shabby background

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maybe..., maybe not...

When I was a flight attendant, I was lucky to have travelled to many parts of the world. Besides international flights, I was also given turn around flights within the region. Turn around meaning, I fly to a nearby city, transit for an hour and then fly home. The shortest flight was the one from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur(KL) or KL-SIN. Flight time was usually 45mins but due to stronger tail wind, it could just be 30 mins. On these short flights, we only had time to serve prepacked juice, coffee or tea and flights were usually full. So speed was essential here. No frills unless, of course, if you are seated in the first class. You'll get light refreshment of satay, champagne and the works. The passengers on this short sector were usually quiet and took whatever we serve them without questions. But on one of those flights.....
                                 *Please click on pix for larger image

Maybe he was in the first class before or maybe he thought it was a good chance to show off to his friend next to him, I couldn't tell. Whatever it was, I was glad it calmed him down. He was begining to talk loudly at me and everyone was looking at what I was going to do next. I knew that if I were forced to get a can of beer for him from the first class cabin, the rest will follow the same request. Then we'll never land with the trays up on time! Speaking of landing with trays down, that nearly happened on one of my flights within Europe. But that's a story for another time.....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

8 lives left

Ever since the snake head started eyeing Caramale whenever the cat is near the tank, I've requested hubby to close the top up part in case the fish jumped out to attack. Besides, I've also seen the stupid cat doing the pull-ups trying to have a closer look by hooking it's paws on the ledge of the tank. All that's left opened now, is a palm-sized hole on the side of the cabinet for us to feed the fish. As you know, snakeheads are ferocious fish.

While I was surfing the net yesterday morning, Caramale was loitering near the tank. Suddenly, he lept into that palm sized hole! I literally jumped towards it but could only grab it's tail. It slipped off my hands and I heard a splashed! I screamed and ran to wake hubby who stumbled out of bed in shock. I cried while telling him what happened and we both ran to the tank. I was expecting struggling in the water and nasty inerts floating around but we saw Caramale outside the tank instead, partly wet! I was really frightened for him and I wonder how he got away. He was really lucky to escape without a scratch. I guess cats do have 9 lives after all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Look at the price!

I've been calling vets around my neighbourhood to enquire about their service and charges. I was in Tampines recently and walked into one to find out more. The clinic was full and all visits are by appoinment only. I looked at the price list on the wall and was a little shocked at the pricey fees, then I realised the right of the list was the vet's certificates and he's from Germany. Okay....abit too upperty for my pocket.

After several other calls, I realised that most clinics have similar fees and charges. Just as I was resigned to the high fees and wanted to make an appoinment to bring Caramale to be neutred, one of my friend told me to call a vet in Geylang. The charges are half of the other clinics and it is also run by proffessionals!

It's a quaint little pet clinic with minimal renovation done, so the savings are passed down to customers :) The receptionist and doctors are proffessional and friendly. Well, it turned out Caramale is only about 4 months old and is too young to have the procedure so we had him vaccinated.  He was also given a deworming pill and told to return when he is about 6 months old. Total charges, only $21! They didn't even charge me for consultation fee. How wonderful is that!

Do call them if you are looking for a vet. Clinic for Pets: 67451337

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The tooth

Some weeks ago, Jonah complained that the roof of his mouth felt weird. I looked but could not see anything peculiar. He quit complaining after I didn't see anything out of place the few more times. 2 nights ago, my hubby was playing with him, tickling him which made him throw his head back and laugh out loud. And that's when hubby saw the weirdest thing. A tooth is growing out from the roof of Jonah's mouth!

He has gone to see the dental nurse in school today and she gave him a letter to have an x-ray taken before deciding how best to remove it. Appoinment for x-ray is in a month time. I asked the boys if they have ever seen an actual Alaskan Bull worm before showing them this pix! It's our private joke. But if you have watched Sponge Bob Square Pants episode: The worm, then you'll know what I mean....LOL!

