Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Indeed!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

I kept thinking about the experience this day. Mike was driving at 80 m.p.h and the surface of the highway was wet. It had rained heavily the previous night and it was raining a little that morning.

It happened so fast. I had not tried a tea cup ride in any theme parks before because I don't like the look of the movements, but after the 3 and a half circle skid on the road, I felt like I was riding in a tea cup. Is that how a tea cup ride feels like? I really don't know. I associated that experience to a tea cup ride and I don't how why either.

It was so quick. I didn't feel afraid during that few seconds, because Mike was calm and was in control of the steering wheels. Luckily there wasn't any car in front of us. We ended facing backwards and neatly on the left side of the road. We sat there speechless, for a number of seconds, and watched a large truck coming towards us and passing us on our right side. I guess this was a common sight because the driver didn't stop to ask if we were okay. I am pretty sure he saw what had happened.

It was Thanksgiving Day. Thank God for all that He has blessed us with and all that He sees fit to bless us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Behind the Kitchen Door


Monday, 8 September 2008


Here I go, rambling again. This family of dogs were barking at me outside the kitchen door. They were not huge but their barks were loud and piercing. If they knew I am a fan of dogs, they would have been friendly but I am not a regular visitor to their masters and they wouldn't stop barking until I was out of their sight! Luckily there was a netted fence otherwise they would be chasing me!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I found A Coin!


Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Computers, flowers, fruits, nuts, now it is money talk! I don't usually look down on the ground when I walked but today my eyes caught something that I thought it would be, embedded in the cement floor outside the shop.

Yes, I was right. It was a coin and it must have dropped onto the then newly poured cement mixture!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Horned Water Chestnuts


Tuesday, 16 September 2008


These black hard shells looked like bulls' heads. Maybe there is a legend behind the resemblance. They were about 2 inches wide and hard! According to a vendor in the Miri market, they were imported from China and only available once a year, around the Mooncake festival season (lunar month of August). I was told to boil it for about an hour. Opening them was not easy! Technically they are called water caltrop. They are called Ling Nuts as well.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dragon Fruit and Brinjal are Both Fruits


Tuesday, 7 October 2008


For the 1st time I saw what a dragon fruit tree looked like.



Is brinjal (also known as eggplant or aubergine) a fruit or a vegetable? It is actually a fruit eaten as cooked vegetable! This pendulous purple colored brinjal is common.


These elongated oval shaped whitish-green brinjal is new to me. They taste as good, when cooked with anchovies or dried prawn or curry.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hibiscus & Cannis Lilies


Friday, 26 September 2008


What would the earth be if there is no flowers? Gardening is not everyone's hobby but I think everyone enjoy the beauty that flowers radiate. Thanks to God for flowers. Today I am blessed to see different kinds of the hibiscus (Bunga Raya), the national flower of Malaysia, in the Kuching Friendship garden. I am captivated.

Once upon a time I noticed the red colored single petal hibiscus flower.



My eyes was blind to the white ones???


I like the multi-layers petals :) I think they are more beautiful - the red, purple and pink. I know there are many many colors.







There were also the cannis lilies in the Friendship Garden. I see the yellow, pink and red colored.



Sunday, October 05, 2008

Without the Personal Computer


Saturday, 20 September 2008


Why the silence? What is going on? What have I been doing? Where have I been? Check my blog - Miri, Kuching. I haven't blog since my birthday!

August was buzzzzzzzzzzzzy, no time to blog and not in the mood to blog either! September, I had the time and mood to blog mood but no computer.

Here I go again................ what is like to have no personal computer to use?

I thought I could use other people's computers. I thought I could use my nephew's and my niece's. No wonder it is called a 'personal' computer.

Different computer have different settings. I don't feel comfortable using their computers to do anything else but check my email. I told my friends to stop forwarding me mail for the time being. I have no time to read forwards so I deleted most of them, since it is my habit to clean out the mail box. I replied to email but only with a few lines or so.

