Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Serenity Prayer Personalized

I just came across this variation of the "Serenity Prayer" which is so applicable to all of us.

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change,
the courage to change the one I can,
and the wisdom to know it's me.

- Author unknown

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"45 Life Lessons"

This was written By Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 70 in August, so here goes:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's okay to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past, so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's okay to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you, really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and up to no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29 What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Here Yesterday Gone Today

That's my babee's fleeting visit home. Faster than a speeding bullet, she zooms in and zooms out again. A measly 37 hours all in.

Not enough! I want more days!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not Wasted

Read this somewhere some time back: Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Girly Secrets

Jill complained to Nina, "Rosey told me that you told her
the secret I told you not to tell her."


"Well," replied Nina in a hurt tone, "I told her not to tell you I told her."

"Oh dear!" sighed Jill. "Well, don't tell her I told you that she told me."

Moral of the story: A secret is only a secret if you don't tell anyone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sense of Humour for the Old

I suggested going to Hameediyah for lunch on Saturday. Then the following conversation ensued. It went something like this. Warning! I am not good at reporting conversations verbatim.

I said: I want to have kurma chicken.

Hubby said: What did you say?

I said: I want to have kurma chicken.

Hubby said: I thought you said "too much" chicken!

That only goes to show that we're getting old. My speech "lau hong" and his ear is no longer as sharp as it used to be.

We had a good laugh over our miscommunication. Betcha most couples would have ended up with an argument over whose fault it was. Sense of humour - that's a must for couples especially when age is catching up on them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

T.G.I.F.

Finally Ken Ray is adopting a five-day week and we can say, "Thank God, it's Friday!" More so after a horrendous week.

This is the first time that we are observing a proper rest day in a week. With church on Sunday there is no day for us to take a break.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Favourite Treats

Finally cashed the Favourite Treats voucher I received from the staff for my birthday.

Favourite Treats is actually a spa package from Danai Spa comprising massage, scrub and bath. Given a choice between the Danai Signature or Aromatherapy Massage, I opted for the Aromatherapy Massage because I don't really like pressure point massages.

The Java Lulur Scrub was for detox, Milk and Honey Scrub for I-cannot-remember-what and the Ginger Salt Glow for wind. Since I have so much wind I chose Ginger Salt Glow to get rid of the wind. As for the bath, I did not have any aching muscles so Muscle Ease Salt Soak was out. I contemplated the Destress Therapy Soak but I don't think I am that stressed out so I decided to pamper myself with the Cleopatra Milk Bath.

The whole place is very serene with a Balinese touch - typical spa environment. And you pay RM195 for that 2-and-a-half hours of pampering.

The good thing I like about Danai Spa is that they are not pushy to get you to sign up for packages, etc.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Girls

They are...
Beauty and the Beast

Ebony and Ivory

Kopi Susu


Met An Angel

I met an angel last month. She was all dressed up to collect a maths prize (how's that for beauty with brains) and reminded me of a time - not too long ago - when Pam was the most sought after flower girl in TOP.

She just came into my arms and rested on me. No inhibitions at all!

As you can see the little darling is so natural when it comes to posing for the camera.

So pretty!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Arabian Nights

Date: Saturday, 18 October 2008
Venue: Traders Hotel, Penang
Occasion: SGGS Ex-Pupils' Association Annual Dinner

After all those months of practice it was finally THE night. I was so, so unprepared. Not enough practice and still suffering from the tail end of my long bout of cough and cold. I was not really in the mood to party and by the end of the last dance I was so groggy I could barely keep my pose.

Anyway, the dinner turned out better than expected despite all the secrecy and conspiracy. Yup, when girls get together somehow all the kiasuism comes out in full force. It all starts with someone keeping a secret which makes the rest go secretive as well. And we end up with secret societies within the society.

Lillian took the trouble to dress to the theme and was the belle of the ball. Our table nominated her for the best dressed prize but excuses were made that performers were not eligible to participate. All of us protested and insisted and so she became a contestant. Now, isn't it strange that they did not announce the winner for the best dressed prize and at the end of the dinner there was an unclaimed and unawarded fruit hamper prize? I tell you, there's a conspiracy to deprive my sister of a well-deserved prize.

That's me with the belle of the ball. I was so sick I didn't even bother to get my hair done!

Ken and Pam were appointed our official photographers. I was so glad to have them attend the show though I am sure they cringed when they saw my jelly belly and love handles on display for the world to see! To top it off, my dancing was very lau chiak with lots of t'hau chiak por. But doesn't matter la, happy, happy have fun will do.

