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D for Donkey – Diva Donkey

22 Jun

Mid-term exam results are slowly coming back. And like every year, it’s a roller coaster as far as results are concerned for M2. Unlike M1 who aces most of the subjects and no surprises from her, it’s different with M2. We are always subjected to surprises and the unexpected. Then again, we shouldn’t expect anything because carrot rewards program does not seem to be effective.

A couple of years back prior to the start of a mid-term exam, M1 had reminded M2 not to come back with ‘C’s and ‘E’s and M2 had the cheek to point out to me, M1 did not mention ‘D’s! Horrors. Does this mean she is contemplating this sort of results?

Well, horror of all horrors! There were a couple of ’D’s then in the mix. You could say I was not happy and termed the ‘D’ a ‘Donkey’ to lessen the horror. This time, again there’s a couple of ‘D’s and the sassy M2 mentioned she thought I said a ‘Diva Donkey’ to lighten the mood and it helped.

Seriously, gone are the days when she used to be remorseful of her results and asked if she could just drop out of school. These days her attitude is far more optimistic. If she can think that the ‘D’ is a ‘Diva Donkey’, maybe there’s hope she will be okay when she’s college-bound.

Otherwise, I can faint… I am sure I will…

“Could You Be a Darling…”

18 May

It’s obvious we have one sassy child at home when she says this to me, “Could you be a darling and bring me a glass of water from the kitchen when you go there?”

I have never, in my life, said such things to Mom when I was studying. Then again, I have never sat at the dining table and studied like how M2 is studying now for her mid-terms.

Memory Fail

5 May

I have been sharing my painting efforts on Facebook and some of my friends on that platform have been following the progress. Out of the blue, my American housemate from my college days mentioned that she still has a piece of my work hanging on her wall!

Initially she shared the picture on my wall and I complimented her that the picture was pretty and asked was it her effort? To my surprise, she wrote that I painted it for her in college. Oh my goodness.

Memory fail here because I don’t recall. This must be the pre-Monet days where I still used the brush because the strokes on the painting didn’t look like a palette knife effort.

And what’s even more amazing was that apparently I did another piece of a cabin subject and sold it to the owner of the cabin! Super memory fail here again.

How can I have forgotten such significant moments?

After the School Break

27 Mar

Last week it was the first school break of the year for M2. Daughter dearest was in a bind. Although the thought of going away with us sounded very tempting, she was fretting she needed to prepare for the upcoming exams, scheduled on the Monday (today) when she goes back to school. A sign of the young one having grown up and being responsible? It used to be given a break over the books, the break was chosen.

We were also in a bind. While we were tempted to go away, bringing her along, this would result in her not having any time to study. How does one enjoy whilst on holiday? It doesn’t work this way.

So in the end we stayed put. And I must say we were impressed with her dedication to prepare for the upcoming exams throughout the whole week. Let’s hope the results would yield with the efforts put in.

The Monet in Me

21 Mar

I love Claude Monet the Impressionist artist. Whenever I travel abroad, I always make the effort to visit art museums to view the Impressionist collection and especially to stand in front of a Monet or two to be inspired. I must say Musée d’Orsay ranks up there for me over the Louvre.

This love for Claude Monet started in college. I was very taken with the Impressionist style. One of my early Illustration classes, I did a portrait of Mr Monet. And it was during my summer Painting class that I did further studies on him. I remember one assignment called for us to emulate our choice of artist.

Obviously I chose Claude Monet. And the particular piece I chose was ‘Poplars on the Banks of the River Epte, Seen from The Marsh’ (1892). My two feet by two feet effort still hangs at home in the TV room today.

I loved the Poplar series so much that I recreated the ‘Seen from the Marsh’ piece at a smaller scale of eight by ten inches. The Monet in me then did a little series of my own with two additional interpretations of the poplars. But unlike Monet, I used the palette knife, my choice of tool to paint.


The paper may have faded but he’s still looking good!


My version of the Poplars


My Poplar series


Good Effort

6 Mar

Now that Sports Day is finally over, M2 was drained to the core and have fallen sick over the weekend. All that commitment and dedicated efforts paid off with a third place medal for the team relay run and a second placing for the Cheer Team.

Well done!

Sports Day

3 Mar

Tomorrow M2 will be having her Sports Day and for the past several weeks, she has been staying back after classes to prepare for it. My M2 is in the cheer team besides participating in the compulsory track and field events.

Being involved in these activities, she felt she needed to put in some extra practice so that she will do well on the actual day. Even on weekends, she and her friends would go to school to practice their cheer routine. Such dedication.

During my time when I was in high school, I don’t recall ever wanting to stay back after school. Even when Sports Day was around the corner, I didn’t have such dedication and determination like M2.

