Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The secret of distraction

Dear Family & Friends

I often wonder why I see my daughter diligently - or it seems to be diligently, working on her school work for long hours...yet, she seems to not get to the end of it all! I suspect there's some distraction going on.. but I don't have any evidence for it....

distracted by drawing

...until I discovered papers with lots of drawings! I'm supposed to tell her off for getting distracted every so often, but... I thought it was not worth it. After all, I enjoyed her doodles!

all the days work....

On her desk top...all her school works are laid out...no drawings papers to show any evidence of distraction...until you open the drawer...

drawing collections are hidden in this drawer

That's where all the hidden distractions are located! Her leaking ink pen (the one I told her to throw away ASAP before it'll stain my tablecloth) ... her collection of drawings done in between time... including her drinking mug!! Yes! they were all inside the drawer!!

it includes the old ink pen...and drinking mug!!

Oh whatever next!! I kept my composure well and not show any amusement either. Life is too short... some fun must be done as well. Bringing up children is such an interesting phase of life. Children are precious including their funny character. You just have to love them all for who they are.

Hope you are having a good week....one that is not too distracted from the set goal. Yes, keep on achieving that goal...afterall, we're still at the beginning of the best year!


Friday, 17 February 2017

Snow and Icicles

Dear Family & Friends

Time seems to go by so quickly. We had lots of snow for weeks on end...not just cold but bitterly cold winter...yet, only for a season. We witnessed quite a few interesting bird species happy frolicking in the garden. They are enjoying the season and perhaps like little children...they love the idea of snow around:) Some got berries in the beaks, telling me, they are well provided for, even when most garden goods are covered in snow at this time. 

garden bird enjoying a cool day

The sun is shining so brightly today but not enough to melt all the snow...but it is thawing a bit during the day.

a city snow track prints

As soon as the bright sun sets off, cold settles back in for the night. So, when we get up in the morning, another beautiful scenery is formed - icicles:)

icicles are beautiful

In life, every thing is just for a season. It reminds me that we must not be prideful of anything - for everything in this world will just come and go. Contentment is the key to happiness. Enjoy each day...there's goodness in each day to look forward to:)


Monday, 13 February 2017

The family project is going great

Dear Family & Friends

Lots of work for us here but it's what keeps us going for the moment. It's what wakes us up early  in the morning, all ready to go...something to look forward to. It might sound funny but a working goal is exciting for our family unit!

one big shopping goods hauled back

As a family we decide together how we want the apartment to look like. We have chosen the paint colour, all other materials and design of products we need for the interior works such as wood flooring, wall and floor tiles, paints etc... one room at a time.

working till you get covered with dust and paint all over:)

This project enables us to put into practice and gain extra skills in decorating works. It also helps our two teenage girls to develop teamwork abilities. 

teamwork...everyone have their corner to tackle with

It's surprising how much pride it brings when you accomplish hard work. Work develops more value when you earn and do it yourself.

the walls and ceilings are now sanded and painted...next job is the flooring

Learning skills by doing is by far the best schooling you could get. These two teenage ladies learned a lot of practical skills from their father. They appreciate work and are never afraid of hardwork. Work to them is another opportunity to gain accomplishment.

bycycles and reclining chair in case some relaxation is needed in between jobs

We brought two bikes to the working site. This is in case somebody fancies a break and go for a relaxing bike rides instead ... but no one bothered...they just want to concentrate and finish the task. As for the neon green garden chair...it's also an equipment for relaxation...this offer is taken...positioned in a sunny balcony in a cold winter's day, to sit on and enjoy a light lunch before going back to do more work.

night draws in once again...it's time to head home

I'm proud of these three workers in our family. They work from morning till it's dark - before they come back home. My role is to pack their lunch early morning, and be the home keeper till they come back. By then, our home will be warm, log burner going and there'll be hot water ready for them to get clean before we all have warm cooked food together. We all have a role in the family unit to help and keep each other happy. Each of our roles are important - big or small.