Really appreciate 'bee for making the trip back for the dinner
and performance. I so, so loves her.


I was supposed to dance only one dance but somehow I ended up dancing four. The drum solo piece with Lillian and Shida was a bold move from 3 novices. As they say, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. According to teacher Lisa, drum solos are for intermediate students. We were wa-a-ay out of our depth and our fear and trembling showed. Lillian and Shida wore body suits but cheapo me did not want to spend the money so my flab was more evident. Hence the small picture below.

The 3 fearless novices who dared to attempt the drum solo

Istanbul was actually a line dance modified to reflect an Arabian or Middle Eastern flavour while "One Night Only" was a modern jazz dance.

Istanbul, a modified line dance

Discoing away for One Night Only

The grand finale featured six ex-Georgians dancing to Shakira's Ojas Asi. I must say that as a group we looked pretty impressive.

The jelly bellies performing Ojas Asi

That's Lisa, our instructor, in black

We had a number of guest artistes who are current Georgians but the star was a 14-year old girl who had been belly dancing for a number of years. She was really good and she had the figure which was the envy of those of us who are experiencing middle age spread.

Lavinia, the sweet young thing who stole the show and
put the rest of us old fogeys to shame


All the ex -Georgians who had fun performing that night


Raya in KL

I was sick and running a fever but I just could not pass up the opportunity to go down to KL over the Raya break to see my 'bee. So I went and the flu got worse. Had a number of relapses and could you believe it, the cough and cold cycle dragged on for more than 3 weeks!!! None of the western medication were of any good so finally I resorted to seeing a Chinese sinseh.

We stayed at the Royale Bintang Hotel because it's very near Pam's condo. There was only one queen sized bed so she could not stay with us. That was ok since I didn't want to pass her whatever bug that was bugging me.

Afternoon tea at Winter Warmers

We're supposed to bring her back with us for good but she decided to stay on in KL. Much as I want her by my side I know her life is in KL, at least for the time being.
So we returned without our precious cargo.

So misses you, 'bee.

Ken's Birthday

My darling turned 49 on 12 October but he doesn't look a day older than the first time I met him, except for a few strands of white hair and the occasional strand of "old goat" hair sticking out of his eye-brow that he is so proud of.

Cake-cutting was held in the morning 'cos our kiasu live-to-eat guests wanted to save their stomachs for the feast later that evening. It was a return to childhood when Kenny opened his present from the staff - all toys, although they are pretty expensive big boy toys. You should have seen the pure delight on his face. Of course they first teased him with a fake present but he was not fooled.

Kenny with his birthday cake surrounded by Ken Rayites.
That's the fake present on top of the real present.


Lots of toys for the big boy

The real celebration was a buffet dinner with free flow of drinks, including liquor, at E&O hotel. Our staff really let their hair down and loosened their belts to do justice to the sumptuous spread. We even had a mariachi band to sing "Happy Birthday" at our table. We sang along with such gusto that they hung around for quite some time belting out a number of songs for us.

The mariachi band singing "Happy Birthday"

The family with part of the staff

Ken Rayites going crazy at the party

Best of all, our babee was there to make this birthday so special.

Sweets for our sweet 'bee

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sick

Doctor said it's a cold but I think it's flu. Fever, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion and body aches. How can it be a simple cold?

Today I also found out that Dr Wong has retired. Since 1 September. Sigh, have to find a new family GP. Not easy 'cos some medicine just don't seem to work when they are dispensed by other doctors.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Taipei

We have just returned from a 4D/3N company trip to Taipei. It was the Merdeka weekend and with the National day falling on Sunday, we only had to take Saturday and an extra day (Tuesday) off. We did the rounds of most of the tourist spots in the day and every night was spent at the night markets.

We went to Raohe Street night market on Saturday, Shihlin night market on Sunday and Shihda on Monday.
At Shihlin we saw the hawkers packing up every time the police appeared and reopening their stalls after the cops left. This appearing and disappearing act was repeated a number of times throughout the night. Don't know how they do it. I would have closed shop long ago.

People in Taipei eat the yuckiest stuff imaginable. Every and any part of the animal.

Tucking into the famous gigantic chicken chop at Shihlin night market.

We enjoyed the Shihda night market best of all. Lots of clothes and not so crowded.

