Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Tree and Christmas Presents

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Christmas Tree - Our first Christmas tree! When Mike said "let's put up the Christmas tree" on the 2nd December, I thought that was much too early. Actually it was not that early because shops were already selling Christmas stuff ; many houses and lawns were also decorated with Christmas lightings.

Mike had the tree assembled but it was barren until the following weekend as we could not find the ornaments and the lights in the house to decorate it. It was fun shopping, especially when I got the share to pick what I like to adorn the Christmas tree.



Today is the 4th Sunday and the last Sunday for our Christmas tree for the year 2007. Need to take it down and store it away, with its accompanying decorations. Don't you disappear again unless you don't want to be up that tree come December 2008!

Christmas Presents - I am thankful for the presents that I received this year. My thoughts go to those who are homeless, poor, sick, and lonely while others are feasting and having fun. My thoughts go to those who had to be away from their loved ones due to their duty call in the military, missionary or other fields. Thinking of the less fortunate, who are struggling even with each day's necessities, I am reminded that we need to spend wisely.

I am grateful for the Christmas present, that Heavenly Father has given each and everyone of us, all because He loves us (John 3:16).

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Friendships are Presents from Heaven

Saturday, 1 December 2007

In the book "Hugs for Friends" an Unknown said "Some people come into our lives and quickly go... Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same."

They came to Malaysia as missionaries only for awhile and they have left footprints on my heart.

Yes, friendships are presents from heaven! Thanks to all the friends that Mike & I were able to meet. You have made our trip to Utah more meaningful and enjoyable.

Nov 22 (Thur) - Mesa, Arizona - A Thanksgiving Day indeed to meet with Brother Lamb & Brother Rowley, who had served as missionaries in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch.

The members just love them to pieces!

Nov 23 (Fri) - St. George, Utah - Brother/Sister Telford who had served as missionaries in the Kota Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia branch . I remembered their first day in Kota Kinabalu as the 20 August 2004.


Brother Telford with his gong from Sabah-Malaysia.

I love to hear Sister Telford sing. She has such lovely voice. She taught the members of the Kota Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia branch to sing. There are many songs that reminded me of her when I sing them, my favourite being "As Sisters in Zion and We Will Bring the World His Truth". Because of her, I have learnt to sing better.

Nov 23 (Fri) - St. George, Utah - Brother/Sister Smiley who had served as missionaries in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch in 1999.


24 Nov (Sat) - Bountiful, Utah - Brother/Sister Jensen who had served as missionaries in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch in the period 2004/2005.


25 Nov (Sun) - Farmington, Utah - Sister Norberg, whom I befriended in the internet in January 2006 and have kept in touch since. This is the first time we have met in person!


and Brother Norberg, whom I have only communicated so far via email and telephone!


25 Nov (Sun) - Farmington, Utah - Brother/Sister Jacobs who have served as missionaries in the Kota Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia branch, in the period 2003/2004. We had memorable time visiting the Sisters together.


26 Nov (Mon) - Salt Lake City - Brother/Sister Broadhead who had served as missionaries in the Kota Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia branch from Jan-June 2000. I remembered whenever I took them home to their apartment, after Sunday church meetings, Sister Broadhead would insisted a hug before I drove away. I was not a hugging person then, but I have learnt!


26 Nov (Mon) - Salt Lake City, Utah - Brother/Sister Bishop who had served as missionaries in the Kota Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia branch from Nov-Dec 2001. It was a very short while but they have left footprints on my heart.


26 Nov (Mon) - Salt Lake City, Utah - A wonderful get-together lunch with Brother/Sister Jacobs, Brother/Sister Bishops and Brother/Sister Broadheads.


27 Nov (Tue) - American Fork, Utah - Brother/Sister Folsom, who had served as missionaries in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch in 1998. They were the first LDS missionary couple that Lian, Yean & I met, when we started investigating the church in 1998. It has been 9 years since. Brother/Sister Folsoms were fondly addressed by the children of the branch as "Grandpa" and "Grandma".


27 Nov (Tue) - Provo, Utah - Brother/Sister Merritt who have served as missionaries in West Malaysia, Curent Provo MTC Mission President/Sister Boone who have served as Singapore Mission President, Sister Serrao who have served as missionary in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch. Wonderful people!


27 Nov (Tue) - Provo, Utah - Brother/Sister Watts who had served as missionaries in the Miri-Sarawak-Malaysia branch.


28 Nov (Wed) - Cove Fort, Utah - Interestingly we met with Brother/Sister Telford again. They were driving to Midway, Utah and we were driving from Provo Utah!

I hope to meet with the other missionary couples some day! Wonderful people!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mum Will Be Forever In My Heart

Sunday, 11 November 2007

1:42:54 pm - Sis Monica phoned from Melbourne, to inform that our Mum was in a critical state. Our youngest sister-in-law, Caroline, had phoned her because she didn't know how to phone me in US. It was 4.42:54 am Monday 12 November in Malaysia. It was 7:42.54 am Monday 12 November in Melbourne.

5:57.52 pm - Lian texted me "Mum... Grandma just passed" It was 8.57.52 am Monday 12 November in Malaysia. I was getting out of a friend's home in Foothills and walking towards the car when the message alert tone sounded. My heart stopped. I had a strong feeling that my mother had passed away.

Mum has been called to rest at last. Her spirit is free now from the afflicted body. I know she is with Dad, Joseph, her beloved parents, friends. I am glad that she is now with Joseph who passed away in March 1999. I know Mum missed this younger brother of mine very much.