Worst experience was preparing my talk for a sacrament meeting. A friend's computer was working perfectly but she does not have a printer, so I saved my document in a thumbdrive. Took it to my nephew who has a printer but the computer couldn't read it nor any other documents of mine! Niece's computer is waiting to be reformatted. I was happy that my former classmate, a computer graduate, agreed to let me use her home computer, even though I have to come after 9:30 pm. That was okay, anytime so long as I can print out my talk for that Sunday. I can sleep in the next day. Happily I continued with my talk but unfortunately her (or her son's) printer wouldn't print at all. Her son said it wasn't working due to some virus. I felt disappointed but I had a good visit catching up with my classmate until 11:30 pm. The computer in her house was only used by her son so it was not surprising. My nephew, my niece and now my friend's son are all teenagers! Don't know where they surf in the internet!

I ended up handwriting the 10-12 mins talk. I didn't count how many times I had rewrite!

Computer does make life easier when it comes to preparing talk because you can edit them as many times you have to!

Someone said the computer is the devil's creation. I don't agree with that. It depends on how you use it. To me it is a blessing so far.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Am A Year Older!

Friday, 25 July 2008

That was my girl, who loves to draw and does things with her hands. Amidst her busy schedule as a full time missionary, Lian colored a birthday card, which I received in the post yesterday. Thank you Lian for your time and effort. That was a very special present.

First phone call in the office was from my boy who was getting ready to sleep. It was an hour or so to midnight for Yean. For him this day was almost over. For me this day just started. Thank you Yean for the call - it meant so much to me. I knew you were mindful of the time to call me.

A video presentation - a gift that I have not received before and never thought I would receive. I was touched that 2 young ladies, whom I only knew since 2006, would have produce this presentation just for me. My tears dropped throughout the show - the song, the pictures of my beloved mum, children, friends, etc. Thank you Sister Khrissy and Sister Jennifer.

Thank you Brother/Sister Broadhead for your electronic birthday card. I really appreciate your continual friendship and support to me and my children. And to my dearest friend, Lee Hong, for your electronic birthday card and your continual friendship as well. Thank you Merri for the birthday text message

Mike handed me 3 stalks of roses on Tuesday 22 July. He mistook his mother's birthday for mine! Definitely sign of old age! I was glad he didn't buy me any birthday cake or sweet this year because I don't care for those things. We watched "Journey to the Center of the Earth" at the Hawkins Theatre in Yuma Palms and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants - Olive Garden. Thank you Mike for a lovely birthday evening celebration.

Gosh! I am a year older! In no time, I will be looking at my mother in the mirror!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Sheridan didn't know I took this picture. And I am not sure she will allow me if I had asked her. But I know she will look at this picture when she is older and smile.



It was the morning of her birthday. I didn't plan to take any picture of her sleeping. She looked so beautiful and peaceful and I couldn't resist. I guess that is why "Prince" couldn't help falling in love with "Sleeping Beauty" and ended up kissing her.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Note From Heaven

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The following words touches my heart. It is a condolence card that Mum-Betty received, in respect of Billy's passing. It makes me cry. Feels like my parents and brother are speaking to me. Dad died in September 2005. Mum died in October 2007. Brother died in 1999.

If I could write from Heaven,
this is what I'd say,
Please don't miss me too much,
I'm with you throughout your day.

You may not see or hear me,
but if you're quiet and still,
You may just feel my presence;
because, in Heaven, there is free will.

Don't worry for the day,
it will come and go as planned,
Enjoy each moment you are given,
keep worry from your hand.

Keep sorrow to a minimum;
For if Heaven you could see,
You'd know I'm safe and happy,
I did not cease to be.

Moments in time are brief,
until we'll be together again,
as Eternity lasts forever,
our lives, they have no end.


I guess I am still mourning for my mum. Tears were shed during the memorial service for Billy. I was shedding tears for my mum.

Aunt Eddy practising "Both Sides of The River" for the memorial service.


John 14:27 says:
Peace I leave with you
My Peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wal*Mart Gift Card

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Finally I used the free Wal*Mart Gift Card this afternoon. I didn't ask the expiry date when I received it on the 31 May and I was beginning to worry. It was only a $5 card but it was still money. So I got myself (1) Hand and Body Lotion (2) Deep Cleansing Skin Cream. Including tax, the total amounted to $4.98! I was happy with the purchase.



