Why, oh why?


bostonmarathon
[live.boston.com]

I awoke to the hubs telling me that an explosion has occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

I was shellshocked. That oh-so-familiar area, that path that leads to Copley library, now smeared with bloodstain.

As I read the newsfeed and twitter updates, my emotions turned to that of anger.

The world is already in such a messy state. To the one(s) who caused this: Why, oh why, do you add more chaos to it? Have you no regard for life?

What could have been a joyous occasion for both marathoners and spectators has turned out to be a tragedy.

Folks in Beantown, stay safe. Elsewhere in the world, many are praying.

prayforboston[NewsBusters.org]

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3 more days

We were treated to lunch by J at Bon Chon. The last Saturday, we had wanted to visit this eatery but it was already full when we got there and had to wait for 40 minutes for a table. This time round, we decided that lunch would be less crowded and indeed it is!

Bon Chon didn’t disappoint us. We had their famous chicken in both soy garlic and hot sauce, crispy salmon salad and spicy pork bibimbap and all these for about US$30. Decent prices.

Bon Chon
123 Brighton Ave
(between Linden St & Harvard Ave)
Boston, MA 02134

In the evening before we headed for the Christmas must-do in Boston, we had Japanese at Toro Japanese and Korean Grill. We wouldn’t have gone for it if not for the fact that I had purchased some vouchers from restaurant.com and had chosen this restaurant to redeem one of the vouchers. I must remind myself that I shouldn’t go for such offers especially when there is a catch – you need to spend a certain amount before you can use the discount coupon. It didn’t help us save in the end. =( Food was average. Sashimi wasn’t excellent. Bleh.

Toro Sushi and Grill
1245 Commonwealth Ave
Allston, MA 02134

And it’s off to Boston Ballet Company‘s Nutcracker next @ the Boston Opera House!! Love the grand interior design. This completes our holiday season in Boston. =p

TGIF

9 Dec is one of the most memorable moments in 2011. Needless to say, this day was spent with many precious friends and of course, the hubs.

The morning was spent transporting the beloved standmixer and some other baking and kitchen stuff to VBH. We have decided that the good folks at VBH would be the best new owners for the standmixer and decided to let it go. Packing it into the box, there was no doubt a tinge of sadness that swept over me. After all, it is my first standmixer and one which the hubs so readily bought for me upon our first few months into Boston to encourage me to pursue my interest. Bidding goodbye to this faithful friend is difficult but I’m sure it will serve greater purposes in future.

Having been in Boston for over a year and this day, we finally made our way to the Symphony Hall to catch Boston Pops in action. The tickets were gifts from our small group in PSIF and sweet A wanted to help me fulfill one of my 30 to-do items and it was completed this day! The 2-hour performance was better than expected and the hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Evening. It was our last session with our beloved small group. Looking back, we have had very good memories with them. Somehow, this group has an unexplainable attraction and I believe it has to come from the good Lord. Love and a constant desire to know God. That’s what it is. And this day, dear Nat celebrated my birthday by teaching me how to play the ukelele and bought a cheesecake for me! I’m soooo touched!

Blessed =)

Farewell party with PSIF small group

It’s never easy to say goodbye especially to friends whom you have come to love so dearly. This group of friends has supported us throughout our time in Boston and we have shared much joy together. A, the party planner, has designed this English afternoon tea party with a White Elephant Gift Exchange activity and it was so much fun! A, if you are reading this, I just want to say a big thank-you to you!

English Afternoon Tea. A theme thought of by A who had recently visited UK for her honeymoon.

This picture has all my favourite people in it. They are the Changs whose company we really enjoyed (they are really funny people), the Yims who is a dynamic couple and are a blessing to so many and QT whom we have got to know these past few months and is really a gem (it’s a pity we do not have the opportunity to know her more).

This couple has been of absolute help to us. Countless help.

And a box of handmade chocolates from L.A.Burdick from A. I ❤ you so much and we really had fun during the activity. I’m so going to conduct this activity in any future party back home!

