Saturday, 1 December 2012

Have a Cow-y Christmas

Published in Signs of the Times, December 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.    

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Joining the Fight (CQ Bible Study)

Published in CQ Bible Study, October - December lessons.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.   

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vitamins Explained From A to K

Published in Signs of the Times, October 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.  

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

What About Me?

Published in Signs of the Times, August 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Kookey Bird Mobile

I learned how to crochet! I still feel like I'm using my feet to crochet and I'm completely reliant on YouTube for every single different stitch I have to use in a pattern, but I learned how to crochet! And I made birds! After years of rapid knitting and knowing how to read most knitting patterns, it's kind of a weird feeling learning a new craft again. It's like I've regressed or something.

But these little birdies are probably the easiest little project one can start off with when learning how to crochet, without feeling too discouraged.

Friends are expecting a little one in August and had expressed interest in a crocheted bird mobile, so what better gift than something they want?

Made five little birds using scrap yarn - it took me all evening to make the first one, but once I got the hang of it (did you see what I did there?), I made three in the same time it took me to make the first.

I got the twigs/branches down the back of my apartment for the true rustic handmade look and attached the birds using normal cotton thread.
D helped with sawing the twigs to length and constructing the whole mobile. I would have just tied birds to twigs and called it done, but he even went to the effort of finding the centre of balance of each twig, so when hung up, everything balances and twirls oh so nicely and mesmerisingly. Genius, that boy.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Rainbow cake

Thanks for the pic Jeanelle :)
It was a friend's birthday party on Saturday and I had offered to bake a cake. Said friend doesn't have a particular love for rainbows. Neither is he a strong supporter of gay pride. I really just used his birthday as an excuse to bake a rainbow cake, something I had badly wanted to do in a while.

Most of the rainbow cake recipes I found online had recommended using gel food colouring instead of liquid, as the colours supposedly turn out more vibrant. Unfortunately, I had no idea where to get gel food colouring and so stuck with good ole' Queens liquid food colouring.

However, I had read somewhere that the trick to maintaining a vibrant colour was to add vinegar, which I obeyed, and hoped for the best.

I'm not sure if the amount of food colouring I used constituted "a lot" - half a teaspoon each of food colouring and white vinegar for each layer. However, it had the desired effect and the colours never lost their vibrancy.


I had to do some alchemy to get purple and orange, but thanks to D's wonderful mathematical skills, that wasn't too hard.
Purple: three parts red, one part blue
Orange: one part red, two parts yellow

I used a simple white cake recipe for the batter and just separated them evenly by six before I added the food colouring. What I did wrong however, was to put them in the oven for the same time indicated in the recipe. With each individual colour being such thin layers, I could have left them in for about half the time and ended up with a cake that would have been more moist.

However, it wasn't a problem that sweet icing couldn't cure!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Canadian Gloves

So the only thing Canadian about this is the fact that I made them in preparation for my trip to Canada about four months ago. I've only ever made fingerless gloves before, so this was a bit of new challenge for me. To make it even more difficult, I actually decided to come up with my own design.

In all honesty though, it really wasn't that had to knit up - took me about a month, which included being distracted by other things and really only spending an average of 15-20 minutes a day. So don't let what I've said put you off. This is really a quick and easy knit.

What wasn't quick was the fact that it took me much longer to decipher all my notes and write up the pattern. But I finally did it, so you can knit a pair for yourself too!

If you would like to download the pattern, you can do so at my MelT Creations website or from Ravelry.

Ah! What am I supposed to do next?!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Plight of a Refugee

Published in Signs of the Times, June 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


The saga of needing a better editor than myself continues . . .

I came up with three different coverlines for an upcoming issue of my magazine. Independently, they were (I think) interesting and worked well with what we try to achieve with every magazine.

When placed together on the cover however, they ended up reading either:

"Marriage: Better Than Ever, An Olympic Effort"


"Marriage: Better Than Ever, How Long, O Lord"

I wonder if it's a Freudian slip.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Don't hate me

Image: Ambro /
I have always been thin. On top of that, over the last few months, my weight has gradually declined, through no real effort on my part. I’ll admit that I do lead a fairly active lifestyle and have never had the inclination to snack. But with an extremely healthy appetite and a weakness for ice creams and cakes, my net calorie intake should still far outweigh (pardon the pun) the energy burned.

Yet, my jeans and skirts are feeling loose around my waist, and the digits on the scales continue to decrease (not by leaps and bounds, mind you). Disappointingly however, my bra size has also dropped. For the scientifically inclined, my BMI tells me I’m underweight, in both the Australian and Asian variations.

If you’re honest, you hate me right now. Don’t lie. I know you do.

Well, you can stop hating me because while I may be thin, I am not healthy. The health risks of being underweight include infertility, osteoporosis and a weakened immune system. And seriously, when you start losing weight without trying, it should be more cause for alarm than celebration.

But you want to know a secret?

While part of me is concerned, there is another side of me that’s kind of pleased. I am, after all, skinny. And at the rate I’m going, I’m probably going to drop down to a size 8 in no time. Imagine how I’ll look in a bikini in summer! In today’s society, it practically means I’m beautiful, right?

What an indictment on society that we have become so blinded by being thin, we forget it poses as much of a danger to our health as being overweight does.

People don’t tell me I’m too skinny (except my mum. But Asian mothers always want their children to look well fed). After not seeing me for a few weeks, they will instead exclaim, “You’ve lost weight!” as if I’ve just returned from successfully reaching the summit of Mount Everest.

