Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Deepest Condolences To The Bereaved Families Of USS John McCain

The USS McCain has unfortunately struck a passing tanker and has caused 10 missing sailors.

Last evening, it was reported in the news that some bodies were found. This was not at all good as I was hoping they would survive this ordeal.

It is sad that such an incident has happened and the cause is being investigated.

Singapore, Malaysia and Australia have also pitched in to try and locate the missing sailors but as the days drag on, it is highly unlikely that there would be survivors.

Passing ships have been informed to keep their eyes to the seas to pick up survivors if any but still there are no news. We do a watchful wait for news to shore as they would say.

It was also the start of the Hungry Ghost Festival last evening. This is the 7th Lunar Month for the Chinese Calendar and it is a month of vacation for the spirits of the netherworld as they are released.

Taoists would be busy offering paper money (we call hell notes), paper marche of things we as living people would need – some examples are iphones, laptops, make up, cars, maids etc.- these at burnt so that the spirits can receive it spiritually for use.

The 7th month is a “scary month” as folklore believes that the souls are out seeking revenge or sorting out past issues unresolved or even seeking a body to reincarnate.

It is reminded of young ones not to make any unnecessary comments whilst offerings are burnt so as not to unknowingly offend the dead. Lest, they be haunted.

It is also a ‘recruitment “month ie spirits of the netherworld or we say the grim repaper taking souls and lives.

It is unfortunate that the USS McCain has had this accident during this 7th month and all we can do in lil red dot is pray for their safe return and that such needless loss of life from either human error or *stories floating that it could have been a cyber attack* – perhaps the roving spirits will help them reunite with their families! Yes, spirits can also do good and help!

As a citizen of lil red dot,  I offer my sincerest condolences to the families who have lost their sons in this accident and may they find solace that their sons served the country with pride. Blessings and love with huge Garfield Hugs. *bows head and prays*

 

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Deepest Condolences To My Bereaved Host Mum On Passing Of Dean McKenzie, My Host Dad😢😢😢

Friday morning at work, my heart skipped a beat when I saw an email from my Host Mum Lucile that her husband, my beloved Host Dad, Alan Dean McKenzie passed.

My life with the McKenzies began in January 1986 as a Freshman at University of Oregon.

I had signed up for ARH205 – Byzantine Art and Architecture taught by Assoc Prof Alan Dean McKenzie.

With his influence, I graduated with a minor in Art History, appreciating European art and architecture including Chinese art!

I enjoyed his classes at Prince Lucien Campbell Hall and half way through winter term, I boldly went up to him if he will be my host family whilst I study in USA.

“I will ask my wife” he smiled.

The next week, he told me at class that his wife, Lucile, was delighted to host me.

As I spent family time with them in their beautifully landscaped bamboo garden aptly called Le Petite Chateau, I enjoyed Anerican culture and American Slang 101.

They had be over for Thanksgiving dinners, took me out for hikes at Spencer Butte, Sahalie Falls and Shakespeare festival.

I was treated to a musical and a whole host of family time. I learnt the American culture as they made my stay in USA as their daughter.

Over the years since graduation, I only returned once to see them in 1995 as after that, I fell very ill, being hospitalised every year for surgeries up till 2016.

An avid photographer, Prof would send me photos of visitors to their garden.

Below is a photo of the late Prof McKenzie in his garden.

Bambi comes by to their garden.

Rest in peace Host Dad…Professor Emeritus, University of Oregon, Art History – I love you and may you continue to look after Host Mum Lucile who loves you so much as lost you as her soul mate.

You missed your birthday on 13th August 2017 as you passed on 4th August 2017.

Garfield hugs 🤗🤗🤗and till we meet again.

Thank you for your love and care.

I promise to continue to email Lucile to ask after her as she does to me.

They say that as a host parent, your responsibilities never end till we part in death and re meet in afterlife.

Blessings!

All photos were taken by Prof and emailed to me or snail mailed over the years.

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Wednesday Thoughts

My lil red dot has been rocked with the family saga of 38 Oxley Road – the home of our late founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
This has permeated to the international arena and the whole world knows about it as FaceBook was the social media used by the siblings of our PM Lee.
A lot of “he say”, “she say”, “they say” – dirty linen in the airing using public space.

The issue is to demolish the house or gazette it as a national monument or re-model it? 

“Secret committee” set up to address the issue? 

The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s will was also questioned.

It is very sad for me to see the “house” called Singapore torn apart by squabbling siblings against the eldest son who is also the PM of lil red dot. 

People around the world are wondering what is happening in our lil red dot whilst local Singaporeans are “sick and tired” of this personal family squabble that has erupted to the public eye of Singaporeans.

From a personal brick and mortar house, it has affected the “house” we call our home, Singapore.

There are bigger economic and political issues at stake for our lil red dot – heightened security from terrorist threats, loss of jobs etc that is challenging us. We should be focusing on these issues instead of debating what to do with an old house, whose foundation is not good and is currently housing the youngest Lee child. Besides, so long as she chooses to live in that home, nothing can be done really.

Parliament has party whip lifted as PM Lee was accused by siblings that he had allegedly “abused” his power.

I doubt it is money and it is plainly family rift – impasse amongst them. Deep rooted unhappiness which did not show whilst the patriarch and matriarch were around, alive!

I put selves in my own shoes with my siblings.

I feel the same.

The jealousy and animosity amongst us is so deep that “political” factions exist in our 5 member family.

We do not have gold mines or treasures befitting King Tut’s tomb but yet whatever there is, it is worth tussling for, I am sure. I can see the partner of my brother chiming in as well as the spouse of my sister wanting a say too. I only have one inanimate voiceless furball called Garfield LOL!

Human beings are complex creatures, and I believe, can be difficult when they choose to be.

Maybe I am philosophical or cynical – we come with nothing, we will leave with nothing. Whatever the wishes of any deceased, if the living chooses not to proceed with it, what can the dead do?

Hence I am reminded again of people sharing with me that the most important thing needed for the dead is to find one willing thumb to depress the knob to commence firing in the BBQ pit ( my personal choice to exit) or the one “gardener” or several “gardeners” to dig the plot for one’s final rest.

Else, I will rot or as they say, decay……

I wish the Lees an amicable settlememt and may their rifts heal over time.

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Some Things Cannot Be Bought

Today I learnt that Scorpion’s sister whom I worked with before has reported to the heavenly realm.

During my employment many years back, I urged her to seek medical treatment when she had an ovarian cyst.

During surgery to remove this benign cyst, the gynae friend of mine saw this large ugly mass in her appendix and recognised it to be a cancerous tumor.

He immediately removed it and this was where her troubles began.

Gynae surgeon told me that she was arrogant and not only did she not thank him for early discovery (*she lived a period of 5 years till her passing last evening) she challenged him on his diagnosis and he had to redo the biopsy test in 2 different hospitals and blamed him for the discovery.

As I walked her through her cancer journey to seek medical attention and find good oncologists for her etc, she nor Scorpion even bothered to thank me.

I did not bother until the evil Scorpion started ill treating staff and starting going into a cult worshipping of a living man – Indian man.

Whilst I am sympathetic at his loss, I felt this was something Scorpion had to learn. 

He and his sibling were arrogant Porsche drivers.

They turned their noses up against people and used people.

This reminds me that no amount of wealth can buy us health, wealth and happiness.

Many things money cannot buy.

To name more…

Laughter…hmm unless you buy a comedy club or own a stand up comedian

Trust

Friendships

Heartfelt sympathy

Empathy

Loads more….

May Scorpion be enlightened and learn that life is not about how much you have in wealth but people around you and how we treat people.

This may be his second chance.

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Chinese New Year – Day 3 

My ex colleagues, both of whom are accomplished chefs sent me the above and below greetings on Day 3 of CNY.

Both images herald the 3rd day of CNY and most people reopen for business on this auspicious day.

Day 1 is reserved for families to visit each other i.e. eldest anticipate siblings and parents expect children to return with grandchildren.

Day 2 is for visiting close relatives and return visits of seniors to younger relatives.

I have been enjoying a relaxing time these 2 days with my parents, keeping them company and taking time to bring them out for something different in food choices! Junk food!

So far we have had Popeyes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds and last night was at Burger King!

For ordering a prosperity meal at McDonald’s, I was given a cutesy designed hong bao wrapper ie red packets to slot money in for married ones to give singletons.

Ms Xena Warrior was talking about this and I am sure she wanted this. So, I will save this for her.

On CNY eve I received a Garfield new borne from a friend who hails from China.

I am always happy to receive a Garfield and he quickly settles in comfortably on my sofa.

As with every “birth” – animate or inanimate comes “death”

On eve of CNY morning, I saw a wake at the void deck of my parents’ flat.

My heart missed a beat as to have a death in the family is always hard but even more painful when it is the auspicious lunar new year.

Many will avoid attending wakes and paying last respects as it is not auspicious.

To whoever who passed, it will be indeed a quiet wake for the decedent’s family.

When I went up to my parents unit, they were visibly saddened as the person who passed was their valued neighbor and friend. We called her Aunty Yahoe.

She had a loud shrill voice and would always announce her arrival at my parents’ flat with voice first.

I remember when my mum had heart stents, she cooked for my mum.

Life is numbered with mortality.

As we celebrate a new year, I am reminded of mortality.

We are not immortals.

Aunty Yahoe aged 68 years old passed peacefully in her sleep. Mum who visited her after she had immediately passed at their home said that Aunty Yahoe was serene and peaceful.

I bumped into the undertakers whilst riding the lift up to collect her.

A heartfelt reminder for me as I start the new year.

With happiness, will come sadness.

With life, will come death.

With sadness, will come joy.

With good deeds, will come blessings.

Do no evil is my take. 

Help where can and when needed.

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Wednesday Reality Check

Picture this….

A Singaporean Chinese family sits at dinner table. Young son aged 9 years old is playing games on his handheld device.

Mum serves him a nice portion of fish.

“Eeee fish again! I don’t want to eat fish”

“It is okay son, eat other dishes” says father immediately.

Scene 2

An Indian family sits at dinner table. This is a family comprising a couple in their 60s and with son and his wife.

Plenty of food is available on the table.

Mother eats a piece of fish and says, “fish is not fresh daughter” and frowns with an annoyed look.

Scene 3

An aged couple. A toothless lady and her husband eating dinner under spartan conditions. 

Husband serves her one of 2 pieces of canned sardine. 

She grins happily and tucks in to her dinner of plain white rice and a piece of sardine.

The story ends.

This is a production of an effort of the government agency to remind us to count our blessings.

I cried. 😢

I went to the supermarket and bought a tin of Ayam Brand Sardines.

I ate that with plain rice and it tasted delicious😊

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Ghost Festival Starts Today….

七月 or pronounced as “qi yue” in Mandarin is the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar signifying the start of Ghost Festival.

Chinese believe that during this month the gates of hades are opened for the spooks to roam the Earth and visit friends and relatives.

This is the start of their 30 days of freedom.

Relatives of the spooks will be busy this month offering money, gold ingots in paper marche form.

Clothes, cosmetics and branded items are made of paper and burnt as offerings for the spooks.

Food is pivotal in death. Foodie nation remember and a hungry ghost is an unhappy ghost 😁

So, roast pigs, chickens, ducks or favorite dishes or foods of the spooks are cooked and offered.

After that, the living will eat and enjoy.

Joss sticks and candles are offered and wowee the number of zeroes in hell notes is larger than what an bank or government can print!

It comes in US currency too!!

Companies or businesses who believe in this practice will also do offerings and invite staff to buy goodie bags ie pre packed with daily essentials like cooking oil, salt, rice and canned foods to offer and take home.

There are also auctions held to herald in good luck and prosperity to whoever that successfully bids for an object.

The object is usually not valuable eg charcoal in a container and bidders can pay as much as $50,000 to get it.

Charcoal is black gold and you guessed it…wealth for the business and home.

It is also taboo during this month to do renovations or move house as it annoys the spook. 

Noise or inability to find living relatives is the reason.

So….happy spooks celebration and may spooks happily reunite for a month’s holiday with their loved ones.

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Strength……From Charlie Brown & Snoopy

Charles Schulz and his creative team must be applauded for this heartfelt conversation between Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

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Bird sent me this as her family is at the throes of deciding prolonging treatment of chemo and radiotherapy for her father at stage 4 terminal lung cancer.

There is always the possibility of succumbing to the treatment instead of dying from cancer itself.

It is difficult when there are relatives.

She has to deal with both paternal and maternal side arguments.

I told her to stay out of it as her mum is much alive and as his wife, she has to decide.

Her family has decided to insulate her father from knowing about his condition.

But her father, I am sure is an intelligent man, and will know from the treatment he receives.

There is no best way to die really….her father’s mother (Bird’s grandmother) is still alive at almost 90 years old…- genetically her father might beat the odds!

Tough decisions for Bird and all I can do is encourage her from afar.

Stay strong Bird…..like what Charlie Brown and Snoopy says …we all gotta die someday but other days we will not.

Blessings and a speedy recovery is wished for your father. A miracle if you will from above!!

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Tribute To Late Kwek Leng Joo

I do not personally know the late Mr Kwek Leng Joo.

But I do know of his philantrophic work, his love for photography and his belief in a greener business model in our little red dot.

The late Mr Kwek passed away in his sleep Monday at a relatively young age of 62 years, considering today’s ageism and people living longer.

I learnt from the press reviews that he was instrumental in the application for our Botanical Gardens to be awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.

He also donated to the families of inmates and other charitable causes.

He and his brother are hoteliers, property magnates and great business men.

Small wonder that he is listed on Forbes list but not snooty, instead down to earth.

Our Prime Minister Lee credited him for his contribution of photos that supported the application for UNESCO heritage status.

I met his nephew once. Young lad who was starting out in the business of this family of tycoons.

He was very different from the established, cool and dignified stature of the late Mr Kwek Leng Joo. Youth will catch up with maturity of thought and am sure he will helm the business in the future

I am sure his family is deeply shaken by his sudden passing.

Singapore has lost a kind hearted and giving son. His absence is sorely felt by the community at large.

For those whose lives he has touched, they will remember him.

Rest in peace Mr Kwek Leng Joo and bless our little red dot with all things good!

P.s. Say hello to our late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew up above. With you there and the pioneer leaders…we will expect “changes” up above 😉

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Singapore, Lion City & Orchids Galore

Our botanical gardens has been awarded UNESCO HERITAGE status!!

Chicken and her family were at the Orchid Garden today and took the following photos to share with me and my dear readers.

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Aranda Lee Kuan Yew Named After Our Founding Father

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Below is our national flower, Vanda Miss Joachim Orchid.

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Definitely Not An Orchid LOL!

Gorgeous orchids aren’t they? 😀

*All photos are copy righted by Chicken and I thank her for sharing with me and in turn sharing with fellow readers

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