RIP LAM Poh Ying

30 Nov 2012 – 6th Auntie

Condolences to nephew Justin Chia and to his mom Letty

Sad news from Justin of the passing of his grandmother, my 6th auntie. Fond memories of this auntie who was a kind, generous and graceful lady. She was also closed to my mother and fond memories of them both are within.

Robert, her only son and my cousin had good childhood times together but unfortunately he had cancer and passed on over 10yrs ago. It must have been difficult for 6th aunt to outlived her son. May she now RIP.
‘Farewell to my grandma who passed away peacefully this afternoon at the ripe old age of 91. She has made an immeasurable difference to my life and will always be fondly remembered. May she rest in peace’ – Justin Chia
Having problems to download pix from a 2008 post when it was the last time we crossed paths. Cousin LAM Kah Yun was then in SIN to attend Kat & Greg’s wedding.
B/W pix from late 1940s: 2nd row sitting and 2nd from the left: 6th Auntie LAM Poh Ying with cousin Robert on her lap.
Apologies, unable to get these pix larger, have to figure that out when time permits.


29 Nov 2012 – Happy 6th Bday JohnW

Artist and Friends Descending Mt. Washington by

One of my favourite paintings by Chuck Aldridge of his Mountain Appalachian Art titled: Artist and Friends Descending  Mt. Washington. A 4×5′ painting showing the magnitude and power of relationships and the landscape on the AT…

Have to pack again to leave on a jet plane for the umpteen times! The ears are really going to pop in the air with this terrible runny nose and cough. Heading to NYC to visit with May, Kat and their families before returning to SIN via Shanghai. Looking forward to meeting the new addition to the family.


A short breakfast to wish John a Happy Bday (his actual date 29 Nov), the only grandchild born in SIN. Never easy to say goodbyes to the kids and will have to do so when they get back from school.

Wed: kids dressed in the PJs for pix day. Only managed to capture the older ones, the two younger ones still in dreamland.

Last minute shopping yesterday and today. Rushing to the post office to mail off gifts, etc. Thank you Linn for dinner at Catch 22***had the She-Crab soup and crab cakes but not feeling too crabby yet 🙂

Was pleasantly surprised with these beautiful holiday light decorations from four private residences in a row next to each other. Wow! this is the most impressive private Christmas light displays ever seen. Appreciations to the Derrick Family whoever they all are on Hope Fairy Road, Lexington County/SC who so graciously shared their lights.

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary – Aaron Rose

John’s Early Birthday Party

26 Nov 2012 – Beyblades…

Sun: a successful early 6th Bday for John. It was a Beyblade theme with 15kids, including James! Pizza, soda, cupcakes, ice-cream and candies in the piñata. A piñata is a container made often of papier-mâché, pottery, or cloth and decorated, filled with small toys and/or candy, and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration. Piñatas are most commonly associated with Mexico, but their origins are considered to be in China.

Beyblade/爆転シュート ベイブレード, Bakuten Shūto Beiburēdo is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takao Aoki. Originally serialized in CoroCoro Comic  from 2000 to 2002, the individual chapters were collected and published in 14 tankōbon by Shogakukan. The series focuses on a group of kids who form teams with which they battle one another using highly powerful spinning tops called Beyblades.

In our childhood days, spinning tops were simple wooden tops with string to spin them, unlike these high speed Beyblades. Thank you to grand children for keeping me updated with toys 🙂

Let anyone try to cut a thought across the middle and get a look at its section, and he will see how difficult the introspective observation. . . . is. The rush of the thought is always so headlong that it almost always brings us up at the conclusion before we can arrest it. [Introspective analysis] is in fact like seizing a spinning top to catch its motion, or trying to turn up the gas quickly enough to see how the darkness looks – William James

Kwong Lee Bank/2

25 Nov 2012 – Family Business…

Sat: took the 3 oldest grandchildren to a movie, Disney production, The Odd Life of Timothy Green***A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears. And odd it certainly is but more important, the kids enjoyed it and the ending was happy! Like many of the Disney, All’s well that ends well with a good moral behind it all!

John’s early Bday party is scheduled for Sunday afternoon instead of the actual date Thu 29 Nov when a plane awaits for me! The family is enjoying the fantastic weather outdoors on the high school running track and the park. Tonight we are all excited about the football game, way to go Gators.

