30 June 2008

With Summer approaching

At the sight of the clear blue sky today, one would have thought it's already Summer!


Not quite yet! We're still in the midst of monsoon and Mr. Sun now smiles a little after 3 days of crazy downpour. Rain is returning again soon, maybe tonight?

Before hubby left the country last week, we took a ride on a sunny weekend. =)

Gorgeous day it was, but awfully humid. My body must have shed the Singaporean skin that is so used to heat and humidity.

Guess what these folks are trying to paint?


Bear is good with his oil paint too, I'm more to water colors. He suggested painting the terraced field when he's back, I yawned. So many times we thought of producing a painting each year, together with many other plans, none has been realized so far. =P


Well, at least, we should jog. This is one of those outstanding plans on the list roll. I shall make the Bear jog soon.


With all the rain and shine these weeks, I suppose that the mountain white tops will be stripped to ultra thin traces when the Bear's back.


And Summer slowly reveals itself, the merciless blaze of scorching Summer...

Oh I thought I'm seeing steam, I'm reaching for my glass of water. My mind's wavering at the thought of the jogging plan! Not again... =P

Have a splendid week!!

29 June 2008


When I first started living in Japan and still staying with my husband's parents, my mother-in-law often wondered why I was able to have lunch alone. Well, school was one reason that made me have lunch early, so I settled the meal alone quite a-matter-of-factly. She differed, and insisted, ' It wouldn't be nice to eat alone, meals must be had with somebody or it will not be delicious. ' To her, eating alone is a disbelief.


I couldn't help ridiculing this mentality after hearing the same line an umpteen times. When I was still a happy spinster, occasional work commitment did not allow me to have lunch with co-workers, or dinner at home. ' Eating alone ' was cleanly not an issue.

Despite being surrounded by friends, I relished time too when I could have it alone. I ENJOYED shopping alone, meals alone, movies, exhibitions, commuting, you name it. I love my friends, but I love time for ' just me ' no less. Time alone recharged me and made me wholesome. As I recall, some of my girl friends could not understand me. They claimed that they could never eat without someone, let alone shopping, movies and others. That's fine... we are made of some different mental ware, that's all, I reckoned.

Things may have changed.


I skipped to my cellphone when a message came and halted when I realized it couldn't be from the Bear abroad. The sound of my neighbour reaching for door keys startled me. I tend to skip meal these days, though I've promised to eat. I missed my favourite tv show! Sleepless nights.


Marriage, in a way, has probably broken me into vulnerable pieces.

The strong and independent characteristic in me I loved wielding, is slipping through my clasped fist as I watch it go with dread. I always thought that I'd be better all by myself, I've never been so wrong before.

I'm spoiled. I'm spoiled by my other half who string plays my mind so effortlessly. His constant dose of loving, addictive and stings to live without, has robbed me off my self-reliance. This queer reality overwhelms me... marriage has not made me any stronger, it has merely nutured a womanly heart in me I've not asked to possess. It has rendered me powerless over myself and him, succumb to the faintest gentleness in his voice, and susceptible during his mere absence.

I'm spoiled. I didn't know that having meals alone could feel different. I admit that I don't like eating alone these days, and I don't like the spoiled figure I see in me.

27 June 2008

Handmade mugs and plates

The mugs and plates made in May were ready for collection, on the day just before the Bear had to leave for his business trip! =D

Every single work is intact and whole. Experienced potters would know well that potteries are liable to crack or break due to various factors, so our attempts so far are considered truly fortunate indeed. =)

The Bear made a new mug, a small plate and a dish with a leaf-like motif. He's delighted with the produce but a tad dissatisfied with his mug, cos it didn't end up the shape he desired.


Mine turn out exactly how I wanted them, I can now load lots of cookies beside my cup of favourite tea. =D The bee planted on the handle is perfect, no one would have recognized its identity without me revealing. LOL!!

I'm not too pleased with my plate in a way cos the curvy finish is obviously unbalanced. The Bear insisted that this is the very evident of it being handmade, and so I dismissed the flaw a little. We still love every single piece of work nevertheless.

Of one thing I am sure, the Lord my Potter, has fashioned me carefully by His hands with loving intent. Unlike secular men, He finds no fault in every beloved creation that has allowed Him to mould and make.