Hope you are achieving happy goals too..for it is important in our daily living.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Let's Make A Better World - The Homemaker

Dear Family & Friends

Today we are going to talk about the most difficult and most under appreciated work there is in our society - the homemaker aka housewife, stay at home mum or dad.

Is being a homemaker a job? DEFINITELY! This is one of the most difficult work in the whole world because here lies the state of the whole family: From the main bread winner, to every member within the family unit. Because of that, we shouldn't take for granted the role of  a homemaker in our financial life.

What is it like to be a homemaker? What are the challenges of a homemaker?

Being a Homemaker is a 24/7 job. Taking care and raising the children is a 48 hours job and is not measured by time alone - it's the value system. The homemaker is the children's mentor...their role model and it's a big thing. The children look up to them. Raising up children is not a joke. We need the values, communication ability, and love.

To those of you who are covering this role...well done! Keep up the good work. It is not always easy but you are not alone.

To those of you who are not so sure of what I'm talking about...it might not be agreeable to you for the moment, but at least know that a homemaker's job is a humbling experience and that they are the backbones of their secured family...that will form a safe community where we all live in.

This is one interesting and thought provoking discussion...not to provoke anyone by any means...but it's what I believe in... and here, I give my acknowledgement and salute to every homemakers.

Let's make a better world.


Thursday, 2 February 2017

White is the colour - mainly

Dear Family & Friends

My last post seemed to be all white as the main colour...well, it still is...our snow is still lingering on..refusing to melt completely...but February month is already here. This is the last of the winter quarter. January's worst is over and temperature is now expected to remain above freezing, I hope:)

our village centre hall

Inside our home where it is warm...my little girl just want to knit another warm, soft white alpaca wool scarf for a friend.

knitted white alpaca wool is all done

In our city apartment, the colour theme we are working on seems to be all white too. Yes, we love the colour ! All white walls and it's going to be white flooring too:)

colours in our tiny apartment would be mainly white

Well, actually...there's also a lot of water colour art paintings going on in our home too...For that, our artistic girls couldn't resist with riots of colours.

A water colour painting done by my little girl for a friend

Colours we see around us can bring us a lot of cheers: white or multi-colours:)

Have a wonderful and interesting week to you all.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Winter tour from our village home

Dear Family & Friends

White is the colour for this very moment. It's bright and very beautiful too! In Bulgaria, we enjoy a perfect well balanced season throughout the year - extremely cold winter and very hot summers, of course there's the half year of perfect spring and autumn in between too. No, we have no right to complain whatsoever:)

Let me share with you what's around our village scene for the moment. This! 

our village scene winter 2017

In a tiny village of just about 500 inhabitants or less? , our village roads are all very safe to use even when we get thick cover of snow. There's a faithful old little tractor, ever ready to clean the streets, so we can enjoy a winter walk around the village. Amazing...the fact that we pay only a total annual property tax of 10 Euros which includes this service! I think it's a 'little rich village life' we have here:)

old reliable little tractor faithful clearing up the snow in our little village roads

Just around the corner from our house, is our little village centre. It looks extra pretty with all whites surrounding the brightly coloured public hall.

our village centre landmark looks fantastic

Perhaps I have mentioned this before: although our winter can be so cold, yet it's almost always very bright with sunshine - as always.

sun shining winter days

With all the snow we get during the winter season, the secenery in our garden change immensely...or should I say, we simply lost the entire garden by the look of it!

footprints on the snow

Our neighbour's kitty cats still constantly visit our garden on their daily rounds... you can see the evidence of their footprints.

our garden barn got decorated with pretty white covering too

In my opinion, our rustic looking garden barn always looks pretty whatever the season is.

snow covered sleeping fruit trees

Most of our fruits trees are iced with snow...they might not be aware how beautiful they look right now, because they are hibernating at this time....Talking about hibernating, we often wonder where our little tortoise went for his hibernation....thus, no photos of that. He's probably buried in the snow!

