Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Recollections, Reflections & Remembrances

Life to me is a hodge podge of experiences.

Some good.

Some bad.

Some ugly.

Some sad.

Some happy.

Some reflective.

Would I be a better person if not for the good, the bad and the ugly experiences?

Probably not as it does not allow me to feel the emotions that come with it.

It is often said that life is not a bed of roses and I would agree as those darn magnificent blooms have thorns, which makes the rose, a symbol of love to remind me that love hurts.

Is love overrated?


I have not heard from any living couple who is stuck in a continuous state of honeymooning years.

The glamour of love is overrated I feel and soon on Feb 14, the florists and gift shops will milk the ones pursuing romantic love with blooms that are sold at exorbitant mark ups.

I am a romantic at heart. Sheesh, name me a girl who will not swoon to romance?!

But I know it is impractical and unrealistic.

With romance, comes the pain, suffering and alongside with it, the joys of it.

It is truly up to us to moderate the experiences we encounter and learning to discern when to chuck the bad, keep the good and whack the ugly silly.

The ugly experiences are the ones that make me sad.

I have learnt to stop questioning why and take it in stride, reminding self that perhaps therein lies a lesson for me.

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Community Work – How It Can Sting Or Bring Cheer!

I have always been involved in some form of community work or other. Why do I do it? I have no clue! Maybe I just enjoy helping and seeing the fruits of a project working for the benefit of a selected group makes me happy.

In total over my current life span, I ran 10 golf tournaments (of 132 pax min per tournament), 8 major fund-raising dinners (average of 1,000 pax max) and other small-scale events. My credit is SGD12 million to date for funds raised.

Fund raising taught me networking, meeting and talking to different people from all walks of life. It taught me marketing and interpersonal skills. More importantly, it gave me wisdom in how to observe people.

I have hung up my boots on fund-raising – call it donor fatigue or I am tired chasing after dollars for a good cause! Perhaps it is also how good corporate governance may have lacked in the past and how fund-raising may have become a negative instead of a positive.

Instead, I now give time to help the community. If and when I have spare change in my pockets, I would make mindful donations. For now, my pet cause is the elders. For lack of a more creative approach, elders are called seniors, silver-haired, pioneers etc. But face it, at the end of the day, it is the elderly that is of concern without need of frills for a better branding.

The elderly population in Singapore is a real concern. Soon, I will join the elders and if you carefully observe, we are surrounded by elders. A reality that Singaporeans must face. Engaging this group and keeping them active is of major concern to government and citizens.

The fear of being ‘useless’ is a major concern of elders. What if dementia sets in or they end up alone. Most usually do, as many are single.

I pass by a community club to work each day and I cannot help but remember a grassroots person who used to Chair this community club then. They ran a food ration pack for elderly poor on a once a month program. I gave to support the cause. I am sure many others did as when I blew the whistle for help, I further raised another SGD2,500. I did not mind helping but what saddened me was the need for me to chase down this Chair and insist that he acknowledged each donor’s contribution, regardless of how small it may be. I believed in good faith and trust and I had to account to each of my donor contacts that their funds were not misused or it went into an abyss!

A good learning point is that the community club, much less the chair lacked the expertise to appreciate and cultivate donor’s network. By giving a negative impact to donor’s for their good deed, it may deter them from ever returning to give. I gave on account of the cause and the fact that I knew the Chair personally. What I did not expect was the unfortunate lack of follow-up to acknowledge or issue receipts to donors. A failure in good corporate governance and communications protocol. I owed my duty of good faith and trust to the fellow donors I approached.

At the end of it all, I did not receive a word of thanks from the Chair and ended up without any receipt for self nor a thank you note. If I am not active in community work, I would not have put this past and moved on.  I wish this community club well in continuing their fund-raising programs.

The morale of this story is, appreciate and thank your donors profusely so as to actively engage them in your giving or gift program. Donors how small or big must be respected and treated with dignity and appreciation as from them, you get leads to help out in furthering your cause. [Marketing concept]

Perhaps this Chair was not aware of this simple etiquette. But I frown, as I knew he gave SGD200 once to a charity I was helping and was told he hounded for a huge certificate and later on scoff at the charity saying it was not worthy of his help as their cause was not as magnified as another well know charity!


