Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Back To The Grind, 4th July 22

For Americans, 4 July is Independence Day. But when I read about the shooting down of Roe vs Wade, I wonder how Americans in America will be feeling about 4 July 22.

The stars of the red carpet have also come out to protest, with one saying to renounce their USA citizenry and take up UK citizenship.

For me, 4 July 22, is the day that I return to work after a hiatus of almost 6 months to recuperate from 7 surgeries.

Am I dreading it or am I looking forward to it like an eager beaver?

Honestly, I am not excited but know that I need to line my pocket with pocket change for survival and hence, I have to get back to the grind.

Dreading it is real as I know that the projects that were supposed to be done during my absence were all stalled, waiting for my return to kick it off and conclude it. The stand in for me, whom I call “Imbecile” is a political player and with my new head, Ms Secretive, they make a beautiful pair. So, I am not all rah rah ready to dive back in to the work scene.

But life goes on….whatever their agendas, they need an asinine me to do the job and so, I have to suck it up and get it done. I will only know the atmosphere once I am back in. I just hope the waters are not as murky as I think it is.

Eunuch’s last day is end of June 2022 and his parting remarks to me was to “shout for help” if I am overloaded. He knows that the lean team of Ms Eager, Ms Blur Blob and I are grossly insufficient to get things done.

I must get to know Ms Imbecile as she is heavily shielded by Ms Secretive and this motely duo I need to untangle and know their modus operandi.

To get ready for work, I went shopping for a pair of black sports shoes for work. I needed a good pair of shoes for my spine. It was a factory outlet for New Balance products and pity I was not buying more than a pair else I would receive a further 30% off. The pair I bought was priced at SGD200 but I received a discount of SGD49 and ended up paying SGD160. A decent savings for me! I am happy.

I saw a pair of New Balance sandals for kids priced at SGD40 and wondered if it would fit Garfield’s legs. But after staring hard at it and showing the sales assistant a photo of Garfield, we both agreed that Garfield’s paws or legs were way to big for the pair of sandals.

Silly me, yet the sales assistant, indulged me haha! Garfield was not with me as I needed to get hand soaps and groceries….Watson had an offer of SGD5 for 3 large bottles of hand soap and I selected chamomile, lavender and peaches and cream fragrances. It was a steal as Guardian was selling at SGD2 per bottle and NTUC was selling their house brand at SGD2.45 per bottle.

Minion hood is required as it provides for me and Garfield LOL!

I hope there will not be civil strife in USA as a result of the shooting down of Roe Vs Wade. May the people in charge, legislators or government officials come to their senses and restore faith in their governance of things. As a woman, I sincerely cannot see how a rape victim if becomes pregnant with the child of the rapist is forced to have that baby delivered and provide for it as a parent.

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Tuesday & The Skies Are Fickle

The skies are fickle,

La Nina and El Nino are full of cloud tickles,

Like pee, the clouds pours till it becomes a trickle!

I cannot complain about the clouds as I love rain, be it in buckets, trickles or sheets as it waters the lawns, gardens, curbside plants and parched grass.

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” – Buddha I read this quote from Chen’s blog site.

Sin and Sinner – Chen Song Ping (wordpress.com)

Chen writes meaningful posts and I find this especially meaningful to me given what I have gone through in life thus far.

I have written long and hard on MR EX in my blog posts.

Admittedly, I am not a saint and cannot openly say that I can “love the sinner, MR EX” for all that he has done or not done as a person who claims to care.

I had a good laugh when I read MR EX’s post on his Facebook when he shared his “near death” surgery and pain he suffered. His ardent fans would support him and offer him a lot of well wishes as he lives for the limelight.

I compared MR EX to myself. I underwent 33 surgeries and MR EX was nowhere to seen as I went through each on my own, suffering pain and literally “code blue” and was revived. I do not call it my near death experience. Though it qualifies literally!

Pain is relative and each person’s threshold for pain is different. What I laughed at was how MR EX saw his own pain as “intolerable pain and that a line of butchers are waiting to cut him if this near death experience does not eliminate his pain”

I never belittle anyone’s pain as I have gone through pain. I receive compassion and empathy from my mum, friends, my surgeons and especially my loyal team of White Coats. But why am I so harsh towards MR EX?

