Chocolate cookies for the “deprived”

Choc Cookies

It’s done! The chocolate cookies, the yan-way and with this quote –

Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep, dark secrets.
Milton Zelman, publisher of “Chocolate News”

What’s that deep, dark secret?

Chris left a comment at dobbs’ blog saying mummy does not like chocolate and thank God that his sister bakes nice chocolate cakes and cookies! He sounded very “deprived”.

So, tonight I communicated with the two children with these chocolate cookies.

Chris said it tasted as good as sister’s chocolate cookies! Chris could be so sweet that he made this remark, “It’s even better than Famous Amos cookies!”

Rachel said it’s good and asked where did I get that recipe!

The deep, dark secret is –

Mummy is just not a chocolate person! It looks chocolately disastrous.

Can women multi-task?

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What needs to be done, needs to be done! And that’s for the Chinese New Year!

Three hours ago, I fried the “koropok” (fish crackers and prawn crackers) and baked some cheesy cookies.

Tomorrow night, I would be baking some chocolate cookies. I am not a chocolate lover, but my children are.

I have two full day program on coming Saturday and Sunday – a good friend’s son wedding with a holy matrimonial service in Church and a dinner reception, a Chinese New year lunch treat hosted by hubby’s Rotary Club for children of children’s home and my company annual gathering. It means I have no weekend to fall on for the “unbaked cakes”!

I could take two days’ leave on Monday and Tuesday, but my admin assistant (or secretary) needs the leave more than I need one, I guess!

My friend Sandra always says women can multitask while men cannot. One of her American friends was amazed that Chinese girl can talk on the handphone, eating a “pau” and driving! But I can’t fry the “koropok” while making the cookies!

Is it a scientific fact that women can multi-task and men cannot?

The answer?

Apart from there being no such thing as a “scientific fact”, recent research by Rene Marois at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenessee shows that men and women are actually equally bad at multi-tasking.

People who think they are multitasking are probably underperforming in all, or at best all but one, of their tasks.

🙂

The rewards

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I cannot remember being rewarded during my school days for keeping rules and regulations of classrooms, or handing in homework in time, or doing some voluntary services.

It was during my days teaching in Sunday School that I started to give “rewards” to my students. The rewards I gave were like stickers, some little books and sometimes even a stamp on their little hands! It really did keep the little ones very attentive, very disciplined and they waited in anticipation of these little surprises.

Then, I joined the Girls’ Brigade Ministry. GB has its awards system of giving red, blue, green, gold triangles, stars, rectangles in various ranks for the girls to stitch on the sleeves. These girls wears their badges (awards) proudly. The Girls’ Brigade has also its annual awards day. I have always been the one who read the awards list. I love to see the outstretching hands of the girls to receive their awards from the Chaplain of the Company. (here is a story of the hands in GB)

Now, there is one reward system of schools (or it seems it’s the same system in all schools here) of my two children that I have been struggling with all these years, a combine of almost 12 years. It’s the promotion of “environment care” and “helping the less fortunate” by collecting cans and old newspapers. These are all very noble. These are good qualities to be instilled in the young ones. But, the rewards? MARKS.

Yes, marks included in the students’ report card. Teachers have 20 marks in Moral subject that they can give away. So, the marks are given in “per kg”. For example, if you collect 20 kg of old newspapers, you are given 20 marks, or 4 marks for a kg of cans. In moral subject, the exam only carries 80 marks, the other 20 marks are “rewarded” this way.

Chris said, “Mummy, it means even if I get full marks for my moral, it’s still “B” if I don’t send in the old newspapers or cans.”

Rachel said, “It’s so unfair to reward this way.”

A friend’s daughter said between sobs, “Mummy, why do you have to sell all the old newspapers. My rewarded marks go to my Bahasa Malaysia paper. It means I am not able to get a “A” if I don’t participate.” My friend just asked the collectors to collect the old newspapers a day earlier.

So, for Chris and Rachel, I bundled these 20 kg each and dropped in the school this morning. For my friend’s daughter, I delivered 40 kg to her house last night (she has another son in secondary school). I did it with good faith that these children’s contribution towards environment care is in fact doing something that benefits themselves.

The campaign is good. The objectives of the organizers are noble. Probably, the reward could be given in a different form and manner so that the right message and objectives of the campaign could be effectively conveyed to the participants.

Yes, we all want to be rewarded for our deeds. Right rewards gives birth to uncommon desire.

Be Still?

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Caught a flu bug.
Caught in the whirlwind of frenzied activities.
Caught by mountain heaps of worldly things.

Many beautiful moments slipped by:
The peaceful refrain of “Amazing Grace”,
The warm smiles of family,
The hearty laughters of friends,
The sweet rush of morning air…

All turned into sneezes,
and confusing voices of man,
and self-gratifying desires…

Be Still?
Yes, be still.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Ps 46:10

Still in my garden

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Still in my own garden, but I steal (stole) from the garden of others today.

