Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last day of 2013



And so it happened that I woke up before 7 am on the last day of 2013. I've been sleeping late almost every night and waking up late as well. 

This morning I think I was awake at about 5 am but didn't get out of bed immediately. I just laid there with my eyes closed and thinking of how wonderful it is to have my husband and son under the same roof this time.

We aren't always together. We won't always be together so I cherish the moments like this. All is well in my world today. 

2014 looks very promising. There is so much to look forward to. I cannot be more contented than now. Anyway, for those who take the time to visit my blog, here's my wish for you!

May you always find peace, joy and love everyday.

Pic from Pinterest

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Anniversary

Pic from FB


Having had the flu and about a week of rest has left me with plenty of time doing nothing but to think of everything.


And everything for me usually revolves around my life with Stephen.  


After all that's been said and done, it just boils down to the fact that we make a great team.  

Pic from FB

We aren't like two peas in a pod.  We're different in so many ways. If you look at us from afar, we'd seem like an unlikely match. Yet, those who know us will acknowledge that we give marriage a good name.  *toot toot*.  Okay, I was tooting my own horn there!

What keeps us together is not a secret!  What keeps us together is our strong faith in God, our deep love for Jared and, of course, genuine respect for each other.

An anniversary should never be about the number of years. Besides, I hardly remember my life before him and I'm so glad for another year of being together.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!
Here's a mini tribute to our recent years!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Love grows best in little houses.

Pic from FB

It's never been my dream to have a big house.  Maybe when I was very young, I might have thought of being a princess and living in a palace.  However, as I became older, I found that it is not the size of the home that matters.  I'm glad there are other like-minded people and  I am not alone. 

Until today, I still frown when people say I live in a 2-room apartment in Singapore.  For so long, I misunderstood what it actually meant until I found out that the living room was counted as a room!!!!

In KL, we have 3 bedrooms and it has never occurred to me to say that we have a 4-room apartment because it would give the impression that there are 4 bedrooms!  All these years when I have told Singaporeans that my KL place has 3 rooms, they must have thought I meant 2 bedrooms and 1 living room.  

For the life of me I cannot understand why Singapore has perpetuated this strange concept.  Wouldn't it be just as simple not to count the living room?  Maybe someone can educate me on the background of this idea!!!

How do they do this in other countries?  Do they say 4 rooms when they really mean 3 bedrooms and 1 living room?

I love my Singapore home even if it has only one bedroom. Everything is compact and within easy reach.  Cleaning is super easy and it's a no-fuss kind of place.

I'm not, or rather, Stephen and I are not the types where you must not do anything else but eat on the dining table.  We do whatever we want because for us, it's a multipurpose area.  It works as our desk and also as a computer table, sometimes!

I know that some people would be horrified and think that this mishmash kind of living will seem the end of a civilised life.  *guffaws*

Isn't life easier when you think outside the box?
Isn't life easier when you live happy?

I like to think that it is.

Yes, we have a small home but it's where love grows best!






Monday, December 16, 2013

Doing it all over again

Pic from FB

It's been years since I had to look after a child.  Child here meaning someone below twelve years of age.

Thankfully, it's much like riding a bicycle.  One never forgets. The motherly instincts kick in and everything moves on auto-pilot.  

Stephen and I had the pleasure and the joy of having a ten-year old boy with us for two weeks. 

It was planned and unplanned.  We had expected him to be with us this December but we hadn't fixed the date.  Some events shifted his visit to the end of November but it worked out well for us.

Stephen loves children and they all love him back, with the same intensity.  Josef is no exception.  Watching them act, react and interact was more fun than I thought possible.  

Here are some picture collages of his stay.  We must have taken over a 1000 shots with our HPs, Tab, iPad and camera!  LOL

















Of course, the highlight of the trip was spending a whole day at Universal Studios.  For that day, I'm doing a youtube clip but for now, these selected pictures tell their own story.






Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saying goodbye


The world is reeling from the deaths of the handsome Paul Walker and, of course, the anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela.