Mum wouldn't want me to cry for her but I can't help it. I am being selfish. I cried because I won't be able to see her when I visit Miri again. She was gone on the 6 July 2006 but now she is really gone for good from this mortal life.

I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who prompted me to phone Caroline on Malaysia 11:30 pm Friday night, to tell Mum that I love her, that I am fine here and she is not to worry about me. Caroline said Mum's closed eyes were moving when she heard my voice from the phone handset that was placed against her ears. Caroline said it seemed like Mum wanted to say something back but couldn't.

I am thankful for a wonderful mum who have shown me what it is to live life to the fullest. Even though I will not see her ever again in this mortal world until the Lord calls me home, she will forever be in my heart. I am thankful for friends for their condolences and support. I am thankful that my children were in Miri during this period and were able to there for the family (when I can't) and to walk this last leg of journey with Grandma to her resting place.

Mum will be laid to rest, next to Dad, at about 11:00 pm tonight (Malaysia 14:00 hrs Wednesday). I will be thinking of her as I have for the past many nights.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Same Birthday

Monday, 15 October 2007

This was an interesting, fun and neat discovery!

As I was creating a birthday calendar of my friends and family, I noticed 2 birthdays. I thought I had made an erorr in my entries. Double-checked their response. Yes, they were the same date - the same day, the same month and the same year - 16 December 1932. And amazingly, they had served a mission in Malaysia. They do not know each other as they served in different branches and they have not met each other either. To add to the excitement - both their first name are basically the name, except for a little variance, because of gender's difference. I am waiting for response of their birth time!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Sweet Note from a Sweet Couple

Sunday, 14 October 2007

This was a note that I had safe-kept away. It was not just an ordinary note. It was a paper that was written by the sweetest couple that I know in Yuma.

It was dated the September 06, 2007. They wrote:

This is a great day! Irene has returned to Yuma.
To celebrate, I have arranged for the weather to get cooler beginning the end of September.

You will like it even more.
Welcome Home.
Gr... and Gl.... Ha..... and all of Yuma

I thought that was very sweet of them. Thank you! That piece of paper was at the door to greet us when Mike brought me home on the 6 September 2007.

The summer had been a little too hot for me and autumn was soon to come.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No money no air for your tyres

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

I am thankful that pressuring vehicles' tyres in Malaysia is free of charge. I hope it will stay that way. I really hope so. I hope we would handle the venting hose with care always otherwise who knows it would end up like this:



75 cts per vent. 3 mins per vent.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Once a Malaysian, always a Malaysian

Saturday, 6 October 2007

I found this scribbled at the back page. I had copied it from the MAS Inflight magazine. It was related to Malaysia's 50th Year Independence (31 August 2007). My spirit confirmed "Once a Malaysian, always a Malaysian". The phrase drove deep into my soul.

Getting forgetful as more white hair appear on my head, I better blog this before I forget what I have been feeling about that phrase. I hope I had copied the whole quotation correctly.

Here goes:
(quote)
Once a Malaysian, always a Malaysian. It's the little things we treasure in our hearts that make us who we are, uniquely Malaysian. Let's celebrate 50 years of the fabulous Malaysian spirit. Let's celebrate together. Let's fly Malaysia!
(unquote)

Let's fly Malaysia - Yes, definitely I will fly Malaysia Airlines, if the price continues to be affordable for me!

What are the little things that we treasure in our hearts that make us who we are, uniquely Malaysian?

I don't know what little things MAS are referring to. Personally, the little things that I treasure are living harmoniously in a multi-racial community, respecting each other's differences.

My parents lived in a semi-detached bungalow when I was a small girl. Our neighbour next door was a Malay family. The 2 families living in the bungalow opposite us were Malay too. The 2 families living in the bungalow at the back of us were Indian and Iban. The families living in the bangalow across the side of the road, adjacent to us, were Iban and Chinese.

There were no fence between the bungalows. Families visited each other and talked to each other freely, oblivious of the indifference of the other person's dressing. Mother was in her traditional Chinese 2 piece pyjamas (there is a Chinese word for that but I don't know what it is in English!) while our neighbour was in her Malay 2-piece baju kurung.

Come Hari Raya celebration we would visit our Muslim neighbours and other Muslim friends in the small town. The same goes to Gawai Dayak, where we would visit our Land and Sea Dayak friends. Come Deepavali we visited an Indian friend of Dad. Christmas is when we get to visit our Christians friends, who could be Ibans, Bidayuhs, Melanaus, Chinese. And of course Chinese New Year celebration, our house are opened for our neighbours to visit us.

I could still recall my parents' friend joining us for the Chinese New Year Eve dinner year after year. He was Dad's working colleague. He was single and alone in the town, so my parents invited him to join us each year on this conspicous dinner. When he didn't come one year, I asked my parents where he was. They said he has a wife now and has moved away. That was why! My parents have taught me that you don't have to be rich to reach out to others. Just be thoughtful and kind to others, whatever they are and share whatever you have.

Regardless of the different races, the 2 primary schools in Lutong welcomed all races. I went to the primary school whereby English language was the medium of instruction. Mandarin was the medium of instruction in the other primary school, which saw increase of the number of non-Chinese children studying there each year. I am impressed whenever I hear a non-Chinese speaking Mandarin and much better than I could!

My school friends, are made of different races: Chinese, Malays, Ibans, Kelabits, Indians, Kadazans, Melanaus, etc. etc. I started having caucasian friends when I started working. My neighbours in Miri are Malays, Kayans, Ibans, Bedayuh, Mulut, Chinese, etc.

