Fast Food

28 Jun 2018 – Happy 43Bday Jeff

Sun: Besides Chick-fil-A, another faster food place I like is Hardees’s low-carb burger – 100% Black Angus beef patty, American cheese, fresh tomato, red onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo and dill pickles all wrapped in a crisp, whole-leaf iceberg lettuce. Feel that I can afford one of these now and then as I do climb up&down 16flight of stairs at least 10times daily!

Mon: poor #4 who probably has strep and has been sleeping most of the day. Took the morning to prepare 3dinners – can be rather hot in the kitchen in the late afternoons. Thrilled to receive my Senior Lifetime Pass for The National Parks And Federal Recreational Lands. Mailed in the application from SIN app a year ago and had assumed that it was rejected as the certified documents were certified in SIN and not the US as per request. Probably took time checking details to make sure that I am who I am supposed to be – cogitoergo sum…

Not too refreshing swim with #3&5, felt like being in a bathtub but the boys had fun enjoying their FOC Fish-Spa in the lake.

And I am forever awe with the clouds in their amazing formations reminding again and again how quickly everything can change in life.

Short walk to and fro can turn out to be a long walk when the surroundings are so beautiful. The sky opened up for a short while after dusk with welcoming rains after we were safely indoors. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass.

Tue: made Shepherd’sPie with the left-over mashed potatoes and BreadPudding with some old bread, wholesome Irish meal was appreciated and every morsel was consumed – as the Chinese say, every grain of the rice was gone! Good to see #4 appetite more or less back to normal, she is the one who likes good food. Jeff’s self-made solid kitchen table sits 8 comfortably.

#5 has the best eye-sight and the view to the neighbour’s garden. He saw an Eastern-Box Turtle and today I learnt from #3 that those turtles are the only turtles that can completely closed themselves up into their shell, ie they have high, dome-like carapace and a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. Pix downloaded

Wed: the boys helped to clear the driveway&garage to be allowed another afternoon on the lake. Call it a bribe or whatever, but boys are a whole different ball-game from girls. They seemed to have bundles of never-ending energy which have to be channeled constructively, and am not sure if this grandmother has that kind of energy, but will keep trying.

Delighted to have got #4 interested to take pix and photo-shop them. She seems to be having fun doing that and taking tons of shots.

Thu: Jeff is not an easy person to shop for a Bday gift. The only idea is a gift card and some beef jerky which I know he likes. Also Happy Bday to John/MoFo, my hiking buddy.


Family dinner@Zoës Kitchen, fast casual restaurant chain with decent tasting food.

Feminism isn’t about hating men. It’s about challenging the absurd gender distinctions that boys and girls learn from childhood and carry into their adult lives – Robert Webb

Summer Solstice 2018

23 Jun 2018 – Sankthansaften=Midsummer’s Eve

Tue: Troop 48 on flag ceremony, #3 is somewhere there — Camp Rainey Mountain Northeast Georgia Council. Clayton GA. Pix credits to Todd Atkins. #3 does not have a camera, looking forward to hearing about his camp life when he gets back.

Wed: at the local PostOffice, a helpful and friendly one – SurfaceMail no longer exist and a box, app just over 4lbs/2kg of paper&plastic party goods cost US$60 S$80! to mail from here to Norway and that was the cheapest way!! for real! So if shipping is not included, do NOT shop there!

Lunched@Chick-fil-A, my favourite fastfood chain here, did not realised that they no longer have coleslaw but still like their Chick-n-Strips with HoneyMustadSauce&Lemonade. And this combo includes fried&drink+tax is US$8 S$12. The only -point about this HarbisonBranch is that it must be located in one of the worst junctions here, even with a traffic-light in front.

