Saturday, November 26, 2011

Manifesto for 21st Century Teacher Librarians

You know you are a 21st century school librarian if . . .
Reading
● You consider new ways to promote reading. You are piloting/supplying learners with downloadable audio books,Playaways, Kindles, iPads, Nooks.
● You share ebook apps with students for their iPhones, droids, and iPads and other mobile devices (Check out Gale’s AccessMyLibrary, School Edition)
● You market, and your students share, books using social networking tools like Shelfari, Good Reads, orLibraryThing.
● Your students blog or tweet or network in some way about what they are reading
● Your desktop screensavers promote great reads, not Dell or Apple or HP.
● You link to available free ebook collections using such tools as Google Books, International Children’s Digital Library (See ebook pathfinder.)
● You review and promote books in your own blogs and wikis and other websites. (Also Reading2.0 and BookLeads Wiki for book promotion ideas)
● You embed ebooks on your websites to encourage reading and support learning
● You work together with learners to create and share digital booktalks or book trailers.
Information Landscape
● You know that searching various areas of the Web requires a variety of search tools. You are the information expert in your building. You are the search expert in your building. You share an every growing and shifting array of search tools that reach into blogs and wikis and Twitter and images and media and scholarly content.
● You open your students to evolving strategies for collecting and evaluating information. You teach about tags, and hashtags, and feeds, and real-time searches and sources, as well as the traditional database approaches you learned way back in library school.
● You organize the Web for learners. You have the skills to create a blog or website or wiki or portal of some other type to pull together resources to meet the specific information needs of your learning community.
● You make sure your learners and teachers can (physically & intellectually) access developmentally and curricularlydatabases, portals, websites, blogs, videos, and other media.
● Your presence reflects your personal voice. It includes your advice and your instruction, as well as your links. You make learning an engaging and colorful hybrid experience.
● You think of your web presence as a knowledge management tool for your entire school. It includes student-produced instruction and archived (celebrated) student work, handouts, policies, and collaboratively built pathfindersto support learning and research in all learning arenas. (Checkout Pathfinder Swap for examples.)
● You help learners put together their own personal information portals and Knowledge Building Centers to support their research and learning, using widgets, embedded media, and personal information portals like iGoogle,PageFlakes ,and NetVibes and wikis and Google Sites.
● You intervene in the research process online while respecting young people’s need for privacy.
● You work with learners to exploit push information technologies like RSS feeds and tags and saved databases and search engine searches relevant to their information needs.
● Your own feeds are rich with learning content, evidence of your networking. You embed dynamic widgets(including your own database widgets) wherever students live, work, and play.
● You integrate dynamic interactive features in your library’s website–Google calendars, RSS feeds, deliciousbookmarks, Flickr photo galleries, online presentations, blogs, surveys, polls, as ways to interact with and teach students.
Communication and publishing and storytelling
● You know that communication is the end-product of research and you teach learners how to communicate and participate creatively and engagingly. You consider new interactive and engaging communication tools for student projects.
● Include and collaborate with your learners. You let them in. You fill your physical and virtual space with student work, student contributions—their video productions, their original music, their art.
● Know and celebrate that students can now publish their written work digitally. (See these pathfinders: Digital Publishing, Digital Storytelling)
Collection Development
● You expand your notion of collection.
● You no longer strive for the standard catalog, long-tail, just-in-case approach. In tight times, with shared catalogs and easy online purchasing, a just-in-time approach is far more effective. You build your own collection collaboratively, with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the available collections around you.
● Collection should include: ebooks, audiobooks, open source software, streaming media, flash drives, digital video cameras, laptops, tripods, RSS feeds, and much more! And we should seek effective, federated approaches to ensure these diverse formats and platforms are equally and seamlessly accessible.
● You involve your community in collection building using interactive polls and web-based suggestion forms.
● You understand that library is not just a place to get stuff, it is a place to make stuff, collaborate on and share stuff. Not a grocery store, but a kitchen!
● Your collection–on- and offline–includes student work. You use digital publishing tools to help students share and celebrate their written and artistic work.
Facilities, your physical space
● You know your physical space is about books and way more than books. Your space is a libratory. You welcome, and create space for, media production—podcasting, video production, storytelling–producing and presenting.
● You welcome and host telecommunications events and group gathering for planning and research and social networking.
● You cope with ubiquity. No, you learn to love it. Ubiquity changes everything. In one-to-one schools, students may visit the library less frequently. In such environments, in all modern, truly relevant environments, library must also be ubiquitous. Library MUST be everywhere. Librarians must teach everywhere, in and outside of the library.
● You realize you will often have to partner and teach in classroom teachers’ classrooms. One-to-one classrooms change your teaching logistics. You teach virtually. You are available across the school via email and chat.
● You know that laptops can actually walk back to the library for its space and additional resources in all formats.
Access , Equity, Advocacy
● You are concerned about a new digital divide: those who can effectively find quality information in all media formats, and those who cannot.
● You are concerned about a new digital divide: those who have access to the new tools for creation and publishing and those who do not.
● You consider just-in-time, just-for-me learning as your responsibility and are proud that you own real estate your students’ desktops and mobile devices 24/7.
● You grapple with issues of equity. You provide open source alternatives to students and teachers who need them. You lend flash sticks and laptops and cameras and . . . You ensure your students can easily get to the stuff they most need by using kid-friendly terms and by creating pathfinders.
● You ensure that all students have access to readings appropriate for their differentiated needs and offer books in a variety of formats.
● You know that one-to-one classrooms will change your teaching logistics. You realize you will often have to partner and teach in classroom teachers’ classrooms. You will teach virtually. You will be available across and outside the school via email and chat.
● You don’t stop at “no.” You fight for the rights of students to have and use the tools they need. This is an equity issue. Access to the new tools is an intellectual freedom issue.
Audience and collaboration
● You recognize that the work your students create has audience and that they may share newly constructed knowledge globally on powerful networks,. You help them see that they have the potential to make social, cultural, and political impact.
● You recognize that learners may share their ideas and participate in dialogs beyond the walls of the library or classroom.
● You exploit the cloud as a strategy for student collaboration, sharing and publishing.
● You share with students their responsibilities for participating in social networks.
● You see teleconferencing tools like Skype as ways to open your library to authors, experts, book discussion, debates, and more. Consider starting by examining Skype an Author Network.
● You use new tools for collaboration. Your students create together, They synthesize information, enhance their writing through peer review and negotiate content in blogs and wikis and using tools like GoogleDocs, Flickr,Voicethread, Animoto and a variety of other writing or mind mapping and storytelling tools.
● You help students create their own networks for learning and extracurricular activities.
Copyright, Copyleft and Information Ethics
● You teach students to care about their own digital footprints–and monitor them using people search tools.
● You encourage students to develop academic–NOT invisible–digital footprints.
● You teach students about norms for appropriate behavior in wikis and blogs.
● You model respect for intellectual property in a world of shift and change. You encourage and guide documentation for media in all formats.
● You lead students to Web-based citation generators and note-taking tools to guide them in these efforts.
● You recognize and lead students and teachers to the growing number of copyright-friendly or copyleft portals.
● You understand Creative Commons licensing and you are spreading its gospel.
● You encourage learners to apply Creative Commons licenses to their own creations.
● You are revising and expanding your notion of Fair Use in line with the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media LiteracyEducation .
● You say “yes” a lot more. You know that in their creative remixes and mash-ups, students may use the copyrighted works of others in their own work without asking permission under certain conditions. You are discussing transformativeness with students and faculty. (See The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy and Fair useand transformativeness: It may shake your world)
● You use a tool for reasoning whether a proposed use is Fair Use. (Tool for reasoning Fair Use.pdf)
You ask students to ask these two questions when they are using the copyrighted work of others in their own media:
1. Did the unlicensed use transform the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original?
2. Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?
(From the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education)
New Technology Tools
● You consider iPods and iPhones and iPads learning tools and storage devices and reference sources. You know that when you interrupt a student she might be in the middle of a chapter, recording a podcast, transferring data, taking audio notes. You establish classroom or library academic guidelines and norms for their use during the school day.
● You know this is only the beginning of social networking. Students will get to their Facebook accounts through proxy servers and their mobile devices despite any efforts to block them. You plan educationally meaningful ways to incorporate student excitement (and your own) for social networking. You establish classroom or library academic guidelines and norms for their use during the school day.
● You consider your role as info-technology scout. You look to make “learning sense” of the authentic new information and communication tools used in business and academics. You figure out how to use them thoughtfully and you help classroom teachers use them with their classes.
Professional Development and Professionalism
● You seek professional development that will help you grow even if it is not offered by your school district. Even if you don’t get PD credit. You can’t “clock” these hours.
● You build your own personal/professional learning network using social networking tools
● You guide your teacher colleagues in setting up their own professional learning networks.
● You read both edtech journals and edtech blogs, not just the print literature of our own profession.
● You follow selected educators,experts, authors, etc. with microblogging apps like Twitter
● You use Twitter to mine realtime chat about your professional interests. You use hashtags like #tlchat and #edchat
● You learn by visiting the webcast archives of conferences you cannot attend. (For instance, ISTE)
● You share your new knowledge with others using social bookmarking tools like Delicious and Diigo.
● You set up feed readers to push the blog of experts and educators you respect to you on a regular basis.
● You join a Ning or other social network for instance:
○ Classroom20NingTeacherLibrarianNing
○ English Companion
○ NCTE Conference Ning
○ ISTE Ning
○ Future of Education
● You are contributing to the development of a new brand for our profession. When your students move on to the next library, they are going to expect visionary service and instruction and caring, helpful relationships.
Teaching and Learning and Reference
● You are figuring out how to be present for your learners and teachers 24/7, at the point of the information, research, or communication need. Ubiquity changes everything. With computers in every classroom and every home, heck with computers in every pocket, how are you going to share your wisdom and collaborate?
● You understand that learning can (and should) be playful.
● You understand that learning should be authentic.
● You understand that learning can be multi-modal, media-rich, customized to the needs of individual learners.
● You know the potential new technologies offer for interaction–learners as both information consumers and producers. You understand that in this world learners have the power to create and share knowledge.
● You are concerned that, when it matters, your students move beyond information satisficing. They make solid information decisions.
● You are concerned that students learn to evaluate, to triangulate information in all media formats. We must guide them in an increasingly complex world, to make information decisions, to evaluate all their information choices, including books, blogs, wikis, streamed media, whatever comes next.
● You are concerned and excited about what you can do that Google or Wikipedia cannot. What customized services and instruction will you offer that will not be outsourced to Bangalore?
● You continually share new understandings of searching, and evaluation, and analysis and synthesis, and digital citizenship, and communication, integrating and modeling our new standards, dispositions and common beliefs.
● You understand that exploration and freedom are key to engaging students in a virtual environment to promote independent learning.
● You know the potential new technologies offer for interaction–learners as both information consumers and creative information producers.
● You ensure that the library provides an independent learning environment that connects students and teachers in a social, digital, community.
Into the Future (acknowledging the best of the past)
● You unpack the good stuff you carried from your 20th century trunk. Rigor, and inquiry, and high expectations, and information and media fluency matter no matter what the medium. So do excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.
● You lead. And you look ahead for what is coming down the road. You continually scan the landscape. As the information and communication landscapes continue to shift, do you know where you are going? You plan for change. Not for yourself, not just for the library, but for the building, for your learners.
● You see the big picture and let others see you seeing it. It’s about learning and teaching. It’s about engagement. If you are seen only as the one who closes up for inventory, as the book chaser, and NOT as the CIO, the inventor, the creative force, you won’t be seen as a big picture person.
● You continue to retool and learn.
● You represent our brand (who the teacher-librarian is) as a 21st century information professional. What does the information professional look like today? Ten years from today? If you do not develop strong vision, your vision will be usurped by the visions of others. You will not be able to lead from the center.
● You enjoy what you do and let others know it. It’s always better when you do what you love. (If you don’t love this new library world, find something else to do.)