What I treasure is the friendliness, hospitality and warmth of my fellow Malaysians. We can mingle with each other peacefully anywhere - be it official, business, casual - be it on the Malaysian ground or outside in another country. And not forgetting the tolerance that we have for each other's cultures and beliefs.

Born in Malaysia. Lived in Malaysia for half a century. There are definitely things uniquely Malaysian that I will always treasure in my heart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Upwords

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

There are many different types of board games in the world. I love board games. So far I know how to play cards (only certain games), chess, checkers, monopoly, mastermind, scrabble, Uno.

Upwords is similar to scrabble but it is more fun and challenging. I rather play upwords than scrabble anytime unless the former is not available!

Thanks to Sis Monica, who showed me the game for the first time, when I visited her in Melbourne. She bought me a set to bring back to Miri.

Tonight I had a fun time playing with my Sister-in-law Caroline and a friend Jane. And for the very first time in my experience playing with the upwords, we were able to use the remaining tiles, left on the players' racks, to make words on the board!

As per the rule of the game, we did substract 5 points, from our totals, for each of the remaining tiles on the other players' racks after Jane won the game. As usual I didn't bother about the remaining tiles. I wanted to throw all the tiles in the bag but Caroline noticed the remaining tiles on our racks and placed them on the board!! Definitely "lucky" because 2 of the 3 remaining letters were 'l' and 'y' We definitely have lots of "funs" because the other remaining letter was 'f'. Isn't she clever. That was amazing?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Portable Media Device

Friday, 31 August 2007

Thanks to Yean! And thanks to Lian as well. The children have been my teachers in many aspects of my life. And one of these aspects, is increased computer knowledge. It was they who presented me with my first pendrive. They have taught me about fragmentation, blogging, connection, surfing, scanning your files, etc. etc.

Tonight Yean taught me about formatting my pendrive. I have not done that before. Didn't think of doing that either. These features are available in the computer but I didn't explore them.................

I recovered my folders/pictures, that I thought was gone, from my pendrive! I had tried to copy a folder of the same into the pendrive but it was not possible. The folders were still inside but invisible! I found the formatting feature and other features at the same time. Clicking "Open as Portable Media Service" is like opening a present today!

All the folders that I thought was gone, appeared! Imagine how happy I was. I couldn't open the pictures. However as I explore further, I learnt that by transferring them to my my desktop/documents. I could view the pictures.

Had the pendrive formatted thereafter and then transferred the original folders back into it! Scanned the pendrive - it is clean - no virus threats!

Once a upon a time on a Labour Day, I lost my document, due to formatting. Once a upon a time on a National Day, I recovered my document, due to formatting as well. I didn't format to recover it but it was related to formatting.

This is my present for Malaysia's 50th year National Day! God bless Malaysia.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Backup Backup Backup

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

I only started printing hard copies of the digital pictures sometime last year and keeping them in albums. And that practice only started after reading stories of people losing their pictures kept in CDs, due to unexpected but avoidable circumstances. I have been taught to backup workfiles, diskettes, information, when I was working in the office before.

Regrettably I didn't practise that with all my digital pictures at home. I was so confident that they would be safe at home. I was terribly wrong. It was my own fault that I lose all the digital pictures that I have in one particular pendrive. And to serve me right for being over confident, out of all my digital pictures, they have to be pictures of the family.

The pendrive was scanned before I brought it to the photo studio for reprints of certain pictures. There were no threats. It was scanned again tonight and there were so many threats - TROJAN. I just watched in horror as my Anti-Virus software detected them and deleted the files one by one! All the pictures were deleted. The only file left in the pendrive was a Microsoft word document.

I couldn't imagine how disappointed I would have felt if I had not printed any of those pictures! Once upon a time I had formatted a work diskette and I lost the document I had typed. Luckily it was the only document in the diskette! That was not too bad. I had lost a day of work but the work was replaceable. What if I have not printed a hard copy of some of the pictures or have some of them posted in my blog? The pictures are captures of the moment. The clock does not turn back.

I am glad I have posted some of the pictures in my blogs. I can copy them and save them again. The pictures are gone forever but I am glad I am able to copy some of them back.

Maybe this is a good thing. One can keep too much pictures and what happen to them? Will the pictures be looked at, etc. etc. in 10 years, 20 years' time? Maybe some pictures, but not all of them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Will I do With a Million Dollars??

Thanks to the tag, Lian (Lyanne).

What will I do with a million Dollars?
(1) Pay my tithing
(2) Invest in good stocks, unit trusts, etc.
(3) Buy a land in a peaceful suburb area, near a town. A land big enough for a few trees to grow, a garden to plant some vegetables and flowers, 2 dogs to run.
(4) Build a reasonable size house and turn it into a comfortable home for my immediate family and visitors.
(4) Get 2 dogs.
(5) Travel - I would like to visit the following countries first (a) Scotland (b) China (c) Australia.

Requirements:
1st - Tag 5 bloggers, list down their blog and link to their blog.
2nd - Let the blogger you want to tag know they have been tagged by commenting on their blog.
3rd - Add your own blog link to the list below.

What They Would Do With Their $1 Million:
1. SYH will spend for Family.
2. Miche will give to the needy.
3. Montessorimum will keepsake
4. Healthfreakmommy will keep, invest, spend and give to the needy.
5. The New Parent would use for education and charity.
6. Mamas Bag of Tricks would open a dinosaur themed restaurant
7. Lyanne would pamper herself
8. Irene would invest, build a new home, travel.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pulling Noodles

Saturday, 11 August 2007

I haven't forgotten the tag from Lion City Girl on "Food Around The World". Oiled Soup is also waiting for me! Here I am, my friends!

