29 October 2009

Autumn revealing...

Trees are putting on a colored coat, as chilly breeze starts cutting in.



This place is surrounded by patched mountains in colors of fall.


Flaming tones by the window, cooling climate, and delicious harvests... I'm begining to see why the Japs love autumn so... Perceiving through sleepy eyes as the climate drains energy out of me..
Not sure where the sleepy bug comes from, I could hibernate anytime now..




And here I am, while most are basking in autumnal bliss, I'm like a busy, sleepy squirrel, getting prepared for the white season. ;P


My siblings have helped replenished my winter-must-haves : bottles of chilli!! And marmite, cos Stardust can never have her porridge plain. Ok, laugh! Don't hold it in..

C'mon winter, I SHALL survive. Heheh.
P.S. Happy Halloween!

23 October 2009

My magic wand

Warning : this post may contain contents not be suitable for some.


I hate it when they do it to me! Spiders!! They spin webs like nobodys' business, in my room, at my balcony, within my territory!! I seethe at their insolence enlarging, each time with a larger web they spin!

Don't feign ignorance, I just spoiled your web the other day! Grr...

And they keep coming back my place like their favourite bar. Weave a magnificient thing overnight, or finish a good repair within hours, very efficient and annoying creatures.

So I resorted to mean means. Know the kitchen towel / kitchen paper? Or better known as my accomplice. No, not the paper, the core within, or the hollow shaft-like center, that most would have thrown away. I keep them as my secret weapon. Heheh.

Yeah, this fella at the left. My magic wand. And here's how the magic works:

* Extend wand's length by attaching 2 shafts with tape, if necessary.

* If the owner is around. HIT it with a swift swap! None has escaped alive so far.

* Break the web by 2 or few extended ends with a quick sweeps. This should leave the web intact but vulnerable.

* Wave or wield the wand at the web swiftly, just like how Harry Potter casts his magic! The remains of the web should cling to the wand readily.

* Throw the offending wand away. No cleaning of brooms or tools required.

Effortless, and it costs you nothing. Though it makes me look evil than I already am, I don't care, since they don't give a hoot if their thing makes my house look haunted.
In fact, I've just wiped out another stubborn one just now. Ha!

Gee... I hope that wasn't Charlotte.

Have a great weekend! =D

22 October 2009

Starry, starry night

e caught the meteors yesterday!

It was the

Orionids meteor shower everybody's talking about. Lights off 10 past 10 and I kept watch by the window wistfully, trying hard not to blink in case a star should pass me by.

For the
record, patience has never been my thing. Stargazing is different though. A little personal, spiritual, indulgent time with the outer world shut down... Basked in darkness, I marvelled at the twinklings that dotted the stupendous space above that knows no end. Feeling small, humbled...

... I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?

Psalm 8:3-4

Then it happened! The first meteor whisked by brightly!! By the second faint and slow, Bear is enticed. So we caught the 3rd one together, which left a bright long tail, the largest of the night. 3 shooting stars within an hour.

Nope, I didn't make any wishes. I praised God who places them above. =)

21 October 2009

Gifts, and an award

I'm receiving good stuff these days. =P


We're presented with this set of outrageously expensive Japanese lacquerware (漆), produced by a store of great heritage located in Kyoto.

Now, just how pricey is Japanese lacquerware? Bear holds a plain pair of Japanese lacquerware chopsticks at 3500yen, which is about USD38.5. One gets a reasonably fine pair of ordinary chopsticks at 1000yen, or USD11.


I've always had this penchant for fine arts. Lost myself in the lustre of the plates when I first laid eyes on them. I love the delicate Japanese essence in the strokes of gold and more, though I could never figure out how the craftsman managed to paint every plate precisely alike, just unbelieveably identical!

Seriously, there are reasons to think that it's all so wrong for me to own the set, while it should have gone to some authentic Japanese who appreciate the art more. Heheheheh.


Anyway, cheapo me is definitely more comfortable with these 2 pots of indoor planties. These gifts brighten up the space and makes the air clean! =D

Last but not least, and most thankful!! Drums rolling... The blog has received an award!

From Feronia, at In a yellow wood. While you don't find a strand of creativity here, it's all there at her site, so I'm passing this award to Feronia for first!

Then, Sharilyn at It's a Heart Rock Life. For what good eyes she has! She finds 'heart' at the most impossible places. Sometimes, it's like she said, a very 'God' thing.

J.H., at Gift from Heaven, for her knack at presenting her pictures, and her enthusiasm behind the new site at Free Christian Wallpaper.

All smiles? Don't just stop there, pass it on. =)

15 October 2009

Say ' hello '

To autumn.

Days getting shorter, and it's getting difficult to peel away from the cosy bed with colder mornings. I cringe at the mention of the impending winter, and wish autumn hasn't quick-stepped in before I'm prepared.


We're having Cosmos for autumn.


This is what everybody has been waiting for : kernels within the fields of gold. 新米, or 'new rice' they call it, fresh stuff to go with plump and fleshy seafood by winter. And maybe, this is what makes winter a little more bearable.


Field of red soba. Seen them for the first time.


Now, question : What's there to catch in early autumn, when trees have yet put on their coat of colored leaves?

The answer lies in the fields. One gets some pictures of matured crops and scarecrow to go along.


A little later, tidy mounts of harvest, and maybe; a friendly farmer to help the picture.


And if it's all too late, you'll get rows of neat cuts at least. ;)

Cosmos for autumn


時間が無いし。 行くところがないし。 機嫌が悪いし。 シンガポール料理くれ!