It's Friday here, I'll have a quiet weekend though. Still trying hard to decide whether I should drive out for ballet lesson tomorrow, it'll be really scary if I drive myself into trouble!

Have a splendid weekend now!!

25 June 2008

Home Alone III ( 2008 )

The Bear has left for another business trip since Monday night. The lead star in the ' homemade-Home Alone III ( 2008 ) ' is still keeping cool during this tremor and landslide plagued period.

I'm given rights to access his blog to help him get his posts across to another photoblog, and I shall faithfully do so. Maybe it's a good chance for some mischief. Hehehe... =P

He calls everynight and repeats the same line, he misses the dishes at home, work is hard especially when people speak different languages, and he desires to return soon.

I truly dare not confess that I'm actually having quite a breezy time without having to serve the Shogun at home. Hehehe... Trying to keep things simple during this period so that I get a quality break, but he has given strict orders that I should eat well and build up health. Oh bother* Many probably don't understand that it's not very motivating to stir a mess in the kitchen, just to feed the very Cook. Oh well, I'll just do my best.

We are reminded of those days when we travelled together for work. My heart faltered when he asked why can't I just be downsized and hide myself in his pocket, so that I may join him. Here am I, trying to keep strong, his wilful expression just isn't very timely.

This heart is getting forlorn for the Bear's return...

May the Lord watch over him in all aspects, and the project rolls on smooth. Amen.

23 June 2008

That's lotsa Poppy Love!

Now, whoever that's tending this field, he surely has demonstrated a lot of love for Poppy.


That's lotsa Poppy Love!


On a fine weathered morning, we passed by this field of hollering pink. What could it be, I alerted my husband. As we drew nearer, we found ourselves diving into this vain field of surprize!



Right beside it, a field of young rice seedlings waving in the wind, with tiny frogs swimming happily within. =)


Lotsa rain these days, with fair share of sunshine. They are joining hands to bring a healthy dose to plants and critters alike. =)

May this post brings good cheer and helps you kick a good start for the week, with goodwill in bulk akin to the Poppies!

Label, under the tree

Maybe there are elves around?

20 June 2008

Grilled chicken with soy sauce and easy spice


I spotted lime in the supermarket the other day, to my utmost delight! =)

LIME! It may be a regular in all supermarkets around the year back in Singapore, with foodstalls offering them generously to customers, cos it's downright dirt-cheap. Here, I bought 4 at Sg$3, how's that? Will $3 fetch me a good bag like half a kilo in Singapore? %#&@#% Anyway, I just couldn't resist them, and got a pack back for a make-believe : the sight of anything that's close to Singapore makes me feel that I'm back home. =)

The recent trip back for CNY holidays, I introduced my husband to some deliciously grilled chicken wings found in foodcourts downtown. The skin charcoal-grilled to perfect crisp with juicy plump flesh, dashed with lime squeezes...AHHH, the thought of it makes my mind scream. My husband relished them much and gained better understanding why I miss the taste of Singapore so badly.

So the limes turned up for the home-made version of grilled chicken, only to be exposed as sour imposters. They tasted like...a lime and lemon in-between? It was a citrus fruit alright, less sour than true-green lime, so the kick wasn't there. I was a little disappointed, but they did not ruin my chicken at all so we still enjoyed dinner greedily.


This grilled chicken isn't derived from those foodstalls' secret recipe that they hold on dearly for a livelihood, but it ain't to be slighted either. The marination works for frying, grill and BBQ alike. Mum happened to identify the ingredients used by our favourite fried chicken stall, she then experimented at home, and it worked! So this is within our family and I just thought that good things should be shared. The greatest merit of this recipe : it's incredibly easy!

Recipe for Grilled chicken with soy sauce and easy spice

Prepares 5 chicken wings and 5 chicken drumsticks

Tools needed
1 piece of plastic bag that all the chicken pieces can fill in. A fork.

