Harvest Time Homecare

"HOME is not where you live, but where they understand you." - Christian Morganstern

you've read a lot of my 'missing home' blogs. those gloomy days when i wished hard, seeking relief, hoping that i can come home... my sad tuesdays, the home sickness that i felt during Christmas season...

at some point, i was out of myself... during those times, i felt really incomplete. i wanted to have my life back, the way it used to be... im longing for the comfort of my bed at my room, wanting to hug my pillows. everyday was so hard, the desire to come home makes my life, somehow, miserable.

until i realized that, home is not just our exact address in Philippines. It is where my dreams continues to grow, and turns out to be a reality. it is the place where i can find peace and comfort and confidence and happiness... that it is where i can be me. that is my home! i found my new home recently, and now, i am complete, happy, satisfied and comfortable.

HARVEST TIME HOMECARE II is not my home. but it is open to all those who need one.

Address: 9913 Glade Ave. Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone: 818-773-0071
Administrator: Leticia Victorio
Phone: 818-624-1443

Our facility is committed to assisting people with developmental disabilities, helping them to develop and enhance skills necessary for daily living. We believe that challenging behaviors are just means of communicating likes and dislikes.
It is our goal to teach a more socially acceptable means of communicating and, at the same time, reduce or eliminate challenging behavior. We help our consumers achieve more efficient lifestyles by increasing their exposure to the possibilities and opportunities at home and in the community.
We at Harvest Time Homecare II provide consumers with a safe and comfortable living environment and treat them with the utmost respect and dignity.

should you know anybody needing a special care, please refer HT Homecare. Thank you.

flower power

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men & animals. Some seem to smile; some have a bad expressions; some are fensive & diffident; others again are plain, honest & upright like the broad-faced sunflower & the hollyhock." - Henry Ward Beecher

"The best things in life are the nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then, do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that." - Robert Louis Stevenson

war ends - peace ends.

today is the 8th day of ceasefire in Gaza... only ceasefire.

but the silent war continues. unresolved issues increased. lives were lost. families were homeless. dreams shattered.

people were terrorized. traumatized. trapped.
it's not yet over...

"Obviously, we will maintain a high state of alert," said Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "If Hamas acts to undermine the ceasefire, we are ready." (Gulfnews, 22 January 09)

Israel attacked first. Hamas responded.

I am not so familiar with this... where does the conflict between Israel and Palestine emerge?

According to Israel, the assault was not a war against army but war of punishment & frustration against the people; punishment for Palestinians for democratically electing Hamas in 2006.

Ḥamās, an acronym of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah, means "Islamic Resistance Movement" / resistance to occupation and dispossession, is a legitimate fighting force defending Palestinians from a brutal military occupation.

Palestinians became refugee through their own fault, they have been stateless for generations... invaded by different troops...
Israel has been conquerieng land, enlarging their teritory through war, hoping to give better foundation to their nation.

Israel wanted to give the Palestinians their freedom and Hamas is fighting for it too...

it is not right to pin-point who is who. i havent read much stories... i just browsed the net.
and all i know is that the conflicts were started centuries ago. several wars had killed innocent victims and continued to take lives, dreams and future of people.

as we gazed on gaza, it is clear that it is not just about freedom and terrorism. not just about enlarging power and teritory.

there is something deeper...
some issues that were left unresolved for centuries.
questions left unanswered even if series of war after war has damaged their countries.

war ends. but it doesnt mean that there is peace after it.
usually, peace ends as the battle did... as they began to count fatalities, compute the value of destruction, and file charges for those responsible.

then, it will be forgotten.
this is a fact. the reality.

maybe, lets not go farther... within ourselves we can testify.
ok, not even about war. lets take it against our own life's battle.

have we even try to change ourselves to be a better and responsible person? after some arguments, have we tried to analyze our fault? have we accepted the truth that we are not perfect? that we commit the same mistakes as everybody else...
are people really practicing compromise?
have we tried to put ourselves on another person's shoes to understand how they really feel? do we find solutions after an argument?

war is certainly everywhere.

what is bad is that we tend to STOP the battle without understanding the conflict. how can we to be sure that it wont happen again, unless we give concrete solutions to the problem and compromise to whatever both parties wanted...
and not just ceasefire that will give a chance for the troop to set another plan.

its been a week. soon, it will fade. news will eventually be covered with other news, until such time that an attack will be made, again.
(photo: gulfnews - A pictorial journey through conflict-hit Gaza)

OBAMA: hope OVER fear

the message is clear. no need to elaborate.
no words left unsaid.

the world stopped, watched and listened to his oath...
finally, CHANGE begun!

we are all hoping, and TOGETHER, we can defeat the fear...

one thing: he can never do it, alone.
but he will lead, not just the people in the United States of America... but all the citizens of all nation, who are hoping and are willing to cooperate to achieve the world transformation!

My fellow citizens, I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.

Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life.
They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.
The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.
We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.
We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs.
We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.
And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.
All this we can do. All this we will do.
*photos from GulfNews / transcript from NYTimes*

the Secret

this is the only secret that almost everybody knows.

i have read this book, about 2 years ago... more or less!
given to my partner by one of her case studies in our 'rugs to riches' story featured in our TV program, PiPOL.

a truely inspiring book, or rather, motivational!

i love reading such kind of books, than novels.
at my 5th grade, i read "the power of positive thinking" already. and i could say that part of my stronger (+)side was because of such books.

i always stay at the light side - brighter side - positive side...

i believe that in life, there are always 2 options: the positive & the negative. whatever happens... how bad things may seem, it surely have the positive side.

"to be a star, you must shine your own light...
follow your own path...
and dont worry about the darkness,
for that is when the star shines brightest!"

as young as 11, i was able to put those words into my mind.

maybe that is why, when i read "the secret", it doesnt have much effect to me compared to my friends who were so inspired and had changed their views - and life, after reading this book.
i am not saying that it didnt inspire me... ofcourse it did! but since i am alread practicing 'the secret's' style of living, it just added some knowledge and enthused me more in being simply happy with life.
i am a fan of the secret... for being able to shape many people towards one direction - to go on the positive side. and that is the bottom line - that is the secret.

"we have the power to be what we want to be... we are the master of our destiny!"

Burj Dubai 2009 - soaring high

this post is 2 weeks late...
my favorite spot here in Dubai... the Burj Dubai.
of course, i wont miss taking its picture at the last day of 2008 & the first day of 2009.
31 December 2008 / 930 - 10AM
up to date, it reached its peak. the current height - 688.00m
and the tip of the spire will be visible from 60 miles away...
wow! the tallest structure in the world.
01 January 2009 / sunset
when you look at it, within the area, its just like one of the ordinary high rise building here in Sheikh Zayed Road. but from afar, the rest were just half of its lenght.

i am always amazed and somehow scared with this fact:
that man was so eager and were able to create something this huge! (which always reminds me of the 'tower of babel')
it once happened. i hope not again...

the goal of burj dubai is not only to be the world's highest building, but to embody the world's highest aspiration.

great vision... awesome achievement!

same as this burj (tower), dubai has also reached its peak. it has become the center for trade in the middle east. and became an inspiration to other GCC region.

and this is the most frightening stage - being at the pinnacle, holding the beacon.

and the hardest is maintaining to be there, on top, when there is no other stairs to climb.

burj dubai also has the record of the world's highest elevator installation and the world's fastest at 18m/sec (40mph). can you imagine? i would love to try this... my greatest dream at the moment!!

but how fast can this elevator go down?

i am not saying that dubai will be going down...well, nobody says that USA will be, too...
im not saying that because i want to, but somehow, it is the reality.

we can all have our peak... and eventually, we there will be no other way...

so, maybe, for now, while we still have the benefit of 'being on the prime spot', while dreams continuous to fly & while we have the choice to enjoy & be glad... lets all do it.

it will be an exciting journey, as the burj continue to soar high, we should all be in inspired to do the same. we can shine our own light... we can set our own star.
all we have to do is to have a vision that we can also embody our highest aspiration.

Gaze on Gaza

Fighting rages in Gaza
Troops pushed deeper into Gaza in a day of fierce fighting on Sunday as Israel brushed off continuing global protests but indicated an end was in sight to its war on the Palestinian enclave since most of its strategic objectives were close to being fulfilled.
Civilians again fell victim to Israel's brutal offensive that has left more than 900 people in the Gaza Strip dead in the 16-day-old war, including 275 children. Two women and four children were killed in a strike on a house in Beit Lahiya, medics and witnesses said, while 12 bodies were pulled from the rubble in Tal Al Hawa.

photo c/o business week
i certainly do not know how this begun... i am clueless of what they are fighting for, aside from Gaza... all i know is that the victims reached almost a thousand innocent people. children were deprived by the right to live and see these beautiful world... parents loses their kids... kids loses parents.
it will be over soon... since they already hit the major targets?!? or maybe it really should end soon, because no more soldiers were left alive... no more people to live in Gaza...
it must be a decade of pain that made Israeli's heart exploded with revenge... years of mourning for being prisoned from freedom and rights.
and the Palestines, caught off guard... unaware that the planted a seed of reprisal from the Israelis and will reap hostilities that can wash out their community.
admittedly, i dont know the details... what is clear to me is that - this is WAR. and what i understood about it is that war arises due to unsettled terms.
whether its military war, civilian war, religious war... even personal war.
war is a result of seeking revenge, claiming un served justice.
i know that Palestine is suffering and will suffer more after these tragedies... almost everybody hates Israel...
i am not being biased. its not of who is right & wrong... good or bad...
its not finding who to blame.

