Hello Halo

25 Sep 2020 – StarHub

Tue: this large halo that appeared around the sun and seen by many in SIN at around noon today (22Sep) is what scientists call a 22-degree halo –  because the ring has a radius of ~22º around the sun. Millions of tiny ice crystals in cirrus clouds that refract&reflect light in just the right orientation&position with respect to your eye for the halo to be visible. Tkx for the stunning halo and may you RIP, dear 4th sis-in-law, PohKit. Pix downloaded.

No camera or mobile on me, in addition, hands filled with grocery, and strangely enough it was also not my usual time (~12n) to be out grocery shopping, but did so today, nearly dropped everything when I saw this amazing phenomenon. Thought that the eyes were staring to much into the sun and got blinded with illusions. Rushed back to my 4walls and was online searching for an explanation. 

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/sun-halo-spotted-over-eastern-singapore

26Dec2019: was fortunate enough to have the camera on hand to capture yet another amazing&beautiful piece of natural art – total solar eclipse then – Ring of Fire’s path in SIN and the last one for this life’s journey! Many were too busy looking up at the eclipse then, but being a typical hiker, giving attention to my surroundings and saw this. Times like these, I do wish for a better camera. Can imagine how alarming it must have been for ppl in the DarkAges when there were no explanations for these phenomenon. 

https://mothership.sg/2019/12/crescent-shadows-why/

I look up in hope
Dreaming to be brightened
And begotten out of this hazy funk,
And suddenly I see
My light glowing high above me,
She is warming certainty
Wearing her angelic halo… Bodhi Smith

Wed: yesterday (SIN) and today (Norway&US) is also the Autumn Equinox and how I would have liked to see the Fall colours – just have to be happy with looking thru’ old pix from previous years for now!

How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days — John Burroughs

The fall equinox has been a day of celebration for cultures since ancient days. People tracked the transitions of the Earth’s journeys around the Sun.

  • At Machu Picchu in Peru, an ancient stone monument called Intihuatana—which means “Hitching Post of the Sun”—serves as a solar clock to mark the dates of the equinoxes and solstices.  
  • In Mexico, the Mayans built a giant pyramid called Chichen Itza. On the equinoxes, it looks as if a snake made of light slithers down the pyramid’s steps.
  • In England, Stonehenge was also built with the equinoxes and solstices in mind.

MachuPicchu – my first project@FL Travel School in the late 1980s and that is still in my bucket list.

https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-fall-autumnal-equinox

Thu: lovely early morning pouring rains. Not that it is my choice to stay behind 4-walls so much that I become isolated, but to use this time to restore&gather myself getting ready to expand the ability to participate in the world again when possible! Home to me is within, thus home is everywhere, where ever I may be! The heart may not be in top condition, but hopefully the mind is still there, despite that the body might not always be in sync with the mind.

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. Getting errands done before the weekend – switching over to StarHub who is promoting a SeniorPlanS$8 as compared to M1S$20 which is quite a saving. 

PP-Level3 now has one of my favourite cake/pastry shops. Looks like a new Fairprice will replace where Giant was once located.

Rambutans bring back carefree childhood memories where we had a rambutan orchard. During the season, you can usually find me up in the trees enjoying these yummy juicy fruits. Tkx to May&#6 for this IKEA rainbow bag, was pleasantly surprised that it took 10days (NOK178/S$25+) to get here. Snail-mailing has been living up to its name during these strange times, taking weeks&months to get to its destination!

Edited – on the subject of memory, it is also NationalDaughtersDay2020 in the US, but do not even remember when or if we ever celebrated this day? Now that travel is not so accessible, feeling blessed to have my 2beautiful daughters L&M+#2&6 visiting me in Feb2020 for my 70th. It is seldom that we can capture a pix of all 3 of us together, previous time being Linn’s 40th in 2014. Happy National Daughters Day to all celebrating.

Wake And Funeral

21 Sep 2020 – And A 3-Digit Birthday!

Sat: Judy, Daisy, Clement, Stanley&Darryl performing their duties with dignity, receiving families&friends, etc. Am there to help whatever I can do while bro Steven is unable to be here. 4th sis in law was practicing buddhism and her family will carry out the rituals with the chanting, etc for the wake&funeral.