For those of us who are "banana," the greatest snag was the language problem. We could not understand most of what the tour guide was saying and trying to string together enough words from our minimal, sub-basic voacabulary to make a coherent sentence was a herculean task. Of course, the four tones only served to make things worse.
One language blooper came about as a result of reading the name of a road as an English word instead of the pinyin version of the Chinese word.

We read "Bade Road" as in 'bade you farewell' whereas it was meant to be read as Ba De Lu in Mandarin. Because there is such a word as "bade" in the English language, it simply did not occur to us that it was not an English word despite the fact that the names of all the roads on the map are pinyin versions of their Chinese names.


On our last day was a free day so we went up 101, enjoyed the sights there and left without a single picture of the actual building! The only consolation was the many pics we took at the observatory tower.

Pretending that we are taking a walk among the clouds.

That's the gigantic damper that stabilizes the 101 building in the background. That's me hugging a 'damper baby'.

Encountered a interesting looking tooth pick during lunch at 101. We thought it was an ingenious design until we tried it and found it was not of any practical use.

The only actual tour we went on was on the second day. We went on a tour to the Museum and also the Presidential Palace. After that we should have gone off on our own. They took us to listen to some talk on lingzhi and another talk on feng shui.
Finally, we wasted two hours travelling to and from Dansui.

The only consolation was the artsy venue they took us to for lunch. This was a bonus because the normal tour does not throw in such a good location for lunch. We also stayed in a 5-Star hotel whereas the normal tour only provides 3-star accommodation. We also flew there by airbus whereas normal flights are by 747. All these specials on the Merdeka package.

Pam striking a pose to mirror the topiary at the Presidential Palace gardens.

Ken and I imitating Chiang Kai Shek and Song Mei Ling.

Here's the artsy restaurant we went to for lunch.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Farewell Josh

Josh flanked by his mom and younger sis

It seemed as if it was only yesterday that we attended a farewell party for Josh at Rasa Sayang's Ferringhi Grill. After that the days sped by in a blur and, before we knew it, we were at the airport bawling our hearts out as we sent him off to Jackson, Tennessee this morning.
I really empathized with Lillian as I relived again the pain of my traumatic separation from Pam when she left to study in KL.

We were all so emotional that we forgot to pray for Josh before he left! Can you imagine that? Anyway, when I prayed for him in that morning, I was assured that the presence of the Lord had gone before him to prepare the way for him.

A parent's consolation is that after we've given our all and done our best, we should and could trust our children to make the right choices when we are not around. Above all else, our greatest comfort lies in knowing that God is with them and He definitely does a better job at caring for our children than we could ever do.

But that is easier said than done. We are, after all, emotional beings and, especially for mothers, it is akin to cutting off a piece of our heart when our children leave the nest. So Josh, we'll all miss you but remember, the one who misses you most will be your mom.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Girls' Weekend in KL

Birthday party no. 2 was held in KL on the weekend following my birthday bash in Penang. Celebrated with babee and Lillian, my best girl-friends. Only us girls.

'Bee and me

Lillian and I

We went to the Pavilion and had lunch at Michelangelo. Lovely place, good food, great company.

Note the M on the chairs? We prefer to think it refers to 'Melinda' hence the effort to include it in the photos.

Time Flies

It certainly does. I was doing so well with regualr posts until 6 August and then all posts vanished. Sigh. Already not getting enough sleep where to find the time to blog?

I surrender.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pillow Ears

Do pillows have ears?
Yes, they do.

And what are the ears for?
To tickle someone under the nose just as they are falling asleep or to wake them from slumber.

Soft and ticklish pillow ears

52

The original plan was to hold my birthday at Opera. We even went through the trouble of getting the number of orders for each choice of main course but had to cancel at the last minute due to the increase in number of guests. That place being small could not accommodate us because they were catering for a wedding party on the same night. So we moved back to 32 The Mansion and had no regrets because everyone enjoyed the food and the ambience.

The courtyard at 32 The Mansion

Listening to Mel and Ynn simulating a conversation in Thai was hilarious and Shawn had the time of his life being the object of so much female attention.

Shawn, the thorn, enjoying the attention of the Ken Ray roses

The highlight of the night was the cutting of the birthday cake. I only blew out the candles because there was no cake for me to cut. Lillian made me the loveliest cupcakes for my birthday cake. Each cupcake was individually decorated and the girls ended up fighting for their favourite ones.

