Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ruby Red: Parties! Parties! Parties!

Rugby Party

Rugby Ball Cake

Player and Rugby Ball Cookies

Rugby Ball Cake Pops

Table Decor

Kick Off!

This is the latest party we did for an 8-year-old boy 
who loves rugby. 
His party was held at a public swimming pool.

My friend Elizabeth Herr had a birthday and and she posted her
birthday cake on Facebook.

I asked her who made the cakes and this is her reply.

Hi Ann, My sister-in-law and I have a party/event business 

and we do these cakes. She made this particular one 

and she is amazingly creative.

I love being creative and am always eager to learn new things. 
Attempting to celebrate life, because there is always something
 to be thankful for!  Elizabeth

I have a passion for baking and decorating cakes and trying out
new and innovative ideas.  Yolanda

We are Kiwis who love to make parties happen! Our aim is to help
 hard working mums enjoy their treasure's special moments.  Jolly Kiwis

They are located in Auckland, New Zealand.
Isn't it awesome to be so gifted?

Mid Autumn Festival/Moon Cake Festival.

Last night, the water engineer and I went for a long walk. We saw the moon accompanying us as we meandered the suburban roads. The moon was full because it was the 15th of the lunar calender.
In this post, I posted photos of my wordless story of the lady in the moon. Here I give the explanation.

Once upon a time, in China. The land was beautiful. The seasons went spring, summer, autumn and winter and the cycle went on and on. According to legend, there were ten suns/brothers in the sky. They took turns to appear to shine in the sky to give us just the right heat and the light.

However, boys will be boys, they became mischievous and decided to come out all together.
This created havoc on earth, and there was drought and the earth was parched. Everything was scorched and all the plants died.

The king and his wise man planned what to do. The king decreed that anyone who could shoot down nine of the sun would be greatly rewarded. He would give the Royal Seal and the bearer of the royal seal could do anything he liked. 

Many took up the challenged but failed. Out came Houyi, he proved to be a good archer and he shot down nine suns. He threatened the last sun to behave himself or he would also be shot down.  The people were so grateful to him, and soon he usurped the king and made himself the king. He became greedy and he became a tyrannical one.

The land became beautiful again.

He became a despot and married the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. This was not enough, he wanted to rule the country for ever and ever. So he sent children to source for an elixir of life. Some say some children went as far as Japan and never to return.
One did find the elixir, but he was intercepted by the beautiful but kind queen, Change'. Change' knew that the country would be hell under King Houyi if he lived for ever and ever. Just as Houyi entered the room, she quickly swallowed the whole vial of elixir.

The King of the Heavens was touched, and he let Change' float to the moon.
 The fairy God mother visited Chang Er and saw that she was lonely.
 To stop her from getting lonely, she gave her a pet rabbit.
That is why on a full moon, you will be able to see Change' and her pet rabbit.

This is a  story of Chang Er and Houyi. The lady in the moon. I teach this Chinese story with "Once upon a time in China."  with dialogue and song. The seniors video their play acting and love it

This story is told to most Chinese children especially during the Mid Autumn festival or Moon Cake Festival. There are many versions of the story, but I think the children of South China are mostly to be told of this version.  In Mandarin, she is called Change', and in Cantonese Siong Er.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spring Flowers in my garden

29th September is a special day.
It's a day that I kept for myself.
It's a day that my 3rd child,
Andrew was born 23 years ago.
It was also the day Andrew started his dying journey.

29th September 2012,
Today, becomes a special day for K.
It's a day her child Z,
is taken from her.
Cry K, cry!
I understand how much it hurts.

I am posting ordinary garden flowers.
Because on this day,
K and I don't care for the flowers,
Garden or florist bought.
This is the day, we rather want our child in our arms.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Skywatch Friday/save our world

 When I travel to overseas countries, I don't go "Gucci". I carry a cheap bag.
The sky is beautiful, but you don't feel secure when you see signs like this.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Red: Looking pretty with red lipstick

These girls were flower girls and they look so pretty. Grand Aunt Rose is behind probably wondering if someone spiked their drinks.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


One day old Andrew. Paul Khor came and took these photos for us. I was heart broken knowing there were the last photos we were going to have. No expensive flowers for Andrew. Just garden weeds, the dandelion.