I enjoy all kinds of food and have eaten different kind of western food during the past 3 months, too many that I don't know which one to blog and ended up blogging none of them! What is my favourite dish? I don't think I have one.

Back in Miri, Melinda emailed me and asked whether she could treat me to "Pulling Noodles" for breakfast, at Bulatan Commercial Miri. Pulling Noodles?? I have not heard that term before. Maybe you have. I was curious and accepted the invitation excitedly.

The young man pulling the noodles is from Shanghai. I stood there talking and watching him transformed a piece of dough into strings of noodles.



The noodles were immediately thrown in the pot of boiling water that was behind his left side. His partner standing behind him would dish them up and add broth and other ingredients.



They sell pull noodles with beef or pork (soup or dry form). I chose pull noodles with pork (soup). It is delicious!

I don't know whether you would consider this a Malaysian dish or a Chinese dish? It is prepared by a China man in Malaysia. Maybe call this a Malaysian-Chinese dish??????

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It is only a broken wire

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Alternator was okay. Battery was okay. A wiring connection was broken. That was the reason for the breakdown of the car. So glad to have it back at the end of today's office hours!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Car Ignorance

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Been driving the car for the past 2 days without any problems, except the failure of the right signal light to blink when the lever was switched downwards on Thursday. It was rectified with the changing of a front rear bulb.

Don't know what is wrong with the car tonight. Noticed as I drove towards the church, the light on the panel of the speedometer etc grew dimmer and dimmer. I am so thankful I reached the church. By that time, the car light has already gone out completely. I realised that I have been driving without lights for the past few minutes. It wasn't obvious on the highway because the car in front and behind me were lighted, the road was better lighted. After a few minutes checking the engine oil, battery, etc. I turned the ignition key to check. No sound. It is dead! All the warning signs lighted in the panel: battery, oil, etc.

Help from church members who were there didn't help either. It was Saturday night and I don't know of any help number to call. I couldn't get to my mechanic, who had serviced the car for the past 22 years. His brother, who works in the sales, analysed the problem to the alternator. The car might have to be towed back to the workshop Monday.

My goodness! Monday! Would any mechanic willing to work on a Sunday? And it is Sabbath! How am I going to visit my mother tomorrow? Maybe Sister and I can walk there. She did that before, all by herself. If she could do that, I should be able to!

2 Church members said to contact their respective mechanic tomorrow. I think I better try and call my own mechanic again tomorrow and seek his advice. Guess it would have to rest another day and night at the church car lot!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Day of Surpises

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

It was break time. I was having lunch in a room when the delivery came. I thought it was just some people dropping in and asking for donations. It had happened in the past weeks. I didn't bother to check - too busy eating! I heard Ron talking to a lady. Mike was surprised why I was not interested to check what was going on at the reception area.

It was a delivery for me - a birthday present!


Mike has ordered it for me! The mixer pot is beautiful. Accompanying it were packets of Blazin Black Bean Dip Mix, Jalapeno Cheddar Dip Mix, Classic Dill Dip and Southwest Chile & Onion Dip Mix.

Thanks Mike! And thank you to all my friends who emailed me. And thank you especially to a dear friend in Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) who waited until office was opened this morning so that she could phone me. It was past 11 pm her time.

That was the 2nd surprise of the day. Mid this morning, a family friend came into our office, greeted me and placed the presents that he and his wife has put together for me. I thought he was visiting Ron and Mike.

3rd surprise. After dinner (which Mike insisted on cooking), Mike took out from the refrigerator, a big doughnut that he had bought without my knowledge. He had iced it himself and completed it with candles. That was the first time I had a birthday doughnut instead of a cake. Isn't that cute?

Homesick

Monday, 23 July 2007

It felt good to talk in the Malay language today. The distinctive voice of a Malaysian sounded like music to me. I felt homesick. I identified myself as a Malaysian and felt his instant support. I felt more homesick as I felt the unmistakenable friendliness that I am accustom to, with my fellow countrymen-friends.

Talking about being fussy, I phoned MAS office in Kuala Lumpur to double-check that my flight reservations from LAX to MYY were in place.

The officer attending to me was very kind. I think I am getting more long-winded and repetitive as I grow older. He was patient to hear me go on and on as I spoke about my original reservations, the change I made and the problem that I was facing at that time - booking online the connecting flight from KUL to MYY.

He was so nice. He told me what to do. He also said he was due to go off duty in 15 minutes and that if I have problem again to phone him again. He left his name.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Food Around The World Tag

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Thanks for the tag, Lion City Girl. I have been thinking what is my favourite dish since you tagged me on the 4 June and until today couldn't come up with one to share yet. When I do I will update this blog.

Meanwhile, I am tagging:
(1) Lyanne
(2) Anthony
(3) Ivy
(4) Iain

Instructions:

**Start Copy**

Proposition: What is your favorite food in your state or country?

Requirements: Find some info about the food and show delicious pictures of it

Quantity: FIVE PEOPLE.

Tag Mode: You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below.

