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Showing posts from April, 2016

What's this about married life?

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I had the privilege to attend the Ladies Fellowship Ministry meeting in church today where they had a guest speaker, Mr Lee Wee Min, from Focus on the Family Malaysia to talk about marriage. It was an insightful session, and too bad my husband could not attend.  He spoke about the basic five items couples should focus on for a good and fulfilled marriage relationship. I cannot remember them all but they consist of stuff around communication, making time, trust and the rekindling of romance. These were the most common subjects discussed in couple counseling sessions.  What impressed me most from the session was the realization that married couples nowadays need to make time for each other. We live in a busy world and not only are we busy with work and kids and chores and church, we are also too busy with our own digital devices. We need to make time for frequent face to face chats just to talk about normal ordinary things. We need to chat and laugh about trivial things. We need to go on

A Prayer for the Unkind

We all get an onslaught of unkind treatment from nasty people, especially from strangers, from people we don't know safely tucked behind the walls of a car, the anonymity of the Internet.  For me, it usually happens on the road. I would get honked at and usually when someone honks at you in Kuala Lumpur, it is almost akin to a blare of profanity directed at you. I usually do not know what to do with them. I would normally flare out in anger at the discourtesy and indecency. I'd have a conversation with God because he's the best person for me to go to whenever I'm angry. I know I must not allow them to spoil my day. It is a small thing after all but it does feel so big.  God would temper me and I would end up having to pray for them and my prayer would be something like this. But I must say that this prayer looks tame because I am guilty of some imprecatory lines thrown in sometimes! Father, You remain forever with the faithful Help us live in your presence Help us be a

It has been such a long week...

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pearlie 

This thing about being bored

There's no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there no excuse for boredom, ever.  ~ Viggo Mortensen When you pay attention to boredom it gets unbelievably interesting.  ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn Boredom is rage spread thin.  ~ Paul Tillich Boredom, after all, is a form of criticism.  ~ Wendell Phillips The temptation to quit and start over infects every creative process I've ever been in. Frustration and boredom always fuels this self-doubt.  ~ Robert Lopez Is boredom anything less than the sense of one's faculties slowly dying? ~ Arthur Helps If I planned everything out in advance, I'd expire of boredom.  ~ Peter Straub pearlie

My dependence on the cloud

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I got news today that my 30G of free space in OneDrive will be discontinued and that it will be reverting to its basic 5G.  I keep a lot of my stuff in OneDrive because of the large free space it offers and so that I will be able to get access to it wherever I am and whenever I need to. And now with the loss of that space, I will have to look for other options.  I was reviewing all the cloud accounts I have and realize I do have a Box account that I have not really used. I have 50G of free space in there. There were some limitations which was why I have not used it much before. Looks like I have to transfer my stuff over before they reduce my space in OneDrive.  But I might have to think about other alternatives what if Box also decides to do the same.  pearlie

Given up?

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of being yourself.  ~ Anna Quindlan You cry and you scream and you stomp your feet and you shout. And you say, "You know what? I'm giving up, I don't care." And then you go to bed and you wake up, and it's a brand new day, and you pick yourself back up again.  ~ Nicole Scherzinger Giving up is conceding that things will never get better, and that is just not true. Ups and downs are a constant in life, and I've been belted into that roller coaster a thousand times.  ~ Aimee Mullins Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.  ~ Marilyn vos Savant pearlie

The Kingdom New Testament, A Contemporary Translation by NT Wright

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I have recently  bought many books  by NT Wright including his 18-volume For Everyone series. I am currently reading his New Testament Wisdom for Everyone and found out that he has published a contemporary translation of the New Testament, which is called The Kingdom New Testament .     New Testament Wisdom for Everyone by NT Wright  The Kingdom New Testament, A Contemporary Translation  by NT Wright If you look at this passage from 2 Peter 1:3-11, you will not sense its familiarity until you read further on, after which you will appreciate how it really brings out the understanding of the passage in a more regular use of the English language.  3 God has bestowed upon us, through his divine power, everything that we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue. 4 The result is that he has given us, through these things, his precious and wonderful promises; and the purpose of all this is so that you may run away from the corruptio

