Friday, September 30, 2011

Rocks in her shoes

How does Lucy even walk to the car after daycare? And no, she had no socks on.

More nerd pictures

My good friend (and medical student) is having her first baby. His name is going to be Benson. So I made her these. There is a matching onesie, but I forgot to take a picture!

Speaking of Chemistry

For those of you who doubt the depth of my nerdiness.  I was up feeding Lucy late one night when she was about 2 months old.  And I was thinking about the periodic table of elements (isn't that what all nursing mothers think about?) when it occurred to me that you could spell Lucy using three elements.

After putting her back in her crib, I went to the craft room (yes, I have a craft room) and started the computer.  I created this iron-on using inkjet iron on paper (which yes, I have on hand) and then printed them, and ironed them on some onesies I had lying around.  From idea to fruition at 2:00 a.m.  I love a house that is fully stocked!

It wasn't until the next day that I went ahead and made them in every size up to 3T.

Halloween and Chemistry

Halloween and Chemistry go hand in hand.  My favorite holiday combined with my favorite subject...what's not to love.  I used to do a Halloween show when I taught Chemistry.  I would have petri dishes with different elements and light them on fire to glow different colors for their different atomic spectrum.  And of course there is the obligatory dry ice cauldron that looks like witch's brew.  Throw a little sodium into water to make an explosion, run a little electricity to separate water in to hydrogen and oxygen and then...BOOM!

I miss teaching Chemistry.  But someone sent this little photo to me and it makes me smile.  So I thought I would share it with you and you could appreciate how smart people can be so creative too!

Nothing says fall like pumpkins.  And nothing screams "nerd" like this!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lucy's 2 favorite things

Anyone who has spent any time with Lucy knows she loves her brown blankie. This brown blankie is magic. It soothes, comforts, and keeps her warm. Her other favorite comfort item is her thumb. The more stressed she is the harder she sucks on it. In times of extreme stress she has put blisters on both her thumb and upper lip.

But if a thumb and a blankie can make all your troubles go away, then I would say life is pretty good. I currently have a system wide error created by a fire drill occurring during a preprogrammed high stakes exam. I wish a blankie would fix it...

My little school girl

This morning as we were walking out to the car my heart melted. Lucy put on her backpack and she said "I ready for school, mama". No! You are too little for school! You go to are just a do you know your ABC's?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beans and cornbread

It is 63 degrees and we ate outside tonight! And that is my new teapot I bought in Petaling Jaya with Irene!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tastes from my trip

We have been eating our moon cakes, thank you Auntie How King and Weng Wah...  My girls loved their chinese dresses and fans.  I will try and snap a picture of them in their new cheongsam.  Emma Jane brought hers to school this morning for "sharing time".  I have been searching the internet for the Ipoh White Coffee packets that we had when we were there.  I wish I had brought home bags and bags of that coffee (hint, hint to my dad if you are reading this...)

I miss the food already.  But am trying to fit back into my work pants, so am glad I am not being force-fed anymore.  I am still sorting through photos each night and trying to put together a photo book about our trip.  I still have a few holes to fill in so I will be contacting Doris and Weng Wah for more information and names.

I have been using my new teakettle and having hot tea every night.  I am still not adjusted to the time difference.  I am very sleepy during the day and wide awake at night.  I hope this jet lag ends soon.

I found a tiny bit of white sand in my purse this morning from Penang and I thought of the sun on my skin and the wind in my face.  But I think the water of Lake Oologah will have to do. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken or Beef?

Airline food. It is, at best, the better of two evils. But there is always a better choice. There is always one dish that is superior to the other. But which one. The only information you are given is chicken or beef. Really? That is like asking if I want the red car or the blue car. Do they both come with leather? What do they look like? Are they all wheel drive?

I start early trying to figure out the best choice. I am peeking over the seats in front of me trying to catch a glimpse of the choices or possibly just a whiff to give me an idea of which is the better choice. The row in front of me is being served but they are not peeling back the foil in time and now she is looking at me and asking "chicken or beef?" I don't know! I don't have enough information! I am jammed into a full flight with no way to get out of this seat, food is all I have to distract me from my cramping legs. If I make the wrong decision on this 10 hour flight, my blood sugar will drop and I will get shaky and weird and angry that I made the wrong choice. Oh god, she is asking again..., the chicken!

