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Christmas Camel For Kids Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Christmas Camel

Christmas Camel for Kids DSC_3368A_resized

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Ranilo came home with the school assignment to carve a camel for a Christmas decoration to take to school.

 

My Uncle Richard DeLong had “whittled” a wooden horse for my mother, when she was a little girl. My Uncle Hobert DeLong would sit on the porch with a piece of wood and his sharp pocket knife and whittle out wooden figures and toys.

 

Christy, my wife, turned to me and asked,”You can draw a picture of a camel that Ranilo can use to carve the camel; right ?”

 

I grinned and hesitated. “I can draw anything I put my mind to. But, first, I have to get the image in my mind. I grew up in the Ozarks; not Saudi Arabia. I had no earthly idea at the moment what a camel looked like.”

 

I nodded at Christy. “Probably.” Then, I mumbled, “Give me a moment to try and remember what a camel is suppose to look like.”

 

My mind drew an absolute blank. In my mind’s eye, I imagined a distant silhouette, but, not clear enough to draw on paper. Internet time ! I fired up the laptop and used the search engines to browse camel clip art and camel line art. The artwork I found was extremely “kiddish” and heavily emphasized cartoons.

 

I found a photo on Wikipedia, but not enough of an image to give me a head to toe and front to back view of a camel.

 

I finally found one piece of artwork, that showed a camel lying down that seemed close enough to the “Real World” image hidden in the back corner of the Morgue Of My Mind. I sketched out the image on paper and gave it to Ranilo.

 

I turned and sitting on the table, beside where I stood, sat a ceramic Christmas camel in “The Nativity Scene.”

 

I stepped inside, picked up the Nikon D 100 and a white Ozarks dish towel. I stepped outside picked up a bamboo end table and the ceramic camel and strolled out into the sunlight. I put the camel down on the dish towel background and realized that other kids might have teachers that wanted them to draw or create some artistic version of a camel. A photo is crucial to help fill in those vague image gaps of memory.

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While I took photos of the ceramic camel, I thought, “A camel looks like a horse that could use a talented plastic surgeon.”

Sam

 

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Tropical Storm Ofel Two Days Later Photo Album

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Tropical Storm Ofel – October 24, 2012

 

Two Days Later . . .

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Two days after the storm, I took my camera and walked from Barangay Baras to Barangay Mohon. I also walked in the other direction. The cleanup was already underway. The scenes I found interesting I have put those photos in the attached photo album,

 

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The Face Of Ofel Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Tropical Storm Ofel in Leyte 009 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr -STAND ALONE PHOTO

The Face Of Ofel

Tropical storm, “Ofel” packed a punch when it came to the winds and rain that fell on the island of Leyte, Wednesday, October 24, 2012. After I, Ramon and Ranyiel Saldana returned home, I stood on the porch for a few minutes and watched the storm unfold. I raised my Nikon D 100 and clicked off some photos of the storm in action.

 

The gray sky brought a lack of light which teased the digital camera’s focusing sensor set-up. Nonetheless, this photo shows the power of the tropical storm’s winds.

The photo below reveals how the lack of light created a photograph that seems more like an impressionistic painter’s brushstrokes. Nikon D 100 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Tropical Storm Ofel in Leyte 005 Nikon D 100 Photo by Sanuel E Warren Jr_resized

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Photography Patrol — “Dreams Of The PBA” — Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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” Dreams Of The PBA” — Ring, the puppy, stretches out on the cool,concrete porch under a bamboo bench at One Warren Way, Barangay Baras, Leyte, Republic of the Philippines.  He decided to take a nap next to my nephews’ basketball.  While the nephews seem never to miss a televised Philippine Basketball Association game, Ring’s peaceful slumber suggests he maybe wondering if the PBA has an opening for a mascot.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

” Extreme Fixer Upper ” — Photo for Katie — Photography Patrol

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” Extreme Fixer Upper ” — Photo for Katie — Take a camera and take a walk, sometimes you might be amazed at the sights you find near your front door. July 15, 2012 — I took the Nikon D 100 and strolled down the road. A few yards down the Barangay Baras Road from my front door at One Warren Way is this former Filipino bamboo home.
I saw this building and thought of my favorite American realtor, Katie. For three years, in the United States, my wife, Christy Warren and I used the Internet and I went to numerous websites trying to sell the more than 70 acres of Warren Land in rural southwest Missouri. We even listed the property with two other realtors and one realtor was a national American real estate firm.
Yet, it was a third generation Stone County, Missouri native, Katie Philipps of Tri-Lakes Realtors, who helped us to find a “buyer” and close the deal in less than three months Thanks to Katie, Our Favorite American Real Estate Agent, Christy and I are now living “Our American Dream” on the island of Leyte, in the Republic of The Philippines.  Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

“Happy Birthday, Marife !”

