Dec 23, 2010

Tis the season to be busy and dream of cookies..

Preparing in drips for school
getting the kids to write names on their books
spring cleaning here and spring cleaning there
in spurts ....
looking forward to Christmas
listening to Christmas songs via You Tube in the office
looking forward to wearing that new dress
looking forward to Christmas goodies (especially sugee cake)
Thinking about what to prepare for the big family feast
settling the presents list
wrapping the gifts
did I miss anyone out ...

looking forward to Christmas mass

and then the New Year..

Sweet and Heavenly greetings to all this season.

Dec 9, 2010

Clear signs ...

If only the signposts of our life were this clear..!  
 Signs should be direct. I like this one.

Alx took this while in Melbourne....

Dec 4, 2010

School hols outings.. finding ways to entertain the kids

School hols are stressful unless you can afford to take them on long overseas holidays. How to keep them occupied,  is always the question at the top of your mind. What to do?  The kids have to get out of the house or they would be vegetating with the digital games.

We took a trip to Sentosa, during the Hari Raya Haji holiday. Surprisingly it was not crowded at all, as we expected. 

We had not been to Sentosa in a while so why not.  Sentosa can be an expensive place with a family of 3 kids, unless you plan to slump on the beach of course. But the kids needed to get out and do things. 
There were no long queues which was great.

We took a few rides on the Luge, 2 for me and 3 each for the boys. It was fun.
Alr was a real speeder, almost crashing into the slow sign barrier.

Once done,we took a walk to the other end of the beach to look for the Mega Zip (the flying fox thingy).   That was expensive like a lot of the amusements on Sentosa.  I decided to let the boys have a go without me, and waited at the end of the rope to see if I could snap a photo of my phone cam.  The photo didn't come out right, by the time it snapped, I only got the feet of them moving downwards.

There were a couple of other challenges like rope bridges and wall climbs but I thought I'd hold off for another time, another reason to make our way to Sentosa.

I must say that the changing rooms and toilet facilities along the beach front have improved tremendously and multiplied.   I thought ok, we could make our way here on another day just for the kids to enjoy the beach. This was actually more accessible (transport wise than Changi beach or East Coast).

Since we had no queues delaying us, we were done quite early. What to do next besides shop at VivoCity?

Grab lunch first, Hot Dogs - the boys were unanimously ok with it, just outside the Underwater World,  plain old fashioned (Cheesy) Hot Dogs with mustard, tomato and chilli sauce with fries was actually quite yummy. Glad we gave the pasta on the beach a miss. Instead of walking back to the monorail station, the boys got a thrill out of sitting on the beach tramp. Every little thrill counts.

Next we headed for VivoCity, where we were to rendezvous with Alx. She was going to have lunch while we grabbed ice cream.
VivoCity was so crowded, so packed it was irritating to make our way within the place really.

What next to kill time and let the boys have more fun time?  Of course, the water area on the roof.  I had brought no change of clothes, but of course Arn got almost all wet, Alr was not really in the mood and just sat by the side. I left them for awhile to go get a $2 towel from Daiso. 

When I got back, the black clouds were starting to roll in, the wind had turned cool and you could see that further out to sea, it was already raining. Time to head back.

Grabbed a drink at Banquet and then hopped on the train. That was almost a full day, tired out for me, time to rest and get ready for work the next day.

What next? Well two days later we caught Harry Porter Part 1.

Next .....

Nov 26, 2010

Moody blues...no leave...soon to come...perk up it's Christmas

moody blues 
amid
green trees
coloured lights 
and
glitter for 
a wet
not white 
Christmas....

Street decorations, festive lights, giant Christmas trees are out and the festive mood is slowly encroaching on me. I've been trying to put it off but not for long. Advent is here.

Not been able to do much with the kids for lack of leave, that's depressed me more I think.  My company starts off leave with a miserable 10 days a year. Well I remind myself, give and take. 5 days of leave translates to 2% a year of not working. So the long-timers here essentially work 2% to 4% less every year compared to those 'new' like me. If you are in a job that constantly practises ROI,  how should one interpret that..

