Monday, January 29, 2018

ABC Wed, letter D for dumpling.

Dumplings, originated from Northern China.

 raw, semi panfried and then steamed. and panfried until juice have evaporated. Yesterday, burnt my tall man. I use my tall man finger more than any other finger when tapping on my computer.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Love your teeth


My Chinese Grandpa lived to his 80s, he never went to the dentist and went to meet his maker with all his teeth.

I was hoping I would inherit his genes, 
I have all my pear-lies and not a cavity. I do go to the dentist, but not enough according to them. My latest dentist who is also a dental surgeon says I have gum disease and my teeth is full of tartar. If I don't take drastic action, I will lose all my teeth and a periodontist will charge me $4000. I did not go through it.

I was shocked and persuaded to have two painful appointments to my teeth and to my wallet, I think I have saved myself from being a toothless gum old woman or having dentures that didn't fit.

I used to have stress dreams that my tooth will come out from my gums without bleeding or pain, and I end up having a handful of white pearls. Some one interpreted that I value my teeth so much that I worry about the teeth dropping out.

Armed with a whole lot of stuff to keep my teeth, I have a regime. The interdental brush is a newer version of a little brush I was introduced to decades ago.

I am now brushing my teeth 3 times a day, and using the interdental brush because I find it hard to use the dental floss tape to the back teeth.

I wonder why my grandpa kept all his teeth? He didn't have much sugar in his diet. He drank a weak Chinese tea all day long, and yes, he chewed betal nuts all day long. No, he didn't use the ash that the Taiwanese use which doctors say will cause cancer.

There are several studies that regular tea consumption may reduce the incidence and severity of tooth decay. My grandpa knew all along.

Save your teeth, brush and floss, you can floss with the floss string (narrow string), tape or buy an inter-dental brush. Save your money too.

Since writing this post twelve years ago, I lost a tooth, and yesterday, a new dentist told me I must really go to a specialist.

Name a star

Many of my new friends do not know I am a bereaved mum. My baby died 28 years ago. Among the bereaved, they can buy a star in memory of their angel.
I am not sure how this works, whether other parents elsewhere in the world might buy the same star.

Name a Star Banner

I knew about this naming a star from my bereaved friend. Recently I watched on TV, about gifting this for live children.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Scammer? how to block?

Ann, that person is advertising some ‘dodgy’ belief. I don’t know if it is Islam based or animistic belief. If it wad addressed to me, I would definitely block
Elah bali said...

I am giving this blog a rest and will post on my other blogs.  I had tried verifcation, reporting to blogger .It stopped for a while and now, to no avail, this person has started to post this again.

I don know the language and have no idea .



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's ok to cry, a snapshot

This is a snapshot of me in the documentary which Television New Zealand produced and interviewed me.

ABC letter B for bitter gourd

I arrived in Singapore in the middle of winter in New Zealand and was feeling very heaty and jetlag. My friend suggested I drink some bitter gourd and apple juice. It didn't taste very bitter. I suspect, he put a tiny slice of bitter gourd and lots of apple in it.

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first time seeing this bitter gourd. Slim like a telegraph cucumber, the groves are thin. the "meat" also thin.

Dr Henry Chan, Climate Chan.

This Dr Henry Chan is my brother.
Ann Chin's photo.
Dr. Henry discusses his journey in persuading and convincing all stakeholders, from local village communities, to business communities, to government ministers to support and participate in the Heart of Borneo Corridor Program. Dr. Henry Chan wants to bring awareness to the public about the current situation of the environment affected by various human factors and how we can play our role in conserving mother nature. Dr. Henry Chan is the Head of Conservation Sarawak, WWF-Malaysia. He was seconded to WWF-Indonesia and WWF-Malaysia as the Heart of Borneo Leader. He recently concluded a Conservation Summit with His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin, Sultan of Perak, Royal Patron of WWF-Malaysia, and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, President of WWF-United Kingdom. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mum's duster.

