Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Packing and moving on

2 days before we head off to the homeland. Started packing 3 months ago during the weekend. Thought that way, it would be easier since some of the things are already out of the way. But how wrong one can be. The last few days before the things are due for shipping are actually the worst.

The kids suddenly found that everything is 'important' and wanted them packed. One spent endless time arguing with them over an item. The only time when one could really pack is when they are away at school. And even then, one has to slot in other activities like meeting friends for good bye coffee etc. Worse, there are still the daily things that the family needs to use. Those are really hard to pack. I ended up categorizing things into 3 piles- the ones to be packed, the ones to give away, and the garbages. And gosh, didn't we have heaps of them!

We finally did it today. As it is, I'm watching the movers load the things in the truck and feeling a bit like crying. Haven't yet figured out the reason for the feeling though. Be it sadness, relief or sheer exhaustion...I just don't know. All I know is in the past 3 days, I hardly got enough sleep at all due to wanting to finish everything in time for shipping today. I can only be thankful that it's over now.

Well they say packing is the third most stressful thing after a bereavement of a loved one and a divorce. Good thing it's only the is indeed a hard work.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The God question

Somehow, I believe at least at one stage of his/her life, the God question must pop up in a person's mind, even when one is comfortable with one's religion.

This book is a great start to know what great minds of the past and present, from Plato to Dawkins, observed about God. I have to say the author has managed to present the big ideas in an easy to follow manner that it doesn't seem like one is reading philosophical stuffs at all.

I'd recommend this book for the curious minds. It is really food for thoughts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

There is a purpose behind every incident

I opened my email this morning and saw this one. I thought it is a good reminder for all especially myself that I decided to keep it in my blog:

~The ' L I T T L E ' Things~

As you might remember, the head of a company survived 9/11
Because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was
His turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her
Alarm clock didn't go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
Because of an auto accident.

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.

Car wouldn't start.

One couldn't
Get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work
But before he got there, he developed
A blister on his foot.
He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today..

Now when I am
Stuck in traffic,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone...

All the little things that annoy me.
I think to myself,
This is exactly where
God wants me to be
At this very moment..

Next time your morning seems to be
Going wrong,
The children are slow getting dressed,
You can't seem to find the car keys,
You hit every traffic light,
Don't get mad or frustrated;
It May be just that
God is at work watching over you.

May God continue to bless you
With all those annoying little things
And may you remember their possible purpose.

Indeed, there is a purpose behind every incident.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good bye Fordy

I didn't know that selling a car could hurt this much. Fordy is only a second hand car. But he has been so good to us in the past 3 years. He hardly ever gave us trouble. We have had to sell him because we're moving away and it's not practical to take him with us. If I'd have my way I'd have kept him.

Well the selling was inevitable. But what I didn't expect was that he would be sold on the day I was not home. Hubby took the liberty of doing that because the buyer came knocking on the door. In my mind we'd have Fordy till at least 2 weeks before we have to leave, not a month before. And I was so unprepared for the shock.

The kids excitedly shouted "we sold the car" when I came home. Imagine how I felt. I rushed to the garage to have a look, and true enough, he was gone! Fordy was gone! I'm still getting over this funny feeling, of course with tears running down my cheeks. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

...and they become as real as can be

If I were to conduct an experiment about cyber chat experience, I think I will be a good candidate for that experiment. At my age and status as a mom it might look a bit ridiculous to enjoy so much chatting with people I haven't even met. But I unashamedly do. Stumbling upon this particular chat room one night as I was listening to their online radio, I decided to be a user just because. One 'hi' led to another and the result was a good feeling. And I have kept coming back since. Meeting the same people night after night and talking to them for an hour or so like they are old friends make the whole thing seems so real. I don't even know the identity of these people, only that they come from the same homeland and they speak the same language as I do. And that they are polite, respectful yet playful. Those are reasons enough to make me keep coming back. In a way, cyberfriends can be just like real life friends- you can bond naturally. You can feel which ones click with you and even unload your emotions to a certain extent (in my case I don't mind being their listeners). Strangely enough, these people become as real as can be...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

In defense of the virtual world

They say it's bad. It encourages self-centeredness. It makes people lazy. And unrealistic. And sedentary. Hmm...maybe.

