What bothers you?

Plenty of little things bother me. At least for a moment.

Like when I see a shoe in the middle of the highway. I think, “How does that happen?”

The other day I saw two boots in the middle of the road and that bothered me even more!

It bothers me when there is a price tag on the inside of a shoe. Because I want to remove it but never go to any great lengths to make sure I actually finish the job and attack the residual adhesive. Like whipping out nail polish remover. So there’s a constant nagging bit of stickiness on my sole and my mind.

Not a big fan of the pieces of ribbon sewn into shirts and blouses -meant for easy hanging-but always poking out of the armhole. Every time I put a shirt on I adjust the tags, ribbons and body parts and say to myself, “I need to grab a pair of scissors and remove them.” And I never do. Not the body parts! They can stay-just the tags and ribbons.

I’m bothered by powdered cream for coffee.

Misspellings on menus bother me. Also signs. Here in Malaysia I see more advertisements and signs for saloons that are offering to cut and style your hair. I get that I am in a country where English is not the native language. But I want to say, “Please advertise in your own language and let us figure it out.” Or check with a native English speaker before ordering that big old sign. Just makes me thirsty.

This is just a short list. Obviously. And meant to be light hearted instead of the heavy stuff.

What bothers you?

Every Minute

A woman that I worked with at AT&T was posting last week on Facebook about how excited she was to be heading to Texas to see her grandkids. Subsequent postings showed that she was enjoying her time with family. Posted pics of her four year old grandson’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese just five days ago.

Today she shared that this fun family vacation was marred by a horrible tragedy yesterday. Her family was involved in a terrible car accident in Humble, Texas and as a result they lost their little four year old grandson.

I was so very sad to hear this. I really can’t imagine the mother’s pain. Or the pain of the entire family.

Life is so very precious. Here one minute and gone the next. Sometimes with no warning at all.

Make the most of every minute. Show the love to the family and friends. Enjoy each other. Let go of the grudges and negativity.

Life is short enough as it is. And sometimes it can be even shorter.


I’ll admit it. The beautiful photos that my friends and family are posting this time of year are sort of making me homesick.

I miss the changing of the leaves.

I miss wearing sweaters. I miss wearing boots.

I once tried wearing a sweater here in Malaysia. It was an evening gathering by the pool area in our community. I’m not crazy (all of the time) so I wasn’t going to go full on heavy wool sweater. But I had donned a nice, light cotton, button down cardigan that I thought I could handle.

Ten minutes into the occasion and I was sweating bullets.

I said to my friends, “I’ll be right back!”

And I ran home to change into some sleeveless, cotton thingy. It was that bad.

I tried.

Some people can handle the humidity here. I am not one of them. I guess it’s my DNA. My ancestors hail from a temperate climate and I was born in an area that experiences seasonal changes.

I’m seeing beautiful photos of changing leaves, football games and family gatherings.

And I miss it.

My visits are usually during the summer. And sometimes Christmas.

So I miss out on those absolute perfect days and chilly evenings of Autumn. All the apple picking and Halloween/Thanksgiving activities.

I get that these same people will be complaining and posting photos of the long winters.

And I also miss that.

It is interesting to live in a climate that is predictable. But not interesting enough that I want to spend my entire life here.

So, if you are currently experiencing the changing of the seasons, appreciate every moment.


I remember seeing a photo that was an entry in the KL Photo Awards.

It was striking.

It showed a little black girl licking a huge, horrible looking knife. Looked like it was taken in Africa.

One could think, based on this one image, “Oh my, how savage! Is she one of those rebel child soldiers just in from a kill?”

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?


What the photo did not show was her friend’s birthday cake that had just been cut. Kid was licking the frosting off the knife.

I saw a video today that’s being shared. Shows refugees in Europe refusing food and water from the Red Cross.

Immediately, folks want to believe that it is because there was a “cross” on the package. And that they refused the food because they were Muslim. Some say it’s because the food is non halal.

An ungrateful lot.

Can you imagine what will happen to Europe if they let these Muslims in and take over their countries?

Back story is something like this. These guys were waiting for hours and hours in the pouring rain waiting to cross the border. Guards were only letting in so many every few hours. There was frustration and one yelled, “We don’t want food! We want to cross the border!”

Geez, I get a little impatient and frustrated when the cashier at our local grocery store, Jusco, takes way too long to bag my items. Granted I’m not throwing things. Thank God my testosterone is in check!

Maybe they were an ungrateful bunch. I doubt it but could be proved wrong. But that’s not most of the refugee population.

My point is that one photo or one video taken out of context might not tell the entire story.

It’s important to remember that when sharing items that could promote hate. Or even dislike.


Sometimes things are exactly as they appear to be. But not always.

