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Killer Whales

12 Feb

Actually, carving on Meranti wood is not good for me. While it may be satisfying to channel my energy into it and then feel the joy whenever a lovely piece is completed, the choice of the wood is the culprit that adds to my Wrist Tendonitis woes.

I was carving a lot of Meranti whales in December and they are much bigger pieces than the Gnomes and Citizens, which unfortunately have not increase in their population count. And being bigger pieces, it magnified the Wrist Tendonitis on the left hand because I have been gripping the wood block too tightly, looking back at the situation now. Sigh.

Although I have a vise clamp albeit a mini one, it cannot clamp the block for me to work on. And I have not been using my workbench enough to ease the situation. It is not the repetitive motion that’s causing the flare up because the repetition is on the right hand, the carving hand, and not the left hand – the non-working but gripping hand.

If I am not carving daily, the situation can be contained because with ample rest, nothing gets aggravated and it’s fine. The therapy sessions, which concluded, helped but I must not overdo things that can cause a recurrence. That something obviously being carving, of course. And I guess I overdid it in December. Oops.

Then in January as we were busy preparing for M2 to leave, carving took a backseat. But after M2 left, I was back to carving whales full swing AND playing golf before Chinese New Year, double whammy you could say. I felt a teeny weeny set back. Uh oh.

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The whales, cute as they may be, are really killer whales. And I’d better take care especially if I want to play more golf this year. Perhaps I should go back to balsa instead of Meranti or get a bigger vise clamp if setting up the workbench is too much? Something to seriously consider.

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What Can We Order?

25 Jan

Eating out is now a problem with M2 away in college. We are small eaters all these years. Even when M1 was around, we always ordered three portions for the four of us to share and you could say there were choices.

When M1 left for her studies, we resolved this predicament by ordering only two for three, less choices but always a mix and match for sharing and it worked out well the last four years.

But now, with M2 away, we certainly cannot use this equation anymore when eating out. Given that there are some things I don’t eat these days to manage my Endometriosis, the options don’t look too appealing – it will either be no choice or too much. Sigh.

It will take some tweaking to arrive at a comfortable balance that both hubby and I will be satisfied when we do eat out. We shall see.

My Friends Can Cook, Part 3

24 Jan

The catch up session with the same small group seems to have flourished, having connected so well over the last dinner; this second time at the second girlfriend’s home. Sometimes these sessions don’t have to be a big group, so the chatter can be more personal and deeper.

All these years of pursuing our respective careers have created quite a vast gap and the need to close this is much stronger now than ever. Perhaps with age, the need to reconnect with childhood friends feels more apt, pleasurable and forthright. We don’t have to say a lot yet we want to without being judged.

The reminiscing is always great to learn how our paths have been, affecting our lives now. We talk without reservation and there’s no masking the truth. And the laughter and tears that follow are truly genuine in this small group. A welcome change because we don’t often get to this level with others for we tend to be more careful and guarded.

The flavorful home-cooked ribs were simply heavenly with the meat falling off the bones and finger-licking indeed. And the mushroom soup, made from scratch was not too creamy, thus suited my tummy well. The salad, bread with dip and wine rounded up the meal. My friends can really cook up a fantastic meal!

The five hours together was insufficient needless to say when there’s still so much to share.

So much so, we’ve decided to have another session. Soon. Suddenly, hanging out with friends who can cook is more enjoyable and gratifying than going out for dinner in noisy and busy restaurants.

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Let the Classes Begin

22 Jan

M2 is adjusting to her new life I must say. Suddenly my baby is all grown up and I am glad we made this decision for her to go off much earlier for her studies. We chat daily, sometimes twice a day which is nice despite the eight hours time difference. The much-dreaded distance is not too bad after all if this means she’s learning to be independent so much faster and us, having a new found freedom to enjoy.

Maybe once she settles down to a routine, the video calls will be lesser but that’s okay, classes begin today to keep her busy and not miss home or us.

New Found Freedom

21 Jan

Thank goodness for technology! It’s been a week that M2 has left but we don’t feel that she has left because we connect daily via WhatsApp with messages and video calls. So there’s hardly a moment to miss her despite the physical separation.