I guess back then, school was not the nicest place to hang out after classes. I remember there was one time, there were rumors that the main bathroom was haunted! Who would want to stay back after school with such news circulating? How to go to the bathroom?

Oh man… now that I think about it, it’s hilarious. There were stories of a blood-sucking white bedsheet-clothed vampire lurking in the bathroom. And if one goes in there, the poor soul would be possessed, attacked or worst, left for dead! My goodness (chortle), such wild imagination we had back then as teenagers.

Whether it was true or not, I certainly avoided the main bathroom during school hours. And if I really had to, I would use the teachers’ bathroom at a different block away from the main bathroom building. As for my Sports Day, sadly nothing worthy to be remembered.

Feeling the Change

10 Jan

You know the holidays are definitely over and Chinese New Year is around the corner when the heat has arrived. The weather has suddenly changed. Last week, it was still very cool and even rained. Heavily at it too.

This week with everything settling into routine, the girls back in school and us back to work, the heat has crept in. Yesterday at gym, the humidity and the heat was really stifling, even indoors. As a result, the session became very taxing.

On the home front, the garden is thriving. Birds of different species come together and eat the seeds we put out. And big birds would just lounge on the dry deck!

It’s heartwarming to see such harmony but the heat… getting unbearable. Sigh.


M2 snapped this huddle from the kitchen


Silly Me

6 Jan

With only four hours of sleep the night before, it was hard to function yesterday. I have forgotten what and how it’s like to dig deep into the reserves to function normally.

But we had no choice because M1’s flight was 8.00am and we had to wake up by 3.00am. Our body system and morning rituals were messed up a little because by 6.00am after checking in, we had two breakfasts already, once at home and another at the airport whilst waiting with her!

Thankfully it wasn’t an emotional farewell. There were some tears I’d admit and I managed to hold them at bay. But the void in the heart, it started to build and felt heavy. Sniffle…

After the goodbye, we headed straight for the office, dropping off M2 at school on the way (yes, she was late). I tried to work to keep busy but found myself constantly checking By 1.00pm, I gave up and decided to channel my energy elsewhere. Otherwise the void would envelop me with more anxiety. Playing my virtual games didn’t help because I had the computer in front of me.

So we went to play golf.

And I played horribly because I couldn’t focus. A far cry compared to my December game where I hit 6 pars and every department worked so well. This time every department was not functioning. And not only the body was tired and sapped of energy, my mind kept wandering. I also kept looking at my iPhone whenever we had to wait, to see where the plane was! Silly me.

I was creating my anxiety further when Flightaware showed the plane had landed in Narita but we didn’t get an update from M1. Knowing full well the transit time was barely sufficient and the security process was probably very stringent with the inbound flight to the US, there may not be an update. Yet I was wishfully anticipating one. Silly me.

By the 15th Hole, a relatively short 100m across-the-pond-Par 3, the silly me changed from my usual iron to a shorter one just because it was a red flag. What was I thinking? Already tired to the core and a shorter club?? Big mistake. I dumped my shot into the water. Twice! Silly me.

After that, I told hubby we should just give up the last three holes because both of us had no more energy left to continue. Also I had no focus at all, it was pointless to carry on. Came home so drained…

By 10.30pm, I don’t know about hubby but I was knocked out and didn’t see my phone until 7.00am this morning that M1 finally updated. After close to 24 hours of travel, she had arrived safely but still one more car ride to get to campus. All that unnecessary anxiety. Silly me.

Trying Not To Cry

5 Jan

After three wonderful weeks with M1 home with us for her Christmas holidays, she left for the US this morning. Sniffle…

We had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, and left for the airport by 4.20am for her 8.00am departure for Japan’s Narita International.

Heaviness filled my heart. No words can express the void a mother feels every time the child leaves home for the pursuit of education. No matter how grown up they have become, they still remain our baby. 

I shouldn’t cry or feel sad. After all, she starts the year as a Junior, midway towards her Food Science degree. Seemed like only yesterday when she left home to bravely travel by herself to start her Freshman year at university. But a Junior now and a seasoned traveler. How time flies.

I must say thank goodness for Skype and WhatsApp. With technology, we are able to get updates during the course of her journey when phones are allowed to be used. And with Skype, we talk frequently during school terms unlike the dinosaur era when I was in college. The only mode of contact was phone calls which were very short and expensive and of course, snail mail which Dad wrote me. A lot.

As always, I will be tracking her on and probably with anxiety as well. By the time this post is published, she would have flown almost two hours for the first leg. Hopefully, there’s no weather delay enroute to San Francisco thereafter.

Safe travels and pleasant flight while I try not to cry… Sniffle.