Did some grocery shopping to make curry (Linn’s request) ready for Mon. Stayed mainly indoors to prevent a runny nose and a scratchy throat from getting worse, knowing that the journeys ahead will be long and tiring. Better safe than sorry as the plane tickets are non-refundable! Wiser to take it easy for a few days, unlike my usual living life to the fullest 🙂

Received some interesting and informative pix and postings:

Thanks you Daniel Yiek for sharing this chronological graph. Adding it to the research to another KLB posting :


Appreciations to Dag Kajander for reviving some memories of early working days from 1976/77 in Tromsø/Norway at Nordnorsk Musikkonservatorium. Somehow those memories seemed to be blurred and the piano came to mind but after some thoughts with the music, Dido & Aeneas (was informed later) that was performed then, thus has to be a harpsichord, not piano!

The performance was at Tromsø Ishavskatedralen/The Arctic Cathedral. Pix credits to Svein Hugo Hagen.

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce ― Karl Lagerfeld

Thanksgiving 2012

23 Nov 2012 – Post-Thanksgiving

Preparations for Thanksgiving dinner…

Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, Irish-creamed potatoes, pumpkin pie and Tiramisu from us. The Looneys brought broccoli-casserole, sweet potatoes, mac & cheese. Champagne for the ladies. Thank you and cheers to all for delightful company.

What a beautiful ending to this lovely Thanksgiving evening, a drive to the Holiday Lights on the River at Saluda Shoals. Appreciations to Linn for showing the lights!!Looking forward to seeing the Christmas and CNY lights in SIN.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs – Author Unknown

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving – Erma Bombeck

Pre-Thanksgiving Thoughts

21 Nov 2012 – Glad that I am NO turkey 🙂

Mon: nice to be back with the family and the Greatest Little Brother who loves his chocolate as much as his mom 🙂 After an uneventful 4hrs drive, arrived safe & sound to a yummy surprise, a box of Honolulu Cookie Co, best HI shortbread cookies. Thank you Lisa & Adriane for their thoughtfulness. Sorry to miss their wedding in Sep but will try to visit for one of their anniversaries!

Turkey Day is just around the corner and the wine selection has been fun at the winery. Bought the local wines from NC and 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau is finally on the shelves. Linn got 2 bottles, tried it and will be good with the turkey. We will be 13 around 2 tables for Thanksgiving feast. Looking forward to tasting everything!

Tue: a lazy day. Linn has a cleaning help and she is doing a good job. Did some last-minute grocery shopping. Took care of the kids who are as good as gold while the parents went out on a date night. Such a pleasure and precious time alone with my delightful grandchildren for an evening.

To May, Bjørn & Olai who will be greatly missed but am thankful of their beings and will look forward to when we meet again. Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone. Indeed am blessed and thankful to have y’all crossing paths in this life’s journey.

He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart – J.A. Shedd

Ski Slopes on Sugar Mt/NC

18 Nov 2012 – the♥pumps hard walking up these slopes…

Fri: 0900hrs: walked Grouse Moor Drive (2mi/3.2km app 30mins walk downhill), pass the Food Lion grocery store and staying on the main road (184). Taking a right turn up Sugar Mt Drive to the Ski Lodge (passing the golf course), another 2mi. A hamburger and a bottle of water cost $8+/nearly S$10 here. Saw only 2 other person in the cafe. Season has not really started yet!

Only a long run, Lower and Upper Flying Mile have snow and is opened. No, they did no allowed me to take the lift up unless I ski down. Had no intentions to rent gears, never been nor will ever be a fan of downhill skiing! The only skiing in the mind is cross-country skiing, not sure if the body is still capable of it… 🙂 

Talked to the security officer (did not wished to take the main road back) and he recommended to walk up the Lower Flying Mile Slope (lifts are not yet opened). From there, continued to climb the Big Red Slope (the slope right outside the condo). The 2 slopes are hard climbs but now quite orientated with the slopes and lifts on Sugar Mt, no need for compass 🙂 🙂

Took nearly 4hrs (with 2 short breaks) to do this whole walk, ie from the condo! What a good way to see and feel the slopes! but the heart was pumping like there is no tomorrow… 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sat: walked to the summit of Sugar Mt 5,300’/1,615m and the views are just breath-taking. Thank you Mother Nature for being on my side this whole week. The secret in life’s harmony is to be at peace with nature, ie to be aware and at one with nature. Found a road up there and decided to on a sunset drive.

The clubhouse and the facilities are wonderful as there is not a soul in sight! Felt like my own private pool and hot-tub!

