Monday, December 28, 2009

Flowers Not For Mom

Yesterday our Pastor preached a sermon about being grateful and she encouraged husbands to show appreciation for their wives by perhaps surprising them with some flowers.

On the way home, my kids were talking in the car when Miss PreTeen brought up the subject about buying flowers because we had been shopping and my husband bought some plastic flowers at the Living Cabin shop.

Miss PreTeen: You know, Pastor talked about daddies giving flowers to mommies. Dad bought flowers yesterday, but they weren't for mom.

And we all burst out laughing... because hubby had bought the flowers as decoration for the toilet in his office! hmm....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Busy But Fun Week

It's been a really hectic week. I didn't even have time to use the PC for the last 7 days! Organized a Line Dance party on the 19th. It was a small tea party this year...we had about 15 people. Everyone chipped in and brought some food...ate until we were all full and still there was food left to ta pau.

Had guests over for dinner on the 22nd...about 60 of them! The students from the Uniten Christian Fellowship came over for their annual Christmas Night Thanksgiving Dinner. Thankfully they also brought most of the food :)

Also organized our annual caroling where a group of the church members would go from home to home singing Christmas carols. We went caroling on the 23rd. This year we sang at 3 locations, in previous years we would try to visit at least 4 homes, so it was quite relaxing and we had more time to spend at each place, mingling around and sampling yummy food prepared for us by the gracious hosts of each place :) Reached home around 12 midnight.

Did some last minute shopping the next day at MidValley Megamall and Sungei Wang Plaza. I had bought everyone's presents except CoolTeen's. Now that he's outgrown toys, it's quite difficult to buy gifts for him. Finally found something at ROOM, a gift shop at MidValley. Had dinner at The Ship just across the road from Bukit Bintang Plaza. I haven't been there in more than 10 years, I think! Went home and sat down at the PC to prepare a video presentation of all the church activities in the month of December for our Christmas Service the next day...finished at 1 am (yawn).

Our Christmas Service began at 10 am. We had a group of ladies doing a very graceful Praise Dance, followed by a mime to the song "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by the kids from the Children Church and then my video presentation. Glad that everything went well, except that I was playing piano that morning and there was no volume coming out from the main speakers. My very creative musicians decided to turn the monitor speakers towards the congregation as a temporary measure and I relied solely on the PA man to signal to me how loudly or softly to play the piano. Thank God for a good and reliable team!

Exchanged gifts and had some makan before going home. My kids could hardly wait to open their presents, and did so as soon as we reached home.
Had an enjoyable Christmas family dinner at my sis-in-law's place. My kids brought the Wii game over to her place and CoolTeen accidentally knocked over her Christmas tree as he was unplugging the machine just before we left for home...oops!

Went to watch "Alvin and The Chipmunks 2" on the 26th. I think the cute factor wore off in this sequel...a little too predictable - the usual slapstick humour, the singing and dancing, the mandatory heart warming scenes towards the end... after a while all the high pitched songs begin to sound quite the same, but Miss PreTeen enjoyed it thoroughly. Had dinner with my parents.

Slept in on Sunday catch up with all the sleep I missed! :D

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sin In PD Town

Was at Port Dickson town with my family and some friends when one of my friends mentioned this shop call Sinn Optical where the prices were rather cheap and he was joking about the name of the shop...


Later we went to a food court near the market to pack some food and saw this signboard...


Wah...double sin!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Selling Van Drivers

This is my favourite kind of sign...


I was driving yesterday and saw this funny sign...


Does it mean that there are van drivers for sale?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Retail Therapy

16 more days till Christmas! This year I managed to do my Christmas shopping early and not wait till the last minute like I usually do every year (trying to get rid of the procrastinator in me!). Went to a few shopping malls and couldn't resist snapping photos of their Christmas deco.

Sungei Wang Plaza

The Mines


Cheras Leisure Mall


Prices have gone up for most things this year, especially foodstuff, and the kids had additional tuition classes for certain subjects that they were weak in. Being in charge of the household expenditures is quite a challenge...just when I've got everything nicely planned, a sudden need will pop up (kid's shoes got holes, kid needs additional books, etc, etc) and there goes the little extra money I thought I had for the month (sigh). So a little retail therapy does wonders to soothe the 'housewife blues'...I can spend without going on a guilt trip since it's Christmas and I'm not buying stuff for myself anyway...ok, maybe just a few small items...

