15 Jun 2018 – Hello Ryan McGee

Sun: a day of rest with the sky opening up and pouring buckets by evening. Relaxing with the sound of heavy rains – was told that it hailed in some areas!

Mon: Good morning East USA, god ettermiddag Norway and goodnight SIN. To cousin Wilki&Patty for their thoughtfulness – CarePackage from HI was received with thousand thanks. Maybe some of the kids will learn to eat mushrooms after these treats! Actually do finely chop mushrooms in many of the dishes and they have no problems eating them. Will place a few packages of the Macadamia nuts into #3 box when he will be in camp next week.

Today also is the first day of VBS and now that #1 is driving, she takes them to and back for the week. While #3-5 are in classes, #1&2 are volunteers there.

Tue: had to refill the usage of phone services here, still prefer my flip-phone from last year! Considering that a SIMcard is difficult to get, had to buy a new phone and then to renew the plan monthly. The phone cost about US$30 and the plan is US$25 for a month. That is a total of US$105+tax S$142 for my visit! There must be another way to do this than to keep buying a new phone! Will cross that bridge when I get it again!!!

ReSnap book US$84 S$114 and being lazy by letting them pick and layout the pix from FB, 100pp pix are not in chronological order. Considering to write the year&location under the pix, but would be a lot of work!! Linn has her collection more or less in better chronological order, in many smaller volumes and a better idea, especially when all her baby books were destroyed in the house-fire.

Merchandise from Homies: Slap Sunglasses&Universal Travel Socket – satisfied and in good use. Insta Sealer – flimsy and not satisfied with it. Total paid US$63 S$85 including shipping.

Wed: unbelievable, but was told in FB that We’ve removed this post because it looks like spam and doesn’t follow our Community Standards – wow! is this their definition of spam??? It is reposted today and let’s see what happens…

A plea to People on Planet Earth
Regardless of beliefs, culture, race, religion, sexual preference, etc
Why can’t we just accept and respect our difference?

Life is a gift to be celebrated
Differences to be appreciated
Compassion to be achieved

Thank you to those who are willing to help share this message – Amy Lam

Thu: Jerry&Roy Caines, Georgetown SC carve the most amazing decoy ducks (pix downloaded from Columbia-Metropolitan Nov 2017). There are some ducks on Lake Murray here but no good shots of them yet, and for now the only duck on my mind is my favourite duck-dish!

Fri: In loving memories of Lam TinYue (1911-1996) pix taken in SIN 1991 celebrating my father’s 80Bday and the only pix of L&M with their maternal grandfather. And John Hald lll (1923-2008), pix taken celebrating my last Christmas 1984 in Norway – two gentlemen who were few&far between in this world and shared the same bday date – 15Jun.

TGIF – tkx to Ryan (who is en route from NC-GA) for taking time to catch up and to Linn for joining us @CafeStrudel. Congratulations for his achievements – he&his group have come a long long way from since I first met them 6yrs ago in SIN. Way to go, keep up the good work and appreciations for keeping in contact.

Cook And Share A Pot Of Curry 2018

9 Jun 2018 – Start Of Summer Holidays

Thu: congratulations to #3, another Honor Roll student – my only grandchild born in SIN! for completing elementary school. Great that Jeff could take time for this. All the best to #3 future into middle school and to principal Tina McCaskill to her new job.

He does not like public speaking, thus his goals and acknowledgements are in written words on the slide-show!

Reception in the cafeteria with Ms Paddock who has taught #1,3&4 and will be retiring after this school year, she will be missed. Coach Goodale will continue his good job coaching them all.

Preparations to Cook&Share A Pot Of Curry for 16ppl tonight. The reason for this event is about tolerance, understanding and fighting against xenophobia.

Trying to keep it a tradition when visiting here and Norway (Kirsten, Mette&Toril from 2011). Appreciations to Haley for opening her house for this event. Tkx to L&J,  Haley, Jeremy, Sarah&Eric and AmyM for their good company – impossible to gather the kids for a shot when they were having so much fun playing!

Fri: TGIF – the last day of school and a well-deserved break for the kids. Saddened by news from this week of Anthony Bourdain (61) chef, travel host&author and fashion designer Kate Spade (55). To understand more, must read this book Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor@Johns Hopkins who has bipolar disorder has written of the link between bipolar disorder and creativity. Pix credits of Bourdain to nieces Pat&Kat. KateSpade – downloaded

To save a man’s life against his will is the same as killing him – Horace

High school Graduation Day and #1 had to play in the orchestra for the ceremony. She lost count of the number of times they had to play Pomp and Circumstance!