My colourful birthday cupcake tower

I am blessed to be surrounded by my staff and of course, my sister and family. The only one missing was my babee. How I wish she was there but, if it's any consolation, I'll be celebrating with her this weekend.

Winning & Losing


Sometimes you lose when you win 'cos winning is not everything.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Carrot, an Egg and a Cup of Coffee

Here's a folklore tale of wisdom from Joke du Jour that I'm recording on the blog for future reference.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way...the brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Crazy or not?



We went for the most expensive movie ever when we were in KL two weekends ago. Paid RM40 EACH to watch "Dark Knight" at the Platinum Movie Suite, Cineleisure. Crazy or not?

Apparently there are quite a number of crazy people around. Once is enough for me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Relationships to the T

There are many types of relationships and I have basically put them in five categories. Since I'm a save-the-best-for-the-last kind of person I'll start with the one that is at the bottom of the list.

1. A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

It is a tragedy in life to be in a toxic relationship where there is abuse whether physical, emotional, mental or verbal. The strange thing about those in an abusive relationship is the inability of the victim to remove herself or himself from the abusive partner because of the co-dependent nature of the relationship.

I know of one girl who was bashed up by her boyfriend. Both families, hers and his, as well as friends advised her to break off relationship with the good-for-nothing guy. She didn't and went on to marry him instead. Now she is divorced because the bashing continued during the marriage.

There's another kind of toxic relationship where there is no end in sight. The most frequent scenario for this kind of relationship is where one party is married or unwilling to get married and the victim keeps on hoping while the other party has his/her cake and eat it.

A toxic relationship is tortuous when one is in it and traumatic when one tries to break free but one must break free in order to live.

2. A TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP

There is no peace in a troubled relationship which is very tiring to maintain one. Fights and quarrels are the frequent with one or both parties taking more than giving, keeping scores and generally being more concerned for the unholy trinity of I, Me and Myself than the partner.

There is hope for this relationship if the party or parties are willing to resolve the problem issues in their relationship.

3. A TOLERABLE RELATIONSHIP

Some couples progress from a troubled relationship to a tolerable relationship. Fighting is too taxing and since it is tedious to start the whole looking-for-the-right-partner routine they simply settle for keeping the peace and not rocking the boat. It's nothing to shout about but at least they are not shouting at each other.

This is settling for second best and ultimately brings resentment, especially if one partner is actively keeping the peace while the other continues with his or her unrepentent ways.

4. A THRIVING RELATIONSHIP

There is excitement and contentment in this relationship. If it sounds oxymoronic that's because some of the best things in life are two opposing truths held in tension. There is growth and progress because each partner brings out and nurtures the best in the other.

5. A TRIED-AND-TESTED RELATIONSHIP

This relationship has withstood the test of time. It reminds me of the story of an old man who visited his wife at the nursing home every day. She has Alzheimer's so does not know him most of the time. When asked why he kept up the practice he replied, "She doesn't know me, but I know her." That is true love.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trust

Found this great article on Trust in one of the Girlfriends in God daily devotions I subscribed to. It's definitely a keeper.

July 18, 2008
Trust by Dori J. Thornburg

Today's Truth
Proverbs 3: 5-6.Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Friend to Friend
What do we have when we trust someone we love? We have the unwavering faith that they are always truthful with us. Truth in the words they say, truth in their actions, truth in the way they live out their convictions. Sometimes the truth hurts, but when said in love, can make us grow into better people.

When we begin to place our trust in someone, we begin to reveal our true selves to them. We break down the protective wall that was once wrapped tightly around our hearts, and we begin to let them in. We reveal our past, our hopes, our dreams, our disappointments, and our expectations. We, in essence, allow ourselves to become vulnerable.

When we trust someone, we assume he or she has our best interest in mind and we begin to love them unconditionally. We believe whole-heartedly that they wouldn't do anything to hurt us.

Our security in the relationship is strong and unbreakable when we trust. Our stamina to brave the storms is unwavering. We feel like we can conquer any trial life throws at us because we trust each other. Two are stronger than one. We are finally our true self.

But what happens when that trust is broken? Truth turns into lies. Revealing turns into confusion. Unconditional love turns into nit-picking. Our security is ripped apart and our vulnerable and true self is buried once again in the self-protective shell of our broken heart.