this time, we should be awakened by different wars that happened all over the world. its not just about killing... but fighting for each others' rights, principles, freedom.

everybody will emerge a loser in this war

nothing will be left but the pain and suffering of the innocent victims.

and the hope that somehow, the battle cry of the warriors will be heard and will be recognized...

facing 2009

i will agree that the start of the year is not that good as we expect it to be...

here in Dubai, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain His Highness Shaikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla, passed away last Friday (02/01/09) morning in London.
in the Philippines, flash floods welcomes the year in Cagayan de Oro City, and not to mention the problem in the government.
in Gaza, war continously kills innocent people.
globally, inflation is still down... financial crisis is felt everywhere.

people will say hi! how are you?
can you still reply - im good, thank you?

hours ago, a friend told me that she is in critical situation at work... hopefully, she wont be affected with the increasing numbers of terminated employees, and so as everybody. i hope that there wont be any termination anymore...

another close friend called me, crying... she told me that she is having a hard time in the office. stressed & pressured at work. deadlines... reports... its been 4 sleepless nights and she was so tired...

and another friend sent a message... asking for a favor to call somebody who borrowed money from her. she is jobless...

the three have something in common.
1. struggling to have her job
2. wanting to leave her job
3. needing a job
bottomline: Job - crisis. problem.

life may seems so hard these days. thick clouds might seem to cover the bright sky... giving up might be the common term used than fighting for. it maybe hard to get up from all the tragedies, but life always have its own way of twist & turns, ups & downs, push & pull.

it may seem impossible, but we must always try to look up in the sky, even if it was covered by clouds, surely, it will never be that dark after all...

it might be gloomy down here, but there will always be light on top of everything...

Coke Side of Life 2009

100 Years After

Coke Side of Life 1909

100 years ago...

DUBAI: silent countdown

same as anybody else around the world, me & my friends prepared well for the new year's eve celebration. its been weeks of discussion where to go, which restaurant is the best, where we can enjoy the view of the grand fireworks as before. the reservations were almost fully booked...

finally, after several days of inquiries... we have decided to go to the same place where we were last year (2007-2008). i can say one of the best, since we have the view of Burj Al Arab, the only 7-Star hotel in world. a perfect not so loud nor discreet crowd that was there before.

erika found the number... and reserved.

then came 31 December, all prepared. we still went to the office, yet kept our fingers crossed that it will be another half day of work, same as 24 December.

then the BA#$%^&NG!
its not yet midnight, but an explosion of news came in...

Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the cancellation of all forms of celebrations marking the New Year in Dubai emirate, as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
whhooooh! what a blast!

then, my phone rang several times. my friends were asking... confirming... and thinking what else to do???

too late to prepare for a dinner at home!!! and the reservation...

then, the work continued. lunch time came... no announcement yet.
it will be a long day. since the celebration was cancelled... why do we need to leave early???

ok. fine. this is it.
6PM. ding!!! time to go and prepare.

we still went to the restaurant... nothing can break the plan...with a little hope that the countdown will still give a thrill!

then we arrived. the place was still loaded. people still gathered. long tables on the restaurants... families were together. children on their best dress... all the same new year's eve.
just dont try to ask for loud music. its a fine dining set up... alcohols were available just inside the resto... and if you wish to drink outside, starbucks coffee will do :)

we had the best, year end dinner. more than the food... we ended the year together, with the special people in our lives. 6 of us. sharing our dreams for the coming year and analyzing what went wrong for the past year... & so on.

then, its almost midnight. we were rushing for the "countdown" outside.
it was soooo cold. a foggy cold silent night.

we passed at starbucks to have some latte...
then went out at the ampitheater of madinat jumeirah...
almost all the people did the same...
for what??? maybe that's the way it should be...

outside, fog embraced us... it covered the view.
all you can see was the big christmas tree, as if floating in the air.
10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2...happy new year :)

instead of fireworks... people greeted each other.
hugs... kisses... love was all around us!
as if everybody knew each other.
everybody is smiling... happy... full of hope...

one night, 2 different years.
one closes and another begun.
it was different. i grew up in the fireworks capital of the Philippines (Bulacan) where really loud fire crackers were lit during the eve... it was totally a different experience.

being part of the protest againsts the war that now killed more than 500 people...
the new year celebration that we had this year was more meaningful to me.

i am thankful that i was somehow able to give my little share with what is happening in Palestine & Gaza... that night, we prayed for them... and realize that while most are celebrating... some people had just lost their homes, or even their love ones, or even their own lives.

most of us has been trying to think of ways to improve ourselves for the coming year... some spent hours regretting things that they did and didnt do on the past year... new years resolution for ourselves... plans... project... self.
all about us.

the year that was (2008) brought many tragedies. records of crime... disaster... financial downfall... a history of its own.

and the beginning of the year gives a new hope for everybody.
not just for you & for me... but everybody deserves to be happy.
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