For You, Daddy!

Friday, 1 August 2014

#mealforameal

 

 

 

I wrote the following mail to my contacts this past weekend.

 

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‘Sup peeps!

 

 

So. Didja enjoy your Sunday Special breakfast/lunch/dinner today? So did I! But. Not everyone is as blessed as you and I are, you know?

 

 

It’s no secret that I live to eat. So I’m going to get right to it. Earlier today, when doing my nigh daily bread thang at one of my fave sites, Upworthy, I watched this vid:

 
 
 
 
 
 
And being the nosy person that I am, I then went to their site and read this:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But I can’t do nuffink because there’s a hitch. I don’t have an alter ego a social networking account. Yeah, still. I’m still JOMO*-ing my life under a rock. Now pick your jaws off the floor and focus, people. This ain’t about me and my persistent pitiful non-existence. So yeah. I don’t do e-socialising, but you do.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now. If you have the time and inclination, please watch the vid and/or read the site. And if you like what you see and read, and you still have the time and inclination, go ahead and ka-pow! your next meal, heck, all your meals with a #mealforameal and bam! them onto your InstagramFacebookTwitter or wherever you kids hang out these days.
 
 
Now y’all are clever and all, and y’all have got to the bottom of this mail. You know that this mail:
 
 
1. Has nothing to do with my obsession with food, but everything to do with my obsession with Richard Branson’s locks.  
 
 
2. Has nothing to do with my volunteer stint at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Mississauga (Canada), but everything to do with how shocked I was to see how many ‘normal’ looking people were our clients; and how they all told me that they regularly endured periods of *gulp* starvation. I can’t even imagine that. :-(  
 
 
3. Is proof that I’m still a raging slacktivist.
 
 
4. Is my poor excuse for a newsletter.
 
 
Never mind me. Please share those links above with your friends. Oh, if you do it via e-mail, you’ll be a sweetie and merely copy the links instead of Forwarding this entire message of mine, si? And you’ll BCC instead of CCing your contacts, too, right? Aww, you’re smarty pants, darling.
 
 
So. Let’s all channel our inner Marie Antoinette, tag our piccies and “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”, I mean, “Let them eat cake.” Bon apetit to the fact that we can make someone live those words.
 
 
Thank you very much for helping me help complete strangers vicariously, me lovelies.
 
Love,
Kate
 
 
 
 
 

 

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 #mealforameal 

#mealforameal

I give Thee thanks, Almighty God.

Spicy Breadfruit

Chorizo Stir Fry with Boiled Potato ‘n Boiled Egg

Brown Bread

Hershey’s Chocolate (On the table at 12 o’clock)  

 

 

 

This is exactly what my plate looked liked before I tucked in last night. When I looked at this shot up on my PC, I realised it is a very good representation of me.

 

 

The corners of the slices of bread cut off

The slices themselves not arranged so that both slices are visible

The traces of gravy around the edges

The mismatched egg halves

and

The rather sloppy placement of everything.

 

 

This is who I am as a person; imperfect, but substantive (rather, I’d like to think of myself as substantive), unconcerned about slapping on the glitter to gloss over the grime beneath.

 

 

Similarly, so why should I treat my routine dinner plate any differently just because it could be viewed by people I don’t know?

 

 

WYSIWYG with me.

 

 

Oh, if you noticed the grease congealed in the Chorizo Stir Fry, brownie points for your eagle eyes! The art/photography flop that I am, I didn’t think of nuking my dinner before I snapped it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Christmas In July

Filed under: Blogging — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , ,

 

 

 

Nah, this has nothing to do with cleverly titled summer sales in North America nor is this about Christmassy activities at this time of year in the southern hemisphere. In this newsletter, I am (finally!) going to do what I was to have done this past December i.e. in my last newsletter of 2013. Back then, Mum went and usurped my plans. ;-)

 

 

I want to thank you, my readers, for, well, reading my blog last year i.e. 2013. There must be many who don’t make it to the end of my classic long winding posts, and that’s okay. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks and all that.

 

 

In this post, I’m going to focus on you, the diff’rent streak o’ folks, who e-pampered me by Sharing pictures from your blogs with me to use here, and those of you who read my posts. Some of you left a mark in the form of a Like or a Comment. Then some of you got horribly reckless and signed up to Follow my posts.

 

 

The format of my acknowledgement will be as follows:

 

Name of your blog* (Name hyperlinked to your blog.)

The theme of your blog (Not all of you have one.)

Your blog URL (For those, like me, who like to see the address before you click on it.)

 

*With those of you who shared your images, your personal name will precede the name of your blog.

 

 

*dun dun dun*

It’s revenge time, people.

*rubbing my hands in gleeful anticipation*

I’m gonna e-pamper you right back! Ka-POW!

 

 

You Shared

 

Jessica

Vinyl Walls Decals

http://www.vinyl-wall-decals.com/

 

 

Fiona Hugosson-Miller

Lady Fi

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://ladyfi.wordpress.com/

 

 

Matty Byloos

http://www.mattybyloos.com/

 

 

Sekhar Chakrabarti

FLAGS and STAMPS

This blog is all about “Flags of the World” on Stamps & other Philatelic items

http://flagstamps.blogspot.in/

 

 

 

You Liked

 

Art en Motion

Handing you pieces of artistic wonder

http://artenmotion.com/

 

 

HOPPING ACROSS CULTURES

The World is just ……. Awesome!!

http://hoppingacrosscultures.wordpress.com/

 

 

usmanhashmi

Smile! You’re at the best Wordpres.com site ever

http://usmanhashmi.wordpress.com/

 

 

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

The Joy, Sorrow, Fear and Humor in Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

 

 

You’ve Been Hooked!

Observations from the trenches….

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/

 

 

A Clown On Fire

Because Every Day is F#%&ing* Magical.

http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/

*Sorry, Clown, but I just couldn’t type out the word.

 

 

Moolta

Do amazing challenges for amazing causes

https://www.moolta.com/

 

 

FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”

MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.

http://flowersblooms-elvierose.blogspot.in/

 

 

Coffee, Camera & Kids – My Crazy Life

Food, Family, Life, Whatever takes my fancy. I am the original Mother, Beader and Coffee lover.

http://jenbeads.wordpress.com/

 

 

Șic și clasic – “Chic & Classic”

Luxury fine arts, handmade work, original design

http://sicsiclasic.wordpress.com/

 

 

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!

http://rantingchef.com/

 

 

Kathryn Darvill

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” – Buddha

http://kathryndarvill.wordpress.com/

 

 

Shogun 360° Marketing

http://aaronchenonline.com/

 

 

WordsFallFromMyEyes

“Until this ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns” (Coleridge)

http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com/

 

 

Dog Leader Mysteries

Saving Dogs’ Lives and Dog Lovers’ sanity

http://dogleadermysteries.com/

 

 

LEAF AND TWIG

WHERE OBSERVATION AND IMAGINATION MEET NATURE IN POETRY

http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/

 

 

Work Less Live More

http://www.worklesslivemoretoday.com/

 

 

Brandye Dague

http://brandyedague.com/

 

 

MJ Monaghan

“It’s like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten.”

http://www.mjmonaghan.com/

 

 

 

You  Commented

 

You’ve Been Hooked!  

