Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's a beautiful time

as it's getting Christmasy in the office.

Thankful that even though I have shifted to a smaller cubicle (due to change of role at work), I still have my little corner to add colours to.

P/s: 1st time blogging from my mobile, not quite sure how/whether this works.

Note: Mobile blogging works except for images cannot be resized or arranged nicely.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

(A)musing Finds - Serenity & Strength

Few Saturdays ago - I thought I had some time in the morning before I go to class (I teach Malay language in a children's home on Saturday evenings) so I decided to drive around the neighbourhood.

Lo and behold, I did not know there is this one stretch of road, not very long, maybe a little short of 200m, quite near home. As soon as I (randomly) turned into this road - I was mesmerized by the sight before me. So much so, I have to quickly (and safely) stopped my car by the road and took a shot.

It started to drizzle when I stopped my car but as soon as I started my drive again, it began to pour. Just in time, and if you look closely you may spot some raindrops on the windscreen.

I love roads like these - so calming and serene. I wish more roads in KL are like these. I felt better after the drive, cleared my mind a little.

I had recently been handed an entirely new portfolio at work - everything seems so foreign to me. The unit is new, even the unit's head (my boss) is new, the system is new (to me - but according to my boss, not many people out there understands or knows how to use it any way), the lingo is new, the seating is new (how I missed my old cubicle). It is a real challenge, and I was feeling frustrated and angry with myself as I can't seem to pick up these new things as fast as I anticipated - aging?

 There was even a point at time that I nearly wanted to give up but I made a promise (to myself) that I will stick it out, hang around, persevere, give it my best shot, fail and try again and fail and try again... 2 years - that is the timeline that I have set and if in 2 years I do not achieve what I set out to do or justify my HOD's faith in offering me the portfolio, then I may really have to consider to make a move.

All these frustrations had been building up for a while. (It still does now) But I know I can make it, just have to continuously build my strength day by day, step by step. And perhaps, when I become too tired to tough it out, which is very likely happen to recur in the next 2 years - I just need to take a drive down the beautiful road again, that I may find STRENGTH in SERENITY.

You know what they say:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr
Earlier (A)musing Finds:
Water-powered clock
Butter knife
Optical illusion
Maeklong Railway Market

My blogger still doesn't work on Google Chrome (how do you guys do it?) - am using Mozilla now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Something Good

Wow, my last post was more than 2 months ago!

I have been having problems to access my own blog. My page on Google Chrome just does not display the sign in link - and I couldn't figure out the way, except if I blog via my mobile or like now, I use another explorer. Yet I still have a footnote down on the left corner that says 'Error on page'. So keeping my fingers crossed, I hope this gets posted in the end.

I have been up to quite a bit of stuffs lately - more in the line of reflecting about my life - past, present, future. Contemplating on what I want to do and/or to be and checking my current standing to see how far off I am. Basically just lots of thinking.

So, for the time being, I may blog less (also due to demands in the workplace plus some year end plans which will keep me occupied) but I am still around, striving my best to be the best I can.

To all who read my page, thanks for hanging around and I wish you well.


Ending with a photo I took recently, while driving home from work (it is not often I could go home while the sun is still hanging around)

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Even when life is not all smooth and easy, if we keep trying, we can finish strong.

Beautiful...especially when we know which direction to look - upwards.

Inspired by this video on Nick Vujicic on finishing strong -

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Salam Merdeka

31st August - the day Federation of Malaya declared her independence from the then British colonial rule in the year of 1957. (Later on 16th September 1963, Malaysia was formed by Federation of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.)

Despite all, in spite all, I am proud to be a Malaysian. Saya anak bangsa Malaysia :)

We were taught to sing the national anthem since young - and each time now, I sing it again, I could feel tears well up - because of the Malaysian pride.

Tanah tumpahnya darahku
Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita selamat bertakhta

(My translation below)
My country
My native land
The people live in unity and progress
God grants blessings and mercy
Our King rules in sovereignty

Video of the national anthem - performed with a nice twist; video made 2 years ago, hence the 54th year credit message at the end.

