Tag Archives: Ireland

Gone to the Dark Side

27 Sep

Two days ago, I found out that iOS13 can be downloaded already but truth be told, I wasn’t keeping tab on it. It was M2 who mentioned to me when I spoke to her. She’s doing great by the way, enjoying college life to the max in Ireland.

Anyway, I downloaded the update for my iPhone XR. And my… my… new features to learn! The biggest thing was of course the Dark Mode, which I enabled. Like a Jedi gone bad, I gravitated to the dark side. Bwahahaha…. I couldn’t resist. Seriously I enabled it to only activate after dark, perfect for reading in bed or low light environments, as what Apple envisioned.

The other new fun thing I discovered – creating my very own memoji. This feature was available since iOS12 but I never used it. According to reviews, it’s now more refined and more fun to use. I’m glad to have discovered it now as it’s rather delightful, and my memoji looks pretty close to the real me. I’m a good memoji I must say! Heheh.

The other thing that I was fiddling with was Shortcuts which somewhat works for me and not. Apps that I use constantly, I can’t seem to add to the menu. User problem? I think this will take me some time to figure out.

Nonetheless, I seem to embrace the latest changes well. Gotta keep up with technology even if this means leaping over to the dark side with glee.

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Happy Anniversary to Us

30 Aug

It’s August already but it feels like 2019 is coming to an end, having gone by so fast with so many changes in both our lives this year. The most significant being M2 going off to college in January and M1 graduating in June. Tomorrow is yet another milestone, our wedding anniversary!

As we celebrate our 24th anniversary, I reflect back with mostly good and happy thoughts of our relationship and love for what we have built together as a team – our family, our home and our design studio.

Not every road to success is a smooth journey; there’s bound to be bumps and potholes along the way but that’s part and parcel of what makes a relationship work – to listen, to compromise and to sync as one to take on this exciting and sometimes challenging journey together.

Happy anniversary to us! And to celebrate the occasion, we are off for the usual alphabet escapade trip. Be back four days later… ta!

Suddenly It’s Too Big

23 Jul

Last year we planned some family time with M2 before she went off to Ireland to study. Since we decided on a beach outing in Penang, I dug up my old Sunseeker bikini. But guess what? As it had not seen much action the last few years, the rubber had hardened, thus no more elasticity and was out of shape. I was aghast, my favorite set.

So instead of fixing it (there wasn’t enough time), I decided to buy a new set but something different that came with underpads for the top piece. Now this was in December before I knew of this 16/8 diet.

Towards the end of February this year, I started the 16/8 diet and it’s been almost five months that I am at it and have lost weight generally, save for the couple of pounds gained lately due to a disrupted eating schedule. Two weekends ago, I pulled out the new set to try them on because a beach trip is coming up soon. And guess what? This time, the new set felt at least one size too big now because I, err… couldn’t fill them up!

Well, I certainly don’t want to grow back into it, now or ever, so I may have to buy yet another set (without underpads) or perhaps get the rubber fixed up on my old favorite set. We shall see…

A Good Rest

23 Jun

For the first time since we arrived, we didn’t have to wake up so early. We woke up only when we were done sleeping which was really nice.

Yesterday we had to wake up at six to go to the airport. And it was tiring given that the night before, returning from the long drive back from Seattle, everyone slept at 1.00am or thereabouts. This morning we heard from M2 who has arrived safely back on campus in Ireland. Relief…

Today we plan to have a leisurely paced itinerary, starting off with a visit to the Farmers Market and then head towards Crater Lake National Park. Although city visits and their attractions are fun, I enjoy trail hikes and be with nature more because it’s more relaxing. No rush, no need to keep time and just breath in the fresh air. Aaaahhh… nice.

With the good rest, I am ready.

What Do We Do Now?

22 Jun

After saying goodbye to M2, we left Portland and headed for Washington Square to check out Dick’s Sporting Goods. There I found a box of matte fluorescent golf balls which I had to buy. I’ve never seen a purple matte golf ball before. Pretty cool.

So colorful

We hung out at the mall and the Tesla showroom caught our eyes. There were two cars – the Model 3 and the Model X. The X was way, way cool with its super huge double iPad touchscreen panel and wing doors.

The super cool Model X

Checking out the Model 3

The 3 has its appeal too with its super minimalist look and equally huge iPad-like touchscreen panel which controls everything. So clever.

We left the mall to go get an Earl Grey boba tea at Bubble N Tea en route to TopGolf golf range for some fun. The weather by then was beautiful to be semi-outdoor, so we ended up spending an hour and a half there, hitting balls into targets. Quite a good workout!