Observations from the trenches….

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/

 

 

The Book of Terrible

Shining a Light on Mankind’s missteps…

http://thebookofterrible.wordpress.com/

 

 

FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”

MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.

http://flowersblooms-elvierose.blogspot.in/

 

 

WordsFallFromMyEyes

“Until this ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns” (Coleridge)

http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com/

 

 

The Ranting Chef

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!

http://rantingchef.wordpress.com

 

 

MJ Monaghan

“It’s like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten.”

http://www.mjmonaghan.com/

 

 

misslisted

Every single story has a beginning at its end.

http://misslisted.com/

 

 

 

You Followed

 

ATTILA OVARI

A Blog about my life’s adventures

http://attilaovari.com/

 

 

The Real Facts

The Official Blog

http://team1million.wordpress.com/

 

 

A Clown On Fire

Because Every Day is F#%&ing* Magical.

http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/

*Sorry, Clown, but I just couldn’t type out the word.

 

 

ROHAN7THINGS

HAPPINESS IS YOUR BIRTHRIGHT

http://rohan7things.wordpress.com/

 

 

The Ranting Chef

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!

http://rantingchef.wordpress.com

 

 

Taking Back Earth

One Life At A Time

http://takingbackearth.com/

 

 

ArchangelTravel

This WordPress.com site is the bee’s knees

http://archangeltravel.org/

 

 

GLENN FOLKES

http://www.glennfolkes.com/

 

 

Shogun 360° Marketing

http://aaronchenonline.com/

 

 

JoshRhyne.com

http://joshrhyne.com/

 

 

Iaconis

http://www.drewiaconis.com/

 

 

JIMMY 2 HATS

http://jimmy2hats.com/

 

 

Tash Thomas

No website

 

 

Equatours

Home of Tailor-Made Travel below the Equator

http://equatours.me/

 

 

Julian Sherman

http://juliansherman.net/

 

 

Marissa Riback’s Blog

inspiration, motivation, empowering

http://marissariback.com/

 

 

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com/

 

 

Gotta Find a Home

The plight of the homeless

http://gottafindahome.wordpress.com/

 

 

Tanner Hawryluk

Work Less. Live More

http://workwithtanner.com/

 

 

 

 

::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     SUMMER OFF!   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::

Upon weighing the pros and cons, I came to this conclusion easily and fairly quickly – I’m going to take the summer off; with my blog, I mean. My reasons are below.

 

 

I. I begin a 10 day (oral) Sanskrit class today, 1 July 2014. Why Sanskrit? Because:

 

 i. The course is affordable; in terms of the cost of the fees, the duration of the course, the timings of class and the location of the school.

 

ii. Learning a new language is supposedly good for my brain.

Learning a New Language at Any Age Helps the Brain

http://www.livescience.com/46048-learning-new-language-brain.html

 

iii. Sanskrit is completely alien to me. I’m looking forward to mouthing gibberish new sounds and annoying people I know. (So much fun! Hee hee!)

 

iv. Sanskrit is a “root” language. I like, um, digging around.

 

 

II. I begin (written and spoken) Portuguese classes in early August. This is a 6 month, fairly intensive course. Why Portuguese? Because:

 

i. The afore mentioned trying to be forever young by learning to speak in tongues. ;-)

 

ii. There is a good enough number of Portuguese speaking people I know in my neighbourhood and at work. Good enough to help me use it and not lose it; the way I lost French and Arabic, and the way I smartly prevented losing Chinese … by jumping the slow boat ship after merely two classes. I’m clever like that. ;-)

 

 

III. I will have guests from other states and other countries; no, not all at the same time. I’m clever, remember? My friends/relatives will be with Mum and me for a minimum of 10 days each over the next three months i.e. July, August, September. I know I will not get the solitude that enables me to think and write my posts. I also prefer to be with my guests as much as I can during the brief times that we will be together. I do not want to compromise my night sleep to sit here and write either.

 

 

So these are the three reasons, I will not post over the next three months.

 

 

Subscribers, you will still safely receive posts as usual when I resume.

 

 

Those of you who have RSSed me, I honestly wouldn’t take it amiss if you choose to knock my name off your RSS list. I have 25 sites that are visible right away in my list of Feeds. While I have removed about 3 sites or so to add new blogs that I found more appealing, I will not mind one bit if you do the same to my blog. I do what works best for me. Why should you be any different, yes?

 

 

I’m sorry? *sheepish grin* Yeah. I have, haven’t I? I’ve gone done made a post about ‘no posts’. Could I be more, um, me?

 

 

Hope you enjoy

your

summer up North

and

winter down South

as much as I’m going to

enjoy my time

with

loved ones from the North and South.

 

 

 

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Thank you, Opinionated Man and MuseBoxx, for signing up to follow my posts.

Thank you, storyshucker, for liking my last post.

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P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Gone Fishin’

Filed under: Blogging — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: ,

 

 

 

I was looking for some ‘Gone Fishing’ images on Google Images and decided to go for this little cartoon because why state the obvious, yes?

 

 

 

This image is from http://www.jahenry.com/

This image is from http://www.jahenry.com/

I liked ‘LOST’.  I liked Hurley on ‘LOST’.

 

 

So. What’s this phishy post all about? To explain my not posting last month and this non-post this month.

 

 

Mum and I were away on 1 May for my cousin’s wedding and I was too busy before we left to tie up in a satisfactory manner the post I had scheduled for 1 May.

 

 

Mum and I are now readying to leave for another wedding in two days time. So between settling in from our return mid May to prepping for this upcoming trip, I haven’t been able to dedicate time to that post-in-waiting in order to publish it today.

 

 

‘Tis great to have control over some things in life, innit? Our blogs for example, I mean? We post when we can and not post when we can’t. That’s nice, I think.

 

 

Thank you for being patient. Those of you who wondered about my absence last month, I mean. I miss the bloggers I read regularly when they are silent for longer than (their) usual. So I’m speaking to those of you who are like me.

 

 

As for those of you who didn’t even notice my absence? Thank you! It’s people like you who help me not feel guilty about having this blog hover at the bottom of my priority list. :-) But this blog still is on my priority list.

 

 

But to the whole lot of you, Summer ahoy, yo!

 

 

 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Silver Threads Among The Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

This song is one of many Daddy sang when he played the guitar. It is also a piece I learned to play on the piano when I was 8.

 

 

Of all the YouTube offerings, I chose this one because the scratchy vinyl took me back to my childhood and our well preserved gramophone.

 

This post has nothing to do with that song, but towards the end (of this post), I have used the words ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ because they mean something in this post.

 

 

Let’s go for the gold … and silver, shall we?

 

 

D’ya remember I ended my last post,

Thank You

http://foryoudaddy.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/thank-you/

with this, um, cliffhanger?

 

The ‘All of you’ at the bottom of the sheet are not, um, any of you who happen to read this post.

 

So who am I speaking to?

 

What kind of lame#ss jerk would I be if I didn’t keep you hanging until my next post by answering your question with one of my own?

 

 

So we are now at the aforementioned “next post” and here’s what the … oooh, secrecy was all about.