How did I get the Wal*Mart gift card? I wanted to check if a 'scratch & win' flyer from a car dealer is genuine! It stated that if the number revealed, after the scratch, matches the winning numbers listed, we could claim the prizes without any obligations.

I told Michael I wanted to see if the car dealer is genuine about that statement. Michael didn't say anything. He said he would wait for me in the car and let me experience dealing with American businessmen. The car agent smiled when I told him I have come to test their flyer and claim my prize. He led me to the sales office, filled out a form and gave me the Wal*Mart card.

Panicking Seconds

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I thought I was going to die of suffocation! I wouldn't want to die this way!

Jimmy called that he needed to pick up the bee suit for a bees removal job. I thought I check in the bird van if the bee suit he last wore was still there and have it ready for him to collect.

I unlocked the sliding side door and climbed in. The door slammed shut behind me. I turned and pulled the handle but the side door remained shut. I couldn't open the back door as well.

It was middle of the afternoon and it was very uncomfortable and hot inside the van, having been parked under the summer sun since morning.

I had the car key with me but it couldn't open the doors from the inside. I had my cellphone with me. I could have call Jimmy or Michael and ask them for advice, but I didn’t. Michael was about 40 miles away and Jimmy was on his way here but didn't know how soon. I didn't know why I didn't call them.

The few seconds of panicking turned to the next few seconds of relief when I manage to open the door to the driver section.

What was going on with me this afternoon? I could neither open the door of the driver nor the passenger side! After starting the engine running, I tried the driver's door again and this time it opened!

Jimmy told me that I could open the back door from the inside. I tried the back door again. It opened when I pulled the handle!

Another incident of ignorance! When I told Michael that I might die that afternoon, he said he would buy the flowers!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cracking Pecans

Saturday, 7 June 2008

I don't know how long it took us to crack all the pecans! We didn't have any kind of nut cracker so we used the only cracker we have - crab cracker. Mike cracked the shells while I struggled to take out the nuts!

The pecans were given by Aunt Onlee during our travel to Uncle Jim's funeral last month, collected from her own pecan tree in her backyard. We said we are going to retrieve all the nuts and freeze them but never got around doing it until this afternoon.




We ended up with majority of the nuts broken. But that don't matter at all because they are still edible.

Out of curiosity about pecans, I learnt from the Internet the following nutritional benefits of this particular nut:

(1) Pecans have more antioxidant capacity than walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, peanuts and cashews.

(2) Lowering total cholesterol by 11.3 percent and LDL cholesterol by 16.5 percent.

(3) Pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance.
(4) The unsaturated fat in pecans is heart-healthy fat.
(5) Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fresh, Delicious and Cheap Strawberries

Wednesday 28 May 2008

They are so fresh and delicious. And cheap too - $1.00 for 1 lb (19 pcs) of strawberries. I didn't care for it before but after this pack .............. I love it! Maybe different country different taste!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Duffy, the Shih Tzu

Friday, 16 May 2008

Duffy reminded me so much of Banjo. This black colored Shih Tzu is so cute. I met Duffy in the Southwest Soaring Museum, New Mexico. I think we have a good time together. I threw/rolled the tennis ball as far as I could on the floor of the museum hall. Duffy would run as fast as his four legs could carry it, skidded most times to catch the ball. With the ball in his mouth, he would walk to us.

Duffy would look up at us. Alternatively he would stand up and placed its 2 fore feet on our thighs. Duffy wanted us to throw the ball again. And so I did again and again. I don't how many times but I did. Duffy loved it and so I played with it until Mike & I left the museum.

Duffy's master said I spoiled it because it would return to me for more throws. Duffy would whine if I ignore it.



Duffy knew I would play with him, even though I sat on the stage. Duffy looked at me with his big round right eye. Poor Duffy lost his left eye from an accident.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Black Sock in a Golden Slipper

Friday, 2 May 2008

It was one of those embarrassing experience in my life! Dressed in a elegant floral long dress and walked with a matching pair of golden-colored slippers with the right foot in black-colored nylon sock! Maybe people noticed maybe not.




