Monthly Archives: November 2007

A Red-Hot Multi-Family Garage Sale

The Pilgrim family loves garage sales. As a seller, it’s a great way to keep your home free of clutter, and to give unwanted items a new lease of life. As a buyer, garage sales present an opportunity to save a lot of money, and to uncover wonderful treasures.

We’ve hosted regular multi-family garage sales for a few years now, and we are having our 6th this weekend! We usually have between 15-30 donor families/individuals, so there’s a huge variety of stuff. We price our items to sell (my dad calls it “ridiculously cheap”), and ALL proceeds go to charity. We’ve done this so often we actually have regular customers, ranging from expatriates to families to domestic helpers and foreign workers, to bargain-loving Singaporeans. Some even come back several times in one day!

Anyway, the details are as follows:

Date: Sat and Sun, 1-2 December 2007
Time: 9am to 5pm
Items: Electronics, books, toys, clothes, household items, fixtures and furnishings, decoratives and lots of other stuff
Venue: Email pilgrimmom[at] for address

Do drop by!

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

Pilgrim Dad has just taught Athos and Porthos how to play one of the built-in games on his mobile phone and they are both hooked. It’s a game of speed, requiring the player to manoeuvre his token left and right in order to collect points.

I’ve been wondering what the big deal was, so last night I decided to play the game for myself. With Athos and Porthos watching, I fumbled my way through and really had a hard time trying to get the thing to do my bidding. Both of them got really excited shouting instructions at me. Eventually Porthos said,

“Mommy, I will play and you can watch how I do it. This game is not for fat fingers.”

The Smoke-Emitting Volcanic Prehistoric Cake

We celebrated Porthos’ 5th birthday last week at SAFRA Toa Payoh. (Read a previous review here.) This was our first time hosting a party there and it was a great experience mainly because the entertainment took care of itself!

Our big effort in the run-up to the party was the birthday cake. Now if you’ve been following this blog, you might know that the Pilgrim family is big on fun yet frugal cakes. Still, my heart missed a few beats when Porthos said he wanted a cake with dinosaurs, a lake and a volcano (!!!)

But reminding myself of the good Queen’s admonition, we talked it through, worked it out, and here is what transpired. Continue reading

And God blessed the seventh day…

Upper Pierce Reservoir


The Queen Says…

I’ve kept a journal since I was 14 years old. It’s a place where I record my highs and lows, pleas and petitions, doubts and confessions. There are periods when I’ve journalled daily, sometimes several times a day during particularly vexatious times, and other periods where I’ve not journalled for many weeks (to my own loss). I sometimes flip back and squirm at some of the things I wrote. Other times I am filled with delight at the memories. But journalling has helped to keep me sane and honest to myself and God. It’s a habit I’d recommend to anyone.

One of the great excitements of journalling is finishing one volume and starting a new one. There’s always a wonderful sense of anticipation, wondering what the days ahead will bring, how the pages will be filled. My handwriting is always noticeably neater on page 1 of a new journal!

Which brings me to the subject of this post. I started a new journal a few days ago, in a notebook that was a gift from a dear friend. Here is what it says on the cover:

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

And maybe that is a most fitting way to start the day!

NYT: Modern Love

Thanks to a friend, I have just discovered the New York Times “Modern Love” columns. The quickest way I can describe them is that taken together, they are like the movie “Love Actually” in written form. Hilarious, tragic, breathtaking and gorgeously-written vignettes of love in our time, in all its forms and facets. Check them out!

A 6-Year-Old Muses On the Law

The Pilgrim family has been working on reducing our carbon footprint, and one of the things we’re talking to the kids about is to walk wherever possible. Which then led to an interesting conversation with Athos this morning:

Athos: Mommy, does Singapore have a government?

Pilgrim Mom: Too much if you ask me. Yes of course.

Athos: Then why can’t the government make a law to tell people to walk to nearby places?

I was stumped for an answer, and our subsequent discussion touched on crime and punishment, enforcement, and what the law is for. I am pretty sure very little of it made any sense to him.

So how would you have responded?

Concourse – Slated for the History Books

Porthos’ birthday party is a few days away so we made the obligatory trip to The Concourse at Beach Road. I wrote a post about this wonderful oasis of party supplies almost a year ago in the run-up to Porthos’ 4th birthday. It’s a wonderful hub of Christmas lights and music and decorations now, and we found everything that we needed there.

BUT… I was a little dismayed to learn that Continue reading

Free Rice

After receiving this link for perhaps the 4th time in as many days (and reading Owlhaven’s post on the same), I finally decided it was time to mosey on over to Free Rice and check it out for myself.

And 600 grains of rice later, I’m pleased to say this is one of the coolest sites I’ve encountered in recent months. If you like playing with and learning new words, Free Rice allows you to test your own vocabulary while donating rice to the UN for every answer you get correct. It is deceptively simple, yet judging by the advertisers and the exponential growth in grain totals, I’m guessing the site isĀ  getting a lot of traction. Hurray for social enterprise and please do go check it out for yourself.

A Lesson In Privacy

My Dad sent me this story. I don’t know if it’s bona fide, but it doesn’t matter because the point is well worth making. In this day and age when virtual lives are overtaking real ones, our children (and us adults too!) need to learn not to let it all hang out. Do take some time to read this. Continue reading

A Franciscan Benediction

A friend wrote this to me this week, and I loved it so much I’m reproducing it here:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

If all parents prayed this into the lives of our children, perhaps the world would be a better place than it is today?

You Are Special

Thanks to a cousin, we got free tickets to I Theatre’s production “You Are Special“.

Based on best-selling author Max Lucado’s book of the same name, it features an original script, original music, and a cast that is on the whole very strong. All the actors/actresses were unknown to me so I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the ensemble. They adopted standard American/British pronunciation and the accent didn’t slip at any point (not obviously anyway), which is rare for a mostly-local cast. There was some slapstick and melodrama, but none of the awkwardness that sometimes accompanies inexperience. Although a few of the songs weren’t especially melodious, they were well-sung. I was especially taken by the strong vocals of Dwayne Lau (Punch) and Juliet Pang (Lucia). Dwayne in particular had excellent stage presence and carried the show. Candice de Rozario was delightful as the colourful and comical Mayoress. The message of the story is the production’s strongest selling point – that all of us are special because we are loved.

Athos and Porthos enjoyed it, and there were points when Athos guffawed so loudly that those in the neighbouring seats turned to look. The actors also came out to mingle with the audience after the show which was quite a thrill for the boys.

The show is running at the Drama Centre and ends on 18 Nov. Tickets range from $23 to $38. Catch it if you can!