By Joyce Kasman Valenza
October 2010

Monday, November 21, 2011

Health Over 50: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Yourself Feeling Young

Ever feel the clock is ticking and you are not quite there...well here's how to keep young and fit after 50...

Excellent health over 50 can be yours if you know how to take good care of yourself. If you've recently passed your 50th birthday, then it's easy to think that your health will now take a downhill turn. However, there are some things that you can do to keep yourself feeling young and healthy.

1. Keep Yourself Active
Just because you are getting older doesn't mean that you can start easing into a sedentary lifestyle. Even though aging is accompanied by certain health conditions like joint pain, muscle aches and such, these symptoms can usually be relieved with the right amount of exercise. If you've never been physically active before, now is the time to get moving. To avoid overwhelming your body, start with moderate exercises. Yoga, walking, swimming and ballroom dancing are all ideal exercises for women over 50. Not only are they easy enough to perform, but they can also be enjoyable.

It's also important to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine. For instance, instead of hiring someone to do mow your lawn, maintain your garden or paint your house; do these chores yourself. Not only will these activities keep you moving, but they will also give you a sense of accomplishment.

2. Keep Your Weight in Check
One of the downsides of aging is that your metabolism also slows down. This means that it becomes much easier for you to gain weight. You might have gotten away with eating a lot in your 20's and 30's without gaining a pound, but now that you're in your 50's, you might find yourself gaining weight with just a handful of peanuts. A lot of women also tend to gain weight around their middle section when they reach their elder years.

You can keep yourself fit by lowering your daily caloric intake to the amount of calories that you can burn. Your doctor and some online tools can help you determine your caloric requirement, but you can easily find this out by simply listening to your body. For instance, if you seem to be gaining weight even though you are eating a normal amount of food, then it's possible that you now require less food to function. Cut back on meal portions and see if it helps.

3. Cherish Your Social Relationships
Your friendships and social bonds also play an important role in your health. In fact, having support from loved ones can boost your immune system, increase heart protection, speed up surgery recovery and improve your longevity. There could be many explanations behind this link between social support and health. One of these explanations is that social support helps you battle stress. Friends listen to your problems and lend you support throughout the trying times in your life. This can greatly reduce your stress. As you probably know, stress is a common factor that contributes to many chronic illnesses.

4. Improve Your Diet
You can also keep yourself feeling young with the foods you eat. Foods that are rich in antioxidants can be greatly beneficial for you at this point. Antioxidants help by battling free radicals which cause aging symptoms and diseases. Include an array of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you're consuming an abundance of antioxidants.


http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/exercises/health-over-50-4-easy-ways-to-keep-yourself-feeling-young.html

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nephrectomy-kidney removal


Just got in from an overnight trip to Penang to viist hubby's nephew who had a nephrectomy, he had his right kidney removed as there was a tumour discovered in it.
Doctors at Lam Wah ee suggested the removal quickly. Thank God he looked fine and is sitting up. So that prompted me to have a re-look at our own kidneys. Their importance and how we neglect to take care of them properly and how dangerous it can be for us when we have kidney failure. So here is some information which I think will help us take care of our kidneys and ourselves.

Kidney disease risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and age. Early detection and treatment can increase the life of the kidneys. High blood pressure can lead to or be a sign of kidney disease. Exercise, a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water will help to keep your kidneys working well.

