Monday, March 30, 2015

Lao Ma gone


2007 was my first year here, Steve was driving 4 hours to Kansas City. He was trying to pass some other cars, and I said to his car, "Fei Ma (Flying Horse), faster, faster." So, it got a name - Fei Ma.

For the last two years, Fei Ma had a problem sometimes - it wouldn't start. Steve said it is became Lao Ma (Old Horse), and thinking to trade it. However, Steve always delays things.
Lao Ma died peacefully last Sunday night in the garage at home. The cause - anti freeze in the oil and no compression in the cylinders.

Steve decided to donate Lao Ma to PBS. It will likely become a parts donor, extending the lives of many other cars.
So, today I passed the key to the tow truck driver, and said to Lao Ma; "Goodbye!"


I felt sad when I saw it was gone.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tip


由於馬來西亞人的風氣,上餐館,大多數人都很少償付小費,即使有,一般也是留下找回的硬幣如果是付現款。如果用信用卡付款,那連一個硬幣都沒了,只有少部分豪客才會拿出錢鈔另付小費。
第一次我帶 Steve 到檳城某俱樂部的餐廳用餐,帳單RM30左右,他用RM50付,服務員找回錢,他拿完所有的錢,然後抽出RM10放在桌上當小費,我看到年輕的服務員對另一位中年的服務員張開'哇'的口。
當時我以為,他第一次來見女朋友,當然要顯得豪氣一點吧!

我來到美國,才知道上餐館都要給小費,一般15%,若你滿意服務員,就多給。有些帳單上還印有算好15%,18%,20%的小費錢額,以方便客人。我們兩人用餐大多不超過$25,有時少過$20,Steve 多數都是給$5或$6,約20%以上的小費,若遇到很好的服務員,如 refill 免費的麵包(圖片),再送多兩次的麵包。他給的小費更多,如$8,就是30%以上了。餐費是可以加小費一起用信用卡付款。是的,有些餐館有送免費的麵包,吃不完,打包,我們很喜歡這類餐館。
開始時,我說為何給這麼多小費?他說以前他每次看他父親都給小費很多(good tip)。我看他對父親的讚言,一定是父親的慷慨影響了他。我也漸漸欣賞 Steve 的慷慨了。

還有理髮、美容、送快餐、坐的士,都要給小費。
我們去旅遊住旅館,每天 Steve 都放$2給清理房間小費。雖然不是很多錢,但我想他是要那清理員拿到時至少心情會好一點。


Sunday, March 22, 2015

善念行


當我們走進這餐廳時,看到這些一張張捐助人的貼紙,是捐助給本地的貧困家庭。
我們用完餐後付款,我問清楚是捐至那個團體,也做小小的捐助,並對那職員說設有這種善舉很好。


在此我想起一個20多年前的故事。那時在檳城的一家公司上班,有一陣子,不時有一位老伯推門進來向我們討錢。開始幾次,各有同事給他錢。但多次後,有時沒人理他,他走時,還會生氣,駡人吝嗇。
有一次,老伯又進來了,剛好有位銷售經理在公司,第一次碰上老伯向他討錢,就給他錢了。
老伯走出去後,一位同事就對經理說: 這老伯住在XX,有家人的。你不要理他講的,不用給他錢。
我覺得這同事不該如此,就對他說: 人家做好事,你怎麼要阻止。
他反頂回我: 那你又不給他錢?
我一向表達能力差,沒有辯白,只是沉默。

現在寫寫我心中的想法:
不要太相信別人說某人某慈善組織怎樣怎樣的話,他不是那個人本身,他怎能了解實相呢?如果當下善心生起,能給/捐助就行動。在這一念間,就是善因。
也許自己所給/捐助的某人或某慈善組織,騙了你或沒善用在真正的需要,那是他們做的因。不會抵消你會得的善果。
如果相信有因有果,就不要浪費時間去懷疑,當下有善的念頭,就要付諸於行動。
最究竟,其實沒有你、我、它(錢)。


Thursday, March 19, 2015

My pottery pieces


I signed up for a 6 class pottery session.
First, we made pottery by hand, then put them in the 'Greenware' area to dry. They need to dry for at least a week, then they go for firing.