But still I love the virtual world. It makes you feel that everything is all right. That everyone is nice. And it gives you entertainment that doesn't involve others. You can entertain yourself at your own time and pace, without having to cope with the frustration of dealing with people you'd rather avoid. It keeps you creative, you can turn your imagination into virtual reality. In the virtual world you are a successful you. What a boost to the self-esteem.

Of course one needs to be cautious while dealing with the virtual world. The trap is ever present. You can get so hooked that you forget all about reality. And that's when it becomes bad...with all the reasons stated above and more.

Nevertheless, I'm still thankful that there is a virtual world at all. A perfect world for escapism.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

...where there seems to be no way

Everything happens for a reason. You just have to keep believing...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebrate me...

Another year wiser? Hopefully :-) No matter what, a birthday is a birthday and it calls for a celebration. I am officially above the mid-thirties cutoff point, and enjoying it. I learned years ago that I will never stop figuring out 'my future' so I'm still at it. Gone has the naive thought that I had it all figured out- what I wanted in life, what I was going to be- with my 20s.

I'm celebrating me- my existence, and what better way to do it than listen to beautiful music like Omar Akram's:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A new beginning

Yesterday someone I love got hitched, formally in the marriage registrar's office. I am happy for her and I wish her and her new husband all the happiness in the world. May they love each other always. May the joy they found in each other last forever.

She is starting over again, after the misfortune of an unhappy marriage years ago. Some doubt her decision to remarry either out of concern for her or just because they can't accept the idea of remarrying. But some like me encourage her to follow her heart, for it is the heart that leads you to your happiness. There will be challenges- what marriage doesn't. But I believe that willingness to overcome the challenges and an open communication between the spouses will see them through. Marriage takes a lot of hard work to maintain, as goes the saying "marriage might be made in heaven but it has to be lived on earth".

Anyway, it is a new beginning, regardless of age. As love is blind to colors, so it is to age. And as the Carpenters put it "we've only just begun to live, white lace and promises, a kiss of love and we're on our way..." May love takes you to the place called happiness.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prayers from the heart

Effective prayers come from the heart. At least that's what I learnt last weekend. I was translating a short English prayer into Malay for my friend who has been assigned to say it for their church international night. It was a beautifully worded prayer, one that will surely touch many hearts.

Then a friend's mom asked to look at it, and she started copying down the words. She is a Muslim. Surprised I ask her "why are you copying that?" She said the words are so beautiful she surely can learn something from it. Stupidly I asked again, "but don't you have to pray in Arabic?" She said, "We do, but that's one kind of prayers. The other is from your heart, one that you learn from good sources, then you say from your heart with all your feelings poured into it".

It was a valuable lesson to me. Prayers are universal. And the most effective ones come from the heart. They are beyond religions, they are between you and your God and no one else.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why Women Cry -(and this remains a fav of mine :-))

Upon opening my inbox today, I saw this forward from my cousin T. I know I've read it many times and yet it always does something good to my mood.

A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman, " she told him. "I don't understand, " he said. His Mom just hugged him and said , "And you never will." Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?" "All women cry for no reason, " was all his dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry...

Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked , "God, why do women cry so easily?"

God said

"When I made the woman she had to be special.

I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet gentle enough to give comfort.

I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife , but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

"You see my son, " said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears , the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time is His

I'd expect this words to be written by someone who truly believes in God :-) Yes, I am one such person. (I understand that not everyone does and I respect their rights not to though). Believing in God, to me, is something very personal. It might be something one learns from one's religion, but most of all, it is something that accumulates through the years, from one's life experiences. Perhaps it's a gift...who knows.

Anyway, a very dear friend wrote the phrase in an email to me not so long ago. That, after I whined to her about how slow my plans are to materialize. About how many times my plans have gone off at a tangent, and about how out of control do I feel about my life at present. What an apt reminder. It got me reflecting, and accepting.

