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Green Pepper Blossoms

It’s been ages since my last post. I’ve made a conscious decision to re-start blogging and including my military and nursing life. I recall stopping public posts because of PERSEC (personal security) concerns. However, I feel like I’m missing out on a piece of my life I found cathartic, cleansing, therapeutic, and overall important… writing. I’ve tried to remain careful with revealing too much, and frankly, I’ve met the most amazing people on-line. Plus, I’ve learned so much from the relationships that developed through blogging and Flickr.

With that being said, let me begin with a warm welcome from my modest patio garden. I do call it my “F_z Family Farm.” Come to think of it, I still feel as if my married last name is still shiny as a new copper penny. It brings me joy daily but I don’t want to overuse it online. Maybe, in due time.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to have a fellow Army wife who was a vegetarian, organic farmer. She rented 16 side by side plots of roughly 5 ft x 5 Ft at Sumner Valley and joined a co-op chicken coop. In exchange for helping her weed and upkeep the garden, I came home to fresh organic vegetables from seeds! My long-lasting summer romance with WA state and sun shine from 9a to 9p life was in full baskets. Almost every day, I drank fresh kale smoothies, chomped on carrots right off the ground, smelled like tomatoes as I helped border & MacGyver fences to keep the them from falling over, got to know the neighbors and traded crops, learned from well-seasoned gardeners, anticipate harvest and took a class on how to can beets, and pretty much allowed the inner farmer in me that used to live on the land as a child resurface.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I felt so alive.

I didn’t work last summer and re-energized myself with life. Not the life of working-studying-working-commuting-thru-traffic-until-you-burn-out that Houston just is. I miss Houston for different reasons.

Because I went back to work in the ER, I did not sign up for the community garden when my friend PCS’d (change of duty station) last March. Instead of giving me happy thoughts, I became anxious about having a garden all to myself. My husband is too busy with work and hers was high ranking enough and in another company to be able to help her enough daily with the upkeep. She said it helped him with the PTSD. I still had to drive a few miles to the site and with the unpredictable schedule of full time hours, I made a decision I’m regretting today. I passed on a plot.


To compensate, I decided on patio plants like the year before my foray on the farm, but extended my crop to include fruits. There’s a macerated strawberries in balsamic vinegar at a previous post that I cannot wait to do with my strawberries. Hence, the overly squealing school girl here.

Like a mama bird protecting her young, I’ve kept this baby well hidden from predators. I’ve been coaxing the flowers to bloom and make enough for that scrumptious snack.


Roma Tomatoes  My co-worker Helen gave me the organic from seedling heirloom tomatoes. I love seeing the butt chin progression from a budding flower on the Roma tomatoes. WHO KNEW they looked like that!??!  Early Girl & Bush Baby


I was surprised by extra seedling sprouts =)

I was surprised by extra seedling sprouts =)

The watermelon patch is coming along and it brings me back to my younger days. I would sit on the farm and just eat them while people who worked for our family sold freshly picked red, orange, and yellow watermelons on the side of the main highway road in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. I would use a pocket knife to cut out a triangular window to see how ripe they were if tapping them with my 8 year old knuckles didn’t produce that beautiful sound. Tonk. Tonk! I would use an old wire hanger to slush the inside with and slurp it down like a smoothie if I was too lazy to cut it into wedges. My clothes would be soaked in watermelon juice and I would come home with elbows bathed in sticky sweetness.

I had a good childhood by the beach and on the farm. I know I want our children to have the same memories as I.



A couple of friends who constantly ask me for recipes complained they’re missing my foodporn. Honestly, I hadn’t realized MIA for a week from social media would cause chaos & so much worry. I am fine; never healthier, actually. Every now and then, I believe wholeheartedly, one must unplug and enjoy the peace. For the past week, after my month long spicy Indian food jag, I’ve been craving and devouring strawberries. Husband knows how much I love good balsamic vinegar, feta, and SPINACH. What else can one do but roll them all in one wrap… Prep time: 10 mins for the first roll, then 5 mins in no time. say what?!

I am blessed enough to have organic farms down the road or farmer’s market practically every day of the week with fresh picked fruits & veggies. After thoroughly washing, strawberries are quartered and macerated in good quality balsamic vinegar. The spinach are roughly chopped. I prefer the taco size lo-carb non-wheat wrap (hint, hint, Chipotle.) Line them up with faux-Feta cheese in the middle; then, roll carefully. mMm-hmMmm You know what I’m tawkin’ about, Willis!!! It’s missing the walnuts because I don’t have the control or patience of a  food blogger. Plus, I started drooling as soon as that delightful scent hit my nose. No… as soon as I saw the bucket of red gems.

Obviously, this is the vegan version. However, you can add a grilled chicken breast or boiled eggs. Heck, this would be a good breakfast wrap with egg whites. Some roasted red peppers would be divine, too. Live a little; play with your food. The versatility of a wrap is what makes me enjoy it even more. I used to roll cucumber, olives, feta, red peppers, and garlic hummus. Now close your eyes and meditate on that goodness (nomMmmmmmmm). Sorry it’s a short post without nutritional breakdown’ however, it’s a good snack or dinner option. Don’t forget to wash your hands & eat responsibly =d


Originally uploaded by aJ GAZMEN ツ GucciBeaR

one month down. miss your arms around me. miss having breakfast with you. miss euro training.