Simply put:-

I have experienced pain “everywhere” except from my hair.

I have been surgically operated on for 33 surgeries of which the last 7 were done in the last 7 months. My sanity was tested time and time again but I had to find strength to overcome. MR EX was nowhere to be found, nor was he a person who stood by me even when I went through 2 literally near death surgeries; of which for 1 surgery, I did literally become quite clinically dead only to be revived.

So, can I hate the sin and love the sinner?

MR EX may have “deep pain” as he professes but he could still take a flight to travel and return. His tolerance for his claim of “deep pain” is admirable.

I find it very very hard to offer anything nice to say to MR EX or even offer my empathy or sympathy as reciprocity is not there. Yes, I cannot be an angel even!

I find it easier to tell MR EX, karma bites and when it does, learn the pain this so called once upon a time someone he claims to care and still care for and experience it to know it. Perhaps then, MR EX will be a better and more sincere person instead of shielding behind a façade of saintly reverence by worshippers of his public relations blitz!

Perhaps then, MR EX will be kind enough to tell me, he is deeply sorry and understands me for what I have suffered, still suffering and for what he has done.

Till hell freezes over you think? LOL!

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A Heartfelt Story

Credit: The Right handed sweater by Dr. Laha

[I found this on the internet and am sharing it with my readers. It was written by a Dr Laha.]

I quote……

“Long back… for the sake of treatment of my nephew, who was suffering from cancer, I used to travel from Thane to Dadar daily in suburban train.

One day I marked one couple in their 50s , fair, slim, smiling and gracious — husband in office dress with brief case and wife with sober colour saree with shawl…

They sat very close, hand in hand on the station bench.

They used to board the train, take a window seat and sit close to each other. Husband would read newspaper and wife would start knitting a cream coloured sweater…

Seeing day after day I fell in love with them.

I used to come early to station to find them out and see them from a distance… admiring and thanking God that the world is full of such beautiful people.

I saw the sweater get completed till the waist portion… then the chest portion…. then the neck… then the right hand. The lady was knitting the sweater as if there was no hurry, with her quiet and steady pace and smiling face.

And every time they would board on and alight the train hand in hand… taking care of each other amidst crowded local train.

And then suddenly, I missed them, couldn’t find them in the station.

The next day… couldn’t find them. Days passed… 2 months passed. I got worried and impatient… I somehow started loving them.

And when I almost lost hope altogether, suddenly I found that the gentleman in his usual dress and with his briefcase was sitting on a bench.

Gathering my courage and with all hesitancy, I walked towards him, sat beside him and asked –
“Sir, sorry if am bothering you, where is ma’m?”

He saw straight to my face with lots of queries.

With a hurried breath I continued –
“Sir, in fact I have been watching you both for so many months… I saw you as one of the most wonderful couples. God has created in the world. I silently admired and respect you from a distance…
I used to come to station early to find you out. I used to board the same compartment as you boarded…
But where is ma’m? Is she alright?”

“No. She is no more. She left me almost 2 months back.”

I got a goose bump. I got a choking sensation…

“She was suffering from throat cancer in terminal stage…
She wanted to stay beside me and feel me every moment of her life. So against the advice of doctors, she used to accompany me to my office , after quickly finishing her household chores… and she started knitting a sweater for me so that I don’t catch a cold and throat cancer, because she always thought this cold and pollution caused her throat cancer.”

Two trains came and gone. He was not in a hurry. Then the 3rd train came.

He said, “I have to board this train or else I will be late to my office.”

He didn’t wait for me. Straight hurriedly headed to board the train…
And then I discovered the left hand of his cream coloured sweater was still incomplete!
The gentleman had put on the unfinished sweater so easily and unhesitatingly that everything else was so insignificant to him.

He could still feel his wife beside him with this unfinished right-handed sweater….

I couldn’t resist my tears rolling down.

The sweater was incomplete but their loving relation was complete — a complete full circle!

We all struggle to lead an incomplete life like this incomplete sweater but the warmth of one-handed sweater has the power of making the relations a full circle. With whomsoever you want, let all other things be incomplete in life… all relations be complete like a full circle… with love, with affection, with respect, with trust and with gratitude…

If you run away from incompleteness you will reach incompleteness.