And the girl sitting next to me orders the beef. This is the worst possible situation. If I ordered wrong then I will be presented with the superior choice right next to me. Had she ordered the same thing as me I might have someone to commiserate about the poor meal we were having. This is terrible! I am waiting for her to pull back the foil. This is a must. Do not reveal your hand until you have seen theirs. As she pulls back the foil, I hold my breath. Oh god... It is disgusting. Awful! Brown and smothered in gravy with no clear idea of what the side dish is because it is covered in gravy. It is time for the moment of truth. I pull back my foil and reveal a beautiful display of chicken with white rice and the most beautiful green beans. I mentally pump my fists in the air! I am not going to go into a blood sugar coma on board the 10 hour flight! I out ordered the total stranger sitting next to me! I gambled, had a fifty-fifty chance, and won! I am feeling victorious!

I enjoy my chicken and rice while she picks through her beef gravy concoction. It turns out the red car has the heated leather seats and the great sound system. She is in the blue subcompact with no AC. I am the superior orderer.
So that she can stave off starvation, she is eating her dessert first. I, on the other hand, am saving my chocolate brownie for later in the 10 hour flight. Now, here comes the drink cart. I order a diet coke and am just popping the top on my can when she says "Bud Light Lime, please". What????? They have Bud Light Lime? Wait! What? What just happened...? Um, can I change my mind? I take it back! Please! I did not know you had BLL! Dammit! I am defeated. I look longingly at her beer and think of offering her my chicken and rice. A Bud Light Lime. It has been over 10 days. Suddenly, my smugness is gone.

I think I will finish my chicken and rice and pop a benadryl and go to sleep. I am so depressed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So tired looking

Last flight

Boarding in LA!!!!! Almost home!!!! Can't wait to see Tulsa. Can't wait to see my 600 thread count sheets. My babies, my family, my friends.

Hello Oklahoma!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Singapore Airport

I am inside security at Singapore's Changi airport. I am ready to come home. I have had sensory and emotion overload for 9 days. I'm very tired, I have a headache, and they switched planes so I now have a middle seat.
An 8 hour flight and I am going to be flanked by 2 people...yuck.

Tim told me to pin a note to myself that says "wake for meals". I hope someone snaps a picture of me sleeping with my mouth agape and a note pinned to my chest. That will be just perfect. Now that you have that visual image I am going to sign off from southeast Asia. Off to look at the Koi pond and see if I can buy my way into a window seat.
Goodbye for now


Back in our gorgeous room. Going to catch a few hours sleep before I take off in the morning. I am so tired now I can hardly think of packing.

Thought you might want to see our bunk.

Waiting on Sushi

We are sitting outside right next to the art and science museum. We are in an open air sushi bar. There is a laser light show going on behind me.
Just a typical Saturday night in Singapore.

We have had one of the most remarkable days ever

Wish you all were here!

Side tie

I wonder how much their slip fee is? They only have a side tie and not much of a view...


We saw the America's cup boat earlier. It is the Audi boat and from the sound of the deck hands they were Australian. And no, I didn't get invited out on the 200 million dollar boat. (but the wind wasn't good anyway....)

Singapore Skyline

We are on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This is the view. We were up here before sunset but this shot is more spectacular. This is the most beautiful city I have ever been in. I am in love with Singapore. I wish I had brought Jimmy Choo's and a killer dress. This place is very swanky. Google Marina Bay Sands right now. You all are waking up right now on Saturday morning. It is Saturday night here and things are hopping.

Chinatown in Singapore!

Lantern festival at the pagoda of 10,000 Buddha's

Train around Singapore

We took a short nap when we got into our room and I took a luxurious bubble bath. Then grabbed some quick lunch. Now we are off to explore Singapore. Taking the city trains to the downtown area.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Kin Kin, this is what swanky looks like. Arrived safely at our hotel in Singapore.

The train we were on last night

Crossing over from Malaysia to Singapore

Sunrise over Jahor river from the train.

Emotional Journey

I am riding on a train heading South across Malaysia. We are just now leaving KL and have left all our family behind. The next 24 hours we are on our own, Tim and I.
We have been welcomed with open arms by every second sister, sixth brother, second cousin, fifth brother's second son... We have been missing out on this whole part of our family we never knew. They were just names until now.
Pooi Fong and How King and Irene sew. Ronnie is the life of the party. Sharon is a talented artist and singer. Lew is warm and generous. Doris is fun loving and the historian of the family. Cynthia, Kitty are my sisters. Weng Wah is the patriarch and story teller of the family who took such good care of us and filled us in on my grandparents history. Kin Kin is our brother, our translator, chauffeur, tour guide, and Ludicrous DJ.
I will miss you all so much. Goodbye Malaysia. This journey has provided insight and taught me the importance of history. I am forever changed.
I am so glad I got to experience with my brother. Greg, I wish so much you could have been here with us. You were in spirit.

On the train to Singapore!

