What a beautiful morning!

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A glorious day and a wonderful week to everyone in this beautiful world! Today is my daughter’s 20th birthday and I feel so blessed to have her in our lives. Charisse is a special daughter who makes us see the beauty of the simple things in life! Because of her, many things that we might have taken for granted, are very much appreciated.

We thank God for all the blessings we have received and the blessings that are to come. We ask God to bless our beloved daughter, Charisse and the people who have helped us take care of her.

May God bless us all!

Have a great week everyone!

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Eternal Life Plan

I am watching the YouTube video of “Revealing Heaven by Kat Kerr.” I don’t know why these days, I feel drawn to reading books about heaven. I have a collection of these books, like “Heaven is For Real,” and “Heaven is so Real.” At one time, I even considered writing a book on heaven and hell, warning people to plan their eternal lives now. However, I realized that there are a lot of books on the topic, so I decided to read them all and write about those that speak to me.

When Kat Kerr mentioned about Eternal Planning, my ears perked up. She says that salvation is free, but the life we live now determines our eternal position. What does she mean by this? She says that many people do many types of planning; vacation, wedding, real estate planning to mention a few. But do we ever take the time to plan the most important one of all…eternal planning? When this is launched, it will never change. We can work towards it until we die, but afterwards, there’s nothing much we do about it.

She suggests: “find out what God’s purpose is for your life and accomplish it. He has a destiny for all of us. We will either rule or reign with Jesus Christ in the new earth, or we will serve others. We will be held accountable for what God called us to do with our lives. We have specific destinies. If we don’t know our specific purpose, we must seek God and He will reveal it to us. God gave us different gifts, talents, and grace to accomplish our purpose. We must make sure that our earthly life counts for the Kingdom of God. Our reward will be to spend eternity, ruling with Jesus Christ. “

She also adds,” love one another and work together. The world will know us for our love of each other.”

What are we waiting for? The clock is ticking. It’s time to start planning for eternal life, if we haven’t done it yet.

Tomorrow is Dragon Boat festival. Get your eggs ready! Have a great weekend!

Believe It Or Not!

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What’s that you see? Is that really an egg standing on one end? To see is to believe! Before we go to the story of the “standing egg,” let me share a segment from: http://www.whatsonwhen.com/sisp/index.htm

Dragon Boat Festival

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When: Jun 2012 (annual)
where: Taiwan
Cheering crowds gather to watch ornately carved boats compete in vibrant dragon boat races. The festival is a nationwide celebration held in honour of the poet Qu Yuan. Popular spots to see the fast-paced spectacle are Lugang and the capital, Taipei.

Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Mi Lo River during the 3rd century BC to protest against the then corrupt government.

When the local fishermen learnt of the poet’s demise, they trawled the waters to find him. They were unsuccessful, so threw rice dumplings into the sea and thumped the water with their paddles to distract the piranhas from the poet’s body. An important part of today’s celebrations is eating zongzi, pyramid-shaped dumplings made of glutinous rice.

A lesser known legend about this festival is the “standing egg” phenomenon. When my Taiwanese friend first told me about this, I did not believe it. That was until around 8 years ago when I tried this in my kitchen. I was able to do it, and so did my son. Here are some photos I took last year when I remembered to try it again in our present home. It didn’t matter whether I did it on the first floor (8 years ago), or on the 10th floor (our present apartment).

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How to do this:

On June 23, 2012 (Dragon Boat Festival this year, which changes every year), at exactly 12 o’clock noon, start letting the eggs stand on one end. Now, I don’t know if this works only for Taiwan time or for different times around the world. What’s really cool is if everyone who reads this post will try to stand an egg on one end on June 23, 2012 @ 12:00 noon their time and report their results here. That would be awesome.

I will start my daily posts (except Sundays my day of rest) with a countdown to June 23 based on Taiwan time. This will be fun!

For starters, 21 days to go (Taiwan time)!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Somewhere in Miaoli

At the end of summer last year, Jimmy and I decided to go on a retreat. We wanted to look into what we really wanted in life. Jimmy found this tiny bed and breakfast cottage, tucked in the rural area of Miaoli. It was located beside a manmade lake. There are only three rooms for overnight stay, but the place is full of people who want to partake of their excellent meals.