If you strive to complete the circle, you can make a full circle with the warmth of incompleteness.

Let the circle of love, affection, respect, trust and gratitude…. full of divine light be there in your life!

Wish you all a Divine full circle ! “

End of quote.

I enjoyed this little tale and I cannot ascertain if it was real or a fiction piece but one thing is for sure, it is a lovely poignant feel good story.

Love in such eternal settings bring a lump in our throats and I sincerely wish all married couples or couples together, having this same magnitude of love. It would be tough but for that, I wish it to be true.

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Tuesday’s Think Thoughts

I was so glad that Mr Nice told me he could be discharge from hospital today and that his wife and 2 sons will take turns to help him with his urinary catheter and urinary bag for the next 10 days whilst he recovers, before the urinary catheter and urinary bag can be disposed of.

I know the feeling as post spinal surgery, I was hooked up to a Pethidine dispensing machine that allowed me to press when I feel pain and release Pethidine to ease my pain. I was also hooked up with a urinary catheter and urinary bag. I was flat on my bed for 7 days before I was allowed to be up and about.

I begged for the opening in my neck for IV plug to be removed by day 3 as I was eating and not dizzy but was refused till day 5. Apparently I have baby veins and the veins collapsed once the IV drip went in. So Dr Anaes had to do one IV plug through use of my carotid vein. He shared that this was usually used for open heart surgeries and or other major heart surgeries as this vein was large.

I learnt humility as I laid on my back. I was beholden to the nurses for keeping me clean and made it point to be up by 4.30am so that the 2 out of 3 nurses in the night shift could be less burdened as they had to take care of 12 patients nightly. This way, they can sponge me and move on to do other things.

By day 7 I forced self to get up on commode and be wheeled to the toilet and it was super painful. I now know how people with disabilities or post operations feel.

I had to wear a diaper at night as getting 2 nurses to help me each time to get to the toilet would be a chore and it eased their workload. I did not like it, but I had no choice.

I also learnt to reflect on my life.

What does chasing the extra dollar means to me if I have no life or mobility to pick it up. My mum is wise and reminded me that without health, even if one million bucks dropped in front of me, I cannot even bend down to pick it up, much less lug it home to keep. But yes, I know that legally, I need to report it to the police station as finders is not keepers and yes, I could not even lug it to the police station!!

I am also thankful that I did not get married. Chances are with my myriad surgeries (32 as at 31 May 2022), no husband will still stand by me and live up to the oath of “in sickness and in health, till death do us part!” – I will be a forever burden to the chap!

But I am also open to the fact that I get lonely as I age. I will probably need to live in a nursing home in the future or in an assisted living facility and make new friends to co-exist with. I hope the nursing home quality and standard of living improves from now as what I have seen is quite dreadful here. The 5 star ones costs SGD15,000 for a single room and for that price, I might as well live in a 5 star serviced apartment. This cost excludes medical care, medicines and or laundry etc.

So, I will rot like an old crotchety woman, with a raggy Garfield in tow, watching CSI reruns or NCIS series or some other new police drama like Hudson and Rex.

I have given up on romantic love. After MR EX, I decided that love is not real and is superficial.

Even unconditional love becomes conditional. I started out being supportive of a housekeeper at Bates Motel. I gave her money for this or that when she moaned about her husband being unwell in Malaysia. It was small amounts of SGD10, then it increased to SGD50 which added up to a fair bit during my stay each time.

3 days ago, this housekeep forwarded me a text that the income tax department wanted her to pay SGD1,700+ for her income tax. I knew then, that Housekeeper wanted me to pay for this. I stood firm and turned her down as I too, had to earn my money and this is now getting to be sizeable amounts.

If I was Warren Buffet, I could pay for Housekeeper but Housekeeper lives in a landed property in Malaysia and has 2 adult sons. But I am not! I am a wage owner with my own expenses and family to care for.

Housekeeper is not entirely truthful and information comes in dribs and drabs and only after 10 years, I learnt that there were 2 sons instead of 1 son.

I learnt the lesson of “kindness being taken for weakness” too.

I do not know how I will end up in life and if I had a wish, I will not want to live long if there is no quality of life. I do not want anymore surgeries and want this 32nd surgery to be the mother of all surgeries and it ENDS!

