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Cleaning, clearing, cooking

By BARBARA GONZALEZ- VENTURA, The Philippine STAR Published Sep 19, 2021 5:00 am

We are past the halfway point of September! Time suddenly seems to rush forward. Soon it will be Christmas, then New Year. 2022! 

I never thought I would live beyond the 1900s. Then suddenly, 2000 arrived, and soon 21 years have almost just slipped by. I remember being the awkward age of around nine years old when I thought the day when I turned 21 would never come. And when it happened, all I could think was that time had just run by so quickly!

In the three-and-a-half months remaining I am cleaning our home, getting rid of so many things we no longer use. You know I am newly married. In January 2022, I will be married four years. That’s not so new anymore but there are many things in our home I haven’t gotten rid of. Maybe I just didn’t find the time. But now that this quarantine has kept me home and all the things that got in the way of my fixing are gone, I can really start to fix.

I’ll tell you what’s funny. Before the quarantine my husband loved to entertain. So we would stock up on wine and friends would bring wine over. Loy, my husband, loves to shop but he doesn’t love to drink. Before my time he bought a wine cooler that now doubles as an extended refrigerator.

Today I decided to put it in order even if it meant my getting drunk at meals. There are half-bottles of leftover wine. I should probably cook with them or see if they’re still good enough to drink. I can’t throw away good wine. Not even merely acceptable wine. 

Now I have found a new way to keep myself from getting bored to death: Rediscover Cleaning, Clearing and Cooking. Three Cs are a step up from the capital ‘B’ of Boredom.

Today, also, I begin my career as resident cook. I was always a good cook. I remember a time when I cooked a good adobo for picnics we used to have when I was in my 30s. The guests and my children loved my adobo. It was also not my Lola’s recipe, but mine. Maybe I can try to remember it. When we — my mother, daughters and I — lived in the US for four years, I cooked from ordinary meals to Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey to our Spanish cocido.  But then I returned here, had a heavy career, stopped cooking for the most part. But I still do good medium-rare rib-eye steaks, quick things like that. Now I will begin to cook again.

Cleaning the dressers also helps to clear the mind.

I don’t know why September feels like a month for renewal to me. Today I am cleaning my dresser, something I haven’t done in months, and typing while I wait for my cosmetic containers to dry. I also decided to sort out my fake jewelry, the ones I make myself, and give away tons of earrings to my friends who want them.

Also, I will finish all the sprays for linen, room, bathroom, whatever that we have bought or received as presents. I will use up everything that we generally store. For when, I now ask. I cannot remember, and when I cannot remember, it means use it now. Enjoy it now. Have a wonderful time now. Tomorrow may not come.

I took a break from making rosaries and cleaned my workroom. That’s the first thing I did. I will resume making rosaries next week after the flat is cleaned.

I have innovated on the rosary designs. Now I use smaller beads because they are lighter after a few customers said my rosaries were heavy. Also I have begun to put three beads to replace the traditional single bead between decades. Now I use beads, balls, butterflies and flowers for those three beads because these are items from nature.

The author makes rosaries as a pastime and has introduced new designs.

God created butterflies, whose life story I love. They begin as ugly caterpillars, then they weave themselves into their cocoons and emerge as beautiful creatures. But they have short lives, as if God were sending us a message saying, “External beauty does not last too long.”

And I am certain Our Lady loves flowers. Every rosary I make has a rose. The latest rosary I’ve been making, however, has eight roses and is more expensive than the plainer ones. It costs P300 because the roses are so pretty but quite expensive. 

In between cleaning, clearing and making rosaries I still have time to watch TV before going to sleep. Now I am addicted to Black Money Love, even if I am already at Episode 104. It’s interesting. Many love and criminal stories wind up together. Every night I pray that I finish it already, but it won’t end so I keep going back to it before I sleep. I wish I could find something else to watch, but the habit of finishing a series first before starting a new one never seems to die in me.

So now I have found a new way to keep myself from getting bored to death: Rediscover Cleaning, Clearing and Cooking. Three Cs are a step up from the capital “B” of Boredom.