 

 

From the day Mum fell, through her hospitalisation and recovery at home, I kept our family and friends abreast of Mum’s condition with newsletters via e-mail. I may not have a Facebook account or one on any social medium, but I’ll be d#mned if I can’t be in people’s faces with the goings on in my life. ;-)

 

 

The following text in brown is an excerpt from the last newsletter I sent out to my family and friends; when Mum was well and truly all grown up. I mean, when she kicked her walking cane to the curb and began speeding along on her own steam.

 

 

For you. And you. And you.: I mean, All of you.   

A message for y'all!

A message for y’all!

 

 

 

 

From Her Heart: Not just the bottom, but her whole heart.

With gratitude and appreciation.

 

 

 

This second attempt is a more clear shot of the scroll that Mum’s holding in the first picture. I’m still pants at taking photographs, and I did not realise I needed to be closer to Mum for you to read, um, my artwork. Look at the camera flash in the mirror? I’m not even amateur level. Oh, and how about my matchstick arms going all selfie and photobomb-ing this shot? L-o-s-e-r! That’s me. At photography. Only. ;-)

 

 

Oh, you don’t see your name on that list? Actually, those three people are none of you reading this newsletter. Nope, not even you, Chris, or mJ. Well, you’re mJ, not MJ. Those are other friends of mine and I had requested Mum to thank them for something else altogether. All of you reading this are the All of you mentioned at the bottom of the scroll.

 

 

Nah uh. Not so quick with the sulks. Just because you’re at the bottom doesn’t mean you are the least important. All of you have been mentioned in silver and gold. Those shades were by design, not coincidence, me lovelies.

 

 

Uh oh. I’m busted? I used the colours silver and gold for All of you, but I don’t like silver and gold jewellery? Um.  Yeah. You’re right. Kinda.

 

 

Being an oddball in the family for as long as I can remember, I’ve never been fond of gold (jewellery) even as a child. I took to silver in a big way in my teens. But I stopped purchasing precious or semi-precious metal and stones in 2000-ish. Um, because I jumped the tree hugging bandwagon and tried to do my bit by not bling-ing out at the cost of bleeding the bowels of Mother Earth.

 

 

A few years later, I got worse when I Blood Diamond-ed (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450259/) my thinking.

 

 

And now I’m beyond redemption with my marketisation of society* mania conviction.

 

 

*What Isn’t for Sale? by Michael J. Sandel, Harvard Professor  

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/what-isnt-for-sale/308902/

 

 

So yes, I may not buy precious metals anymore and I seldom use what little I have, but don’t let that take away from the fact that I consider All of you precious, k?

 

 

Your support – in person to those who could and the rest via other means – has helped Mum on her journey back to independence. It wasn’t easy for her, it wasn’t easy for me. A lot of times, it was downright exhausting for her physically and exhausting mentally for me. With prayer, and support from a lot of wonderful people including your lovely selves, Mum is … on the loose again! Ha ha!

 

 

 

Mirror, Mirror

 Me, Sis-in-law, Mum and Big Sis

 

 

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It is Earth Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day) this month. Tuesday, April 22, to be precise.

 

You know the scroll that Mum’s holding in the very first photograph? I’ve written  the ‘Thank You’ message on the reverse, blank side of an old calendar sheet.

Did you baulk at the table fan in the last photograph? No? Well, it is 39 years (g)old. Now please baulk.

 

 

I’m notorious for squeezing the life out of my possessions and recycling whatever I can get my grubby ‘lil green paws on. :-)

 

 

 

 

 

Quoting directly from the site:

100% of the profits from the sale of this limited edition T-shirt will benefit Earth Day Network.

http://www.earthday.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you, Ray Ferrer – Emotion on Canvas and

Stephanie Eusebi Nutrition & Wellness, for signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, Kitchen Ventures, You’ve Been Hooked!, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and  CLOUDS N CUPS, for liking my last post.

 

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P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Thank You

Filed under: Family,Friends — by For you, Daddy! @ 12:30 am
Tags: , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture was taken at Big Brother’s who lives 7 km away from our childhood home. We had gone to spend the day with Big Bro’s family as it was their church feast.

 

 

This photograph was taken on Sunday, 26 January 2014. At the time, Mum was still using her walking cane.

 

Which means, she was still not completely independent at the time.  

 

Which also means, I was still fairly deep in caregiver mode.  

 

Which eventually means, I used the colours for your names – Chris, Elvie and MJ – with scant thought.

 

 

After I saw the finished product, I realised I could have chosen the colours differently; appropriately, if you will. 

 

 

To rectify that earlier lapse, when replying to the comments you left after my last post, I have accordingly colour coded your text below.  

 

 

Chris, the colour purple comes to mind when I think of you because of the banner on your blog.

 

 

Elvie, your blog is a riot of bright shades, so I’ve chosen the closest colour that my Yahoo Compose* palette offers me.

 

 

MJ, you of leprechaun descent, need I say more?! :-)

 

 

*WordPress does not accept any formatting that I do in Word. I have to format my posts in the Compose section of my Yahoo mail. So I draft my posts in Word, format them in Yahoo Mail and then post into WordPress. Three step tedium. And despite that 1-2-3 tango, WordPress does not allow all of the formatting I carefully select. Well, I get what I pay for, si

 

 

Mum, and my family for that matter, is quite used to me scribbling shout-outs like this. My family knows all my friends, so they were all curious about you, Elvie, because they assumed Chris and MJ were my guy pals they have met. I muttered something about you being my Filipina colleague from my Saudi Aramco days. Ha ha!

 

 

Then they asked what I was thanking you all for and why just the three of you. Because they knew that when I had sent out the newsletters with the news of Mum’s fall and later, her progress, all my friends and relatives had responded via e-mail or with calls and/or visits. I remember responding a little red faced with embarrassment for nearly being busted, but cannot remember what my exact lame response was. I just remember I didn’t accidentally blurt out about this blog. Whew.

 

 

Onto your kind comments and my trademark long winding replies. 

 

 

Chris

Misslisted

Every single story has a beginning at its end.

http://misslisted.com/

 

 

>Oh dear! So sorry to see this!

- Yeah, I was very sad for Mum the first few seconds when I realised she had a fracture because she lived such a full life until her fall.

 

 

>But, looks like she’s doing well all things considered.

- She is, Chris! She had a beautiful (= no unexpected hitches) recovery and she’s definitely got her mojo back now. Here’s proof.

 

 

 

All set for the stage!

 

This was taken on Sunday 16 February 2014,

the day of our chapel feast.

Mum participated in the group that sang

(and danced to) folk songs.

After nearly two decades

(looking after Daddy who had a stroke for 17 years

and then, till I returned home),

Mum resumed some of her former activities.

One of them is singing.

 

 

When Mum first rejoined this group of parishioners three years ago, she was the oldest. One of Mum’s friends, a former alto, who at 83, is older than Mum by a year, was inspired to join this year.

So this year, Mum gladly gave away her ‘Oldest Participant’ tiara to her pal (not in picture).

 

 

Bottom lines:

We are never too old to do things – old or new

and

We’re never too old to be exemplary citizens.  

