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Nine Years and Counting!

13 Jun

I had a notification from WordPress this morning – congratulating me on the ninth anniversary of my blog site! Wow. For nine years, I have had this going. Wow again. I am speechless that I have kept it going for so long.

But this would not have happened if it wasn’t for all you readers supporting me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Keep reading, and of course, I will keep writing.

Days of My MCO Life, Part 2

13 Apr

The bread that I baked last week was an out-of-the-blue decision. I called it the accidental bread. I was set to bake a cake in the beginning, the instant cake-from-the-box easy peasy one of course. Then I decided why not bake bread too? Since we have all the time in the world.

Also I wanted to give the Kenwood Rapid Bake bread maker another chance but the bread maker tripped the electricity in the house again. This reaffirmed that it’s a machine problem and wasn’t a user problem the last time when I used the machine.

So Plan B had to be kicked in because we had an unbaked bread in hand.

Rather than wasting the dough because the trip occurred when the bread maker went into the baking mode, we managed to salvage it. With some modification – adding more flour to the unusual watery mixture (don’t ask me how it became like that), we let the dough sit for a bit.

Then into the conventional oven it went. The final outcome turned out pretty good despite its appearance! A pat on the shoulder for the both of us.

Tastes better than it looks

Do I look forward to baking my next loaf of bread in the oven? I’m not too sure, we shall see.

Besides these self-discoveries and time-consuming activities, I caught up with my reading, finishing several titles and I started watching a Netflix series, something I never did previously. It’s certainly interesting times with the days of my MCO life.

Days of My MCO Life

7 Apr

We are now a week into Phase Two of the MCO. What this means is that the rules are stricter and anyone caught going beyond 10km from their home will be arrested if they don’t have a valid reason. Well, I don’t have to worry as I have not ventured out even to the front lawn of the house.

Being confined to the house for so long during this MCO, I found myself doing things that I’ve never done so much before within a certain time frame.

Like cooking. And constantly at it, twice each day, trying out all sorts of recipes sourced from the internet. It’s the most logical thing to do and besides, I have all the time in the world for the preparations.

Then there’s the carving. I’ve carved so many Whales in March and these would all make lovely gifts for my friends when I see them.

All these carved during the MCO

There’s also another homely thing that I found myself doing every now and then. Baking! Although it’s the instant out-of-the-box, it’s a good variation from the cooking routine. Twice I baked and once I even baked a loaf of bread! Surprise… surprise…

The second cake – Lemon Cake with poppyseeds of course!

Farm Heroes No More

23 Jan

I have stopped playing Farm Heroes on my iPad, iPhone and the laptop. After such a long time at it, I find that I cannot go pass Level 1105, so no point in continuing the game. It was fun while it lasted.

As for my other games, I still do Candy Crush Soda (to collect the Daily Bonus) and Candy Crush Saga (on the office computer occasionally as it has been deleted from the iPad and iPhone) besides the two Monster Busters.

There does not seem to be a whole of appealing games offered these days, at least to me. Maybe it’s for the better as I can stay off my devices and go back to reading (which I did) and carving (which I will).

We Love Sandra Boynton!

4 Aug

Sandra Boynton is my all time favorite illustrator and author for children’s book. I discovered her books while working in New York City back in the early 90s, after graduating from college. I am proud to say I have quite a sizeable collection of her titles.

My collection were read by M1 and M2 in their early years, and even me occasionally these days when the mood hits.

When M1 was a toddler, I taught her to read ‘But Not the Hippopotamus’. The child was amazing. She could recite the whole book with full of zest and expression without a glance at the pages. The only thing she struggled with was the long word ‘hippopotamus’ which came out as ‘neh-neh-neh-tamus’.

When M2 was 19 months’ old, she had her exposure to Sandra Boynton too. Multi-tasking at such an early age, she’s engrossed with ‘Barney’ on the TV while attempting to read ‘Doggies’ at the same time. You have to turn up the volume, ignore Barney and listen to her carefully.

