Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in Review

On January 9th, this year, we were on our way home from Malaysia back to California. Denice, Duncan and I had spent 3 months in Miri with my parents. Doug had dropped us off in Malaysia in October the previous year and came again in January to fetch us home. Towards the end of the month, both kids kept saying they wanted to go back home to California. It wasn't just the kids, I too thought it was time to go home to California.

One of the things I discovered during that stay in Malaysia, yes I was home, home with my parents and my siblings, but at the same time, it was not quite home anymore. When I got married and left my family I set out to make a new home with my husband and indeed we had slowly built a home to call our own. Our very own home, and two kids to fill that home with us.

The kids went back to school after staying home for a week after our return from Malaysia. They were not quite over their jet lag, but they needed to return to routine and structure.

In March and April, I spent too much time watching American Idol! :-) On St. Patrick's Day (March 17) we invited our good friends, Kathy and Richard for corned beef dinner. They had Doug over for dinner many times while I was in Malaysia. :-)

Corned beef cooked in guiness stout.

Richard and Kathy Carr

In mid April, my good friend, Esther, came to visit us. Her visit coincided with our planned trip to Arkansas, and we bought tickets for her so she could join us. We met at the airport in Phoenix, Arizona and then we flew on to Arkansas. We had a good time visiting Little Rock, Dardenelle and Russellville. The main purposes of the visit to Arkansas were to visit Doug's relatives, and to visit his 40 acres which he inherited from his mother.

My friend, Esther, Duncan and I at the Dardenelle dam in Arkansas

Other highlights in April were Doug celebrated his 51st birthday in April and we had a little barbecue with a few friends. We also took the kids out to fly kites on Kite Day here in Galt.

Duncan flying his kite on Kite Day

In May, I spent too much time watching American Idol and blogging about it! :-) Denice celebrated her 4th birthday on 21 May. On May 31, the eve of Gawai, Doug and I toasted each other with tuak which I had brought back from Miri. :-)

In June, we enjoyed the fruits of our gardening effort, or more accurately Doug's gardening efforts! We had fenced off the front porch area to keep the geese out and there was enough space in the front for some gardening. We had squash, tomatoes, corn, radish, water melon, cantaloupe, and the fruit from our fruit trees like plum, and pears.

Plums from our backyard

In July, I succumbed to the lure of income made from Google Ads placed on my blog and the lure of income made from writing paid posts. I have not quite made a $100 from Google, but I have definitely made more than $1K from writing paid posts. :-) Duncan celebrated his 4th birthday on July 20th. We continued to enjoy the fruits of our gardening effort. We had more cantaloupe and tomatoes than we could eat.

Duncan celebrated his birthday with his school friends

On August 8th, Doug and I celebrated our eighth anniversary. Has it really been eight years? I also celebrated 2 years of blogging in August. August was also the harvesting season for the water melon that we planted in June. We had more than we could eat!

Denice simply loves water melon

The highlight of September was our trip to Nipomo/Los Osos which included an afternoon of target shooting.

Duncan got into trouble in October at school for bringing two empty cartridges. They were empty cartridges he collected from our target shooting. :-)

We had some work done to our yard in preparation for growing grass. We were not able to do the sowing in the fall because by the time all the sprinkler heads were installed it was a little late in the season for sowing grass seeds. We'll have to wait for early spring.

Our backyard

October was my busiest month for blogging. I wrote 101 posts on Puteri's Musings ( alone! Heheh, half of those posts were paid posts! But I paid dearly for writing paid posts. I totally lost my Page Rank 3 ranking on that blog. :-(

The kids had fun on Halloween night. Duncan got to ride a pony, and both kids rode on the Tea Cup carousel at our Church's Harvest Festival. It was Halloween but our Church called it Harvest Festival.

All set and ready to go to the Harvest Carnival

My in-laws came to spend Thanksgiving with us in November, and I roasted turkey using Jamie Oliver's recipe. Muaaahh! It came out perfect!

No woman could have asked for better in-laws!

In December, the day before my birthday, I decided to do a blood glucose reading an hour after dinner. The reading showed 211 mg/dl. A person with normal blood glucose would have a reading of under 160 mg/dl. That reading spooked me and I decided to take drastic action where my diet was concerned.