I have asked myself many times, why is it that we (I) trust someone and they always end up hurting us whether it be intentionally or unintentionally? The question that I should be asking myself is why do I place so much faith in human beings? We are all so flawed and eventually we all disappoint someone we love. Why do I not remember that I should only care to play to an audience of One, when He is the only one I will have to answer to at the end of this life?

Let's Pray
Lord, please refresh my mind each day to remember all of the good things in life that You have given me - a home, a husband, my healthy children, a job and friends who genuinely care about me. I trust You, Lord, to take my disappointment in others and mold my brokenness into a tool of trust and hope no matter what is going on in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now it's Your Turn
Wake up each day and thank Him for all He has given us.

Start a gratitude journal. Write one thing each day that you are thankful for even if it seems small. Write down what you will trust Him with and be specific.

More from the Girls
We often put our trust in our spouse or friends to make us happy instead of keeping our eyes focused on the One who is always truthful with us, always has our best interests in mind and loves us so much. We must remind ourselves that God is with us through every storm and disappointment that life brings us. He knows our true vulnerable selves, and He loves us more than we will ever know.

The Skylark's Bargain

Got this piece of wisdom from my dose of Daily Wisdom. It's a keeper so here it is:

The Skylark's Bargain - July 30, 2008

Someone once said, "Feather by feather, the goose is plucked." That applies to geese, and to us.

G.H. Charnley, in The Skylark's Bargain, tells the story of a young skylark who discovered a man who would give him worms for his feathers. Worms were the bird's favorite food, but a lot of work was necessary to occasionally enjoy this delicacy because they were scarce. The thought of an easier, better life was very attractive to the young skylark, so he offered the man a deal--one feather for two worms. The man accepted.

The skylark thought he had it made–no more hunting and working for food. The good life was his!

The next day the lark was flying high in the sky with his father. The older bird said, "You know, son, we skylarks should be the happiest of all birds. See our brave wings! They lift us high in the air, away from danger, and nearer to God."

But the young bird did not hear his Dad, for all he could think about was the man with worms. Down he flew, plucked a feather from his wings, and had a feast. Day after day this went on.

Then autumn came, and the man with the worms was gone. It was also time to fly south. The lark's family and all their friends began gathering for the long journey.

As everyone else flew off, the young skylark had to stay behind to face the harsh winter all alone. Why? Slowly, day by day, he had exchanged the power of his young wings for worms.

How Does This Apply to Our Lives?

The lark was surrounded by positive examples he could follow in life. Wise advice was available. But the lark rejected all of that. Instead, he was determined to satisfy his immediate desires, and failed to calculate the long-term costs of doing so. Consequently, he faced a harsh winter, doomed.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Do not bite at the bait of pleasure 'till you know there is no hook beneath it." Many careers, marriages and lives could be saved if Jefferson's advice were followed.

Most of us try to avoid making the big mistakes in life. But just as a goose is plucked feather by feather, we can create difficult situations for ourselves step by step. Whether it is untruths that are uttered, gratitude that is unexpressed, or faith that is not built and maintained, we are tempted to make and repeat small mistakes over time. As a result, we can end up like the lark--unhappy, alone, and maybe even doomed.

Don't take small steps toward big problems. Focus on developing strong wings of character and faith that will enable you to soar away from daily temptations that are so alluring.

And remember the lark–you also face a constant temptation in life to exchange wings for worms. Guard against letting that happen.

"A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool throws off restraint and is careless."

Proverbs 14:16

- Contributed by Rich McLawhorn to Daily Wisdom.

Heard Before Di!

"Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?"
(Francois de La Rochefoucauld, 1613 - 1680)

That is so true. I will begin to tell some interesting story and my listeners, mostly family members ('cos friends will politely hear me out), will come back with "You've told me, already."

So potong steam.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Toy


You definitely know you are in your second childhood when all you buy on a trip to KL is a toy but this is such an adorable toy. I simply could not resist it.

The picture is frozen in time so it doesn't really look all that interesting. You should see this solar powered smiley baldy shaking his head from shoulder to shoulder and, at the same time, make his feet alternately go up and down.
It'll put a smile on your face as well!

My Vow

To love is nothing, to be loved is something, to love and be loved is everything (Claire Dempsy). I have everything.

Once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale with a happily ever after ending. It's been 25 years and today, once again, I pledge to love you, to share my life with you, to be your friend, to stand by you, to treasure, cherish, honour, obey and submit to you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Don't Understand

Why does a bite of Char Koay Teow taken off someone's plate taste so much better than a whole plateful of your own?

