have been walking with The Lord all these years and I still am now. I want to wish you the best in your journey.”

Oh kindred soul, why you gotta make my heart melt!

Thank you for shining your light and being courageous and sweet. You are truly an example of one who has sweetly walked with Jesus!

Silly Pictures and Pretty Dresses

A couple months ago I had the absolute pleasure of participating in a wedding. 

Thing is, a few years ago, I kinda roped the bride into having me as one of her bridesmaids. 
Okay, that sounds bad. Okay, I can explain. I think.
Karla, the beautiful bride, is really one of the coolest adults I know.  
(I call her “Ate Karla”–“Ate” is a term of respect that you call “sisters” back in The Philippines”)
She loves being around people, and, honestly, I think everyone loves her company.
During the summers, my niece and I get to spend a couple days with her and act all silly and not think about tomorrow and eat too much and laugh ’til our cheeks hurt and take hundreds of pictures.
like this 
 (Left: my lovely niece, Mary. Right: me)
(Karla and Mary)
(I love this one hah)
 (top: us trying to look cool :P)
One of those summers, we parked in a commercial area, with shops all around us, probably eating ice cream, while trying to plan our future shenanigans.
I vaguely remember what we were doing there and where we were going, but vividly remember the discussion we had:
“Okay, girls! Where should we head to next!” Karla exclaimed.
We smile… and try to think of something fun we can do on a budget.
Then. Boom.
Mary and I start to nudge each other as we spot “David’s Bridal” a few stores down.
I was probably 14-15 (don’t quote me on that; I have a horrid sense of time hah.) and Mary was 11-12…
I think its around that age where girls realize that:
  1. Some boys aren’t so annoying after all; 
  2. Wedding dresses are real pretty and fluffy; 
  3. bridesmaid duty is a BIG step up from flower girl status; 
  4. getting your best friends to dress up in your favorite color and look gorgeous alongside you is awesome;
  5. maybe having a day where everybody gasps at how beautiful you are is even better.
So. We suggest the most rational thing any sugar-powered teen would.
And of course, the older, more mature one suggests it.
“LETS TRY ON DRESSES AT DAVID’S BRIDAL!!!” I scream, as if I spot the Jonas Brothers down the street (Yeah, Bieber wasn’t big back then).
“YES!!” Mary echoes. And I think we burst out in some equivalent of a happy dance in the backseat of the car.
Karla may have been in her early twenties and single, but obviously she’d be the more believable bride-to-be.
ideas started to pour out from the backseat like:
“You can try on poofy dresses!”
“And we can try on bridesmaid dresses!”  
“You can say you get married next month!”
“To…um.. a guy”… 
“What should be his name?”
I love how Karla laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, and presented us with reasonable gaps in our thought-to-be-perfect plan.
“What if they look for the engagement ring?”
“What if they ask how long we’ve been together or how he proposed?”
Which we respond to: “He can’t afford one… or it’s in the mail!”
And somewhere in there, I’m pretty sure I present the idea of pretending we can’t speak English or fashioning a trash bag into an engagement ring… or something like that.
(I’m just overflowing with brilliance, right?)
Reality sinks in eventually, (“It ain’t going to happen!”)
and we laugh a little to cover our disappointment.
But Karla asks us the most important question of our then 11 year old and 15 year old lives:
“You’ll be my bridesmaids, for my future wedding right?”
NO WAY. Flower girl status.. was sorta subjected to the cute little girl who could walk down the aisle to the music and not eat the flowers.
People liked you. 
That’s cause you were five… and they weren’t taking you home with them.
Bridesmaid– now that, was special. 
Of course we couldn’t believe it, so I told her, 
“When we get home, you have to get that on paper and sign and date it too!!”
“Of course, I want you two in my wedding! And you’ll like my futur husband too, okay? He has to be cool with hanging out with the family and you guys!”
Fast-forward a couple years.
Someone gets engaged on a starry night, on a hill overlooking the bright downtown lights.
“Did you ask my parents?” she says, trying to contain her excitement.
“I did! So what is your answer? To my question?” 
Meet the guy she said “Yes!” to- Patrick. 






