Oconee State Park

31 Oct 2011 – Happy Halloween/laptop on SIN time!

Fri: Cindy (Jeff‘s mom) arrived Thu. We drove Gator to the kennel, Westcott Acres/Luxury Pet Resort before heading to Oconee State Park. This drive would usually take 3hrs but took us 4. Ellie was car-sick and we had to drive in the dark and rain the last hour to find the park.

The historic park rests deep in the Blue Ridge foothills with several picturesque but non-demanding hiking trails and well-kept cabins and campgrounds that have welcomed families for annual trips since the days the park was first built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The ‘Barrack’ booked in the park accommodates 16. The Reeds with their 3 children (friends of L&J) joined us.

Sat: woke up to a beautiful clear blue sky with spectacular fall colours. Took a solo-hike for app 8miles and took even more time to take pix! This is the first hike in fall colours and walking on the autumn falls and pine needles was like walking on a red carpet. Felt that I could have hiked on and on in this perfect weather and serenity!

Bought a travel hammock and it was fun to see the static on the kids’ hair 🙂 John Reed made a delicious dinner and what is a camping trip without campfire and marshmallows roasting!

Thank you to L&J for including me, to the Reeds for cooking delicious food and to Cindy for the driving.

How is it that one match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire – Christy Whitehead


27 Oct 2011 – Katy‘s Artwork

Happy 87th Bday to Ellen HALD, L&M‘s paternal Norwegian grandmother!

Pix is of Katy’s art (she has now named it Dots in Waves) which is hanging in Stingers Restaurant***This is a beautiful and creative piece of art and is the only one chosen from Irmo Elementary School I saw hanging at the restaurant. We did not dine in as it is easier to do take outs when there are 5 kids in the real picture 🙂

Good job and congratulations to Katy.

The kids choose from the kid’s menu and two cheeseburger sliders topped with yellow mustard, cheddar cheese and a pickle slice, served with fries. Jeff had a pizza, Linn had the one of the wraps – it was good and the chef salad was enough to last 2 meals for me!


FB Wall Photos by San Diego Reader shared by Denise! My comment was: Like like like… what an absolutely brilliant idea. Tkx for sharing and how many light years does it take for this to happen? Must remind them to include Brisbane station, where Denise is located! Wonder if it is really possible to connect the world this way? Even if it is, it will not happen in my life-time!!

NO thank you to the ride below, not even if I get paid for going on it!

Perhaps this one going at the speed of 581km/h or maybe even a faster and newer one as we speak.

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Row of Lights

26 0ct 2011 – The Festival Of Lights

Deepavali/Diwali=Row of Lights, marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year based on Hindu Lunar Calendar. The name itself derive from Sanskrit; Dipa means lamp, and Awali means row or line. This Festival of Lights originally celebrated after the monsoon season is a time for rejoicing and renewal. Hindus all over the world celebrate the triumph of good over evil, or light over darkness when many homes will light up little lamps to usher in light and good fortune.

The Indians form 9.2% of SIN’s population and in SIN where all the major festivals of the different cultures are marked, thus a public holiday. Hindu Indians celebrate with light and candle decorations that create a beautiful a night scene. The atmosphere Deepavali creates, coupled with the joy of the people over SIN’s multi-racial and multi-nationality, regardless of their religion and nationality.

Little India on Serangoon Road is decorated with elaborate lights, garlands and colorful arches to mark the celebrations. This is the center of commerce of the SIN Indian community on normal days. Today Little India turns into a festive street. Stalls are decorated with fragrant flowers, garlands, traditional oil lamps and beautiful Saris with intricate brocade patterns and glittering gems.

Pix credits to Athena TAN, a talented SIN photographer who worked in H&H with me some light festivals ago!  Usually am in SIN to enjoy the lights but today, will enjoy with the grandchildren by telling them about it! There is only one Indian girl in Katy’s class.

