Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh Dear Me!!!....

I am a very absent minded person. Yes. That is a fact. I do not know whether this is because there are a lot of things that I am thinking of that my brain cannot organize them properly anymore or an effect for being anaemic or well … there are a lot of possibilities. I am not worried if it does not jeopardise anything but there have been occasions when …let me tell you one.

One of our favourite dishes is the oxtail soup. It takes a long time to prepare as it needs to be boiled first until the fleshy parts soften and easy to be enjoyed later.

So, on that day (a Sunday if I’m not mistaken), I was boiling the oxtail while preparing all the base ingredients – shallots, garlic, young ginger, red onion, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves – ready. Then I started blending them. Finish. I started chopping shallots to make fried shallots - to be taken with the soup. Next - chopping the Chinese parsley and green onion. Done. Just waiting for the oxtail to be boiled before putting in the blended ingredients. While waiting I fried the shallots. Done. And I still have to wait for the oxtail to be boiled.

I started clearing the mess (“courtesy of my children”) at the living area. Then I started vacuuming and mopping the floor. At this point my husband came down and said that it’s time to do the grocery shopping. So, I woke my children up (they were taking their nap) and we started getting ready to go out.

We finished our shopping and before we got back, we went to my in-laws house which is not that far away and spent some time there. Then, since I left something at my sister’s house in our previous visit, we dropped by and of course we spent some time there too. Now, just as I got into the car, something hit me! I was cold all over. Goodness! Now I remember! Just to clear my conscience I asked my husband, “Did you put out the fire before we left?” “What fire?” he asked me back. “You’re not telling me that you have something cooking on the stove?” I must be white all over by that time. “Get in the car!” he said “Quick!” I remembered how hard I prayed all the way home. I prayed that we can still reach home before anything happen to the house – worst still the neighbouring houses.

As we neared our neighbourhood I was quite relief to see that there’s no smoke coming up to the air. But it is not until we reached home that I was fully relieved. No. There’s no fire. My house is still standing. I rushed to the kitchen where a weird smell greeted me. Smokes came out from the pot. I took off the lid. More smoke and more smell of burnt oxtail. The water already dried, my pot , well… that is the moment when I am thankful for deciding to be quite extravagant in purchasing my pots and pans ( bought when I was still working, mind you! So I did not feel guilty buying the set). My pot other than a bit black is still in its pre-burnt condition. But, good quality pots or not, after that incident, I asked my husband and children to always remind me to ensure everything -switches and plugs were off before we left the house – the iron (yes, I’ve quite similar history with the iron too!), the heater, the kettle, everything and of course – the stove.

I read somewhere that there are fun ways of increasing one’s memory and alertness. These include doing certain puzzles and games. I like that – if you asked me, now I am in the middle of playing a hidden puzzle game. Last week I have just completed doing my son’s Little Giant Book of Mathematical Puzzles. Absentminded or not, I’m having fun! Cheers! (:-D)

Sources of images : white lemon daffodil from; oxtail soup from; pots on stove from and pink magnolia from

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kindness Treasured

Surely we brought back memories from our travels - does not matter where we went to. For places that we went to, for beautiful landscapes that we passed through - these can be brought back, captured through our lenses. However, there are something else which I considered more important and goes beyond those captured memories - it's the people that you met along the way. People you wished to meet again in future - People whom we met by chance but gave lasting impact in our heart. Here are three stories of the people that my family and I met during our travels :

Kuching, Sarawak

We met him on the tour bus. And he's on his way home after completing his job for the day. I can't exactly remember how we started having conversation with him but it ended with him promising to give us a tour the next day since he will be off-duty. When we got back to the Hotel that night we were still wondering if Abu's offer is real.

