How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Hong Kong. Hang On: Part 1

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

To reach Hong Kong Island, we traveled through Cross Harbor Tunnel which is more than 1.5 kilometers long and underwater. Yes, all that water overhead played with my mind too.

Quick Facts:

  • Easter weekend, a four-day public holiday (Good Friday to Easter Monday)
  • Good time for citizens to travel to other countries and to China.
  • Public workers, hotel workers must work.
  • Service industries; all stories are open
  • Office workers get holiday
  • Students have two-week school holiday
  • The tallest building here turned out to be our 118-story L’Hotel Nina Tower
  • Factories used to populate this area but have been moved to China

Zeelo, the new local guide, met us after we had been processed where we’d seen the duty-free wine but had no opportunity to buy. He also took care of our hotel registration. Meanwhile, Clovis, the French guide, took an extraordinarily long time explaining in French how to get around during our free time for the rest of the day. Some guides don’t talk close enough to the mic and others, like this one, talked too close. I found him difficult to understand.

Impatient, someone in our group raised a hand. “Why do you spend so much time explaining to the French? What about us?”

When he finished, Clovis apologized and began again in English about the subway system and how to get to the Victoria Harbor Light Show and what shopping was available. Sue burned to hear about opportunities within walking distance of the hotel and asked lots of questions about shopping. Our room keys ready, Sue and I and RJ and his wife, dragged our luggage to the elevator. They invited us to see the Light Show with them later. I accepted.

No sooner had we entered our room on the 30th floor and rolled the luggage inside, Sue made ready to go exploring. Was I coming? No. I needed my feet up and quiet for a while. Anyway, I waited for the phone call to join RJ and his wife to see the dancing lights.

With no (paid) lunch on our schedule, I had two Fibre bars, drank water and relaxed. I expected we’d go out for dinner somewhere at the harbor. I wandered down to the lobby for wifi to contact my daughter. A couple workstations were provided but they were in use. Lucky I brought my own laptop. I had trouble connecting to the internet but asked a desk clerk for help and success!

Four Main Parts of Hong Kong:

  • Hong Kong Island: means fragrant harbor or port (former British City)
  • Kowloon (means nine dragons)
  • New Territories
  • Outlying Islands

RJ, his wife, and I walked a short distance to catch the subway to see the Symphony of Lights in Kowloon. Signs were in English and Chinese. To buy a ticket for the subway, a machine I’d compare to an ATM, is available at intervals. You choose your destination on a touch screen map, are instructed the cost, feed in the money and out pops a ticket. You then swipe the ticket on entry and turn it in on exit. The wait wasn’t long, street signs were displayed everywhere. We arrived without incident. While in the subway, I noticed women didn’t have iPhones, only men, and the younger generation boys.

We passed bands and singers dressed to the T’s as we strolled down to the Avenue of Stars. Soon throngs of spectators hemmed us in, mostly Chinese.

As soon as someone moved and/or space opened up beside me, it was immediately filled. I don’t like crowds at the best of time and certainly not in a foreign country. A little elbow room keeps me happy. Dusk fell quickly. A disappointment, the show lasted only about fifteen minutes, but I wondered about the electrical bill for all those lights. The show goes on every night since 2004.

© Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8. All Rights Reserved.

© Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8. All Rights Reserved.

Next up January 5th: Hong Kong, Come Along: Part 2

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014

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I am currently on an unplanned sabbatical. I hope to return but when is the question. Thank you for your supportive reading, reblogging, and tweeting. I DO appreciate your kind and continued follows far beyond my inadequate words.


Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year;

Pockets full of money and a belly full or beer…or wine if you prefer.  

Can it be five days till Christmas already? I popped in to wish my special friends in Blog World a Merry Christmas, a fabulous holiday season, and a Hap-hap-happy New Year. Here’s an Oldie but Goldie for a sing-a-long to put you in the spirit of the season if you need a nudge. I do. We have no snow and it’s warmer than usual for December.

Credit:   ChristmasTimeTV

My granddaughter dressed my tree this year, and even put the lights on—her first time at not yet twelve—because I’ve had tendonitis for the past six months and needed help. She took it a little easy on the ornaments, but the results are a colossal success and I’m grateful she was willing. This means we’ll have less to take down before my trip to Vancouver three days after Christmas. (Can’t let the cats have too much fun while I’m away or maybe cut themselves on broken bulbs, though they’ve been good as long as I took away the tree skirt).

Do you know anyone born on New Year’s Eve? This particular sister I’ll be visiting has missed birthday presents for 60 years.

Credit:  Sarah Robinson

I had no idea my cat Dickens, adopted last January, had FIV and gingivitis. I found out about his health conditions when I took him to the vet shortly after adoption. He’s lost so much weight in the past few days, I took him to the vet two days ago. He’s lost more teeth and his gums have been a bloody mess.  He’s on pain killers and antibiotics now and already his coat looks less mangy today. How I hate forcing kitties to give them medication. On the other hand, it’s a bonus not to bleed to death myself while fighting with them. The pain meds are thick enough to smear on a paw, but the antibiotics are thin as water and he’s not forgiving.

