28 December 2010

Christmas 2010

erhaps the most extraordinary Christmas to date!

Although home is hardly Christmassy this year, we had a beautiful white Christmas morning the natural way!


I had nothing laid down for dinner, so we settled for pizza. Miracle of all I could clean up half of it!!! HALF! If you knew how very little I've been consuming for the past weeks.

The search is over. The best Christmas cake crowned and if the rival bakeries aren't tearing it down, we're returning to this log cake for good. Yay!!


The only traditional part would have to be me making a call home on every Christmas. Besides, it's time that dad knows...

You see...

We're having a baby! Our first baby!

'Everything's great!' said gynae on the Christmas morning appointment, which also means we've passed the 1st Trimester. We - Bear, baby and I.

The past weeks have been unbelievable. Everything happened so quickly, overwhelming us all at once with none of our mental, physical or spiritual aspect ready! But God held the whole thing together with an enormous grace, more than we have asked. He is SO GOOD to us, praise Him!

Now I can't wait to eat like a normal human being again, you know how much I love to eat! Been sick like a dog for weeks due to morning sickness, am really looking forward to run my former powerhouse soon.

So, the baby beans spilled! I don't know why but it takes mammoth courage to do so. I can't even bring myself to tell most of my friends. Like many 1st time moms, I feel like attempting a walk rope without a harness, with all eyes watching but no one's ready to catch!

But I want this place to record God's wondrous works in our lives, this one especially. It'll be a joy to have kind souls join us in the baby watch. We need all the blessings in the world now!

Thank you... and note to friends connected on Facebook, it's in the vault alright? ;)

Last but not least, my heartfelt thanks especially to bp for praying and guiding along the way, things would have been so much harder without you... I'm truly blessed. :)

27 December 2010

Handmade by Helena

've received Christmas goodies from talented Helena again this year!

Handmade Christmas card ~ hand-painted-crafted-sealed with love.


And... come spot the heart!


Noticed it has a star tailed at the bottom? Sadly, I didn't do up the Christmas tree this year else it'll be dancing on one of the branches. This heart ornament even emits a beautiful scent!

Surely surely, Helena didn't forget to make me a bookmark with my favorite birdie! She writes, crafts, paints, sews, gardens.. her list of gifts goes on. Some people just have it all, right? Not fair!

Thank you Helena, for the thoughts sent across despite having those mounts of challenges. Sometimes 'thank yous' just ain't enough. I'm praying that the new year will be kinder, and the deepest joy finds you and yours. You know I'm here, all the time.

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!!

his must be my longest wait to Christmas. Ironically, the tree isn't pitched, the exterior illumination chucked away. I haven't left the house for long unless neccessary, so I barely capture the festive mood outside. It's the most quiet December we've had since together.

Still, does it matter?

The cross is long pitched in my heart, shedding the light of hope that nothing supercedes- so precious, I often wonder if my heart is prepared and made fitting for Jesus to come reside. Christmas has never been more Christmassy, until I had the Jesus in my deepest chambers.

Happy Birthday, and thank you for this day we celebrate You Lord!

Merry Christmas, everyone.

19 December 2010

Julie & Julia

looooove this sweet film.

It's lighthearted, inspiring, and gives an honest aspect on how ladies in the past and present tried finding their place, and found their niche in the kitchen.

Kitchen! Bliss at that proximity!

I'm no cooking goddess, but really I resonate that joy in Julie and Julia. I miss the happiness of cooking, homemade dishes that Bear digs... especially so when I've stopped messing up my kitchen cold turkey for as long as 6 weeks already.

The spirit wanted to prance on my apron and start whisking something, all I'm thinking of is doing that 'most beautiful roasted chicken in the world' after watching the film! I'm thinking Julia Child, yes I saw the name in the cookbooks corner before. But before I make the leap, anyone tried her poultry? Crashed and burnt?

You see, I'm no Julie. :P

15 December 2010

Count your blessings instead of sheep

t's 10 days to Christmas. ;)

December would mean that home is playing songs in a festive fashion. All of my CDs are so old that I've registered each song by heart, still I've never grown tired of them. It's like listening them for the first time every December. :)

Hear this number that especially touches me this year, from Diana Krall's Christmas Songs.
A simple oldie delivered with a modern spin, but the message remains everlasting strong and true.

