Monday, November 30, 2009

Beary Christmas!

This one is called Beary Christmas, the picture was taken this afternoon at Raffles City Shopping Center.

Everywhere we go these days, we see everything Christmas-ey. Streets are glammed up with Christmas decorations. Stores are so dolled up too. Some adopt purple color as their theme, while others still go with the traditional red and green. Other colors like silver, gold, pink, etc were also picked to be their Christmas colors. Christmas songs are heard everywhere..... Shopping malls have huge Christmas trees to enhance what they call Christmas spirit, namely spending huge amount of money......

They all seemed ready for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Really???? It's just business for them, of course. Don't get fooled! Buy only what you need!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Old Fried Chicken

These Indonesian style fried chicken is just so good on some cooler days. Simply eat them with warm rice and chili sauce on the side. So yummy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Apple Crumble Pie

It's the evening before a public holiday here, which I didn't quite realized until just minutes ago. It is still very quiet around the house with only one child left that decided to hang out with her friends after school.

We had a super hot and sunny day. In the past I did not care so much if it is hot or cold, whether it rains or it doesn't rain. No,w however, I am a weather freak. I am getting to know my plants and their characters and it really freaks me out that it has been so hot over the past two days with the wind blew really hard, resulting even in dryer soil and more dehydrated plants. I kept on moving them away from direct sun and that had not helped much. I need help from an expert to keep these plants or I am going crazy soon. I want rain, my plants look better with rains......

Anyway, with the anticipated arrival of the other two family members this weekend, I decided to bake an apple crumble pie this afternoon. It has been a while since I baked one and I have had green apples for a while already. Besides, I miss a more proper food.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Been Quiet

It's going to be thanksgiving weekend. Despite the bigness of it in the USA that somewhat got my eldest dorm living daughter carried away and felt the wave of it, it is practically just another weekend in most parts of the rest of the world, including here. We'll eat the same old usual stuff and we are grateful as ever for everything that we have, just like we should, everyday of our life. In the midst of economic crisis, I am thankful that my kids are still able to go to school while my husband is playing golf in China and I am sitting in front of computer, virtually traveling and doing my works.

Kitchen is lonely these days and that's an understatement. So few people here with little appetite and we ate out a lot during the weekend and afterward. One kid left is the one that is not too passionate about food. Bread dough has been made and left untouched in the fridge since, cakes that we have were barely eaten and need to be tossed in no time.

We had a low key birthday two days ago when our second one turned 17. No celebration even a bit. She is a quiet little fellow with tons of knowledge and never really wants a celebration for the birthday that she shares with the famous Miley Cyrus. We will celebrate it this weekend when the other two members of the family return home. She said she enjoys being the only child at home and she'll be busy when the little one returns. I said, what you do to her was just messing her up. She does. She replies, that's the reason I will be busy, because I have to think of what to do to her (to make her mad). Sisters. What can I say more?

Someone gave DH some sunflower seeds about two weeks ago and I only managed to plant them last week. Little that I know, they grew nicely after just a few days. I am looking forward to seeing a healthy plant here. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

His Pick

DH is into IT, suddenly he has so much interest in plants and flowers. We have been going to many nurseries around the city and coming back with two or three plants., more pots and more bags of soil. He went overseas and came back with seeds. He constantly keeps his eyes on the greens and colors on the streets and keep on saying, "I want hat and that ones. I don't mind that one too. And that one also!..." At times, he pointed at some trees that are wayyyy...... to big to be put in our 39th floor terraces. I try to slow him down because I am not sure if I can handle all these excitements well enough.....

We do have gardens. a small one behind the living room that has been pretty much taking care of itself, and another one in front of the dining area and another on the side of it where we can put potted plants. It was originally planter box but we cover it with wood to reduce the messiness in the area. There are a couple of planter boxes upstairs as well that we have covered because the plants that were originally there, were dying.

