Monday, September 29, 2008

Another week...

** The tiles stated, it should be ROOF TILES.
I have lost count of the days...yupz, work is moving too slowly. I know, I know hubby says there is work done everyday. Work is being carried out but lately there are only 2 workers. It is sooo slow. To me, even a turtle moves faster. I think you would agree with me on this. First day, first week, there is lots of enthusiasm. 2nd week, still some left. When you enter the 3rd week and still very little of that 'ending' in sight, you don't feel eager about seeing the finishing line anymore but frustrations. More when the plumber can't keep to schedule. He has some work to be finished...where? Oh...somewhere on this planet...just somewhere except to be here...this house! Frustrations, don't they just start to set in, sort of...no??? YESSS...it is so for me!

Here, the tiles have arrived. Infact, they were here last week.

This is the cement mixer that is being used. Am not complaining about this. This machine runs on gasoline. It is normally used for small projects like this renovation of ours. It beats mixing the cement using shovels. The workers have to carry the mixed wet cement to the back of the house to fill up the trenches. Trenches filled with cement.

These are pile caps. I just realised that I didn't take any pictures of the beams that were casted vertically on these pile caps...missed out one part here. Roof tiles moved up and laid out. It still looked very bright as they put up the tiles piece by piece. I would say we are really lucky because all the way we have had good weather. It poured real bad only once. We woke up to find water in the sitting room area. No major damages. Only a few boxes of things got wet. That also, nothing that will turn bad. Only the wine glasses and plates were in the boxes. Thank God.










Roof done!!! Yippeee...now it can rain as much as it wants to. Here you can see a pair of feet against the roof. The kitchen looks a bit dark. No lightings as yet. Only light that is in here is natural. Oh...natural as natural can be.







Here is Kaze. She is always the first one to everything. Here she is the first one to know and appreciate that the window is done and up!!! Hurray...oops...not as yet. This window is done waaaay...to big. They forgot that I've got cabinets to be built above the window. Now...it has to be made smaller. Urghhh...waste of time again.

With the roof tiles and walls up, lots of debris and rubbish have been moved out and cleared. Here you can see the 2 dogs having a nice time. Like I said, this will be the only time they can come in sniffing and digging holes all over. Enjoy to their hearts content digging, sniffing and digging and sniffing and.......
to be continued...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What I call...a meal

With renovations being done to the kitchen, I am having a 'no cooking' time. Ahaahaaa...don't I enjoy such times. Ahem, ahemmm...do I?

Some 'pro-per' food this time. As a Malaysian (Chinese), a proper meal will be a sit down dinner with dishes. Rice is always eaten with these dishes and sometimes soup, is included. This is Federal Place, a Chinese Restaurant that we visited. We had our dinner here.

This is the grilled lamb ribs and it is something different. Different in the sense, it is lightly seasoned and grilled. No gravy accompanying the ribs. Most serve the grilled lamb with gravy. This particular restaurant doesn't. You just eat it with the mint sauce or on its own. It is aromatic and tender. Grilled just right!

Toufoo on metal plate. Unlike the other restaurants, this dish is done differently here. An egg is used to coat the bottom of the metal plate. This dish is actually toufoo with mince pork and salted fish. Spring onion is added as garnishing. It is stir fried. You can see it still bubbling with heat as it is served. Hmmm...yummy. 'Kai Lan' (Chinese kale) stir fried with mushrooms in oyster sauce was the next dish. Very well prepared. The kai lan is still crunchy but cooked. The last dish, chicken marinated with belachan (dry prawn paste) and deep fried. This I would say is an 'acquired taste' dish. Not because of the chicken but more because belachan is added. Take away the belachan, this dish will taste just like any normal deep fried chicken. The whole meal was good. The pricing of this place is reasonable for the quality of food served. If you are thinking of visiting this place, it is where the cinema, Federal used to be. Enjoy. :o)

Friday, September 19, 2008

.... and all came tumbling down...