On Dec 27th during a visit to my doctor, my doctor diagnosed me as pre-diabetic. Along with my new diet, I am taking herbal supplements and drinking teas that are supposed to have sugar lowering properties. :-)

With regards to my parents in Malaysia, I am happy to note that my father is managing his diabetes well, and that his problem with hypertension seemed to have completely gone. He had been taking hypertension medication since his late 30s and since his diabetes related illness, and hospitalization in December last year, his blood pressure seemed to have normalized.

We took the kids to visit the home of a quilting friend who passed away in March. Her home had always been a big attraction at Christmas time with all the colorful Christmas lights and decorations. I was happy to see her family carry on the tradition, and her absence was keenly felt this year.

Christmas decorations at the late Judy Sassman's home

One of the biggest highlights of the year, is the new friendships I have made through blogging. Blogging has become more than about sharing your thoughts, your life, or your rants, but it has become an enjoyable past time with the renewing of old friendships and the making of new ones.

I hope the new year brings all of you, my dear friends, prosperity, good health, and much to write about on your blogs! :-)

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Greetings

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lust, Caution: Two reviews

I think Ang Lee is a very talented director. I just heard of his latest movie called Lust, Caution from U. Lee. The movie has a NC-17 rating because of sexually explicit content.

The following reviewer gave the movie a 4 star rating. The review, or should I say impression of the movie, immediately after this, is by none other than our friend, U.Lee, story teller extra-ordinaire.

Tell me if you do not want to rush off to the next theater where the movie is showing to watch it for yourself? I am sorry for Zawi, because he will never be able to get the movie uncensored in Malaysia unless of course, he manages to get hold of a bootleg version! :-)

By COLIN COVERT - Minneapolis Star Tribune

The locales for Ang Lee’s stately, sublime “Lust, Caution” are World War II Shanghai and Hong Kong, but its roots are as much in Hitchcock as in Chinese history. Set in affluent, Westernized districts with cafes, cinemas and European fashions that recall wartime London or Paris, it begins as the kind of elegant spy romance that could have starred Ingrid Bergman.

A simmering tension builds as a spy (the exquisite Tang Wei) weaves a seductive web to trap a powerful collaborator (cool, calculating Tony Leung). Then, when we’ve been lulled by its refined tone and languid pace, Lee pulls the rug out from under us with brutal, bloody murder and ferocious scenes of explicit sadomasochistic sex. Even more surprisingly, Lee handles those lurid sequences with impeccable artistic integrity. Like the martial arts battles in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” they are essential to our understanding of the characters.

Tang makes a stunning debut as Wang Chia Chi, an actress whose patriotic student troupe moves its opposition to the Japanese occupation off the stage and into real life. They make an assassination target of the Chinese collaborationist government’s spy chief, Mr. Yee (Leung, a George Clooney-size superstar in Asia).

Acting the part of a wealthy merchant’s wife, Wang enters Mrs. Yee’s social circle, where gossip about official power plays and trade blockades circulates during afternoons of shopping and mah-jongg. When Yee drops by the parlor to pay his respects, Wang begins to turn his head. She pursues Yee, who trusts no one, on and off for three years. In the meantime, she witnesses the student actors blundering their way through a horrific killing that tests her convictions. When she finally meets Yee in a barren love nest, he lashes her with his belt as if he were brutalizing a suspect. Are her gasps and post-coital smile genuine or part of a performance? He can’t tell; nor can we, nor possibly she.

Their physical intimacy acts as a catalyst toward love, while patriotism, ideology and morality become irrelevant. Yee repeatedly slips away from his bodyguards, exposing himself to danger to be alone with her. Wang confesses to the menacing Communist agent who becomes her controller that while she yearns for Yee’s death, he has wormed his way into her heart. We are left to decide who is more cruel to Wang: Yee, a traitor whose savage lovemaking is shot through with moments of tenderness, or the resistance fighters who pushed her into his arms.

The following review is written in Manglish, so begging your pardon if you are a non-Manglish speaker.

By U.Lee - [A]nyway, my wife dragged me to go see Ang Lee's latest, 'Love and lust' or something saying I will like it as a war drama. My foot! War drama?

Both of us even brought along an unmarried friend, not sure she still virgin or not, but HOLY SMOKE!