The burning of the paper mansion#6683 with a deed+helpers, car+chauffeur, and all the paper gold folded for 2days will be waiting for her in her afterlife.

3male members of the family here dutifully set the fire after the chanting and everything was burnt in less than 5mins – now ready for her.

Sun: funeral@MandaiCrematorium where I usually pay respects to my parents at the same time – the cremation halls are just a stone throw from their niche. And this time to inform them to be ready to receive their daughter in law.

Yummy DimSum lunch@CantonParadise/WestGate

The next step is new to me and the only other time I was along with a buddhis funeral was at Lam ChengChwab, but then I did not really understand, so today I learn more. While the deceased can remain buried in a cemetery or ashes can be at the columbarium, scattered at sea, family altar, etc, there is also the tablet/name, which can be placed at a family or ancestral altar at home or at some temples. 

http://amylamsg.com/2018/11/25/a-funeral-in-johor/

NIrvanaMemorialGarden, conveniently located opp all the cemeteries! provides niches, name/tablet and all kinds of bereavement care at a certain price!! Building pix is a model of the building which is still under construction.

 The lobby looking like a 5*hotel lobby!

The family has decided to have her name/tablet here and the ashes in MandaiColumbarium where one can pay their respects in both locations in future. This has been an educational experience to learn&know about the rituals of a buddhis wake&funeral with nieces, nephew&grandnephews.

Tkx to Stanley for all the driving and a view to his lovely new bachelorette apt. Good luck to his job-search here .

To a more cheerful note today, Sun20Sep2020 – Happy 100th Birthday to maternal 10thUncle TSANG YanChuen (tkx to cousins for their family pix), youngest&only survivor of mother’s siblings – not often can one celebrate a bday with 3digits! Appreciations to Anna for this get-together with maternal cousins, KarLeng&Henry, Winnie&Francis, 2yrs ago in Toronto/Canada, tkx to Yun for driving that day.

Mon: after a good night sleep, time&rest are important to gather&reflect clearer objective thoughts&memory so as to be able to put the word+images into this post, especially for Vincent&Ann+Andrew who recently emigrated to Australia and are unable to be here in SIN – hugs, prayers&thoughts to them.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal…

RIP CHANG PohKit

18 Sep 2020 – Sad News

Tue: walking from my place to PP off the main road, but still having to cross StillRd to get there. This tree by MPCC is right after exit10B/ECP on StillRd – could hardly believe my eyes as this is the first time to see these so many beautiful KengHwa/EpipyllumOxypetalum (tkx to Bian for correct name) in bloom. 

It is amazing that you can get a hair-cut for S$3 (for members) or FOC on Tue if you are 65yrs+. Have been getting my hair cut@this location for many years (used to have another name, but do not remember what??) and satisfy with it. Not a member, but I usually give whoever is cutting my hair S$10 and let them keep the change.

Before getting the grocery ready, a cuppa with a piece of ChalkFarm’s GulaMelaka. Yummy, rich&sweet, but slightly on the heavy side for my taste.. By the kitchen sink after a weekly main grocery shopping – fresh produce washed and getting ready to pack them ready for storage in the fridge, should last me for ~a week.

An interesting pix taken with an angle directly straight down from the kitchen window of a papaya tree. Wild fires on all 3US western coast states, Hurricane Sally approaching in the South – pray that it will be quiet on the East! To deny about climate change is like being an ostrich. All those in the way of the fires, hurricane, etc, plx do take care and be safe.
 
Golden MIle Hawkers Food – looks like a good place to try, but was not too hungry then. Another time when in the area, but has to be before Dec as it will be closed for renovations. Chicken curry noodle n chicken rice at the basement corner stall and claypot rice on the floor above were recommended by niece&nephew.
Lines into this car-park not only for the food, but there are also some HBD blocks here.
 
Crossing the overhead bridge to check out this Heritage Restaurant, FolkLore@DestinationHotel Beach Road, but it was closed due to that the location being used for quarantining!
Thai dinner at GoldenMile@BeerThaiHouse – have enjoyed the food here previously, but somehow they seemed to be more salty tonight, or maybe my taste-bud is more used to home-made foods nowadays and that have less salt.
 
