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Conflicted or Brain Fog by Lu Sobredo

 CONFLICTED OR BRAIN FOG? by Lu Sobredo It had to happen in February In the shortest month of the year When the weather does its best imitation Of indecisive magician. It’s winter coat weather at night And early morn Yet the afternoon sun beats on the skin With a vengeance for a short spell To announce spring is coming. Fickleness surrounds fragility. And in my head, fog floats in. But unlike the iconic fog Over the Golden Gate Bridge, A photographer’s dream shot, My brain fog is my personal nightmare. Not to be mistaken for dementia, thank God But disturbing, nonetheless,  Making one forget to connect to virtual meetings Or take daily anti-inflammatory dosage of pills. Yes, my loyal health conscientious friends, I eat and drink anti-inflammatory food routinely  To help me as well. Naturally. Ah, but the numbing pain later in the day,  a potent reminder that natural treatment is not enough. A reminder of what I had forgotten. But wait, did I forget? How would I know with this fog?  Hov
Recent posts

Biko or Sweet Rice Pudding: Fuel for Holiday Angels

  BIKO OR SWEET RICE PUDDING Fuel for Holiday Angels  By Lu Sobredo I associate Christmas with a house filled with the aroma from the kitchen. This morning, the mixture of caramel on the stove with a hint of ginger and vanilla infused in coconut milk woke up images from my youth. Usually a few days of preparation when my folks were still with us is now down to a couple of days, with only my darling hubby, our dear son and me at home; and with the Rheumatoid Arthritis trying to rule the day. I’ve reduced the tradition to a few items. Number one on the list that I make in advance of Christmas Eve when my wrists and fingers would cooperate is Biko Aklanon-Visayan style). I often get asked for the recipe. I share the ingredients and steps below for anyone to use as the basic essentials. I get everything done while on my laptop waiting for the sweet rice to cook in the rice cooker, then becoming fully engaged over the stove when stirring the caramel sauce. INGREDIENTS 2 heaping cups of raw

I Love To Travel, Granted There Are Inconveniences

I LOVE TRAVEL, GRANTED THERE ARE INCONVENIENCES By Lu Sobredo I love to travel. And I love writing about our travels. The fact that I was able to travel at all in 2016, after the diagnosis in 2013 of a crippling illness called Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), was truly a miracle. However, I am practical. As a responsible travel writer, I like giving a balanced account of my experience when touring abroad. I see so much beauty and tasty treats in the nooks and crannies of Spain, Portugal and other European, and Asian regions of the globe we’ve visited. Spain is at the top of our travel destination by a mile. But I do my best to give a balanced perspective. Travel is as joyful as it is stressful. And anyone setting off to go on an adventure or a relaxing journey outside the comfort zone of home must face the reality that there are inconveniences that come with travel. First, there’s no denying the breathtaking scenery makes me quickly forget the snag we experience just purchasing a ticket for

So, You Want to Visit Barcelona?

  SO, YOU WANT TO VISIT BARCELONA? by Lu Sobredo A very pleasant Barcelona experience awaited me in 2021. Sagrada Familia Cathedral 2021 It finally happened! I’m in Barcelona. My 5th time in 11 years. My husband has been coming here with family or by himself for research and to attend conferences many more times, I had lost count. This Fall 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much around. Many of the borders in various parts of Europe opened to Americans. And I am simply thrilled to be out of my American pandemic cocoon.  I remain practical and obsess over health protocols because of my autoimmune illness. Fortunately, mask-wearing is taken very seriously in Spain or one risks getting arrested and fined or worse. The fines could be quite steep. Taxi- drivers not wearing a mask can be fined €100. Anyone inside a public place not wearing a mask could have the same fate. The Spanish Government has indeed taken a strict stance on mask wearing and other health practices. Vaccination r

Life Must Be Lived: Traveling with RA to Spain and Portugal

  LIFE MUST BE LIVED: TRAVELING WITH RA TO SPAIN AND PORTUGAL Flights From San Francisco to Lisbon and Madrid by Lu Sobredo Picture this! A woman suffering from an autoimmune disease with limited mobility travels across the Atlantic from the west coast of the United States of America in the midst albeit declining cases of COVID-19 pandemic. The picture I wish to show is one of hope! A rheumatologist officially delivered the diagnosis to me: Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for which there is no cure; the same individual told me that I would be crippled soon, all words uttered without taking a breath eight years ago in the afternoon of August 5, 2013. He offered to begin infusion of expensive drugs that very day, not knowing any more about my disease or stating goals for improving my condition. It felt as though the world was suddenly enshrouded in darkness, my heart sank and the voice inside my head was screaming in sheer helplessness. On the outside, I kept my composure as I listened.

Heron on the Dock of the Bay

HERON ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY By Lu Sobredo At early morning twilight— that magical time before sunrise,  a white and gray silhouette sweeps gracefully across the waters  of Richardson Bay landing silently  on the dock not too far from me. Over the years, I’ve noticed  the beak at the end of his elongated neck had grown an orange tint. His stance, stately with eyes fixed at something in the water, I’d say, an unsuspecting prey. I’ve been witness to this ritual often for years, almost sixteen but who’s counting.  Perhaps, I count every now and then the number of steps it takes to reach as close to the beauty  not many human eyes have seen. Each time, it has become our game I wonder how close to his space on the dock he would allow my intrusion, and to what end? After more than a decade would I finally gain a feathered friend? Sixteen years is long for playing hard to get between woman and bird. Although, I must say the distance has been reduced, the physical distance between us before fl

Ten Essentials for Autumn Travel to Spain

TEN ESSENTIALS FOR AUTUMN TRAVEL TO SPAIN By Lu Sobredo The warm weather hasn’t completely waned, but there are signs of the new season including a little chill in the early morning air. As of September 22, 2021, North America is officially into autumn and I am thrilled! A year and half of waiting for COVID 19 infection cases to decline in the U.S. and other parts of the world has been challenging. But survived, I did! So did my circle of friends and family. I feel for those who did suffer much and lost loved ones or colleagues to the indiscriminatory virus. Diligent adherence to health protocols have helped and I wished many more would take the risks seriously by getting vaccinated, continuing to mask up and limit exposure by distancing or gathering responsibly in small crowds. I feel fortunate to qualify in the late summer for a third vaccine. Being someone diagnosed with an autoimmune illness renders me high risk to infection. On August 31, 2021 I walked into a pharmacy and took con