December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

New Year 2008 Glitter Graphics from

I want to thank all my friends, old and new, who are regular readers of my blog. I value your opinions and comments and look forward to reading your thoughts as we move into 2008.

The nuns in my life

For most of my childhood to teenage years I have been surrounded by Sisters (nuns), seeing their familiar faces in their long white gowns and long white head-dresses. They were the ones who were taking care of me and my other siblings---mom had 8 children; 5 girls, 3 boys ... 6 of them born at the same Catholic hospital at the small village run by a Dutch nun. Unlike other mothers, after giving birth my mom trusted our care to the nuns at the hospital and visiting the baby once a week and took us home when we were already 2 years old.

Many of you may have been wondering and asked what kind of mother was she, and where on earth there's a maternity hospital that would house a baby until they were able to walk??? My parents had an explainable reasons for that. First off, they both run a coffee bean trading (buying from farmers and selling them to the bigger buyers), and since our house was used both for business and living, they were worried it would be bad for the baby's health. My mom then had a talk with Sister Joseph and was granted a privilege to leave her babies there. Of course mom had to pay for all of that but it was justifiable and she did not have to worry about us knowing that she had found the best child care provider in the world. The maternity hospital lies under the base of a mountain, next to that was a convent, an elementary school and a church. It was such a beautiful place.

My fondness memories of Sister Joseph (the Dutch nun) was her very fair complexion, her angelic smiles combined with the stern gentleness toward everyone. Being a small kid, I remember I had to look up to be able to see her face and she would lowering her head so she could hear me when I talked to her. Over the years, after we all grew up we always took time to visit her whenever we returned to our home town. Just seeing her wrinkled face, and her humble smile, afforded us the opportunity to recall some of the best memories of our childhood. Today, Sister Joseph is in heaven and my family will never forget how she touched our life.

Later I attended elementary school where Sister Lucia is my school principal. Sister Lucia was patient, kind and loving. She was at times quite stern keeping us in line but you could feel the love she gave each one of us. Then there's Sister Imelda, Sister Herma, and Sister Redempta. The last one I mentioned, Sister Redempta, is one of the Sisters I disliked because of one small incident. Back then the kids got their vaccination in school and I felt uncomfortable seeing the long needle going to my skin. So I ran away but Sister Redempta was able to catch me, and since I fought with all I could, she had a hard time giving the vaccination to me. So she asked the other teacher to hold me and sticked the needle on top of my thigh. Within a few seconds she was finished and let me go. Until today I still have that coin size circle on my left top thigh, courtesy of Sister Redempta...hehehe! On our recent trip to Sumatra, we had the chance to visit the elementary school and met Sister Redempta there. She was so happy to see her girls and could not stop laughing when I told her about that coin size scar!

When I finished my elementary school, like my older sisters, my mom decided that I had to stay in dormitory. The reason is because our Junior High School was far from home and it would tire me to travel back and forth. The school was across the dormitory, convent and a church (it was all a walking distant). I remember Sister Domenica, the head of the dormitory. She was a middle age nun and always demanded obedience and is remembered by everyone for that clicker. She was tough and would not compromise if you broke the regulations etc. In today's world she would have been considered a dictator but I learned about discipline and many other things from living under her dictatorship...LOL!

Our daily routine was to wake up at 4:30am sharp (she made sure the bell was loud enough for all of us to hear), then we would rush to the bathrooms, after we groomed ourselves we had to go to the church for a morning mass. That was at 6:00am sharp. Even if there was no morning mass we still had to go to church for rosary prayer. We had to recite Our Father and Hail Mary with the exact words, all of the beatitudes etc. and made sure you did not chat in between or tried to get some sleep because her eyes were so sharp like an eagle eyes. After church, we would head to the dining room and being a Catholic dormitory, again you had to say a prayer before you eat. Sometimes I tested Sister Domenica's patience by doing a cross sign as fast as I could. She was unhappy and asked me to come forward and in front of everybody I had to repeat how to do the cross sign. Of course, I did that perfectly knowing she's in front of me with her wicked eyes.

I created a lot of troubles that made her so mad and she grounded me for breaking the order. I was locked inside the book room because I skipped church and hid behind the book shelves, I was forced to eat the young jambu air when she caught me and my friends throwing the fruits with our slippers. I was grounded for buying snacks outside because we were not allow to buy foods from outside when food inside the dormitory was so untasteful. I was scolded for did not wearing a layer under my white skirt, gosh...she got so many excuses to give me a punishment. Well not only me, but a bunch of rebels that shared the same juvenile delinquencies like yours truly.

