Monday, August 10, 2009

Randomly in the mood

It was my plan to update my blog once a month. But of late, I have been bogged down with summer visitors and my trip to Sicily. One can easily get sidetracked when there are tons of activities to attend to. My mind was constantly brewing with things to do for the last summer in Italy. Although my husband's contract in Italy has been extended to June 2010, I reckon that there will be no more of those short trips on planet of the pastas.

Contrary to my believe, every good thing have to end eventually. And so is our tour in Italy. I enjoyed most part of it albeit the rising cost of living persistently continues.

I came back from my one month summer holiday in Sicily about three weeks ago. Time spent with my daughter and granddaughter was so precious. I was saddened when I left them. Nothing I can do to change the situation. My daughter has her own family and I have a husband that needs my presence at home. Beside all of these, there are urgent matters that needed to be addressed. Very little time to keep my little stubby fingers from tapping on the keyboard to update my blog.

No doubt I have been married for a long time to a US citizen, I never really had the opportunity to sort out my Green card issue. It never bothered me at all since we have been traveling around the world from the day we got married. Who would have thought these things when we were too busy getting settled in another foreign land. Getting adjusted to different cultures and traditions took up most of our time. To make matter worst, we moved once in every two years. Our minds are preoccupied and focused as where the next location might be. This time, we ain't going anywhere but back to the big country.

Evidently I am forced this time to get around with the real thing in life. No time for regrets or wonder why I didn't do it more than a decade ago. No more excuses. I got down to the bottom of it and submitted my paperwork.

I prayed so hard to get my first step approved by the authorities. My prayers were answered. My petition was approved by USCIS and forwarded to the consular office to process my Green card. Believe me, this is only the beginning. There are few more steps to go. I can't wait to get this pressing issue to be completed. Wish me luck and give me a moment in your prayer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Back for a bit...

Where did the time flies? I last posted on Feb 13 and left for a sudden trip back to Borneo. My trip was not fun to say the least; caring and babysitting a sick husband. It was a tough one and I almost lost my wit. He practically drove me up the wall ... lol. I would have preferred to babysit a newborn.

A three-month of pure dedication to an immobile husband and to top it up, the journey to Sabah Medical Center was endless. I am almost certain that I knew every pothole that existed from Kinarut to Sabah Medical Center. I avoided those potholes because of the condition of my husband's surgery that was so vulnerable from getting ripped. I made it through without any incident.

My husband's short-term disability finally ended the first week of May. We headed back for Italy to continue where we left. Our Siamese cat was scrawny but luckily still in good health. Thanks to a good landlord who cared for him while we were away. Both cars are still in good shape. Unfortunately, the house was covered with pile of dust and it took me almost a week to clean the nooks and crannies of the farm house.

Before we even got settled down from the extended time away from Italy, news of us departing the country started looming around us. Its June, and I am on my way to see my granddaughter. This could be my last visit to Sicily to see her. I am going to miss her terribly. Three weeks seem to be short and I intend to spend my time with her as much as I can. God knows, when will I see her again.

I am convinced this is going to be very difficult for me having to live further and further away from my granddaughter. Soon after seeing my granddaughter, I will be on my way again; this time all alone for couple of months. The chapter of our life in Italy is about to end. Its time to get packing again for another unknown adventure. Life is full of surprise; it never ceases to amaze me.

I dread to think of my impending journey in August .. nothing I can do to change it. Life has to go on for me and my husband.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Be my Valentine

This will be our 14th Valentine's Day together and we are thankful we have come this far. We look back the good old memories we shared together, some of which are irreplaceable. We are thankful our marriage endured the minor set backs we encountered over the years. Fond memories are treasured in the form of pictures taken from various occasions of our time together with the hope that it will always be remembered for the next few decades to come.

Tonight, we plan to dine at a restaurant we both had agreed. It's going to be a beautiful night for both of us as w
e are expecting more snow tonight. Although we have stopped drinking alcohol, tonight will be an exception. We will remember the significance of tonight's celebration, looking back at what we have achieved together and pray that it will continue for as long as we are together.

I remember the first time we celebrated our Valentine's Day together, my husband gave me
a bracelet made of topaz stones. It was the most beautiful set of jewelery I have ever had in my life. The bracelet sparkled in the dark and I couldn't resist wearing it on my wrist.

As time goes
by, I no longer wanted expensive gifts. The only and one gift I want from my husband is his purest love for me that no expensive gift can ever replace the value. In return, I offer my unconditional love back to him.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Bliss/Blizzard

Not too much of a Sunday for us except small talk between husband and wife. Dave and myself spent the day lazing around like lounge lizards. Little Siamese King thought he was the highlight of the day. Every move we made, he was there. Mostly sitting and waiting under the threshold that leads to his 'dining facility'.

Dave got up from the bed while I stayed in to watch the updates on FOX news. He heated few pieces of leftover pizza in the microwave oven and brewed his slurp for the day. The weather outside was gorgeous; breezy and sunny yet chilly. The best time to air out the entire house after a long chilling winter. It was a reprieve. Dave went around the house and opened all the windows to let the fresh air filter through. In a matter of hours, the wind shifted to the north and pushed the darkening clouds toward the south; our brief sunny day came and went. The beautiful day was short lived.

