Thursday, December 31, 2009
Folks, once again it's the last few hours of the year. Time to say "Goodbye 2009" and "Welcome 2010".
New Year is always time for a fresh start. so have a good start and may this be your best year ever!
Pam was looking forward to playing with the babies. She had forgotten that it had been so long since she last met them that the babies have all grown up!
Jonathan showing me the elephant he swallowed. This little guy
is an expert on nursery rhymes and listening to him
brought back fond memories of the time
when I was running a kindergarten.
Jonathan giving Pam a super long kiss.
Nathanael with his gorgeous eyes. Only four months difference
between him and Jonathan ko ko.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I am just not a Facebook person.
I am just not used to putting things on my wall. It's a convenient way to connect and share with your friends but not everything is meant to be shared with with everyone. Certain infomation only for selected groups of friends.
I also don't understand people who simply add people as friends whether they know them or not. Don't they know how dangerous it is exposing themselves to strangers?
I also don't see the fun in virtual games or telling people that a virtual cow has wandered into my virtual farm. But then again I am not interested in games and neither do I have time for them.
So why am I on Facebook? It's a means to keep in touch with family and friends scattered around the world.
“The true sprit of Christmas is love.”
— Linda Willis
“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you….
Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother
and offer him your hand.”
— Mother Teresa
“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”
— Oren Arnold
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful.”
— Norman Vincent Peale
Pathetic sums up the effort put into the decoration in the malls in Penang.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I was booking a cab for 4.00am on Friday morning. Simple. Straight forward. Easy to understand, right? No.
At first the driver said, "No problem." Then confusion set in. He asked whether it's Thursday or Friday.
Apparently, from the Chinese/Asian perspective, it is still Thursday night as long as the sun hasn't risen on Friday morning. Or so he said. I don't know whether he is joking or not. Is he?
Monday, November 16, 2009
You are a prayer answered from above.
God, indeed, works in mysterious ways. He has the big picture and somehow He manages to orchestrate everything so well that everyone is blessed.
One thing I do know, it's good to experience answered prayers but it is even better to be an answered prayer!
Monday, November 9, 2009
God bless the Lau family. Mere words are not enough to express my thanks to you all.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Next on his must-have list are Pagoda singlets. I've been told we can get them at either TESCO or Kamdar.
'bee said that all he needs now is a back scratcher and some "hong iu" to complete the 'uncle' picture.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Beyond the standard requirements like love for God, good character, intelligence etc, look for an honest man. Someone who lives by the truth and whose word is always the simple, unadorned, unvarnished truth.
Someone who is also able to take the truth when confronted with it because some people are good at dishing out the truth at others but cannot take the heat when they are on the receiving end. It's impossible living with someone who cannot face reality and is in constant denial. It is just as bad if you have to watch what you say all the time in order to protect the fellow's fragile ego.
Look for a happy man. Someone who is happy with himself and does not have to look to others to make him happy. People who need others to make them happy will be looking for the next agent of happiness when they no longer feel "happy" with you. Further more it's an impossible, uphill task being responsible for someone's happiness.
Look for a hard-working man. Someone who is willing to work hard will not starve.
So young girls, choose well and you'll have a wonderful marriage.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
My mind is active all the time with something to do or to be done.
I am simply not a multi-tasking type of person. I need focus.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
That dampened the mood at our cell Lantern/Mooncake Festival gathering and at many other similar gatherings all over town.
The highlight of the night was when one of the lanterns caught fire.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I have made an appointment to rebond my hair this afternoon. So expect a new me later today!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
wiring the hall for the lights before putting up the lanterns.
We also held a lantern-making competition and there were 12 entries.
The rest of the entries
(L to R) 1st and 2nd runners-up. The white lantern is so pretty
and I especially like the detailing for the boat lantern
The first prize
The main centrepiece was a giant lantern by Wilbur and KB Lai. As you can see these guys are fantastic.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I'm now a convert!
'bee said that I look better with my hair half-tied so here it is, my first photobooth picture especially for her.
The place is so popular that we had to line up to place our order and then we were assigned our tables.
There were 3 of us and we ordered Salted Egg Crabs, Lotus Root Fried with Celery and Tofu with Minced Meat.
We had to wait almost an hour for the food to arrive but it was worth the wait. We were so hungry that we polished off the super-smooth tofu the minute it arrived. By the time I realized that I had not taken any photos there was only one tiny bit left.
Then the crabs came. They gave us one big crab each and they were really fresh and meaty crabs encrusted in salted egg yolk.
The lotus root fried with celery was served when we were halfway through our crabs. So again no photos.
The timing was definitely wrong because the crabs require our full concentration. By the time we finished with the crabs, the vegetable was already cold.
I was prepared to fork out about RM80 for the meal so I was completely astounded when the bill came to a mere RM52.20!