And thanks to these good fellas, K and I would be attending a symphony soon! Yay!

This past week…

…has been busy but meaningful.

Monday. Met with up with Y to have lunch and hear her share about her new-found faith. Had a good time of catching up. Wonderful.

Tuesday, we held a surprise birthday party for A, one that was initiated by her hubs. The preparation work was quite a bit, having to teach and film him baking and in the end, had to bake the cake for him as he was held up by his work and then rushed to complete the video. But I guess it’s all worth it since our friend was really blessed by the surprise. As long as she’s happy… =)

Wednesday, had the Taiwanese gals over to learn how to bake macarons. Again, there’s some hiccups but guess we more or less realised what caused the ‘imperfections’ in the macarons. Fun time with them and learnt some new things from our nurse friend, C.

Thursday. Thanksgiving. J invited us to her place for dinner and what a wonderful time we had. Personally, I had a good chat with her MIL who misses home so much. I don’t know why I can connect with her. Maybe she’s very much like my own mom and I do miss her too. Thankful to make new friends and be amused by little Arata.

Friday. Black Friday. Time to do some shopping! The hubs and I went downtown to purchase some clothes and we were tired after the few hours of shopping. In the evening, it’s dinner at our wonderful friend’s place and fellowship with brothers and sisters! I like!

Saturday. N came over to do her paper and with her staying with us the whole day, it gave us the urge to do our work as well. No lazing around. Time well-spent. Baked French Apple Tart again. And this time round, all the apples were used up! Yay!

Sunday. God is glorified through LC’s testimony during her baptism. What a transformation, in just a few months! God is indeed real and very much alive! It’s a wonderful privilege to witness her baptism, together with all the other precious brothers and sisters.

Another busy week ahead. Breathe in..breathe out!

Monday’s not so blue

Finally, the day has arrived – presentation on Singapore Education System at BC. For months, a few good men from our org have been planning and communicating with one another on this. The mix of undergrads and grad students was a good one since most of us have been in HQ before and could lend different perspectives when we prepared for the presentation slides.

Yesterday, it was at BC and a few weeks later, Harvard.

KJ was our representative and though only a few turned up, we were glad that at least some were interested in our ed system.

Okay. Actually the highlight was not the presentation. Celebrating KJ’s belated birthday at FuGaKyu Japanese Cuisine was. Okay, to be precise, it was the food that got our full attention that evening. The sashimi, tempura …were delish! Pity that the ramen was a disappointment. Ippudo’s still the best!

The dinner was most enjoyable because of one joker in our midst. That one, is very powerful! =)

Sizzling in the kitchen

Yesterday was the last time we help to prepare food for the 100 people in the fellowship. It wasn’t easy doing that, having to purchase the ingredients a day before, marinate the meat (depending on what you were planning to cook) and then the actual cooking.

But it was all a lot of fun, and a lot of perspiration and stress. Given about 2.5 hours to do everything, it’s a race against time for us amateurs. At the end of it, everyone enjoyed it and was satisfied. Oh! The joy of cooking!

Have decided to document the last session with pics. For memory’s sake.

The pots and pans are super big and heavy. You need muscles in the kitchen and being tall has its advantage.

  
We had our fill first before getting started. The fried carrot cake at the Vietnamese Sandwich store reminded me of home and HK.

SL wanted to make 宫保鸡丁. What a lot of chicken to be diced.

  
Getting down to work. Testing knife skills.

The cooks started to cook while the rest continued to prepare the ingredients.

Hard at work @ 11.50am.

  
The kitchen is a busy place especially when the time draws near for lunch.

The fruits of our labour. Serving time. Filling hungry mouths.

More pics here.

TEDxBoston Food Sleuth Adventures

I was fortunate to participate in TEDxBoston Food Sleuth Adventures yesterday. The series of adventures are a great way to interact not only with revolutionary hosts but also with members of the TEDxBoston community.

Our host for this adventure was Clover and if you know the name, it had everything to do with food, glorious, food in the company of like-minded people.