DAY 7 & 8
More trenches are dug. Five to be exact. I didn't know it is going to be so much work and so hard! With all the beams that will be built, I was thinking of having an extra room added. Hmmm...think I gave hubby a big, big shock. LOL...
This man here, he is the 'head' (kapala as said in Hokkien) of the whole group. I have a Bangladeshi, a Vietnamese, an Indonesian and 2 Malaysians working on this first part of the renovation. Muhibbah it is! What makes the mess, the dirt and all the discomfort bearable...this nice bunch of workers. :o)
to be continued...


DAY 6,
With the new plans, beams and walls, all had to be brought down. The debris from the walls as seen here.








After the debris was transported away. Wahla...this is it. What it looked like before. A bare place before the first kitchen was built. The kitchen was actually an extension of the house.
One of the workers digging out the earth after a big hole is drilled. These are for the pile caps. It isn't easy work after the demolition of the walls. I 'supervise' ever so often. LOL... am quite tanned now with the sun scorching hot. Can't complain cause we actually prayed hard for 'no rain'. Lines are cut before they drill through the concrete floors. They were complaining how solid the ground is. I joked that when we built it, we try to make sure that it is the strongest ever built. Then when such time arrives, how we curse and curse that it is sooo solid. Am I not correct?

Eeeeew...it is here...


All the pillars came down. This is what the workers saw and I was shocked. The nest/home of the mice who shared our food. With the roof leaking, the wood of the larder was damp. Aha...now I see how they managed to gnaw a hole through and how it got bigger so quickly. Damp Wood!!! Behind the pillar. Nobody and nothing could get to them. They are sooo smart. Aarghhh...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Uh oh...change of plans...

Day 5 [Day 4...Sunday-OFF]

Monday...The many 'trips' hubby made to the back area did hubby good. He decided that a change is good for the kitchen. So, now what was initially a roof repair job has become a renovation job. Everything has to be demolished. Concrete beam just put up has to come down. It was a whole day of drilling and knocking...oh...the din!










These 3 pictures, they are of my existing kitchen both wet and dry. They now have to be knocked down. The red bricks are all from the pillars. Behind one of them (actually the worker pointed out to me) is where the mice had their 'nest'. Eeew...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mooncake Festival/Mid-autumn Festival

Yesterday was the 15th day of the eighth Lunar Calendar. The Chinese Community celebrated the Mooncake Festival (as it is commonly called in Malaysia) or the Mid-autumn festival. This isn't a religious festival but more of a historical one. More on this festival can be obtained from the web. I think I'd leave it to the web for a more detailed write-up on the Festival. Interesting ones too. Here, I'd write on what we do. As is shown in the pictures, shops sells lanterns that will be carried by children. One can find lanterns in most sundries shop for sale. This particular place captured my fantasy because it actually is a Dim Sum place. A coffee-shop (as is commonly known here) that sells Dim Sum. Mooncakes are what is on the stall (red cloth draped around the counter. [Sorry, I forgot to capture one of the mooncakes.] What mom would do back then is, she'll have mooncakes placed on the altar, fruits and also little cups of tea as offerings. Water caltrop and mini yams are included too. I did too when my child was younger more to keep the tradition alive. Of course, many today doesn't practise such
traditions. My mom stopped after the astronauts landed on the moon! I think with the Apollo mission, mom gradually stopped believing Chang Er and HouYi lives on the moon. ahaaahaa...
I walked past this little boy with a lantern (as in picture below) and it brought back memories. I couldn't resist taking a snapshot of him. I would say he fascinated me as much I fascinated him with my camera. He stood and posed for me. I thought he looked real cute. What this little boy is holding is another type of lantern, made of paper. The ones sold at the Dim Sum place is a wee bit more expensive. They are made of glass paper (coloured transparent paper). I'll describe how I used to enjoy this Festival. My little friends (I was little back then) and I, together with my siblings can't wait for dinner to be over. After dinner we would line up in pairs, lanterns lit with candles and together, we would walk around the neighbourhood. All over, from the front of the house, down alleys and all. We'd sing, we'd joke and we'd laugh. Oh...spooky stories will be told by the older ones and sometimes it end up with one or two of us crying cause back alleys becomes very dark when the candles are blown out. Oh yah, devouring the mooncakes is another enjoyable time. How not to? It 'appears' only once a year! Ooo...we had such good fun. Today's children are different (not all though). Lanterns with artificial candles are carried. You know, those with candles that uses batteries. Some are even better, they come with music in tune with London Bridge etc. I didn't see any children walking in pairs around the neighbourhood last night. Talk about developement and progress...sigh. I think I still like how I enjoyed this Festival back then. Remembering how it wasn't easy hitting the water caltrops with a mini hammer to get to the flesh. The cooked mini yams and how yummy it tasted and how mom screamed when I coat it with too much granulated sugar. LOL...