We don't plan our birth or death- those must be the biggest evidence that time is His. We can only try our best at achieving our goals. Whether or not we manage to do it on time, i.e our time, we can't really tell. But believing that time is His helps in overcoming the frustration should the worst happen...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dwindling fire

It's been two months that the weight has decided to remain stagnant. The most I lost in the two month period was 0.5kg, then I gained it again. It is indeed very frustrating. There's still so much to get rid of. I can feel the flabs and the bulges that I've yet to lose (eeuw...), and yet I can't make myself work any harder to achieve the goal. Oh dear, dwindling fire... I can barely remember the motivation that I started off with in Feb. How I used to be so motivated! I guess what happened gradually between February and now have been:
1. addiction to baking - I feel like I'm missing out on the good things in life if I don't learn to bake properly (sigh). Now it's at least a baking session per week.
2. too little time- and not necessarily spent on doing my real 'work'. Could also be on playing scrabble online (It hurts to admit this but scrabble has taken precedence over my exercise time)
3. winter- what a lame excuse. But it does get me hungry all the time, thus the calorie intake exceeded the recommendation.

At least the good thing that still remains is my calorie consciousness. I try to take food from the empty-cal group when I'm hungry- fruits etc.

I really need to reignite the fire.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Special sunday

Last sunday was really special to the family. For one thing, it was father's day and it was also my second daughter A's 9th birthday. I can't believe it has been 9 years since I first cradled her in my arms, all sleepy and sweet. This year she decorated her own cupcakes with fondant icing. I have never used fondant icing before but with some tips from youtube, she and I decided to be brave and give it a try. Well who says cupcake decorations have to be perfect anyway? We had loads of fun to make up for the lack of expertise. The final products were superb, I think :). They really reflect a kid's creativity, from a kid to other kids:

And A and her friends had fun eating them all.

There was no father's day cake this time, but we presented Dad with little goodies and lots of love. So much it was impossible to fit them in the card we gave him!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Do not complain about your life

Like me, you must be hearing the phrase "do not complain about your life" all the time. While we know it is not good to whine about our difficulties, the unfairness of life and the unfortunateness of our situations, it is really hard not to complain. Human beings that we are, complaining and whining are part and parcel of our existence. I do believe that complaining (in moderation) has its purpose though. It helps us purge all the anxiety and burdens from our hearts.

I'd try to complain only to people whom I think care, though. I know that when I whine to them, they'd listen with their hearts and won't judge me for being so whiny. I know because I let my friends and loved ones do the same. I can accept that they have to complain, that they have to whine to someone. And it should really be an honor to be the one on the receiving end. After all, that's part of what love is all about- to listen and be listened to.

So while one shouldn't 'complain', there really is nothing wrong in letting it all out...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When life hands me lemons...

...I try to make lemonade. But sometimes when I get too many lemons, I lost the lemonade recipe and end up being confused. It will take some time before I can take control of my life again. But darn if I'll let life bully me. I am in control. I deserve to be happy and happy I shall be...No one is responsible for my happiness although it is true that people can hurt me. It's up to me to deal with it the best way I can.

Yes, life hands me lemons and it's up to me to make the lemonade...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Celebrating friendship (yet again)

As I was browsing through the poems by Nicholas Gordon (, I found this one that reflects how much I feel about my friends:

I do not see you often with my eyes
I do not see you often with my eyes,
But often you are with me in my heart.
We rarely speak, but there are deeper ties
That keep us close while we must be apart.
Friendships don't depend on sights and sounds,
But on the mysteries of need and grace.
You're with me always, unrestrained by bounds,
In some sweet field more permanent than place.
And so your marriage is a widespread glory,
Shining on a world of more than two.
All the characters in your life story
Share the happiness that's come to you.
No love but must with all love intertwine:
The joy between you two is also mine.

I must say the collection of poems the author has is just amazing. A man of wisdom he must be...

