Shopping For Good Deals

16 Sep 2013 – Happy Birthday to a Special Sister-in-law, Ivy!

And also sharing the same birthday is SIN first and former PM who turns 90 today. SIN would not have been what it is today without him. Happy Birthday to Mr LEE KuanYew


Thu: Linn&Jeff’s night out (reception at the USC’s president home) and she is looking as beautiful as ever. Had a blast with the 5 grandchildren, such fun to look after and be with them.

IMG_7263IMG_7265Fri the 13th: a successful shopping day at the sales. Good savings at Old Navy in their clearance section. Needed a swimsuit and lucky to find one and also a wrap both for under US$15 S$19. Good deals. Now no need to pack swimsuit for travelling to USA!

AC Moore, the local craft store here has closed down. For the fist time to Micheals and found nice calendars and packs of greeting cards for 0.99c each, bought US$26 S$33 worth of items! Let’s hope that they will be able to fit into the new luggage, otherwise will have to remain in storage here!


The aurora/Northern lights hit many in the county of Troms /Norway by surprise. First sighting came earlier than expected and looking at the pix posted by various photographers, they also seem more powerful.  Just AMAZING and never fail to grasp my attention. Appreciations to Tor-Ivar Næss and Truls Melbye Tillerfor their photo skills.

The stars are putting on their glittering belts.
They throw around their shoulders cloaks that flash 
Like a great shadow’s last embellishment – Wallace Stevens


Sat: thanks May for a surprise care package. A visitor from the past, Rich was passing thru’ and spent the day with us. A morning trip to Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, and dates back to the early 19th century with SC’s textile industry and the American Civil War. Located on 170-acre (69 ha) this zoo, aquarium and botanical garden@500 Wildlife Parkway, along the Saluda River is SC largest and leading attraction.


Some of the captive residents do not seem unhappy to be there…


Zip and Zoom is a new feature added a month ago. Also the Sky High Safari, a 4-story vertical ropes challenge has been added since the last visit. Hope to be able to take them all there one early Sat morning. Both Katy and Ellie are tall enough to be on their own, L&J can accompany John and Sophie, and James can be with me to walk around the zoo.


IMG_7262Katy was at a skating Bday party on the NE side of Columbia, the Village at Sandhill, a 300-acre 1.2 km lifestyle center. Took the opportunity to explore the area. Lunched at Red Bowl Asian Bistro***, a ride on the mini train and ice-cream dessert at the Marble Slab. Some shopping in World Market. Grilled salmon at home for dinner and the kids ended this busy day with roast mash mellows. The evenings are now cooler and pleasant to be out. The previous roast mash mellows session had nearly 20 mozzy bites. This time round, no shorts and plenty of mozzy repellent!

Sun: church with the family. The senior pastor Dr Dick Lincoln at Shandon Baptist Church is one of the better pastors who is good enough to get me out of bed on a Sun morning! Today said a silent prayer to the people involved in the recent floods in Colorado where there are death tolls and many are still unaccounted for.

Neighbourhood Drama

12 Sep 2013 – Triggers off Traumatic Memories!


Mon afternoon, nearly all of Irmo’s firefighters, police, emergency vehicles were here to confirm my statement that there is never a dull moment here! It turned out that a stove fire across the street broke out and nobody was at home. The firemen broke in and put it out. Thank goodness no one was hurt.


While watching the action, got a chance to chat with the next door neighbour who told us about when lightning struck one of the houses and burnt it down, and some robbery that happened before Linn & family moved into this neighbourhood. Sometime early this year, Linn witness at least 5 police cars across the street due to some domestic dispute! According to the next door neighbour, this neighbour (where the domestic dispute occurred) is on something or other as she was seen threatening the cable workers with a shotgun at another incident…

Quite some unusual drama in this quiet residential area.


A vivid memory came to mind, robbery at the Bank of America/Bellflower Blvd when we moved to Long Beach/CA in 1985/86. Linn was in 5th Grade and May in 1st at Bixby Elementary. The bank’s front entrance was on the main road but there was back entrance where a car park was located. The building was free-standing with a lane on either side. Left May & Linn sitting in the car knowing that it was going to be just a quick cheque deposit.

Deposit slips were near the front entrance and thus was standing nearer there. Suddenly the word FREEZE nearer the back entrance echoed. First thought, what if May decides to get out of the car to look for me??? Slowly and discreetly, started to head out of the front entrance like nothing happened, but do remember that the heart was pounding hard and heavy. When I got as far as the door, pushed it open slowly and ran for life to the back. Such a relief to see both Linn & May in the car.