No more carrots for me

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Carrots are suppose to be good, right? Not necessary, it turned out. I had a really bad tummy ache today. It felt like gastric pains and I thought it was because I skipped lunch. I had eaten a huge stick of carrot later in the afternoon. And after that my stomach was in so much pain.  I also had the same pain a week ago and it dawned on me that it was also after I ate a carrot. And so I started to search for an answer.  It seems now that I have an intolerance to too much fiber. Eating raw carrots can cause abdominal pains because "i t’s common for some people to have difficulty digesting vegetables, such as carrots, which will cause excessive gas. Gas develops when certain carbohydrates remain undigested and interact with bacteria in your digestive system...If you don’t eat a high-fiber diet normally and you consume a large amount of raw carrots, you may develop stomach pain from suddenly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet." Who would have known? I thought fiber is g

A Prayer for Caregivers

Today, my heart goes out to the caregivers of the elderly, of the sick. They live in fragile worlds, and yet they go on with strength and love. May the Lord bless them as they continue in their work of bringing care, help and comfort to the people who needs them.  Jesus said, " Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. " ~ Matthew 11:28-30 Our Father who love us so immeasurably You are the Healer of souls You are the Comforter of the weary We abide in You your presence consoles Help those who care for others You are with them in their journey Ease their anxiety and fears Show them your grace and mercy Surround them with love Engulf them with strength Uphold them as they uphold the others Keep them strong yet gentle For your love is patience Your love is kind It bears all things, endures

What do you think they were looking at?

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pearlie Photo by Teresa Lee

What's Your Brutally Honest Profile?

I was chatting with a friend during dinner today when the topic of the 16 types personality came up. We confirmed that he's an INTJ and I started laughing as I told him about a funny webpage I have recently came across with the title:  MBTI, The Brutally Honest Profiles . The article has placed INTJ as " Saving the worst for last, INTJ probably have the worst people skills of all types yet they’ll pretend they have this whole humanity thing figured out."  It's all in jive, for the fun of it.  Go check out yours.  Mine is pretty accurate for an INFP. pearlie 

What's the point of reading?

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I am getting myself back into reading alright, finishing two books two days in a row, and now getting comfortable with another one. (The trick is to keep reminding myself to stay away from the TV and iFlix.) But I was thinking about the 164 books that I have read over the past 4 years and realised I don't remember much of what I have read. So what's the point of reading? Wouldn't it be more useful if I could retain all that I have read like a eidetic? Although being an eidetic isn't a bed of roses either. But at least it would be good if I could have a better memory of all I've read. I think the key to this is to think and talk about the books. And as much as I am no longer reading print books where I could pen down notes, I must make it a point to do so digitally in the ebooks I read. And writing book reviews would also help. I most probably will not be reading many this year but I should read with an intention to retain as much as I can -- all in the p

The Giver, by Lois Lowry - I'm finally reading again

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The Giver by Lois Lowry I was bemoaning to myself in the last few months for not reading a single book this year. But when I read an article written by Neil Gaiman on  Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming , I finally thought it was high time I actually got a book to read. I needed something good, but something simple and yet profound. I actually googled for "need a novel to start reading again" and found a few interesting lists. I finally decided to read Lois Lowry's The Giver.  I was totally wowed. I wasn't expecting much but the book has a very interesting start to it that got me going and by the time I was halfway through, I was so captivated by the plot that I was looking forward to how it would unfold. In the beginning you'd feel it almost innocuous but soon you'll see how Lowry skillfully weaved it in its brilliance of a story.  I must add that it was a very good thing that I did not read too much into the description of the book

My struggle with pride and humility

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I struggle a lot with pride and humility. Do you?  I have been taught to be humble my whole life but in my efforts to be humble in all I do, prideful thoughts still come to my mind untethered. I found that I will wallow myself in them but the moment I realize what I am doing, I will feel so ashamed and guilty about it. According to the dictionary, humility is "modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank," and pride is "a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct. " (emphasis mine) So what does this mean? As much as I work on myself not to be prideful, to teach myself and practice humility, those prideful thoughts still come. I can't seem to stop them. What can I do? What am I suppose to do? Stop thinking? Humility is a command from God. It is the fear of the Lord. We are called to be humble before God. But when I looked for the prac

Tête-à-tête: it's been awhile since I've done this

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I have not had a girl to girl tête-à-tête in a long time. I have made a new friend some months ago and made a date to meet up for a chat today. We met at 10:30 in the morning and I thought we'd be done by noon. But no, we sat rooted at our seats until 3:00pm!  I was even reluctant to get up and leave. It was a blessing to share and tell our stories. I thank God he made us to exist in communities. We are to reach out to one another to care and to love.  pearlie