Monday, August 17, 2009

The little things in life...

...are the big things. They bring smile to your face, and that counts. I had the opportunity to meet a wise man some years ago and learn this little wisdom from him. He was looking excitedly at his picture in the newspaper, which seemed unbelievable considering that his line of job inevitably put him in the media spotlight from time to time. But he told me it has never ceased to excite him. I thought it was good, that someone considerably famous can feel that way. No doubt, it contributes to his pleasant personality.

I understand the sentiment well now. It is like the excitement to experience hail rain. Since in our place we never get snow, and it doesn't hail often, it the closest experience we've got to snow. So when it hailed last Saturday, we let ourselves be carried away in the excitement, stopping the car just to get some pictures to capture the moments.

(above: hail covered grass)

(above: A feeling a handful of hails)

It was just a small thing but one day, I know I'll look back and see that it is the small things that are big in my life :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A winner

I was at the library trying so hard to concentrate on my studies. I was distracted but that wasn't news to me. I often found myself reading the same page after what seemed like ages. Opposite me was a young man whose composure hadn't changed since hours ago. He looked hard at work, with books all over his desk, but never once lost his focus. From the digital English dictionary that he consulted every so often, I deduced that English wasn't his first language. And all the scribbles he made on his papers showed how hard he must be working. And yet he went through the process as if it was not a struggle at all. A few days I saw him in the library. Always with the same wonderful concentration for hours and hours. Every day not once did I see him leave his desk, unlike me who had to walk around every hour to regain my focus. And I told myself "this one is a winner".

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Boy's germs indeed

I'm discovering that 5 is the age that they learn to twist information and use it to their advantage. Gosh, how did they learn to be so manipulative? You'd think that they're still the sweet babies you held in your arms not so long ago, not the little manipulators that they are.

My little boy was savouring a delicious looking cookie the other day I couldn't help asking him for a bite. Obviously reluctant to share, he quickly said "but, Mom, you'll get boy's germs!". Noticing the blank look I gave him, he quickly explained that in the classroom, the teacher says boys and girls are not supposed to touch each other. If a boy touches a girl he gets girl's germs, and a girl gets boy's germs. That means Mom is not supposed to have a bite of his cookie because Mom will get boy's germs. And he quickly finished off his cookie.

Hmm...boy's germs indeed. Funny thinking that he wouldn't miss a good night cuddle from Mom...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

when panic rules

I am one of the most direction blind person I know. I've never got to drive to any new place right the first time around. Of course I know left and right but they cease to have meanings when I panic. My panic is also the worst kind, the kind that doesn't show. It's all inside, raging and running amok, taking over any self-control I have.

I have just realized this recently in a karate training. The sempai was trying to get me to do the four-move-kata (move), which is actually a simple sequence of moves: half-turn left, full-turn right until you come back to the original position. But I could never get it right because of the panic I felt inside. Coupled with the hands movements, I was a goner.

Then the sempai did a one on one with me. He walked me through the moves step by step, repeatedly until I got them right. It is strange that once I got them right, I never got them wrong anymore. Direction blind or not, they become like a second skin to me.

It was then when I realized that it was really panic that hindered me from knowing my directions well. I'm also beginning to see that panic plays a great role in keeping me from being effective in everything I do. When I panic, all hell break loose and I stop functioning. I'm glad I know now because it makes a lot of difference on the way I live my life...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Loving Robert Frost

Carpe Diem
by Robert Frost

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
"Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure."
The age-long theme is Age's.
'Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being overflooded
With happiness should have it.
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing—
Too present to imagine.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Aren't you playing scrabble, Mom?'

I was taken aback by my little boy's question. There I was trying so hard to compose words to write my thesis, and he quietly wondered why mom wasn't playing scrabble. I explained to him that 'game' is strictly for weekend although his persistent further questionings left little hope that he understood the concept.

Oh dear, I must have played thoughtlessly during the moments of addiction last weekend. Too thoughtless that I didn't even realize I have unconsciously planted the belief that "Mom plays scrabble all the time on the computer" in the little one's head. Now I've landed myself a new task of undoing that...thank God he's still young enough to convince.

