2010年1月31日 星期日

What a Week!

In one week, we had watched one orchestra --Happy Chinese New Year , one movie-Avatar, and one stage drama ( similar to Opeara but not musical)--The village.  I don't like to cramm so much stuff  to my brain in such a short time, but they happened to be available at the same time. All of them are very impressive.
The 2 hour-concert performed last Sunday was quite joyful and relaxing. Long movie Avatar (2 hr and 40mins, wathed on Tuesday) emphasized the idea of environmental protection to human. But the long hour of wearing the Imax big goggle really made me dizzy. The drama was on Friday, 3 and half hours from 7:15 to 11:00 pm, so when we got home, it was already 12:30 am in a new day. And the funny part was that the stories in the drama continued and replayed over and over in my dream.

I am not a movie lover at all.  I went there just to let Winston experience 3D Imax. I like the orchestra and the stage drama to be performed in the day time instead of before my bedtime, because the excitment afterwards usually stays and depletes my sleep. And they surely did this time.

The drama was in Shanghai, so Winston and I went there by train earlier in the afternoon. Richy would join us later at the entrance before the show started.  Winston did not like to shop around, so we did not spend much time visiting the fancy department stores.  However we stopped for every food court to try everything we thought yummy.

Famous local food:xiang-yun su
祥云酥:Angel hair--made of milk and sugar covered with ground sesame and peanuts

By 6:00 pm, we were quite exhausted and we finally pick a place for supper and got ready for the drama.  Winton was quite into the drama because I saw his excitment in the first 2 hours, but he slept over the last hour.  What a day to a kid!
Look at the Guy we ran into on Shanghai Street.  He dressed in red and black with blond hair like a lady.  He was very generous to let me take a picture of him. I admire his courage to do whatever he likes.


The Blue Guy in the back is the idol of 2010 World Expo in Shanghai

2010年1月26日 星期二

Three of the best stories: TURTLES, FROGS and THE PRETTY LADY

My friend forwarded me this 3 Great lessons of life. Although I had read 2 of the stories before, I pondered over and over after re-reading them.  I like to share them here and hope to benefit my visitors.
3.放下: 当我门一直沉陷在过去的烦恼与不愉快时,我们只会譲自己更痛苦,而那些讓你痛苦的人,可能还不知道你的情况呢!或许是别人的错,或许不是,多想無益,没有必要執著過去,傷害自己。
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The Turtles --信任
A turtle family decided to go on a picnic. The turtles, being naturally slow about things, took seven years to prepare for their outing. Finally the turtle family left home looking for a suitable place. During the second year of their journey they found a place ideal for them at last!
For about six months they cleaned the area, unpacked the picnic basket, and completed the arrangements. Then they discovered they had forgotten the salt. A picnic without salt would be a disaster, they all agreed. After a lengthy discussion, the youngest turtle was chosen to retrieve the salt from home. Although he was the fastest of the slow moving turtles, the little turtle whined, cried, and wobbled in his shell. He agreed to go on one condition: that no one would eat until he returned. The family consented and the little turtle left.
Three years passed and the little turtle had not returned. Five years...six years... then on the seventh year of his absence, the oldest turtle could no longer contain his hunger. He announced that he was going to eat and begun to unwrap a sandwich. At that point the little turtle suddenly popped out from behind a tree shouting, 'See! I knew you wouldn't wait. Now I am not going to go get the salt.'
[Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we do not do anything ourselves.]

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The Frogs -小题大作
A farmer came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The restaurant owner was shocked and asked the man where he could get so many frog legs! The farmer replied, 'There is a pond near my house that is full of frogs - millions of them. They all croak all night long and they are about to make me crazy!' So the restaurant owner and the farmer made an agreement that the farmer would deliver frogs to the restaurant, five hundred at a time for the next several weeks.

The first week, the farmer returned to the restaurant looking rather sheepish, with two scrawny little frogs. The restaurant owner said, 'Well.... where are all the frogs?' The farmer said, 'I was mistaken. There were only these two frogs in the pond. But they sure were making a lot of noise!'

[ Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember, it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs.
Also remember that problems always seem bigger in the dark. Have you ever laid in your bed at night worrying about things which seem almost overwhelming like a million frogs croaking? Chances are pretty good that when the morning comes, and you take a closer look, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.]

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The Pretty Lady --放下

Once upon a time a big monk and a little monk were traveling together. They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had to wade across the river. There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't cross the river.
The big monk offered to carry her across the river on his back. The lady accepted. The little monk was shocked by the move of the big monk. 'How can big brother carry a lady when we are supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?' thought the little monk. But he kept quiet... The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the lady down and they parted ways with her. All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy with the
act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations about big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he still kept quiet.. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his situation.
Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. 'How can you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to me make you a big hypocrite The big monk looked surprised and said, 'I had put down the pretty lady at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her along?'


