Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Encouragement card

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, May 31, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
Here is what the card, which Pam McCarthy (CT's colleague) gave, says..It is entitled, "You are Never Alone"

There's a wonderful peace in just knowing
that God never leaves us alone,
And whether we feel He is with us or not,
He loves us and calls us His own.
His Word is our hope, and our comfort,
a refuge when life brings our way
those times we need wisdom and guidance
and strength to sustain us each day.
I feel it is very encouraging as it reminds me of how faithful God is and how He has been with us all the time..
Through human wisdom, we may ask why He allows such thing to happen...but my whole family has faith to believe that God always allow things to happen for a reason and just hearing about how my parents' church in Singapore called for a prayer rally and my relatives and mum,sis-in-law who are non-Christians attended the prayer session. It has always been our prayer that our family members especially would come to know the Lord, believe in Him and accept Him into their lives..so, we all believe that God has always been working and is working in our midst already.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Train and car wreck

Posted by Dawn at Monday, May 30, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Have not written my blog for so long as I am sure you have heard about the train & car wreck my family was in. Now, I finally have time to write it down..

My parents came over to visit me and CT on Tues. They purposely come during this period to celebrate my birthday for me. So anyway, on Friday, we planned to go for a game of golf at Magnolia Grove which is one of the golf courses in Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. So, the golf course is quite nice and is near my apartment. So, we left at about 640am to reach there at 7am for the tee-off.

Mum did not play as she does not want to. So, she just hopped onto the buggee with us as I played with my dad 18-holes of golf at "The Falls" course. It is a beautiful course with lake and waterfalls. I enjoyed playing as it was my first time playing on the green since I do not have my license yet. BUt in US, anybody can play..so, I took the opportunity to play and accompany my dad as I know he is very excited to come to US to play. He even bought a new putter (costing few hundred US bucks)the day before to play. The sun was very hot, so after 11 holes, me and mum were complaining already and were starving. So, we hung in there to complete the game and I recommended to go to "Cici's Pizza" for a pizza buffet which costs only US$4. So, my parents were all looking forward to it.

We parked our buggee back at the parking space and my dad went to get the car. I waited with mum for my dad to get it. Dad took a pretty long time as he was washing his golf shoes and changing into his normal sport shoes.

So, finally, dad came with the car and was driving out of the golf course. There is a railway track all along outside the golf course. Actually, the first day we came, we reccee the place to find out where it is and how much is the rate. I already noticed the railway track and did want to ask dad to always stop first and check before driving off. However, in my head, I know I should not nag as my dad should know best as I always nag and people always say I nag too much and to just let them drive. SO, I kept my mouth shut...

So, when we were driving out of the golf course, we came by the tracks again..dad slowed down and the front part of his car entered the tracks when we saw the train coming...Mum spotted first and screamed in the car! I still remembered how loudly she screamed and how me and dad were panicking. I was trying to put on the reverse gear for dad as only the front part car was out..but I couldnt as when I reached out for the gear, the train smashed our car and the next thing I knew, I saw myself turning topsy turvy and hitting a lot of things before it landed on my side of the car. I was beside my dad who was driving. When the car was flipping, in my head, I was thinking, "I cannot believe that this is happening. We were supposed to have a great lunch. Is this true??"

My side window was smashed on the ground as the car landed on my side. When the car stopped, I shouted for my mum as I already saw my dad who was still beside me. I shouted, "Mum mum, where are you?? where are you??" After that, I suddenly thought I would be the only survivor..and I was slightly frightened and shocked cos I cannot believe that it is happening. I tried to crawl out of the car through a small opening at the back and managed to squeeze through when I saw mum on the grass patch wailing in pain as her leg was hurting. She kept saying, "What happened? Why am I here? How are you? How is daddy?"

So I squeezed back into the car to check on dad and he was dangling down from his seat as the car was turned to the right side. So, the driver side(left side) was on top. So, my dad was hung upside down as his seat belt held on to his legs. I could see him using his hands to reach out for something to pull himself up and he was telling me that he wanted to get up. I told him that I did not dare to touch him in case he has a broken neck or something like that. But he said, "it is ok. I want to get up." I could see he needed to get up as his nose and mouth were coming out blood continously. The whole car smelt of blood. So, I carefully supported his neck and shoulder on my lap and hands. However, the weight was overbearing and I had to slowly let go of his head and neck as the fireman came.

I kept telling dad to just pray to God as only Jesus can help us now. Then I told him to hang in there. I could not believe my once healthy and active dad looking like that. I could hardly recognise him. I was not crying but all I could think was to support my family and encourage my parents. So, I went back to mum and prayed with her. I also went to find all my valuables and grabbed hold of it. I saw all the golf clubs being thrown out everywhere and I managed to catch hold of my camera bag with my wallet inside and my mum's handbag many metres away from the car. So, I took it with me. All of us were without shoes. Somehow, we lost our shoes. After a while, I found one side on a grass patch and I took it and wear it on one foot.

I stayed with mum as the fireman tried to get pass the train to our side as the train was blocking. The train driver walked all the way here and released the latch of a part of train so that it can split up for the fireman, ambulance and police to go past it to rescue my dad.

The ambulance took me and mum to Springhill Memorial Hospital while the firemen were still trying to save dad in the car. Mum was put on a stretcher and I was beside her the whole time in the ambulance. Mum kept asking me the same questions over and over again as she cannot remember what happened. I kept asking her to trust in the Lord and stay calm.

Once we reached the emergency ward, I was being asked a lot of questions by the admin while mum was being tended by the nurses. The person asked me about details of me,mum and dad. They also managed to call CT for me and I talked to him. CT was shocked but calm. So I told him to come here now to be with me. Then, I waited for quite a while before the nurse asked me to change into something for me to go for X ray tests. So I changed and rested on a bed. While resting, they took me to the X ray room to test for my hips and knees as it hurts. Then, they wheeled me back to the original spot and wait for their results.

Then I saw CT and Kok Fong. I cried when I saw him and started telling him what happened. He noticed my head had a bump so he told the doctor to do a CT scan for me in case of anything. So, I went for a CT scan. In between all the scans, I waited for hours for the nurses to bring me to the place for scan. While waiting, all I did was pray to Jesus for healing to take place and told Him to be with my dad and mum.

After the CT scan, the doctor cleared it and said everything is normal. Then, I went next door to see my mum and she kept asking me the same questions. She could not open her eyes as she said it was very umcomfortable. I told her to rest and just pray.

Shortly after, the doctor told me that I can be discharged and gave me prescription to go to a pharmacy to get my medicine. Pam and Jim (CT's colleagues) visited me and Pam comforted me. I felt so loved. She told me that she will help me get medicine for me. So, I changed back into my bloody pants and shirt and went to the waiting room where CT was. CT was with his colleagues, including Bob. Bob is a great guy..he was the one who invited us to his church and has been a blessing to me and CT. He hugged me the first thing he saw me and comforted me. I was very touched.

I told mum that I would come back to visit her and told her not to worry.So I left and got back to my apartment feeling quite sad as I returned home to a quiet place without my parents. So, when I was bathing, I just cried and could not believe that this had happened. CT was with me and comforted me. After changing, I went to see my dad at University of South Alabama hospital. He was sent there by helicopter from the scene of accident.

When I went there, I was sitted at the waiting room to wait for dad as he went for some scan. After that, I saw him being wheeled past me and I saw him with all the tubes..The doctor told me to wait for him to come out. So, I was in the waiting area with all of CT's colleagues. CT's colleagues brought porridge for me and my mum. So, I ate some just to fill my stomach a little. Bob also came to visit my dad and bought a sandwich for us and Pam got us an encouragement card, a nice journal and a bag full of snacks for me and CT.

I finally got to see dad and of course, I teared when I first saw him. He was highly sedated so he could not respond to me. After that, I called my bro which was sat morning about 8am Singapore time and when I broke the news to bro, he started crying... I calmed him down and told him not to worry as God does everything for a purpose. So, I also told him that CT's company will pay for his flight here and asked him to let me know soon.

That very day, I slept quite well as I was very tired..but was aching all over. So, I could not move much. I have many bruises on my body and could not walk properly. But other than that, I feel so blessed to be alive as I thought I would die when the train hit me. Thank you Lord.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Went to Gulf Shores

Posted by Dawn at Friday, May 27, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
Today, had bread and milo for breakfast. Something funny happened today. Mum was in the toilet when the ceiling started dripping water on her head. Then she realised it was dirty water. So, I had to call the apartment office to repair the ceiling. So, they came over and checked it out.
But before they arrived, when my parents went to toilet, they carried their golf umbrella in to shield.

