Starting the Eighth Day

I’m eight days late for the New Year, and I find myself scrambling to fit in time for this blog. I have been sorely remiss.. So many stories untold, so many things I did not get to show you at all. Still, like I’ve told you all a hundred times before, when I am not blogging, I am just busy… ehrm… living. I suppose that’s all I can really say about it.

I promised myself last year that I will pay more attention to updating this blog and I apologize if I fell short on that promise. This year, however, I will renew that promise: I will make more of an effort to reflect and share what is on my mind. They may not all be good and happy things (which I have tried to focus on since I started writing on this blog almost seven years ago, well, six years, one month, and 21 days ago to be exact) but they will be honest, that much I can promise you. And while my world still revolves around my family, advocacies, and interests, I hope to share with you the new things I am learning each day. I am deeply grateful that my life has been significantly changed and blessed by the people I have met in the pursuit of these interests.

So Happy New Year to all my readers (all three of you, heehee), my friends (I have been blessed in this regard and have too many to mention in one breath), and the friends I hope to make this year!

HNY 2014


Kiong Hee Huat Tsai

Today is the first day of Chinese Year 4711, the year of the Water Snake. This year is said to be good for those born under my sign, though forecasts by various feng shui masters have got me worrying about my health. I think the forecasts are a few months late as my health problems started late last year. Still, their cautious warnings are good reminders that today is a good day to start doing something about it.

My young friend Joshua, of Kuya’s Notebook, has a great post about his preparations for the Chinese New year.  He recommends four simple things to get ready for the big day today. I’ve taken his advice and distilled my own personal preferences into them.

One, I don’t believe in fortune tellers so I only need to do three more things. 🙂

Two, I am trying to grow my hair longer so a haircut is unnecessary at this point. I do need a hair rinse later in the week to cover new gray hair. 🙂

Three, and Joshua and I are in agreeement about this, I’ve cleaned the house and upped the ante by doing heavy laundry (linens and comforters) ahead of the big day.CNY underwear copy

And four, I’ve shopped…

…For new underwear!

If there’s one tradition I’ve managed to keep throughout the years, it is to don new underwear on Chinese New Year’s Day. Luckily, I got really good ones on sale at the M&S Further Reductions sale (I am cheap, yes, I am!) and though they may not be red (very auspicious, red underwear), or polka-dotted (money luck, anyone?), or red and polka-dotted (!), they are just about the comfiest stretch underwear in the world! And mind you, they are NOT granny panties! See? (You won’t be seeing the size tag, of course!)

I wrote about my family’s Chinese New Year traditions here, years ago. Not a lot has changed since then, except that everyone has gotten older and busier. In this house, at least, we keep to our simple traditions, done with less pomp and less ceremony but with  more love and prayers. The latter, perhaps, more than anything, ensures the continuity of a family’s good luck and blessings.

Happy New Year, friends! Here’s to prosperity and God’s grace in the New Year!

CNY 2013 02 copy2


Most days, I run around the house like a headless chicken. When I find myself doing that, I take down a pen and a small journal and write, “I resolve to be calm and more introspective.” The next day, I find myself reading the words I wrote and asking myself, “Why did I write that? I don’t make resolutions anymore!”resolve copy

Some days, I find myself with absolutely nothing to say. I mean, how many times can I tell you what I do after the morning’s first cup of coffee? And I have, right? Told you all? Oh, yeah, as if you didn’t know I clean the bedrooms. Every single day.

Then, I take pen and paper again and write “I resolve to write even when I have nothing to say.” While I am tempted to go “Why did I write that?” again, sitting here and churning out words one after the other, I suddenly remember how good it feels to write and see thoughts form from mere words. So there. I guess you’re stuck with one resolution from me, after all.

Resolutions- they are so easy to make and even easier to break. But if there’s one thing I resolve to do, it is to keep at this blog, even on days when my life seems to be at a standstill. I know it will not be easy. Most of the time, my home is just like any other home, my life as common as any other. I don’t fly off at the spur of the moment. I don’t traipse around the world. But I live each day the best I can, with gratitude for each breath I take, as a homage to the One who created me. Perhaps, that is enough.

So as we settle into the daily routine of life, I commit to staying, to writing, to living. One word at a time. One day at a time.

Happy New 2013!

I’m three days late for the New Year but as they say, it’s the thought that counts!

HNY 2013 copy

Happy New Year, friends!

May this year bring us peace and joy, forgiveness and mercy, family and unity. May we be blessed by good health and good work. May each day be an opportunity to love each other and be kind to one another. God bless us all!



It’s 2011!!!

“May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.”

Happy New Year, friends!