Monday, 20 September 2010

Good inspiration toward Mid-Autumn Festival !

Today, my father has just come back from his trip to Ho Chi Minh city. I was glad to receive from him some special Mooncakes branded Nhu Lan sent me from my young nieces and nephews who are living and working in that far city, and hear him telling all happy stories about them. As currently I’m not sure when I will have a good chance to travel again to Southern Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh city in particular, to see them personally, any gift from them is so nice to me now. Moreover, as it is approaching to our Mid-Autumn Festival in a few days when the moon will be full round, a special mooncake (the symbol of this Chidren’s Festival) is more meaningful for us, especially really enjoyable for my son Tuan.

For more than a week now, my spirit has become more relaxed and comfortable everyday and night. My voice has made considerable progress after an intensive treatment period by facial acupuncture for some months now. Meanwhile, I have also kept on more active self-training by the same method at home. I’m really happy for my speaking in Vietnamese now is well understood by my family members, old friends and neighbours. I’m even happier when my spoken English now can be well understood on phone by all my new friends of other nationalities. In such a good inspiration, my daily life now has become more interesting with keeping email correspondence with both my old colleagues and friends as well as making some more new friends online who come from other countries like UK, US, Switzerland, Spain and so on. All this is quite good encouragement for me to try better in improving my spiritual life. Through their stories, I have found the world so endless, its socio-cultural life so plentiful and different in each corner of the earth. I hope to get a better health soon to take some more tours to several corners of the world (those of my best interests) to enjoy their cultural values by my own eyes.

Besides, just as a share-holder, I always feel hopeful for better success in my husband’s new business plans in several fields like wedding photography and associated services, real estates trade… and some others that he is going to start as soon as he gets really interested in. So my family is going to welcome a joyful Mid-Autumn Festival with some fruitful and prospective news.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Summer flowers reflecting my mood

This week, as the early summer days are very hot, my son Tuan is going to take his 3-month summer holiday, and I myself have been doing quite progressively with the new treatment course for my voice, my mood is good in general but has various tones throughout the day. In the morning until midday, I often feel rather hot inside, making my spirit more active.

Especially when receiving good comments and friendly greetings from new friends, I even feel more energetic and cheerful like these images of Flambuoyants.

However, toward late afternoon, as the sunshine is lighter and lighter, and then replaced by the night falling, my mood becomes much cooler and calmer just like the following images of Lotus.

Anyway, now I don't have to worry about Tuan's study for at least some weeks ahead because I have agreed with my son to let him relax and play freely until mid June.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cheerful Eventful Last Week!

Last week was eventful and cheerful for me. Beginning was my son Tuan’s birthday on April 27th when he became 10 years old. In preparation for this, my husband and I had discussed before and agreed to hold it in a simple way.

One day before his birthday, on Monday April 26th, I was enthusiastic to get two new English books titled "Let's Learn English Student's Book 2" and its associated "Workbook 2" as a birthday present for my son,for Tuan had repeated several times that he liked them. Additionally, because Tuan still had to go to school on his birthday, he had asked his Daddy to buy in advance for him some parcels of coffee-flavored candy and some other various kinds, together with one big bag of sweet gelatin cakes, so that he would share all these (to be considered as a small birthday party) with his teacher and classmates in the breaks at school. Seeing Tuan so excited and delighted to bring these tiny things to school in the morning of his birthday, I realized that happiness for children is so simple but important for encouraging their spirits.

After that, I was glad to arrange the yellow roses that Thang had bought early in the morning into our most beautiful vase, watered to make them fresher, and then put this on the main table in our living room.

The flowers looked so bright and became an attractive focal point in our home. I did not forget to put one flower in a smaller vase for decorating our kitchen, too. All of us, both family people and home furniture, especially the things in Tuan's corner, seemed to show high inspiration to join my son’s special happiness this day.

Tuan’s birthday home mini party was held in the evening within our family. Also as recommended by Tuan, we had a simple dinner with only a boiled chicken followed by cooked chicken vermicelli, both of which are Tuan’s favorites. This mini party was also special for the participation by my father (Tuan’s external grandfather).

Such a simple meal, finished by a light dessert including various fruits: mangos, apples, mangosteens ..., without champaign or wine..., was still joyful with our merry wishes and smiles for its important meaning of a new start of my beloved son’s age 10. I wished him all the best for his upcoming period, the best luck for his good health, full happiness, progressive study, and good friendship too with his classmates.