08 December 2010

First snow

knew Iwould be in it if I don't calm the hunger pangs at that odd hour. So I peeled myself off bed and reached for that half finished Ritz snack. But really. I'm so sick of it already.

Crouching before the heater as I nibbled, I felt so... miserable, wondering if finishing the pack would help me fight the stairs later to get back to bed. Could I just drop and sleep where I was? Sniff...

Everything felt... wrong. Engulfed by an icy silence, I felt like everything else was slowly eating me up. Wait a minute. Wasn't it pitter-pattering hours earlier? Instincts ordered the curtains be drawn.

There it was. First snow, midnight of 8th Dec. Ice pixies riding on flakes and wheeeed their way down, forming fluffy mounts that glittered. Everything breathtakingly beautiful, clustered in shimmering white.

Snow. It always feels like how I've seen it for the first time. I know, I know. I'm a broken record since I've blogged about the first winter.

Hi pretty. So we meet again. :)

Jesus carried me back to bed anyway. Felt better than I thought I would be. 雪見 ( yukimi : snow-watching ) with Ritz crackers - not bad. :D

01 December 2010

Phillipians 4

o : me

Excerpts from Phillipians 4.

Verse 4 ~9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Verse 13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Amen. And don't ever forget, oh my soul.

26 November 2010

A year! At Shawood.

Someone sent a bouquet of flowers!


I was puzzled by the pretty surprise at first, and worried about Bear's reaction, he's a jealous guy.

Well, before this ego could get bigger, I found out it's a bouquet from the house building company that celebrates our 1st year at home. Ah yes, we moved last year 28th November.

It's sitting nicely at the niche now.


Dear God, the past year has been wonderful! Nothing beats the comfort of home, and we're thankful. :)

24 November 2010

When is snow falling?

'm excited about seeing friends in US having snow!!! SNOW!

It's still falling leaves we're seeing here... So the question goes, when is snow going to fall?


First snow was pretty early the previous years, so I guess it's time we see flakes coming. Right now, I'm smelling anything else but trees ( whenever my funny nose smells trees, that's when I know snow is about to fall )

So I'm tracking... and meanwhile, enjoying the last colors of fall.




And spotting my silly passion...


22 November 2010

日光 Nikko

m hoping that anyone else is doing better, while much is happening here these days, zapping energy fast. zzz...

Which explains why I'm blogging a lil behind, even for the trip to 日光 ( Nikko ) in early November when Bear had a week break.

I've heard so much about Nikko - which encompasses one the World Heritage Sites belonging to Japan, and many renown hot springs. Am taunted from time to time, 'How could you live in Japan and not gone to Nikko?' So Bear decided to check one down in my bucket list, and drove all those loathsome 12 hours - to and fro.

Well, to each his own. Turns out Nikko isn't our kind of nirvana. The scale and finesse are hardly superlative compared to others I've seen, and I've concluded that pictures in books and magazines can be deceiving. Structures are ancient alright but heavy with repaint - I'm the kind who appreciates good pictures, rather than images cleverly photoshoped, get my drift?


The red lacquered 神橋 ( Shinkyo : Sacred Bridge ) that arches over the Daiya River. It could only be used by the emperor during feudal times.


Famous 5 storied pagoda, around 36 meters high, an anti-earthquake construction.


Shrines and temples, constructed in glittering gold, but not good enough to awe the visitors. Here in the assuming 'holy ground', the Japanese visitors were endlessly bad mouthing about the visitors of mainland China, the opposite didn't relent either. Imagine me comprehending both sides. I'm just baffled. If these visitors are buddhists and believers, how do they bring themselves to utter slander so openly before their gods and deities?




The three wise monkeys that embody the proverbial principle - see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.


View from 'that famous window'.


Lotsa national treasures within, but no pictures allowed.


Endless towering cedar trees, and gravelled paths. Heed my word, NEVER go in heels like me, wear a pair of steady flats.


This Maple tree is the oldest within the premise.


And off we went to catch some Nikko's falls and fall.