Have you come across anything like that before?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Acting like a damsel in distress

I met all sorts of passengers onboard the aircraft. Nice, friendly, polite, helpful, undestanding ones and the rude, unfriendly, drunk, lewd, take you for granted ones....really...all sorts from all walks of life and different countries. Once, there was a business class passenger who came onboard the aircraft, dropped his bulky garment bag at my feet and flopped onto his seat.
                                  * Please click on pix for larger image

We were taught to never say no to a passenger. No is an unacceptable word. That's why 'we are a great way to fly'. So we need to think on our feet how to get out of sticky situations without appearing rude, unfriendly and unhelpful. Being a petite Asian in that demure looking uniform, I used the damsel in distress method. In this case, he was too embarrass not to help especially with other passengers watching him. Hmmm....I wonder what made him, who was twice my size by the way, think I can lift a bag that he thought was heavy for him.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Caramale picked a winner

My apologies for this late post. I wasn't feeling too well yesterday and it slipped my mind about the hairband giveaway. I feel much better now after a good rest :)

Anyway, I wrote the names in scrap papers and scatter them on the floor. At first, Caramale just watched them with curiousity from on top of a chair. I was starting to wonder if he would help me pick a winner....After awhile he jumped down, sniffed the papers and started playing with one of them. It's fun to watch him play, he's just so adorable....

Back to the's.....MamaJ! MamaJ takes beautiful pixs especially of her little one.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's the thought that counts

Very early Mothers' Day morning, I was awaken by Jonah. He was whispering something to me which I couldn't really hear. We didn't want to wake my husband so I got up and went out of the room to hear him out. Rubbing sleep from my eyes, he told me what happened.

                                  *Pls click on pix for larger image

I went into the bathroom expecting the worst scenario. It wasn't as bad as I had expected because he hasn't had breakfast yet! But I appreciate his intentions and thankful for the thought :) It would be a pleasant surprise though, if his stomach hasn't played him out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Learning Japanese

I like doing comics strips because I'm poor with words. I'm actually not very good at explanations and descriptions so discovering the comics strip generator here is the best thing ever :).

This happened to me when I was working onboard a flight from Christchurch to Singapore. The Japanese lady passenger was really determined in getting herself the right drink and I learn a new Japanese word in the process! I'll always remember it :)
                                *Click on the pix for larger image

Good ol'charade :) Does the job every time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hairband Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog that shows how the writer made her hairband out of scraps of cloth. It's easy to make and quite pretty too. So I went around looking for old clothes and some of my friends donated theirs. In a short time, I made 5! I love the idea of making stuff out of old things cos I think the 3Rs are so cool. I'm thinking of making more and give them to friends who have donated the old clothes. I've given 2 to my neighbour's daughters and hopefully they'll use them. My hubby is wearing one to keep his wavies back too! LOL...he's so supportive :)

Would you like one? If you are interested in receiving this hairband and some colourful ones I mentioned here, then please leave a comment on this post in the next week. I will draw a name next Wednesday, 19 May. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love this pan

think vegetable is one of the hardest thing to stir fry. It was a skill hard for me to master to get them soft to eat and still green when cooked. Not anymore :). About 15 years ago, my mom bought me a set of Queen cookware as a house warming gift. She didn't tell me that they were special and I used them like ordinary pots and honestly, I was quite hopeless when it comes to cooking. Until about 4 years ago when I attended a cooking demo in my neighbour's home, I couldn't believe I actually own a set of wonderful pots that do miracle cooking! Let me do a demo here....

1) Wash, drain and cut onions, carrots and brocolli.

2) Put pan on medium fire, put in some cooking oil and cut onions, then cover it.
     *Note: you do not need to wait till pan is hot before putting oil and onions.

3) When you can smell the onions flavour, uncover the pan. Stir the onions and see if they are soft. If not, cover pan again. If onions are soft, throw in brocolli and carrots. Cover pan.

4) When you can see bubbling at the edge of the cover, spin the cover. If it spins around easily, uncover pan. See video.

5) Stir the vegetables then put in a table spoonful of chicken stock and few dashes of pepper.

6) Cover the pan again and turn flame to low. *Note: you don't need to stir the vegetables after adding the seasonings.

7) When bubbling appears and cover can be spinned, turn off fire. Mix the vegetables with sauce already in pan and serve.