I had to wear a black-colored nylon sock so as not to dirty the slippers that I tried. I forgot to take it off when I was done with the slipper section.

Worst of all, I had slipped both feet back into my sandals without feeling the difference! And where did I go from there? From the distribution center, we drove to the Mesa temple ground, walked from the parking lot, passed a big wedding group that was gathered in front of the pool, passed more people in the temple to/from the cafeteria where we had our lunch.

It was just before I entered the changing room that I looked down at my feet and at that split second wondered what the hell my right feet was black! And realised instantly that I had worn the sock all the way from the distribution center! This is one of those shocking and embarrassing moments. After that I just want to laugh when I think of it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Toilet Woe

Friday, 18 April 2008

The restroom was rectangular in shape. I don't understand why the toilet flush system was installed against that side of the wall? The toilet seat is about 8 inches from the opposite side of the wall.



The wall is about 2 inches from my knees when I sat down on the toilet seat! I wonder how a person with long legs would feel? What about a full term pregnant woman?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Praying Together As Employees

Monday, 14 April 2008

Every business morning, our Company practice the ritual of a prayer together and sharing a scripture and a thought. It is to remind us that our Heavenly Father is the head of the business, and that we would go about doing our business the way He would want us to operate, especially our dealings with each other and our customers.

Most times the scriptures and the quotes that I received daily, on the net, from my church were applicable to all of us, regardless of our different denominations.

The scripture of today was:
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity."

The quote of today was:
Ezra Taft Benson "Give me a young woman who loves home and family, who reads and ponders the scriptures daily, who has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me a young woman who faithfully attends her Church meetings, who is a seminary graduate, who has earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award, and wears it with pride! Give me a young woman who is virtuous and who has maintained her personal purity, who will not settle for less than a temple marriage, and I will give you a young woman who will perform miracles for the Lord now and throughout eternity" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 558).

Today, I didn’t feel the scripture and quote were appropriate for everyone in the meeting group. I looked quickly in my scripture book but couldn’t make up my mind what verse to share. Since they were all in the room already, I decided not to waste time and suggested that we pray only this morning.

When I got back to my desk, I saw the following bookmark was on my desk. It must have fallen out of my Book of Mormon when I returned it to my drawer hurriedly before I went into the meeting room.

3 Nephi 22:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

(which I recognized as from the hymn “Teach Me to Walk in the Light”)
Teach me to walk in the light of his love
Teach me to pray to my Father above;
Teach me to know of the things that are right
Teach me, teach me to walk in the light.

Heavenly Father knows how much I feel about us being in tune with the good spirit and working in harmony. I had proposed that we incorporate this ritual in our company, after what I felt in a big office in Malaysia.

I was impressed when the PA system announced the moment of prayer for all the Muslim employees. I was thinking: If the Muslims in an office can unite to pray to their God, why can’t we Christians do the same thing? I know we pray together as a family, in church meetings and in other functions, so I thought what about praying together as employees of a company? It always feel good to pray to God.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Still Don't Know the Policy

Monday, 17 March 2008

"Calm Down" said the Postal Services officer. I must have sounded confused, disappointed, desperate and angry as I related what had happened to the letter that finally got to me last Saturday and who knows what other letters. A friend in Malaysia said her letter to me was returned!

I asked the officer what do they look at - the name or the address? He said sometimes the name and sometimes the address! What a policy!

Anyway, he was a nice guy. We had some light moments about names and nationalities! He sounded funny pronouncing my name. When I corrected the nationality that he thought I was, he was not surprised by my sensitive response. That reminded of a friend in Scotland who corrected me when I refer him as an English.

The Postal Services Officer took my name and reported that the postman have pending mail for me and would deliver them on his round. Problem solved :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Some Policies I don't know about the Postal Services?

Saturday, 15 March 2008

I am very disappointed with the Postal Services today! Very very disappointed. A letter posted to me, using my maiden name, on the 22 February 2008, was returned to the sender on the 2 March 2008. It was never delivered to my residential mail box!