While I am still looking at my own garden and thinking it may be gone forever, a delightful newsletter from guideposts arrived in my mail box this morning. I know God whispers, speaks, and now He shouts –

Happiness held is the seed
Happiness shared is the flower

In a story, “Good things come to those who wait”, Genie Aylor related how she felt the rebirth of her husband, Jim in her life. Genie would always sow the seeds of her children’s name in her garden in Spring. This spring, she added in another seed, the blue nigella also called “Love-in-a-mist”. She called it “I love Jim”. Her husband, Jim was battling leukemia. Genie had to leave her own house for an apartment near the hospital in order to take care of her husband. The husband died. She went home, to find that the garden which had left untended for were in a mess with split tomatoes, dried-up corn, weeds in flower beds, but the blue nigella bloomed. She was comforted because “the seeds, like Jim, had been reborn.”

In another story, “In search of the pure white marigold:, Alice Vonk wrote, “God was the creator and grower of the pure white marigold, the new love gift to mankind. We are merely planters”.

In “How to sow the seeds of love”, Jill Taylor said she would package a few seeds to enclose with each Christmas card, together with a message saying, “These seeds come to you with my love. Plant them if you like, enjoy flowers and perhaps next Christmas you’ll send their seeds to someone you love, just as I send these to you.”

Jill continues, “Even a dead seed never really dies. Like God’s love, it continues forever if the seeds are cast on fertile ground to sprout and grow and blossom.”

From my own garden…

On the significance of a sneeze, I wrote…. we hold on the faith that “the sneeze has blown a seed and the seed has been planted”, God of harvest will cause the little seed to come to fruition.

On my first post in this blog on Valentine Day last year, I wrote ….. love yourself, reach past the thorns of your life, and let the rose within blossom many times over…Yes, within every soul there is a rose…

In March 2005, when my neighbour pulled down the tall wall, I wrote … Sometimes, we appreciate only our own garden. The garden outside the tall wall may be more beautiful than our own garden… Many years past, I still remember the glow in my daughter’s eyes and the excitement in her voice when the tall wall was pulled down.

Happiness held is the seed
Happiness shared is the flower ..

(This is a recycled post from my own blog. God answered our prayers that our garden is there to stay. Yes, still in my garden – by His grace.)

No place like hoME

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“My house is my castle. I am the king there.” so said Lawyer VK Lingam to the royal commission probing the judge-fixing video clip. Lingam was emphasizing that he was entitled to talk ‘whatever rubbish’, whether bullshitting and bragging in his house.

How do homes relate to us?

Home is –
the place where we are most secure
where you find people most dear

Poet Robert Frost said of Home –
Home is a place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Here is another quote that I like –
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.
– John Howard Payne

I like this poem about home very much!

When I think of ‘home’ I think of cherry pies
When I think of ‘home’ I think of mulberry trees
When I think of ‘home’ I think of butterflies
When I think of ‘home’ I think of bumble bees

When I think of ‘home’ I think of hummingbirds
When I think of ‘home’ I think of sun brewed tea
When I think of ‘home’ I think of morning walks
When I think of ‘home’ I think of Grandma and me

When I think of ‘home’ I think of hidden trails
When I think of ‘home’ I think of lullabies
When I think of ‘home’ I think of signs of spring
When I think of ‘home’ I think of pumkin pies

When I think of ‘home’ I think of bedtime stories
When I think of ‘home’ I think of I think of honeysuckle
When I think of ‘home’ I think of roses blooming
When I think of ‘home’ I can’t help but chuckle

Because when I think of ‘home’ I think Heaven
When I think of ‘home’ I think of all thats kind
When I think of ‘home’ I think of dancing
When I think of ‘home’ Grandma comes to mind

Catlin L. Crawford

When you think of home won’t you think of people bullshitting and bragging?

If you read Chinese, here is one beautiful piece about home.

Who am I?

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“It sounds like me. It looks like me. You can ask the question 100 times, I will still give you the same answer.”

This was the answer given by VK Lingam, the lawyer said to be at the centre of the grainy video clip on alleged judicial fixing when asked whether he was the one in the video clip.

It looks like me. Could it be me? It sounds like me. But, who am I?

One day, just as I felt my life is belittled or minimized, I caught these little drops of dew that sit fragilely on the brightly coloured petals. The next moment I saw the early morning sun brought some sparkles to the helpless dew.

Right at that moment, the good Lord brought an incredible reminder that lowly as I am, I am still valuable and precious in His eyes! I am His unique creation. I am made in His image. I possess special qualities that differentiate me from others. Just like that little miserable dew on the brightly coloured petals, I am endowed with exceptional gifts from God that could also bring gleam and glimmer to the flowers!

So, who am I?

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Ps 139:14