Wednesday, December 27, 2006


In a span of 8 months, both my dad and FIL have been diagnosed with high creatinine level in their blood stream. Dad with 50% of the kidney still in good working condition while my FIL diagnosed 3 weeks ago with less then 15%. This is all so sudden. FIL has been fine all along never missing his 3 time a week 18 hole golf session for the last 25 years. The only time he had a major operation was in 1998. A man of moderation in his consumption of food and drinks. Goes for his annual check-up. What went wrong? Was it the diet? The prescribed drugs consummed over time? Or just genetic?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Shan was all excited when she finished the book" Charlotte's web" a day before friday. The movie started it's screening on thursday 21st December. She wanted to see if the movie had followed closely to the book.
And so we, Shan and I went for the movie at balestier on saturday while the rest opted for "Night in the museum". I was quite apprehensive at first but, to my surprise it actually turn out to be a delight. Dakota Fanning makes all the difference. A simple heart warming story of an unlikely friendship.

I am glad I went for the show. Yes, the movie had followed the book as close as possible except for the crows. They were not in the book.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nature's wrath.

The flood of the century. Johor the southern most state in Malaysia has been hit by flooding since the 18th of this month. Used to think that such disasters never happen to us but suddenly mother nature's catastrophe is getting closer. We have been abusing what the earth's generous endowment. We waste it, trash it, abuse it and pollute it all to satisfy our needs to control and possess.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


On my way to the temple yesterday morning, I found these lotus pods. Bought two stalks. Remembered once during my chlildhood, mum bought a lotus pod home. She carefully removed the seeds of the pod, peeled the outer layer off. Encouraged me to take a nibble on the creamy coloured kernel. It's edible she reassured me. Truly refreshing sweet tasting. It's my turn to introduce them to my children.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Winter solstice

It's only in recent years that I understood the meaning of Tung festival . As with all chinese festivals, symbolic food is prepared for this occassion. On this day mum would prepare those little gluttonous red and white dumplings in ginger syrup. Pandan leave to add that unique fragrant. Never understood the significant of this day till I discover that it's actually the celebration of the winter solstice. After the Winter Solstice, days will become longer and longer. It's a time of rejuvenation and renewal.

Record rainfall

One for the record. Third highest recorded in singapore in the last 75 years! 345mm of rainfall tuesday 19th december.
While it rained outside, my children and I had a movie marathon. Catching up on movies we missed during the year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stranger than fiction

Having been following with interest on the Litvinenko poisioning case. In the papers hypothesis by a CIA agen turned novelist Charles McCarry. In most cases of extermination, the targets were taken by surprise unknown sometimes till after death. As to the weapon and assassin one can only speculate. How can this case goes so wrong? Intended to frame or throwing the scent off?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wet December

It's tuesday and it's still raining outside. Raining for the past 54 hours.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mum's cooking

Mum never fails to cook up something different everytime I am home. This time round, it's the chopped long beans in egg omelette. Comfort food. Simply nutriously delicious.


Recently in the papers, fathers are encouraged to drive their children to school. To strenghten that already fragile father and child bonding. Striking a conversation with your child while trying to rush through traffic and avoid bumping into weaving impatient drivers. Being able to communicate with each other is the 1st step to a better understanding of the child's take on this ever changing society.
Well, it does not work. I should know. Dad drove me to school during my secondary school years. The air was tense while dad inch his way through the jam. I would keep very quiet so as not to distract his attention. My heart would thump harder on days that I was late. Through no fault of mine but the traffic of course.
The same scenerio is repeated in present day as MDH drives the children to school. Most of the time the two teenagers have their ears plugged in or catnapping.
Truly not a time to listen, reflect or advise.
On the contrary, action speaks louder than words.
Spending time wrapping the child's textbooks and writing their names for them on all the textbooks and exercise books is one way my dad showed his pride for his children.
Personal touch goes a long way.
In keeping with tradition, I have taken the task of wrapping my children's books. Phew!!! two more stacks to go.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Think of Penang and the nutmeg fruit will come to mind. On my trip to the Pulau Tikus market, I bought a kilo of fresh nutmeg. My salted vegetable and duck soup would not taste right without a crush nutmeg seed. That is the secret ingredient to this aromatic soup.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Popiah man