People die all the time but some deaths affect us more than others. 

If we knew the person, then we share the grief with all the other loved ones. 

If we knew of the person, then we share the loss of that life.

Some have an untimely death while others die in their old age. Some who are seemingly healthy also slip away unexpectedly.

My Aunt Lucy passed away recently.  She was unwell for a long time and her death was not really a shock as she was in and out of the hospital.  Yet hearing about her death was like a blunt force trauma to my heart.  I had not expected to be so sad when I heard the news.

It is never easy to think of a life that is over.  It's even harder looking back at the numerous chances not taken to show that I loved and cared for her.  She was a pillar of strength for me during a very difficult phase in my life.  It is obvious that she will be one of those who did something for me that I cannot ever repay.

Many times I think that eulogies are prepared with selective memories.  People choose to remember the good things because it's the right thing to do.  Often I would be shocked by my own thoughts when they clash with what I hear.  I know, I know.  It's the way it should be and we celebrate the goodness and all that. However I believe that keeping it real would be a far better legacy to the deceased.

In the case of Aunt Lucy, I sat listening  to everything her daughter said and I was conscious that I didn't have any secret thoughts of disagreement at all.  No exaggeration and no embellishment made it the best eulogy I have ever heard.

Looking back at all that travelling to and fro, of more than 1200 km, over four days, I have no regret.  It was a trip worth making.

I didn't really say goodbye to Aunt Lucy.  For me, she lives on in her five children.  They are blessed to have had such a wonderful mom.




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Belated Birthday Love

Pic from FB

This was meant to go out on 20 November for Stephen.  It was his birthday but I was away attending a funeral in Perak.  

I'm only now catching up with my blog as I had been busy making memories since I returned to Singapore.  It was unplanned but it became like a gift for Stephen to have a ten-year old boy for two weeks with us.  I shall be sharing about this soon.

Anyway, while I was away and Stephen was alone, Greg, our Godson sent him this whatsapp message, which I found very touching.

Grossepa, I think it's very nice and 
very thoughtful of you to let Godma go, 
even on your birthday...  Respect...God bless you.

It's such a simple message but it speaks volumes about both of them.  The younger one recognising a gracious act of kindness while the older was showing unselfish love and compassion.

It was not easy to choose where to be but Stephen decided for me by sayin
that being with my family during their bereavement took precedence over everything else.  

In hindsi
ght, he was right and it was the better decision for me to leave him alone.  At our age, everyday is a celebration and even when we aren't together, it really makes no difference to us.  

Better late than never they say, so this is my belated birthday declaration of love.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home away from home

Pic from FB

For over fifty years, home was always Malaysia.

When I moved to Singapore last year in March, I wondered if I would ever feel at home here.  These thoughts were guarded in my heart and not spoken out loud. I never gave them much place in my head although they came to disturb me every now and again.

People always asked if I love it here and my answer is always, "yes, I love it very much".  I don't know if I wanted to convince them or myself.

Being a believer in the power of the spoken word, I always say positive things for the benefit of others as well as for myself.

I don't know exactly when I began to feel that Singapore felt like home to me.  Maybe it was when I returned to KL and saw all the familiar roads, faces and places and yet I was a little detached from it all.  

There probably wasn't any particular moment when Singapore began to feel like home. It just happened bit by bit and then a simple remark made it all come together.

Let me explain that.  

A few days ago, Stephen went to get curry laksa from the hawker centre for me.  The lady who took his order was going to put a dollop of sambal into the packet when Stephen motioned her not to. She looked at him and said, "If this is for your wife, she likes it".  

When he came home and told me about it, I was amused.  She was right because I do like that extra kick to the laksa.  

It's like in the sitcom "Cheers" where everybody knows your name. 

In my case, it's not my name but it dawned on me that when the neighbourhood hawker lady knows how I take my curry laksa, Singapore is home.

I gave up a lot when I left Malaysia to be with Stephen but what I have here with him is invaluable.



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Good mood food!

