Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our world, Red: Himalayan Salt Lamps

 Himalayan Salt Lamps help reduce allergens, moisture, pollutants, and electromagnetic frequencies, and create potentially soothing effects inside your home.

Numerous customers have purchased salt lamps as a beautiful light source “ they can be sold as living energy sources which emit a healthy glow, ranging in color light-waves of oranges, yellows, reds and apricot. The ambient light creates a soothing ambiance that helps with relaxation, stress, attention deficit and more.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

FSO: The great outdoor

We went to the Otautaua stone fields and climbed a giant rock. It was hard and I thought of my hero, Sir. Edmund Hillary who scaled Mt Everest in 1953.

The Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve is one of Manukau's premier parks. It is an internationally significant heritage landscape and an important natural, archaeological and historic area.

going outdoors is what I am thankful for.


Thankful [Friday My Town Shoot Out] [Link-up]

What are you thankful for? What does your town, city or village include that you like and appreciate? What makes you happy? Share it with us!

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Zealand, land of the beaches and Ocean.

 the beaches
 free breast screening
 the ocean

Thankful [Friday My Town Shoot Out] [Link-up]

What are you thankful for? What does your town, city or village include that you like and appreciate? What makes you happy? Share it with us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

/Alphabe-Thursday letter B Bag

Is it a bag? Is it a basket?

 Basket or Bag, it is a fabric container with the shape of a shopping basket. LOL


Monday, November 24, 2014


ABC Wed: Letter T for Teabag,

a camera trick of a giant Tea bag hanging from a crane.


Heston Marc Blumenthal, OBE (/ˈblmənθɔːl/;[1] born 27 May 1966) is an English celebrity chef and owner of several restaurants. He is an advocate for the importance of scientific understanding in cooking.

Marc made a giant tea bag like this shape and a giant dunking biscuit. He used a crane to make the tea.

When my late paternal Grandma left China for Borneo almost ninety years ago, she brought  a Chinese tea pot with a paper mache cosy. She also brought a slave slave, given to her by her parents to serve her in any way she liked. This slave girl aka as MUI ZAI was in an era when the paternalistic Chinese society when males were superior to the useless girl.
Grandma returned to China before the World War two when the Japanese occupied a big chunk of Asia and Borneo. My mum and siblings and I never got to meet and know this woman who gave birth to my dad.
When I visited my Grandpa, He always had his tea pot filled with black Chinese tea. It was kept warm by the paper mache. Grandpa married a second wife, so these items went to her.
That pot was very valuable as an antique. When Grandpa was still alive, an antique dealer came round to houses of old people to scour for old things. He offered a good price for the tea pot, and the paper mache. The latter, the antique dealer had never seen. Grandpa refused to sell, no matter how good the offer was.
He told us, it was the only family heirloom that was worth anything. We teased him that he was an old romantic who could not give up the tea pot because it held so much memories for my late grandma.
My second grandma is still alive. She is 100. I don't visit her often as for the last thirty something years, I have lived in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore. As for the tea pot, she doesn't use it anymore. No, it is too precious to use, just in case someone breaks it. She will talk about it though.

Whilst in Singapore, Tow Guan pottery at Jalan Bahar next to NTU is a gem. I chanced upon this Chinese tea pot. I was so excited, it was an exact replica of Grandma's tea pot. I know it is a replica, there is no need to make a song and dance about it. But it is the nearest I could get that was Grandma's. I bought three. Two for my older sisters and one for myself.
I emailled Rose and Elizabeth. Elizabeth has the same sentiments as me. She was delighted to have it. But Rose, she wanted only the real McCoy. I gave that teapot to a very good friend Anne W.
When Anne W left Singapore to live in Christchurch, she brought a little tea pot for me, bought at Tow Guan. You would have to pay a lot of money in New Zealand. She visited Auckland and stayed with me. I took her to my favourite places.
 This tea cup is not for drinking. My girls got this as a souvenir for Mum and Dad. Both girls have live abroad, and this cup is very precious. (1)

save the world: teaching people to recycle

This is my favourite topic, teaching people to recycle. These students during our school fair were stationed at the different bins and teaching fair goers where to put their rubbish.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday still : Fire


Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy.

Dried herbs, like a giant cigar  are lit.

I had a sore leg, and the practitioner burn a 

stick and went round my leg.


Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Light my Fire

Besides my favorite Doors song this challenge is all about fire, either man made or natural. To make this a true challenge, no sun pics. I know its a giant ball of fire but this is about flames..:-)

Running the marathon

10 years ago, I ran the Singapore 10 km marathon

Today, my second daughter ran the 1/2 Queenstown Marathon .

What makes one go through such gruesome pain?