This popiah skin or flour crepe stall has been around for the last 40 years. Remembered seeing him when I was a little girl following grandma to market in Penang. His father started the stall and now him, continuing the family business. Simply amazes me how the slimy flour would blop around his hand as he expertly smear it on the hot plate to create another crepe.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


December 1oth is my daughter's 16th birthday. I could not help but to recall the times when, I first realised I had something growing inside me. As she made her way down the narrow passage, in all my agony and pain I just could not but feared for the worst. Finally as I held her for the first time, I was so thrilled. Thrilled to see that this little bundle of joy was all mine.
May her next 16 years be filled with love and fulfilment.

The Tan clan

After a week in Penang, I am finally back home. It was holiday cum get-together. The gathering of the Tan clan. Dad has 6 brothers and 5 aunts. Last week son of 2nd uncle got married. A much respected brother who had worked hard to support the family during the growing up years. Uncles and aunts and cousins from all corners of the earth came back. He worked as a teacher in far flunk Terengganu. The salary he earned was sent back to grandma. He gave tuition for his personal allowance. I remembered, when he was back in Penang working as a bank teller, he would come back with hacks sweets. Go the the kitchen and divide the just one sweet into equal portion for all the nephews and nieces hovering around him!!!
He finally agreed to an aranged marriage after all the siblings were able to established themselves.
However, the Tan clan family photo was still not complete. Never managed to yet. 1st aunt left Penang to Hong Kong in the 70s while 5th aunt to Uk for nursing. 2nd aunt was given away and now residing in Ireland, 4th aunt seattled down in the States while 4th uncle received the Colombo plan to further his studies in Germany. 6th uncle is now station in Shanghai while 7th has just retired from the Singapore airforce. This time around 1st uncle and 7th uncle 1st, 2nd,4th and 5th aunt could not make it back.

I remembered when grand ma and grand pa died 25 years ago not all made it back.
Needless to say the cousins are scattered all over. Some I have not seen for the last 20 years.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The rays

Indeed, Sentosa island needs a makeover. Visited the island last sunday after an 8 year interval. To my surprise, most of the attractions have closed or under upgrading. Have to admit, the underwater world has always been the sole reason for me taking visitors especially youngsters there. With anticipation, we headed straight for the cable car tower. Absorbing in the sights and views of the container port and the lush greenery of the island. Upon arrival, we check the route needed to get to the aquarium. The aquarium never fails to awe me. The huge groupers to the fragile weedy seahorses.
Schools of mantra rays swimming around the touching pool has my 9 year old daughter all excited as the mantra rays actually swims up to your hand.
Lunch at the beach was indeed another experience. Having a cool cloud weather helped. It was a delightful lunch by the beach watching children play. Prices were to my surprise reasonable and the food actually taste Good. Especially the indian fare.
I am glad I took up my daughter's strong request to see the rays in sentosa. Despite of all the works and the upgrading that is...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Young and restless

There have been a spat of accidents involving young drivers recently. One, ran from a fatal accident scene, consulted a lawyer before turning himself in on his lawyer's advise!!!
I have no sympathies for these reckless drivers.Weaving through heavy traffic, cutting in and out of lane without prior signalling, tailgate when cars are driving within the road speed and most of all running red lights. I too had been victim of one of these impatient, road weaving youngsters. They should be taught a lesson. Not only do they endanger their lives, they are responsible to the lives of other road users. A life is taken, the driver get away with a fine and ban from driving for 2 to 3 years. Is this enough to wake them up. Be more responsible?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

young minds

In the papers yesterday, where possible more graduate mums are choosing a career in child development. Armed with degrees in various fields they are tearing away from the harsh corporate image of fast talking, stern looking backstabbing enviroment to a sunday casual, a stroll in the park and entertaining young innocence minds.
Indeed life as in fashion is a merry go round. Take the latest spec craze. It's now back to thick bold coloured frames. That was in the 60s.
The realisation of the satisfaction and pride nurturing young ones especially when they are your own. Who better than the educated mum to explain to them the wonders of nature, the fabric of life and importance of culture custom and religion.
Childhood is indeed becoming more meaningful after all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The holidays