Risk factors for chronic kidney disease
You are more ‘at risk’ of chronic kidney disease if you:
Have diabetes
Have high blood pressure
Are obese
Are over 50 years of age
Have a family history of kidney disease
Smoke
Are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

Many diseases can affect the kidneys
Many illnesses can affect the kidneys.
The most important are:
Diabetes
Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis)
High blood pressure
Hereditary kidney diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease
Scarring of the kidney caused by backflow of urine from the bladder.
High blood pressure can damage kidneys
High blood pressure (hypertension) is increased pressure inside the arteries that carry blood from your heart to all parts of your body. Untreated, high blood pressure can damage your kidneys. All high blood pressure strains the heart and damages arteries. If blood pressure is uncontrolled and remains high, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to your internal organs. The very small vessels are often the first to be affected. If left untreated, this can lead to kidney disease, heart attack, strokes and loss of vision.

There are a number of different causes of high blood pressure but most high blood pressure has no known cause. You are more at risk of high blood pressure if you are older or have a family history of the condition. High blood pressure can also develop as a result of kidney disease or renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the main artery to one or both kidneys). Your kidneys control the amount of fluid in your blood vessels and produce a hormone called renin that helps to control blood pressure.

Medication and lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure
A range of medication is available for high blood pressure. Different blood pressure medications work in different ways so it is not unusual for more than one type to be prescribed. The dose may alter according to your needs.

Medications that can lower blood pressure include:
ACE inhibitors
Angiotensin receptor blockers
Calcium channel blockers
Beta blockers
Low-dose diuretics (fluid tablets)
Alpha blockers.
Healthy lifestyle choices are important to improve your overall health and lower your risk of high blood pressure. They can also reduce the amount of medication you need or make your medication work better. Healthy lifestyle choices include not smoking, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, staying fit, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding certain medications and avoiding stress.

Symptoms of kidney disease
Kidney disease is called a ‘silent disease’ as there are often few symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:
Change in frequency and quantity of urine passed, especially at night (usually increase at first)
Blood in the urine (haematuria)
Foaming urine
Puffiness around the eyes and ankles (oedema)
Pain in the back (under the lower ribs, where the kidneys are located)
Pain or burning when passing urine.
When the kidneys begin to fail, there is a build-up of waste products and extra fluid in the blood as well as other problems, gradually leading to:
Tiredness, inability to concentrate
Generally feeling unwell
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath.
Treatments
Reduction in kidney function cannot usually be reversed. However, if detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented. In the early stages, changes to diet and medication can help to increase the life of the kidneys.

If kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal, the loss of function must be replaced by renal dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane (fine filter).

Early detection can save lives
Early detection of kidney disease can be life saving. Medication and changes to lifestyle, along with an early referral to a kidney specialist, can prevent or delay kidney failure. If you are ‘at higher risk’ of chronic kidney disease, talk to your doctor about having a regular kidney health check. This includes:
Blood pressure test
Blood test for kidney function
Urine test for protein (proteinuria).
Lifestyle changes can keep your kidneys healthy
Making healthy lifestyle choices can help to keep your kidneys functioning well:
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables including legumes (peas or beans) and grain-based food like bread, pasta, noodles and rice.
Eat some lean meat like chicken and fish each week.
Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food.
Drink plenty of water instead of other drinks.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics.
Don’t smoke.
Limit your alcohol to two small drinks per day if you are male or one small drink per day if you are female.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Do things that help you relax and reduce your stress levels.

Things to remember
You can look after your kidneys by eating healthy food, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.
Many diseases can affect your kidneys.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Kidney_disease_prevention

Monday, November 7, 2011

What men and women want in a car!


Buying a new CAR? Here are some tips to look out for...

Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at www.cheryl-tay.com.

Some like their cars big so they can be comfortable throughout the journey, while others like their cars fast as the high speeds thrill.

Asking a man what he looks for in a car is like asking him what qualities he looks for in a woman or a wife. Next, asking him what features of a car matter most is like asking what physical attributes of a lady are most attractive to him.

The general rule of thumb is that women seek reliability, security and comfort in a car; like how they want to feel safe with their man. Hence, size of car for ease of parking, space in terms of storage and cabin, and convenient electronic aids like parking sensors and automatic doors matter to the ladies.

On the other hand, men are more concerned with power and performance, and safety at levels sufficient for all that might. Similarly, they want their women to be smart, look good, feel good and essentially be someone they are proud to call theirs.

After spending some time talking to 50 males and 50 females to understand how the different features of a car appeal to the genders differently, here are what I found men and women want from a car:

WOMEN

•Fuel economy and eco-friendliness
Females tend to be more concerned about the environment, and fuel consumption was the most popular feature mentioned when the ladies were asked to name what matters to them most.

•Aesthetics (i.e. size, shape, colour and design)
Visual appeal is important to both men and women but in a slightly different way. Women want the car to be of a good size for ease of parking, and of a good shape and design that is pleasing to the eyes. But men want their car to be visually attractive, unique to the individual and as outstanding as possible. This is reflective of nature, where animals like the peacock have the male more visually striking than the female.

•Style
I singled out style from the rest of the aesthetics because it is the aura and the flair of a car that isn't somewhat the same as the lines of the body that run round the car. It's the fashion of the car and how it makes them feel: emotive appeal, something that women are able to understand better as we are generally more emotional than men.

•Comfort and space
Some people place more emphasis on how to get to the destination instead of getting to the destination. Women have highlighted that comfort and space are important factors in a car because they want to enjoy their ride. That means having a good air-conditioning system, sufficient cubby holes for storing their belongings, generous head and leg room and a spacious cabin that will make the car feel welcoming and non-claustrophobic with more sunlight streaming in. Sufficient storage space such as in the boot is also essential.

•Safety
As I mentioned earlier, women crave for security in their men. Likewise in cars, they need to feel protected from danger when seated within their cars. Having airbags all around, good braking power and parking sensors are some examples of things that contribute to making a woman feel safe.

•Ease of drivability
There were some women who mentioned performance of a car. After hearing them elaborate why, I began to realise that it's not the same kind of performance that men crave for. For the women, performance of a car refers more to the ease of driving the car. Besides being of a visually-pleasing shape and an easy-to-park size, the car should preferably have blind spots that are easy to overcome, smooth and quick acceleration that will help to get out of situations fast, and power steering with enough feel. Convenient driver aids like keyless entry, automatic wipers, automatic headlights and automatic tailgate buttons (in SUVs and MPVs) are some of the things that can really save the day.

MEN

•Handling
It's not about how to drive the car, but how the car drives. Men are more particular when it comes to the cornering, turning, steering and braking abilities of the car. How the car feels in their hands and on the road is more vital than how many cup holders the cabin has or how many bags the boot can hold.

•Performance
Men are hungry for power and they seek for performance from their cars. Also, due to the technicality of it all, men are more often seen tuning their cars and improving the specifications of their cars such as power-to-weight ratio, getting more torque, more power, faster acceleration times, higher stability during braking and sharper cornering.

•Reliability
This would be a key concern for females as well, though not on the same basis. Men want reliability from the car, knowing that they can trust the engine, chassis and the build quality; like how they trust their wives to take care of the children. Women want reliability from the car in terms of a sense of security when being with it, like how they need their spouses to be able to head and run the family.

•Safety
This is a common factor brought up repeatedly by both men and women, but not for the same reasons. In a stock car, males will ask about electronic driving aids like traction control and anti-lock braking system (ABS). Also, men increase the car's safety levels in tandem with boosting the car's power and specifications so that the car has more control at higher speeds.