We planned to go out in the morning to go Gulf Shores...so we left the repairman to do our ceiling. Drove to "Burris Farm Market" first and bought veggies, onions, and lots of fruits. After that, spent some time shopping at "Tanger Outlets" which is a factory outlet branded stores like Tommy, Timberland, Reebok,Nike, Liz Claiborne etc... There are many shops in it. Can actually spend one whole day walking. There is a food court in the area. So, we stopped at about noon time to eat. I had a hotdog while my parents ate stew with bread. Gek Teng came along with us. She had pizza with salad. We spent most of our time at Liz Claiborne shopping for clothes. The shop is so much bigger than in Singapore's. So, we were excited when we saw so many selection of clothings. However, one problem is that the clothes are all quite huge..so it made me looked fat in it. So, I only bought one shirt. But dad chose it for me. He was a great help as he was trying to choose clothes for me.

After a few hours of shopping, we were so tired that we decided to carry on shopping the rest of the area another day. So, we hopped on to our rented car and drove to the beach at Gulf shores. There were a lot of people on the beach as it is the school holidays already. Weather is very hot and sunny.

It was a long drive home back to our apartment..about 1 plus hour. Mum fell asleep in the car while dad was trying to keep awake. After going back to the apartment, the repairman was still around and in fact, there were more people in our apartment trying to fix the problem. The guy said it is a big problem. They told us that they will need to come back tomorrow to fix it. Mum also found out that the water that dripped on her head was faeces water. Ha..

When we reached apartment, mum started preparing dinner in the kitchen. She is in charge of soup today while dad is doing the rest of the dishes. Yay..off day for me! Mum cooked lettuce, tomato, pork, chicken, mushroom, fishball soup. Dad cooked oyster sauce ginger chicken and bittergourd with beef. It was so tasty. I really enjoyed our dinner.

After dinner, as usual, CT will be busy in the kitchen rinsing the dishes and putting them in the dish washer. He is now an expert in using the dish washer.

When the sun was setting, CT, dad and I went to play tennis. I went there to take pictures. Met Teck Meng and Anthony as they were playing as well. Dad played well. Both CT and dad were trying to make each other run for the ball. Ha..Outwit-Outsmart-Outrun...

They stopped playing when it was too dark.

I drove the rented car back by trying out the manual gear. There seem to be auto and manual. Wanted to test out the car. Real fun.

While we went back to apartment, we watched TV together...

Legs aching from the walk..I guess I cannot shop for hours..

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's time to get out!

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, May 26, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Woke up at 5 plus am as usual and made breakfast and lunch for CT. I could not sleep after that though I was super tired with my panda eyes as my parents woke up. So, I prepared noodles for their breakfast. I was very tired but to cook for loved ones, is always privilege.

Had noodles with oyster sauce and added sausages, ham and lettuce. Very nice. My mum really brought so much food here that I can now eat as I like and no need to save up for rainy days. Need to thank my mum-in-law too for bringing some soup stuff and dried mushrooms..oh..Marianne, my good friend sent me some stuff as well..as well as my auntie. I feel so touched and cared for. Thanks so much you guys! Miss you all..

After breakfast, I called Gek Teng to see if she want to come along with us...but she was still sleeping so, I went out only with my parents. Brought them to Walmart first to do their grocery shopping and mum and dad bought shoes and clothes there as well. Mum was commenting that she see the stuff in Walmart until blur cos they have a wide variety of everything and has a lot of stuff.

After that, we dropped the stuff off our apartment and I brought them to more shopping places. Ha.. Parents bought some stuff for friends. Then, we had lunch at the Vietnamese Restaurant. I ordered fried noodles while parents ordered beef soup noodles. I always enjoy the drink as it is salted plum drink. Yum..Met CT's colleague-Tee there as he is on MC. He is coughing bad.

After that, I brought them to Asian Market as I needed to buy Oyster Sauce. So, showed them around. Then, went to "Dollar Tree" where everything is one buck. They bought a lot of stuff..as they keep saying," Cheap what".

Then, we went to Magnolia Grove Golf Course. It is a very nice and serene place with lots of trees. Dad went to check out the place and to find out more information about it. We will prob golf on Friday.

All of us were dead tired when we came home. Dad and I were putting and chipping on my living room carpet...real fun. I even hit the table with my golf ball. Ha.. Mum and I were also preparing dinner. Cooked soup. After cooking the soup, I put some in a container and brought it over to Tee, CT's colleague. He told me that he feels so touched. I just feel happy when people are happy.

It is nice to have my mum now helping me out in the kitchen..I have learnt a great deal from her-in every aspect...her cooking, her personality and life.

Dinner was great. Mum helped me prepare the dishes while I cook them. Had egg with chai poh, xiao bai cai, fish, and pork rib almond fig soup. Yum yum...

We watched American Idol together as a family. I heated up my brownies for all of them and added ice cream. Very enjoyable. All of us very tired..my parents kept falling asleep once in a while. Still having jet lag. Ha..

Cant wait for tomorrow when I bring them to another round of shopping...and to gulf coast beach.. Will keep you updated!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Arrival of parents

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, May 25, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Could not sleep whole night as I was too excited for my parents' arrival and kept thinking what to do when they come. Slept about 2am last night tossing and turning. Then, woke up at 7am today as the sunshine was penetrating into my room. Being excited, I quickly woke up and started thinking what to do. So, I thought since the weather seems hot, it is a good time to swim as if I do that later, there will be more people in the pool.

So, I got into my bikini which I bought it here and swam about 10 over laps and then, rested under the sun for a tan. That is the purpose why I got a bikini- to get a tan on my tummy. And probably, it will motivate me to eat less.

After a good swim with no one in the pool, bathed and started doing some finishing touches on my apartment to prepare for tonight when my parents come. I went over to Gek Teng's place so that time will pass quicker. Went there to play computer and watch TV with her.

I left about 5 plus as I was feeling very tired. So I went back and rested by watching TV and just relaxing on my own. I was checking the internet for the time arrival of CT's and my parents' flight. CT arrived at 710pm and he came home to bathe first before we went to pick parents up.

I was trying to hurry him as he went to bathe. I was practically running up and down and walking everywhere the house. I was watching American Idol standing up. So you can sense my excitement- of the show and my parents.

After CT bathed, we quickly drove to the airport and waited for them. I was so happy. Dad rented a car so that we can drive the car during the day time. We were given a Hyundai Sonata car. It was very nice car with sunroof where you can open it up by pressing a button. Cool.

I sat with dad in the rented car as he drove and CT was with mum in his company's car. So, we made our way to "Ruby Tuesday" and had western food. We ordered only 3 dishes- New Orleans Seafood, Mushroom Steak and Buffalo Wings. The servings are huge and so, we all shared.

After dinner, drove to our apartment to settle in. Mum started passing me all the things that she brought over for me..one big box of it all! Amazing. The whole night, they were telling me the stories of the plane flights adventures.

Dad straight away headed for the TV and watched his golf channel. Sigh.. Did not sleep too well as the excitement was still in me. Ha.. Kept tossing and turning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Parents coming soon..

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, May 24, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Today, woke up to prepare CT breakfast and made sandwiches for his lunch as he will be leaving for Atlanta today, so wont have time to eat proper meal. Spent the morning cleaning up the house, washing the bedsheets and pillow cases to prepare for my parent's arrival.

It is pretty exciting as I have not have any visitors for almost 3 months. Vacuumed the floor and carpet as well. I do hope my parents will not get bored here. Guess my mum will be happy with the TV and my dad with his golf courses. There are a lot of golf courses here and heard it is cheap to play. So, dad will be bringing his set. Will probably play with him when he comes.

Heated up my leftover KFC chicken for lunch. After that, went over to Gek Teng's apartment to return her bowls. She came over with 2 bowls of soup for me and CT last night as she usually cooks too much soup. The soup she cooked was potato, carrot, tomato soup. It was tasteless as she said she did not put any salt. I left the soup for tonight's dinner.

For dinner, it was my first time having it alone. Actually, Gek Teng invited me over to her place but I'd rather be alone and having the freedom and comfort at my own home. I added rice to soup and had that for dinner. Yummy. Healthy food. Whole night watching TV and playing with my computer.

Now, I am watching iron chef and the food theme is eel. Yum! Tonight, will be sleeping alone..miss CT but I just keep telling myself that it is only a night. :) Cannot wait for tommorow as my parents and CT come! Hope that when my parents come, they will not be so tired as I have planned to bring them to somewhere nice to eat. They will be arriving at 840pm. Cannot wait.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Visited Daysprings Church

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 22, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, Jamie will not be joining us to go church as she said she will be going Foley,about an hour drive from here. So, CT suggested visiting another church this morning which my mum recommended from her contact in Singapore. So, we went. The church is about 15 mins away.

The service went well. I enjoyed it as the pastor was very detailed in explaining the bible passage and during worship, the lyrics that was projected on the screen was quite high tec. The background was animated! I was amazed at how great the americans are with their IT and video. Service was from 945am to 11am. After service, we drove to "Food World", another grocery shop to get a discount card for free and to buy some stuff from there. I bought bag of fish and prawns. It was buy one get one free offer.

