Have a great celebration!!
15 January 2009
The Bear is finally returning from his business trip today!
Awful wait it was. Cooking for one sucks. Snow fell almost everyday but thank God, no shoving so far. Sleepless nights, mysterious chest pains... Argh, it's finally over! Thank Jesus!
And after all that, while Bear is probably heading home at this moment, I'll be preparing my stuff, all ready to leave with my luggage. Yes, I'm leaving the Bear. I reckon many would be shocked to learn this, but nothing's gonna stop me now. For...
I'm leaving to celebrate Chinese New Year at Singapore!! ( Confetti )
It's going to be the joyous time again! =D Lots of good food to die for, awesome moments with family and friends! Bear arrives a week later to play nuisance, but of course, I simply adore his presence. ;) YEEE, I can't wait to hug him!
Besides giving thanks for God's grace, I appreciate your warm presence during this lonely span. You've been sweet. =)
Stardust will be back soon! Meanwhile, I'll see you from Singapore!
12 January 2009
It was about a month ago when my family flew over from Singapore to visit us! =)
I was truly thrilled by their second visit to where I now call 'home', since their attendance to our wedding. On the flip side, I was also wrecking brains over what to show them at this ghost town I'm staying.
Anyway, we've managed to bring them places. Here's Japan through their eyes!
Above everything, I prayed hard for snow. Yes, SNOW!!! as my folks who've inhabited the isle at the equator are acquainted with no seasons but summer, all their lives. A perfectly white winter was all they needed! And God is faithful!! It snowed from heavens during a weekend and washed everything dazzling white! Praise the Lord!!
It was written all over their faces, I guess the sight was simply too beautiful beyond description. Deep inside, I couldn't help thanking God for this special blessing of snow. =)
We slipped to Tokyo, Disney Land & Sea, neighbouring prefecture... Shopping, Japanese cuisine experience, sight-seeing, ski, walks, and guess what my family told me. They couldn't understand why I would reminisce Singapore despite having so much cool stuff here. Huh?!?
I shan't digress to explain myself... Their trip was sealed with a traditional sensation at a Japanese inn. What's a trip to Japan without a hot spring bath?
Nudity before strangers is not something I'm comfortable with. It's a lot of awkwardness even in public bath of a common gender. Things got a little better after Bear has exposed me to bath experience for several times. However, private spring baths like these best put me at ease.
Sometimes, private spring baths are allocated at individual guestrooms, some with outdoor setup that I love the most, excellent when furnished with jacuzzi. =)
And what's a Jap trip without experiencing the gorgeous presentation of Jap cuisine! The hospitable inn specially prepared extra dishes on the house, when they found out that they were entertaining guests from Singapore. The lavish course of Japanese fine food and taste never fails to impress my family.
Time spent in Japanese inns is rightfully slow and restorative, but I was busy clicking away at my family, offering translation, explanation, stuff like that. I was thoroughly busy!
Nevertheless, I had a truly great time with my family. And I hope that they've bagged some wonderful memories home. I guess, travelling Japan may have never crossed their mind if I'm not married to Hubby Bear, as they always have other 'cool' destinations on their list.
My parents were especially delighted when we caught an unexpected fireworks at my place! Their grins were convincing, they must have had a marvelous time with us. =)
08 January 2009
How is the New Year celebration like at your place?
Jap's homes are generally spring-cleaned and decorated with images of Ox as it is the official animal for this year, according to the Japanese zodiac calendar. On the eve, families gather around merry-making at cosy homes, accompanied with sumptuous dinner and sake ( Japanese wine ).
Back in Singapore, where most homes will have the ladies slog in their kitchen for a great dinner, the Japs have theirs settled in a much less taxing way.
They actually have their feast, ordered/catered. See picture below for an idea. Nice array of food stacked in layers.
I recall the the first time I joined my husband's family for dinner on eve. I felt an enormous pang of remorse and participated with quiet reservations for rest of the night, as I failed to lift a single finger to help out in the kitchen for the elaborate spread. Silly me only managed to discover later, my mother-in-law never had to prepare any food for the eve's dinner, they actually have their entire stuff ordered!
That's so neat, I thought. It eliminates my worries of not being able to prepare some ( read : many, much! ) traditional Japanese dishes in future, and a lot of trouble!
At our little home of 2, we don't order those beautiful stacks of food-boxes that we have little chance to finish. However, we bought ( wide grin ) some dishes from stores to cook up a traditional ambience at home. Introducing my favourites :
栗きんとん ( Kurikinton )
Chestnuts basked in chestnut or sweet tapioca paste, pleasantly sweetened like honey. Richly yellowed as if gold, it signifies abundance and prosperity for the New Year.
黒豆 ( Kuromame )
Large beans prepared tenderly soft, and delightfully sweetened. This protein-rich dish bodes health and strength. Hubby added that it also means a year of smooth work.
Ancient Japanese used these dried fishes as fertilizers, and consumed them in hope for a year of bumper harvest. They are a little hard but deliciously seasoned sweet and salty. I chose my pack garnished with nuts. In a way, I'm glad that modern Japs still cling on to their tradition faithfully, without ruling out these simple but delectably good stuff.
Still, New Year isn't New Year without a decent feast. To make up for the absence of those magical boxes, I prepared a steamboat with heaps of crab, prawns and other prized seafood, in a, ... er hem, rather tedious and Singaporean way. =P
06 January 2009
What's up people! ;)
Nothing much here as the New Year gets 6 days old. The Bear has left for another business trip yesterday, though the Japs have yet entirely celebrated the New Year. Oh the poor Bear...
Besides praying for the Bear's safety and success to his project, I'm hoping for no snowfalls during this period so that I need not shovel snow alone. And trouble, no troubles at all I pray... My best friend here stays some 50km away from me, and she's pregnant, so to impose on her is what least I want to do.
On the brighter side, I get to enjoy a good break after the Christmas & New Year hassle. Check out my blog pals and recharge myself for the Bear's return, it will 15th in a blink. ;)
01 January 2009
Happy, HAPPY NEW YEAR to every single one of you out there!!
On this joyous day of the new year, the God-Blessed Box celebrates as it turns 1 today!!
It's actually more like, a celebration over the many blessings and grace that were blogged in 2008, a reason that Stardust is deeply thankful about. =) And the friendship found across oceans, people I've never met but always have been kind and so very encouraging to me. You guys are totally fantastic and I certainly hope that I've been a good blog pal too.
SO! What's in store for the God-Blessed Box in 2009? I'm crossing fingers as I find out. ;) And I pray, that every each one of you will have a truly wonderful year ahead. Stardust sincerely wishes everyone a splendid 2009, with new hopes, dreams to be fulfilled, world peace and love!