•Chick magnet factor
Personalising the car is to make it reflect the driver's identity and also to impress the chicks. Being able to draw attention by looking cool or sounding loud is the reason why some men spend so much money doing up their cars. Giving the car vinyl wrap or airbrush of some cool design, or upgrading of the exhaust system are some of the things they do. This leads to the next point…

•Ability to modify
By modifying here I mean tuning of the car under its bonnet and also dressing up of the car on its exterior with body kits and spoilers.

The list can go on endlessly and of course there are also common factors that both men and women emphasise. Pricing and value for money, for example, are definitely somethings that both males and females will consider when buying a car.

But through this exercise, I learnt that men are as picky about choosing their cars as they are when choosing their wives. Also, women — who generally buy less big ticket items and thus tend to be more spendthrift — view a car more like a pet than a partner!

Happy driving!!!

How to be a good home cook!



The holiday season is here and many of us will do doing some home cooking whether we like it or not. Even if we are so busy, we still have to cook sometimes so here are some tips:

1. Season Dishes Properly
As chef Stephanie Izard sees it, "I think that people are afraid to use salt to bring out the natural flavors. Not that we want to make anything too salty, and not be healthy, but [you should add] enough seasoning and [use] the right mix of ingredients in dishes so you have the right balance of sweet, salty, and savory. This allows the dish to come together and make your mouth happy." How to do it? She recommends salting throughout the whole process and tasting as you go — it's even what she teaches her new cooks.

In her kitchen, when cooks first come to her, she takes a batch of soup, and has them add in a little salt and take a taste, and continue to do that. She explains that, "Slowly the favors come out of the soup and come to life. And it's the best way to learn about seasoning."

2. The Secrets of a Good Salad
Salads might sound boring, but theyre definitely not in Izard's world. What's her secret? Texture, consistency, and freshness of ingredient. But the real kicker is the dressing. For her, "It's all about bold dressings." She says that the key is to make sure that everything is in the salad for a reason and then to finish it with a bold dressing. (No, she's not talking about ranch, that's for dipping.)

She explains that you can use vinaigrettes in different ways and not just for salads. Try putting a dressing over a piece of chicken for dinner or over pasta. Sometimes it's good to take some of the simple things and play mix and match in the kitchen

3. Flavorful Chicken Dishes
Most people love chicken (vegetarians and vegans excluded of course), but Izard suggests skipping the boneless, skinless, chicken breasts for chicken thighs. Why? “Because that’s where all the flavor is.” Not that she’s dismissing chicken breasts. She uses those for her sandwich and thinks they are tasty, but the thighs are another option for home cooks looking for something different in the kitchen that will be both flavorful and exciting.


4. Properly Cooking Proteins (with Patience)
With fresh fish like salmon or halibut, "It's all about proper seasoning and proper cooking." Izard says that she gets a lot of questions from home cooks asking, "Why is my fish getting stuck to the pan?" Instead of switching to non-sticks, she suggests these basic principles for making perfectly cooked fish or proteins in a regular pan. "Just get the pan smoking hot, put in oil with a high smoking point, put in your fish, and after it gets a little bit brown, turn it down, and then it's all about patience." Though she's fallen prey to impatience, she recommends getting a glass of wine or beer and chilling out. Let the natural sugars in proteins caramelize, by stepping back and letting nature take its course. Don't push.

5. Flavor-Boosting Pantry Staples
"I'm a huge fan of Sambal," says Izard. Other ingredients that help add flavor? She says that they use Dijon mustard at the restaurant and in the cookbook a lot. The same goes with soy sauce and fish sauce. She explains that you can use them in stews, soups, and sauces Its all about adding layers of flavor.

6. Don't Be Discouraged
We asked Izard if she’d had any recent kitchen blunders while making this book or if she continues to have them even after being a successful chef. “Happens all the time!” she told us. So home cooks, don’t get discouraged because even Top Chefs are prone to making mistakes and trying experiments that don’t work — it’s important to keep trying and not give up.


7. Basic Beer and Wine Pairing Suggestions
Have some fun with this. While the old belief was that white went with fish and chicken and red with meat, Izard says that, "There will always be something in your realm of what you like to drink that will go with the food." She suggests picking a night that you'll play around with it and see what your mouth gets excited about so you can figure out what works for you.

The important thing to keep in mind with beer and wine, she explains, is that it's all about a personal preference. There are some basic suggestions in her book that you can start with or try recommendations from your local wine shop, but then it's up to you to experiment and find what you like. Try having some friends over and doing a tasting and just have fun with it.

8. How Much Food is Enough for a Dinner Party?
There’s always the fear of running out of food, so how do you know how much to make? “I always make too much food, because I forget that people will only have a taste of each dish.” While Izard tries to give portions in the book, she says that leftovers are great to give to friends in a Tupperware on their way out — “It’s like a parting gift.”

9. Where to Begin
It's always good to start with a recipe that's been tried and tested. Izard recommends beginning with a cookbook — her's would be preferable — following the recipes very closely at the beginning, then slowly stepping away and coming up with your own recipes and twists. "Pretty soon, the cookbook will just be decoration on your coffee table."

Read more: http://www.thedailymeal.com/how-be-successful-home-cook-slideshow#ixzz1d1sJQs7d

Happy cooking and happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New job, new environment, new friends...

Yes, it's already been a month since I changed jobs. Changing jobs is nothing new I suppose but for a 50-something woman, the question everyone keeps asking is "Why the change? What happened?" For me, why not? I guess we shouldn't be afraid of change. WE will never know what's in store , what's on the other side of the field if we do not take any action. I wanted a change sometime back...I felt not appreciated the past few years, I felt there was more for me to contribute. I was a good manager and a leader so I am told. So to me, it was a good and right decision.

I am glad my present employer gave me a chance to join her management team and I am glad the new workplace is exciting, vibrant and keeps me busy and on my toes. Working long hours has been a pleasure so far, though my knees do have to keep up...I am glad my former bosses have retired. My ex-colleagues are pleased and can move forward now. I moved bascially to give my self space and a chance to prove that I am still good at what I do. For me, there is no such thing as giving up on your career and getting ready for retirement. I don't think i am ready to retire just yet...even the thought of signing up till 60 seems not a bad idea...cos' I really can't see myself staying home and twiddling my fingers and toes. I believe I still have some productive years left and can contribute to the nation.

So here's to new challenges and fresh faces and places...
to all who fear moving and change, don't be...go do it now.
Nothing can be worse than where you are now...if you are in control.
Give yourself a chance and flyyyyyyyyyy...

Cheers.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moving On...

Someone once said, when it's time to leave, you will know when..of course we have to wait for opportunities as well...seize the day they say...well I am glad someone gave me a chance to move on... I am moving on and I do hope to much greener pastures.
I am not afraid of hard work and I believe this new job will entail a lot of work...but I am geared to go and will do my best.

Follow you heart and move on, cos' if you don't move, you will never know what's in store just over the horizon. I will always wonder what if, actually what if I stayed on in the present job with the new bosses, what if I move, could it be better...could my career be better? If you are not happy in your job and feel you are not progressing professionally and personally because of all the hurdles stacked up against you...you have no choice but to move on, so you can have a peaceful rest at night and be happy once again. The road not taken has always fascinated me...

I always wonder what if...so now that I have taken the bold step into the world of sports, I aim to do well and contribute towards making it better. Sports education is indeed an area which has been highlighted much in recent days with the policy of
1 student: 1 sport. I hope to work together with the rest of the team and make sports education enjoyable, flexible and achieve greater heights.

The move has just been one day but at least I know my immediate bosses will let me do my job without fear or favour.