I remember when I was expecting my second child and it was a difficult pregnancy as I was feeling sick most of the time. The only thing that could take my mind off the nausea was retail therapy! It's strange but I never felt sick when I was at a shopping mall but I would throw up like crazy at home. Hubby used to tease me about that... and still does.

When it comes to shopping, men and women are so different. Hubby will go directly to the store, buy what he needs and go home. I would go to every shop to compare the prices and then go back to the one where there is a discount for the item I want to buy (we ladies always love a good bargain!)...which is probably one of the reasons why my son, CoolTeen, would rather stay at home on his own than go shopping with me.

I received this picture through email sometime ago, probably drawn by a very bored guy who had only one item to buy but had to wait 3 hours for his wife to do her shopping...


Sunday, December 6, 2009

What Broke?

My son, CoolTeen, is thinking of joining a hiphop dance class with a few of his friends. So yesterday I took him and one of his classmates to a dance studio not too far from our home to make some enquiries. On the way home, there were quite a number of road bumps that I had to drive over and as I went over one of them there was a loud CRUNCH and my car started to sway left and right quite violently. I thought I had a tyre puncture. Being on the right lane, I switched on my hazard lights and slowly manuveured my car to a bus-stop nearby. At first my kids thought that I was making the car sway on purpose...they always say that I drive badly!

We all got down and I was quite surprised to note that all my tyres were OK...not a single puncture. I decided not to drive the car any further and called hubby. Hubby was out of town that day, so he said to call the AAM breakdown service. The AAM operator was polite but when he asked for my location I realised that I didn't know the name of the road I was on (even though I had travelled on it many times before), I only knew the name of the taman and that I was not too far from a Petronas station...great.

The mechanic had trouble locating us, until I finally saw a signboard near some houses with the road name on it, and told him. That was about 1½ hours later. I also called my friend MK who lived not too far from where I was and she came to fetch my son and his friend back to my house while I waited for the mechanic with my daughter, PreTeen. My son's classmate was supposed to be at our house and his parents had arranged to fetch him from there before 5 pm. It was already 4.30 pm. PreTeen had to miss her ballet class which started at 4 pm.

The mechanic located us at 5 pm, 2 hours after I called AAM. He took the car for a short test drive and the car swayed and strange grating sounds came from the rear left tyre. He changed the tyre, tested the car again but the problem persisted. Upon closer inspection, he realised that the mounting bar was broken at the section where it connected to the left rear wheel...!

It was almost 6 pm and the car workshop that I usually send my car to was closing at 7 pm, but it was quite a distance away and I wasn't sure whether my car could make the journey without any more damage to the mounting bar. I decided to drive home instead (just a few km away) and the AAM mechanic follwed me in his van. Had to go really, really , really slow as any faster than 20 km/h would cause the car to sway. Held up a whole queue of cars as I slowly inched my way home.


When hubby came home, he took some snapshots of the damage and printed out the photos. The next morning he went to the car workshop and showed the mechanic the problem (the wonders of modern technology) , ordered the parts and I called the AAM towtruck. Took a ride in the towtruck with PreTeen, sent the car for repair and the workshop owner said that it was quite a common occurance for that kind of car, which was why he could obtain the spare parts so quickly. All I can say is that it's a locally manufactured 1000cc car...

Thankfully the repairs only came up to only RM110...phew! (I thought it would be a few hundred Ringgit, at least)

This is how it should look like

The broken mounting bar

The brand new black

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Tenacity...I first heard this word when I was a teenager many, many years ago in church. A leader in our church had preached on this subject during one of the Sunday Services.

tenacity = persistent determination, to stick with something even when the going gets tough, never giving up.

Today I read in the newspapers about a man in India who took 14 years using a hammer and chisel to carve a tunnel through a

PATNA: An Indian villager used a hammer and chisel over the span of 14 years to carve a tunnel through a rocky mountain so that he could park his truck in front of his house.

