I’m in the middle of a tight deadline today so I’m going to make this blog post short. Mahal is at the farm since Friday evening. It was actually an emergency run because… remember the new motorcycle I told you about in yesterday’s blog post? The brand new one we bought in cash for our farm helpers so they can have transportation to use for mushroom delivery instead of renting someone else’s motorcycle (which we have been doing for a long time now)… yes that motorcycle! Did our farm helper steal it???!!!
It’s July 1 and I can feel it! I’ve been working my ass off (pardon the term) since I woke up at 1am EST (it’s now 12:32 PM EST) and I still have lots of client tasks to finish. But before I forget, I need to blog. I said I will blog every day and so just like any committed human being, I am showing up here on my blog and writing down my thoughts.
Again, it’s July 1 and I can really, REALLY feel that the first half of the year is over! So many things have happened, both good and bad but I sometimes do feel that the bad outweighed the good ones because of the magnitude of emotions that came with it. I don’t like to dwell on these things much, but it’s also good to not forget them because they did come with lessons learned.
So before I resume with my VERY busy MomTraNeur life, let me just jot down below what those things are so I can finally let them go:
This will be a very short and sweet blog post as I am running a little fever today. I guess all those sleepless nights have caught up with my poor human body and realized that I am not a robot, that I get drained too. I actually should be resting right now. I really did go to bed 4 hours ago after sending an email to my client saying I’m sick because I was already shivering. I was so looking forward to slumber and waking up feeling all better and refreshed because I got a ton of work to do but our 3-year-old kept rolling all over me urging me to play with him. I, of course, reprimanded him, several times, to no avail. I didn’t want to be stressed further and I didn’t want my toddler to get sick too so I got up, sat here in my little office where he usually leaves me in peace when he knows I’m on work mode. I turned my Kenko back massager on and was planning to sleep upright but then I couldn’t sleep. You know that feeling when you’re so very tired, your bones feel like they’re shaking from overfatigue but you could not sleep? It’s such a bummer! So I thought I might as well do something a little productive. I did promise myself that day I ranted about being a sleep-deprived mom that I’ll blog every day no matter how short. This is after all my online diary and more than a blogger, I am a diarist.
As usual, when I haven’t been blogging for several weeks, it just means that the next time I will, I have to rant my way into blogging first as a form of catharsis before I get on with my regular programming. It’s part of my OCness. I have to recognize in written form what have I been up to the past month so I can let it all go in my head and happily blog again.
So… the past month since I last posted here has been nothing but super busy. I always tell myself that I’ll blog tomorrow, or I’ll finish that vlog entry this coming weekend… until 4 weeks have passed and I’m still where I left myself.
I can’t believe it’s been a month of mostly just 2-3 hours of interrupted sleep every day. How did I survive??? I’ve been handling more and more tasks for my clients (which means more pay so for that I am grateful, more money to save and set aside for our farm business) and Tuz has been so much needier and hyperactive from the time he wakes up until the time he falls asleep. He has no downtimes at all. It’s either 10-12 hours of sleep when I also do most of my work and 10-12 hours of hyperactivity and neediness! When do I get to fully rest??? Either I sacrifice my work, I sacrifice my time with Tuz, or I sacrifice my sleep! Yeah, you guessed it right. My sleep is the one that’s taking the most hit. No more peaceful slumber for this overfatigued mom and it’s been basically going on since the time I gave birth to him 3 years ago. OMG! Continue reading
Before I share with you how to drink your green coffee beans, let me give you a background first how our coffee at Tuscany Highlands Organic Farm came to be. I mentioned in my previous post that coffee is one of those products we are growing and harvesting at the farm this year.
But even before we started setting up Tuscany Highlands way back in Sept. 2017, coffee has always been grown here for more than 40 years. It is originally Mahal’s parents’ farm after all (it still is), and we have just begun developing it to include mushrooms, strawberries, corn, and other vegetables if the weather and natural water supply will permit it. You can read more about how farm life came to be here.
Every year, harvest is done at least twice. Well, actually Excelsa coffee bears fruit once a year but Mahal’s farmlands are quite vast that not all trees are harvested all at the same time so it seems like the harvest is done twice a year. People are hired to harvest the coffee beans which are then laid down on the ground to dry, then put into sacks, and brought to the milling station to be milled. From there, they are sold by the tons to ready buyers. It’s a simple process with fairly profitable returns.
Yesterday morning, before the trip to the farm, Mahal and I had a talk. I told him I was feeling overwhelmed with everything that’s been going on. We are still in the beginning stages of the farm even if it’s already been more than a year since we started setting it up. That’s coz farming is so dependent on the weather, the availability of “ingredients” for the mushroom fruiting bags, the people we hire and fire, the availability of water in the natural spring, etc. We haven’t yet really fully set it up, and we’re already thinking of setting up another business in Oslob — a bar — to complement their existing mini resort, Oslob New Village…
It’s March 1 already? How time really flies when you’re oh so busy and enjoying life’s ups and downs! I can’t believe that summer is here (despite the cool weather we’ve been having, which I’m grateful for, less use of air conditioning at home, lol) and it’s again time to head to the beach and travel some more! Actually, we’ve been heading to the beach since the start of the year (you can read a bit of background here): but of course, it’s a lot more fun when done during summer. Weather’s about to get hot (hopefully!) and perfect for the beach; Vacation from school is coming up for many students; and the Holy Week (April 14-21) seems to be just around the corner which means more holiday break for Filipino working parents. Whether you spend it at home, or visit churches, or explore places you’ve always dreamed of, summer is really the peak of travel activities in the Philippines and for some, it starts today. As I look back at the places we’ve traveled to in 2018, you might also get some ideas on where to go next.