MAJULAH SUKAN UNTUK NEGARA.

Cheers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Forgive and Forget.

A few weeks ago, I posted on facebook this:
Forgiving doesn't mean Forgetting...this generated a number of comments:

...to forgive is easy...to forget is another matter
...setuju juga...memaafkan tidak semestinya melupakan.
...yes...u can forgive but not forget...
...very true
...yup very true. easy to forgive but impossible to forget.

This morning, there was a special program on TV2 on the same subject.
There was a doctor from UM who discussed the above matter. Her take was that we forgive so we can move on with our lives, we can overcome our resentment and we forgive for our own good.

A search on the internet provided this info on the matter:

It's not always easy, but the benefits of forgiving -- and 'forgetting' -- can be powerful. Here are some tips.

By Tom Valeo
WebMD FeatureReviewed by Cynthia Dennison Haines, MD

Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love -- a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you'll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.

Of course, forgiving is notoriously difficult. "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive," said C.S. Lewis.

And forgetting may not be a realistic or desirable goal.

"Despite the familiar cliche, 'forgive and forget,' most of us find forgetting nearly impossible," says Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Hope College. "Forgiveness does not involve a literal forgetting. Forgiveness involves remembering graciously. The forgiver remembers the true though painful parts, but without the embellishment of angry adjectives and adverbs that stir up contempt."

Forgiving (and Forgetting) Quells Stress
That type of angry "embellishment," as Witvliet calls it, seems to carry serious consequences. In a 2001 study, she monitored the physiological responses of 71 college students as they either dwelled on injustices done to them, or imagined themselves forgiving the offenders.

"When focused on unforgiving responses, their blood pressure surged, their heart rates increased, brow muscles tensed, and negative feelings escalated," she says. "By contrast, forgiving responses induced calmer feelings and physical responses. It appears that harboring unforgiveness comes at an emotional and a physiological cost. Cultivating forgiveness may cut these costs."

But how do we cultivate forgiveness?

Frederic Luskin, PhD, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, readily admits that forgiveness, like love, can't be forced.

"You can't just will forgiveness," says Luskin, author of Forgive For Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness. "What I teach is that you can create conditions where forgiveness is more likely to occur. There are specific practices we offer that diminish hostility and self-pity, and increase positive emotions, so it becomes more likely that a genuine, heartfelt release of resentment will occur."

So for me, I am in the process of forgiving certain people in my life but forgetting will be a long time coming. Time will heal the wounds but for some, it is embellished forever in our hearts and minds.

Menopause- what are the symptoms and treatment?

I am at the age where menopause is catching up with me...a search in the internet espouses plenty of information...so here's some to share.

Definition

Menopause represents the end of menstruation. While technically it refers to the final menstrual period, it is not an abrupt event, but a gradual process. Menopause is not a disease that needs to be cured, but a natural life-stage transition. However, women have to make important decisions about managing its symptoms, including the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Description
Many women have irregular periods and other problems of perimenopause for years. It is not easy to predict when menopause begins, although doctors agree it is complete when a woman has not had a period for a full year. Eight out of every 100 women stop menstruating before age 40. At the other end of the spectrum, five out of every 100 continue to have periods until they are almost 60. The average age of menopause is 51.

There is no method to determine when the ovaries will begin to scale back but a woman can get a general idea based on her family history, body type, and lifestyle. Women who began menstruating early will not necessarily stop having periods early. A woman will likely enter menopause at about the same age as her mother.

Causes & symptoms
Once a woman enters puberty, each month her body releases one of the more than 400,000 eggs that are stored in her ovaries, and the lining of the womb (uterus) thickens in anticipation of receiving a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone levels drop and the uterine lining sheds and bleeds.

By the time a woman reaches her late 30s or 40s, her ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone and release eggs less often. The gradual decline of estrogen causes a wide variety of changes in tissues that respond to estrogen—including the vagina, vulva, uterus, bladder, urethra, breasts, bones, heart, blood vessels, brain, skin, hair, and mucous membranes. Over the long term, the lack of estrogen can make a woman more vulnerable to osteoporosis (which can begin in the 40s) and heart disease.

As the levels of hormones fluctuate, the menstrual cycle begins to change. Some women may have longer periods with heavy flow followed by shorter cycles and very little bleeding. Others will begin to miss periods completely. During this time, a woman also becomes less able to get pregnant.

The most common symptom of menopause is a change in the menstrual cycle, but there are various other symptoms as well, including:

•hot flashes
•night sweats
•insomnia
•mood swings/irritability
•memory or concentration problems
•vaginal dryness
•heavy bleeding
•fatigue
•depression
•hair changes
•headaches
•heart palpitations
•sexual disinterest
•urinary changes
•weight gain

Diagnosis
The clearest indication of menopause is the absence of a period for one full year. It is also possible to diagnose menopause by testing hormone levels. If it has been at least three months since a woman's last period, a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test might be helpful in determining whether menopause has occurred. FSH levels rise steadily as a woman ages. The FSH test alone cannot be used as proof that a woman has entered early menopause. A better measure of menopause is to determine the levels of FSH, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones.

Treatment
Some women also report success in using natural remedies to treat the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Not all women need estrogen and some women cannot take it due to adverse side effects. Many doctors do not want to give hormones to women who are still having their periods, however erratically. Only a third of menopausal women in the United States try HRT and of those who do, eventually half of them drop the therapy. As for alternative therapies, most have only received attention in the United States in the past decade or so. Debate continues until scientific studies can prove these treatments' effectiveness on menopausal symptoms. As interest in alternative therapies for menopause continues, so will research. In the meantime, women should consult their physicians when adding alternative therapies to treatment of menopause symptoms.

General dietary recommendations include raw foods, fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fresh vegetable juices. Some foods are recommended because they contain phytoestrogens. Intake of dairy products and meats should be reduced. Pork and lunch meats should be avoided.

Belinda Rowland, Teresa G. Odle, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, 2005

Hope you have been enlightened...

Friday, September 16, 2011

8 Foods That Keep You Full (and 4 That Don’t).

By Camille Noe Pagan, Glamour magazine

Anyone who’s ever walked away from the table only to be starving moments later (Chinese food, we’re looking at you) knows that certain edibles can leave you more famished than you were before you ate ‘em. If you want to stay satisfied longer—a key to weight control—remember this magic trio: protein, healthy fats and fiber. Here, nutritionists’ favorite healthy filler-uppers.

FOODS THAT KEEP YOU FULL:
Eggs


For just 70 calories, an egg delivers more than 6 grams of protein, says Shelley McGuire, Ph.D., a spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition. One study found that women who ate eggs for breakfast lost more weight than those who had bagels with the same number of calories, possibly because all that protein kept their hunger in check. The egg eaters reported more energy too!

Soup


Studies show that foods containing a lot of water can keep you feeling full. And when you start a meal with soup, you activate brain signals that begin to tell you you’ve had enough to eat—so that by the time you finish your second course, you’ll be satisfied. “Go for a broth-based bowl with fiber-rich veggies like celery and spinach,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, R.D.

Avocados



Their healthy monounsaturated fats may help slow the rate at which your stomach empties, says McGuire. They’re also loaded with folate, potassium and vitamin E, and early research suggests that foods containing these nutrients may be more satiating than others.

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt


Seventeen grams of protein in a 6-ounce container (that’s more than you get in four slices of turkey!) means major hunger control.

Oatmeal

All that filling fiber (4 grams per half-cup serving in the old-fashioned variety; 3 grams in the instant) helps this breakfast stick to your ribs. It also provides a surprising 4 to 7 grams of protein (the steel-cut kind typically has the most)—and that’s before you add milk. For extra staying power, toss in blueberries, which have 4 grams of fiber per cup.