an outside igloo for our chickens

As for our chickens...well, they have their solid wall quarters to stay in, but we specially built an extra tunnel structure outside their pen because it catches the winter sun and is well covered with wind proof plastic for them to feel warmer during the day.

peeping at our neighbour's house from the wall

Just for interest and curiosity, my daughter couldn't resist propping herself up on top of a chair by the property wall to get a glimpsed of what it looks like over the fence to our neighbour's house. All seems well:)

despite  the cold, our heart is warm inside our home

Well, this is the winter tour in our village home. As you can see, our little entrance gate - with my homemade <3 hanged on it, it still says it all. Cold it might be, but we are all well and happy within this home.

Hope you are keeping warm and most important - happy where you are too:)


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Our ski resort holiday - Borovets, Bulgaria

Dear Family & Friends

Our big boss motivates us to work hard, yet he always balances it with some fun too. This time he took us to a ski-resort weekend break. We don't remember the hardwork we do but the family holidays linger on with us for a long long time.

Our winter palace hotel accommodation

Although no one is keen on skiing, yet we found ourselves in a 5 star ski resort hotel for the  weekend gourmet treat.

all inclusive of  buffet dinner, buffet breakfast and all afternoon snacks

Our holiday package includes buffet breakfast, an all afternoon snack, and dinner buffet as well. Not for the faint hearted! It's more of an eating holiday attraction for us!! Don't worry, with all the work we do during the week, plus the winter coldness we experience here...additional calorie intake is helpful to keep us warm:)

more food...we didn't mind...it's our eating holiday 

The food selection were good... some of them we can't find in our home kitchen! Like...having caviar for breakfast!! 

Although we didn't join in the skiing activity, yet we throughly enjoyed the hotel indoor facilities: heated swimming pool, sauna - a Turkish sauna or a Russian sauna choices, cold bucket shower room, heated bench with cold foot bath etc.......all to ourselves!! We were spoiled rotten... just for our family because everyone else is out skiing!!

ski area just by our hotel doorstep!

I must say it's all good fun out there in the snow too. People going up and down on ski lift...there's lots of children enrolled with the ski-school...various nationalities just having fun! We watched people skiing from our hotel room till 10 PM! It's dark about 5pm but the area is well equipped with flood lights...although as night closes in...it's definitely freezing cold, down to -10C at least! It amazes me how they can carry on having fun...

an all too perfect day in a ski resort

If you can't align your feet to walk and slide around the snow with those long funny shoe  thingy...well, a choice of  cute dalmatian ponnies for rides are available...less dangerous activity too..right?

ponny ride

or be pulled on a sledge by these cool looking huskies. These dogs must be loving the season's temperature:)

sledge ride with the huskies

The days we were there were just all so perfect! The sun was shining so bright...it was pleasant for our family break!

walking in the winter wonderland

We're very blessed we can avail very good and cheap short breaks in Bulgaria. For this package with a 5 star hotel...it only cost us 25 euros per person...hotel accommodation, use of facilities, all the food we had - all day long too!

I think..unsere gut chef is working out on his never ending next treat for us...but, there a lot of work we have to undertake the coming days...our family work project will have to resume on! We have fun together, we also enjoy working together...it is essential that families stays united:)

Work to keep the family united at all opportunities...for there's nothing more important than that:)


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Working on cold winter's day

Dear Family & Friends

It's been a cold winter's day, but always very bright and sunny:) The sun is positioned much lower in the winter season...to me, that's God's grace for mankind to get a bit comfort and warmth for the season. Despite the very sunny day, the temperature records -7C! ..and we have some work to do in our tiny apartment.  

we finally got connected to electric supply to enable us to start work

There's some delays in our plans to get it all ready before then, but it still works out well for us. This winter we are more free to undertake the interior works...the building contractors were ready with the electric power supply.We're more concern of having to work in a freezing situation, so a portable heat blower was in mind. Yet, we realized that despite the freezing temperature outside, inside the apartment was not too bad as the sun shines right through. A real blessing indeed. 

