Saturday, November 15, 2014

Coach for Ladies Only

Monday, 25 August 2014

We didn't enter as we had male in our company.  However I did when I was travelling alone on the 30 September 2014.   And I like it.   Just ladies in that section of the train - coach for ladies only.  

A Picture of Remembrance

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Do you ever come across any painting or picture that tugs on your heartstrings.  This one does.   Reminds me of my childhood with my 2 younger brothers.   I love it.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Driver License Finally

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Finally, after 7 years, I got my Driver License Class E!

Mike had asked me ever since I came (2007) to the US to get my license (licence in UK) but I refused.   My experience with him, instructing me, was a pressure NOT a pleasure.   Kept telling me to drive according the speed limit posted.   I have learnt that the unlawful speed is 15 mph or more and 16 mph or less below posted speed.    I was not comfortable driving at 70 mph.   And I was not used to the car, which is bigger than what I am used to.

On 12 March, 2012, I applied for a Learner Permit, whereby I must be accompanied by a licensed driver, 21 years of age or older, who occupies the front passenger seat.   Passed the vision and written test.  Paid $25.50 ($4 application fee + $21.50 license fee).   It was valid until 03-31-2016.  Drove only during the 1st 3 months.

On 9 October, 2012, Sister Susan Oa..... took me the Arkansas State Police to enquire if I needed to take a driving test to obtain a driver license.   I had to bring the original US visa and a green card when I come and apply.  I took home an Arkansas Driving License Study Guide.   I don't remember whom I asked if my OK Learner Permit could be used in AR and I was told that it was recognised.   Thinking back, I believed that there was a miscommunication there.    Why?

We are living in a gated community.  Mike said it is not illegal for me (no FL Driver License) to drive inside the residential park, so long as I am in the public roads.   So beginning 17 March 2014 (St. Patrick's Day), after having lived in the park since August 2013, I got behind the wheel again!     Got to be more confident with my driving and decided to call a local driving school on the 21 June, 2014.   And the school said that my out-of-state Learner Permit  is recognised here in Florida!   They charged $245 for 4 hours and $445 for 8 hours lessons.

On the 23 June, 2014, I called the Florida Transport Dept.   And yes, my OK Learner Permit is recognised here.   However because I had been a resident over 6 months, I have to transfer the OK license to a FL license.   I was told to bring two proofs of Personal Identification and two proofs of my residential address.

So on the 24 June, 2014, I got my FL Learner License Class E and it expires 07-25-2022.  Paid $54.25 ($48 License Fee + $6.25 Service Fee).   Since then I have been driving whenever Mike & I go out, even though there are times I would rather be a passenger.   I was not happy being forced to drive.

Today, I decided it is time I sit for my driving test and get a Driver License.   Michael said I am ready.   Sally said I am ready.   Ellen said the same.   I felt ready until I read "Stop/Start on a Grade", at the testing center.     I had not practised this!   My 'tutors' (Michael and Ellen) and I didn't do this at all!    This is the part where I was told by the examiner, after  the driving test, that I should have signalled when I was leaving the parked spot.   This was done on the side of the road, as there is no hill.

Anyway, the examiner said I passed.   What a relief.    Took me more than 7 years to get a US Driver License.    Read 4 different states of Driver's Handbooks (Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida).     And after 2 Driver Permits.    I only had to paid service fee of $6.25 for the upgrade from Learner License Class E to Driver License Class E, with the same validity dates.

Sister Geok Lee, you would be happy if you know that I finally did it.   Even though you have departed from this mortal world since the 6 November 2012, it was you who actually spur me to set getting my US Driver License as the year's resolution.    I think it probably in 2011 that you wrote and encouraged me.   Thank you.

Took me 7 years to have the courage to get a license to drive on the right side of the road, after having driven over 35 years on the left side of the road.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Robin's (bird) Nest in a Bicycle Helmet

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Mike hasn't been cycling since 30 April, due to physical reasons.  He was thinking of cycling again and that was when he noticed his helmet had a nest and 4 eggs in it.  I haven't cycled since 12 June!    That showed how much attention we have been of our surroundings.  They were parked close to where we go in and out of the house!
Surprise - bird nest with eggs in helmet (1)

Surprise - bird nest with eggs in helmet (2)

Surprise - bird nest with eggs in helmet (3)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Since the day we saw the nest of eggs, I can't help looking into the nest whenever I go in and out of the house.   Initially the mother bird would fly off when she heard us opening out door to go out.   This day we saw the eggs had hatched and there were 4 hungry baby birds.   Whenever we approached the nest, their mouths were opened.
Baby robins are hungry

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

We think the mother bird knows I am a woman and a mother too.   There were times when she didn't fly away when I came out of the door.   But when Mike came out, she flew away!   This day, the baby birds were sleeping.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The baby birds have grown and they were sleeping.   I even touched them with my fingers.  Their feathers felt soft and smooth.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

In the morning, I noticed that the baby birds have not been active since I touched them on Monday and I haven't seen the mother bird as well.   I was worried if my touch had left a scent causing the mother bird to abandon her babies.   A neighbor suggested I could try feeding the babies with sunflower seeds so that they woudn't die of starvation.