Last day for school and let the summer holidays begin – enjoying #3,4&5 while it last. Soon they too will want to be with their own friends like #1&2.

Sat: Happy 9Bday to #4 – her last year for a one digit number! Chocolate-chip pancakes breakfast made by her daddy as per requested by her. Has it really been 9yrs ago???

Presents today but will celebrate next week – another bday party’s invitations were out first and that family having the party will be leaving for MI next week.


With the Bday girl driving us on the boat to dinner into the beautiful sunset to end the day. Appreciations to #1&2 for taking time off their busy social life driving the car from some party to join us for dinner@Liberty Tap Room on the Lake.


Been a while ago since I had a good steak&SouthernColeslawBday girl was shy about us singing but she liked the complimentary dessert which she shared with #3&5.

Shopping On And Off Line

6 Jun 2018 – Awards & Recognition For #2

Mon: It has arrived and I finally managed to custom-design a pair of silver-grey (to colour coordinate with my hair) Chaco sandals to wear for dancing all night 🙂 AT hiker-friends will know who to return them to if they get lost! Have been waiting a get a pair like these for some time, but thought it too expensive US160 S$213 (including shipping), especially after getting 2pairs@the CC sales not long ago.

But we only live once and if not now, when?? Tkx to Nathaniel I know that they can re-souled, but you can only do it if living in the US, otherwise the shipping would be the same as getting a new pair.

Had only 1pair, plain black 20yrs ago and it lasted for nearly 14yrs until it burnt down in Linn’s house. Now I have 4pairs, 2 in SIN and 2here! And, yes they are the only sandals which is completely comfortable for me to walk in for a whole day without any complains.

Tue: shopping@WorldMarket and Linn found a 6pack of TigerBeer US$9 S$12 and a pack of variety at US$1.80pb S$2.50 so that I can taste a sip to try them. Beer goes well with curry which will be on the menu for Thu. A bottle of RuffineProsecco US$14 S$18.50 will go well with the blood orange SanPelleCrino US$6 S$8 for a 6pack and my favourite Bundaberg gingerbeer US$7 S$9.50 for a 4pack. Keeping a price tag to be able to compare to other countries.

Lunched@Chicken Salad Chick, Linn ordered 3different scopes, like the one with basil – must try all the others before I leave SC.

Unable to find the curry-paste@WorldMarket&Krogers. The nearest Asian grocery 88OrientalMarket, owners from HKG is on St Andrews Rd next to #2MiddleSchool. Glad that they do stock my regular brand, GoldenCurry here. Also the store used by the MiddleSchool Chinese class to pick up Asian candies!


IMG_4926Wed: #2 AwardsDay@Irmo Middle International Academic Magnet School and the invitation is good for only 2ppl, pix credits to L&J. Awarded for Principal’sList (straight-As thru’out the year) and the Chinese language while her Asia friend, Zoey, got the English one, such irony. Proud of her achievements and she deserves all the candies she wants! Thank goodness she is careful with her diet, so a red-packet will be a better reward!


Field-Day And Movie Night 2018

4 Jun 2018 – Irmo Elementary School

Fri: TGIF and Happy Birthday to Morten Hald, L&M Norwegian uncle who is someone special and have stayed in contact with me since the late 1960s. Someone who can walk with King&President and keeps the common touch. Group pix credits to SIN X-President Tony Tan with King HaraldV of Norway during his 2016 visit to UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

…If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son – Kipling
Field-Day@IrmoElementry – something different from the previous years from the Shaved-ice stand; today in the BooBoo tent and thank goodness no need for any first-aid, only filling cups and cups of water.
Missed #5 who was in the morning session, some shots of #3&4 in the afternoon when I was there. This will be #3 (the only grandchild born in SIN) last year in the elementary school and he will be in middle school with #2 the next school-year. Needed a nap after being outdoors from 1100-1500hrs.
Movie night, Wonder have already seen this movie, but not in a school cafeteria and what a wonderful idea – looked like a huge slumber-party. Farewell to principal Tina McCaskill who has done such a good job for my grandchildren and welcome to  Shannon Wiley, the next principal.
Hopefully these people in the Irmo School District have got their act together to co-ordinate functions according so that parents and families are able to be present to support all their children. Wrote to express my disappointment in Jun2016 when some of the events clashed and could not be there.  So far so good for 2018.
Sat: am sooo completely wiped out after yesterday that I did not get up early enough this beautiful morning to get to the HarbisonStateForest Trails. Perhaps another time, after-all there are 9different trials there, and have been on only a couple.