When asked why I keep pushing even when odds are beating me down,
why make check off lists & chronological goals,
why stress yourself up like this?

I remembered…
The moment you back down once,
you’ll back down twice to hide the first.

Before you know it,
you’ll stand confused among the zigzagged footprints you’ve left behind,
forgetting the direction you intended to take in the first place.

I was brought up not to settle for where and what I am today.
My parents always told me to be a level higher than them in everything.
In Fox’s Fringe, Peter’s mother tells him in Greek,
“”Na einai kalitero(s) anthropo(s) apo ton Patera tou.”
She wishes him, her child “to be a better person than his father.”

In one of my most memorable movie scenes from Gattaca,
Ethan Hawke’s character was considered a runt yet he defeated his far superior brother.
He says, “You want to know how I did it? This is how I did it, Anton:
I never saved anything for the swim back.

Don’t look at the roadblocks to your success with a sigh and a slouch.
With your face forward and proper posture,
believe that your God is bigger than that mountain and overcome it.

If you remove other options, then there is only one choice:
be the ★BEST★ version of yourself the very next day.
That is one of my life forces.

Were all born with greatness 🙂
Don’t y’all forget that.


I’m aware I should be doing my homework rather than blogging…

However, after having an enlightened discussion w/Jeremy about the last stage of development, we agreed that many focus on the younger years. Through the Emergency Room doors, we see numerous patients suffering from chronic pain or life stressor. Someone stated it took many moons for him to stare at a mirror and realize there’s not turning the sands of time. There are those that hurt others and their bodies without thinking of the impact in their older years. I’m not just preaching about eating clean and living lean, or that you should forgive and forget. There is also the importance of our human-relationships, and realizing which ones can waste your precious time. Imagine your Tree of Life. In order for it to flourish fervently and grow healthy, you have to keep it well-nourished and free of sucker branches and parasites. I hope you’all won’t let anything, or anyone, steal your Joy and purpose. The ego quality that emerges from a positive resolution in your golden years is true wisdom. Erikson defines it as a kind of “informed and detached concern with life itself in the face of death itself.”


My friends, I pray you are living a KiND LiFE full of satisfaction & accountability.
As an older adult, do you or will you have peace because you’ve treat yourself & others consciously?

I hope for integrity, not despair in your future.

Let us revisit the infamous psych room in our ER.

Today’s patient is a very smart sixteen-year old boy. Because his mother would not let him go to the his high school’s senior prom, he decided to be rebellious and show her who’s boss. According to the psych consult, he felt as if he should be treated like an adult. Therefore, he did not need his mother’s permission to do anything. This confused young ‘man’ downed twenty five tylenol pills with a bottle of radiator fluid.
I kid you not.

Part of the treatment calls for an alcohol bag. However, our pharmacy did not have that available. Our charge nurse took a chance and went out to our overly crowded lobby. He asked anyone if they had alcohol for medicinal purposes. It was not surprising that one of our frequent flyers offered a bottle of scotch, in the condition that if there was any left, we return the rest to him. How kind…

The kid survived the suicide attempt by drinking a shot of scotch every hour.

Because both of us are working on this Hallmark holiday, I do not mind being in the ER at all. Since eating out has become a health hazard with the Hepatitis A outbreak in Houston, I would rather stay at home. I prefer to be wrapped in M’s well-cut arms, rather than fight my way through construction traffic and restaurants’s reservation chaos. As promised, the babies’ daddy will treat me this weekend instead. He said he’ll buy me food. I have been exposed to Markisms long enough to know that he could mean grocery food or JITB fast-food.

Trust me, it is more fun reading the diagnosis of the patients being triaged in. We had a couple of cases of “foreign objects” failing to be extracted from body cavities, both female and male. As a result, the operating rooms were as busy as the radiology department. Tonight, the “x” in x-ray had a whole new meaning. Even the married couples came through our ambulance doors with faces more red than their blood draws.

A bit advice for the adventurous people out there, when it comes to sex toys, please stick to fruits… NO vegetables!

It is nice to know that people still experiment for the sake of love.

Of course, we had the usual psych patient candidates. However, the saddest story of the night had to be the boyfriend who made his girlfriend a special dinner. He suspected his girl to be cheating on him instead of working after hours to save money for their wedding. Instead of confronting the issue, he made hamburger patties with the special ingredient of broken glass. Afraid of police involvement, he dragged her to the ER without informing her of what he has done. Upon arrival, her abdomen began to hurt. Without hesitation, she was rushed to the OR, where part of her stomach had to be cut off. What takes the cake was her refusal to press charges and her acceptance of his apology.

Before my shift ended, I called M and told him how grateful I am that I do not have to go through dating dramas and dilemmas anymore.

In the ER, there is a locked room in front of my desk reserved for categorized-as pysch patients. Because I can clearly see the patient and control the locking mechanism, monitoring and making sure the patient has not killed him/herself is now another volunteered responsibility.

Today’s lucky patient is a frequent flyer. This is his third attempted suicide since his recent divorce, a couple of months ago. He did not succeed today because he did not know how to load the shotgun he had purchased at Wally’s World.


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