Wed: trying to inquire about the S$5 deal mobile access for Seniors, but alas, do not qualify for it. The ppl at the CCs were most helpful. Ended up at IKEA to do some shopping, the free shuttles were really not in time this afternoon – in future will only use these scuttles in the mornings when they have been on time for me the past few months.
 
Thu: 4th sis-in-law GG4Chang PohKit(1937-2020) took her last breath today – she has been frail for some time and was fed thru’ tube. Condolences to my bro Steven&his family and may she now RIP. She will be missed – the last pix together with her family at the CNY2020reunion dinner and a clearer&happier pix of her from CNY2011reunion dinner.
Fri: wake@SIN Casket
Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid― Langston Hughes

Bills & Passwords

14 Sep 2020 – 19 Years Ago

Fri: how can anyone forget 9-11-2001? In memory of  those 2,977victims+19hijackers(2,996) who lost their life in 2001, 19yrs ago today and with thoughts&prayers to all who have lost their loved ones&friends.

Happy Bdays to bro Steven&cousin MayY in Canada. A visit Steven@UMC Home with a view of a church&an Indian Temple. Rules are stringent under these circumstances and rightly so. Only 1guest per day and not more than 30mins. Nice to see that his appetite is good, finished 2large pieces of the PandanChiffonCake (his favourite, also light&easy to eat)+a mini Mooncake and a bottle of water+a can of GreenT. But sad to see that clear signs of dementia has taken over. Do feel for my nieces&nephews who have to deal with one parent in a home and the other one at home counting her days.

BukitMerahCentral HawkersFood

Did not get to try any stalls, will do so the next time here, but during times when there are no lines as these! Pix of stalls are from the longest lines – food must be decent or good at those long lines!!

https://www.burpple.com/bukit-merah-central-food-centre/reviews

Sat: CC Season has started for #2-4, and will miss not seeing #1 in these races! Appreciations for updates from Linnso many good things today. Irmo girls were runners-up and boys 4th at the Falcon Invitational. Sophie ran her first ever XC meet and came in 15th with a big PR! Irmo Middle School boys ALL had PR’s in the middle school 3200 meter race! I have the most fun job in the world! 

#1@UofSC Campus grounds and happy to hear that she likes her classes. #5&6 are still in elementary and both are 9. This year I will not get to see #1, 3, 4&5 and it will be the first time I have gone a year without visiting them.

Sun: on this lovely wet cool rainy Sunday in SIN I am going to change my password that will take 15billion years to hack according to 2600-TheHackerQuarterly. Has been wet&rainy all weekend, perfect for movies, not remembering any of them. So, how do I even expect to remember a new password??

Love, justice, sincerity, and respect become the password of your inward and outward life, always remember that; otherwise, you cannot log in, accurately your life ― Ehsan Sehgal
 
Mon: time for a hair-cut and to settle bills – topping up MRT card/S$100, new tank of gas for cooking/S$37. A tank usually last me for ~3yrs and this last one last ~1yr+6mos, just goes to show that I am in SIN and have been cooking more than the normal. Also the AC needs to be serviced.

 

Clearing, Organizing And Sorting

10 Sep 2020 – Hannah&Heiko

Mon: this is the week of school holidays, so will not be out&wondering about if I do not have to! My goal for this week is to organize and sort out paperwork&Christmas decorations.

What is writing after all but an attempt to sort out the confusion of life ― Isabel Allende

Tue: appreciations to Hannah&Heiko for their visit for for helping me to finish some of the DIY-popiah stuff that was frozen from National Day weekend. Now I have learnt how to freeze this kind of food and it is perfectly good even after a month. Interesting to hear about their 16months cycle-trip from Germany-SIN, good luck to her new job&their future. Glad that one of my modern Christmas-trees can be part of their first Christmas here – first Christmas gift taken care of, and from now onwards, all my visitors will get a Christmas decoration – for real.

Wed: unbelievable! – thought that paperwork was cleared, but how wrong can I be??? Yes cleared some months ago, but today it has again piled up. Thinking about Jackie Wolford (both our girls were in the same HighSchool in the 1990s) in such situation when she told me that her mother would just burn all her bills&paperworks. Considering that it is the Hungry Ghost Month, it would be the bad idea, otherwise, sounds good to me!! Looking forward to having a clear working area again!!!

