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Spot the Caterpillar

13 Jan

My fascination with caterpillars subsided when there wasn’t anymore to be discovered. Partly also, I’ve stopped going out to the garden to specifically look for them because the mozzies would get to my arms and legs.

The two potted plants at the front of the house do not seem to have anymore caterpillars too until recently. It was discovered quite accidentally.

A rather unusual species this time, see if you can spot the caterpillar. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not green and its scientific name is the Geometridae family.

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Progress After the Food Trail

10 Jan

We have dived straight into our 16/8 diet this week and pleased to say we are holding up okay. There’s no withdrawal symptoms from the change in pattern nor from the diet that now consists of minimal meat/protein, some carbo and lots of fiber.

I have gone back to my usual tea only in the morning before the salad lunches and healthy home-cooked dinners at home, all within the eight hours window to eat and no further intake during the 16 hours except for one night where we had fruit cake and tea at a friend’s.

I am also mindful to move to burn some calories but exercising has been a challenge when every evening I’d sit at my little corner to work on my carvings. I’m not too worried though because this would be resolved once we go back to playing golf.

But of late, the endometriosis attacks have been rather frequent and the pain level ranges, it’s unbearable and hard to do much. The night when we were at the airport, I had to take my painkillers twice in a span of three hours apart because the pain was simply horrible. There’s no words to describe this. Sigh…

Other than this problem of mine, I’m glad to say the both of us have adjusted after the food trail, with our weight almost back to pre-M1’s arrival.

A Major Disaster

17 Dec

At the end of July, I signed up for my golf club’s Annual Championship tournament which was held for two days over a weekend in August. Looking back, pairing determination with pain was not a good combination to manage. In this context for me, it was dealing with my endometriosis pain with work deadline and playing in a tournament. It proved to be a major disaster resulting in a mental breakdown of sorts. A first for me.

As time drew close to the tournament, I had another painful bout of endometriosis attack. So bad I almost wanted to pull out but I didn’t because I thought I could manage. I thought wrong.

On the first day of the tournament at the Hills course, I was on painkillers to deal with the pain and discomfort to stay focused. I came back with the most varied score ever, being a stroke-play format. It ranged from a two (birdie on a Par 3) all the way through to an 11 on the Index 1, Par 5 (because of two balls in the water). In other words, I had every number (and several repeated) on my scorecard… except an eight though. Strange.

On the second day, the tournament was delayed because of rain and we teed off at the Lakes course after a 45-minute wait. I started off fairly well and held up okay for the first seven holes. But disaster struck by the eight hole, Hole 17 (we started on the back nine).

The humidity in the air suddenly became very thick and I had an unnecessary urge to tee-off harder to pass the pond. Never do that. When you try harder, the harder you fail. I ended up with three balls in the water!

It was a disaster unfolding before me and I was the star of the drama. That morning on that Par 4, I came back with an eye-popping 14! A 14 on a Par 4, worse than the 11 on the Par 5 on the first day. I told myself to calm down and don’t get too emotional by it.

However the next hole, the Par 5 being another fearful hole, my doubts doubled in my ability to overcome the water factor. Remember, this is the feared Pacific Ocean water hole that I crumbled during the 2018 Iron Challenge tournament.

Thankfully, only one ball went into the water. But a silly pull to the left cost me and I ended up with another double digit. Hmm… not good. But I was thinking the worst was over and I can still recover because the front nine is actually more manageable to play. I thought wrong again.

I suspect the four balls into the water rattled me but somehow I didn’t acknowledged this and when I teed off on Hole 1, I put another two balls into the water! By now I was like, WTF?! The legs were jellied and the confidence zilch beyond comprehension and in a blur, another double digit on the Par 4.

When we got to the second hole, a Par 3, I was so sapped of life and when I put yet another ball into the water, I told myself, that’s it. I’m going to withdraw. I’m not a quitter but with disaster after disaster piling up with every hole, the event was becoming a catastrophe of epic proportions and too much for me to shoulder. There’s no point to go on playing. What recovery would there be at that point, mentally especially? I’m just killing myself out there and if I continued, I would end up detesting the game so much and just chuck away all my clubs.

