The Right Package

21 Sep

Right after I lamented about hubby’s box arriving ahead of mine, my parcel arrived and the size is about right for what I ordered. Usually my orders are little soft packs, unlike his, coming in boxes of various sizes.

This time the item I ordered has nothing to do with carving but more for well-being to play better golf. It’s a hand-held battery-powered Acupuncture Meridian Pen and I thought it’d be a good and useful device to treat the recurring nagging pain on the left wrist and thumb.

Let’s see how I feel after using it a few times.

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Ball Room Dancing

20 Sep

I was pleasantly surprised when M1 told me she signed up for Ball Room Dancing as one of her classes this Fall. Ball Room Dancing?! How fun is that?

I don’t recall when I was in college that such classes existed. The most fun classes I had were Drawing 1 (Art 120) and Ancient Life (GLG 201, Geology in other words). I can still recall the drawing class during my first Fall semester – the whole class went on a little excursion one lovely day to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, just off the campus perimeter. We were all seated under the shady pine trees, chatting away, enjoying the breeze and sipping Coke while sketching the mansion. It was quite an experience, something I still remember until today dinosaur years later.

The highlight of the Geology class during my second Spring semester was a field trip to the Grand Canyon to look for trilobites in the terrain. It was pretty exciting as the whole class was behaving more like high school kids chatting away noisily in the bus on our way there. I think I did discover some trilobites. That’s about as much fun I had.

Now for M1, ball room dancing…. hmm, definitely something very different and certainly sounds very fun. Classes begin for the Senior this Thursday.

What?! Another Box of Plant?

18 Sep

Two weeks ago, I ‘secretly’ order something online. Heheh. Thinking I am now one up on hubby on the battle of the boxes, I was taken aback when I walked into the office last Thursday to find a box on the table that was too big to be my order! A box that measured 18” long by 8” wide and 9.5” deep. How could he? Another plant?! Geez.

When will my box arrive?

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They arrive in all sorts of boxes

A Costly Mistake

17 Sep

The Golf Iron Challenge on Saturday morning was quite a fun outing at the Hills course. To my surprise, another girlfriend signed up at the very last minute to make our sole ladies flight a four-ball.

It was delightful indeed as some of the tee boxes were moved up and thus, psychologically it was friendlier because distances were cut short and certain ponds were taken out of play. Hubby, who played too, laughed at our first tee box at Hole 1 being moved forward akin to the Drop Zone, which we discovered was indeed the case for Hole 6’s Par 3. Aligned at the Drop Zone. Hahaha…

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Tee off at the Red or the Drop Zone? Hehehe…

I held up well on the first nine because I took a painkiller prior to tee off to suppress the nagging pain on the left wrist and it helped..

Then upon the cross-over, drama unfolded. Drama always unfolds when the sun comes up and it becomes too hot.

Unlike last year, where fear got the better of me, this time it was just plain silly mistakes. Silly mistakes that became costly mistakes. The first three holes on the cross over, I three-putted, adding strokes unnecessarily in this stroke play tournament.

However, it didn’t bother me too much as I felt I could still recover. After all, the more difficult holes were completed without any problems.

Then came Hole 14. An unsuspecting hole. I never thought I could be bunkered by a sand bunker this time around as I always thought if I overcame the pond fear, I would be okay. Well, there’s alway a first for everything.

The 60 meters approach third shot shanked to the right and landed in the bunker. And what a horrible bunker it was because the sand was so compacted and hard, the setup wasn’t ideal. But somehow I was unperturbed and was very calm; there was no fear in me as I tried to get my ball out and onto the green. Unsuccessful of course…

And I kept trying and trying and trying.

I took nine strokes to come out from the darn bunker! Nine freaking strokes, another record of sorts for me (remember my six balls in the water last year?). A chip-in and a two-putt, I came back with 15 strokes on that Par 4, Hole 14. 15 strokes. Bunkered to the core, you could say.

Amazingly, I could still be jovial about it. Whatever was gained on the front nine especially was lost on this one hole, just like last year with Hole 18 at the Lakes course. But the difference this time, my mental wasn’t beaten to a pulp.

After the game and to my surprise, I was rewarded ‘1st place’ – an improvement from 2nd place last year, for my front nine’s effort of two-under for the nett score with three tubes of ball! I certainly did not expect this, better than all the men. What a morale booster! Now if only this reward could erase the costly mistake of the sand bunker…

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What a lovely surprise!

There’s a lesson to learn from this year’s Iron Challenge – be wary of bunkers too, not just the water. I take pride that I managed to hold up well and did not have my mental strength beaten to a pulp this time. I also did not lose any balls, in fact I gained three new tubes and it’s just most unfortunate that one mistake became such a costly mistake. It’s one of those days I suppose. Sigh…

I certainly look forward to next year’s Challenge again.

The Day I Feared, Part 3

14 Sep

A few days later after the Iron Challenge tournament last year, I played the Lakes course again and when Hole 18 came around, I crossed on the third stroke (but with my 3-wood of course) and made bogey! Golf is one painful and mentally challenging game.

The day you fear, fear will get the better of you. One should not fear but be fearless then adversity will be overcomed. Having said that, I have been prepping my mind mentally to play the Iron Challenge tournament again this year.

Although the Challenge will be held at the Hills course which has less treacherous water to cross compared to the Lakes course, I must remember that golf is also a game of mental strength regardless of the challenge ahead.

