Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TPI Re-evaluation

Almost 3 months after my first TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) evaluation, I went back to Sean, my TPI instructor for a re-evaluation last week. I told him how well I've been feeling and how the golf game is really coming along. After a few measurements here and there, he posted the findings and sure enough, my fitness handicap has been reduced from a 14 to an 8! That's really good news. That's an improvement of 40% in just under 3 months of working-out!

Things are definitely going in the right track. And only after 3 lessons with Tracy, things are feeling good too. And I'm finally able to redeem myself after losing 3 matches in a row to Bob. Last Friday, I won the match 4 and 3 and on Sunday after that, I won the match 5 to 4! :-)
The drama continues this weekend... although I won't be surprised if he suggests playing from the blue tees again instead of the yellow tees.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Boxing Day

The day after Christmas... Bob and I decided to go out and play golf. It was a record setting day yesterday... a high temperature of 76F! And everyone else had the same idea about going out to play. The Golf Club was busy! We took the new digital camera out and took some pics. There was a 5-some playing in front of us, so there was plenty of time to be click-happy :-)
Here are some of my favorites:Birdhouse - taken with color accent option
Bobby - lining up his eagle putt
I love this picture... taken with the sunset setting
And the view of the club house, from the 16th fairway. Just beautiful!
By the way, I won the match 4 to 3! :-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's Christmas Day!!!

Wow... Christmas day is finally here! And "Santa" was really good to me this year. Perhaps because I WAS really good this year :-)
I did "accidentally" open half of my first Christmas present last week, so I managed to persuade Bob to let me open the other half of the present a couple days before Christmas. I felt like such a little kid, asking for permission.
And as for my other pressie...I now finally own my first acoustic guitar! I've always wanted one as a kid, but Mom would never let me have one. She said that the strings would ruin my fingers and I would then also ruin my golf with all those calluses on my finger tips. Mom - I know you can hear me... I promise to be veeeery careful!
After a few quick lessons from the booklet, here's my first audition...

video

Sounds like I DO have a loooooong way to go! :-p

Seemed like Bob was really good this year too. There were a lot of presents for him under the tree. I wasn't sure what he wanted, so he suggested that I get him a book... some Booker prize winner book (which I originally thought was Pulitzer). I didn't really do much research and obviously was looking for the wrong thing anyway,... so instead, I got him this. It's called Dewey - named after a resident cat at Spencer Public Library in Iowa. I'm still hoping that maybe one day, he will learn to LOVE cats :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where, oh where... is my fluffy hat...?

Went into a ski store yesterday just to check some things out. I ended up getting a wool hat with a brim on it. It's perfect for a cold and sunny golf day. But while I was waiting in line to pay for it, I realized that I had lost my hat that I had in my pocket... an angora one, beret style. I had purchased in Beijing when I went to visit Bobby for the first time there in 2006. So not only did I lose my hat, I also spent money paying for the new one! :-(
It was not a very good day. I also lost my golf match to Bobby... that's 3 in a row now! Grrr... I was in a pretty crappy mood yesterday.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting closer...

Yesterday, while on the road, my car hit the 196,000 mile mark! Only a few more and it will be 200K miles old! We really should think about getting another Volvo :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What?... now FOG??!?!

So after all that sleet and ice the last 3 days, we're now experiencing fog. If anything else, the ice is finally melting and I will finally get to get out of the house to run some errands. Hopefully those Christmas cards aren't going to be late!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3 of Hibernation

Looks like the ice is slowly but surely melting away. The driveway is still somewhat frozen so I'm still not going to attempt to drive, even though I do need to get my Christmas cards to the post office!
Looking out the window, I see that the neighbor's mailbox is on the ground. Bob said there was a car on their driveway last night with a flat tire. Probably still best to stay in. I need to organize my golf room anyway and catch up on some HGTV time :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 2 of Hibernation

It's day #2 since the sleet Sunday night. Schools are closed today as well. The roads in Broken Arrow are still icy, according to Bob. I'm not even tempted to drive as I don't think my car tires will perform well at all on the frozen sleet. I can only imagine how it will just slide down the driveway, go up the curb across the street, and crash into that fire hydrant!!
And there's nothing wrong with the lighting of the camera. It's 11:14am and it IS that dark and gloomy outside right now. It's so depressing...
Thankfully, there's lots for me to do at home. I've yet to get all my Christmas cards written out and perhaps more cookies to bake! :-)

Green Card update

Received a Rejection Notice yesterday in the mail... but all because I used an outdated version of a form. I read the instructions and it said that previous versions were accepted! So anyhow, while I'm filling in the newer version of this form, all the information provided is EXACTLY the same as the old one! I don't get it. Well, ok, if anything, the bar code at the bottom of the new form is slightly longer than the old one. Grr.... technology!!!
Thankfully, they accepted the rest of the paperwork and of course, happily cashed my checks. I suppose this is the least of my worries.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our first Christmas tree!

