Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation, Malaysia

Friday, October 30, 2009

PhotoHunt - Bags

Every Monday is 'No Plastic Bags Day' in Penang. Over the course to reduce the consumption of plastic bags and encourage the use of eco grocery bags, a 20-sen charge per bag will be imposed on consumers by most major stores. Proceeds will be donated to the state’s Partners Against Poverty (PAP) campaign to help the hardcore poor. With the hysteria surrounding global warming, I think it’s a great move to help protect the planet.

Doing my contribution for the environment, I try to bring my own bags when grocery shopping avoiding plastic bags. But seriously, I think more and more people should practise this initiative more often, if not daily. I keep some reusable bags in the back of my car, but the only problem is that I need to cultivate the habit of remembering to grab them along whenever I go shopping. Imagine if people consistently use reusable bags, eventually there will no longer have tons of plastic bags accumulating at home which are hard to recycle and that people feel sorry about throwing away.

First Commenter - Mei Teng

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - I wish it would snow here

Photos courtesy of a good friend of mine, Melissa. These shots were taken during her visit to New Zealand early this year.

First Commenter - Denesa

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's Flowers - Cat's Whiskers Plant

This is my first participation in Today's Flowers.

While walking on a trail near my house yesterday evening, one of the plants that literally caught my attention was the cat's whiskers with its elongated white flowers. As the name implies, the flower truly resembles the shape of a cat's whiskers and it is also known as Misai Kucing in malay. The scientific name is Orthosiphon aristatus and the plants are found mainly in South East Asia and tropical Australia.

This is a herbal remedy in the mint family which is often used for making Java tea. It is claimed to have anti-inflammatory and magical healing properties and is commonly used to cure ailments of the kidney, bladder stone, hypertension, urinary tract infection, liver and other related disorders. The herbs are also useful in the treatment of diabetes, rheumatism, gout and managing cholestrol levels.

Fresh or dried leaves can be used for making tea. Has anyone heard about it or tried this before? I'm a tea drinker and one of these days I'll need to experiment making tea out of the leaves.

This extraordinary plant is easily propagated by the cut stem. It attracts butterflies and it also provides plenty of nectar for bees and hummingbirds.

First Commenter - Jama

Friday, October 23, 2009

PhotoHunt - Tied

It has been almost a year since my sister tied the knot with the man of her dreams and is enjoying being his wife more than she could ever imagined.

That not only means the marriage of two special people, but a knot tied with God's abundant blessings that will last a lifetime and more.

First Commenter - Carver

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Baby Fever

My precious baby has been feeling under the weather for the last couple of days. She was a bit of feverish and loss of appetite, followed by an abrupt onset of chills and fatigue over the weekend. Despite feeling under the weather, she was in pretty good mood considering she has a nasal congestion, cough and sneezing. I was able to get her into the doctor early afternoon on Saturday. She was prescribed some medication and but it seemed like she hated those medicines as they were way too sweet for her liking.

She hasn't felt too good all weekend, but she seems to be showing signs of recovery although a little cranky. Typically, when kids get sick, it can be a worrisome and stressful time for any parents.

I have a stuffy nose and mild fever too, but I think it's seasonal infections due to the weather change.

Hopefully my baby and I will feel better soon, so we can have fun later this week.

Until then, hope everyone is feeling fabulous and healthy!

First Commenter - Mei Teng

Friday, October 16, 2009

PhotoHunt - My choice

One of my fondest memories of Cameron Highlands was visiting a corn farm in Tringkap. It was a rewarding experience taking the kids to see the vast expanse of corns because in the city they don't ever get to experience anything like that.

If you've never had sweet corn tasted directly from the farm, you're missing out on some sweet, juicy and mouth-watering corns. It’s worth coming to Cameron Highlands for that alone.

It was incredible seeing rows and rows of corn stalks as far as the eye can see.

More interestingly, the local farmers can harvest baby corn and mature sweet corn ears from the same plant, how cool.

As can be seen in this picture, this is a baby corn. It is sweet corn which can be harvested when still tiny and immature. The cob at harvest is roughly three inches in length, and the tiny kernels are edible and popular in Asian cooking. The baby corn ears are picked by hand immediately when the silks emerge from the ear tips, leaving only one full sized ear to go to mature for sweet corn. This will ensure each corn would attain the maximum juiciness and sweetness.

Upon maturity, the sweet corns are picked early in the morning when the ears are cool, before the heat of the day is oppressive. Normally, sweet corns are ready for harvest when ears are plump, silks are dry, and kernels are juicy and milky. They are grown primarily for local markets.

I was told that the height of their natural sweetness lasts within a day and then the sugar starts converting to starch causing it to lose some of its sweet flavour. That explains why the taste of freshly picked corn is tempting to nibble but don't eat too much of it though, because raw corns will give you a nut case of toilet runs. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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Wishing on a Falling Star

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Wanna go for a swim?

First Commenter - Ayie

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ruby Tuesday - My New Nephew

Introducing the newest member to our family. This cute little prince is Ivan, my little nephew. He's 1 month old and he’s absolutely soft and squishy. I love babies and nothing is as pure and innocent as a baby. I love the smell, the smooth silky skin, adorable baby noises, those little noses, the teeny tiny fingers and toes. Isn't he precious?

First Commenter

Friday, October 9, 2009

PhotoHunt - Sports

My kids have always been a sports fan especially badminton. They have started playing badminton when they were old enough or strong enough to swing the rackets. Their passion for badminton came from my husband who trained them to play the sports from an early age. Not only does it promote fitness, it's an intriguing sports, full of strategies and excitement.

On top of that, seeing world class players on TV has been an inspiration to them to develop new techniques, improving their skills and what it is like to both win and lose. When they first started they weren't very good and they thought they would never be a good player but after much support and encouragement from friends and teachers, they got better.

First Commenters

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Ruins of St Paul's Cathedral in Macau

The remaining facade of St Paul's cathedral after the cathedral was detroyed by a disastrous fire during a typhoon in 1835. For centuries, it has been the icon of Macau and is the number one destination of Macau sightseeing. The fa├žade is covered in intricate carvings and sculptures depicting the early days of the Catholic Church in Asia. It is officially enlisted as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

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Meow Diaries