Looking back on it now, I realize how fortunate I was to spend my childhood and teenage years with them. I think of their kindness and compassion and I thank my parents for entrusting me to them. They truly were/are my other mothers in heart.
Late Sister Joseph
The nuns at the convent.
Sister Domenica and Elyani.
Xaverius Elementary School today
Teacher and her students (this lady is my eldest sister classmate).
Sister Redempta, the teachers and my eldest sister.
The church next to Xaverius Elementary School.
One of the alley in my dormitory.
The old well inside the dormitory.
Sister Lauren in charged for Kitchen during my dormitory school time.
The church next to the dormitory.
Xaverius Junior High School which is just across from the dormitory (back then the building was not this grand).

December 28, 2007

Lovely gifts

I have been very fortunate and received some lovely gifts today. Eka, my blogging friend from Bali, for no reason sent me a wonderful parcel. It was such a thrill to open the parcel and was another thing that brighten my day when I saw a beautiful Sunflower oil painting of a large size, which is beautifully framed too. Along with that she also sent me a set of place mats. She knows I have a fondness for arts, traditional crafts and anything that require handmade works. And being a good friend, she chose things that she knew I would love. And I do.

It is so exciting to connect with cyber-friends and Eka (a mom of two years old cute boy) has been a dear friend since I first discovered this blogging world earlier this year. Eka runs a home-based-Balinese-crafts business with a variety collection from women handbags, footwear, kidwear, and other knicks knacks. If you have not visited her blog, please go there right now and have a look here and here. Her place has a little of everything and at a grrrreat prices! (promosi ni ye...)

Despite being her regular client, we keep in touch and continue to share and support each other thru our blogs or text messages. And I love her for our friendship even more. I feel I have made a friend for life and wish I could meet her when I travel to Bali again someday!!! Thank you again my dear friend.

December 26, 2007

Pics from Kuntum Nursery

Just some pics I took during our family get together trip to Kuntum plant nursery.

Language of love

Hello everyone, how is it going? I have been celebrating Christmas at my eldest sister house in Bogor. My sister, E, already has family of her own and has one daughter who is in primary four now. My sis texted me if I would go to Bogor and she wanted to know if I am going to bake something for the family get together. My signature dish that I'll make whenever I have to bring something, is Schotel Macaroni and Swiss Roll Cake. While my sister specialty is sweet and spicy Pork Satay and Siew Mai.

We grew up in a family tradition where food was the language of love. There were eight of us; three boys and five girls. I was the fifth in the family having 2 older sisters and 2 older brothers. As we grew up a little, my mother, turned over the cooking duties to the girls. I didn't learn how to cook from my late mother, or from either of my siblings. Nonetheless, I was fascinated by food, challenging myself at the bit to make cookies or simple cake. In lieu of cooking lessons, my mother let me go thru her cooking/baking recipes and allowed me to try them. I remember trying to understand the instructions on her own handwritten yellow page meant. I still remember vividly how I used my youngest brother as an experiment by organizing a small party whenever his birthday came...hehehe! Over the years I bought dozen of cookbooks but my current favorite are recipes from cooks magazine. My eldest and youngest sister also learned the love and passion for cooking from my mother. It is not only what you put into a dish but a whole culture of cooking that made the dishes taste more special.

On Christmas Day, my eldest sister, her daughter (Van), my youngest brother and his son (Alex) went to Kuntum Nursery. Seeing my niece and nephew play with each other is something I cherish very much. Although they are over 6 years apart and still very young, they can share and really connect with each other. To me, the Christmas holiday is not about gifts giving. It's about spending happy times with close ones whether family or friends.

December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

To all my sweet blog readers, please allow me in wishing all of you a joy and peace this festive season and every health and happiness in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!
Joyeux Noël!
Feliz Navidad!
Buone Feste Natalizie!
Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Selamat Natal!

December 22, 2007

Hilarious things kids say about X'mas

This is hilarious! A recent survey revealed that one in three young adults had no idea that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Other religious blank spots included the role of the Archangel Gabriel, with more than a quarter having no idea that Gabriel brought God's message to Mary at her home in Nazareth to say that she would give birth to a son.