Dickens is the tan one; Lady G. is brindle.

Dickens is the tan one; Lady G. is brindle.

November had me chained to my desk. I’d participated in NaNoWriMo though I hadn’t registered. At the last moment, a friend challenged me and unprepared, I dove in, thinking no way would I complete the task ahead. Had it not been for Karen, I would have given up by day ten—my first brain drain–but she, the competitive type, kept me at it because no way was I pooping out first. Now I have a book of short stories to edit in the New Year and maybe, maybe, I’ll complete that circle too. I tell you to stay accountable. November paid off much better than last summer had workwise.

If I had not had your kind and generous support all year, I have no idea how I might have moved forward towards my long-time goal: indie publication. Thank you. Thank you for the jab in the ribs whether you had any idea or not. I could not have done anything without you, my supportive community, and I plan to return the favor again soon in 2016. I have been mostly absent since the summer, but it has been worth it. I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness, each and everyone of you.

It’s been an unusual, but exciting year for me. Thank YOU.  Thank you. I had no idea what a wonderful world I’d entered when I began blogging four+ years ago. I am close to 500th posts. Close, but still a few to go.


Credit: gabychest

Or maybe you’d prefer a more honkytonk version:

Credit:  TheChiefEmperor

Happy New Year!

Hip-hip-hooray 2016

Hip-hip-hooray 2016


100-Word Challenge for Grown Up – Week # 133

To join, check out  and  ‘What is 100WCGU?‘  

This week’s prompt:  ...the white horses were galloping…



At the Circus

“How much money you got?” Michael wiped his gluey nose on a sleeve.

“Seven cents.”

“No way, Suze.”

The six-year-old opened a pudgy fist. “A nicko and two pennies. See.”

“Where’s the quarters?”

“Don’t know. Can we go to the Big Top now?”

“Check your pockets.”

“Nope. No korders.” The girl gaped at the circus tent shoving wispy bangs aside. “Can we go now?”

“Can’t. Oh, never mind. Let’s go.” He grabbed her hand.

The ground rumbled. They wriggled beneath a loose sidewall and gawked transfixed as the white horses were galloping into the ring.

“Hey, you!” Rough hands grabbed their britches.

“Run forit, Suze!”


Flash in the Pan – Radio


“You like the Winking Judge, Georgie?”“Yeah.” The nine-year-old grinned and pulled a scarlet earlobe. “Sounds like an announcer. He said we can do it again next week. Please, can I?”

His father pursed his lips, squeezing back a smile. “I disappear for two minutes and you’re buddies all ready? He’s gotta be ninety or thereabouts, one of the oldest members.”

Georgie’s freckles faded into blush. “How come I never heard about amateur radio operators before?”

“You’ve been fixated on Xbox and iPhone games.”

“This is cool. You’ll teach me?”

“The boy scouts have programs for young people like you.”

“Yeah? I heard of them.”



His father cocked his head. “In a disaster or emergency, cell phones may die, but not these babies. Your mom used to be a YL.”

“What’s that?”

“A female amateur operator: young lady. Her voice caught my attention. That’s how we met.

“Seriously. My Mom?

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These Socks Suck

I like new ideas. These days what you know today is old news tomorrow. Someone somewhere dreams up invaluable and imaginative ways of making money. Time and again I’ve been bamboozled into parting with my hard-earned cash on near worthless product(s). When the darn thing breaks or falls apart, I don’t beat myself up about it because the investment is never large to cause true grief. Life is supposed to be an adventure. No? Sure it is.

Last minute Christmas shopping found me at Walmart in the Pet Department. Lady Gaga doesn’t know or care about Santa, but she would get a treat anyway. I bought her a cart load of Iams canned chicken, beef, and lamb paté. Her favourites. She only gets on heaping teaspoonful in the morning with a quarter cup of dry Iams and at night she has dry cat food only. One can lasts five days: five spoons.

On my way back to pay for all the goodies in my basket, I passed a sock display. Wild and jazzy colours; soft and fuzzy yarn.

Wait a minute. What’s this? The advertisement said the socks had aloe in them or were aloe? Can’t recall. Only hand-washing was recommended. Their softness sold me in three seconds. In winter as in summer, I suffer from callouses on my heels. At three dollars a pair, I almost threw three packages into my cart. Something stopped me.

The first time I wore the socks, I expected magic: soft feet overnight. And yes, I wore them to bed. Canada’s winters are cold; freezing this year. Sigh. No miracle occurred that night or the next no matter how velvety they were to the touch.

For washing, I threw them, inside out, into lukewarm water with a little dish soap. Thick fibres drifted to the top. Awful stuff. Scooping the fuzz balls out, I changed the water and started over again. Why did they shed and where was all that wool coming from? Would my socks disintegrate in the wash?

With care, I squeezed out all the water instead of wringing them out and hung them over the shower to dry.


The next couple of times I wore these strange foot warmers, fluff followed me everywhere: between my bed sheets, on the floor beside the bed, on the bathroom floor. At each washing, I expected a mass of fibres in my hands with nothing holding them together.