5 chicken wings and 5 drumsticks
1/4 medium onion, grated
2 tablespoons of wine for cooking
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of grated garlic
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
Black pepper

1. Using a fork, stab chicken pieces in the flesh to enhance marination.
2. Very lightly, salt and pepper chicken pieces. You may like to enter slit at thick fleshy areas to ensure thorough cooking.
3. Into the plastic bag, pour grated onion, wine, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, grated garlic, grated ginger, oyster sauce and few dash of black pepper according to one's preference. Mix well.
4. Drop chicken pieces into plastic bag, using both hands, massage and turn them around for uniform marination. Marinate for an hour or so. The plastic bag serves as a good tool than bowls or plates, but be careful of potential leak due to tear.
5. Observe the color, if it is too light to look good, add in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to mix. It shouldn't affect the taste too much.
5. Grill chicken and watch for good timing to turn them around for different faces. My oven isn't very reliable, so I used a gas grill. To bake, the timing should work like any other chicken recipe. For frying, they are just as good, with or without flour coating.

Now you won't believe it unless you've tried. Onion, garlic and ginger goes in unbelievable harmony that gives a unique taste, and a good aroma. As for the limes, I'll just forgive them. Who knows, I might get them under an impulsive urge again. =P

Have a good weekend now!

17 June 2008

A garden walk on Father's day

Hula, hoping things are going fine for all, though it hasn't been too peaceful in Japan for the past 2 weeks. First, an insane ' street killing ' took place at a notable region of Tokyo. A young man armed with knife took away 7 innocent lives in mere 10 minutes. Then, just a couple of days ago, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake occured in a neighbouring prefecture. It was with such sadness to see bodies of perished fathers being dug out near Father's day...

I'm quite lost at words this moment, and once again reminded of vulnerabilities in life. Rather than dwelling on unfounded answers for endless questions, I've decided to look for good truths that lie around us. Seize the day, give time and cherish our loved ones.

We spent an afternoon with our in-laws to celebrate Father's day, and took them to a garden well known. My father-in-law who has an avid affection for flowers, takes pride in his gorgeous garden, and home-grown vegetables. Still, he never gets enough of blooms and always enthusiastic about flowers he fails to grow. The garden of various blooms pleased him a plenty.

Here's sharing some pictures we've taken from the walk. Help yourself with your favourite. =)













hasn't been blogging for quite a while and her mind is clogged! It's all Japanese that I can think of now and I can hardly write in English. Just give me some time to bring myself back. =P

10 June 2008

Tempted to have the last...

Although Nagano isn't all plains, farms and devoid of modern facilities, its features are a far cry from what bustling Tokyo offers.

Personally, I don't really enjoy Tokyo due to an ' unexplainable unease '. Rough crowds rushing to God-knows-where with most carrying a stress-wrenched face. I often feel that I'm surrounded with offended people who are ready to snap anytime, and I always move with caution especially at night. That's -1.

For the positive face it has, Tokyo spoils you for anything you can derive from head to toe, everything unmistakenly foremost in style or version. I'll give it a 2. The catch is : go search for your target in the wild maze, and that's -1 again.

Sweets hunting is nice, I'm overwhelmed by the variety but then again, it's a pain to choose from so many and it's impossible to have them all, not forgetting excellent ones I hate to miss.

There's one confectionary in Shinjuku that I will never fail to drop by for its promised bakes. The picture shown above is the last packet of what's left from the recent purchase, so I share now before we relish it tonight. Sob... If you can't resist ridiculously crispy, buttery-fragrant bake complete with refined sweetness, this is one awesome purchase that you'll not regret joining the tedious line. Forget it if you're thinking about returning later when the queue subsides. From my observation, the queue persists all day long, and this is the only confectionary that I've known to have a queue.

Location : Food & tidbits basement of Keio shopping center. Nearest station : Keio Shinjuku station, JR Shinjuku station, Odakyu line Shinjuku station. The stall is located at a corner of the floor, not very conspicuous until you've realized how awful the queue is. Well, who knows, you might patronize on a lucky day!

See the confectionary's website for its products. The stall in Shinjuku however, offers only limited dry bakes, with different flavours at periodic times. The basic plain bake shown in picture is one of the reknown goods. It is one heavenly product I'll bring back to Nagano everytime.

Stardust has recovered from recent discomfort, but is going slow again, oops. Trying to perform a recovery for the notebook and busy transferring files and etc. Hopefully, I'll make a comeback by end of the week. Meanwhile, I'll still be seeing you. =)

P/S : Maybe I should have the last pack of goodie, since I was the one queuing for it, and now performing the backup for our notebooks?