As it says for our theme this year - Malaysiaku Berdaulat, Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku (My Sovereign Malaysia, My Native Land).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Discharged and...

Life goes back to 'almost' normal.

Mum was discharged on Sunday evening, she is resting at home now.

Excerpts of my FB updates:
Update 22 Aug, evening
Better, even though her foot is still swelling. She managed to shower on her own in the morning. She is more cheered up, shared with her on some friends' latest FB photos and showed her how to use a phone's touch screen.
Another xray done on her lower back, I'm still waiting to see the doc.

Update 23 Aug, evening
Foot is still swollen, but looks better. She was given antibiotics drips since yesterday.
Started to eat solid foods. Showered on her own for 2nd consecutive day.
I have no chance to speak to the doctors today, will be there tomorrow to get latest findings.

Update 24 Aug, morning
Mum's almost ready to be discharged (maybe tomorrow). Will undergo final blood test later today.
Spoken to the gastro specialist, whom had advised for surgery of gall bladder removal. She will be referred to the surgeon for follow up after this.

Update 25 Aug, morning
Latest blood test shows amylase level is now within normal range at 53 (from 1984 on Day 1).
Swelling at foot has subsided.
Doc says has to observe for a while more before releasing her as she complains of minor abdominal pain.
She feels better after I took her down to the small garden for a walk before lunch. The place was full of the fragrance of jasmines.

Update 25 Aug, evening
Finally done with settling her discharge documents, paid the bills and mum is on the way home with my brother at 5pm.
I was given a long list of follow up appointments with different doctors - she has to see the gastro specialist, the surgeon, the orthopedic and her usual psychiatrist. So life is back to 'almost' normal for now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Cute Pancreas It Is NOT

Mum complained of progressively severe abdominal pain last Sat which began in the morning, and finally was sent to the Emergency Ward in the evening around 7pm.

The pain was diagnosed as acute pancreatitis, she was taken in for abdomen xray but no stones spotted. Gall bladder stones that get stuck in one of the ducts could be a reason of the inflammation in the pancreas.

Blood test result out at around 3am and showed her amylase level was 1984, normal range <100 . Surgeon was called in but he only arrived an hour later.

After the surgeon's examination, no surgery was needed so she was referred to the gastro clinic. Another hour went by. The gastro specialist came to see her at about 5am and confirmed the early diagnosis. It was confirmed that she had to be admitted (don't ask me why, but this is the painful process of getting into a government hospital).

I finished the registration procedures by 6am but there was no bed available in the ward. I was exhausted by then, didn't sleep all night and all. Finally waited till 7am and told the nurse I just need to go home to take a short rest and will be back to the hospital. I reached home and took a nap, and got back to the hospital by 11am.

Mum told me they finally transferred from the emergency to the medical ward at about 8am. She was taken to do ultrasound by noon and second blood test conducted. Ultrasound results confirmed no stones blocking the ducts (doc says it is a good thing). Pancreas was still inflammed as white blood cells count went up. I left the hospital at about 7pm, full blood test results not out yet.

Mum was put on a full fast and she was on drips.

The following updates are per what I posted to my church group on FB:
Update, 19 Aug morning
She looks stronger and has been allowed to drink plain water.
Amalyse level down to 916 and no reported fever.

Update 19 Aug, evening
Improved condition, she had just been transferred to normal ward. Amylase level down to 366, white blood cells count still increasing.

Update 20 Aug, morning
Improving, she's allowed on liquids already. Lesser abdominal pain.

Update 20 Aug, evening
She looks more energetic, and she could bathe on her own now. Blood test results are late today.
Am thankful for an understanding boss, I had been getting to work late at 10+ and leaving early at 4+. I dunno what some people at work think of me, but I am trying my best to keep my work up to par; working extra hard during the few short hours.
Am also thankful for friends who are  constantly encouraging me - not just with their calls, messages but also through action. They visited my mum and helped me took care of her in those hours I can't be there and even bought me dinner, knowing that I will be there in the evening.