Well,... if you don't count the live one that Bob's mom sent to us last Christmas, then yes...! Our first Christmas tree that Bob and I bought together yesterday. We were going to pick one up at a Christmas tree farm but made the turn too quickly and ended up in a nursery instead. Nonetheless, we LOVE it! And it smells so good too. Although, after sneezing a few times, I wonder if I'm allergic to it!
Thankfully, there were no injuries when Bob was trying to trim the tree trunk yesterday. It was his first time using the circular saw. Once that was done, setup was quite painless - other than the fact that you had to deal with the sap coming out of the tree and those tight screws on the tree trunk holder!
And now, in lieu of having to deal with gnats (thanks to the recently discovered 1-month old rotten banana in my golf bag), I'm constantly trying to clean up all the pine needles on the carpet!

We also had our first sleet in Tulsa last night. Thankfully, we got home just in time before the heavy stuff hit! As of right now, the driveway and roads are still frozen and school was canceled for the day. Too bad it wasn't a snow day... I would be building my snowman right now :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cirque du Soleil

Bob and I got tickets to watch the Cirque du Soleil - Saltimbanco last night in downtown Tulsa, at the BOK center. It was really good! The clowns were not as freaky as the last two other shows that I've seen. One of the clowns got an audience to come up on stage and he made him do all these funny things while he created all the sound effects. The guy was a great sport, which was really good to see. Although it then makes you wonder if he was part of the act...
I was looking forward to an orchestra, but instead it was a 5-piece electronic band. Nonetheless, the voices of the singers were fantastic. And of course, the performers were amazing! All the girls were ooh-ing and ahh-ing when the two muscle guys took off their shirts :-)
It's too bad the Cirque could not sell out their seats. There were several sections including some of the seats next to us that were empty. We managed to get great seats through Craig's List for a good price. There was a $40 convenience fee when purchasing tickets through the BOK center website. Convenience fee??? What's THAT!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas lights

After going to multiples stores and returning several different types of lights, I was finally able to get some that worked properly and were of the correct length! So, here it is! My first attempt at lighting up our house :-) I also tied some red ribbons on the plant that's to the far left and put garland in those tiny shrubs. Not too shabby during the daytime.
I put up some lights out back as well. At first, I wanted to hang the icicle lights along the roof, but since it wasn't long enough, I decided to just put it around one window. The budget was strictly $20 (as per Bobby) so don't think we're adding any more touches!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mysterious smell

There's been this funny smell in the golf room... almost like bad stinky-feet smell. So I thought - maybe it's me, since I have been working out in that room. After a few sprinkles of carpet deodorizer, the room doesn't smell so bad anymore. But since our return from NJ, we are now having a severe case of gnats in the house and a lot of them are in the golf room too. So after some research on the internet, I figured, ok... maybe I should check my golf bag for food. And sure enough... the worst site and smell ever... there's an old rotten banana in my tour bag. Phew! I wonder how long it's been there. At least a month, I would think!
Hopefully the smell (and GNATS!) will go away now!!!

Green Card Application

I finally submitted the paperwork for my residency/green card. The office in Chicago received it last week so let's see how long this entire process will take. Hopefully my travel permit won't take too long. I'm basically stuck in the U.S. until that comes through! :-s

Early Christmas in NJ

Bob and I were up in New Jersey this past weekend to spend some time with his family. On Saturday, we went to visit his brother Kenny at the new club house at Liberty National Golf Course. It was an amazing club house - with sleek lines and modern decor. You can check out pictures of the golf course and have a virtual tour of the clubhouse on their website.On Sunday, all of us gathered at Doug's place (his oldest brother) for dinner. Kenny cooked up a great piece of pork and his sister-in-law Myla made a dessert called "Death by Chocolate" that was just YUMMY!Other than that, there wasn't too much going on, which was nice. Oh, we did catch Matthew and Parker's basketball games. And we did go to the Short Hills Mall on Monday. The parking lot was really busy! You wouldn't think there was an economy crisis going on at this time if you were shopping in this mall!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thumb report - Week 24