Mother was a very creative and hands-on person. When the synthetic raffia string came to the market, she got me to crochet a tube. Then she encased it in a long bamboo pole. I hooked on lengths of raffia string. When I hooked on about 18 inches, she hammered nails into a small piece of plank and the end result was a metal brush. Together we brushed the strings and the end result was a brush like the photo. Nobody taught her how to do it, she just did it.
She used it to sweep spider cobs on the ceiling. We had moved into our brand new house. She didn't want us to dirty or ruin it. This brush was only for the ceiling. It was made or particle board and she was worried we would poke a hole in it.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Abc letter b brocoflower

Not sure if it is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

ABC lette A: Ashiatsu massage

Massage style where therapist holds on rail and steps on you. Ashiatsu
This ancient practice -- which involves a massage therapist literally walking on your back -- has been performed by Buddhist monks for centuries and is now available in various forms across America.

I had this done twice. I went to this Thai therapist telling her I wanted strong massage. She said she would do Hong Kong Massage. Half way through, I asked her if she was stepping on me. After the second time, I stopped going to her. I was worried she might break my back.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mum's baking and Grandpa's 71

This was a very formal event. Here he is wearing the formal attire of a royal offical of the Ming Dynasty. It was a black silk top on top of a black silk gown.

Mum made his cake. An aunt brought some red chinese cutting of auspicious words. Making it a perfect fusion of East and West. For beakfast, all of us were served with sweet long noodles. yes, you read it right, the sweetness signifying a sweet life, and long noodles for long life to all who ate this noodles.

There was great feasting, and hundreds of guest were invited. My dad told me that at the birthday of a very healthy and successful person, people like to come to these parties. Some even gate crash. They believe in taking away a bit of the luck of this birthday boy. They will take away uneaten food to share with their family at home.

Vice versa, if the birthday person was a sickly person, people will avoid going to the party. It is seen as taken home the bad luck of the sick person.

Mum's baking

I have been looking for mum's make shift oven, and this aluminum flat top and flat bottom looks quite like hers. Mum was a very clever person. The World War two aka Japanese war interrupted her education when she had to marry father.
Dad was a civil servant and we didn't have an oven. She fashioned a very big pot which was flat on the top and flat on the bottom.
Her first try was to put embers on a rack, place the cake on top of the rack. She also put embers on lid of the pot. Alas the embers were too hot and burn a hole on the lid and one the base of the pot. She smartly put metal sheets to block the holes, and put the embers underneath the pot.
From there, there was no stopping her. She made beautiful cakes.
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Mother's cake making

Cake making in Mother's house was a big business. Mum learned cake making. Then she would make the cakes for the family and aunties during new year. She used the golden butter churn and her cakes smelled heavenly.
We kids would come back from school, have a quick lunch, and start breaking one hundred eggs, and use the hand held whisk, and beat the eggs. When one of us get tired, we transfer the beater to another.
When mum deemed the eggs had been aerated enough, she measures the flour, sugar vanilla essence,and  baking power.
As mum added spoon by spoon amount of floor, We transfer the whisk to a wooden spoon and stir the mixture in one direction. Soon the batter thicken to a staggering lump. Our hands stiffen from the stirring and recruit the next sibling to take over.
Regarding the stirring at one direction, we often wonder what would happen to the cakes if we stirred the other direction. Would the cakes collapse? The one direction stirring became a habit in our later life and it was always clockwise when we stirred our cakes.
By five pm, the cake mixture is ready. Mum bought a very big flat top pot She fashioned the pot into an oven and baked her cakes at the void deck. , she already had made a fire from charcoal .It's a pity, mum didn't let us watch over the baking. She said, one had to be very careful to watch over the fire. She continued to bake way till the wee hours of the morning.

The next few days, she suffered from a headache. When my girl Kong Hie Ding said it was too hot making kueh Lapis, I remember my mum. I also remember making Kuih kapit which is a crispy and delicious wafer, which is also called love letters.