Thu: Happy Summer Solstice – longest day of the year! Some theories speculate that Stonehenge in UK and NewGrange in Ireland were specifically designed to align with the sun. Pix downloaded.…/midsummer-2018-when-summer…/

SummerSolstice (21Jun) is not quite the same as MidSummer! In Norway SankHansaften=Midsummer’s Eve (23Jun) where the bonfire is one of the oldest known bonfire celebrations there! Pix from 2013 and probably the last time building a bonfire in Norway. The residences of Alesund built a world record-breaking 155.5ft bonfire for their traditional midsummer in 2016 – pix downloaded

Fri: TGIF and another hot day. Congratulations to #1&2 who won running shoes@their running camp. Linn heads off to FLL, Jeff is busy with the Residences’ Graduating Dinner tonight and will be working for the weekend. 9yrs ago Linn was diagnosed with Septic Pelvic Thrombophlebitis when #4 was born. Let’s hope that there is enough energy for me to pull thru’ the next 2+weeks.


Enjoyed #1,2,4&5 company for dinner@Chick-fil-A again as requested by them. Just as well that I like the food there! Talented fun kids messing with their iphones and resulting in quite an effect with this image. They have to grow up faster than normal having to handle situations created by others who are inconsiderate, irresponsible and totally selfish – my heart, thoughts and prayers are very much with them.


Sat: Happy Midsummer. Celebrating Sankhansaften=Midsummer’s Eve with a home-cooked steak dinner and a bonfire roasting marshmallows for dessert in the backyard. Welcome #3 home from camp bearing! gifts for the family – very touched for the green water-bottle as he remembers that I like the colour green!

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name – William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Incredibles 2

19 Jun 2018 –  Hot & Hotter

Sat: #4 belated Bday lake party was a success for her. Blue sky with a hot-pink buttercream 2tier moist chocolate cake was her choice from Publix – big enough to feed the group+more for dessert the following day.

Good time was had by all.

Appreciations to Jeff for The Incredibles2, another hit – has it really been 14yrs ago since the first Incredibles was released? Marking Father’s Day early this year. Comfortable with the reclining seats with foot-rest@Regal Cinemas Pastime Pavilion8 in Lexington, first time for me, felt like I had super-powers just pushing the buttons 🙂 Fun to have your whole family on the same row, just like when niece Daisy get us the premier tickets in SIN.

Sun: Jeff drove (app 6hrs driving to&fro) #3 off bright&early to his camp in GA for the week – he will be missed, especially by #5. Started on Braid’s book Trail Magic and getting flashbacks from the 2005-AT Thru’Hike.

Took the rest of the gang for ice-cream@Marble Slab@Bower Pkwy, a reward for covering the boat! BubbleTea was more the choice but that is no longer! To the $Tree to pick up stuff for a CarePackage to #3 – remembering how appreciative I was for every CarePackage received when hiking!

Mon: to those celebrating enjoy your 粽子 ZongZi=rice dumplings. Based on lunar calendar, the 5th day of the 5th month 端午节 Dragon Boat Festival is today. Savoury memories of the delicious dumplings paternal grandmother made. Pix downloaded.

No Dragon Boats or Dumplings here, but life is good and ppl are enjoying their time in the serenity&tranquility on the lake. Crepe Mrytles are in full bloom and are stunning with beautiful various pinks shades.

Tkx to Debbie for lunch@BlueFlour/Main St – best sugar cookies there!


Strange to be back at the site where L&J home was nearly 5yrs ago! Vivid memories of the desperate helplessness while watching the house burnt down and now again trying to suppress those helplessness feelings. The peach tree Jeff planted before the house burnt down still stands. Was told it had to trim due to the broken branches after a storm, but before the storm it was loaded with peaches.

The weather forecast here for this week is hot and hotter…

A short letter to this Hot Summer Day,
I get it, you’re a furnace from the sky.

And you want to play chef, to bake and to stew,
Both my feet you simmer and fry… Lewis Raynes

Tue: chilling indoors in my helplessness but thank goodness for the AC.

Words choked in my throat,
Watching their innocence of dignity,
Sadly denying helpless thoughts,
Of their precious childhood,
When there is no sense of shame from the one they trust most...


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 (52), 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.

Rent A TreeHouse

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! In my bucket list to stay in a tree-house-resort.  

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