How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Guangzhou: Day 1, Part 3 to Zhongshan

We continued on into an industrial area of Zhongshan when I noticed palms along the waterways as I had along the highway. Something beeped again at the front of the bus, but neither the driver nor our guide appeared to care. I almost laughed aloud while I observed one of the men lean into the aisle to watch the road. I couldn’t help thinking this was to make sure Mr. Li paid attention to his driving.

At a lull in the loud conversation in Cantonese, Carolyn called out to Russ from the back of the bus. Did he know what the large framed squares and rectangles of water were? Since he sat closer to the front, he raised his voice and addressed Helen, who gave a cryptic answer: fish farms. It’s difficult to tell the approximate sizes as we were not close, and looked downwards from a moving bus. My wild guesstimate is 30 by 30 or 40 feet. A tall apparatus poked out of the center of the sectioned areas and I wondered if might be some sort of filtration system.

Zhongshan Quick Facts

  • Palm trees along highway and waterway seemed strange
  • Squares / rectangles of waterways framed by grassy strips are fish farms (fish ponds)
  • Fish farm water looked clean like a lake or river, but muddy / no rocky bottom
  • These are privately run, but government owned
  • Shacks here and there not for humans habitation, but for tools and supplies for fish farms
  • Usually two, sometimes three rice crops a year
  • More about fish farming here

The French bus passed us travelling in the opposite direction. The driver pulled a wide left turn off the highway into a construction site with pipes and newly planted trees. There wasn’t much room to turn around. At last, quiet reigned and we caught up to the French bus again.  Two or three kilometers later, we reached town and managed to find our hotel as we trailed the French bus.

After lunch Sue, Lorena and her husband went shopping for a half-hour until 2:00 p.m. at outside vendors. The rest of us stood around and chatted. Helen checked on us and announced she was going to the washroom. I followed because I had no idea where to find the Happy House. She walked into the men’s washroom—not an unusual mistake—rolled her eyes and changed direction with a loud laugh. Afterwards, since there was no paper and the hand dryer didn’t work, she offered me toilet paper from her purse. I said I carried my own, but she insisted. I told her I was prepared to dance and shake my hands to dry them if necessary. This is the second time we exchanged words.

The driver and our guide continued to carry on a loud, spirited discussion. They weren’t quiet for a second. Helen kept playing with her hair, smoothing it and running her fingers through. Neither let up on whatever they were yakking about. He laughed. She continued to push at him with her voice. His knees bounced up and down. I wished he concentrated on his driving. At one point he lowered his voice, knee still bouncing and stared at her in the rear-view mirror. She kept nattering for the one and a half-hour bus ride to the hotel. Our English Group Eight kept moving deeper and deeper into the back of the bus. Sue inserted ear-plugs. Someone clapped their hands but it had no effect on the  driver and guide.

Helen moved from sitting behind the driver to the seat opposite him. Why?  At least they gave sideways glances at each other instead of talking into the rear-view mirror. I wished Mr. Li kept his eyes on the road instead.

Lily, our previous guide, had told us that Chinese people were not quiet. I thought I noticed a slight blush when she shared this information.

Helen and Mr. Li finally began a more animated conversation compared to what had sounded like murderous arguing. They smiled and sounded happier and were more relaxed, more companionable rather than combatant. Mr. Li smiled more, his voice lowered and his face became more enlivened.

Sue snoozed and I scribbled in my notebook. She had been disappointed only 30 minutes of shopping had been allowed. She managed to buy another T-shirt and was upset shopping around our next hotel may be department stores and not street vendors with whom one might negotiate a better price.

Finally, we arrived at our hotel in Zhongshan around 3:45 p.m.


Others areas in the lobby”

~ * ~

Next on April 24th – Zhongshan continued

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


100-Word Challenge for Jacqui

Behave Yourselves


Thank you Google.

Thank you Google.

My fickle pen rushes…

Morgan paced like a panther. “You know me. I do what I like.”

“You-know-me-I-do-what-I-like.” Wally’s sour mouth puckered.

Hey stop.

“You dare use that tone with me?”


You’re fighting? Behave yourselves.

“Sorry, sweetheart. I’ve had a dreadful day. Georges-is-unreasonable.”

“Sweetheart? You haven’t called me that in…we’re in agreement then. My choice of destination.”

What? Isn’t this sudden? You can’t change directions whenever you please.

“Destination? I-thought-I’d-explained-I-can’t…”

“Can’t or won’t? You work for me, remember?”

“But the project—”

Enough. I need a break from you two. My wrist’s shot and I have to pee anyway.


Broken Butt

This is serious. If I hear any gigglers in the back, I’m closing shop and going home–the better to lick my wounds in private. Nah, not really.