So what do Britain's youngsters really know about Christmas? Find out the answers given by four to nine-year-olds at four primary schools in Britain, quoted from the DailyMail.

What gifts did the three wise men bring?
Rashneet, six, from Broad Oak Primary School, Manchester:
"The wise men brought coconut oil which was made of coconut, some sweets and some gold."

Jay, five, from Broomhill Infant School, Bristol:
"The three wise men brought Jesus presents of gold, frankincense, smurr (sic) and silver. But I think he would have preferred wrestling toys."

Daniel, seven, from Stanfield Merchant Taylors' Junior School, Merseyside:
"I know for his birthday he got money and gold from the wise men but I would have given him a Liverpool kit."

William, seven, Merchant Taylors:
"I don't know what presents the wise men brought Jesus but a Lego set would have been better."

Ellie, five, Broomhill Infants:
"The three wise men brought Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh - no real presents. I feel sorry for him."

What animals were there when baby Jesus was born?
Matthew, six, Merchant Taylors:
"There were sheep, horses and a crocodile outside the stable."

Ruby, six, Broomhill Infants:
"At his birth there were oxens, a donkey, three camels, three birds-all white, and three cats-all black."

Valente, six, Merchant Taylors:
"There were camels, donkeys and cows around the stable and the wise men went to the manger to say hello to Jesus."

Who was the Angel Gabriel?
Erin, six, Broomhill Infants:
"The Angel Gabriel is a big white fairy. He helped Mary and Joseph look after the baby - kind of like a doctor."

Jay, five, Broomhill Infants:
"There was also an angel called Gabriel, whose favourite thing was to fly around all day."

Katherine, nine, from St James' Church of England Primary School, Weybridge, Surrey: "Gabriel was this herald angel. He was a boy but he's played by a girl in Christmas plays."

Who is Jesus?
Jay, five, Broomhill Infants:
"Jesus was a king and he wore a crown even though he was a baby. It was a really small crown."

Molly, six, Broomhill Infants:
"Jesus was a newborn king - but there were a lot of newborn kings so he wasn't the only one."

Zoe, six, Merchant Taylors:
"Jesus is really old and his birthday was on Christmas 2007 years ago."

Sara, seven, St James' Primary:
"Jesus is a mystery man."

Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Ellyshia, nine, St James' Primary:
"I am not really a Christian. I believe in unicorns and pixies."

Ben, seven, Broad Oak:
"We celebrate Christmas because Santa comes and gives us lots and lots of presents."

Where was Jesus born?
Charlotte, six, Merchant Taylors:
"A long way away from Liverpool."

Charlie, four, Broomhill Infants:
"He was born in a stable a long way away from here in another country. Bethlehem - it's in England."

Ellyshia, nine, St James' Primary:
"Jesus was born in a barn, a shed or barn anyway. Or it might have been a stable, one of the three."

What did the wise men follow to find the stable where Jesus was born?
Erin, six, Broomhill Infants: "They followed a star to find Jesus, it's a very special star, but I forgot the rest."

Who are his parents?
Charlie, four, Broomhill Infants:
"Jesus's mummy and daddy are called Jovis and Mary."

Archie, seven, St James' Primary:
"His parents were Mary and Joseph. That's easy because I was Joseph in the play."

December 21, 2007

Funny Q&A

Q: Who has more sense: men or women?
A: Women, of course. Have you ever seen a woman marry someone just because he had nice legs???

Q: What's the difference between biology and sociology?
A: When the baby looks like his dad or mom, it is a biology. When the baby looks like the neighbor, then it is sociology.

Q: Doctor: You look so weak & exhausted. Are you having 3 meals a day as I have advised?
A: Woman: Doctor, I thought you said 3 males a day.

Q: Is it common for older people to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem; retrieving it is a problem.

Q: How can you avoid spotting a wrinkle every time you walk by a mirror?
A: The next time you're in front of a mirror, take off your glasses.

Q: Where can women over the age of 50 find young, sexy men who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore under fiction.

Q: What did the Bee say when he returned to the hive?
A: “Honey, I’m Home!”

Q: What will happen to a wooden car with a wooden wheel and a wooden engine?
A: It wooden start.

Q: Why aren't you doing very well in history?
A: Because the teacher keeps asking about things that happened before I was born!

Q: Why is Christmas just like a day at the office?
A: Because you do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.