As opposed to someone who is overweight, friends will enviously tell me how they wish they had my body shape. It’s not as if they have to furtively avoid the word “fat”, after all.

I’m showered with compliments because I’m thin (read: underweight), and the plethora of weight loss ads I’m bombarded with subconsciously tell me that I’m alright.

My current weight loss may be a symptom of something seriously bad, but unlike say, finding a lump in my breast which would send me rushing for a biopsy, I’m actually enjoying how “good” I look.

What an indictment on myself that I would prefer to be underweight, than risk gaining weight and looking “fat”.

As women, we get so caught up with society’s perception of beauty, we sometimes fail to recognise potential pitfalls. We need to start loving and respecting our bodies more, instead of trying to fit into the size zero ideal that Hollywood espouses.

And as for me, don’t worry, I’m making a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Volunteer for your Health

Published in Signs of the Times, May 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 38

I think for this first time, I'm actually confident that my arm is going to get back to normal.

It's almost entirely fully functioning now and for the most part, is pain-free and hassle free.

The only thing is that it's still not completely straight or can be completely bent, but I reckon there's only about a 3 degrees gap to bridge. It really is that close to being completely healed. It still hurts when I try to straighten or bend it completely, but only around the actual elbow hinge area. I do that a few times, just to stretch out the muscle and then give it a break.

Strength is back, but I still try to go easy on it. Sometimes, I do feel the strain and that's when I really ease back.

I am really eager for it to be completely healed, but at least I'll be almost fully functioning for our upcoming trek around east Canada and NYC!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Orange cowl

I started work on this way back in July last year, and only finished it a month before I left for Canada. Ironically, it's probably one of the easiest and mindless kind of pattern I've done in a while and could probably have been finished in a few days.

Uni started not too long after I cast on, but it wasn't only because I was juggling two subjects last semester. Ashamed to say the main reason was just sheer laziness - I took forever to buy a new ball of yarn after running out.

But, I finished it just before I left for Canada and boy has it been a treat! The 100% certified organic Australian merino wool it's made in makes it feel so incredibly cosy, warm and soft against my neck. I usually wear it only doubled-up, but when it gets really cold and windy, I triple it and it makes an incredibly difference. 

The wool makes it warm, but the merino part means it's not scratchy and I could wear it all day, which comes in rather helpful when you're out all day in a snow-covered environment!

Really like the fact that it's a cowl, so no loose scarf ends, which makes it so easy to handle and wear. Unfortunately, the design on the edging can't really be seen, largely because the cowl prefers to curl into itself. It doesn't affect the warmness, it just doesn't show the beautiful long horizontal lines it has.

Pattern here.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Potato scones

Yes, the mission continues. This time, in the form potato scones.

Honestly, I wasn't too impressed, even though D did like it. I think I was more impressed with the strawberry smoothie that I made. It was delicious and oh so pretty! We had frozen some strawberries whole. When they thawed out they were rather squishy and not so tasty. It tasted great in the smoothie though! I'll put the "recipe" for the smoothie below.

Regarding the scone, the main difficult was trying to convert all the metric measurement into American, seeing that I've only got American measuring cups and no weighing machine. I'm not sure if I got all the proportion correct, because I ended up having to put a whole lot more soymilk into the mixture just so that it would stick. I'm not sure if my problem was that I used soy instead of cow's milk as the recipe suggested, but it took more than the four tablespoons suggested to get the dough to stick together.

Even after that, it was still a little bit flaky and it was really a matter of just piling a whole bunch of flour on top of each other and putting it into the oven.

I may have made the dough a little too thick as I didn't feel that it was too cooked in the middle after I took it out of the oven, but D thought it was fine. If I do this the next time, I'll probably make it flatter and wider.

One thing though, it was surprisingly salty. Not bad salty, tasty salty, just when you look at the pale thing, you kind of expect it to be tasteless.

The recipe did suggest doing a milk/egg glaze over the top so that it would brown, but I was too lazy.

All in all, it's a rather quick and easy recipe (albeit slightly messy since you have to use your fingers to mix and knead and stuff) for a kinda tasty meal - so long as you cook it well enough.

Strawberry smoothie ingredients (for one serve)
Ice - about four or five cubes
Strawberries - about four or five big berries
Orange juice - half a cup or so
Honey - a tablespoon or so (or to taste)
(in a different concoction, I also added oats - tasted like a great breakfast smoothie)

-- blend --

Potato scone recipe here.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 33

Arm still feels a bit stiffer and less bendy when I wake up in the morning. However, after morning arm exercises, a lot of the mobility has come back. So much so that I forget sometimes that I'm still nursing a dislocated arm.

It's about 175-15 degrees or so now after the exercises, which is awesome. Bruising is way less visible, except for a very faint purple mark near the side of the forearm. The main area that hurts when prodded is the elbow bone area.

The right arm is almost completely functional now. I still try not to carry too heavy things, but the weight of things that I can carry is increasing. It's still a little hard to do yoga poses, especially dancer's move, and I can feel that some muscles are still a bit tense, but being able to almost completely straighten my arm is great!

Sleep is getting better. Arm hurts less throughout the night now, but can sometimes end up getting numb. Probably just because of the way that I sleep.

Can't wait for it to be fully recovered.

Oatmeal muffins

The bid to use up D's never-ending supply of flour, sugar and oats continues and this time, I decided to go the muffin way.