Restoran Tak Fok Hong Kong Seafood at No. 2-2A, Jalan Desa 1/3, Desa Aman Puri, Kepong, (Tel: 03-6272 3346) will be a regular must-visit eatery for all future KL trips.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When the doors of the lift opened, it was as if the years had rolled back. With a blast of girly chatter, I was back in those school girl days.
The years have been good to us. Most of us have hardly aged at all but memories have failed 'cos we had to go around asking "What's your name?"
When we registered we were each given a school badge.
Then it was time for group photography sessions. We took photos of girls from the same primary school and then in one big group. Later in the evening we took photos class by class.
We had a scrumptious buffet spread from Cititel Penang - Sashimi, oysters and even a bottle of wine for each table. All for RM80 thanks to Dylia who is working there.
There were table draws and our table received school mugs in all sorts of fun colours.
I received a school T-shirt for the lucky draw. The MC told me to wear it to sleep! Is it that embarrassing to wear a school T-shirt at our age?
After dinner, Joyce (Mei Lan) sang for us "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and May Wah put up a slide show of the school with great pictures taken by her very talented son, Justin Khoo.
To test our memories, we also had a quiz on personalities and things from our school days.
Then the Singapore girls presented an item "Singapore Twist." Actually they were hardly 2 minutes into the song before they started dragging everyone down to join them on the dance floor.
Later on we had a ball learning a dance which May Wah taught us. We proofed to be quick learners for dames over 50 'cos we got into the swing of things effortlessly.
There was a lot of catching up to do and exchange of phone numbers and emails. Then we sang the school song. TWICE.
Wow! The feeling of pride and solidarity is still strong after all these years.
We'll always be true
Our dear St. George's Girls' School!
The school song was composed in 1969, the year we entered Form 1. If I am not mistaken, the music was by famous Penang composer Jimmy Boyle, whose wife was a teacher in our school, and the lyrics was by Mrs Dorothy Tan, our English teacher.
Those were the days.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Flavours like green tea or pandan are still close to the traditional flavours. Tiramisu, mocha or chocolate are sweet and therefore still acceptable. But sambal udang?
I don't mind trying out these new flavours but not at my expense. I'll gladly accept if someone offers me a bite but don't expect me to spend more than RM10 on a mooncake just to test out some weird combination of flavours.
Flavours may come and go but I believe the traditional favourites will continue to be perennial best-sellers as long as there are people like me around. I always end up buying the white lotus paste single yolk variety, which is my all time favourite.
Strange and unfamiliar flavours aside, what I like best about mooncakes nowadays are their lovely packaging. In the past mooncakes are presented in a simple box illustrated with flowers or a fairy. Very predictable and boring.
These days the packaging can be converted into tissue boxes, toilet roll dispensers and even jewellery boxes. Other include a packet of tea, tea-cup or some other item as a gift set. For those who still maintain the square box, they have improved on their designs.
Since mooncake quality is about the same from shop to shop, every year we would make our choice of mooncake for distribution to our clients based on the packaging. This year we picked Kam Lun Thai.
See for yourself the simple and elegant design on the boxes.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Take, for example, what happened last night.
Blooper No. 1
Hubby and I were commenting during cell fellowship that the relatively light traffic that evening came as a surprise to us because we were anticipating traffic jams due to the long Hari Raya break. In fact we were too early for cell meeting even after taking a makan angin drive around the neighbourhood.
We offered a number of reasons for the lack of vehicles on the road. First, the Muslims were at home breaking fast. Second, Taoist Chinese families would be busy praying because it was "s'nar chap meh".
This was in reference to the last and 3oth night of the seventh lunar month which was also the month of the hungry ghosts. The term seemed appropriate to us until someone pointed out that the correct term should have been "guaik buey" (lit. end of the month in Hokkien) because "s'nar chap meh" is only used specifically for Chinese New Year's Eve when it falls on the 30th day/night of the twelfth and last lunar month of the year.
Wah! So particular wan.
Blooper No. 2
The conversation continued and I proposed that we have a mooncake celebration on a cell meeting which falls nearest to "chap goh meh" (lit. 15th night in Hokkien).
I was referring to the mooncake festival which falls on the 15th night of the eighth lunar month and again someone corrected me saying the "chap goh meh" is a reference specific only to the last night of the Chinese New Year celebrations which falls on the 15th night of the first lunar month.
The mooncake festival is referred to as "pehk guaik chap goh" or 15th day of the lunar eighth month.
Two bloopers in one night and all centred around the same topic. Very fail.
We are Chinese but sometimes it's the nitty-gritty stuff that shows how un-Chinese our worldview is.
The problem is not knowing where to start. Chronologically or in order of importance?
I think I'll just have to write whatever catches my fancy.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Instead of the usual feasting we decided to be a blessing to the folks at Pengkalan Hulu instead.
