Dec 24, 2013

Christmas






Joy, hope and wonder




A blessed Christmas and a peaceful and fruitful New Year to all .

Nov 29, 2013

Just appreciate

Isn't this just gorgeous...

at my balcony window...


sometimes the only thing to do is sit and admire God's creation and let him take care of you.

Nov 26, 2013

Starting on Christmas cards....

Making that list already and getting down to making Xmas cards...







Reindeer and Santa on the inside....the Xmas paper is lovely..


a month away.... .. time for the Christmas tree to come out...




Nov 14, 2013

St Jude's Feast in KL

A thanksgiving trip. 


And some shopping of course...with enjoyable dining along the way ...

A theme park within a mall, a roller coaster within the mall above the 7th storey....

 and for the first time despite my numerous trips into Malaysia, I am seeing parts of KL.




National Monuments
The Sultan's new Palace


  :)  .. slow with my camera.. ..

Nov 6, 2013

Exercising... enjoyable and away from the traffic.

Jogging or cycling has never been more rewarding. I recently decided it's time to begin to rebuild fitness and stamina in a moderate way.Nothing ambitious really, something like 30min to an hour either brisk walking or cycling.

About 10 min away from the house, we are able to get on the park connector to Punggol End. There's a lovely track, along the river and currently very peaceful surroundings. Still trying to get the name of the river .. either Serangoon, Sengkang or Punggol ..not sure.





It's less stressful than having to jog alongside traffic on the pavements amid the noise whilst keeping one ear and eye out for caution sake, not to mention the carbon monoxide.

It's about 7km of track, but 2km + t the Sengkang Riverside Park.. that's as far as I got .

I'm aiming to go further and back of course.

It's been a month and a half, sigh.. I have not shed any pounds ..I don't think.

Keeping at it.

Plants in a highrise



Bought a couple of books on houseplants from Amazon, can't wait for them to arrive.

Been busy with kids' stuff, time to get back to my blogging, my reading ...and my scrapbooking... but first my gardening...


Lipstick. surviving and flowering after a break...

These hang outside my home where some of the morning sun can catch them.



This variety of money plant (pothos) is doing well but the Song of India sitting just behind it as wilted away rapidly recently.
 The green non-flowering plants are surviving better.

But there are elements of the humidity and wind factor that have a sad impact on my houseplants. Mostly a whole plant can go from healthy to sudden decline very fast and there's nothing I can seem to do to slow or stop it from dying eventually.

Sep 27, 2013

Farewell and guy cards


I needed to make a card for a farewell. I didn't have stamps that actually said bon voyage, so I made it up.. as in

'leaving the coop ' with my birdie stamp... of course  I had some help from my sizzix Big Shot dies.

 


Then came the guy card, which I say is really challenging when you don't have those real  'macho' design stamps (if stamps can be macho !!) so IMPROVISE..

this are 2x2 embossing dies which I then punched out using my circle punch.... 
..a little fun, colour .. it's for a 13 year old.. so it'll do..

I decided to leave off the leaves... . ...



Aug 27, 2013

STOP with the packages already.




It's irritating to get pushed and nagged into signing for packages. You just want to relax after your hair styling or after a manicure or a massage instead you get stressed at the end of it.

I'm not sure if it's done in the US and other places but here in Singapore this happens very often almost everywhere. Thank goodness they haven't started doing it at McDonalds.

Unfortunately we're women.. we need more accessories, we need more beauty and skincare services and such to keep us going..... and take away the blues  or we could live like drabs!

I understand it's business, there's savings for you... but there is a limit. If I have already committed something to the establishment, then leave me in peace to complete it at least and then start the sales push.

Sometimes you just want to indulge ONCE...but you get weary knowing what's waiting at the end of the session.

But now, before I can even get to the last round, you've got 3-4 more visits to go and still they attempt to push you with discounts to  renew for earlier early bird sign ups etc . It's got to a point where I almost dread going in for the last 3 sessions.... .

And they don't accept NO NO NO... my credit card is full, loaded closed.. finito.....  . One young lady even suggested I use cash (got Nets !!!)

That's the only response I can think of,  besides not going back once you're done...  

Any other ideas ?



Aug 24, 2013

Dad's Card

It's tough to make non-girlie looking cards for the guys.. I think I need to stock up on some suitable like stamps or I'll end up with the same few ...

This was what I made for Dad using my Hero Arts owl and Sizzix Flip its..
The embossed words are from "Just Because Phrases Embossing Folder Borders from Darice '

'


Aug 18, 2013

Happy flowers...bloom for me please.

Everyday, I can't help but fiddle with a leaf or two or three...  Watching nature is not supposed to be stressful but sometimes I find myself wishing they would grow faster !!! .. ..oh well... I'll learn to switch to nature's time soon.

My jasmine plant  (either the Arabian or Indian variety) is finally blooming.
After trimming and moving it to the morning sun area.. ..I'm doing the happy dance cos it means I'm doing something right.  If you read my previous post you'll know there's a lot of adjustment given wind, sun, facing, heat and space.

Jasmine 

Kind of small, I hope you can see the buds.
...Jasmine flower pix here..


Added two more sweet flowering plants to the collection..While they are termed 'wild' by some, I don't have wide open spaces so they are not going to be able to grow wild, I'll be happy if they grow and continue to flower in whatever space they are.  I may try a trough if they work out ...

For now I'm keeping them where the morning sun can get them..., I'm still researching these two. Their common names are the Butter Daisy and Tickseed .

Butter Daisy or Melampodium

Melampodium or the Butter Daisy, I think there's a few varieties of this one as well as for the Coreopsis below. I had just turned it inwards, hence you see the proliferation of flowers on the sun facing side. I'm thinking that the leaves are grown much, much bigger too..It must be really happy in this place ..lol..
. I may need to repot. 