It's the mood, how does one get into it, when you're still slaving away at work, without much leave days. It's depressing.

Whether you like it or not, pull up your socks, time to make out that shopping list, gift list, dig out the tree and ornaments and think about what to wear for Christmas mass. 

Nov 22, 2010

Funny bone - do you have one?

Mine doesn't always work. 

Do you have a sense of humour.? Not everyone does.

One of my three kids does not I discover, somehow I am not surprised, sad but it's not his fault. It's something one develops (or not) as a consequence of life, at the right point in life. I only hope one can develop it and it 's never too late.

I think if you are happy enough and secure enough in your own shoes you probably would have one already.

Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that humor excites in those who lack it. ~George Saintsbury

So can you laugh at yourself ? If you can then you are well- adjusted.

Who else would agree with me .....

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. ~Francis Bacon

Nov 15, 2010

God and we ....C S Lewis

I've been reading the Screwtape letters, slowly but surely I get a clearer(more reassuring) picture of God through the eyes of Screwtape, the demon. It's dark I'll admit but there's an upside and really it's hilarious, because humans are so accurately portrayed. The psychological meanderings of our minds and physical weaknesses are depicted chapter after chapter.

Would you get drawn in the wrong way?  I doubt it, because our wonderful God the Father is painted with quite lovely descriptions really of love and mercy, and we are forever hopeful in his eyes rather than hopeless; created for the purpose to be one with him. It paints a need for our purpose to be deserving of that oneness with him.

On the reverse it also shows us the workings of the evil mind. The blatant self-serving is juxtaposed against the selfless which becomes clearer as you read.

Says Screwtape.."He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself - creatures whose life on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like his own, not because he has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His .." .. The devil want cattle (us) for food, but God "wants servants who finally can become sons".
Now isn't that reassuring!

Nov 12, 2010

Mind-blowing onde onde

Mind-blowing onde onde


yummy..Ondeh Ondeh, I luuuuve them.   click on the link title.. to see where to find the good ones..

Nov 7, 2010

Holding our kids' hands....

Today as I went through some practice maths with Alr (getting the logical side of my brain to work), I'm thinking my folks never really sat down with me, not close to 10% as much as I have to now with the kids.
Is the curriculum harder or are the kids softer ?

We have to check on their bags,  remind about homework, packing worksheets etc etc ..... nag nag nag to clean up after themselves.. toys and books.  I don't remember as much, I don't think we were that good.
Or I think we just didn't have that many things.

They need to be entertained more and can't seem to do so by themselves unless it comes with a game console attached. Board games only hold their attention for so long and reading instructions seems painful.

More sheltered, I suppose too.  Last Saturday, Alr and I caught a cab to go to Sengkang. It was a 20 minute ride at best. The thing is, there was a stench in the cab. The smell was something like dried(preserved) fish or prawn, some passenger before us had probably just came from the market and with closed windows of course the inside of the cab just soaked up the odour.

Anyway I could bear with it, but my son could not. He complained about it all the way, and I think tried to hold his breathe for the most part of the trip.  And I said to him, there are worst smells than this.  To him this was bad.
I said to him that he was lucky to have mostly clean spaces in Singapore, no slums or random dumpsites where you could get the strangest smells. So they are less tolerant too.

Do we shelter them too much or is it that they need that much more attention today? 
Or are we just that much more demanding and protective? 

Nov 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

The new house is quite cozy, the first informal house warming was today. There's still a bit of work to be done, but it didn't get in the way.

Dad's got a lovely view out his study window, there's a huge green tree with a good distribution of branches, a breezy sway today and feels very cool.  Settling in with his TV sets and electronic gadgets.  Still lots of wires to go into place. 
Soon he'll be putting his plants in and smelling the roses.

Mum's finally getting comfortable. Soon her spanking new kitchen will be filling up with the old smells of spice, curry and onions.

I thought it would feel small but it didn't, it felt comfortable, it felt like home. 

