Just when you resolved to (literally) stay the course, the rain pours and whets the appetite!

I love it when it rains. Just a little bit.
Enough to wash away grime and dust; dot the dew on flowers and trees; cool this super-heated planet and my dog; bead the spider web (the white blur is the itsy bitsy spider that won’t keep still for a decent picture); soften the edges of our drab, dry yard paved with panambak ( filler of gravel, ugly rough cut stones and earth discarded by builders) to raise the low lying ground so that come high water, we'd be able to walk in knee high boots (we hope)!

Last year's typhoon “Ondoy” is another story. Our area is (mostly, usually) exempted from head high or higher flood waters. We are on higher ground than most...or so I'm told. Flooding is not de rigeur with high tide, as is true in other towns.

In all our years living in Malabon, (and yes, the Philippines’ Venice is a city, more to raise taxes I suppose), knee or waist high water is all we get. Even that only happens when Angat and La Mesa dam releases overflow or high tide and super rains (without let up) pool together. We have a first floor living and kitchen area whereas others build vertically and sets the whole house on concrete supports. That's adaptive architecture for you. Ondoy put us in the same… err…boat? Water level is at three inches...on the second floor! We haven’t recovered. : (

Ours is an adaptive garden though -plant life are in pots, climbing up walls and trellises, or hugging tree trunks and snug against the firewall (orchids). The potted ones can be raised on makeshift "shelving" my dad puts up first thing in June. The landscape changes every year with every panambak refill and new plants replacing the ones that didn't survive calamity, too much sun, and water log. It's exhausting but we can't give up our garden. It breaks up the dismally stony look, lifts the gray. Its why I make a "scene" in pots or in the middle of a plant grouping.

That's what made me so hungry and tired after, the weeding and the cleaning. See, my mom loves to plant but hates to cut back the jungle. Double trouble with my twin nephews staying over so lunch was the family favorite chicken adobo (my undoing) and lumpiang sariwa (sauteed veggies in rice flour wrap) with garlicky paalat (flour, soy sauce, sugar, fresh garlic, and peanut bits). It was hot work too so I downed tons of iced RC Cola! I was too tired to bother with the camera so no pictures plus it was almost gone by the time I came in to eat. It’s a full house, what can I say.

I’m done puttering about when the rains came to help with the washing and the shining! Nice! Even better, my mom cooked porridge (lugaw to you hehehe) for merienda while I was taking an achy-body-soothing hot shower! Fresh and dressed, I took over making the side of boiled pig's cheek thinly slicing them up with crisp, fried tofu (ok, tokwa) and perfectly browned garlic bits. Then I made the dipping sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, fresh chilis 
too hungry to style this! just clicked away ; )
and crushed garlic. I asked the family to wait until I have a picture and they obliged but for the lugaw pot. It was on the stove... they didn’t want to reheat.


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