We are part Hakka women.

There are different dialect groups among the Chinese people. My Dad is a Cantonese, and my mum a Hakka. My husband is a Hakka, thus making my children 75% Hakkas.

According to legend, the Hakka women marched to war with their husbands. They did not suffer the cruel footbinding custom of making their feet three-inch lotuses. The rest of the Chinese girls and women shuffled along and cried in agony.

My daughters have inherited the genes of big feet. They also were very brave like doing the bungy at sixteen, black water rafting at 12, and playing with snakes at 14.

They are truly my Amazons. They are very tall and tower over many Asians. I guess if they wore armours of steel, they would be very formidable and give Xena and her sidekick, the other Gabrielle a good run for their money.

Armstrong, M. M. Ann, Borneo Research Bulletin

Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, from China to Borneo and Beyond

Armstrong, M. M. Ann, Borneo Research Bulletin

Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, From China to Borneo and Beyond. Auckland, New Zealand: Ann Kit Suet Chin (privately published), pp xi + 299. ISBN 978-0-473-23900-8.
Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan with the blessings and assistance of her eight siblings, set out on a journey of discovery when she wrote an account of the lives of her paternal and maternal great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and her siblings and their children. This account follows the Chan and Kong families as they migrate to Sarawak from China, their trials and triumphs, journeys and homecomings and, finally, their worldwide Diaspora, with their father, John Chan, always the central point of reference. The account starts with the great grandparents of the two families and finishes with the passing of the author's father, John Chan Hui Fei, on February 18, 2006, exactly 18 years after their mother's (Kong Wah Kiew) death. For the most part, the Chan and Kong families' histories are related chronologically with personal anecdotes and recollections, as well has historical events woven into the account. This is a work of love and is a vital record of one family's history.
Family members included are identified according to their relationship with the writer. For example John Chan is always referred to as "Father." Personal names are also used, but the complexities of the relationships of aunts and uncles in Sarawak, China and around the world become confused for a reader who is not intimately tied to the family. A family tree might have been useful to help sort out these relationships. It might also have helped nieces and nephews of the writer better understand their relationships to the people they meet in this account, if nothing else, by providing a visible the framework on which to hang family stories and historical accounts.
The first of the 24 chapters sets the context by describing of the arrival of Chinese in Sibu, Sarawak. The Chan and Kong families were part of this exodus from Mainland China. The Chan family moved back and forth between Sarawak and China. Eventually their Grandmother remained in China with her children, while Father and Grandfather returned to Sarawak. Grandfather Chan married a second time to Step Grandmother Wong Sam Ying, Say Bo (small wife or concubine). Her story as a pioneer woman is recounted in Chapter 5, "The story of Say Bo," with surprising detachment considering the difficult situation she encountered.
Like the Chan's, the Kong family was a family of scholars. Great Grandfather Kong opted to migrate to Sarawak and he settled in Durin (approximately 45 minutes by boat from Sibu) in the early 20th century. However their Grandmother Kong, who was a young widow, through hard work and business acumen became a wealthy and highly respected member of the community. The Kong and Chan families were joined through the marriage of their father John Chan and mother Kong Wah Kiew during World War II. John was trying to escape conscription and Mother, Wah Kiew, to escape becoming a comfort woman. They were married for 43 years and yet they agreed if it were not for the war, they probably would not have married.
The chapters are chronologically ordered or are about Father's education and career or the homes the families occupied. The book pays special tribute to Father, John Chan, and his life. We follow him to Singapore, to his posting in various government schools, to England for more studies, to postings in the Sarawak Teachers' Training College, his promotion as Divisional Education Officer and finally his retirement and migration to Australia. Anecdotes and brief stories bring us closer to the present and personalize the account. Most of these center on Father.
It was in Australia that Mother died in a horrific car accident on February 18, 1988. The remaining chapters talk about the family until John Chan passes away 18 years later. John Chan was loved by the family and touched all who came to know him; he was the center of his children's lives of no matter where they traveled, studied or lived. His sense of justice, moral fibre and passion for learning molded all his children and contributed to their success.
The Chans and the Kongs have lived and continue to travel the world and for the reader to understand the global nature of the families, maps, too, would have been helpful, particularly ones locating Sibu, Pulau Keladi, and Durin, plus the villages in China from which the two families originated (and returned).
This book records with humor the life of a busy and active family through World War II, the formation of Malaysia and Confrontation. It is a personal reflection of a way of life that has moved on and provides insight into a family and its relationships. It is most of all a work of love and respect for the Chan and Kong families and for Father and Mother.
(M M Ann Armstrong
Lodge International School
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia)
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning.
Publication information: Article title: Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue, 2013, from China to Borneo and Beyond. Contributors: Armstrong, M. M. Ann - Author. Journal title: Borneo Research Bulletin. Volume: 44. Publication date: Annual 2013. Page number: 332+. © 2008 Borneo Research Council, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2013 Gale Group.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

FSO: from your home

This is my computer where I do my writing, blogging and facebooking. I have these 2 chicks to distract me when I am bored.
My Dad went to China.
He came back with a Panda.
For my daughter.
When she moved out of the house,
She left a panda,
It represents the "Chineseness"  in me.
我是 陈洁雪

This is where I sit when watching TV or where I turn around and work on my computer.