Two weeks ago, I sat at my dining-room table busy reading posts and leaving comments. The trouble began when I decided to sit on a card chair. Because I’ve been spending so much time on my laptop in this room, I find I hate my dining-room chairs. The seats are sprung (cushioned without any wood underneath) and too deep for me. Most of the time I end up perched on the edge of the chair, hunched over for long periods of time. I don’t notice until the back of my neck becomes stiff and the area between my shoulders, slightly lower than my neck aches.

I chose a card chair for size and thought I’d hit the jackpot. With my back supported, I sat up straight and the back of my knees hung over the edge of this chair just right. Thanks Baby Bear.

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

What went wrong?

After some time, my concentration of all things blogging, found me on the edge of the chair. This is a run-of-the-mill card chair. You know: a metal square surrounding a lightly padded seat? Yep, the metal edge bit into the bottom of my butt. So, I moved around to lessen the numbness but it wouldn’t go away. The clock read I’d been at it for two hours. Time to go to bed.

The next morning when my feet hit the floor, my butt dragged. I might be mistaken for one of those wooden folding drying racks you setup in your bathtub on rainy days. On the other hand I FELT like the capital Greek letter sigma which means summation. In a nutshell, standing and movement meant pain and bent knees. What a picture. Blah. I can imagine muscle tone loss everywhere but not there. I’ve always considered I came well-padded. Wrong again.

For two weeks I haven’t sat comfortably. I tried cushions, regular foam, and a memory foam pillow. Stop laughing. Nothing helped. I’d broken my butt and had to I avoid stairs at any cost.

Today, I joined some friends at a walking trail for a 5K workout. At first every muscle I never knew my butt used to get me around pulled in the wrong direction, but I hung in there and it has probably loosened them up. I believe I’m getting to normal.

Up to this point, I’ve experienced no major physical issues except for this crimp in my lifestyle. I must remember I’m not sixteen anymore (although I feel about twenty) and shouldn’t take anything for granted anymore.

I can’t understand why I’m falling apart.


How are YOUR Eggs?

This subject has been on my mind for ages. I hope you’re wondering what kind of question this is?  It’s an ordinary one: about the eggs chickens lay.

I like to keep boiled eggs in the fridge either for a quick breakfast or to put in a salad at lunchtime. Over the past six months or so, I’ve noticed my eggs most uncooperative. I always have them come to a boil, turn down the gas and cover with a lid for ten minutes. Also, an ice water bath awaits to stop the cooking. Nothing in my process has changed in all the years I’ve been boiling eggs.

  1. Eggs are always easier to peel soon after the cold water treatment.

    If I don’t peel an egg until the next day, they don’t peel as well as they should. The skin between the egg and the shell hugs the egg too tightly. I call this separation anxiety.

  3. Let’s say I boil four eggs. One might peel more easily than the others. Why?
  4. One egg will be cracked although no crack was noticeable before boiling.
  5. The outside of one yolk may be dark grey even though they were boiled the same way in the same pot.
  6. Brown or white eggs have no nutritional difference, but for a time brown eggs peeled easier than white. Hmm.
  7. Farm eggs, from a local farmer, have a dark yellow yolk, almost orange. At least they used to. I haven’t checked in years.
  8. Grocery store eggs used to have a deep yellow yolk. I read the colour of the yolk depends on what grain is fed to the chickens. What are they feeding them? White Wonder Bread?
  9. Over time, I’ve noticed egg yolks have become lighter more like a corn silk yellow after boiling. I have no way of knowing the depth of colour before cooking.
  10. The last carton of eggs I brought home from the grocery store seems compliant. At least so far. Peeling them reminds me of previous times.

* * *Don’t get me started on the grading of eggs. Here is the link to explain the process where I live.

It used to be, I bought Large eggs. I can’t recall when or why I switched to Extra Large. I pretend like to believe I’m observant and a curious sort. I’m not sure when I graded up. Seems eggs have been shrinking and I hadn’t noticed. That’s right—shrinking. Unless my eye-sight has deteriorated since I bought new glasses last summer, I believe Extra Large eggs are the new Large.

When were chickens taught to lay smaller eggs?

  • Wait, maybe it isn’t their fault. Let’s go back to the brown and white eggs: depends which type of chicken is laying them.
  • Yolk colour depends on what chickens are fed. What are the chickens eating that causes them to lay smaller eggs with washed out yokes?
  • I read it’s not size but weight that counts for grading them. Hmm.

 * * *

Disclaimer: I am not scientific and have not used scientific means to explore my world of eggs. No farmers, chickens, or eggs were coerced in my amateur test. No money changed hands and no benefits gained. I stank at physics and never took chemistry. I am innocent of any and all finger pointing which may result. I have queried a couple of neighbours and a stranger or two, as well as a few friends. These are my results.