‘I could not park my truck near my house since the mountain blocked my path,’ Ramchandra Das, 53, who lives in eastern Bihar state’s Gaya district, told Reuters.

Das said fear of thieves stealing his truck prompted him to work on the tunnel all by himself after authorities refused help.

‘I had to leave my truck miles away, so I decided to do something about it myself,’ Das said by telephone.

Local villagers, who had to trek for miles to get around the mountain are using the 14 feet wide tunnel to reach their farms, and praising Das for his work.

‘We rarely come across a man who can work so hard to achieve his goal,’ Prabhat Kumar Jha, a local government official said.

(source DAWN.COM)

This is a fine example of tenacity, a quality that I find lacking in many people today...including myself. Perhaps we have grown too accustomed to having modern appliances and machinery that help us save time and make life so much more comfortable that we miss having the sense of satisfaction that comes from perseverance and hard work.

I really do appreciate my washing machine, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner, electric mixer and everything else that help me in my housework...but the downside of it is that I notice I need to spend more time exercising to shed extra kilos that probably came from having all these appliances do the hard work for ironic.

After reading the news article about the hammer-and-chisel-man, Ramchandra Das, some people commented that if he had used some kind of modern machinery he would have gotten the work done in a few weeks. But perhaps he didn't have the modern equipment needed? I would rather focus on his accomplishment. I think what he felt after completing the tunnel far outweighed all the blisters on his hands, all the sweat and frustration, all the ridicule of his neighbours...what I learn from this is that sometimes we just have to be determined and keep our eyes on our goals regardless of the obstacles and distractions that we face...Mr. Ramchandra Das, he has tenacity.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Relaxing At Damai Laut


Just came back from a short 3 day 2 night holiday at Swiss Garden Golf Resort & Spa Damai Laut. We had made bookings at 2 places before the school holidays began, one at Damai Laut and the other at a resort in Cherating but cancelled the one at Cherating when we read in the newspapers that parts of the east coast were flooded.


We have never stayed at the Swiss Garden resort, so when we almost reached the place there was this signboard with the words 'Selamat Datang, Damai Laut Villa' next to a decrepit house and we jokingly told CoolTeen that we had arrived!


When we checked in, we asked the receptionist about the weather and she said that it had been raining every afternoon so we decided to quickly change and jump into the swimming pool. The pool overlooks the Straits of Malacca but from a certain angle it looks as if the pool connects to the Straits itself. We were quite alarmed when CoolTeen turned bright red from head to toe after he got out from the pool, and we had to go to the nearby town of Sitiawan (about 30 minutes' drive away) to see a doctor. Being unfamiliar with the town, we decided that a good way to choose a clinic was to see whether there were any patients in the waiting room! It turned out that he had an allergic reaction to the chlorine in the pool.


After that we had dinner at a coffeeshop nearby, then decided to explore the town a bit. Being city folks, the kids wanted to go shopping so we used the GPS on hubby's phone. There were a number of shopping complexes and we just chose the one at the top of the list, Manjung Parade. When we arrived, guess what...the whole building had been abandoned (about 10 years ago, we were later told)! So we ended up at Giant Hypermart instead.

Hubby and the kids' idea of a holiday is to do stuff while I would rather just laze around and do nothing. But it's 3 against 1, so the next day we had a go at kayakking, and being city folks, we only lasted 15 minutes before quitting! Also tried archery...and basketball with the kids. Even went cycling around the resort grounds.


The resort is a beautiful place, with lots of open spaces. It's about 7 km off the main road and on the narrow road leading up to the resort we have seen a monitor lizard and fed some wild monkeys with a mini safari.



On the 2nd day, we explored Lumut town. Lots of shops selling souvenirs for tourists...key-chains, fridge magnets, T-shirts, painted seashells, etc. Also lots of flies.


Met up with Phoebe for dinner, then we wanted to go the pasar malam at Kampung Koh. By the time we reached there at 9 pm, my kids were surprised that all the traders had already packed up and different from KL where the pasar malam usually closes at around 10 pm.