The next morning, sure enough Abu called asking what time we'll be ready and he'll be there when we are. Then we knew he's genuine and I for one felt guilty when I have that slight doubtful feeling the night before. When we met him at the Hotel lobby, Abu was already waiting with his friend Haji whom he said will be our chauffeur for the day. So, off we go to Sarawak Cultural Village enjoying the beautiful green views along the way. On the way back, we dropped by at Damai Beach - since Mia was sleeping (she's about a year old that time so I didn't really got the chance to get down), Abu happily took my two elder children to the beach. On our way back, we had lunch at one of the Seafood Restaurant at the beachfront. We had a really wonderful time. And to me, meeting Abu makes the journey very smooth indeed. As Muslim, I believe, this is part of Rezki too.

Abu's kindness did not just end there. Not long after my trip, my close friend planned a trip to Kuching and I contacted Abu. He said he will arrange something with his friends as he himself could not make it - He had already taken his off day for the week. And arranged he did. My friend and her family had a wonderful time too! Thank you, Abu. Well, I guessed if we have more Abus in this world, the world surely is a happier place. And I pray to the Al-Mighty that Abu's life is blessed with good things.

Bus No 23 from Oxford Street to Bayswater

I was carrying Mia as she refused to get down. Her father was folding her stroller to be put on the allocated space in the bus. The bus was full and I had to stand carrying Mia who's hanging to my neck with both hands. The seat beside me were occupied by two women (it's no use telling of what origin they were as they are not the focus of my story) busily chatting. Suddenly just as the bus was moving, I heard a voice half yelling "Hey! You two women! Get up! Can't you see there's a women holding a child beside you??! I turned my head and saw a black woman - herself carrying a child on her back (with a back carrier). "It's OK.." I told her. "No M'am it's not OK. These two fat women are so selfish" she said. "Hey!" she yelled again. "Get up! Up! Up! This lady here need the seat more than you! UP! UP!" By this time the two women had to get up and without looking at me or the black woman moved to the back. "You sit down now!" said the woman. I obeyed "Thank you" I said 'Come! You need it too." I said. "No, M'am. I am OK. I can't sit with the carrier and I have to hold this bicycle" She said with a smile pointing at the newly bought child size bicycle. "Anyway, I'm going down at Sussex Garden. I'm OK."

I said another "Thank you" as she got down at her station and waved her goodbye. She waved back with a smile followed by a thumb up sign. She may be quite harsh with her words but she meant well. That reminded me that kindness goes beyond races, skin colours and religious beliefs. I looked out for her every time we passed by Sussex Garden during our stay but I didn't see her anymore. I hope that she's well and life is not hard on her and I hope I can meet her again - yep I remember pretty well how she looks like.

Along the way to Peak Village, Matlock

We have been there before but somehow we felt like we're lost. So, we stopped as we saw a country shop by the roadside. I got out asking myself, should I just ask for direction or should I buy something and ask while paying. But before I can do anything a smiling voice greeted me. "Good morning, dear, anything I can do for you?". I move closer to the counter - a smiling elderly face awaited me. "Well, actually, we're on our way to the Peak Village and was wondering if we are on the right track." I said. "Hmmm... OK." she said. She took out a piece of paper and draw a "map" of how to get there explaining to me as she did. Finished, she hold my arms and said "It's OK dear" said she "Don't feel guilty if you don't buy anything here. Just be safe and have a good time at the Village" she continued. I said thank you and how I appreciate her help and left. Makes me wonder how many of our fellow countrymen (and women) are willing to give the right and correct directions when asked. Majority will just give a general direction with the hope that if the people asking for directions got lost, there'll be others whom they can ask.

There are other stories of kindness but maybe next time. As for my children, I hope that they can sample these act of kindness and make them a better person. I can see that from his first trip to UK, Danish came back ever willing to hold the door for strangers and pick up rubbish which were thrown on the floor. And he never hesitate in giving a helping hand but sometimes his eagerness ended in some unpleasantness to himself - for that he has to learn another lesson. Anyway, they made friends during their travel.

(Source of images : pink iceberg rose from ; others - own collection)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love? or Murder in the Making?

