Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Here we are on Christmas Eve. A year that flew by. Kids grew bigger, work was busier than expected. Business is hanging on and we are embarking on a new venture for Jeff's legal practice in Singapore. It has been a fast a furious ride filled with some super highs and some pretty rough patchs as well (mostly the fact that I have been traveling about 50% of my time). But it was a great year. A year that I wouldn't change.
Places traveled in 2009 by me
Kuala Lumpur (at least one trip/month)
Miri, Sarawak, West Malaysia
Taipei (Including a extra night due to a Typhoon)
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
The kids have grown from "young children" to just kids. Kiera is 6 pushing 12. Declan is 8 wishing he was a big brutish 10.
A year in review on YouTube is here
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Here is to a peaceful, prosperious and simple 2010
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Those I have tried are in Red
a few additional from my list back in 2008. Currently 84/100
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (don't see this one happening...)
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda -The Chinese Hot Pot yes, this version no
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects -And a scorpion!
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips ( no longer eat them... I was told for years that it was chocolate... which it is not)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain 70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (one of my life regrets)
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Check out the New Dream Blog... an insightful look at handwork and our current society.
We’ve come to think of the homemade and handmade as having some kind of
mystique: as if only our grandmothers or a special class of craftsy people can
mend a hem or can some jam. Our hands have an inferiority complex. In reality,
there is no exclusive society that allows in only the dextrous: those of us who
are rather clumsy can still knead dough, top-and-tail beans, and weed a
Whole post here
I believe that the basic instinct of our lives is to get in touch with those things that matter to us, some of us are connected by smells-sights-sounds- others are connected by touch. I could never let go of printed books for the tactile nature, nor could i give up my quilts.Speaking of Handiwork, a few pictures of the Class I just did at Scrappingville in Kuala Lumpur.
Nilla sewing away!
More pictures here
Monday, September 28, 2009
One of the things I took for granted in Oregon was the availability of fresh seasonal produce. Seasons don't exist here in SE Asia, not really, which has its pluses and minuses. I miss eating seasonally though. I miss summers filled with Corn on the cob, canning peaches and making pickled green beans. I miss so much about home (food and wine being a big part!) I do like living in the Asian tropics however for the constant availablity of yummy fruit, fresh chickens and fresh eggs, and fresh green chinese veggies. Those are all in the positive side for sure!
Well, back to the weighty issue, I have been eating too much, drinking too much and generally not taking care of my health as good as I should. In order to get back on track I intend to go back to eating locally when possible, eating whole foods (almost exclusively-save my soy milk in my chai) and cutting out the joy of my life pure processed sugar... WHAT.... NO SUGAR???
Now now, let's not be too rash young lady.... sugar is GOOD, and in minimal amounts (like in dark chocolate) can be good for you, so I am going to cut out HFCS first (that's high fructose corn syrup). Which should I stick to my guns about whole foods should not be too hard. Hard part comes in the soda/cokes I drink and those sweet sweet goodies known as candy bars, but i need to; i worked hard to lose the extra weight I gained after I had the kids, I am generally happy with where I ended up, but always felt to be at the peak of where I should be I have about 10 more pounds to go.
So, starting tomorrow after my last dinner I go whole foods. I am taking baby steps, the next step is to get this old butt back into the pool for some real swimming, but baby steps my friends... baby steps....besides, sugar is far easier to give up than my glass of Wine!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
D has started to struggle with writing, well let me rephrase, the struggle has always been there but now it is really manifesting in tantrums and inability to complete his work. Some of this may be a self esteem issue, some may be linked to his language problems ( I am assuming here) but it is frustrating for him and heartbreaking for me when I can 't be there to help. K on the other hand is dealing with the normal 6 year old strife of having ghost stories being shared among friends and sleepless nights thereafter. again, the travel I have been doing leaves me away during these times and it kills me to know that Jeff is having to be a super dad and do this without me.
I am near the point of crashing though, I can feel it. A big key is my lack of focus. I am scattered all over, I am stiff and sore physically, I am tired and run down, I cry over the silliest things (like not having a pair of shorts to wear last Sunday). I have three more weeks before we run away for a short vacation. I am trying my best to make it to the trip well and healthy, happy and content. I do not want to spend my whole vacation crabby and out of sorts.
What I am doing is trying to re-connect with those things i find important. I am slowing down where i can, taking time for myself, working and reading things that make me feel better. I am designing a plan for my life that includes healthy choices from diet and exercise to spiritual and emotional health as well. I am still working on the details, but I am going to start to swim again and meditate every morning.
Baby steps, yes for sure, but as the often quoted Gandhi stated ....
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
Until I can be the change, I am still looking forward to this
Friday, September 04, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
The Turning: Stories by Tim Winton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great collection of stories about Western Australia At first, it took a while to get into the first one or two stories, but the interconnected nature of the book took over and the stories became almost like chapters. While each story was independent, they do read as a whole, each connected by a small town in WA. One of the major reoccuring themes is the pain and heartbreak of growing up in a small town, connected to people simply because of connection to that place. Growing up past the dissapointment in your parents (deserved or not), growing past that first painful crush, watching young love fade as adulthood and responsibilities take over.
A great read.
Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Friday, August 14, 2009
(Kids playing at a friends house)
After two long weeks of travel (with one 24 hour period back at home) I am heading home for a
whole 9 days YIPPEE she says tongue firmly planted in my cheek. But while it is only 9 days until my next trip I can't wait to lay back in my own bed -eat food from my own kitchen-sit on my patio or by the pool and catch up with friends and family. The more crazy my life gets with work and stress the more I want to be home in my little space hanging out with my kids and simply being.
at build-a-bear in Singapore
Fruit at Far Eastern Hotel Taipei
On Dihwa Street Taipei
Hello Kitty Departure Gate at Chang Kai Shek International Airport Taipei
Still doing my 365. Missed one day this week though. It was 11pm and I was too tired to get up out of bed, so I said forget it. I will put a bunch up this weekend when I am home, but here are a few from the last few weeks. I have started puting them into an album and it is facinating to see how some pictures re-appear time and time again. How certain shots either seem to take hold and catch my attention, or if really my life is that routine. In any event I love the daily shots of the kids, just doing what kids do and growing much faster that I think they should.
Travellers Palm, back streets of KL
Just a cup of joe, office in TI Malaysia
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I have been thinking a lot about girls, being the mother to a daughter who is a girly girl, but wants to have boy toys too. I loved being a tom-boy, growing up racing bikes down the street with my neighbors (all boys). Building forts, climbing trees and going to bed at night in a pink room. Later growing up on a small farm, seeing animals being born, and crying when they died. Being active in 4-H and FFA. Learning to weld, both Arc and oxy-acetylene in shop class, how to do tool and today not being able to change my own oil (but then I don't have a car anymore so I am ok with that!). Being able to ride a horse, buck a bale of hay and get dirt under my fingernails. Building a dog house (even if it did list a bit to the left) and being able to tell what a phillips screwdriver is.
I wish I could have and did have a better understanding of math and science. I wish I was able to fix things with better results, rather than a bit hap-hazard. But I love the fact that my Dad never limited us because of our gender. Girls can do everything boys can do, no doubt about it.
Anyway, I saw this post at Vintage Chica about her dad. Thought it was worth remembering.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
When my life gets crazy, the first thing to go is my creative muse. The thought of writing anything more than what is needed for work is impossible (like on this blog). I get cranky, I get frustrated, I yell at the kids and find that my patience levels are well on the I have no patience at all spectrum. I look at my kids and I realize that they really do a much better job of shutting it off if they need to. Yesterday, Declan came downstairs from a sleep over and said he felt sick. He curled up on the couch and promptly went back to sleep for 2 more hours. He just shut it off, recharged and came back stronger. He woke up, was ready to roll and then at 7:30 pm promptly announced he was tired and he needed to go to bed early. This morning, he woke up right as rain and ready for school. I have always believed that if I listened to my body, to what I need I would be better for it. But, alas I don't always. Either I can't due to scheduling pressures or I just think I can't.
I feel it now, I need a few days off, a break is what I need, some time away and I have not really had much of a chance to do that yet. I have my lovely sister coming in a month and I have so much to do before she comes lists beyond lists. Not in order to prepare for her. She loves me and accepts me as I am, but to be able to enjoy some time with her. Lots to do, much of it needed and much of it is mearly wanted. I don't need to rehang the picture, I don't need to finish my paperless office plan (I want to however keep making progress on that goal.)
But today, I have a plan, a list. I need to be better at staying on task and finishing what I start. Getting things done is always my challenge as I get busy and I find that I push myself to start really good projects at the worst time possible. It is a "I don't want to do X" method of coping I am sure. For me, it works for a while, but it results in a half finished major project and a whole lot of hurried work to finish what I should have been doing in the first place.
So, today I will not be uploading anymore of my 365 pictures (although there are a few up here) and I have been taking pictures regularly. I think today is day 145 and I have only missed 5 days so far. I wil not work on my scanning project, I will not work on my home reorganization projects. I will not spend 5 hours on Tumblr (not that I really do, but you get the point). Today, I will finish a bunch of work projects, I will get the last FFC invoices out and the cards charged and I will do something with Jeff that needs to be done (health insurance sign up for the family).
If all goes well I will post my update tomorrow... Oh and I do have a mini break scheduled for tomorrow when I take a class at Laines'. can't wait!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
We plan on either jumping off the island and going to Malaysia or Thailand for a few days, but otherwise it is a summer stay-cation. Last year we enrolled Declan in Summer School and Kiera was still at the pre-school, but this year we are a bit more cash strapped and plan on doing sort of a summerschool at home. Jeff will be working from home/freelancing so I figured I could work up a bunch of day trips that were fun and educational for the kids. And free or low cost is a key goal.
So, these are the top ideas I have had so far.
4. Science/Discovery Center
9. Toy (MINT) Museum
12. Bukit Timah Hill
14. Visit China Town
Thursday, April 09, 2009
I was glad however to see these images to see that we need to remind ourselves that war results in people dying and coming home in a pine box. We need to be reminded of the lives that are wasted. We need to see that the only answer is Peace. And I need to be more personally active in promoting peace in all respects. A very good reminder indeed.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
I had the signals, the signs I was tired, but I ignored them and pushed. I am generally the type that feels I am getting sick, can take a half a day off, sleep a bit extra and knock it out before it hits. I failed to listen and I paid the price.
I realize I should listen more to the other things. Listen more to my family, why is my daughter being such a little poop recently. Why is D taking this opportunity to poke at her. What is the dynamic here and why is this taking place. I need to sit down and listen, find the problem and solve it.
One of the more interesting things I have been doing is continuing with my picture a day. I haven't posted them yet and many of them are boring to "the outsider" but I am seeing a lot of those day to day things that make up my life. Now, I need to find my picture for today. Just not in my office ;-)