 

 

 

>And what a beautiful mommy she is too…

- *blush* Thank you. I think my mummy is very pretty, too. And I’m so glad I don’t look anything like her because I’d positively die with all the comments she gets about her looks! Oh, don’t get me wrong – I love attention!

 

 

When I was younger, I basked in praise over my academic and later, professional achievements. Today I want to be recognised for other traits of mine. I’d rather people comment on my kindness, my trustworthiness or my humour; not something as fleeting and superficial as skin deep traits. Fortunately, Mum’s a lovely person as well.

 

 

>xo

- I’m a bit shy hugging someone I don’t know well, but you come across as a good person, Chris. Oh, and you’re such a cool mummy to have, too. So here ((hug)).

 

 

Elvie

FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”

MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.

http://flowersblooms-elvierose.blogspot.in/

 

 

>I hope Mumpty Dumpty recovers and back to normal soon.

- Mum’s no longer cracked! *grin* Her X-ray a month after her surgery showed a very faint shadow at the fracture site.

 

 

>Praying for you mommy !

- Salamat po, Elvie! I believe in the power of prayer, so yours were among all those that put Mum on the smooth road to recovery. 

 
 
Oh, more thing, Elvie – Happy Birthday to you!  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I went looking for an image to wish you,
as soon as I saw this pic, I thought,
“Elvie bakes, and her doggies take the cake!”
 
I know your day will be filled with
sweet people, sweet pets and sweet things to eat!
Have an extra slice for me! :-)

 

 

 

MJ

MJ Monaghan

“It’s like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten.”

http://www.mjmonaghan.com/

 

 

>Hey, my friend. It’s been too long since I’ve been commenting on blogs.

- I know! (Screeched like Monica in ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’)

 

 

I kid. Since you last stopped by, you and your family, have been through the geographical and emotional wringer.

 

 

>So very sorry to hear about your mum. Hope she mends quickly and remains in good spirits. May God be with her.

 – And He was! God, I mean. I genuinely believe He designed her complication free recovery and that’s why Mum mended quickly and remained in good spirits throughout. :-)

 

 

>I also hope your life has been churning along nicely

- Churning. An appropriate word.

 

 

Renovations of the foyer, living and dining rooms began in September last year. (Preps for the same began a month earlier because we have a 189 year old home.)

 

 

Mum fell in November. With our interlude in hospital, work at home got interrupted and ended eventually on 16 December, a day before the first of family arrived for Christmas.

 

 

Having recovered from re-settling into those three front rooms, the master bedroom has begun being bludgeoned today. Estimated time to completion: nearly 2 months. Joy.

 

 

>and that you are well and healthy.

- Not surprisingly, I am! Not surprisingly because I’m very strict with my meal and rest times. And God has orchestrated the rest of my wellness.

 

 

>See you in February!!

- Well, you did see me in February, MJ. But not here; on my blog, I mean.  

 

 

I know I said this in my last post:

 

>Blogs, my own and yours that I read, will continue to sit on the back burner for the next three months i.e. until February 2014. That’s when Mum is expected to function absolutely normally on her awesome ownsome.  

 

 

I couldn’t post here on the 1st of February because Mum stopped using the cane that day as per her surgeon’s advice. But I still had to shadow Mum everywhere for almost all of last month. (That’s why I pointed out my headless self in the second photograph above.)

 

 

The transition to hands free mobility was expectedly filled with trepidation and protests. So the first two weeks I followed Mum around the house because we have single and twin steps between almost all our rooms. Mum has an arthritic right knee and after three months of comparative inactivity of her right knee joint (Mum fractured her right femur), she’d forgotten how to bend her knee and lift her foot high enough to get onto or over a step. When she didn’t do that, she stumbled. So I have had to constantly remind her to lift her right foot when required.

 

 

I had warned Mum not to get used to me accompanying her everywhere outdoors and that I would tail her for one month only while she learned the ropes again. It took Mum nearly three weeks to remember “the rules” without being prompted by my growls. Now she’s truly flying free –  indoors and out – without me in her wake. :-)  

 

 

Back to the three of you. In all likelihood, you could not read that sheet of paper clearly in the first photograph because I forgot to save a copy of the original, full resolution image for this post. So here’s a full res close-up that I had taken in case the text was too fine in the early photograph. Good move, Kate! Um, yes, I talk to myself sometimes. ;-)

 

 

 

 

From my mummy’s heart and mine to yours –

Chris,

Elvie

and

MJ.

 

 

 

The ‘All of you’ at the bottom of the sheet are not, um, any of you who happen to read this post.

 

So who am I speaking to?

 

What kind of lame#ss jerk would I be if I didn’t keep you hanging until my next post by answering your question with one of my own?

 

 



 

Thank you, Tanner Hawryluk , and DonCharisma.org, for signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you,  Misslisted, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and MJ Monaghan, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, MJ Monaghan, for liking my last post.

 

 ***********************************************************************

 

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Mumpty Dumpty

Filed under: Family — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , ,

 

Mumpty Dumpty walked past a wall
Mumpty Dumpty had a not-great fall
An orthopaedic surgeon, a team of nurses, and a physiotherapist
Worked hard to put
Mumpty Dumpty back on her feet again.

 

 

E-friends, it wasn’t just the saints who came marching in on the 1st of November. Mum was marching along at home, doing some routine chore, when her flip-flop got caught in the track of the patio sliding door and …  and Mum went for a toss!  

 

 

Right from the time Mum fell,

through her hospitalisation

 

 

Blinged out! Um, in.

 

 

to her recovery at home

 

 

Thrilled after her first post-op shower at home!

 

 

to her first visit outside our home,

 

 

In our chapel after Mass with two of her close friends in our neighbourhood.

 

 

 

Mum has been upbeat albeit with the normal anxious moment here and there.

 

 

 

The unexpected path Mum got on has been largely smooth, too, with the expected handful of wrinkles.

 

 

(Thank you, God, for averting the many problems that could have cropped up!)

 

 

So this is why, dear e-Friends, I haven’t visited your sites or commented all of last month.  

 

 

Blogs, my own and yours that I read, will continue to sit on the back burner for the next three months i.e. until February 2014. That’s when Mum is expected to function absolutely normally on her awesome ownsome.

 

 

Until then, thank you all for understanding.

 

 

 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Twoo Hoo!

 

 

 

 

Two years ago this month, I published my first post*.

 

 

 

*Countdown

http://foryoudaddy.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/countdown/   

 

 

 

 

This image is from http://prchanel.tumblr.com/

This image is from http://prchanel.tumblr.com/

  

This picture up here expresses more than

feeling a sense of accomplishment.

There’s a bit of surprise, too. 

 

 

 

As in, I’m surprised, and very pleasantly so I must add, that I even began blogging! It was not part of the plan years and years ago. Here, let me share what I thought of blogging all those years ago.

 

 

 

In 2008, I upped from China, my last pit stop away from home, and headed back home to be with Mum after Daddy had died. Shortly before I left China, I wrote a series of newsletters to my personal contacts and called it the Made in China series.

 

 

 

The first of the six in that series was titled Made in China: The Prologue. In this, I answered questions most frequently asked by my friends and relatives. Here’s Question Number 15 (I know! They’re a nosy lot! ;-) ) and my reply:  

 

 

 

Personal Contacts: 15. Why don’t you blog?