On the 3rd day we had one last swim in the pool before packing up and checking out.


Went to Teluk Intan for lunch and visited the leaning clock tower. We couldn't go in though, because it was closed for some upgrading works. The bells at the tower chime every 15 minutes.


We had fine weather for the few days that we were at Damai Laut, and it only started raining right after we left Teluk Intan for KL. God is good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Igudesman & Joo in KL


I have been a big fan of Igudesman and Joo ever since I saw their videos on YouTube. They are a musical duo from Germany and their specialty is combining comedy with classical music. They are very popular in Europe and I had often wished that they would come to Asia. So when I got news at the end of September that they were scheduled to perform at the Dewan Philharmonic in November I quickly booked tickets through a church friend who was also very keen to go.

I showed CoolTeen one of the Igudesman & Joo videos on YouTube and he decided that he would go too, much to my surprise, because the dress code for the performances at the Dewan Philharmonic is formal wear...and CoolTeen is always in his T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. So we had to borrow a coat, trousers and leather shoes from hubby's brother. It was only just before we entered the concert hall that we found out the dress code is smart casual for this performance...oops!

They had 2 different performances, but I decided to go for "A Little Nightmare Music". Aleksey Igudesman is a great violinist and Richard Joo a fantastic pianist. Together they are just absolutely hilarious. You wouldn't think that a violin could sound like a cow mooing, a race car or even someone snoring until you watch them perform. My kids enjoyed themselves tremendously and hopefully they get inspired to practice more on the piano!

Even though the tickets were rather pricey for the 4 of us, the 1½ hour performance was worth every Ringgit we spent, and time flew by so fast that it was over before we knew it...and everyone in the audience wanted more.

autograph session after the show

people lining up to get their autograph...the queue was really long

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Know What It Is

I finally found out what the spongey stuff took me quite a while because in the first place I didn't even know what it's called. It's actually probiotic grains called water kefir also known as sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals, tibi and tibicos. There seems to be quite a lot of information about it on the internet.

From what I read, this drink has antibiotic and antifungal properties and it aids digestions, increases energy level, cleanses the liver, benefits the hair and nails, clears ezcema and acne, reduces bloating and flattens the tummy, stop cravings for sugar and sweet food and contributes to a healthy immune system. Don't know how much of this is true as I have been drinking it for only a week. Will blog more about it when I see some results.

Here's a video I found showing how the drink is prepared...

I can even flavour the drink with fruits and make my own homemade fizzy drink because carbonated water is produced when the kefir grains is added to sugar!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anyone Know What This Is?

My friend MK gave me a jar of this live culture drink she got from her dad in Ipoh. It seems that it's very much like the fruit enzyme drink that I make except that the fermentation process takes only 24 hours compared to the 3 weeks needed for the enzyme drink. MK doesn't know what it's called and neither does her dad, but they know that it's good for health.

Don't know what this spongey stuff is, but it's alive and will multiply when water and black sugar is added to it.

Black sugar...the kind used when we boil herbal tea (the leong cha that the Chinese drink to 'cool' the body)

Lots of bubbles appear after 24 hours.

According to MK, this is the process:

1) Pour the live spongey stuff into a plastic sieve and rinse it under the tap until the colour fades to a very light brown.

2) Spoon the spongey stuff into a clean glass jar.

3) Add black sugar according to this ratio 2:1, that is 2 spoonfuls of spongey stuff to 1 spoonful of sugar.

4) Add water according to taste, less water means stronger taste.

5) Leave uncovered for 24 hours. (I covered it with my sieve so that I wouldn't find an insect floating in it!)

Note: Do NOT allow metal to come into contact with the spongey stuff or it will die.

Can anyone tell me what the spongey stuff is and what this drink is called? By the way, it tastes good...a little like red wine (no kidding!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So Cute!

Today the Sesame Street gang is on the Google homepage...


Yesterday I found this interesting website via somebody's blog. Aren't the cake pops (variation of lollipops) simply adorable? I must try making them one of these days...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday,Sesame Street!