The flowers above were handpicked by DH himself, after I gave up trying to stop him from getting them and we are trying to keep them alive. If anyone knows the name, please let me know what it is. I surely would love to know what they are called.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Can See Malaysia And Indonesia From My House!

We have been having rains every single day. The rain was even too much last Thursday that the main street outside our previous residence was flooded. It rained for a couple of hours and a canal reportedly burst and the flood was unavoidable. Many cars that were parked in the basement of some condominiums were submerged and totally unable to crawl. What a good business for car workshops here!

Uncharacteristically, it's a very nice morning here today. The sun shone brightly, the air was clear that I could see Merlion in Sentosa island rather easily along with the ocean as well as parts of Malaysia. We were taken by surprise to be able to see more and farther of what we normally are able to see. I tried and tried to identify the islands visible from here but I can't be sure yet as to what they are. Regardless, I surely can say that I can see both Indonesia and Malaysia from my house! No Tina Fey/Sarah Palin's pun was intended, although it may sound like it.

I am not sure how the afternoon is going to turn out, as normally it will turn out gloomy and cloudy and rainy, but let's jut enjoy the moment. Good Sunday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chicken Egg Rolls

These past few days, I only needed to feed one more person besides myself. The only one left at home, went to school from before 6 or 7AM and came back home after 6PM and once after 7PM. By then she had her dinner at school. So, I almost needed to cook nothing.

One day I noticed that the milk in the fridge was on the verge of passing its expiration date forcing me to quickly whip up something that used up the milk.

I have a lot of leftovers from the recent days, which I have tried to eat again and again, but still, they are not finished yet.

Back when there were three of us here, (....last week!) I made these chicken egg rolls. The minced chicken that has been mixed with all sort of ingredients were wrapped in crepes and steamed for about 20 minutes. After which, they were sliced and fried. And served and eaten. I still have some in the freezer, for future use, I guess.

My kitchen looks so lonely these days.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happening 20 Years Ago...

Flashback. 20 years ago, today, we had our wedding reception in Malaysia, attended mostly by DH's side of the family and friends, almost of whom I had not met and to this day, I still can not recall their faces and moreover, names. And no wedding cake, still.

It was very interesting to see the casual style of people that attended the reception. Different country, different culture. Back in my town, people tend to dress up nicely on such occasion, while in his hometown, I saw jeans and polo shirts on men and very casual outfit on women popping up in the party.

And boy, let me roll back, 20 years!!!!!????!!!! It is so hard to believe that it has been that long ago, almost half of the time I have been on earth. I am praying for the strength to put up with each-other's non-sense in many more years to come as we all are not perfect and do have our bad days sometimes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Seven years ago today, I received and early morning text message that one of my sisters has passed away. Devastating.

She stayed with us in this country in our house to get medical treatment for her lymphoma and eventually led to bone marrow transplant. One chemotherapy after another. One hospitalization after another. She was determined to get better.

When she was here, she made some friends from church and from the hospital too. To kill her time and take her mind of her illness, she made origami at home and when she was hospitalized some 10-11 times altogether.

Every time I look at these small origami, I always think of my sister. She made so many of these things and gave plenty of them to us. She's gone too soon. We miss her, especially today. She was a good daughter and a great sister. May God bless her.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Then There's One....

A text message was received on my cell shortly after 7PM last evening. "Hey mum. I'm in Chiang Mai."

Today, Mother duck is finally home alone. Father duck went away on a business trip. One little duck is going on school trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, one little duck is going to school until late evening and another little duck is going to college far-far away.

Here's mother's duck dinner on a cool rainy Monday evening, noodle soup with chicken and meatballs. There are some sliced chilies deep inside the pile of noodle. Spicy food is the best!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Forgive Me....

Forgive me, I gotta get this thing out of my chest. We have a glass top on our study table. One corner was slightly chipped after being knocked by a whole bunch of people carrying a giant mirror for our bathroom. The mirror was the one that knocked the glass, of course. Not the people.