With the resonance of my pleasant mood from April 27th, I woke up quite early on the April 28th. Nearly lunch time, after finishing my usual housework, I rang Ha Tron, one of my close friends, to inform her that I would come to her place soon to get those Amway products which she had bought for me. Then, at her home, after our business talk, Ha Tron invited me to a café nearby. For both of us looked healthier, had better spirits, especially for both got new good friendship with some foreigners, we decided to go for lunch at Pepperonis Restaurant, our usual favorite Italian restaurant. Though the restaurant was very crowded and the food was not very delicious, we both felt happy to join each other after a while of distance.

The next day April 29th also passed happily with so many email greetings and regards from my new online friends living in USA, UK, and some other nations.

The April 30th came to our family as a special day because it was a public holiday being the 35th anniversary of the Liberation Day when our country was completely liberated from US army. Besides watching the festival activities on TV on this special occasion, during this day, all of us in our small family were excited to look forward to the fire-work show in the evening.

After a quick dinner, around 7.30pm, Thang, I and my son set out a motorbike trip to the central area of Hanoi city for feeling clearly this holiday atmosphere and then watching the fire-work show. A nice surprise for us was all the streets much less crowded than normal days. I felt the air much cleaner and fresher with such a thinner population.

In pending the fire-work show to start later, we went into an ice-cream shop for Tuan to enjoy some favorites. Each of us chose a different ice-cream, but all of us were happy. Such going-out activities are really beneficial for us as a good change from staying home almost all the time everyday.

Leaving the ice-cream shop, Thang took me and Tuan to the highway along the Red River. Why so ? I quickly understood that he wanted to avoid the crowded people near the Hoan Kiem Lake (Returned Sword Lake) where the fire-works would be shot from. On the highway, a bit far away, we could still enjoy seeing the fire-work show quite clearly and with much fresher air.

At 9pm sharp, the fire-works started to appear in the sky. The show was more and more beautiful with plentiful colors and lights: green, red, violet, yellow, white and so on… The sky became brighter and brighter with continuous clusters of colorful fire-works looking like glowing flowers.

Hearing and watching the brilliant and resounding fire-works in such a merry public atmosphere, Thang showed much happier for this encouraged him to memorize his past glorious days around 1975 when he was in the Vietnamese army as an engineer of tanks. I myself and my son Tuan were also happy partly for sharing my darling's joy, but mainly for the fire-work show was much more wonderful than last year.

Finally, after the enjoyable show, on the return way, despite the crowded people in the streets, we still kept happy until getting home. And in such a good mood, that night, surely all three of us had happy dreams.

Through last week, we wish to have similar cheerful days more often so that we can smile and laugh more for keeping our souls younger and more affectionate for life.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Pineapple, Good Example to Learn

Today has been an effective Monday for me. Now by lunch time, I have completed almost all the work items I planned to do for the whole day. As usual as every Monday, today morning, I wipe cleaned and tidied up all our home, especially the living room. Then I put the dirty clothes into the washing machine for its operation. Next, I washed some rugs and hung them out in the balcony for drying. Finally, I also put the washed clothes out for drying in the yard downstairs. As having finished all these things with a surprisingly inspirative spirit and without tiredness, I happily realized that my strength and mind have improved apparently as compared with last week.

The above encouraging progress of my health status and mood is partly thanks to my current treatment by the massage cushion combined with my proper daily nutrition regime with more fish, vegetables, fruits and yoghourt, less fat, more water, and regular exercises by jogging around the lake in front of my house everyday.

After a modest mini lunch with instant noodle as usual, I thought I should treat myself some fruit juice as a dessert and also a small bonus for my progress in health. Opening the fridge, I saw some various fruits, but came first to my nose only the attractive strong fragrance from pineapple juice. So I decided to drink a glass of it for refreshment.

Enjoying this juice, I suddenly imagined the strange shape & difficult thornful out-cover of pineapple fruit, so I felt this sweetness more tasty and fragrance more attractive. I have really admired pineapple for the impressive contrast between its rough-and-tough outside appearance and its inside bright yellow color containing fine qualities.

So curious to learn more about pineapples, this afternoon, I tried searching for some websites on good effects of this fruit. Such images as these below could help recall me of a period of my childhood (around the year 1972) when Hanoi city was in the war with the US army, my family had to evacuate to a rural region in Vinh Phu province and temporarily lived for some months in a farmer’s family’s house which was all surrounded by pineapple fields. As still appearing in my mind now, thousands of pineapple plants were grown in very dry and barren land without watering anytime.

