Sociable

A tranquil Christmas

Posted by Lakshmi
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Christmas came a bit too sudden for me this year and I was caught unprepared and somewhat stuck in mid-air.  A week before Christmas, my husband had the misfortune of being involved in a car accident and having had to undergo surgery to fix his fractured ankle, he was stuck in Assunta  Hospital for a good part of the week..  The daily driving in traffic jammed roads and the constant worry  did not do much for a festive Christmas this year.

On a brighter note, however, I did manage to bake my traditional gingerbread man cookies to give to some of my students  and made sure my kids wrote their letter to Santa.  No, it is not posted to the North Pole but put into the Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve before we leave for church for Midnight Mass.  Since my husband was confined to his chair with strict instructions to minimise movement ,  the running around for everything and everywhere  was left to me. Shopping was a nightmare at Isetan, KLCC, not because of  lack of choice but rather my daughter took the longest time to choose the minimum clothes! To tell the truth,  I'm not much of a shopping person and the horrendous amount of time waiting for my daughter to try on the clothes freaked me out, so much so that my son and I made a solemn decision to not go shopping for clothes  again  with his sister/my daughter !

Lunch was a quiet affair with only the family and immediate members involved. Since I had little time for preparations this year, I only managed to bake a bread pudding with custard sauce for Christmas tea, while lunch was, as usual,  prepared by my sisters- in-law.  It was indeed a far cry from last year's celebrations, but still, the spirit of Christmas  was evident in our family, aided very much by the daily viewing of  the feel good and heart warming  Christmas movies in STAR channel.  Didn't miss even one,  from Fred Claus to the Gringe and all the re-runs in between ...... !

And you know what, the best gift this year came from my baker friend,Yati , who pleasantly  surprised me by baking for us the best ever  chocolate cake, complete with Christmas decorations of Santa on his  sleigh with Rudolf, his  Red Nosed Reindeer.

Magnifique

A small shopping stint for school

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Today,  I took a single parent and her daughter to the Giant store and bought  the little 7 yr kiddo her school uniforms and stuff.    The little kid was so excited and chatty throughout the shopping.   Her mum works as a cleaner in a firm and had asked for assistance for the child's school expenses and uniforms.  Come to think of it, the beginning of school is always a hard time for normal parents themselves,what with  the ever increasing PTA fees, school fees, magazine fees,miscellaneous fees,  sports clothes, new shoes and socks, uniforms, stationeries  and what not. Under the circumstances, it must be doubly hard for  single mums  to manage the new school year.  This doesn't even  include the school bus fee/transport expenses,etc  and the 101 things which will always find its way for added expenses.  Hmmmm,  if only I had a magic wand........

I was truly glad that I could be of some help to the little girl  and her happy face said it all.  It was raining when we left the store and after driving them home , I said a prayer of thanks to GOD , for in the process, I realised how blessed and lucky I was.

Window dressing

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My new customer, Rosemary and Ana gave me this 'ready made' window to paint on.  It comes complete with mini curtains too.  Very creative indeed.... the artist who came up with this idea, don't you think?.  Now all  you have to do is nail it to an empty wall and voila! you have a window.   It's that easy........ Anyway, since it was a window ,  and since Rosemary and company wanted roses, roses, roses, I thought  the above arrangement of  rose sprigs would be appropriate. It took me a few days to paint the two windows as it was quite quite heavy and I had to hold it at a difficult angle when painting.  The hinges  were too tightly screwed and so I couldn't unscrew them ( ha!ha!ha!)   I also painted a buttterfly and a bee on each panel of the window to give it a 'outdorsy' look.

Rosemary's Picnic Basket.

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This is one of the recent ones I did for Rosemary.  A picnic basket with bows and lace.  A similar one was also done but with a lime green background for another customer who preferred bold and strong colours.

The Busy Bee

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The past 2 weeks or so had me running up and down trying to accommodate classes  and staying late nights to finish up my projects. I think I look like a panda, with the trademark black eyes from lack of sleep .  Just the other day, I went to bed at 5 am.  Was painting like mad to meet the dateline and got to watch the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie on HBO at 3am ( can't remember the name but with a soppy happily ever after ending which I sooooo  like)  and  without being interrupted . Very late but getting a chance to see a complete  movie without any " Mummy, where is my ........., Is dinner ready ...... or  ESPN  has started so........... is such a rare occurrence for me. 

I have made new friends too.  Jackie and her mum Ivy, are two such special ladies whom I had the privilege to know and they are now my good good friends.  Such charming  mother and daughter team who run a quilt making outfit in Taman Andalas, Klang. . They also do  smocking, the old fashioned  children's  clothes hallmark, beautifully and meticulously done.  You'd wish you had a little girl of your own to try them on....  Their studio is housed in an annexe to their home surrounded by a really really beautiful English rose garden  that would take your breath away.

Back to my paintings... Of late, I have taken on extra painting projects from friends.  Remember the  school project I did as part of my community  obligation?  Well, I  did mention to the Headmistress that , if  there was any student who was in dire need of  assistance, I would like to offer whatever help I could..  I have now come to know of a  11 year old motherless  student whose guardian uncle  is unable to afford the child's upkeep. ' An intelligent but lonely child who could do with some attention, affection and a gift of proper  clothes. ' was the Headmistress's remark.    Having made my commitment to support the child without proper planning and  thinking , I was  caught in a somewhat 'difficult' situation. And then, BINGO, I received painting projects from new customers and friends!. Well, ' tis the season to be jolly, isn't it  and  God works in mysterious ways.... so now I'm keeping aside the income derived from my painting and will soon be paying a surprise visit to her and take her out for the day. 

It's sweet irony, isn't it?   Instead of  I  simply dreaming of Santa Claus , I get a small chance to be one for a little girl...   Thank you, GOD ALMIGHTY,  for this blessing.