I am not depressed or suicidal. I am practical.

Lil Red Dot is an expensive place to live in and it is quite impossible to retire and think savings will suffice. All it takes is a major catastrophic illness to wipe up hundreds of thousands of savings as insurers are now wising up to medical costs and may not approve all hospital and surgical claims.

If I need SGD2,500 to live a month, I will need SGD900,000 to survive me if I live till 90 years old. But this is unrealistic as with premium increments for medical insurances and cost of living, I will probably need SGD5,000 a month and I will need SGD1.8 million if I live till 90 years old.

I sincerely hope I can croak tomorrow. Easier as I will have funds to take care of self and Garfield (poor fella will then be stuffed into the niche with me).

Bummer!

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Flowers Taken In India

These pics were shared with me by the photographer, Samy, my physiotherapist. He told me that he photographed these flowers that were happily blooming in the gardens of the sidewalks! So pretty!!

I love the daisies one most as Samy used it for his screen saver and it was very pretty!

Samy is from India and is working in Singapore under a work permit.

He is hoping to be able to bring his mum over to live with him in Singapore as his father passed away recently and his sister has a job offer to work in Czechoslovakia and his other brother is working in Qatar.

Samy will soon be match maked to a bride and he will marry her as he has been unable to find true love. He is nos in his forties.

I hope he is able to have his mum over and his future bride too.

All the best Samy!💞💞👍👍😃😃😃

Photos are courtesy of Samy

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Bates Motel, Day #33 – A Choking I Go, Panacea In The Works?

Pain has now dropped from my scale of 12/10 with 10 being max to 8/10. I will continue to breathe…mind over matter😤😤I can do it!!

Physio started and walking 120m plus sets of different exercises has winded me. I need Xrays to see if the darn screws are in place. I pray so!! May the universe give me continued strength.

Today’s 4.30am drama….I was choking as a result of extreme dry throat. Though I have Sjorgren’s Syndrome or “sicca” meaning “dry”….this episode was something I never experienced at its extremity.

To overcome, I had to bear pain from spine as I gasp and floundered like a fish out of water to breathe. I now feel how poor fishes when out of water feels. I learnt suffering in a new way.

Yesterday at peak of my pain scale & beyond, Piglet sent me a lovely box of of sunflowers, complete with get well balloon. To honor both her generosity and kindness, I have asked someone to bring these flowers to an Indian temple in seeking continued blessings and good health for both Piglet and I by Lord Ganesh as well as for all those seeking help for medical issues.

Piglet has her health challenges too and have undergone many many surgeries like me. I umderstand her as much as she understands my health issues.

I wish all health challenged persons to seek solace and comfort in cosmic or universal sources unknown to us and heal us all.

Below is home made muruku or Indian snacks from one of Bates Housekeeper. I love murukus.

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Caring & Uncaring Or Totally Oblivious

My regular readers on WordPress would know that I have siblings, albeit dysfunctional ones.

Siblings related by blood means squat. It does not mean that blood is thicker than water holds true as it is dependent on the character of each person.

My siblings and I lived under the same roof with parents, ate from the same table, received the same teachings of my mother. Yet, 2 of us have become self centred, materialistic and uncaring, putting self first.

I am then the black sheep of the family as I do not care for materialism, eat to live and only care about my inanimate furballs. I live within a budget, sharing my funds with family. But I soon realised this was not the case with my siblings.

I accepted them for who they are and only now realise that when parents need them most as they age, they continue on in their self centered mode.

Things have come to head now as I have decided to give them the silent treatment – one is roosted in Hong Kong and the other in New Zealand. It was easy to cite Covid-19 as a reason for not returning to visit their parents but now with borders opening, I find it hard to maintain this rationale. It just shows that both are happy not to return so as not to take responsibility for their parents.

Of course my parents hurt, yearn for their visits but the 2 siblings I have, are oblivious to their needs.

I have learnt to prioritize and because I am good at it, I am now the Go To Guy to sort out parental needs. I have become the de facto person and I started questioning the end of my relationship with my siblings.

