Thank you for stopping by…

Is it 10 months already? How time flies…

I started this Blog from middle of January this year and  noticed that I have  now 200+ followers. Imagine! 200+ beautiful souls who stopped by , stayed for a while, and followed my tiny space in internet. I remembered so well how giddy I am writing my  first post about Raising a Book-lover in your child, and how excited I was when I got my first ever Liebster  Blog award from Frank,of Dutch goes the Photo, one of the first one who stopped by & take a look at my page.

I  wanted to thank each one of you. Yes, you, amazing followers who stopped by & read what I’ve written.I have met so many  awesome people in this community and have learned so much about many things–Expat life, parenting, nature,travel, passion, and most of all– the value of time for stopping by to read & getting to know other Bloggers through their posts.

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To all of my Blog followers – Thank you for stopping by…
 

I realized that Blogging is like Benches.

Benches are chairs designed for people to sit on, mainly outdoors. To have a brief moment of solitude. To rest. To meet & greet. A connection point.

Somebody–a stranger, a friend, young or old, even a little child must take a fraction of their time to sit on it, rest their tired feet, and stop by. From the time they click on your links and posts, it is an open line, they can know you, they can read about your life, your wanderlust, your personal rants about a bad day, that happy moment you’ve put into writing,a milestone of your baby, or anything goes just like your Wordless Wednesday posts.

The same way I stopped by & read some interesting posts, your Blog for example.

While I was having a walk the other day I spotted these benches. Here in Germany they have ‘nice benches’. They are nice in a way that they looked sturdy, clean, and positioned in places where you can really consider stopping by and sit for a while. It’s always in a way where there is traffic.There are plenty of benches in the parks, along the river banks, outside the busy streets in the city centre, even within the forest.

But the other day was special for me since I have actually stop and take a closer look at these benches. I took some photos from my phone & my mind wanders. Not that they are newly painted or old, but it’s the first time I saw them in a different perspective. I passed by through some of them most of the time, but I paid little attention.I have some interesting impressions which I will relate in the following photos.

I saw  one cyclist having a break and sit in this bench.He is staring blankly at the vast landscape in front of him. I can feel his heavy breathing from the way he inhaled deeply. Cycling must have been exhausting. He needed a break for sure.

I also felt like this when I cycled. A minute or two sitting in a bench always a good idea of recharging.

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German benches – A pit stop for cyclists and weary
One particular old lady,dressed in a burgundy jacket with a thick scarf around her neck was sitting here. She sits in this bench with bunch of bags beside her.She had a quick stop at the nearby grocery shop to get some food, because I saw the pack of bread, and some tomatoes or are those apples? I’m really not sure. She looked tired but she smiled at me with a quick “Morgen!” As I walked away, I thought, She needed a pause, a time to compose herself. I wonder if she live nearby since I have been seeing a lot of old people in this neighborhood. Maybe this is her habitual stop over, a quick pit-stop before heading home. I knew that German old ladies are quite active,lithe and full of stamina.

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The silence of the benches in Germany,only the wise can hear.
This street in above photo is a busy road. This is in front of a school and as you can see, cars are lined up in the parking area just beside the rows of benches. On the other side is the Danube river and a bit further along is a Döner stand. I saw a young lady rummaging through her purse and looking for something. I don’t know, maybe some loose change or her car keys, but she looked anxious. She is in a hurry. She needed to stop by, to sit and have a good look on her bag.

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Blue bench in front of the Danube river
A man was sitting here. He has a dog with him. It was a cold, foggy morning as you can see from the background. Although he was dressed warmly, I can see that he is waiting for someone, or for something. He grab his phone and talk for about 30 sec and hang up. He just sits there, looking around, and gasping in the cold Autumn air. He stood up and walk his dog for a while and sits back again.He was trying to make a choice to stay or to go further, or maybe just wanting to go home and have a warm cup of tea.

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Autumn leaves adorn the empty bench

The thing is, we as passers-by can have a feel of others. If we observe enough we can have a hindsight of their thoughts, based on their facial expressions.  Just by looking, we can have a connection. But these benches don’t.  They are just there, serving its purpose. A tangible wood or steel bench. Imagine if these benches can talk and share to you what they can see from people who stopped by & sits on them. What kind of stories would they say?

Do you remember the time you read a meaningful comment from your readers? Remember the warmth in your heart knowing that someone, another human can relate and had a grasp of your thoughts.

Our responses were the same, we hit the like button.

As always, a silent way of saying ; Thank you for stopping by… and maybe, if time permits,see you again next time.

Chasing the Fog | Quest

Have you ever tried chasing the Fog?

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Chasing the Fog ..The river almost disappear and masked by mysterious mist.

I just did.

Last Saturday morning, alone and dressed warmly,  I discovered the whimsical, magical & overwhelming delight of chasing the Fog. It’s a new experience that I’m thankful I had done despite the cold. I checked my weather app and made sure that I’m going on a right time for fog conquest, sure thing enough, the fog greeted me at our doorsteps.