Bates Motel – Day #10 Passages Of Time

“A winding landscaped path…
All too perfect in an imperfect world…
And I wonder why the wild chooks and cockerel cross the road!”

Life is a passage of time, I feel.

As I lay in hospital, I hear of the health care cleaner’s sorrow of losing her 88 year old mum in law (MIL)

She had nothing but good things to share of the elderly relative citing how she came to her dream that early morning saying this is her “last day” with her.

Her MIL passed away that very day.

A far cry from Ms Selfish who does not appreciate her MIL for helping her mind her 2 year old but would hail curses and unnice words. A stark difference between 2 persons and how each sees to value loved ones.

I was just told by MR EX that he is in USA to “walk the last journey” of his “adopted mum” – it is not as if I cared because he is not a good man. He never was.

MR EX’s motives were always clear to maximize utility of one’s stature to get ahead. He gets headwinds by being calculated.

He carefully chose to align with this American lady to stand and gain a foothold in a mega billion industry of hoopla and motivational hoo ha.

Also he silently wished to gain a portion of her wealth bequeathed to him once she passed. She is in her 90s and he waited most patiently for his reward. So he is doing bedside vigil. I must admire his ardent desire to get ahead.

From what I heard, MR EX desperately needs SGD 3 million to retire.

It is a shame to be nice to people to get financial gains or stay ahead of the pack.

I am caustic.

I am cynical and I would not hesitate to tick off people who appear false to me.

I tolerated MR EX in hoping he realises how nasty he was to people and stop pretending to be kind, generous, setting up charities etc when he can ill afford.

I fell victim to his words and was sane to guard what little dollars I had as he asks for millions at a time, as if it was roubles or Monopoly monies.

It is the glamor and fame he thrives which is his downfall.

On one hand he laments his poverty and on the other hand he is wining and dining in Marina Bay Sands looking at taking banned substances to look “slim and handsome” He is a cad and a con man. I now know.

Passages of time has taught me disease, health issues and discern amongst those who need help, compassion and kindness versus those like MR EX and Ms Selfish for being genuinely selfish, self centred to the point of saying wicked things.

Only Lucifer can salvage the soul of MR EX as he will never know kindness, sincerity or true love as he loves and worships money too much and his ego precedes him.

I end with a quad stick as I will age. I am aging before my time and have used walkers, frames etc
What I will never forget is the love, care and concern of blogger Piglet who is really generous in time and money to think about me always.
It takes a village to care for others. I am blessed to have that one villager, Piglet, who cares for me.

Though my own sister is in Singapore, she will not attempt any effort to visit me in hospital. Unlike my brother who will.

I guess she is not one of those who will take public transport to visit me and is against Grab or Gojek (ride sharing app)

It takes the different traits of siblings to make a family.

I never had familial love and am used to it.

Love comes from within and though I looked for it through MR EX, I realised it wasn’t the case. Better late than never and I feel sometimes that if I could slap him across his face for all the lies he spun, I will feel better releasing all the hatred I have of him. But he is unworthy of soiling my hands and will let karma deal with him over time.

I am glad I removed self from his clutches else I will be saddled with his forever debt and philandering ways.

I lived.

I learned.

Such is my passage of time.

I am tired of being strong.


Out With 2019….In With Wisdom Of 2020

Out With 2019 Crappy Elections, Dramas of Politics, Trade Wars Blah Blah

I loved reading these advice from seniors!


Bates Motel #4 – Day 5, Almost 2020

‘Technician’ (*as I address my Orthopaedic Surgeon) has a kind heart.

It is a massive book really LOL!

As my surgeon, he cares enough to see me 3 to 4 times a day and this is appreciated as he has a heavy case load of 20 patients at his clinic and he needs to surgically operate.

Climate change in North Pole is wreaking havoc in Santa’s workshop. Hopefully Greta the climate change advocate succeeds in drilling into us to reuse, recycle and manage our earth better.

He swings by in scrubs or his signature black outfit of T shirt and jeans. Definitelt not a cut out of a surgeon. Hence my ‘technician’ and he loves the title accorded to him.

