Tag Archives: United States

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?

Gain One, Lose One

20 Sep

It was the beginning of Summer when M2 came home, and it was great. With the lockdown imposed, we felt safe in our bubble at home. Then M1 returned from the US not too long ago, and we were complete.

But just when we are comfortable with both girls being home after being empty nesters for some time, the situation has changed again. The Summer holiday has ended for M2, and she has to return to college. Within a short time, we gain one and lose one.

M2’s Summer vacation is officially over, and yesterday, she flew back to Ireland. I’m tracking her journey at flightaware.com as she is still flying when this post is published. I only hope she will be on time to arrive, unlike when M1 returned.

Sending M2 off at KLIA

During this pandemic, every country has its safety measures for international travelers. Although Ireland’s SOP is very different from the one imposed in our country, M2 must self-isolate even though fully vaccinated upon arrival. Rules are rules, and they should be abided by to stay safe.

Here’s wishing her all the best for the Fall semester ahead, and stay safe!

My New Putter

6 Sep

Whenever M1 returns from the US, we get a lot of new toys and gadgets! Her return this time is no different, and there are several new fun things again. One of which is my new 32-inch Raspberry Red putter called the Peanut Putter.

The Peanut Putter!

A whimsical yet ambidextrous and very easy-to-use putter, I think this will be good for me to reestablish my putting dexterity. Having laid off golf for four months already, I think I have lost some putting ability. Sure we have the chipping net in the garden, but that’s for chipping and pitching. Putting is a different game altogether. And even though we have the putting mat, it is not the same.

So if and when the time is right for us to go back to playing golf, my Scotty Cameron putter will have to make way for my Peanut Putter to debut. I hope the occasion will come sooner than later.

Anxiety and More Anxiety

27 Aug

After six and a half years and two degrees later, our M1 is finally coming home. We are, of course, thrilled with her decision. There was quite a fair bit of anxiety for her trying to book her flight home because of the pandemic.

She had two previous bookings canceled by the airlines because of limited flights and transiting countries having strict regulations to deal with the pandemic. What was supposed to be an 18-hour one-stopover journey became a two-stopover and much more than that. Way much more.

The two-stopover flight with Air Canada did not go as planned! The delayed first leg of the journey caused her to miss her connecting flight to Narita Airport for the second leg. Dear, oh dear. And she could not wait for the next available flight out with the same airline as the Covid-19 test would become invalid after 72 hours from testing. Throw in the immigration restrictions of no more than 24 hours for transit.

It’s so stressful to add to the anxiety dealing with new issues like flight timing, and immigration, on top of health.

Thankfully, she found an alternative airline for the same day, but the journey is longer. Oh well, an extended flight is better than being unable to return at all. With cases on the uptrend again, there isn’t much choice. I will be tracking her path on flightaware.com as always. We have to wait another day until she arrives.

Proud Parents Again

30 Jul

Amid this pandemic and trying lockdown, there is good news to share. M1, our firstborn, passed her Masters Thesis Defense yesterday (our time), which is equivalent to the day before for her in the US. It is indeed a blessing to be proud parents again, and we are most thankful this arduous journey is now complete.

This time around, the achievement is more meaningful because she had to endure the lockdowns and work around the disruptions because of the pandemic. And she prevailed. Words pale to describe the relief and joy for all of us. Well done, for lack of a better word; we couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishment.

Out of Quarantine

28 Jun

The wait is finally over! M2 is out from quarantine today. No words are needed to describe the joy and relief for all. We are together again except for M1 who is still in the US.

A Milestone Anniversary

18 Jun

Last Saturday marks the 8th Anniversary of my blog! Wow. I am amazed that I have persevered for so long to keep this going. But all this achievement is unattainable if it wasn’t for the support of all my readers.

The blog has certainly evolved from a journal to share the antics of my girls and my travels. Along the way, I picked up new hobbies, the girls grew up and went off to college, and the travel escapades were lesser.

The travel non-escapades were more evident in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken over the world and disrupted many things taken for granted.

Well, I certainly won’t take the things I do for granted and am thankful to every one of my readers as you follow me on my whimsical endeavors and daily musings. Happy Anniversary and happy writing to me!

A Virtual Celebration

19 Jan

A memory feed popped up on Facebook this morning: M1 turns 18 today, and we celebrated. That was six years ago. Today she turns 24! Dang, time sure flies.

Wasn’t it just yesterday she turned one, and we had friends and family over for a party? Then the next thing I know, we were at her graduation commencement in the Summer of 2019. That was the last time the whole family was together. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree.

With both girls pursuing their education in two different countries, it certainly is hard to have a birthday celebration. Add in the three different time zones that we are all in, a virtual get together is the only way – either a FaceTime or WhatsApp group call for this occasion.

Happy Birthday, M1! Stay safe.

The Year That Wasn’t

1 Jan

Goodbye Year 2020! What a year it turned out to be. I felt that it was a year that wasn’t – in other words, we were, firstly, short-changed for nine months in our lives and secondly, didn’t turn out so great as many envisioned it would be.

Before reaching this nice number, people, myself included, thought it would be a spectacular year. But alas, how wrong we all were. The Covid-19 pandemic created so much havoc in the world. And everything is never the same again.

Gone are the closeness and freedom that we took for granted with our movement with friends, society in general, and places we visit; in place, it is now constant caution, fear to a certain degree, and restriction.

For me, I felt my 2020 was just three months only, the first quarter of the year. After we went into lockdown in March, the next nine months, day-in, day-out felt like deja-vu. A new routine was born, and old habits had to give way because we had to learn to adjust to the new normal. Thank goodness we didn’t go crazy with cabin fever, and instead, discovered ourselves in many other aspects.

I learned to appreciate my friends, the home, and family more. Although work at the office took a beating to practically zero design work in March and April, it did not dampen our spirits. M2 came back from Ireland and had an extended six-month summer break. M1 stayed put, and we talked every morning to keep her company.

The new normal made both of us manage our time better to be more productive in other things. Hubby learned to bake, an unthinkable endeavor in all the years that I have known him, and I brushed up my cooking skills to widen the variety in our meals because eating out was not an option.

I also picked up a new hobby to keep myself busy after my Meranti wood supply for carving depleted by May. From June onwards, I started working on DIY miniature sets, and have completed nine DIY sets thus far in a spate of six months.

Another good thing that came out of this situation was my golf game, which improved tremendously. With downtime in the office, I was playing more golf than ever. After the lockdown eased, and golf was allowed because it is an outdoor activity, I was golfing up to four times a week! So maybe the year wasn’t that bad after all on the personal front despite being in deja-vu mode.

As 2020 is behind us now, it does not mean the pandemic is over. Far from it, in fact. We should remain vigilant, put on our masks whenever we are in public areas, and keep a one-meter distance apart to be safe.

A toast to a better year ahead – may 2021 bring better fortune and goodness for everyone. Happy New Year, and stay safe wherever you are!

A Very Different Christmas

25 Dec

2020, what a year! How do we even describe it? For starters, this Christmas is a very different one in all aspects – the mood, the celebration, and the people.

The mood is muted, the celebration toned down or none at all, and people are socially-distanced to stay safe.

For the first time, both our girls are away from home during this festive holiday time. The house feels bigger because our domestic helper returned to her homeland in January, and official pet number one went to pet heaven last year. So it’s just the two of us.

Thankfully, there’s the extended family to have a simple, joyous Christmas Eve dinner at home. We count our blessings and are thankful for the close-knit bond.

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! Stay safe.

Hubby baked an apple cinnamon cake for the occasion, and the turkey was the main course.