The contractor took close to two months and it's not totally completed, odds and ends still not done yet.
It will be my turn to move house soon, I'd better start making notes and get advise on good contractors.

Nov 1, 2010

Reminder to pray..

Lord, if what I seek be according to our will, then let it come to pass and let success attend the outcome. But if not, my God, let it not come to pass. Do not leave me to my own devices, for you know how unwise I can be. Keep me safe under your protection Lord my God, and in your own gentle way guide me and rule me as you know best.
Amen.

Call me a 'tired old' Catholic, but I am trying,  the sentiment would apply as to a very elderly person
It's been a long two weeks, now and another long week to go... .

Oct 28, 2010

Eat, Love and Pray

If I could do just that for a whole week. What I would give to have been in Elizabeth Gilbert's shoes.

I fell in love with Rome and the Italian language just by her story telling. There are many feelings that roamed her mind that I can relate to, the doubts, the uncertainties and the vulnerability. Yet I admire the way she was able to do exactly what she did. Of course one must have the resources, but one must also have that inner push which she had to help the outer push (her 'divine' experience) propel her forward.
There's a lot of truth about the subject of religion as relayed by Lizz without putting a label on it,  it's almost identifiable in all the religions that are out there (most of them).

I could feel her tumult at the beginning and I could sense the gradual diminishing of it during her stay in Bali.
It isn't about romance or companionship or performing duty or charity or morality, it is about finding an inner peace in the mind that means contentment, it's about reaching down to your very core, seeing it clearly and being aware of it.

You learn a fair bit of history and about places in Rome. Italy and Bali, not so much for India.
Strangely in India, she managed to escape being touched by the extreme poverty and conditions in spite of staying there for such a length of time. It 's not so much the outside world that converts her so much as her own realization of all the turmoil that is inside herself.

I have not quite defined it yet, exactly what she attained, but it is halfway to wisdom and contentment.
Is there more power in her prayer, I'm not so sure about that, there may be something to it, after all it is the power of the 'enlightened' mind in clear communication with a higher power.

What you experience as the reader, is her journey - moving from troubled to contentment-, of Elizabeth rescuing herself, reaching down deep and pulling herself out of darkness and into the light.  Finding peace has been expressed a few different times and in many ways (by different persons), simply 'let go'.

I enjoyed her wit and style of writing which was mostly very direct. Even in expressing her thoughts there was very little mincing of words.  
One of the many statements I liked, the privilege of being human is that we have hands...."That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands."   .. and that is food for thought.

I will probably read this again soon.

(PS : I just read an update on her website .. so sad, I liked what I read of him,  Richard of Texas has passed away)

Oct 27, 2010

In other words...

Sunday 24 Oct.....

Why is it sometimes it feels like particular days are designated as argument day. Out of the blue, tempers flare, patience goes on vacation and (temperature rises) heated words get exchanged by all parties. We all just get ignited simultaneously.
Perhaps it is the air!
This happens between 17 year old, 13 year old and me the adult.

Hmmm, I see the problem now.,  it's got to do with teenage hormones,  they outweigh and outrank the natural order. In other words, I'm outnumbered.

Whatever the case, there is NO EXCUSE for blatant insolence.

Ommmmm

Oct 25, 2010

Bookshop at the Ion

On Saturday, I decided to take advantage of the bookshops special discount offer of 25%. I wanted to buy more academic practice books for the hols.. yeah yeah kiasu.   But the sale was only at the Ion where the Popular outlet is called Prologue. I suppose the name 'Popular' just won't do in a upscale mall like the Ion. Just as 'Harris" is at Suntec.  Anyway this was my first actual visit to the Ion. I usually avoid Orchard Road cos I don't like crowds.

Well despite getting lost, walking every which way but the right way, we finally got to the store on the 4th level. (I must add they do have very polite information service persons posted here and there for help but it didn't help cos the lifts were full). The Ion was crowded, it was a Saturday night I suppose. We found the lift lobby but just couldn't get in and decided let's find the escalators and find a way with more walking.

