Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Do We Get So Blessed?

Ok, I lied. I am not staying quiet about this... lol..

Steve had pretty much made up his mind he wanted to go to the Chingay Parade downtown tonight. He had heard about it from a taxi driver who told him it was good. So, we got around kinda late (again) and went downtown to try to find tickets to sit in the grandstands. We were perfectly willing to pay for them, we just needed to find where to get them. What a pain! We walked around for hours asking where to buy and each security person had a different direction.

We finally figured out we were not going to get in the grandstands; we would just have to watch from the side of the road. Needing supper, we went to Chymes (have I ever said I love that place?) and ate. Once we finished we scoped out a place to watch the parade and sat on a curb. We started chatting with one of the security women there - just friendly banter. The parade was starting in about 25 minutes. Another young lady walked up and asked if we were going to stay for the parade. Yep, sure are! She said she had some friends who could not come and they had asked her to give the tickets to someone. GIVE. We tried to pay her, but she would not even hear of it, instead rushing us off to CITY HALL to the grandstands. We had to trek a pretty good distance to get there, but we did it, got through security and were shown to our seats - the 4th row up from the main parade route on the grandstand. We could not have gotten better seats if we had handpicked them!

We sat through the entire parade, had the prime minister within 25 yards of us, enjoyed the many things going on at once - it was an amazing parade. They must have taken lessons from Walt Disney World and amped it up. It was a HUGE parade with thousands of performers, costumes, lights, firworks and floats. Wide eyed we are still just amazed that we were so fortunate to be the ones chosen by this young lady to take the tickets. And yes, we will pay it forward - we have already thought of a charity to donate that money to.

Thank you miss, what a wonderful experience you gave us!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Taking Time for Me :-)

I am going to take a day or two off from blooging to reorganize my thoughts. There is a lot going on right now and my depression is deepening. I just need to concentrate on getting refocused again so I bounce back quickly.

My daughter had a new 3.5 y/o foster child placed with her today and she is having some of the same problems I did when we got ours; clothes didn't fit, hair in disarray and general unruliness. She is alone at home with pR, well, I mean her hubby is offshore, but she does have friends nearby. Still, it is not the same. She is independant (wonder where that comes from) and it takes a lot to accept help. However, I must say she is doing way better at that than I ever could at that - go her!

Anyway, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers - they certainly need them. pR has been an only child for 5.5 years now and she is also having to adjust to someone barging in to her territory. Lots going on with them. I know she can do it, but she does need good vibes.

In the meantime, my sweet hubby gave me a Chinese New Year plant and I want to share it with you. Celia? You can decorate yours like this, isn't it cool? That is pipe cleaners, ribbons and mardi gras beads on it. I took a close up so everyone can see. I know he did it to lift my spirits - and it does. I love him so much. Thank you, Steve, I promise to work on shaking it off. You make me so happy - I can't tell you how much you mean to me. I love you! There, now everyone knows. Do you think they didn't before?

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. See you Monday - unless something else comes up. Until then, don't get into any trouble and I won't either. Ha ha!

Please Take Note:

After living in this condo for half a year, they have decided the address they gave us (and the one also printed on our security card) is incorrect. Our new code (in the states we call it zip code) is 436593 - not the previous stated one.

Maybe that could be a reason no mail has gotten to me? I can only hope. Empty mailboxes echo. I have taken to mailing post cards. I love getting them, so thought what the heck? I will send them.

Please make note of our 'new' code. Geeez! It only took them 7 months to figure this out?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Singapore's Largest Hongbao Lantern

Sarah and I were walking at the mall yesterday, and I was non-chalantly admiring the Chinese New Year decorations as they are still out. Sarah pointed out that this lantern was made with thousands of those little red envelopes (hongbao's) that are given as gifts (with money in them) for the holiday. I posted the statistics on it below so you can see how impressive it is.

