Friday, September 28, 2007

Mental Arithmetic - ALOHA

I sent my elder daughter, 5 years old to aloha classes since April ’07, once a week and 1 ½ hours per session, with the intention of not hoping for a Mathematician but for her to enjoy numbers and to learn some basic calculation, after 5 months in the course, she’s now able to do addition and subtractions up to 2 digit (99) with her 10 fingers and little abacus.

The mom, dad and grandmother also benefited from the session as we all learnt together, don’t know 10 fingers can add up or subtracted to any numbers less than 100. We are taught to count until 10 only back in our days, anything more than that will require our toes but that’s limited till 20 only…. ha ha…

She just took her test yesterday, the class was structured in a way that allow the child to progress on his own speed and the teacher proclaimed little Michelle is now ready for her first assessment. Not sure how she fare but no matter what I’m proud of her, I don’t remember what I can do when I was five! She will continue as long as she desired and stop at any time. Now I need to help her to switch the mode between aloha method and the conventional 10 fingers method……. It may be confusing to some children and certainly confusing to me!!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

High Cholesterol!!!

Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol? If you have, then welcome to the club, if not congratulations but watch out, you may become a member later. Ever since I had my first blood test screen (more than 9 years ago), I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and today (my last screen was in early August, this year) still am! Sign…… My highest was 6.13 mmol/l and lowest 4.7mmol/l, latest was 5.3 (before fasting). Hai…….

So this posting is an awareness session, according to the American Heart Association, your total blood cholesterol level will fall into one of these cholesterol levels:

Desirable total blood cholesterol level less than 200 mg/dL (5.13 mmol/l). About 50% of all adults fall into this cholesterol level. Borderline high risk total blood cholesterol level 200-239 mg/dL (5.13-6.13 mmol/l). About 33% of adults fall into this cholesterol level. High risk total blood cholesterol level 240 mg/dL (6.14 mmol/l) and over. You have twice the risk of coronary heart disease. About 17% of adults are in this cholesterol level.

LDL cholesterol levels - the bad cholesterol
Based on the American Heart Association, your LDL cholesterol level will fall into one of these levels:

LDL cholesterol level less than 129 mg/dL ( 3.31 mmol/l) is good. Below 100 mg/dL (2.56 mmol/l) is considered even better. LDL cholesterol level 130 to 159 mg/dL (3.33 to 4.08 mmol/l) is Borderline. LDL cholesterol level 160 to 189 mg/dL (4.10 to 4.85 mmol/l) is High. Higher LDL cholesterol level reading is described as Very High.

HDL cholesterol level - the good cholesterol level
A HDL cholesterol level of 39 mg/dL (1.00 mmol/l) is low and places you at risk of coronary heart disease. You should aim to increase your HDL cholesterol level to 40 mg/dL (1.03 mmol/l) or higher
The cholesterol ratio
The ratio of your total blood cholesterol level to your HDL cholesterol level.
The goal is to keep the ratio below 5:1; the optimum or best ratio is 3.5:1. In other words, the higher your HDL cholesterol level the better.
Some say cholesterol level is caused by two main factors, heredity (genetically) and lifestyle. As for me I believe its heredity (yet to check with my parents!) and diet plays a major part also. Below are some tips on the natural means to lower cholesterol level:

a) Exercise, 3 times a week, each session 30 minutes
b) Balance diet, below are food that can lower the level:
Herbs & spices – Cinnamon, garlic, onion, shallots, ginger, green tea
Vitamin – C & E (100mg/day)
Vegetables – celery, carrots, broccoli, cabbage
Meat – deep sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon
Grains – wholemeal, soybeans, oat

Avoid the following food (saturated fats found in animal & plant)
a) Dairy products (butter, cream, cheese, coconut milk)
b) Fatty meats (ribs, beef, bacon, process meats)
c) Fast food (burgers, fries, deep fried food)

Live a healthier lifestyle and wish me all the best, I am hoping for a healthier cholesterol level for my next screen………


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Local Fresh Graduates

A quick check on the ministry of higher education website shows that there is a total of 20 local universities in Malaysia, back in my time there were only a handful namely UM, UKM, USM, UPM, UTM. With the increase enrolment of students to these universities, annually we are producing on an average about 79000 of graduates (statistics from 2001 – 2006) and recorded a hike of 48% from 2001 (55,000 graduates) to 2006 (81,000).