 

 

 

Me: Being the lazy broad that I am, below, I’ll copy one of my earliest personal responses to this increasingly frequently asked query. In early 2006, I wrote this to my friend who I shall call John Doe:

 

 

John Doe, I cannot blog. I just can’t. Put myself on the world stage. Ack!

Extreme shyness (not self consciousness, mind you) apart, I am who I am with people I know, and I’m a very different person around those I don’t know. This split personality, if you will, spills into my writing as well. I simply do not like my views being read by people I don’t know. I think it’s because I feel as if readers who do not know me will get gypped if they are exposed to a mere sliver of myself; a sliver I could very well doctor to come across as [positive personal trait]. We all know that I’m not just [positive personal traits] alone now, don’t we? Hee hee!    

 

 

 

You and almost everyone I know tell me I write well. Thank you; that’s lovely to hear. But you know, a big part of my penning stems from the fact that I can freely express my views to all of you because you know who I am and what I’m about i.e. my great and grungy sides. And you (all) accept me with all that.

 

 

 

I bare my soul in my e-mails and newsletters; be it about things I like, things that get me riled up or things that make me well up. For all that bravado in my mail to all of you, I’m very reserved around strangers or lesser known people. I’m secretive almost of my true feelings with those people, even if they (i.e. the feelings) are not controversial.

 

 

 

With people I don’t know, I can talk about superficial stuff *snapping fingers* easily! And I’m very good at phatic communication. But it’s not something I’m comfortable with. It’s not something I enjoy. In fact, I hate having that game face on. I do it enough in public places on a daily basis and when I’m travelling. There are times I deliberately make myself a supercilious git when speaking to new people, mainly to see how well they handle the offbeat side of me. 

 

 

 

I like writing. I enjoy it very much, but I don’t want my quirk to cramp my writing style. Oh, I do write on two public fora – a travel related one and a teaching one – under aliases. Duh.

 

 

 

I have gleaned a lot of helpful information from both those sites, and my way of giving back is sharing my experiences with others; yes, complete strangers. But on those two fora, I stick to the point when responding to queries and I’m fairly muted when expressing my opinion. I try to remain as neutral as possible, while staying true to how I really feel about whatever it is that I’m writing about.

 

 

Sometime last month, I read about websites where people can send their articles about, oh, anything, and they get paid for it. I am blessed that money has never been, and is still not, an incentive for me to write. If I were to take up something like that or even have a blog for that matter, I think I’d feel pressured to write regularly, pen profound persuasions or wax philosophical.

 

 

With my e-mails, it’s not like that. I blab about what’s on my mind, throw in a few personal anecdotes and opine vociferously. You know? It’s just like I talk to (any of) you. I spend much more time writing (personal) e-mails to people I know. Communicating with all of you this way makes me very, very happy. :-)

 

 

 

 

And that, dear e-buddies, was what I thought of blogging back in early 2006. And for the mere fact that I am blogging now (and have been at it for the past two years), I’m glad that I haven’t been as stubborn as I can aggravatingly be about blogging(, too).

 

 

I got into this blogging game (it’s never too late, yo!) for the same reasons* I have always written my lengthy personal e-mails, newsletters and contributed on some public fora (albeit always with an alias) i.e. to help someone with something I’ve learned or to make them laugh.

 

 

*Why and Why Now

http://foryoudaddy.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/why-and-why-now/ 

 

 

Before I began blogging and for a short while after I did, I was terribly anxious about privacy in a public domain (an oxymoron, I know), but not anymore. I am happy with the way I’ve maintained my privacy out here with those ugly Paintshop brush strokes across the eyes in images I share. Ugh, I know. You know that I also change the names of the people I write about.

 

 

This heard, not seen mode allows me to breathe easily and be myself here. Sure, I don’t share any of my problems with you because hey, what will my personal contacts do if I don’t give them, uh, the privilege the opportunity to worry about me and fuss over me, you know what I’m sayin’?  

 

 

So you, Silent Stalker; yes, you who’s contemplating blogging, but are plagued with concerns about privacy; I’m looking right at you. I’ve been in your I so want to, but I’m SO scared to shoes.

 

 

Do it.

Really.

Just start blogging.

 

You divulge as much or as little of yourself as you wish.

 

You choose the pace.

 

 

Two years ago, I started off posting fortnightly.  Then, at the beginning of this year, I switched to once a month*.

 

 

Reasons for the slowdown here:  

*A New Day Has Come

http://foryoudaddy.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/a-new-day-has-come/

 

 

And nothing bad happened when I changed lanes.

 

Nothing bad has happened since I began blogging, for that matter.

 

Wait. Something did happen. Once. I can’t term it ‘bad’ though.

 

 

In a particular post, I had written about one of my personal practices. One commenter commented on the way I did a certain thing. This medium is not the best for communicatng, so I cannot say that the commenter meant to be judgmental. But I chose to feel judged by that commenter’s statement.

 

 

I know for a fact that I would have expressed the same sentiment very differently. But each person is different, I know, and each of us has our own unique way of getting our message across.

 

 

Hmm. Now that I think about it, I doubt I would have commented about something like that in the first place. To someone I know well? Yes. But I’d choose my words carefully so as to minimise the chance of my words negatively affecting the person in any way.

 

 

Because to me, different from me ≠ good or bad.

Different, to me, is *shrug* just different. Period.

 

 

But would I remark about something as that commenter did to me, even if worded nicely, to one of you or authors of other blogs I read? No. Simply because I do not know any of you at all.

 

 

Okay, not not at all; I do know something about my e-peeps.

 

 

I know a smidgen more than zilch about the people I hang out with online. 

 

 

So, what did I do then? About the comment that I was slightly taken aback with? Well, I approved that comment right away and I responded, too. I calmly explained my action that was judged commented on. 

 

 

And then, after I deliberated for a few days, I took this person’s blog off my RSS list.

 

 

I had RSSed this person’s blog because this person posted material that I liked. Actually, most of it was about things I am completely unfamiliar with …. which is exactly why I liked that person’s blog! I was learning new things!

 

BUT.

 

When I have a choice, being comfortable in someone’s presence is of primary importance to me. So good material alone ain’t good enough for me to read someone’s blog regularly. The mode of delivery must be (my standard of) good, too.    

 

 

In real life, I do not like being around people who make me uncomfortable in any way. Oh, I am always open to all unsolicited criticism that comes my way because I know I have plenty of room for improvement in plenty of areas in my life. I also try hard to rise above the (perceived) criticising tones, look beyond the messenger and listen to the message.

 

 

But I grant very few people the privilege of being on the lookout for and pointing out my flaws. Usually, it’s only when I deem them worthy of correcting me.

 

 

It is very hard for me to gauge those of you I meet online. Your words are all I have. And in my experience, your words are enough to get a general idea of your personalities.

 

 

So when an online acquaintance ruffles my feathers in some way, they meet the same fate as most of the same ilk in the flesh – no second chance.

 

 

There, that one commenter who I chose to believe was unduly critical of me; that was the sole bantam blip in my brief bloggy being. Other than that easily ignored bit, these have been far from terrible two years for me.