Did some grocery shopping while the family is out by the lake and boating. Just getting in and out of the car was enough to give me a headache, felt like fainting and decided to only get what I really needed. When it is too hot to walk barefoot outside, then you can be sure that summer has arrived.
Sun: stayed in to make lunch – the strawberries, peaches and VidaliaOnions here are really top quality at this time of the year and some of my favourite fresh produces.
Had to complete my errands that was left undone from yesterday. This time headed out much later and to Target&WalMart on Harbison Blvd. Success in getting #4 Bday gift and other toys for the summer. Chicken@WalMart for curry night and even got a dress and some containers to organise the paper&plastic stuff here – some of the shoppers there are quite unbelievable! Amazing sunset colours as I was pulling out of the parking-lot at 2030hrs.
After driving off from Harbison Blvd on to St Andrews Rd, noticed these unusual cloud formations, had to pull aside at the high-school carpark to take this shot – have never seen anything like this with blue rays pointing upwards.


1 Jun 2018 – And The Boys

Tue: after cleaning out the covered back porch&deck, had the luxury for a cuppa with time&imagination on my side while all the kids are at school and their parents at work.  A mini zip-line (imagination) from the tree-house (already in existence) to a gazebo (dream!) with the grounds covered by these wild flowers (just only a couple of plants for real but my thoughts can go wild!) is on my mind – hahaha!!

#6 must be having a blast, never knew that one could rent a tree-house – what fun! Tkx May for the pix and info about this and for giving me such wonderful ideas to daydream!

A tree house, a free house,
A secret you and me house,
A high up in the leafy branches
Cozy as can be house – S. Silverstein

What a clever way to learn fractions for #4,5&6 (presumably #1,2&3 already knows them!). especially when these Lego pieces can be found abundantly in both the Norway&USA household! Perhaps math would have been more interesting to me if this way of learning was offered then.

Wed: a day to clean&clear the art-room, as referred to by the household here. There is this shoe-box where I placed all the crayons in 2016, was reinforced in 2017 and now in 2018, double reinforced – let’s see if it will last till 2019? Cleaning&clearing here is more rewarding as you see results, unlike in my 4-walls which has only 1person under 1roof – a completely different ball-game from 5purple&2orange generations+dog and now+a grandmom with 3generations under 1roof.

Thu: Haley, our next door neighbour made a comment on FB: I would have never imagined that I’d be cuddling BOTH a hamster and a bearded dragon on the couch while my pup and cat jealously watch! Will still stay upstairs away from animals, reptiles, rodents as long as I can help it – as it is there is a rodent, Choco in the boys’ room and I hear it at night!!!  One of the frogs, Hopster (grey) is still alive and has grown, but not big enough for a frog-leg dish!!!! Zuno is about the only animal I can handle now that he knows what I expect of him after a week+of disciplining with consistency.


Edited: seeming Choco can be active in the daytime when he (was just informed that it is a he) is placed inside this plastic-ball. No matter how cute everyone may think he is, will still stay away from him!!


Last day of May 2018 and the feeling of helplessness prevails. #3 Boy Scouts Awards and was annoyed with myself for not getting decent pix but here they are and he does look smart in his uniform with the troop.

1 Jun – Happy Bday Morten

2 Jun – Happy Bday KK  & Richard LEE

6 Jun – Happy Bdays Dika  & Harry

9 Jun – Happy Bday Sophie

15 Jun – my father LAM TinYue would have been 107 and L&M paternal grandfather John HALD III 95 today. Happy Bday Amy J

17 Jun – Happy Father’s Day

25 Jun – Happy Bdays John/Choon, Clement & Huang

28 Jun – Happy Bdays Jeff & John WILSON

30 Jun – Happy Bdays JenMun & Annie

Memorial Day 2018

29 May 2018 – Clearwater On Lake Murray

Sat: tkx to the ppl who organised this event where I was provided with new&useful info and saw some lovely gardens in this neighbourhood. A gazebo will fit perfectly into the backyard with the tree-house, hint hint to Jeff 🙂 

Appreciations to Zoey for the lovely red, blue&white ladybird to start off this Memorial Day weekend, even this dog is colour co-ordinated for the function!