How many wearings or washings will they last? This latest adventure may be small but it’s not over yet. All for three measly bucks and no soft skin as anticipated. I wonder if I shouldn’t have put aloe and some O.V.O.O. on my heels before putting the socks on.

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You want magic. I’m here to share it with you.  Use a Ped Egg on your heels–dry (the surface is like a rasp). The shower routine with the stone doesn’t work for me. Slather your feet with Vaseline. Put a plastic bag on each foot with a sock over each (cotton is good but not necessary) to hold it all together. Go to bed. In the morning your feet will be soft as a baby’s you-know-what. Honest.


Flash in the Pan – Left

In the dark, graceless footsteps crunched on gravel.

“Keep it down, idiot.” Sammie hitched his threadbare pants; cricked his neck.

Hook hung his greasy head, pimpled face infected. Dandruff floated to his shoulders.

“Look at that!” Sammie pointed, eyes bright as fireflies. A sinuous silhouette slid past the only lit window.

“Get ready.”

Hook patted pockets; his shoulders sagged; hands stuck in mid-air.

“You left it, where? So—Mr. Voice—you’re no Cyrano after all!”

Wiki Creative commons

Wiki Creative commons

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The word limit for Left is 75 words. I used all 75.

For the rules to join the New Summer Quarter of Flash in the Pan, check out:


Hot Flash – Chocolate

Leonardo’s eyebrows shoot skywards. “Ouch!”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Cassie giggles and wipes her nose.

“You have chocolate…”

Heart strings strutting a tango, Cassie twirls away.

He’s quicker; he grabs her, and tastes one finger at a time. Jello for knees, she curves in closer.

“Delicious. I’m hungry. What’s next?”

The timer drones.

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The word limit for Chocolate is 50 words. I used all of them. Check out for the rules and join in.


Flash in the Pan: Happiness

Helja threw herself into the white leather armchair, knees together, shoeless feet splayed. Her toes pushed deeper in the oyster-coloured wool carpet. A loud drawn out sigh blistered the silence.

“You should take up acting,” her husband said handing her a glass of scotch. “What’s the tortured exhalation about this time?” William tossed back his whiskey without removing black, quizzical eyes from her gathered eyebrows.

Ice cubes crashing together in her glass, Helja squinted up at him, her raspberry lips pressed together into a red hyphen. The magic is gone, she thought, yet I still find you wildly attractive.

MH900430534“I’m tired of  these pointless parties and phony kiss-kiss crap.”

“You didn’t mind when you married me.”

“I’ve learned a thing or two since then. Money doesn’t buy happiness like in fairy tales.”

Snatching a hand, William hauled her down the hallway. “I’ll give you happiness,” he roared.

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The word limit for Happiness is 150 words. I used 146 words. Check out for rules and contributions.


Goodbye 2012

Here’s another year whistling by and thumbing its nose at us. I’m not going to bemoan something I have no control over. As well I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions either. What I am going to do is break more rules. A couple of weeks ago, I had a stern discussion with myself.

Why am I getting up at 7:00 a.m., seven days a week? When is my retirement going to kick in? It’s been six years. Sure, sure, the cat needs to be fed, but, which one of us is more important? Hm?

I’m happy to say Lady Gaga, is trained not to bother me until her cat alarm clock goes off. Her inner clock is spot on. She becomes antsy about ten minutes before the alarm goes off. I’ve choked laughing when I’ve caught her many times, studying the large red numbers on the bedside alarm clock. When the buzzer goes off she flies straight into the air. Every morning. To tick her off, I sometimes go to the bathroom  before I feed her.

For the first time in a-g-e-s, I’ve collapsed back into bed and slept till ungodly hours afterwards. I hang my head in shame, but I promise myself more of the same in the New Year.


What’s Ticked Me off This Year

Why is there no magic potion for crepe chest? I’ve most likely had it for twenty-five years but it’s bothering me now. What took me so long? I wonder if sleeping on one’s side contributes or accelerates this condition. I’ve tried flinging an arm behind my back. Pfft. I refuse to wear scarves or closed neck tops.


As you know, I don’t have a partner. I noticed a new development in my kitchen this past year. If I’m feeding only one person breakfast, lunch and dinner, where the heck are all the dirty dishes in my sink coming from? Loads of them and every day.


For years I’ve enjoyed highlights in my hair. I hate the dark colour against my blah-tinted mature skin. In November, I made an appointment for a trim two weeks before Christmas My hairdresser asked, “Are you sure you don’t want a colour?” I was so sure I didn’t but it was a big mistake. After my cut, what a rude awakening. I have grey hair? Where the heck did it come from? And all at once? Ugh.


Another rip-off came to my attention. I love spiral notebooks. I have trouble scratching anything onto the paper because I have arthritis in two fingers, but I like having one handy. How much thinner can the paper be made? At this rate, I can’t write on both sides of the page and anyway, I seem to scribble right through it and rip the paper.

Other than these few constraints on my valuable time, I’m hunky-dory and ready for the New Year.

MH900440952 Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.