 

 

The rest of my time here has been the exact opposite. People I’ve met here on my blog, and elsewhere via my blog, have been nice, all nice and nothing but nice since I began blogging. :-)  

 

 

 

This image is from http://www.istockphoto.com/

This image is from http://www.istockphoto.com/

This is how I see all of us together.

This is how I feel when I’m out here –

happy to be with all of you. :-)

 

 

 

So go on; O Sceptical One, give blogging a shot.

 

 

Everyone has something important to share

 

and

 

Everyone has something important to learn.

 

 

 

 

You matter.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Thank you,  Julian Sherman,  Marissa Riback,  Project Light to Life and Gotta Find a Home, for signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you, The Ranting ChefMisslisted, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post. 

Thank you, The Ranting Chef, Work Less Live More, Brandye Dague,  Misslisted, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post. 

  

 

 ***********************************************************************

 

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  

 



 

 

 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cuts Like A Knife

Are you thinking of this? 
 
 
 

 
 
 
F~R~R~R~R~E~E~Z~I~N~G! (As in, ‘The Hot and Cold’ game.)
 
 
This post has nothing to do with him. Or even music.
 
 
So why is the title of one of his albums (and one of his songs as well) the title of this post?
 
 
Because.
Bryan.
Adams.
Sigh.
 
 
Swooning done. Time to chop-chop ahead with this post.
 
 
Partoku knife.
 
 
“Par-what-ku knife?”, I hear you say? Okay, not you; I heard myself blurt that (out loud, too) when, about two weeks ago, I read a review of a set of knives on The Ranting Chef’s blog:  
 
 
Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!
 
 
This post, to be precise.
 
 
 
 
Like a whole lotta things I’ve never heard of before, I hadn’t heard of Partoku knives. So off to Google I trotted, and the next nearly half-hour galloped away as I whizzed through a handful of stories of how some knives are born.
 
 
I went back to The Ranting Chef’s blog to thank him for introducing me to that fascinating slice in the world of knives. There, as is my usual habit, I read through all the earlier comments. In the last comment, the commenter posed a question about the knives. I knew that answer immediately. And all the pages I was reading about Partoku knives were still up on my screen.
 
 
Now instead of being like that annoying kid in class whose hand pops up to answer every question the teacher asks, I became like the even more annoying kid and …. blurted out the answer …. with the URL as well! Proof of my annoying behaviour in the comments section of that post.
 
 
To put it in context: I answered a question, about a part of the post, put forth by a commenter, to the owner of the blog.  
 
 
That is not proper (n)etiquette. I know that. Daddy and Mummy taught me so. I learned well, too.
 
 
So why that fit of misbehaviour? Because I knew I could.
 
 
I knew I could answer that question and not worry about getting my wrist rapped.
And I knew I could write this post without giving him a heads-up or seeking permission to mention his blog
because
I know The Ranting Chef’s a cool dude.
 
 
Nope! Just like you; yes, you reading right now, I do not know The Ranting Chef at all. I RSSed his blog nearly a year ago. (I think.) From his posts, I figured he’s a cool dude. Am I clever or wot?! Actually not.
 
 
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” ~ Lao Tzu
 
 
Ever since I began reading The Ranting Chef’s blog, his words have been consistently cool dude-esque. Therefore, I’m pretty certain his character is cool dude-esque, too.
 
 
To me, a cool dude is, among other things, a dude* who is down-to-earth, loves his family, never says anything mean about/to anyone, and is kind.
 
 
I find that that’s The Ranting Chef, through and through, and I find his posts wholesome. The ‘Ranting’ part of his name is a misnomer, really.
 
 
*Incidentally, I think of a dude as a person; not someone of a specific gender. After all, Dawg calls me ‘Dude’.  For his own reasons which are completely different from mine.
 
 
The importance of kindness is not often emphasised once we leave the cocoons of our high schools and our neighbourhoods.
 
 
George Saunders (New York Times bestselling American writer. Born 1958.) does this in a commencement speech earlier this year.
 
 

 
 
 
 
Wait, there’s more!
 
 
The Ranting Chef is so da cool dude, he even thanked me for being that even more annoying kid who pipsqueak-ed the answer to the question before he could!  
 
 
To me, someone like that, is non-egotistic and generous in spirit.
 
 
And peeps, do I dig such peeps?!     
 
 
So this is the reason, I chose to write about The Ranting Chef this month.
 
 
Oh, and another reason.
 
 
Okay, you know how I’m clever all the time, right? (All together now: “Yes, Kate.”)
But do you also know I can be brilliant a lot of times, too? (Once again, all together: “Totally, Kate.”) 
Well, this is one of those classic times I’ve been so clever and so brilliant that, only 10 days ago, did I realise that I should have told you about Diced! a long time ago. :-(
 
 
The Ranting Chef has something called a Diced! competition on his blog and it’s open to everyone.
 
 
Essentially, you pick a recipe, cook it, take piccies of the process and the final product, weave it all into a lovely story and submit to participate in the competition. Oh, there are rules an’ all. But those are simple and creatively challenging. That’s why I like … reading the submissions!
 
 
(Since I moved back to be with Mum, I have the luxury of help once again. So I let them do their thang because I enjoy cuisine from my childhood days. And I like being fussed over. :-) )
 
 
The Ranting Chef‘s blog is in the middle of one such Diced! event, so you can’t participate at this juncture. Worry not though. You could join his legion of seven-thousand-and-who’s-counting? followers to tune in for future competitions.
 
 
Or you could be like me, and visit The Ranting Chef’s blog to enjoy learning much more about food-as-sustenance-alone. :-)
 
 
 
::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  :: ::     WELCOME BACK, MJ!  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::
One of my favourite bloggers is back! After months and months and months of silence!  
 
I know this isn’t, and hasn’t been for a while, the easiest of times for you and your family, MJ. Warm thoughts and prayers from afar.
 
I’ve truly missed your good-natured banter, tales with a moral and clean humour. You never budged from my RSS list. :-)
 
mj monaghan
A steeping cup of infotainment.
 
 



Thank you, Misslisted, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, Misslisted, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.

 

 ***********************************************************************

 

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  



 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Age Is Just A Number

 

This image is from http://www.memegen.com/

 

 

 

And for Mum, that word is ‘blessed’.

 

 

Mum believes that she is blessed from the time she wakes up each morning to the time she retires to bed at night.

 

 

I think, we, her brood, are blessed to still have Mum with us.

 

 

Mum celebrated her birthday last month.

 

 

 

Ain’t THAT sweet!

In keeping with tradition, we began Mum’s special day at Mass in our chapel.

Mum outside the chapel after Mass.
Ginger Snaps, the chapel kitty, is behind Mum’s right hand. Yup, I named G-Snaps. :-)

 

 

 

Tradition continued with breakfast at this restaurant that my parents visited even before I was born.

 

 

 

L—>R: Sis-in-law, Mum, Big Sis, me.

 

 

 

On her birthday, Mum gets a lot phone calls and of drop in visitors during the day. That leaves her exhausted at the end of the day. When I returned to the nest five years ago, that first year, I noticed how washed out Mum was just when her celebrations were set to kick into high gear with dinner. The very next year, I began a new tradition.

 

 

A sit down dinner with the immediate family on Mum’s birthday itself.