Puteri...I am not one easily shocked if a woman strips naked in front of me, or whatever, unless Zawi's sarong accidentally drops...but this movie... where got war? There were about 6 sex scenes, each about 15 minutes long, and I tell you, Tony Leung and that new Chinese actress must both have a 4th Dan Black belt in sexual positions whatever and drank Tongkat Ali past 58 days before this movie...and Puteri, NO HOLLYWOOD MOVIE can beat this movie, believe you me.

They were actually going into it like the charge of the light brigade, take no prisoners! You name it, you see it, they did it, what with the sensurround sounds to add Hyenas about to buka puasa.

HOLY SMOKE Puteri...and me now presently behaving like about to do my thesis for a Bangkok Monastry in chantings...they were having sex in every which way. Can see ahemmm, everything, and I mean including the kitchen sink!

I tell you, that fellow whats his name, ahhh yes, Incik Hugh Hefner...he would have raised both eyebrows among other things. Makes what we see on Channel 29 here at 10pm look like young girls and boys playing doctor.

Puteri...that virgin, ahhh I mean that young lady friend sitting beside me...aiyohhh, saya pun malu la, I was like a new kampong bride on honeymoon night, shy she watched both her eyes buka so big like seeing ghosts at 3am, arhaaaa ha ha.

Had to apologise to her, blame my wife, "aiyaaaa, see la! War movie"?? The virgin, I mean SYT laughed and giggled, "hey uncle, good movie, that". Huh? Ha ha ha.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cover Girl

In case you missed it, I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's November 2007 issue. I'm sure you'll still be able to get a hold of the November issue if you call their circulation department. I was told that that issue was one of the more popular issues in the past year.

The main feature of that issue was women and guns. I tell you there were more beautiful and sexier models that Sports Illustrated could have used for their cover but instead they chose me. They wanted to write stories of real women and their guns. That means real women come in all shapes and sizes, and that also means not all possess magazine cover looks.

Lucky for me because how else would I have been able to make it to a magazine cover? You know what, I think they could have done a better job with air brushing my face. My eye bags shouldn't even be visible! You know what I mean? Well, I should be thankful they chose sepia instead of full color for the cover! :-)

What? You want to be on the cover of a magazine too? Ok, I'll tell you how you can. Heheh, go to and you can be on the cover of a magazine too! Hehehe.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bra for Lee's New Year's Eve Party

There's one other item of clothing I thought I'd like to wear to the New Year's Eve party on the Queen Mary 2 that is going to be hosted by U.Lee and his wife.

I came across the following item on the internet today and I thought it is a must have item to complete my outfit for the party.

This is a bra made of over 2,500 diamonds weighing over 100 carats, which is worth 10 million yuan (1,354,683.08 USD). I think with Ruby and J. T. wearing Harry Winston's baubles, and I wearing this diamond studded bra, Nightwing's private security team will be kept busy. Of course with my pearl handled trusted derringer firmly ensconced in my thigh strap, I will have personal backup if anything untoward should happen.

I may have to do something about that Calvin Klein strapless black number that Lee got for me. No point wearing this bra if I can't show it off! Maybe I could return the dress for something with a plunging neckline?

What say you my fellow revellers?

Photo Credits: Xinhuanet Photo

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cassia Alata

Last August I wrote a post called Can You Identify this Tree? on my other blog. I have finally found the botanical name of the tree through Zawi's Virtual Tourist site.

The tree is called Cassia Alata. It is also known as Senna alata, Herpetica alata, Cassia bracteata, and Cassia herpetica.

In Sarawak the tree is known by two names. My mother calls it the Sulok tree. The other name escapes me. There are a few Cassia Alata trees in my parents yard.

My mother would cut up a few branches of the tree and put them out to dry. When the leaves are dry she will put them over a fire to dry it even further and also to give the leaves that smoked flavour. Then the leaves are removed from the branches and stored away for boiling into a tea.

Dried cassia alata leaves

I like the flavour of the Sulok tea. It has a pleasant mild flavour. I don't know about it being a laxative but I know for sure that it works very well as a diuretic!

People in Sarawak believe that drinking Sulok tea will help lower your blood cholesterol. My uncle who has very high blood cholesterol says that his cholesterol level went down after consistently drinking the tea for a month.