I was finally able to trim my thumb nail today. 24 weeks later... that's 6 months later! And yet I'm still not able to fully trim all of the free edge like I do my other nails. And if you were to run your finger through from the cuticle to the free edge, just before you reach the edge, there's a 2mm step-down difference on its surface. Haha... it's like a built-in speed bump!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Instead of cooking up the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Bob suggested that we have meatloaf with Mac 'n' Cheese instead. So it looks like we've started a new tradition here! Well... it was just for the two of us.
We were also finally able to use our chiminea, using firewood that we have had since Houston! Unfortunately, the wind did start to pick up after dinner, so I was not going to stay outside in the cold while Bob finished up his (stinky) cigar. :-p
All in all, it was a good night. I did forget to bake the pumpkin pie so it was the usual tapioca pudding for dessert. I did bake a pumpkin cheesecake pie last week when my sister was in town and that was YUMMY, of course! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Officially an Oklahoma resident!

Today, I finally decided to change my title and car registration from TX to OK. It was a breeze! There was hardly anyone at the Oklahoma Tag Agency compared to what I had to deal with in Houston, TX. If I recall, that was a whole-day affair!
After spending a mere 7 minutes at the Tag Agency, I headed over to the Department of Public Safety, which was less than a mile away. Technically, I was suppose to start here first. Nonetheless, with NOBODY in the office, I was in and out in about 5 minutes! Once being sent back to the Tag Agency with the paperwork, I stepped straight to the counter (again, no waiting involved here) and was helped by the same lady as before, who happily said "She's back!".
After taking my picture and fingerprints, my Oklahoma driver's license was done in a couple minutes (as compared to Houston where you get it in the mail a few days later). There's a bright red block print across my ID that says "TEMPORARY" - probably because I'm here in the country on a visa. Nice... Well, if anything, at least the picture looked good :-)
The most annoying and time consuming part was probably trying to peel off the TX registration that's on the inside of the windshield. That probably took more time than the trip itself today! My knuckles are sore now trying to get to the narrowest part of the windshield and my palms too are sore from trying to unscrew the old TX license plate from the front of the car. Thankfully, in Oklahoma, we only need on at the back of the car.
Sure beats living in a big city. I'm starting to like this town. Plus, I think my white car looks better with a green license plate! ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mosaic Table Project - Part I 7/8

Ta da....!!! All done! Well... almost done. As you can see from the title, I still have 1/8 left. Just have to put the grout sealant on and touch-up the sides of the table.Of course, just my luck, the store ran out of BlueOyster color, so I decided to go with Green Tea. Looks like I need a little bit more help on my color wheel. The color of the tiles (i.e. porcelain garden stool and 4 wine bottles!) just don't pop as much as I would like them to.
The table itself is still a bit wobbly but as long as nobody dances on top of it, I think it will be alright! :-)

The Bradford's first visit

By the end of the weekend, little Mikey had 2 bruises on his head. One on his left forehead from sneezing and bumping his head into our kitchen table. And the second one on his right eye-brow when he fell on our cow decor on the front porch. I think that was mostly mommy's fault though because we were waiting for her to get ready. Anyhow, Mikey had to fall on the horn of the cow and thankfully it didn't take his eye out!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Little Mikey's visit to Tulsa, Okla.!

Little Mikey had his first plane ride yesterday and according to Sis, it went really well. I'm glad they were able to get on a direct flight from Minneapolis.

So far so good... I've only had to tape one corner of our shelf with bubble wrap. He did enjoy playing with the door-stop (until it came off!).

Mosaic Table Project - Part I 3/4

After glueing all the pieces together, I was finally able to start adding the grout. The guy in the store said "This should be plenty of grout for your table"... and was he wrong! It only covered about a third of my table, as you can see here below:I'm still not sure if Oyster Blue was the right color, but I guess it's a little bit too late to change my mind now. I really don't want to start chipping it off. I did go back to the store to get more grout and unfortunately there was only 1 bag of blue left. I'm going to have to check another store location. Otherwise, it will be a dual-colored table top. And oh, I decided to spray-paint the legs black. Didn't like the brown stain that I had put on earlier. It will go better with our black rocking chairs :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nice surprise

Bob surprised me at the airport with a dozen of roses! At least this time he showed up at the correct terminal (Tulsa IS a small airport). Unfortunately, he did forget to take the price tag off... but that really didn't matter. The roses were beautiful. And of course, with no vase in the house, I opted for the plastic milk carton, courtesy of Borden milk :-)
As for the other not-so-nice surprises when I got home...
- the pot of cacti in front of the house had fallen over and dumped soil all over the front walkway
- all my veggies in the garden (except for the strawberries!) are dead
- the license plate, i.e. roof of my birdhouse had been blown off into the empty lot next door!
- the hibiscus flower, which was so close to full-bloom before I left for Florida, was no where to be seen
Looks like the storm that had blown through a few nights ago was a really bad one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Made the cut at Q-school!

