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!

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!

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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Now Reading…

…Dr. Joe Vitale’s new book, “zerolimits.”

I started reading the book yesterday, and I couldn’t put it down. I have to force myself to savor it, and not breeze through, wanting to know what happens next.

Dr. Vitale writes like a suspense writer. He mesmerizes his audience. He comes across as sincere and that is the reason why he is so effective.

I’ve tried using the four phrases he wrote about, which he learned from his mentor, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, from the ancient Hawaiian teachings of Ho’oponopono:

1.) I love you.

2.) I’m sorry.

3.) Please forgive me.

4.) Thank you

So far, I have not encountered “crazy drivers” like I used to. I used to get really tense when driving in Taiwan. Today, I was quite relaxed. I just kept saying the four phrases in my mind.

I realize that taking responsibility “no matter what,” really helps lighten my mood. I am feeling a lot of love towards all. Thanks to Dr. Joe Vitale for writing the book. I would recommend it to my friends. Thanks also to Dr. Hew Len for sharing his knowledge with the world. I am hoping that there will be a future workshop in Taiwan on this teaching.

“I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”