For You, Daddy!

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

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 ( 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



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






It is 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.











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.




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, 15 April 2012

Honour Thy Father And Thy Mothers


This love affair of mine is no secret.


❤ 🙂 ❤

This image is from


Although I’m Daddy’s Girl to the core, I do have space in my heart for two more.



My birth mother and my earth mother.



Bursting with earthy wholesomeness!

This image is from


I am terribly saddened by these events around the world.



Thank you, Elaine, for permitting me the use of this image on behalf of China Org.

This image is from  

So I try my darnedest to do what I know. 


Thank you, Heidi McDonald, for permitting me the use of this image from your website, Unique Teaching Resources.

Thank you, Heidi McDonald, for permitting me the use of this image from your website, Unique Teaching Resources.

The above two images are from 


Then, there are other things that I do to make my earth mother less sad.

You know how I began using newspaper to wrap gifts 4 years ago. That sent a few ripples of the ‘She’s NUTS!’ sort, and I got a significant number of the ‘She’s got guts.‘ sort!

You win some + You lose some = Life.

And for me, there’s only one direction in life – onward and upward.

So for the past four years, everyone I know has received their gifts wrapped, very thoughtfully, in newspaper. Last year, I kicked my mother(earth)loving mania up a notch for Mum’s birthday.

Mum turned 80 and since it is one of those big deal milestones, Big Bro, Big Sis and I decided the annual dinner for a few dozen at home would just not do. When Mum, the ace party animal, gave her nod of consent (before we could complete the question!), the little ones began a-plannin’.  

“I’ll do the invitations!” Baby (bug)Bear AKA me, offered excitedly.

From experience, my older siblings recognised that kind of enthusiasm as trouble. From experience, too, this baby in the family knows when she can push her luck. And Lady Luck smiled down on Batty Baby because this is the invitation all the guests, in country and overseas, received for Mum’s birthday bash.

Better believe it!

 I hand wrote the invitations. All 102 of them.



I took an A4, cut it in half, uh, jazzed up the edges on two sides with a pair of pinking scissors (please be impressed) and wrote down the details using my everyday pen.

Okay, I’ll give you all a few seconds to pick your horrified jaws off the ground.

I know what you’re thinking. “Such an important occasion and you gave out these … these scraps of paper? WHY?”  

Simple. Because it breaks my heart to see how invitations are trashed after the occasion. Yes, people ooh and aah upon receipt of glitzy invitations. The more ostentatious invitations go on to become a topic of conversation briefly among some. But they all meet the same fate. The grossly outsized ones, the ones with multiple puzzling parts, the ones with glitter falling out when first opened and the perfumed ones. All in the trash can. How much my poor earth mother bled to make us, ungrateful children, happy for a few fleeting moments.


I believe in this.

Each day matters.

This image is from


So 80th birthday or not, Mum’s birthday was just another day to me. As I tend to, I chose to put my foot into my mouth. It’s fairly easy for me now because I open my mouth so nice and wide to begin with. 😉

When I folded the invitation, I put each one into a regular white envelope. I skipped writing the guests’ names on the envelope, as is the norm. Then I explained to our mildly bewildered friends and relatives, that I did that so that they could reuse the envelope themselves.

And my final green touch to the invitations was travelling to the homes of the guests in my state by public transport. I chose to deliver the invitations personally so that I could spend time with each of them. Having lived away from home since I left for university, I am not terribly close to most because I meet them during my annual visits home and then again, at events – weddings, birthdays or funerals. I don’t know these outer circle relatives and friends as well as I’d like to. Spending time when delivering the invitations made a significant difference on that front.

The other reason I decided to deliver the invitations in person was because I wanted to emphasise that they not bring a gift as requested at the bottom of the invitation.

Instead, I requested they fill in the enclosed, large Post-It-like slip of coloured paper than Big Sis had added a little artwork to.

That slip of paper was for each guest or family to write what they wished for Mum or share their experience with her. Big Sis thought of this because she pointed out that Mum is a sentimental fool (like me).


A fool judges people by the presents they give him. ~ Chinese proverb


Mum has old handwritten cards and letters that are decades old. She goes through them at least twice a year when the family is together, usually around our dining table or in her bedroom. We read them aloud, talk about the ones who wrote them, run our fingers along the once familiar writing of those who live far away or who have passed away. And in some strange way, we feel like we are all together again.

Mother Hen with her chicklets.

Golden Girl – Mum

Little Girl Blue – Big Sis, Red Riding Cheongsam/Qipao – me, English Rose – Godbaby



Mum was delighted with all the notes that she got back. Most guests had filled up every little bit of blank space with anecdotes from the past, and we all learned so much more about Mum.

These are two of the least filled in slips we received.

From cousins Down Under.

This was the simplest one Mum got.





From close family friends.

This was my favourite one.



I loved this slip the most because Zinia added those little rose-y touches to it. 

Zinia thrilled me further by telling me that she did that as her little green contribution to the event. She and her family were delighted with the outcome, too, especially because they realised that something so simple could be turned into something so special. (Go, Kate, you green freak, go!)


Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” ~ Edmund Burke (Irish statesman and philosopher. 1729-1797)


When I went around distributing the invitations, I was pleasantly surprised with everyone’s response when I explained the madness behind the reason for that very simple invitation. They understood my concern from the environmental point of view, agreed it was valid and commended me for taking that bold step. Most were honest enough to admit that they would not be able to do the same because they were too afraid of being ridiculed.

Ridicule? Doesn’t bother me. I get it so much, it’s like one of those magical little trace elements in my daily dose of multivitamins!

I’ll go further and twist the Adidas slogan and say – Ridicule is Nothing.


It’s a small price to pay if I want to live in this kind of a world.


A girl can dream, can’t she?

This image is from


Earth Day is 22 April.   

::  :: ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     HEAR YE!   HEAR YE!      ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::

Bestie Boy arrives for a visit on 17 April. As you know, I am very particular about responding to comments that you all take the time and patience to write out. However, I will not be able to reply to comments you leave from 16 – 29 April.

I have been prepping for his visit and tying up things at work, which is why, my RSSed buds, I have not had the time to enjoy reading through and commenting on your blogs as well for a while now. Thank you for understanding.

I think of all of you. Our personalities filter through our words and that has helped me build up an image of each of you. Sorta like playing Sims (which I never did), but better! Because you are free to do your own thing, and I’m free to join you on your blogging journey.  

But I’m gonna break journey for a bit longer now.

And I’m going to walk on my head instead. 🙂   




Thank you, The Book of Terribleorples and  mj monaghan  for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, Don Cuney, Looking for Pemberley, The Ranting Chef,  The Book of Terrible, No Circ is WholeSon and orples 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! 






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