Thursday, August 26, 2010

A whole new WALL

Recently my hubby and I decided to adorn our living room wall with wallpaper. We browsed through many samples before finally decided on the one we felt can give character to the wall, and to complement the red wall at the dining area.

Many stains and finger prints on the old wall. Have to thank my 3 kids for that.
The result of being adventurous - a wall that my son said "is cool coz it looks like spider web", and my youngest daughter commented that "it looks like a jungle" . thing for sure, the downlight makes it look more dramatic.

Reinvented a feature wall that graces my childhood art teacher's painting.

Thanks to my maid for helping me to repaint the door.
Somehow in these photos, the wall looks darker than the actual one.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Luckier than a Tycoon!

Recently China Press reported that Hong Kong tycoon Stanley Ho sent his personal jet to pick up 88 Musang Durian from Singapore. He then shared 10 biji sahaja (10 only) with his billionaire buddy Li Ka-shing.

My hubby's childhood buddy owns a durian orchard in Bentong. During weekends, this durian lover will personally drives his Pajero to collect the King of Fruits and then generously shares some with us (Musang, D24, D2 & 101). Once my hubby tagged along and came back with more than 20! (aren't we luckier than Lee Ka-shing?!)

The orchard of my hubby's buddy.

A worker with his harvest.

Besides the King of Fruit, the Queen of Fruit - Mangosteen, are planted in his orchard too. What a fruity Kingdom!

My hubby the Kampung Boy used a fork to open the Musang durian.

My late father-in-law owned a durian orchard in which durians grew in abundance. Now only less than 15 trees are left (my brother-in-law replaced them with dragon fruit, banana etc). Even so, two weeks ago we loaded our car with lots of durians for our neighbors, not forgetting my hubby's buddy who loves kampong durian. To our sweet surprise, the next day one neighbor baked us a durian cake. Another one gave us cream puffs with durian flavor (he owns a confectionery franchise).

How wonderful! The King Of Fruit is surely inspiring!

Best of all, it makes you realize that you don't need to be a tycoon to feel RICH (in Friendship)!

Monday, August 9, 2010

iPad, our new toy!

My hubby is a gadget geek who loves to study new devices and can always find good reasons to own new "toys" such as camera body, lens, handphone and computer. He told me anything can be changed except his wife...this is to stop me (threatening me) from complaining.

Few days ago he came home with an iPad. For the first time, he didn't need to give any explanation because I fell in love with that beautiful and interesting device instantly. It's Love At First Sight!

It's so portable & there're many interesting applications. I enjoy playing with it and wish to make it MY TOY!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bye Bye Worries, Hello Slumberland!

My elder daughter was so worried about her piano exam since a few weeks ago. Fortunately it was over yesterday and to my great surprise my son & daughter told me they wanted to take up grade 4 next year. Just a few months ago my son said he wanted to quit but now he seems to change his mind and even takes the initiative to learn new song.

Kids are unpredictable, and so is their imagination.

Recently I found out their interesting methods of putting their worries away ...

My 11-year old artistic daughter said,"Usually when I close my eyes, I'll see a WALL with my PROBLEMS written on it. (Eg: PIANO EXAM"). So, I'd imagine myself wearing a very Beautiful dress, walking into a shop that sells colorful paint. I'll choose my favorite color - Lavender. I'd then started painting & covering those words on the wall. Before I finished painting, I'll doze off already."
(No wonder her teachers complained she daydreams a lot)

My 8-year old goal oriented daughter has a different way. She'd imagine her teacher holding an exam paper in hand, calling out her student code and NAME. She'll then see a 100% on that paper. That would satisfy her and put her to sleep.

PLUS...sometimes she'll imagine a TAEKWONDO master helping her to "B R E A K a lot of bricks of problems"
( I know she's very persistent and goal-oriented, but I'm truly surprised by her imagination)

Now it's my 13-year old gun-obssessed son's turn. He said he'll imagine himself shooting a lot of balloons with a gun. I'm curious and asked him whether are those balloons colorful??? He replied,"NO. Those balloons have no color."
(Phew... at least he's shooting balloons and not "human")

Even so, their daddy's imagination/dream is still the "wildest", if not the best. This 90kg man would transform himself into a ** feather **.... floating in the light & carefree............. drifting him into slumberland...z z z z z z z

In short, there's no dream too BIG, or too small.
So keep dreaming!

The Giving Pledge by Warren Buffett

My brother forwarded me a letter (the giving pledge) written by Warren Buffett...

"In 2006, I made a commitment to gradually give all of my Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. I couldn't be happier with that decision. Now, Bill and Melinda Gates and I are asking hundreds of rich Americans to pledge at least 50% of their wealth to charity. So I think it is fitting that I reiterate my intentions and explain the thinking that lies behind them.

First, my pledge: More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death. Measured by dollars, this commitment is large. In a comparative sense, though, many individuals give more to others every day. Millions of people who regularly contribute to churches, schools, and other organizations thereby relinquish the use of funds that would otherwise benefit their own families. The dollars these people drop into a collection plate or give to United Way mean forgone movies, dinners out, or other personal pleasures. In contrast, my family and I will give up nothing we need or want by fulfilling this 99% pledge.

Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time. Many people, including -- I'm proud to say -- my three children, give extensively of their own time and talents to help others. Gifts of this kind often prove far more valuable than money.

A struggling child, befriended and nurtured by a caring mentor, receives a gift whose value far exceeds what can be bestowed by a check. My sister, Doris, extends significant person-to-person help daily. I've done little of this. What I can do, however, is to take a pile of Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates -- "claim checks" that when converted to cash can command far-ranging resources -- and commit them to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life.

To date about 20% of my shares have been distributed (including shares given by my late wife, Susan Buffett). I will continue to annually distribute about 4% of the shares I retain. At the latest, the proceeds from all of my Berkshire shares will be expended for philanthropic purposes by 10 years after my estate is settled. Nothing will go to endowments; I want the money spent on current needs.

This pledge will leave my lifestyle untouched and that of my children as well. They have already received significant sums for their personal use and will receive more in the future. They live comfortable and productive lives. And I will continue to live in a manner that gives me everything that I could possibly want in life. Some material things make my life more enjoyable; many, however, would not. I like having an expensive private plane, but owning a half-dozen homes would be a burden. Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner.

The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse, and long-standing friends. My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery. (For starters, the odds against my 1930 birth taking place in the U.S. were at least 30 to 1. My being male and white also removed huge obstacles that a majority of Americans then faced.) My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well.

I've worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate's distribution of long straws is wildly capricious.

The reaction of my family and me to our extraordinary good fortune is not guilt, but rather gratitude. Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others. That reality sets an obvious course for me and my family: Keep all we can conceivably need and distribute the rest to society, for its needs. My pledge starts us down that course.
To read more (the pledges of others) :

福,惜福,造福 (Appreciate, Cherish & Sow More Blessings )