Saturday, January 31, 2009

Green Is Also Good

A good friend of ours gave us a jar of Green Pea Cookies for CNY. He assured us the cookies were the rage this year but we were not really convinced. After all these cookies look so green. Would the taste be "green" as well?

Incredible Hulk would love these cookies

So being creature of habit, we tried all the other goodies in the house before finally giving Incredible Hulk's favourite a try. To our surprise they were good. That goes to show you ought never to judge a cookie by its colour.

Friday, January 30, 2009

FAQ on Heaven

Today I stumbled onto the best article I've ever read on the subject of heaven. It is short (you can finish reading the article in 15 mins but digesting it will take much longer), sweet (nothing offensive or disagreeable), simple (easy to understand layman's terms) and sensible (balanced teaching; no wild speculations or weird interpretations).

Of course, there is bound to be some speculation when discussing such a topic but whenever conjecture is called for, author Peter Kreeft is careful to give answers based on God's revelation of Himself and His ways. I like that

So for answers to 35 frequently asked questions about heaven go to "What Will Heaven Be Like?"

Enjoy. I did.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

George Carlin's Views on Aging

This is absolutely brilliant:

George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life, you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60 .

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I 'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay "them."

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop," And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

God Is Always At Work

Here's a comforting thought when everything seems to be falling to pieces.

This is the wonder of God’s sovereignty.
Working behind the scenes, He is moving and pushing
and rearranging events and changing minds
until He brings out of even the most carnal and secular of settings
a decision that will set His perfect plan in place.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking
that God is asleep when it comes to nations,
or that He is out of touch,
or that He sits in heaven wringing His hands
when it comes to godless rulers
who make unfair, rash, or stupid decisions.
Mark it down in permanent ink:
God is always at work

~ Charles Swindoll ~

God is ALWAYS at work.

Bath Time

The girl finally had a bath in preparation for guests coming to the house. She was so busuk that even the house smells of her.

Pam with Princess after her bath.

My girls

FYI Princess normally does not behave so well. She is a hyper dog, inquisitive, cannot stay still and won't submit to a cuddle but Pam always manages to "kau tim" her.

Since she had the time of her life yesterday being patted and scratched by our guests I guess it was worth the shivering, trembling and sneezing that comes with every bath time. She hasn't had that much attention in a long time.

CNY Guests

We seldom have guests over for CNY so it was a significant improvement to have a houseful of guests over yesterday.

Six of our staff dropped by. I am touched because out of the six of them, three came over from the mainland. And two of them are actually ex-staff with one of them currently working in Singapore. I was so motivated that I made scones and waffles to serve for tea.

Jovin and Christina giving a thumbs up for my teatime treats

Esther being squashed by Daniel and Keane
with Conan from Singapore hovering behind

Evidence that Esther enjoyed the food.
Are they sending any messages with that look?

Ken entertained them with the latest "King Kong" movie starring Naomi Watts. BTW, I disagreed with the bad guy's comment at the end of the movie that beauty killed the beast. The beast was certainly enamoured by her beauty but it was his (the bad guy's) greed that actually killed the beast. Not fair. Always blaming the woman.

Lillian, Jewel and Raymond also came to "pai ch'nia" us. I love this picture I took of them. So carefree and comfortable with one another. The way family should be.

Raymond with Supergirl and her Supermom

I was so happy to be surrounded by family and friends. Unfortunately it was also the day my 'bee went back to KL. After having her around for about two weeks, I'm gonna miss her lots.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CNY Feasting

The feasting began with a Reunion Dinner for our staff at Ocean Green Restaurant. Mediocre food, long waits between courses, poor service and a too strong wind messing with our hair throughout the night made that a venue we'll never return to for future reunion dinners.

As usual the dining table was a real mess by the time we finished
with the tossing of the Yee Sang

We were very disappointed because the quality of the food there is usually very good. Normally it is also windy but we've never experienced such strong winds before. I think we have the 'pak hong' to blame for the blustery night.

As usual, the actual Reunion Dinner with the family was held on the Chinese New Year's Eve, which fell on Sunday, 25 January 2009, this year. I cooked two types of Prawn Fritters - one batch with the tails on and another batch in the prawn balls style - using the same batter.

I also cooked Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet which turned out too salty. Either I put in the salt twice or the frozen dory fillet was already salted. Everybody shunned the dish and so did I.

Since we had three heads of broccoli left from our trip to Camerons, I decided to cook an extra dish of Brocolli Stir-fry with Chicken Meat and Limpets. It was also a great opportunity for me to use up a can of limpets which someone gave us. We are not into exotic foods so I haven't the faintest idea on how to cook them.

The maid and I went for dinner smelling of prawn fritters and fried fish. Never again. Next year I shall cook something stir-fry that is cheap, fast and not so time consuming. Or maybe some dish using a slow cooker that does not need much last-minute attention. This means I had better start looking for a suitable recipe soon if I don't want to be caught unprepared again.

More feasting followed. On the First Day of CNY we were at Queensbay Mall to catch the movie "Red Cliff 2." Canton-i was closed so we went to the Golden Triangle for lunch. The Powdered Prawn which was the chef's specialty was superb and so was the crunchy Kailan. The Pandan Chicken was not bad but Pam and I found some slimy parts in the chicken pieces quite repulsive. We ordered Pulut Mango for dessert but our sweet ending for the meal was spoiled by the sour tinge of some of the mango pieces.

The gravy of the Powdered Prawn is simply delicious
and the prawns were so fresh and succulent

A simple Stir-Fried Kailan

The Pandan Chicken smelled heavenly

On Day Two, which was yesterday, we had Salted Egg Yolk Crabs for dinner at Red Bali, Farlim. We also ordered a Steamed Grouper, Fried Kailan and their Signature Taufu. The bill came to more than RM120. The two crabs alone cost RM72! A tasty but expensive meal.

After the indulgence of the past few days, today we kuai-kuai settled for hawker food. And after all the yummy high cholesterol dishes it's back to the treadmill for me.

Best CNY Ever

For me, this is the best Chinese New Year ever in eight years. Simply because our babee made it home for a long stretch this time round and we have her all to ourselves.

My beautiful babee looking gorgeous in her CNY cheongsam

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Favourite Getaway

Last weekend we escaped to Cameron Highlands for the weekend. Yes, it's Cameron Highlands again. Friends and loved ones simply could not understand our enthusiasm for the highlands. Every time we say we are going for a holiday they'll ask, "Cameron's again ar?" Then we'll get bombarded with questions like: What is there to do? What is there to see? The same place very year? Not boring meh?

We prefer the highlands for a number of reasons. Most of all we love the cool, fresh air and we were disappointed by the highlands warming up over the years. To our delight the weather was chilly this time round.

Our purpose for a vacation is to get away from the stresses of urban living and from being hounded by endless deadlines. We want some peace and quiet, to relax and take things easy.

But here's a warning. It's madness up the Highlands if you go during public holidays or school breaks. You'll find the traffic jams, lack of parking and crowds you are running away from waiting for you up there. So we make it a point to visit Cameron's during the off-peak seasons. Then we have the highlands to ourselves.

Cameron Highlands is certainly not everyone's cup of tea. And speaking of tea makes me long for the Devonshire tea at the Old Smokehouse. That's one of the rituals we began during our honeymoon and and have kept up during every return visit. Sitting in the garden, feeling the cool breeze in our face and enjoying a hot cup of of tea.

My one indulgence and a family tradition
every time we are in Cameron Highlands

That's our idea of a good holiday - lazy days with no agenda. There are only two places we must visit while up in Cameron's. One is the Old Smokehouse, home of Devonshire tea, and the other is the Boh Tea Plantation at Habu. Anything else is as and when we fancy.