Grace Chan I remember the whisk as the one in the photo, it was almost as tall as the bucket and the handle was the thickness of the broomstick. Everyone had to take turns whisking the batter. I was so keen but too little to help. When given a chance, I couldn't even move the batter due to the sheer volume of eggs and chunks of butter. Now, everytime I mix my cake batter with the electric mixer, as I watch the butter being blended together, I remember myself hovering over the huge bucket to watch the curdled egg mixture while my siblings tell me to move out of their way. Each sibling always had to ask another person to take over the relay because of their tired arms.

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my fourth Aunty Ngui nee Kong wah Mee.

4th Aunty Ngui Nee Kong Wah Mee, mum's youngest sister told me and my cousins that I was her favourite niece. Thanks aunty.

Before Dad went to England, he begged Aunty to leave Sibu town with Ah Tai to go up to the Lanang Road village to keep my mum company. She really didn't want to go to the village, but she loved Mum, seeing Mum had a brood of 4 kids. I was only 20 months.

So she came, Mum saved Dad's family allowance and went to tap rubber. Aunty took care of us. I presume she cooked lunch too before she went to the village school.

This is the most significant part. She fed me before she went to school. As I was a slow eater, she chewed my food and fed it to me. That's how the story came about. I became her favourite niece as I had eaten her saliva.

During my 2006 trip, I stayed with her. We stayed up late in the night and she told me stories that I wouldn't have known.

my pigs

Visiting my mum's Ah Pia aka Kai Dad in the Rejang Basin.

4 times a year, my aunty would buy from the Ibans a little piglet like thee in the photo. We kept the piglet in a big box, and I was the pig farmer. In fact I was the farmer for chicken, ducks, and one turkey.

My aunty had a curry stall at Pulau Babi. She collected all the leftover food from her customers, and mother drove me to the stall and pick up the bucket. I had to dilute the food, so that it wouldn't be too spicy for the pig. I had to empty the old stale food and clean the trough. Sometimes, I was too lazy and just dumped the food over the now staled food. I pay for my tardiness. The pig won't eat stale food. Then I had to rinse the trough and find some food for him. I also gave him kangkong which was growing aplenty in the garden.

The pig loved it most when I splashed buckets of water from the pond. It also like the occasional brush.

I knew this was a pig reared for food and when it was grown. It had to make way for another piglet. We shared the meat with my aunty and other aunties and uncles.

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Yunnan Olive

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Ba Tze said this is called oil olive in Yunnan and suggested that I tried one. I bit into one. It tasted siap siap. The surprising thing is each time I needed to cough the urge went away when I bite on it. The husband was surprised I still had it in my mouth.

Hi Ann!

I am so happy you send me e-mail and share these photos about the exhibition ! It will be a very important memory to me!

After that exhibition,I went back to home, take care of my garden and keep doing something about botanical herbarium.

Best wishes for you!


Kam Lin Chow 這種果实我們叫油甘子,吃了對喉嚨痛有幫助,它的叶還可以用來做枕頭的。
The Fruit of this kind of fruit we call oil gan, eat it with a sore throat, and its leaves can be used to make pillows.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Living in the country in China.

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In November 2017, I went to my ancestral home. I found the time had stood still. My cousins lived like the way my great grand father had lived. The only thing they had changed was they built an indoor toilet. even then it wasn't flushing. On the upstairs toilet, they had to carry the water up. They built the toilet when they saw relatives from Malaysia feeling so difficult going to the outdoor toilet.

There were mosquitoes and they slept in the mosquito nets. 

ice plant (Delosperma)

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Hardy ice plant (Delosperma) is a succulent, perennial ground cover with daisy-like flowers. The ice plant is not called an ice plant because it is cold hardy, but rather because the flowers and leaves seem to shimmer as though covered in frost or ice crystals. The plants grow to be about 3 to 6 inches tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. known by the common names heartleaf iceplant[1] and baby sun rose.

Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Grow An Ice Plant And Purple Ice Plant Care