After that, we took away KFC and ate that for lunch while watching VCD at home. KFC did not taste as good as "Church's Chicken". It was slightly dry. After watching VCD, I was feeling very tired. So, I went to catch a nap. Then, woke up and went to pick steve up to go to the cinema and watch "Star Wars: the revenge of the Sith". Many went as well- Kok Fong & wife, Chee Hao, Chen Twok, Anthony, JS. We thought it will be crowded but the cinema was only about 3 rows filled. I love it as I do not like crowded places.

The show is very entertaining and has great effects!! That is the reason why I watched as I am not a star wars fan..but i enjoy the effects..The show was only 2 hours. Quite short. Heard this will be the last time they will show Star Wars. I do wish they can continue and remake the old episodes.

After the show, we sent steve back and invited him for dinner at 630pm. So, I quickly went back and prepared dinner. Cooked the fish I bought today, plus cooked prawns with celery and carrot, finished up my spinach soup and cooked potatoes with minced pork. Steve enjoyed the home cooked dinner which he missed so I was glad I invited him over.

After he left, we continued watching more VCDs.. It is getting very interesting but at times, it can be confusing..hehe..too cheem for my simple mind..

After watching, CT was packing his bag as he is going Atlanta, Georgia for work tomorrow for one night. We realised we did not have extra toothpaste. So, went to "Walgreens" to buy a small tube of toothpaste. So, tomorrow night, I will home alone.. He will be coming back the same night by parents will be coming. So, hopefully, he will reach here earlier and go together to pick my parents up.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Need some rest

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, May 21, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
After returning home about 2am this morning, woke up at about 830am. It is bright very early here...so the day is very long. After waking up, made ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Then, went to visit the "Medal of Honor Park" near our place. It is a huge area with tennis centre and stadium. Not the kind of park I expect it to be. After that, went to Asian Market to buy the usual asian vegetables. I bought red spinach and xiao bai cai. Also bought the chinese/asian pear (the yellow big kind).

After that, went home to cook lunch. I was not feeling too well-had a headache and sorethroat. So I cooked spinach soup with dried anchovies added. Also cooked chicken stew with carrots and potatoes. Lunch was nice as I missed eating home cooked food after few days in Tennessee without it.

Tonight, supposed to go Bob's place for dinner with the small group from church, but we will not be going as I needed some rest. And moreover, they will be eating burgers and BBQ, so I felt my body could not take any of that anymore. So, CT had to call to let them know. After lunch, went to Walmart with Jamie and Steve. They needed to do grocery shopping, while I needed to buy grip for my tennis racquet. Of course, at the same time, I bought usual grocery stuff.

Then, went to "Best Buy" to buy a music CD- "Il Divo". I wrote before in my blog about how I came to know this group. They are recommended by Simon Cowell in the Oprah Show. They sang first time in front of America and I was touched by their singing. It is like an emotional rush. If you like songs by Josh Groban, that kind of easy listening contemporary classical music, you will like this CD by Il Divo.Check out their website if you are interested. http://www.ildivo.com/site.php

After that, went home to prepare cooking and watch my chinese VCD shows. Reheated my left overs from lunch and added celery to my chicken stew. Had baked beans with sausages as well and opened up a can of fish with preserved veggies. My fav can fish. So, today was a relaxing day, recuperating from the long journey from Tennessee.

To Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountains

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, May 21, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, we checked out and went to Gatlinburg. The town is really neat. It reminds me of a fairy tale kind of town. The architecture is very nice with lots of wood and bricks. There were a lot of shops and fun-mini golf, ripley's believe it or not aquarium,haunted house etc.. The journey in Tennessee is beautiful. The grass is very green and vast. A bit like Tasmania, Australia.

The coach bus dropped the families off at the Aquarium while the rest went to Smoky Mountains to see. We did not have much time, so we only walked about 2 hours to the waterfall and took the nature trail. Not much. Quite disappointed as I did not get to see the mountains and the smokiness of it! However, I bought postcards of the beautiful smoky mountains. Hope to go back there next time..maybe in autumn when the leavs are red.

We went for lunch at the town area. I had an American bacon cheeseburger with large onion rings, while CT had T-Bone Steak. I enjoyed my burger, but CT's steak not so nice. After a short tour of the place, we hopped onto our bus to go back to Mobile, Alabama.

The trip was very very looong.. It was torturous as sometimes, the baby will cry so loudly and disturb our sleep. Sometimes, they will cry and wail for so long..that I do pity the parents..

I did not really eat dinner as I was still full from lunch. I just ordered a milk shake and ate some fries while CT ordered a burger.

We only managed to reach back home at 2am. So tiring..I hated the ride as it was boring. Throughout the trip, I finished one story book already which I bought it here. Think next time take plane flight better. Anyway, I am glad to be back home here and waiting in anticipation for my parents to come.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Excursion!

Posted by Dawn at Friday, May 20, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, woke up early and met for breakfast with Gek Teng at 730am down at the hotel. CT and his colleagues had to leave to go to the plant at 730am, so I arranged that time so it will not be so crowded. It was a light breakfast. I had muffins and home,self-made waffles. Yum. After that, we met at 9am at the gym and did some gym. There was a TV at the gym, so can watch TV at the same time. Quite fun.

After a workout, we went back to out hotel rooms to bathe and change to go out at 11am. We were meeting the rest of the wives to go out for lunch and to zoo. There were about 7 wives and 6 kids. We went to "Red Lobster" for lunch, paid by company. So, I ordered a lobster chops. It is lobster and scallops on a skewer..grilled. Very nice! I loved it. Maybe because it was free! The kids were playing and making a mess when they ate. When we left the place, the whole floor was so dirty. The wives with kids are all malays. They were the ones who just came (Technician batch). Only me, Gek Teng and Angeline were without kids.

After lunch,we took the same coach (which brought us here) to the Knoxville Zoo. It was more for the kids. There were not many animals. Nothing compared to Singapore. Do take a look at the pictures I took..

It was tough handling the kids as some of them will start crying..or start running everywhere.. I had a busy time baby-sitting them. Very energy-draining.

After zoo, we went back to hotel and our husbands just reached back as well. I excitedly showed CT my pictures I took. CT also told me what he did in the plant and how it smelled like Chicken Feet. He said the workplace was really smelly. Ha..

CT was supposed to have dinner with the rest of the company people at this sports bar, while the wives had to take care of the dinner themselves. But all of a sudden, CT called and told me to come down and join him as the wives are now invited. So, after a quick bath, I joined him. It was nearby and boy, it was like an adult playground. There were lots of pool tables, arcade machines, soccer tables, and this long table which is called "Shuffleboard". The best thing is we did not have to pay a cent to play and to eat. The food was cathered and it was fried chicken wings, nachos, potato skins...all finger food. So, we ate finger food and drank ice tea the whole night while playing. I played many times of pool and played "Shuffleboard". It is a long table which you are supposed to slide the pegss across the table without your peg falling off. More points won if your peg is closest to the edge on the other side. I was an expert in that as I played against CT's american & Singaporean colleagues. It was very fun. I partner CT's american colleague. It is 2 people in a group...and we trashed the other group! It was real fun.

I also played pool..CT played very well. It was a fun night. However, the only bad thing was that people were smoking..so it was smelly.. We walked back to our hotel with Kok Fong and Gek Teng at about 9 plus while the rest stayed back to drink a lot. Heard some of them got drunk.

After going back to our hotel rooms, we watched TV as we were not tired yet. Watched Iron Chef America. Very nice. I love to watch how they can turn a simple ingredient to something so exquisite. Like magic!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Trip To Knoxville, Tennessee

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, May 19, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Woke up at 7am today, made breakfast and did some last minute packing before I left on a coach bus to Knoxville, Tennessee. It was 10 hours drive. There were about 30 of us plus wives and kids. I was sleeping for the first few hours of the ride and did some reading and listening to music with MP3 player.

We had many stopovers especially for the kids as they get restless easily. Had lunch at a small rest area. Ate "Captain D's"- fast food seafood like Long John's silver. I had a grilled prawn salad only while CT had a large combo meal. I took some food from him. I did not want to eat so much, so took salad. We reached out hotel at about 7 plus pm. Stayed at "Jameson Inn". The room was nice and cosy. However, we were given 2 super single beds. So it was too squeezy to sleep together.

We quickly unpacked a little and I took a quick shower before we went out for dinner. Went for dinner with Kok Fong and wife at "Outback Steakhouse". All the meals are being paid by the company. All the colleagues have a company credit card. It is really cool. So, CT uses the card to pay for meals here in Tennessee. I ordered a 12-ounce steak, while CT ordered a 14-ounce steak! wow. Mine tasted nice but it is not the best I have tasted. The salad and house bread is good. It was about US$20 per person.

