Monday, August 31, 2009

New Movie UP


Brought my little 5 year-old nephew for his first movie at the cinaplex during the school holidays last week. We went to watch the new Pixar movie, Up. Miss PreTeen had waited impatiently for this movie ever since she watched the trailer sometime in July. CoolTeen came along too, and I was rather surprised that he offered to take his little cousin to the restroom before the movie started as he generally doesn't like being around little children.

The movie is about a grumpy old man, Carl, who ties thousands of helium-filled balloons to his house to travel to a place called Paradise Falls where he and his late wife had always planned to go. Then there's this very annoying yet charming boy called Russell who happens to be on the porch as Carl's house lifts off the ground, and Carl has no choice but to let Russell tag along with him.

The movie is a little long at 2 hours...but if my active little nephew could sit through it without getting restless and bored, then I think it's a pretty good movie. My kids and I enjoyed it very much even though we saw the 'normal' version and not the 3D one.

Here is a trailer from the movie. My favourite scene is the one where Russell asks if he could "be of assistance" and Carl tries to slam the door.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Influenza A H1N1 vs Common Cold

My sis-in-law who works in the Human Resource Department of a large company emailed me this chart and I thought it would be helpful to share this information. At least with this chart I can compare the symptoms of the common cold with that of the H1N1 flu when my kids complain of feeling unwell.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary


My brother-in-law (husband's brother), his wife and 3 kids are back from USA for a 6-week holiday so we took them to visit the Elephant Sanctuary in Kuala Gandah, a 2-hour drive from KL. We went in 2 cars as there were 13 of us - 8 adults, 1 teenager, 3 kids and 1 baby.


The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a temporary shelter for wild elephants that have been made homeless due to clearing of the jungle for plantations. These elephants are later relocated to Taman Negara and other suitable habitats throughout Peninsula Malaysia.


We left at around 10 am and packed KFC for lunch as we were worried that since it is the puasa month, all the Malay eateries there would be closed. We had all the kids in our car so we had to make more frequent toilet stops, and reached there around 12.30 pm. Had a picnic lunch and then proceeded to watch the elephants have their bath. First they were hosed down by the keepers, then taken to a nearby river for a thorough cleaning.


My 2 little nephews aged 3 and 5 were thrilled to be able to touch the elephants, feed them and ride on them. We asked the 5-year-old to rate the experience from 1 to 5 and he said, "100!" However, their little baby brother was fussing quite a lot because the weather was really hot today.

Each visitor is given a sticker and only those with the yellow sticker are allowed to ride on the elephants. For each group or family, only half the number of people will have the yellow sticker. I had the red one.

Orang asli children from a nearby settlement

The place closes at 4.30 pm everyday, but we just couldn't take the heat and left around 3.45 pm after watching a few foreign tourists enjoy a wet experience as they rode the elephants into the river. Despite the 'No Bikini' sign, a foreigner still took off her wet T-shirt to reveal her bikini top in the presence of everyone there.


We were quite pleased when we reached the Gombak toll at 5 pm, thinking we would get home early, only to be stuck in the rush hour crawl...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Save A Tree


Hubby, the kids and I were travelling on the KESAS highway when this funny sight caught our attention as we stopped at the traffic lights at the Bukit Jalil/Sri Petaling interchange. The contractor must be doing his bit for the environment by not cutting down the tree before putting concrete on the slope!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Double Colour Jelly

A friend of mine made some double-coloured jelly for one of our church functions and they looked so pretty that I decided to try making them too. The photo above is the jelly I made, the one that my friend made was much prettier!

I made dragonfruit jelly then used cookie cutters to cut out some shapes.

Arrange the pieces in a container.

Arrange the rest of the jelly in another container.

Then I made plain jelly and poured it over the dragonfruit jelly. Leave it to cool and set. Cut into square pieces and serve.

Ingredients for dragonfruit jelly:
300 ml dragonfruit puree
10 g agar-agar powder
200 g sugar, or to taste
550 ml water

Ingredients for plain jelly:
10 g agar-agar powder
200g sugar, or to taste
850 ml water

Things needed:
cookie cutters
containers for jelly

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I was browsing through a local advertisement booklet (one of those that usually get shoved halfway into my letterbox and when it rains the end that sticks out of the letterbox gets soaked and all the pages then get stuck together so that it becomes impossible to read) when I came across this write-up for pancakes served at a certain restaurant.

I don't know why but one of my pet peeves is bad written English...I don't mind broken English when speaking but mistakes in written English is another thing. Those of us who use Microsoft Word even have the convenience of spelling and grammar there's no excuse, right?!

I understand that the writer tried his/her very best to promote this 'stunning' pancake but the weird descriptions really stunned me...

