Monday, November 30, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Selling our Yamaha piano

Here's our 8 year old Yahama C1 upright piano that I'd like to sell for $1500 obo before Christmas. Leave me a comment or email me: Price does not include transportation or shipping.

Thank you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 16 November 2009

I had a yen for yoghurt tonight and since I missed breakfast this morning wanted a second chance during dessert. The solution: French vanilla yoghurt + homemade strawberry jam, frozen blueberries and kashi all over. The quickest way to clear the dinner plates is to put these right at the dining table. Beautifully satisfying.

Brian Crook was the first one to serve us white asparagus with a ladleful of mayo and ham over rice, and I've never forgotten it. Was it in Blonay, Switzerland on the hill opposite to Glion where we lived? All I remember was we went out the very next day and recreated the exact same dish and had it for dinner in the evening. Here's remembering your hospitality to us, Brian.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


What is elegance? Elegance comes from the French word elegans, which is related to "eligere" which means to choose or to select. We get another English word from this- "elect".

As I pondered this notion of elegance, I think of the wife of noble character in Proverbs 31. It is with purposeful intent and choosing to do what is right before God (vs 30..."but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised") that makes her surpass all others. Elegance is a word that is almost passe in this century, but it struck me today that I have been chosen to reflect the wondrous elegance of our Creator God, in dress, in speech, in posture, in thought, in deed and in my relationships.

The most elegant woman today is a woman of incredible force and godly influence.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 12 November 2009

There's something about devil's cake that makes it so diabolically bad for you. First there's all that chocolate. An obscene amount of it. And butter. What's homemade chocolate icing without a slab of bovine milk fat? At the end of what was a 60 minute exercise in the kitchen became a 60 second empirical experience in eating the cake. It's all so innocent, which is why it's diabolical in the first place...

Monday, November 09, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 9 Nov 2009

Teriyaki hamburger + egg on rice, with mayo-ed brocs and prawn cracker. I've heard that hamburger rice is East-meet-West goodness. I missed lunch today and I'm SO glad get off my Mac (whose optical drive is on the fritz) and throw on an apron...Thank God for my half an hour of dinner haven with Myron and dad. Dad looks a bit miffed about my dinner since I decided I preferred cheesy fajitas instead.(Myron insists on calling them the Family Guy way- Fah-Jai-tas...LOL) Myron, still my sweet potooey.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 8 Nov 2009

Felt incredibly rushed tonight since I went out to Chapters to look at manga comics. Found one that was really inspiring, called Solanin. The quickest dinner to put together is probably beef steak teriyaki and to stir fried buddha's palm with carrots. Wasn't anything to shout about but the apple and blueberry crisp was deep-dish delish.

GOOBE short-sighted and stringy-chested.

This is Goobe ("Goo-bey"). He is the inspiration to my need to make an Ugly doll that's cheaper than what's currently on the market. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, else, it's the cheaper way to show appreciation for the designy things in life. Goobe now sits in my god-daughter Rebecca's family room window overlooking what must be their manicured backyard in Vancouver.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 7 Nov 2009

I didn't have buckwheat noodles but I had Hua Long handmade dried noodles so I thought let's do it like cold soba with Mizkan oigatsuo-tsuyu. It was actually really good. Bonito flavoured soya sauce that could also be used for hot soups. Very happy with my find. Now it's raining cats and dogs and I had wanted to go to Chapters to find some manga comics...guess, I'm staying in to study Japanese.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Momo もも guard pet

もも (Momo) is our pet guinea pig- I love how he looks- always innocent and curious about the world around him. Here he is, guarding the stairs that lead to my bedroom...he's got the smallest, cutest lil' paws!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog 5 Nov 2009

The weatherman said expect 70km/h winds and he might've well written tonight's dinner menu: Pumpkin soup, chicken casserole with garlic bread and basalmic vinegretted tomatoes, because windy weather always makes me want to make everything rich, creamy and dripping with butter. Pumpkin soup is one of the heartiest soups. It's times like these when a Kitchen Aid Food Processor would come in handy, but then again, my PC blender did the job quite nicely.

