Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My Husband Almost Had to Cut My Engagement Ring!

So, it happened while I was sleeping deeply. I woke up with two welts on my ring finger. Apparently, mosquitoes sucked my blood while I was sleeping. I should have known that any bites would always result in swelling and blisters. But, I didn’t see the worst coming.

By late afternoon, my finger was indescribably red and swollen. I tried taking off my rings by using soap and lotion but I only managed to remove the wedding ring. My finger turned unrecognizably huge that the more I tried removing it, the more I got panicky. The puffiness and redness deformed my finger so badly it looked like it's taken directly from the E.T. movie.

While mosquitoes inside our house are fairly rare, we do have a lot outside. How they managed to get in was a mystery. Somehow, they got inside in the middle of the night and feasted on my finger. I was in too much pain and feeling so feverish that my husband decided to cut my engagement ring!

He was so determined to do it since he was worried that blood circulation might be affected. He assured me the ring could be replaced or fixed but, I still didn’t want to do it. I’m sure nobody would want to have their engagement ring cut into two!

For some reason, I was able to convince David to wait at least a day for the swelling to subside. I still have the blisters but my finger is a lot better now- not to mention my engagement ring is still in one piece!

Top secret revealed: Michigan's mosquitoes are the biggest I've seen ever!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

I Played at the Casino (For the Very First Time)

Photo Credit: Katrina M. Vogler
Little things in life are easy to overlook. But, when you are a Filipino who lives thousand miles away from the Philippines, spending time with other Filipinos pulls a gentle string in the heart. So, I was definitely thankful to spend our ‘Fridate’ at Little River Casino with fellow Filipinos-the beautiful as ever Katrina, the regal Ate Myrna O., the ‘luck-streak’ Susan, the caring Ate Vennie, and the sweet Ate Evie.

Filipinas in Michigan.

The seafood dinner buffet was as ostentatious as ever- a wild array of textures and tastes that featured International gastronomies. The queue was an attestation that the food and service was something worthy of visit. 

I got David's share of lobster since he doesn't eat one.

The night was full of fun- picture taking with friends, listening to a live band, and enjoying the company of Filipino friends and my husband. Most importantly, I got to try something I have never done before- play at the casinos slot machines. I wasn’t as lucky as Sue who won $37. David and I won several times but at the end lost $20. I guess casino was not our cup of tea.

Trying something I will never do again.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Best Ice Cream Place in Muskegon is in Whitehall!

Everyone knows that old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”. Well, not me. I don’t scream for ice cream. I am not a fan. Seriously.

David brought me to many places trying the different flavors of ice cream and I always end up not liking it. The problem? My palate is overwhelmed with too much sweetness. The swirl of colors and flavors are not appealing to my penchant at all.

So, imagine my surprise when a night of my husband’s sugar cravings brought us to the small ice cream place in Whitehall. The banana strawberry shake finally got me. Smooth dreamy real flavors rolled into one! This summer rush under the sweltering heat of the sun can be cooled down by the amazing blend of subtle sweetness available at Dairy Treat. They also have a treat for your dog so bring an extra two dollars!

Our happy place! 

Malt or shake? 

Don't forget your dog's treat! 

My husband said this is an antique picture. 

Monster sweetness! :D 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

River Tubing Adventure at Ludington State Park

Tubing (also known as inner tubing, "bumper tubing" or even toobing) is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube, either on water, snow, or through the air. The tubes themselves are also known as "donuts" or "biscuits" due to their shape.

The idea of a river tubing was something I didn’t really think about until I moved here in the United States. I was more of into boating and river rafting. It was my first time last year and so glad to be able to do it again today!

Sitting back in the inner tubes (except I had a tiny raft) while floating at the relaxing water for about two hours certainly belongs to everyone’s bucket list. The adventure treated us to the vibrant display of green trees and beautiful sceneries.

After the tubing, we were greeted by the beautiful water of the great Lake Michigan! Waves were so high but the water was so shallow so we had a lot of fun swimming. For the first time, the water was warm enough for my ‘tropical body’.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

How the Jellyfish Sting almost Killed My Sister

The death of a seven-year-old Filipino-Italian Gaia Trimarchi because of a jellyfish sting during an island-hopping tour in Caramoan (Philippines) brought back the memory of how my sister almost died because of having the same experience.

The little girl who was a gold medalist in swimming competitions in Italy died in her mother’s arms on the way to the hospital. She was stung by the box jellyfish, the world’s most poisonous creatures which kills 20-40 people in the Philippines every year.

The sea is treacherous and it was a painful lesson my friends and I learned several years ago…

I was awakened by a shrill of scream that penetrated the depth of the night. My eyes riveted in the darkness that shrouded me. But, no…it was more than that…the cry was familiar…I chilled when I heard it again. I wasn’t dreaming…

It was almost end of the summer when my former classmates in elementary agreed to spend an overnight swimming in a nearby town’s beach resort. Many of them were in their last days of vacation and about to be back in Manila for their studies.

I decided not to join them since I needed to finish the University requirements the following day. My parents were also quite adamant to permit us. However, after several “conscience pleadings” from my friends and prodding from my sister, I finally relented.

After dinner, one of my friends and I spent our time walking along the shore while others were swimming. Not long after, she decided to join the rest of the group and I fell asleep in the cottage.

The trip immediately turned into a nightmare.

I was trembling when I scrambled on my feet trying to figure out where the sound came from. Then, I saw a friend running while shouting my name. She told me that my sister was stung by a jellyfish also known as salabay.

I saw the group pouring her water and struggling to remove some tentacles that perforated her skin. She was screaming so loudly that I could still hear vividly the terror on her voice. She also fainted several times. We immediately brought her to the nearest hospital after being told by the cottage owner she didn’t have anything for first aid.

When we reached the hospital, she was still unconscious and her arms were swollen as if painted with ugly red lines. Her legs were also full of red stripes.

Time occurred in a haze. When we finally got home, my sister was writhing with fever. Her arms were so swollen. My friends explained to my furious parents what happened while I was in shock the whole time. She was crying non stop and she was brought again to the hospital. She stayed there for about two days but her condition only worsened. She had on and off fever and her blood pressure was so high.

It was the second night when my parents were warned my sister could not make it. We brought her to a bigger hospital in the city and she was given 24 hours to live. Despite of the pain relievers administered, she was constantly in pain.

My sister survived that traumatic accident. However, the tentacles left permanent scars on several parts of her body. Her skin was severely damaged and until now the ugly red blemishes are still visible. Don't be deceived by the beauty of the sea. Always take precautions and bring something for first aid.

What to do when you get stung by a jellyfish? Click here.


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