I brought a small bag of the Sulok tea leaves back to California. Two days ago I boiled a kettle of the tea. I had forgotten to take my hydrochlorothiazide medication on Sunday and on Monday I took my medication as usual and drank several cups of Sulok tea. Oh boy, did the two combined made me go to the toilet often! Got rid of all the water retention in my body!

My cup of cassia alata tea

According to an article I read, cassia alata has blood sugar lowering properties. That is excellent news indeed because I am concerned about my blood sugar. It is a bit on the high side and I did suffer from gestational diabetes. My father is a diabetic and with that family history, for me it is a matter of when not if where diabetes is concerned.

Now I wished I had brought more of the leaves for my tea! The reason I brought a small amount was that I was afraid that the customs people would confiscate my tea leaves if they found I was carrying a bag of it! :-)

Some people have successfully grown the cassia alata here in the US. I might want to get the seeds and try planting it. There are companies selling the seeds and even young plants here in the U.S. It is a fast growing tree and if I plant it in a big pot I might be able to protect it from the cold during the winter months. Doug has been meaning to build a greenhouse for a long time but he has not got around to doing it. In fact he has the stuff needed to build the greenhouse already!

Who knows I might want to market the tea leaves like any herbal tea! Hey Zawi, here's another business possibility for us!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A New Year's Eve Party

Some of you know, because you too have been invited, that U.Lee has invited me to join him and his wife to a New Year's Eve party and cruise on board the Queen Mary 2.

To say that I am excited and looking forward to the party and cruise is an understatement! :-)

Just look at this strapless dress that came with the invitation! A black strapless Calvin Klein designer dress! What woman would not be thrilled to wear this creation?

Hmm? What do you think? You know, I still have about a month to get into greater shape so I will do justice to the dress! Yes, I will have to go on a high fiber diet so that my flabby tummy will not show when I wear that dress. And yes, I will do 500 sit ups a day to tone that tummy!

I will have to do some shopping too. Since the dress did not come with shoes, and handbag, and jewelry to match, I will most definitely need to shop for those items! I love beaded and glittery accessories so I have in mind a black with pink clutch purse to go with the dress.

I think this stunning Gucci purse will go really, really well with that black Clavin Klein dress! Woohoo! Beautiful!

How about shoes? I have trouble wearing high heels because they hurt my feet. Who wants to put up with hurting feet when there's dancing later on?! I am not going to miss a dance with Antonio Banderas! Did you know that I will be sitting at a table with Anotonio Banderas? I hope I won't swoon just at the sight of him!

What the heck! These Jimmy Choo shoes are too beautiful! I'll wear them and pay the price. I'll just have to go for a massage after the party! :-)

Ok, jewelry next! Since I design and make jewelry myself, I will wear ear rings, a necklace and a bracelet that I design myself. I will use lots of glittering crystals in my design. I'll be sure to use black, pink, and gold crystals as well as gold findings to match the purse.

How about perfume? Since I will be sitting next to Antonio Banderas I'll have to be sure my perfume will be subtle yet alluring. I will make him forget who Melanie Griffith is! How about Estee Lauder's Pleasures Exotic? Yes, one of my favorite scents!

Ah yes, the handsome and delectable Antonio! I can see myself doing the Paso Doble with him! Doug who?

Can you imagine how alluring and ravishing I will look in that black dress, shoes and accessories! Aiyo, U.Lee will be suitably impressed! Save a dance for me, U.Lee after that dance with Ruby! What? I've got to wait till you're done dancing with Pi Bani? And J.T. and Jamy? Aiyo, good thing Antonio Banderas will be there!

Zawi and Akmal, you two guys better not run away from me when you see me coming! I want at least one dance from both of you!

Ahh, don't be deceived! Underneath all that feminine appearance this mama will be packing heat! Yes, I found the thigh holster! Ooops, since I will be carrying a concealed weapon, I think I should stay away from dances that will require any high kicks. No point carrying a concealed weapon when all and sundry can see it! It might even spook some who have hoplophobia!

Oh yes, one other possible problem about being on a ship. Seasickness. According to U.Lee the Queen Mary 2 is so huge that you can forget you are in a ship. That sounds assuring. I like his suggestion better though. To get my mind off seasickness, I should try some target shooting on deck with Antonio Banderas! Sounds good to me! Well, U.Lee better speak to the Captain first and get his permission! We don't want to freak out the other passengers on the ship!