Update 21 Aug, morning
Mixed news.
She's better in the pancreas dept, allowed on soft solids, stopping drips.
Her left foot is painful since yday and this morning swollen. Xray taken, I didn't manage to stay for results.

Update 21 Aug, evening
Mum's leg swelling has not gone down, pending blood test. Xray showed swelling not due to joint. Doc's preliminary diagnosis is skin inflammation. She's not able to stand due to the pain.
No more abdominal pain.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Girls on Cruise

Long overdue post of the cruise holiday I took with mom almost 2 months ago.
Note: Could be photo-intensive post. There would have been more if I had had my camera with me. 

It was the first time both of us go on a cruise. Mom had mentioned to me a couple of times before that she heard it is a lot of fun going on one. As much as I wasn't convinced, I figured it could be a great holiday choice for her - as she is not able to walk for long distance, she does not really enjoy relaxing by the beach, she detests shopping (except for groceries perhaps, but still she can't walk for long before complaining of leg pain).

I got a pretty good deal, a buy-one-free-one package so it was about MYR2600 for the two of us with our choice of the Ocean View Stateroom. The package also comes with return coach transfer between KL and Penang, which is a plus point. I do not mind driving to Penang, but would prefer to have at least another capable driver. The journey on the road takes about 6 hours one way.

So off we go...
On the coach, heading to Penang
Crossing the Penang Bridge

Here we go
Our room

Just relaxing

Being on-board the ship, we didn't do much besides eating, sleeping, chilling at the pool deck, watching shows at night... we practically did nothing except to just relax. I even had time to catch up on my reading.

Just enjoying the breeze on the pool deck
The acrobatic show on the 2nd night

We did pretty well on the first day - but when we awoke the next day, we started to feel a little seasick. Thinking it was not serious, we just put medical plaster on our belly buttons. I learned this trick whilst on a trip to Jogjakarta some years ago, shared by our local guide which had helped my friends curb their motion sickness. My mom claimed she had heard of it too. We did just that but few hours later we still felt uneasy. We had no choice but to take the anti-motion sickness tablets. Thankfully I managed to get it at the eleventh hour.

Spotted in Phuket

Krabi town centre - iconic traffic lights 

Enjoying our seafood tomyam at one of the local restaurants in Krabi

We got off the ship on the 2nd and 3rd day at Phuket and Krabi. As I have said, mom don't do beaches or related water activities, so I have planned for us to go to town these two days, to just take our own sweet time to check out the places. Managed to sneak in a superb and relaxing (yes! this word again!) Thai massage session in Patong town, Phuket. In Krabi town, we found the local morning/wet market and bought lots of fruits from there. Prices were reasonable and the fruits fresh. We had mangosteens, lychees, rambutans and pomelo! We had a feast.

Disembarked, leaving the jetty on the coach - and it rained for the first time during our trip

Overall it was a good trip, spent quality time with mom. I know I may not have spent much time with her, except for those grocery shopping weekends. I am I have this chance to travel with her, to bring her to see the world outside her own little space. I know how hard her childhood had been (she was born in the midst of World War 2), how she had  and I told her before I will give her a better life the best I can.

Oh, with the cruise package, we actually got a free 5D-4N trip to Hangzhou too! We just have to buy our flight tickets, wonderful as Hangzhou is a place I had wanted to visit in China. As the Chinese says, "Paradise above, Suzhou-Hangzhou below 上有天堂,下有蘇杭". Am keeping an eye on cheap airfare.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meet Tom

First we had Tim.

Now we have Tom (the Googly Eyed Grabber)...

Who do you think my next new friend will be?

For the benefit of my non-Malaysian readers - these toys inspired by the recently screened (and screening still) animation "Despicable Me 2" were given free when one purchases a set of McDonalds kid's meal (Happy Meal). The toys are released in batches and they sold like hot bananas cakes!