Let this diwali burn all your bad times and enter you in good times – Diwali greetings

United Nations/UN Day

24 Oct 2011 – United in Peace

Prayers and thoughts to all victims, families and friends in the Turkey earthquake.

In a weeks time, ie 31 Oct/Haloween, the world pop will reach 7 billion!

Let us unite, seven billion strong, in the name of the global common good – message for UN Day 2011 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

24 Oct 1945, the UN came into force when the five permanent members of the security council ratified the charter that had been drawn up earlier that year. These members were: France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, UK and USA.


Since 1948, the event’s anniversary has been known as UN Day. It is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Yesterday James was 3 months and Linn & family decided to have pix taken by profession photographers. But so far, my favourite of James is this one taken by Linn.

Silly Facts…

22 Oct 2011 –  but they are still facts…

This is what happens to the mind for hanging around 5 grandkids and today they are having 2 more visitors 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee – hardly seems worth it.

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb – now that’s more like it!

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet – OMG!!

A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes – in my next life, I want to be a pig.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death – creepy but I’m still not over the pig.

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour – do not try this at home, maybe at work.

The male pray mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off – honey, I’m home, what the….?!

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds – what could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?

Some lions mate over 50 times a day – I still want to be a pig in my next life… quality over quantity.

Butterflies taste with their feet – something I always wanted to know.

A cat’s urine glows under a black light – wonder who was paid to figure that out?

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain – I know some people like that.

Starfish have no brains – I know some people like that too.

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure – what about that pig??

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue – hmmmmmm…  

Hopefully you’ve smiled at least once. Some stupidity and chuckles should not harm anyone… LOL

Nerf Guns Battle!

21 Oct 2011 – Jeff is safe & sound back on US soil

News headlines: Col Muammar Gaddafi is killed after an assault on Sirte. Thailand floods: Bangkok ‘impossible to protect’. Both not good news. One created by humans and the other Mother Nature, but created by the consequences of continual human abuse to nature 🙁

So on to more cheerful subjects, my grandchildren 🙂

Thu: kids had early school release, Andrea and her two boys were visiting and as promised we had our Nerf gun-fight 🙂 🙂

Thank you to all the guardian angels, thoughts, prayers and forces! Jeff arrived in ATL/GA, still need to connect to CLT/NC, drive app 2hrs and will be home pass midnight. Can’t wait to see the excited faces from the grandchildren when they get up for their breakfast.

12 days have gone by and it is a relief to have Jeff and his group of SC medical residency back after their training in Honduras. This course offers a brief, intensive exposure to Global health. It is intended for students considering a career working in this area, as well as for those who plan to spend the majority of their career in the United States but want to learn more about providing clinical care in developing nations. 


A son-in-law who is a good husband to my daughter, a wonderful father to my grandchildren, was 1993 valedictorian for Lake Howell High School/FL, recipient of the Junior Honors for UF Med School, now both a practicing physician and Course Director of the SC medical residency. What else more can a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother ask. Thank you Jeff for your gracious being.

A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation – Mark Twain


18 Oct 2011 – A Fun Talk for Katy’s Class


Irmo Elementary is under construction and most classes are conducted in portables. Was asked by Mrs Paddock (Katy’s home room teacher) to give a talk to Katy’s class and with Katy’s approval the talk was done with great pleasure!


Halloween is around the corner and a good time to introduce the origins of All Souls’ Day and Jack-0-Lantern to this gifted class. Info provided by the site below lead an interesting research to this topic. Nearly a quarter of the class has Irish background and thus a good way to inform them that the origins of Halloween actually dates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). Also known as AllHallowTide, GhostFestival, DiaDeLosMuertos, Totensonntag, Hop-tu-Naa, CalanGaeaf, Allantide, etc is a day for remembering those departed from this world.