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Happy Birthday, Marife !

May 29, 2012

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The Birthday Girl – Marife Saldana Roa, the birthday girl, opens her birthday cards. The kids and Tito Sam used their best creative efforts to make some birthday cards for the special day. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Marife Saldana was about 14 when she came to Angeles City and her sister, Christy, enrolled her in Dau Academy.

The Sisters — Christy Warren and Marife Saldana Roa, the sisters, talk and joke for a fe moments, before the birthday party gets underay. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I met Marife, when she was the teenager.

Like her friends in the school’s white uniform blouses and required green skirts they talked about the things teenage girls talk about like: boys.

It was the late 1980s, so cell phones had yet to be invented, thus, classmates talked about things on the way to and from school

“Girl Talk” — Pina Gempis and Marife Roa talk in the kitchen. Pina spent the morning, cooking spaghetti and pancit canton for the birthday party. In the Filipino culture, pancit canton is the Filipino dish you expect to find at a birthday party because tradition states that pancit canton is a symbol of a long life. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

and on weekends because “texting” had yet to be invented.

May 29 is Marife’s birthday.

Even as a teenager, Marife had a smile and a quiet personality. In 2012, Marife is married to Ninoy Roa and the mother of four boys: Gilbert, Glen, Chrismar and Mac Mac.

“Happy Birthday to you.” — Christy Warren lights the candles on the birthday cake.
Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Today was a milestone, other than age. The last time Christy bought a birthday cake and had a birthday party for her sister, Marife, she was 16. Christy returned to the Republic of the Philippines in December 2011, and this was the first opportunity, she had to have a birthday party for her sister Marife.

Although Marife Saldana Roa is my sister-in-law, I have always believed, “She is the daughter I should of had.”  As a teenager, Marife was always respectful to her elders, did well in school, and never hesitated to use her English skills to tell me what was going on in school.  As a teenager, she always treated me like a father and since our return to the Philippines, Marife continues to be the daughter I should of had.

The Good Morning Bakery Birthday Cake. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

May 28, Christy went to the “Good Morning Bakery” in Palo and ordered the birthday cake. Christy looked through the pictures of the birthday cakes and picked out the design.  The selection of the birthday cake became a Major Military Operation because I went along to order the birthday cake.  I’m one of those people, who as a child was always “picky” about the kind of food I ate and “where I ate.”  As a senior citizen, I remain “picky” about my food from birthday cakes to anything I eat.

While the bakers were discussing the cake with Christy, I had questions about the size and flavor.  Christy remembered that Marife like vanilla.  One of the baker’s assistants brought out a cake pan to show up the size.  I took one look and figured three people would get birthday cake and everyone else would watch them eat.  I smiled and asked bigger.  The assistant then explained that they had a cake pan about twice the size.  I nodded, “Texas size.”

When selecting the novelty to place on the cake, Christy remembered as a teenager that Marife liked the TV show, “Darna.”  Darna is a Filipino super heroine, whose American counterpart is “Wonder Woman.”  Like “Wonder Woman” in the United States, “Darna” is a character in the Philippines that is always portrayed by the most beautiful Filipina actresses of every generation in the movies and on TV.  Darna has always been a positive role model for Filipina girls.

Back in the 1980s, whenever a Darna TV show or movie came on, I plopped down on the sofa beside Ramon and Marife to watch.  Thus, the Darna super heroine doll stood tall in a corner of the cake.

The Good Morning Bakery birthday cake was pleasing to the eye.  I was impressed by the taste.  The vanilla cake was moist to the tongue.  Regardless of where I have been in the world and had birthday cakes or wedding cakes, one thing I always remember is that sometimes the cakes are dry.

Once the cake comes in contact with your tongue you dash like a man in the desert for the nearest source of liquid to quench your steel wool thirst.  Christy overcomes the dryness problem with cakes by using butter to keep the cake moist.

Christy Warren serves up a helping of birthday cake and pancit canton to Edwin Mora. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

I do not know how the Good Morning Bakery kept this cake moist, but it passed my tongue test and I enjoyed the cake.  Naturally, I would of liked the cake to be a tad more moist, but, when it comes to food I am “picky.”  I am a Scorpio, but, when it comes to food, my taste buds and stomach are obviously Virgo in the extreme – my eyes and digestive system give new meaning to the phrase, “Attention To Detail” and the word, “Perfection.”