Skiing is the only sport where you spend an arm and a leg to break an arm and a leg – Author Unknown

On a Singing Bridge

16 Nov 2012 – At Grandfather Mt & Winery/NC

Wed: another beautiful day. Drove to Linn Cove Vioduct as the previous drive was in fog and poor visibility! A very short walk just to the bridge to check out the conditions on the Tanawha Trail from Rough Ridge Outlook, elevation 4,293’/1,308m. Tempting to continue but it has to be some other time…

Decided to pay US$15/S$18 for seniors to drive the 2.5mi/4km up Grandfather Mt, 5,946ft/1,812m and glad for that decision. The 360° views of the Smokies are just breath-taking. Walking alone across the Swinging Bridge was an experience, especially in the wind, thus also known as the Singing Bridge.

Grandfather Winery: a young (2011) family run-winery. The charming young host Dylan informed us they were closed but still let us taste and purchase. Being the only customers there made a real nice difference, unlike the experience at Banner Elk Winery which is more commercialize, thus less personal.

Had to drive thru’ Banner Elk to revive memories of Lees-McRae ( private U) when life’s journey crossed that path 7yrs ago; stayed in the dom for a couple of days to attend some classes about the AT then. Lunched at the Banner Elk Cafe***excellent hamburgers and good cakes.

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art – Freya Stark

The Road Less Travelled…

15 Nov 2012 – Away from the Maddening Crowd

Mon: app 1+hr drive 43mi/70km west in light rain and fog from Wilkesboro to Sugar Ski & Country Club near Banner Elk/NC. Arrived past 12n and was happy to get off the road as the weather did not improved. Was concerned as Nancy was driving from Tennessee/app6+hrs. She finally arrived safe & sound after 2100hrs in the pouring rain!

Tue: slept in until nearly 0900hrs and it was 20°F/-6.7°C°. The footprints of Sandy can still be seen as 2 patches of snow! Have not felt this kind of temps for a long while. Clear blue sky and had to pour hot water on the car to get the door open.

Headed to Valle Crucis/Vale of the Cross, to the Mast General Store (1883) and the Annex where 500+ variety of candies can be found. The grandchildren would love it here and so would the parrot from Crab Shack, Tybee Island/GA!

Here at The Rivercross where all the crafts and arts are made in USA is a tasteful gift shop. Could not resist buying one of those trees for Jeff.

Had a simple lunch on ham and greens at the 1861 Farmhouse & Winery****where the brick building is built by hand. The brick for the house was made personally by hand by Henry Taylor at his own brickyard. Rather impressive and the service was excellent.

Website edited 19 Jul 2014 – tkx to Linn for update

A relaxing evening in the Sugar Ski and Country Clubhouse sauna and hot-tub made the day!

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe – Anatole France

New River/Kanawha

13 Nov 2012 – Celebrating AT’s 75th Anniversary

Had to rest a few days before hitting the road again. Lack of energy is certainly a tell-tale sign that age is catching up but still no reason not to continue enjoying this life’s journey.

Fri: rented a car for L&J, borrowed their van and headed to Wilkesboro/NC, app 3+hrs drive, 192mi/310km NW of CAE. Appreciations to delicious steak dinner made by Franklin & Glenda and a lovely evening at their beautiful home.

Sat: headed out bright and early to Roanoke/VA, app 2+hrs drive, 154mi/248km N of Wilkesboro. Tkx to Franklin for driving and to Glenda for delightful company. Arrived with half-hour to spare allowing us to roam about the historic Grandin village. National geographic Film presented Discover the AT and ATC is using it for membership drive and fund-raising to mark the 75th Anniversary of the AT.

Interesting stories from hikers and outfitter, especially at Neels Gap where it is the first stop with civilization after app nearly 50mi and 3rd day into a thru-hike. Some hiker started carrying 16 rolls of toilet paper!! and Neels Gap is where most hikers discard and mail stuff back home at this location. A daypack which was recently thrown out was mailed from here in 2005 when Loon sold me the vest!


Great to meet up with Karen/Miss Wiggy, Lori/Lizard and Glenda/Hi Hills from 2005 hike. A lovely afternoon with trail stories. Made dinner and stayed over at Karen & Brian in Blacksburg/VA.

Sun: yummy brunch at Palisades****located in this tiny village of Eggleston over looking the New River/Kanawha which dissects the Appalachian Mt is app 300mil yrs, and is actually the 3rd oldest river in the world. Older than the Nile but younger than the Meuse and the Yangtze!

A beautiful 7mi/11km, 4+hrs hike on Craig Creek/AT to end another perfect day. Somehow, did not recognise any parts of the section from the 2005. AT without the leaf is quite a change from the AT in the summer time. Snoozed thru’ out the drive back to Wilkesboro.

A million thanks to Glenda & Franklin and to Karen & Brian for their kind and graceful hospitality. Another perfect weekend passed by quickly.

He who does not travel does not know the value of men – Moorish proverb