One sticker on the envelope said:
...........................................................................02/27/08
UNABLE TO FORWARD/FOR REVIEW
NO FORWARDING ORDER ON FILE
RETURN TO POSTMASTER
OF ORIGINAL ADDRESSEE FOR REVIEW
.............................................................................................

Another sticker on the envelope said:
..........................................................................03/02/08
RETURN TO SENDER
ATTEMPTED - NOT KNOWN
UNABLE TO FORWARD
...........................................................................................

The sender posted it again to me, using the same name, on the 12 March 2008. This time, it was c/o Mike's name. It is ridiculous! This is the first time in my life that a mail is not delivered when the address is valid!!!

I don't understand why and I am going to find out why! If it was because of my name, then I shouldn't be receiving any mail with that name at all. I have received other letters, with the same name and address, from the same sender.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Forgotten International Women's Day

Saturday, 8 March 2008

While uploading some images on to my dance blog, it suddenly occurred to me that today is the 8 March and it is International Women's Day! What a coincidence that our Stake had chosen this Saturday to celebrate the Relief Society's birthday. Our ward already celebrated the birthday on Thursday 21 February. Officially, Relief Society will be 166 years old on the 17 March 2008!

It is interesting to note that IWD is an official holiday in these countries: Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Eritrea, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Transdniestria, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia.

It is also interesting to listen to the remarks made by women from different countries. In some countries women took to the streets and rallied for their rights, I remembered only activities related to dancing in my life!

I remembered being part of a mass gathering of women, from different associations of the city, all dancing one morning of the 8 March. And one night of the 8 March, I just enjoyed dinner with other women friends while watching stage performances performed by women from different dancing groups. What I have experienced during this particular day is dancing only! We did not rally for better pay or equal rights. Maybe we were complacent with our situations or we were not aggressive enough to voice our grievances!

Coincidentally, it was the 12th Malaysian general election today! The Malaysian women would be busy voting and helping in the election as well!

To all the Women reading my blog - Happy International Women's Day! Enjoy being a woman!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Arthritis, A Sign of Wearing Out

Friday, 1 February 2008

I am very happy today! Happy because the discomfort in my left hand and lower left arm are gone. Fell down twice when alighting from bicycle rides in October 2007.

Even though the bicycle belonged to a 11 yr old boy, it was a little too tall for me! Getting myself up on the saddle was no problem. I had an enjoyable time cycling in the park.

Coming down was not easy with only the left foot on the ground. The weight of the bicycle brought me down to the left side. The bruise didn't scare me because it was healed after a few days.

Two weeks later, Not asked me whether I wanted to use his bike again. He said that his dad has lowered the saddle because it was also a little too tall for him as well. The height was rectified for Not but it was still a little bit taller for me. I fell again on my left side when alighting. This time the area between by thumb and wrist hurt. I thought the discomfort would go but it was still there whenever I turned my wrist. I thought one of my nerve was injured!

Mike brought me to see the Bone & Joint Physician on the 14 Nov. Xrays showed that I have arthritis! Just to make sure my nerves were okay, the receptionist made appointment for me to see a Neurology Physician on the 12 Dec. I didn't like the nerves test, even though they were just small electric shocks! The Neurology Physician said my nerves were all intact!

There was a continuous flow of patients in the Bone & Joint Physician's clinic on the 30 Jan. The B&J Physician wanted to review the result of my nerve test that he sent me to. My appointment was at 11:30 am and I only got to see him at 1:10 pm! And it was like less than 10 mins meeting.

The Bone & Joint Physician recommended a Cortisone Injection. I agreed. While opening the cabinet, he said "get ready". I turned my body and eyes from him because he said it would be a painful injection. Painful or not painful I don't like needles! And it was indeed painful. I am thankful for Mike's presence. I clinged to Mike like a child, with my face buried on his body.

The Physician didn't tell me the side-effect. I didn't know about the 'cortisone flare' that I learnt later from the internet, being "a condition where the injected cortisone crystallizes and can cause a brief period of pain worse than before the shot. This usually lasts a day or two and is best treated by icing the injected area".