After a full dinner, we walked back to out hotel and watched a bit of TV before going to sleep. Since the bed was too small, we had to sleep separate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Packing my bags..

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
Did not sleep well last night as I just couldn't sleep. So, I was simply staring at CT sleeping and snoring. Ha.. Woke up and made kaya with french toast. Very nice and crispy. I did not go back to sleep this morning though I was very tired, so that I can sleep well tonight.

Woke up and listened to a sermon online by my church in Singapore. I do miss my church's sermons as I realised I learn so much from it as it is very detailed and explains the bible passage very clearly.

I was also packing for my tennessee trip. I will be going to tennessee with CT and all his colleagues & family for work and fun trip. They will be going there to visit a plant, while I will just accompany him and tour the area. Going to Knoxville on the 1st day and to Gatlinburg on the 2nd day. Company has hired a bus to bring us there. Leaving at 830am tomorrow. Think about 10 hours drive.

I spent the afternoon also busy preparing for dinner tonight. Teck Meng will be coming over for dinner as I invited him yesterday so that he can help finish some food for us and moreover, I heard he is trying to save money as he has spent so much on his bicycle.

Gek Teng and Angeline (wives) came over at 3pm today to just spend time together and talking.
I was feeling rather stoned as I was tired. After they left, I continued preparing for dinner.

Pan fried catfish fillet for dinner. Cooked sides like spicy smoked baked beans with minced beef, potato salad and coleslaw. Cooked cream of shrimp soup.. Oh, cooked garlic bread with my frnech toast as well. Teck Meng enjoyed the catfish fillet. He kept asking me how to cook. Catfish fillet is very easy to cook. It is better to cook in Singapore as it is so cheap. Here, is very expensive. In Singapore, you can find 3-4 big pieces of catfish for S$4. Here, probably about US$8! It is crazy. But it is the freshest fish I can find here. The rest, does not taste fresh.

I told Teck Meng to bring his blender tonight so that I can make banana milkshake. I had lots of bananas left that I had to finish it before I leave for Tennessee. So, the fastest way is to make a drink out of it! It taste so good. Reminds me of "Orange Julius".

Dinner went well. Watched "American Idol" at the same time. Sigh..not much motivation to watch now since my favourite is out already. But oh well, I shall now vote for Bo Bice since he is from Alabama..which is where I am at now. :)

Ok, got to go wash up and pack my bags. Will be back on Friday night. So, will update my blog once I am back.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Staying home

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, May 17, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Today, went back to sleep after CT left for work as it is Monday...Yes, even tai-tai have Monday blues.. Woke up at only about 9am. When I first came, I was not really used to waking up with no one at home. Before I was married, my house was usually quite noisy with either the noise from TV or my family members talking. But now in US, waking up to no one at home and the place being so quiet, was something I had to get used to now.

After having cereals for breakfast, I chatted with Gek Teng online, checked my email and played some computer games. After that, at 10am, I started cleaning the whole house. I vacuumed the whole floor and carpet, cleaned the toilets and sinks. It was nice to be able to enjoy the cleanliness after that workout! Boy, the american vacuum cleaners are really heavy and bulky.. Doing the vacuuming, reminds me of the scene where Mrs Doubtfire vacuumed the house and dancing around with it. I had to imagine that in order for me to make it fun!

After cleaning, I started cooking soup for dinner. Cooking "Egg seafood corn" soup which my mum used to make for me. I just imagined what she put in it and I did the same. Cooked chicken bones first and then added mixed veggies, crab meat, fishball,prawn ball, cream corn and some chicken slices and of course, egg. It tastes good.

When Gek Teng came over, I gave her a bowl to drink and try. I told her that she is my guinea pig since my husband not here now. Ha..She came over to my house at 2pm and spent the time here playing with my computer and watching TV tog. Though she has a computer at her apartment, it is the company that we both enjoy. I was reading newspaper. Bought newspaper from the stand yesterday but haven't had the chance to read it till now. Sunday's newspapers is really thick. Lots of advertisements and discounts. Quite good. I cut them out so that I will use it.

Gek Teng left at about 4 plus pm. She was telling me about her dinner last night at a BBQ ribs place. She said it was quite good and reasonably priced. Hmm..I will def try.

Ok, CT just came home. He told me he will be going to jog. Yay! Glad he is exercising. We all need it!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Went to the cinema today

Posted by Dawn at Monday, May 16, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
Today, Jamie (CT's Singaporean colleague) went with us to church. She attends City Harvest Church in Singapore. So, we invited her and she was willing to go. It was a great service today. CT was crying a little as he was touched as he was singing in church. During the sermon half way, the pastor got everyone to stand up and sing some worship songs. Very ministering..

After a great service, we took Jamie out for lunch overlooking the Mobile Bay Waters.. The view was very nice. Take a look below...


The view from restaurant

The restaurant we went was called, "Felix's Seafood Grill". In the picture, you can see a wine bottle. No...we did not order it. Every table has one as they insert a candle on top. Just to clarify in case all of you think that me and CT has become drinkers eversince we came here. For the record, me and CT are allergic to alcohol. I will get sore eyes and bad throbbing headache, while CT will get rashes all over his body.

Ok,back to the restaurant. This place is quite nice. I enjoyed the view most as I see pelicans standing on the stilts and just looking at the waters has a calming effect. Ordered a seafood gumbo soup ( all kinds of seafood and tomatoes in the soup with rice) and a crab soup. Also ordered calamari as I have never eaten that ever since I came here as the people in Mobile do not believe in eating bait food for the fish. SO, it was unusual to find calamari in the menu. So, of course, being an opportunist, I ordered it! And being a submissive wife, I asked CT first before ordering! For the main dish,I ordered a grilled grouper with turnip greens as the sides. I love turnip greens as it is cooked like Chinese style. Will take a picture of it next time when I eat it again for you to see and learn. CT ordered a stuffed flounder. It was cheesy. Too filling.

We treated Jamie for lunch which costs up to US$56 plus tax. Though it seems expensive, CT gave the ladies a treat cheerfully. :)

After lunch, I went back to prepare for dinner. I plucked the mint leaves from the stem, one by one so that later I can just cook it straight after my movie show. We went out shortly after plucking all the mint leaves. Followed Kok Fong and Gek Teng to the cinema which was about 10-15 mins away. Very nice pleasant drive with little traffic. We went to watch "Kingdom of Heaven". The movie show is by the director of "Gladiator"-Ridley Scott.

I thought CT would like the show as he loves to watch epic shows with a lot of people involved-like Gladiator or Braveheart. So, I took him to watch. This cinema we went to is a different one from the last time we went. This one shows new movies, so it is slightly more expensive- US$4.50. Before the show started, they show a lot of previews of movies coming up during summer. Boy, it looks really exciting. Saw the previews for the new Batman movie, for a action show starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, a inspirational golf show based on true story (which my dad may like)etc..All coming out soon in summer. I will def catch the Batman one since I love shows like these-X Men, Spiderman...

The "Kingdom of Heaven" show is not really nice. It shows the war between Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem. Me and CT did not like it as it is not true history facts. The fighting/war is like gladiator-so violent and like "The Last Samurai" with a lot of soldiers involved..and died..

After the show, went home and cooked dinner. Had roast chicken and mint leaves with egg. I love mint leaves with egg. Very fragrant. Cooked rice as well. Simple dinner as still full from lunch.

Now, watching VCD after dinner and eating the brownies I made for Gek Teng's birthday. She shared some with me.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Went Biloxi,Mississippi

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 15, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, made kaya bread for breakfast and milo drink. Yum. Steve brought 2 bottles of Kaya for me as I requested. Yay..

Went to Asian Market after breakfast to buy cai xin, fish balls, prawn balls and french loaves. Gek Teng went along with us as well as she has not been to Asian Market on Sats where there are fresh vegetables. After that, dropped by at the WalMart Neighbourhood market to get eggs and milk for the week.

After a morning of grocery shopping, I cooked lunch. Then, we watched our Chinese VCDs. We left with Kok Fong & wife, to Biloxi, Mississippi as Steve tagged along. It was about an hour drive to Mississippi. The water was as brown as East Coast Park Beach, but the sand was beautiful- fine and white. The whole beach was packed with casinos..For pictures of the place, take a look at my photo album in my yahoo pictures..

After the walk at the beach, I spotted a very interesting car on the roads and I quickly took out my camera to take a quick shot! The car has lots of toys stuck on the truck...very cool! You will never see such a vehicle on the roads in Singapore.


Check out the toys on the car

After spending some time on the beach, we took the scenic route back to Mobile along the beach. Went back to continue watching our VCDs..