December 19, 2007

Natural Born Poser

One of my favorite pastimes is taking pictures of kids (my nieces/nephew) and pets (my late dog, Fatso, and now Suneo the cat). With digital photography I need not to worry if I want to take lots of shots, even though I might get just one or two good ones out of every few dozen taken. I didn't waste anything except my time and the battery...LOL!

A blast from the past

The above image is my late parents wedding invitation. I found it in one of photo album stored in a wooden drawer at our house in Lampung, Sumatra. This invitation is almost 50 years old now, printed in 1958 in a simple white stenciled paper. The wording on the invitation was written in an old style of Indonesian language. Here is the translation in English :

Mrs. Liem Soen Tiong (widow), requests the honour of your presence on Sunday, the 9th of March 1958 which falls on 20 Tjia Gwee (the 20th day of Chinese calendar), at the marriage of our 4th daughter :

Liem Kim Nio (Mally) and Thio Oen Tjoan

We kindly request a little bit of your valuable time to attend a small celebration at no. 30 Keradjinan Street (Gg. Sekolah Tukang) at 10.00am to 14.00pm---as of the customs that time, reception immediately following ceremony---. We sincerely thank you and look forward to your presence.

A little note to my non-Indonesian friends. In Indonesia if you were born to a Chinese descent family, it is a compulsory to have both Chinese name and Indonesian altogether in your personal documents. There are two kind of Chinese in Indonesia. The first, called "Cina Peranakan", who are locally born Chinese (like both of my parents and grandparents), they have mix-married with native Indonesians and speak Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Language). The other one are known as "Cina Totok", they are migrants who continue to speak Chinese, some able to speak a bit of Indonesian Language. Both categories as Chinese.

To me, I consider myself 100% Indonesian as I do not know how to speak Chinese and I have very little knowledge of Chinese culture. The only thing I appreciate highly from the Chinese are their hard working attitude and their culinary. Other than that I am truly an Indonesian.

December 16, 2007


Sorry it has been so long without an update. December, was an absolutely busy and exhausting month...literally time went by within a blink of my eyes. The expo was going really well. We did have great visitors and were able to sell out a lot of our products. This is the busiest and most productive expo in 2007 as our participation in another regions was a disappointment.

Expo means standing on your feet from 11am to 7pm with merely 15 minutes lunch break. But I must be at the booth early and leave after the visitors left. Our booth is always crowded as we did a direct selling for small items too and we brought in all the stocks that we have got in our office. I'd be lying if I said I am not getting tired as exhibitors. I have participated in expo since 1994, too long that I know almost every inches and corners of the halls by heart or meeting familiar old faces which are regular exhibitors like us. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go to work on the last day of expo as we have to pack and bring the balance stocks back to the office. With hundreds of various items, it certainly is not an easy task. I would not be lying, however, if I said I do feel a rush of excitement when the expo is over even though there are still a lot of paper works and follow up to do.

That is what expo is all about though, I guess, and I seem to enjoy doing it...

December 1, 2007

Going on hiatus

I am going to be busy with expo next week, so I will be unable to update this blog. Until then don't expect me on here for awhile. Thanks for visiting my place.

November 29, 2007

My nieces and nephew

I count it as a blessing to be an aunt to my two nieces and one nephew. They are awesome. I don't get to see them very often but I do think of them often and love them dearly. Spoiling my nieces/nephew is almost a sport for me. It stretches me when it comes to birthdays, but it's all fun for me.

Linds (11) is tall like her mom and has a pretty long hair. She is actually a bit taller than me and her shoes size is bigger than mine too! She is smart, sweet and so full of life. She is very athletic, she also loves music and she loves to "collect" soft toy animals in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including large cuddly tiger. Her dreams is that she will be able to communicate with all animals like Dr. Doolitle, a movie played by Eddy Murphy.

Van is nine and smaller in stature. She is very witty, sensitive and thoughtful. She loves to study, and knowing exactly what she is doing. Linds lives in Singapore and Van lives in Bogor (Indonesia) but whenever they do get together, they do have laughs and good time together. Children can be so damn funny, even when you don't want them to be. And it still is hard to believe the noise that two kids can make!!!LOL...

Then, my nephew Alex (the youngest of the bunch) who has just turned 2 yesterday (Nov 28) is a little cute monster, and he has the most gorgeous little face that you can't help but forgive him! I love my nieces and nephew to bits! They truly bless my life!