My sis, who is the eldest by the way, was not much of a sis in my growing up years. She was ashamed of me as I never dressed in designer togs, ate simply and made friends with just about anyone without distinction of race, stature or creed. I was, to her, an abominable misfit in her world of Salvatores, or Whatchamacallit Bling Blings!

In today’s speak of political correctness, I would say she is a first class Bully. When I was in between jobs, I was forbidden food as in her royal view, I did not contribute to the family fund, I was not allowed to eat anything in the house. Thank goodness I had good friends who bought me lunches and dinners. Finally I was thrown out of the house – father played a part as he became my 2 siblings pawn. Irony of it is that today, this Black Sheep is the sole care giver of my father who now has dementia and a mother who stoically stood by me but rail roaded by father, sister and brother back then.

2 weeks ago, I finally stood my ground and berated the 2 siblings in name. I fully understood that I was nothing more than a Go To Guy and that whenever they visited Singapore, I was their designated ATM.

Amongst family, I never looked at funds selfishly as I was happy to share and pay for things or meals with them. But the reverse is not true.

I am now standing firm against my 2 siblings. I do not wish to engage them and have told my parents squarely (hoping to catch father in moments of lucidness to exact my words) that so long as they live, they are “siblings” but it ends when they pass.

Mother understands my position. Father does not care as he never cared if I lived or died. Frankly over the multiple surgeries, he did not make an effort to see me. It was Mother who forced him to take her to visit me in hospital.

As for my fantastic sister, her utterances at my hospital bed, could just kill me if I was gasping for my last breath….”You are a bloody nuisance” when she stormed into my room from Penang, Malaysia where she and her family were based back then. You see, Mother made her come visit me as I had almost died back then.

So when I challenged all these actions of both siblings, I received silence. The 5 letter word S.O.R.R.Y can never be in their vocabulary as my sister would tell me blatantly, she does not remember all these. So, I learnt that one can get selective dementia when one chooses.

I hurt. I remember. I do not forget. I find it hard to forgive too. I tried forgiving but cannot forget when the siblings persist in their lack of care or concern. Perhaps if I married a rich tycoon in the likes of same financial value of portfolios of Gates or Elon Musk, then maybe I will be respected or loved.

Aaah well, I shall be shovelling coals for Lucifer in Hades. I am not a saint. I despise the Catholic faith as this is the teaching outcomes of my siblings and I. So much for being charitable, helpful for being filial.

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Much Ado About Wednesday

What a din!

I am surrounded by apartment units undergoing massive renovations. This means, pounding, hacking of walls, re-tiling etc – the full works! Sigh. I can barely hear myself think but surprisingly I am zen about it as at the end of the noise, I can drone out the din and still think.

But I fail at meditation though as my monkey brain is jumping all over the place most times and I cannot have that sense of “emptiness” – looks like I have a very full and active brain.

Recently I restarted multi tasking both watching the goggle box and doing E crosswords on my cell phone. At the end of it, I succeeded in doing both. I used to be able to eat, read and watch the goggle box when I was an undergraduate. In those days, time was never enough and I had to adapt to that, for purposes of survival to pass my term exams or finals!

I often ask myself why new house owners tend to tear down everything about the abode they bought and rebuild? Besides cost, lots of materials are tossed out.

I understand the look and feel but interior decoration should be able to suffice I thought. It is the manner of how new home owners splurge on a loan to get the building done or part with cash to do it.

Is it like this in your country?

Do new home owners either wreck the property they bought and rebuild from ground zero?

Would you as a new homeowner have a wrecking ball tear down the place you bought and redo it to your taste and preference?

I can agree on kitchen cabinets, toilets to be re-modelled and curtains etc but the physical building, I will need to reconsider as it is a lot of work and cost.

Building materials have gone up considerably – cement, sand and pipings have all sky rocketed, not to mention my humble croissant from my favorite bakery has raised its price from SGD1.50 to SGD1.70 per piece!

Profiteers are also jumping on the bandwagon of Ukraine’s war with Russia to jack up prices too!

I wish the Ukraine War would end and that Poo Tin exits – He has exacted enough damage and deaths. Isn’t it time for Poo Tin to live and let live and move on?

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April Fool’s Day – Sobering Truths

I have no prank to pull nor tricks to grab anyone’s attention. Instead, I will use April Fool’s Day as a Day Of Sobering Truths.