At about 6:30pm, we went to Colin's apartment for dinner. He invited everyone except the Malays as they can only eat Halal food. We had tom yam soup, potato dish, chicken wings, frenc beans with mushrooms and minced pork. Very yummy. The tom yam soup has lots of big prawns. His place was very crowded and we spent time eating and watching TV.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Gek Teng's birthday

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, May 14, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, CT came home at 11am! I was so happy as he will not have such opportunity in future. He had to come back early to pick me up to go airport to pick his colleague, Steve up. Steve was from the same company as CT before this job. And now, both of them are in the same company again.

Early in the morning, chatted with HsiangLing, who is in Chicago and Gek Teng through Skype program, in the internet. Quite fun cos all our husbands are working..and we are just at home doing our things..

Today is Gek Teng's birthday (13 May 75) She is same age as CT. I made her a whole pan of brownie and actually invited her out to go pick Steve with us and have lunch together. But, Kok Fong, her husband took the apartment keys and so she had to stay at home. Poor thing.
Take a look at the brownie I made for her, using my new SMARTWARE container. Can you tell what words are shown on the brownie?? CT said he could not tell..hummfgh!


My first homemade walnut brownie!
After picking Steve up, we went to "South China Restaurant" for lunch buffet. We wanted to try it-our first time and Steve wanted Chinese food. After a filling lunch, we settled him into his apartment as he was very tired. Then, we brought te brownie over to Gek Teng and wished her happy birthday. She was touched. She cut up the brownie and distributed some to us.
At about 5pm, me and CT went to play tennis for an hour. Weather was very hot today. Probably about 31 degrees.
After washing up, we went to pick Steve up and took him to Winn Dixie as I wanted to go to the "Midnight Madness Sale" in the store. They actually have special price because today is Fri the 13th. There were so many people and there was not even enough trolleys. Most of the specials were wiped out. After that, went Walmart to shop as well. Then, we drove to Vietnamese Restaurant for dinner.
The Vietnamese food here is almost the same standard as Singapore's. It is quite nice. I took my usual dish-the mixed beef soup noodles. CT ordered fried seafood hor fun which was very oily. Not nice. It is about US$7 per person. Not too bad. What I like is the drink-plum soda. It is like the sour plum drink. Very nice.
After dinner, went home to watch our VCD. Did not watch for a while as Kok Fong and wife took the VCDs to watch first. So, we watched tonight as they have watched a lot already. After the show, it was 11 plus pm. I called back Singapore to Marianne's house as my family are all in her place celebrating her baby's (my god-daughter) first birthday! I talked to my brother to wish him happy birthday(14th May) as in Singapore, it was 14th May already. Marianne bought for Phoebe, my god-daughter a 3D elmo cake. Phoebe loves elmo..so when she saw her cake, she even wanted to hug the cake!! :)
When I called at Marianne's place, it sounded so crowded and noisy..sounds like fun. I do wish I was there...sigh..
Managed to sleep only at about midnight..

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hair Cut!

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, May 11, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, woke up and check my email. After that, I was playing with my guitar and then, Gek Teng came at about 11am. She told me to play guitar for her. So, I did. After that, Reeda called and said she was going to pick us up now. Reeda arranged long ago to meet up with me and I told her if I could bring 2 more SIngaporean wives along. She was happy to have them join as she is a really nice lady and like to know more about Singapore as well as she will be going to Singapore at the end of July..for about 2 plus months.

Reeda is a lady from church who plays the french horn in the orchestra band. The church I attend has a small orchestra band. We went to "The American Cafe" for lunch. Jan met us there. We had a great time talking about Singapore. As we talk, it makes me so proud of Singapore. I had cajun chicken salad for lunch as I did not want to eat sandwiches or pasta. I do not want to feel so full. Some of them ordered pasta and could not finish their food. After our talk, Reeda sounds really excited to be there. Hope we did not paint too good a picture of Singapore that she will be disappointed. Ha. After our main dish, Reeda ordered a huge dessert where we all shared. It is melted marshmallows with some part roasted with melted choc and vanilla icecream with biscuits in it. It is very nice and amazing.

Lunch was a treat by Reeda. After that, she sent us back to our apartments. Half an hour later, me and Gek Teng went for a swim, taking advantage of the nice sunny weather. The water was just nice-not too hot & not too cold. After swimming 26 laps (in a probably 20m pool), we had a short sun tan. Yes, I am a bit tanner now. It was a great swim..Went back to bathe and then, I went over to Gek Teng's house to return her something and to tell her where "Church's Chicken" is as she feels like going there tonight. "Church's Chicken" has the best fried southern Chicken so far. So I recommended it to her.

Spent time at her place talking and watching TV. She was also playing "Neopets" (games online)which again, I influenced her and got her hooked up. I am such a bad influence. Glad she and her husband think otherwise-her husband is just so glad his wife now will not get bored!

Angeline joined us later at Gek Teng's house as I guess she was also bored. Today, me and Gek Teng usually go for grocery shopping and our husbands will take us out for dinner. So, it is our day off from cooking. Angeline still cooks. James seldom bring her out as she seems picky in what she eats, so she'd rather cook. I usually go out on Wed with my hubby and Teck Meng. Teck Meng is a funny guy and we are quite close to him.

So, when they came back, we went grocery shopping and then, went to "Cici's Pizza" for dinner. It is a pizza buffet where they always top up freshly baked hot pizzas! It is so fresh as they just took it out from the oven. Pizza tastes really nice when the cheese is melted hot and bread still crispy. There were usually sausage pizza, pepperoni pizza, just cheese pizza, egg and cheese pizza, ham egg and cheese pizza, spinach pizza, hawaiian pizza, spicy pepperoni pizza. My favourite was the ham egg and cheese. They actually crack an egg on the pizza with ham and cheese. Very nice. They also have salad bar and pasta. All for the price of US$5! Which is about S$8! Very reasonable as if I go pizza hut to eat, it will be more expensive...and the food is limited. However, this was buffet so we ate and ate and leave all the crust at the end as that will be too filling. I had about 10 pizzas. They have dessert pizzas too-apple pie dessert.

After dinner, went back and watched "American Idol".My favourite is finally out. It is so strange cos Anthony had great comments from the judges while the girls sang badly. But he was out. Sigh...Anthony is great and he has been through a lot. He went through many throat surgeries when he was young and the doctor told him that he may not be able to speak, let alone sing! That is why he keep saying that this is an American Dream for him. That is why despite whatever circumstances, we have to be hopeful and think positively.

After watching TV, CT told me that he needed a hair cut. I excitedly told him that I could cut for him as I always wanted to try cutting people's hair!! *Muahahaha* (evil laughter). So, I laid newspapers and he sat in it and I just cut. I did not know how to start..and we were both laughing as I was really lost at what to do. But after starting, I kind of gotten the hang of it and begin to visualise myself as a pro. So, I just kept snipping away! His hair went on to my shirts and pants. Oh well..it was messy! After that, I had to use his shaver to cut some parts...it was tough. Take a look at the finished product.

I think CT would not want me to do again after how messy it was with hair all over the floor and how troublesome it was. I wanted to do it as the hair cut here is expensive and some of the colleagues had a hair cut and it turnout out a disaster.


Just had a hair cut by ME!

Great day!

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, May 11, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, Julie (One of church member from the church I attend) called me and asked me out for lunch. So she came at 11am to pick me up. She brought me to "Lonestar Steakhouse" which had a country theme decor. Very nice. The steak was nice and tasty. After that, she took me to a Christian bookstore to look around and then, dropped by her sister's house to look at the few month old baby. He is so cute and always smiling..

Julie dropped me off at 2pm back at my apartment. Once I reached home, I cooked soup for tonight and then changed, and went swimming. The weather was sunny so I went swimming. However, when I stepped out of my apartment, the sky turned cloudy.. But since I have changed already, I still went ahead to swim. Thought can have suntan..ha. I think I have turned darker here already as I have been out in the sun during weekends, playing tennis and swimming.

Tonight, cooked chicken, onions, carrot, potato soup and beef with zucchini. Cooked soup as I have not taken soup for few days already. Love soup. Watched American Idol while eating. The singers did well tonight especially my favourite singer, Anthony.

Now, watching Amazing Race- 2 hour finale special. It is getting more exciting as they compete for 1 million. I love this show as it not only shows the different countries all over the world, but also, shows the determination of the competitors. During one of the pit stops, the African-American couple finished last and had to give up all their possessions and money as a forfeit. They said to the camera that their heart and mind have not been taken away. That is what is important. Wow! I strongly believe in that as well. Anything is possible. What is important is the never-say-die attitude! Yeah!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Washing day

Posted by Dawn at Monday, May 09, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning when CT left for work, I started cleaning the floors. The reason is because on Friday, CT spilled the whole container of curry on the floor early in the morning. He wanted to eat curry with bread.After cleaning it, it still feels oily. So, I decided to clean it again this morning with more soap. The problem with cleaning is that I do not have any pail and they do not have any drainage system on the floor..so you cannot wet it..So, I just soap it with my sponge and then wipe it clean with clean sponge and towel.

