Tag Archives: New Year

A Quiet Beginning

1 Jan

Unlike the nation and the world who ushered in 2019 with revelry, we welcomed the new year without much fanfare. In fact, no fanfare at all. It rained in the evening and spoiled the mood to go out. So we stayed home.

I decided to carved a Whale to usher in the year. Hubby has been down with a cough for several days, hence no alcohol for him, I didn’t feel like drinking or celebrating alone.


Whale 14 in the making

Sure there were fireworks last night when the clock struck midnight which we could hear and see in the distance but I tuned them all out with my headphones and listened to Beyonce’s Listen, my favorite song.

The night before New Year felt like any other night in the week prior to midnight. And the first day of the new year is no different, a public holiday in the midst of a work week but kinda like a Sunday nothing-doing feeling. A quiet beginning is what it is for us.


Goodbye 2018

31 Dec

What a year it has been! At the beginning 2018, never did it cross my mind that I would be facing many ups and downs, making it a truly eventful year. Top on the up trend has been my musings and followers, and my carvings for Gigglesville and Gnomie-wood. The cumulative number of 273 pieces carved consists of Citizens, Big Citizens, Monuments, Whales, Ocean friends, Apeach, Dinky the dinosaur, Gnomes and their homes. But there were no increase in the Superheroes count.

And worthy to mention also is my chase on Candy Crush Soda to reach 1000 Days on my iPad. To me, the daily launch just to get the Daily Bonus is an up trend to achieve that number. I just hope the device don’t die on me as I inch closer to my target.

On the home front, my two girls are all grown up with M1 in her Senior year at University and M2 ready for the next exciting chapter in her life, college-bound having completed high school. Time goes by so fast. Too fast I feel sometimes.

On the down trend, there were notable events too that could almost rival the good ones. These are mostly health-related issues and I must say are pretty life changing.

I was diagnosed with Infectious Colitis in February after a Colonoscopy and Endometriosis in April after a Laparoscopic surgery. Not good so I had to change my diet and lifestyle to deal with these issues. I gave up coffee, eggs, cheese and avoid certain food groups but alcohol and chocolate are still hard to resist. I lost weight as a result from this change which was good until recently, I added some back. Oh well…

However my physical problems didn’t end there…

My sports injury exacerbated and the diagnosis turned out to be a Wrist Tendonitis problem due to my constant carving besides golf. When you think about it, subjecting the wrist to the constant swinging of the clubs and hitting the ball is actually too much to bear upon impact with a weakened wrist. And golf is a non-stop 4.5 hours or thereabouts, thus aggravating the problem acutely. Whereas for carving, the time spent on it can be controlled. I can carve for less than an hour or sometimes three to six hours at a pace without pain that can aggravate the wrist.

So I stopped playing golf for ten weeks to rest the wrist, and did treatment and therapy which helped. Carving continued though but only as and when I have time.

An even bigger down trend is my iPhone5S. It is dying. I thought it would at least last until my birthday next year but the situation does not look good at all. The battery drain issue is just so bad, I find myself using the phone lesser and lesser. One charge can only last a quarter of a day if I even use it a little bit. Perhaps in retrospect, this is a good thing to be less device-dependent? Then again, I suspect this less device-dependency will change once I get a new phone. We shall see.

But I should not focus on the down trends to say life was not good in 2018. There were many up trends as well which I should be thankful for. And I have my friends to make me laugh and be happy, my carving to keep me occupied and contented, and my health is actually much better after those two main episodes.

So as I bid 2018 goodbye, I brace myself for 2019 to be an even more exciting year as there will be major changes, positive ones to look forward to. Thank you 2018, another year to remember by and to 2019, I welcome you with open arms.

A Quiet Start

2 Jan

It was a Monday but felt like a Sunday. The girls slept in because we didn’t have any solid plans and being so stuffed from dinner the night before and the many nights before as well! We have been dutifully ploughing through M1’s To Eat List before she goes back.

As for us, hubby was at his usual puttering around the garden and I was back at carving after a hiatus. With M1 back, there has been so much to do but unfortunately, sitting around at home to carve has not been one of the activity.

So yesterday, it was nice to relax at home and Citizen #120 was born! 120. What a significant number and on the first day of the new year. I have come so far for Gigglesville and I think this year the township will boom at an even greater pace. I am excited at the prospect.

It may be a quiet start but it’s a good start. We are back at work today and M2 is at school without any issues waking up.

What a Year 2017 Has Been

29 Dec

2017 is coming to an end with two days left to go. This is my last entry for the year and my, my, what a year it has been for me!