Outdoor food court

We had dinner with Ronnie, Irene and their son Derrick in Subang Jaya. It was an amazing feast for the senses. There was Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Italian food. The smells of all the food, the sound of hawkers, the sight of all the fresh fish, the breeze blowing through the bamboo trees, and the smell of a thunderstorm all combined to make the quintessential Malay evening. It was a fitting last night in this country. Tonight we take the train and wake up in Singapore. Good day!

It was delicious, by the way

It doesn't get any fresher than this

Petronas Towers in KL

China Town in Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our last moment in Penang!

Group picture! My cousin Cynthia, her husband Desmond, Kin Kin and us.

Bye bye auntie How King's house, limestone cliffs, and monkeys

Heading to KL today. Left my dad behind ... Very mixed emotions.

Must pack and sleep

No long post tonight. I'm dead tired. Supposed to take the train to KL in the morning but the tracks were flooded today. In addition there is a holiday tomorrow that involves a processional in front of the train station so the close the street in front of it. (Um, really?)

So our dear sweet Uncle Weng Wah is delivering us my car to KL where we will be taken round by our other Uncle Ronnie.

I wish I were going to be able to take the train. Goodnight.

Just reflecting

We are driving home from Penang and it is raining. The jungles are giving off steam. It looks like clouds floating in the hills. We are driving through mountainous terrain. There are plantations along some places but it is mostly tropical jungle.

I had the first blue skies in Penang with bright sun. Since we have been here there has been a diffuse haze. We are told that it is open burning season in Indonesia. And the haze is the pollution from those fires.

Kin Kin is driving and we are so grateful for this. First of all they drive on the left side of the road, which I don't think I could get used to. Second they have a very loose definition of lanes. The lines on the road are merely a suggestion and as Tim put it, a waste of paint. Two lanes will often have three cars across with a motorcycle on the edge. And people are very relaxed about being cut off. I have only seen people get angry a couple of times and that was in Penang. Most of the driving considered normal here would end up in a road rage fueled shooting. The motorcyclists are dare devils. They weave in and out of traffic like bike messengers in new york city.

We are also grateful for our hosts Cynthia and Desmond who drove us all over the island in the last 24 hours. They kept saying we need more time in Penang and I agree. I need 2 weeks to explore and another week to sleep on the beach. You two live on a beautiful island and I just might be able to give up the seasons to live there. Know any tech jobs open????

Looking west toward Indonesia

Most creative lantern for the mooncake festival

Made of recycled materials

The tsunami of 2004 came ashore here.

The people in the high rises saw it racing in but were powerless to warn those below. Some people reported the wave was 3 stories high.

Gorgeous! And beach isn't half bad either

Tricycle for rent

Batu Ferringhi

On a beach by the Andaman sea.

The Tsunami that happened the day after Christmas 2004 struck here

Pre-war houses in Georgetown

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nyonya food

Nyonya food: Spanish/Malay food

We had stingray, chicken Kapitan, spring rolls, juhu char and Lobka This was my first time having Stingray and I loved it. Cynthia tells me I can find all these recipes for Nyonya food at It is a blogger who lives in California but is from here.

Our venue for lunch

Overlooking the straits of Malacca. The body of water between Penang and mainland Malaysia.

a little about penang

An excerpt from Wikipedia on Penang

The pre-War houses in the historic centre of George Town was for half a century until January 2001 protected from urban development due to the Rent Control Act which prohibited landlords from arbitrarily raising rentals as a measure to provide affordable housing to the low-income population.[41] Its eventual repeal visibly changed the landscape of Penang's demographic pattern and economic activity: it led to overnight appreciation of house and real estate prices, forcing out tenants of multiple generations out of their homes to the city outskirts and the development of new townships and hitherto sparsely populated areas of Penang; the demolition of many pre-War houses and the mushrooming of high-rise residences and office buildings; and the emptying out and dilapidation of many areas in the city centre. Unperturbed development sparked concerns of the continued existence of heritage buildings and Penang's collection of pre-War houses (southeast Asia's largest), leading to more vigorous conservation efforts. This was paid handsomely when on 7 July 2008, George Town, the historic capital of Penang, was formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside Malacca. It is officially recognised as having "a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia".[42]

The Indian Ocean tsunami which struck on Boxing Day of 2004 hit the western and northern coasts of Penang island, claiming 52 lives (out of 68 in Malaysia).[43]

Techies Unite

Penang is a mini silicon valley. All the computer chip and tech companies have a presence here. It is very progressive and our hosts that we are staying with work for two different important tech companies. Desmond works in the IT department for Motorola and Cynthia works for Avago Technologies. Her brother works for Agilent. This is the tech center of Malaysia.

Our Cousin Kin Kin in the super cool pub

He is our honorary brother...and our tour guide...and our translator...we just love him

Cynthia and Desmond's kitchen drawer

I think Cynthia and I would be best friends in the US.

