Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Job, New Beginning

Life really has it's own planning for you and it's quite surprising how life turns out.

Just a year ago, I was still complaining and grumbling about nasty bosses and now things made a big turn for me. I guess with the experiences that life has showered me so far, I began to have a clearer picture of the kind of ideal career that I must take and appreciate great working colleagues.

Finally I got myself myself a great ideal job and already I have made great plans to stay in this company for long. This is a world top 20 multi-national corporation and it is really coveted job for many - great benefits and rather generous salary. With such good payouts, no doubt they have the best person they can employ, which indirectly is giving me the recognition of my abilities.

On top of all these perks, you have great supportive colleagues who are more than willing to lend a helping hand. Everyone is so concern if you are coping well, though I do have some reserve over this - are they concern that I would not stay long as I can't cope?? Well that is too early to tell as I was like only 2 months old in this company. But generally speaking, the feeling given to me is very different from all the companies that I have worked with.

My boss is not easy to please and has high expectations & demands. In fact, too many colleagues have been overly zealous to make sure that I know this fact, which is good as I can make some mental preparation. Luckily so far so good, as most of the time he's travelling and I was told that he's been so far pleased with my work. Well at least I try my best to make sure that I'm useful and support him whenever possible with all the nitty-gritty administrative stuff.

Hope that I would be able to write the same in 4 months time when my contract is up for review before extension. Wish myself luck and hope that I can be more dilligent in my work in this new year 2010.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cure for Diarrhoea

Received this email from friend and I find it so useful.


The secret is in rice water.

This is already known in this region. Ask your maids -- Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Filipina and they would know about it.

When Dr Albert Winsemius came to Singapore for a farewell and thank you dinner in his honour, he brought along his wife Aly and his granddaughter, Jolijn. Both women came down with very bad gastroenteritis. They saw the doctor who gave them medication. It was slow to work.

Mother boiled some rice in lots of water and went to their hotel with two 1.5L bottles of rice water.

I cringed in shame at the offer of this folk remedy, which seemed so primitive to me. Never heard of this cure before. To my surprise, it worked, and they were even able to go out for dinner the next day. Both were exclaiming how the rice water did the trick of making them well again. Well, lucky it worked, I thought to myself.

I was discussing this some years back with Kim Ng, the ex-matron of KK Hospital. She said, yes, that is what Professor Wong Hock Boon, the notable paediatrician teaches. I was shocked and made some comment how could he? It was common knowledge so what had he to do with it?

Many months later, I regretted laughing at it. Dr Christina Shanta Emmanuel, who is the CEO of...uh, which group I have forgotten, either National Health Group, or Polyclinics, or whatever.. regarded me seriously when I brought up the topic like it was good fun. She said that Prof Wong Hock Boon had presented a paper on it at some conference after he had done clinical trials.

Then his results were published in the Lancet, the Medical Journal all doctors read. In fact, said Shanta, he was credited for saving the lives of 2 million African babies by this method.

I am impressed.

It is rice water and not rice, that does the trick. I have found it effective again and again. You take a handful of rice and boil it in a large saucepan with lots of water. Like three or four large glasses. Then you cool that and drink the water. If you are in a hurry to relieve the ailing person, take the saucepan off the fire and dunk it in a frying pan or basin of cool water with ice cubes if necessary.

This gives the patient a chance to drink the rice water sooner and cure himself or herself sooner.

When drinking the rice water, make sure there is lots of it. You have to tell the patient that enough water must go in to line your guts from throat to other end, all 10 to 12 metres of it. If you take rice, it stays in the stomach. If you take broth, some of it may go into the small intestine.

But if you take rice water, it will carry rice grains to every inch of your small and large intestine to the end where the problem is.

How does it work? Even Prof Wong Hock Boon doesn't know.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage: Embrace Imperfection

Got this from a friend and I find this so sweet that I want to share with all my friends. I am also very grateful for I too share the kind of marriage mentioned in the article. I would like to dedicate this to my loving husband.