Slide show of different cultures to honour the deceased love-ones was presented to let them understand how Halloween evolved. This is also the class mentioned in previous posting where students were sent to Australia for time-out! Thought it might also be good to show them a pix of my most memorable war memorial in Canberra which is the capital of time-out! Many have mistaken Sydney to be the capital!! Hopefully they will now remember Canberra 🙂

Thank you Katy, my eldest grandchild for this opportunity to meet her teacher and class-mates. Appreciations to Mrs Paddock for allowing me to talk to this 4th grade gifted class.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal – from a headstone in Ireland

Avalon & The Smurfs

17 Oct 2011 – OMGIM… Oh my gosh, it’s Mon!

Sat : Avalon where Linn & family lives, had their Annual Festival Party right next door to Linn. While walking in the neighbourhood, saw this lovely house with a well-groomed lawn and it will get my vote for being most idyllic house here! Took James in his stroller around this peaceful neighbourhood while the other kids had more inflatable to bounce off their energy which seems to bounce directly back after a good night sleep 🙂

Sun: The Smurfs make their first trip to the big screen in Columbia Pictures’/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action and animated family comedy, The Smurfs***When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, they’re forced through a portal, out of their world, landing in the middle of New York’s Central Park. Stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.

Katy, Ellie and John seemed to have enjoyed the movie! Either the chairs in this cinema are not too comfortable, or my aging back is trying to tell me something!!

Papa Smurf: I’m 546, I’m getting too old for this… 


15 Oct 2011 – Another Weekend of Activities

How to keep the kids busy on a Fri afternoon and evening! Introduce them to pomegranate eating but make sure it is outdoors so that one can hose down the aftermath 🙂

Then hope that the older kids had fun bouncing off their excess energy@FunZone so that mother, baby and pet can have a couple of hours to quiet time! Am told that parents, grandparents are able to bounce too. Boy what am I missing out and always thought that those inflatable were only for children.

With three play areas and even a section for having food, my next Bday party will be@FunZone 🙂 🙂


Finally you would think that they will just crash to bed after a day as such and they more or less did! This is only Fri afternoon and evening, there is still the whole of Sat & Sun! Have a wonderful weekend y’all 🙂 🙂 🙂

No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back – Sheryl Swoopes

Condom for Irmo Mayor!

13 Oct 2011 – Interesting Names

What is it with mayor and governor in this area!!! The previous SC governor gave AT a bad rep and a week ago, saw this in The New Irmo News Newspapers – The name we trust. Kathy Condom Irmo Mayor.

She is Irmo’s Council Woman and running for mayor. With a family/last name like Condom, one would think that a change will not harm in this case! Wonder if her name came before the product?? But then with a name like that, people will certainly remember 🙂

In Norway there are laws against certain names and if you have not named you baby by 6 months after birth, the state will name the baby!

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet – Shakespeare 

What an interesting place to be and where else in the world can you find  an Orka Man, a restaurant with the name of Lizard’s Thicket with no lizards and perhaps they may even have a mayor name Condom 🙂 🙂

Significance of Names and these are funny 🙂 🙂 🙂

Since history began, the Chinese always believed in the significance of one’s name. They have developed a comprehensive system of naming one’s children as it is believed that the name of a person strongly influences one’s destiny and fate. Astrologers, fortune-tellers, academics and monks are consulted when choosing a name for the new born. The other cultures, however do not really believe in it and tend to brush it off as superstition.

Whether you believe it or not, however, the other cultures are not spared of this correlation.

Eg, the Chinese surname LEE (or LI) is associated with power and success such as Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Teng Hui (former Taiwan President), Li Peng ( China ‘s ex PM), Li Ka Shing (HK tycoon) and LEE Iacocca – once Chrysler’s chief, and Lee Van Cliff, the actor.

 One very good example is Lee Iacocca, whose last name IACOCCA stands for:








Coincidence? ……….

Look at the following familiar examples:

MAHATHIR ( Malaysia ‘s PM):








Ringgit !

SUHARTO (Ex president of Indonesia) :








BUSH (American Ex-President) :




Hussein !








Now !

However, no one can beat this latest casualty in bad naming :