Mar 31, 2008

Don't be a Square! Be a STAR!

The latest craze in baking is now on cupcakes and cookies and everything about decorating it. I find it such a 'bore' that many restrict themselves to the standard muffin cupcake sizes or shapes. So while fiddling with recipes and the many types of cupcakes tins I have, I came out with these.

So the moral of the story is....

Don't be round or even a star instead!

Humble Rice

I went to Guangzhou, China in January. Together with Aunty Monica. It was both a biz trip and a break for me. We spent 8 days there. While Aunty did her shopping for new toys for her shops, I just tag along most of the times.

I didn't really spent all my money on things I bought. But decided to buy the Guangzhou fried rice from the restaurant and some other stuff for a lady who was seen begging on the streets every night.

Every night without fail, she would sit on a piece of cloth which she laid out. And with her, her 2 young boys would sit there and play by themselves.

They wore thick clothes, sweaters but didn't have any socks or gloves/mittens and the older boy was having a running nose.

Every night we would see her begging for just a few coins.

I decided to part with some of my money and gave them a nice warm meal. I also gave them 200 RMB which is about S$40. Its not much to us, Singaporeans..I mean S$40.

I bought for them a 4 persons portion of fried rice, vegetables, Roast pork. 2 loaves of freshly baked bread(from a bakery nearby), some hot warm Mantou, 2 lollypops for the 2 boys and a big bunch of apples, pears.

the younger boy was shivering in the cold. His hands were so cold and I think he's numb of it. I was seen squatting down to rub his cold hands. Passer-bys saw me, must be thinking I was mad. I get many curious stares too.

The young lady told me her hubby was an odd job labourer and was killed last December when the goods from the lorry fell and killed him. By day, she leaves her boys with neighbours and goes out to find work. She said she has no skills whatsoever. By night, she takes them home and brings out to beg in the streets.

My heart goes out to them. There are probably hundreds of such poor people scattered all over China. I know I cannot help everyone, but I know I can pray for them. And when I left them I told her that tomorrow I will fly home to Singapore. And should I return again in 6 months time, I hope not to see her here begging again. I wished her luck that she finds a job somehow to feed her boys and sends them to school. The lady was in tears and we parted with a warm handshake and I gave her boys a big hug.

Then this reminds me so much of how Buay used to tell me of such stories in China. How she wanted to give her life to open a school in Anhui, China to teach these ladies basic English. So that they can find jobs in the city or town.

Now whenever I cook this Guangzhou Fried Rice, I am reminded of the blessings I have, the abundance God has given to me. As many as in millions that are suffering and without food or shelter.

Give thanks for what you have. And this year, pray for the millions who are still in need.

God bless all..

Mar 18, 2008

What did I missed?

Nobody will think they would miss the stressful place they once worked in. But I am one such strange creature. I missed my old work desk at Jardine Fleming..look at my mess! I work long days and nights. Covering 60 hours per week. The only times its empty like this is when the boss made me fly to ASEAN countries. Its no wonder that the boss made me Employee of the Year, every other year!

I missed late uncle Daniel Chen, the man standing at the back row. next to him was my auntie Katherine.

I will NEVER get the chance to eat this again! Buttered Crayfish by the late Brother Willie from Goshen Restaurant used to cook this just for me. Whenever I visited Goshen Restaurant. He passed away suddenly in April 2006. Collapsed in the hospital.

My extended family in Malaysia. My cousin's wife, kids and mother in law. My sweet and lovely Malay if we were sisters lost in another world and time..happiest moments spend in June 2006. Later that year, my uncle passed away. He was my dad's long lost brother.

My beautiful African Black Oscars fishes.. sigh...raised from tiny fries to their gigantic sizes. They suddenly died on me when the maid splashed soapy water into the sponge she uses to scrub the tanks..they all died from the toxin, poisons.

My dear Auntie Katherine. Thankfully, she is coming to visit soon. Next month.

I hope no misses this year...and nothing to show..

Mar 8, 2008

Not so happy anniversary

You would think that one celebrates an anniversary to remind oneself of a year's past of good memories, of good friendship and love amongst friends..but today, marks the 1st year since Beauty's passing. I have 100s of her photos everywhere in the house, in the computers and even in my mobile phone. But for this post today, I chose to put up a hand drawn photo of my best friend's SG's sheltie by the name of Becky.

This was drawn by yours truly, 1984. A year after dog has 'committed suicide' because she was so upset when SG's mom passed away. Poor old Becky, she just couldn't understand why the old lady left her without saying good bye. The old dog bit her tongue and died beside the bed of the old lady's. The dog was loyal and most affectionate. I remembered Becky as a loving dog who would often be seen sitting next to dear Auntie when she is watching TV or folding clothes after its been dried.

In many ways, Beauty was like that too. Loyal and affectionate. Just like old Becky too. Sigh...a year has passed. And I don't think I have given up on old faithful because I still owe Dr Lee a CD of photos of Beauty. And I haven't done anything about it yet. It was just too painful to go thru her photos. Looking at how cheery she used to be, the kind of puppy that anyone would love to have. She was such a joy to us. She brings so much laughter in the house with her curious stares and the way she dances around just to please us.

When Melody was very young, she loves to dance while watching Hindi movies. And Beauty would mimic her too. I managed to capture those funny moments on video. But I am just too teary-eyed to show it online.

The girls don't talk about Beauty as much as before. But I still do. Sometimes, just out of the blue. Coz it seems like only yesterday she was gone..gone from our lives, gone forever.

May you rest in peace and know that I have always thought of you..ALWAYS..!

Traffic jam

I saw Dr Chew yesterday after getting my CT scans from the Changi hospital. And he had to examine my wound..then he exclaimed loudly "Wah, Gina, traffic jam lah!" He is joking with me about the number of lines or past healing of incision wounds on my body.

sigh.... I am going to add another 'road' to that valley of traffic jams next month. How did the 'roads' got there? Let me count thy ways:

1. at age 6 months old sometime in late 1963, my first operation done on my chest, rib cage.
2. Above my right eye, on the forehead..7 stitches before I fell and hit the side of the kitchen cabinet.
3. 3 stitches below my chin, I fell again. At age 6 years old and the button from my PJ got caught on my chin. Removing the button and stitching it up.
4. I had done corrective surgery on my eyes for squint eyes. No scars. But left with many weird dreams, nightmares that my late granny had to spend many nights with me in the hospital.
5. I had a knee cap operation at age 18years. I couldn't stand up after going to the toilet. in those days, its those squatting toilet. I squatted and couldn't get up. The ambulance came for that position, I was carted embarassing!
6. The birth of my 2 daughters via c-section in 1990 and later in 1998 due to complications in birth.
7. Removal of the gall bladder in 1995
8. In 2007, for appendix.
9..pending in April 2008.

okay, I used up all my 9 lives..what's next?