 

 

 

The family that eats together ….

 

 

 

The formal dinner for relatives and friends is later in the year when everyone is back in town. (Mum’s birthday falls on a national holiday during the holiday period.)

 

 

At first, there were a few murmurs about the celebration being months after her birthday. Meh, used to ‘em murmurs. My concern is Mum.

 

 

I want Mum to be happy having people important to her to celebrate yet another year with us

and

I want Mum to have the energy to do so.

 

 

So having the dinner on a Saturday night during the non-holiday period and when she gets to rest earlier in the day, was the solution.

 

 

As with some of my other “madness”, this ‘tradition’, too, caught on with a few other people we know. :-)

 

 

Oh no. You know. This post is lame. And you also know why.

 

 

So are you jealous? Of all the fun I began having three weeks ago? Preparing for the renovations in our foyer, living room and dining room that will begin in two weeks?

 

 

I’m pumped! For Mum’s sake.

 

 

Daddy got a stroke in 1990. Our home has not had any touches, none, unless they were absolutely necessary, from the time Daddy got the stroke to the time he passed away 16 ½ years later in 2006. Mum refused to let herself get distracted with trivial issues like maintaining the pretty home she was known for or even getting modern appliances. (Look again at the photograph of our dining room above.)

 

 

Since Mum lived alone (with the house help; no family) until I returned, she did not attempt anything on her own either after Daddy passed away. Completely understandable.

 

 

Two years ago, before I began this blog, I got the kitchen and Mum’s master bath ripped apart. Mum was delighted to have a gleaming new space with more practical and convenient amenities. Now that she has recovered nicely from that upheaval, it’s time for the three front rooms of our home.

 

 

Oh, our home is 182 years …. young, so there’s a little bit of emotional upheaval, too, for all of us.

 

 

Now for messages to you, my regular commenters, The Hook and Elvie Rose, since I’ve been silent on your blogs for the past month nearly. Really? Yikes! Time sure flies when I’m having fun! ;-)

 

 

Hook blogs at

 

You’ve Been Hooked!  

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/

 

and

 

The Book of Terrible

http://thebookofterrible.wordpress.com/

 

 

Hook, I’ve not said peep for a while now, but I’m still stalking ya! I read your posts, look to make sure that all is quiet on the Western front, heave a sigh of relief for all of you and go about my scurrying way.

 

 

Elvie blogs at

 

FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”

http://flowersblooms-elvierose.blogspot.in/

 

 

Elvie, I’m very pleased with all the fun you’re having with your new toy oven. :-)

 

 

When I read this line from one of your recent posts:

>This week the Philippines once again experienced the wrath of “Habagat” (Southwest monsoon). Manila and most parts of Luzon submerged in water due to heavy rains.

>Rescuers pulling a rubber boat in Las Pinas City. Filipino Bayanihan spirit in action.  Bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation

- I knew exactly what you meant by ‘bayanihan’, Elvie!

 

 

During my time in Saudi Arabia, my Filipina friend, Fleur, and her group of friends warmly embraced me as one of theirs. One of the many nice things that struck me about the Filipino community was your ‘bayanihan’. I was blessed to be part of that community during my years in Aramco.

 

 

And now back to y’all.

 

 

Thank you all for bearing with my rather flat post, but look, it’s short, innit? Hooray perhaps?

 

 

 



 

Thank you, Tash Thomas and Equatours, for signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, Equatours, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and LEAF AND TWIG, for liking my last post.

 

 ***********************************************************************

 

 P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  



Thursday, 1 August 2013

And The Mountains Echoed

 

 

 

So you know that in June, Mum and I went away for a break. Over three weeks, we visited family in two cities and holidayed with friends in two mountain towns.

 

 

We travelled over hills

 

 

 

And rolled across dales.

 

 

 

We watched Liam work his magic with homeless boys

This ‘flow chart’ is what changes a child’s life.
Liam believes, not just in second chances,
but in giving a chlld
seventy times seven chances.

  

 

 

 And gaped at Godbaby twist and not shout during her Capoeira workouts.

Godbaby: Après change of hairstyle

 

 

 

Mum hung out with her girls

L–>R: Godbaby, Mum, Big Sis
Godbaby: Pre-change of hair style

 

 

 

And we huddled around two ageing relatives whose photographs I have chosen not to share in a public space in an effort to afford them dignity that has fallen victim to the ravages of ageing.

 

 

I am aware that this is the fate of some of us when we approach certain chronological milestones, and it makes me incredibly sad to see how helpless some unfortunate people are against physical decline that technology has not conquered yet.

 

 

This trip was no holiday per se, for me. As I wrote to a friend on return:  

 

 

Our trip was a good diversion from routine, although not entirely a relaxed break for me. Mum, 82, is very independent, but since we were in new-to-her-at-this-age places and she does not voice her preferences/displeasures as loudly as I do, I had to constantly think of where she’d need physical assistance and I had to ensure her meals/snacks were on time. Like me, Mother eats every two to three hours. Like me, too, she begins to wilt when she gets hungry. Unlike me, she doesn’t turn cranky. You know what I’m talking about. Yup, I’m still the same. ;-)

 

 

Before we left, I didn’t think of this trip as a break for me, so I wasn’t disappointed to not get to do what I wanted to at all times. I’m just very happy for Mum because the change of scene was a good boost for her already active life. .  

 

 

But I was away from routine and that made a few things come to light, especially when we were ensconced at Liam’s in the mountains. I’ll list three of them below. 

 

 

 

I. I realised I did not need that break. Because I wasn’t tired.  

 

Before we left, I had looked forward to getting away because I had not been on a holiday in 14 months. (Extra long weekends to neighbouring states do not count.) I wasn’t exactly tired before I went on the trip, but I did not realise how tired I was not until the third leg of the trip.

 

 

Before we left, I was looking forward to ‘unwinding’ and feeling ‘refreshed’ on the trip.

 

 

And nothing happened.

 

 

I then realised that it was because I wasn’t tired.

 

 

And I wasn’t tired because I plan, prioritise and pace all the activities I can when I’m at home.

 

 

I literally pencil in simple chats over coffee (for her) and green tea (for me) with BFF Two at my place or hers even though we meet at least once a week.

 

 

I feel nothing when I have to cancel plans to catch a movie or a play with friends when another friend calls and desperately needs a pair of ears for her woes.  

 

 

I am strict about when my personal contacts can call me for non-urgent matters. Before 8 a.m. and not after 8 p.m. Emergencies excepted. (It’s lights out at my casa at 9.30 p.m. and I wake up at 5.30 a.m.)

 

 

I am very strict with myself and the time I spend on line.

 

 

Writing personal mails tops my list of priorities. If I find myself interested in a new article or site, I squelch the slight twinge of disappointment that I could not ‘flip through’ some of my daily reads, which are primarily online newspapers.

 

 

I’ve RSSed a little over a dozen* blogs. At first, it was awfully hard for me to refrain from commenting on new blogs or even the ones I read regularly. I know how much I like receiving a ‘Like’ or a ‘Comment’ on my blog, but that’s not good enough to spur me to do the same on everyone else’s I read when I’m crunched for time.

 

 

I am just as strict with my time for myself as I am with others, be it in person or cyberspace. 