We budgeted RM1,600 for the bus + food for the people + offering for the pastor but collected a total of RM1,900! God is so good.
We met one 41 year old lady who is pregnant with her 13th child.
was a reminder to us that we were in unfamiliar territory
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I was hit by a wave of nostalgia in those few minutes when we stopped by a teochew wayang performing at the Batu Lancang Road Market for sis to take some photographs for her project.
The theatrical make-up, the the high pitched singing, the dazzling costumes and the scent of joss-sticks transported me back to those by-gone days when we would park ourselves in front of the opera stage whenever the lunar 7th moon comes around.
We didn't understand what they were singing but we could roughly guess what was going on. We were more captivated and impressed by the spectacular costumes, the stage make-up and the stylized moves of the actors.
The Chinese opera is one of our cultural heritage and it would be great if someone could write a Chinese opera in English or one of the Chinese dialects. Just imagine transforming the parable of the prodigal son into Chinese opera. Awesome!
After all, the cultural background of the Bible is oriental so maybe it's about time we intentionally make the medium, other than language, for the communication of the gospel message oriental as well.
Friday, September 11, 2009
So if you're looking for a natural botox treatment, just "plump up" a bit when age catches up on you.
Unfortunately it is very hard to juggle the "a bit" part. Most people end up with too much, and all at the wrong places.
That's the context for conversations like this:
Two women are talking on their daily walk. One says, "It's really hard to lose weight as I get older. I remain apple-shaped no matter what I do."
"I know. I exercise all the time and there's still too much fat. Funny how you have your weight in the stomach. Mine is on my backside and thighs."
"It's true. The lard works in mysterious ways."
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I really don't know how to dress for such freaky weather. Sometimes I end up sweltering in warm clothes on a hot day. At other times I end up shivering in skimpy clothes on a cold day. All because of the changing weather.
The best solution would be to layer my clothes. Pile on the layers when the weather gets cooler and remove the layers as the weather gets warmer.
I would never imagine having to go through so much trouble living in the tropics.
Firefly to and fro at the moment is RM419.80. Firefly to and Aeroline back is RM302.90. Aeroline to and fro is RM226.00. Haven't checked Plusliner yet but to and fro should be around RM160.
Money aside, driving down gives me flexibility in terms of time and I don't have to be stressed over people being late sending me to or picking me from the airport or bus station.
But then I may have to contend with heavy festive traffic even thought I am going against the flow of the balik kampung crowd.
Too many choices are also a problem.
Firefly too expensive. Plusliner all sold out. Hubby against me driving down without him. That leaves Aeroline. Decision made.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Based on an average lifespan of 70 years a person has a total of 25,500 days. What are we doing with our days?
Nowadays, with longer life expectancy, the problem is not a lack of days or time. As Dr Randy Carlson has correctly discerned, "the challenge is to use your time effectively, in a Godly, mature way."
I invite you to find out how many days you have lived using the counter here and to read the accompanying article to find out how important and biblical intentional leisure is for life.
who is 9,058 days old today.
May you honor God and enjoy His abundance
as you make intentional leisure a part of your life.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We just have to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (He. 12:2, NIV) and make sure we are found amongst the latter and not the former.
Monday, September 7, 2009
On the other hand, some people are avoiding this day because 999 is the emergency call number!
It all depends on whether you're a half-cup full or half-cup empty person.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
It's not enough to splash a little prayer on in the morning or to run through a sprinkler of God's mercy now and then. It's not enough to dabble our spirits in an hour of worship on Sunday or to dash into a drizzle of teaching every month or so. Our souls need to soak in God's presence. It's no luxury, this time we spend in the healing waters of God's grace. It's neither excess nor indulgence to immerse ourselves in communion with our Creator. It's a spiritual necessity if we want to become the people God has created us to be.- Penelope J. Stokes, Beside A Quiet Stream
(Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc.), 1999
Ah! We really need a daily soaking in God's presence to prevent dryness, or worse still, burn out.
The plan was to leave as early as possible on Saturday morning. When we woke up at 9am I was pretty certain we would be able to make it in time for lunch in KL.
Unfortunately I forgot to factor in 30 mins to set the home computer on download, another 15 mins trying to extricate a stuck CD, 30 mins for breakfast, 15 mins to pump petrol and check tyre pressure and finally, another 30 mins to set the office computer on download. By the time we left it was already 12 noon.
What a waste of holiday time! I could have enjoyed another hour of sleep or gone to the First AG Food and Fun Fair.
Friday, August 28, 2009
BUT we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28) so we shall trust in Him.
The only thing keeping us afloat is knowing that Jesus is in the boat and that He will get us over to the other side. So we say to the tempest, "Peace, be still."