Contributor: Deb Graham

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides ­a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner...and the kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory from my childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home usual...and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom and burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things...and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching "Golf Academy" is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less! Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountaintops. And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults -and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting marriage relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!

Have a great day! May God bless your marriage.

Don't pick lemons.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What the Modern Woman Wants

It's really a touching story and she has expressed the struggles so well. I can't believe this a creation from a 15-year-old girl.


A 15-YEAR-OLD Singaporean, competing against 16- to 18-year-olds, has won the top prize in a writing contest that drew 5,300 entries from 52 countries...

In the annual Commonwealth Essay Competition, Amanda Chong of Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) chose to compete in the older category and won with a piece on the restlessness of modern life.

Her short story, titled What The Modern Woman Wants, focused on the conflict in values between an old lady and her independent-minded daughter.

'Through my story, I attempted to convey the unique East-versus-West struggles and generation gaps that I felt were characteristic of young people in my country,' said Amanda, who likes drama,history and literature and wants to become a lawyer and a politician.

Chief examiner Charles Kemp called her piece a 'powerfully moving and ironical critique of modern restlessness and its potentially cruel consequences'. The writing is fluent and assured, with excellent use of dialogue.

Amanda gets S$1,590. A Singaporean last won the top prize in 2000, said Britain 's Royal Commonwealth Society, which has been organising the competition since 1883. Singaporeans also came in second in the 14- to 15-year-old category, and fourth in the under-12s. Other winners included students from Australia , Canada and South Africa .

What the Modern Woman Wants
By Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen

The old woman sat in the backseat of the magenta convertible as it careened down the highway, clutching tightly to the plastic bag on her lap, afraid it may be kidnapped by the wind.

She was not used to such speed, with trembling hands she pulled the seatbelt tighter but was careful not to touch the patent leather seats with her callused fingers, her daughter had warned her not to dirty it, 'Fingerprints show very clearly on white, Ma.'

Her daughter, Bee Choo, was driving and talking on her sleek silver mobile phone using big words the old woman could barely undersand. 'Finance''Liquidation''Assets' 'Investments'... Her voice was crisp and important and had an unfamiliar lilt to it. Her Bee Choo sounded like one of those foreign girls on television. She was speaking in an American accent.

The old lady clucked her tongue in disapproval. 'I absolutely cannot have this. We have to sell!' Her daughter exclaimed agitatedly as she stepped on the accelerator; her perfectly manicured fingernails gripping onto the steering wheel in irritation.

'I can't DEAL with this anymore!' she yelled as she clicked the phone shut and hurled it angrily toward the backseat. The mobile phone hit the old woman on the forehead and nestled soundlessly into her lap. She calmly picked it up and handed it to her daughter.

'Sorry, Ma,' she said, losing the American pretence and switching to Mandarin. 'I have a big client in America . There have been a lot of problems.' The old lady nodded knowingly. Her daughter was big and important.

Bee Choo stared at her mother from the rear view window, wondering what she was thinking. Her mother's wrinkled countenance always carried the same cryptic look.

The phone began to ring again, an artificially cheerful digital tune, which broke the awkward silence. 'Hello, Beatrice! Yes, this is Elaine.'

Elaine. The old woman cringed. I didn't name her Elaine. She remembered her daughter telling her, how an English name was very important for 'networking', Chinese ones being easily forgotten.

'Oh no, I can't see you for lunch today.. I have to take the ancient relic to the temple for her weird daily prayer ritual.'

Ancient Relic. The old woman understood perfectly it was referring to her. Her daughter always assumed that her mother's silence meant she did not comprehend.

'Yes, I know! My car seats will be reeking of joss sticks!' The old woman pursed her lips tightly, her hands gripping her plastic bag in defence.

The car curved smoothly into the temple courtyard. It looked almost garish next to the dull sheen of the ageing temple's roof. The old woman got out of the back seat, and made her unhurried way to the main hall. Her daughter stepped out of the car in her business suit and stilettos and reapplied her lipstick as she made her brisk way to her mother's side.