sunshine steaming thru the apartment - keeping us warm as we work:)

Our work chores have now changed according to what the season dictates. No more outside gardening for me...instead, me and the two teenagers are busy with our home projects like knitting, crocheting, and sewing, From time to time we are also called to help in the apartment interior works... sanding walls and painting. An extra helping hand is always needed somewhere. 

knitting an orange colour scarf:)

Yes, our CEO at home is keeping us all out of idle mischief...but saying that...he is also pampering us with lots of winter holiday breaks! We're off to yet another weekend break in the mountain to enjoy food, and a 5 star hotel facility offers. Perhaps we might check out the ski lift, although no one is interested in skiing. I definitely just want to be in the warmth:)

Hope you are also taking the time and chance to enjoy with your family whenever opportunities arises too:)


Monday, 16 January 2017

Birthday wishes do come true

Dear Family & Friends

Sometime ago I had my birthday wishes come true. Every happy occasion is a great excuse to unite our family even more. Perhaps it's a good excuse to go out for a family meal...but with the ongoing winter deep freeze and temperature that hovers around minus 15C,  plus the  thick snow everywhere...it was wise that we stay home where it is safer and warm.

snow drift on roads as we experience deep freeze

For me, a birthday cake is enough to qualify 'party time'.So,  I went and purchased a very special Italian handmade cake a day ahead. And for the birthday meal...my plan was just to have a bowl of steamed rice with egg omelet and stir fried broccoli. It's what I wanted and nothing else...except for birthday cake dessert. We're all happy about that.

the best convinient birthday cake
On 'the day', I started the day with my usual cup of coffee...but my little girl insist that I have to have her special breakfast: bread toast with peanut butter....simply because it was my birthday.

nothing better than this:)

By lunch time, my two girls kept on reminding themselves that they mustn't make mummy do any work. Between the two of them, they took on my very simple lunch meal plan and added extra special twist. They were so happy and excited to turn it into egg/avocado sushi roll instead. We ran out of wasabi...and they used lemon grass paste with mayonnaise instead. I was so proud of my girls. They were creative in their ways and most of all, they just want their mummy to have the best of a happy day. We all enjoyed our very simple meal by the log fire. It was truly good:)

my most precious birthday gift - don't you think I look so cool?

After we had the very special birthday cake, everyone looked so satisfied and very happy....Then, my little girl came to hand me a painting she secretly worked so hard the past days. It was a picture of me!!...a very beautiful one too! Oh....it was so special. I can't stop admiring the best gift there is in the world!

The love I receive from this little family overwhelms me. I am very very blessed in life indeed. Birthday wishes do come true. God is so good to me:)


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mountain Holiday in Bulgaria

Dear Family  friends

A mountain holiday is ideal for the winter, specially attractive to skiers but it's also nice to go in the summer to cool down. Recently we visited Bansko, a popular ski resort area. I find it very tourist-y, with too many hotels and restaurants...but then you have more choices to pick for your stay.

Pirin Mountain Area

We walked to an old town. Since the area is now a holiday destination, old residential houses are turning into bed and breakfast business or souvenir shops.

water channel all the way from the mountain top

Water ways ran through the town, flowing from the mountain vicinity.

old bulgarian house

There's a few really old traditional houses with their architectural beauty ... the way they used to style them in by-gone days. 

painting souvenirs

This old town is a no car zone area. The old path is paved with uneven stones. I can imagine how the donkey/horse and cart wobbles through it all. Now, many shoe prints goes up and down these alley ways.

clay pot souvenir shop

Traditional clay pots all very ornate and very attractively displayed in most souvenir shops. Perhaps the colour is too bright to match the home kitchen. Every time I wish I could take one back home with me. but I never do.

We had lots of snow since our visit to this mountain area...I suppose at this time, it's even more busier with people coming to enjoy winter sports.

We had our share of winter break...so now, we're happy to just enjoy and stay at home on cold winter season. Hope you keep safe, comfortable and happy too:)