We found the store. It didn't look like the Popular we are used to in the heartlands but of course  duh!..it looked expensive and posh and dark. Bookstores should have more light shouldn't they, but then I suppose ambience outweighs the practical.  But wow and happily, it was filled with a lot more reading material for adults than the usual Popular. We spent a fair bit of time, I spent a fair bit of money, all three kids managed to find books they LIKE to read.

Alr 's selection will probably last him for a year - some sci-fi space to-do, Alx couldn't find one thick enough on - of course- some vampire saga and Arn found some beast range series.   
Notice, there is nothing normal about ordinary human beings in the lot !!!

I found some many things too, but held myself back of course, Dan Brown's latest book,  I passed it to dad to read first, I'm still on my  'Eat, Love, Pray', (I rub my hands in glee.)

We finished late, so there wasn't any time to window shop even, we were hungry, and of course we had dinner there at the food court. Just keep this in mind, add a dollar to what is normal pricing outside except for the tasty fish soup noodle; . Nasi Lemak was $6 - that was unbelievable!

Oct 24, 2010

Don't forget to Love Yourself

"I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed."  - M Angelou

In other words, love yourself, never let yourself be bullied.

Oct 18, 2010

Purple shoes

Purple shoes well not exactly purple purple, you know it’s sort of deep purple, so in non-white light it almost looks black.

What am I going on about, I decided to adventure into another new territory of non- black shoes. It started with red strappies two years ago, I thought that was major. Ok.. this is just another branch.... or stem.

In the daylight you can see it’s purple. Call me old-fashioned, non-adventurous but fashion and I just never had the opportunity to get to know each other that well , we just started getting acquainted in the past 10 years with a sort of a coming out into my own, really, really late bloomer,  hence my obsession with pink in the last few years.

Never really had the opportunity in my younger days to explore for the lack of pocket money and a conservative home. And then as one ‘matures’ one doesn’t quite dare dip the feet in until some major catharsis hits like the approach of the middle ages.

Anyway today I wore the purple shoes (deep purple), and suddenly I’m noticing the other colours around me as I take myself on the  .. well trodden, well worn.. path to work.  There’s actually quite a lot of purple out there, not on feet but on blouses, shirt ties and  oh.., even purple streaked hair.

Oh good .. I’m not really standing out anymore.

Oct 17, 2010

Who loves Spongebob ?

It's Sunday.... no ranting today....

Here's a character who never fails to put a smile on my face.


F is for friends that do stuff together U is for you and me N is for
anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!! says Spongebob

Oct 16, 2010

Ranting Saturday - cost of vegetables and haircuts

Is everything more expensive these days or is it my imagination.
Did I just pay $15 for a handful of vegetables ?   Fish is expensive  but unfortunately it's also healthier, ..(troublesome too as I get more whining from the the kids ... they 'd rather live on chicken and mutton).... $16 !! for white pomfret is there any point haggling with the fish seller

Prices of food are skyrocketing  but our salaries are barely crawling in the upward motion. 
The economy is bad then the weather is bad, then the economy picks up and property prices climb again  although one has got nothing to do with the other,  notice the pattern , it's all just going up (except...) which just means the hole in our pocket grows bigger and bigger.

Now to more mundane stuff... it's time for haircuts AGAIN, why do the boys hair just grow like ... lallang .. at least there are still no-frills barbers around for that;  a $7 or $8 for a basic haircut !

Oct 14, 2010

Slavery of Women (cont'd)

I'm still reading 'Half the Sky', am about 3/4 ways through.

Here's a quote of a quote from the book from the father of an Afghan woman, it captures the very essence of the problem, within which is the solution .
'That is why these people are afraid of educating women - they are afraid that then the women will ask questions, will speak up... That's why I believe in education. It is such a powerful tool to overcome poverty and rebuild the country. If we took the foreign aid that goes into guns and weapons and just took one quarter of that and put it into education, that would completely transform this country."