'Ma, I'll wait outside. I have an important phone call to make,' she said, not bothering to hide her disgust at the pungent fumes of incense. The old lady hobbled into the temple hall and lit a joss stick, she knelt down solemnly and whispered her now familiar daily prayer to the Gods.

Thank you God of the Sky, you have given my daughter luck all these years. Everything I prayed for, you have given her. She has everything a young woman in this world could possibly want. She has a big house with a swimming pool, a maid to help her, as she is too clumsy to sew or cook.

Her love life has been blessed; she is engaged to a rich and handsome angmoh man. Her company is now the top financial firm and even men listen to what she says. She lives the perfect life. You have given her everything except happiness. I ask that the gods be merciful to her even if she has lost her roots while reaping the harvest of success.

What you see is not true, she is a filial daughter to me. She gives me a room in her big house and provides well for me. She is rude to me only because I affect her happiness. A young woman does not want to be hindered by her old mother. It is my fault.

The old lady prayed so hard that tears welled up in her eyes. Finally, with her head bowed in reverence she planted the half-burnt joss stick into an urn of smouldering ashes.

She bowed once more. The old woman had been praying for her daughter for thirty-two years. When her stomach was round like a melon, she came to the temple and prayed that it was a son.
Then the time was ripe and the baby slipped out of her womb, bawling and adorable with fat thighs and pink cheeks, but unmistakably, a girl. Her husband had kicked and punched her for producing a useless baby who could not work or carry the family name.

Still, the woman returned to the temple with her new-born girl tied to her waist in a sarong and prayed that her daughter would grow up and have everything she ever wanted. Her husband left her and she prayed that her daughter would never have to depend on a man.

She prayed every day that her daughter would be a great woman, the woman that she, meek and uneducated, could never become. A woman with nengkan; the ability to do anything she set her mind to. A woman who commanded respect in the hearts of men. When she opened her mouth to speak, precious pearls would fall out and men would listen.

She will not be like me, the woman prayed as she watched her daughter grow up and drift away from her, speaking a language she scarcely understood. She watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl, to one who openly defied her, calling her laotu; old-fashioned.. She wanted her mother to be 'modern', a word so new there was no Chinese word for it.

Now her daughter was too clever for her and the old woman wondered why she had prayed like that. The gods had been faithful to her persistent prayer, but the wealth and success that poured forth so richly had buried the girl's roots and now she stood, faceless, with no identity, bound to the soil of her ancestors by only a string of origami banknotes.

Her daughter had forgotten her mother's values.. Her wants were so ephemeral; that of a modern woman. Power, Wealth, access to the best fashion boutiques, and yet her daughter had not found true happiness. The old woman knew that you could find happiness with much less. When her daughter left the earth everything she had would count for nothing. People would look to her legacy and say that she was a great woman, but she would be forgotten once the wind blows over, like the ashes of burnt paper convertibles and mansions.

The old woman wished she could go back and erase all her big hopes and prayers for her daughter; now she had only one want: That her daughter be happy. She looked out of the temple gate. She saw her daughter speaking on the phone, her brow furrowed with anger and worry.

Being at the top is not good, the woman thought, there is only one way to go from there - down.
The old woman carefully unfolded the plastic bag and spread out a packet of beehoon in front of the altar. Her daughter often mocked her for worshipping porcelain Gods. How could she pray to them so faithfully and expect pieces of ceramic to fly to her aid? But her daughter had her own gods too, idols of wealth, success and power that she was enslaved to and worshipped every day of her life.

Every day was a quest for the idols, and the idols she worshipped counted for nothing in eternity. All the wants her daughter had would slowly suck the life out of her and leave her, an empty soulless shell at the altar.

The old lady watched her joss tick. The dull heat had left a teetering grey stem that was on the danger of collapsing.

Modern woman nowadays, the old lady sighed in resignation, as she bowed to the east one final time to end her ritual. Modern woman nowadays want so much that they lose their souls and wonder why they cannot find it.