**Water caltrop makes very beautiful waterplant. Just place it in a pot with some sand and pebbles to hold it down and fill it up with water.The paper used is actually coloured cellophane paper though I've known it as glass paper since my childhood days. Must be because it looks like glass...LOL [Extra pictures have been loaded up here.]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

and it is Day 2 & Day 3...


DAY 2

This is what was done for yesterday. Concrete beams put up. Hmmm...it took them one day.
Weather has been cooperative last night.

DAY 3
Work stopped early today!!! A concrete gutter built. That's it?!!! I wanted more work to be done but the contractor said that is all that they are able to do. They have to wait for the gutter to dry. Aaarghhh...I want work to move faster....!!! Patience...patience. Now to hope the weather cooperate further. :o)
to be continued...

Friday, September 12, 2008

And down it came...

This is what happened when it rained too heavily. Besides just trickling down the pillars, it decided to go into the cabinets. I have been doing this act with the mop for quite sometime before the roof man came over.






DAY ONE-Thursday, 11th
Cabinets, infact anything at all, that will be in the roof men's way are taken down, or shifted away.



Down came the ceiling. Geez...the dust flying around.




We knew for quite sometime that we have 'visitors' most nights. These visitors come to share the food we have stored in the larder. Even the pest control man can't do much cause they come from the roof, the drains, anywhere at all. What we didn't know was they left 'souvenirs' behind.
The SHOCK we had. Look at the pile of rubbish. They are either hidden behind our built-ins or above on the ceiling. We have mice bunking in with us!!! Eeew...










This is how our visitors got to the food in the larder.
They bore a hole.








Uh huh...Look! the sky. I'm standing in the kitchen looking up. :o)

...to be continued.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh...!!!

Our house is (as I'm typing) undergoing repairs. The whole roof above the kitchen has been stripped bare. How to explain to your four-legged friend that everyone not just She alone is living under lots of stress and discomfort? Mischievous decided to try her 'houdini skills' when I had to lock her inside the cage with Miss Malaysia. What else? She obviously got herself stuck. This is the 3rd time. The first and 2nd time she was about 1 month younger, it was easy helping her get her head out from the bars by pushing it back. This 3rd time, I must say was nerve-wrecking. She has gotten bigger and needless to say, the head has also. I can't just push her back into the cage anymore.
I tried to turn her head slightly and push...omigosh...it got stuck sideways. I have a sort of twisted dog now. Aiyeee... Many angles were tried. Then she decided she wanted to just 'walk out' in between the bars!!! She ended up choking and even gasping for air. Just be patient, I'll get you out. I had to keep telling her and stroking her to calm her.



My last resort was to let Miss Malaysia out of the cage. Hmmm...she did some talking and lots of scolding... that's what it looked like to me. I tried pushing Mischievous' head again then slightly twisting and turning by wee little degrees. Finally, she was freed. Oh... what a relief. I would like to think that Miss Malaysia did give Mischievous some tips to help me.
I have decided to get the workers to put extra bars now, just in case she decides to try and be Houdini again. Oh, it took me almost an hour to free her. She headed straight for her water bowl and me...for the fridge! Geez...the sun was scorching hot.