After watching Alton Brown's episode of Good Eats where he pretty much dismissed the need to use papers for muffins, I decided to obey and greased the cups in the muffin tray.

Unlike Alton, I couldn't simply tip my tray upside down and watch the muffins magically fall down after taking it out of the oven. However, all it needed was the help of a small plastic spoon. I simply slid the spoon down the circumference of the cups and the muffins popped right out!

The muffins are great to eat warmed up, but can be a little dry. There is a nice slight sweetness to it and there's a great oatmeal taste but not overpowering. I haven't tried it, but I reckon it might taste quite nice if you cut it in half and lightly butter it.

Recipe here.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Ken Duncan: An "Average" Photographer

Published in Signs of the Times, March 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Oatmeal cookies

I'm still on a mission to finish up the 10kg of flour that D bought, but things came to a standstill when I decided to go dislocate my elbow.

The elbow is starting to feel a bit more like normal now though and so my mission continues.

D had a bunch of porridge oats and sugar lying around as well so I decided to make some oatmeal cookies.

Pretty simple recipe, not even too hard to mix with my munted arm!

Made several modifications to the recipe (mainly because I wanted to use up what we already had and didn't want to buy new ingredients since we're leaving in under three weeks), namely:

  • didn't use walnuts, pecans, dried fruit or chocolate chips
  • used margarine spread instead of unsalted butter
  • used normal white sugar instead of light brown sugar, and only 3/4 cup
  • didn't use vanilla extract
  • used vegetable seasoning instead of salt (yes, we have no salt in the house)
  • used porridge oats instead of old-fashioned rolled oats. I'm not sure what the difference is
  • drizzled some chocolate sauce over the dough before placing into the oven (which explains the darkish colour on some of the cookies in the picture)
The cookies still turned out pretty yummy though. Made so much D brought a batch to work to share.

Recipe here.

Monday, 2 April 2012

I Hate Your Face(book)

Published in Signs of the Times, April 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 27

Seems like now that I'm no longer disabled and can function like before, I've failed to update my dislocation diary.

I'm not completely healed yet, but think I'm probably 85 per cent of the way there. Several major things have happened over the last week or so since my last update:
  • Stopped wearing the strap completely.
  • As of today, arm straighten/bending degree is probably 170-20 (180 being completely straight and 0 being completely bent)
  • Visible bruising still present, although the icky green-yellow ones are fading, being replaced by smaller purple-blue ones.
  • Can now use right arm to feed myself, do light lifting, tie my hair back in a ponytail (with some pain), dress and undress in the usual manner and tie shoelaces properly! Seriously, besides the fact that I cannot completely straighten and bend, the arm is pretty much fully functional.
  • Went snowmobiling two days ago. Probably not the wisest thing to do with a recovering dislocated elbow, but . . . D did most of the driving. I tried, but doing tight turns was a little difficult when you can't straighten/bend completely. For the trip, I strapped my arm, but could certainly feel the strain by the end of the day from holding on. So for anybody recovering from a dislocated elbow, avoid snowmobiling if you can until you are completely healed.
  • Sleep is mostly back to normal. I don't have to just sleep on my back now, although when I'm on my side, I find it useful to have another pillow/cushion to hug or rest the arm, otherwise it gets a bit sore after a while.
  • Started applying Voltaren (anti-inflammatory gel) to the area before I went to sleep (and sometimes after I wake up, if I remember/felt like it), which has been amazing. While the arm hasn't been really sore, I had been waking up in the morning feeling a little pain and tightness in the arm. Remembered reading somewhere that's an indication of inflamed body parts and so decided to apply Voltaren. What an amazing difference! Pain not completely removed, but definitely reduced and I think it has aided in my ability to straighten/bend.
  • The actual elbow area still feels sore when pressed, as are the forearm and bicep muscles.
  • Shoulder back to feeling normal.
  • Can mostly walk around with arm hanging down by the sides, but if I try to bend it after a while, I can feel a slight pain (signs of inflammation again).

Friday, 23 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 19

Sitting at Salt Lake City airport waiting for my flight back to Calgary. Spent a week visiting in Idaho visiting work’s sister publishing press in the US. Doctor obviously thought I was well and fit enough to travel with a recovering dislocated elbow.

Flying to Idaho was the trickier part as my arm was still in a sling. It wasn’t painful or anything, just inconvenient as had to do everything with one hand. Still, it was a good visual warning to everybody else not to bump my poor elbow!

Have had amazing improvements to elbow over the last week. The bruising around the forearm area actually got more and more obvious as the pain receded (extremely slowly). The bruises are now this sick yellow-green colour. I can only hope the fact that the bruises are showing more is a sign that things are getting better!

Ditched the sling about three days ago. Simply didn’t feel like I needed it any more, even though the doctor did say I had to have it on for two weeks after the cast came off.

There is a significant amount of strength that has returned to the arm, although I’ve avoided doing any kind of heavy lifting and some twisting motions (like to open containers) can still send twinges of pain down the arm to the elbow.

My typing is back to normal now. In fact, in a sitting position, I doubt anybody can guess that I’m nursing a dislocated elbow. And it actually feels like I’ve got a normal arm.

Standing and walking is a different matter. I still have to hold my arm at an almost 90 degrees as I cannot straighten it completely, and leaving it hanging at its 140 or so degrees is quite tiring. Same thing with bending, probably can get it to about 30 degrees. But, I’m getting significantly more range now and am getting a teeny weeny bit more and more each day.

