27 November 2009

Make it Look Good

The tiny house EJ lives in is an old house. Obviously not everything is in tip-top shape.

Frequently used sink in the toilet had an ugly stain of dirt trapped in the crack between the sink and the wall. Since getting professional help for such a small repair will definitely be turned down, EJ believed that this was not too difficult a job and decided to tackle it alone.

First, that ugly dirt has to be get rid of. A pointed instrument like a small screwdriver or scraper was used to carefully scrap off the dirt.

Next, white cement was mixed with water into a paste. White cement can be bought from any hardware shop or shop that sells tiles.

Then the cement paste was placed onto the crack. A damp cloth was used to smoothen and wipe off excess cement.

The cement had to be completely dried before the sink could used.

EJ was very pleased with the result and is encouraged to continue to carry out other small do-it-yourself repairs to the house.

24 November 2009

Scratch me, I am Priceless!

The following conversation actually took place recently between EJ and brother who resides in Canada and was back for a visit. Both found it hilarious as an afterthought.

EJ feels the conversation was too funny to pass up and decided to share.

(Psst, they were talking about me!) This was what transpired.

BRO: I do remember this chair/stool which mom bought from the wet market in Yulek (now known as Taman Cheras). It was among the first piece of furniture we owned when we moved house in October 1974.

We could not afford any furniture then for the living hall and did not have enough chairs in the dining area for all of us. That was the very reason why mom bought it. It was handmade from a piece of raw lumber and not stained nor painted in any way.

Over the years, we got better dining furniture and most of the better-looking chairs/stools found their way into bedrooms while this one stayed in the kitchen beside the door to the backyard.

We had about nine cats those days and somehow, one of the senior cat, Yao-Yao or Chien-Chien but definitely not Su-Su, started using it as their scratching post. Other junior cats followed suit. None of us mind as we knew then that cats have to scratch to keep their claws in shape. We constantly had to rotate the chair so that the scratched-out parts of the legs were consistent.

This chair/stool has a lot of good, bad, happy and sad stories to tell, especially when it is located in a prominent place, the kitchen, where every member of the family visited daily, numerous times a day and gathered around for family meals, where family battles had been fought and settled. It has seen three or probably four generations of the family living there and withstood the constant mauling from the generation of kitties, too.

EJ: Yes, mom did buy from Yulek market but not this particular and especially hardy one. This immensely popular chair/stool was bought in the even earlier days during the sixties when we were at Jalan Pasar.

BRO: Really? This chair/stool is older than I thought then... almost a semi-antique now. I have to approach the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) on how much they may want to pay for this piece of antique/art!

EJ: Good idea! And would certainly worth a lot more after one of the cats had the honour of getting the shock of the last scratch with the chair/stool standing on three legs! And worth even more if standing on two legs!



EJ: Agree absolutely. Certainly priceless if it stands on one leg but will be worshipped if it floats without legs with the kitties on top!

Believe me, the kitties are working on it...very hard!

19 November 2009

To Gugu with Love

They call EJ 'Gugu'. It means paternal aunt in their language.

Niece Erin, nephew TC lived with EJ when they were young. When Erin was five and TC a toddler still, together with their parents, they emigrated to Canada. Both Erin and TC are young adults now. Erin has finished her tertiary education in criminal law while TC is still in the University of Toronto.

Visiting each other entails a certain amount of planning and money as the countries they lived in are on the opposite sides of the globe, and cannot be as frequent as they would like to.

Inspite of the distance and absence of presence, love prevails.

Last month EJ's brother and wife came back for a visit. They brought a gift from Erin, a personally hand-woven friendship band of three colours - green, pink and purple.

EJ used 15 plus-year-old Cinders as a model to show off the beautiful colours and woven pattern of the band. It does look good on Cinders.

After posing for a few shots, Cinders got bored and impatient. She decided enough is enough and walked towards EJ meowing in protest.

Thank you Erin for the lovely wristband.

17 November 2009

Pebble's Perch

Like humans, animals have their favourite corner to lounge or nap. Some cats prefer almost impossible places like squeezing in tiny spots or small gaps.

Pebble, a medium-sized cat, has her favourite - on the small narrow window sill.

EJ always feel uncomfortable each time Pebble sleeps there, but has been reassured by friends including siblings that if Pebble do not find it comfortable, she would not choose to sleep at that particular spot.

Pebble always sleep on the same side with her head placed at the same spot facing down. Where she places her head, there now is a spot where her saliva dribbles down.