In the introduction there was a discussion from security experts that stuck in my mind that 'Empowering girls.. would disempower terrorists', the discussion stems from the marginalization of women and it's consequences.


Lots of food for thought !

Oct 13, 2010

Love my Books

Went to the bookstore last week; bought 3 books this round, got a little enthusiastic, couldn't stop myself.. at the book store. I feel happy walking among books and books and browsing of course, what a wonderful way to spend time... like a vortex I get sucked in and and forget time and the present.

I tell myself these are books that I will keep. But you know there is only so much space for one’s personal book shelves. So after a while I have to decide what to give away to make space, I pass them on to a thrift store or the church’s second hand shop (which is where I go to rummage for books sometimes)

There’s also a shop (Sans) that takes back the books you buy from them but of course within a certain time period. Which is ok, they essentially refund you about a third of the book cost which beats disposing. So if there is a series I follow, I get them from there and return mostly but keep the exceptional ones.

Oct 9, 2010

Slavery of Women

'Half the Sky' by Nicholas D Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn

Slavery of women exists today. It's not fiction.

Gender discrimination in the East 'is lethal'... millions of females are missing from the globe because of it :-
- priority for health care by parents is given to boys, ultrasounds spell doom for females... .... girls have higher fatality rates.
- human trafficking of young girls into prostitution runs into millions
- India : bride burning .. tales place once every two hours
- Pakistan :  over the past 9 years, 5,000 women and girls set alight, doused in kerosene..
- rapes and ruthless murders in Africa

I just started reading and it is maddening to realize this is about modern day depraved cruelties against a huge number of women and girls that is allowed to go on, very much in our backyard.. ... because they are 'discounted humans' defined by a society or culture, because politics is 'divisive' on the subject, because of corruption , because of poverty.......

We all give/help regular charities but it does make me think about redirecting my small efforts and attention to these causes.

Oct 6, 2010

Wanting best for my Kids..

A sms conversation with a pal of mine - do we stress, why we stress, what if we don't stress the kids... it's all about education and the system that perpetuates it.

Why do we do it, we just want the best like everyone else for them..we can't help it.

What's best - a good job, a good salary. how about good memories of childhood .. they need time to make those I remind myself.

It's a constant battle to push or let go.

I want them to have childhood memories worth having. 
I can't prevent all the bad ones but I can help with time to make happy ones.

Oct 5, 2010

Basics, basics ..wherefore art thou ?

Schools have forgotten about basics. I met my son's teacher a few months back and I said to her  'could you introduce school brushing like they did in the old days?' she looked at me a little queerly. I don't think I meant it in the literal sense but the point was that.

With 'progress' in learning systems - pc-fitted, thinking creatively, learning out of the school room ... online., all of us jumping on the bandwagon of the education rat race, seems we have trouble enforcing the basics  like neatness, treating books with care and brushing teeth which for some reason the kids - see as less important !

What's up with that ?

Basics just get pushed down the list.....

Sep 30, 2010

it's a guy thing !


After a few field trips with a team of 4 (2 guys 2 ladies)  ..... .. I have come to the conclusion (more like confirms)  that  .....

men don't read instructions and
don't ask for directions ...
why
simply because they  'know it  already' (imagine it in a braggish tone !)
and
when they can't figure out how to work it or get lost  they will never admit it..

Sep 25, 2010

September birthdays...Godson.. Mum, Sis-in-law

and aunts too..
Celebration on 10 Sep.. 
September is full of birthdays.. here's 3 of them right there..(pardon the pix,, it was off a camera phone.),



This was made for Marie's special day...


..called a slider card.

Sep 23, 2010

New age ... bad for children

'boon and bane '
Game speeds, hand eye coordination ...   violent game scenarios.... they can pick up games and yet have problem using  the Powerpoint ?
Typing is too passe...  .. I suppose the invention to do away with that is up next !
Where's the time to experience peace, calm..dinner conversation... when the goal of each waking moment is to fill with some action.