The muscles in the spot where the injection was ministered and the muscle (or bone, I don't know) leading to that spot felt stiff the night of the injection and the whole day after (yesterday) . I phoned the clinic and was told that the Physician was performing surgery and would only be back in office Monday!

I didn't feel the discomfort anymore when I woke up in the middle of yesterday's night. It was okay. Arthritis in my left hand due to too much dancing movements, too much typing, too much carrying heavy things, too much handling of cold stuff, cold weather?????? I probably had arthritis already and it only emerged after the bicycle falls? I really don't know! Definitely another sign of physically getting older and slowly wearing out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First Tag 2008

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Tagging time! Thanks, Cam. Here goes.......

A- Attached or Single? Attached as to Married?
B- Best Friend? The Dog is Man's best friend.
C- Cake or Pie? Don't care.
D- Day of Choice? Friday
E- Essential Item? Identity Card
F- Favorite color? Bright & beautiful.
G- Gummy Bears or Worms? What is that?
H- Hometown? Where the heart is.
I- Favorite Indulgence? Dancing
J- January or July? January - new resolution!
K- Kids? Blessings from God.
L- Life isn't complete without? Family and Friends.
M- Marriage Date? Whose marriage date?
N- Number of Brothers and Sisters? Whatever the statistic of the population on this earth is.
O - Oranges or Apples? Oranges after a meal. Apples when I am sick.
P- Phobias or fears? I tried my best not to be afraid.
Q- Quote? Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder
R- Reason to smile? God loves us.
S- Season of choice? Festive Season
T- Tag three friends or family Anthony, Iain, Singapore Girl, Princess Ivy
U- Unknown fact about me? To remain as unknown.
V- Vegetable? Yes, it is healthy for us.
W- Worst habit? Cursing (what I think as the worst habit anyone can have)
X- X-ray or ultrasound? Whatever the doctor recommended.
Y- Your favorite food? Malaysian
Z - Zodiac sign? Western or Eastern?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hamper of Scrapbooking Kit

Monday, 28 January 2008

Must be my lucky day today - 28th day of the year 2008. Someone came and presented me with a hamper of scrapbooking kit!


The surprise gesture definitely lifted up my spirit. I was feeling down yesterday afternoon as well as yesterday night. Blamed the mood on my hormones!


I have never done scrapbooking before so this would definitely be interesting. I know Lian would love this. She likes handicrafts and she is good in it as well.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Process

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I started writing about this process on the 18 January 2008 to document the process but didn't publish until today. Hopefully this will give some people an idea what to expect.

Gosh! To obtain a Permanent Resident card (Green card) is indeed a process!

Mike had to submit 3 forms:
(1) Form I-864: Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
(2) Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative ($355)
(3) Form G-325A: Biographic Information

I had to submit 2 forms:
(1) Form I-485: Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status ($930 + a biometrics fee of $80 = $1,010)
(2) Form G-325A: Biographic Information

I find the total amount $1,365 amusing. My mind related it to: In 1 year there are 365 days!

In order for me to travel out and return, while the green card is in progress, I have to submit 1 application form:
(1) Form I-131: Application for Travel Document

In order for me to work, while the green card is in progress, I have to submit 1 application form:
(1) Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization Document

The Application for Travel Document (I-131) would cost $305 and the Application for Employment Authorization Document (I-765) would cost $340 if they were not submitted together with the Form I-485 (Application To Register Permanent Residency).

We started filling the Adobe forms, on the computer, on the 26 September 2007. After reading the instructions of the related forms, we realized that there were a number of supporting documents to be collected before the applications could be sent.

****

There were the affidavits from relatives & friends about my relationship to Michael. First affidavit was given to us on the 8 October by Grant and the last (9th) was given to us on the 19 November from Ronald.

****

I had to submit a medical examination report and it must come from an USCIS designated medical doctor. Here goes another episode......

19 November '07: Paid Horizon Health Services $210 for Medical examination & Report. My weight and height measurement was taken. Given 2 vaccinations (1) Measles/Mumps/Rubella (2) Titinus. A Tuberculosis Skin Test was administered. Seen by Dr. Lorena Jauregui. Asked to return (1) 21 November for result of the Tuberculosis test (2) 19 December for Titinus booster. Asked to go to Yuma Regional Plaza Lab for blood test ($36) – result would be sent back to the Horizon Health Services.