Here is a little history behind the envies:

Thanks Sarah for bringing this to my attention :-)

I went to my first SSA (spouse’s of the company our guys work for) meeting today – what FUN! I met a group of wives of other S hubbies and some of the kiddies. I had already met a few of them and was comfy from the moment I walked in. I enjoyed meeting the rest as they came in, and received a ‘welcome to Singapore package’ from them – and a huge book of 501 Must Visit Cities. It seems like they think we travel or something! Ha! Expats we are called. Actually, I have marked some we need to see ASAP! Lol… Thanks girls, what great gifts! Can’t wait to see you again :-)

I have been "off" for a couple of days. I don't feel bad - just not great. I told Steve last night, I was going to make myself take it easy today and rest. Last night, after a day of meetings, errands and a late supper out, we got home a bit late and I crashed into the bed. Somewhere in the night, I remember moving to turn over and as I lifted my head I pulled a muscle from the base of my head to about 8 inches down my back. I remember the "OW!" and thinking man that is going to hurt tomorrow. I can't believe I gave myself whiplash by turning over! rofl... I can tell it is solely muscle related - but can you believe I did that? What the heck?

I have been climbing 10-12 flights of stairs every day - up and down. Yes, I am doing that intentionally - we do have 'lifts' better known in the states as elevators. However, as a challenge to myself, if I do not get out and do another thing that day, I have to go down stairs and check the always empty mail box and climb up the stairs to get back to the condo. The first 5 flights are easy. The second, not so much, the last three I rest every 10 steps... lol... If I climb more than 10 flights of stairs in a day it is because I did it somewhere else - walking to the store or up/down from the subway.

I also do other exercises during the day and I especially feel the difference in my leg muscles and strength, but I guess after this neck gets better, I need to exercise my neck… ? How do I firm THAT muscle up? hehe. Insanity I tell ya. You turn 50 at it goes downhill from there.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Steve is usually off and we get more time together. I always look forward to being with him. Sometimes I even beat him – at cards, dominoes or Yahtzee, silly! We love playing games and have for years.
Old fuddy duddy’s aren’t we?

CONGRATULATIONS to my BIL who GOT THE JOB!! GO HIM!!!! What an exciting adventure!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Challenged Again

I was challenged to do a screen shot of my computer, complete with background and open windows without changing a thing - and then post it. Here it is. Yes it is my view from the balcony again. Sorry, I love it. NO I am not sorry I love it - I am sorry you have to see it again. It was a challenge, ok?

Now I challenge you to do the same. What does your screen look like and how many windows do YOU have open? Don't close anything before posting, just show desktop and print screen then share :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

26 Random Things

26 Random Things

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged, because I cannot figure out how to tag you! rofl...

Carey tagged me so here goes:

1. I have been married for 31 years to my best friend, Steve.
2. I am mom to two: Stephenie and Jeremy
3. I am granny to three today, 4 on Thursday - if only for a short time :-)
4. I live in Singapore where it is hot 12 months a year.
5. I have wild monkeys as neighbors
6. I don't drive now because our vehicles are in the states
7. Taxi's are my only form of wheeled transportation
8. Walking is the only other form of transportation we have.
9. Very occasionally I take a taxi to shop and ride the subway to different areas.
10. We fly 20+ hours to get to the states. Layovers not included.
11. I am a scrapbooker
12. I am a survivor of child abuse of many forms
13. I love traveling which is a good thing :-)
14. I suffer with depression - and still find great things to look forward to
15. I am eldest sister to 3 siblings
16. I was a Girl Scout leader for 21 years
17. I read the Bible most every day.
18. I/we own a home in the states and have a condo in Singapore
19. My daily view of the world is inspiring and enlightening
20. I have been a member of an online group for many years - we are sisters now :-)
21. I love photography and have a million pictures to prove it - wanna help me sort?
22. I belong outdoors instead of inside 4 walls
23. I love camping and nature - critters and all
24. I love volunteering, especially with children - our future :-)
25. I hate crowds
26. Carey said 26 so... I want to have a home in the country one day

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year has come and gone. The entire island has decorations sprinkled throughout it, but China Town is beautiful. I hope you enjoyed it - if you celebrated it. This was my first year to do anything related to it. We went to China Town, our favorite place to go:

However, we do not enjoy it so much during the New Year. It was very crowded.