Sleeping has been so much better. I no longer have to wake up several times in the middle of the night to ease the sore shoulder. In fact, the shoulder hardly aches anymore. It’s still a bit tight, probably just from the way I still have to hold the elbow walking around, and probably also because of my crazy amount of laptop use.

Have woken up in the middle of the night the last two nights (prior to that, had actually slept through the night!) with a light throbbing in the elbow/arm area. It’s not so much pain sore, although there is that, but just this general soreness, probably like as if I hadn’t stretched it in ages. Then again, I pretty much sleep in one position, so no wonder.

When I wake up in the morning, the arm feels quite tired and sore as well, but after an hour or so, I suppose all the muscles warm up and things feel better.

I still put the strap on during the day if I’m out and about, and also when I’m sleeping. I’ve tried it without, but the strap certainly gives a good amount of support and I feel is much better when I’m sleeping. Have stopped taking my medication, although am contemplating starting on it again if I wake up in the middle of the night again.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 10

Slept last night with the strappy thing around my elbow just to keep things "intact". It wasn't too bad, and I didn't really feel like I had to remove it till about 3pm.

My arm is certainly getting stronger and I'm keeping at the exercises. I think I'm getting a range of 100-80/70 degrees at the moment and it was actually quite easy to walk around simply with the arm bent in front of me.

There is still bruised tenderness near the elbow and it's swollen, but that's about it. The swell in my bicep has diminished very noticeably.

Just resting on the couch watching TV without the sling or strappy bandage, I could almost believe that my elbow is completely healed! But of course things get awkward and slightly sore after moving it. But I'm certainly on the mend!

Tried typing as well, but it was a really weird sensation and I was having a little bit of problems typing. It's like as if I didn't really have enough strength in my fingers.

Sleep was average. Had to wake up because of shoulder again, but I think it's getting better? Didn't take any drugs to go to sleep either.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 9

Doctor took the cast off! He had to search the medical database online to decide it was ok, but he did take it off!

Disconcerting that he didn't really know and essentially had to google it, but...he says elbow dislocations in adults very rare, usually they break or fracture. Search results said 7-10 days so he said fine to remove. But he did say it was healing up very well and there is no evidence of nerve damage.

The feeling of freedom when he cut it open was amazing. Cast had been feeling loose for last two days, so glad it's off. Skin looked gross though. Strangely creased, discoloured, and bore the prints of the cloth! Bruising in the inner elbow (red flakey spots) and the bicep area where cast ended had a bruised line and was rather deformed.

Doctor said swelling bicep was due to pressure of cast pushing swell upwards. Said will disappear soon. The area had a faint yellow stain. D thinks maybe iodine?

Arm is so surprisingly weak and tender. Still only able to hold at 90 degrees and then a bit up to 50 degrees or so. But feeling stronger as the hour passes. Arm seems so skinny and vulnerable!

No pain, just bruised tenderness near elbow area. Doctor said to keep in sling for two weeks and to light do exercises.

Best sleep I had in a while. Still on back with arm at 90 degrees on my tummy, but more flexibility and less heavy. Shoulder still a bit sore but mostly ok.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 8

Woke up with much anticipation as going for xray and thought doctor. Turns out was only xray. Will try for doctor tomorrow.

Shoulder has been making strange cracking noises. It's not happy.

Elbow and arm stiff and a bit sore in mornings but better as day progress. Feeling much stronger. Can even hold things in hand and squeeze or turn things. Less pain and tenderness in elbow area. Feel like can turn arm in different directions now.

No probs with positioning for xrays. No pain. Yay!

Bicep swelling gone done considerably.

Washed hair in kitchen sink today with D's help.

Sleep was sadly the same as the last few nights.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 7

Arm is definitely stronger and lighter. Mood also heaps better. Wrist less painful and hand can clench easily.

Bicep has definitely decreased in size but still swollen. Feel strange waves of burning pain in hand sometimes and soreness in ball of elbow. Hope nerves are healing right!

Called hospital. They have received requisition letter, thank God.

Cast starting to feel loose. Might be coz swelling decreasing? Can feel elbow area quite swollen. Inside elbow still tender to touch, outside feels like normal now. Was also sore to touch before.

Thinking tummy ache and bloatedness, and nauseousness might be the fault of the tylenol. At least not experiencing the other side effect!

Now left wrist sore from one-handed typing.

Sleep the same again - interrupted by sharp pains in shoulder.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 6

Went up to Pano today. Incredibly proud could do it myself. Laces were a challenge but just tied some loose knot that kinda kept shoes in. Got D to fix up when I saw him.

Arm feels better but getting occasional tingly and numb sensations, as well as goosebumps? Fingertips get cold easily too. But can feel everything. Wrist still hurts but think it's coz of floppy positioning within cast. Continuing rotation and clenching exercises.

Think bicep is less swollen than before but certainly still big. Compress continues.

Put hot water bottle on shoulder several times in the evening. Felt amazing and relaxing.

Bought prunes to combat potential side effects of drugs. Feeling extremely bloated and full of gas though. Quite ill feeling with tummy ache and nauseousness. Think may have gastro?

Sleep was same as before. Great until woken by shoulder ache. But less often than before? Think hot water bottle working.

Drugs potentially helping too as think might be anti-inflammatory?