There has been many significant changes to our lives in 2017, the biggest one being the relocation of our design studio. We moved closer to home and it’s a mere 5km away only. What a difference for us especially when it comes to time management and traffic jam-free driving which is really nice.

It may be smaller in size but it’s a lot more cosy and I certainly feel happier. Work-wise we have been fortunate to be kept busy. Let’s hope this momentum carries onward to the new year.

On the personal side, I have been plagued with injuries causing me to lose interest in playing golf. While it’s unfortunate I lost my passion for the game I enjoy, it spawned a new passion, carving. Gigglesville was born with a whole new township of owl Citizens and Superheroes. They have been lovingly hand-crafted with each day of me staying home to recover from the tennis elbow.

Hubby also picked up a new interest in air plants. The house is now full of these everywhere and it’s nice to look at them. M1 had a good year at university, and did her second internship which we feel the experience was invaluable. She has matured so much. M2 turned Sweet 16 and doing well in school too.

We had several crayfishes that lasted and didn’t. These creatures are not easy to care for! Some fishes died too due to old age. Senior citizen of the house, Rooney, also official pet number one, turned ten and for the first time showed signs of his seniority. And demanding more attention than ever.

The list can go on for what happened throughout the year! As I reflect back, there’s more good and memorable ones than anything else and I carry these in my heart forever. With 2017 almost done––sometimes too fast with the days going by, sometimes super slow––I look forward to the new year and eagerly await what lies ahead with a positive outlook.

I want to thank all my readers, people from all over the world, friends and family who have followed me to read my stories and thoughts. It’s a nice feeling and I hope you’d continue to read and enjoy the musings.

A toast to 2017, thank you for memories and another toast to 2018, let it be an exciting year with lots to write, grouse and muse about!

First Day

4 Jan

It’s the first day for everything in 2016, school for M2, work for us and classes for M1 too except that her first day will be our tomorrow, being half way around the world from us.

It was a quiet start for me, with the laryngitis still persisting. I went and played golf on Saturday hoping maybe a sweat will work wonders. It did somewhat, some sound can be heard when I speak. But I think it was mostly a good rest over the long break that did the trick.

I am still thinking about the book to read to kick off the year but I am very pleased that my virtual games all progressed very well. Levels that I was stuck at were finally overcomed and it feels good.

Looking forward to a good year ahead!

A Quiet Start

1 Jan

Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year and a quiet one. Yes, I am still down with laryngitis and totally drained of energy to even talk. So we had a quiet unfancy dinner at home and quietly ushered in the new year at the stroke of midnight. Hopefully when the weekend is over, I will be back to normal.

Not quite the start to a new year that I had envisioned…

2015 in Summary

31 Dec

As 2015 draws to an end, this is a good time to reflect back and evaluate what the year meant to me. There were a lot of changes for me. The big one being my first born, M1 leaving home for university in the US. It was hard to let go but we had to. Sigh…

On the personal front, I stopped reading after my last book, Genghis Khan; his story was just too intense to digest with me constantly having visual overloads of vast lands and sky-high mountains. It was too epic and nothing else could top that. So I stopped reading. 

Maybe come 2016, I should get back to reading and realign my visual senses. Have a pile of books of other genres by my bedside to entice me so that I will go back to reading, something that I honestly enjoy. Perhaps this will also cut down my addiction to my virtual games.

2015 had me constantly crushing candies, popping sodas, saving farm animals and being a zookeeper to keep myself challenged and aggravated. And as if this was not enough, I started blasting monsters and flowers too. Hubby thinks these activities take up too much of my time. I don’t think it is time-consuming but rather, it keeps the mind alert. Yes, I am not being apologetic about this I must admit. Oh… I recently downloaded Piano Tiles 2, just to keep my reflexes agile. Maybe more virtual addiction in 2016?

We played just as much golf in 2015 too, locally and abroad with friends whenever we have the opportunity. I think this is good for our soul and friendship; it is also good to rejuvenate our spirits for a day or a few days and come back fresh to face the daily challenges. 

Work-wise, it has been busy and not so busy. Writing on my blog keeps me busier as it is still on-going daily except for Wednesdays and more when I travel. 

On health matters, there were issues. Last year, I had major tinnitus and sinus problems and had to visit the ENT several times to cure it. Besides this, I had to manage a recurring injury on my left wrist from golf. This year, the injury persisted somewhat. On top of this, my pre-molar tooth gave way and ended up being extracted. There was also my constant (but unspoken of) chronic back pain. Not forgetting my annual laryngitis. Ouch. Thank goodness, the list ends here! I hope 2016 will be healthier and better health management. Cross fingers.

