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Happy Ants

7 Aug

It is often said whatever that has been planted and cared for without using pesticides will be evident in the harvest; there will be worms enjoying the fruits of the labor.

This round, mostly green ones

Our scotch bonnet pepper plants have been very healthy and we have had non-stop supplies. And sometimes worms included. On and off, I’d find tiny worms in the container holding the basket of peppers. And I’d just wash the icky worms down the sink.

Bumper supply of worms too! Five altogether

One morning, I saw a worm on the kitchen counter top instead! Eeek… it had somehow escaped from the container. Before I could do anything, the ants got to it first! They were quickly maneuvering the worm to their nest for the rest of the colony as food. I didn’t have the heart to thwart them. It would be too vicious.

One, two, three… heave! One, two, three… go!

So I simply took a picture of the action but missed the rest of their journey to their lair when I turned away. Dang! They sure are fast but they sure are happy ants with the unexpected bounty.

Nothing Goes to Waste

2 Jun

Ever since the MCO started, hubby learned how to bake and as such, the eggs in the fridge are used up very quickly. It used to take forever to finish them but now, they are always on the grocery list to be replenished.

The best part of this is recycling the eggshells as fertilizer for the garden instead of just throwing them away. And I seem to enjoy fussing over the eggshells.

I’d remove the membrane first before pounding them up with my mini mortar and pestle. Fine but not too powdery, the eggshells act as a good deterrent for the slimy snails in the garden. They are also a good source of calcium especially for the habanero chilli peppers and it shows with the healthy harvests.

Besides the eggshells, other food waste is also recycled to be natural fertilizer for the garden. Rice water for instance. Whenever I wash rice grains before cooking, the water from the washing is kept a day or two in a container to be fermented before being used.

Occasionally if there are juice pulps from juicing, these are instantly sprinkled around the garden amongst the plants. And banana peels are always fed to the staghorn fern for nutrition. Nothing goes to waste in our home.

Borderless Love

3 Mar

We have a new pet! Sort of… The Golden Retriever actually belongs to our neighbor and he sure is a friendly one. Every now and then, he would come sit at the border between our houses and stares longingly into our garden.

And whenever hubby is out there with his plants, hubby would stretch over to give the adorable dog some love – scratching and petting the head, massaging and tickling the neck, and at the same time, absorb some doggy love in return. I do the same too if I am out in the garden and see the chummy canine.

Once the exchange is over, our adopted pet would saunter back inside his house and we’d go about our routine. I find this unexpected ‘arrangement’ rather therapeutic. While we sometimes long to have another four-legged furry ball to replace our beloved English Bulldog, the thought of the long term commitment makes us rethink again.

So for now, we are perfectly happy with our adopted pet, the Golden Retriever from next door, with his borderless love for us.

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Look at that face, so adorable!

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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Looking Back at 2019

31 Dec

Well well… it looks like another year has gone by again. Time to file the memories away to recall later fondly and another set of annual resolutions to make. Or break. But the end of 2019 is much more than another year gone by, it’s the end of a decade!

Looking back, I’ve had my fair share of good memories and heartaches with many things happening in the year. After all, there’s 365 days. What stood out most for me can be summed up to these.

Both girls are all grown up, with one having graduated and continuing on with grad school in the US and the other just starting college in Ireland. Proud parent moments. Then there’s me reaching the milestone big five birthday. Happy me occasion.

My carving hobby resulted in a mixed growth in Gigglesville’s population this year. There were only 13 new Citizens to reach 194 (I couldn’t push myself to reach 200), the Whales grew to 48, with 30 new ones while the Gnomes had only two new giant ones to make three dozen as of 2019. It could be better.

But with this carving activity, there was a price to pay: my aggravated injuries. My golf game suffered as a consequence and for the first time, I find myself not giving the sport any priority anymore. I lost the will to excel when injuries persisted. Hopefully this mindset can change to a more positive one come 2020.