 

 

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” ~ M.K. Gandhi  

 

*You want to scoff at the miniscule number of blogs I’ve RSSed? I’ll give you more fodder, friends! I do not have an account with any networking site**. Oh, dear. I’ll give you a few minutes to recover from that anticlimactic truth.

 

 

**I have access to Big Sis and BFF One’s Facebook accounts. The only time I stroll around there is with Mum by my side so that she can catch up with our relatives/family friends and my school era friends, respectively, around the world. (BFF Two lives in China and therefore, does not have access to Facebook. In any case, she’s like me; prefers deeper interaction with a small group of personal contacts.)

 

 

Five years ago, when I returned to live with Mum, people around me here slowly became acquainted with my unflinching firmness that they were not familiar with because I had left when I was a teenager. My rigidness was teased gently by most and I smiled sweetly in response. But stood my ground. I was ridiculed by a few, seethed inwardly in their presence and railed against them to my Core Four (i.e. the four people – a mix of family and friends – I am closest to). But I did not budge.

 

 

My body, my life, my rules. Period.

 

 

Five years on and I’m revelling in the results. I am not tired nor do I tear my hair at the end of the day. Or even at the end of 14 month holiday drought. :-)

 

 

 

II. I stayed true to my intention of switching to ‘Unplug mode’ and I was okay. I was more than okay; I was absolutely fine being completely immersed in the real world. ^_^ 

 

 

 

I checked mail three times in the twenty days we were away. I had access to a computer everywhere we went, but I just did not feel like checking my e-mail.

 

 

I did keep track of my Core Four once a day with whoever’s Crackberry or Smartphone was at hand. But those were not my customary prolonged exchanges. Via a common message, I reached out to check that they were okay and to brief them on the highlights of our day.

 

 

Each of the three times, I wrote mails to my friends who were hurting in some way or who were celebrating a birthday that day.

 

 

Here’s an excerpt from a birthday mail I wrote to a friend: 

 

 

Mum and I are still in [the name of the state we were in at the time]. In fact, this is the first time I’ve checked my mail in 8 whole days. I know! If it wasn’t your birthday, Friend, I wouldn’t have even logged in today. I am enjoying NOT writing as much as I enjoy writing my regular reams!  

 

 

 

III. Before I returned home, I had a pretty detailed plan of what I would have liked my life to be like here after being away a few decades. Some things fell into place. Some did not. Actually, some of the big ones did not. I was angry, frustrated and …. angry. Yes, I know I’ve repeated ‘angry’. That’s because I was angry a lot.  

 

 

Three years later, I realised the anger was harming me, first of all, and only me for the most part. Thank goodness, I’m a narcissist. I decided to stop being angry because I do not like pain.

 

 

When I calmed down, I began to think of other options to fulfil my potential. And options came my way. Not always the ones or the way I had imagined, but they were options nonetheless.

 

 

I tentatively dipped my toes, loved how refreshed my soul felt and dove right in. And I’ve been doing swimmingly ever since. Hallelujah!

 

 

 

I am telling this without a sigh

Not ages and ages hence, but now   

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –   

I took the one not imagined by,   

And that has made all the difference.

 

Dear Robert Frost, thank you for inspiring me with your ‘The Road Not Taken’.

Also, I’m dreadfully sorry I’ve plagiarised and spifflicated your venerable lines.  

 

 

 

Liam, friend of our family, is a Salesian priest. Recently, he was transferred to a mountainous part of the country where he heads a shelter for homeless boys. His institution also has a fruit and vegetable farm, a chicken farm and a piggery on the same sprawling property.

 

 

While each of the four places Mum and I visited on this holiday is special to me, I will share my favourite moments from when those mountains spoke to me. 

 

 

1. Feeding the pigs. I used to feed the pigs a snack every day. I’d gather all the ripened apples from the ground in a pail and toss them to the pigs. Oh, I was so very tempted to hand feed them, but warnings from the elders and common sense got in the way of my fun. ;-) 

 

 

I called the littlest pig, Babe. Babe was one greedy, little piggy. 

 

 

Being the lightest on his little pinkish tinged feet, with shocking speed one day, he grabbed the first apple I threw in. Then he grabbed the second apple as well … with the first still in his mouth! Not satisfied with two apples stuffed in his mouth, he darted between the big pigs and lunged at the third one! What a pig pet!

 

 

“Babe!” I admonished. “This is exactly how you will land up on a dining table, roasted to golden perfection with that d#mned apple in your gob.” Warning in vain, for sure.  

 

 

2. Playing with a glow worm. One patch of the massive grounds had openings in the mountain walls. Those ‘caves’, as I called them, were filled with glow worms. Then Liam picked one up and asked if I wanted to hold it. I froze while the thing wiggled in my hand. Gradually, I began to, um, thaw and I think I managed to stroke it, too. Aww. 

 

 

Watching all those glow worms was a treat. Playing with one made me want to flicker, too. I declared that they flickered because they were happy. So was I.  

 

 

3. Seeing thousands of newly sprouted wild saplings. One late afternoon, Liam, a colleague of his and I went trekking to the summit of the lowest mountain in the neighbourhood. I opted for the unbeaten, rough slope. I had trekked in that region a few years ago in summer and I knew those grounds are dry and barren at certain times of the year. 

 

 

I was shocked and delighted to see how much lies asleep until the rains come and wake them up! I rarely get to see newly sprouted plants. Seeing a huge carpet of them was pure joy. Like the glow worms, I insisted the sprouts were happy (to wake up).  

 

 

4. The view from the edge of a cliff. Not too early one morning, Liam took a group of his visiting colleagues, Mum and me for a drive around some of the scenic spots. He took us higher up the mountains towards a dead end. More of a dead drop, if you ask me. He had said the view of the valley below and the smaller peaks that stretched almost into the horizon, was a beautiful one. 

 

 

But when we got there to the edge, it was very foggy. Clouds of mist swirled around us and we barely saw land anywhere ahead of us; mostly fog.  

 

 

And that’s exactly why I enjoyed that moment. 

 

 

 

I love the mountains, I love the mist.

I had both there.

That magical moment up in the mountains

was my most favourite moment

of all the other non-family/friends times

I spent on this holiday.

 

 

 

 

::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  :: ::     CONGRATULATIONS   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::

 

Fresh off the press! Fresh off the press! The Hook got Freshly Pressed!

 

Here’s the article:

 

An Open Letter To Ellen DeGeneres

http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/an-open-letter-to-ellen-degeneres/

 

Hook, what I’m most excited about you getting Freshly Pressed is, that this, getting Freshly Pressed, was one of your many little dreams. And it gone done come true! Woo flippin’ hoo!

 

You’re next, Hook And Family’s Other Dreams! 

 



Thank you, Shogun 360° MarketingJoshRhyne.com, Iaconis and JIMMY 2 HATSfor signing up to follow my posts.

 

Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.

 

Thank you, Shogun 360° Marketing, You’ve Been Hooked! Dog Leader Mysteries and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.

 

Thank you, WordsFallFromMyEyes, for liking and commenting on my post titled ‘Loves’ Labours Not Lost’. 

 

***********************************************************************

 

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  

 



 

 

 

 

 

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