Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Look

Finally, I have a picture of my very own for my blog header. The earlier, gorgeous one -

was taken from Google, if I remember correctly (obviously taken by professionals). This new one up there is a photo we took while on holiday in New Zealand, in April of this year (we're not professionals but the picture is beautiful anyway).

In case you wondered why this blogspot name is tree-shades, well, I wanted a name that had something to do with trees (the actual name for the blog is Walk with Me, but we couldn't get that header in earlier on, no matter what we tried).

(New Zealand 2011)

You did wonder why my blogspot had such a strange name, didn't you?

Didn't you?
(cue sound of a cow mooing in the far distance beyond the hills...)

However, whichever name Tammy my daughter, tried to register my blog with, like "Under the Shade of a Tree", "Sitting Under a Tree" etc, it was somehow taken I had to settle for tree-shades (planted a hyphen right in the middle so nobody could possibly have a similar name). And , that, dear folks, is how this odd name came about.

See? I knew you'd find that interesting....(above mentioned cow in the far distance beyond the hills just mooooved away)

I loooove trees...we just kinda blend together. Can you see?

(NZ 2011)

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my growing up years were spent
- climbing trees
- building tree houses
- picking pink water jambu, bananas, papayas, mangosteens and rambutans from trees in our backyard or in the neighbourhood.

The house we grew up in was a humongous government house, with a very large garden in front, and another at the back.
And a lot of our time (I have two sisters and three brothers)...

(Freeman Road, Kuala Lumpur, maybe 1967)

....was spent outdoors
- using nets to catch butterflies from the hedges around our house
- scooping up tadpoles and colourful guppies from the drains
- trapping birds with a propped up cardboard box, long string trailing up to our hand, awaiting our victim
- collecting grasshoppers in glass jars with holes pierced through the lid
- playing 'rounders' with a broken wooden beam
- catching and making spiders 'fight' each other on top of matchboxes...

(what? you didn't do all that when you were young?)

So I think being among trees calms me. See how calm I am (in the middle) leaning against a tree?

Oh, wait...that's not a tree. That's my husband.
Ok, but you get my point...
- strong
- stalwart
- dependable
(yes, yes, our anniversary is coming and yes, yes, I'll be happy with just chocolateS, dear. Muak! and don't think I don't know you are reading all my blog posts. And do read this one carefully. I did not say I wanted a tree..) Why do I get the feeling I'm barking up the wrong tree? Tsk.

Really, I love trees so much that if you ever discover an unnamed tree, name it after me! Maybe Pithecellobium Valerenia.

(NZ, 2011)

I came across a beautiful quote on trees:

We can learn a lot from trees: they're always grounded but never stop reaching heavenward. - Everett Mamor

Why wouldn't they? It's natural instinct for Creation (including you and me) to reach heavenward towards the Creator. I can't imagine otherwise!

And I found beautiful trees posing with my daughters.
I mean, my beautiful daughters posing with trees.
My beautiful daughters posing with beautiful trees.
Ok, it's correct now.

(Joni, Singapore 2010)

(Tammy, NZ 2011)


Got a caption for my Hero up there? I mean, in there? sighhhhhh....

I might share my much-anticipated chocolates (Cadburybarwithhazelnutsoralmondsplease thankyou) with you.

Nehhhhhhh. Not likely.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So Who's Comin' with Us?

I love this place. My husband Paul, my daughter Tammy, and I took my mother and mother-in-law here, a couple of months ago. I really want to make another trip! Who's coming with us this time?

This is just one of the several public hotspring pools in this one spot. The water in this one is so hot you can only dip your feet in. There's also a much larger pool with milder heat, where you can swim around. That was glorious! Sorry, enjoyed myself so much I forgot to take a photo.

That's my Mum in the black floral outfit, ever the social butterfly, chatting up a group that was there. She just plonked herself among them and made herself at home! The group was playing that Murder-with-a-Wink game, you know? the one where the appointed Murderer has to be identified as he winks at the others. You have to wink at someone else if you're winked at, so there's a lot of winking going on...the aim is to catch the Murderer who is the one who initiates the first wink....or something like that. Well, my mother was so amused with them winking at each other, I bet if she was included she would SO be taking part in this game. And what a massacre that would be! Cos my mother is cute like that (wink wink).

And, that's my mother-in-law (! ) thoroughly enjoying herself in the COLD mountain spring pool, also located here! See how it's ideal for people who wouldn't want to be seen in swimsuits? Heck, I bet they'll even let you in, saree and all. Isn't my mother-in-law cute? (wink wink). And no, I am not saying this with a murderous tone, though I know some people have Mother-Out-Laws.

And yes, now I know where my husband gets his signature pose....

As you can tell by now, I love teasing my hubbie (wink wink). And he loves it whenever I feature him on my blog. pfft.

Mother-in-law, thoroughly enjoying herself! Oh, I already said that?

This is the super-hot pool where you lower down eggs in a basket and have them hard-boiled. Some say the eggs taste different but it's actually the thrill of boiling them this way that is the novelty, if you ask me. You can buy the eggs there (not too expensive), as you're not allowed to bring your own in. Whatever you do, DO NOT fall in here! Cos I have a terribly vivid imagination and all kinds of things come to my mind....

Place: Felda Hotspring, Sungei Klah

Location: About halfway to Ipoh (from Kuala Lumpur, about 70km)

Directions: Take the North-South Expressway (PLUS), exit at Sungkai toll exit. Sungkai is between Slim River and Bidor. Look for the TRAP signboards (Taman Rekreasi Air Panas), Sungai Klah, or Felda Residence Hot Springs. It's about 20 minutes from the toll exit. The roads may look very rural but don't worry, you'll get there.

Travelling time: 1 hr 15mins if you're a mad driver, 1 hr 45mins if you're a careful driver - and if you don't get lost

Operating hours: 8am - 10pm

Cost: Entrance fee 10 ringgit per person, for free use of hot pools with varying degrees of heat, and large cold mountain spring pool with man-made waterfalls and slides, clean bathroom facilities, parking area

When: Saturday, 20th August, 2011.

Meeting time: 9am

What to bring: A change of clothes, towel, toiletry, some money to buy food and eggs for boiling, drinking water (I think it will be allowed). Swimwear unnecessary (shorts and tee-shirt will do - sarees, too)

What is a hotspring? Here's what the Felda website says:
Natural hot springs are a common occurrence in Peninsular Malaysia. This phenomenon occurs when water that seeps into the Earth is heated by magma; molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth.The Earth’s pressure then causes the water to again rise above the surface, forming a natural hot spring.

If you don't know, hotspring water is supposed to have therapeutic qualities.

The water flowing from the hot springs has several therapeutic healing effects. Since ancient times hot springs have been claimed to have positive effects on ailments such as:
  • Stiff joints and stress related ailments
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Derma related complaints
  • Respiratory concerns
  • Spinal injuries and fractures

Other facilities:

1. villas (for families staying in)- Fully booked now, as it is half-price during this Muslim Fasting month

2. hotel rooms - still available, on offer RM110 (for 2 persons in one room).

3. private family bath (this is a hot pool to yourselves, no need to share) - 75 ringgit
per hour, 6 - 8 persons

4. larger private family bath - 150 per hr, 6 - 8 persons

5. large private family pool - 15ringgit per person, total 3 hours

If you plan to stay the night, we'd have to book early so please respond quickly. In any case, we'll be going for a day-trip if we don't manage to get a reservation.

Here's the website for more information:

It's a great way to bond!

So who's coming? Please send me a message here, in the comments section.