Besides the sports injury, my endometriosis pain was well, a pain to deal with this year. More acute than ever, I was at the mercy of a monthly recurrence, it was dreadful. So I started the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet to manage the painful backache and cramp attacks. With a controlled diet and a list of food to avoid, losing a fair bit of weight along the way was a booster and motivation too besides minimizing the agony. It helped.

Not everything was rosy and good though. My iPad Mini has been wonky and unreliable with each passing day, my MacBook Air had to be resuscitated but nothing compared to losing our beloved English bulldog, Rooney aka official pet number one to old age and sickness. It was the saddest day of our lives and suddenly, the house was emptier than ever and our lives changed.

Looking back, if I were to put 2019 into perspective of a phrase, ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ aptly summarizes the year for me. Now as I ponder what to expect for the new year and new decade, I hope it will be one that focuses on ‘the good, the better and the best’. No resolutions needed though.

To everyone, here’s wishing you an awesome 2020 ahead, Happy New Year and Goodbye 2019!

Fly Little One

9 Dec

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A week ago, we ‘adopted’ this little fella

Last week, we had an unexpected guest – a baby bird. It fell onto our neighbour’s side of the garden when it was learning how to fly. Luckily hubby rescued our feathered friend before the neighbour’s dog discovered it. We decided to nurse it until it got stronger to be able to take flight. Mummy Bird has been nearby ever since the accident, keeping an eye on us I suppose.

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It’s actually quite a cutie

Over the next few days, we cared for our little feathered friend, feeding it little worms for breakfast and dinner. And it has been eating well, delighting the both of us.

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Getting stronger, it has progressed to eating bird seeds now

It’s been a week already and soon, we will be letting it go. Once it is strong enough and able to fly, we will definitely miss our unexpected temporary pet.

In Memory of…

11 Nov

Today would have been official pet number one’s 12th birthday. Sniffle…

It’s been a month since Rooney’s passing. How time flies! There are days when we get home, I find myself looking out for him expecting a patch of fur lying at the garden terrace when I open the front door. But he’s not there….

We have been keeping busy so that we don’t think too much of the loss. The house has been rather quiet sans the barking or the act of talking to a pet who was literally our third child, our baby. To overcome this, I find myself playing music more often than ever on my iPhone XR. Sometimes I would up the volume on Spotify’s choices for me or simply blast my Music’s playlist so that it’s not so quiet. Sigh…

Happy birthday Roo, you’re in a better place but always in our thoughts and hearts.

Is That a Nose Dinky?

1 Nov

I didn’t realise Dinky my dinosaur ‘grew’ a nose! From the looks of it, it’s a teeny-weeny scab from a scratch of an insect bite. And because of its strategic placement on Dinky’s face, it can pass off as a nose. Hahahaha…

However, I don’t think it’s a mosquito bite because I don’t remember any itch or even scratching my leg. Or maybe there was and I did… I don’t remember. Dinosaurs can be forgetful.

I just thought it’s funny that my Dinky now has a nose, a glowing red one just like Rudolph! Rather cute, no?

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Letting Go

15 Oct

It’s a good thing this weekend I am going away. A timely change in routine in view of the recent heartache. Unfortunately hubby is not coming along as this trip with my high school girlfriends was actually planned ages ago.

I hope being away—albeit a short one—will heal the broken heart to be at peace and accepting with life and the daily routine. Death really grips the heart and we must learn to overcome this or forever be sad or even burdened.

Emptier Nest

14 Oct

The past few days, the home front felt different and odd. Not used to it. The coming home and being home routines are unfamiliar without official pet number one around. The empty nest is now emptier.

No more sight of him waiting for us, no more insistent barks during our dinner time, no more demands to share our fruits or more of his snacks, no more snores or unabashed farts to break the silence, no more presence. In short, no more routines that we are used to. Sniffle…

Rooney was certainly a family member and a very vocal one, not just a pet like the fish or the tortoise, visible but silent.

Sad as it is, this is inevitable. We should be positive and look at the bright side; he lived a good and happy life – giving us many wonderful memories, annoying moments included.

He was a month and a day short of his 12th birthday, far longer than the eight to ten years typical for bull dogs. He will be dearly missed… Sniffle…