A nice long break

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I know it's not the summer, not that it matters to me here at the equator...but I just had a long break in the hottest days in years. It was nice.  pearlie

I finally caught up with The Hunger Games movies

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I have finally caught up with all The Hunger Games movies.  What do I think of them?  Well, it has a really good beginning and a fabulous ending, but that's about all there is to it.  The middle was just an absolute bore.  Catching Fire wasn't too bad but most of Mockingjay Part 1 and especially Part 2 are unnecessary. I nearly fell asleep watching Part 2, and couldn't wait for it to end. A reviewer actually called it nap-inducing.  It would have been perfect if they had stuck to it being a trilogy.  pearlie

The amount of sugar in our food

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Like in the days when I was a crazy baker – I used to bake a cake every two days –now you know I am trying my hand on cooking.  And in the process of doing so, I have learnt a very important lesson: the food that we eat out may contain quite a lot and more sugar than we can imagine.  For one, I love the Chinese sweet soups, tong sui , and I would stop by the shops or stalls and order my favorites whenever I have the chance. But since I have bought a pressure cooker, wouldn't it be better if I make it myself. I realize of course that I can't make just one bowl but I can't finish a whole pot all by myself. So with that to begin with is already a bad idea. But I went ahead anyway.  I followed this  recipe  for mak zuk or wheat porridge. The results was not to my satisfaction at all. I have already put in more sugar than what was prescribed in the recipe and it still doesn't taste sweet enough. But I am giving up  – I am not going to put it anymore sugar and I have decided

Crazy hot weather

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The weather has been crazy here recently. It's the evening at 7pm and the temperature reads at 33-degrees C (91.4F) but feels like 42 (107.6). I have been sweating like a pig! It was discussed in Facebook in a friend's page recently about sweating like a cow, my friend said, and a pig as someone corrected though it was made clear that cows and pigs for that matter don't sweat as much because a cow does not have many active sweat glands and a pig would wallow in mud to cool off.  I then learnt that "sweating like a pig" has nothing to do with pigs. It's actually a reference to pig iron, a form of crude iron as first obtained from a smelting furnace. It says  here : "When pig iron is originally created from iron ore, the smelter needs to heat the ore to extreme temperatures, and then move the liquid metal into the mold. Until the liquid cools, it can't be safely moved, as the extremely hot metal is liable to spill, burning whatever it comes in contact w

Sometimes you just got to let go

I realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go. - Jeffrey McDaniel  Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.  - Steve Maraboli   There’s a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over – and to let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its value.  - Ellen Goodman   I’m guilty of giving people more chances than they deserve but when I’m done, I’m done.  - Turcois Ominek   The best skill at cards is knowing when to discard.  - Baltasar Gracián If you only knew how to respect my heart, I wouldn’t have found a reason to let you go.  - Jourdane Erasquin pearlie

It's chicken roll weekend

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It has become a chicken roll weekend here. I made an air fried version of Pesto Cheesy Chicken Roll yesterday and this afternoon I tried another chicken roll  recipe  the air fryer way: Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken Roll.  As much as I loved the pesto version yesterday, my hubby didn't really like it but he loved this bacon cream cheese one. What is it with men and bacon? Air Fried Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Chicken Roll Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breast - pounded to about 1/4-inch thick 3 tablespoons cream cheese 3 tablespoon green onion, chopped 4 pieces bacon Method: Mix together cream cheese and green onions and spread cheese mixture over 1 side of chicken breast. Roll chicken breast up to conceal cream cheese. Wrap bacon around chicken breast and secure with toothpick. Air fry it for 18 minutes. pearlie

Air Fried Pesto Chessy Chicken Roll

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I have made my own pesto sauce a couple of days ago and was looking forward to try this  recipe  I found which I have converted to an air fryer version: Air Fried Pesto Chessy Chicken Roll. It's absolutely yummy! Here's the recipe: Air Fried Pesto Chessy Chicken Roll Ingredients: 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/4 inch thickness 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto 2 thick slices mozzarella cheese Method: Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pesto sauce onto each flattened chicken breast. Place one slice of cheese over the pesto. Roll up tightly, and secure with toothpicks. Cook them for 16 minutes in the air fryer.  pearlie