Right elbow dislocated. Can't blog (or do much for that matter). Shall leave you with gross pic instead:

Also just realised this is my 1000th post. Whee! Happy anniversary. LOL!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 5

Before falling asleep last night, stomach was making all sorts of loud and strange gurgling noise, as if hungry. Woke up to more gurgling and sharp intense pain in stomach. Thought maybe was hungry.

Breakfast didn't help. In fact, felt nauseous again. Nothing much came out though.

Went back to bed with tingling sensation and feeling tired. Slept for about another hour. Tummy still a bit sore and would feel nauseous after eating every time.

Arm starting to feel lighter. Bicep still hot and swollen. Kept putting frozen food on it. Wrist starting to hurt, so started doing wrist rotations on top of clenching. Inside of forearm feels stretched. Can feel elbow area very bruised. Occasional shooting sensation of pain too. Shoulder still tight.

Feeling stronger. Like as if I can and should break free of cast now. Arm seems less immobolised than before. But can also feel elbow is a bit weak and certainly sore. Still worried things are not healing right, but not sure how to find out.

Drug seemed to wear off faster tonight. Could feel it kick in - entire body suddenly relaxes. Pain still there, perhaps just dulled. When drugs kick in, I forget I'm wearing a cast and try to scratch itchy arm. Of course denied.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 4

Worked in bed till lunchtime, then called it quits. Mood better though. Maybe because it's D's day off so not alone at home.

Spent day watching TV and sitting on couch. Arm sore only if placed in wrong position and then can feel minor odd, slight painful feel, especially around ball of elbow. Really hope everything is healing right, including nerves, tendons, etc.

Called local hospital to set appointment for follow-up X-ray on Tuesday. Needed letter of requisition from previous doctor or it will be another $500 more. Called first hospital asking for letter. Why didn't they just give it to me in the first place since they were the ones who said I need to go for a follow-up? Hospital said will fax through. Hopefully.

Shoulder extremely tight. Bicep starting to look scary big. Mum suggested heat pack for shoulder which reminded me of cold compress for swollen biceps. No compress so frozen mixed veg will have to do. Needed D's help for hot water bottle. Tried to lay flat on floor to straighten shoulders. Screaming pain and elbow not happy after a while due to positioning.

Hot water bottle helped ease ache. Mixed veg...bicep looking even more scarily big.

Decided to take the Tylenol #3 prescribed by doctor. Had avoided it coz doctor said constipation was side effect and didn't want to be that! Also said to take if in pain, which I wasn't really. But thought might help with sleep.

Knocked me out for a good while, till it wore off then felt shoulder pains again. Had to keep sitting up to relieve pain then go back to sleep. Elbow and arm seemingly fine, ironically.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 3

Maybe reality sank in, or it's a side effect of Fentanyl, but got really depressed today. Felt useless, helpless and stupid for dislocating arm. Got rather upset. First tears since accident - nope, didn't cry when dislocated elbow, just lots of groaning and some dull yelling.

Tried to work again and was mostly ok. Slow-going but ok.

Forearm less painful when clenching fist so have taken to clenching exercises. Arm feels incredibly heavy to lift on its own. Biceps hurt and look a little swollen.

The itching has started and is really annoying.

Lunch was burrito again. Lucky with couchsurfers over, haven't had to worry about dinner.

Tried to wash hair. Filled bath with water. Knelt on the outside facing tub and dipped head in. Mostly clean but felt some shampoo residue when hair dried.

Went out for first time since accident. Took forever to get dressed. Can't tie shoelaces.

Sleep was horrid. Right shoulder would cry out in pain every few hours. Have to wake up, sit up and ease the soreness before going back to sleep.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 2

Arm feeling sore, but not as bad as when dislocated. Fingers are in right positions! Forearm hurts whenever I try to clench my fist.

D asked if arm itchy in cast. Say not feeling anything.

Phoned travel insurance company who will send out claim form. Should get some money back from crazy expensive overseas hospital visit.

Spent day on couch, trying to work with one hand. Mostly fine, but tiring for the one good arm.

Can't make lunch. Got leftovers together to make a mish mash kind of burrito. Interesting attempt to form burrito.

Slept quite good tonight after reading tip of placing towel under armpit for more comfort. Used PJ top to put under arm and elbow to create extra body width.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Dislocation diary: Day 1

Elbow dislocated at 1pm. In ER at 3pm. First (failed) reduction 6pm. Second (successful) reduction 7pm.

Noticed can ignore pain if left arm in certain position. Crazy pain when trying to change positions for X-ray.

Drugs took edge off pain but certainly still felt it when the tried popping it back in place! Immediate relief when back in place but still painful.

Felt immensely nauseous at about 8pm but did not throw up. Might be coming off drugs?

Driving back, noticed bumps in road didn't bother me as much as before. Felt extremely exhausted.

Arm in half-cast thing. Took bath with arm resting on side of tub. Mostly clean, except left arm where can only sprinkle water, and right arm, which is in cast.

Went straight to sleep after. So tired. Slept mostly ok. Had to only lay on back. Woke up few times to adjust arm, which was a dead weight.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Simple white cake

Despite turning his back on his old job and going on a working holiday at a Canadian ski resort, once an accountant, always an accountant. So while out shopping at the local supermarket when he first arrived, D calculates that buying a 10kg bag of flour is probably more worth it than buying 1kg.

This also means we now have 10kg of flour that needs to be used up in two months. How do you go through 10kg of flour?

