Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oprah Gets Puppies

Oprah got herself two more puppies for her birthday the other day and the puppies have officially become the the luckiest puppies in the universe. Happy birthday Oprah!

I still want a puppy or two, maybe for my birthday... but I still am not sure if I could handle the puppy well enough together with looking after my three children, a husband and 500 growing plants.....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Banana Cake With Coconut

My fridge has been a little emptier these days, but I have almost everything that I need. On weekly basis, I buy some bananas, especially for the one that swims on Wednesday morning and makes bananas a part of her breakfast at school. The rest of of the bananas, two or three of them, get wasted occasionally. I am not exactly a banana eater, neither is my youngest one. The ritual is putting them in the fridge, until they are rotten and then we tossed them away.

Today, we have two super ripe bananas and I was determined to make good use of them. The banana cake recipe that I have, uses either milk or buttermilk. I have neither and decided to just create my own recipe which combines pound cake and muffins. Along with the mashed bananas that I mixed with some lemon juice, I put in butter, sugar, two eggs, flour, shredded coconut and maple syrup. I sprinkled the top with shredded coconut that has been mixed with a little bit of melted butter and some maple syrup.

I like the way the cake turned up, it suits my taste better. The kids love them too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Popping Up...

It's like spring has sprung, but then, this country has no four seasons, just two. Rain and dry. Though I feel it is too much of a dry.... We haven't got much rain these days despite the expectation that we are supposed to have some or a bit more.

Our sunflowers are blossoming, many of them, in different colors. We have some pale yellow, yellow-orangish and red ones too..... They look pretty!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Year Goodies....

From our China town visit, jars and jars and jars of cookies and everythinggggggg.... that can be put in jars.....

And more jars..........

Pumpkin seeds in various flavors and peanuts and their friends.......

A little shop that sells cookies and sweets for Chinese new year. On the left are piles of sweet sticky rice cakes (Nian Gao) intended for the Kitchen God! The purpose is that his mouth will be stuck with the sticky cake, so that he will be unable to badmouth the human's family to the God of all Gods. .......??????...........

Kuih Bolu i.e. cake without butter, made from flour, sugar and eggs only.


This should make anyone's day a better one. Mine is, after watching it. This awesome charming adorable couple played piano in the waiting room at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Very heartwarming.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Sunshine....

Sorry kids, they are just my sunshine now too! Gorgeous and lovely!
PS: I still love you all more though!

Randy Pausch Last Lecture

I was cleaning up recording machine when I stumbled upon an Oprah segment in which she talked to Jai, the wife of Randy Pausch, who's famous for his last lecture. Randy Pausch passed away in July 2008 and his book The Last Lecture was a best seller.

Randy Pausch was a professor At Carnegie Mellon University. He impressed me and so many people through his last lecture. There's so much to learn from him about living our life and I hope people are willing to spend a little time watching this, if they have not. If you have watched this, you still can watch it again, it was truly inspirational. I am glad that I have been reminded of this again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Following Bill Gates

I need some sunshine to brighten my dull upsetting morning. Things went wrong or were found going in wrong direction and it was hard to accept. I am a planner and an organizer, but I still have to count on other people to execute the plans When they fail to do that, then things just do not work out and it takes time to pick up the pieces to make everything alright again. I am doing it.What a bummer!

On a slight more positive note, I found out that Bill Gates is on Twitter now. I wasted no time in becoming his follower. He is a smart guy that is doing a lot of great things in and for life. I look forward to seeing what he says on Twitter.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Going To China Town....

Chinese new year is around the corner again... It's coming too fast for me. I have not even recovered from my Christmas and new year yet and now this....????? I feel so suffocated sometimes.

Visiting China town around this time of the year is almost like DH's and my ritual. We know how it is going to be like and we know that we end up with nothing but feeling tired, but we still go anyway. The kids know what to expect and always prefer staying at home. Good for them!

