Archive | February, 2018

Box of Happiness

27 Feb

It is awesome when my Aunty gave me a box full of Meranti (Shorea, Parashorea) wood pieces, excess or rather off-cut pieces from her factory. It’s more like a box of happiness. Imagine the carvings that I can do with all of them!

All the more reason to get that workbench. I went to the store, Ace Hardware to check out the Black & Decker WM225 model that I have identified but decided to order it online instead because the online price is a better deal. So over the weekend, the order was made. Yay.

My box of happiness awaits the new workbench. This is the beginning of something new. The Citizens of Gigglesville are now seeing a new growth, in size besides the numbers.

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Online Shopping, Part 3

26 Feb

I have said several times in the past that online shopping is fun. I recently ordered a toy for official pet number one, Rooney, and ear sticks accessory for M2. While browsing, I stumbled upon something which I don’t really need but would want to have nevertheless.

It’s a workbench.

Why?

Well, my carving has taken up a lot of space in the living room. And at the same time, it’s leaving a lot of fine dust especially when I file down the carvings. I know I shouldn’t do this indoors but sometimes when one is in the thick of things, it’s hard to move.

And each time after I am done, I have to put things away so the living room don’t look so messy. Now if I had my little workspace at a proper location, the living room would look much neater and I don’t have to go through the tedious tidying up. Hubby argued that the round table at the garden terrace is good enough but I don’t think it’s sufficient.

His tools and plants are hogging that space and I wouldn’t want to make it any more crowded. So I need my own table or work station, hence this urge to get a workbench which I think is practical and not crazy.

No Onions Please, Part 3

23 Feb

I am slowly discovering the pain of things that I should not eat. This Infectious Colitis business is a bit more tricky than I thought. Sure I have avoided coffee, alcohol, wheat, milk, onions and just about everything. But along the way, there’s more!

Last week, it was turnip. I think I cannot eat turnips for the time being because right after I had some, I had difficulties breathing! I didn’t have the awful nausea effect like what the onions did to me but more of feeling so gagged; and had to be horizontal for some time. Sigh…

And last night, I couldn’t pin point what it was I ate. Had a mild attack on the tummy, upsetting my system – a little different effect than the onions and turnips. By the way, I love onions and regrettable have to avoid them for now.

I am keeping track of the days to this abstaining act. Three months until May 6th is what I am giving myself. It better work.

A New Interest

22 Feb

Of late my iPad Mini has been lagging and not compatible with my usual games – Candy Crush Soda and both the Monster Busters. I can launch the apps, collect the daily rewards and that’s it. Just can’t play and it’s exasperating.

So prior to Chinese New Year, I diverted my attention to a new interest, jigsaw puzzles. A mundane game, if you can even call it a game but at least there’s more interaction with it than the others. I’ve completed five puzzles already, and started on a 560-piece puzzle this morning.

Change in Pattern, Part 2

20 Feb

My hopes for a six hours drive home yesterday was not to be as my estimates were way off! The drive home was just super duper long.

It started out smoothly but only for awhile. Traffic then became so heavy and got worst, culminating with a standstill situation on the freaking highway and a crawl at 10km/h, sometimes 30km/h for a good part of the journey for no apparent reason. Ridiculous. And it rained, making the drive more tiring. All in all it took us nine and a half hours to reach home.

This is part and parcel of Chinese New Year – the traffic crawl besides the food and family. Because it’s only a once-a-year experience, we take it in stride. If not, we’d never go back for the occasion. Thank goodness, we had food, drinks, music, devices, cables and power banks to keep us entertained during the long drive home.

Anyway, enough of the driving ordeal, what’s more important was the activities we did during the four days in hubby’s hometown which was a change in pattern from previous years.

Besides the food and rest, we managed to play two rounds of golf instead of just one round. During the first game at Darul Aman Golf Club, I lost my nine iron and discovered the loss almost immediately. I absent-mindedly left it somewhere on the fairway approaching the green at Hole One. Amazingly I wasn’t too upset and rationalized I did not need it, save for a couple of shots, and managed for the rest of the game.

It was the heat that got to me more than the loss honestly. After the game, we reported the loss and thank goodness, the club was found and returned within a short time. Phew… relief. I had contemplated my options if it wasn’t returned. An excuse for a new set perhaps? Hmm…

The next day, we played at a different course, Royal Kedah Club and after two days of back-to-back games, I’m happy to say there was no pain felt on the limbs. In other words, no recurrence of the tennis elbow. A good sign indeed considering I was using just all my irons for both games. No driver, woods or hybrid clubs at all.