A few days before the actual event, we were given a list of ingredients to choose to buy. The ingredients should be obtained as close to their places of origin as possible. No supermarket, no grocery stores. The aim of the activity was to get the participants to investigate and learn about the ingredients by asking questions, sample fare just after picking to see if it tastes different (arugula and mesclun do!), and document the experience with photos , videos, notes, sketches, poetry, anything that inspires us.

For fresh produce, we have to go to the farms, orchards and urban garden or even at your own backyard (for herbs)! Other places include artisan creamery and for spices, the closest we can get to the original source would be the merchants themselves.

I chose to buy Allspice at Christina’s Spice at Inman Square since I wouldn’t be able to drive all the way to a farm, orchard or creamery. But what a discovery I made at Christina’s! There are so many different types of spices in the shop, many of which I do not know! Apart from spices, they also sell different kinds of tea leaves and sauces and extracts. If you can’t find a particular spice in the supermarket, the odds are they will have it here. Fascinating place and what’s worth sharing is that the prices are cheaper!

  

 

So, even though I was there to buy one type of spice, I stayed there for a while, marveling at the goods and came out with more than Allspice. Thankfully, the hubs was equally fascinated and enjoyed the experience.

The adventure continued yesterday at Cloverflagship restaurant at Harvard Square. It was a time of mingling with the participants and food sourcing superstars like Jessie Banhazi of Green City Growers fame and Amy Traverso, Senior Lifestyle editor, Yankee magazine and Author of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook and to hear Bettina’s passion around food. We also got a chance to work in the kitchen and learned from the chef himself! What a wonderful evening of learning about food from one another!

  

Thank you, TEDxBoston for an amazing adventure!

Sunday

I find it strange to see snow on green. But it’s a refreshing sight as we opened the main door after the previous night’s snowstorm which dumped up to 30 inches of heavy wet snow in parts of the state and our area, a few inches.

White Witch cast a spell in the land of Narnia! Thankfully, it was soon broken.

On a quiet Sunday morning.

Farewell to our friend, James.

Shabu Shabu with a group of special and close friends.

Thank you Lord for all these.

The wedding

Since coming here, I have missed at least 3 of my friends’ wedding. Before I was married, I disliked attending weddings, finding it a waste of my time. But since I got united with da man, it has a whole new meaning for me and missing my friends’ weddings saddened me (see how marriage can change a person!).

All was not lost as we got to witness R and A’s wedding yesterday. It was beautiful, the bride no doubt, but the whole ceremony gave God the due credit and that’s splendid.

We may have only known R and A for about a year but they have indeed made an impact on our lives through their dedication to the Lord and His people. A, especially, like what her college friend said to us during the reception, is hard not to like and indeed, we love this wonderful woman to bits. As she entered the sanctuary all dazzling in white and marched down the aisle to Canon in D, I found myself overwhelmed by emotions. Tears just welled up. And I’m not the only one. I heard Janet sniffing and her eyes watery. A, you have such magical powers over us!

The wedding reception at Harvard Club was with so much fun, especially the dancing part. The atmosphere lightened as we enjoyed one another’s company. The couple gave the first dance (and boy, did they dance well!) and the older folks joined in with such enthusiasm and energy! How could you not want to participate? It was an awesome sight! Yesterday was just beautiful with wonderful people and an amazing God.

Blessed marriage, R and A. And…the journey has just begun. Smile!

Food trucks in Boston

We used to have food carts back home. I remember when I was still very very young, our family would go to the streets lined with food carts after my father called it a day at the shophouse. These days, we see the cleaner version at Chinatown but it just isn’t the same. The atmosphere is just different. Sometimes things need to be kept the way they were. Dirty, unhygienic? I consumed the food when I was a kiddo and nothing happened? Oh well, those were the days.

Naturally, I was drawn to food trucks in Boston. Not that I always frequent them but the concept gives me a nice feeling and brings back memories.

{via}

SG buzz @ Boston

Joy informed us that there was a talk cum dinner organised by the Overseas Singaporean Unit and we thought we should check it out since the invited guest was Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost (whose blog I like reading) and free Singaporean food! While we were exhausted from the apple-picking trip, we thought we should just press on.