Tina came over for dins which was a treat because I haven't seen her for ages and she's such a trooper (cos' she's hungry!) and I like people to come hungry. We chowed down then chin-wagged, prayed and got caffeinated, all before 10:45pm. Now I'm ready to snack on my sunflower seeds...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bakgua recipe


2lbs of regular ground pork
8 Tbsp of sugar
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
3 Tbsp of oyster sauce (or hoisin is fine)
3 Tbsp of soya sauce
White pepper or chili flakes depending on how spicy you want it.

Mix all the ingredients together to marinate at least 5 hours. Better if it's overnight. Spread it thinly on a cookie sheet to bake at 350C for approx 30 minutes. Halfway through, flip it over to brown both sides evenly. Do not be stingy on the sugar as that's what holds it together.

Microwave them for 20 seconds if you wish to reheat them as they taste better after a day.

食べ物 Tabemonolog 3 Nov 2009

For drinkies, it's important to get something with lift (think fizz), but knowing I was going to OD on saturated fats tonight, how about fresh OJ with Sidra (Mo's fav fizzy apple cider) and pomegranates for couleur, eh? On second thoughts, I should've used clementines for better citrussy goodness.

So dad had caught pink salmon from the Frasier River. It was soft even though I had encased it in eggwash and cajun seasoning. Twice. But it had a subtle taste of salmony flavour without fishyness. Heaven forbid fishyness! And deep frying fries. Oh my, my hair smells like McDonald's right now. I SO need a bath. The sauce? It's newly minted Srirachuptonaise (Srirachai chili + ketchup + mayonnaise). おいしい with tongue-tingling pimentoes as well...not for the faint of tongue.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"Listen" and "Silent" contain the same letters

I gave myself 30 minutes to shop for groceries at T&T on Halloween afternoon. I stopped for a-steal-of-a-deal mangos and started to snort them to figure out how much sugar was in there. An elderly lady came right by me and asked if "war swour or war me sweemt?" It took me a while before I could understand she was asking if I thought they were sour or sweet. I could tell she was Asian so I spoke to her in Mandarin, but she was quite happy to practice her English on me. Her oversized clothes were dishevelled, her uncombed hair under an old wolly cap and she had gold caps on most of her teeth which aren’t already rotten off.

Her name? Jackie.

When I have conversations with strangers, 9 out of 10 times was because I had initiated it. To be on the receiving end is always a bit surprising, especially since I was counting the minutes before I had to go and meet Myron at our meeting place. But she was determined to have a conversation. She told me she's from China and she began to ask where I was from and how long I've lived here in Canada. She seemed very interested in who I was. One topic led to another and she talked about the sad state of the Canadian government. She belittled their efforts for taking care of the country and BC because there are so many people who are homeless and are taking drugs. She went on to say that she has never voted even though she can. Right away, I got on my You've-got-to-voice-your-vote soapbox.

I took that as a cue to say what I thought about the sad state of politics by saying "I am a Christian and we need to pray for our-" I never got further than that. The next few minutes were probably the longest minutes God held my tongue. Almost rehearsed in her mind were the words that "God doesn't exist, He doesn't love, just look at the state of the world, that (pointing a finger at me) I've been brainwashed, that Jesus has nothing to do with the Chinese because he's a Jewish man, from Israel! Christianity is an ad. It's like all the other religions and so she doesn’t follow any religion.” She had such a long list of things she chose not to believe in and all this while, my brain was mired in "1. How to talk about spiritual things? 2. How to share my 3-minute testimony and 3. How to give her the Gospel and 4. How to invite her into the Kingdom?"