Mybabybay loves Asam Laksa from Penang, Malaysia
JustMyThoughts loves Penang Char Koay Teow
My Lil Venture loves Laksa Sarawak
Montessorimum loves Teluk Intan Chee Cheong Fun
Health Freak Mommy loves Dim Sum from KL, Malaysia
Mama's Bag of Tricks loves Hakka Mee from Serem

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Grandmother

Sunday, 3 June 2007

It felt funny being called "Grandma Irene". That was what 6 years old Sheridan addressed me. 9 days ago, on the 25 May, I was emotional and homesick. Except for my precious Lian, this was the first time I have another little girl, under my roof, to take care full time. It has been a long time ago. I was then not a grandma yet but a mother. It brought back memories - the things that I do with Lian - getting her to eat, drink, bath, dress, sleep. The conversations, the outings, the playing time, etc. The list is endless. It was then that I felt I missed Lian so much that words could not express it. I wish then that she would always stay close to me forever and ever, so that I could watch over her.

Today, I was emotional and homesick again. It was the end of Sheridan's stay and she was going back to her mother. It was today that I really understood what my own mother felt as a grandmother. Why my mother did what she did, for her grandchildren. I didn't understand before. I had asked her over and over why she didn't scold them when I thought they were not reasonable, why she prefered to be looking after them instead of enjoying herself. She never tried to explain because she knew I would understand when I become a 'grandmother' myself.

I finally understood and I can't help my tears dropping. Was it my hormones playing on me again? I was really emotional when I recalled how my mother unselfishlessly and lovingly looked after her youngest grandchild during the past 2 years, whenever his parents were out.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Back home, in our families, we don't celebrate Mother's Day. Where Mum and Dad comes from they don't celebrate that or the Father's Day, Valentine's Day. Not that I know of.

According to Wikipedia, one school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. And it is celebrated on different days by different countries.

In a way, setting it apart, is good. It serves a purpose, especially for people who are so bogged down with their busy routines that they do not have the time to phone their mothers, to visit them, to talk to them, to write to them, to accompany them for walks, to take them for rides, holidays, dinners, etc. etc.

Definitely the opportunity for the business people to advertise their products, be it breakfast, lunches, dinners, flowers, cookwares, furnitures, computers, etc. etc. - that you could buy for your mother to express your appreciation and love, etc. etc. According to a survey, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant. I was thinking how do some of the less fortunate and lonely single mothers feel when their friends relate to them what their children gave to them on this day, while they were struggling with their own livelihood.

As I listened to the talks given by a young lady and a young 'grandmother' at sacrament this morning, my thoughts went to my mother, her life, her strengths, her struggles, her sacrifices and the time we spent together before she was afflicted by the terrible brainstem infarct. I know and I shouldn't, but I wish Heavenly Father would just bring her home to Him because for me she is gone, gone gone, gone, even though her mortal body is still alive. I am not angry with Him but I really pity my mother and Caroline who takes care of her so well.

Mum, I am sorry, I am hopeless when it comes to taking care of you now. I am good in sitting together with you watching the television, listening to you while you talk, accompanying you at home or taking you to places, etc. I pray that you will not be angry with me and I pray that I will stay faithful to the covenants that I have made with Heavenly Father that I would stay faithful to the end so that I would be worthy to be reunited with you when the Lord comes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Happy Birthday to me! Today marks the start of my 10th year in the church. Yup - I was baptised on the 9 May 1998 in the Miri branch by Elder Witcomb. He and Elder Redd were the first missionaries that I met. Less than 2 weeks of acquaintance, Elder Redd was transferred and Elder Quinn came. First couple missionaries that I got to admire and love were Elder and Sister Folsom from Canada, who were fondly addressed and remembered as Grandpa and Grandma by the then small number of members.

I am thankful for my membership. Staying on the strait and narrow path isn't easy but nevertheless a blessing of discovery, experience and growth in the gospel and oneself. I am grateful that Lian and Yean were receptive to the gospel as well. It feels wonderful to go to church together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The On/Off Modem Button

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Here I go again! Lift ignorance and now computer operations ignorance!

Exclamation mark on the computers icon said "local network - unlimited or no connectivity". I tried in a different room, it is still the same. All the wiring connections were checked. I heeded the computer prompting to "repair" but it couldn't repair and next prompted me to contact network provider. I called the network provider. A recorded message said there was service interruption in another state. I wondered whether that has affected the network connection in this area. A female staff, answering my call to the technical services, said it does, without asking me any questions.

Services was not "restored" in the afternoon so I gave up using the internet for the day.

This morning, I checked all my wiring connections - electrical, telephone again. I pull them out and insert them again! I phoned the network provider again. No recorded message of service interruption anywhere. This time, a male technician answered my call. He asked a few questions and guided me as to what to type on the computer so as to find out what exactly was wrong. He told me that the modem is not working. I agreed with him. There was not a single light on the modem. He said I could buy a new one at any computer shop.

Few minutes later, I remembered what I was told before and done before, probably a month or so ago. A network technician had told me about a button on the modem and had ask me to reset. It has worked before, with my own personal modem. But with this modem, I could see a 'reset' hole but there was nothing to reset.

There is a button on the side of this modem. What do I see? The push button was out. And of course there is no connection! I pushed in the button. The PWR, DSL and the LAN lights came on. Stupid me. There was nothing wrong with the network, nothing wrong with the system, nothing wrong with the wiring. It is stupid me again - didn't use my head again!

I phoned the network technician and we had a good laugh. He also learnt a lesson from there - to ask the customer to check all her connections and switches.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lift Ignorance

In July 2005, I wrote about a lift confusion. This time it is lift ignorance.

