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A Welcome Celebration

29 Apr

What a difference with another year passing by for birthday celebrations! The existence of Covid-19 makes it hard for us to predict what can happen with its spread making daily situations so volatile. We cannot plan special occasions so far ahead because things are constantly evolving. Even as I write, the SOPs will change again come next month.

Two years ago, my birthday dinner celebration was a muted affair. We stayed home because of the pandemic and had food delivered. There were scores and scores of containers for the meal. It wasn’t the best in presentation, but being at home made up for it, given the virus fear and lockdown circumstances. Last year, it was a blur, and honestly, I don’t remember what we did on my special day.

This year, things are a little bit different. A spontaneous four-day gastronomic journey that began on Sunday to celebrate instead of a golf getaway like we usually do. Moreover, we just went on a golf trip to Forest City recently, so another trip now is too soon. This mission to discover new food to savor in the run-up to the actual birthday is much appreciated for the chef in me to have the week off from making dinner nightly! Woo hoo.

Lovely fine dining Japanese dinner
We ate to our fill!
We came home to cut my yummy Lemon Pistachio birthday cake
We played a post-birthday round of golf!

The birthday dinner was also a welcome change for various reasons. It was the first fine-dining experience after the many lockdowns we had during the pandemic. Secondly, it’s the first year with M1 joining us, being away for her education, and missing my birthday celebrations for the last six years. All in all, a welcome celebration. A toast to a good year ahead for me, and be in the best of health and mind.

Stalled for a Reason

25 Feb

DIY project number 23 was moving along well until Mom came over to stay recently. She was very fascinated with all my earlier felted characters.

So I deviated from crafting miniatures to show her the felting process, and she was very impressed with my ability.

My felted Miffy family

From there onwards, I decided to continue felting and made more Miffy rabbits. This change turned out well as these characters fit nicely as students for the school setup of DIY project number 23!

DIY project number 23

Funny how things can fall into place nicely. Once all these ‘students’ are ready, I guess the school has to be done up quickly for the back-to-school in-person learning.

DIY Project #23

21 Jan

Towards the end of last year, I was not in the mood to craft miniatures and took a break from this activity. I was playing a lot more golf and ended up taking a much longer break than intended. Besides the circumstances, I was side-tracked with felting which was less time-consuming but equally enjoyable.

But now, I am ready to indulge in crafting miniatures again and have started on DIY project number 23. Yes, number twenty-three, but the first for 2022. That’s a lot of miniature sets I completed in the past two years during the lockdowns we had when the pandemic disrupted lives and created new routines.

DIY project #23 kicks off!

This latest set is a classroom setting, different from what I have done thus far but apt to kick off the new year as schools are reopening again under strict SOP after two years of disruption.

I hope I will not take too long to complete the set. It should be fun.

The Year That Wasn’t Again

31 Dec

The never-ending year 2021 finally concludes today. I look back, and what a year it has been! I feel history has repeated itself, with the year being another year that fell short of expectations like 2020 because the pandemic has dragged on.

When the nation went into lockdown again in May, we were short-changed for several months to have a good year. And the lockdowns implemented under the Movement Control Orders (MCO) had so many versions, I lost track of it all.

But life goes on. With what we had experienced in 2020, we handled 2021 a little better. We became more accepting of the situation and were more productive, and the hobbies picked up in the year before continued. We also got vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, and it was our passport to venture out (if needed) without hassle.

Towards the end of the year, I picked up another new hobby – felting. What fun this turned out to be! Felting is immensely enjoyable and therapeutic when I am not carving or crafting miniatures as it is a short and fast activity to complete.

Looking back, being home this time around wasn’t so bad because there’s so much to do at home, and I love it. There is no rush or fear but simply comfort and ease. As long as there is good time management, the days go by quickly.

M2 came back for her Summer holidays, and it was great to have her home. My cooking skills improved from last year, and there were many great mealtimes together at home as a family since we couldn’t go out at all.