And VOILA! perfectly cooked stir fry vegetables. Soft to eat and still retains its colour. The pan uses the vegetables natural moisture to cook so no water is needed. Plus while I wait for the bubbling, I'm able to finish washing up the preparations before cooking is done. Besides cooking vegetables, I use the pan to make cakes, tart, roast and grill. How wonderful is that!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I made a cat collar

Caramale is growing well and my husband suggests we neuter him soon before he starts some undesirable behavior. I will make the appoinment after 2 weeks when the boys' exams are over. Friends told me that cats can be very loving and I agree. He follows me whenever I move about in my home except when he wants to nap. When I'm at my laptop, he'll cuddle up on my lap or sit on my shoulder and watch me type away, cute right? Sometimes, he'll come up and lick my cheek and nibble on my ear, LOL.....I know some people find that terrifying!

This is Caramale sitting on my shoulder when I'm online.

He likes it when we watch him eat and would stop and gesture us to pat him before continuing with his feeding. Anyway, Jonah wanted to get him a collar with a bell so we can hear him when he moves around. We went to the pet store but all the collars the shop has are too big for him, even those for cats. So I decided to make one instead. I use a shoelace which I have lost the other half. Sew a bell and velcro to fasten it around Caramale's neck. He didn't seemed to notice the collar at all and wore it without any fuss! I think he likes it.

Took this pix when he was alseep.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peer Pressure

Do you have a fussy eater? Well, I have one that will not eat his vegetables. I tried disguising them, decorating them, deep fry didn't work. Jonah has eyes of hawks! He can even see and picked out the tiniest chopped onions pieces that I put in his fried rice. Yes, I even tried to starve him once when he was about 3 or 4 but he went on a hunger strike for 2 days. I gave in of course.....

One day, I managed to bribe him to take a bite of a piece of spinach the size of half my pinky nail. My husband and I were so happy :) but shortlived. He threw up whatever he had eaten earlier plus the speck of spinach after putting it in his mouth!
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Imagine my shocked when I found out that he ate the cheese and lettuce sandwich his teacher had the students made one afternoon during Primary One! I couldn't believe it....he must be under a lot of peer pressure......but I'm delighted that he did :)

Today, he still doesn't like vegetables during meal but lately, he'll eat whatever vegetables I put into the balogne sauce and lasagna without questioning it. He will also accept blended vegetable with fruit juice too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jonah's pets

Jonah maybe shy around new people but he becomes funny once you get to know him better. He's like my husband, full of original wise cracks and jokes. Today, he gave me an idea for a comic strip. I thought it was rather cute :)

Anyway, the idea came from his pets. Many years back, my husband let him keep a tiny little feeding fish as a pet. It turns out to be a snake head. It was half the length of my finger then but now it's my arm's length! We feed it with frogs and frozen fish. It's rather intelligent too. It'll swim towards us whenever we are close. Oh, and scary too cos' it has really sharp teeth and bit my husband's finger twice before. It jumped out of it's tank again recently and poor me had to put him back. I armed myself with kitchen mitts and used a wooden stool to prevent it from flopping about. Russell had a good time laughing at me and filming how I cried while doing it! Cruel...boy!

Caramale is a curious cat. He watches the fish and that made the snakehead mad or hungry...It bashed the tank a few times towards Caramale's directions and I had to take the stupid cat away before the tank burst or the fish jumps out for it. Caramale doesn't watch the fish anymore but I see the fish swimming towards the directions of the cat whenever he is close by. And it watches Caramale instead. Yikes!

Click on the pix for larger view

A typical weekday afternoon...

Click on pix to see larger image

Yes, that is a very typical weekday at home for me. The boys would be playing excitingly with each other or with Caramale, but when it comes to doing revision or homework, that would really sap their energy! Especially when doing Chinese homework, Jonah would begin to yawn and tilt slowly to his side and end up lying on 2 chairs complaining he is ever so tired.....

How do you motivate your kids to work hard?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

I did it!

My cousins taught me how to cycle when I was around 10, I think. We rented a bike at Marine Parade and I remembered cycling straight into the bush! LOL! I had my share of bruises too.

Took the training wheels off the boys' bikes when Russell was 7 and Jonah was just about 5. Both boys cried and complained a lot while learning under me. What will I do without my beloved husband who knew exactly how to motivate them. See comic for story...
                                 *Click on the pix to see larger image.

How about you? Who taught you to cycle and how old were you then?

Yeah....I win!

I just recalled this little scene my sons had recently. It's easier to put it down in a comic strip then to describe it for me :) Click on the pix to see larger view

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why you so dark??