Oh yes, I am indeed looking forward to the New Year's Eve Party. Oh, gotta go now, need to fix an appointment with a spa and my hairdresser!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The secret to a long, happy marriage

An old man was talking to a young friend. He told him he had been married for 66 years.

"That's amazing!" his young friend said. "What's the secret to such a long, happy marriage?"

"Well," the elder man replied, "It's like this. We decided together when we got married: The man makes all the big decisions ... and the woman makes all the little decisions."

"Wow!" the young man responded. "Does that really work?"

"Oh yes," the oldster said proudly. "It's been 66 years and, so far we haven't had one big decision!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Equalizer

An armed society is a polite society - Robert A. Heinlein

Do you know what Hoplophobia is? It is defined as "fear of firearms." Colonel Jeff Cooper who claims to have coined the word stated that "the most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user."

There are many people, educated Malaysians included, who fear guns. Guns are weapons that can cause death by people who want to cause death, and therefore should be rightly feared. But people should not fear guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.

My father owns a shotgun that he uses for hunting and he has owned it for as long as I can remember. He put it in the closet and at no time at all when we were younger were we tempted to handle it. We had a healthy respect for that shotgun.

My son is 4 years-old and we are teaching him to respect guns, that guns are not toys, and that guns can hurt people if mishandled. We are trying to demystify guns so that as he grows older he will not try to handle guns behind our backs simply out of curiosity. Demystifying guns to young children, in a household that has guns, is the first step to preventing accidents. We are teaching him about gun safety so that he knows that with ownership comes responsibility.

My husband grew up around guns and he fired his first gun at age 6. He and his father are lifetime members of the National Rifles Association. My husband has quite a collection of pistols and rifles, and I now own a handgun too.

Before I came to America, I too had the impression that America had too many guns and that too many people died needlessly because of those guns. That was when I was still ignorant about the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment states that "A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

This is a right that should be protected and not given away lightly. A government that has an armed citizenry will think twice about becoming a tyrant. Someone commented in a friend's blog that since America is not living under a tyranny, why should people continue to have guns? Duh!? Once the guns are taken away, how are you going to stop the government from becoming one?

Me, firing a Rossi .22 rimfire pump action rifle

There are many laws regulating gun use in America. Contrary to popular beliefs, especially with those living outside America, gun related deaths are not out of control in this country. Accidental gun deaths is not the number one killer of children under 14 in this country. Mass shootings like those you hear in the news recently are not as common as are made out to be.

It is a fallacy to claim that less guns mean less crime. Switzerland is a country that best illustrates this fallacy. In Switzerland National Service is compulsory and the men keep those guns including assault rifles that they use in their national service training in their homes. You don't hear much news of gun crimes in Switzerland.

In countries where guns have been taken away from the citizens, like the UK and Australia, crimes are not down, and neither are homicides. Criminals will always get their guns, legal or not. The only people left defenseless are the ordinary citizens.

Consider the following situations.

Police said that two men forced their way into a home on the 1900 block of Sachtjen Street on Madison's north side, near the Dane County Regional Airport, just before 3 a.m.

A couple was home in bed at the time and a woman was pistol-whipped by one of the assailants, who fled without taking anything. The woman is being treated for injuries.

Full story here.

If you're faced with intruders in your house, in which situation would you rather find yourself?

Bleeding and weakened from the bullet wound in her chest, Susan Gonzalez aimed her husband's .22-caliber pistol, the one she hated, and emptied it into one of the robbers who had burst through the front door of her rural Jacksonville home.

Those shots ended the life of one robber, led to a life prison term for another and became an epiphany for Gonzalez, a 41-year-old mother of five who runs a photography studio.

Full story here.

My home is still my castle, and if a person enters my home intending to cause me harm, he'd better be prepared to meet his Maker.

Be not afraid of any man
No matter what his size

If ever in fear, just call on me

And I will equalize

Engraved on the cylinder of a old West "Peacemaker" Colt .45 revolver.

Yes, a firearm is a great equalizer.

Related Articles

Duncan goes target shooting
Target Shooting
Gone Shooting
Doug and Friends Go Target Shooting

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Licking a toad to get high?

Inhaling gas from fecal matter to get high was gross enough but how about licking a toad? Yes, a toad!