After months of preparation for the 'O' level exam it's finally over for MDD. It's back to her ballet and more ballet practise. Then there is the prom night to look forward to this coming wednesday. A last get-together with all the friends before they embark in their next phase in life. To the girls, getting the right attire matters. From the hair do right up to the toes. Spent 5 hours on sunday shopping for that right dress.
As for MDS, he is scrubbing his fingers raw. He does nothing but scrubbing the baking tins, trays and all the washing no one wants to do at the bakery.

Monday, November 13, 2006


A truly sneezing monday it is. Eyes watered, nose dripping...... Sneezed so much that my nose hurts..... what a dreary day. On strong persuasion bought a packet of antihistamine pill to bring some relief .

Friday, November 10, 2006

Busy busy

It has been a week now since MDS started his part time work. Comes back from work, Plong!! on the couch exhausted but full of stories to tell of his 6 hours of serving, cleaning, mopping, serving, cleaning and packing. His lesson so far "must be seen busy Always. Look for something to keep one busy All the time otherwise you risk being reprimanded as lazy"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Part time

After spending a week at home lounging around, MDS has gotten himself a part time job. At a nearby bakery. He started work this morning. This is definately better than the previous year where he spend 10 days moving around singapore selling book mark for donation. Me, a mean mum to encourage him to work? No. I think not. The school system in singapore has kept many students very busy 1st thing in the morning and staying back till late afternoon. Suddenly to have so much time in hand is definately hard to kill. On computer games, lounging in front of the television set, going for more enrichment courses or loafing around the malls is definately not my kind of programmes during the much deserved break. I am proud that he actually made an effort to look for a part-time job. I do hope he'll have the will power to stay on.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


MDD is going nuts with anything and everything Korean!!! The latest being the korean serial on the tube every night at 7 p.m.
What draws the masses into a new culture?
The suave looking guys, the saccharine sweet pixie faced gals or the heart rendering tunes

The old familiar fairytale like story?

From J pop to K pop. What's next I pop?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Little litter bugs

It's true, our beloved nation is slowly being invaded by bugs. Can be found everywhere!!! Biggest tell tale sign, trails of synthetic exoskeleton found literally eveywhere as they molt into enormous cute rotunds. Due to lack of active self clean up ability, they are apt to grow into even bigger size. How did it happen?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Excuse me,

Time is the culprit!!!!
You miss the bus, late for work be reprimanded , your promotion may be at stake. All because you took time to greet your neighbour whom you have not seen for ages.
Late and the driver will be chided for not keeping the scheduled time, keeping all the other commuters waiting. All because the kind bus captain waited patiently for a commuter on the other side of the road to catch the bus
Late and you'll never find a parking space, pacing from table to table looking for a seat at the hawker centre. Finally to stand in the long long queue just to get a quick bite for lunch. All because you were gracious enough not to squeeze into a sardine packed lift at lunch time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Can we survive without having an extra help around the house? Can we do without a maid?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Choices choices.