Thankfully we did. Dr Tay gave a superb and appetite-whetting sharing on the history of our hawker food. Boy, we seriously felt that it was a terrific session, both informational and fun. He was both factual and humourous at the same time and at the end of his sharing, we felt really proud of being a Singaporean, with reference to our local food. Oh of course, I felt that I’m back home again, with all my fellowmen and uniquely Singapore Standard English floating in the air.


I think there indeed might come a day when some of our local food will face ‘extinction’ since the next generation of locals would not aspire to learn the trade from their parents, preferring more professional kind of work like bankers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Sure we could employ foreign workers to do the job but something is lost by doing so, I feel. 

I do feel a lot about food, especially after a year of learning to cook and bake in my own kitchen. It’s highly educational and fascinating and food forms a great part of our culture. Having said that, I really ought to continue to learn the craft from my mama and koko!

By the way, I think his book is worth buying if you want to know the history of our local food.

 

The {mis}adventures of apple picking

If you asked me to choose between visiting farms and theme parks, my answer would undoubtedly be the former. As an urbanite who grew up with all things man-made, I would much prefer to be with nature and learning how they come about. So when Ken bough the tickets for us to go for apple picking, I was thrilled!

The trip was organised by BC Graduate Student Association and cost $15/pax which includes 10 lb. apple picking bag, haywagon ride, hedge maze, a caramel apple, a cider donut and a 16 oz bottle of cider. Not a bad deal since the 45 min of transport is included too. Oh, something worth mentioning – we took the yellow school bus to Honey Pot Hill Orchards! All of us (BC students) were thrilled. Back to the past!

The weather was terrific for adventures such as this and everyone was in high spirits. Let’s go pick apples!

First stop is to refuel (though we had done nothing much in the morning!). Cider donuts and caramel apples! We went with Lana, a Malaysian and she is such a fun person to be with!

Then we went on to get ourselves lost in the hedge maze. The kids (human GPS) gave us some hint to get to our destination but some purposely gave us wrong directions! =p

I didn’t know there are so many different types of apples until today and when I googled it, I was amazed! MANY types! Some of those available in the orchards are Cortland, Spencer, Empire and Mcintosh, to name a few. Apparently, there is a way to pick apples.

  

  
The fruits of your labour is to eat the fruits that you picked.

Twin apples!

Ken, as usual, gets all excited when he talks about education.

And the clumsy Lynn has to get into trouble. A splinter got into her palm as she tried to ascend the ladder to pick more delicious-looking apples. Oops! Ken looked on in pain. But it’s my palm that’s hurt!

  
But apple picking has to go on!

       
Then we had a rest to enjoy the beautiful foliage and claim our bottles of cider!

Yummy drinks!

Our last activity would be to take the hayride. Of all things, I had to drop my Lumix camera into the muddy water. Sigh! Thankfully, it still works. =)

Oh! I really love apple-picking. No wonder the Americans themselves love it too and the locals who went with us were reminiscing their apple-picking days! Thank you, dear hubs for initiating this activity! I ❤ it very much!

Busy but happy Friday

Love it when friends come over for a meal or to cook together!

It’s Yumi’s first attempt at macarons. Deep in me I was afraid of what the weather can do to the end result of the macarons. Remember, my previous failed attempt was on a humid rainy day too?

And the shells did crack! I’m really not sure if it’s the macaronage or the weather. But it’s too much of a coincidence to ignore the possibility that the humidity might play a part. Oh well. We’ll try again. It’s a lot of fun baking with Yumi though.

Some pics.

They looked good after being piped but you only know the results when you take them out from the oven.

The salted caramel is also difficult to handle. Have to wait a long time before it cools and hardens slightly.

After the baking of macarons came second round – cooking bak chor mee! This time, it’s with the 2 gals from BC. They wanted to learn how to make the dish and we had fun too!

  
Fun with the gals

Happy faces! Yay!