Sometimes it is hard to discern between general waste or recycling worth!

Doctors without airs or superiority complex works best for me as the warmth and heart they exude helps me recover faster.

Bucket List Done!

I am up at 3.15am for my daily shower. I like avoiding peak hour shower times at 7am and needing supervision to shower is currently what I require till my left hand is more mobile.

If I forget, the Bat Signal Works!

I am worried about part 2 surgery as without a left leg, how do I walk properly without hurting.

I was assured that the space boot helps and I guess I will look like robocop – a boot that is massive looking and a left arm sling with Garfield in tow.

I must look like a casualty of war.

Technician promised me that he will not turn me into a cyborg but made a comment that we will have a “long term relationship as a result of my musco sketelal issues.

I am resigned to fate.

A New Mr Bean Atttitude For 2020 – It Might Work!

After going through more than 20 surgeries; some major and others minor, I am sanguine and takes it in stride.

No point beating at my breasts hollering why me? But just suck it up and move on.

The saving grace is that I have good doctors, nurses, good Lords (*for once) and great dietary needs at Bates Motel.

After being a regular icon here the head chef actually visits me to craft my menu as I get tired of the same foods.

Life goes on.

I live.

I breathe.

I laugh.

I have Garfield.

I have you folks rooting me on and that is precious indeed.

Not much from me just my humble but sincere wish for all to bask in love and warmth of those you love.

May you and they be constantly wrapped in good health.

May happiness surround you and if you have been praying for that miracle to happen, then may you get it in 2020.

Happy New Year 2020 folks from Garfield and I.


Bates Motel #3 – Preparing For Surgery #2 During This Stay

I am doing better than expected.

I am ever so grateful to (1) Dr Boey Wah Keong, my anaesthesiologist, my orthopaedic “technician” (2) Dr Lim Yi-Jia of Ortholimb Bone and Joint Surgery and (3) Dr Lui Hock Foong my gastro doctor. It makes a huge difference when I have surgeons who care and not out to choke us for every penny we have.

I am largely alive because of their dedicated care.

Tomorrow I need to do an MRI to assess my foot and how much of a damage is there.

It means going back to the operating theatre and being sliced again.

Thanks to the creativity of Nurse Marites, she put crushed ice into this rubber glove to use as an ice pack over my swollen shoulder. Slipped into a paper matting sleeve, it sits on my freshly operated shoulder.

I must get a photo of him as he looks nothing like a surgeon but a rock climber and rocker. Awesome in humor and keeps me going to face the health issues that face me.

I have to remember this!

My mum in another hospital is stable and doing well. I am relieved as my worry was with her. If I do not fix my limbs, I cannot help her.

I think my rocker surgeon would dare to wear this T shirt haha!

I am sad about aging parents. I saw how Dr Boey reacted to losonv his mum recently and how Dr Lui lost his dad in the middle of this year.

They were calm accepting their death due to aging. I believe their professional training has helped them.

Don t we all wish for gold coins and nof chocolate ones in gold foil haha!

I too must let go when if is time and hope to celebrate their life instead of mourning their deaths when the time comes.


Solitude & Friendships

I had the support of my blog friends during this difficult last 3 weeks. For that, I am grateful for your kind wishes and prayers.

I was running on full adrenalin ignoring all physical pain of my body till I froze whilst crossing the road to my mum’s hospital.

My legs went into full rigor mortis as I called it and thankfully there were no cars. Else I could have been flatter than a pancake.

I hurt so bad from my spine that I could not move.

Tiredness knew no bounds as I gritted my teeth to carry on. My mum needed me.

Finally I managed to convince my siblings to come down and look in on mum and help me with dad.

Bro did come rather quickly but my sis took a while as she is a hard one to convince for help when needed. She is westernised in her thinking and she feels that living in Kiwiland need not require her to care for her parents.

I may be western in thinking but I believe in filial piety. I could not let my parents down as they have no one.

I was also worried at work as Ms Feisty had to work alone as Ms Selfish broke her 5th toe and decided to take her maximum hospital leave and refused to do a handover.

It was Christmas and with coming New Year’s and her house move she just wanted to switch off.