These are wild plants that got tamed by me. They grew by themselves. Purple Top  (Verbena bonariensis)

This is where I like to spend time, my garden , especially when it is not raining and not winter.

Nov 21: Inside - Share with us images from your homes, or other objects where you like (or have to) to spend your time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Farewell, Dennis Hii

 Photo: In remembrance of our beloved Tai Chi master,
our Lau Peng Yu Dennis Hii 许忠仁 passed away on 15 Nov last Saturday.
So sad and shocking.
Cherish every moment we are together!

His mum has become a bereaved mum,
Just like me.
Cry Mrs. Hii, Cry.

Dennis is special to me.
When I was teaching in Kai Chung,
Dennis was the house captain.
I was one of the house mistress.

I always remember this photo.
I went in 2013 for the class reunion,
Dennis remembered me. 
How was I to know that  would be our last.

For the loved ones,
Dennis left behind,
for his wife, for his children,
It's Ok to cry.

When your student dies before you do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My World Tuesday: Hillary Trail

Edmond Hillary was the first man who reached Mount Everest. He

Hillary Trail

The Hillary Trail connects a network of existing regional park tracks and basic backpacker campgrounds. It takes trampers through the Waitakere Ranges, past the Arataki Visitor Centre, Huia, Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Anawhata, and either winding north to Muriwai via the Department of Conservation's Te Henga Walkway, or through Cascade Kauri Park and onto Swanson. Trampers can also choose a public transport option, beginning their journey at Titirangi and connecting with the train at Swanson.

The Trail epitomises the sense of adventure and personal achievement that Ed Hillary himself championed and was renowned for. It is not a walk in the park - but a chance for well-prepared trampers to experience the diverse, and often challenging west coast. The ARC hopes that creating an opportunity like this, in close proximity to urban Auckland, will inspire Aucklanders to get outdoors and experience the wilderness that exists on their own doorstep.
Hillary Trail facts

The trail takes trampers through the Waitakere Ranges
Is approximately 70km
Based on four days, three nights
Back country campground stays
For experienced trampers and those with a high level of fitness
The trail was officially opened on 11 January 2010
Is bookable by phoning 09 366 2000 or visiting the Arataki Visitor Centre

is a New Zealander.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to make garbage enzyme.

I am rather a laggard in experimenting in this exercise of turning garbage into Enzyme.

In 2009, I visited Malaysia and Singapore and I was introduced to making a multi purpose cleanser. A friend whose husband is a university professor gave me some leaflets of information of how a Thai inventor had started this. I was naturally sceptical. What good can come out of a third world country like Thailand.

Recently, I was talking to my sister E who had just retired as a school principal. I was telling her about my over abundance of plums from my plum trees. We talked about Enzyme, and she was very happy with hers. She said her floor was very clean after using it. I felt convinced to give it a try.

Here it is.

The proportion is 1 part brown sugar, 3 parts fruit and/or vegetable waste, 10 parts of water.


1: Mix sugar with water, add the fruit/veg, orange/lemon peels will give a nice citrus smell.

2: Fill in air tight plastic containers/bottles, leaving about 2 inches for fermnetation.

3: Store in a cool, dry and well ventilated area.

4: Do not put it where there is direct sunlight.

5: After the first week, slowly open the cap to release gas, be sure not to shake the bottle.

6: Push the floating veg downward every once in a while.

7: Ferment for at least 3 months.

8: Filter and it is ready for use. You get a brownish fluid.

9: The solids can be put in the garden as fertiser. Some people recycle this to restart a new batch.

10: Add about 1 tablespoon to your normal washing solution.


I made my batch, and am using it. The dishes are less oily, but it could be pyschological.

I asked my friends in Malaysia, one told me an interesting use, her husband sprays it in her bird cage, and gives the cage a good smell.

Some people make a lot of claims about being environmentally friendly and saving money. I don't know about saving money, because you spent quite a bit on the brown sugar. Environmentally friendly, perhaps, since you reduce the use of detergent. I am still experimenting, I have started a batch with my apples.

Please give me your opinion.