Unless it's 'moving', nothing else seems to HOLD their attention for long... everything else seems slow and booori..ng especially reading..

What's happened to their imagination, where is it buried, how do we bring it back out to work again.
Unlike the ancient floppy disk, the imagination has no limitations so why are children so limited in using theirs. 

Sep 17, 2010

To say you have lived means you should at some time in life, have lived as a beast of burden for a time.

Sep 3, 2010

The weekend finally..

I finally have a weekend, a Saturday that's not scheduled for any particular demand on my time.
It's time to go get shoes, somebody's feet grew and somebody's feet is feeling vane.
Time to catch up on assignment and read.
Let's go to a Novena service first I think, then get on with other matters.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrop
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
Til I can rest again.             - Maya Angelou

Aug 31, 2010

Funerals

I don't like funerals. I know they are part and parcel of life, I do attend them out of respect to the dead and courtesy to the living but I don't like them.

I have had thoughts over the last few monthS that there will be more of them, more familiar older people passing as time and age gets on. It is a natural rite of life, as leaves wilt and flowers fade and and yet we have to mourn and grieve. But for the old who have lived and can do little more I can't really mourn as think of their relief as release and a moving on.
Harder of course when death comes unexpected especially to the young.
Funerals force you to deal with loss up close and personal. The 'missing' is more prominent than the life they filled.

It's easier from experience, if that someone was far away in another country, their memory lives on more than the fact that they are gone. No delusions, just that distance keeps the living memories closer.

Aug 28, 2010

Inspiring Maya Angelou

I finished my first of Maya Angelou's books 'The Heart of a Woman '. An amazing woman and amazing life.

She is truly blessed in spite of her struggles she has experienced much as a woman and a mother and has really lived. If I estimate correctly this book covered some 8-10 years of her life til her son went to the University.
So much courage and zeal.

From time to time, she is able to articulate the most deep seated thoughts a woman or a mother has and I am nodding my head and thinking ...that is life and everyone goes through it.

Somewhere in the second chapter she writes about her fears, doubts and contradictions of life(beyond their control) outside of them  and yet in the home to her child she must provide a blanket of stability, which warms but does not suffocate," ..

A common thought for mums..."She questions whether she loves her children enough  - or more terribly, does she love them too much".

Aug 27, 2010

Busy Saturday this Saturday

It's been a tiring week, I'd like nothing better than staying at home-sweet-home.

Arn has his calendar full this Saturday, which means my calendar goes out the window.
Parent- teacher meeting in the morning and then I guess I should take him to the birthday party he got an invite to. That will take most of my afternoon and early evening and it's really really... out of the way like in Pasir Ris.
But the child is entitled to his moments.

I will have to hang around somewhere close by for about 3 - 4 hours(or stick my self infront of host's TV) before I can fetch him.

But in the end I will probably be glad for it - that  I did bring him.

Should I rent a car ?

Still got things to do.... ... itching to get to my card kit ...

Aug 23, 2010

Addictive games...!

I'm thinking of putting an end to it permanently !

It seems like Maplestory has to go.  It's too addictive.. .. 

It's CA week, ..I've.  got to do something.


Ok...
I pulled the plug this morning. Let's see what the effect is ? Can they survive two days ... a week  ... without it ?

Aug 14, 2010

Bird Nests - why are they staying away from the trees ?

Coincidence or is there some strange message behind there ?

Sometime ago at my parent's house, the Sunbirds decided to build their nest right next to the house entrance, against the wall. There are so many trees to choose from and yet they had decided to brave the very human zone. Somehow they knew my folks and any one who goes there can be trusted not to disturb the nest. 
Sunbird's nest

Ok I'm not saying they fully trust us humans, not like they were willing to hop onto our hands or anything like that. They were very watchful. Whenever any of us wanted to poke our heads closer to see what was in the nest, momma or papa bird would fly out - flitter here and there at a distant, twitting very loudly as if to say get away ..get away... They would calm down when we moved away. Yet inspite of our 'kaponess' or should I say  'caring curiosity', I believe there has been 3 generations coming out from there.

