Should We Worry About The Swine Flu?

Today I sneezed and made a comment about getting the swine flu!

Well, DH was not very happy about what I said and told me that the swine flu is very serious and people are dying. So, somewhat chastised I decided to do a little research on flu pandemic.

According to what I found online, the last great flu pandemic to hit the world was in 1918. That flu killed 2.5% of all people it infected. This new swine flu is killing 6%.

So why not worry?

Think about 1918. There were no anti-flu medicines. There were no widely-available face masks. There were no quick diagnostic tests. There were no governmental early warning systems. There was no widespread knowledge of how to avoid infection, or quick access to medical personnel if one did have an infection.

Today, people — even in the relatively poor country of Mexico — are being screened weeks earlier, preventative measures are being taken, quarantines are being put up when they can still be effective, and information about this situation and how to prevent it is a knowledge that pretty much everybody on the planet now possesses. We are a cleaner and healthier race than we were 90 years ago, and the immediacy and quality of our medical care is vastly improved in even the poorest corners of the planet. The United States alone handles millions of flu cases per year, and while the swine flu is a specially bad version of the flu, it is still the flu.

Can a disease still come along that will again wipe 40 million people? Possibly... but if it does, it will be something new and unexpected to which the tried and true methods of infection avoidance prove to be ineffective.

A little swine flu humor added in for levity's sake:


No Reservations!

One of my favorite chef/foodie celebrity is Anthony Bourdain. He finally went to the Philippines and did a show about the country of my birth! It's too bad he didn't eat "Balut" (fertilized boiled egg) and "Dinuguan" (blood pork stew) on the show... Bizarre food with Andrew Zimmern (another favorite show) did!

I hope you enjoyed the show.


Spring has sprung!

In spite of Old Man Winter's grip, spring has sprung! Fuzzy buds are unfurling from the tips of our bushes, flowers are budding and tulips are poking through the ground.

To celebrate spring DH and I went to Seattle for a few days last week to visit his parents and sister. Sarah took us up to the viewing area of where she works; Columbia Center, Seattle's tallest building. We had fun looking over the city and had a great time.

Of course, you can't really go to Seattle and not stop at Pike's Market. On the way to his parents house, I got my M-i-L a bouquet of spring flowers and I got some for myself on the way back home.
While on the Ferry, we saw the USS Abraham Lincoln on it's way to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. The Ferry actually stopped and let the ship through the channel first. The USS Lincoln is huge; it was an awesome sight!
On the way back to Spokane, we stopped to take pictures at Columbia River and the Wild Horse Monument.

Thanks mom and dad, we had a very nice visit!


Then and Now - Dear Husband

My DH took a picture of himself while at work today and emailed it to me.
I found an old photo of him at his heaviest and wanted to share it.


This and That

Writing about the weather seems to be an easy subject when I can't think of anything to say. I will do my best to not focus on the weather since I can't really do anything about it. Although it's been warmer and sunny the last two days, it's still too cold to work in the yard.

I have been kind of in the dumps lately. I just haven't had the motivation to get these boxes unpack. Believe me I have the plan on how to do it, what I don't have is the motivation to get going. Every day I tell myself: "August, you need to unpack these boxes. Start with one box!" But when I see the mountain of boxes in the living room, family room and garage, it's just so overwhelming!

I think I know what's bothering me... it's the possibility of moving to Texas. DH hasn't heard anything from them, but he did tell me that they sent his boss some sort of "evaluation questionnaire" so they are looking at him. At this point we don't know anything yet. It's the waiting and not knowing that's so hard!

Last week DH and I went to Outback for dinner and the service was so poor that the manager didn't let us pay. I felt sorry for him because they ran-out of a lot things and he was going from table to table explaining and probably giving them a free meal as well. He told us because of the weather their delivery truck was stuck on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass. Our date wasn't a total loss, we still had a nice time talking with each other.

Because of the economic downturn, DD (darling daughter) lost her job and got-laid off. So yesterday, Sunday, she moved in with us until she figures out what to do. This is going to be a big adjustment, she hasn't lived with us and had her own apartment for the last 3 years. Come to think of it other than summer and holiday breaks, she really hasn't lived with us since she left for college in 2003.

Wow, I didn't think I have that much to say! I guess I better stop for now before this becomes a big wall of text.

Until then,


Philippines in Pictures

The Aguirre family residence - where I live when I'm in the Philippines.

Some of the fruit trees in the property - my brother picking some "Kamyas", a sour fruit that can be made into candies and use in various Filipino dishes. There are mangos, papaya, bananas and several fruit trees in the property.

Rice field in front of the house - time to harvest!

The Neighborhood - just a glimpse of the discrepancy between the "haves and the have not". The property owners in this neighborhood are mostly "Expats" and when the lot is vacant it is sometimes "squatted" by poor people.

"Palengke" (Wet Market) - seaweed vendors, misc seafood, coconut, rice & flower stalls and a vegetable vendor smiling for the camera.

Stay tuned... more pictures to come!