However, for me, looking from afar, pineapple plants and fruits have their own beauty, the beauty of strength in growth.

As all of us can see, when getting ripe, after cleanly uncovered and processed in various ways, pineapple can become so nice and delicious-looking as in the following cakes or caramel:

Small-cut pieces of pineapple pulp can be mixed in good harmony with some vegetables, tofu, cashew, some herbs and onions, to make into healthy salads like the below:

It can become even more beautiful and charming as decorative accents for an ice-cream:

Or in the simplest way, pineapple fruit can be cut fresh into small pieces or big slices (depending on eaters' different tastes), mixed with some sugar, cooled in the fridge before being enjoyed as a wonderful dessert:

I am even more surprised at pineapple fruit beauty as it can combine with other fruits to create such unique fresh artworks as hereunder:

Recently, my new teacher of the fitness and fat-burning mini course online, who is an US professional body-builder, advised me to eat pineapple fruit and drink its juice more because this is one of the top fruits rich in Vitamin C, calcium and potassium, thus very good for protecting teeth, gum and mouth in general. Moreover, as I have begun my age of 41, I also need to think of preventing ageing and decreasing bone. So I like pineapple fruit for its manganese-rich content, which is good for my bone-building and repair function.

Admiring pineapple from its origin, then growth, to products with helpful beneficial uses for human beings, I am telling myself that I should learn from this natural plant its way of overcoming all surrounding difficulties to aim better goals in life.

These pineapple fruits look so beautiful and their pulp is surely more enjoyable !

Friday, 2 April 2010

New special friend in my home

This week has been running strangely fast, much faster than my previous ones. Each day has come and gone with apparently more lively activities. Do you know why ? Well, it’s a simple reason that I have just welcome a new special active friend into my home – that is the Shiatsu Massage Cushion SMC by Medisana. Since its appearance at the beginning of this week, my activity day has become much busier, more effective, and also more exciting with my training of some basic German home-therapy head and neck massage techniques with this lovely cushion.

For some months lately, for much concerned about my not-yet-recovered distorted voice status (that means still bad blood circulation in my head and neck), my darling Thang has made his considerable endeavors to search online and survey to many medical-care equipment and device shops in Hanoi, and he finally found and bought this German-made multi-functional massager called exactly Medisana Shiatsu-style Massage Cushion (SMC in short), which he considers most suitable for us with its small size, easy to handle, and most importantly, very effective in massaging our heads, necks, backs, as well as hands and feet.

Hearing Thang tell me to read the SMC manual for its use instructions, I felt so touched at my husband’s devoted care and thorough action for me that I could not express enough my thanks to him in words. Then I thought and keep thinking now that the best way of thanking him is my regular training with this massage cushion for some good result or visible certain progress of my health.

Delighted and hopeful for better improvement of my head and neck blood circulation, and also sometimes for my back pain relief with this cushion strong support, I was eager to read quickly but carefully all the main points of the operating manual. Through it, I have known that Shiatsu is a form of finger pressure massage and one of the most important massaging techniques along with manual lymphatic drainage and reflexology. This form of massage was developed in Japan but stems from traditional Chinese massage. Gentle stroking and beneficial pressure application techniques are used to awaken life forces and encourage them to flow through the body. The object of the massage is not just to ease tension, but also to optimise the flow of life force and harmonise body and soul.

Since the recent Monday afternoon, I have trained these massaging techniques 3 or 4 times everyday. I have felt this Medisana SMC Shiatsu Massage Cushion is a state-of-the-art device for genuine head and neck massage. With its 4 massage heads rotating in opposite pairs, the direction of rotation can be reversed. Additionally, the device is equipped with an optional heating function for massage heads. The combination of intensive massage and radiated heat makes the massage cushion an effective and relaxing treatment. During these recent days, depending on each exact position where my head or my neck was placed on the cushion, I felt each massage different, sometimes deeper, sometimes softer, altogether felt like someone’s fingers dexterously pressing on my spots on my head or neck, very relaxing and calm.