With my mind made up, I took a drop for the third shot for formality but was convinced I couldn’t launch it across the water and indeed proved myself right. A classic case of a negative thought attracting a negative action! The ball dived into the water. Ahhhh…… speechless. The mental state of mind was just oh-so-cruel.

I could not go on, having a major breakdown dealing with playing golf in a championship tournament; I simply couldn’t golf anymore. Immediately after that, I drove the buggy to see the referee who happened to be nearby and I informed him of my intention and decision.

Looking back, I really can’t comprehend what unraveled that morning. The endometriosis pain was suppressed that second morning and wasn’t the reason yet I crumbled so badly. This outing takes the cake over the Iron Challenge experience I must say. I simply don’t have words for it. I sat through the remaining holes with my flight mates and came back with an ‘NR’ for my attempt at this year’s Annual Championship.

Lesson learnt: if and when there’s pain lurking before and during any important golf tournaments, do not try to be a heroine to pair them. It’s a proven recipe for a major disaster because not only the body cannot withstand but the mind simply cannot cope.

So after that last game of the year, I’m glad I am stepping away from golf and will be resting to heal both the physical and the mental to recoup. When the new year comes around, I hope to find love again for this crazy game called golf and be able to enjoy playing it without issues or disasters of epic proportions.

Last Game for the Year

16 Dec

I played my last golf game for the year on Saturday and it ended in disaster in terms of performance and results. It was a terrible and unexpected outcome considering I was playing decent golf for two consecutive weekends earlier. What happened?

Maybe during those times, I was more focused and wasn’t in that much pain but with back-to-back games each time, my tennis elbow problem inevitably flared up.

Also I guess the lesson of pairing pain and play was forgotten after my epic August Annual Championship experience which is another story by itself. But this time, sigh… The problem was not even endometriosis-related but the tennis elbow instead.

The painkiller I ate before tee-off didn’t help to suppress the throbbing pain. And with every swing of the clubs, the pain became so obvious and magnified, it marred my focus. The tee-off was so short, the short game was even shorter and the putting was just bleargh.

The only consolation though was not losing that many balls nor have a mental breakdown like I did during the Annual Championship game which is worthy to talk about now after so long to finally exorcise the ghost of that major disaster.

Fly Little One, Part 2

13 Dec

Yesterday we thought with the date being 12/12, it would be good to release our feathered friend. It was only a matter of time as it has been eating well and getting stronger by the day. Each time when hubby held it in his hands, he could feel the strength and resistance from the little one.

And amazingly that morning, a flock of adult birds of the same species gathered in the garden as if sensing the significant occasion. I could even sense their anticipation of the young newbie joining them.

The flock then dispersed from the ground only to perch on the roof of the neighboring house like a gallery to observe the moment. Hubby then reached for our feathered friend inside the cage and raised his hand to let it take off.

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Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma and friend, cousin, sibling?

And take off it did… for only about five feet and then it crashed into the bushes. Ouch! We rescued it to give it another booster but it crashed into the bamboo blinds and fell onto a plant. Double ouch!

I think it got a little dazed by this unexpected mishap. Clearly, the little one was not quite ready yet to take flight. We had actually stopped feeding it the night before in case it got too heavy.

Nevertheless we left it inside the holding cage instead of the usual tighter security basket that was a tad too confining before we left for the office. We thought a little more space and opportunity to exercise, walk around and flap its wings would be good before the next release.

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Not the tightest in security to prevent an escape

That evening when we got home, our feathered friend was gone. Escaped from the confines and flew away to be with the others. We were not sad but a little surprised it could squeeze through. Then again, the cage wasn’t the tightest in security with the such gaps. We took a chance.

This morning, we did not see it nor the others. It is probably enjoying the new found freedom and family. Maybe it will visit. Who knows?

Mix and Match

10 Dec

I finally got my eyes checked last week and my visual acuity or in layman term, power has changed. Again. It’s no surprise because the Lindberg was causing a lot of strain and discomfort prior to my dropping and breaking the lens.