The robbers were actually parked next to our car. Linn saw the guys with stockings on their face said, ‘hey May, look robbers’!  When one is age 11 and 7, incidents like these are easily forgotten! The police questioned Linn who could only tell them that the robbers had stockings on their faces.  Our neighbours from Clark Avenue who were standing in line at the cashier near the back entrance to make a deposit (cash in-take from their chocolate store on the Queen Mary), got their money stolen.

There are certain days and incidents that are so stuck in the memory and 9/11 is another one of them…


Here is an interesting article about regarding memory, appreciations to  Martin Williams/HKG for sharing.

In every man’s heart there is a devil, but we do not know the man as bad until the devil is roused – James Curwood

The Bucket List

9 Sep 2013 – Library and Movies


Good morning from Columbia/SC and what a lovely sunrise on the deck outside the house. Was at the library a few days ago, have nearly forgotten how nice and pleasant the Irmo Branch Library is. That will be another Sat outing for the grandkids!

Welcome back to the US and Blockbuster, where it is possible to rent some movies for US$0.99 over 5 days. Time to catch up with the movies missed or repeat those which are worth repeating.

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The Bucket List/2007****starring two of my favourites, Jack Nicholson (Edward) and Morgan Freeman (Carter) as the two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. Not good review from the movie critics who are perhaps younger and are unable to relate to mortality! Personally I enjoyed this movie.

IMG_7152Edward last visit with Carter and they share a few moments, wherein Carter reveals with great amusement how the Kopi Luwak (most expensive coffee in the world) Edward enjoys is grown in a Sumatran village, is eaten and defecated by a jungle cat (Asian Palm Civet), and is harvested because of the special aroma of the gastric juices, for real 🙂

Carter crosses off ‘laugh till I cry’ from his bucket list and insists Edward finish the list without him…

Linn received a tiny packet of that coffee from the Sumatra mission group, note the tagline


The Norwegian title translated – Now or Never! Got me thinking what would be in my bucket list??? Laugh till I cry will certainly be one of them 🙂 🙂

drew_kickthebucket 2drew_kickthebucket 3


According to the above drawings, spoons are used more than bucket!!! When it is time to end life’s journey, it does not matter whether one kicks the bucket or the spoon 🙂 🙂 🙂

Italian romantic comedy Pane e tulipani/Bread And Tulips/2001**** Rosalba misses her bus because she’s stuck in the women’s restroom trying to retrieve her dropped wedding ring from a toilet, how symbolic – marriage down in the toilet!! The courtship of a runaway Italian housewife by a suicidal Icelandic waiter might not sound like the stuff of movie magic — even if it is set against the sensuous, super-romantic backdrop of Venice but is entertaining and a good way to pass an evening.

I don’t have a bucket list because it is my dedication to live every day of my life there. I don’t have a bucket list because I’m doing it that day, I don’t want to go to bed and say, ‘Oh, I wish I had done this’ – Melissa Etheridge

Never a Dull Moment

8 Sep 2013 – With 5 Grandchildren Under One Roof!


Fri: Katy’s first school dance and today’s school dance is not what it was! Jeff was joking about if Katy could do the Waltz or the Limbo and guess if he got the rolling eyes from her 🙂 Free dancing is how my first grandchild describes her first school dance 🙂 🙂


2yrs ago the pink pix was posted when Sophie, #4 grandchild was 2 and had the tendency to fall sleep just anywhere as long as she is tired. Linn & I were searching high and low for her then and finally found her in the laundry basket! 2 yrs later and she is now 4, still sleeps anywhere when she is tired. Too big for the laundry basket but no matter of place or position, here she is asleep during their Fri home movie night, for real, but then her dad can sleep standing 🙂 🙂 🙂


While the dance was on, took the chance to window shop at Old Navy, TJ Max , Bed Bath & Beyond and Target (all next to each other!) which are on the way to Katy’s dance location and being in the evening not so hot or crowded. High Sierra bag broke down during the UKc2c hike but managed to get it across the pond. Bought a new one at Ross on Tue senior day (10% off), a grey light weight Samsonite Viewpointe with 10yrs warranty for US$63 S$80 minus 10%. Let’s see how long will this one last! The older hard suitcase, a hard Samsonite is still intact in SIN but too heavy to lug around with these limited baggage weight on the budget travels…


IMG_7170Sat: morning outing with the 4 older grandkids. First to the $Store for them to pick out one item each while I was scouting around for containers for the 3 older and school kids to tidy their stuff on the desk. Bubble Tea at the request of all 4. In future, Bubble Tea will be for the 2 older ones and something else for the 2 younger ones!