The change in pattern also saw us catching the latest Marvel Comics’ superhero movie, Black Panther which was refreshing and very entertaining. And we visited a plant enthusiast whom hubby befriended on Facebook and got to see his eye-popping huge staghorn ferns at his farm. Hubby bought two staghorns from his new friend and promised to visit again on our next trip.

And this year, we start work on the Fifth Day of Chinese New Year instead of the Sixth Day which has been the norm for us for years. Definitely a change in pattern for the Year of the Dog.

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Lovely blue skies and paddy fields on the right

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One of the many meals the family had

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The big staghorn ferns and the two purchased smaller ferns mounted on wood

Change in Pattern

19 Feb

It used to be for every Chinese New Year when we are back in hubby’s hometown, we’d eat, sleep, eat some more, do nothing and eat again. Coupled with the hot weather, a full tummy definitely makes one sleepy. This whole process will then be repeated for the next few days. 

This year however, it’s slightly different. For the eating I ate less and as for the sleeping, I slept less too. Because of less intake, the need to sleep was less. I am not complaining; it had been a restful break despite the change in pattern.

We say goodbye to the old folks as we head home today. Again, let’s hope the traffic will not be heavy and be smooth all the way. If we are lucky, we should get home within six hours, an hour more than the typical non-festive traveling time. Otherwise it could be a very tiring eight or even nine hours crawl. We shall see…

Kong Hei Fatt Choy!

16 Feb

Happy New Year! May the Year of the Dog bring happiness, prosperity, peace and a healthy year ahead.

The Reunion Dinner last night was a gastronomic affair because Mom overdid herself. There was an overwhelming spread with 12 choices and a soup! While some food were purchased (like the pork chop, roast duck and two chicken choices), she still managed to cook two types of fishes, two types of vegetables, a soup and seriously, I lost count. I contributed a homemade colorful Yee Sang. Everyone was stuffed to the brim. As for me, I managed with little morsels and avoided the wine.

Today we hit the road to make our journey up North. Let’s hope the highway will be clear of heavy traffic and a pleasant drive ahead.

Reunion Dinner 2018

15 Feb

Yesterday was our last day at work before we break for Chinese New Year and boy was it a busy day. I managed to clear most of my work – the boombox in the office has been inspirational, and looking forward to a stress-free break. I’m sure I am not the only one with this feeling.

Reunion Dinner 2018 is sans M1 again with the occasion at my sibling’s home. Every year it’s a debate whether to have this auspicious gathering at home or in a Chinese restaurant and many a time, the choice of having it at home outweighs the eating out choice. This is because the Chinese restaurants will hold two dinner sessions for families and this feels very rushed. Imagine having to eat an eight-course dinner within a hurried and noisy environment. Whereas at home, it’s at a leisurely and comfortable pace.

I hear these days some restaurants are now even doing three dinner sessions capitalising on the occasion! Well, however it is done, it is an all important gathering for the Chinese. We look forward to the Year of the Dog tomorrow to usher in a prosperous and healthy year ahead!

Getting the Priorities Right

13 Feb

My goodness, it suddenly hit me that Chinese New Year is three days away! And I am so not prepared. The customary red cloth is finally up, but no further festive decors in the house because I chose to carve instead!

I have not stocked up my fridge with real food because there’s chocolate and candies hogging the space. And hubby bought drinks to fill the fridge – beer and more beer plus some soft drinks, all of which I cannot consume. Wait a second, I shouldn’t be thinking of drinking any alcohol with my current situation. Furthermore, the drinks are for visiting guests during the festivity! Need to get my priorities right here…

To add to my unpreparedness, I have not even started packing for the trip up North to hubby’s hometown on the First Day of Chinese New Year although I made the effort to pack my golf set. My priorities seem to be skewed.

So this year, the Reunion Dinner will be with Mom and my sibling and his family. Only M1 remains absent as she is still in the US. Nonetheless, it will be a boisterous affair with lots to eat and drink with everyone around but poor me, I have to be careful on my intake in case there’s a reaction. At least I am getting my priority right on this.

Finally It’s Done

12 Feb

Over the weekend, we finally pushed ourselves to get ready for Chinese New Year. And when I say get ready, it means putting up the customary red cloth at the entrance of the house. Finally it’s done. Yay. But am I ready for the upcoming festivity?

I think I am looking forward more to the break to relax and do nothing because lately, work has been overwhelming and a break is much needed. As for the festivities, merry-making and food, it will be a challenge to manage because my intestines are still a bit sensitive.

I have gone a week without coffee and somehow doing well. And watching what I eat, I have lost 1.5kgs already as a result of all this extra precaution. Who knows in three months’ time, I would lose a few more kilos! Let’s see how I hold up with during Chinese New Year.