=)

 

Boston Half Marathon 2011

It will be our last race in Boston.

The weather’s great, not too cold, the shuttling to the race site was smooth and the runners encouraging.

Ken and I ran at a good pace for the first half of the distance until his muscles started to tighten and eventually cramped up. He has hit the wall. It got so bad that he couldn’t run well anymore.

It was frustrating. In the beginning, the run was great. I really thought with that pace, we could make it back in good timing. However, when you hit the wall and couldn’t get rid of the lactic acid, that’s basically it. It’s even worse that that there was no deep heat or anyone who could do some massage at the medical post.

I believe Ken was equally frustrated since he’s the one experiencing it.

* So I tried looking for any tube of deep heat that have been discarded by runners. With my eyes fixed on the ground, I saw a familiar bottle. Ah! That’s hope to ease the cramp! So I scooped out whatever was left in the bottle and applied it on Ken’s thighs and massaging them at the same time. I really thought it was deep heat ( apparently, I was thinking right). It was after the race that I realised the bottle which I have mistaken for deep heat was actually Vaseline lubricant! My goodness! What was I thinking??!! 

But we crossed the finish line still, as a couple and that’s more important. His legs got so cramped up that in the end, he had to be wheeled into the medical area. Whoah!

All was well in the end! Yay!

A burrito to replenish all that’s lost. =)

=)

I had long wanted to visit Boston Common Coffee and Co. for a while now as I’m captivated by the facade of the coffee joint.

However, I was sorely disappointed when we stepped in. The interior decor was uncoordinated, distasteful to a certain extent. Since we were already inside, we might as well just bummed there as planned. Thankfully, the drinks are affordable and the place not too noisy for us to do some reading.

And then it’s off to Mike’s Pastry – Italian pastries. We had often seen people with the store’s boxes in their hands and wondered if its baked goods are really fabulous. So we decided to try and bought the cannoli.

Yay! I’ve got a box in my hands too!

Had a picnic with Juliet, her son, her MIL and KJ. Half the time, Juliet was distracted by the son who was lured by the squirrels at the Common. The kid was just so energetic. Fortunately for her, her MIL came to take care of the little one during her stay here. Otherwise, I would think it is immensely challenging to study and have to take care of the young kid at the same time!

And then we ran into demonstration ‘Occupy Boston‘. Interesting.

WA @ PSS: On Teaching Letter Writing & reading aloud

Observation at Ms May’s class ( 29 Sept 2011)

1. Morning meeting. Eva talked about today’s date and weather.

“Today is …… Yesterday was….” Teaching the concept of ‘is’ and ‘was’. Have a student use a pair of binoculars to look out for the weather and report back.

2. Shelby introduced a book called Tom Thumb. Asked students where they think the story originated – which continent –> geography, social studies. The story is one of fiction and folktale which Shelby got the class to recite ‘F, Fiction, Folktake, Fake’.

3. During read-aloud, the following was observed: Teacher asked questions to check for understanding, meaning of words, predictions.

4. After reading, teacher asked questions – (1) Did you predict correctly? (2) Explain what your prediction is.

a. Affirm students’ retelling and also explain what retelling is.

b. When student couldn’t answer, he could ‘phone’ a friend –> getting a friend to answer.

c. Have pupils picture themselves in the position of the characters.”How do you like it?”

d. Introduce new word – Commotion. Use body language to show it. Encourage students to use the word in class. Link the word back to the story.

Then the lesson proceeded to Phonics. The following video is on teaching letter writing by Eva.

Sunday, to God be all glory.

When you humble yourself and work in tandem with God, you’ll be amazed by the things He does.

When I was younger, I had lots of fear, mostly about abilities. Since I’m not that smart or eloquent, I would prepare excessively which caused me much stress. Gradually, I learnt to let go and let God. Since the apostle Paul wrote that God’s strength is made in our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9), I’ve learnt that it’s better to recognise my weakness, not fret about it, give it my best shot and leave the rest to Him. When we totally submit ourselves to Him, the results are always amazing and He always exceeds expectations.

