Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Failing and Flying

Jack Gilbert, 1925 – 2012

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

November Favorites

It’s almost mid-December. I am mostly ready for Christmas, a couple more gifts to buy and of course, stocking stuffers.

Drinking:
Gin & tonics with this “new to me” gin, Monkey 47. It’s so flavorful.
Pour-over coffee with Mike’s new Chemex. The coffee does taste much fuller.

Eating:
Hot pot/steamboat – it’s been really chilly around here so this is really the best comfort food. Also, it’s easier to use an portable induction cooker instead of a portable gas cooker.

Listening:
A Time and a Plate – I love Claire’s new food history podcast as she takes us across the world and in time.
Other food podcasts like A Splendid Table, America’s Test Kitchen
True Crime podcasts like Someone Knows Something – the stories do get a bit gut-wrenching but missing people and cold cases deserve our attention.

Watching:
Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life
Westworld
Fantastic Beasts – Newt Scamander. That is all.
Pride and Prejudice – rewatching this because of Colin Firth.

More favorites for December to come.

What have you guys been up to?

May Favorites 2016

Goodbye May, Hello June!

After some unseasonably warm weather here, May cooled down considerably. Here are my favorites for May:

Drinking
Loads of PG Milk Tea (one teabag, hot water and a teaspoon of condensed milk)
Also, cold brew matcha – one teaspoon of matcha powder in 16oz of cold water, shake bottle up. Perfect for the warmer weather.

Eating
I tried baking chiffon or sponge cakes this month. I made a vanilla swiss roll with a strawberry-rhubarb filling and a gula melaka chiffon cake. The flavor of the gula melaka was perfect in a sponge cake.

Listening
Borns’ Dopamine album
The Productivity Show – I just enjoy good tips on how to manage work, email and life better.
Modern Love Podcast – great essays read by talented people. My favorite episode was A Heart Outrun, read by Colin Farrell.

Watching
Star Wars (episodes 1-7), getting excited for Rogue One.
Lily Pebbles’ Every Day May videos – I particularly enjoy her vlogs and her videos that feature her arty camera work.

Doing
Long walks
Inverted meditation
Adding new plants to house/deck

Reading
Harry Potter – The Prisoner of Azkaban

What has been your favorites this past month?

Spring has sprung

I’ve been away from this blog for a couple weeks because we have been enjoying some lovely spring weather here in the PNW.

Late March, we spent a week in beautiful Maui – playing in the sun, eating delicious plate lunches and just slowing down. I unplugged from work for a whole week! It felt so good. We waited 5 years for this. We had booked our babymoon in Maui before Sagan arrived but I had that emergency surgery so we cancelled. I very much enjoyed experiencing with S.

My first quarter at work was madness. I spent so much time working, trying to meet all the crazy deadlines set out by people who have no idea how much work goes into what I do. I’m glad that I had the Maui carrot to dangle in front of me, otherwise, I might not have fared so well.

We no longer have a yard but we have a couple of outdoor containers that I’m starting to nurture and plant. The front of our house gets very sunny so I planted some succulent pots with the lavender topiary. Because I am not good with keeping smaller containers healthy (you know I used to have those big metal stock tanks), I’ve been starting to use more fertilizer. My favorite one is fish fertilizer. It’s not the most pleasant smell when applying it to the pots but once you see how happy your plants get after a dose or two, you know that it’s the best thing for them. Even my indoor plants have responded well. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to fertilize my indoor foliage. I had a tiny rubber ficus that survived the dungeon of an apartment we had to live in for a few months last year. It was doing better in the new place but after 2 doses of fish fertilizer, its leaves have grown much healthier.

I hope to plant some basil, mint and chives this year. I am considering a self-watering container to keep them healthy when it gets too hot but I may plant the herbs on the east-facing balcony. What kinds of herbs are you growing this year?

We are planning to enjoy some hiking since there are plenty of trails at our doorstep now.

What are your favorite things to do this time of the year?

March Favorites and Updates

We finally met all the deadlines at work this past week. I can breathe again.

With slightly warmer weather, I’ve been browsing the plant nurseries. We picked up some spring flowers to add to our containers. Ever since I moved away from Scarlett, I no longer have a yard to garden in.
We have several containers and I am working on refreshing them with compost and fish emulsion fertilizer.

I plan to grow a cherry or grape style tomato, some peas and sunflowers for Sagan. He is recently interested in how to plant a seed and watch it grow.

With the changing seasons, I’m looking to find a new lightweight cotton blanket for our bed. We used grey and white in our bedroom so I am considering this one.

Also loving these printed kitchen towels.

I received my Write On Campaign kit and cannot wait to start creating pieces of mail to send out every day in April.

Got my Malaysian food fix last night – Roti Jala with some lamb curry and Chili Pan Mee. Delicious.

Best part of March is coming up – we leave for Maui in 9 days! Aloha!

What was your favorite part of March so far?

Friday Favorites

Work is still crazy and I have a lingering cold so that means I’m intentionally hoarding things that I love and enjoy. Little treats and moments of gratitude have helped me through these past weeks.

Cadbury Caramel Eggs – I love caramel. You all know that!

Milk Tea – made with PG Tips tea bags, full fat milk powder and raw honey. The best comfort drink.

Playing sea otters with Sagan – we have been enjoying videos of this baby sea otter and his momma, floating in the sea so he has been laying on my belly while we pretend to be sea otters.

Penelope Dullaghan’s Instagram posts of her work – love the recent pieces with blues and whites.

This book – Owls: Our Most Charming Bird – lovely illustrations. Sagan loves owls, but we never got a reference-style book and when I saw this, I knew this would be it.

Sheet Masks – finally, my face has stopped peeling and is playing nice with my foundation/makeup. My mum bought me a whole bunch of them from Etude House when she went back to Singapore, they have all worked equally well.

Mid-week favorites

Wow, it’s March already! Next month is National Lettering Writing month and I am taking on a challenge to send a piece of mail out for every day of the month.

I’m participating in Egg Press and Hello Lucky’s letter writing campaign – Write_On. I donated to their Indiegogo campaign – check it out here!

I have ordered some of these lovely stamps from USPS – Coastal Birds Postcard stamps and these Gifts of Friendship stamps with the lovely cherry blossom trees in DC illustrated.

Been loving the gold trend lately as well – got myself a Midori brass ruler, this Nate Berkus gold Swingline stapler and this gorgeous gold paper scissors that I have had my eye on from Angela Liguori.

I might have to get this trash bin for the office space since it’s brass-y.

Food favorites lately, anything Asian and spicy. Missing Singapore food again. Story of my life.

Drink favorite – Homemade Honey Milk Boba tea. Made with fresh boba.

I listened to this podcast episode that was featured on Love+Radio. It moved me. It’s a story about a mum who is learning to grow with her transgendered 7 year old daughter. My heart felt for this mum and I think that she is so very brave and amazing.

Lately I’ve been thinking about friendship again. I reconnected with an old friend but her life seems to always need attention that I feel that we never talk about me and how I do at all. Sigh. She is an old friend but this is an old habit. How do you find a balance with your friendships? I would like to be there for her but it just seems a bit one-sided. Do I tell her?

Spring is almost here, I’m counting down. 26 days to a sunny vacation. It’s been too long!