After cleaning the floor, I went to clean the bathtub and toilet sink. It is nice to see it clean after washing. After that, decided to do my usual thing-use the computer and watch TV. There was a movie showing on TV- "Eye for Eye". The show is about this lady's daughter being killed and the murderer was not charged and was set free. So, the mother decided to train herself to fight and use a gun to plan to kill the murderer. Quite nice.

Did not hear from Gek Teng (or Yuting) the whole morning. Usually, she would be online in the internet and I would know and chat with her. So, I was wondering where she was. Finally, she messaged me online and told me that the whole morning, she was cleaning the house. She came over to my place at 3pm to just talk and watch TV. From the weather report, the weather here is getting hotter as it is coming to June-summer time. The highest temperature is 30 degrees celsius. But usually, it would be about 25-28 degrees. Not too bad.

Cooked steam egg with minced pork and dried mushrooms, steam red snapper with yellow beans, chilli, ginger and parsley and fried kangkong with blachan. I was starving as I did not eat much for lunch. Only had few mouths of ready-made potato salad and coleslaw which I bought from supermarket.

Today, I went to check my mailbox and received a package which I ordered. Many weeks ago, I ordered this "Smartware" cookware and it has arrived. So excited. It is meant for grilling and baking with the ease of washing up and having even cooking in the food without getting it burnt. So, I kind of like the idea.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 08, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers..especially mine who has been an inspiration to me, guiding and supporting me. Thanks Mum! I love you. This morning, went to church as usual and met Rita, the lady who liked to meet up with me as she will be going to Singapore soon. We arranged to meet up on Wednesday for lunch. Coincidentally, her work place is just next to where I stay. Awesome. After church, went to Walmart nearby and shopped. Bought 2 tennis racquets and a bag of tennis balls. (Esther: So, I think you just need to bring one racquet when you come for yourself or no need, if you do not mind borrowing a US$16 racquet from my friend.) I was surprised CT suggested buying as I thought he wanted to save money. I guess he suddenly felt the need to exercise more. So happy.

We spent over our budget again today. But I feel it is ok since buying the tennis racquets would be an investment for future when we go back Singapore to play. After Walmart shopping, we had lunch at Chinese Restaurant. Ate Buffet..since it is cheaper. The owners are from Hong Kong and Malaysia. It is a new restaurant we are trying as I have passed by it before and noticed the many cars outside the place. The food is ordinary..nothing really special. It was nice speaking Cantonese to the owner here in America. Feels like home. :) Had roast duck and other Chinese food like spring rolls, fried rice, mee and mee hoon..etc.. After the filling lunch, we went home to put down our stuff from the car.

Then, we drove to the Botanical Garden and the Azalea Golf Course to take a look at what it looks like. It is about 15 -20 mins drive. The Botanical Garden is rather big so I decided not to walk since I forgot to bring my water bottle. The weather is rather hot today. After that, I went to the Flea Market with the intention of buying water melon. It is cheap there. However, the flea market on Sunday does not have much stuff. Must go on Saturdays. So, it was a wasted trip but it does not matter, since I am with CT..

After that,we went home and as we were driving in our apartment compound, we saw Chen Twok teaching Colin how to drive as the technicians will be taking their driving test soon. So, Colin was driving and practising. Colin then invited us to his place for dinner as his wife cooked a lot. We went home at 4 pm and then played tennis from 5-6pm with our new racquets and balls. We had fun playing.

After that, bathed and went over to Colin's place. Colin brought along his 2 kids-one boy who is about 2 years old and a girl, 10 months old. Very cute. Spent the time playing with them. The wife cooked a dish that is something like penang laksa. It is sourish spicy noodles with lots of stuff in the soup. The wife comes from Myanmar who speaks Chinese fluently. So maybe the dish is some Myanmar food. Had Bandung as well for drinks. Take a look at my picture collection for updated photos http://photos.yahoo.com/dlinglm/

After dinner, we were watching the NBA playoffs on TV and I was playing with the boy at the same time. He is very active and always drinking water. Never seen a kid who loves drinking. Left the house at about 8 plus pm. Then drove and went to pump petrol at station as CT will be driving to work tomorrow morning. After that, CT suggested taking a walk outside. And so we did..the weather tonight was really nice. I was out in my shorts and t-shirt. Probably about 25 degrees. Reached home exhausted from the day's activity.


Eating at Colin's apartment

Legs aching

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 08, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, cooked chicken soup noodles for breakfast. After that, went to Asian Market to see what Asian veggies were there as they only come on Saturday. Got to buy kangkong , bittergourd and chilli padi. I was happy there was kang kong as it was my first time seeing it. After that, went to Winn Dixie as all the grocery places have a 3-day Mother's Day special.

Went back to put down our stuff in apartment and then went to Toys R Us. Teck Meng went along with us as the rest went for lunch at the Indian restaurant which Teck Meng did not want to eat. I went Toys R Us to get a gift for my god-daughter, Phoebe. Hope she will like it. After that, went to the Post Office to post it. I had to buy a box and seal the box myself. However, there wasn't a right box size for the gift- it was either too small or too big. I was upset that the counter guy was not very friendly and helpful. CT and Teck Meng suggested that I remove the packaging(with the instructions and writeup of the gift) I bought so that I can put the gift in the smaller box . The packaging of the gift I bought is the one which took up a lot of space. However, I was hesitant as my gift does not look new anymore once I take out the packaging with all the instructions. But I had no choice since there was no appropriate box.

After sealing the box and all, and after the long wait in the queue, the guy at the counter told me that my box has been rejected as the tape I used to seal is meant for domestic posting. I was really upset as I wasted so much time and everyone was watching me seal it up and I waited so long to reach my turn but to end up rejected. The guy even handed me a form to fill it up and told me to seal the box with a brown tape. Sigh... I did not have time as I was meeting the rest of CT's colleagues at the Indian Restaurant...I was also very upset as I spent so long at the Post Office.

Marianne: If you are reading this, I hope you are fine if I pass you the present later. Either when my parents come, I pass to them OR I send the package again few days later..Sorry

Met up with the rest of CT's colleagues and then made our way to Loxley at Baldwin County. Went to Burris Farm Market which sold Fruits and Vegetables. After that, on our way to the Tanger Outlets, I saw an Art Festival by the road side. So, we parked the car and went down to see. It was like a flea Market but mainly art stuff. Quite interesting.

Then went to Tanger Outlets which was many many factory outlet shops which sold branded goods like Nike, Reebok, Timberland, The Gap, etc for a very very good price. One Nike T-shirt costs about US$10 only..the shoes in Timberland was about US$40-60. I think it is great! People can spend one whole day just shopping there as there were a lot of stuff to see. After walking around for about 2 hours, we drove to Gulf Shores. CT has not been there yet. So, took him to see. I went before with one of CT's colleague's wife.

I enjoy being in nice beaches with white sand. So, I really enjoyed my trip to Gulf Shores. After that, we took another route back which was by the Mobile Bay Waters...going through the town of Fairhope. We managed to catch the sunset at the bay. Take a look at what we saw.

After the sunset, we made our way back but lost our way and we were travelling on the small and dark roads. Had to go to a petrol kiosk to ask for directions. So scary but thrilling. After going back, we took away fried chicken and fries to eat back in our apartment. Reached home only 9 plus pm. What a tiring day..legs numb from the walking.


Sunset at Mobile Bay Waters in Fairhope

Friday, May 06, 2005

Swim swim

Posted by Dawn at Friday, May 06, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Today, I went swimming with Gek Teng at 11 am. It was about 20 degrees and very sunny. While we were swimming, there was this african-american who talked to us from outside the pool. We were quite skeptical in answering him back as he looked suspicious. Then he came into the pool area and sat on the deck chairs, watching us swim.

After about 20 laps in a 20m pool, we got up and sun tanned a bit...for only 10 mins..Then Gek Teng commented that if we leave, he will also leave. I said, "Sure or not?" And really, he left when we were leaving. So strange.

Went back to bathe and have my lunch (leftovers from dinner). Then at 1pm, I went over to Gek Teng's place to watch movie showing on TV. After the movie show, Angeline came over to use the computer. She does not have a computer and need to buy one here. I cannot believe when I found out that her house has no computers at all. It amazes me as I am quite attached to my computers. Anyway, we watched from show to show. Caught the Oprah show and it talked about people who are called hoarders. Their place is in a mess as they keep accumulating things. There was this house which is so disgusting- the toilet has a lot of faeces and the kitchen all stacked with unwashed stuff.. When the dog shits on the floor, the owner will not clean it. So, it accumulates. It was seriously shocking.. It is actually a psychological problem as the person used to be a perfectionist. Oprah shows can be quite educational. I enjoy watching it and learning of such a problem. There was also another household with 81 cats and 6 dogs! Amazing.