Her joss stick disintegrated into a soft grey powder. She met her daughter outside the temple, the same look of worry and frustration was etched on her daughter's face. An empty expression, as if she was ploughing through the soil of her wants looking for the one thing that would sow the seeds of happiness.

They climbed into the convertible in silence and her daughter drove along the highway, this time not as fast as she had done before. 'Ma,' Bee Choo finally said. 'I don't know how to put this. Mark and I have been talking about it and we plan to move out of the big house. The property market is good now, and we managed to get a buyer willing to pay seven million for it. We decided we'd prefer a cosier penthouse apartment instead. We found a perfect one in Orchard Road . Once we move in to our apartment we plan to get rid of the maid, so we can have more space to ourselves...'

The old woman nodded knowingly. Bee Choo swallowed hard. 'We'd get someone to come in to do the housework and we can eat out - but once the maid is gone, there won't be anyone to look after you. You will be awfully lonely at home and, besides that, the apartment is rather small. There won't be space. We thought about it for a long time, and we decided the best thing for you is if you moved to a Home. There's one near Hougang - it's a Christian home, a very nice one.'

The old woman did not raise an eyebrow. 'I've been there, the matron is willing to take you in.. It's beautiful with gardens and lots of old people to keep you company! I hardly have time for you, you'd be happier there.'

'You'd be happier there, really.' Her daughter repeated as if to affirm herself. This time the old woman had no plastic bag of food offerings to cling tightly to; she bit her lip and fastened her seat belt, as if it would protect her from a daughter who did not want her anymore. She sunk deep into the leather seat, letting her shoulders sag, and her fingers trace the white seat.

'Ma?' her daughter asked, searching the rear view window for her mother.

'Is everything okay?' What had to be done, had to be done. 'Yes,' she said firmly,louder than she intended, 'if it will make you happy,' she added more quietly.

'It's for you, Ma! You'll be happier there. You can move there tomorrow, I already got the maid to pack your things.' Elaine said triumphantly, mentally ticking yet another item off her agenda.

'I knew everything would be fine.'

Elaine smiled widely; she felt liberated. Perhaps getting rid of her mother would make her happier. She had thought about it. It seemed the only hindrance in her pursuit of happiness. She was happy now. She had everything a modern woman ever wanted; Money, Status, Career, Love,Power and now, Freedom, without her mother and her old-fashioned ways to weigh her down...

Yes, she was free. Her phone buzzed urgently, she picked it up and read the message, still beaming from ear to ear. 'Stocks 10% increase!' Yes, things were definitely beginning to look up for her...And while searching for the meaning of life in the luminance of her hand phone screen, the old woman in the backseat became invisible, and she did not see the tears...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Handy Tips

Got this via email from friend and find it very interesting, so I would like to share with everyone. Some of them seem workable but some I really wonder why it works. If you happen to have tested it, do let me know the results.

By the way, does anyone knows how to keep the lizards away? I'm terrified of lizards and they seem to love scaring me around my house. Please let me know how to keep them away from my house. Thanks a million!!!


Ants Problem: Keep the skin of cucumbers near the place or ant hole.

To get pure and clean ice: Boil water first before freezing.

To make the mirror shine: Clean with spirit

To remove chewing gum from clothes: Keep the cloth in the freezer for an hour.

To whiten white clothes: Soak white clothes in hot water with a slice of lemon for 10 minutes.

To give a shine to hair: Add one teaspoon of vinegar to hair, then wash hair.

To get maximum juice out of lemons: Soak lemons in hot water for an hour, and then juice them.

To avoid smell of cabbage while cooking: Keep a piece of bread on the cabbage in the vessel while cooking.

To rid the smell of fish from your hands: Wash your hands with a little apple vinegar.

To avoid tears while cutting onions: Chew gum.

To boil potatoes quickly: Skin one potato from one side only before boiling.

To boil eggs quickly: Add salt to water and boil.

To check freshness of fish: Put it in a bowl of cold water. If the fish floats, it's fresh. (Aiyoh, the fishmonger will sure go bonkers if everyone does it!)