Climbing up View Point at the Boh Tea Plantation

We saw "ang mohs" taking the 6 km walk up to the Boh Tea Plantation
and here's a typical Malaysian comment in the guest book
that it is "jauh sangat"

At the reflexology centre - one of those as-and-when-we-fancy times

BTW, progress has finally come to the highlands, evidenced by the opening of a Starbucks and a Guardian outlet at Brinchang.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is
asking others to live as one wishes to live."

~ Oscar Wilde ~

I have been selfish and I am sorry.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CNY @ the Office

Every year we put up a Chinese New Year centrepiece at Ken Ray. We've been using the same cherry blossoms for the past few years and so this year we decided to add some peonies. The result - a beautiful arrangement!

Cherry blossoms and peonies

The container serves as an umbrella stand the rest of the year

Then our florist gave us plum blossoms which we eventually added to the arrangement.

Plum blossoms with the cottony stuff still hiding in the buds

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Year Scripture Verse

I have kept this scripture verse close to my heart for a number of New Years. This year I had the opportunity to "publish" it. It now adorns TOP's angpow packet.

"You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance."

~ Psalm 65:11, NIV ~

You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.

~ Psalm 65:11, NKJV ~

Happy Day!

Yay! Babee is coming back today. I'm looking forward to 11 whole days with her. We've not had so many days together since she started work.

"Lord, may your presence and protection be with her on her journey.
Give her fine weather and good road conditions.
Let every part of her car function in tip-top condition.
Grant her alertness and surround her with safe and careful drivers.
Bring her back safely, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Real Women Have Curves

I found this gem on Chatty Lass's blog and I snitched it. Just couldn't resist it.

Real Women Have Curves

by Alexx A. McCoy

Real women have curves, wrinkles and flaws
Each earned with experience, perseverance and determination
Let no computer airbrush your mistakes
Let them make you who you are

Love every mark, every scar, every extra curve you wished to go away
Accept what you can't learn to love
Then let go of what you can't accept
Treasure them for their memories
Like a worn love letter or ratty old quilt from generations of old

Each wrinkle comes with the wisdom only years of life can give
And life is not to be hidden or covered up
For life is how a girl grows into a woman
And real women have curves.

Year of Miracles

This is turning out to be a year of miracles and answered prayer.

In His mercy and for His name's sake, God came through for us. Yesterday we saw the intervention and fantastic deliverance of the Lord on our need. PTL! He showed Himself strong and mighty. He is indeed our helper in time of need, our strong deliverer, our glory and the lifter of our heads.

God is so good to us. Our hearts overflow with thanksgiving to Him and we are overwhelmed by His great love towards us even when we fail Him. He opened doors that no man could shut. He parted the sea for us. He made a way where there seemed to be no way. He is great and greatly to be praised.

Nothing is impossible with God!

"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth."

~ Psalm 115:1~

El Mondo Pizza

Tried a new eatery on Tuesday night, El Mondo Pizza located at Jalan Sungai Kelian, Hillside.

El Mondo Pizza

We ordered Mushroom Soup and Tomato Soup. The Mushroom Soup is their special recipe made from four types of mushrooms. It was delicious but Kenny said it contains the black Chinese mushroom which he hates so I finished the Mushroom Soup. We both preferred the Tomato Soup.

The super thick mushroom soup served with garlic bread

The tomato soup after Kenny has dipped into it

The two slices of garlic bread together with the soup filled us up so much that we could not finish the Hawaiian pizza we ordered. The pizza is good if you like your crust crispy but I prefer a chewier crust. We also had a free salad due to some special promotion going on there.

Somehow or other, we always end up with Hawaiian pizza

FOC salad

Our only complaint was the tiny glass of water which we had to pay for.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dawn of a New Day

After more than 10 years of lobbying we finally had our first Bible Study in TOP this morning.

Bro. Koay our teacher

PTL! for answered prayer. The class started with 78 students without much promotion, other than one short announcement the Sunday before. That's how hungry people are!