As usual, parking nearby was a problem so we had to park farther away, which was completely fine, it's good to walk a bit more. As expected, the place was packed and people were jamming up as the evening falls.

China town was well decorated, getting ready for the celebration. They sell the usual Chinese new year goodies and decorations and just about everything else that one could possibly need. You can even find toys, CNY decorations, clothing, pillow cases, table runners, bags, pashmina and tons of other things.

There's a sign board wishing everyone a happy Chinese new year above the Chinatown MRT station.... Nicely done!

DH was ready to have his dinner nearby as we finished browsing the place but we could not find a place that is enticing enough, besides, the whole place was too hectic to have a comfortable dinner that I would like to have. We ended up eating in a restaurant nearby our home. We came home empty handed, but we got many pictures and another memory has been created for just the two of us. How about that? Til another year!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Clear Sunday Afternoon

On a clear day, the sky is blue, the ocean is darker blue and the islands surrounding the country are visible from the distance. Ships and planes are identifiable easily as well. This afternoon was one of the few times where this happens.

Orange Trees.................

Sshhhhh....DH is officially a plant addict! He needs to go for a plant rehab. He asked me yesterday whether I wanted to go to the nursery to get some soil, which I did not need too urgently, but I said I could go anyway. He needed excuses to get more flowers and plants from there, I know that for a fact. We, somehow, did not manage to go because we were busy.

Come today, I was almost kidnapped and taken to the nursery right after church. We went shortly after and I must admit that it was a nice time to go there. They were having some many pretty plants in many attractive colors, basically geared towards Chinese New Year. Noticeably plenty of miniature orange trees and ZZ plants. Oranges are associated with gold in Chinese and ZZ plants are famously called money trees or dollar trees. There you go, gold, money, Chinese New Year........ who wouldn't want them?

We did not get any of these, but we got more soil and DH got other colorful plants ...... (to be revealed later!)

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Woke up early.
One kid was to SAT, one kid remained in bed. One was far away.
To the terrace and found some cigarette butts again, tossed to our terrace by inconsiderate idiots who kept on smoking in the sky garden on weekends. These idiots really have no life!
Getting upset at the useless management of the building who's done nothing despite receiving many complaints from us and other people, one even had his/her sofa burned because of an irresponsible bloke tossing a cigarette butt from wherever.
Hot morning.....

Berries and cherry juice for the afternoon. Really cooling......

Friday, January 22, 2010

His Petunias...

Within months, my flower vocabulary increased reasonably well. Used to know just roses, orchid and jasmine, and maybe another one or two... now I befriend adenium, zinnia, marigold, petunia and .... still am learning some others.....

Just like corporation, I do not want the varieties of the plants in my garden to expand too fast and too soon. One needs strong foundation before doing expansion, otherwise whatever he/she is building could collapse. I am the only worker around and I am doubtful that I can handle the works involved. I have said this to DH again and again, but somehow he keeps on bringing new plants and seeds, either given (maybe asked for) or bought and I just have to continue growing them. We have bought sacks and sacks of soils and plenty of pots. Looks like this is going to continue for a while, I think. I am just not heard of.

These petunias, were also bought by him. He likes flowers, he likes to have colors in the garden..... They are pretty, I must admit. But I sure hope that he slows down or just stops bringing new ones home until I am readier. Soon our garden will explode should he continue doing it......

These days, I spend a lot of time in the garden, maybe nearly as much time I spend in the kitchen..... I am worried when it rains and I become anxious when the sun shines too strongly. I go crazy when strong wind blows our plants. Before I leave home I make sure that the plants are in proper place for the weather. When I come home, I check our plants first before anything else, including my kids. I am losing it.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Hope You Dance

I am having a mother-daughter moment and this beautiful song by LeeAnn Womack fits well... A mother's wish that her daughter experience the life. Dance.

This song was written by Tia Sillers and Mark Sanders

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Let me begin by saying that the missing luggage was found and delivered safely to the dorm of the owner. Thank God that they are re-united!