I am sharing some photos we took while we were there.

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People can dine underneath trees and even dip their feet into the water while eating their fine meal. That explains the chairs in the water.

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I just woke up in this photo and I started writing my goals with a white feather pen. I just love the atmosphere.

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The lake takes on different moods depending on the time of the day.

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The place is 勻淨湖. Thanks to Jimmy for writing down the name of the place.

Have a great day, everyone!

Rainbows…

I have always loved rainbows. They signify hope for mankind. The rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant with Noah that never again will there be a great flood on earth. The song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” always makes me teary-eyed. It brings back memories of growing up with the entire family together through thick and thin. These days, we are scattered over the world, with me and my family being able to go home twice a year, as we are the closest to home.

At one time, while I was grappling with the major decision of marrying Jimmy and leaving my family and my medical practice behind, I asked God for a sign. I have always consulted God when making major decisions.

I wanted to obtain God’s blessings if I should migrate to a foreign land. After a week long retreat, I went to mass. As I was walking back to the car, I looked back at the church and saw …a rainbow! It was a bright sunny morning, and it wasn’t even showering. I took the rainbow as a sign from God saying, “Yes!” That is what gave me the courage to commit. Years later, when friends would wonder how I got the courage to leave everything and move to a country where I did not speak the language, I tell them the story of the rainbow.

Through the years, when life would become a puzzle, I never forgot to consult God. I have so many questions, and God is the only One who does not get tired of listening to me.

God is our loving Father who wants what’s best for us. He has a sense of humor, too. Thus, when God  wants to say, “Absolutely yes!!!” This is what He sends:

My question at that time was, “God should I choose this career? I was not trained for this.” And this is God’s reply. The double rainbow stayed for a long time and we were able to take several shots with our cell phones.

So, here I am…enjoying every bit of this career, despite the ups and downs we have encountered. I wrote this post to remind myself that God is in control, and that I must trust in His Divine Providence, and so can you.

Good day to all!

Up in Suau…

Suau is located in northern Taiwan. It’s a very long train for us residing in the middle of the island, but it was all worth it. Here are some photos of the luxurious resort, RSL, we went to.

The foyer…it was Halloween time.

There are many pools outside and inside the buildings.

The food is superb!

There is a beautiful fountain!

On the way back, I took a photo of a rich man’s house near the sea from the train window.

This was one of the best birthday presents I ever received.

Thank you Jimmy!

Carton King Park

Carton King Park is a very interesting place. The furniture is made of cardboard, the curtains are made of paper, and the plates, cups, and other amenities are made of either paper or cardboard. It’s a good thing the food does not taste like cardboard.

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Even the high chair for children is made of cardboard.

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The beverage box can be recycled and used for a piggy bank.

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The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting.

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Outside the restaurant, visitor can stroll down the meandering path that reminds one of fairytales, where pumpkins turn into carriages. This is another great place to visit, if only for its uniqueness.

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A little bit of Europe in Taiwan

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Believe it or not, this photo was not taken in Europe, but this is the exact replica of a castle in Edinburgh. It is located in Nantou County, Taiwan. We went to this lovely hotel last summer and we had the most amazing time in the world. Despite the summer heat in the city, the weather here was simply adorable. There was no need for air-conditioning inside the rooms.

Story has it that the owner went to Europe, fell in love with the castle, and set about constructing a replica in Taiwan. I am so glad he did it, because we get to share this wonderful experience with our family, without the hustle and bustle of travel.

The food was glorious, and the staff was very friendly. Everything about the place suggested that guests were royalty, and were treated as such. The furniture and even the fireplace were shipped from Europe. After dinner, guests were treated to whiskey or brandy or bottled water (if one did not care for spirits), while listening to a fine selection of music from the masters. It was like being in an opera house. The sound system alone was said to be in the hundred thousand dollar range.

When we retired to our well appointed suite, we enjoyed wine while watching the fire glow in the fireplace. The bed and the pillows were so comfortable, only the threat of missing the sumptuous breakfast, made me get up reluctantly.

Although it was a week day, the place was full of diners and stay-in guests. This hotel package was worth every dollar we spent and more. So, if you are looking for a great place to stay in the hills of Nantou, look up “The Old England.” It’s a great family retreat!

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