He proudly serves our country in the military, likes football, legos and filipino food (any food for that matter). He’ll totally take you on in a dance-off, and will play video games for hours with Mary’s little bro. 
He and Karla are absolutely perfect together, and he is almost as cool as she is! (teheee ;))
We (Mary and I) adore them and look forward to our future summer adventures with these newlyweds!
Enjoy these shots from the big day!






Pssstt….matching dresses could only mean one thing, right? 😉

Lasagna Love // a poem


So. It seems that I was quite the poet back in Jr. High.

I posted this little rhyme on Facebook in either 7th or 8th grade… and then took it down as an absolutely horrified, matured, really cool 9th grader.

“Really? Put this up on the internet? Were you insane? People write poems about romantic things, Debbie. Not that.”

 was running through my mind.

Now, I revisit those days. Either with more sense than I had a few years ago, or really no sense at all.

I’ll probably have a different opinion on the subject…. just give me a few years. 😉


As lovely as a song,

that makes my belly sing along,

is a triple layer lasagna

with 3 layers of pasta.


Four layers of bubbling cheeses,

and sauce;

that can appease,

to much ease,

even a hungry beast.


And though my dog,

sits as still as a log,

he jumps like a frog,

for a triple layer lasagna

with three layers of pasta.


Spaghetti may come and go,

ravioli may taste so-so,

but nothing will shake my allegiance

to a dish with five bubbling cheeses.


So now I sit,

and will close my lips,

but will open them wide,

for a triple layer lasagna

with three layers of pasta. 


Note: The author has since then discovered she has an intolerance to dairy. This deeply saddens her.

(That’s ok, you can laugh.)

 image: credit to allrecipes.com

Island Dreamin’

(Note: this was originally supposed to be a “Throwback Thursday” post… but I forgot about it yesterday :D)

I have been missing The Philippines way too much this week, so I’d thought I’d blog about it. My dad’s old job required him to go back and forth from the U.S. to The. Phil. so I grew up in both countries (seriously, it was like 6 months in each place!).

It was lots of fun. I got to play with monkeys, pigs, and go on caribou rides… collect sea shells… ride on a canoe.. learn another language… and climb trees!

I’m so glad that my parents gave me the opportunity to explore the outdoors and release my energy chasing chickens! (Okay, that didn’t sound right… but you get the point haha).

We didn’t live on a farm, but my family owned one pretty close to the city (where we lived), so they’d take me- (I rode at the back of the pick-up truck!) whenever they could.

So, here are a few photos from our old family album and a few new ones from my iPhone from our last visit!


I will never forget these two gals. They taught me a bunch of card games and tried (yes, I failed hehe) to teach me how to swim. We’d have sleepovers and I introduced them to Disney Channel 🙂

001This looks cool, but I was really freaked out 😉 makes for a great picture though!

005006(my big brother is on the top; i’m at the bottom) Clearly, our family has a thing about chasing chickens. Great exercise, people! 😀

004 the domestic airport Tacloban, Luzon- (it’s below sea level :O)- with my precious nephew and our beloved nanny!

009This boat (?) had a name! I forgot it… 🙂


These are just some random airport/airplane pictures…



Now for some when cameras got a lot better 🙂

IMG_0680The man got up the tree WITH NO LADDER// and here we are enjoying the fruits of his labor.



out and about… this is what you’ll usually see if you’re driving from city to city.



(yes, that’s a guy sitting comfortably on a moving vehicle…. let’s take a look closer, shall we?)


I could not get over people riding on top of their cars! It was an inside joke for the rest of trip…..

“Hey! look! It’s someone being unsafe- do you want to take a picture?!” 😀 😀





That’s it for now, folks. Hope you enjoyed getting a peak into another country… and my family album… 🙂

BUT…….. I can already hear my sisters saying, “Not all of The Philippines looks like that! How about the hotels, the malls, the food?! AND how about pictures of us?!”

We’ll save those for sometime in the future….stay tuned 😉