The toad in question is a Colorado River toad (see left pic). The toad is dangerous to young children or animals who ingest them because it is poisonous. It appears that the venom from the toad acts like a hallucinogenic drug.

This is how describes toads in general.

Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

So the venom that is naturally smeared on the toad's body is licked by the people who wanted to get high. What a way to get your high! And a dangerous one at that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sarawak Laksa

Last week I made Sarawak laksa and as always it is a hit with Doug. Of all the Malaysian dishes that he has tasted, he thinks Sarawak laksa will do well in San Luis Obispo, which is a university town in the central coast of California. I don't know why he would think that, but I guess it is a simple meal, and rich in flavor. The kind of flavor that you can grow to love.

The soup base for Sarawak laksa is made from a paste which consists of spices and shrimp paste. I find this particular laksa paste (pic above) the easiest to use. You only need some chicken stock and coconut milk to complete your soup. Salt has already been included in the paste.

I still have about three cups of the paste left, and pretty soon, we'll have to wait for our next trip to Sarawak to get more! :-) Unless some friend from Sarawak decides to come and pay us a visit and of course we'll make sure they bring some laksa paste for us! :-)

If you've never tried Sarawak laksa before, make sure you give it a try the next time you visit the state.

Here's wikipedia's definition of Sarawak Laksa -

Sarawak laksa (Malay: Laksa Sarawak) comes from the town of Kuching in the Malaysian state Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. It is actually very different from the curry laksa as the soup contains no curry in its ingredient at all. It has a base of Sambal belacan (shrimp paste), sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and optionally lime. Ingredients such as bean sprouts, (sliced) fried tofu or other seafood are not traditional but is sometimes added.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A pony for Christmas

We were at Walmart last night and this is what we saw.

A pony that can "chew" on a carrot. It can also move its head, swish its tail and neighs and snorts when patted! It thrilled Duncan so much that he wanted me to buy it for him!

Haha, it costs a couple of hundred dollars, and of course I will never spend that kind of money on a toy pony! So I told him, "Ask you Nana. Maybe she'll buy you one." Haha.

Actually he saw a Ford truck for kids that was for sale as we entered Walmart. I had to quickly walk past the truck otherwise I would have to hear him repeat himself over and over again, "Buy me that, Mommy". He said it once or twice, and I said,"Ask your Nana to get it for you." :-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

High on sewage stench?!

This info bulletin is legit. But I was doubtful about the subject matter. I checked out and they have a story about it. In fact Zambia's street children have been getting high on the gas from the fecal matter. Blehhhh.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What to do when the shaking begins.

Last Tuesday there was a magnitude 5.6 tremblor in the Bay area. The shaking was felt as far as Lodi, which is only 10 miles from where we live. I have never experienced any tremblor in my life, and living in California it is expected that earthquakes could happen.

But if the big one does happen, I want to be prepared for it. I found the following information from the San Jose Mercury News. It was an info sheet provided by the Red Cross.

If there is any shaking my first instinct would be to run out of the house. But the info sheet says it is not the best thing to do. :-(


What to do when the shaking begins

Choose a safe place in every room — under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you. Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place.

DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON. Drop under a desk or table, hold on and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm.

If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or furniture that could fall on you.

Be prepared for the next one

Teach children to drop, cover and hold on. Practice at least twice a year. Choose an out-of-town family contact.

Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.

Take a first aid class from the Santa Clara Valley Red Cross. You can register online at or at your local Red Cross chapter's Website.

Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.

Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Harvest Carnival

My church held its annual Harvest Carnival last night. It was open to the public and quite a lot of people from the around the city of Galt came to it. Denice and Duncan went on all the rides and they had a great time. They had their Halloween costumes on, and this year was the first time that I got them Halloween costumes. I didn't bother with it in the previous years.

One of two rides that was available last night. See Duncan's gleeful face!

Duncan would not leave till he had his pony ride. He was as thrilled as a kid could when he finally got to ride the pony. Denice did not want to ride the pony. She is afraid of it.

There were all kinds of games available. The prizes were of course candy, lots of candy. Even if you didn't win anything, you still get your candy!

That's Kathy manning one of the games. The idea of this game is to roll the balls one at a time into the holes. Duncan didn't really know how to roll the balls so instead he tried to thrown them into the halls. He managed to get one in! :-) It didn't really matter, because kids still get their candy, which was the best part for the kids!