Adorable is all I can say. Sigh… why do they grow up so fast?

M2readsSandraBoynton

Butterbeer

10 Apr

At the height of the Harry Potter years, M2 like every other fan, was Harry Potter crazed. She would read and re-read the books and knew lines by heart. It was rather heart-warming to see her (and M1 as well) do so much reading.

But thank goodness the craze was limited to just the books and not any collectibles although there were some Lego sets purchased. And both girls have a magic wand each, gifted from a friend who went to the Harry Potter theme park. I remember one day, many years ago, M2 came to me with a butterbeer recipe and asked if we could make it.

The beverage was of course served in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and back then, she thought it would be awesome if she could drink what Harry and friends drank. I still have the recipe, dating back to 2012 in my iPhone. I think we tried making it only once but don’t recall the outcome.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, at our local grocery store, lo and behold we saw a bottle of butterbeer! Of course we had to purchase it to try. And I must say it was quite refreshing but once the coldness ebbed away, the sweet side of the beverage became too much. Well, if we never tried, we would never have known.

I just wonder will this lead to a renewed interest in reading the books all over again? Only time can tell.

  

The Mona Lisa

13 Jan

I started reading the book ‘How to Think Like Da Vinci’ a Christmas gift from hubby. It sure is an interesting eye opener not because of Da Vinci himself but more of the fact it made me recall my encounter with the Mona Lisa.

I have been to Paris twice. The first trip when we wanted to visit the Louvre, we didn’t know the museum’s schedule well enough. It was closed and we were due to fly home the next day. Disappointed, we vowed that if we ever went back to Paris, we have to make the museum trip.

Went back we did, a few years later – 2013. During the second trip, hubby and my sibling were off for a business meeting, so I was left to my own devices. I decided to visit the Louvre. Thankfully, it was open.

And like every other tourist, I had to see the great painting. It was such a huge crowd, I couldn’t get any closer. And having a barrier and protective glass over it, it sure was hard to have a good look at the masterpiece.

Was it worth the hoopla? Depends on which angle you look at it. For me, it was merely a ‘been there, done that’ moment; didn’t move me. Give me a Monet anytime, I’d be totally inspired.

So back to my book, maybe reading it and trying to think like Da Vinci may move me better.

    

    
 

Losing Steam

12 Aug

Of late, I have been stuck at all levels of my virtual games so much so, I feel I am losing steam playing them.

Maybe I should stop. And immerse myself in the Olympics happening now in Rio. Or go back to reading especially that book on Genghis Khan that I started but stopped because the mountains were too epic for me. The book has been collecting a mountain of dust since then.

Or I could go back to carving owls. This too has lost steam because I have gotten lazy with it. It can get quite messy when the momentum picks up and I don’t like the cleaning up when I get done. But there simply has not been an opportunity to sit down quietly and be at it. Too much going in and out and this interrupts the focus. Losing steam. Sigh…

We Wait Again

14 Jul

My book, Genghis Khan, is pretty intense to read. I am constantly seeing vast lands of Mongolia as my imagination goes into overdrive. So I jump back to my games to reset or clear my thoughts.

Luckily, the latest chapter of Candy Crush on the iPad, Luscious Lagoon, was pretty easy. Made short work of it within a week and now I have to wait for Mellow Marshmallow to appear for the iPad. I must confess, I played it in Facebook on the laptop and now sitting at Level 1043.

However, my other two games are not so friendly. Stuck at Level 415 of Candy Crush Soda and Level 770 of Farm Heroes for sometime now. Sigh.

It Gets Tougher

7 Jul

It was a good thing I bought two new books to read. Level 1001 of Candy Crush is by far the toughest. Reading’s a good reprieve but I could not let the challenge go.
In the end, I used my precious gold bars, nine pieces mind you, to get that extra five moves and thank goodness, succeeded in passing the level. I have moved on to Tasty Treasury, the latest chapter on the iPad.

As for Candy Crush Soda, I’ve decided to take a break from it because I simply cannot go pass Level 415.

So back to reading.