Thu: opened a can of worms by offering to give away Christmas decorations, paperwork not even organized yet, and now to another project – the story of my life on this perfect cool, wet rainy morning. Clearing&sorting out the Christmas stuff cupboard, hoping to empty is too ambitious&unrealistic, but did manage to pack a bag of decorations to give away – many years of stuff to let go, but as long as memories are within. Nobody can do a good memorable tradition Norwegian Christmas like L&Ms Norwegian grandparents, my first Christmas with them in Tromsø, Norway/1968 will always be with me.

It is not memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not the person we were in the past ― Marie Kondō

 

Senior Travellers

6 Sep 2020 – Tiong Bahru Market

Thu: today 3Sep2005, 15yrs ago we completed the AT-ThruHike ~3,500k in 127days. Appreciations&hugs to my CandyAss group – Karen/MissWiggy, John/Gadget & Mike/T2. Our group was& will be probably the only ppl who carried champagne, delicate finger-foods+ a change of clothes to celebrate, thus earning the nick-name CandyAss! Was even asked by someone then if we were celebrating a wedding and if we were, it certainly would not have been mine – hahaha. 

Very likely this will be my most memorable hike where new good friends were made on this path. Thank you to all TrailAngels, supporters&fellow-hikers on my AT2005path. The journey of 1,000miles begin with 1step and I will add that all journeys begin with 1step.

Many tkx to TAYMin for FairPriceVouchers/S$20 and an interview to her study information for Senior Travellers. Happy to share my experiences over a cuppa@TiongBahruBakery. Good luck to her project and looking forward to hear about her China travel experiences. This brought back some memories from 8yrs ago when students NG SieYen, SEOW KiaHui and WU Shiyan from Nanyang Technological University NTU/SIN did their final year project on Active Aging.

https://amylamsg.com/2012/04/14/a-final-year-project/

TiongBahruMarket, one of the oldest hawkers in SIN always bring back good memories of childhood days where mother would do her grocery shopping here. Of course now it looks nothing like what it used to. Check out the link below.

These are the stalls I have tasted and like and there are so many more to try. A good&interesting link with more stalls&the history about this location.

https://johorkaki.blogspot.com/2020/07/history-of-tiong-bahru-market-food.html

Fri: Happy Bdays to 2nd-born, May and to nephew Vincent who has now emigrated to Perth/Australia with his family. Also Happy Teachers Day to all teachers. Being an x-teacher at one time, do know that it is not an easy job. A good parent is the most difficult task follow by being a good teacher and having been thru’ both roles and sometimes linking to each other can be quite a challenge. Schools are having a break for the coming week –  will stay far-far away from where ever the crowds are.

Home-made prawn salad lunch in my 4-walls and dinner@Jo&Michael’s+Sue with Les&Ivy – yummy BakKutTeh&fish (would probably look like that if someone tries to eat me!) delivered from OldTiongBahruBakKutTeh.

Sat: Happy 9thBday to #6 and this will be the last year counting his age with 1-digit. Looks like there will be no more new grand-babies to cuddle&snuggle up with and probably not around for great-grands! Great Piñata, I would have used all my strength to smash it into non-existence and then fly over there to give him the biggest hug.

Wet & lovely day with Clem&niece to celebrate the day in the TanjongPagar area – have been awhile ago since last in this area.

Lunching on seldom Mexican food@Guzman y Gomez – OK Tex-Mex

Dessert at The MarmaladePantry and no, did not taste their LemonMeriguneSpongeCake, but their CaramelizedPearBreadPudding with sea-salt caramel sauce and French vanilla ice cream was delicious.

Sun: a visit to 4th sis-is-law who was muttering most afternoon until I was about to leave. Was letting her know that I was leaving and asked if she recognized me and she said the one&only word we all heard recognized in Cantonese and I saw in her eyes and would like to think she did recognized me. She is blessed to have such wonderful filial children Vincent (who has recently immigrated to Perth), Judy, Daisy&Clement who are taking good care of her at home.