It was the first time I visited the Specialist Center and the first time using their lift. I got so used to pressing the button of the floors I wanted, and walking out of the same doors that I went into. This afternoon, the doors that I walked into remained shut upon reaching the in-patients' floor. I pressed the ‘open door’ button – the doors remained shut. I pressed ‘G’ floor – the doors remained shut also.

Being alone in the lift, I was getting panicky. What is wrong? Before I got to press the ‘Emergency’ button. I heard ladies voices inside the lift. Looked up the walls on my right, my left and in front, but there wasn't any video cameras. Where are the voices from? I could not make out what they were saying until a few minutes have passed when I realised that they were saying “behind, behind”.

It was then I turned around to the back and realised that I was supposed to go out of the doors opposite to the doors I came in. Nobody was using the lift, except for me, for that few minutes and the doors had remained wide open, waiting for me to get out! I noticed there were no control panel board on this side of the wall.

When I walked in, I should have just walk straight and wait at the other side and not turn around and wait at the same side I came from!! Lesson learnt - next time, look to the back if nothing happens in front.

There were 2 female nurses & 2 other female hospital assistants behind & in front of the reception counter all looking at me and smiling. I can’t help laughing at myself for being so naive to lifts!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It is okay

I know! If I brought the watch to the shop, they would have dried up any moisture trapped inside with a blower or something. It was just not my luck that the technician was out when I visited and still out when I returned a while later. Anyway I am happy it is still working. Even if it is not working, that is okay too because it is not lost. Thanks to the heat from the sun and the car. I think leaving it inside the car under the cover on the front panel, for the past days, had done the job.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Surprise Hug

Sunday, 18 March 2007

How would you feel if a 5 year old boy rush to you, put his arms around your legs and bury his head there for a minute or so? If it is your son, your grandson, your nephew or someone you played with often, maybe you wouldn't be taken by surprise.

I have been away for 5 Sundays and it was indeed a pleasant surprise, coming from him, a boy that I occasionally sent home, together with his elder sister, after the block meetings.

Have he mistaken me for someone? Or he just has a liking to me and missed me?

Friday, March 16, 2007

My 'Camy' Watch

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Forgetful me! Where was my wrist watch? It was not on the shelf - that was where I would home it! Gosh! Thursday night I had removed it from my wrist and slipped it into the pocket of my skirt! Friday (yesterday) morning the skirt was soaked for 2 hours, then machine washed and spun. I didn't checked the pocket before I soaked it in the pail neither did I checked it when I hanged it up to dry! As I feared, it was in the pocket.

It is an old mechanical/automatic watch. It wouldn't sell in the market. There is no monetary value in it, but it is of sentimental value to me because my mother gave it to me.

I pulled out the winding knob and turned the minute hand to when it should read, pushed back the knob and winded it. The second hand moved! It was still working!

As time passed, water vapours appeared on the inside of the face glass. As advised I buried it in the raw rice grains and left it buried overnight. There were no water vapours when I retrieved it this morning but they appeared again when I wore it on my wrist. I dried it under the sun. I placed it near my gas burner while food was cooking on the stove. I wonder when it would be dry completely and I hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooope and pray that it will continue to function.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kumquat Tree

Tuesday, 13 March 2007



What a beautiful kumquat tree! So many fruits! I saw that at the patio of my friend's house in Kota Kinabalu.

People like to buy these plants to decorate their house during the Chinese New Year.

The fruits look like small oranges. They can be eaten but I don't really like the taste.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Exhausting Intercity Bus Rides

Monday, 5 March 2007

What a weekend, starting from Thursday midnight to Sunday midnight! Travelling by train, express bus, ferry, car, shuttle bus, cable car and boat. I went with Lian, Yean and Aisah to Langkawi. I have created a different blog on the visit. You can read them also in Lian's and Yean's blog.

The bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Perlis and vice-versa was an experience indeed. It was cheap fare-wise but it was tiring time-wise.

It didn't take as long as the bus ride that I took last May from Miri to Kuching. That was 14 hours while these weekend bus rides was 7-8 hours. We got to stop at various bus terminals along the way and stretch ourselves during the 14-hour ride while yesterday night's 8-hour ride stopped only at 2 bus stations and 1 rest station. I sure felt very exhausted, and by the time I arrived back to the condo, I felt like I was floating.

I didn't dare to drink too much either whenever I use the express buses because there were no toilet in the bus, so that is my problem.

I am not sure I would like to go on the bus ride again to Langkawi. Maybe after a few years, I may be in the sport to do that again.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tanjung Golden Village Cineplex

Thursday, 28 February 2007

I have written about watching movies on the big screen on the 9 January 2007. And here I go rambling again!

My daughter has been wanting to see '"Dreamgirls" for the past week and we finally saw it tonight at the TGV (Tanjung Golden Village) Cineplex.

I am so glad that Lian's friend got us tickets to watch the movie at TGV (Tanjung Golden Village) Cineplex because this would be my first time watching movie at TGV Cineplex. And interestingly, the cinema is the largest TGV cineplex in Malaysia. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Suria KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) shopping complex.

I have watched 3 movies at the Golden Screen Cinemas (in Kota Kinabalu - Sabah, Leisure Mall - Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and Berjaya Times Square - Kuala Lumpur). And interestingly, the GSC in Kota Kinabalu is the first GSC to operate in Malaysia. It was opened on the 14 July 1981.

'Dreamgirls" is a Broadway musical film, released on the 22 February 2007 on the GSC. I enjoyed it. Thanks to Lian. "Sound of Music" - my favourite musical film happened to be from Broadway too!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ang Pow

Saturday, 24 February 2007

*Ang* in the Hokkien dialect means "Red colour". *Pow* in the Hokkien dialect means "Wrap". The world knows that *Ang Pow* means "Red Packets". It means $$$.