After fired, they are ready to glaze.


The teacher advised me not to put on too much paint, or it would cover the lines of the design.
Then they go for firing again.


The third class, we used the wheel.


 Let them dry for a week. 


I made one bowl each for 2 classes.


After they dried, then trim and shape the bottom of the bowl, and let them dry again for a week before firing.
We learn to carve a stamp in the last class.


This little plate, made by hand, was glazed with two colors. There are different types of glazes if the potteries are for food.  
It ready for firing, but it was the end of the session, so I need to wait until the next session to see the plate and bowls again.


So far, the two vases are done.
It's supposed to be green, but looks like it a little blue was mixed in.
I painted too thin; it didn't have enough green glaze.


I made the hanging vase on the left, inspired by this heart shaped vase I bought several years ago.  I drew the outline and center heart line on paper. The teacher wanted us to search a design to do in the second class, so I took the paper to the class.
When I showed the design to the teacher, and described the center hole, she said I didn't have the skill to do it yet. 
  

I came up with this design instead. That's fine.


Every pottery piece will have the artist's signature. 
I am not an artist, yet. Haha.. I think the signature does not have value, yet. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

雪路


駕車去慈濟的新春祝福聚會(2月28日),路上開始飄下細細雪花。
新春祝福的傳燈,與往年一樣。


不是特意拍會後的茶點,而是要你看看一位華人的美國丈夫,他們一對穿著象徵華人的衣裳,很出眾。


雪一直下著,我不想久留了。出來時,我的飛龍已被雪蓋著,幸好車內備有小剷刷。


我第一次駕駛在雪路上,格外醒目,路會滑,每輛車都開得很慢,保持距離。


第一年在美國,我看到雪很興奮。如今,不興奮了。


Friday, February 27, 2015

2.27.2015 Friday


冰柱掛在我們的屋頂
February 27th, this morning was 5F, a very cold day but it is bright. 


Steve and I were out for an event. 


We had our lunch celebration at TGI Fridays.
What a wonderful Friday.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

撈生


一位香港人朋友邀我們到她家新年聚餐,要我做新年吃的菜餚。
我想了想,什麼食物比較代表性呢?
終於,決定做七彩素魚生。
不知什麼時候開始,馬來西亞的華人在新年盛行起撈生這道菜餚?


女主人是香港人,她不知道撈生這一道菜餚。
對著她及所有她的洋人朋友,我要如何解釋什麼是撈生的意思呢?



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cyclamen '仙客來'報春


"仙客來屬再次被列入報春花科中。
Cyclamen的音譯,由於音譯巧妙,使得花名有“仙客翩翩而至”的寓意。"
它的花梗頂端彎曲,花瓣展開就會卷上。很別緻。
花有白、淡粉、红或紫色。
葉片為心形。


仙客翩翩起舞來向大家報春賀喜!
祝各位神彩飛羊!

除夕我沒吃我喜歡的火鍋,因為Steve不吃我的食物,我一個人吃又沒什麼意思。所以就像平常各吃各的小點。


年初一,朋友約到她家聚餐。她是中國人,很會做餃子。


素餃子


肉餃子


八寶粥


年糕


大吉大利


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Green pea cookies


Green pea cookies are a Malaysian Chinese New Year cookie.
The texture is very soft and the cookie melts in the mouth.
We made them early for Valentine's Day.
Melt hearts.


My Valentine's Day flowers - Cyclamen 仙客來


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hyacinth in vase


I didn't know that hyacinth can grow in water until I saw the store selling them. 
It just had buds when I bought it. It is growing and taller, and after 2 weeks, the flowers are blooming.


So nice that we can enjoy the hyacinth fragrance for weeks.

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