This simple white cake is my attempt at making a dent in the bag. I don't have a mixer, a whisk or even proper baking equipment. All I have is a puny little right bicep, a fork, a bowl and some pyrex dish that will have to pass as a cake mould.

Still, I reckon this turn out pretty good, and I got a workout all at the same time!

It's really a no-frills kind of cake, great actually to have with a hot drink, ice-cream, fresh fruit or as a base for cupcakes. It's really simply to make and turned out tasting quite moist and soft.

What would make it better is vanilla extract/essence/bean paste, of which I have none, but still, pretty happy with it!

Recipe here.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A trip to the movies

From the outside, Toby Theatre didn't look like it was open for business. The big wooden doors looked firmly shut, there were no windows to peer in from and all was quiet outside. But when K tugged at the door handle, it reluctantly relented, revealing its plush, red-carpeted warmness inside.

Before we could thaw out from the cold outside, we had to pay the lady sitting in the little booth right by the door inside the theatre. Calling it a booth might be a little generous. It looked more like a closet, or a confessional booth, except instead of a curtain and some netting to obscure the confessor, there was a thick clear plastic pane with a little cut-out circle so that we can communicate.

There was no need to tell the lady which movie we were watching. Neither did we have to tell her which screening we wanted. The cinema only has one screening about once every two days and if you haven't figured it out by now, the cinema literally only has one screen.

We were catching Mission Impossible 4 (one would think that they would be screening Mission Impossible 5 by now, being this close to the tinsel source), but it wasn't only that they were screening something that is already on its last legs of the season in Australia a few thousand kilometres away, the movie actually made its premiere in downtown Invermere a mere week ago. And we caught the final screening a week later.

Stepping into the building, everything felt very . . . compact. It was as if we had entered one of those old British theatres (for performances, not movies) in minature. There was dark wood panelling and a maroon carpet. There was a sense of plushness and also . . . tradition. We didn't even get a ticket stub in exchange for our money. S was a bit confused as to where we'd be sitting. The lady called out "just go through and sit wherever".

We had to pass the strategically located candy bar before entering the screening room. K and D succumbed and bought some popcorn with "real melted butter" (it was one of the selling points on their website). In true German style, S wondered if there were any beer available. I helpfully told him there was root beer.

"That's not beer," S replied.

"But there's the word 'beer' in it," I reasoned.

"Yes, but there's also the word 'root'."

Goodies in hand, we turned to the screening room where we could already see the entire width of the screen through the double open doors. Guess the minature theme extended there. There were model WWII planes hanging from the ceiling, giving me the distinct impression that I was going to be catching one of those propaganda movies during the war.

We walk down the carpeted path, past less-than-plush chairs. These weren't modern-day, Gold Class cinema soft cushiony seating. These are what church pews would look like if they had individual seating and fold-up seats, complete with hard wooden back rests and the bare minimum of cushion for your bottom that leaves you undecided if the seats are soft or hard. The seats in the back half of the theatre even had some strange red carpeting on the back rests.

Amusingly, some of the seats were actually cuddle-friendly, in the sense that they had no arm rest in between two seats, not in the sense that they were any more soft or lounge-friendly.

We chose our seats, D and I on one of those "love seats", K and S in individual seats next to D. The place was really warm and we were in a hurry to shed our layers, beanies and gloves. Unfortunately, some of us were also heavy laden with pop corn and drink, and there were no cup holders. S stood in as a human-sized cup holder for K, while I placed our drink on the hard cement floor (the carpets were reserved only for the aisle).

Before long, the lights dimmed and the trailers came on. We got as comfortable as one can on seats that promoted good posture. Then about a minute into the first trailer (some sort of sequel to the Borat movie), the film reel melted.

You know those special effects you see of the film melting and suddenly all you see is a white screen? For a split second, we all thought that was what we were witnessing. That was until the lights in the theatre came on and the screen stayed white for an unnatural amount of time.

D exploded into laughter. Elevator music came on. The four of us looked at each other in amusement. I looked around at the other five people in the cinema. They looked like this was what they experienced every time they watched a movie. I didn't realise there are cinemas out there that still use actual film!

About five minutes later, the lights dimmed again and we continued where we left off. After the second trailer and no ads, the movie started.

For a small screen and lack of Dolby surround sound, we actually got quite engrossed in to the movie. That was until the part where Tom Cruise had to step out of a window some 100 stories up so that he can scale the building from the outside.

I waited with bated breath as he inched closer towards the open window . . . and then suddenly, a white screen with the words "Intermission" appeared. I actually thought it was part of the movie. Who puts an intermission in the middle of a Hollywood movie? This isn't a circus act. You watch a Hollywood movie, you commit to it and ignore the bladder that threatened to explode the minute the movie started.

But once again, the lights and elevator music came on. People actually walked out of the cinema as if this was normal. This time, I burst out laughing and looked at D, K and S, asking incredulously, "Really?!"

With nothing else to do, we milled out into the foyer that now felt like half the size of an entire hotel suite (the budget one, not the presidential one).

Since this was no longer a bladder endurance exercise, I thought I'd pay a visit to the washroom, appropriately labelled "Guys" and "Dolls". That was when the next surprise of the evening awaited me. It was as if I had stepped into an old Western saloon.

There were two stalls in the washroom, one fully enclosed, the other, which I had to go to, had one of those Western saloon swinging door that basically only covered me from my knees up to my chest. Luckily, I could lock the door.