[This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous .. But like the little monk, we are not willing to let them go away.We keep on carrying the baggage of the 'pretty lady' with us.
We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry, make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony.
Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the 'pretty lady'.

We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river.
This will immediately remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the unpleasant event after it is over.

2010年1月23日 星期六

Cooking Workshop 家庭煮婦半日营

Output of 3-hour kitchen work.

My friend Jessie joined me to make breads and cookies.  Jessie is a working mum. She took a 6-month leave from work.  She spent lot of time doing volunteer work in a Charitiy organization during her leave.  Last Wednesday she found time to learn DIY food.  Jessie was very happy because she got overwhelming praise from her family and the friends she shared the food with.

Work in Process

2010年1月18日 星期一

Knit a Warm Winter 編織一個温暖的冬天

Neck Only-- Turtle Neck

I had been knitting now and then this winter. I was slow but quite enjoying the process of learning new things while knitting. Last year I knitted a vest for Winston.  He loves it and wears it now.  Richy does not like to wear sweaters, because he think they tickle. The good thing about knitting is that I can choose the materials and colors, but the bad part is that one work may take me forever to the finish line.
Last week I made turtle neck ( only for the neck part, and that is all).  I was quite satisfied with the outlook and effect. I can't wait to show off in my blog.
The origial idea is from the website: http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/yang4445/  This website belongs to the wife (she is a super knitter) of the TA in the college which I attended 20 years ago. We regained our touch in 2009 September when I started my class reunion blog in Yam.   Now our TA and his wife both work for private companies.


Cover as much face as I can, then I can be a model, too.

Another way of wearing the Turtle Neck

Wisnton's Muffler Knitted in Dec. 2009

Wisnton's Vest Knitted earlier last year, Feb. 2009

~Keep Kneating and Going!~

2010年1月12日 星期二




要提醒各位:在家和“出门前” 要留意电和火,只要有一點點懷疑不放心,都要回頭檢查。希望大家平安。

2010年1月8日 星期五

Baking in Winter-香蕉胡蘿蔔麵包

It is so cold these days. To make my house warm, I had been baking breads and cookies very often this month. And because of the "mass" production of food, we shared with  friends, too.
Baking bread is an every-other-day work since 2009 , because we eat bread every morning.  I don't trust the bread bought from the bakery stores. They use artificial flavor and ingredients to make breads look attractive and yummy.  But to me, they are like hollow balloons full of air and perfume. 
I made some banana-carrot breads this week.  This is the 3rd time I make it.  The first try is back to 17 years ago when I was in NY.  The second time was done in Taiwan and I shared it with my colleagues.  Both times had earned eaters' great feedback.  So I had been looking for the recipe in China but failed.  I figured out that I had been using the wrong name for the searching the recipe. -- It is Banana Carrot Bread not Banana Bread or Banana Cake.  Anyway, I finally got it out from the net.  The great thing is that I also found a great website for cooking tips: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe
As I always said, I don't like to stay in the kitchen for too long.  But I like to make healthy food when I feel like to.  I enjoy delicate food too, but if I want to eat them I will go to the restaurant.  I know if I make delicate food myself, I will ruin it and ruin my simple life.

Banana-Carrot Bread--Simple & Easy


1/3 cup vegetable oil ( I used olive oil)
1 cup sugar  (I used less than 1/2 cup)
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda  (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup grated carrots (I substitued 1/2 of grated carrots with grated apple)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I also added raisins)
*Add a dash of shredded orange or lemon skin for flavor and better taste

Mix the first 3 ingredients together, then add everything.  Use a big spoon to stir until everything mixed well (about 3 minutes).  Then put in the preheated oven and rest.
Heat 350 F(or 180C) for 55-60 mins, Insert with a stick. If then stick comes out clean (no sticky bread attached), it is done. (每台烤箱會有差異,我的烤箱經驗是200C,50mins最後十分鐘蓋上錫箔紙,防止表面烤焦)

2010年1月2日 星期六

Four Hands Piano

The following Vedeo is performed by Winston (7) and a Friend Jia Yi (8) in an informal Kids Piano Audition Concert.
Music: Shubert Military March Op.51

Click the following screen or click here to enjoy lovely Music: http://www.56.com/u68/v_NDg2ODU1Mjk.html

Happy New Year to All and Thank You for Watching!