Appreciations to Clement, Daisy&Darryl for dinner@Le Shrimp Ramen/StarVista, first time tasting this yummy shrimp broth noodle and first time at this location. Dropped Darryl back to camp and also first time dropping anyone off to camp.

Welcome Sep2020

2 Sep 2020 – Revisit To Musical Box Museum

Sun: yummy lunch of fresh figs&Prosciutto, exactly how I like it – unlike most who like it with cantaloupe or melon.

Tkx for steamboat dinner&wines from Les&Ivy. Tried to bake almond cookies there as my own oven has been down for over a decade! The taste was OK, but somehow the consistency did not turn out, probably the dough was too old (remains from 4th sis-in-law’s almondT).

Mon: last day in Aug and a nice day with AudreyM@SIN MusicalBoxMuseum – there for the opening 5yrs ago and enjoyed it. Tkx to Yoshie for arranging this guided-tour who made it another good experience. 

The birds are new additions. http://amylamsg.com/2015/08/21/musical-box-museum/

The most valuable one is this new box (last pix here) decorated with precious stones which can only be taken out for demonstration when Mr NaotoORUI is present. http://www.singaporemusicalboxmuseum.org/

Even for the people in the business who are real music lovers it’s really about putting things in the right boxes, and my style doesn’t fit into a box – Teddy Thompson

Lunched and walkabout in the Chinatown area admiring Yip’s new mural – looks like some of his older murals are no longer!! Looking forward to see a book where all his murals are documented. Was hoping for a durian shaved-ice, forgetting that MeiHeongYuen on this street closes on Mon and too hot to walk to ChinatownPoint to the other branch. Coffee@Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop, also hoping to catch up what is new@URA, that too is closed, not bc of Mon but bc of COVID-19.

Mooncake shopping and got the tingkat (S$15 for just the box) decorative box this year to remind me use my own tingkat for takeouts to help save the environment!

Mon31Aug2020: WorldOmeter of COVID-19 deaths are as follow: 

SIN/pop 5.6+mil in an area of 721SqKm – 27
SC/USA/pop 5+mil in an area of 82, 932SqKm – 2,709
Norway/pop 5.3+mil in an area of 365,268SqKm – 264

Tue: hello Sep! In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological autumn is on 1Sep – – the nearest I can get to autumn colours is@SINBontanicGardens/SBG. The octagonal gazebo known as the Bandstand upon the BandstandHill was erected in 1930 and has retained its original form over the years. The Bandstand site served as a focal point of SBG in its original landscape and staged early evening performances by military bands for many years. Although no longer regularly used for music performances, it is a favourite wedding photo spot and an iconic landmark of the Gardens.

The Bandstand ~1962-63. Auntie Ngor/Anna, scarf on the head always in vogue even up to today. Like my mom’s parasol, saw one in Chinatown and thinking of getting it – AudreyM was saying that she cannot imagine seeing me with one! Looking back at these B/W pix, I definitely will get one when I am next in Chinatown!!

Grocery shopping@Giant/Tampines. Could not resist this offer, iron ( needed a new one)+blender (like the portable-size and the glass container), both for S$20. Wet rainy evening should be suitable for a good night sleep, and did not even nap or snooze this afternoon.

A month with at least 15family members&38FBfriends Bdays – go figure it out, count backwards 9months and what time of the year is that??

4 Sep – Happy Bdays MayH & Vince 
5 Sep – Happy Bday Olai 
8 Sep – Happy Alfred
11 Sep – Happy Bdays Steven & MayY
15 Sep – Happy Bday Ting Ting
16 Sep – Happy Bdays Ivy & Edith(19Sep) edited
20 Sep – Happy Bday AmyR
21 Sep – Happy Bday Greg
23 Sep – Happy Bdays Joyce & Klaus
24 Sep – Happy Bday Yun
25 Sep – Happy Bday Kat
30 Sep Happy Bdays Mabel, DaisyL & Valerie

Wed: trying to locate pix for Sep family’s Bdays and here is where FB is useful. Appreciations to the family who are cooperating and do provide me pix when I ask for them. Also getting pix from the AT Thru’Hike to mark 15yrs ago I hiked 3,500km in 127days. All the red&white NationalDay stuff down, ready to be packed away.