In the afternoon, they were still motionless.   I had also reached into the nest and touched them.   Shined a torch into the nest, their eyes were not moving.   Shaked the helmet, no sign of life.   So I told Mike that I thought they were dead.   Maybe they have died of starvation.    I suggested to throw the nest out that evening because I don't want to throw them out tomorrow (my birthday).    When Mike unlatched the helmet from the bicycle and reach his fingers inside to feel the babies, we were shocked when one baby flew onto the ground.   They were alive!  Mike picked the baby up, placed it back into the nest and hanged back the helmet.

Friday, 25 July 2014

We were so happy.   The nest was empty.   No sign of feathers on the ground, which means they were not eaten by any predators, which means the babies had flown away!    What a great birthday present for me!      The past 3 days I had not seen the mother bird at the nest, but I had seen a robin standing on the porch and making noises.   I have read that mother birds calling her babies to fly!    So maybe that was it.   We will wait for a few days before we dump the empty nest, and see what happens.   I am grateful for this experience.
Robins are gone!

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Displinary Warning Letter (1)

Two days ago (Thursday, 3 July 2014), a customer said she would pay her purchase by cheque.    I told her she does not need to fill the cheque out and it would be printed "void" and would be returned to her.   Unfortunately the computer could not read her cheque.  So I called the Asst. Mgr. (Be) for help.   He tried, and failed to have the cheque read too.    He called for the Store Mgr. (C), who also failed to have the cheque read by the computer.   However, the Store Mgr. entered the cheque manually and the system accepted it.    Store Mgr. placed the cheque into the till.

Asst. Mgr. (Ba) counted my till at the end of my shift and noticed that the cheque was blank!   She notifed the Store Mgr. of the blank check.   Asst. Mgr. called the tel. no. on the cheque, without success.   I clocked out without signing my cashier report, of that $60 plus merchandise (blank cheque).

When I reported to work yesterday (4 July 2014), Asst. Mgr (Kr) told me that she got hold of the customer, on the phone.   AM (Kr) said that she would see the customer when she clock out at 3 pm, and would get the cheque signed.   AM (Kr) came back to the store, showed the signed cheque to me, went into the office and informed the AM (Be) on duty.

At the end of my duty today (5 July 2014), AM (Ba) who took me down, handed me a displinary warning letter, from the Store Mgr (who had already left), to sign.   The letter said verbal warning was given, which was not true.    I signed the letter.  Mike and a close friend said I shouldn't have signed the letter.   However I made a remark that I was NOT totally responsible for the blank cheque.    AM (Be) helped with the process. Store Mgr. made the final acceptance and had placed the cheque inside the till.

I don't think the Store Mgr. is going to be happy with my remark.   I don't know what this will lead to, referring to  her feelings towards me and how she would treat me from now on.   She is a very good boss and I like her very much.   However in this aspect, I know I am NOT totally responsible for this "blank cheque".   More importantly, we finally got the cheque signed the next day.   So why the disciplinary warning letter?

As for me, I will continue working hard for my present employer, be the best cashier that my employer and customers will remember.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

One of Those Bad Days (1)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Mike has booked to fly Tampa/Atlanta/Little Rock (5:25/6:48 - 7:45/8:13) but couldn't get on the flight because he had to conceal his unloaded gun in a box.   He ended up buying a tool box and a lock.   He was put on a 8 something flight and arrived in Little Rock at 1:30 pm.

Question:  Didn't Mike check the carrying of gun policy on flight?  If he did, there must be a misunderstanding.

Mike booked to pick the budget truck from a place near the Little Rock airport but the truck was not available.   Thankfully our friend SeanM who was meeting Mike at the airport offered to drive 40 miles to the nearest dealer to pick an available truck.   I had confirmed with the landlord that we are moving out of the condominium this day.

Question:  Why didn't Mike write to the budget truck to voice his grievance of unavailable truck and the distance to get one?   Budget truck should compensate us for the mileage incurred.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Don't trust the rolls of coins are 100% correct.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Can you trust the rolls of coins from the bank?   I think we all do.   I don't know of anyone who would question or check the rolls of coins that they obtain from the bank teller, even if it is only a roll of quarters, which is $10.