After 3 days of consistent play - 73, 74, 74... I'm in the middle of the pack after the 90-player cut. Unfortunately, that means another early morning. I'm first off on the 10th tee at 7:30am! After being able to sleep in at home for a few weeks, 5:30am wake-up calls are just brutal! :-s
By the way, here's the picture of my hibiscus that was just starting to bloom before leaving for FL from Tulsa. We'll see how it is when I get back home this sat!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fifth time's the charm?

Well, back in FUTURES Tour qualifying school in Florida for the 5th time. I feel so OLD! There are so many new faces this year and all of them are so young - high school kids and college seniors mostly.
I was out at Huntington Hills GC yesterday practicing and it brought back memories of how I broke the toilet bowl there last year. Haha...!
The off-season will officially start for me once q-school is over this Friday. Yay! :-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ONE TOMATO!!!

I found a baby tomato on the ground this morning! SUCCESS!!! Well... kinda sorta. Unfortunately, after a hard night of frost, both my tomato plants are dead. My cantaloupe plant isn't doing very well either. So looks like my garden is done for the year!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Frost damage

Looks like last night's temperature was low enough to cause some frost damage. I suppose if my tarps actually stayed in place, it would have been fine. But the strong winds had blown my tarp AND the rabbit fence off the ground! When they say it's windy in Oklahoma, they're right. It's WINDY here!! Oh well, I guess it's one less thing to worry about when I leave for FUTURES Tour q-school this Wed.
The lady at the nursery was right... the plants are not going to survive this winter. Let them die out and start over. I suppose I should heed her advise about planting early next year!
It's going to be another cold night tonight. Forecast of 27F... maybe these tarps would hold on for one more night :-) I know,... I just can't let go!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Michael

Here's my little nephew Mikey playing in fall foliage. He's just a little over 10 months now and Sis said that he has just started to take his first few steps! They will be coming over to visit us in Tulsa in Nov. I'll need to child-proof the house!

Mosaic Table Project - Part I 1/2

Ok... I guess maybe there are more than 2 parts involved. Here's a preview of what my mosaic table top is going to look like. By the way, breaking the wine bottles with a hammer does not work very well. Actually, 3 good hits and the bottle didn't even break! I had to just drop it on the cement/patio floor outside... in a plastic bag, of course.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bundled up for cold nights

Yesterday's low was forecasted for 38F, so I decided to cover my plants up. I figured some plastic tarp would be best since if it does rain, the old bedsheets won't get drenched! The only plastic tarp that I could find were tablecloth protectors and I think they work great! I'm probably going to leave them on for the next few days, since Monday's forecast is going to be high of 56F and low of 28F!!! I think there's enough air going through it that my plants won't suffocate when the sun does come up during the day. My strawberries are finally starting to produce fruit. Can't let them freeze to death now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mosaic Table Project - Part I

Well.... after a few hours of sanding, staining, drilling,... more drilling... and getting splinters in my fingers... I now have a new appreciation for those in carpentry. Gosh! It was not an easy task! But I suppose, if I had all the right tool... clamps, extra long screws, a workbench... maybe things might have been different (vs. working on the patio floor).

Nonetheless, here it is! Our new patio table! Well, just part of it :-) It's maybe just a BIT wobbly but I'm going to attempt to put a mosaic top to it - so look forward to the Part II blog of it. Cheers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Home update

After 13 1/2 hours on the road this past sat from Braselton, GA to Tulsa, I finally reached home at approx. 8:30pm. The next morning, I checked my garden and was happy to see that everything was doing really well! There are a handful of strawberries that are starting to bloom and my cantaloupe plant is starting to produce yellow flowers as well! I'm not exactly sure what that means yet!... but I can't wait to taste those strawberries. Hopefully it won't frost this week!
I must be getting old... I was doing laundry this morning and while loading my next wash, I realized that I had washed the first load of clothes without putting detergent into the washing machine! :-s

Thumb report - Week 17

Slowly but surely, my thumb is starting to look more normal. There is still that weird bulge in the middle of the nail and it's still not quite long enough to utilize the nail's capabilities. Well, at least I don't have to keep answering the question "What did you do to your nail?!?"