Family wise, M1 is back on campus and has registered for classes already. She will continue as a Sophomore when the new year kicks in. M2 is suddenly all grown up (with M1 away), behaving more matured than the 14 years old that she actually is and will start the year as a Form 3 student. Official pet number one, Rooney being official pet number one, remains demanding for snacks and scratches always and hubby, well, he continues being hubby – strong, understanding and steadfast by my side.

Sometimes I wonder why I do this, write and share my experiences and inner thoughts with strangers. Well, for one, I would like to leave something for my girls to gain an insight (and understanding) into what makes me tick. I am a sentimental person, every moment and single piece of object is important and has a story. But I feel objects kept over the years just do not tell the real story as well as words. So I write about them, randomly and frequently.

All the experiences I had in my life and especially with the girls growing up are only in my mind to remember. The girls cannot see or even remember some of it. Rehashing these memories are wonderful for me because it jogs my thoughts to rewind back as far as I can and I find this very invigorating. 

By journaling especially here since the beginning of my blog in mid-2013, I hope my girls and others will read and visualise the moment, experience the occasion and perhaps appreciate the story-teller in me. Sometimes the topic can be mundane (like my Candy Crush battles) or delicious (with the food trails) and even insightful (on my travels). At that moment in time, it was significant to earn a mention and I truly enjoyed the experiences and want to share.

Yes, 2015 has indeed been quite a year for me. Am I a better person? We can only know in the years ahead. I have long since stopped making resolutions for the New Year but I do hope I will continue to live my life to the fullest and whatever I embark upon, I will do with passion and commitment.

Thanks 2015, we did good. 2016 will be better! Here’s wishing everyone a very Happy and better 2016!


Are Journals Dead?

8 Jan

It is several days into the new year and every time in the year prior, I would debate whether to get a good old physical journal or diary to document the coming new year. This year hubby ‘decided’ for me and gave me a leather orange diary which he received from TNT, our business partner. And like every year, I would contemplate should I use one or not.

Last year, I got myself a small little Moleskine diary which sadly, I used only to keep a record of all my passwords for things that require remembering passwords. Frankly, between the Calendar, Notes and Reminder apps in my iPhone5S and iPad Mini plus my daily blogs, there is no more need for a journal. Accessing and documenting information is always at my fingertip with hardly a stretch of my hands to my ever close-by devices. The diary however, has become an obsolete object or relic of sorts, because it is always in the handbag, office bag or at home, untouched.

But the orange TNT diary is rather beautiful looking. Maybe I will transfer all my passwords from the Moleskine to the new TNT diary. After all, I did the same the year before, transferring all these information from an earlier diary to the beautiful Moleskine.

A Good Start

1 Jan

Although I was ready to start my Nora Roberts’ novel, the obsession with my games was, well, an obsession. The last two days in the office, I was alternating between popping soda bottles and rescuing bears, crushing candies and harvesting crops in between working on a few projects due in January. I persevered if you may (for my games rather than work), hoping there will be a positive outcome into the new year.

As you know, I have been agonizing over my lack of progress especially for Candy Crush but was determined to beat it. Thank goodness for my persistence because I was finally rewarded for all the games! In Farm Heroes, I progressed to Level 623 and Candy Crush Soda, to Level 112. As for Candy Crush, the one game that I feared I would be stuck forever coming into the new year, not only I finally conquered Level 751 (Woohoo!!!) and came out tops , I moved on to Level 755 and on the verge of embarking in the new chapter!

A good start to kick off the year as I sense a better 2015 ahead. Happy New Year!


For Prosperity and Luck

27 Jan

The Year of the Horse has galloped in so fast that I feel I am totally unprepared for it. We have been having festivities one after another within such a short period, there’s hardly time to recover from the merry-making and planning. From Christmas to New Year and several birthday celebrations thrown in and now, Chinese New Year, a mere four days away!

And for the first time for as long as I can remember, I have left things until this late to prepare the necessary for the coming lunar new year. Although I am not a traditionalist, there are some traditions I still follow through as taught by my mother.

Also, for the first time, we are having the Pre-Chinese New Year Yee Sang rather late. I recall previous years, we would have had a couple or more of this dish prior to the new lunar year. This must-do dish is an experience by itself. Asians love to toss the condiments of the dish as high as possible for its significant connotations. The higher, the messier, the noisier, the better it is for prosperity and luck.


Last Friday, hubby and I had the Yee Sang and I almost comatosed from the six people 8-course lunch because firstly, it’s such a heavy lunch and secondly, ever since my detox diet recently, my tummy shrank and well, there is only so much I can consume.

Well the Horse has trotted in, whether I am prepared or not, and it looks like the next two weeks is basically about eating and merry-making. So I had better prepare myself to face this and have many more Yee Sang occasions for prosperity and luck!