21 November '07: Result of Tuberculosis test – positive. Asked to go to Yuma County Public Health Services (no payment required) for consultation of tuberculosis. YCPHS asked me to go to Focused Imaging of Arizona for chest x-ray. YCPHS said that the x-ray film would be sent back to them. YCPHS said to come back Mon 26 November. Told them that we would be out of town. They said to call them when we get back to town again.

30 November '07: Yuma County Public Health Services (YCPHS) said to see them on the 4 December to obtain results.

4 December ’07: Visited Yuma County Public Health Services and collected result of chest x-ray (Focused Imaging of Arizona) and Supplement Form to I-693, and sent them back to Horizon Health Services.

5 December ’07: Sent papers that I collected from YCPHS yesterday to Horizon Health Services. Given a sealed packet that I was to submit to Immigration, to be opened by them only.

19 December ’07: Visited Horizon Health Services [3250 East 40th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365, tel. no. (928) 317-5023] for titinus booster ($30). They passed me a sealed envelope, to be sent together with the first package that they gave to me on the 5 Dec ’07, both to be opened by Immigration Depart (USCIS) only.

****

Friday, 28 December 2007: We got all the supporting documents! Checked the website to see whether the forms that we have filled were still valid. Fortunately, we didn't have to refill any forms. Last thing - individual pictures of Mike & myself, taken according to USCIS specifications, at Walmart - $20

****

Saturday, 29 December 2007: Finally we mailed out the package to USCIS, Chicago IL 60680: $1.69 (Cushion Mailer) + $7.00 (Priority Mail) + $0.65 (Delivery Confirmation Label # 03070020000313305254) = $9.34 . It was a relief for me. I have been worrying about it for the past many months, waking up in the middle of night thinking about it.

****

Friday, 4 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-131 Application for Travel Document & Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Document.

Thursday, 10 January 2008: Received acknowledgement of Form I-485 Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Thursday, 17 January 2008: Received appointment notice to appear at the application support center (3250 South 4th Avenue, Suite E, Yuma, AZ 85364) for the capturing of my biometrics (fingerprints) at 10:00 am on Wednesday, 23 January 2008.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008: My fingerprints had to taken manually because they didn't come up clearly on the scanner. All the years of house chores must have blurred the lines! My photograph and signature was taken too.

Saturday, 26 January 2008: Appointment notice to appear for interview at the USCIS office in Phoenix office (2035 North Central Avenue, Green Appointment Lobby, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 7:30 am on Monday 21 April 2008.

Saturday, 1 March 2008: Received "Employment Authorization Card" valid from February 20, 2008 to Febuary 19, 2009. I can work legally!

Saturday, 15 March 2008: Received "Authorization for Parole of an Alien Into the United States" from February 20, 2008 to February 19, 2009. It was very disappointed to learn that the original envelope was returned to USCIS on the 3 February 2008. It should have come almost the same time as the "Employment Authorization Card". They have the same validity period!

I am very disappointed with the Postal Services today! Very very disappointed. A letter posted to me, using my maiden name, on the 22 February 2008, was returned to the sender on the 2 March 2008. It was never delivered to my residential mail box!

One sticker on the envelope said:
...........................................................................02/27/08
UNABLE TO FORWARD/FOR REVIEW
NO FORWARDING ORDER ON FILE
RETURN TO POSTMASTER
OF ORIGINAL ADDRESSEE FOR REVIEW
.............................................................................................

Another sticker on the envelope said:
..........................................................................03/02/08
RETURN TO SENDER
ATTEMPTED - NOT KNOWN
UNABLE TO FORWARD
...........................................................................................

The sender posted it again to me, using the same name, on the 12 March 2008. This time, it was c/o Mike's name. It is ridiculous! This is the first time in my life that a mail is not delivered when the address is valid!!!