Pic from FB

Some food can put you in a good mood. For me, it would be any form of Indian food. There must be something in the spices that is always a great pick-me-up.  Okay, I confess that desserts also work just as well!!!!!

However, besides food, the one thing that makes me feel good is being with Stephen because he has such a cheerful spirit.  

One of the first things he said to me was "where you lead me, I will follow; what you feed me, I will swallow".  He wasn't kidding!  No matter what I have cooked or prepared for him to eat, he eats it all (with gusto).

Happy is the wife whose husband is so appreciative of all the little things.  It certainly does help to keep me in a good mood almost all the time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just like in the movies....

Toa Payoh Outdoor Stadium

This is my new playground.  It's only five minutes away by bus from where we stay.  Although it looks empty in this picture, there are many people who find it fun to be here when the gates open at 4.30 am.  

Stephen usually cycles to the stadium and then he walks: starting from Lane 8 and working his way down to Lane 1.  Then he cycles home or he goes for a swim.  

If he had started on this earlier, he could have easily participated in a triathlon.  Who knows?  Maybe he will, one day!

Recently, I followed him to the stadium. Previously, my habit was to stay on the sidewalk and make my way around the block, covering between two to four kilometers. This time, I wanted to see if there was any difference between walking inside the stadium and outside.

The thing is that when we watch movies, we always have the background music and it lends an air of drama to any scene.  In real life, there is no music and often I have wondered about this.  You can walk on the beach with your loved one and everything is perfect but there's no music! You're running around and there should be some lively accompaniment to the dashing all over.  

Anyway, this evening as I was making my way through the lanes, I had my headphones on and it dawned on me that it was like being in the movies.

You walk around, under a clear blue sky and if you have music that soothes your soul, you can get lost in the moment. There are other people around you but every other sound is locked out except for the music and the magical feeling.

I have gone walking with my headphones before but only today I realised that this is how it has always been in the movies, there is music!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Falling for fall!

It's just amazing how the days just zip past and we are already in October. I was so looking forward to it and now thirteen days have gone by already.

It's fall in some parts of the world and I saw this gorgeous picture online and had to share!

Halloween stuff are on sale here in almost all major department stores.  Great bargains can be found in Daiso, only S$2 a piece!

October started brilliantly with the kids visiting again and being here from the first to the sixth. I was already on tenterhooks even before they arrived. When they visit, there's never a dull moment.

We covered new territory this time.  Before spending hours in Spotlight, we discovered takoyaki balls! I found them very interesting and tasty. There are so many varieties to choose from: octopus, scallop, beef/cheese, ham/cheese, prawn, chili/tuna and others that I cannot remember.

We also introduced our children to Quentin's Eurasian Restaurant.  There was a birthday celebration and we had a feast!  Everything was just superb.  Good food, great company, fun and laughter are the basic ingredients for such an enjoyable night.  Look at the delicious spread.
Curry Captain, Babi Assam, Chicken Keluak Curry (top left to right)
Spicy Sweet/Sour Brinjal, Prawn Bostador and Sugee Cake (bottom left to right)
And it didn't end there, after dinner we took a drive around Singapore and passed the Serangoon area to see the Deepavali lights.


So far, I'm loving the first half of October.

Once Deepavali (3rd November) is over, the Christmas decoration will be out in full swing!!!



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Labels

Pic from Facebook



Saw this on FB some time ago and I saved it because I wanted to write about it.

Some People are quick to give out Labels to others... 

They may try to label others as the quiet one, the loud obnoxious one, the sick one, the fat one, the thin one, the well-off one or the 'down and out' one... etc



But before you sew those Labels into the fabric of your thoughts and beliefs about yourself, make sure they are going to Serve you. 


Don't become a servant to Labels that don't lift you up or help you in some way! 


It can be hard to do, but you know yourself better than anyone else on this Planet. Know yourself, believe in yourself, and stay true to yourself! 