Sorry – this 5 letter word is the hardest for anyone to utter with sincerity and remorse if the person has done something wrong. I have received “fake apologies” as some take it as a word, without the real meaning of its value.

Sorry is even harder for family members to say to each other, especially in my family. I have an elder sister and a younger brother but truth be told, I am not treated like a sibling or a family member by them. Best part is that I thought I was a “bastard” but unfortunately, I am a spawn of the loins of my birth parents.

Mum loves me and is the only person who would speak up for me and ensure that I am not taken advantage of. Dad hates me with a passion as I am a middle child, an extra mouth as all he wanted was an eldest daughter and the youngest son.

As a child, I did not mind it but once my brain developed with education (my dad had to legally put me through Kindy, Primary and secondary school) I realised the unfair treatment of myself when compared to the other 2.

My sister only had to say she wanted to study in Canada and my dad sponsored her. I had to pay for my own Pre-University studies and after much shouting, yelling and argument with my dad, was I allowed to do my first degree in USA.

I went on to pay for my own Masters degree and other courses.

The bad investment my dad made for his eldest was her education as she never wanted to work. Instead she chose to be a housewife, so the return of investment for her is truly zero.

I realised also that I am the one asking after them. Both my siblings would not bother to ask after me. So what if I am dead? Or if something happened to me. I am only missed when I am physically not able to do their respective roles of taking care of my parents in their golden years.

I have given up on a warm family. I know it does not exist for me, I have accepted but will still do my best to care for my dad though he does not have me in his heart. I take it as filial piety.

Through this post, I plead to all parents to treat each child equally, though I know it is hard as one parent to love one more than the other. But please do not make it so clear cut that a child feels used as an automated teller machine (ATM) or a chauffeur, nursemaid or errand boy.

As humans, we thrive on love, care and concern. Do not disparage, denigrate any child or behave thuggish against anyone. Should any sibling issues occur, settle it with fairness and objectivity as sometimes the branded Black Sheep is not so black.

I marvel at how my siblings have selective dementia when I query or stand up for myself at today’s age on how they affected my life. They prefer to think that I have dementia and that they live entitled lives with sovereign rights to do unto me what dad does.

Life goes on for me, except that I am pretty clear now in my thinking that no amount of kindness or efforts I put in for my siblings, it will be ever appreciated or remembered. If so, it is split second memory and I am back at status of Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Sharing does not exist in our vocabulary. My eldest sibling would never allow me to eat what she has bought but she is entitled to eat whatever I buy. I laugh!

Money matters in my siblings’ realm. What is mine, is theirs and what is theirs is theirs. So I continue to pay for things.

I only have one philosophical think thought – I blame it on my karma. Perhaps my past life I have been evil to them and this life they take their revenge. Henceforth, I will pay for my deeds this life and if a God or a supreme leader exists in the planetary world of dead or alive, I swear never to be reincarnated and make this my last life cycle. I do not wish to have any dealings with these spiritual beings of my human siblings this life to be in the forever realm of my Samsara.

Please please do not associate me with the spirits of this earthly sister and brother as well as dad.

I have had enough!

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Neighbor’s Cooking Week 25 March 22 To 31 March 22

25 March 22 Friday lunch was not served as Neighbor has to be with grandsons for their swim classes. Dinner, Helper cooked fried rice with peas, corn bits, egg and bacon. Lotus root soup with pork and corn on the cob. This is one of 2 favorite soups of Neighbor that I enjoy most.

26 March lunch was a traditional Soto Ayam – a Malay dish with noodles, coriander, 1 calamansi lime, half of a hard boiled egg and shredded chicken. I like this dish as it is a bit spicy and I like spicy noodles and soup.

26 March dinner was rice and fish soup. Fresh pieces of red garoupa fillet with “Tang Oh”veggies with cut red chillis, garnished with shallots and shallot oil.

27 March 2022, Sundays are days when kitchen is closed by Neighbor.

28 March lunch & dinner

29 Lunch & dinner

30 lunch was old cucumber soup with pork bones, wolfberries and red dates & rice.

31 March lunch and dinner was braised pork with bean curd and spinach seaweed miso soup.

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