This morning, while waiting for my companion, I killed my time by counting the quarters through the clear plastic that hold the 2 rolls of $10 quarters.    Already I do not have 100% trust in the accuracy of the rolls.    I had worked as a cashier and even though I was sure I was accurate with my cash handling, I could not understand why I was short of coins, at the end of my shift at times.  Either the counting machine in our business was wrong or the rolls of coins from the bank were short!   Or the person who counted my till had counted wrongly.    It is not like there is another person recounting to ensure its accuracy.    Anyway, another person recounting would be impractical because I would think the minus and plus are minimal.

So I counted the 2 rolls of quarters, and recounted the roll that was short of a quarter!  Someone else counted it too and confirmed it was short.   So
 I went back to the bank teller.   Her supervisor witnessed as the bank teller removed the plastic cover and counted the quarters on the table.   I could hear the coins being counted.     They gave to me a new roll, which I counted on site, before leaving.

I think this incident is rare.

Friday, 15 August 2014

So another 2 weeks and I would be a year in the company and for some reason I wanted to check a roll of paper wrapped quarters in my till.    I have not done it before with rolls of coins.   I was also not instructed to count our tills when we logged in the 1st time to our assigned cash register.   I was told that I could ask for an audit of my till before I start my shift.

Must be a sense of prompting to check today.    The $10 roll was short of 40 cts! Instead of 40 quarters, there were 38 quarters and 2 nickels!

The manager said it was probably rolls of quarters that was remitted to the bank by public.

My till balance was exactly 40 cts short because of that 2 nickels!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Be Honest and Be Blessed

Friday, 14 March 2014

I was ready to pay $1.00 for the Kids Sun Hat.   The receipt showed $0.01.   So I walked back to the cashier and enquired.   She said it must be a mistake and suggested that I paid the remaining $0.99.   I asked her to check with the store manager because it might be marked down to $0.50 since it was the only one left on the shelf.   Cashier returned and remarked that it was my lucky day.   Forget about the $0.99.

Monday, 17 September 2012

$12.44, that was spent at a fast food, on the 27 June 2012, had not appeared in our bank statements.   I remembered taking one wrongly delivered drink to the cashier, and asking for a replacement.   And I remembered the cashier cancelling the payment and remarking that she will recharged.   And I guess the recharge did not went through.

So I rang and spoke to the manager of that particular store, who told me to call the district manager about my debt of $12.44.    I was ready to pay that debt, but instead I was told to regard the $12.44 as a early Christmas present.  What a blessing to be honest.   My debt was waived and my conscience cleared.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Chinese New Year Dinner 2014

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Finally I was able to have the special Chinese New Year dinner.   I was not able to celebrate the reunion dinner on the 30 January.   The celebration of the year of the Horse started the 31st January and finished the 14 February.    2 guests at our table thought the Chinese New Year was over.   I said it is 365 days!   I just celebrate it late.   Don't know if anyone else did that?   Grateful that the 4 guests joined in the dinner.

I was a little worried when we had a power outrage at 12:05pm because of thunder storms.   After an experience of an outrage that lasts 80 hours because of winter storm, I am somehow scare of the timing of restoration.

I am grateful I had all the stuffed beancurd (with minced pork) deep fried a couple of minutes before the outrage, which was restored at about 12:45pm.  Cooked the other 4 dishes an hour before the dinner.
Stuffed bean curd with minced pork

Spicy prawns with tomatoes

Chicken with black mushrooms

Bean sprouts with carrots, chives and minced pork

Blanced bak choy with garlic oyster sauce

Bought these food from an oriental store:
(1) Roasted pork ($6.99 for 1 lb)
(2) Barbequed pork ($5.99 for 1 lb)
(3) Roasted duck ($15.99 for a whole duck)
Roasted pork and barbequed pork

Roasted duck

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Lord Calls (2)

2000 - December 2013

Met Christina Tilisit Jendili mid-2000, when we were both attending the church meetings at a rented house in Likas, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.    And we had been friends since.   When I moved back to Miri, Sarawak, in February 2005, we had kept in touch, through sms and email since it was cheaper than talking on the phones.    We had supported each other morally and emotionally, during our respective troubled times.    When I moved again further away in 2007, email and then the Facebook was our means of communication.    Even though sometimes we went for months without communication,  there was a special friendship bond between us.   If we did write to each other, the email were usually free sharing of our feelings.

Christina & I, 28 June 2009

Christina was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was cured in 2012 after radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy.

2013 she started to have excruciation back pain.  ST-scan showed she had cancer near her lungs.    We were still writing long messages to each other on the Facebook from the month of August, when she started chemotherapy.   The last messages, on the Facebook, that we exchanged with each other, was on the 30 October.