Movie Theme Menu

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We had our company annual dinner tonight and compared to the ones we had before, this was the best. It was simple but packed with good things. Food was good, great ambiance at The Majestic Hotel, the movies theme was just fantastic and the company great.  No attention was paid to the food menu, but I thought it was one of the more creative things we did. I had a part in it - I came up with the Mars-room Attacks! pearlie

This cello piece really speaks to me

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This piece of music really speaks to me, in every level. I was taught by my music teacher once that the violin is the closest to the human voice, or did he say strings instruments? In either case, the cello then is closest to the speaking human voice. When I listen to this piece, I feel like a good friend is seated with me and talking me. Depending on my different moods, he could just chatting or he could be counseling me, advising me or simply telling me his story.  I have played the cello back in my school days. Wished I had reached the proficiency to play this amazing piece by Bach.  pearlie

My NT Wright Book Madness

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I am so very happy NT Wright is the 2016 Logos March Madness Champion! Logos is offering quite a number of his book at 70% off including his For Everyone series. I have not been buying any books in a really long time, by my standard anyway, and so I thought it's time I did. I ended up with a selection of 33 books, costing me USD144/RM560! I know I have not read a single book in 2016. I hope this will change it. If you are interested, here's the book list  link  but I'm not sure how long the deal will last.  pearlie

First the oats, now the milk

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When I posted my breakfast photo yesterday, I knew I'd get flak for the milk being low fat. And true enough I did; a friend both texted me and left a comment in my Facebook page, God bless her.  I did hear that's the latest, that it's bad for you but I had not checked out the facts. Interestingly on this one, my son favours full cream to low fat.  When I googled it, I find most of the articles calling for whole milk but then I read stuff like this: The belief that fat isn’t a health villain has been gaining traction the last few years, especially as data has piled up showing that low-fat diets don’t work. And while national health organizations seem to be softening their stance on fat, they still recommend reaching for low- or non-fat dairy at the supermarket. It's like the egg-yolk's-bad-for-you-now-it's-good-for-you-oh-no-now-it's-bad situation all over again.  So what do I do? I think I'll just leave it be for now till the science is more conclusive.

What's so bad about "processed food"?

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This is what I have for breakfast every weekday in the office: lowfat milk (which I must say that the packs have reduced in size!) with oatmeal and a spoonful of chia seeds. A colleague came by a few days ago and remarked that I should not be taking instant oats, that processed food isn't good and that I should get rolled oats instead. Then someone mentioned steel-cut oats and both of them went off with their oats discussion. I did not join in because I had no idea what steel what cut was. I was not even sure I heard it right. So I let them carry on.  In the next few days, when I made my simple but satisfying breakfast, I kept thinking I should not be eating "instant" food and that I should go get a bag of rolled oats instead, which I just did.  I have recently been trying to stay away from processed food and trying to get back to cooking. I have been stopping my son from getting frozen meals from the supermarket. He did ask why and I said that because they are processed.

Blissful Weekend

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I had a lovely weekend of cooking and eating and TV. Bliss! I made dry curry chicken and watched the entire season 1 of Fresh Off the Boat. Totally hilarious. I then started watching Mr Selfridge. Very interesting series.  And why does this blogpost sound like a Facebook post. Looks like I have finally been Facebooked. Bad.  pearlie

I made Jue Giok Chou! (Vinegared Pork Knuckles)

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I  have not really made anything yet with my new pressure cooker other than just porridge to test it out. I wanted to make something special with it and thought why not Vinegared Pork Knuckles or Jue Giok Chou.  The last time it was made at home was when my late grandma was around. She made the best Jue Giok Chou. I don't have her recipe and so I used this one  here .  It turned out not too bad. The next time I do it, I will reduce the amount of ginger and dilute the dark vinegar a bit. But I'm happy with the result. Hubby is definitely happy.   I promised my dad some and he'd be happy with it too since he likes it more with a kick.  pearlie

Six pairs of glasses in 3 or 30 years?

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I have had perfect eyesight all my life until just recently. It went bad three ago and now I have myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.  I so miss the time when I could see everything so clearly near or far, bright or dim. Believe it or not, in just three years, I have in total six pairs of glasses made, including the one I've just prescribed. I lost the first one, broke the second, got a really poor quality third one and it also broke, and now using my fourth and fifth, for shortsightedness and longsightedness.  But I'm getting so tired of putting on and putting off and leaving them behind that I'm now prescribing a multi-focal one. The thing is my hubby have been wearing glasses for thirty years and he only have had six pairs! What in the world's wrong with me?! pearlie