She could wear a boot and return to work but when I pleaded with her she was rude and aggressive and refused to help. What hurt me most was her lack of empathy or compassion that my mum was at death’s door.

She snapped back implying her mum died when she was 19 years old so what’s the big deal.

LOL…Easier to snip off!

She used to curse her mum in law when at work and shared how her classmate became enemies with her after her own wedding.

I now realise that Ms Selfish has a long road ahead of her to learn empathy, compassion and kindness. She is not a kind person and would report to work late and take long lunches. As her boss I accommodated these as she has a young toddler and I felt she needed support.

Life is funny sometimes. I relish in humor to drag away my lemony experiences. Laughter keeps me sane and gives me strength.

Some take a one way street and feels the world owes them a living.

I never felt the world owes me a living. I work hard and bear consequences of ill health all the time. I questioned God and dug deep to find answers.

I found none. I am non the wiser but realised that the world has the good, the bad and the ugly.

I take it in stride and will learn life’s lessons as I plod on.

Life goes on…lemons and all.

I am preparing for my 2nd surgery in couple of weeks on my leg. From my last 5th toe fracture and now the bone on my foot plate has loosened and needs to be removed and ligament realigned.

My orthopaedic surgeon calls self my technician. He dresses in attire that like a construction worker, no airs and no frills. Just a straight talker. I like it!


Bates Motel Day #1 – It Begins

Sayonara Santa!

How quickly Santa came and left.

All the parties, revelry and family yakkity yak leaves everyone drained literally

My inanimate furball Garfield and I are settled in Bates Motel. For familiarity, I was assigned the same room as previously given.

He is snugly tucked in.

The usual blood work for pre-operation. ECG and chest X rays were done.

Good that they are convinced I have a lung and heart that works.

Tomorrow’s surgery is scheduled at 10am.

After that, a tad challenging to use my cell phone and post blogs.

Please excuse my silence till then.

Or if I can manage I will let you know how I am doing.

My mum is stable and she is recovering post stenting.

When her doctor called me, he informed me of how complex it was to tunnel through calcified arteries.

I admire the precision work of Dr Aaron Wong and his team at Singapore General Hospital’s Heart Center unit.

I was told that drilling through calcified arteriee are dangerous as debris not sucked out or caught travels downstream and it can cause immediate death or stroke.

I was very, very worried throughout mum’s procedure and am a little relieved now. But I was reminded that the next few weeks are crucial for mum.

So says the cat!

Bro, Sis, dad and I had a simple X’mas dinner at Streats located in IMM mall.

It was not much to crow about meal and did not come cheap as the food was sub par. But the mall was so crowded that we just decided to eat there as my legs were in full rigor by then and I could hardly lift it

I have informed Dr Lim my orthopaedic guy about it and will entrust him to sort it out.

Sigh….I am so tired.

Happy Boxing Day folks.


I’m Ready For 2020


Worried About Mum

The doctor called me this morning to update me on my mum’s condition after they warded her in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

A lady I met at the Emergency Room whilst waiting for my mum to be assessed in triage gave me this medicinal plant. I do not know the botanical name but she shared that when boiled it becomes a healing solution for people who suffer from itchy hives, uticaria or skin conditions. Using the boiled solution helps to alleviate the itchiness.

Things are not looking good as mum did indeed suffer a heart attack.

Come Monday, she will undergo an angiogram with dye contrast to find blockages.

This was the second herb that the lady I met at Emergency Room gave me. By drying these leaves and soaking it in rice wine, till it looks like tea color, it can be applied to cat fish stings, swellings and or insect bites. She really seems knowledgeable in local herbs that we all see as weeds!

If the blockage can be opened with a stent, the cardiologist would do so.

If the blockage cannot be cleared through a stent, then a coronary bypass is required.

Risks for my mum is at 3%, given her age and that a stroke or death may occur for stenting.

I am not so worried about percentages for doing stenting but more if stenting is not a viable option.

The doctor shared that we shall not worry about coronary bypass till they try stenting. “Let cross that bridge if stenting is not a viable option.”

I am frightened and worried.

I do not wish to lose my mum.

I cried as it is scary.

But at least the doctors at SGH are cogent, professional and I know my mum is in good hands, with thanks to Dr Anders Stahlen.