Moral of the story- don't give wrong impressions to the young minds...

Monday, July 27, 2009


I understand addiction now that I've gone through it myself. It's a state that's induced by innocent curiousity, in my case, on Scrabble@worldwide. I can only say I'm thankful that it happens in the weekend, or otherwise I can't imagine what would happen to my work.

I thought I'd give it a go when a friend of mine posted the link in FB. It looked harmless enough, and being one who has always enjoyed a scrabble game, I gladly responded. One game led to another, and another, and another. I didn't realize that I've sat for hours doing the game with other online players. Taking breaks only to feed the kids and to go to the bathroom, I went on playing until 3am on Sunday morning. Even then I still didn't feel quite sleepy. The brain must have been overactivated.

Back from the family's weekly outing, I quickly did the bakings and guess what? Yes, started on scrabble again. I kept promising myself "just this one game" and ended up playing 5 in about 3 hours. Thank God it's weekend...I can at least feel least guilty about not doing anything 'useful'. And now I have to get this out of my system. I AM's not fun to feel this way. And it's only a game...what with others who have worse kind of addictions...I say a little prayer for them, that they will get over whatever those addictions are.

I'm still struggling to 'dis-addict' myself. It's like I can't wait for weekend so that I can have the next rounds of game. Oh no...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Strangers are friends in moments of solidarity

Strangers are to be treated suspiciously. At least that's the practical advise every responsible adult gives to kids. But sometimes moments of solidarity turn strangers into friends. Those might be rare moments, for one can never be too careful these days though.

Had the strange experience of being in solidarity with a stranger just yesterday. I've never met him before even though I've been using the same library to do my work for a few days. We happened to have to use the same working area because all the other desks next to power points were occupied. We exchanged smile. He asked politely if I'd be kind enough to plug his laptop power for him since the point was within my reach. "Sure", I said. Then we went to work companionably in silence. Hours later he asked me if I'd be able to watch his laptop for him while he went to get some lunch. Which I gladly did. When he came back, I left my laptop for him to care for while I went to make an important long-distance call. The weird thing was, I didn't say a word asking him to mind my laptop. He just understood and did it for me. At the end of the day, he asked me again if he could bother me again, unplugging his power point, which of course I gladly did.

Looking back, it felt strange to simply believe in a stranger. But that was exactly what I did....what he did. I guess that's what solidarity is all about.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kidspot Recipes

I finally found a recipe spot that works for me. It's It has got various interesting lunchbox recipes that don't cheat. Seriously, they are easy to follow and WYSWYG. The measuring tools are mostly cups and in metric units, so I don't have to waste time trying to work out the conversion.

This week I baked scones, cupcakes, muffins and cookies- all, I realize, turn out to be better and yummier than the pre-mixed packet ingredients I religiously used in the past. Thank God for little blessings, with kidspot recipes I can bake my kiddies' favourites and most importantly I am learning to substitute sugars/sugar-filled ingredients with healthier alternative. Way to go, Mom!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Once a fan...

I must be a most loyal fan of the Harry Potter series that no matter what weaknesses others see in the 6th movie, I just can't feel the same way. Instead, I feel quite nostalgic, to see the characters that a few years ago started out as cute littlies, become all grown now. Having read all the books, I do feel that the movie has done justice to book 6. Of course there are 'discluded' scenes- it was a long book anyway. But most of the important ones are in the movie. My emotions when watching the movie was exactly the same when I read the book two years ago. (one definitely remembers emotions). That could only mean that the actors have done well indeed, that they have managed to portray the emotions intended to be portrayed on screen.

Oh yes...watching Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna and the others was really good. It's like seeing your little brothers/sisters/cousins grow up before your eyes, to discover the journey of life with all its emotional upheavals, sweet joys and lessons. JK Rowling is a gem of a writer. I really look forward to the final movies...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life is not all about ME

how true...I read somewhere that people are naturally selfish. That 70% of the time each day we think of our selfish needs. Unconsciously, that is. We worry about all the 'what ifs' that concern us, directly and indirectly. What if I failed to do this, what if I got a terminal illness, what if my partner left me for someone else, what if I lost my job...etc.