Everyone has value and something to give our wonderful world. And we dont need to take on board other peoples 'crap' opinions - sometimes I wonder if they are just projecting their own self beliefs out there to make themselves feel better... ♥ Jen


I suppose it is normal to have these labels in our heads.  I don't suppose we can control how we feel.  

Yet, doesn't it surprise you when you hear of a label that someone has put on you?  Doesn't it just make you go wide-eyed and wonder where that came from?

I've been labelled short, fat and black.  Not recently but recent enough for me to still remember it!

I don't know where that came from.  Did it bother me?  No, not at all. It made me smile.  There's nothing wrong with being short, fat or black!  I've family and friends covering the whole gamut of these three words.

The truth is that by Asian standards I am not considered short.  At 165 cm I believe that I am slightly above average.  Fat?  Well, maybe pleasantly plump might be a better adjective.  But when this was said, I believe that I wasn't fat, yet!  Hahahahaha.  Don't we all think we aren't until we see a reflection in the mirror?

Now the last label appears to be about my complexion but I don't know for certain.  Usually the word is dark when talking about skin colour. 

This choice of word is interesting.  Black!  Nobody, in their right mind, who has seen me in real life or in a picture would describe me as black.  Some malice was intended there, for sure!  

The truth is that the labels don't hurt because they are just opinions and nothing else.  

If you have to label people, use the good ones.  The unfair ones are like the cheap stickers and they don't stick well.  


Monday, September 16, 2013

Brand new!


Many times, as a teenager, I wished that I could have a brand new start when hormones were raging and everything seemed dark and dreary.  Nobody understood me and neither did I understand anyone.  

There were even times when I wished I was in another country. I remember feeling so depressed after watching S.W.A.L.K.  I used to lay awake at nights just hoping that I could meet Mark Lester and wanting so desperately to live in the U.K.  Too much TV/movies made me believe that life elsewhere would be better. When I was more matured, I realised that life is good wherever you make it to be.  

At the end of my teen life, I saw this particular quote and it had a profound effect on me.   This gave me a fresh look about my life and that I could make a brand new ending.  As it turned out, circumstances threw me chances to shape and re-shape my life along the way.  

Many things were life-changing but the ones that stand out would be my parents getting a divorce, moving out from home, getting married, having children, being widowed, re-marrying, retiring and finally relocating.  Each time it propelled me to something better and each beginning is an ending to something and each ending is also a beginning.

I think that we would do well to remind teenagers and also adults that there is always the possibility to stop at anytime and start again.  This only needs to happen in our heads.  It's what makes life interesting and ever-changing.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pillow talk


There are nights when I sleep alone: the nights when Stephen is doing the night shift and I have the whole bed to myself!!!!  While it is a luxury to stretch out, it is also a moment to be thankful for the husband that works hard for the family.

The blessing of having the night shift is that when it's over, there are three whole days free for him to do as he wishes.  So it's a win-win situation for him and for me.

With his new bicycle, he has been going out to shoot the breeze after midnight!  When I get my own bicycle, I think I'm going to join him!  Still undecided about this but maybe I really will do it. We are still scouting for a perfect bicycle built for me!  

Usually on his free days, we go out until we are so tired that we come back and get into bed by 9 pm.  But at other times, we stay up till 2 or 3 am watching TV and walloping ice-cream and cake!  Who cares about calories at that hour??

When we go to bed, we talk about stuff: something that we saw or an event that happened.  Often it is about family and how happy we are to be surrounded by those who mean so much to us.  

The pillow talk can last anything between 5 minutes to an hour!  

Just as quickly as the topics come rushing to us, it also trickles off until one of us falls asleep.  When the other doesn't answer, the talk has ended!  Hahahahahahaha

The reality is that you don't need a pillow to talk.  If you really want to talk, you just do.  You throw caution to the wind and open up the floodgates of your mind.  It is as simple as that.





Wednesday, September 04, 2013

An unexpected delight!!!



So they spelt my name wrongly!  Instead of Soliano, it became Solidano.  It annoyed the teacher in me but the niece in me got over it quickly.