If it is a white coloured envelope with donation inside it, it is not called *Ang Pow*. it is called *Pek Kim*. *Pek* in the Hokkien dialect means "White" and *Kim* in the Hokkien dialect means "gold". That is only given to bereaved families, who have lost a loved one to death.

For the Chinese, the colour Red is associated with happiness, power and triumph, while the colour white is associated with saddness, defeat. That is why we don't use red (and yellow) during a funeral ceremony.

Anyway, talking about *Ang Pow*. In my last visit to Kota Kinabalu last month, Chee Yun casually told me that she collects Ang Pows. I asked her why? Isn't that a stupid question? Just because I don't have the interest to collect doesn't mean nobody else collects!! She also casually told me that if I get back to Miri, bring whatever I can spare to her.

I search through and kept 1 of each design. I did the same here in Kuala Lumpur, with what the children already have and what they were given during this festive season. I am going to give them all to her in less than 2 weeks' time! I know she would be very pleased.

I know what I have done and give will definitely bring a glow to her face because it is her interest and it makes her happy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day - 2007

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

A good friend sent this to me last week. I asked whether I could copy this interesting story to my blog. What other day is more appropriate than posting it today, since it is Valentine's Day here in Malaysia.

February 14 is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year.

In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the box would contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year. Needless to say, many of the young Roman men were not too pleased with the rule changes.

Instead of the pagan god Lupercus, the Church looked for a suitable patron saint of love to take his place. They found an appropriate choice in Valentine, who, in AD 270 had been beheaded by Emperor Claudius.

Claudius had determined that married men made poor soldiers. So he banned marriage from his empire. But Valentine would secretly marry young men that came to him. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he first tried to convert him to paganism. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead to convert Claudius. When he failed, he was stoned and beheaded.

During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. His love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since.

Although the lottery for women had been banned by the church, the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine was still used by Roman men to seek the affection of women. It became a tradition for the men to give the ones they admired handwritten messages of affection, containing Valentine's name.

Cupid The first Valentine card grew out of this practice. The first true Valentine card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time.

Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards.


Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Gosh! I am 250 years old!

Finally I switched to the New Blogger, using the Google account. Didn't dare to switch before because I was scare that it would affect the postings that were already in place. It wasn't a choice because I don't know what I did yesterday and I was prompted to switch before I could continue. And I did!

I like the New Blogger!! I am glad it didn't affect the template, layouts, etc. The only thing that caught my eyes was I have an age in my profile. I didn't reveal my year of birth. I don't want my age to be shown. But it said: Age: 250

Gosh! You might think that I did that on purpose! I didn't! It must be the switching bug - In the year box was the number 1757!! Hey! I don't remember anyone in this dispensation of time to live that long. I would be 6 feet underground.

Car Hopping

This is a once-off incident, that I have not gotten out of my system, and I thought I better write it down before my aging mind forgets. It is nothing near to a fear factor but it is one of the most daring things that I have done, on the spur of a moment!

Saturday, 14 September 2002

Time to treat ourselves after a week’s of physical and mental work. Physical because we danced practically from morning to night to master the steps and mentally because we had to remember the sequence and the steps to the extent that we could dance on our own, before the teacher leaves.

From Monday to Friday, we have been busy learning 9 dances. Teacher Maria had flown in from Miri to teach us how to use fans, scarfs & umbrella to dance and it was time for us to let our hair down and relax.

We were going to a High Tea at the Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

There were 5 of us in one car and driving slowly towards the traffic lights. We were excited when we realised that the car that drove up alongside was driven by one of our friends, who we knew was also heading for the High Tea. She was alone in the car.

The traffic lights was not red but traffic at that section of the multiple-lane road was slow moving. I exclaimed to Teacher Maria "Let's hop to Adeline's car". Luckily Adeline didn't lock her car. Teacher Maria went into her car without hesitation and I followed suit!!

I can't imagine myself doing that ever again!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Know Yourself

Saturday, 27 January 2007

This is fun. You will know yourself better after the exercise. I thought I post it in my blog. Try it and pass it on if you like. Just replace your own answers.


1. FIRST NAME: Irene


2. WERE YOU NAME AFTER ANYONE?
No


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
Yesterday, on my way back from mum's place. Thinking about mum - not being able to communicate, can't see, can't talk, can't move, can't response when I asked her to, trapped in a body that she has been active for the last 80 years, don't know how long she will be in this state of helplessness and when God will relieve her of her affliction - breaks my heart.


4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes, it is readable.


5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAT?
Lunch meat? Meat for lunch? I don't care for lunch meat. Don't care about lunch either.


6. KIDS?
No kids now. I have 2 beautiful grown up children, one girl and one boy.


7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yes, I like me. I am a child of God. Everyone is unique and special.


8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?
I have a diary, though I don't have the good habit of writing every night.


9. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
I am no good in this. I guess not.


10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I don't remember havng my tonsils taken out. Can't ask Dad. He has gone over the veil. Can't ask Mum. She can't response to me now.


11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No, thanks. I am afraid of heights. I will die of heart attack on the jumping platform before I even try.


12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I hardly take cereal. I eat rice or bread.


13. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Physically, I am not. I think I am strong in certain characteristics.


14. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Don't know. When I have to make a choice, I don't know which one to choose.