A week ago at our house, a pair of doves decided to set up nest just on top on of the exterior spotlights outside the window. And yes there were a pair of eggs in it a couple of days ago. We had to peek of course. Momma bird (pretty looking bird) is a little weary but she comes back.

Aug 13, 2010

Messages - Facebook

Beware strangely identical (prettily worded) messages coming from unknown strangers who want to get to know you .

How can I possibly think they are sincere, first thing I think of ,  is this some kind of scam. ??  Is that possible ?

Important - pay very close attention to your privacy settings and what information you reveal.

Aug 10, 2010

There's Life yet... National Day holiday..

Nat'l Day goodies...
It was National Day (9 Aug) a public holiday, an excellent rest day.
Of course the highlight seems to be the designer Tote bags... (more style with age.. 45 after all!!) 

From home you can hear the jets roar and the helicopters rumble and the fireworks boom.. and unless you turn on the tv to watch the parade, only the ears will get a tiny bit of the celebrations happening down at the Padang.

Yesterday evening  (while the sky made 'parade' noise)  I played badminton with Aor. As much as I groaned when he asked me to play with him, I suppose I am glad that I still have the capacity to move (with some speed) the way I must (the joints are still flexible enough,)..

Of course I perspired, (should I say sparkled … hey the pores are not clogged yet…. surely a very good sign).
It was hot, there was a breeze (the wind comes out whenever the rackets come out… strange).

Aug 7, 2010

Has life left its mark ?

 An interesting question that arose out of the book I'm reading 'Goddesses in Everywoman.

Yes I can seriously say 'life has affected me' and left its mark.

But honestly speaking, I haven't really gotten much out of it for me yet.
Does that make sense ?




Aug 2, 2010

The House I Grew up In

The Noisy grill
Mum and Dad are moving out of the house I grew up in, of almost 30 yrs
50th Wedding Anniversary Card
There's something steady and stable about that old house almost as steady as Dad.
That's what it represents. I could always come home or go home - it's always there. I never thought of it differently.

Front Porch
The landscape has changed, the neighbours have seen a turnaround too. Lots of tall houses now poking the heads up higher than the rest, to the left and the right a few doors down and immediately behind us and in front of us. The school grew taller too over time.
The side Garden..

But the house remained my comfort zone.. memories of my dogs, the old iron gate - yes I had a share in painting it too, the plants, the trees - ah.. the old forever non-stop flowering and fruiting drumstick tree.

This estate - it is all home.

Even when I moved out of the estate, here was where comfort was.  The warmth of  memories, growing up, scraped knees, bicycling, childhood games, friends from church and school all familiar and close to the heart.

I feel sad at the thought, but I understand the reasons for the moving.  I'm thinking of the house as a person, that will no longer be. Soon it will most likely be torn down and rebuilt so that a new tall house can stand there too.

The estate is not looking as cozy as it once was, it just seems more crowded these days as more houses grow two and half stories tall..

Jul 23, 2010

Lessons from the Tree .............



If you constantly pick the low hanging fruits, 2 things will happen :

one, you won't attempt to stretch ourselves to reach the higher and so you will not grow and

two, you will likely miss a lot of sweeter opportunities and never know what those taste like.


A Chomp Chomp experience

July 17 , 2010...
(for non-locals reading this Chomp Chomp is the name of the very popular food centre [open / non-aircon] in Serangoon Gardens)

We live here in this estate and yet for some reason I have not brought the kids to eat at Chomp Chomp.  Which is exactly what Alx asked me the other day while we were waiting for a table at a very crowded Chomp Chomp, amid noisy woks clanging and chatter.. with the added flavour of cooking 'fragrances' (oil)  filling the air and settling in my hair too.

So last Saturday after watching ' Despicable Me',  I decided why not let them have the experience of Chomp Chomp and at the same time grab my favourite Hokkien Mee.