 * * *

About a year ago, I did a rant about shrinking food packaging which led to deceiving pricing. If you’re curious, you will find it here:


North or South?

When I was a kid, anyone NOT right-handed was given the cold shoulder and called any number of names. They were considered non-contributing members of society, present and future. In school I knew of two such kids who were also kind of dyslexic, and who stuttered. The outlook around this subject was different in those days. At that time, of course, I was not aware any of these characteristics had anything to do with each other. This correlation is made today (sometimes), but I was a kid then, and even the adults weren’t any smarter (with regard to southpaws).

Mothers over the years have been known to tie their child’s left hand at his or her side to force the use of the right one. Sometimes not (hurrah). If you were of this left-handed persuasion, consensus was you were lacking (not too bright), and parents felt embarrassed. Luckily, some did not stress out about it. Dumb thinking right? Of course—in hindsight.

It now appears enough parents either didn’t bother, worry or notice their children were different and thank goodness. Have you noticed how many actors, actresses, celebrities are left-handed? How many creative, innovative personalities and leaders of men have been or are southpaws?

More males than females are left-handed. This is a brief and sporadic overview (there are many):Leonard Nimoy  Whoopi GoldbergMorgan FreemanMarilyn Monroe Michelangelo

Helen Keller

Leonardo da Vinci

Oprah Winfrey

If you wish to see more, check this out:

Many more either chose to be, or were, ambidextrous. A few U.S. Presidents in recent memory who fit the lefty category are:

Barack Obama

George H.W. Bush

Bill Clinton

To expand a bit on this subject, I won’t begin to name them all, but other famous personalities or interest are:

Fidel Castro

Charles (Prince of Wales)

I don’t doubt life is still a struggle for lefties to live in a right-handed world even though manufacturers have seen a market and jumped in to supply their needs.

We’ve heard it said right-handed people  use their left brain (I am one of them).

If that is so, then, left handed people must be in their right minds.


What is my What?

How many passwords (or codes) do you have? Remember you must have a different and unique one for every account. I understand some of the reasons for them are as follows:

  1. Debit card
  2. Banking online
  3. Facebook login
  4. Twitter login
  5. LinkedIn login
  6. E-bill account for cable/internet/phone provider
  7. E-bill account for heat, hydro and water
  8. E-bill account for mortgage or rent
  9. Blog login
  10. Possibly another blog login
  11. E-mail account 1
  12. E-mail account 2
  13. E-mail account 3
  14. E-Bay account
  15. Paypal account
  16. Amazon account
  17. Another bookstore account
Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Seems like yesterday, I had to memorize telephone numbers, but only a few because not everyone had a phone. If really stuck, a directory assistance operator looked up the number when I asked, free of charge. The friend list grew. A pocket-sized personal address book became popular. Everyone’s information found their way inside with the help of a pen and my little hand.

Later, cell and cordless phones came along which allowed entering all my nearest and dearest friends’ numbers into an electronic phone book on my personal unit. Of course, I didn’t need to remember anymore since the phone directory did it for me. I scrolled through the names and hit the send button. The phone was smart. It did, and still does, the dialing.

I’m not sweet sixteen anymore and my memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Some days I can hardly remember what day it is, or my name, without checking the nametag on my shirt. (Yes, the nametag. You can steal this tip if you like. I share it—no charge—and you aren’t required to rattle off any combination of passwords to get it.)

Words, letters or numerals of assorted and distinctive anything, let alone a dozen or so passwords, I’m simply too tired to remember. Why is it when this is supposed to be the time of my life, I am burdened with this information overload? I’m told not to check the little box that asks if I want my PC to remember a password. Of course, I don’t click it, because I’m afraid of creepy cyberspace creatures prowling around inside my computer, snooping around. For the life of me I cannot understand why they might want to.

I’m ready for the electronic fingerprint or eye-ball analysis or whatever, so I’m able to get on with it and not fumble around trying to remember which password is for what.

Give me a break!


Flash in the Pan – Ecstatic

MB900285297“Thanks a lot. I’d said no, hadn’t I?”

“You don’t understand, Sis.”

“What’s to understand, Ali?” Jennifer straightened, and blew frizzy hair out of her scarlet face. Fingering the softness of her cashmere sweater, mouth puckered, she threw it across the bed.

“I wore it once—for my Valentine’s…”

“I’m ecstatic for you.” Jennifer hissed. “I now pronounce you Ali and spaghetti stain.”

* * *

The word limit for Ecstatic is 75 words. I used 63 words today. Check out for rules and contributions.


Sunday Snippets Blog Hop #3

Check it out! Jennifer Eaton of has initiated this Critique Blog Hop. Read the rules and sign up. Sounds like a fun way to get good feedback.