Apples


“Only 80 calories, but one can be as filling as a meal because of the 4 grams of fiber and high water content,” says Jamieson-Petonic.

Beans and Lentils



Eat them and you may end up eating less of everything else. “They’re high in protein—about 7 grams per half cup—and high in complex carbohydrates, the type that take longer to break down,” says McGuire.

Nuts


“They have the perfect combination of fiber, protein and fat,” says Jamieson-Petonic. The nutritionists’ faves? Walnuts, almonds and pistachios. Just stick to an ounce or less to avoid calorie overload.

Food That Makes You Hungry:
Cookies, Crackers and Croissants


Steer clear of the three C’s — those processed, sugary carbs tend to cause hunger to rebound. Pick whole-grain snacks instead. (Low-fat popcorn counts!)

Alcohol


Famished after happy hour? It’s not just your willpower: Booze can spike your appetite, experts say.

Cereal


Many are high in hunger-producing sugar and little else. Look for protein and fiber like in Kashi GoLean.


“Diet” Foods



Some frozen dinners, for example, actually have too few calories and not enough filling fruits and veggies.

So, if you are into healthy living and dieting all the time, maybe you can take the cue from here, Good luck and stay healthy!

Interesting websites recommended...

Got this in my mail via the Gorgeous magazine, MBF card.
So let's click away...

www.smilezilla.com
...which claims to be the funniiest place on the web.

www.zooborns.com
...which highlights pictures of newborn animals from accredited zoos and acquariums form all over the globe.

www.laughspot.com

...which features jokes to brighten your mood.

www.givesmehope.com
...which publishes stories that are uplifitng, touching and inspirational.

www.todaysbigthing.com
...which features creative pictures and videos from real people who record funny, happy or touching moments and post it online.

www.cutebabyfix.com
...where you can view super adorable images and videos of bubbly, chubby little infants.

also a site recommended in The Star today on how to improve your English at thsi website... www.esolcourses.com -this website provides free lessons for learners at all levels, and even a section where one can learn English songs.

So click away...and be happy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good study habits...

Good article and guide for our students...

Good Study Habits In College Make For A Good Student
By Sulal

It all starts with Studying.
The success or failure of a career depends largely on college, and a successful academic career is mainly based on academic performance. Studying plays a major role in achieving academic success. Study skills must be earned, honed and applied in order for a student to enhance his or her academic performance. Developing good study habits can improve a student’s performance enormously.

Homework requires concentration, so try doing it in a special study area. The location should be quite free from distractions such as television, conversations or loud music. The room should be brightly lit to accommodate reading and to avoid eyestrain and headaches. Homework should be completed each day at the same time, manufacturing a considerate schedule. Prioritize assignments – break up the longer assignments into specific sections so that they can be easily completed in a timely fashion.

Be Proactive!
Don’t run the risk of forgetting important homework and study assignments by trying to remember them. Instead, chronicle your assignments and study tasks. This will allow you to remember all of the important details the teacher conveyed during class. Your notebook can include the name of the subject, the date the information was received, the date the assignment is due and all pertinent details for completing the assignment. eLearners.com is a great website to check out for information on college classes.

If the assignment instructions are unclear, do not leave the classroom without getting a complete understanding of the subject and directions. You will not be able to complete the assignment if you do not understand the instructions. Because most assignments are given orally, it is imperative that students have a keen ear and listen carefully to the professor’s directions and adhere to the following guidelines.

Now Finish This Before Tomorrow
An Ordered Process
As the teacher conveys spoken directions, try to take notes exactly as given. Include all steps that are relayed in the instructions. Make every attempt to arrange them in the sequence they are to be completed. Be sure to write down key words that give express direction on how to complete the assignment. These key words can include like read, write, organize, and memorize. If you need further clarification, ask the teacher to repeat or explain in further details.

When directions are given in written form by the teacher, like directly from the chalkboard, lifted from overhead transparencies, or given in a handout, be sure to read over the directions in its entirety. Be sure to ask any questions about the directions that you do not understand before leaving the classroom. Start the assignment by dividing up the directions into steps (in logical order). Then, collect all of the materials you need to complete the assignment. This is just as true for traditional classes as it is for accredited online courses.

Good Study Habits
It will help you in your college career to develop good study habits. The first thing you need to do is take responsibility for your actions. You are the only one who can decide your priorities and how to use your time and resources.
Don't allow yourself to become distracted by friends and fellow students. Keep in mind the bigger picture. Know what you have to do and when it needs to be done. Keep your goals in mind. Don't let other people influence you into not doing your work.

Figure out your most productive times of the day. If you study best in the morning, plan to study your hardest subjects first. If you have trouble concentrating at a certain time, don't get out your hardest subjects or your most complex project.
If you do not understand the course material, try some innovative ways to learn it. Don't just keep rereading the material in hopes that you will eventually understand it. Ask your instructor for help. If your school has study sessions and peer tutors, take advantage of these offerings. Set up study groups within your class.

When you put your best effort in your work, then you have succeeded. If you are satisfied with what you have done and know that you have done your best, then your grade is the icing on the cake. Always give your best in the classroom and in study sessions. By doing so, you will know that you have tried.

For more information, go to...
http://www.studytips.org/goodstudyhabits.htm

Friday, September 9, 2011

Killing yourself is NEVER an option!

Killing yourself is NEVER an option! That's what my daughter said to me when I told her about the headlines in the papers last nite (some papers arrive at night, yes they do. That sounded so right and she said she learnt it from Sunday School. Wow!

It really is sad! Yet another two people killed themselves I hear because of money problems. So where does it put us? The public reading it aloud with gasps, with our own loud comments and opinions. How does it make us feel? Personally it's so sad, that people feel they have no choice, they have no way to find that extra money to live a decent life or even to eat. When there are extra food we throw away, where even dogs and cats have plenty to eat from leftovers. So what makes "them" decide to take their own lives? Are we as a society so indifferent, so numb to our neighbour's cries for help? It makes me shudder to think that while we who have jobs and money are thinking how to make more money, how to gather more material things..how to get further up our careers, how we step over others along the way to get what we want...when there are people around us who are in need.

Then there are cases of people who take their own lives over a love lost, over failed exams, over bitter quarrels or even fights! And sadly, many of these are our young ones. More sad when the person kills others before killing themselves to bring attention to their cause.

Yes, sometimes we read about caring individuals who donate and help with soup kitchens, who open their homes, their wallets and hearts to help those in need. But I guess that is now not enough...as long as there are people who feel they are so alone, that no one cares, that no one can help them, that they have no one to talk to, to turn to...what else is there to live for, we have ROLES to play.

I salute the Bill Gates and Melinda Foundation which gives back to society through providing educational support and monetary means to their own citizens and abroad. I salute the billionaires who pledge to donate their wealth to society before they die. What magnamous people! But we don't have to be millionaires to do something. We can all do something for eg. by not closing our eyes to child abuse or any form of domestic violence...there are avenues of support for everyone, but maybe we should advertise more...

Killing yourself or death is NEVER an option. Killing your loved ones to lessen the burden or fearing for their future is also NEVER an option. We must do more. We must educate people that there are options to LIVE. We must all open our eyes, ears and hearts to those in NEED. Let us not read about these sad stories in the papers. Let us help one another. For those in need of help, please, please get help..HELP is just round the corner...do not take your own lives! There is nothing we cannot solve together, and there is no one as worthy as yourself to sacrifice yourself for!

Let us make sure our younger generation understand that there are other options if they face failure...that success comes from failure, that there will be a better future, that help will come...but for some, it is too little too late.
Let us do our bit before we leave this world.
As someone said: "We only pass this way but once, whatever good we can do,
let us do it now".