In any case, it is not about me but about Rufino Soliano.  What an extraordinary life he has led throughout his musical career.  The music he has shared touched every level of society here in Singapore.

Maybe the young may have forgotten him and maybe only the people of the older generation remember his name when he was at the helm of the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.  It really doesn't matter because his music will live on forever.

There is a saying that (Every man should) plant a tree, have a child, and write a book. These all live on after us, insuring a measure of immortality. – attributed to the Talmud and Jose Martí, Cuban revolutionary and poet.

I think Rufino Soliano accomplished all these in his own way.  

~~~
While I have had letters to Editors of Newspapers published in Malaysia, this is my first print in Singapore.  I am certainly proud of myself.

Likewise, I am so pleased that the National Library Board saw fit to share this poem I wrote.  Thank you NLB for this kindness.  The gesture is very much appreciated.  



Friday, August 30, 2013

Twenty years ago...


Sometimes things happen around us and we wonder about our own life.  It is strange that many do not think too much about their past when things are going great.  I guess it is natural to be in the present and to think only of the future.

In general, I think a lot about the past and all the things that have happened.  I believe that it is therapeutic. Sometimes talking about it with another person (that you trust) can help tremendously. Reliving old wounds needn't always be painful. 

This happened to me. 

While sharing with a wonderful friend about the ghosts of my past and even some skeletons in the closet, I realised that they no longer hurt or bother me as they once did.  Bringing it up made me realise that I was no longer a prisoner of those feelings.  I had risen above them all.  Literally, they had no more hold on me.

Twenty years!!!

How far I have come since then?  The things that hurt me then didn't really do me any harm.  On the contrary, they made me stronger.  The people who claimed to love me then weren't always genuine but I got over it. Time always has a way of showing the true nature of everything and everyone.

Twenty years. It is a long time!  

Thankfully, I was very young when I found and pondered over this quotation.  I admit that because of it I have often thrown caution to the wind and said, "oh, what the heck!". 

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time;
it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

No regrets now.  Everything has worked out much better that I could have planned or imagined. Right this moment, I am feeling very blessed.  



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dust if you must!



Pic from FB

If I had to choose, I'd pick housework instead of office work.  If you've never had to work a regular 9 to 5 job, it would be easy to imagine that it is all glamour and nothing else.  Oh yes, it's easy to dress up, wear heels, get in the car, drive through crazy traffic and be seen as one of the movers and shakers of the world but the reality is far from that.  There are always deadlines to meet and a million things to remember.  It wasn't always fun and that's the reality of office work.
 
Housework, on the other hand, is something you either enjoy or hate.  I quite enjoy it.  I like seeing everything neat, clean and orderly. 
 
When I say I am staying home, people probably envision me with apron on, hair tied up and holding a feather duster in my hand.  They might also believe that I am in the kitchen preparing meals.  No, that is not how it is at all.
 
I dust only when I must.  I cook only when I'm in the mood. 
 
Nothing is ever set in stone in my home.  I do the essential cleaning but everything else is on a "need to be done" basis.  Life is too short to be spent looking for dust.   
 
So I dust only when I must! 
 
 
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Moving on

Pic from FB

It seems clear to me that who we were in the past is always dredged up by people unable to deal with the present.  Maybe the root cause of talking about it stems from being unhappy with how things are now.  Happy people just don't look backwards.  

One of the luxuries of being contented today is not having to dwell on what was and just enjoying what is.

Why then do people like to look back?  Even worse than just looking back is when facts of their former life are distorted. Changing, shaping and re-arranging stories have become essential as the air they breathe.

Our past is important.  When we learn to accept it for what it was, we can then appreciate the present.  Some people become better but most become bitter.

Pic from FB

Only then, will we have learnt the art of moving on.  




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just perfect...


When we hear of someone who has died in what we believe is before his time, we tend to stop and take stock of our own life.