15. SHOE SIZE?
I don't know. If they fit and I like them, I buy them. They say different countries have different sizes. I have a pair of shoes that is 6 and a half, another 6, another pair that is 38, and another that is 36. I have a pair that is 5 and a half. They all fit!


16. RED OR PINK? I like red when I was younger but I prefer pink now.


17. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My eyes. I wish I have better vision. Have been using spectacles since I was 7 years old. Anyway, it is a blessing in disguise because I think I would be so preoccupied with sweeping the floors all the time because I am very particular about my floors being clean.


18. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Mum.


19. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Only those I emailed or tagged.


20. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOUR WEARING? Right now? Flora pants. Indoor slippers.


21. LAST THING YOU ATE? Captain's instant oats with Anlene low fat milk.


22. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The fan blowing and the computer.


23. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Depends what I am going to be used for.


24. FAVORITE SMELL? Rose. Babies, just bathed, lotioned/powdered.


25. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Janet.


26. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Friendliness.


27. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SEND THIS TO YOU? Yes, I do. Very much. I admire her very much.


28. FAVORITE SPORT? Swimming as recreational, though I have participated in competition. Because of my spectacles, I was scare of taking part in sports when I was in school. I played softball once, participated in tug-of-wars. I think that it is all I did on the field. I like to watch though.


29. EYE COLOR? Brown


30. HAT SIZE? I don't know.


31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Once, when I thought they would make me beautiful. I didn't like it. The thought of placing the soft lens onto my eye balls day after day, and other procedures associated with it, is not my cup of tea. I am too clumpsy. I am happy with the ordinary type of spectacles.


32. FAVORITE FOOD? Fresh green leafy vegetables stir-fried with garlic.


33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Depends on my mood.


34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Green, v-shaped blouse.


35. SUMMER OR WINTER? I am scare of the cold. Do I have any other choices beside Summer?


36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs and plenty of it.


37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Agar Agar


38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Lyanne, Anthony, Iain and Michael.


39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? ?????


40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Haven't read much lately, except for the standard works of the church.


41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Watched a Shaolin movie at mum's place yeterday afternoon.


42. FAVORITE SOUND? I said "a child singing" - I take it back. When I read this again. I am not sure what my favorite sound is. I like the sound of soft music in the air. I like the sound of a little child saying "mummy". I like the sound of my daughter practising her guitar.


43. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles.


44. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? United Kingdom (1994).


45. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? You guess when - I am a Leo. Born on the 25 July, in an island of Borneo (don't worry, I am not born on the tree and I don't live on the trees. My parents are not headhunters!)


46. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Sister Marsha.


47. NAME ONE PLACE YOU WANT TO GO THAT YOU NEVER HAVE BEEN? USA

Monday, January 08, 2007

Watching Movies on the Big Screen

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Happy New Year! My first posting for 2007. I was thinking what it is like watching movies back in the past and the present millennium.

Before I turned into a teenager, my 2 younger brothers and me often go into the Lutong Cinema on Saturday afternoons and watched movies, free of charge. The cinema was only a few minutes walk from our home. We saw all kinds of movies and luckily at that time, there were no obscene acts!

There were 3 entrances into the hall, which led to 3 different priced seats. We are bless with a fatherly figure, who was familiar with the 3 of us, who knew our parents, who checked tickets at the entrance leading to the cheapest price seats, would let the 3 of us in, once the light inside the hall were off. We would then look for empty seats. Sometimes we sit in the front rows because they were the only rows that were the least popular therefore less occupied being too close to the screen. Most times we could find seats further away from the screen and also among the highest priced seats!!

Watching movies on the big screen is fun. There were no television then so there was nothing to compared with. I enjoyed the "Sound of Music" (1965, starring Julie Andrews) very much. Went to see with my brothers, went with my classmates and went with Dad in the Lutong and the Miri cinemas. It was shown in the cinema for a number of weeks. I can't remember how long. We now have DVDs of the movie, at home. It has remain my favourite film. But I think I would enjoy better on the big screen!

Technology increased - the quality and sound of the movies improved as the time passed. Watching "Jurassic Park" (1993) in a cinema in Melbourne was indeed an experience for me. It was the first time Lian and Yean, who were only 12 and 7 years old respectively have their first experience of watching a movie on the big screen. It was as if we were inside the Jurassic Park!! The animals looked so real!

Likewise, we enjoyed "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000, starring Chow Yun Fatt) at a Golden Screen cinema in Kota Kinabalu.

Recently I got the opportunity to watch movies at the Golden Screen cinemas again!

Wednesday, 3 January 2007
I should thank Brother Nelson for this. We had the tickets, he couldn't attend the show because he had to work, so I jumped in. Friday's show was sad but today's was sheer hilarious. Released 28 December 2006, "Night at the Museum" to me is a very good show for the whole family. I don't mind watching it again!! Also, this is my first time at the Golden Screen cinema in Mid Valley Megamall - Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, 29 December 2006
Thanks to Yean, I got to watch "Curse of the Golden Flower" at the Golden Screen cinema in Leisure Mall in Cheras-Kuala Lumpur.

Released 21 December 2006, it is deemed as the most expensive Chinese film to date (budget $45 million), chosen as China's entry for the academy award for best foreign language film for the year 2006.

It is a tragic story that we see happening everywhere - the result of betrayal of trust and love in a family unit. What I don't like in the film is the clothes that the maids of the palace wore - the necklines are so low, which looked to me stopped just above their nipples with half of their breasts showing. I am sure that the ladies during that period do not dress like that!!! I hope that viewers do not get the impression that the Chinese girls are dressed that way in those times!