*shakes head in disbelief*

Monday, August 10, 2009

Voca People

A few days ago, a musically talented friend of mine asked me to watch this video that he posted on his has been a very sad week and this video makes me smile. Believe it or not, this group call themselves the Voca People and they claim to be from the planet Voca where everyone communicates through music...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gary Leon Robert...Gone Too Soon

In Loving Memory of

Gary Leon Robert 1987-2009

I have just returned from attending a wake service for a young man whose life on earth ended on Sunday 2nd August 2009. He had taken part in the Adidas King of The Road marathon in Shah Alam, collapsed after completing the course, was attended to by the medical officers and released when he regained consciousness. After that he seemingly vanished into thin air as his friends and parents frantically searched for him throughout the day and into the next. The police K-9 squad recovered his body the next day, in the tunnel of the Shah Alam stadium.

This is the first time I have attended a funeral service of a young adult and this is the first time I have seen hundreds of people at a funeral. I think there must be at least 500 people present, and cars were parked all the way from his house till about 2 km away.

I remember Gary well. He served in the Christian Fellowship committee of Uniten (commonly known as Techflow) and he had been to our home quite a number of times for makan and committee meetings.

He was one of the very outstanding young men that I have come across in the years that my husband and I have been involved with Techflow. The first thing I remember about Gary is his lovely smile which he flashes so very often. He was always very polite and helpful, often doing dishes in my kitchen together with Adeline, his girlfriend.

I remember thinking to myself what a great job his parents did in raising this fine young man
and how I hope my son would grow up to be like Gary.

As I sat through the service I found out things I never knew about Gary because he was never one to blow his own trumpet. His achievements, both academic and in sports, filled 2 whole A4-size pages, listed down by his sister. His friends gave touching eulogies of how he always brought out the best in them, how he was always considerate and placed others above himself. In short, he was the best kind of friend anyone could ever have and he was the son that every parent would be proud of.

Everyone also felt that he died too young...that there are too many unanswered questions regarding how he died, but overshadowing that, what I see is a life well-lived for God and for others...that he has run the race of this life so well that he finished the race way before the rest of us. Now I can imagine him in Heaven cheering us on, saying "Come on, you can do it!"

It's never a guarantee that the people we love will be with us throughout our lifetime, but our lives are made richer because they were with us...even if it was only for a short moment.

Gary,you will be sadly missed...fondly remembered!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tale Of 2 Grannies


The Star newspaper ran an article on Sunday about elderly citizens being abandoned by their children in government hospitals and old folks' homes
( and since then many people have put forth their opinions regarding this issue.

A parent wrote in to say that he didn't want to be a burden to his children since they have their own family to support. A man wrote in to tell his story of how he let his aged parents stay with him only for them to turn around and bad-mouth him and his wife. Another wrote to say that we should take care of our old and sickly parents no matter how difficult it is because without them we wouldn't be here.

Allow me to share a story about 2 grandmothers (not necessarily mine) who came from China a few decades ago with their husbands to begin a new life in a country known as Malaya...

The first grandma had 8 children. Her husband worked hard at various odd jobs while she stayed at home to care for her little ones. The naughty ones remember her holding the cane and disciplining them. Her husband worked his way up and soon owned a thriving business. He wanted all his children to have a good education, something that he didn't have, and most of them graduated from university.
When her husband passed away, she stayed with one of her many sons. Her children and grandchildren treated her like gold, and whatever she wanted she would get, although she never asked for anything except to have family gatherings on special festivals such as Chinese New Year and Mooncake Festival. Every year her children would take her out for dinner on her birthday although she insisted that they shouldn't celebrate her birthday at all.
She fell ill and was wheelchair-bound towards the end of her life, but her children gave her the best medical attention possible. During the final few days, everyone in her family had come to visit and those who were overseas had called to speak with her.

The other grandma also had 8 children. It was difficult having so many mouths to feed and she had to give up one son for adoption, in hopes that he would have a better life.She was a strict but loving mother, and she worked hard alongside her husband in the government sector. Her children had primary and secondary education, grew up, secured jobs, got married and produced many grandchildren, some of whom she helped take care of while their parents were at work. She lived with one of her sons until she suffered a stroke in her 80's.

She was in hospital for about 3 months and her children came to visit regularly, a few even offered to let her stay with them when she got better. However, when it came time for her to be discharged only her eldest son and daughter-in-law took her into their home to care for her. To be fair, the others were working full-time and her daughter had hired a maid to take care of her mother's needs. To cut a long story short, the visits from her children became fewer and fewer and a few even refused to come at all, harbouring unforgiveness over incidents that had happened way back in the past. The funny thing is that when she was well, they had welcomed her into their homes and everyone was on good terms with each other.

Fast forward to the 1st day of Chinese New Year just a year or two before her passing...the old lady was in her eldest son's home surrounded by his wife and family, sitting in her wheelchair in her finest clothes, waiting for her other children to come and pay respects. The clocked ticked and hours passed by. The old lady had her lunch, then had her afternoon nap. No phone call, not a single visitor. It was soon time for dinner, then supper, still in her finest clothes, waiting and waiting...Don't her children know that what goes around comes around? That their own children might do the same to them one day when they are old and sickly...?