When I was a little girl in Malaysia, no one had ever asked me that question. In fact, I don't remember anyone asking me that question when I was living in Malaysia.

But in Singapore, I get questions and statements like; "Are you Chinese or Malay?", "Why you so dark?", "Oh, I thought you are Malay.", "Eh? You can speak Chinese ah..?". Those were heard very often when I was a little girl till adulthood. My parents have tan skin so I am borned with tan skin and gets darker very quickly in the sun. I'm lucky in a sense that I don't get sunburn even without sunscreen. When I was in primary school, I joined the school brass band. We had to march after school every afternoon in the field because of a national school competition. Some of my friends got heat stroke and fainted while marching. I also took part in the track and field races, so had to practice in the sun too. And I love running around in the sun with my neighbours in the kampong too :) In the end I had really dark, shining skin!

                                                        My brother and I on my 11th birthday.

I had to explain that I am actually a Chinese girl to almost everybody I meet. Students in school, taxi drivers, hawkers....etc. I guess, I needn't have to explain if I am more fluent in my Malay language. People I meet usually speak Malay to me, but once I started to converse in Malay, they would begin to ask me those questions. I don't mind explaining, but it became annoying when no one believes I am Chinese after I reveal my true identity! So I learn to go with the flow....

During my preU days, I'll just say I have a Hawaiian mum and everyone believed me! When I was a flight attendant with SIA, I remember speaking Mandarin to a group of Taiwanese elderly passengers during meal time, they were so surprised and asked me where did I learn to speak Mandarin so well!! I told them I learn it from friends :) No one had even noticed my name tag that says, 'Eileen Wong'. One of them was so impressed that she wanted to introduce her son in Taipei to me! LOL....

And then, when I started taking Russell out to the playground, people thought, I was an Indonesian or Philipino maid, LOL! No, I wasn't offended because most kids in Singapore are taken care of by their Indonesian or Philipino maids, so it's easy to make that mistake. But I was a little mad once when I went to pick up Jonah from his preschool. Usually, his class teacher sees them off at the gate but that day she had to attend to something and left the role to her assistant. When Jonah said he didnt get the files that some of his classmates received, I approached the teacher assistant to find out why. She looked fiercely at Jonah and scorned at me saying the children has been informed that the files will be given out on teacher-parent meet day. I was shocked at her reaction but decided against creating a scene in front of all the other children. I spoke to the teacher the next day about the incident. She apologised and admitted that her assistance had also told her about it and had thought I was Jonah's maid! I met the assistance after that in Jonah's classroom. I was there to look at all the children's displayed artworks. She was especially nice to me and greeted me with all smiles but I've already seen her truth self and had no respect for someone like her anymore. I don't understand......can't maids be respected too?

Jonah and me when he was 4 and half years old.

Another incident was when my Uncle passed away a few years ago. I was at the funeral wake talking to some of the guests and one of them asked my niece whose maid was I! She was so embarrassed when she heard the answer and quickly said "oh, no wonder she so pretty...". I don't understand....can't maids be pretty too?

Another time, my husband took me and the kids shopping and movie. That was when Russell was just a toddler and Jonah was just a baby in a sarong sling I was carrying. We bumped into one of his friend. After a short conversation with him, he admitted to my husband that he had been wondering why my husband was taking the maid to the movie before knowing I was actually the wife!
Once, an Ah Pek (Chinese old man) pump attendant at the gas station blowing me kisses when my husband left the car to pay for the petrol. You see, when my kids were still very young, I would sit behind with them in our car just in case they need assistance. Many maids in Singapore usually sit behind their pay master with the kids so I guessed they thought I was one too. Cheeky old man!

These days, many Philipinos are joining our professional work force in Sinapore. I have met many of these engineers, nurses, singers, hairdressers and health workers. And these days, I get a lot of, "Are you from Philipines?" from them :) Maybe it's time to learn some tagalog....

Good thing about not looking like a Chinese is that I don't get harrassed by touters when I was in Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila :) I can walk around freely looking at things I like. It's also a conversation starter whenever I meet new people :) Most people apologised for mistaking me as maids or not Chinese but it doesn't really bother me as long as they treat me with respect. Anyway, nothing's wrong being other races. The truth is, which I learned from my mom only in recent years was that her father was from Chinese and Thai mixed descendants. No it's clearer now, and it's easier to explain why I look like the way I look :)