I noticed one day that in the same corner the glass was detached from its wooden base and produced a hollow sound when it was tapped, unlike other areas that were well glued. Upon observing it, I realized that that the glass in that corner was not flat, there was a slight bump.

(The pictures have nothing much to do with this post. They are the pictures of bread made over the weekend and simply were put here so that this post has something more appetizing.)

One man explained to me that the knock by the heavy mirror, not only chipped the corner but also curved the glass. Me: "Ha???????..... How could that possibly be.....?"

Another man told me yesterday said: " This is tempered glass and this is how it is....." Me: "Ha???????..... How could that possibly be.....?" I fought back this time, I know tempered glass and they don't curved (unless shaped).... and so on. This guy went on with his reasoning including the heating process and the oven reason etc. Excuse me. We want our table flat. Period. Full stop.

OMG-OMG-OMG-OMG. Forgive me Lord for bringing your name into this sentence, I know I shouldn't..... These guys really insulted my intelligence. Or maybe they just talk about it within their own level of intelligence?

Over the past weeks, because of this move, I met many men (MEN!!!) with very lame excuses when they fail to execute their job properly. One curtain guy who was unable to make two roller blinds parallel, claiming seven years of experience in the business, blamed it on the pulley. The pulley caused the distance between the two blinds to change. I said, how come the other two are fine, they have pulleys too? I asked the guy with the oven excuse above why my kitchen counter top felt rough. He said, " Oh, this type of marble is like this!" A week later, after a week of use and countless number of wiping, the counter top was as smooth as a baby's bottom... So lame! Take that mister!

Like I wrote before, forgive me. My ranting and the selection of my words. I did not want to see a therapist but needed to get them out of my chest. People can be ridiculously stupid and stupidly ridiculous.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The 13th And Friday! Happy Birthday!

It's Friday the 13th.... Spooky? Nope. It's like any other day. The day started so gloomy with lots and lots of rain and continued to remained gloomy for the rest of the day with more rain. Depressing.

It's DH's birthday today, the birthday boy was flying in only in the evening. As usual, none of us really knew what time he was supposed to land. With me being under the weather and running for appointment, I had nothing much to prepared except for some excuses. He came back by dinner time and we had dinner outside. No fuss!

We made parmesan cream crackers yesterday. It was a last minute thing as the kids were still feeling hungry so shortly after dinner. I don't understand how that could happen. One minute they said they very full, the next minute they said they were still hungry. Simply feed them with more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rising ...

The sun was rising, this picture was actually taken at 8 in the morning. It was a cloudy morning, but the setting of the camera and the editing of the picture give a totally different effect. One can do all sort of false impression these days, just take a look at those magazine covers! I like this particular picture, the darkness and a little contrast on it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mango Time Again

Said it before and saying again, time flies. It's mango season again and we got two boxes of mangoes again, one box have been brought here, the other one was left in Indonesia. They are ripe and ready to eat and so super delicious. We are still working on eating them fresh, but the possibility is open for mango ice cream in the near future. We need to find the time to make them! Soon. I hope. Before all of them run out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More In The Garden...

We got a couple of plants from the nursery nearby to bring excitement around the garden. We tried to pick those that are easy to maintain and hopefully can survive on their own when we travel for a bit.

We also got ourselves a pot of basil. Just like the one that my next door neighbor has. What a copy cat we are (I am!)! I always love basil and always want to have them at home. Hopefully we will be able to keep them well and alive for a long time.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Anything Could Happen...

Weekend is exhausting, weekend is the time that we have to run errands that we could not finish during weekdays. With this, Monday is super manic and depressing, particularly when we have to start with all the running around all over again. Especially when we are under the weather......

The day started gloomy, humid and uninteresting. Today was the day when the workers were supposed to come to install cabinets, etc in the last room that had not been done up. More workers were expected to come to fix a few things that were quite overdue. A tiring, busy and boring day ahead.