As we now have more time on our hands because there’s no tuition run to contend with and time to keep, both of us are doing things together that we enjoy, that is playing more golf. I played my first golf game of the year on Saturday and it was nice; pain-free and responsibility-free but a bit rusty on the approach shots and bunker saves. I’m not worried though, in time these two problems can be fixed with the new found freedom to play more often.

And today-being a public holiday-I am playing my second golf game instead of sleeping in! Gotta make up for all the missed opportunities last year.

A Quiet Home

17 Jan

Reality has sunk in and the quietness of home is now louder than ever. It’s not so obvious in the morning when we get ready for work because if M2 was still here, she would still be asleep. It’s the evenings.

The grunt, snort and stubbornness of official pet number one is more prominent, the water spouting within the aquarium is more pronounced and the lack of another person to have a conversation with is so glaring.

Sigh… both of us have to get used to this.

A New Beginning

15 Jan

M2’s travel to Ireland was more manageable to track, eight hours behind our time compared M1’s travel to the US where the time difference was much more and so hard to keep up, travelling back in time and all.

She had a big send-off entourage which was nice but emotional at the same time. Sad tears flowed among family and friends present at the airport to see her off but there was also happiness for her as she faces a new beginning.

Like her cousins and sister, we are very proud of M2 to bravely go off to college without us having to accompany her – being so young at 17 and a half years old, surpassing even M1. Her taking this path in stride, to see and experience the world and be more independent makes me tear up when I think about it because my baby is all grown up.

M2 may be travelling in a group with other students unlike M1, who travelled solo but the fact remains both girls didn’t need us to go with them. M1 graduates this year while M2 has just begun her exciting journey.

We got home at almost two in the morning and I couldn’t sleep, needing to keep track of her on flightaware.com. This is the best site/app ever to live track the what, where and when status of an aircraft. When morning came, I was like a zombie in the office from the lack of sleep and my eyes still stung and remained puffed from all the tears shed.

By Monday evening our time, she arrived safely. The layover in Dubai wasn’t too long and Emirates is a great airline. I heave a sigh of relief knowing she’s well on her way to greater things in life.

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M2 onwards to her new and exciting beginning!

Then and Now

14 Jan

When the girls are four years apart, the heartache occurs four years apart too…

Four years ago, when our firstborn M1 left for the U.S. to further her studies, there was heartache and anxiety. And it took us some time to adjust our lifestyle with one family member less.

Now four years later, history repeats itself.

Last night, our baby, M2 left for Ireland for her studies. And suddenly, we find ourselves having to adjust our lifestyle all over again.

Whether it was four years ago or now, the heartache and anxiety are the same. Sniffle… tears… and more tears.

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My baby’s all grown up!!!

 

 

 

Wave Mom, Wave

11 Jan

When M1 was still around years ago, both girls had the habit of tuning us out with their headphones on especially during exam week. Typically after dinner, both M1 and M2 would be diligently doing their revision at the dining table with their headphones in place.

It was hard enough for me when they’d do the same in the car, headphones in place and I have to wave to get their attention before speaking. It’s the same at home with this habit of theirs to tune me out and I have to wave.

With M1 away at University and only M2 around, she continued to have her headphones plugged in especially during exam week. And she constantly reminded me that I’d have to wave if I want to say something to her. Can I fault her when doing this was for a good cause, studying for the exams?

M2 may be done with school this year, so no more studying at the dining table but she still has her headphones in place these days to watch her videos instead.

The situation may have changed but some things never change and I will surely miss this habit, waving that is, the day she leaves for college.

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Being an Adult

7 Jan

The minute M1 turned 18 four years ago, we decided to give her a credit card and this marked another step towards being an adult. I remember when I received my first credit card from Dad, albeit a supplementary one, I felt so important and all grown up.

And it wasn’t just a credit card but an American Express charge card. Even more important I felt back then!

M2 will be turning 18 this year and obviously we will do the same for her soon. My goodness, they grow up too fast, my babies. Sniffle…