It’s silly to depend on our own strength to work things out in the kingdom of God. Since God has so much resources for us to tap on, why not use them?

A few things unfold before me:

1) At the table were men and women of much intellect and talents, but they also realised that the achievements and accolades paled in comparison with the glory and knowledge of God.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

2) I saw God using every one of us, whatever gifts and talents that He has endowed upon us to build up one another and to share the wonderful news. This night, I almost felt that we know what our gifts are and use them at the right timing.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)

3) Every one of us who has a relationship with the Lord God has a story to tell. It’s personal and individualised because God knows how to reach out to our innermost fears and concerns in His own way and time. We have a story to tell.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… (1 Peter 3: 15)

4) I saw brothers and sisters united in one spirit and Christ is glorified that night. The love of God is so evident in everyone.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 (NLT)

5) Amongst all other pleasures in life that God has granted, one of the greatest is to see others come to know Him and enter into a personal relationship with Him. That, is most rewarding.

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7

I saw God working mightily in every one of us; we were all in sync with the Spirit. It’s really a beautiful night and one that was filled with so much fun and laughter! You are awesome, God and really great to work with. Great teamwork!

A’s Bridal Shower

When Janet asked me a week ago if I wanted to help plan A’s bridal shower with her, my answer was an unwavering YES, why not? A is a very wonderful lady who cares so much about the people around her. In fact, she was the one who made Ken and I, amongst others, feel so much at home when we first attended PSIF. It’s indeed a privilege to be able to throw a bridal shower for her.

Thankfully, she agreed to having one. We were afraid that she would decline it since she didn’t want to bother us and that her mum was admitted to the hospital the week before. All turned out well, in the end and so the shower must go on!

Of the invitees, 10 responded which is a terrific number for an intimate and cozy shower. J and I went down to the store to buy gifts for her, simple and useful ones that she could use in the kitchen. Since she has taken an interest in cooking, I suggested buying aprons and stuff for her (Lynn always goes for practicality). Janet and GT set up VB house and I was pleasantly surprised by the change in decor. Beautiful! And what’s more surprising was the fact that most of us were clad in shades of red even though we didn’t call for it! Great minds think alike!

I thought we had a wonderful 2-hour shower. A shared her journey with R and she received some advice from the married folks. Friends had a wonderful time catching up with one another and with A. I’m glad that the people were blessed by the session and at the end of the prayer, A’s sister teared, “So touching!”

Ah…thank you God. May you continue to bless A and R in their marriage.

Friday, I love you.

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35.

I thought we experienced love for one another on that day. Love not from our own means but from the Almighty. That we came together to help a brother who was scheduled for surgery, that we came together to bless this family with our time and talent. I saw God’s love exhibited, in every one who was present that afternoon. I saw the support from the family of God, sensed the encouragement from every one around the table. As we shared our life experiences in the Lord, we knew He was exalted that night.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. ~ Psalm 115:1

=)

Saturday. I’m feeling accomplished.

Organised A’s bridal shower in the morning and I certainly hope she enjoyed it.

Baked mint and chocolate macarons and they have feet! Yay! It must have been the macaronage.

Cut da man’s hair and I’m not unabashed to say that my skills have improved! Alas, I have no ambition to be a barber. I hope this is the last time I’m cutting his hair. He could have his haircut back in sunny S’pore in future!

Prepared my version of pad thai for dinner. Thank you Nat for teaching me how to cook it! The more authentic one’s here.

Thank you Lord for the strength to go through this day and week. It has been a really busy but terrific week. I’m glad it’s coming to an end though. I need rest, proper rest.

Another busy weekend

It’s the end of a busy weekend and another exciting week is coming. Have been working on preparing food for the fellowship yesterday and today and I reeked of the smoke from the cooking. Frying the Taiwanese fire chicken bits for 2 hours is no joke. Thankfully we are blessed with an excellent Taiwanese + S’porean team and people were just so willing to help clean up too. Blessed.

Massaging the chicken

Tired but most importantly, we had fun!