Coreopsis (Lanceleaf) or Tickseed

Aug 15, 2013

How Old am I ?

Call it birthday blues.., I started to think about maturing.
I don’t feel mature or old for my age. Of course you are only as old as you feel.  And anyway you are only old if you are 70 and above these days. (sorry dad don’t take offence if you read this).

I have to act it because of the kids but inside I don’t always feel 'adult', except when the bones and joints remind me otherwise. Feels more like a cloak of responsibility not so much as my skin. I wear it more often than I would like to, it comes with duty and having kids.

So what does that mean Dr Freud,...  perhaps I didn’t sufficiently experience my immaturity in the immature phase of life and therefore long for it. !!!

I do have the urge to stick my tongue out at persons who seem lame and annoyingly ‘dumb’ , I have the urge to eat fries for lunch out of the blue or gobble down a pack of M&Ms and at times I dream about dropping the cares and worries and dropping out of the rat race to enjoy doing nothing or something that makes me happy.

The best part of my brithday day, is I share it with my Dad

Aug 9, 2013

Reading - the right and wrong time .. is there one !


I finished reading Kate Morton's 'Secret Keeper' a while back and then I thought I should not have started reading it at the time I did. Certain types of writing require more restfulness than others to be able to enjoy all of the book.

The story that unfolds is the type that one should read in the right frame of mind - when you are less harried by other pressing stuff of daily routines.  I find myself going over many parts of the book again at different times. The story was intriguing, so much so that I wanted to know how it ended instead of also enjoying( reflecting on)  the prose and the many sentiments of life as was depicted of the young and old. The story essentially spans almost 70 years from the war to recent 2011. 

I wanted to share one of the parts that had me reflecting.
A passage that gave me pause was about the sick, aging mother, and the daughter's(Laurel) thoughts about why her mother did not feel  surprise...."Her mother didn't ask why, and Laurel wondered whether perhaps a person reached an age when so much was kept from them, so many details of life discussed and decided elsewhere, misheard or misunderstood, that to be surprised was no longer disconcerting. She wondered whether she, too, would find one day that absolute clarity was neither possible nor desirable."

  .... is this what part of mellowing means...


If you like a good book with an unexpected twist this is one of them.




Aug 7, 2013

Eavesdropping ...the things you don't need to hear ..

I can't help it, it's forced on me literally. These loud conversations are distractions when all I want to do is read my book

When I take public transport whether it's the bus or the MRT somebody is always on their phone not too far (worse next to) from me,  and doling out their problems or lifestory or gossip and NOT in a SOFT TONE. If'it's packed you cannot move away. I think these people don't care who hears them.

The worse one I remember was one I could not understand throughout my entire 1/2 hour journey. She spoke in really harsh Chinese dialect, I couldn't tell if she was angry or scolding someone or it was just the way of the language she used ! You can imagine my ears were ringing when I got off and continued to do so for some time.

Another conversation I recall was a mother (I presume) complaining about going home to cook for a son who was fussy, doesn't want to eat and always complaining about whatever was put before him. In my mind I thought,  '..don't cook lah' why spend energy when it's not appreciated by an ungrateful child... let him starve!.

There are bits of nonsense from teenagers about ''she so bad'  behaviours of their peers  and from wives complaining of useless husbands, office workers 'talking'about their co-workers and boss. There was one from a lady chatting about how she hides her credit card spending, gets extra cash 'by fiddling with 'marketing money, then she went on to talk about shopping and how she had to hide new items when ever she gets home after shopping ... .. how her husband goes on about her wasting money etc etc.....

Worst topic to hear in public, a conversation by a lady to her friend about  meeting a man friend who has a terrible wife and how she(person on phone) is the opposite of his wife ( he says ..).

Life moves along in all forms, doesn't it.


Jul 17, 2013

Too much ... too little - Plant care

I'm growing my plant collection slowly, unfortunately the  '' rules'  are not so straightforward.
Japanese rose, I have to figure
out how to prune this ...

It's not just indoor and low light conditions, I thinks there's wind factor since I'm not on the ground floor and that I do have some sun but from an angle. I'm sort of facing south-west.

Spider Plant

Believe it when I say, I have managed to kill a couple of so called 'hard to kill' plants from either over watering or too much chemical fertiliser (inspite of following instructions). Well I have not gotten the hang of the soil types and am playing by ear. It's been almost a year now, so things are going well for the hardier plants like the money plant, Boston ferns and bamboo palm. 

So I'm making these rules as I go along.... (remember I'm an amateur) 

Rule no 1 : don't always follow instructions on fertilizer package
Rule no 2 : don't be so ambitious ( I'm aiming for a mini forest look in my balcony)
Rule no 3 : don't need to to fiddle with the soil too often .. perhaps once a month and not once a week.
Rule no 4 : weeds are not always a bad sign .. gives you an idea of the quality of the soil
Rule no 5: don't be afraid to trim and prune. [I have this fear I might hurt the plant too much !!  and then it won't bloom further...]
more to come ............

Depending on your environment, plant care is different on some basic levels I believe, but not all.
My curry leaf is really making slow progress along with the lime plant and I'm thinking that's good to do with the amount of sun each is getting. So I'm thinking let's move them around a bit.

I have had little success in growing flowering plants so far eventhough I picked those for low light and easier care, but then bear in mind mine is a tropical climate (mostly heat).
I recently acquired a Bougainvillea and the Peace Lily, let's see how that goes. I placed the former where the afternoon sun would hit it and the other in a slightly less sunlit area.

I'm enjoying my plants and the work that goes with it.



To be continued.............

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