With less then 5 days before the 'O' level exam commence, most secondary 4 students are taking a break and going shopping. JC shopping. MDD visited most of the top JC to, get a feel of the atmosphere, the enviroment and the Toilets & libraries!!
Most JCs are having their open house today and tomorrow.
Putting on the best performances, are the CCAs, the students leaders and also the teachers.
With this, the students get a better idea on where they would like to continue their next two years of education.
With this, too students will, hopefully, work even harder to attain the require points to enter the JC of their choice.
Amazing how times have change.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Apart but then again not quite. The latest parting arrangement here in singapore. Legally divorced couples are staying under the same roof.
The modern DINK financial savy couples, it's head over heart. To disposal of the matrimonial home when and only when the property fetches a substantial profit.
While in another case, he pays the mortgage of the property and the household expenses, while she still provides the household services.
The full time mum, with no personal income, no personal savings she can only untangle herself from the legal obligation of a marriage.
Are full time mums making the right choice in life?
To depend on the husband to provide for her every need while she, devote her time on the children.
When things of wrong, what has she to be once again independant?
Once again to be depended on the ex-husband for the maintenance ?

Signs of autumn.

Most exquisite colour and design on a leaf which was part of a decor on a fruit platter.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hazy daisy?

At PSI reading of 119 this morning, the haze is definately choking the nasal passage and tearing the eyes. the result of the huge disparity between the wealthy and the poor?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bundle of Joy

My youngest is 9 today. Have always considered her a surprise bundle. When son came two year after his sister, there was a sigh of relief, a task completed. The next 5 years was kept busy bringing up the children. Then one day, that old familiar queasy feeling surfaced. On the 4th of October, after dinner, a good bath then off to the hospital, as the contractions became stronger. Baby arrived just before midnight.
Being the youngest, she is a joy. My source of hugs and kisses. A great companion, keeping me informed with chatters. Most of all, always there to lend a hand when it comes to carting the groceries.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Silver with age

Greying but able
slow but steady

A life time of experience to share and yet......

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


During lunch one day. Daughter, aged 9 excitedly announced,
"Jamie brought a puzzle game to school today.
For 50 cents, Valeria and I get to play with the game during recess"

Have been pondering since.
Is this, entrepreneur in the making.
Should this be encouraged?

Then when does sharing begins?
When does the lesson of humanity begins?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kaffir Or The caterpillar?

As soon as new shoots emerge from the plant, Mrs butterfly will carefully deposit her eggs on the underside of the tender succulent leaf. The last time, the whole plant was stripped bare by just 4 caterpillars. The result, immense delight on the childrens' faces, seeing butterflies emerging out of the cocoons.
This time round, just as the plant is taking shape, one egg was found on sunday.
This morning, the cater pillar has emerged.
Will it be the kaffir or the butterfly?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Baby makes three

Once in a lifetime a parcel so dear comes along. To nurture and awed in amazement. Before your very eye a fine young lad he will one day be.

Welcome to the world little Gabriel

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Dose of bitter

An occasional dose of goodness in this fruit Not a dish the children look forward to though. As in life, maturity and wisdom comes from the varied bitter sweet experiences .

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Small bites

Up to 1,000 calories a mooncake(according to the health promotion board) My favourite, lotus paste with one salted egg yolk has 790 calories. 2,000 calories, is the recommended daily intake for women. Have to sharpen my knife, quarter it twice and savour it over a week.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

On talking

When having a cuppa tea with a friend pouring her woes,
I must give her all my attention
I must ask the right question
Be kind with my remark
Be gentle on my advice
Inconspicuously seattle the bill and
see her home.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Apple pie cinnamon buns

My craving has been nothing but healthy all along. I just found out today. When St cinnamon, was still around, I would always grab two traditional cinnnamon buns for lunch that's until I saw how huge a butter dollop they diligent placed on the flatten dough before rollingup kneading it. I stopped. Much too fattening!!!
And an apple pie to finish off a scrumptious dinner. Esp when the pastry simply melts in the mouth.