I don't understand why and I am going to find out why! If it was because of my name, then I shouldn't be receiving any mail with that name at all. I have received other letters, with the same name and address, from the same sender.


Monday 7 April 2008: Cost $18 to obtained a certified copy of the marriage certificate from the registrar. A certified copy was obtained in compliance to the letter of appointment listed the documents required to be brought to the interview on 21 April 2008. It was disappointing that the Immigration officer (at the 21 April interview) said there is no need for the certified copy because she will certify the copy that was sent with the original application, after having seen the original Marriage Certificate that I brought there.

Tuesday 8 April 2008: Applied for social security card.

Monday 15 April 2008: Received Social Security card.

Monday 21 April 2008: Interview in Phoenix (2035 North Central Avenue, Green Appointment Lobby, Phoenix, AZ 85004). The Immigration Officer said she cannot approve my application for Permanent Residency until Mike have submitted additional information on his capability to support me. We were notified by letter to submit the additional information by the 24 May 2008.

Tuesday 6 May 2008: Posted requested additional information to Phoenix. $0.58 (1st class letter) + $2.15 (Return Receipt) + $2.65 (Certified) = $5.58

Saturday 10 May 2008: Postal Return Receipt received.

Saturday 17 May 2008: Received Notice I-797 at 00:45 am (we will driving back home, from Oklahoma trip). Don’t know when the letter arrived in the mail box. Was out of Yuma from Monday 12. Envelope was dated 13 May 2008. Notice I-797 was dated 9 May 2008. Notice I-797 is Welcome Notice. I have been approved the Green Card – Conditional Permanent Resident (2 years).

Wednesday 21 May 2008: Received Green Card (Permanent Resident) valid from 08 May 2008 to 08 May 2010. Need to submit an application to remove condition within 90 days before expiry date, to remove the conditions.

Time-wise, I think the system is great and commendable. Depending what you applied for, I heard some people have to wait a longer time. Overall, we spent $1693.92 for the whole process.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Please Drive Carefully

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Old habits died hard. I automatically walked to the left side of Mike's truck when he met me at the airport when I first arrived in US 8 months ago. Months later I still make the same mistake sometimes! Mike laughed "Honey, you are in US".

In Malaysia, the front passenger sits on the left side while the driver sits on the right side and we drive on the left side of the road!

My first time sitting as the front passenger on the right side of the car was in China in 1999. China drives on the right side of the road too! It felt funny moving forward on the right side of the road. Now that I am getting more comfortable with moving on the right side of the road here, I wonder how I would feel when I return to Malaysia and move on the left side of the road!

Michael had courageously allowed me to drive to church to attend meetings, for the past month. When we were in a hurry, my left hand would automatically reach up to my right shoulder to pull down the body strap over to my left side. And of course, there was nothing to pull!

Then the signals. I still made mistakes in this aspect, especially if I didn't use my head in advance. In Malaysia it is located on the right side of the steering wheel but in US it is located on the left side. In Malaysia you push up the lever to signal when you are turning to your left and you push down the lever to signal when you are turning to the right. In US it is just the opposite - lever up signals right and lever down signals left.

Mike kept teasing me that in US, they drive on the right side of the road for the right reason! I kept saying that it is not incorrect for us to drive on the left side of the road in Malaysia and we are not on the wrong side in Malaysia! It is just the way we were taught to drive there. Now that I am in US, I will need to drive on the right side of the road, the way this country drive!

Today, for the first time in US, I drove by myself! Today, Mike didn't feel well to go to church. I asked him if it was alright for me drive myself. Michael had courageously sat by my side while I drove to church for the past month. I have gain confidence on that particular stretch of road but I dare not try any other street of the city. Michael said "please drive carefully".

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Properous 2008?

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Hopefully this is a prosperous year for everyone! Chinese likes the number "8" because in the Cantonese dialect it sounded like prosperity. It usually refers to success in business and financial aspect $$$$ . Honestly, who does not want to have more money? Money is not the most important thing in the world but necessary. Hope everyone is blessed with more than enough money and still be humble.

A **** HAPPY **** NEW **** YEAR ****

A **** PROSPEROUS **** NEW **** YEAR ****