Being worked in the private sector for the past 11 years, I have the opportunities to interview numerous fresh graduates, offered them jobs, plan for their career, see them come and go. Sad to say the quality of our graduates is disappointing. See the figures you know, 15 years ago we have to really do good to secure a place in the local university due to the quota, now with 20 local universities, you think about the standard..., mind you Malaysians are not getting smarter to enter universities, the requirements has been laxed to allow more to enter universities. Children and parents are getting smarter nowadays but why our graduates are not? So it all boils down to our education system whether it’s at primary, secondary and tertiary level, whether in our national schools, Chinese schools, or Tamil schools, we are not supplying wholesome individuals and we are lots who aimed for “A”s but not hunger for knowledge.

We have so many straight “A”s students who continue to excel in universities but of little quality. So what is a quality graduate? Being in the quality line for more than 10 years, quality is defined as attributes of a product (can be tangible or intangible) that is able to fulfill its intended purpose, so what does a quality graduate means? An individual with certain attributes to function in an organization.

From my observation, I could generalized that our fresh graduates nowadays lack of pro-activeness, durability, creativity and soft skills especially in effective communication and interpersonal skills. I used to share with my juniors that nowadays information is at their finger tips, just click; challenge the system, do not just accept as it is and work on their communication skills as it is the most important tool to be able to work effectively and efficiently. If you highlight any area of improvement or things that they have overlook, they showed you their discontentment face!! Sign….For those who heeded the advice, they thrived and excelled, for those who are still in the nutshell, they are still struggling.

So what’s wrong? I believe our graduates are intelligent but they lack the other side, the ability to think and improvise, the ability to express themselves because they are trained to accept (No question asked), the ability to apply what they have learned and most of the time the ability to apply common sense!

Of course, I do admit there are some outstanding individuals there. The education ministry better do something, else…. I dare not imagine…

Monday, September 24, 2007


Once I was chatting with one of my church friend who has migrated to Canada over the skype, she expressed that as we grew older, friends are lesser. Her definition of friend means someone whom you can really share to and genuinely care for you, someone whom you can trust and turn to in good and bad times.

This is especially true if you are married with kids where your life basically encircled around your spouse and demanding kids. I used to feel so guilty whenever I leave home to do something on my own, the thought of not being “a good mother” echoed in my mind. Nowadays we just don’t want to bother and to be bothered by others, everyone just busy with their own life and friends whom you used to be close to, were now slowly disappearing from your mind, just like the old saying ‘Out of sight, out of mind”, some of them might already migrated to different parts of the world or living in different corners of the country.

Going back to do my masters open up a new door for me to get to know new friends and along the way I manage to find a truly genuine friend. Her name is dear Dorene, she’s a bubbly and fun young lady to be with, just like the character of “Doreen” in the Nemo movie… he he. Nine years my junior, not sure why we clicked but I was attracted to her sweet smile and openness, we shared good times together like feeding the mosquitoes together when rushing for our assignments; serious counseling sessions when she needed a motherly advice; leisure time together where we catch a movie, eat a nice meal at a quiet restaurant, went shopping together and crazy time over the phone where we will laugh our hearts out. Both of us were so real to each other, we do not care what position we were holding, our material wealth, our appearance, just wanna be friends…. and here I want to say “Dorene, I’m thankful for you”.

So when was the last time you really had a true friend? When was the last time you were touched by somebody else kindness and the last time you touched others? Something for us to ponder….

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Great Shots

My princesses, posing a naughty look

An ant in action, taken by my dear friend, Dorene in USM

A rose bloom, taken by my hubby when we visited the Rose Valley in Cameron Highlands

Nature in action, taken by my friend, the new enthusias photograher, Pooi

Monday, September 17, 2007

Childhood friends

I’m sure all of us have childhood friends that we grew up with. I have mine too and we used to call ourselves the 5-star simply there were five of us (Wai, Yuen, Pooi, Chee, Peng). I being the eldest (born in the month of January) was declared the “big sister” of the group. We known each other since primary school days but were especially close from secondary three to five. We did crazy things together like having our fun time when they stayed over, chatted for hours over the phone on BGR (boy-girl-relationship) related matters, hanging out at “kopi tiam” and going for short trips.