Doug and the kids went on the hay ride. A tractor pulled a big trailer with people sitting on hay around one section of the church ground.

Duncan went into the patting zoo. He patted the chickens, the goats and the rabbits. Denice did not dare go in there. She is afraid of all animals, big or small, four-legged or two-legged, furry or feathery. :-)

When we got home, Daddy had to put away the candy bags. No candy before bed time! Of course there were squeals and protests!

How did you spend your Halloween?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Word of Promise

I first heard about the Word of Promise on the Laura Ingraham show last Friday. She had Jim Caviezel on her program and he talked about the Word of Promise which is a audio Bible of the New Testament. Laura played some excerpts of the Bible on her show and I knew I just had to have it.

I ordered the audio Bible from Amazon on Saturday and today it arrived. I have listened to a few chapters of it and I really liked the way the New Testament is presented; in dramatic audio theater style.

Some of the voices in this audio Bible, besides Jim Caviezel, are Stacy Keach, Michael W. Smith, Lou Gossett Jr., Lou Diamond Philips, Richard Dreyfuss, Marisa Tomei and Michael York who is the Narrator. There are a few others of course.

If you want to hear a sampling of the audio Bible you may go to the website You can also buy an MP3 version of the Bible from the website itself. I can assure you that it will be a very good investment. You don't have to waste your time in the car listening to useless stuff, instead you can listen to the New Testament. The version that is used for this audio Bible is the New King James Version.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Duncan and a dog

Dillon, Duncan's cousin, has a very frisky dog. He jumps all over people and really freaked Denice out.

Duncan was happy to play with the dog, and even held the dog leash. For a while at least before the dog dragged him and he fell flat on his face! That was it. The dog had to return to his pen.

I told Dillon not to let Duncan hold the leash because the dog was a lot stronger than he was. And being Duncan, he didn't know how to let go. He thought he was going to be able to control the dog and lead the dog where ever he wanted the dog to go. :-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pick up hug

Daddy, give me a pick up hug?

Why Duncan? I already gave you a pick up hug just now.

I like pick up hugs. Lots of pick up hugs.

Why do you like pick up hugs, Duncan?

Because I just like it.

This is the dialogue that goes between Daddy and Duncan daily. He sure does love his pick up hugs! Daddy picks him up and gives him a hug in his arms, that's what a pick up hug is.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Too much support for kids may not be good

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Moms and dads who both offer lots of support and reassurance when their young children express negative emotions may not be doing them a favor, new research shows.

Studies in four- and five-year-olds found that the children whose parents reacted with differing levels of support to their emotional setbacks were actually more emotionally mature and handled conflict better, Dr. Nancy L. McElwain of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her colleagues found.

"It's good to give your child some support, but also at the same time some space to manage the problem," McElwain told Reuters Health.

Read the full story here.

I could have told them that without them having to conduct this study! The school of hard knocks is the best teacher for any kid! :-)

Of course I am not saying parents should not encourage their children or give them the support they need, but the reality is children like adults need to learn to depend on themselves sometime and learn from whatever difficulty they think they may be facing.

Children need to know that they are not always totally helpless, that they too are endowed with a strength that need to be honed by hard circumstances.

In praising and giving our children the emotional support they need, balance is the key. I think as adults we know, if we have learned from our personal experiences, what the right balance is.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

38 Question Tag

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
Not a person, but a funny story on Nightwing's blog.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
I was trying to go back to sleep but the kids were making so much outside my bedroom door.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Going on a rant because of the clutter caused by the kids last night.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
I spent 3 months in Malaysia and also visited my friend in KL without my kids.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Stop banging your bowl!

6.How many beverages did you have today?
None so far. It's still early in the morning.

7. What color is your hairbrush?

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Paid the babysitter for her service.

9. Where were you last night?
At the Friends of the NRA dinner.

10. What color is your front door?

11. Where do you keep your change?

12. What’s the weather like today?
Foggy early this morning and will be overcast and cool the rest of the day

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Rum raisin

14. What excites you?
Sex? :-)

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Yes, to get it back in shape.

16. Are you over the age of 25?

17. Do you talk a lot?
All the time.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?

20. Do you make up your own words?

21. Are you a jealous person?

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Doug, my husband

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Some stupid text messaging from the cell phone service.