I have set Google as my default search engine on my PC and was pleasantly surprised when I saw Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street on the Google homepage a few days ago. For the next few consecutive days the characters from Sesame Street kept appearing on the Google page and I found out that it is Sesame Street's 40th!

I grew up watching Sesame Street and I love Big Bird, Snufalufagus, Oscar the Grouch and most of all, the Cookie Monster! I remember sitting in front of the TV every Sunday when I was little, waiting for Sesame Street to air... and how I still watched Sesame Street whenever I could even when I was a teenager!

I was trying to find a video clip of Cookie Monster on YouTube and watching the videos of some of the episodes really brought back fond memories. Here's Cookie Monster singing about his favourite food...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Funny Duck Song

Was looking at videos in YouTube when I found this rather amusing song...

...reminds me of how our kids can sometimes be just as exasperating as the duck in the song...but we parents still love them all the same!

Helen Steiner Rice, a famous poet, wrote:

"A mother's love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking."

I hope I remember this when my kids annoy me endlessly and drive me up the wall, when my nerves are on edge and my voice hoarse from spewing out threats, and when I veer dangerously towards acts of violence...if I were the lemonade stand guy in the song I might end up eating the duck!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fish Head Art

When eating fish, most people would just eat the middle portion between the head and the tail. Some people, however, also like the head...especially the eyes. I have a friend who would even go to the extent of cracking open the fish skull to pick out the brains...!!

So let's say you buy some fish but you just want to cook fish what can you do with the discarded fish heads?

Here are some ideas...

A friend emailed me these photos today...don't know whether to laugh at them or find them repulsive!






Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Occupational Hazard



my left hand


very sharp kitchen scissors

Guess which one lost.....


Been rather careless with my cutting utensils...was cutting something in the kitchen when my scissors slipped and put a gash in my forefinger. Just thankful that I didn't slice my finger off!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two From Galilee Musical


Went as a family to watch a musical Two From Galilee performed by the Canticle Singers at the Panggung Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night. Below is a short sypnosis:

TWO FROM GALILEE revolves around a young couple who are very much in love. Ensnared in family conflicts, a hostile world and by an awesome responsibility, they fight for their one true love and to fulfill their dreams. But trust is shaken and love questioned, revealing a family's shame and a husband's doubt until the couple realizes that it is not all about finding true love but about life's purpose and calling. The musical encompasses dramatic and comic elements and is backed by a lush musical score journeying through a variety of moods and emotions with rhythmic numbers, rousing choruses, contemplative themes and soaring refrains. The musical features a cast of 25 performers.

Basically, it's an interpretation of the love story of Mary and Joseph from the time of their courtship to the birth of baby Jesus. Miss PreTeen was quite astonished that the lead female singer could hit such very high notes. CoolTeen didn't say very much but at least he didn't fall asleep halfway through the performance! It was quite enjoyable with a little humour thrown in here and there. Most of the dialogue is sung rather than spoken and the singers did a wonderful job with their good voices and diction. Those who like opera would enjoy this play. Personally, I prefer a more contemporary style of music.

I have been to the Panggung Bandaraya only once before to watch a play. That was ages ago, before I was married. Now the place looks much better after some renovation works.

The entrance of the Panggung Bandaraya viewed from my car

The foyer

Inside the theatre

The ceiling with elaborate designs

Those who are interested can still catch the performance...


Evening Performances - 8.30pm on Fri 30/10, Sat 31/10/2009 & Sun 1/11/2009

Matinee Performances - 3.00pm on Sat 31/10/2009


RM58 and RM38 (inclusive of RM3 AXCESS fee) via the AXCESS HotlineTel. +60-3-7711-5000, and authorised AXCESS outlets

Net proceeds of the production after deducting production costs and overheads go towards St Barnabas Home for Children in Klang and The Tondo Community Project in the Philippines.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amazing Cakes

A friend emailed me photos of some very pretty amazing cakes created by Zhanna Bakery in St. Petersburg, Russia...every single thing on the cakes is edible...these people are really talented!







it looks so real, someone might accidentally put his feet into this cake!

now this is one cake you don't see very often!

Too pretty to be eaten, don't you think? See more pictures here.