The smiling faces of the attendees and the second-helpings were a testament to the flavor of the birthday cake.  And the icing was a favorite with the adults as well as the kids.

Marife is not the only Saldana relative, who celebrates May 29 as the birthday. Randy Abano, a second cousin, is a close family member, who also shares the Gemini day.

All Western astrological signs have their positive and negative values and Gemini is a sign often considered to be “moody.”  However, Marife and Randy remind me of  the famous American Gemini, who served as a United States Navy PT boat commander, who went on to become a great American President – John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Before the birthday party began, Ranyiel Saldana handed one of the pet pigeons to Randy Abano to examine. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Randy is a quiet young man, who is always ready to help out.

Perhaps, he is “picky” about dating because he is still a single man.

Before I conclude this birthday article, I leave my readers two points to ponder.

Point Number One

In my lifetime, at birthday parties, I have always noticed that usually it seems the birthday boy or the birthday girl is expected “to cut the cake.”  Why is that ?

The birthday is the day of days, when the individual can truly celebrate the anniversary of their birth into this world.  It is the one time every year, when every man, woman and child should be respected as one of “God’s unique gifts to the Universe.”  While family and friends usually do try to honor the person, the glitch always seems to come at cake time.  Instead of a family member or friend stepping up from the ranks to do the honor, the birthday boy or birthday girl is usually left positioned behind the cake to decide how to cut if, while the fate of the Free World and human civilization hangs in the balance.

Someone hands them a knife, and leaves the birthday boy or birthday girl to decide, “How do I cut the cake ?”

On my birthday, I always smile, step back and would hand the knife to my mother, Cousin Donna, or my wife, Christy, and reply, “I do a lousy job of cutting a cake.”  I knew my talents in life did not include cake cutting, thus, one of my trusted love ones had to have a more precise skill of cake cutting than I would ever master.

In my experience, most people usually stand there bewildered until some hungry family member takes pity and decides to step up to assist.  I am no protocol person, but on someone’s special day, the goal is to honor and celebrate their birthday.  Thus, it should already be decided long before the traditional song is sung, who will step up to assume command of “The Cutting Of The Cake.”

Point Number Two

Most often a Wedding is an expensive personal ceremony that ranks right up their with Presidential Ignauration Ceremonies.  All the planning, pomp and circumstance goes into planning weddings as though it were a re-enactment of “The D-Day Landing.”  After the traditional “cutesie moment” of the bride “smushing” cake into her new husband’s face and him doing likewise to his new wife, then, the marvelous machinery of the wedding celebration rockets into high gear and the wedding cake is quickly distributed to the masses.

Unfortunately, Birthday Celebrations are sometimes one of those “Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants” events that suggests you are making it up as you go along.  The best birthday celebrations always seem to collapse like a fallen cake at serving time.  One reason maybe the absence of the ingenious device – “The Cake Server” – a utensil shaped like a pizza slice with a laid back L shaped handle that allows the utensil to slide in under the cake and raise it triumphantly in one piece up into the atmosphere.

Without the cake server, people’s stomachs always override their sense of logistics and spoons and forks are stabbed at the cake like prehistoric cave people trying to free the charbroiled dinosaur bone from the family flame pit.  It is a given, that the piece of cake will wobble and collapse like a badly constructed tower, near, and sometimes actually in the plate.  My solution is to use a knife and a fork or spoon to actually “balance” the piece of cake to the nearby plate.  My crude forklift tactic usually prevents the cake from becoming a Tower of Babble re-enactment.

The Royal Imperial Professional College of Birthday Cake Taste Testers — of any country is kids. The Saldana and Roa kids enjoyment of The Good Morning Bakery of Palo’s birthday cake quickly attained a positive five-star rating from the M &Ms, to the vanilla flavor and the icing. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Of course, Marife and Randy’s birthday party went off without a hitch because Christy Warren is a natural born protocol officer.  I suspect my wife must have been a protocol officer at a Royal European Court in one of her past lives.

Thus, when it came time to blow out the candles Marife and Randy made their wishes and blew out the candles.

The Birthday Dignitaries – Marife Saldana Roa and Randy Abano gather around the birthday cake, while Ann Ann Natividad watches in the background. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Happy Birthday, Marife ! Happy Birthday, Randy !

Sam

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