Unluckily, there was another girl in the washroom who I somehow felt I had to have a conversation with, seeing that we could see each other clearly despite me being in a cubicle! We exchanged an awkward look, I muttered, "This is interesting." She laughs and politely replied, "I'll just leave now."

Escaping the less than private washroom and about three minutes later, we settled back into our seats and resumed our movie-watching, picking up from where we left off.

Toby Theatre was a very interesting experience, something that I have never had before. It was a step back into time and what made it even more amazing is the fact that this was no tourist attraction - the locals actual experience this in their daily lives (well, maybe weekly lives, if they choose to catch every new movie that comes into town).

Friday, 24 February 2012

Canada . . . in my shoes

My boyfriend Daniel moved to Canada two months ago to chase a dream he’s always had – to spend a winter season at a ski resort. And as much as I’d like to think myself an independent, modern female, I inevitably chose to listen to my heart and followed him.

And the thing is . . . I've joined a blogging competition and need your help to win it. I need to build a following for a new blog I created, generating lots of comments and discussions. So if you have time, can you please create a free profile at and then log in and comment on my blog post, of which you've read only the introduction to above?

The rest of the post can be read at


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

iPhone Stripey Sock

Designed and knitted this as a gift for Faith. Great way to stash bust, particularly because it uses only a minute amount of yarn, so you can even use up those little bits and bobs that are too short to be useful and too long to be thrown out.

Excitingly, I wrote up the pattern for this as well (granted, it's not that complicated).

If you would like to download the pattern, you can do so at my MelT Creations website or from Ravelry.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Last Survivor: Genelle Guzman-McMillan

Published in Signs of the Times, January-February 2012.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

First knitting pattern

I wrote up my very first knitting pattern! It's for the Gnomeo Beanie that I made for D a few months back.

I'm starting to venture into making my own creations territory and hopefully this will signify many more new patterns and designs to come!

If you would like to download the pattern, you can do so at my MelT Creations website or from Ravelry.

And if you spot any mistakes, please let me know!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Onward cowl!

Yippees! This arrived in the mail for me today which means I can finally continue working on my cowl!


This has been one of my longest "easy" project. In theory, it shouldn't have taken me this long (and I'm not finished yet!), but between everything that was going on in my life, this project fell by the wayside, particularly after I ran out of yarn. I just never attempted to purchase a new ball.

However, I'm really looking forward to the finished product (oh when will that be?). Made from WOOLganic Knitter’s Yarn, it is 100% certified organic Australian merino wool, which means it's soft, cosy, non-scratchy, warm and nasty chemicals-free. So it's going to be so nice around my neck, which is a rather sensitive spot.

At the moment, I'm really hoping I'll finish it in time for when I move to where the maximum temperature is a chilly -7 degrees (celcius) today!

And if you would like to get yourself some of this scrumptious yarn, I got mine from Little Sparrow. It seems like a nice little shop (have never been there) that is owned by a real creative lady. Fair prices, low postage (I hate paying postage) and quick service! Very happy.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

RIP Mouse

I suppose I should have given it a better name after being my faithful companion for seven years. It spent at least eight hours a day, four days a week (and four hours every Friday) with me and the best I can come up with is "Mouse" - and that only thought of a few minutes ago.

It followed me when I moved first into a new office building a few hundred metres away and then into two different offices during that time. First it helped me write media releases. Then it helped me write news articles and television scripts. The last thing it did was help me edit articles and write my own.

But today, Mouse gave up the ghost.

Mouse now sits at the bottom of its paper-filled grave called my bin, because it finally realised it deserved a much-needed rest. Maybe it was because I didn't give it a break over the Christmas holidays.

It bears the scars of its long service. The silver varnish on the left mouse button has been rubbed down, revealing its white plastic after all the caressing done by my index finger. The right mouse button fared better, only turning a slightly light grey-green colour, but only because it's not a very well-used button. And where my palm rests . . . let's just say it's kind of gleaming.

No longer does the left mouse button work, unless under much duress. But when using it gives my index finger an incredible sore, I thought it time to move on with my life and acquire a new one.

Bye bye Mouse. You have been a good and faithful servant.

And in case you're wondering what Mouse is resting on, I found this weird picture of a coffin couch here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Space Invaders (from

As an editor, receiving manuscripts with a double space after a full-stop (period) is a personal pet peeve. So I am so grateful for articles like this from that explains why we should never do it.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Relax already

I have an extremely bad habit that I've recognised and have been trying to shake for years. I succeeded for a few years, but I'm beginning to discover that it's coming back with a vengeance.

I can't seem to relax.

By that I mean I need to be in a constant state of doing something "productive". I feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm relaxing, doing nothing, watching TV . . . I think it's why I took up knitting so enthusiastically. So that I'm actually doing something I feel is productive, instead of simply sitting on a couch, watching TV.

It's also probably why I decided to take up post-graduate studies. So that when work's over, I don't just have the opportunity to relax and chill out in the evenings/weekends, I actually have something I deem productive to do.

I'm a fiend when it comes to to-do lists. I love writing them and ticking them off. I'm always thinking of something else to add to it and get this immense sense of satisfaction when I am able to cross them out.

I don't believe myself when I look at my day and realise that perhaps, I don't really have anything else to do and I can spend some time reading a book or watching TV. Instead, I potter around the house looking for something to clean, rearrange or pack.

I feel like I need to be in this constant flux of activity, doing something, creating something.