As said in the manual, the SMC will treat your tired muscles and tissues, thus improving your wellbeing after a stressful day. I believe so, and indeed felt my mind at ease and more optimistic after each massage. Therefore, I strong believe that with daily regular treatment, in some months’time, the cushion can help my blood circulation better, so to improve my voice, and provide me with pleasant relaxation and a peaceful mood for long. As it can also be used for massaging hands, legs, feet, and other parts, it is also useful for fitness, another area of my special attention now.

Last evening, sitting by my little Tuan along with the new friend being Shiatsu Massage Cushion, I was quite happy to be encouraged by my son, “Do you like to massage now, Mum ? Let me switch on the cushion and control it for you.” He stared at the massage cushion very curiously, then sometimes smilingly asked me,“How do you feel, Mum ? When you finish, please let me put off the power as per Dad’s guidelines”. I thought thanks to my husband being so active and dynamic, always looking for new things to serve us, all of us, especially I and my son have now enjoyed such favorable conditions with so modern technology of the world, so laborless and surely beneficial.

My darling and my son’s care and encouragement are firmly strong support for my higher determination to fight against my illness and get a better health because I understand deeply that for the time being, my good health partly means good happiness for my family.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Keeping Fit - Difficult or Not ?!!!

For some weeks lately, everyone who has met me has given the same comment that I look fatter. Hearing these words, I am not yet worried right now because I can see myself still slim in the mirror everyday, but I have truly realised that it is already time to be more vigilant to sweets, cakes, sugar, milk, butter… and their related products, and simultaneously to think seriously of a more proper diet regime and a more regular training program so as to control my weight effectively, keeping it from putting on any more.

As per my own experience in the past, to keep fit is not too difficult and quite feasible, but it requires patience and a high spirit of determination. That means for a certain period of time ahead, sometimes I must sacrifice part of my interests, I cannot live only by instinct. Furthermore, I must live by more will, essentially follow some strict rules for my daily living activities. I must choose which habits are good to maintain and develop while removing which are not good. Especially for my eating habit, from now on, I should temporarily limit myself from almost all roasted or grilled dishes or other fat-high food stuffs with their attraction for at least 3-4 months. Instead, I should offer my top priority to calcium-rich and fat-low or fat-free dishes, especially more vegetables and fruits. I know this process is not easy, but everything is always difficult at the beginning, should be gradually easier in doing afterwards. Therefore, for a practically beneficial objective of keeping fit, getting a healthier mind and body, living younger and looking nicer to everyone’s eyes and to myself too, I must overcome all and try my best.

To start this challenging campaign, this afternoon, I tried to make up a relatively adequate menu of several healthy dishes for one month ahead for convenient automatic implementation and unnecessary to think or wonder before cooking or eating out each day. As soon as I completed drafting a table on Winword for my new menu, very promptly, appeared in my mind the beautiful image of a special dish named Bun Rieu Cua.

Bun rieu is a Vietnamese traditional and typical rice noodle soup, which can be seen in many popular street-shops in every corner of Hanoi.There are several varieties of bun rieu, including bun rieu cua, bun rieu ca, and bun rieu oc (respectively with crabs, or fish, or snails as main bases for the soups). Bun rieu cua is served with tomato broth and topped with crab paste. In this dish, various freshwater paddy crabs are used, including the brown paddy crab found in rice paddies in Vietnam.The crabs are cleaned by being placed in clean water to remove dirt and sand. Then the crabs are pounded with the shell on into a fine paste. This paste is strained and the crab liquid is a base for the soup along with tomato. The crab residue is used as the basis for crab cakes. Other ingredients for this dish are: fried tofu, me or giam bong (kinds of rice vinegar), Garcinia multiflora, split water spinach stems, shredded banana flower, rau kinh gioi and some other herbs.

For me as well as most of other Vietnamese people, bún riêu cua must be enjoyed at its full delicacy with some small slices of fried tofu. Besides, depending on each person’s taste, bun rieu cua can be more flavored with a special sauce being shrimp sauce well stirred with lemon, fresh chilly, and a bit sugar. Finally, for me, this speciality is more perfect if taken with some pickled baby eggplants (ca phao), very typical of the Vietnamese countryside, that is the origin of Bun rieu cua.

Enjoying these charming images of Bun rieu cua, I am telling myself that this simple dish, with so remarkable qualities of calcium-high content, cool and fresh ingredients of tomato and various herbs, rich natural protein source of crabs and tofu, and most importantly, its special taste and flavor, is worthy of the top and opening position in my new menu. Today my menu is still short, but hopefully, day after day, it will surely get longer with more healthy dishes.