To sum it all... I'm hardly impressed with the reknown sites. People were generally unfriendly. We were prepared to spend liberally but the souveniers weren't attractive, in fact, I bought nothing. I've figured that we've spent more on parking. The accomodation paid with a fat fee didn't fetch a memorable stay. I'm not craving any local delicacy after the trip. This is Nikko, if you ask me. Well at least I've been there once, and for good.

I guess what's memorable is Bear's sweet personality, despite those awful driving, lack of parking lots, and disappointing outcomes. He's a joy to travel with even on a mediocre trip. :)

17 November 2010

In memory of 森本先生


先生、今までの優しさと沢山の祝福 ありがとうございました。 どうか天国でご家族と皆さんのことを暖かく見守ってください。 会える日まで。。。

11 November 2010


t's hard. Bear received a call this morning. Our Pastor in church has passed away last night.

But I know he's now looking down at us from heaven and seeing the glory of God he's been serving his entire life.


08 November 2010

Back from the Australian desert

Thank all of you who have prayed for my baby brother. He's finally home after some harsh time in the Australian desert.


I got this T-shirt during my recent trip back to Singapore. My baby brother owns one too, and another one here. Love its personality, and look how vocal the message, I should wear it before Bear everyday. ;P

My bro will be fulfilling the military conscription in a mere week's time. How fast 2 years have gone by huh.

It's been tough for the boys in army. There were glorious moments too among mostly demanding periods, whichever it was I was never able to be there for him. But my baby bro has never whined or lamented over the painful moulding. He went in a boy, now stands a man. Somehow, he's overshadowed me by lightyears, we've switched roles and I'm the one being taken care of now. I'm just so proud of him, and thankful to all Singaporean boys who serve our country, they truly deserve some respectful recognition.

This feeling is just intensified after spending time with guys who have never known hardship in the army. Bear? I doubt he can survive a day or even hours.


That was me screaming 'Please don't just leave your socks there!' for over a million times.

Don't make me angry. Really.

03 November 2010

Time that I outgrow it

Since young, I've lost count of people telling me what great hair I have. It's silky, lustrous, it falls into place with a gust of wind instead of getting messed up, the kind that people will spend hundreds in saloon just to own for months. It sure lacks a little body, but it hardly requires maintenance. In fact, I don't even bother to blow dry my hair, it's the kindest thing that I wear. I often step out of home thanking God what a manageable head He gives me.

But the spell breaks whenever a snip takes place. A pair of sisscors is the last thing on earth that can damage my precious locks. Somehow, fly outs boldly protest at the loss of the severed ends , and manz, they sure are crossed. It hurts. I've never felt less confident, especially with seeing that dishevelled shocker gasping in the mirror every morning, ok who's spooking who here. And the shorter it gets, the more severe it is with the fly outs! Surely I'll beat any other on the street with some outlandish outfit. It's the most hilarious sight you must see.

Use a dryer! I know. But I don't use a dryer at all remember, so obviously I'm not good at it. Even if the fly outs are done for, it'll a nice round big fleshy mushroom I'll have to settle for this time. Several meters away, it'll be mistaken for some lazy afro.

So you thought you had another bad hair day, with this length I'm having, it lasts for months till the satin effect kicks in again. :(

Then again, it's just hair. Time that I outgrow it.

29 October 2010


eart from a pumpkin!


And furtive felines that come and go like nobody's business, marking territority and leaving deposits. Beautiful creatures they sure are... But I've finally arrived at a big conclusion : I'm definitely a dog person.


First, I don't know what it is about cats, or me, they actually CHASE after me!! After having witnessed how I ran for my life a couple of times, Bear would cover me from any cat seemingly menacing. Not all of them nasty I would say, like the fella above. It rolled on its back and showing belly for a good few minutes even though I shooed and begged it to go away. Sighs. And I managed to find out from the internet that showing belly is a sign of trust. Big sighs. What's more, the fella actually followed me home and missed the door by half a meter. Sweat!

For years Bear has been asking if I want a dog for pet, as he often worries about me being lonely. Really, I don't want to get a dog just to get even with some cats. A puppy is to be taken seriously for a good amount of its lifetime.


Anyone with sound solutions of warding off cats? I've tried cat repellants but they're still coming back. Boo hoo hoo...