Right before the pigeon pooped in my hair

Good evening all

It is morning here in Penang. I woke up to the sounds of neighbors chanting their morning prayers to Buddha. It was quite a soothing sound to wake up to. Even though I am tired, I can't sleep as there is so much left I want to see before we leave. We are heading back to Ipoh in time for dinner tonight. This will be our last night in Ipoh. Tomorrow morning we are taking the train to Kuala Lumpur in the morning (just me and tim, my dad is staying another week). We arrive in KL at 10:30 in the morning and are going to be picked up by Ronnie and will tour KL with him. (He is How King's baby brother. The only boy out of 8 children and he is number 7.)

Then at 11:00 on Friday night we leave KL on an overnight train to Singapore, arriving at 6:30 in the morning. We waited too long to get our train reservations and all the sleeper cars are sold out. Tim and I are thinking about flashing a $50 US bill around the sleeper train and asking if there is anybody who wants to give up their berth.

Then we spend all day Saturday exploring Singapore and I fly out very early Sunday morning. (which for you all is Saturday evening.)

I love this country. I really do. I would love to live here near this amazing side of our family. They are so warm and close and raucous and loud and sweet and full of life. But I would miss the changing of the seasons too much.

Good evening everyone

My Wednesday

Well it is officially Thursday here, since it is 12:25 a.m. I am dead tired. We woke up this morning and I had a great video chat from my "corner office". I have to wonder what the neighbors think of the american standing on the corner talking to her laptop.

We went to eat in an open air cafe and I had the best Won Ton Mee. I was in heaven. We really got to see the less wealthy parts of Ipoh. The streets have open sewers running along a cement gutter. So at first the smell of that was overpowering the smell of the food. But then we got to the cafe and it was all noodles and oil and fried rice and curry and spices I can't identify. Amazing.

We then went to Gunung Lang, which is an outdoor park. There is a big lake in the middle of the limestone cliffs. And we got to see a monkey up close and personal (with the help of some strategically placed potato chips). Then we went back to Aunt How King's other house and got ready to leave for Penang.

In the middle of the afternoon we left Ipoh with our cousin Kin Kin driving us to the Island of Georgetown. The city of Penang is on this island. It is northwest of Ipoh and it took us a couple of hours to get here. Our first stop was on the mainland side in Butterworth at the home of second sister. Kitty is the second daughter of second sister. We met her and her husband and her beautiful grandson, Zi Yang. I played with him for an hour or so until his mother, third sister, came in and honed in on my little baby. The nerve! (just kidding Cecelia)
Zi Yang's mom is Cecelia. She and her husband work for Intel.

Tim and Kin Kin finally pulled me away from Zi Yang and we crossed the suspension bridge and onto the island of Georgetown. We met first sister, Cynthia and her husband Desmond at a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We also attempted to have dinner with their brother but his son wanted nothing to do with the foreigners and started crying and would not stop. They decided to take him home. We once again had delicious food and I indulged. We laughed and talked and laughed and Cynthia had to get a tissue she was laughing so hard. Now that is what I call a successful dinner!

After dinner our hosts took us driving around Penang. Desmond drove and loaned me his Nikon to shoot pictures with. We drove through a UNESCO world heritage site, which is a designated site that is so significant to world history that they cannot be altered or torn down. These were pre-war row houses and shops. There were temples and restaurants and shops. We stopped to take pictures at the opening of one of the temples and a pigeon pooped in my hair. Yup, you read that correctly. A pigeon pooped in my hair. I joked with Cynthia and Desmond and Kin Kin, please tell me that in Chinese culture it is good luck to have a pigeon poop on you. Desmond said, it's okay, I know the owner of this little pub up here and we can use her washroom.

This little pub was called Edelweiss and Tim and I fell in love with this place. It is more than a century old and was converted into a cafe and pub. We met the owners and after I washed the poop out of my hair they let us explore their second floor which is not open to customers. Wow, it was a museum of antique artifacts. They had all kinds of things. From tiny chinese shoes from when they used to bound the feet, to antique tiffins. It was a like walking back in time. It was indeed good luck to have a pigeon poop in your hair.

We continued our sightseeing and drove down by the shore. We walked around a shopping district with a marina and a lighthouse. Then our hosts could tell I was fading so they brought us home to their beautiful house. We arrived here around 11:45 and I took pictures (of course) of their distinctive home.

I am barely able to stay awake. I must stop typing and go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
Good night!

Japanese food again

We are on the island of Penang having dinner with my cousins overlooking the suspension bridge. Beautiful.

This guy passed us 3 times

We just arrived in Penang!

Zi Yang

This is Zi Yang, he is Kitty's nephew and I'm bringing him home with me!

I found a souvenir to bring home!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011