Friday, October 17, 2008

A week in Atlanta, GA

I was the first alternate for the Duramed Futures Tour final event for 2008 in Braselton, GA this week. Since not knowing if I'd get into the tournament, I decided to drive from Tulsa, Okla. What would normally take me one day was split into two days (13+ hours total)... shows you how motivated I was to leave after being home for almost a month!
Jen and her husband Brian, and their aussie dog Autumn were really nice to host me this week. Autumn has her own Wall of Fame of ribbons and medals earned in agility. Jen, on the other hand, has a HUGE (and I mean entire spare room huge!) North Pole village collection as well as a Halloween collection. Who would have known!If anything, this trip was not all a loss. I had a really good session with Tetsuro of Srixon and club-fitter Lanny, whom both I haven't seen in a couple of years. I didn't realize how worn out my grooves were. So, I can't wait to start out the next season with some new clubs!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mushrooms, anyone?

You should have seen the look on my face when I spotted the mushrooms in my herb planter. I'm still freaked out by it! It probably only took a couple days or so for these mushrooms to grow so huge and so quickly. Eeewwww....!!!
On a brighter note, there are more blooms on my tomato plant. I'm still keeping my hopes up... perhaps maybe ONE baby tomato before the first frost?

Friday, October 10, 2008

TPI Evaluation

Yesterday, I decided to start a new workout program with TPI or the Titleist Performance Institute. The evaluation went through some stretching poses and after taking a few measurements, Sean will put together a new workout routine for me based specifically on improving my golf swing. I'll get that on Monday. I'm really looking forward to playing better next year. I started taking lessons from a pro at Cedar Ridge GC as well - Tracy Phillips. So far so good! :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First pizza!

Yesterday, I decided to make my first pizza. Ok... the dough didn't come out round. I'm not sure if it looks like a pair of lungs... or a butterfly. Ya... more like a butterfly. A funny looking one :-) Haha!
I have to say, it was rather tasty - although it probably needed more onions and more mushrooms. Well, at least the verdict was 2 for 2 on the taste test!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wedding crashers!

Ok... we didn't really. We did think about perhaps sculling a ball across the 18th green into the wedding party though. Of course, it would look more natural if Bob did it. Just kidding, honey!

We did see this photo booth on the way out from the club house. I can only imagine the looks on the bride and groom's faces when they finally go through their photo booth album! :-)

New drapes

Well, not exactly new... I've had them since college, but the material was rather thin and so Bob and I went out to buy some brown suede and with the new sewing machine, I put them both together. It took a few tries and they still don't quite look right, but it does the trick. The bedroom was nice and dark for the weekend to sleep-in in. :-) Only one more drape to go for the guest bedroom.
As for the white patches... it took a few extra attempts to put the rods up. I guess knocking on the walls isn't quite the most scientific way to find the stud :-) But, nothing spackling and a little free sample paint from Lowe's can't fix!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thumb report - Week 15

I was carefully examining my thumb today and it looks like the new nail has magically merged with what was the underneath of the old nail plate. Really strange... so now it looks like the entire nail has an indentation in the middle of it. Almost 4 months have gone by and the nail is still looking strange! :-s

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fallen flower

I must have jinxed myself. When I walked out yesterday into the front yard, there is was... on the ground... my hibiscus bud! It was like a sick joke - that someone had sniped it off while I wasn't looking. As I took a closer look, I guess the flower bud had just fallen off it's joint, perhaps being blown by the wind. I'll have to just wait for the next flower bud to bloom... hopefully before the first frost!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Home update

Doesn't feel as if I've accomplished very much this week. The garden is doing well so far although not very organized. I'd like to get a border around it and start teaching the cucumber plants to start climbing a fence! And oh, the first hibiscus (bunga raya) is starting to bloom. Looks like... pink?
Futures Tour qualifying school is coming up early November. I should start getting motivated to practice again. The weather has been really nice lately.

Thumb report - Week 14

Can't believe this is only the first full week that I've lost my thumb nail. Since the thumb is no longer protected by the fallen nail, it actually hurts a little bit more than it did before. And you forget how much you actually use your nail until you actually lose it! I was trying to pinch a few things off this week while sewing and obviously, I could not get a grip of it because I don't have the nail on my thumb! And progress on the new nail is reaaaaally sloooooooooow....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New sewing machine

Watch out, world!!! She's armed... hehe... Can you believe it, these sewing machines come with instructional DVDs too! I guess I better start there. The machine says "simple" on it. Hopefully that's true!
I bought an antique sewing table too :-)