The tournament was initially scheduled for February but was deferred to this coming Saturday and I am certainly looking forward to it without fear. Although my left wrist injury has recurred unfortunately, I am positive and taking extra precautions to deal with it for the tournament.

Our Frangipani Tree, Part 2

13 Sep

The last few days the garden was looking a bit messy with potted plants everywhere and air plants hanging at wherever possible. They had to be relocated when the gardener came to treat the Frangipani tree; we kept the branches intact but the poor tree’s looking pretty bald without any leaves.

During those few days out in the open, the poor plants were burnt by direct sunlight because no other parts of the garden have shades to protect them like the Frangipani tree.

So after the anti-fungal medication settled on the tree, it’s time to move the plants back to their original location and hubby had to improvise to create a temporary shade for the delicate air plants and bromeliads.

This is the end result. I think it works.

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The Day I Feared, Part 2

11 Sep

When fear gets the better of you, everything goes awry. On the morning of the Iron Challenge, drama unfolded at Hole 18 of my Club; it definitely wasn’t tiredness that I felt. Hole 18 the Pacific Ocean being so vast visually, played my mind and created doubt.

The mental approach weakened and fear got the better of me when the planned third shot to cross the water didn’t make it. But I had to cross because the mode of play was stroke play. So when another ball dived, the mental strength started to collapse. Then another sploosh… and another sploosh…

That morning, I dunked an amazing six balls into the Pacific Ocean of the Par 5 Hole 18. It was quite a record for me I must say. All because of fear.

By the time, I finally crossed and got onto the green to hole out, all the progress that I did for the last 17 holes was wiped out with this one hole’s attempt. I took things in stride and even laughed about it.

In honesty, my mental strength was beaten to a pulp.

But like all good stories, there was light at the end of the tunnel. I was pleasantly surprised after the game, I was rewarded for my 2-under effort for the front nine. I certainly did not expect that! The six balls that dived was replaced with two tubes of brand new balls. A sense of positiveness was regained, recovering from the beaten mental experience.

Looking back, the phrase ‘golf without fear’ is so true here for one must never allow fear to get the better of you. I have to learn to master my thoughts better and hone my mental strength to be strong, not just the physical to play well and enjoy a good round of golf.

The Day I Feared, Part 1

10 Sep

Golf is a painful and mental game I have said before. Days when you think you can play well, you end up with such a horrendous score, you’d want to not just hang up those clubs but throw them away. Then days when you think it’s going to be just a meh game, you play one fantastic game, the results make you want to play another 18. Immediately.

More than anything else, golf is not just a strategy game but also a mental one. And a Science challenge because there’s club loft, course elevation, ball trajectory plus wind and swing speed to consider. Seriously, one has to be sensible, calm and mentally strong to pick up and recover when things don’t always go as planned.

Last year around early February, I participated in an Iron Challenge tournament at my Club. The challenge called for players to play 18 holes using just irons; no driver off the tee and no woods or hybrids on the fairways. Just irons and of course the putter to hole out.

Mentally I knew I could do it because I had a strategy. Physically I knew I wouldn’t have any issues because I didn’t have any injuries then and I could handle my 4-iron well to get the distance off the tee and on the fairways.

The game went smoothly and as planned. There was no pressure and I had a lot of fun until the last hole. Oh my goodness, the last hole… It didn’t go as planned with the tee off, the lay-up and the third shot to cross the water, followed by probably two more shots and a putt to close with a bogey or double at most on the Par 5, Hole 18. It was treacherous.

I call my Club’s Hole 18 the Pacific Ocean because the water to cross is so vast visually, it always, always plays the mind and creates fear unnecessarily.

So maybe fear got the better of me that morning?

Or maybe the thought of crossing an ocean without any woods in hand suddenly felt too enormous a task to execute because visually, the water being so vast played the mind. I should have had more faith in my long irons but I had a major collapse at that moment because I feared.

Our Frangipani Tree

7 Sep

We have a lovely garden at the back of the house. And in the corner, facing the garden patio is our lovely Frangipani tree. Over the years, the tree blossomed and is perfect for hubby to hang all his air plants on its branches.

Years passed and the corner thrived. But recently, our tree fell sick, noticeable with most of the leaves having orange splotches – rust fungus. Yikes.

Now all this while, the tree has been treated with organic anti-fungal spray but perhaps it’s not effective enough resulting in its state today. So it was either we chop down the tree as an easy solution to get rid of the fungus or trim it and treat with a super strong poisonous anti-fungal spray to contain the situation.

We opted for the latter because we can’t bear to lose the tree and now it is looking rather bald. Poor tree! But we hope the treatment will do wonders and the tree will regain its full beauty. Only time can tell.

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Looking lush and looking bald

Frangipani leaves

Orange culprit be gone!

Box of Joy

6 Sep

Box two of my online shopping arrived yesterday when I least expected it. Yay! I can almost say my carving setup is truly complete with the addition of this block plane tool. Now all I need is a proper permanent work space.

This new toy, tool I mean would be used solely on Meranti wood to smoothen the surface when I work the shape. The current mini and cute plane that I have just doesn’t cut it because the holder does not push down the blade to sit snugly and keeps misaligning, thus rendering the tool useless.

So with the two long weekends ahead and having to stay put, I will definitely make full use of this new tool.

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Arrival of the new tool, and comparing the cute and the practical