The formulaic way of bringing her closer to Jesus was going in the spiritual shredder! I could not get a word in edgewise. God held my tongue and from the moment I knew I had no choice but to listen, I chose to give up my "proven methods". I became silent inside and it became clearer each time her voice rose the lesson God was teaching me. People were sneaking around us to pinch a mango or five into plastic bags but Jackie was not moving from that spot.

She talked about her cousin who won at every gambling match in the casino in China. He never lost. That's almost like how he would bring home the bacon. I kept thinking that nobody is ever *that* lucky, he'll lose one day, gambling like that! But he died suddenly, at age 27- the ultimate “loss”. She was only a young girl then, but she remembered her aunt went crazy with grief because that was her youngest son, and her favourite. Jackie must've known the the finality of death through her aunt's eyes, and it must have marred her long enough to recall this incident as if it happened yesterday.

You know, God speaks when we are silent before Him and listening to the person He wants us to love into His embrace. I put my arms around her and looked her right in her eyes and I said "you've seen a lot of pain in your life, haven't you?" In that instant, Jackie caved in and tears welled up in her tired, weary eyes. I hadn't seen it before but it was right there, plain as day. "I can see your heart is full of wounds, and you've been carrying these around a long time, haven't you?" She simply wept.

Her silence gave me the opportunity to seek permission to pray because God so clearly wanted me to simply meet the need. What was her need at that moment? She just wanted to be. She smiled weakly and I put my arms around her shoulders and prayed that God will reveal Himself to her, that He would show her how much He loved her. I never said such a short prayer ever, but really, that was all that was needed.

When I opened my eyes, she was smiling wanly. I called her Auntie Jackie and I asked if she could ever imagine me as someone who had lost a husband, a mother and a brother. That my son was only 20 months when his dad died of lung cancer at 35. That was 12 years ago. That was a shock to her and she acknowledged that I too, understood loss and grief. I shared how any ad (she alluded to that before) is not true until you try out the product. In many ways, she's right, Jesus is only an ad. There's no truth to Him or His abilities until you try Him personally. Then I could address her decision to believe that Jesus is culturally non-Chinese and therefore has nothing to do with her. I shared only one Chinese character “Xiang” for “Blessed”, that our ancestors were telling us to look out for God’s lamb and the only lamb I know in any dominant world religion is Jesus. That made her think a little, but then she asked if I was ever sad when my husband died so young. Well, of course I was, not forgetting I was angry too and hurt at the loss of my best friend and the father of my child. Being a Christian doesn't mean I don't feel hurt but it means I have hope, hope to see my husband, my mother and my brother because of their faith in Jesus, and what He did on the cross.

In the twenty minutes we hovered by the mangoes, I felt God saying something to me more than I was saying to Jackie. That Spirit-filled is doing things supernaturally, that having everything somewhat scripted in my mind is good, but it may not be God's best for that person. To be prepared to share the reason for our faith is Biblical, but to be prepared to listen is a supernatural act of the Spirit to humble me before God and man.

Myron finally found me and putting his arms around me said "hi" to Auntie Jackie. Her eyes grew wide at the child I talked about, who now, 12 years later, is saying with his body language "I love my mom. We're close." It's as if, all that I said is now confirmed as true because my son appeared and we're going shopping arms linked together for something quite as ordinary as eggs and milk and there really is a God who takes care of the grieving, the helpless and the lonely.

The mangoes were sour, by the way, but my encounter with Jackie, undeniably sweet.

Humility is the key to God and the key to the human heart.

食べ物Tabemonolog 2 Nov 2009

食べ物 Tabemonolog is my new Food logging post. Tabemono means Food in Japanese and monolog is just a neat way of expressing "one-person-speak". Today I came back from PTC and felt like black pepper baby back ribs (BPBBR!)and Shanghai bok choy with minced beef and white rice. The burnt sweetness of the ribs and that rice was just a great combo. Throw in some "kim" (seaweed) to wrap it up...Yowzerz! Fortunately for us, Sunny dropped by and made me proud by eating everything off his plate and then after seconds!

Fresh Fish October 2009