I find it so rewarding to wake up early, find my favorite places filled with the beauty and mystical charm that fog creates,to discover the unknown and capture a stunning photo. It’s not always planned, but I am glad I followed my gut to wake up early. I knew that I have to be ready to go when the time is right.

One thing I have learned….The fog doesn’t wait for you.

You need to chase it with enthusiasm, with great delight.

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The bridge over the river while the ducks are swimming in the early morning mist.

As much as I enjoyed a lot of wandering and exploring, I enjoy photographing everything that I find beauty in every single day. Recently,when the temperatures dropped down and I saw such a different world during Foggy mornings, I bent myself to chase it.I wish to photographed my daughter in a foggy settings,but she’s still best asleep on early dawns.We lived 10 minutes away from the River Danube that is a perfect setting to chase fog. A whimsical walk into this path leads me to great discoveries about nature, noticing trees, foliage or flowers so that they can be isolated by the fog for a focal point.

 

 

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A walk to remember…chasing the Fog.

Such beauty awaits for those who seek.

If I sleep-in and stayed in bed, then I would have missed witnessing this. After a quiet morning walk, I felt inspired, and perplexed.

Chasing Fog–A quest of something innate from your system, a need for discovery, a rendezvous with time.

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Change as the seasons change.

In response to this week’s Photo Challenge : Quest

Going nuts over chestnuts

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Chestnuts in the ground during Autumn

Aside from the sight of dewy cobwebs, pumpkins and dried leaves, Autumn is definitely the season where chestnuts come in the show ,and the best way to find them is by looking down to the ground.Today while I’m with my daughter in the park, and while running after her in the playground, I noticed that some of the kids are hovering around the trees. All of them have a bag and they kept on picking out something from the ground.

They’re picking chestnuts from the ground!!

Way back in Philippines, chestnuts are expensive and only available during Christmas season. I remember in Kuwait, I’ve seen these dark brown nuts in the supermarket and although I wanted to have some, I’m in doubt how to cook them.So I decided to join the hustle and pick some and to my delight, we gather a handful, almost a bowl. My daughter had fun picking up the chestnuts and playing with it.

Now what to do with it? The ever-curious in me runs high so after googling out how to cook it, I decided to try it.

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The bowl of chestnut as my first haul today.

Here are some important points if you wanna try the Caveman-way, I did it by roasting in the oven for 210 deg C  for about 25~30 minutes. The chestnuts will crack & turn brown once they’re done you can smell the delectable aroma .

(I call it caveman way because If you don’t like sweating out & hurting your thumb, then just buy the ones in the supermarket, it taste the same anyway )

1. Carefully cut an X into the flat side of each nut with a sharp, pointy knife, cutting through the shell.

2.Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet for the oven or directly on the grill, cut side up

3.Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they’re tender and the shell comes off easily.

4.Wrap the hot chestnuts in a towel and squeeze them to crush the skins. Leave them wrapped in the towel for five minutes afterwards.

5.Peel while nuts are warm. Remove the inner skin along with the shell. Reheat briefly if the nuts become hard to peel.

Step # 6 is Enjoy which I omitted and I will tell you why.

Before you devour those chestnut, make sure it’s safe to snack on!!

Evil  Horse chestnut impostors are, in a nutshell, making you wanna vomit. Which means it’s a good time to remember that not all chestnuts are what they seem: Some, turns out to be fake,they are Horse chestnuts — similar in appearance and much more common, but inedible. Horse-chestnut poisoning is rarely fatal, ( as per Web site of Canada’s Nova Scotia Museum )  though effects can include vomiting, loss of coordination, stupor and occasionally paralysis.

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Horse Chestnuts that are poisonous ( Aesculus hippocastanum)

Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic. Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies.

The moment I’ve tasted these nuts, it tasted bitter and I knew something is not right. I immediately throw all of it in the bin. Again, there’s really nothing wrong about Googling. But sure thing that your taste buds will warn you, unless anything bitter is delectable for you.

So next time you wanna experiment the same way that I did, make sure you are harvesting the right kind of chestnut,and not the ones who can make you ill. Thanks to this incident or else I wouldn’t know that there is such a thing called “Horse Chestnuts”. Here are some for you to look just in case you are harvesting chestnuts this Autumn. These are based on a home-and-garden information center operated by Clemson University Extension distinguishes good nut from bad nuts.

*Edible chestnuts are like woodsy sea urchins, sporting very prickly burrs with one to several nuts inside. Horse chestnuts are less prickly, more easily handled (and thus, more sinister).

*Chestnuts have long, narrow leaves; horse chestnuts have big, compound ones composed of five to nine leaflets sharing a common stem.

* Chestnuts are starchy (and edible). Horse chestnuts taste horribly bitter. Taste buds description :  INEDIBLE.

*Horse chestnuts, have a nasty scent. Unlike edible chestnuts, their covers don’t pop off easily, which makes them, literally, a tougher nut to crack.

Do you like chestnuts?

Have you ever tried eating something and then it’s just too foul to taste?