To date (18 years later), some of us still keep in touch with each other but for some we kind of lost contact. All married with kids, two of us migrated, one to the States (Peng) and the other, Singapore (Pooi). The other two (Yuen and Chee) are in Kuala Lumpur now and me (Wai) in Penang. Last August, Yuen called after many many years and we chatted for a while exchanging news of each other, just like good old days, no formality just good old friends’ chat, we parted the conversation expressing our intention of organizing a reunion, but till now nothing has happened. I guess we have to wait till 2009 for our 20th anniversary (we were from class ’89)!!

I’m hoping to reunite with them again, laying aside our job titles, our material wealth, our kids’ capability, our spouses’ profile, simply forgetting our social status but just to spend genuine and crazy care free time together, being the eldest I believe I need to do something….. will keep you all posted on the outcome……

I was digging into my old photos and found one taken 18 years ago in Pooi’s house, you must be wandering why there’s six of us, well we have another friend in the photo (Ann Nee), she’s quite close with us but only half as crazy as us, so not qualified into the group yet…. he he… Guess who is who…..

Friday, September 14, 2007

Influential women in my life

I would like to share with you two influential women in my life; the first one is my dear mummy and the second, my mother in-law.

My mom, a gutsy and loving person whose unconditional love and values nurtured me for the past thirty over years and continue to do so up till today. With no formal education except for a few years of night classes was an efficient tailor by profession, a marvelous cook, a gentle provider, a resourceful woman and a life-mentor. My sis and brother would definitely agree with me. A conservative woman in many things but also an open minded woman in many ways especially in choosing our life partner and career. In her seventies now, still a marvelous cook and our idol in the family, when we (me, my sis and brother with our families) go back home for vacation, we will all climb up mom’s king size bed, catch up with good old times and latest happenings in each of our life, often laughing our heart out, in the course of doing so we made our dad, spouses and kids real jealous. Words cannot express how thankful we are to have her and no words could ever describe how special she is to each of us. We love you mom and we wish you best of health, you are one special woman in our life and forever will be.

Well, I’ve certainly heard of not so positive remarks/stories about mother and daughter in-law relationships but I’m thankful for mine and could not imagine life without her unconditional love and support for the family. With no formal education, she spent most of her time working hard as a construction worker (no joke) and a rubber taper. I consider her the most flexible woman of her time, staying with us ever since I delivered my first child; she is our domestic engineer, public relation officer, nutritionist and one who pampered the whole family. Due to her easy going character, her pool of friends is large and from all walks of life. I love you mama even though I know your granddaughters sometimes drive you up to your nerves, yet you are still so patient with them. I really appreciate that and when I graduated from my Masters, she made good publicity and was so proud that the whole block of condo knew about it (kind of embarrassing for me, but I understand, in the small village where she originated there are not many daughter in-law graduates!).

So salute to these two influential women in my life….

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Going back to school

A lot of working adults attempted to go back to school and I’m one of them, four years ago. Determine to increase my market value, I was all geared up to face the books again after 7 years of absence without realizing what I’m getting myself into. For those who have the same aspiration like me or attempting to do so…. “DANGER AHEAD”.

First week was fun, going back to school gives you a “born again, forever young” feeling, plenty of new friends, still can bear with the night lectures and assignments, came the 2nd week….. oh my gosh, I’m pregnant!!! By the time I completed my 1st semester, energy level is running low but stomach is getting bigger (can’t hide anymore…). 2nd semester was horrible, I’m too far from completing (11 papers to go which means another 462 lecture hours and at least 33 personal/group assignments/tests!!!) and too early to quit.

3rd semester was spent nursing my new baby at home, 4th semester was simply unbearable, having to abandon my baby and coping with pressure at work………. 5th semester, 6th , 7th , 8th , 9th , 10th semester………. can’t believe I’m still sane and finally my graduation on 15th August 2007!