Thank God it's not high tide or Penang would be flooded.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
We talk at God more than we talk to God. First we tell him our problems, then we tell him what to do and then we say, "Bye God, I'll leave you to get to work." As if we are God and God is not.
There is also a danger when there is too much talk. We often end up saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Sometimes to the wrong person or at the wrong place. That's how we get ourselves in trouble.
We really ought to learn to shut up or think before we speak.
Monday, August 24, 2009
So many are God's kindnesses to us, that, as drops of water, they run together; and it is not until we are borne up by the multitude of them, as by streams in deep channels, that we recognize them as coming from him. We have walked amid his mercies as in a forest where we are tangled among ten thousand growths and touched on every hand by leaves and buds which we notice not. We cannot recall all the things he has done for us.
There are so many.
-Henry Ward Beecher
That is how we usually perceive evil but the quote from Henry Ward Beecher gives us a totally different perspective. As believers, we are tangled and touched on every hand, not by wickedness or evil but by God's mercies, love, kindness and goodness.
He is the One who said, "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love" (Hosea 11:4).
For me, it's an inherited trait. Both my paternal aunts started to grey from a young age. My sister is more fortunate. She took after my mom who was blessed with nice black hair until she was very advanced in age.
Actually having white hair is not a problem if they all turn white at the same time.
in which case it'll only be a temporary phenomenon.
If the whole head of hair turns white you can still flaunt it. I remember my paternal grandmother looking good with a lovely head of soft cotton white hair.
The problem is a mixture of black and white hair. Neither here nor there.
Anyway, we began discussing various possible causes of white hair. Scientifically, white hair is caused by diminishing pigment in the hair follicles. But what causes the pigment to stop production?
I said it could be the result of stress. After all, if sudden or extreme shock can cause hair to turn white, can you imagine what daily doses of little shocks can do to the hair? That seemed a plausible explanation to me.
Or maybe lack of some vitamins or minerals in our diet.
Hubby, as usual, came up with a brilliant explanation. He said that we have white hair because we think too much. And how did he support his hypothesis?
Just take a look at...
Tan Sri Lin was addressing the Newly Minted Graduates (what a nice term) or NMGs of Universiti Sains Malaysia which celebrated its 40th convocation last Wednesday and he concluded his article with a saying by Confucius.
There would be great Malaysians in the making if any of the NMGs were to embrace the wisdom offered by Tan Sri Lin.
As I end, I am reminded of the wisdom of the great Master Kung-Fu-Tzi (Confucius): “There are nine things which a new graduate should be mindful – to see clearly as he uses his eyes; to hear distinctly when he uses his ears; to be gracious in expression; to be respectful in demeanour; to be sincere in speech; to be serious in the execution of his duties; to seek advice when in doubt; to consider the consequences when he is angry; and to think of what is right and just when he is faced with advantage or gain.”
To these, I should add a 10th – to be ethical and act with utmost integrity when dealing with the enterprise and society in which he serves.
In my entire public life – as in private – I have insisted on these 10 things for myself. And now, as the NMGs and many others take up the challenges of Najib’s New Way, I wish them for you.Former banker, Dr Lin is a Harvard educated economist and a British chartered scientist who now spends time promoting the public interest.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Steve Sjogren in his book "Conspiracy of Kindness" shows how unassuming acts of kindness are more persuasive than words in convincing people of the love of God. It's true, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
So in the words of the song "Try A Little Kindness" by Glen Campbell,
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and stay you're going the wrong way
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
If there is any conspiracy that will surely be blessed by God, it'll be a conspiracy of kindness.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
As an INFJ, you are hardworking, committed to your ideals and pride yourself on your integrity. Very perceptive about people and a good listener, you are skilled at generating creative solutions to people's problems. A thoughtful and careful decision maker, you prefer to have plenty of time to let your ideas "percolate" before taking action. And you tend to be a perfectionist, and quite driven to accomplish your goals.
I never cease to be amazed at the spot-on accuracy of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Amongst all the personality tests, and I've almost done all of them, I still prefer MBTI for its accuracy and simplicity.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was given a RM30 voucher for Crocs. It was such a blessing because time and again I have thought of purchasing a pair but have been put off by the price tag.
Paying more than RM100 for rubber shoes seemed a bit ridiculous to me. Would Phua Chu Kang pay that much for his yellow rubber boots?
Anyway, I was persuaded by the discount voucher to buy this pretty pair on Saturday and I have no regrets 'cos they are so comfortable. In fact I abandoned my shoes for the new Crocs at the point of purchase and I've been wearing them on three out of the past four days.
The colours are a bit 'jeng' but I decided, for once, to be adventurous instead of sticking to the safe and boring black or brown, which are the other two colours available.
Hmmm, I just realised that this kind of out-of-the-ordinary behaviour has been surfacing a lot lately. Could it be a part of mid-life crisis?