Over the years my power fluctuated up and down on an annual basis and changing lens was a necessity. At one point I jokingly said that if I ever mixed and matched all my old lens–I was smart enough to keep the lens shape the same all these years–I would be able to find a suitable matching pair for future use. Little did I know this would somewhat happen!

The almost forgotten spare Silhouette that I am currently using is six years old. And coincidentally it matches my new power for short-sightedness. In other words, my power has reduced from the Lindberg. No wonder I can wear the old Silhouette without problems especially for distant viewing; it has been okay.

But that’s where the match ends and discomfort kicks in. The astigmatism does not match for both eyes with the Silhouette being far stronger compared to the latest check. This explains why at certain distance and angle, the eyes have been feeling strained, hence the constant blinking. Playing golf has been the biggest issue with this pair especially when it comes to putting. Looking up then looking down has been so problematic.

Anyway, sometimes finding the right matching lens is rare because there’s long-sightedness and astigmatism (but not limited to these) to consider other than short-sightedness. I was lucky with the Silhouette and remember, this pair is six years old! There have been many lens changes in between it and the broken Lindberg.

Having said that, better some match than none otherwise I would be in a lurch, being visually-impaired without a pair of glasses to go about my daily routine. Thank goodness I will be getting the Lindberg with new lens this week.

There’s Always a First

26 Nov

I’ve been wearing rimless glasses for as long as I can remember, alternating between my Silhouette and Lindberg over the years whenever my power increased and I had to change the lens. The last few years, I have been wearing the Lindberg pair and totally forgot that the Silhouette pair was made as a spare.

Over the weekend, I broke my glasses! Now, I have dropped my glasses several times before (the Silhouette more than the Lindberg) but the many times, it survived the fall. Alas, this time the Lindberg was not so lucky as the nasty drop cracked the lens and caused it to break off from the bridge.

It was after a golf game and I was in the locker room when the mishap occurred. Sigh… and the worse part, it wasn’t my home club and we were a good hour away from home. Thank goodness, hubby was driving otherwise it would have been a challenge to drive back, being visually-impaired without my glasses.

At that point, I was more worried that I didn’t have a spare pair to use because I honestly couldn’t recall about the Silhouette pair. So I had to manage moving about because it was several hours later before we got home.

When we finally reached the house, I decided to look for the Silhouette, hoping maybe it was made as a spare and I just simply forgot about it. True enough… I found the Silhouette glasses without having to turn the whole wardrobe upside down. Phew.

Being a dinosaur, insignificant things tend to be forgotten. How would I know this insignificance would be just the opposite? I’ve never broken my glasses before.

Obviously the power is different being an old pair but luckily still wearable. So for the time being, best to just use it or continue to be visually-impaired while the Lindberg goes in to be fixed.

I must admit I have been facing issues with the Lindberg’s power these past few weeks and I have been procrastinating to go have my eyes checked. But now with this unfortunate incident, it’s a definite push to have that eye appointment pronto.

The glass breaking is a first for me though and now we know why we must always keep a spare pair of glasses–and remembering we have it too–for an unforeseen and unfortunate situation such as this.

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The Lindberg cracked and broke near the bridge; thank goodness for the spare Silhouette!

A New Direction

8 Nov

After the bout of carving six Citizens not too long ago, I was ready for another big piece. Suddenly carving big pieces is the way to go! This latest attempt at another Ginormous Gnome is again a combination of three Meranti wood, making it the second piece with three glued pieces.

This time there’s no add-ons for depth, learning from the previous piece. Also I am unfazed by the height because I know what to do. And there certainly won’t be any hole in the cap because I sketched the Gnome to be smaller with plenty of room to shape.

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Let the carving begin!

These days I seem to prefer carving big pieces over little Gnomes as it does not aggravate the left wrist because I don’t need to have a dead grip with the left hand. If you must know, carving Citizens is not painful because it’s on soft balsa, not semi-hard Meranti wood.