So overwhelming were the fans/collectors that the toys sold out before end of the first day of the batch launch. So many hearts were broken, so many souls were disappointed - Happy Meals had become Sad Meals boo hoo hoo.

Congrats to those who managed to grab one or two or three (how can you get them so fast and how to eat so many Happy Meals???). To those who missed out, well...
Keep calm. It's only a plastic toy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Our days are numbered

Some things came up, a bit out of the blue and I have somehow be thrown off my track. Hence, the promised-but-delayed post on my recent trip, which has somehow become not so 'recent'!

Anyway, as I was still stuck in the office today, finishing some work, the view outside got my attention ...

After I the took photo above, I continued with my work and the next moment when I looked out the window again, the nice hues of the twilight moment were gone, the sun has set. While on the drive home, I was pondering about life, about my life... you know how these things go. You are going through the routines of life and suddenly you are 'inspired' to think about these things.

This reminds me how our days are numbered; how life could be so short that when we are too busy rushing about we do not stop often enough to smell the flowers (or take nice photos of the beautiful sky!). I am feeling more lifted now that I have thought it through, it's like getting a new lease of life. Yup, the problems are still there, the complications are still apparent, the solutions not yet in sight but life's much more than that, surely. Life is about being, about making it all worthwhile.

Ending this post with these verses from Psalms (I have not been a disciplined Bible reader but these verses will be what I am going to meditate on for the next few days at least):
As I stood there in silence — not even speaking of good things — the turmoil within me grew worse…We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We make our pile, and then we leave it.
Psalms 39: 2,6
P/s: Though the tone of this post sounds a little downbeat, but I am actually feeling most liberated.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tim Giggling

Got me a new friend - Tim Giggling. Got him today to cheer myself.

Been a very trying week at work. The last few days, I can't count the times that I almost lost it and thisclose to give up; but I know I gotta grit my teeth and carry on.

Better times will come. Friday's almost here. Hopefully I will get the time to write that now-overdue post of my trip. Stay tuned and I hope your week was better, if not, it will be.


Friday, June 28, 2013


Life's bittersweetness is like this glass of 4-layer tea, one's incomplete without the other, ccomplementing one another.  To enjoy my rainbow, I need to experience the rain, and even perhaps go through a storm like the stirring of the drink. It will be a sweet ending nevertheless, once I get over the bitterness. And I will be okay.

Just came back from the first step of settling the big task I mentioned about yesterday - spent about half an hour crying my heart out and chatting with bestie, took a nice long shower, and here I am. I feel better now. I know the road ahead may not be all smooth and straight, but I am prepared - anywhere worth going is worth the journey. And I know I am heading to the right direction. A leap over the hurdle, a skip to escape the mud, a climb up the tough slope... soon I will be there, as long as I don't give up and I won't.

To cheer myself up, went for a hair cut this morning.
Before - my last haircut was half a year ago
After - with shorter bangs and more layered sides & back. Sorry if I scared you with those dark eyed circles, didn't sleep too well last night.
The stylist suggested that I do a setting perm - but I guess I will only do that later. May need some more hair-venly therapy later, if the going gets tough or otherwise to celebrate. Hmmm...maybe I'd just go with the idea to give myself a birthday present 3 months down the road :)

Will be back soon to share about my recent trip, stay tuned!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I am back

I am back and clear skies followed :)

The haze seems to have cleared for now, it was bad earlier in the week, so much so schools were called off - if not mistaken, worst in 16 years! Am glad that the timing of my trip was just right on dot - the places I was in were hot and sunny, haze-free.

More to come later about my recent getaway.

Right now, I have to concentrate and pick up where I left off before I went away.

A great task coming up tomorrow (one of my resolutions this year - didn't accomplish it last year, so it was postponed to this year). In fact, it had been postponed for almost 5 years now! I am a procrastinator, I admit; but this task I want to do take all of my guts and courage. It's not easy, not difficult, just overwhelmingly emotion straining.