09 October 2009

Here, and left. 台風18号

Bear was granted a mercy leave yesterday, as an enormous typhoo was approaching Nagano. In fact, it swept all over Japan from south northwards.

The typhoo this time was a little different from those of the past 4 years. Pensive faces that the Japs wore seemed to foretell a catastrophe.

We were in bed when typhoo claimed Nagano its turf. Relentless howling winds, pressurized rain and even what sounded like scratches by a legion. Bear's churning in bed kept me alert. Was it Bear who moved, or typhoo that moved the house, or another earthquake? We just had a local earthquake 2 days ago, I had to be sure.

Woke up to a cloudy morning, darn cold, and I immediately checked the surrounding. Not a single tree split. 何だ... I thought the Japs were just a worrying lot, till we've checked the tv.

Sadly, the country is burdened with deceased, casualties, and losses everywhere. Our place is spared for probably our environment has less hazards around. We feel sorry for the apple trees, crops and others waiting to be harvested. Alas, the farmers have toiled a year in vain.

Typhoo here and gone, devastation and needs for recovery were all it left.

Earth, life, and everything that entangles... what vulnerability.

06 October 2009

Happy Birthday =)

This time of the year, I ought to be back in Singapore to celebrate Dad's birthday, but I'm not.

Don't ask, it wrenches me more.

I've always wanted a home 'easy' to return to. I guess nothing changes much after I've married distance away. But I'm ok...

Sometimes, I sigh at the fact that I'm born an Asian, correction; born in Asia. Worse, at an era neither here nor there, when kids are given in to western education by folks who are deeply rooted in their ethnic beliefs and values. We can hug or kiss a friend, but we can't do the same to dad and mom. People in my parents' generation, they don't embrace, kiss, say 'I love you', and even tears are taboos as they are considered inauspicious. Weird huh? If anyone out there relates to me.

Having mentioned my parents' reservation on expressing themselves, I've never felt an ounce less of what's called 'fatherly love' . In dad's presence, there is protection, I'll find understanding, and acceptance. I never had to be a 'race-horse' that outdo others or perform great to earn his smile, he delights at my every best. Many times when I look back, I couldn't have made it; without him. He's the kind of dad who'll make you think, an extra mile is worth walking, growth is beautiful, and agony is part of what makes life sweet. Even when the whole world turns its back on me, dad sees me through. He is the biggest cushion I fall back on when things fall apart, and I'd like to cuddle when I'm happy. But of course, I didn't. I haven't.

One of the most divine that has happened to me, I'm born dad's baby. =)

To the greatest Pa in the world, and though you may not know that your girl owns one of those what people call a 'blog' :

Happy Birthday, and I love you.

Star, Daddy's girl.

01 October 2009


In a way, holiday can be a little damaging than to do me good sometimes.

I tend to have difficulty waking up early to prepare breakfast after short hols like the recent one. The shopping bags are yet sorted and the petty weather is sure helping my laundry basket... Gee, thanks!


Top on my hate-list : grocery shopping for the week. The Japanese has one such demanding table, there's much ingredients to be prepared, for 5 days' consumption at least. I'm so uptight on 'shopping days', that I don't need a checklist for help. Like a robot, I see to the requirements while jamming my baskets. The robot would comb every corners of edibles down the never-ending mart. It's a dry, automated operation and the only human aspect to it : Bear carries the heavier bags without being asked.

Upon reaching home, I'll allocate the groceries into the fridge fast and furious, organized. The more on being storage efficient, the less room our fridge good for 4 enables me. I blame that pack of miso, Japanese preserved goods, tofu, anything of Jap's, without pointing finger at my soy sauce, belachan chilli jars, a large bottle of Ribena and more bottles from Singapore. What? They travel all that distance, you know?

Devil whispered in my ear on Sunday, 'Admit it, you're tired.' when an edged pack made a hole in the plastic bag again, and there went my free garbage bag. =(

Monday morning, I had breakfast prepared, but too sleepy to eat. So I checked the documentary I've recorded previous night, and had my biggest chunk of lesson in days...

Why should I be complaining about grocery-shopping, when I'm blessed with the means to? We need not worry about where our money comes from, does it take days to reach a mart, if the goods are fit for consumption, whether the supplies will last us another day... God has had everything worked out, we just have to help ourselves!

And how could I nitpick on the poor fridge, because it's innocently full of goodies that nourish our health?

So what exactly am I tired of? Of blessings which I've deemed as nuisance or chores??

I must have been a robot then, and most heartless. I don't deserve the ice-cream that must be finished before winter, especially when I have never for a second thanked my overworked fridge, or the great mart I patronize, or God's gracious providence while many around the world don't even get to smell discarded leftovers that have gone bad.


Since Monday night, I tried hands on simple dishes. Less hassle, less oil, less presentable, just healthy. For a change, I didn't want Bear to feel it's an 'ought' to have a sumptuous meal every night even if it makes me look lousy. We need to eat bland, or anything less lavished from time to time, if it helps us remember the poor, the hungry and humble. I'm reminded of those days when my church fasted for serious prayer, and a hunger raged within my soul. How am I to do any tiny bit for the world, when I'm ignoring a massive hole in my attitude?

Food however simple; is delicious, when I'm reminded of multitudes that could be sweeping the ground for grains this moment. The extras in cash, they'll go somewhere good as God prompts us.

I've just got home after getting a pack of corn-starch, and gently placed some red bean snacks into the fridge. For a moment, good fridgey looks like a golden chest of glittering treasures. =)