Lastly, BOO. Enjoy Halloween there.

25 October 2010

The Anniversary

Yesterday 6 years ago was when we had our wedding in Japan. Yup, our second wedding.

We had a wonderful celebration at an exquisite restaurant. It wasn't the fine dining, classy ambience and thoughtful service, but the endearing company of my partner that made the night complete. He still thanks me, appreciates me, finishes up what I wouldn't eat and gladly gives up his share of what I shouldn't have difficulty consuming.

I don't take him for granted, especially after seeing another guy totally engrossed in his papers while his lady kept her gaze on the night garden.

It's ok we didn't make it to any place fascinating. Happiness has never been nearer next to the one you love. :)

21 October 2010


To cope with an economic health that's been ailing for the past 20 years, one of the tactics used by Japan's companies is to engage workers on a contract basis. That way, workers can be assessed periodically and conveniently dismissed; without coughing out a remuneration.


Bear has been getting along incredibly well with colleague M san ( san : Japanese expression for 'Mr/Mrs/Ms' ) since years ago, mostly because our families have been searching for a piece of land to settle in. The peas and carrots share a vein in their work, interest, and dreams. They lunch talking mouthfuls, I know; cos that's how Bear cutely shares the tales from M san during dinner.

By sheer serendipity, our families found our own place with an interval of a month apart!
So M san and Bear partnered like never before for their 'my-home-adventure'. Our families split on the venues for look-see and scheduled our weekends for 'homework'. Spied on each other's progress from foundation to rooftop, which brew more joyous jabbers. It felt like 2 homes have bonded, for the largest project in our lifetime. From housing to furnishing to landscaping, we had our forces combined.

Seriously. This kind of affinity hardly comes twice you know, as long as living in an aloof community is concerned. We're blessed with M san's family whom we have so much in common. Much, apart from the fact that M san's service in the company is on a contract basis.

And I know it sounds dramatic, but the thunderbolt had to strike 6 weeks ago. M san's service is complied by mid October with an extension unrequired. He leaves confronting the harsh realities. Minors apart, a tough employment and a substantial houseloan. At worst, M san may have to resort to work at a foreign prefecture and only gets to return home on weekends. Or even for a weekend in the entire month. Or even work abroad.

Words aren't capable of describing it... we really feel for M san.

He left the office officially yesterday bidding goodbye. Still feels proud having served the company, and regrets that he has to be send away packing up all the know-hows. I just know how much he wishes to apply them in the company for good. The saddest words he parted with Bear is, 'If you don't see our cars at the porch anymore, that's when you know our home is relinquished.'

Time to time, the unceasing grouses I couldn't respond to get me. 'Darn that company that retrenched me, it can fold up for good ( the person is compensated ). This place doesn't deserve me with the peanuts it's paying. I hate serving idiots. I work with a bunch of morons. Miserably short holidays, and no leeway. I should BE promoted. Where's my fatter pay, bigger car, dearer bag? Is that all for bonus? Bills, bills, bills, I need a new party dress next month! '

Everybody is heading on something. How large exactly is yours?

These bad times we're living, we may not be leading one of those glamorous lifestyles, still it's a lot to give thanks for... Praying for M san's future endeavours, and plenty of blessings to come his way. His house stays, and he gets to return home after work; everyday - I boldy pray.

Bear must miss him so. He better gets used to lunching alone, or getting along with phony people. I will surely miss Bear's noisy chatter at the dining table too.

Thankful for my lot. Immensely. For good health, and everything else.

19 October 2010

But Autumn is beautiful

Autumn is locking into place, as we wake up with each colder morning. Am dehydrating fast like the crispy leaves
, hear me crunch. Ouch.

But Autumn is beautiful.


Feed on : scrumptious apples, creamy pumpkins, and tummies-warming hot pots.

Put on : barret, flattering coat. Leggings in booties and I'm ready to go.


Look on : maturing hues in red, brown and gold, while the chill is still marginally bearable.

Look my way lady, don't be shy.

I'm th

Just thankful for the colors that sustain a dangerously prosaic mind, even if it's by strands.
Seasons are harder to live with, but too pretty to get on without.

Gotta go. These hands are screaming for cream.