The class

CNY at Queensbay

Queensbay Mall is all decked out in Chinese New Year finery.

Lanterns and bird-cages, all in CNY red,
are part of the center court display

A boat laden with gold that formed the other side of the display

They even brought in Chinese artisans to display and demonstrate Chinese handicraft.

Miniature Chinese figurines that make up a court scene.
The figures are all smaller than my little finger!

Zoomed in to see the details on the little figurines

The craftsman working on one of the larger figures of
one of the legendary Chinese heroes

This cute little pig is handcrafted blown candy

Here's the craftsman showing us how it's done.
It costs RM10 for one of the zodiac animals.

Gurney Plaza is comparatively dull. No effort at all.


We were at Queenbay Mall on last night when we saw a huge wall banner advertising Canton-i. At first we thought it was a Dragon-i wannabe but since we were in an adventurous mood we decided to give it a try.

The food was Hong Kong style so I ended up ordering their signature Prawn Wanton Mee Soup. The crunchy prawns in the wanton received my thumbs up but they also derailed my efforst to watch my cholesterol. I simply loved the greens that are also super crunchy and without any of the annoying fibre residue that stick in between the teeth. The special mee is also delicious.

Yummy wanton mee soup

Ken ordered Roast Goose Rice but they have already sold out the roast goose. He opted for Roast Duck and Roast Pork Rice instead and he was not disappointed. Both were superlative. The roast pork was so tasty. The menu says it is from some specially bred pig so it is supposedly low in cholesterol. I saw fat. How can pork fat be cholesterol-free?

For starters we had Salted Egg Dumpling and for dessert we had Mango Wrapped in Glutinuous Rice. We were disappointed with both. We've tasted better Salted Egg Dumpling from the street stall and the mango was sourish. We should have ordered the Fried Durian Pancake but it was too late to change by the time we spotted the dish.

Mango in glutinuous rice

We liked the styrofoam cuts of dragonflies and moths that were part of the interior deco. It would have been better if they have varied the patterns, staggered them or even made use of some mirror images instead of using identical panels.

Chinese-style styrofoam cut-outs. I like the colour of the walls!

Same motif repeated on the lamps

The food is a tad expensive, RM12 or more for Wanton Mee, but you are getting value for money.

We eventually found out that Canton-i is part of the Dragon-i group of restaurants hence the -i.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bullied again!

She's always curious and she loves going out onto the balcony to sniff the plants and cacti that make up our miserable, motley mess of a garden.

Today she went out and the balcony doors closed behind her. She was locked outside and she dared not make any protest or even yelp for help because the Kenny was the one who shut her out. She only started shouting for help when I went into the living room.

Poor Princess! Bullied again.

Princess trying desperately to squeeze herself through the louvres of the glass window.

P.S. I don't have Photoshop installed on my new com so I couldn't edit my photos. That's the reason for the teeny-weeny picture of the ants. Today I managed to locate Picnik, a web photoshop thingy and it worked like a dream. Moreover, everything is in laymen's terms. So easy to understand and use. So good bye Photoshop, hello Picnik. Looks like you're here to stay.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Look

It's a new start this year with a new hairdo. Cut my hair so it is not so messy. I think just below shoulder length hair suits me better. Too long hair look very "sum" and kinda unhealthy especially when it is too dry and frizzy.

My new look

Also changed hair-stylist. Reason for the change is given below.

Pretty ang-pows

Yes, people change hair-stylist because of pretty ang-pow packets. FYI, ang-pow packets are a measure of prestige and success for the ladies and we've been known to go to war with the banks just 'cos they don't give enough ang-pow packets.

2nd Childhood

Princess is experiencing second childhood. She has started biting shoes. She did not do that when she was a puppy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Signs of the Times

The signs were ominous but then, out of the blue, Pastor Geoffrey dropped in and brought the God of hope into the situation.

Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

~ Isaiah 12:2, NIV ~

Monday, January 5, 2009


Yesterday as we were driving off after lunch we noticed that there were some red ants on the wind screen. We immediately turned on the wiper to sweep them away and we managed to get rid of some of them.

Then we realized that there were some on the bonnet as well. So we tried to dislodge them by driving faster. Unfortunately they seemed to be clinging to the bonnet and were all "frozen" in some weird poses.

When we arrived at our destination we found that the ants were "fried." How that happened was a mystery because the bonnet could not have gotten so hot in that short distance. And anyway, fried ants should just drop off the bonnet and not get stuck to it.

"Fried" ants on the bonnet

Two "fried" ants and a leg

Sunday, January 4, 2009


First miracle of 2009!

I went for my first badminton session this evening. Couldn't exactly call it a game as I had to learn how to serve and spent most of the time picking up the shuttlecock. Anyway, I am quite happy with myself because, after the disastrous start, I eventually managed to have a few short rallies with Rachel.

I really thank God for my two trainers, Rachel and Grace, who were most patient with me. My natural instinct is to dodge whatever is coming at me which makes me a lousy player at any game. I don't think they've ever seen a player ducking every time the shuttlecock comes flying her way so that provided a few laughs for everyone.

They succeeded in helping me to overcome that counter-productive move by asking me to whack the shuttlecock like I would swat a fly! That the racket (on loan from hubby) looks like a fly swatter was helpful for creating the right mental picture.

I might like the game after all. That's quite an admission for someone who hates games and has been lousy at ALL games all her life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Unusual Christmas Presents

This Christmas I received the strangest present from Jet for the company gift exchange. Here it is.

An old-fashioned flask!

Hmmm. What is he trying to tell me? The last time I saw this kind of flask, my grandmother was using it. Am I that ancient?

Then today (yes, I know we are all unbelievably late but that's because Christmas crept up on us unawares) we received this exquisite carafe-cum-tumbler set from my sister who always gives the most creative gifts. Notice the lovely bird designs sand-blasted on the glass.

An exquisite gift

Seeing the carafe brought back fond memories of my Ah Kong. He used to have a plain glass carafe-cum-tumbler set filled with water in the bedroom for nights when he would wake up thirty. It's been 44 years and I still miss him.

Christmas '08

Christmas zipped by in a flash. For that matter, everything zipped by in a flash last year. No time to smell the roses as the days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and, before I knew it, the year was gone.

Christmas was spent in KL this year. Very quiet, very family. Nice.

Bought our babee a Christmas present which was also part ransom to get back my camera.
I could not believe how attached I could get to a camera. Nor did I know how important it is to blogging. No wonder my blog's been dead for the past few months. No camera, no photos, no posts. Why bother to write when a picture could speak a thousand words? Sigh. I've grown lazy for someone who always enjoyed being a wordsmith and that's bad.

Babee's Christmas gift that she loved to bits.

Anyway, we were in KL and the Christmas mood was evident everywhere compared to poor effort put up by Penang retailers. Some places in Penang simply bypassed Christmas and were already blaring out Chinese New Year songs in early December! These people simply have no respect for the season.

Half the population of Malaysia were down in KL due to the long Christmas-spill-over-into-the-weekend break. It was Friday, a working day, and not yet lunch time, yet we spent an hour trying to get into and find a parking space at Mid Valley! We finally gave up and headed for Sunway Pyramid instead.

When we went back to Sunway Pyramid on Sunday with our babee she had a good laugh at her ulu parents who took photos with the Christmas trees at the mall. What to do? The Christmas decorations in Penang are so pathetic. (Actually I just got back my camera and was bitten by the "shutter bug.")

We spent Christmas in Bangkok in 2007 and Christmas in KL last year. This year we should plan for Christmas in Singapore. What says the rest of the team?

That's us pulling our ulu kampung stunt,
taking photo with Christmas trees at Sunway Pyramid

Close up

Bee and Dee imitating the poses in the poster behind

That's the kind of Christmas deco that does justice to the season