This post is long overdue. With so many things going on each week, there was just not enough time to post all the photos and write out my blogposts. Also, I became an aunt when CovertTwin's wife gave birth to a little girl, so I have been carving out as much time as possible to visit my little niece. To heck with home remodelling, drafting articles and blogging, I have a niece!
Just look at her, have you ever seen a cheekier face? I think she is going to be a right proper monkey, like me!
1. Make a new friend
I dropped by Corezone to pick up the prizes for the winners of our Earth Day Cleanup Contest and met Sharon, one of the business partners who ran the place. Nice lady, very smart and outdoorsy, makes me feel like a lazy lumpy couch potato, but that's my fault, not hers.
Our Malaysian Nature Society annual Festival of Wings took place in early October and I recruited Karen and her childhood friend Suan Lynn as volunteers for our Green Living / Firefly Conservation and Awareness booth since I was severely shorthanded.
A visiting friend-of-a-friend from New Zealand, David Titheridge, expressed his desire to volunteer with Beacon of Hope while he is in Malaysia, and so for 3 weeks I had excellent company to and from the tuition centre. His friendliness, humility and courtesy made him an ideal volunteer. I hope he comes back to visit us again soon. The children like him already.
Amit Kumar is one of Prem's friends who I met when I happened to swing by the Malaysian Nature Society HQ one Saturday afternoon. We found out that we have a lot in common so we will probably end up in random volunteering jaunts together.
2. Help a stranger.
One of the other volunteer teachers at Beacon, Zubaidah (far right, standing, in black headscarf and top), has a 16-year-old daughter has sickle cell anaemia and cerebral palsy, and I assisted with cash contributions and diapers and baby products.
I found out that Judy, a kitchen helper at the vegan stall in the food court I frequent, needed help getting her rescued stray cats neutered and spayed, so I took the cats to the SPCA for spaying and took care of them until they could be safely returned to her and released in her porch.
October meant time for another blood donation since my haemoglobin count was low in Sept.
I have also started volunteering for a new cause, Care2Run, as a mentor to get underprivileged children and teens involved in sports and outdoor activities. We buddy up with the youngsters twice a week, get them to do proper warm-up and stretching exercises, run for approximately an hour, and enrol them in charity runs and road races. It has been exhausting but exhilarating.
3. Eat something/at someplace new to me.
Lots of new-to-me eats in October:
(i) Kelantan food stall at Jalan Bellamy with Serina and the gang.
(ii) Colourful Thai dodol from Serina's latest work trip to Thailand.
(iii) Lunch at Organic Express in SS2 with Dee Lu and Sharon.
(iv) Friday lunch at Oriental Garden Vegetarian Restaurant at Kelana Mall.
(v) Checked out O Bean, a new veg restaurant in Damansara Jaya, with Arnie and Karen.
(vi) The new Ikea vegan meatballs rocked my world. Absolute crack.
4. Go someplace I've never been.
(i) Westin Hotel in Bukit Bintang with Aravind for a work event.
(ii) CoreZone, a outdoor equipment store in SS2.
(iii) Organic Express vegetarian restaurant in SS2.
(iv) Oriental Garden vegetarian restaurant in Kelana Mall.
(v) O Bean vegetarian restaurant in Damansara Jaya, which I went to with Karen and Arnie.
(vi) Visiting my new baby niece Hailey (!!!) in a part of Subang Jaya I have never been to before.
5. Learn something new.
So in October I became an aunt, and I learned how to hold a one-week-old baby. I'm pretty fearless at it now :) I love Hailey, she brought a ray of sunshine into our lives. I am going to be the best aunt possible.
6. Declutter and cull 100 items.
In October, I spring-cleaned parts of the parental home and removed lots of old magazines for recycling, rotten stuffed animals for disposal (hardest thing I ever had to do. I thought my heart was going to stop beating while doing it. My brain kept telling me they are just toys, but my heart wept goodbye to my old friends. It felt awful) The stuffed animals that are still in good condition will be given to children in indigenous communities who don't have many toys. My toys will get dirty, but at least they will get played with and be loved.
8. Give up something for a month.
Buy Nothing New -- tried it, loved it, nailed it, will continue doing it. I made my own Halloween decorations, costume and favours without buying anything new.
9. Letter to the Editor.
I submitted a letter to the press on shark fishing in Malaysia on 7 Oct 2015. It was published in several news sites on 9 Oct 2015.