My earlier FB status summed it all:

Please if you pray, pray with me that it will work out the best way. If you don't, cross all your fingers and toes and whatever-you-can-cross for me. Thanks much.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Well...almost. Gotta run out and get some anti-motion sickness meds...just in case.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I can't see clearly now

The haze season is back. With a vengeance. Thankfully the last two days were quite breezy, so the air index in Klang Valley improved compared to over the last weekend. Johore and our southern neighbour, Singapore are having it much worst.

To those who may not know, it has been years now - that at this time of the year, due to the direction of the wind - smoke from forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia, will cause air pollution to hit unhealthy levels in several places on the Malaysian peninsula.

Though it is less hazy these few days, I can feel the dryness in my throat and my eyes feel so dry (plus the fact of I am working extra hard staring at my work PC for at least 10 hours a day, due to overwhelming work load and also because I will be away soon).

I have got a cute mask which I am definitely gonna use if I am outdoor. Cute, no? My friend got it for us during our trip to Bali some years ago as we were supposed to visit a volcanic area. The masks help to filter out the terrible sulphuric odour.
I have got the pink one!
Hmm...maybe I should it match it with a nice eye mask

Anyway, am really feeling kinda stressed out with things at work. That and also slightly demotivated over some Management's decision. Oh, well... can't exactly 'take-it-or-leave-it' so gotta live with it.

My day was brightened by a simple note from fellow colleague/friend. Thank God for placing people like these around me.
Took a photo, edited it and sent it back to her
Also 'helping' myself destress by thinking up of creative out-of-office auto replies, sent it to someone who commented "Nice one, Cheryl. But you are gonna get it from your boss when you are back, so don't try it!"

The auto reply I had in mind was "Nope, I am not around. Yes, I am having FUN!!! while you are sending me this work email. Boo!"

So, can't do that and back to the same old boring non-creative polite auto reply: I am on leave and will be back XXXXXX. Your email will not be auto-forwarded. Meanwhile, should your matter requires immediate attention, please contact: XXXXXX. Have a nice day."

Totally random blog post...I know. Thanks for reading to the end.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fast & Furious

Nope, I have not seen the movie. The current situation at work now is just that - fast & furious. Work is piling, never ending ad-hoc tasks. Deadlines are continuously being brought forward.

Am just now looking forward to the coming weekend. Will be my first time to go on a cruise. Will be embarking in Penang, pit-stops at Phuket & Krabi. I have been to Phuket once, and I loved the place. Hmm, definitely on must-do list are food hunting! It's been some years but the taste of these are so memorable!
Waffles! Pic from my last trip there 5 years ago. In pic are two of my travel buddies.
Also, of late, I have discovered some other yummy Thai food which I hope to reminisce.
Super sweet mini pineapple, slightly bigger than my fist.

Luk Chup - colourful Thai dessert with mung bean paste as filling.
It will be my first trip to Krabi though. Perhaps I won't do much but just to chill at the beach. Not sure what to expect yet, but I am sure it will be both an adventure, and a memorable trip.

Now's the time to start the countdown. Sunblock - check, hat - check, comfy shoes - check, sexy swimwear - check, wait, uncheck! I am travelling with mom, oops. Lol.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Weekend Planner

Alright, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. Time flies, the cliche, but so true. School holiday's coming to an end, 2 more days to go.

If you have no inkling on what to do - bring your kids and the kid in you to the malls around town (I personally think we need to get back to nature more, but the weather in Klang Valley these days is still kinda hot, so I'd rather stay indoors).

You and your kids are spoiled with choices, you can choose to meet:
1) The Minions at Pavilion (Personal favourite)

2) The Man of Steel a.k.a. Superman at Mid Valley

3) The Monster Inc gang at Sunway Pyramid

4) Barbie at the Curve

Any more? Which do you like best?

Make full use of the weekend ahead!