What is reality?
Twenty three years  and 6 days to this day,
I had been sick for a fortnight
My cold, persistent coughing and weak bladder kept me awake.

Twenty three years and 5 days to this day,
I went to my doctor
He admitted me to the hospital.
I had a battery of tests.
I went to the antenatal ward,
I made friends with mothers who have problem pregnancies.

Twenty three years and 4 days on this day,
They sent me home without any treatment.

Twenty three years to this day,
Andrew was born 3 weeks early.
They tell me he was going to die tonight.

Twenty three years less 55 days to this day,
Andrew died.

What is reality?
Reality is he is gone.
Reality is crying into your pillow.
Reality is empty arms.
Reality is many things are frivolous.
On the plus side,
Reality is I have empathy,
I care for the less fortunate.
Reality is there are many like me.
I cry for those bereaved mothers.
My heart bleed for those who are not allow to grief.

REALITY after losing a child…

Overhead bridge in Singapore

There are many overhead bridges. When I was living for 16 years, I was fortunate where I lived in NTU, I didn't have to use an overhead bridge. This trip in June 2012, I stayed at Kovan, I had to use one. A bit of inconvenience, but better be late and safe than never arriving.

In Singapore, jaywalking involves crossing roads with disregard of the traffic lights, failure to use overhead bridges or designated pedestrian crossings, and crossing over road railings, Wanbao said.
Traffic Police officer Zheng Xiang Yun, 31, told the media that accidents are caused by overconfident pedestrians who might not see vehicles coming from another direction.
She advises pedestrians to pay attention when crossing roads, and not to talk on their mobile phones or listen to music using their earphones.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Zealand Money Plant

Here is a short poem my students wrote about Autumn.

I woke up,
My money plant has turned to gold.
I gathered up a bag.
And took it to the jewellery shop.
The man opened the bag,
and laughed.
I looked .
There was a pile of dead leaves.

This is a succulent and in New Zealand, It is called the money plant. I have two plants in my old house. The above photo is at my current house. People put a plant on either side of the front door.

In Malaysia and in Singapore, the money plant is a different plant. It is a vine. Many hope that it is auspicious to make them rich.

I just like to grow plants. They make my eyes rich when I see them grow.

Pink Cedrela (Toon) Tree.

The Wiggles sing, " Spring time has come, where has spring time come?" They sang the Japanese song

Haru Ga Kita (Spring Has Come)

Haru ga kita
Haru ga kita
Doko ni kita?
Yama ni kita
Sato ni kita
No ni mo kita

Spring is in the air,
Spring is every where, except when it is the face of the thermometer. Then winter is still here.

While you have Fall/autumn in the northern hemisphere, we have spring here. We have a tree is is completely pink. Pink Cedrela (Toon) Tree. It doesn't stay pink very long. Then they become green. A spectacular tree in spring when the new foliage is pale pink. The foliage slowly turns cream then deep green. An upright, narrow habit growing to approx 8M.

The young leaves are extensively used as a vegetable in China; they have an onion-like flavour. Plants with red young leaves are considered of better flavour than those where the young leaves are green. I imagine it would look very pretty as a salad. 

I was joking with my friend to go to a house with a Toon tree and ask if I could cut some to cook. My other friend says in fact they grow so profusely that she had to cut them back. So the house owner would probably be happy to let me take some.

This tree reminds me of the SHE ZAI CHOI or the Changkok Manis veges which is so popular in Sarawak restaurant now. I don't quite fancy it because we grew them in my dad's home. Now, as I travel in parts of Sarawak, at any nook and cranny, or empty plot. I see that people had grown them. My sister in law has a plot of land in urban Kuching. One day, she went and found people had made use of her land. I went to my friend's condo,  her neighbour,  and I looked down and saw the veges. I suggested to my Sister in law that she should be the landlady and claim her rights. Then she could get free veges all year round.