Then M1 came home for good after completing her Master’s degree, and both of us are very blessed to have the family as a complete unit. But soon after, M2 returned to Ireland, and M1 started working. By the third quarter, we were juggling work, albeit not much, and playing golf when the country reopened to more activities.

But just when we thought things were improving with vaccination and economies opening everywhere, the world saw a new virus variant! The Omicron. The pandemic management globally was sucker-punched with this new development. Travels, activities, and economies were restricted once more, and many countries faced fresh lockdowns. When will this onslaught of the unknown ever end?

So we start 2022 with uncertainty again. I see no point in toasting the New Year for better fortune and goodness. Just brace yourselves to stay negative (Covid-wise) in a positive way, stay healthy, and stay safe. Goodbye 2021, I wouldn’t say it was the best, but we survived. Happy New Year, folks!

Oh, You Cutie Pies!

28 Dec

My latest felting characters are adorable! After I felted specific characters for the hubby and M1, I asked M2 what she would like. She requested a blue Miffy, the famous bunny from The Netherlands.

A Miffy for M2!

And so, I got right into it. My work speaks for itself. Adorable beyond words. I was so motivated by the outcome that I decided to make another Miffy. The second Miffy in yellow turned out even better!

Oh you cutie pies!

Dang, I’m getting good at this felting business.

The Other Baker

19 Nov

It looks like hubby is not the only person who bakes in our home. M1 is quite a baker too. I supposed this came from her lockdown periods when she was still in the US. With nothing much to do, baking was an outlet to keep busy.

But our other baker bakes adorable stuff. She baked these cute little bear cookies not too long ago. Pretty to look at, delicious to eat too. I hope she will continue to indulge in this whenever she has the time.

Want some bear cookies?

A New Fan

9 Nov

It is flattering when your child takes after your interest. The past two years, I tried to get M2 (when she was back for her Summer holidays) to build miniatures with me during our lockdown, but she had no interest whatsoever.

Then when M1 came home this year – and under home quarantine, I gave her a set to do to pass her time. And she thoroughly enjoyed it!

Soon after her quarantine was over, I gave her another set of mine to work on, and I must say, she was very into building miniatures too and finished it in no time. Before I knew it, I bought her another set, and voila! She was churning them out to rival my early efforts’ pace. She has just completed her fourth set.

Miniatures done by M1! So cute.

I’m happy that there is a new fan of DIY miniatures other than me at home.

Returning to DIY Project #17

1 Oct

Suddenly it’s October already! My goodness, where did the time go? M2 has settled back nicely into college mode, while M1 has settled nicely into being home with us. As for me, I decided to return to the stalled DIY miniature project number 17.

Slowly but surely getting there with #17

It has been super slow with this one, and I don’t know why. But I decided I should get this completed now that we are into October. I have stalled long enough on it. So I’m setting a deadline to wrap it up.

However, since I have started playing golf again and will be out several days a week, I think two weeks is fair to finish the project instead of one week.

DIY Project #20, Part 2

28 Sep

DIY project number 20 was quite an enjoyable set to craft. Although I stopped working on it for several days because I was busy with M2 and her leaving, I got back to it immediately when I did not have to worry anymore about her arrival and settling down.

The tail-end of the set was basically to dress it up with the hanging vines and fruits, as I had gotten most of the pieces in place already. It is a rather cute set, I would say.

The miniature in a box

And with its completion, it now sits in the IKEA display cabinet along with the others. I was contemplating starting a new set when I realized project #17 is still incomplete! Oh no, I have forgotten about it, having sidetracked on it with three other projects. I suppose I should finish it before even thinking of starting another new set.

Lights on!

20 Weeks Later

21 Sep

After such a long hiatus from golf, 20 weeks, to be exact, we are playing our first golf game this morning! Knowing that M2 has arrived safely and self-isolating as required, we don’t have to worry.

Also, as we have passed the 14-days wait period from the second dose, our status has changed to Fully Vaccinated. With this status change, we can go about doing more activities, like playing golf!

Will we play well?

Do we have the stamina?

Will we dunk balls in the water or duff our shots? We will find out!