The phrase 'life is not all about ME' takes on a new meaning after this realization. Much that I have about a thousand things to take care of every day, I really should make time for others. A phone call to someone I haven't spoken to for a long time, an email to a long forgotten friend, a visit to someone who is lonely or sick- the possibility of reaching out is endless. Failing that, because it always feels that the 24-hour day is just too short, I could at least stop complaining of how much time I have to alot to drive the kids to school, to make their meals, and to clean up their mess. After all life is not all about's about many other things that contribute to the meaning of living.

Monday, July 13, 2009

wishful thinking

yes it would be perfect if:
1. I could spend my waking hours working consistently on my work...without mental blocks, without fatique, without fear or without having to force myself to do it.
2. there's no dirty kitchen and bathrooms to go home to
3. there's no screaming kids trying to kill each other or simply wanting to drive you crazy the moment you step in the door at the end of a long day
4. the house self-cleans so I don't have to worry about cleaning up on top of everything else
5. I can stop worrying about all my worries...

but this of course, is just a wishful thinking. At least I can wish...and to make myself feel better, I should be thankful that I get to work on something I like at all, that I have a kitchen and a bathroom at all because it means that I have a home, that I have kids to love and be loved in return, that I have a home when some have no roofs over their heads, that I have worries because that means I am living and very much alive. Yes I should be thankful.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In the name of religion?

I admit I was disgusted to read the news about some men from a certain religion spying into other people's religious place and pretending to participate in the ritual for whatever reason. First disgusted, now sad. What an invasion of privacy. What a disrespectful act. How low can people stoop to achieve the sense of victory in the name of religion? Isn't it irony that people who are supposed to be religious, who are expected to lead other people in good examples actually do just the opposite?
It matters not what religion you believe in- if you are truly religious, you are supposed to be the light of others, to bring peace and love and hope, to promote justice...

But then again, some people care more about quantity than quality. It is disturbing to think that such people aim to have as many followers as they can, not on teaching these followers how to live better.

I honestly feel that religion is a personal choice, not an imposed one. No one should have the right to force others to believe in their religion. Everyone should have the right to practice their belief in peace. Most of all, everyone should respect other's religions and leave each other to practice their belief in private. I'm sure God, whoever it is or whatever it is, would be much happier to see a peaceful world than a world full of so-called believers that make the non-believers' life miserable...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Amish

Just finished reading a book called "Wanted" by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is the first novel I read of which the setting is the Amish community. It is truly interesting. From a short novel I managed to learn quite a bit about the Amish, a community that many might consider 'traditional' in comparison to the modern world they are used to. I salute the writer for while not from the community, has portrayed them in a positive light. Simple, peaceful, hardworking, God fearing, while at the same time being open to outsiders. (well I know there's no community without faults but the portrayal of the writer impresses me so). I am most impressed that a community can actually live by choice without the comforts of things such as electricity and cars. I guess their deep commitment to their faith sees them through. One sure can learn a thing or two from them...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Reflection 2

Heard this song when I was driving to the local grocer this morning. It's so beautiful I have to share it.

Happy Birthday to 'Dad':-) The girls and I had fun presenting Dad with a card that reads: "A Comparison between a car and my Dad...has a spare tire, gives off nasty fumes, has been around the block a few times, sometimes coughs and splutters when running. With age, a great one becomes a clssic, just like you!" :-) :-) :-)

Yes, we do appreciate life while we can...Life is a gift and should be enjoyed to the fullest, while at the same time we use our talents to carry out the responsibility we are given. It's a balance after all, play and work, sorrow and happiness, good health and bad health. We might not have the choice of avoiding what human beings want to avoid sometimes but with faith, somehow we have the strength to carry on. This reminds me of this line I came across somewhere: "...give me the courage to change things I can, and strength to accept things I can't". How very apt.