26. Do you chew on your straw?

27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Maybe the shopping center.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
There's no rude person in my life.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Tri-tip (beef), bread roll, salad, beans, sausage, and chicken at the Friends of the NRA dinner.

31. Will you get married in the future?
I'm already married.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Haven't watched any movies in the past 2 weeks.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
I like many people.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?

35. Are you currently depressed?
No, I am not.

36. Did you cry today?

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Because I was tagged and I didn't want to be a spoilsport.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
I'm not tagging anyone.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Notice something wrong?

I don't know what the problem is with this blog template. Look at the earlier posts, and this post. There is a blank space to the right of the first paragraph. I don't know what is causing this. However, if there is a picture at the top, there is no such problem. The blog was showing correctly when those poss written and published but a few days ago I began noticing the blank spaces.

I really like this template. It is clean looking and very feminine. I would hate to have to replace this template if the problem does not resolve by itself. Everything looks fine on the edit page. If what it takes to solve this problem is a picture at the beginning of the post, then maybe that is what I may have to do, for now, that is.

Update: I don't know how to resolve the problem with the template, so I have decided to replace the template with what you see now.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Make Money Blogging

I have a friend who works part-time. The rest of the time she is at home with not much to do except maybe do some cooking and housework. She doesn't drive herself any where because she is visually impaired.

I have been trying to get her to start blogging and try to make some money through blogging. She was quite incredulous when I told her that you can really make some money blogging. She wasn't aware that there is money to be made through blogging. Not that I am a good advertisement about how much you can make!

I was impressed that a fellow Malaysian and a fellow Postie is making a handsome income through writing paid posts, writing reviews and placing ads on her various blogs. Of course she can command a lot more from advertisers, than a little blogger like me can, because she has blogs that have high Google PageRanks and high enough Alexa rankings.

Anyway, the point is, once you have a created a blog and has it up and running, you can begin to start earning some money. Of course you can't expect to immediately make those big bucks but with time and effort, you can. Creative and attractive content will bring in readers and once you have established yourself in the blogosphere you will start making the money.

There are many blogs out there who offer you the tools and tips to help you get started. It is always good to learn from those who have the experience and the pocket book to show their success!

To my friend, yes you who live in Florida, get started with that blog! :-)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Two headed turtle

This conjoined turtle sure looks freakish. I guess the stronger of either will be the one forcing the direction the turtle is to go.

I supposed Jay Jacoby, manager of of Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter, is right in that the turtle is not likely to survive life in the life.

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - A two-headed turtle captured by a turtle collector is a rare example of a conjoined-twin birth, its owner said.

The turtle would have likely died in the wild because it swims awkwardly and would be an easy target for predators, according to Jay Jacoby, manager of Big Al's Aquarium Supercenter in East Norriton.

The store bought the tiny turtle from the collector for an undisclosed price and will keep it on display, he said.

The 2-month-old turtle, known as a red-eared slider, fits on a silver dollar. It has two heads sticking out from opposite ends of its shell, along with a pair of front feet on each side. But there is just one set of back feet and one tail.

Read full story here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Driving while female

Wajeha al-Huwaider of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, co-founded a group urging that women be permitted to drive. The group sent King Abdullah a petition with more than 1,100 names. (By Faiza Saleh Ambah -- The Washington Post)

In Saudi Arabia, women are not permitted to drive. One of the reasons for not allowing women to drive is that it would lead to Western-style freedoms and an erosion of traditional values. *Rolling my eyes.*

"Allowing women to drive will only bring sin. The evils it would bring, mixing between the genders, temptations, and tarnishing the reputation of devout Muslim women, outweigh the benefits," wrote one man to the al Watan newspaper in response to an article about a group of women who are petitioning King Abdullah to let women have the right to drive.

Saudi women are forced to rely on hired drivers or male relatives to drive them to places. Taxis for an unaccompanied woman is not safe either. For some, hiring a driver who is usually a foreigner, is beyond their means.

We take our ability to drive our car wherever and whenever we want for granted. It is inconceivable to think that, at this modern day and age, there are women who do not have the right to drive. Women all over the world are marching with the progress of time but in Saudi Arabia, they are still stuck in the mindset of men ruling with 7th century laws.

Read the story about Saudi women petitioning their King their right to drive here.