Before they came, two birds were found outside the windows, chatted loudly and sounded happy. I wish I knew what they were talking about. In a bit, they flew to the terrace and continued chirping really loudly, I tried carefully not to scare them so that they did not fly away.

The workers came after 10AM, not early at all for me, made me wonder how much could be done. Shortly before 12, they took off for lunch. See what I mean? I surely wonder.... They came back and I could not be bothered of the time anymore. Rain seemed to be coming....

Rain did came soon before 4. The wind blew really hard, forced me to run around and closed all the opened windows and doors. I saw a neighbor saving her basil plant from the wind and the rain which reminded me that I should too. It poured and poured. Barely anything far was visible outside.

The water did not seem to go down fast enough and a mini flooding on our garden was created before long. It was truly wet and wild but of course did not last forever. The sun did not come out again, but the wind turned into a gentle breeze and the rain slowly became tiny drops. The day was nearly over. Dinner was ready and darkness came.

Tomorrow is another day, the sun will come up but may not be visible. Hopefully it will be a better one than I experienced today. The experience that was not told in this post, the one that exhausted me the most and drained my soul.... Tomorrow will be a different day. Another day with workers coming and maybe different kind of frustration........

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Long Lost Bro?

It has been a very hot Sunday. A real hot and sunny one. Too hot and too sunny for me. The week has an absurd week, we had some hot days and some wet days throughout the week. Sometimes we had both on the same day. Within a few hours we could experience rain and sunshine. Weather could change pretty quickly, having an umbrella around will be the handiest thing ever if one does not want to get caught in the rain or like most ladies here, they use umbrella on hot days too. I still haven't mastered the skill of wearing one on sunny day, after all these years, I still find it kind of awkward.

We found a similar car parked next to ours when we were about to go out, a couple of weekend ago. Thank God for the license plate and accessories, we know which one is ours.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Dark Cloud

One of the things about me that my sisters and brothers are likely to be unaware of is that I like watching the cloud. When I was small, back in yard of the house where I was born and grew up, I watched the sky a lot and let my imagination went wild.... sort of.. And staring at the cloud. The sky used to be really clear and blue and I was able to see all interesting shapes and sizes of the cloud. It was a ritual that worked well as a remedy when I was down.

Years gone by and I was busy with life, I lived in many different cities, a few different countries and I didn't remember seeing much of blue sky anymore. Or probably I had to be inside the building a lot, working. They're kind of forgotten. Until we moved to this place. It is so high above, we are at the top floor and the sky was just there for me to see every time I am in the living room, in the dining room, in any terraces. Even in the kitchen. It was neither planned nor desired. It's like a bonus that come with this purchase.

Blue sky does not seem to appear often enough, the culprit maybe the pollution or the haze or merely the day being cloudy. I am not an expert on this. But I am still often amazed by the cloud that are up there in the sky. Including the one in the above picture that I converted into a black and white one, taken one morning from our house.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Taco Time

Taco is easy to make, because the only thing you practically have to cook is beef. If you get ground beef, that even makes it easier. I like them as they are healthy. With sliced lettuce and diced tomatoes, tacos are good for after school early dinner. I really should make them more often, but somehow, I don't know why, I don't seem to make them often enough.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Saw A Plane.... And More...

Wednesday morning, the precious two left really around 5:45AM for their swimming training and that left me plenty of time to stand in the terrace with my tripod and camera to capture the sunrise.

It was a nice and cool morning, the sun was a bit shielded by the cloud. The weather was perfect for me to be out there. I did not have to worry about the kids going to school and I had all the time in the world to look up at the sky to see the cloud and the planes that were leaving from and heading to Changi airport.

There were quite a few within around 10-15 minutes after I started, which was around 6:40 or so.

The colors of the sky differ for every picture because of its location from the sun. I love the bright contrasting colors resulted in some pictures. Simply gorgeous!

There are two planes in the above picture.