We found some back streets and wandered randomly around enjoying the sights. I love the Chinese Lanterns that are throughout the area:

I look at the colors here and know my mom would have loved them. Cherry red was always her favorite color. We hated it - and now I am not sure why. It is very pretty to me - even seeing it every day. I hope mom is watching and listening. No, mom, I am not wearing it 24/7 but it is ok that you did now ;-)

Not sure if I took the above picture for the lanterns or for the electrical issues... lol...

There are random places of incense all over the island. It is pretty interesting to see. It is to help keep evil spirits away - and believe me when I say it is everywhere:

Nighttime is also beautiful. I wish I had gotten a really nice picture to share. I haven't figured the camera carrying out yet: camera, tripod, lenses, filters, cleaning cloths, remotes... whatever else you need. I never have it all and never have what I need when I have anything at all.

Anyway it is all finely winding down. Today the island is quiet - at least here in the condo. Steve took off as it is a holiday here. We have both been doing our own thing; him working (ha!) and me lollygagging.

We talked a bit about our experiences here in Singapore a few days ago. Both agree we are too far away from home, but the next breath was -we are going to miss so many things once we leave. We have fallen in love with parts of the island - specifically the nature, beauty, and people. Home is where our heart is, but we are embracing Singapore and soaking in all we can while we have the opportunity.

God is good. Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monkeys, MacRitchie Park and the Tree Top Walk

Today we went for a hike. A long hike. Ok, so it was longer than long. This is not for the casual hiker. It is over rough terrain, tons of stairs, and roughly 8.5-9.5 miles. That depends on whose pedometer you look at. I tell him I have to work twice as hard as he does, but he just looks at me with a blank stare. I don't think he believes me.

We started out with a picnic lunch and lots of water. Thank God for that – we needed every drop of it. At the very beginning of the hike, we saw a pack of monkeys and just stood in disbelief. They were everywhere; in every tree, playing on the ground, chasing each other, sitting on boulders, in the path, hanging out above us – eying us for a little treat. Everywhere we looked, there was a monkey. Big ones, little ones, medium sized ones and teeny baby ones. They were adorable!

There are a lot of monkeys in this picture - did you find them?

The forest was full of monkeys - we figured there were at least 40 in this one spot.

We did not give them a treat. We had been warned of the fines of doing so and we are not getting fined in Singapore. God knows what the fine – or prosecution - would be, remember the ‘high court’? I don't break laws.

We walked on a nice quiet path:

We climbed steps:

We went down steps;

We went up steps:

We found the Tree Top Walk. Our kids will never believe I walked across this and didn’t crawl:

But here is proof:

Look below me! Do you see the tree tops? Yes, *I* took this picture!

We both did made the trip across, and he did not have to push me, hold my hand or even pull me :-)

Then we went down steps:

And went down more steps:

We found a tower:

Of COURSE, he said we had to climb it.

Our kids would never believe I took this picture either - but I did :-)

And we had to go down those steps:

We saw some interesting trees:

Some beautiful flowers:

and some turtles who looked like they were fighting and had a mediator between them:

We found some BIG leaves and took a picture for Aedan, Marcus and pR:

And there were monkeys:

Some even smiled for the pictures:

Do you think it was a smile?

One was a bit peeved we didn’t have anything for him:

We went down board walk; SURELY we were coming to an end:

or not:

Finally, after 8 long, relaxing, wonderful hours, we found the end of the trail. Now for the taxi. Ha! That is another story. But we found the Post (office) and a potty at the end of the trail.

Remember all that water we drank?

Singapore Memory Project