Back to Flight Deck for the afternoon games! This time round, even Superman was not strong enough to help the Gators against Miami. James could not take it and Jeff had to leave with him by half-time; Linn could not handle the last quarter and we took off shortly after James…

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Happy Birthdays

4-5 Sep 2013 – May & Olai

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4Sep 1978, second daughter born in the land of the midnight sun and northern lights far above the Arctic Circle in the town of Tromsø, Norway. This is where it is dark all winter and bright all summer. Wonders never cease but actually one of my favourite places in Norway where we lived for 5 years from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Getting sentimental with an adorable pix of May when she was the age her son Olai is now! Check out the resemblance… Happy 35th Birthday to May!


This was and still is actually the view from the house in Tromsø (Kvamstykket 4), where we used lived in. Except that the house was recently torn down!

Today Tromsø city is the seventh largest city in Norway by pop, 69,116. It is the largest city and the largest urban area in Northern Norway. Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the small island of Tromsøya in the county of Troms, 350 km 217mi north of the Arctic Circle. Substantial parts of the urban area are also situated on the mainland to the east, and on parts of Kvaløya—a large island to the west.

Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge. The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.ø


5Sep 2011: the birth of youngest grandson Olai in Oslo, Norway. He soooo looks like his mom at the same age, just as adorable but with darker hair. Wish I could be there to see his face when he gets his gift from his parents. This would be the cake for him if I were in Norway now. Happy Happy 2nd Birthday to Olai.

Grandchild #6


USA & Canada Labor Day

3 Sep 2013 – Why in Sep and not 1May

For many countries (more than 80 world wide), Labour Day’ is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers’ Day, which occurs on 1May. It is a celebration of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

In USA  and Canada it is celebrated the first Monday in Sep.


In the USA, this day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in NYC. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on 1May could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in Sep to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.

Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white.


Mon: swimming at Murraywood Swim & Racquet Club app 10mins drive from the house. Today is the last day at this pool as it will be closed tomorrow and that officially ends this summer, even though the weather is otherwise!!


Katy & Ellie are good swimmers, enjoying today’s water in their own time. Both in the school swim teams and doing great jobs in competitive swimming.


Sophie, JohnW and James are like fish in the water and good to see them feeling so at home in the pool.



Of course no Labor Day is complete without a cook-out. Delicious grilled corn on the cob, bourbon salmon and ending with s’mores in the backyard. OK, now let the cooler weather fall in…

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence – Martin Luther King

Let the Games Begin

1 Sep 2013 – Football Season

Has it really been a year ago since travels to France, Belgium, Norway, Canada and USA all took place within one month, mid Aug-mid Sep 2012?

Aug 2013 with 23 postings and the only time more than 23 postings was May 2011, with 24 postings. Then it was in just Norway when the house was getting ready to sell!


Wed: Sophie’s 1st day at her class of 4yrs group and have been told not just by family that ‘she is splitting image of grandma Amy’! When the hair turns all white, maybe can colour that blond and then there might be some resemblances 🙂 Thank goodness it is just the image. Sophie is a well-behave child, unlike her grandma 🙂 🙂


Fri: with the other 3 in school and Sophie with in her 4yrs group class., took James to McD in the morning, best time to be there when all the kids are in school and the playground just to us. He was wagging like a dog having the full attention from his mom and grandma, not easy to be the youngest in a family of 5, and he is only 2yrs young! Hahaha talking thru’ experience being the youngest in a family of 7!!!!!!!



Sat: college football and this year a change of location from Carolina Wing & Rib House which closed down. Superman with JellyBelly machines have taken over at Flight Deck in Lexington; a good place for the family where kids can enjoy the games in the arcade while the parents can watch the game. Service was a wee bit slow due to the crowd, to be expected but it was service with a smile. Jeff had to leave early as James had no patience for any games 🙂 🙂 🙂

Shared the table with a nice couple, who also like the outdoor life. Gerine & Bob, hope that you will try to be in SIN someday, if not for work, maybe for a visit!


Today the Gators played Toledo and the final score: 24-6. Go Gators…

Sep specail Bdays:

4 Sep – Happy Bdays May HALD & Vincent LAM

5 Sep – Happy 2nd Bday Olai HALD-HERMANSEN

11 Sep – Happy Bdays Steven LAM & May YUNG-LAM

15 Sep – Happy Bday ENG Ting Ting

16 Sep – HappyBdays Ivy YAP-LAM & Edith LAM

20 Sep – Happy Bday Amy RASHAP

21 Sep – Happy Bday Greg TRIBBE

23 Sep – Happy Bdays Joyce LAM-AMEEN & Klaus LAM

24 Sep – Happy Bday LAM Kah Yun

25 Sep – HappyBday Kat LAM-TRIBBE

30 Sep Happy Bday Mabel ONG-LAM Daisy LAM

If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead – Erma Bombeck