The chef and his family recipe for the fire chicken bits

After service, had a wonderful dinner with friends, both new and old. It was really a blessing to be with them.

Thank you dear Lord for nudging us to invest our time in people.

=)

We’ve got our departure date confirmed! Yay! 2 3/4 months to go before I head home!

My attachment to PSS has been awesome and I relearn and make new discoveries daily. Theories that I’ve learnt in NIE came alive in the classrooms and the students are all so excited and engaged. This is heavenly!

So I’ve been trying to read up again and this excites me. Now I can comprehend what has been as head knowledge. How enlightening!

Wonderful teaching resources at the library @ Lynch School of Education.

The colours of the leaves have changed. Autumn’s here!

Sticky buns…preparation.

3 hours later.

Yummy!

Busy weekend

I’m welcoming Fridays with much enthusiasm. After a few days at the school, the body was so tired and needed a break. It’s the momentum, I guess. Once my body adjusts, things will be better. The hubs didn’t have it easier too since he woke up the same time as me.

So on Friday, it’s the opening screening for ‘I don’t know how she does it’. I had wanted to watch this movie since a few months back. I got hold of the book but didn’t like the writings. Watching it on film with Sarah Jessica Parker as the lead would be better. The hubs and I had brekky at Thinking Cup before proceeding to the theatre. Loving the affordable coffee and the ambience!

The film reminded me of mom. It has a predictable storyline and as you would have known, the lead character, a working mom, chose to spend more time with the family after the realisation that she has neglected them (though she tried her best to be there for them) and that she had broken a few promises made to the children due to work (a terrible thing to do!).

It’s not easy being a working mom. These moms face the guilt of not being there for the children, the unnecessary remarks by some SAHM and the challenge of juggling between work and family which is absolutely a tough balancing act. It is easy to just say that they can choose to be a SAHM but let’s not be too presumptuous and determine that being a SAHM is the way to go for every mother. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding them.

My mom is a working mom, prompted more by financial issues rather than by preference. Nope, it’s not because she wanted to earn much much more as she’s not that educated and could only use her skill in sewing clothes. By working in my father’s shop, she could help lessen the burden of having to employ one more seamstress and a dispatch driver, in addition to other stuff she had to do in the garment factory cum shop.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the shophouse and witnessed what went on in their lives. I have to say that mom didn’t have it easy and worked extremely hard. The only time she rested was when her head touched the pillow at night but even so, I doubt she could fall asleep that easily. She couldn’t really teach me since she didn’t know how to so I was pretty much left alone or at times deployed to help her. She was aways in a rush since she had multiple things to do but she would ALWAYS cook because she didn’t want her children to be having junk in their bodies (MSG) and that took up a lot of her time if you know what cooking involves – from doing the grocery to prep work and then washing up.

That’s so much I could go on about her life as a working mom and the guilt that she forever has in her since she also left us with different people at various stages of our initial years of growing up. Only she knows best and I do treasure you, mom!

In the evening, we went for the performance by the Blue Man Group. Ken was initially chosen to be on stage (they had to prep him) but in the end, the performers chose another man two rows down from us! They have made a mistake! I was relieved, Ken felt rejected. But we both had a good time though da man enjoyed it more. =)

Saturday, it’s a packed day for us. We were honoured to be invited by our Taiwanese friends to attend their graduation ceremony.

Back home from the ceremony, we realised we had to be attending another event soon. What an adventure! It was at the Lavers’ home and we were to be on the panel again, sharing to about 20 new students on adjusting to life in a foreign land. We had a great time, getting to know new friends and to hear their wonderful stories. Amazing night!

Sunday. The last of the weekend! Argh! Where has the time gone? After PSIF, we had a gathering at Junjie who cooked Lasagna for us. Here we have a Chinese man having the courage to whip up Italian dish – quite an admirable act. Had a good time of dinner and catching up in his humble backyard in the cold summer/autumn evening. Nice.

It has been a tiring weekend but we both agree that it’s worth it when we could have the opportunity to be involved in someone else’s life.

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