Cinnamon has been found to help the body become more sensitive to the insulin produced by itself. Boosting the mechanism of dealing with sugar by as much as 20 times.This write up by micro biologist Pooja Vig can be found in the ST sept 13 of the MYB pg.17


Tom delighted by the new arrival moved in for a closer look. All four sound asleep under Tab 's watchful eyes. Unplanned but not unwanted. For the next few days, while Tom was no where to be seen, Tab was busy shuttling all four, one at a time from hideout to hideout. Has to be cool , dry and cosy and away from preying eyes . Once all four have had their fill and sound asleep, Tab would quietly tiptoe away for a moment or two. Swiftly she moved around looking for scaps to quell her hunger.
One night, Tab instinctively woke up, the smell of rain in the air. The drain will be flooded in no time. Quickly she grabbed one at a time by the mouth, off she went looking for a temperorily shelter. Hastily, she deposited 1st born under a covering.
Next morning, Tab was rudely woken by a *beep* just above her. Quick out of the hideout. One at a time she shuttled them away. To her horror, upon her 3rd trip back to the spot, laid in the middle of the parking lot little kitty in a pool of blood.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Spotted at the parking lot a two door subaru Definately would like to have a spin in it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fried rice paradise

Decided to clear the fridge. Out with the cold rice
Out with the lap cheong, the fishcake and sausages
For colour it's the bag of mix vegetable
Heat up the heavy base wok till the water drops dance on the surface
Few quick dash of oil, in goes the an egg or two
Then the lap cheong, fishcake and sausages

Hmm... so fragrant now the rice goes in
A swift saute in goes the mix vegetable
A dash of dark soya, light soya. pepper
And presto!!!
Fried rice for lunch.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday dessert

300g of warm mash sweet potatoe
300g of glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp of tapioca flour
200ml of pandan juice in water
Mix it, knead it , roll it into bite size balls, stuff a pc of gula melaka inside.
Drop them into the boiling water. As they float to the top, pick them up tumble them over the white grated coconut.
And What do you get? Ondeh ondeh of course!! My favourite nyonya dessert. If you like it cold pop them into the fridge. Promise it won't harden.

A busy friday in the kitchen with Shan.

A break

After a day in the kitchen having a popping time, its the library the next day. Today it's the swimming pool. Spending time with Shan on this short break while keeping the house very quiet. Twinkle toe is turning into a recluse studying for her 'O' level prelimary exam, starting on monday next. Tomorrow? Ah...she is having her table tennis practise then zoomm.... off to her ballet.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Was looking around for a bottle of popcorn for popping. Finally found a packet of dried raw popcorn. Must admit this is my first attempt at popping corn.
Add the corn into the pan cover the lid turn fire on low and listen. After about 20 *pops* open the lid, Yikes!!! disaster. Most of the corns have not only not popped but burnt.
2nd try. Listen for the *pops* Same result!
Hurried to the world wide web for help.
3rd try. Only this time, 2 table spoon oil was added as instruced(silly me, should have known better). Then the corn. Listen for the *pops* Still burnt but this time more popped!! Guess, the instruction was not explicit enough or my corns were not fresh.
Nevertheless, I had great encouragement from the children who took handfulls each time they walk pass the popcorn bowl.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yummy keratin

Horrors!!! in the health section of the papers today, biting nails to ease boredom, anxiety or sheer comfort can lead to losing a finger.
This happens when bacteria creeps into the nock and crany of the broken jagged nails. Invades broken skin around the nail.
Telltale signs includes
Redness, Warmth, Swelling and Pain.
Hand infection such as necrotising fasciitis, starts as a skin infection and spreads and spreads resulting in skin loss. Skin grafting may be required or worst amputation.
My son is an insistent nail biter!!! What am I going to do? *sigh*

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Recently a local supermarket in singapore has been selling kiwi fruits by the cartons.
It's the latest heart health fruit.

"Two Kiwi a day keeps the clotting at bay"

Monday, August 28, 2006

A barrel of laughter.

In The sunday times yesterday. 1 set of parents in a 2 bathroom 3 bedroom maisonette no maid (I assume) has 4 lovely girls and 4 strapping boys provide 3 square meals minus unhealthy MacD and KFC with 5 pairs of hands to cart the groceries in 10 bikes divided by 10 users equates to

A family of love laughter and fun. My heartfelt admiration to the Kwok family in Pasir Ris.