To check freshness of eggs: Put the egg in water. If it becomes horizontal, it's fresh. If it becomes slanting, it's 3-4 days old. If it becomes vertical, it's 10 days old. If it floats, it's stale.

To remove ink from clothes: Put toothpaste on the ink spots generously and let it dry completely, then wash.

To skin sweet potatoes quickly: Soak in cold water immediately after boiling.

To get rid of mice or rats: Sprinkle black pepper in places where you find mice or rats. They will run away.

To get rid of mosquitoes at night: Keep leaves of mint near your bed or pillows and in around the room.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sixty (60) Wonderful Uses Of Salt

I think we should not leave home without a pinch of salt. Dun you think so...

1. If you drop a whole egg on the floor, pour salt all over the egg, let it sit for awhile, then use dust-pan, the egg will come right up, without all that mess. Contributed by Ms Jerry McGinnis.

2. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.

3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.

4. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.

5. Put a few grains of rice in your salt-shaker for easier pouring.

6. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.

7. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.

8. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.

9. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.

10. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.

11. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flap-jacks won't stick.

12. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.

13. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee-pot.

14. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bath-tub and toilet bowl...

15. Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily..

16. Boil clothes-pins in salt-water before using them and they will last longer.

17. Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour

18. Add a little salt to the water; your cut flowers will stand in for a longer life.

19. Pour a mound of salt on an ink-spot on your carpet; let the salt soak up the stain.

20. Clean your iron by rubbing some salt on the damp cloth on the ironing surface.

21. Adding a little salt to the water when cooking foods in a double-boiler will make the food cook faster.

22. Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys.

23. To fill plaster holes in your walls, use equal parts of salt and starch, with just enough water to make stiff putty.

24. Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water.

25. Mildly salted water makes an effective mouthwash. Use it hot for a sore-throat gargle.

26. Dry salt sprinkled on your toothbrush makes a good tooth-polisher.

27. Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.

28. Eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.

29. A dash of salt in warm milk makes a more relaxing beverage.

30. Before using new glasses, soak them in warm salty water for a while.

31. A dash of salt enhances the taste of tea.

32. Salt improves the taste of cooking apples.

33. Soak your clothes-line in salt water to prevent your clothes from freezing to the line; likewise, use salt in your final rinse to prevent the clothes from freezing.

34. Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing.

35. Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt-water.

36. Add raw potatoes to stews and soups that are too salty.

37. Soak enamel pans in salt-water overnight and boil salt-water in them next day to remove burned-on stains.

38. Clean your greens in salt-water for easier removal of dirt.

39. Gelatin sets more quickly when a dash of salt is added.

40. Fruits put in mildly -alted water after peeling will not discolor.

41. Fabric colors hold fast in salty-water wash.

42. Milk stays fresh longer when a little salt is added.

43. Use equal parts of salt and soda for brushing your teeth.

44. Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean.

45. Soaked discolored glass in a salt-and-vinegar solution to remove stains.

46. Clean greasy pans with a paper towel and salt.

47. Salty-water boils faster when cooking eggs.

48. Add a pinch of salt to whipping cream to make it whip more quickly.

49. Sprinkle salt in milk-scorched pans to remove odour.

50. A dash of salt improves the taste of coffee.

51. Boil mismatched hose in salty water and they will come out matched.

52. Salt and soda will sweeten the odor of your refrigerator.

53. Cover wine-stained fabric with salt; rinse in cool water later.

54. Remove offensive odours from stove with salt and cinnamon.

55. A pinch of salt improves the flavor of cocoa.

56. To remove grease stains in clothing, mix one part salt to four parts alcohol.

57.. Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.

58. Sprinkle salt between sidewalk bricks where you don't want grass growing.

59. Polish your old kerosene lamp with salt for a brighter look. Remove odors from sink drain-pipes with a strong, hot solution of salt water.

60. If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won't smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A serious note about heart attacks

· Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting

· Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.

· You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack.

· Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms.

· 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up.

· Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive...