TGI Friday. Maybe.

1) The Fall of Christmas, by The Very Worst Missionary. She does mission trips, writes in a way I can only wish I did……. and was once a teen mum.

“…… I learned a long time ago to hold loosely to the things of this world, possessions and people both, to the degree that I honestly worry it’s too easy for me to let go of the things I love….. For me, it’s easier to pretend not to be sad than to be sad…”

It fell over. Literally, metaphorically...

It fell over. Literally, metaphorically…

“…Jesus didn’t come to fix it all.  He came to be with us in it all.”



2) An Ebola Doctor’s Return From The Edge Of Death. (He HOPED he had Malaria…) 

In my former life I used to consider mission trips a good way to “detox,” between bank jobs. (As in, being in a place with people less fortunate than yourself – the real ones, not the ones who pretend to be – makes you feel rather ashamed of most of the stuff you whine about every day in your part of the world. Figured it was very good perspective-management before commencing a new job, a new chapter.) Yet even then, those in my mind were of the help-in-orphanage or help-teach-English sort in China or Vietnam. (Having to start new jobs, or finding myself pregnant got in the way – I have never been on a mission trip; and The Purpose Driven Life then gave me the idea my calling might be elsewhere. You know how your experiences, especially the tough ones, are meant as Refiner’s Fire to prepare you for what He plans for you…?)

What I can barely fathom is the incredible selflessness of health workers, doctors who, instead of a cushy private practice choose to risk their lives in areas of specialization like infectious diseases. (Ditto the SARS health workers, when I finally stumbled upon their memorial in a beautifully peaceful part of Hong Kong park.) Many of them have worked hard, gone to school way longer than I have – only to come out and have a bright future of their choosing – risking their lives for others.

What kind of people must they be? 

Dr Ian Crozier

Dr Ian Crozier

““Anyone who was on the ground in Africa and not in West Africa, you would think, maybe we’re missing the bus, missing something remarkable.” …………“And my skills meet the need.”…..”

“…….Dr. Crozier signed on with the World Health Organization — expenses only, no pay………”

“……there were warning signs early on that Dr. Crozier might become severely ill. The viral load in his blood was extremely high, more than 100 times that of the other patients Emory had treated.”

Even as he surprised everyone and recovered, ”…“I thought we’d be discharging him to a nursing home as a cognitively impaired person,” said Dr. Colleen Kraft, one of his doctors….”

Guess what he did next? Yup.

“There’s still a great deal left to be done,” he said.



3) Things You Believed In Your 20s That Just Aren’t True


Could be here solely for #3: Being Good At School Means You’ll Be Good At Work.  In other words, a good student does not a good professional/ worker make. Very true on oh-so-many levels and the reason I care oh-so-much about the Rockstars’ character and social development. You need some academics sure, but people skills are hugely under-rated compared to academics, I believe.

And yet… #5 – (Not) everyone has to like you. Painfully and sadly true. I wanted so badly to be liked, to have lots and lots of friends growing up. Then I grew up and learned that my RMs will infinitely forgive me not going out drinking with them if I still made them and their clients money. One of the biggest privileges I came to value about being good at one’s job (former. Job.) is the prerogative to say no to getting drunk or whatever, to make my RMs like me. (Oh, and I have some really good “foul-weather friends” – everyone reschedules and reschedules around work (and now kids) and we can don’t see each other for months. Maybe even years, especially for those in different cities. But if you’re in trouble, i.e. the weather is “foul” – that’s when their schedule is wide open. I hope I’m a few people’s “foul-weather friend” too.)

Oh, and one more: #8: Competition is more important than collaboration. Yeah I really consider this one so not true. This is one thing I learned from 3 bank mergers (I don’t want to use the word “surviving” because it gives the impression you don’t get slapped around. You still do. (And how.) But in the office people all have to work with someone. That can be you, or that can be your so-called competitor. I would think you’d prefer it to be you. So always be the best you can be, the nicest you can be……. without people taking kindness for weakness. Nope, not an easy balance. But loyalty is under-rated. I had one very much respected yet no-nonsense boss (who btw quit the investment banking market for 4 years to have 2 kids – who went on to top and almost-top the Hong Kong public secondary school exams) who chose loyalty over sheer ability/ ambition (but of course you need some ability and ambition).



4) OK too many words. So let’s do Vet Makes Wheelchair For Disabled Tortoise Out Of Son’s Lego.

'Nuff said.

‘Nuff said.

SO simple - tortoise has weakened legs due to growth disease

SO simple – tortoise has weakened legs due to growth disease



5) Another creative one: Graphic Artist And His 2D Painted As 3D Creations. This is kinda fun – Rockstar’s been doing 2D vs 3D in school for math…


Rockstar would say the difference between 2D and 3D is volume. Ergo, how you paint this stuff theoretically is by faking volume in the 2D picture. But really why it’s here is because this painter has never had art lessons, and he left school at 15. I think everyone is capable of anything – you just really need to want to do it…”

(Of course, you have to find something you want to do…)



6) This week The Rockstars star in Sometimes It’s Just Really Hard To Get One’s Baby Sister Out Of The Coffee Table.

"Maybe if I used a 'Bis-kit'?"

Like so…

"Maybe if I used a 'Bis-kit'?"

“Maybe if I used a ‘Bis-kit’?”

(Don't you know it...!)

(Don’t you know it…!) 

Gonna shoot this out quickly; the kids are taking turns at being sick – Rockstar had a blocked sinus that led to infected tear ducts (not very contagious because it’s a mostly internal infection) and had to be out of school to see the doctor – which is relatively rare, for a child who tries not to touch his face with his hands to cut down the chance of being sick… And now the Miss has a cough that keeps her up at night…

Good weekend dears. Will write again when I’m conscious coherent soon. I hope. 

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Little Miss-Speak #33 – Yet More Attitude Problems


The Miss has been going through a phase of making demands, changing her mind back and forth, and – predictably – having meltdowns… After one such…..

Rockstar: See now, wasn’t that silly (to throw another full-blown tantrum)? Don’t you feel silly now?

Miss: No. Feel happy.

Found this picture and somehow it seemed appropriate...

“Make your shopping easier” – by popping the toddler in the cart (you hope)

She brought the rabbit for a spin before setting him down. No, we didn’t get him though I wouldn’t have minded because this: -


I believe the term is "guilt-free shopping"

I believe the term is “guilt-free shopping”

We did get a soft toy dragon for JD to “kill” though, with satisfyingly flail-y limbs and tail and wings :)   

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Some Recent Christmassy Things (At least, I call them Christmassy)

So ’tis nearly the season, and I try to look for interesting things online and in the few stores I’m able to frequent with little kids or a dog to entertain, because we have a child whose birthday is very close to Christmas. Other parents have used the phrase “poor thing” to describe this, because then the child only gets one celebration/ set of presents.

But wait, there’s more – I loathe event organizing or hosting parties (Death By RSVP List Management) and much prefer to do say, a good loot bag sourcing or little thoughtful inedible treats (also loathe baking because if it’s any good there’s never enough, and if it’s bad then WHO is going to eat it, and btw while we are not a sweets family this has taken an even more extreme turn – our helper has even eschewed “real” food after her friends taught her to imbibe Spirulina and protein shakes mixed with Evian before I convinced her it doesn’t have to be boutique mineral water - for weight loss.)

SO, 1) DIY Personalized Minecraft Bookmarks/ Gifttags:

Why? If you have a Minecraft-fan child, you’ll know that anything officially Mojang-licensed is really expensive (as in, not-Mojang for the same is going to be way cheaper – and yes there’s a marketing case study).

So, this is made from officially licensed wrapping paper. When I started looking for stuff  couple months back I couldn’t even find anyone shipping the paper to HK. Another mummy who bulk-ordered Minecraft dolls for her son’s birthday party (and that literally is the only plush toy Rockstar has ever liked) pointed me to another site and that’s where I found the wrapping paper, shipping to HK for free. Cutting up half the HKD 150 piece of paper already makes enough for 48 bookmarks. HKD 75 for 48 Minecraft diamond ore bookmarks.

photo 1-94 photo 2-90 photo 3-67   photo 4-51

What? I said I don't bake...!

Inspired by The Diamond Minecart, geddit? ;)

Then write your child’s friends’ names on the reverse, and……… I found a ma-and-pa shop for laminating the things with extra-large pieces of plastic… and a bulk discount. So, HKD 75/ 48 + HKD 3.60 lamination ~ HKD 5.20 per personalized Minecraft bookmark/ gift tag.

Much cheaper than the pretty gift tags or cards in the stores that say “Christmas” because you have to buy them during the season… Some elbow grease with the cutting and writing make it “Christmassy” for the effort – and it’s Minecraft-something!

(What? I said I don’t bake, right… My mum friends can swing some seriously intimidating baked goods, host parties, and special order from Korean grocers to pack school lunches, I can surely make bookmarks.)


2) Next up…. Living Dead Gingerbread Men. Say what?

Yes, really.

Yes, really. (And next to it, ugly sweater cookie kit).

No I didn’t buy them, but was thinking Wow They Killed Traditional Christmas Fast, With That One :D


3) The Ikea Christmas Tree Curtain

This is a PICTURE of a real Christmas Tree

This is a PICTURE of a real Christmas Tree. Yes they attached REAL ornaments to the fabric.

Think of all the space you’ll save…! :D


4) The only kind of acceptable child labor… Now, I really, really love the smell of a real tree, but it’s not like you can decorate something in your garden in Hong Kong (for most people anyway :). I felt increasingly guilty about buying a chopped-down imported tree for the smells and so we usually get a wreath and then we’ve been using the same Christmas tree from Indigo for a few years.

Which would be this.

Which would be this. Cameo by paper star from Ikea and crafty hanging done by the Rockstars which I just industrial-taped to the walls

(Oh, and I recommend getting the craft ornaments/ decorations from Bumps to Babes because (a) you keep the kids busy and (b) Christmas decorations. You guys know I have never been above child labor ;)


5) And going one step further than tree chopping, how about buying recycled wood ornaments (or the recycled driftwood Christmas tree even) from Tree?

Twinkle twinkle little starfish

Twinkle twinkle little starfish


And I get in trouble for not posting a pic of the kids so here goes:

Yo Ho Ho.

Yo Ho Ho.






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