(p/s- missing the two boys I love so much back home...and all the family members actually)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Loooong weeks ahead

The kids' term 2 ended yesterday- with style of course. Everyone got to 'free dress' and they outdid themselves:-) It's lovely to see all the kids in school dressed colourfully. At least it brightened up the cold, winter day.

The trio aren't really looking forward to the holidays. To them going to school is more fun. Of course...there're friends in school, teachers are 'nicer' than parents, they get to do fun stuffs, the long list goes on. The only consolation they have for school hols are WII games and internet. Extra play time during the holidays. And for the rest of the time it's up to Mom to entertain them. Got to google up activities apart from movies and library. My,'s gonna be two long weeks.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Champs Elysees- celebrating women

Ever wonder about fragrance and women? The two blend well, don't they? As there are many types of women out there, so are there many types of perfume to suit the different personalities. Check out the following link for some of the latest, hottest types:

http://Demeter spray scents

My perfume love affair started with Champs Elysees. It is soothing and refreshing. Almost peaceful with a hint of sensuality. Perfect for a woman who appreciates femininity without being overly feminine. I'd vote for this fragrance any time, though I keep an open mind about other scents. Strange that I've never known what's the blend before. Till today. I finally learned that the blend consists of floral rose, blackcurrant, mimosa leaves, hibiscus, and almond wood. But then again, you don't have to be a perfumer to appreciate fragrance.

My encounter with Champs was a pure accident. A friend used to wear it to work. Her office was just next door to mine and whenever she came by to say hello at my door, the whiff of this mysterious fragrance lingered for hours on end. I wasn't normally one to ask boldly about things like that- you know, personal things like name of fragrance etc. But I couldn't help it that day. Glad I did because it introduced me to beautiful Champs. Well, can't say I'm a daily perfume user, but once in love, one hangs on to it while it lasts. I keep my bottle of Champs handy for 'special purposes'. It reminds me to celebrate being a woman, of wonderful buddies and good times :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

90 million jackpot?

That's it. I'm not doing it least for the next few weeks. *sigh* People say a person stands to win a lotto at least once in their lifetime? I have yet to win mine. Yesterday I tried for the 90 million jackpot, and failed. Not even a few dollars winning. *sigh again*. After spending bucks on a slikpik. You would think that 30 lines of numbers give you a good chance to at least win a small amount, but that just didn't happen for yours truly. Admittedly, I've not been playing 'religiously' like some people. Naively thought a one-off attempt would take me to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ha ha. Moral of the story- not everyone is LUCKY with lotto. Might as well save the money in the bank- at least something.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My sentiments exactly

Was browsing through my blog reading list and found this piece by RPK which brought smile to my face. Here's the excerpts:

"One million or even 100 million poor and starving Africans converting to Islam is not something to be proud of. But if Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was to become a Muslim then that is cause to celebrate with the slaughter of 100 camels and 300 sheep. That proves beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is the correct religion and it further proves that I was right all along in subscribing to Islam. Hey, even Prince Charles agrees with me and Prince Charles is no ordinary human being.

This ‘we won’ and ‘we were right all along’ is not only a Muslim obsession but also an obsession of all religions. So before you take this as a cue to start your Islam-bashing please note that the word ‘Islam’ can be replaced with the word ‘Christianity’, ‘Hinduism’ or whatever. No religion is exempted from this ‘competitive spirit’ and the obsession to ‘prove itself’ by the converts it attracts -- and the higher the profile of the convert the higher your win and the stronger your message of being ‘right’."

Link below:

I was just thinking of the very thing. And he is very right to say that it doesn't happen with said religion only, it is a universal phenomenon. Perhaps many followers of a religion they subscribe to think that having people convert to their religion makes them winners. Well if the convert does so because they have found their truth and peace, good on them. But as RPK pointed out, that is not always the case.