But the day went by slowly as we waited to hear from M2 which we did when she finally arrived at Atlanta in transit to connect for the next flight to Ireland. Feeling assured that she’s safely on her way, we made our way back to Corvallis, had a home-cooked meal and prepared for an early good night’s sleep to recover from today’s trip.

A Heavy Heart

22 Jun

This morning we sent M2 to the airport. She returns to Ireland to continue with Summer school. I felt a sense of heavy heart but thankfully no tears.

And now that there’s just the three of us, we will do some winery tours and play some golf.

Be Silly or Be Happy

11 Jun

Today’s the day we leave! But there are worries, silly ones and several of it…

Silly #1: my cocoon is still hanging on the front tree and it’s been seven weeks since the giant caterpillar morphed into it; way overdue from what I checked online to be at this stage. Why is the moth not emerging? Is the constant rain stunting its metamorphosis? Is it even still alive and okay? I dare not climb up the ladder to check because it’s way too high. Whatever it is, looks like we will miss the moth emerging from the cocoon if it does decide to come out during our time away.

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It’s nice in here, I’m not ready for the world

Silly #2: my 1000 and more Days trek on the Daily Bonus for Candy Crush Soda on the retired iPhone5S will be broken because I am not bringing the phone along. And will the iPhone XR and iPad Mini have the trek broken too being in different time zones? I told myself I should stop this obsession but I just can’t shake it off. Silly.

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Day 1016 for the iPhone5S and Day 1023 for both the iPad Mini and iPhone XR

Silly #3: will Rooney, official pet number one miss us?

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Should I chew on it or not? Hmm…

Silly worries aside, there are some happy reasons too…

Happy #1: the pineapple in the garden. It’s been more than two years that hubby’s been taking care of it, and thank goodness it decided to ripen on time before we leave. Harvested last Friday, the fruit of labor and love weighed a whopping two kilos! Needless to say, the juicy and home-grown pineapple was thoroughly enjoyed.

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Juiciest pineapple ever!

Happy #2: the constant rain seems to be good for the habanero plant for it has thrived well and we had a bumper harvest. So much chillies! I ate a little on Wednesday night and oh my goodness, almost died from the fiery burn. This batch is super duper spicy.

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The spicy level of the reds win hands down over the greens

Happy #3: we will be meeting up with M2 in Amsterdam! Yes, our baby will fly tomorrow from Ireland to meet us at Schiphol. And she will miss a few days of Summer classes which unfortunately can’t be helped. I feel it’s important for her to attend her only sister’s Commencement ceremony, hence the plan as such.

Happy #4: we will finally be seeing M1. The last time the family unit was complete was when she came back for Christmas in 2017, so that’s like a year and a half since we last saw our firstborn in person. The weekly Skype video sessions do not count. Can’t wait. A 12 hours and 40 minutes flight for the first leg, then a four-hour transit before the second leg of 10 hours and 17 minutes flight (hopefully no delays) before the family will be whole again. Yay!!!

I guess with the happy reasons outweighing the silly ones, I shouldn’t be too silly and just be happy.

March Madness All Over Again, Part 2

4 Apr

The 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament is drawing to a close soon. The better seeded teams lived up to their billing in the Sweet 16 round of this year’s Women’s Division 1 basketball. Unfortunately, M1’s university did not make it pass this round. Their best performance was in 2016 when they made it to the Final Four.

This year, my prediction picks for the Women’s Division 1 were spot on for three out of the four that qualified for the Final Four. May the best team wins!

And now that M1 has completed her undergrad studies, I am indecisive if I will continue to follow basketball, her alma mater or even the NCAA thereafter. Also because M2 being in Ireland, basketball is not a big thing at her college, the interest in the game may diminish once the NCAA concludes. We shall see. After all, there are still some good teams out there to follow.

The Challenge Begins

26 Feb

Last Monday, we finally went back to gym after almost a month’s break. Thank goodness I did not feel sluggish after so long. The past month there were all these reasons to skip gym – valid reasons though – M2 leaving for Ireland, preparing for Chinese New Year, leaving town for the Reunion Dinner and all. But now, with all these out of the way, there’s no more reasons to miss gym anymore.

And last night we hit the gym again because last Friday, Saturday and Sunday was packed with dinner dates, making me guilty, so all the more not to skip.

The determination to want to lose that awful added weight made me rather pumped up. And like last week, I used one ten-pounder weight for some of my routines, a big jump from my usual two four-pounders.

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My serious ten-pounder

Although gym session is only once a week, I think I am off to a good start on the challenge especially with the solid program that my trainer has drawn up. Besides working out with her, there’s also golf to burn some calories too. I just need to stay more disciplined with the food intake, after all there’s a whole list of things I avoid due to Endometriosis, then I will do fine. I hope…

Today I am sore to the core and it will be worse by tomorrow. The challenge is on.

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.