Wanting to be productive is not a bad thing, but when you get to the point where you feel like you need to be doing something all the time, I think it's time to get some kind of help.

The lucky thing is that because of my religious beliefs, Saturday is a special day for me in which I try to connect with God, obeying his directives to take some time out to rest. So instead of buzzing with activity all the time, I manage to find one day a week to disconnect from it all. But come Sunday, I'm panicking again if I've got nothing to do.

What is it with life that we can't feel that we can relax anymore? That we actually feel guilty about simply enjoying being in the moment? We've been pushed too often to succeed, to achieve, to be productive that perhaps sometimes, we're wanting to attain too much, forgetting the need to step away and recharge.

I'm looking forward to the day when I can enjoy my Friday evening pamper sessions without feeling guilty. At the moment, it feels more like a task that I have to do, and not a special treat, which defeats the whole purpose!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Review: The Alchemist

It's no wonder this book is an international bestseller. The little nuggets of wisdom, the amazing insights into life and the simplicity of style makes this book such a joy to read.

I know I've been rather late getting on to the bandwagon and in all honestly, I wouldn't even have read this book if I hadn't found it amongst D's pile of things.

The introduction of the book had my absorbed. This talk of fufilling one's Personal Legend intrigued me and spoke to something in my heart. I wanted to know more, because I could relate.

Too often, we lose our dreams, our deepest passions to a number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, when at the core of it, we're simply afraid. Afraid of chasing our dreams. Afraid of the difficulties we may face. And sometimes, even afraid of achieving those dreams. We look around us and there are people everywhere who never get to achieve their dreams, so why should we?

Reading The Alchemist was an absolute pleasure. I felt like I needed a highlighter or a notepad and pen to jot down the thought-provoking and insightful quotes I come across. Quotes to inspire us. Quotes to spur us. Quotes to encourage us to go on. To go on searching for what makes us truly come alive.

It has all the elements of what life would be, if only we can overcome our fear and trust in God/fate/Soul of the World, or whoever we believe guides our lives. Because when we do so, "the universe conspires to help us achieve [our dreams]".

The only regret I have? Not picking this book up earlier.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Is there nothing to look forward to in life besides having a baby, once you've reached a certain age?

For the last month or so, I've been counting down the weeks on Facebook to a much anticipated trip coming up in February.

Every week without fail, I would have a different friend assume my "xx weeks" status update has something to do with me being pregnant.

Can't a girl look forward to . . . oh, a new car, a trip to the hairdressers, a holiday, the arrival of new shoes, a visit from a friend or simply practice her ability to count, without being mistaken for being pregnant?

It's funny how life seems to be marked by certain events that "matter" - graduation, finding a partner/spouse, babies, death (ok, I don't think too many people look forward to death . . . ) - and everything else just falls by the wayside. We live our lives hoping to achieve these milestones and fail to recognise or anticipate other events that excite us or bring us joy.

Having a baby is a wonderful thing, but perhaps it may not be the only thing we ought to look forward to with eagerness. We need to live our lives with more fun. Let us enjoy the little things, even if they may not be considered a milestone by society's standards.

Image: digitalart /

Monday, 2 January 2012

Canadian New Year beanies

It's been a while since I last posted about a knitting project. I did start on a new project - a really easy one - but was taking my time, largely because I was doing two subjects at uni this last semester and couldn't seem to find any free time.

The holidays started and I returned to the project, but then I ran out of yarn. I haven't bought any yet and it's funny, but once you get out of the habit of doing something, it's hard to find the motivation to start again.

However, after getting my free spinning wheel for Christmas, I decided I better get back to knitting, in order to use up all the yarn currently sitting under my bed. This makes sense once you realise it's so that I can justify buying roving to spin more yarn.

Little did I realise that once I started, I would finish not one, but two projects in a day! I felt like a knitting machine!

Don't think I'm a super-fast knitter though. The yarn was rather bulky, I was using large needles and the pattern is super-easy. So I started 2012 watching We of the Never Never and Going Postal (both excellent films) and finishing these two projects, pom-poms and all!

I'm really pleased with the super-soft, super-squishy, super-warm merino yarn that I used because it was purchased at a super-cheap price from eBay. There weren't quite enough to make a full beanie in one colour (story of my life. I never seem to have enough yarn to finish a project in one colour), but I think I improvised to make it work because now I have matching beanies for D and myself!

These will hopefully keep our heads warm in the freezing Canadian winter.

Pattern here (from one of my favourite designers).

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year, new kettle

What better way to start a new year than with a "new" kettle? Ok, there are a million other better things you could do than start it with a new kettle, but I'm just really excited about this thing that I just discovered.

You know how your electric cordless kettle gets really black and gross after a few months'/years' worth of use? And no matter how much you scrub, it seems impossible to get rid of the gunk? And you don't really want to use harsh chemicals because you'd be drinking from the same container after?

Have I got a solution for you! And the best part is that it's non-toxic and completely safe for you.

It only requires one ingredient - a lemon. Oh, and water of course.

First you fill your kettle up to its maximum. Then you cut a lemon into about four pieces, squeeze the juice into the kettle and then drop the rest of the squeezed lemon in (yes, rind and all).

Boil the water, then let it cool for about an hour or so (more is fine). Boil again.

And viola! Amazingly clean kettle!

SorryI forgot to take before photos, but trust me, it was black and dark and looked like a cesspit before I gave it the lemon treatment. And the electric element thing at the bottom of the kettle is actually gleaming!
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