On the last week of November, I felt strongly about snail-mailing Christina a Christmas card.   We had never written each other a snail mail because it cost nothing by electronic mail.   I was thinking that Christina would love to receive a paper card for a change.   I also intended to send a well-wish card from time to time, from then on to keep her spirits up while she was fighting the lung cancer.   To ensure what I had in my record is correct, I wrote to one of Christina's daughter for confirmation of Christina's postal address.   No response to my 5 messages sent from the 28-30 November.

30 November 2013, I wrote to another daughter.   I was so thankful she wrote back on the 1 December 2013, with Christina's correct address.   The Christmas card was posted on the 2 December 2013.

23 December 2013, from the Facebook timeline and message to Christina's daughter confirmed that her mother had passed away on the 22 December, at the age of 52.   I was grateful to learnt that Christina received my Christmas card and had my special message for her.   I am thankful that it did not take a month to arrive, as in other snail mail that I have sent from US!

Sister Christina, I am thankful for the opportunity to know you while I was in Kota Kinabalu.  Even though I had moved further and further away from you, we have kept in touch whenever we could.  Even when we didn't get to communicate as much as we would love to, and even when we didn't hear from each other for a time, we will always be special in each other's heart.   I love you, my friend.   I am going to miss you if I come and visit Kota Kinabalu.  You will always be in my heart forever.   You have been a devoted Christian and I know that you are helping Heavenly Father in the spirit world.  Until we meet again, God be with you.

The Lord Calls (1)

June 2007 - June 2013

This is written in rememberance of a dear friend, Frances E. Graaf, who passed away on the 28 June 2013.    I miss her.   This is the story of our relationship, that I want to share.

Frances and I, 18 August 2008

June 2007: I was assisting with the pest control appointments in Yuma, AZ.  A loyal customer, Frances, and I got a liking to each other and we became friends.   We talked to each other on the phone, got to visit each other at our respective homes.  Even though she is in her 80's, she would drive (I didn't have a US driving licence yet) to my house and take me with her to do things together.   Alternatively Mike would take me to her house and then we would go out in her car.     She was living alone in a big house with a cat, and my heart goes to her.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008.  I went with Mike to collect the business truck back from the home of an employee who had resigned this day.  There was only me to drive Mike's car back home while Mike drove the business truck.    I had no choice but drove (using my Malaysian driving licence) the car by myself, followed behind Mike's truck.  On the way home, I couldn't keep up with Mike's speed, lost sight of him and landed in a strange  lane - Araby Lane.   There was a GPS in the car but I did not know how to use it.    I dialed Mike's cellphone but there was no answer.   Like a frightened child lost, I managed to get Frances on the phone.   I cried and told her I was lost.   She asked me where I was.   I didn't know what that lane was then.   Mike found me an hour later. 

Sunday, 8 February 2009, Frances & I saw the American Boys Chorus at the Yuma Performing Arts Center.  She got 2 admission tickets free from a neighbor who had left town.  I am so blessed that she invited me to go with her.   I enjoyed the performance very much.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009, I went with Frances for luncheon, in conjunction with St. Patrick's Day celebration, at the Foothills Assembly of God.  It was my 1st experience of St. Patrick's Day!
Last I saw Frances, at her home, was 3 April 2009.   I had brought a friend, Patricia, with the hope that they would get together when Mike & I moved away in  21 days to Sunray, TX.   Even since then I had moved to other places.  I am thankful that the landlines and the snail mail had kept us connected, as Frances did not do the email.

I remembered talking to her early 2013 and she told me her annual blood work was good.   For a number of weeks in June 2013, I had tried to call Frances but nobody answered.   I wanted to tell Frances that we were moving again on the 7 August 2013.    11 July 2013, the same tel. no. that I had been calling for the past 6 years was no longer in service!  I felt something was wrong.  I know Frances would have told me if she was selling the house or moving away. The next day, 12 July 2013, I wrote a snail mail, addressed to Frances, at her address hoping that the letter would be forwarded to her, if she had moved, or someone would call me and tell me how she was doing.

3 August 2013 postmarked on postcard from Frances' son, Scott, reported that his mother had passed away.   Scott did not reply to my query as to the cause of his mother's death.

Frances would be in her mid 80's if she is still alive.   Frances and I chatted on the phone for an hour or more.   We shared  our lives like mother and daughter.  Our conversations had been a blessing in my life.  She listened to me patiently as I confided in her.  Frances would be in her mid 80's if she is alive now.   My mother would be 88 years old if she is alive too.   My mother had passed away in November 2007.    I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for sending Frances into my life.