Friday, March 30, 2012

You gotta make your own sunshine

The weather here has been horrible lately!! We have been getting rain, rain, rain and more rain.

And over here we do not have the 4 seasons at all. Its supposed to be sunny all year round.

Over in the northern hemispere, where you are in Spring, showers are expected this time of the year, as the saying goes: April showers bring May flowers.

Down in the Southern hemisphere, you are already into Autumn, and I guess the days are getting shorter, and it can get gloomy especially when it gets dark early.

So, what should we do: Make our own sunshine!

Similarly in life, we have to make our own sunshine.

When life hands us lemons, make lemonade. We have to make the best of what we have on hand. Cheer ourselves up! Buy ourselves flowers, if that will light up our day. Cook for ourselves that special dish we enjoy. Bake that cake. Call that friend. Watch that movie. Go for that walk, or massage.

Anything that will light up our life.
So, go on: Make your own Sunshine!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Interface

Yes, I have just moved to the new blogger interface.

I tried it when they first launched it and I didnt like it at all. And I still dont. Why? Because the line breaks dont appear, everything comes out as one paragraph, one long paragraph. And then I cant find the link to share a you tube video. And even though I gave feedback, I see that they still havent fixed it or done anything to help people like me. I realise that it could be because I am not tech savvy enough to know what to do. The problem could be me and not the new format :P

Well ,we have to make do and embrace what we have so I went looking for what I like about the new interface. And under this new interface, I just realised that they provide us bloggers with lots of info, especially with regards to traffic.

I had always assumed that my readers were mainly from the region as the comments come mainly from those living in Asia. But when I looked at my traffic, I noticed that a lot of my readers are Americans and Australians.

So to all my American, Australian and other readers - A warm welcome!

I feel a part of both your countries as I have lived in them both. I was working in Perth, Australia from 1988 to 1990, and embraced Australian life. I wish I was now living there with my kids.

I was living in New York, USA, in 1992 and 1993, when my husband was posted there on a work assignment. I must say, that one year there was one of the best years in my life, as we were then without kids. It gave us the opportunity to travel and explore, which we did. And the USA is a really really rich country in terms of experiences - from history to art and culture. as we move on in life with the changes that come with it, I am also moving on with this new interface.

Whether we like it or not, blogger is changing it with effect from April. So might as well get used to it. So I hope to be writing more, and I will bear in mind my audience and not use too much "local speak"!

Catch you later!!

UPDATE: looks like I found out how to solve one of my problems: to view under normal, and my line breaks appear!!  Now to find out how to post that you tube video. If you could teach me, I would be most grateful.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cant help but feel cheated

When D did her BMD (bone mineral density) test last year, the results had shown such improvement from the previous borderline one that we celebrated over it.
At that time I asked the Prof who was monitoring her if she would still have to do it on an annual basis. His reply then was that because it was so good, we could afford to wait a little longer before the next test.

At our last appointment he decided that he wanted her to do it again this year, exactly 12 months after her last one. I cant help but feel SOOOOO cheated. It's not the cost of doing it that matters,(though it would be good if it could be subsidised) but I feel that he is just not keeping to his word of being able to wait a longer while before the having to do it again ... and that he is just ordering it done to compile his statistics.

Guess, he doesnt realise the anxiety everyone in the family faces every time a test is due. What will the result be like? What will happen if it is below or is at the borderline level? Will she be forced to undergo pamidronate infusions? Missing school to get the test done is another bugbear!

Another professor had told me previously that BMD levels can fluctuate from time to time. And what if the test is done at a time when its at its lower than her average. Would it not then result in a course of action that may not be necessary?

Well, that time is near again. So you know how I am feeling ....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nan Bei Xing

I have not been well since the start of Chinese New Year. Too much goodies eaten before the big day. As a result, through out the whole of CNY, I didnt have ANY goodies this year.

It started off as a cough, and then it became a cold AND a cough. And it has been going on for more than a month. I havent been to the doctors and have been trying home remedies and self prescriptions like ginger tea, vicks on the sole of the feet, no cold drinks,over-the-counter cold medicine like decolgen and cough mixture.

So, I havent been exercising at all for more than a month except for taichi classes.

2 weeks ago, the taichi instructor messaged me a TCM (traditional chinese medicine) remedy for my cough. But I just thanked him for it and did nothing else as I couldnt read what I had to put in and how to do it. It was all in Chinese!!

Well, at Taichi class yesterday again he mentioned that remedy he recommended, as I was still sniffing and coughing and my other taichi mates felt that it had gone on for too long and it was time for me to go to the docs for some antibiotics! Good thing mother-in-law was there. She said: oh! I have those at home.

She made me two cups of that brew, and hey presto! Today my cold is gone and my cough has about disappeared. I have requested her to brew it for me one more time today and I should be as good as new tomorrow!!

In case you are wondering, here's the recipe:
Chuan Bei, Nan Xing, Bei Xing, Rock Sugar(optional) boil with water and drink.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life is Unpredictable

I was seated next to a couple at a wedding last year (on 12 March to be precise). I didnt know them, but the wife and I had many things to talk about. During the dinner, her daughter, who was seated at another table came by.

She was a young girl of 17, and I was really capticated by her beauty.

Yesterday I read in the papers that this same young girl had succumbed to brain cancer. You can read it here

They only discovered it in October 2011 and for 10 months she tried to fight her illness but with no success. A young life snubbed out so quickly.

Life is unpredictable. You never know what will hit you when. The worst thing a parent has to do is to bury their child. I can just imagine the pain the parents must be going through. My prayers go out for them. To carry them thru this phase in their life. To lighten the pain, to lessen the hurt, to dry the tears.

Sorry, I got to go hug my children now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Invisible Mother ...

To all the Invisible Mums out there, and I am sure there are many reading here.

This was shared with me by a dear dear friend ....

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! 'Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature --but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.

It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read --- no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it ' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does'.

'No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last- minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand- bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there ....'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know ... I just did.

The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

To all the wonderful mothers out there!!

May God give you:
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cross the bridge only when you come to it

You all know the control freak I am.

I must know my schedule ahead of time, and I will always plan out my day, and even route and timing for the days ahead.

Many a times when I drive, I seem to be on auto-pilot, my sub-conscious takes over my driving. But sometimes, I may be going to my eldest's school, but because I drive more frequently to the youngest's, I could end up missing my exit on the expressway.

Why? Because I am distracted planning my schedule for another day. A moment of distraction and I have to make a long detour.

Dont know why I seem to need to think so many days ahead especially when I am told there is a change of schedule. Then I would be thinking of that changed day for so many days - working out the logistics, routes and timing for that change!! Always trying to work out something that work will best for all kids and not affecting their other timings by too much at the same time not stressing myself out by having to make extra runs.

I should learn to cross my bridge when I come to it. Plan only a day ahead. Coz their schedules can be so fluid, with last minute changes, and I dont want to miss any more exits on the expressway!!