Sunday has always been the day for us to discuss matters of the future. Similar topic, any household would discuss from time to time. Today, the topic is mainly focused on our youngest daughter's education.

In less than a month, we will be emptying our little nest egg to fund for her education. Emphasis on education for the kids has been the order in our entire marriage. We gave equal opportunity to every kid to succeed in life. We supported and sacrificed for each and every kid in their endeavors. We constantly maintained our watchful eyes despite the fact that we live away from them. It was never an easy job to keep up with them. Its a 24/7 commitment.

Chucky, as she is fondly called by her friends and families, had chosen to pursue Broadcasting & Journalism as a career. Her gutsiness seems to meet the criteria. She had participated in many debates and achieved eight credits in her forecasted result in her final year in high school. As parents, we were ecstatic and made plans to enroll her in one of the private universities, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

We went through our financial situation, added the cost of the entire degree program and decided that we will sacrifice every penny we have to finance for her education. By the time we are done with her, we reckoned that every penny in our bank account would be wiped out! Isn't life is but trials and tribulations? Yes, life never ceases to amaze me.

Although the weather changed that day, it did not dampen our spirits from making plans for our daughter's future ~ A commitment of a lifetime.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Trip to the supermarket

Weather was not in my favor this morning. Cloudy and windy; it made me feel loony. "Freaking cold weather! When is this going to end?" I mumbled. The Italian weather is very unpredictable to me. It has been gloomy, cold for the past week, and last night, the rain poured continuously. The weather fore casted another snowy week within the next couple of days. Well, I will just have to put up with the weather till spring time. I can't wait for that glorious sun to peep out and shine on my Dusun face.

Grudgingly, I got into my car and drove to the supermarket. My husband wasn't interested to fight with the shopping crowd. He was recovering from a severe chemical reaction caused by some drugs that did not agree with his system. Apparently, the doctor prescribed the wrong medication and caused him to bleed from the nose to the ears. My husband survived the ordeal. Phew! It was a touch and go situation.

Along the way to the supermarket, I made a mental note; I must get myself a hair cut. It's been quite a while since I last visited the salon. The price tag of a hair cut in Italy is astronomical. I was hesitant to get into my purse and shell out thirty euros for a hair cut. My mind is always on auto pilot converting the currency. Great! This is equivalent to one hundred and fifty ringgit. The thought of it made me shiver. Ah, my bangs are getting shabby and split ends are showing at the tip of my shoulder length hair. I had no choice.

Financially, I tend to be prudent in my spending. My husband always complain that I am a 'cheapo'. I compare prices, buy the cheapest and expect it to last. But no manufacturer in his right frame of mind sells good quality product for cheaper price.

Getting back to my trip to the supermarket. Ever since my husband bought us a new car, a Ford Fusion, I have taken over the responsibility of getting the weekly groceries. My husband seems to trust me driving the 'boat' simply because it was ranked as one of the safest cars in America. He wasn't too keen of me driving his manual geared 1991 Honda Acura. Although the car is in a tip top condition, except for few scratches on the body, he was not convinced to release the car to me. Personally, I love driving manual cars because they jump and go when accelerated. Our new car, spacious, comfortable, runs like a dream but the gear operates on automatic. Not my kind of thing. Well, its a luxury ride, so therefore I shouldn't be complaining. The bottom line is, it will still get me from point A to point B.

I arrived at Ippercoop Supermercato at 3pm. Throng of people were already lined up for the baskets. I had anticipated the madness inside the supermarket. I queued and got myself a basket. The first aisle I attacked was the pet section. Damn cat! He is an eating machine. He eats more than the two of us combined together. What a hog! Pet food are over priced in Europe and our Mr. Cat do not want anything less than the Sheba brand. A can varies from fifty five to seventy five euro cents a pop. Imagine buying 14 cans per week. That amount converted to ringgit is enough to feed a small family in Malaysia for a week. Spoiled brat! Alas, Mr. Cat is my husband's best friend so I can't argue.

Next, I tackled the meat section. I was tempted to buy a good chunk of beef but the price tag was asinine. I settled for some chicken fillets and couple of thighs. Wow! That was a whooping ten euros. I scratched my head; I still have few things in my list and I was already all stressed.

By the time I completed my rounds in getting the necessary items, I felt beaten. My head was about to explode. I went to the check out counter but it was packed with people, some sombre, some anxious and few can't wait to get the hell out of the place. These are the chain reactions of the world economy crisis today. It's prevalent, the bad economy contributed stress and anxiety to every household. The children, the kitties and doggies must be fed and life must go on.

My turn to face reality. I laid all my items on the conveyor and watched the cashier like a hawk in case I get double charged. All went well and I was prepared for the inevitable. With the last touch on the cash register keypad, the amount appeared on a side screen. Great! A hole in my pocket. Two plastic bags of groceries cost me my arms and legs. One hundred and twenty euros for a week's supply? My heart sank. My mind went on auto pilot conversion. That was equivalent to six hundred ringgit. Goodness gracious! In Malaysia that would have been a month's supply for a family of five. After paying the amount as indicated on the little screen, I hurried away from the counter afraid I might utter some profanity language. I avoided the situation.

I pushed my basket to the basement of the supermarket and loaded my groceries into the trunk of my car. My intention after the shopping was to get my hair trimmed but after the shocking revelation, I aborted my plan and drove home in silence.