I also take this opportunity to remember all the victims and heroes of 911, tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. May God Bless them all.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

WELCOME TO THE 21st CENTURY where everything...

Hope u’ll enjoy this light-hearted mail I received today &
realize how true it’s for us to be in this 21st century. Speechless!

Communication - Wireless
Phones-Cordless
Cooking-Fireless
Food-Fatless
Sweets-Sugarless
Labour-Effortless
Relations-Fruitless
Attitude-Careless
Feelings-Heartless
Politics-Shameless
Education-Worthless
Mistakes-Countless
COMPLAINTS-Baseless
Youth-Jobless
Ladies-Topless
Boss-Brainless
Jobs-Thankless
Needs-Endless
Situation-Hopeless
Salaries-Less & Less
BRAIN - USE LESS

Sounds familiar right. So wither art thou?

THE OLD FISHERMAN ...a story you have to read and share...

This story is just too good to keep to myself...

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore . We lived downstairs & rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the Clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. 'Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old,' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.
But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red & raw. Yet, his voice was pleasant as he said,'Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, & there's no bus 'till morning.'

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments...'
For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me, 'I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.' I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch. I went inside & finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. 'No thank you. I have plenty' And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an over sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children & her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He was thankful for the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, & the little man was out on the porch.
He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, 'Could I please come back & stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.' He paused a moment & then added, 'Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.' I told him he was welcome to come again.

And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish & a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice & fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., & I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.
In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish & oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these & knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. 'Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!'
Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice But, oh if only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint & the good with gratitude..

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, 'If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!'
My friend changed my mind. 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, 'and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.'

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. There's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. 'He won't mind starting in this small body.'
All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand..

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'

Friends are very special. They make you smile & encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear & they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care.
Pass this on, & brighten someone's day.

Nothing will happen if you do not decide to pass it along.
The only thing that will happen if you do pass it on is that someone might smile because of you ! Never look down on anybody, unless you're helping them up.

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
WISHING YOU LOVE IN YOUR HEART...PEACE IN YOUR SOUL..AND JOY IN YOUR LIFE.....ALWAYS...

Friday, September 2, 2011

This is the latest in medicine, effective for cancer!

Got this in my email...don't know much about it..but its worth a try.

From the Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Charles Street Baltimore , MD 1201.
Read carefully & you be the judge.

Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells. It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.
Why do we not know about that? Because there are laboratories interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge profits. You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon juice is beneficial in preventing the disease. Its taste is pleasant and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy. How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so as not to jeopardize the beneficial multimillionaires large corporations? As you know, the lemon tree is known for its varieties of lemons and limes.
You can eat the fruit in different ways: you can eat the pulp, juice press, prepare drinks, sorbets, pastries, etc... It is credited with many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on cysts and tumors. This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types. Some say it is very useful in all variants of cancer. It is considered also as an anti microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders.
The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world, says that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that: It destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas. The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better than the product Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world, slowing the growth of cancer cells. And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect healthy cells.

Institute of Health Sciences, 819 N. L.L.C. Cause Street, Baltimore, MD1201


Some of the most beautiful things in the world...

We often wonder at the wonderful things around and amrvel at their beauty. I came across such beauty in one of the emails forwarded to me and am pleased to share with you all the following. I am sure it will make your day just as they have mine. Enjoy!


One of the most beautiful horses in the world is
the Arabian.



One of the most beautiful bridges in the world is in
Japan ..



One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world is
Niagara Falls in the U..S. and Canada




The most beautiful eyes in the world
belong to this little girl from Afghanistan




One of the most beautiful little girls in the world
is Fatima from Morocco




One of the most beautiful cities in the world is
Vancouver, Canada.



One of the most beautiful houses in the world is in Barcelona , Spain owned by the famous footballer, Ronaldhino.




Hope you enjoyed watching them as I have. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who says "books are outdated...just read online?



Bookfest Malaysia 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Jalan Ampang, KL City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur. (http://www.bookfestmalaysia.com

Bookworms, here's your chance to grab some new titles and bargains.Touted as one of the largest book fairs in the region, the annual BookFest Malaysia is back again, this time showcasing leading publishers from the UK, US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. The fair will also feature modern and innovative stationary products for school students and working adults. For further info,visit - http://www.timeoutkl.com/books/events/Bookfest-Malaysia-2011

Sales have been good and contrary to what some may say, reading books is still a favourite past time. Some would say you could download some e-books and read at your on leisure but it still woudnt be the same..of course one could read it with the help of a e-reader or i-Pad. But nothing beats curling up on a sofa, lounge cahir, bed..with a good book, imagine doing that with the hard laptop or i-Pad..how to lie down and read at ease.

So whoever said don't buy anymore books is knocking it too far.
We should encourage reading in various forms and media. Online e-books/journals...hard cover books, magazines, ...all contribute towards a knowledgeable society. Can one really do away with books in the future? I don't know...it will be a pity..what will happen to the bookshops and libraries? I was watching the news this morning and there was a piece about Nottinghill, the Travel Bookshop closing down and there are some folks planning to keep it open. Good luck. Imagine the future existence of libraries in universities and everywhere else...I hope no matter how advanced we become, we will still keep the simple pleasures of reading in a quiet library somewhere in the picture in the future.

I enjoy a book or two every evening especially before I go to bed...I can't do without it, can you?









Happy Merdeka Raya...31 August 2011


Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! 3 times! We all think that Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted 3 times but in actual fact he said it 7 times! yes, so lest you forget here's some write-up on the event. Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is the national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957, celebrated on August 31 each year. In a wider context, it is to celebrate the formation of Malaysia.


The effort for independence was spearheaded by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya in negotiations with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. Once it became increasingly clear that the Communist threat posed during the Malayan Emergency was petering out, agreement was reached on February 8, 1956, for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. However, for a number of logistical and administrative reasons, it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would only be made the next year, on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur.

On the night of August 30, 1957, crowds gathered at the Royal Selangor Club Padang in Kuala Lumpur to witness the handover of power from the British. Prime Minister-designate Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived at 11:58 pm and joined members of the Alliance Party's youth divisions in observing two minutes of darkness.[2] On the stroke of midnight, the lights were switched back on, and the Union Flag in the square was lowered.[3] The new Flag of Malaya was raised as the national anthem Negaraku was played. This was followed by seven chants of 'Merdeka' by the crowd.Tunku Abdul Rahman gave a speech hailing the ceremony as "greatest moment in the life of the Malayan people".


Tunku Abdul Rahman announcing the independence of Malaya from the British on August 31, 1957 at the Merdeka StadiumOn the morning of Saturday, August 31, 1957, the festivities moved to the newly-completed Merdeka Stadium. More than 20,000 people witnessed the ceremony, which began at 9:30 am. Those in attendance included rulers of the Malay states, foreign dignitaries, members of the federal cabinet and citizens.[4] The Queen's representative, the Duke of Gloucester presented Tunku Abdul Rahman with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the Proclamation of Independence, which culminated in the chanting of 'Merdeka' seven times with the crowd joining in. The ceremony continued with the raising of the National Flag of Malaya accompanied by the national anthem being played and a 21-gun salute, followed by an azan call and a thanksgiving prayer in honor of this great occasion.