When I did that, I reached a conclusion that my life is beautiful. In any case, I've had enough people saying this to me so I already know it is true.

It is a perfect life.  Perfect from my point of view and the only view that should matter.  

I was discussing life, death and the hereafter, with a dear friend via emails, and I wrote "It seemed to me that most people are afraid to say that their life is perfect already.  They are worried that if they say it is perfect then it cannot get better.  It can be perfect at that particular point in time."  

I added, "I like to think that my life is perfect today.  So is yours!  I see you so happy and contented and I think that's perfect.  If it doesn't get better, it's already perfect.  If it gets better, then, by golly, it's better than perfect.  A win-win situation, I think."

Someone's early demise shouldn't be the moment when we stop to think about our lives although I suppose it is a natural thing to do. However, I am now going to make a conscious effort to count my blessings each day and not wait for a catalyst.

I realise I have reached a certain point in my life where there is no longer any reason to prove I am happy. I just am and it's a beautiful life.  

Bon Voyage, Errol!  This one's for you!



Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hands!




This exhibition touched me in a personal way for two reasons.  The main being that my uncle Rufino Soliano was featured as one of the Singaporeans who made a contribution to his country.  On another note would be that many of us still practise the Filipino culture of the young taking hold of the elder person's hand to kiss, upon meeting and greeting, as a form of deep respect.  Hence, this showcase of Hands is very meaningful.  From looking at the people who were there, it was plain to see that many were surprised to have been remembered.  For this reason alone, it is worth it.



Rufino Soliano is the patriach of the family and this word is used because he is the oldest of five brothers (Rufino, Antonio, Francisco, Mauricio and Maximo).

Last night as I went to bed, some words were twirling around and this morning I sat at my computer to write this before I forget any of it.
One of the notes from the
Memo Pool at the National Library
His Hands!

These are the hands
that conducted bands
in many foreign lands

These are the hands
that make amends
when no one understands

These are the hands
that have the strands
of love for all his friends

These are the hands
whose love withstands
in all of God's real plans

These are Rufino's hands!


Rufino in his Godfather's role!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

A twist in the tale



I don't know if I've ever made anybody cry by telling the truth.  I do know that it changed many things around my life when I was in primary school.

The first time that I doubted this advice of "telling the truth" involved answering a question.  

When I was twelve years old, a school friend asked me if I was her best friend.  Truthfully, I didn't know the meaning of best friend then. I just knew in my heart that she was a good friend and that was it.  She insisted that I answer and I told her the truth.  I said, "No, you're a good friend".  In turn, I asked her if I was her best friend and she said, "Yes".  

However, I was no longer her best friend after I told her the truth. We drifted apart and after a bit, we even stopped talking.  I have wondered about this many times.  Had I lied would it have changed the course of my life?  Would it have cost me anything to have said that she was my best friend when she wasn't?

I have often wondered about her and where she is today.  Maybe she won't even remember this incident.  Maybe it no longer matters to her that I said what she didn't like to hear.  But maybe she wonders about me and where I am today, as well.  I will never know.

Although I never gave it too much thought, the fact that telling the truth didn't work out so well taught me a lesson I will never forget.

Not everybody will appreciate it when you tell the truth.  


Saturday, August 03, 2013

If


If.


It always boils down to this word "IF". If someone truly loves you, distance is not a problem.

The problem is that it's not IF, it's WHEN!  When someone truly loves you, distance is not a problem.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There were many sceptics about us because of the distance that used to separate us.  The naysayers warned me that I should be cautious.  They also warned Stephen that he deserved better. We were burdened by all the negative "ifs" generously shared by our well-meaning family and friends. Nobody cared to understand the real reasons that kept us apart.

When things turned around and we finally closed that 300 kilometer gap, the opposite happened and people speculated that it wouldn't work out.  We'd been apart for too long.  We'd find living together strange and it would be difficult, they said.  No one was more worried than we were. Yet, we knew that with love for each other, it would be okay.    