We waited 3/4 hour for a table, and about an hour for the Hokkien Mee... some things just don't change.  That's how I remember it 20-30 years ago.  It was a favourite haunt for us 'youngsters' especially the ice kacang. .... the good ole days... warm memories..

We almost gave up, and wanted to order takeaway.
It was a learning experience  - the  'art of waiting for a table '.  Alx lucked out when a couple of aunties edged in on her table... age before beauty dear... !  How to be more ruthless than the old aunties... ah but then...they have more experience . ... 

All in all it was not too bad I suppose ( inspite of the food smells in my hair )  because the kids actually don't mind doing that again.

I thought for sure they would not want to try that again.

Jul 21, 2010

Irritating morning ride


(very hard to be cool lah)



Simple Courtesy

There are tonnes of people getting out at Little India station and what do you have , two lumps of stone standing at the doorway...(no they are not related perhaps distantly 500 years ago !)

"Excuse Me" is useless..., people shove their way pass them, bags banging at them, still unmovable..- are they brain dead or morons ?

Probably a good shove out the door might do it.

Feeder service woes

My 317 bus....
6 months ago, it used to come on time and regularly, now it doesn't.
They skip a slot, they come two at a time.
Want to imagine how irritating that is ?

and Yes ....  both incidents  involve 'people'.....

...of course being good citizens we don't resort to 'road' rage or bus captain bashing or finger antics or what uncool ways.. have you,.to let off steam..... we swallow it, not quite digested.. carry it with us and dump it on the unsuspecting junior at the office.....

Jul 20, 2010

Beginning of the second dental journey...

Alr got his dental appliance just over the  weekend (18 July). 

If you're a parent with kids with problem teeth that just won't grow the right way, you'll understand ,. it's expensive,. it's tough the first few days, .. you just got to keep coaxing him to stick with the programme, think of what it will accomplish a year from now, ... 2 years from now.


He's just a kid, such long term goals don't really inspire, it's a little hard to appreciate with such short term discomfort.
What helps him too, is the fact that big sister went through it (not exactly the same, but ..) so if she could,  he can too. I hope that'll hold him for a bit..  ..  Poor thing .. can't talk properly, can't eat properly.. drooling problem   etc etc.....  

All in all, so far he seems to be coping better than I expected.

If I wrote about this during Alx's time, I think it would sound less painful, well that story ended with success.
.
I hope .... what do I hope ... many things..  (that I win toto), that the year moves fast for him, that school doesn't negative affect him because of it and the appliance proves effective in correcting the first stage. 

And I pray dear Lord all goes well for him.


That's one major item off my to-do list ... what's next.

Jul 18, 2010

Today's Sunday message

Today's gospel reading reached out differently. 
Usually it's like I just hear the reading and it's like 'yes I know it, I have heard it before'.
But today I heard it like it was for me.


'you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; '.

Luke 10: 38-42

Jul 17, 2010

Why don't I have Perfect Kids ?


..............because I'm not perfect, neither is their father.


Why weren't we made perfect ?


because our parents were not ?


because ................




Who created us ?

(think I'll stop there !.. it's just one of those days......)

Life was sure less complicated when I was a kid.

Jul 16, 2010

Busy .... It's just Work !

Nothing but litter and trashy ideas..... sometimes the ad business can reek !

What am I talking about ... putting together an anti-littering campaign.....



Busy !
.
.
.
.
.
.

If you could write your own tombstone, what would you write?
 
 

Jun 28, 2010

Isn't a Ball a Ball ??

... soccer simpleton speaks...  
Now I've heard everything... first it was about the roundest ball ever (when World Cup began) .. Which means the goalkeepers are having problems with a slipperier ball.

Now it appears there is something to it if the officials are agreeing, it supposedly now feels like one of those mass produced supermarket types...it's too light.. flies to fast etc etc..

So there's more to a ball and that particular ball has a name too.. Jambulani....
Read on if interested in ball engineering World cup soccer ball still lacking..

Doesn't the saying go... a bad workman blames his tools.. 

Which came first the skill or the ball ?

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