But I still have to find the right balance with this new direction because at times, the right golf elbow can still be aggravated if I’m at it too long – the repetitive motion on the semi-hard Meranti.

Sometimes if I have a weekend game coming up, I’d carve less to prevent any recurrence of pain. However if the pain persist on game day, I have no choice but to pop painkillers and use Salonpas patches to subdue it.

Perhaps with the new lighter golf set making golf enjoyable again, I can find the middle ground to have satisfaction to enjoy both golf and carving simultaneously without giving up one or the other.

I’ll see how, until then onwards with the new piece!

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Slowly but surely it’s coming along!

A Timely Change

5 Nov

I changed my golf set recently! It was a decision made after mulling over it for months. Prior to this, I felt I couldn’t improve my game anymore especially with the recurring injuries and change wouldn’t help anyway. Why change when playing better golf was also not at the top of my priority anymore?

Factor in my desire to carve and I was at it constantly, golf was no longer my focus. But constant carving came with a price – aggravated pain on the right elbow whenever I did a little bit more than necessary. And when there’s pain, it affects the golf; and if playing good golf was out of the question with the recurring problem, why bother to change? I was at it in circles for months.

But a good deal came along and I caved.

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My new set… here’s to playing better golf!!!

So I gave up my TaylorMade RBZ irons, Maruman Conductor driver and wedge, Cleveland woods, hybrid and wedge for a lighter pre-owned Srixon XXIO MP900 set to replace them. The only thing I kept was my Scotty Cameron Squareback putter. Less clubs in the bag, 10 instead of 14, this made my approach on the game changed too. But for the better. Also the lesser clubs means a lighter load and we’ve been walking nine-holes carrying our golf sets instead of using the golf trolleys the last three weeks. Very good exercise as I find myself sweating buckets each time.

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The old set, thanks for the good times!

It took me a few games to adjust my swing to the new clubs and know the distances. The new driver however, loses to my previous driver’s performance but that is only because I have had the Conductor for years and have been so in-tuned with its ability. It’s just a matter of time before I am able to master the new driver to maximize its performance. After all, every new piece of equipment will require time to get used to them, some just take longer than others. So I’m not worried.

Overall, all the clubs feel good and even with some nagging pain on the right elbow, I am striking the ball better and further. This means I can still carve but with care of course. A win-win situation nonetheless. I love the new 3-wood as it’s giving me the distance I couldn’t get previously.

It didn’t take me long to master the new Sand wedge for my short game though. With just one club to use for the 50 meter (or less) range instead of the three choices I had previously – the Approach, 52˚ or 56˚ wedges, being indecisive on what to use has suddenly been taken out of the situation, making the approach so much easier. And I must say it has been super accurate, cutting down strokes to get on the green and pretty close to the flagstick. A real confidence booster to come back with better scores. I love it!

And this was evident when I played in my Club’s November Monthly Medal bogey-play tournament over the weekend; I came out tops in the Ladies category! Woo hoo…. however due to the low turn out of just six ladies (a minimum of eight participants was required for the winner to receive a trophy), I was an ‘unofficial’ winner without the showpiece. It’s okay, I’ll take it as is and am glad I made this timely change. I just hope it won’t be a one-time wonder and definitely looking forward to playing better golf from here on.

One Problem Resolved

4 Nov

I’m glad to say that the plantar fasciitis that I was experiencing several months back has disappeared. How did I do it? Well, I certainly didn’t walk any less, in fact, I walk more but with an arch support for the shoes. And this helped.

After the problem disappeared, I bought a new pair of Skechers with good memory foam for better support. Being new and spongy, it’s certainly doing its job so the additional arches are not required anymore, at least for this new pair. But I still use them for my golf shoes. And after a round of 18-holes, the feet are fine without issues.

The old pair of Skechers has been quite worn down, maybe that’s why the insole arch support was necessary when the problem came about. And thank goodness the problem is resolved and not escalated further. I have enough challenges as it is with my endometriosis and the golf elbow that has been acting up.

At the end of the day, it’s all about taking care of ourselves, being at this dinosaur age, you just can’t wing it to get by.

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