As it turned out, we are happier than we've ever been. We're more relaxed now after more than a year down the road.  We've ironed out all the kinks and everything is running smoothly!

Had we given in to the temptation of letting those doubts get to us, we wouldn't be here today!

"If" is only a word but we don't realise that it carries an uncertainty in it.  The better word is "when".

When someone truly loves you, nothing is a problem.



Friday, August 02, 2013

Zoned out on...

Pic from FB

Yesterday, while Stephen was resting after his night shift, I took a bus ride to Geylang, by myself. It's not an altogether long ride but being on my own with nobody to distract me, I actually found myself zoned out from all that was around me.  No thoughts were in my head.  No words were shared with anybody.  I felt so contented and at peace with everything. My guardian angel must have nudged me back to earth because I suddenly realised that I had to get down from the bus.

Stephen gave me perfect instructions and I found myself in an area that I recognised.  I headed for the Geylang Serai New market where we had a sumptuous dinner just two days ago.  Both of us enjoyed the meal and when we tasted the serunding (meat floss), it didn't disappoint.

So your Mission, Lita, if you choose to accept it, is to get more serunding and the blackout curtains which you saw.

I don't know if the mission was a success or a failure.  Success because I found so many lovely things to buy or failure because I ended up with more than I set out to get.

My backpack was filled to the brim and weighed a ton. Never shop on an empty stomach they say and it's true.  I bought so much to eat not realising there are only two of us.  Nothing was wasted though as Stephen took the remaining kueh-mueh to work.

What did I get?  

First, the non-perishable goods!
1 set of two pieces full-length blackout curtains at S$20 (usual price S$39)
1 batik dress for my MIL for Raya (why not?)
3 blouses for me (couldn't resist)
1 hand-held sewing device (so cute)

Now, the consumables!
2 packs of beef serunding (delicious!)
1 packet of prawn serunding (something new)
1 packet of putu piring, consisting of 5 pieces! (the best I've had)
1 packet of seri muka
1 packet of kuih bingka
1 packet of kuih dadar
1 packet of roti jala and chicken curry
1 packet of nasi beriyani
All pictures from the WWW.

HOMAIGAWD, we had a feast!!!



Sunday, July 28, 2013

Until you've...

Pic lifted off FB

It's a little more than all of these things.  These are just the starters. Starters in what is much like a having a meal.

The main course is 
 Until you've ..........
counted to ten before
 you burst a blood vessel 
when you see toys all over the floor

wished for more energy when the boys won't go to bed 
and you're already about to collapse!

done their homework for them because,
well, there wasn't enough time to make them do it.

escaped from them by taking a shower and
you stand under the water and savour the
peace and quiet for those precious moments

peeped at them sleeping and your heart feels like
it may just explode with all that you are feeling
.... you haven't known love.


I have known this love.   Twice!


Friday, July 26, 2013

MIL's secret weapon against germs.


My mom-in-law (MIL) has many old stories to share and often when I say something that jogs her memory, she'll remember something from the past when money was tight and hard to come by. Despite all the financial limitations, she did her best. She repeats this often, "we were so poor but we were really happy!". Usually this would be followed by a wistful smile and a faraway look in her eyes.

As most mothers, one of her main concerns was that the kids were always clean and healthy.  Stephen remembers that they used this soap when they were still small children running around the neighbourhood.  They played in the mud, in the sand, in the grass and even in the nearby cemetery. When they reached home with all the sweat, dust and dirt, the first thing to do was shower with this soap.  They never had rashes or sores or any skin problem and they always smelt like they stepped out of the hospital. 

In those days, a bar cost S$0.20 and today it is S$0.80.  My mom-in-law still asks for this every once in a while and we buy it for her. I think that when she showers in the morning, the smell of the soap takes her back to those days in Rosyth Road.  

She said that the neighbours called it 'dog' soap because people bought it for their dogs.  She laughs when she remembers this anecdote.

These days, I am seeing my mom-in-law with new eyes.  I admit that I hadn't always felt this way about her but this last year has opened my heart, just that little bit more, with each sharing of her life story.

All of us have an interesting story to tell. All it takes is someone willing to listen and to write about it before it is lost forever.