Writing about how to travel with a baby / how to travel with a toddler has now become my tradition since I started this Momtraneur blog. It makes me look back with fondness at the previous year’s travel adventures we’ve had as a family and it makes me all the more excited to explore some more places we’ve never been to before or go back to our favorite destinations because they’ve simply become our second and third homes. It’s also a reminder for me to blog about those places we visited so expect more travel posts from me soon. I’m serious this time. This is also the 3rd gratitude post I was talking about in my Jan. 6 blog post – A LOOK BACK AT 2018… GRATEFUL FOR THE YEAR THAT WAS.
Moreover, it’s been different every year since our son, Tuz, was born. Traveling with a 0-1-year-old baby has been a little different from traveling with a 1-2-year-old baby, more so now that he’s three years old! Tuz has always been a hyperactive child and he just gets more and more hyperactive every single year! God help us! (Lol)
So without further ado, here’s how you can travel peacefully and happily with a three year-old-kid in tow: Continue reading
Each year, it has always been my goal to write more, journal my thoughts and feelings more, and share my life on my blog. My blogs (both old and new) have always been my alter ego, my memory bank, my soul. I’m a loner. I’m an introvert. I have very few quality friends by choice and even in my young adult years as I was surrounded by so many friends and colleagues, I really didn’t open up much except to a chosen few. So blogging, for me, is very personal. Having said that, I can say that my blog has become my sounding board, my confidant, my best friend (apart from Mahal of course) and I am quite happy about it. My blog is just always here to listen to my woes, adventures, and excitements and it doesn’t judge. It just is… even when I don’t get to update it as much as I would like to. But when I do, like right now, it can be very cathartic. And if you happen to visit and read my blog, thank you. I appreciate it. I hope it wasn’t a waste of your time and you get something good out of it somehow. You can check out my self-help posts, I find them the most helpful if you’re not into purely travel and lifestyle posts.
I mostly blog for myself, partly because I easily forget things I’ve experienced, lol. No, really, it’s true! Whenever people would ask me, where to go or what to do in this place, etc., my first mental reply would be “Visit my blog coz I’ve already forgotten!” or my mind would automatically go “Shit, I need to check my blog coz I think I’ve already written about it.” LOL! Aside from documenting my experiences through photos, I’ve accumulated through the years, it’s still better to always have organized documentation of my experiences through my blog. At least other people who happen to drop by can get some information they need or some sort of inspiration when they need to. And whenever I need the same, I can always go back to my old blog posts.
However, whenever I feel down, exhausted, overworked or depressed, which I’ve been feeling since the second week of January… (first week was super fun since we were still on a Christmas and New Year high!), I find it hard to write. I am simply overcome with not-so-good emotions and it takes a while for me to get back on track. This is because whenever that happens, I’d go into survival mode and whatever positive energy I have left in me (if there is still some left), I would spend it on my main priorities which are my family and my work. I still want to be the best mother I can be for Tuz, the best partner I can be for Mahal, the best I can be for my clients. Everything else has to wait its turn based on its relative importance.
I am just full of gratitude these days. Aren’t you? And why shouldn’t we? Being able to wake up every day, be with our family and do meaningful work are actually more than enough to thank God for this wonderful gift of life He has given us. This is why my previous post was all about gratitude, for allowing me to have a career in the online world and live a dream lifestyle that I have chosen since retiring from government service in December 2007. This post will also be about gratitude as I look back to all the previous year’s blessings. And I believe, I have one more gratitude post to write after this. My heart is just brimming with joy that I need to express all of them before I burst out of utter bliss. ❤
Before I look back at 2018 though, I want to look back at the last 3 years since we’ve had Tuz.
In a nutshell… Continue reading
People would always ask us if they can visit our farm. They could if they really want to. But because it’s such a far away place to go to being situated on top of a mountain where the roads are not yet paved, and the weather can be erratic, I’m going to just give you a virtual tour of our farm instead. You can click this link to begin your tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYpJ-u3yNtA&feature=youtu.be Or watch the video below…
Tuscany Highlands Farm is a set of scattered farmlands totaling to 8 hectares. These are mostly lands of Mahal’ parents, 2 hectares of which are personally awarded to Mahal by the Dept. of Agrarian Reform.
We have yet to fully develop the lands so what you’ll see are mostly corn fields, coffee forests, mountainous grasslands and the parcel of land (about 3-4 hectares where we are currently planting our green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, bell peppers, chili peppers and corn.
Come with me as I show you our farm…
I was just supposed to show you the spot in the coffee forest where we plan to build our modern tiny cottage but then I started sharing with you about my makeup…because… yeah, well, I wear makeup at the farm, lol! Then suddenly it’s time to harvest the corn. Watch the vid!