Aloe Vera Flowering

My dad gave us this aloe vera plant around three years ago. It liked it because I had a small collection of succulents. And aloe plants were able to survive well in our tropical climate.

After we moved it to our new house, it suddenly grew a flower stalk. This photo was taken in March, during the MCO.

After a few days, the flowers started to wilt and drop off.

I’ve read that aloe vera plants are unable to self-pollinate, so unfortunately my aloe vera plant cannot produce seeds without another flowering aloe vera plant.

As I write this post in November, it had just sprouted flowers again. But this time there isn’t as many flowers on the stalk.

Moving Day

We moved into our new home on Feb 28th 2020.

It was a good day to move because it was near the end of the month, so I didn’t have to pay another month of rental at our old home. It was a Friday so we had the whole weekend to unpack.

This was before the MCO in March, before the Seri Petaling cluster emerged. So we were not even considering infections or wearing masks at that time.

We heard from some friends that it was much easier (and safer for our backs) to engage the services of professional movers. We asked for our friends recommendations and selected one.

All we had to do before moving was to make sure we’ve got rid of all the things we don’t want, and make sure we keep our valuables.

They arrived in a five ton lorry filled with cardboard boxes, plastic wrap, mahjong paper, and bubble wrap.
They sent ten men. Immediately half of them started to wrap our furniture in plastic. The other half stared to pack our belongings into cardboard boxes.

Yes that is the same dining table we’ve been using. You can see that table in my early blog posts from 2007.

Some of our boxes packed and ready to go. They will write down where the box is supposed to go in the new house (hall, kitchen, etc.).
They even provide the service of dismantling the beds and re-assemble them. Mattresses are wrapped in plastic to keep them clean.

Within one and a half hours, the lorry was loaded up and was ready to go with the first batch. They left 2 people behind to continue packing while the others went to the new house.

Even teddy bear was wrapped in plastic.

They called reinforcements for more cardboard cartons.

After unloading the first batch, they left two people at the new house to re-assemble furniture. Then the lorry came back for the second batch.

We had so many items to move. Fridge, washing machine, furniture, garden plants, tons of personal belongings.

The entire move was complete in around four hours.

The only things I carried in my car were valuable and fragile items.

It took three men in a three ton lorry to move all our things from our condo to our previous home. And it took ten men and two trips in a five ton lorry to move out of that home. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

This is how the boxes ended up in our kitchen. We spent the next few days “treasure hunting” each time we needed some kitchen utensils.

After unpacking, we folded all the packing paper and cardboard boxes. The movers came to collect them back a week later.

We’re very happy with the movers. You can see the name of the mover in the photos. If you want, I can pass you the contact. Price was quite reasonable, no hidden charges and work was fast.

At our “older” age, we don’t really have a lot of stamina. So it really helped that we didn’t have to go through muscle ache or sprains. We could focus on unpacking which is already a huge task.

The kitchen cabinets were still not installed when we moved in. Which meant we couldn’t unpack our kitchen for almost a week.

The contactor provided good service to assign one person to our house for the moving day. He helped do minor things like install our washing machine, touch up painting, and and repair any scratches caused by the movers.

Before moving, we tried to finish all our food and groceries supplies. We didn’t want to move so many items. After we moved, and before we had the chance to re-stock, the country went into lockdown. That is a story for another day.

Our New Home

In January this year I blogged about our home being renovated.

Renovations were completed by the end of February.

90% of the changes were cosmetic, and 10% were repairs. We replaced all the plumbing and electrical wiring.

The House

The house is a double story terrace house in Damansara Utama. It was built around 40 years ago, and we are the third owners.

We are very grateful that the previous owner had done some extensions and renovations, and kept the house in good condition. It made our job much easier.

It’s slightly small for our family (it will be a challenge when our 3 kids are older), but this is what we can afford. For now, Rachel has her own room, and the two boys are sharing a room.

The main challenges we had were limited space, and a limited budget.

The Experience

This was the first time Poey Chin and I actually had to make so many decisions on the house.

When we bought our condo, we were too naïve and just accepted whatever the contractor suggested. In addition, we were just married and had no idea how many children we would have.

After living as a family for a decade, we knew exactly what we needed.

In a way, it was so tiring having to make decisions on every little thing. We looked at so many designs for tiles, toilets, fans, curtains, floors, furniture, paint, doors, and appliances.

But on the positive side, we’re much happier with what we’ve paid for in terms of effort and money.

Would we do it all over again? Yes, I believe we learned a lot from refurbishing this house. It’s such a waste that we won’t be able to put that knowledge and experience to use.

But unfortunately we don’t have the money to buy so many houses.

Pictures!

I’m pleased to share with you some photos taken toward the end of the renovation.

This is the back part of the kitchen. The walls are white tile. That space is the right corner is for the fridge.
This is the other half of the kitchen. The aluminum kitchen cabinets were not installed when we took this photo.

I wanted a simple, clean kitchen design so we didn’t install wall cabinets.
Our “back yard” is a 4 foot area where we put the washing machine. It also functions as a storage area.
We have a small 6′ X 6′ room downstairs, used as a guest room. We had to get a custom bed made to fit the small space. The window looks out into the “back yard”.
This is our room. We kept the wardrobe from the previous owner. Changed the floor and ceiling.
Another angle of our room, looking out the windows.
Our bathroom (sorry it hadn’t been cleaned yet when we took this photo). All tiles and fixtures are new. The cabinet mirror wasn’t installed yet.
The boys’ room. Wardrobe, floor and ceiling are new.
The other half of the boys’ room. The window is new. We put a study desk near the window, and their beds are on the right side.
Rachel’s room. The window, wardrobe, ceiling and floor are new.
Kids’ shared bathroom. All tiles and fixtures are new, and are the same design as our bathroom.

I just realized that I don’t have photos of our hall or front yard! But we didn’t really do much work in those areas.

Conclusion

We’ve been happily living in this house for over six months now. So far everything is good.