Well, how did I pull through? With tons of support from my family members, good “comrades” who stick by you and push you when your engine is dying and lots of laughter to keep you sane….. my advice…… please think twice before making such daunting attempt in your life, it’s worst than bungee jumping because this is not a few seconds excitement, for me it took 4 longgggggggggggg years which equivalent to 1460 days/35040 hours/2,102,400 minutes/126,144,000 seconds.

Becoming to look like my sis

Wednesday morning, after changing into my working attire and about to sit down for some make-up, my hubby who is standing behind me and in front of our dressing table commented "You are looking more like your sis nowadays", hah? I paused for a moment and stared in the mirrow and told myself, "Wah liau eh, my sister is 8 years older than me, don't tell me I aged that fast, which portion I asked?" Before he could replied me, I answered myself "yes especially below the nose portion and the side cheeks". Well, no big deal, my sis is an attractive woman, we are sisters so it's normal that we bear some resemblance to each other.... the reasons continued.....(silently in my mind). I think the next time my hubby commented anything about my apprearance he would need to think twice, thrice..... Anyway I just called my sis and shared with her this cool blog that I have and I know she'll be laughing when she read this.

I love my sis, she's the funniest and craziest woman in the family, whenever we got together we will laugh like nobody business because her laughter is real contagious. My kids simply adore her and when she called I need to wait for my turn (which is about 5 to 10 minutes later) before I could really say a word or two with her. Besides looking alike we also sound alike and used to confuse our mom by imitating each other.... ha ha that was fun. My nieces are fun loving girls too, excel in their studies and speak fluent Cantonese (my sis married a Malay).

I know they will be reading this, "KL folks, I love you all", catch up with you all during Raya and Selamat Berpuasa. Send my regards to "Jeh Fu".......

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Love Thy Neighbor

Hmm... sounds familiar?? How many of us know our neighbors by name, how many of them, what they do? In our fast pace society nowadays, we are more prone to mind our own business, don't be a busy body and just stay where you are. Sad to say, this is especially true if you stay in flats or condos where our home are protected by layers of steel, wood doors, pad locks, small locks... you name it. We hardly meet our neighbors, come on what is the possibility of us opening our doors at the same time or bump to each other in the lift?? We don't even know them, love them?? Mission impossible. Well for those who remembered, my neighbors are Chins and Boons, let me share some wonderful moments with them.

Let's start with the Chins, Mr.Chin loves to cook, one noon while me and my mom in-law were in the kitchen preparing lunch, the aroma of his cooking crossed over, hmm.... I can smell "gulai ikan kari". My mom in-law praised Chin for his capability and commented that my hubby don't know how to cook, as usual being Chinese he said "Nolah"....... and know what the next thing we knew, we have an additional dish for lunch....... delicious......

Now let's talk about the Boons, married a year ago, one early morning at the sound of our metal grill door, Mr. Boon was overjoyed and told us that he had just became a papa, how nice...... we rejoiced with him and visited the couple the night itself. We welcome them to the misery "parenthood club" and chatted..............

Well all these does not come overnight, all of us did our part to enjoy the good neighborhood, well for those who want more out of your current situation with your neighbors, below are some tips:
a) Start with your children, children click almost immediately... mind you you have to prepare for not so well behave children....
d) Food - share them but be sensitive e.g. halal concerned, religious restrictions....
c) Smile and greet each other.....
d) Little action to demonstrate you care e.g. water their plants, sweep their portion of corridor, watch out for them if they are not around....

When you have tackle your closest neighbor, you may spread your wings....... but please be tactful by knowing your boundaries and by all means please don't gossip about your neighbors, what goes around comes around.........