These plants are simply glorious, just look at the bird shapes that are formed..... I know that it has a proper name that I still look for but to no avail so far. The next time I go to the nursery, I hope to remember to look it up! I know they have them for sale.

I have not got much of the plant expect for what is seen here. I like what I see, it'll grow in time.....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Her Luggage...

We are back to three people only at home. Miss P left on Sunday night to take four flights back to Virginia. It was something that I was not fully aware of until the last minutes. I meant the four flights that she was taking, not the fact that she was returning to Virginia. I truly don't know if I could survive two international flights and two domestic ones, consecutively. And the whole journey nearly took 36 hours. I would be like a....porridge?????

I figure if one is 18 years old, her stamina would be so much better than mine, so it may not be as bad as I imagined. I did what mommy could only do. I prayed for her safety. I prayed and prayed that she would not doze off while waiting for her next connection, especially when she was in JFK, that would not be good..... I prayed and prayed that she had the strength to stand up straight until she arrived in Virginia.

I got one email telling me she arrived at JFK and another one that she was at DC airport. From one blackberry to another, she informed her father that she had arrived in her college town, was exhausted and mad. Without her luggage. Because United Airlines somehow did not carry it along with her flight.

Which reminded me.... I forgot to pray for luggage to arrive safely. I am still grateful that she arrived in one good piece and would not have any trouble sleeping immediately. I hope she had some spare clothes, face wash and toothbrush!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Ready For The Lunar New Year ...

We took down our Christmas decoration in the first week of this year and every place that we go to these days and since the beginning of the year, seems to be getting ready for the Lunar New Year which is going to take place on the same day as Valentine's day this year.

We have not done anything much other than buying some goodies for some friends overseas as well as our own consumption and bought ourselves a potted pussy willow tree from Ikea and a red pot with Lunar New Year theme writing on it. They have some products advertised for the Lunar New Year. A smart business move indeed.

We have driven by China Town and the place is, of course, already well decorated. We might check the place out next week, hoping things are not as hectic as now .... and I am no longer too sleep-deprived. I need more sleep, really.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fried Noodles

I have been cleaning up the fridge and trying to use up whatever I have inside. It has been well too stocked up since we had many guests over the holidays. I started to see some space now and it looks so much better. This morning I used up the fish balls, the yellow noodles and the leftover rice noodles to make some fried noodles, added to that was some julienned carrots and sliced cabbage. Some fried scallions on top for good old crunchiness....

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Time For The Yellows...

It would not be fair if I do not write anything about my yellow sunflowers that seemed to all blossomed these days. They did.

And that satisfied our rather pathetic myth-expectation that sunflowers are yellow. The red one remains standing and looks elegant and we should be having more blossoming too. Lovely.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Our sunflower has blossomed. We were guilty of expecting a yellow sunflower to turn up and we could not help ourselves whispering "huh?..... when we saw the dark color of the flower we saw.

I still thought that it might turn yellowish the next day because I saw some yellow colors on the other side. I guess no. We've got ourselves a red sunflower and we are happy the proud parents! It's pretty! Haha.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fried Bananas

We had Japanese ramen in a restaurant by the river when my sister was here with her two children, that was just last Monday night. We walked back home and someone, can't remember who, blurted out the idea of having fried bananas. I said I didn't mind making some, but we were out of bananas and I did not feel like walking 20 minutes to get bananas at 9PM and still had to work in the kitchen after.

The visitors left on Tuesday morning and I soon forgot all about fried bananas until they sent me a picture of them last night. I was back on wanting them again and managed to get some bananas on the way back from lunch outside this afternoon. Here we go, my fried bananas!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Tuesday Morning

The colors in the sky were just too good to let go. I could not help taking a snap or two and more...... of them. It was 6:47 AM. One fine Tuesday morning that led to heavy rain in the late afternoon...