EJ is stumped on how to clean that spot the non-caustic way. Water cannot be poured on that area and cannot be scrubbed as well.

Ideas anyone?

12 November 2009

Oww! This Is It!

The sweet, clear voice sang about a friend who lived in the sewer beneath the streets. The name of that song is Ben. Ben is the name of a sewer rat. The singer - Michael Jackson (MJ). He sang this song when he was a child. And EJ loves this song, this voice.

Two days ago, EJ decided to make an exception to go watch a particular movie after hearing rave reports about it. Even without the rave reports, EJ would watch it though EJ could not really remember which was the last movie seen, whether Lord of the Rings or the prequel to Star Wars.

Lazy to drive, EJ thumped a lift to town.

This time EJ did not get lost trying to locate the cinema like the earlier days. That time EJ could not understand why EJ kept ending up at the bowling alley and had to ask for directions from the counter girls. Even the girls found it amusing and laughed.

This time the girl selling tickets at the cinema was helpful. EJ even got the special senior citizen discount after producing the identification card as proof.

The movie was on the preparation of MJ's last concert, the sweat, the tears, the pain. Songs that EJ likes were sung in the rehearsals like Ben, Man in the Mirror, Heal the World and more. Somewhere further down the rows of chairs, someone, a male, was singing along obviously enjoying himself tremendously.

The cinema hall was a bit on the chilly side as there were not many people watching since it was during day time.

When the movie show was over, EJ noticed that majority of those who walked out were gray-haired!

EJ's view on this?

Oww! This Is It!

10 November 2009

Perfect Balance

No one knows what happened to her. No one knows what she went through. All we know is that she was found on the roadside. And was rescued.

Inspite of all the hardships, pain and sufferings she went through, she persevered, survived and adapted. In silence.

EJ doesn't know how old she is but found her extremely adorable as Kenggy is full of comical antiques like she would stand up, raise her pawless limbs to swipe at her roommates in retaliation and in play. Kenggy doesn't and never gives up.

She can never run like her roommates. Instead she waddles very slowly on her imbalanced limbs. Due to lack of exercise because of her limitations, Kenggy is on the rotund side. EJ is fighting a losing battle in putting Kenggy on a diet.

One of her cutest moments is the way she cleans herself - in perfect balance - standing up.

All her roommates accepted her as what she is. That's the beauty of animals in EJ's home.

07 November 2009

Power Failure Follies?

It hits you hard when there is a sudden power failure without warning. And you do not know when it will come back.

EJ remembers during younger days while working, all the writers would scream in frustration when this happened. The loudest screams were from those who had a deadline to beat and had not saved their work. Obviously in the writing mood with words flowing, they kept pounding the keyboards chasing their thoughts and did not really have time to save. Some writers do write best when nearing deadlines.

It isn't so bad if this happens at home.
EJ took advantage of the power failure to clean the refrigerator and all electrical fans.

To cool the house in the tropical afternoon heat, EJ mopped the whole house. It was a good exercise to burn off any excess fat as well as strengthen the muscles. Toxins were removed from the body in the form of sweat as well.

To cool the body, just take a cold shower.

Working hard physically can really work up an appetite.

Food? Not a problem.

EJ, a vegetarian, opened a can of baked beans and cooked it with the naturally thawed frozen mixed vegetables. Vegetables are perishable and without the refrigerator, it has to be consumed.

Boil the mixed vegetables with half cup of water.
Throw in half teaspoon salt.
When the mixed vegetables are cooked, pour in a can of baked beans. Add a few tablespoons of water so it would not be thick.

This dish goes well with rice or bread. When these two were not available, EJ has tried eating it with cream crackers.
Non-vegetarians can throw in whatever meat as well.

Power failure follies?

EJ doesn't think so. You make the best out of it till the power comes back. Another plus is that your electricity bill will be a little lower.

03 November 2009

Tanya Augmented

Looking through some old stuff, EJ found this photo of Tanya when she came and asked for help. This was taken when she had just given birth to five adorable kittens. It was a little over eight years ago.

In those eight years, a lot has happened to Tanya. There was a brief time when she would saunter over to her ex-owner's house for a quick visit and hello. There was also a time when her ex-owner tried to win her back as Tanya has filled out and healthy.

And when she met a horrible accident that needed three corrective surgeries, Tanya became EJ's permanent roommate on the advice of her vet.

This is how she look now.