In the end, what counts is one's own belief, and how that belief guides one to be a better person, to be a contribution to the human race. How I wish people realize that...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Her form of relaxation

What one can learn from children can be unbelievably amazing. Last night my daughter S emailed me these drawings created with a programme called Paints. She said it was fun and I can see that it's doing her a lot of good in the relaxation department. Feel like sharing these.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And the world keeps on mourning

The world still mourns him. Different people mourn differently. Some dance in celebration of his life, some openly cry, and yet some remember all his beautiful attributes.

I can't say I have a strong feeling for that kind of mourning. I've never really been his big fan anyway. True I admire his music. Like many, I recognize a great talent. He is one indeed. The likes of Elvis perhaps. One of a kind. Perhaps in his own ways he touched people's life. I salute him for that.

I guess I owe him thanks for his music, esp the 80s music that my generation and I listened to when we grew up. MJ I may not have a strong feeling for you, but like many I hope you rest in peace.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Death- a celebration of one's life

Amidst news coverage of Michael Jackson's life on TV, sadness creeps in my heart. How true it is that death is a celebration of one's life. It is more so when one was a celebrity. Suddenly all their wonders are highlighted, when it was all their faults that were talked about when they lived.

Maybe it's not so bad when one is not a celebrity. Their wonders always outweigh their faults. At least that's how I remember my grandfather, always the great person he had been. Coincidently he passed away today three years ago. There's no more pain in my heart now. I prefer to think that he is resting in peace somewhere unreachable, where none can harm him anymore. I do miss him sometimes but I've accepted that he had to go because his time was up. No one lives forever, but it's how we live our life that counts...

As for MJ, this simple 'Ben' to me is one of his best:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Josh Groban- isn't he beautiful?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

His baby steps to READING

It gives me such satisfaction to see him repeat the words in every sentence in the book with real concentration. My baby, my 5 year old boy is not partial to words. He loves being read to, oh yes, bedtime stories are a must every night. But when he has to 'do' the reading, he'd just yawn and yawn until one stops asking him to. Tonight, though, he finally got hooked. A simple book, with a theme that interests him, with sentences repeated in every page. A clever idea to make a child think that he's really reading until he finally focuses on the shapes (spellings) of the words.

For the first time ever my baby read tirelessly. He went through every sentence in the book three times. First, to convince himself that he is actually reading them, spelling and saying each word out loud. Second, to show off to his sister A, and third, to show off to Dad. Seeing the pride in his eyes has been a great joy for me. What mom wouldn't? A barrier is broken, I'm pretty sure he will be more eager to read from now on.

And now back to my neverending 'assignment' :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday reflection...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Sleepover

S is sleeping over at a friend's tonight. Good on her...a pre teen girl needs to socialize with best buds the right way. There are only three of them...the girl hosting the sleepover, Y, S and her other best buddy L. Y's mom is going to take them for a movie, following which, they are going to just have fun. I'm sure the girls are going to have loads of fun.

I stopped worrying about my children going to sleepover some while ago. I convinced myself that having all those experiences will help them grow into well-balanced individuals later in their lives. Apart from the multi-cultural experience they are sure learning from their friends, they get to play and spend time with their best buddies. After all, it's not like I don't know the moms of these friends. They are all normal people with the same concerns for kids.

But it's a rainy winter night, with howling wind :-( Can't help wondering whether she is comfortable...etc. The usual worries of a mom. I know she takes care of herself quite well, she being the eldest. And it's good for the two younger ones not to have her once in a while. The sister A and the brother N, after a session of "it's unfair, she gets to go to a sleepover", came up with a brilliant idea of having their own sleepover party. Naturally in the girls' room :-) where they'll read books (rather A will read to N who can't read yet) and play till they fall asleep. And they suggest Mom and Dad to have a sleepover party too. So everyone will have a sleepover. Well, well...aren't kids creative...

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the eye of the beholder...

I just love carnations. Even though I also love roses and just about every other beautiful flower I see, carnations are just special. The flowers of friendship, the symbol of motherhood, health and energy, their freshness last for days on end. I could spend hours looking at carnations such as these:


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