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Princesses

Hi I would like to present unto you my two precious princesses. Apart from my hubby, they are the love of my life, can't imagine life without them. When I bring them out people used to ask "Twins ah", hah?? how can they be twins, they are totally unique individuals with their unique features. The younger one is cheeky with her big round eyes and the elder one is "matured" with her "tai kah jeh" character. They turned and twisted my life,God knows how and I learnt from them every single day. God used to say in the Bible that we should be like children specifically in our faith in Him, I believe we should be children in other ways too like being true, sincere and simple. Well is there a third one?? Only God knows..... I'm so thankful for them and someday I hope they will grow into adults who value life and be a living testimony to those around them. I love you, my precious princesses.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eating Out

Yesterday, me and my gang at town area and with very hungry stomachs. We felt that we could eat a whole cow, so my hubby and I decided to go and eat all you can steamboat. We went to Nagore road, Golden BBQ steamboat restaurant (Penang), it was our second trip. The first trip was more than a year ago, I could still remember after our meal it was raining cats and dogs. We grab a nice place outdoor (though we did not do any reservation), first attacked the cooked dishes - fried bee hoon with fried "little dumplings" and "fried triangles with lotus fillings" while waiting for the chicken taste soup to boil. Then we helped ourselves with the many choices that is spread before us. I must say the boss is quite generous with the offerings especially the fresh and variety choices of mushrooms, vegetables, marinated meats (beef, chicken, pork etc..), all types of fish and meat balls, medium size prawns, cuttle fish, clams....... the list goes on... Plenty of chili paste choice too. I can see my hubby is quite satisfied with the whole course and the kids were overjoyed by the eat all you can ice-cream, but unfortunately mom only allowed one each. I took a stroll with my kids while allowing my love and mom in-law to wrap up their final choice. Guess what, it starts to drizzle.... oh my I'm not sure whether history will repeat itself, we paid and left the place with our stomachs delighted and filled. The boss by the name of Joseph is kind enough to let our kids eat for free, so we just paid RM54.00 for 3 adults and I would said it's a good deal. For those who want to try, you may want to make a reservation at 012-4388324, they are close on first Monday of the month.

"Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka"

In conjunction to our nation’s 50th independence celebration, I thought as a Malaysian for 30 over years I should write something. I believe a lot of you out there has watched the recent controversial music video on Negaraku. Personally, I found the originator of the song rather foolish and inconsiderate but I also understand the need of a young adult (if I may say that, he’s 24) to express his piece of mind. Unfortunately his ways are very wrong.

The need to respect the national anthem was sow in me back in my primary school days where we are required to stand still, hands by the side during our assembly period and sing with sincerity. Being active in a uniform unit further reinforces that practice, but I believe that time is more to adhere to the school authority rather than really respecting and understanding the gist of the national anthem.

Now married and blessed with two wonderful children, I felt the responsibility of educating my children to respect the national anthem, trying my best ability to explain what independence means to a three and five plus child and shout “Merdeka” for three times on the morning of 31st August. I asked myself, “hey why suddenly the patriotism” until I realized maybe age is catching up, with age true wisdom and perspective comes into mind.

I am fortunate to be able to travel to overseas either on business or on personal pleasure, but deep inside me there’s no place like home and that’s my dear homeland, Malaysia. So as we celebrate our nation 50th Merdeka day, in fact we have already celebrated that, let us give thanks, cross our hands and pray for our nation, forget about the so called inequality, give up our so called “rights” but truly celebrate it in our heart.

My Garden (Updated with pics..)

Living in condominium did not give you much option in terms of gardening, so me and my gang make use of the little space of corridor that the condo-developer so graciously have given to us and turn it from the dull cement flooring to something more livelier and interesting. What started off with a few don't know what plants blossoms into two fish pond paradise, plenty of greeneries (yet to get their names), ubi-plants, variety of palms that stretched from my door step to my right neighbor (Boon) and all the way to my left neighbor (Chin). Thanks to my hubby for taking the garden shots. Thanks to my mom in-law who help keep them healthy and alive during weekdays whereas I'm more to a weekend so called gardener. So for those who are trapped in high rise buildings but love gardening, don't be discourage, with a little imagination and determination you can own a garden as well but mind you, make sure you have considerate and nice neighbors like mine who don't mine sharing their space with me... thanks to the Boons and Chins..... both of you make great neighbors....

About me

Hi....... I'm a thirty something trying to blog for the first time, love to cook and decorate my home for the love of my life, play with my kids and simply wrap myself with a good show or book on my wide L-shape sofa... attached is a snapshot of me and my love having intimate moments and also my comfortable spacious L-shape sofa . Ha Ha :)


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