Why does the little snippet of news gleaned from over someone's shoulders, or from the nasi lemak packaging, seem so much more interesting than when you have the whole newspaper to yourself?

Monday, July 21, 2008

25 Years

Time: 7.30pm
Day: Saturday, 19 July 2008
Venue: 32 The Mansion @ Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah

We were gathered to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. God was there that evening as He was with us right from the very beginning.

Ken & Mel after 25 years of togetherness

Has it been 25 years? Where have the years gone? I suppose it's true that time flies when life is good and as Kenny said, it's been heaven for us. (
Do visit Pam's blog to understand why it has been heaven for us.)

Our anniversary cake with our replacement rings
nestling among the sugar flowers


The whole anniversary was sweetened by the presence of loved ones and great friends. What is joy if it is not shared with those we love and who love us? That night we were surrounded by the closest, dearest and the best among family and friends. We are blessed.

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be" - Source Unknown

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Babee's Ear Infection

Babee's down with ear infection. It's times like this that makes being apart from your loved ones so hard to bear.

How I wish I could be there to yang yang her.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Did I Marry The Right Person?

Here's another forwarded article worth keeping in my blog library. Unfortunately the source was not mentioned in the forwarded mail.

During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, "How do I know if I married the right person?"

I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, "It depends. Is that your husband?"

In all seriousness, she answered "How do you know?"


Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind.

Here's the answer.

EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse/partner. You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit).


Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love... Because it's happening TO YOU.

People in love sometimes say, "I was swept of my feet." Think about the imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is easy. It's a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria (excitement) of love fades. It's the natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, "Did I marry the right person?" And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown. People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances.

But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):

THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE
IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON;
IT'S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.


SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It'll NEVER just happen to you. You can't "find" LASTING love. You have to "make" it day in and day out. That's why we have the expression "the labor of love." Because it takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it takes WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage.

Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It's a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable... you can "make" love .

Love in marriage is indeed a "decision"... Not just a feeling.

Remember this always :

"God determines who walks into your life.
It is up to you to decide who you let walk away,
who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go."

This Is How We Miss Out On Something Called "LIFE"

Got this forwarded mail from someone some time back. It's worth re-reading every once in a while to remind us that loving relationships are too beautiful for us to destroy them by blaming each other when things go wrong.

We miss out so much on life and love when we allow our egos, our pride, our hurts and all our self-centered concentration on
I, Me and Myself to blind us to the needs of the one we love when they need us most.

A boy was born to a couple after eleven years of marriage. They were a loving couple and the boy was the gem of their eyes. When the boy was around two years old, one morning the husband saw a medicine bottle open. He was late for office so he asked his wife to cap the bottle and keep it in the cupboard.

His wife, preoccupied in the kitchen totally forgot the matter. The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to the
bottle fascinated by its color and drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages. When the child collapsed the mother hurried him to the hospital, where he died.

The mother was stunned. She was terrified how to face her husband. When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just five words.


QUESTIONS :
1. What were the five words ?
2. What is the implication of this story?

ANSWER :
The husband just said "I am with you Darling"

The husband's totally unexpected reaction is a proactive behavior. The child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point in finding fault with the mother. Besides, if only he had taken time to keep the bottle away, this would not have happened. No one is to be blamed. She had also lost her only child. What she needed at that moment was consolation and sympathy from the husband. That is what he gave her.

If everyone can look at life with this kind of perspective, there would be much fewer problems in the world. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. And you will find things are
actually not as difficult as you think.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

This story is really worth reading. ..... Sometimes we spend time in asking who is responsible or whom to blame, whether in a relationship, in a job or with the people we know. By this way we miss out something called L.I.F.E.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Princess

She greets me enthusiastically when I come back from work. She cries pitifully if, for whatever reason, I have to leave the house again. And she will continue to cry until I return. In the morning she will be standing by the iron gate, all worked up and agitated as she watches me leave the house.

That is Princess, a Miniature Pinscher, who has found her way into my heart.

Princess waiting to be fed

Princess sitting senget-senget and looking longingly at her food before the "Go" command is given

According to her mistress, she came into our lives more than 12 years ago. To tell you the truth, I used to hate dogs and it was in response to my daughter's appeal for a pet that I finally agreed to bring a dog into our home. After all, if I cannot give her a sibling, the least I could do is to let her keep a pet. The very first time she asked for a pet she wanted a horse! so I really thank God for small mercies.

