29 March 2008

Seniors Are Valuable

Half of the jokes and quotes I receive these days refer to aging. This one, courtesy of my former school mate (Many thanks for the laughs, Soo Fong!) is too funny to not be noted ...

And now, a new scooter that is easy on gas and could zip us to the store and about town. It meets our EVERY need!


Senior Citizens Are Valuable! We are more valuable than any of the younger generations :

We have silver in our hair.
We have gold in our teeth.
We have stones in our kidneys.
We have lead in our feet and

We are loaded with natural gas!

26 March 2008

Oregon Coast Road Trip

Auto Miles - 1203.58
Drive Time - 22:05:33 spread over 5 days. David did all the driving while I served snacks & drinks and spun CDs. I was surprised to discover that my husband has good vocals and isn't tone deaf like me. My karaoke-loving friends are in for some stiff competition! I-5, the north-south highway, didn't offer much scenery but we were able to see stretches of the spectacular Pacific Ocean along the coastal 101. We drove through several small towns and caught glimpses of pretty houses nestled in woods, people going about their chores and daffodils blooming all around! Lola behaved exceptionally well, lounging over her cushion seater rather than lying on it so that she can nudge her cold nose into our elbows every now and then to remind us that she is there. She mostly slept or stared out the back window with "are we there yet?" looks. One sore point - I forgot to pack our lumbar support pillows, so our butts are still aching from the marathon sitting sessions!

Purpose - Wedding of Megan & Rob. Radiant bride in a gorgeous gown at a beautiful ceremony and fun party. We took more videos than pictures, so a movie or two, coming soon. It was great catching-up with relatives and meeting some new ones as well.

Accommodation - Cobblestone Cottages B&B in Medford and PanaSeaAh B&B at Depoe Bay. One of the reasons we prefer B&B over faceless hotels is the people we get to hang out with. The pleasant and hospitable innkeepers at both homes made a difference to our mini-vacation.

Meal Stops - McDonald's, Abby's Pizza, The Rogue Regency (western buffet), Indian Palace, Tidal Waves (seafood), Matzalan (Mexican)

Places Toured - Oregon Coast, Depoe Bay, Newport City. The continuous sight and sound of ocean waves rumbling, splashing and hitting the shore was simply amazing.

Miles and miles of the beautiful Oregon Coast

Incredible views from Cape Foulweather

A brave angler standing on the edge of some 30-ft high rocks.

7-8 ft high waves hitting a seawall at Depoe Bay ...

... to dissipate the wave energy entering the harbor.

An addition to my list of unique places visited.

The marina is also small and without a single sailboat!
That's how rough the ocean is in these parts.

Donald's nephews - Huey, Dewey & Louie?

New friends - 13

Shopping Finds - Handmade soaps (from B&B innkeepers), shot-glass and fridge magnet. My foot couldn't cope, otherwise this list would be longer.

Expenses - Didn't care. We were on vacation!

Best Part - We had time to ourselves. Didn't have a schedule or plan for anything, just did what felt right for the moment. Also, didn't bring a laptop or use any computers available to us and only watched TV on the last evening when my foot won't cooperate any more. It was wonderful to just relax, chat and share thoughts.

We will definitely travel along the Oregon Coast again!

21 March 2008

Oregon Bound

At zero-dark-thirty, we will be heading south to Medford, Oregon where David's niece is getting married on Saturday. I am looking forward to the occasion as it has been ages since I attended a church wedding. Plus, I managed to find a nice "designed for relaxation" lodge on the Oregon coast for us to spend a couple of days. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the beach is just steps from the door to our suite.

My physical therapist made it a point to remind me twice that I shouldn't drive long distance, so poor dear will be at the wheels for the 9-hour drive. Perhaps Ms Velcro who is coming with us can help him out. I am serious.

I was transferring travel stuff from car to truck and house last weekend, and was indoors for less than a minute. When I came back out she was in the driver's seat ...

Looking like the seat is rightly hers!

Feeling guilty after I asked, "What are you doing?"

Desperate to get out and escape punishment.

Poor woman has been anxious for the past week. She knows that a trip is coming up from the luggage being brought down from closet shelf but not when or whether she is included. So, each time we open the door of either vehicle, she climbs in, hoping that once she is inside, we won't have the heart to command "outside!".

She will be a very happy dog in a few hours. :)

17 March 2008

Let's call her Spider Woman

I have a friend who is obsessed with spider webs. Back when I was a 30-something virgin, she frequently warned me that the passage to my reproductive organs is in grave danger of being conquered by spider webs. Last week, she sent me this text message, "Eh, woman ..... busy or lazy? I see spider webs in your blog!"