I offer these next 250 words from Leap of Faith. The beginning can be found here:

* * *

“That new girl, Irene, is stealing from everyone. No-one lost anything until she arrived.”

Olivia, Reddy’s mother, cut thick slices of crusty olive bread. She stirred a thick zuppa on the stove and filled shallow bowls for their supper. With shaking head and busy hands, she watched father and daughter sparing, but kept quiet.

Everett put his hands on his hips and copied Reddy’s hand toss. He rolled his eyes and sat down at the wood kitchen table. “It’s up to the teacher to right this, not you. Come sit.”

The room was too small even for the miniature table, let alone a man of his girth. Her mother set down a bowl in front of Reddy and brushed the short coiling wisps of hair which framed her face. “Mia bella,” her mother whispered, sat down and crossed herself. “Nel nome del padre,” she began…

After supper, hours of daylight still remained before the sun withdrew into the horizon. Her father excused himself from the table. Reddy bounced her knee up and down beneath it. Her mother tightened her lips as she cleared the dishes away. “Come, Rosalia.”

Reddy groaned and slumped in her chair. “Okay, Mama, I’ll help with the dishes, but can I go outside for a while after? It’s still light out. Please.”

Mother and daughter eyed each other. Reddy hated this tug of war between them. “Small time,” her mother said as she pinched her thumb and forefinger together.
Reddy dashed out of the back door.

* * *

Click on over to these great writers to check out and critique what they’ve posted!


Flash in the Pan X3 – Plus HOT Flashes x3

MH900400574Momma’s eyes flashed fire. Fists on hips and feet planted apart, she hollered, “How many times must I tell you?”

Mark hung his head, his beard wet against his chest. One eye peeked at her as he clutched the carton shamefaced.

“Such a waste of milk dripping down your chin. Say something.”

“I was thirsty?”

“As is everyone else waiting for breakfast. Lucky you only visit once a year.”

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Mark is 100 words. I give you 69.

~ * ~

Sarah dug in her purse for the errant twenty-dollar bill wearing a nervous smile. “I know it’s in here. Give me a minute.” Perspiration soaked her underarms. The more she clawed, the less progress her useless hands offered.

MH900341994“Hurry up, lady. What’s the holdup?” an angry voice grumbled behind her.

“Sorry,” she muttered and dumped the contents onto the counter to multiple groans.

“Honey, you left this on the front seat,” Brian called.

In a flash, Sarah scooped up her paraphernalia and ran towards him.

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Flash is 100 words. I’ve used 85.

~ * ~

MH900444437“Do I know you?” Pete asked the blue-eyed looker at the subway stop.

Drumming fingers on her purse and tapping her foot on the tiled floor, the brunette shook her head and turned away.

Pete scratched his head. My memory’s not that bad yet. He made a step towards her. She whirled on him. “Look, you’re just not my type, buddy.”

“Sandy?” Pete’s eyes popped. “I never forget a voice. I thought you were dead.”

“Pete? Where did you hear that?”

Click Flash in the Pan to check out this fiction challenge.

The word limit for Type is 100 words. I give you 81.

Hot Flashes

MH900425493A precocious three-year-old climbed from chair to counter, agile as a monkey. Bertie looked over her shoulder grabbing the handle on the cupboard door. She gobbled the chocolate in the blue package, leaving no trace of the Ex-lax she’d stolen.

Check out Hot Flash Trace for this fiction challenge. The word limit is 50; I used 40.

This hot flash and the two following have been inspired by

~ * ~

MH900234619Jack stacked another row of yellow Legos on the roof of his castle. He touched his masterpiece with loving hands. Just a couple more, he thought.

His mother walked in. “Jack, is that your eight-year-old potty dance? Get in there, mister.”

The Hot Flash is Dance this time. Again the word limit is 50, but I used 41.

~ * ~

The blonde roamed the aisles of the second-hand store as if lost.

MB900423153“Can I help you, lady?” the cashier called.

Startled like a mouse in daylight, Toni squeaked, “Do you have a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in stock yet?”


Inspired by M3, this Hot Flash is Stock. The word limit is 50. I used 42.


Flash in the Pan – Wake

They were siblings, five (Able) and almost nine (Ready). As girls will, they fought like cats and dogs—sometimes.

Able:  You are wrecking my life. You almost ribbed my new book.

Ready:  You pushed me—like this—with your elbow. I’m telling Daddy.

Able: You are in Grade 3, almost four, Ready, and eight—almost nine. I’m just little. But I know the rules. Big sisters have-ta look after little sisters. I’m not mad at you, but you’re not nice to me.

Ready: You are such a crybaby. I’m still telling Daddy. I’m going to play Moshi Monsters on Daddy’s Laptop.

Able: Wake for me, Wake for me!

~ * ~

Click for the rules of this challenge.

The word limit for Wake is 125 words. I used 110.