Representative from Lexington County Recycling Guide were there and taught me much that I have been doing incorrectly with recycling. Tkx to them for teaching the correct way to recycle.

Can never get tired of the views from the dock.

Random shots of front-yards.

Appreciations to those who gave me a tour of their flowering&kitchen gardens and back-yards.

Kicking off this Memorial Day weekend socials with Jeff’s family at the lake – with his bro-in-law Chris getting the boat into the lake; #4 with her cousin Olivia; #3&4 with their cousins William&Graham, their uncleRob&auntieLesley, grand-auntie Kathleen; Jeff’s cousin Dave&Bridger.

Many tkx to Kathleen&Pat (Jeff’s auntie&uncle+their 4or5?sons) for bringing all the food&drinks. Here with Jeff’s mom Cindy, his sister, Kristy&Chris+their 3kids Abigail, William&Olivia.

Graham has stretched over the year and he will be a proud bro of a little bro in Aug. Congratulations to Rob&Lesley (Jeff’s cousin) who so graciously hosted 2017 Memorial Day at their lovely house in The Ramble – Biltmore Forest, NC.

The joy of capturing these shots of my first-born+Jeff and the ‘FaBuLous5’, even when they are not all together in the same pix! And not forgetting their family&friends too where pix are a good way for me to remember ppl by – difficult as it is to know the names of my side of the family. Hopefully this blog will help as the memory fades!!

And a Bday pool-party where Linn and #1&2 are at – must find myself a cup-cake container like that.


Sun: Peter Rabbit movies@Spotlight Cinemas St. Andrews (used to be known as the $1 cinema) with #3,4&5 – prefer the book. Somehow always manage to miss this turn into my left when driving here and this time was no exception! But worth it for US$3 S$4per movie ticket and with 3kids+popcorn&drinks, US$27 S$36 is OK.

Mon: good morning from the Palmetto State of SC, USA on this gray morning. Thoughts are with those who served their countries and are no longer here. May peace be with us all no matter of weather or location. Fun swimming in the lake with #3, 4&5 in the afternoon. Have been expecting and waiting for the rains over the weekend and tonight it finally poured.

1915, a Canadian doctor, John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called In Flanders Fields. After the WW1, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


25 May 2018 – In 2015 And Now

Thu: enjoying the serenity in this neighbourhood with the fragrance of Gardenia scent and feeling like a child again with a tree-house in an idyllic backyard. Wow!! compare these 2pix; one when the tree-house was built in 2015 and now where the creepers are climbing higher, growing fast like the FaBuLous5. Nice with the tree stumps around a fire-pit – perfect for s’mores in the evening.

This song usually pop up when there is this feeling of being blessed and grateful to have family and friends who have given and taught me much in this life journey, so far. And the journey continues north towards ME and Canada for Jul&Aug. With tickets arranged and booked, can relax and enjoy SC for now.

Fri: TGIF – air tickets for Aug from CAE-YYZ and from YYZ-FLL (total US$299 S$400), at this price, will pass on the Greyhound which would save me US$50 S$67. Bus tickets for Jul on Greyhound (US$70 S$94) from CAE-WinstonSalem and from Wikesboro-CAE.

The strange thing with greyhounding from CAE-WilkesB transferring@WinstonS with a long layover will take 20+hrs to get to WilkesB, but from WilkesB-CAE, 9hrs. Was rather greyhounded out in 2015 road-trip, should be ok for this short trip.

Looking forward to Jul’s drive from NC-ME to do a support hike for HiHills, Pokey&Wiggs. Not sure which roads Franklin is planning to take, but will be filled with adventures and fun for sure. Have not been to ME since the AT thru’hike (2005).

Too much time on hand, wanted and could not resist these items online – Universal Travel Socket US$27 S36 Slap Sunglasses US$13 S$17 Insta Sealer US$12 $16 shipping US$11 S$15. $$$ quoted thru’out my blog are just estimated and round-up, ie not exactly to the cent! incase anyone wants to contradict or challenge those figures!! They are just for me to remember and compare how much stuff roughly cost then and now.


Advantages with online shopping – no need to dress or drive or to go out of the house and everything delivered to the doorsteps. I can live with that – especially the dressing and driving part 🙂 Cheers to all that!  Anyone with one of these Universal Travel Socket plx provide a comment, tkx. Have been searching for something like this, ie a single piece with multi-functions. Will let y’all know after receiving and trying it out. Have one from a few years ago, but not 100% satisfied…