After watching shows until 6pm, I had to go back in case CT comes home as I have only one set of keys. CT came home at 610pm and after he bathed, we went out to "Denny's" to meet up with the rest of the engineers for dinner there. The reason of today's dinner is to get to met James' wife, Angeline as they have not been formally introduced to her.

I ordered a grilled tilapia fish with fries and corn. While CT had a steak and shrimp combo. The food is ordinary as I expected. I all along know that Denny's is famous for their breakfast but they wanted to come here as the price here is very reasonable. After dinner, CT drove me to BelAir Mall. We walked a bit and then went to Downtown to see how happening it is at night. There were a lot of pubs along the streets and there were some streets that were very quiet and dark. Some buildings were brightly litted. Very nice. But if you think downtown is like new york or chicago..then you will be disappointed. It is a sad town I would say. Nothing much at all..and I think it is quite deserted. No shopping to be done as no tourists would come to this area. Ha..
Where I stay would be the most happening place...with big shops. So I am glad and blessed to be staying where I am.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Did some walking..

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, May 05, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, was chatting with Gek Teng on the internet though our apartments are close to each other. We even talked to each other through our microphones. Actually, I have talked to my friend, Jing Ting from Singapore over our computers with microphone and it is free of charge. That is technology for you. It is using this program called, "Skype". Esther: yup, I use it now since I have more friends using it.

I reheated last night's food for my lunch. Had pork fried rice. It was yummy. After that, I suggested walking to Asian Market with Gek Teng. I checked in the internet and it is only 800m away. So it is walkable. So we did since she has not been to Asian Market before. Her husband only brings her to places far away like New Orleans and Pensacola so far as he believes in exploring places far away first.. So, we walked about 12-15 mins. It was a leisure walk. The weather is great-about 25 degrees. I know in Singapore now is very hot--34 degrees? I am not sure whether I will get used to that when I go back.

After the visit to Asian Market, Gek Teng spent some time at my apartment and chit chat. She was checking out my kitchen with lots of food! I told her that I have cleared a lot already. My freezer used to be full..but now, it is neat at least. I have 2 tubs of ice cream- Haagen Daaz and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. One tub costs only US$2 plus. So, we keep buying. Sigh..fat liao!

After a short while, Gek Teng had to go back as we both needed to cook dinner for our husbands. We will be cooking the same soup tonight as we both bought Watercress. So we were cooking pork ribs with watercress in our own apartments yesterday. She added red dates, but I added corn as I did not have red dates. So, added corn to make it sweet. I enjoyed the soup. I also cooked beef rendang and chinese cabbage with vegetarian stuff from the can. (which I bought from Asian Market)

CT have been coming home at 6pm on the dot. So, it is good as we both can eat earlier. After dinner, we watched another disc of our chinese serial VCD. Then, CT practised his guitar while I was guiding him. He is still learning how to change chords smoothly without pausing.. I told him that it takes practise..

Had an early night before 10pm as we were both exhausted.

Fresh strawberries

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, May 05, 2005 1 comments Links to this post

Huge Strawberries!
These were the strawberries I bought yesterday in a grocery place called "Fresh Market". Look at how big it is as compared to CT's hand. It is also very sweet by the way. But please do not think that this size is usual here in US. It is unusual..so that is why I bought it to try it out. The usual strawberries are the same size as Singapore's. Just this box of strawberries cost me US$7! Shhh...CT does not know..haha..

Busy day..WOW!

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, May 05, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
Woke up as usual at 5 plus am. It is the same time I wake up when I am in Singapore to go school. But it is different now. I used to wake up and rush to school to prepare for the day's work and do any last minute of preparation or printing. Now, I wake up and 'rush' to wash up to prepare breakfast and lunch for my husband. Though the environment and stress is different, one thing is the same. That is, I am always here to serve even if I am in Singapore or in US- my students or my husband.

If you ask me which is tougher..well, I would say they each have their difficulties and rewards. I always love to find satisfaction in all that I do so that I enjoy whatever I do. I think a lot of people esp my colleagues all envy me for having such a good life here now--having not to work. But I feel, the grass is always greener on the other side and humans are never satisfied-they always want a better life etc.. But trust me, wherever we are, there are always obstacles/difficulties and complains. It is not easy doing nothing...and living a totally different lifestyle now from the usual Singaporean pace of work. It is tough. But I have no complains as wherever I am,I want to enjoy all that I can...because if I am always going to have the mindset that the grass is greener on the other side, I will def be a very unhappy person. I once heard 93.8 FM radio station DJ said that the most unhappy person would be someone who compares.. Hmm..food for thought.

Anyway, this afternoon, I went out with Angeline and Gek Teng (colleague's wives).Before we met, Gek Teng came over to my place to chit chat and I introduced some online computer games to her so that she can play when she uses the computer. She looked so happy. We met and had lunch immediately. I ordered a hotdog which was huge and thick. Could not finish, so I took away to eat for dinner. After lunch, we walked around and I did some shopping-a T-shirt and huge looking strawberries. Went to a bookshop as well. Quite a big place with seats to sit while reading.

Went home at late afternoon. Talked a while at Angeline's place and Gek Teng's place.Got to know Angeline better. Had a good time. Now, me and Gek Teng quite close and we both chat over the internet when we are at our own place. Ha..

Had a great time with the wives. After that, CT came home and took me to a Chinese Restaurant called "Wan Fu". The lady boss is a Hongkonger. We took away as it is better-no need to pay tax. Take a look at the Yong Chow fried rice I ordered. This is one order and they gave so much. So the order can be for 2 people. About 5 US which is cheap for 2 people. The fried rice is quite nice with char siew and prawns. They sell a lot of varieties of food. Even have roast duck. Thought of my mum as she likes to buy the duck and bring home to eat in front of TV. Mum: We will do that when u come ok?? Cannot wait!


Yong Chow Fried Rice here in Mobile

After taking away the food, I went to Walmart to collect my photos which I sent for printing there and did some grocery shopping. Did not buy much as I still have food back home and need to clear a bit before my parents come as I am sure they will like to buy some groceries.. :)

Went back home at 740pm. Starving! Had fried rice and watched American Idol which started at 8pm. So happy that my favourite is not out yet.

Ok..going to watch my chinese kungfu show now. Ciao!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Slept early today

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, May 04, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, Gek Teng came to my apartment at 10am to just chit chat. We spend time talking a bit and also playing my computer games. I have a lot of computer games in my laptop which I transfered from my desktop computer in Singapore. She was playing puzzle bubble. She is rather persistent playing..so she kept playing till 1 plus pm. She told me that yesterday, she spent her whole day playing "Minesweeper". I was shocked cos how interesting can minesweeper be. But from how I watched her play my games, yeah, it is possible for her to spend the whole day playing..

I was even eating my lunch while she was playing and when I ate finish, she was still playing. Haha..After she left, I listened to radio on the internet and did an Anglican High A Maths Paper from my computer. I forgot how to do some topics already..sigh...

Tonight, I cooked ginger mushroom chicken with gizzards, lettuce with dried prawns and steam pork ribs with bean sauce. Was watching American Idol while eating. It was showing at 7pm here. So, that is the time we usually have our dinner. When CT comes back about 6 plus, he takes rather long for a guy, to shower and come out for dinner. For me,I take only AT MOST 10 mins..but he takes AT LEAST 10 mins.. :)

For Amazing Race, the oldest couple is finally out. They are about 68 years old and they are the oldest couple to have survived so far in Amazing race. I really admire them. I wish when I am that old, I will be just as active or even more active. Whenever there is a physical challenge, I pity them. Tonight's show, they had to transport 5 big boats one by one. They were really struggling. I also remembered in one episode, the gal fell and injured her head such that she was bleeding and had to bandage her head. The couple also had to remove all items, hand their bags and money (with ONLY their passports)because they were the last couple to arrive. So with all these obstacles, they still survived till the final 4. Amazing!

Now left 3 couples..so exciting..I wish I could play as well just to visit the countries. Phil, the host, must have learnt a lot from the many many countries he visited ever since he host Amazing Race. Whenever I see Fear Factor on TV, I also hope I can join. I even went to the website to see how to join. Must send in a video tape of myself. Hmm..that is the only problem as I have no video tape.

I wish to join to challenge myself. Wish Singapore next time will have more successful game shows like these so that I can participate. But I feel that Singapore gameshows are quite pathetic. Not exciting at all and quite silly.

I watched fear factor in the afternoon and the americans all hated when they had to eat century egg!! haha. I was telling Gek Teng that I love century egg and to see them complaining as they ate it, really made me laugh.. :) I enjoy eating anything and that is why, I do not mind trying all the wierd food as I feel it is mind over matter. There was once when the contestants had to eat spiders!! wow..gross isn't it? Ok, shall not talk so much since I will not be in the show.. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to try such food. Ha!