Like the time I was in my Texas home, heading up the stairs at dusk and I spy something dark on the carpet. I pick it up. Not sure why because I’ve been known to ignore things and just walk on by. Was a big old wasp and he was not happy. Gave me a good sting to show his displeasure and to teach me a lesson.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed some almonds sitting on a plate in the kitchen. Yes, it was getting dark and I was hungry so I grabbed one and shoved it in my mouth. Nearly broke a tooth on the damn olive pit!

Few months ago I was picking up donations at a friend’s condominium. There are tons of them here in Kuala Lumpur. The Oval. The Pearl. The Dua. And a billion more.

I had been there before so I knew where I was going. Knew where to park and how to navigate my way. The guards didn’t seem to understand me this time. I kept giving the name and told them she was expecting me. They went back and forth with each other. And me. I was getting a little frustrated because I had to pick up my daughter. I might have even been getting a little snarky with the guards. Finally, I said that I needed to go.

And then a light bulb went off in my head. Wrong condo building! I peeled out of there like a bat out of Hell. That was a tad embarrassing.

Oh my goodness. So, now my memory is gone. And my eyes are starting to make Mr. Magoo look like he has 20/20 vision!

Today, I was making an egg brunch casserole. Once I popped it into the oven I grabbed a can of Diet Coke from the fridge. I was sweating and looking forward to the cool jolt down the throat. Took a gulp and was quite surprised that it did not taste like Diet Coke at all! Do they go bad???? I looked at the silver can with red on it and it was a Heineken! Usually Heinies are all green. But these particular cans have silver with a red star on them. And the way it was positioned I just saw silver.

My daughter came downstairs and I said, “Just sitting here drinking beer on a Sunday afternoon.”

She asked, “Why?”

I told her the story. Said that I thought it was soda but it was beer! She said, “Yep, I get it. Happens to me all the time, too.”

I swatted her in the head and told her, “Go on with your bad self!”

It was a good laugh. The egg brunch casserole turned out fine. Apparently I put in all the right ingredients.

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

2 cups of croutons

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp prepared mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

dash of pepper 

In a 13×9 greased pan, layer croutons and cheese. Mix eggs and other ingredients. Pour over croutons.

Bake at 325 for 55 minutes or until eggs settle. 

Can garnish with bacon or add vegetables. 

Simple Suggestion

Isn’t it odd how some people can get stuck on a certain thing or idea?

It sometimes just takes a simple suggestion. Which can be a positive or negative thing. But powerful.

The school nurse recently let us know that a couple of students had head lice in the high school.

I’m thinking, “When will it ever end? Didn’t I do enough head checking when the kids were in elementary school? Even middle school?”

Then I started scratching my head.

I checked my daughter’s hair and found nothing.

My head itches.

The book we were reading for book club mentioned a kid at the elementary school that had head lice.

Scratching again.

I was reading another book about a social worker who had an infestation of head lice that she brought home to share with her husband.

Non-stop itching on my head!

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked my daughter if she could please check my hair.

She was like, “Ewww. No, thank you.”

I asked, “Do you know how many times I’ve had to pick through your head (and your sister’s) like a chimpanzee?”

Daughter said, “That’s because you wanted to.”

I laughed out loud. Really?? I wanted to poke around my kids’ heads looking for nits?

Parents only do it because:

  1. They don’t want it spread through the house like a wildfire.
  2. The school requests it.
  3. We want them back to school as soon as possible!

She did end up checking my hair. Guilted into it, I suppose.

Gave me the “all clear.”

Still itching.

Then I finished another read from our book club. Sad story about the rounding up of Jews in Paris. And yes, lice was mentioned more than once.

Right back to some hard-core scratching of my head.

At this point, I’m either going to have a treatment or just stop reading!


I met an interesting lady a couple of weeks ago. She is a widow, author and travel writer.

During lunch she told me that she lost her husband some years ago. I said that I was sorry to hear that. I also asked if it was a sudden thing.

No, they were given three months.

She laughed and said, “So, he proceeded to teach me the maths.”

I was like,”What???”

While also thinking, “Geez, I’d have killed him right there. Not my idea of spending quality time! Maths!!!”

Obviously I’m not a math person. And either was Judyth.

When the postman came with one of their statements he’d have her collect it. She’d open it up and review their accounts. He’d ask her what she would do with this or that. Should they sell this or keep it? And on and on.

What he was doing was preparing Judyth to live on her own. A very important thing.

He had the gift of time although it was a short time. And he was going to use it wisely and practically.

To me it seemed to be the ultimate loving gesture. Using his limited time on earth to ensure that his partner would know how to to go on without him. Thinking about someone else while facing his own death. It’s a pretty big deal.

That’s quality time.


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