Right from the start it was clear how Princess viewed us. It was evident in the way she related to each one of us. My babee was the mistress, and rightly so, because she bought Princess who absolutely adored her; hubby was the master because Princess feared him and I was the slave because the feeding and cleaning up was soon left to me.

Then 7 years ago, my babee left home and Princess was left behind. Gradually, over the years, she and I began to bond as we grew old together. Now she is an old lady totally devoted to me. It's a nice feeling to know you are a significant person to someone, even if it's only a dog.

Princess today with white eyebrows and white hair around her mouth

Some things never change. She still has her signature senget-senget sitting position

As for hubby, he is still terrorizing Princess and provoking her into barking fits of frustration whenever he pretends to hit me. He says he is keeping her heart strong and giving her purpose in life (protecting me) without which she would not have withstood the ravages of time.

Princess has changed my perception of dogs. They are the finest example of unconditional love and undying devotion. A dog is indeed a (wo)man's best friend.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Just Man

I went to a few florists for quotations but they were all so expensive so I decided to ask my sister to arrange the table centrepiece for me at a fraction of what I have to fork out. When I told hubby he made the following comments.

BTW, these are not his exact words, just the gist of it. I am lousy when it comes to quoting people verbatim.

Hubby: You always complain when our clients want to slash our prices so how is this different? It's not just the cost of the flowers, you have to pay for the time, creativity and the effort as well. And it wouldn't be fair for you to get their ideas and do it yourself.

I was so convicted. Hubby is the best. He is a just man who will only do to others what he would others do to him. I am so proud of him.

Hancock

Went to see Hancock last Tuesday. Such a sad movie. Two immortal superheroes who love each other but are forced to be apart because they lose their invincibility and become human when they are together.

Love is like that. We trade in our our invincibility for vulnerability when we open up our hearts to another person. That's when we truly become human. Our defences come down; the loving and hurting begin.

So be very careful who you give your heart to.

I Am No Coward

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." - Abraham Lincoln

There are times when it is good to mind our own business but there are also times when we have to speak up in order to do what is good and right. Even if it means we are maligned for our good intentions or other parties get upset with us.

If I've checked my heart and there's love within, if I've checked my mind and there is an absence of malice there, then I shall not sin and neither shall I be a coward, but I will boldly say what needs to be said.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Perfect Eggs

One of the pleasures of life is tucking into a leisurely breakfast and one of our favourite breakfast treat is soft-boiled eggs with toast.

There are many ways to enjoy soft-boiled egg. Some people like theirs all runny with the yolk uncooked and the white still transparent. When egg is served this way the only thing to do is to hold your breath and quickly down it. Yucks! The eggy smell is enough to make me puke but from the health point of view don't these people know anything about salmonella poisoning?

According to
www.ochef.com, "the US Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise against eating any raw egg in any form." And www.healthatoz.com warns that "improperly handled or undercooked poultry and eggs are the foods which most frequently cause Salmonella food poisoning. Chickens are a major carrier of Salmonella bacteria, which accounts for its prominence in poultry products. However, identifying foods which may be contaminated with Salmonella is particularly difficult because infected chickens typically show no signs or symptoms. Since infected chickens have no identifying characteristics, these chickens go on to lay eggs or to be used as meat.

At one time, it was thought that Salmonella bacteria were only found in eggs which had cracked, thus allowing the bacteria to enter. Ultimately, it was learned that, because the egg shell has tiny pores, even uncracked eggs which sat for a time on a surface (nest) contaminated with Salmonella could themselves become contaminated. It is known also that the bacteria can be passed from the infected female chicken directly into the substance of the egg before the shell has formed around it."

Besides abhoring the smell of uncooked or under-cooked eggs, I am paranoid (as you can see from the long detour above) when it comes to eggs and salmonella poisoning so I absolutely insist that soft-boiled eggs must be three-quarter done, almost teetering to the point of being hard-boiled. The yolk of the perfect soft-boiled egg must be firm with no runny portions and the white must have a tau fu fah consistency.

Ah! This is my idea of perfect soft-boiled eggs.

Hubby dearest will allow me first pick of the eggs and I'll choose the one that is ever so slightly more cooked. That's how finicky I am about eggs being cooked.

And one of the very few places in Penang that delivers such perfect eggs
every time is Restoran Hai Onn at Burmah road.

Restoran Hai Onn formerly know as Hai Oan. Don't know reason for change in spelling.