Slept early today..right after Amazing Race as I woke up the same time as CT at 5 plus am and did not go back to sleep. Night!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Indoors..

Posted by Dawn at Monday, May 02, 2005 2 comments Links to this post
If you noticed, most pictures do not have me in it as I am the one who takes it. Only once a while, then maybe you will see my face..hmm...maybe I do not want u to see how fat I have grown. Hehe..

Today, stayed indoors as the weather looks cool..and since my weekend was quite tiring, so decided to stay indoors. Only went out at 5pm to check post box. Keep getting other people's mail.

Read a book in the afternoon. I am reading this book for the second time actually. The first time was when I was in NIE, before I went into teaching. And now, after teaching for 1 year, I thought of reading this again to see what has changed from the last time I read it. It is entitled, " The Courage to Teach". I guess most teachers would have read this book.

Made sushi in the late afternoon. Cooked the rice and added raw salmon and cucumber with mayonaise before I wrapped it. As I cut the sushi, I ate as well. Could not resist. I also made the tomato paste gravy for spaggetti tonight. Added mushrooms, onions, garlic, minced beef into the tomato gravy.

CT went for a run today. Glad he is making an effort. Dinner was very filling as there were a lot of carbo. Before I slept, I was still feeling very full.

When CT came home, he told me that the 1st batch of engineers went to Pensacola, Florida on Sunday and the wave was so strong, Tee dropped his apartment key in the gulf of mexico waters.. So he had to spend the night over another engineer's place and had to borrow uniform from his colleague. So poor thing..Florida is only about one hour plus drive away from my place..it is quite near. Kok Fong and Gek Teng went New Orleans on Sat (when it was a rainy day) just to get out of Mobile and they said it took them 3 hours. So, when my family come over, we can go there for a day as well. Yup, my parents coming on the 24 May..cannot wait!

Many American friends ask me if I can adapt so far..Well, to me, it is not a problem. Maybe because I have been travelling since young and have been to US, so I kind of expect what it is like. Therefore, to me, it is very easy to adapt. In Singapore, we are so exposed to American culture everywhere- Movies, TV shows, food etc..So, it makes it easier. Americans ask if I am used to the food here..I look at them and wonder to myself- What is wrong with your food that I cannot get used to? When I told them we have fast food and american food in Singapore, they look quite shocked.. :)

Heard that Americans do not know much about the world outside as their news only mention about what is going on in America and things to do with America- Iraq news etc.. They also hardly travel to other countries but travel within countries-from state to state as the country is big enough. I think travelling to other countries is a very good thing which I hope to cultivate in my family in the future as well. It not only bonds the family closer together, it widens our knowledge of other countries' culture.

So, do move around and keep on learning. More importantly, get your family together as we are relational beings and I feel we are not made for loneliness..

Sunday, May 01, 2005

VCD I am watching

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 01, 2005 1 comments Links to this post

VCD I am watching now..
This show has Singaporean ,Taiwanese and HongKonger stars acting. Bryan Wong (Wang Nu Jiang)is acting in it. This show is actually based on a computer game. (which CT said he might have played before) So, the effects are quite fake but so far, the story looks interesting with mysteries and adventures. The main actors/actresses are quite good looking. I love watching swordsman kind of show like "Return of the Condor Heroes" type of show to see the skilled fighting with effects. I also like playing their computer games. My brother would know as we used to play such games.

Sunny day again!

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 01, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, when I stepped out of the apartment, it was very sunny but very chilly. I had to wear a jacket. Brr..
After church, when I was stepping out, someone called me. I got a shock as I did not expect anyone to call me. It was this lady from church who is going to Singapore and like to meet up with me. She said Jan and her would like to take me out. Jan is another Singaporean who is from the church and has been here for 15 years. Pretty happy as there are so many people to take me out--to places that none of the Singaporean colleagues have been to..

After church, we had lunch at "Cuisine of India" restaurant. It is only 5 mins drive. Everywhere is quite nearby as this place is not that big. But anyway, when we went there, we realised that they have lunch buffet. I told CT that I do not want buffet anymore but when we saw the ala carte menu, one dish was already more expensive than the buffet. So, we'd rather have buffet which is US$6.95 per person.

I enjoyed the buffet! There was chicken curry, veg curry, spinach, yellow beans curry, mutton curry, naan, tandoori chicken, rice..etc.. It taste authentic as it was spicy and taste great. I love the mutton curry. Plus tax, each of us paid US$7.50. After lunch, we rested a while in our apartment before we went to Walmart to print out 2 pictures of our bible study small group as the group wanted us to post the pictues on the noticeboard at our classroom in church.So, we went Walmart to print out the pictures straight from my camera. The rest of CT's colleagues were at Walmart too as after that, they were going to a seafood market. So, I told them I would join them. The printing of photos costs 19 cents per print. Not too bad. Below is a picture of what the outside of Walmart looks like. It is actually a huge carpark.



At Walmart carpark

After printing photos at Walmart, we drove a convoy of cars to the seafood place about 15 mins drive. There were a lot of people at the seafood place...as they all waited and bought bulk of seafood. It is not really cheap but I think it looks rather fresh. We all did not buy anything since it wasnt that cheap. Then we drove back to our apartment and watched TV. I cooked a simple dinner tonight as we were all still full from our lunch. So, I cooked lettuce with oyster sauce, egg with cabbage, chinese-style beef and potatoes with minced pork leftover. It is nice to eat something light and less oil. After dinner, CT suggested continue watching our VCD. So, we watched another disc.

At 8pm, we walked to James' house with Kok Fong and Gek Teng to see his wife. James' wife came last night. We spent time in their house talking and just getting to know each other more. It is mainly for the wives to meet up so that we can go out together some time and spend our daytime . Ha..

It was quite nice walking outside at night to their place and enjoy the cool weather.

Rainy day

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, May 01, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Last night, there was a thunderstorm and it was raining whole day. Though it had been raining, the weather is not as cold as I expected. So, I could go out wearing shorts and t-shirt. Weather rather miserable as skies has been grey. Stayed home all morning. Made omelette and sausages with toast for breakfast. Added ham, tomatoes,onions,cheese in the omelette. Tasted great.

After a full breakfast, we sat together in the living room and watched a thriller show called "Dragonfly" on cable. It stars Kevin Costner. Quite a nice show about a guy, a doctor, who lost his wife in a bus crash, but he thinks that the wife is trying to communicate to him through his patients as his patients all told him that they could see his wife. His colleagues all think he is mad but he truly believed that his wife is trying to tell him something. I love to watch thriller shows as it is usually very exciting, though sometimes, the ending can be like horror shows, quite dumb. But this show that I watched today is not too bad. At least, there is an ending.

After that, watched 2 discs of VCD of my swordsman show which I borrowed from Gek Teng. It was a morning of watching TV and just relaxing, taking advantage of the nice weather to stay indoors. After watching, it was about 3 plus pm already. So, got changed and headed out to shops.

Walked along the row of shops and bought myself a handbag with lots of space and pockets. I needed a handbag as I am always carrying my camera bag around as my handbag. Not very nice..When we left our apartment and driving, we stopped at the traffic light as it was red. Then a person came out from the car in front of us and started shaking her bottoms and dancing in the road. It was strange as she opened the door and stepped out and started dancing in front of all the cars at the traffic light. I was scared as she was just in front of us. Did not know what she will do next.Ha.. Before the light turned green, she went back in. Hmm..strange...

Went into a "Bed & Bath" shop. It is a very nice shop selling a lot of bedroom, kitchen stuff with a lot of choices. I love it but did not buy anything as I will wait for my parents to come, then I bring them here again. So, no hurry to buy. Saw this bag of reusable ice. Very interesting. It is actually a bag filled with plastic cubes with water inside. So, you put in the freezer till the water becomes ice and you can treat it as ice and can reuse after that since it is covered in plastic. Quite neat!

After shopping, went to Wal Mart to get breakfast for tomorrow's bible study in church as me and CT are in charge of tomorrow's breakfast. Bought banana muffins, chocolate doughnuts and orange juice. I bought a lot of other things as well. Check out the picture below! CT scooted off and I found him playing here at the toy section in Walmart! haha..


CT playing "Frogger" at Walmart

After spending so much today, decided to eat back at our apartment and not spend anymore. So, went back and prepared dinner. CT brought back few slices of pizza on friday. So, I reheated that in the oven and ate one packet of TV dinner (beef patty with gravy, carrots and mashed potatoes). and coleslaw. TV dinner is a frozen food which you just microwave it. It taste quite nice and the one I chose costs only US$1. (cheapest!)

Right now, watching "Ali" -starring Will Smith on TV. It is based on Muhammed Ali's life. So far not so interesting. So that is why I am not concentrating much, but typing this out as well! Oh, tonight, another colleague's wife will be coming but she is staying a bit further away. Will probably pay her a visit tomorrow.

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