Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Look For The Blog

It's a new year so I thought I should do a makeover of the blog as well. I finally figured out how to customize the Blogger default template that I've been using for the past three years.

During the next few days I will be testing out different templates. So don't be surprised to see all kinds of color combos each time you visit. My other goal is to maximize the size of images and HD videos which is why I'm using this wide template. Speaking of videos, if you have an older computer it is possible that your PC may not be able to process the speed required to watch the videos in HD. I know this from experience because my other laptop is five years old and it plays the video in excruciating slow motion.

About this Blog - We had 6,248 visits as of this posting. If this looks big it's because we're part of the Blogger network and we get hits from other bloggers all over the world. Our very first post was November 7, 2005 when Danny and Nadya accompanied Mamang to Maui. It was the last time Mamang visited us in Maui before the Lord called her home just over a year later. I place her picture here in memory of her. She was so proud that we live in Maui.

Many of our relatives and friends visit this blog regularly. It's not unusual that we get calls or emails from them after they read a blog post. It's pretty much our public bulletin board. So if you have your own blog or website, give me the link and I will post it here. Current links to date are - Kenneth Garces, Arnold Umali, Jay Garces, and Don Garces. The more the better so we can check what's going on with everybody in one place.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Our Traditional Christmas Dinner

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Of course this blog is not complete unless we have a family picture of our usual Christmas Turkey dinner with Don and Lynnette. This time around, Jay and Dawn were unable to join us.

2008 was a blessed year for our family. We hope that you had the same.

Again, Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No more da BMW X5. Back to my Pickup truck

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The 39-month lease on our 2005 BMW X5 is due on December 26th but we decided to return it yesterday and declined another lease-car replacement. It was a $700/mo expense and with the scary declining economy up ahead, it's a no-brainer. It served me well while I was engaged in my real estate vocation, specially at times when I had to show homes to mainland millionaires.

So, to match my retirement lifestyle, I am back with my good old '98 Dakota Pickup truck! By the way, this is the same truck that we gave Don for his college graduation gift and then four years later I bought it back from him. (Does that make sense?)

Today I went to the mall and the parking lot was packed but no worry, I just parked my truck at the first vacant space I saw - in between two nice cars with only a few inches between our doors. I haven't done that for the past 3 years while I had the X5. :-) I always parked it in areas of the lot where there were no other cars.

Tomorrow, I will go cruising in my Jag. I think I'm a little bit depressed. Somehow it felt like I lost a friend each time I look at the driveway and the shiny black and imposing X5 is not there. It was a great looking car and true to its reputation as an awesome driving machine. It fulfilled my "ultimate car dream" in this material world and now I can move on to more meaningful desires.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Restoring An Awesome Classic Car

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Four years ago, while vacationing in Maui, my brother-in-law and his family bought this beat up 1978 Mercedes SL450 for their daughter, Artessa. Then it was parked in my driveway for more than a year and took more abuse from the harsh elements before I was instructed to ship it to the Philippines. Today I received pictures of this fully restored classic car. This is so awesome. I'm so excited about this restoration because I was there when he closed the deal in Kihei and I always thought it would be quite a challenge to restore it because of the condition of the car but here it is - a Classic beauty in red! WOW

More pictures here in

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Walking The Dogs

Oh the joy(?) of being a responsible dog walker

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Don And Lynnette in Dumaguete

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More info at Don's blog Click Here

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, in my garden :-)

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My poinsettia outside is just now turning red. It might be too late for Christmas and this is talked about in Hawaii garden forums - poinsettias that are planted in the yard get their red leaves sometime in January.

This one on the picture was indoors in a small pot last Christmas (2007) and was moved outside sometime in February, still in the pot, until May 6, 2008. By the time I started my garden I saw it by the corner of the fence in a dried-out pot but the plant looking pathetic and was barely alive. I was able to save it on time which is why this is one of my special favorites in my garden, next to my mango!

Other picture is an updated image of our garden.