Corina is one of my favorite people on planet earth - warm personality, smart, confident but humble, even-tempered and an inch shorter than I am! We used to call ourselves the Bonaparte twins and have this friendly competition to ascertain whose command of English is better, my version from STU (Self-Taught University) or hers which is certified on a shiny piece of paper bearing the official stamp of one of the top learning institutions in the world. This morning we revived the challenge on the difference between spider webs and cobwebs. She insisted that both have the same definition while I disagreed. She is going to check out my facts. I am SO looking forward to her email. LOL!

We were once business associates on a project during which she decided to seek my advice on romantic issues. I apparently have a perpetual empathetic "Agony Aunt here, come-come pour your woes on me" look. I think it has more to do with my seniority in age and gray strands.

Corina's relationship problem was not uncommon, an on-again, off-once more situation where she was ready to settle down but he wasn't. They both had great careers, shared similar interests, attended the same church and were compatible in many ways. When she opened up to me, they had been together for several years. Having had a fruitless experience of clinging on to lost hopes, I advised her to get a decision from him to either move forward together or onwards separately. They did the latter, remained friends, bumping into each other only when she was in town and able to participate in church activities. She became more successful in her corporate pursuits while he changed focus and dedicated time to the church.

She and I kept in regular touch, always catching up over a meal whenever we were in the same city. It was during lunch in late 1997 that Corina told me that she had received and undertaken her calling to serve her church and religion full time. She just woke up one morning with the decision to give up a comfortable living provided for by a 6-figure income career to earn food & expenses spreading the love of God literally walking door-to-door. She has no regrets except for the difficult circumstances she left her colleagues and staff in as she quit within 24 hours. She assured me that it had nothing to do with her ex-boy friend who has since married someone else.

It took me a long time to accept the news and I still often feel the sense of awe that ran through me when she first told me. Except for the change in her sense of dressing from 3-piece suits to casual tops over shorts or jeans, she is the same cheerful and worldly person I met across a conference table years ago.

She gave me her blessings to share this unique story of a special child of God who found true happiness along a life journey that only He can create. I am fortunate to have crossed paths with her, spider webs and all. :)

05 March 2008

Still In One Piece

That would be me. I'm not back to my wholesome self yet but most body parts are intact, no malfunction of organs, nor did I break an additional limb during my short hiatus from blogging. Touch wood.

I was, however, forced to learn how to drive with my left foot - an awkward experience for someone with short legs, one of which is in a fiber-glass boot. Those of you who can do this well, I salute! A couple of solo trips to the physical therapy clinic was all I could manage during which I renewed my appreciation for 'old habits die hard'. The challenge was toughened by our car having a handbrake that is activated by a second left foot brake pedal. Why Mercedes build this particular system bothered me for a few days. David who is an expert lefty behind the wheels was my instructor for one lesson and almost suffered a whiplash injury from my slamming of the brakes. My co-ordination was seriously bad!

Another lesson I reluctantly picked-up is the true definition of physical therapy. It has nothing to do with strenuous activity. Mastering the endurance of pain has more relevance. I didn't burn any calories from fluidized therapy to riding the horizontal leg-press shuttle at the clinic and the agonizing home exercises. Instead, I developed a craving for Tylenol and found a new best friend in fake ice. My therapist who reminds me of John-Boy Walton in appearance and personality is fast becoming my most dreaded service provider. I know, I know - no pain, no gain. I should be grateful that he has helped me graduate from hobbling on crutches to walking with cane. With 25 years of success, he is excellent in his work and his staff is a lively bunch. One of them had me in stitches when she declared yesterday that her criteria for voting a President is someone who can help her read her telephone bill. I was going to suggest that she write to John McCain or Barack Obama but it looks like Hillary Clinton continues to be interested in her ballot as well.

I can't vote with my PR status but I am fascinated with the freedom and democracy of the US electoral process. Every vote counts and matters in deciding who runs the country, a government that is truly selected by its people. This is especially proven in the ongoing historical Democratic race to nominate the first African-American or lady presidential candidate.

Malaysians, on the other hand, go to the polls on Saturday to decide the margin by which the same ruling party we've had since independence will win this round of general elections, not much else. If you detect sarcasm here, I won't deny it. Patriotism runs in my blood and I am proud to be a Malaysian but it pisses me off that only selected Malaysians living overseas are eligible to vote, specifically those who are in civil service and therefore obliged to support the current folks in power. I don't fall under the category and have to return home to exercise my right. A policy that is grossly unfair and outright discriminative. It tempts me to re-consider my decision not to seek naturalization here. After all, the most precious gift that a country can offer its citizens is the right to vote and all US citizens get to vote no matter where they are located.

No photo to share except this presidential look ...