The formation of Malaysia.
The Federation of Malaysia, comprising the States of Malaya, North Borneo (later renamed Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore was to be officially declared on the date August 31, 1963, on the 6th anniversary of Malayan independence. However, it was postponed to September 16, 1963, mainly due to Indonesian and the Philippines' opposition to the formation of Malaysia. Nevertheless, North Borneo and Singapore declared sovereignty on August 31, 1963. Indonesian opposition later escalated to a military conflict. Indonesia considered Malaysia as a new form of colonization on the provinces of Sarawak and Sabah in the island of Borneo (bordering Kalimantan, Indonesia), which they laid claim on. To assure Indonesia that Malaysia was not a form of neo-colonialism, a referendum, organized by the United Nations, and the Cobbold Commission, led by Lord Cobbold, were formed to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak wished to join Malaysia. Their eventual findings which indicated substantial support for Malaysia among the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, cleared the way for the final proclamation of Malaysia.

The formation of the Federation of Malaysia was then announced on September 16, 1963 as Malaysia Day. The nationwide Independence Day celebration is still held on August 31, the original independence date of Malaya, while Malaysia Day is a public holiday only in East Malaysia. However, this has caused some minor discontent among East Malaysians in particular since it has been argued that celebrating the national day on August 31 is too Malaya-centric.In 2009, it was decided that starting 2010, Malaysia Day would be a nationwide public holiday on September 16 in addition to Hari Merdeka on August 31.(wikipedia.com)
This year's theme for Merdeka Day is:
1 Malaysia, Transformasi Berjaya, Rakyat Sejahtera
(1 Malaysia, Transformation Success, People Peace)

So since today we are celebrating Hari Raya, and tomorrow Hari Merdeka, the following day is also a Raya holiday, here's wishing everyone Selamat Menyambut Merdeka Raya, ya ya.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to make your child a future millionaire?

After reading this article, thought I'd share it... I don't know about you but I sure would like my kids to become future millionaires...albeit responsible ones.

The Edge Malaysia
By Celine Tan of the edgemalaysia.com | The Edge – Mon, Mar 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: Your child's wealth can be your financial success story. If you have failed in your quest to become a millionaire, it doesn't mean that your child should too. Time is on his side and all it takes is for you to start things rolling. Here, parents and financial practitioners relate how you can put your child on the millionaire's path.

Tell them why

While many parents want their children to be wealthy, one fear they all have is that the little ones may grow up to be too materialistic. “There is nothing wrong in ‘being rich'. Teach your children the ‘concept' of being wealthy, which is more important than being wealthy itself,” says C T Lim, senior partner of IPPFA Sdn Bhd, a Capital Markets Services Licence holder for financial planning with the Securities Commission.

“Explain to them the purpose of making good money. For example, I always explain to my three kids that although their mother is educated and we can afford to hire a servant, she chooses to devote all her time to their needs; and for this to happen, I have be the sole breadwinner of the family.”

Tell your child that money is not evil but it is an enabler, says Brandon Liew, CEO of Moneytree (M) Sdn Bhd, a company that coaches children and youth about money, investing and entrepreneurship.

“Make it clear that money is not everything, but almost everything needs money. Once you have set the right foundation and the values are in place, it is unlikely that your children will pursue material things.”

Create opportunities for them to earn

A million-ringgit gift to your child may sound impossible. But it is very much within reach, says Ong Shi Jie, head of wealth management of OCBC Bank (M) Bhd. “A monthly contribution of about RM300, made diligently from the time your child is born until he turns 18, and then left untouched until his retirement at 55, will hit the million-ringgit mark [assuming returns of 6% pa].”

But, is “giving” the right way to help your children? Ong takes a leaf from personal finance book, The Millionaire Next Door, in which Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko show readers how to become millionaires: “Built on years of research, it profiles people who have already become millionaires. Their research indicates that most millionaires were supported financially by their parents and ‘the more dollars adult children receive from their parents, the fewer they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars, accumulate more',” says Ong.

However, don't give them the money without asking them to do anything. “Or else, the level of appreciation is nominal. You don't want your child to have the perception that ‘no matter what, I will have my mum/dad to fall back on to help me out,” says Liew. “Create opportunities for your child to earn the money.

The plans can be tied to their academic achievements or other milestones. When you make them earn the money, the level of responsibility is far higher. This gives them a clear mindset that they have to ‘do something' to achieve the million-ringgit goal.”

Teach them millionaire habits

Planning financially for your children is not sufficient, you need to teach them some financial ground rules. “they also need to be equipped with the skills to save and grow the money,” says Liew. “Instil the knowledge and money habits so that they can responsibly handle any money you hand over. This will also give you peace of mind.”

It helps to understand the habits of millionaires and inculcate them in your children. “Teach them simplicity and frugality,” says Lim. “The focus should be how to manage money as a limited resource.”

Encourage them to follow their passion

While it is many a parent's wish to have their children graduate with a law or medical degree it is important that you do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole. “Don't quash their harebrained ideas, lest you stunt their budding creativity,” says Ong.

“While I'm not recommending that your child drop out of school and throw his textbooks out the window, nurture his strongest talent and encourage activities that make him happiest. After all, it is their passion that drives it. Whether it will help them arrive at being a billionaire, as most entrepreneurs will tell you, will be a combination of a multitude of factors.”

Your child will never be a millionaire if you force him into something he's not interested in. If you think that your child's passion won't pay, says Lim, help to turn it into a moneymaking idea. His daughter loves animals and her ambition is to be a veterinarian. “As the prospects for veterinarians are uncertain and I don't want to ‘kill' her passion, I encourage her to pursue her passion and give her suggestions on how to turn her ambition into a business. I gave her the idea of building a pet cemetery behind her future veterinarian clinic, which I feel has far greater prospects, and she likes it.”

Getting third-party help

You may be capable of teaching your child about money. “But, can you guarantee that your child is going to learn everything that you teach?” says Liew. “Teaching your child financial literacy doesn't happen in isolation. No matter how hard you try, you cannot provide the group dynamics needed as a part of learning. They need peer pressure to compete among and measure themselves. This is where programmes like financial literacy are important.”

Walk the talk

Children learn by imitating. Thus, it is vital that you watch your own money habits. “Be conscious of your simple everyday actions. For instance, if you use a credit card to make payments, make sure you explain how it works. Educate your child on the connection between plastic cards and real money. Otherwise, your child could misunderstand that the credit card is a tool to easily get things that he wants,” says Liew.

Make sure you are financially independent. Gone are the times when parents raised their children with the aspiration that they would grow into successful adults who would be able to take care of their parents. “The cost of living is going up at a tremendous pace,” says Liew.

“At the end of the day, your children will have their own expenses and families. To avoid being a burden to your children, plan for yourself financially.” This means that you must be on a sound financial footing, says Ong, with adequate insurance coverage, no credit-card balances or high-rate debts and are well on your way to saving for your own retirement.

By taking care of your own retirement needs, it can speed up your children's financial well-being.

Give them a good jump-start

Planning for your child education's funding is important. “Having a plan that helps your children pay their education fees can possibly be one of the best jump-starts. This could at least relieve them of the burden of having to repay their study loans and thus kick-start their personal savings plan as soon as they start their career,” says Lim.

The right amount to contribute should be based on your capacity. If the money you have set aside for them is insufficient, Ong proposes that you “have an open conversation with them. Start talking about the importance of saving money with your children, even when you don't have enough of it. Do not be afraid to share with them these difficulties and be transparent with them on making lifestyle adjustments in order to cope.”

So...start now...talk to your kids now...

Latest on hurricane Irene...


My prayers go out to all who live along the coast from NC, NY, NJ, MD, VA to PA.
Stay safe. It will all come to pass.

For updates on Hurricane Irene visit this website.
Matt Daniel will keep you informed.

http://earthsky.org/earth/large-powerful-irene-approaches-north-carolina?gclid=CKvKiKLk8aoCFcEa6wodfidyPQ