I was planning to properly arranged our family photos when I came across these few of Danish & Hakim. Though I can still recall when Danish asked me to throw Hakim away the first day we brought him back from hospital, I didn't realised he has all intention of "getting rid" of his little brother. Well, these photos sure have some tales to tell. Hehehe...(:-D)

Maybe seen like : One.... two... push!
Actually : You OK? Careful there...

Maybe seen like : A bit harder and he'll be gone. Opps, Granny's here!
Actually : Goodness me! How heavy can he be...!

Maybe seen like : Now? Should I just...
Actually : Hakim,... don't cry. We'll ask Baba to get a new rod for you, OK?

Maybe seen like : Hmm... This is easy. Once I got him down....
Actually : (Well,.. I can't remember everything, can I?)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The past two weeks were very tiring for me. On top of cooking, amahing & reading, I have to add tutoring my two elder children as well - normal day it involves only further explanation on the lessons for the day or just a certain topic but nearing exam week it is covering all the topics that they have covered which took a lot of my time. And worst still, my youngest just refused to deposit himself until 2.00 or 3.00 o'clock in the morning (yes, I'm talking about 2.00 a.m. & 3.00 a.m). And he wouldn't let me doze off either. He poked my eyes with his finger and asked me to listen to his version of Ultraman - as of todate, I have been introduced to a few species & hybrid of Ultraman - Taro, Dyna, Agul, Mebius, Cosmos, Zearth, Ace, Seven and Ultraman Brothers (I'm not sure if I have the right spelling but these are spelled according to my 3 year old pronunciations which can be different from time to time depending on his mood.) Imagine! Night after night of the Ultraman tales - I really feel like running away from home - I can't even sleep when I want to!

Now, my two elder children - Danish (the eldest - a Y5 student) and Hakim (the 2nd in Y3). It's a little easier on Hakim as he is always the more disciplined between the two. And he is better in his focus and concentration - so, not really a problem until he answered B. menambat to fill the blank in this sentence : Pn Wahidah menambat langsir di ruang tamu. But, at least that's reparable.

With Danish, it's a different story. I'm not sure whether I should cry, or strangle him or just wonder if there is anything wrong with his chromosome or whether his temperal lobe cortex is having problem connecting to his limbic system - sometimes I also wonder whether he is from another planet or whether I really have any biological connection with him...Ok! Ok! I may be too much! But, it is soooo... frustrating when he keeps on forgetting! He forgot to put the squared sign after finishing the problems on area, forgot to put the cubed sign after almost every problem on volume. And there are only numbers without the measurement unit required by the questions at every circumference problem. And worst still, sometimes he answered only half of the problem. And, it's up to me to pick and choose which is his answer and which his workings (hopefully you can see what I mean from the sample attached) - I'm going senile earlier than I thought.

Luckily I have a daughter. Since we bought her a set of water colour, she keeps on painting and painting and such, oblivious to her surrounding. I am so glad that she does not have to sit for any exam, at least yet. And how nice to get new paintings every day. As if she understood how stressed out I was, she brightened my day by giving me her "creation" like the two attached.

Being a stay-at-home Mum, I know that I have to arm myself with a lot of patience and TLC. For Danish & Hakim, after two weeks of "slave-driving" them, now what I can do is just pray that they will breeze through their exam. For Mia, we will be doing some craft work soon now that I have more time and for Aqil, I just hope that he'll start sleeping his normal time again - if not I really am going to pack my bag (:-D. - ohhh how sleepy & tired I am! Anyway, to all my children - Ibu loves all of you Oodles & Oodles & oodles & oodles......You are the Best Gifts I've ever had and with you, my Life is Blessed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kuala Sepetang

My BIL asked us this afternoon, "What's the place with the famous Mee Udang?" So we answered back, "Kuala Sepetang". And we told him (since he has yet to go there) that we will include the photos of the Mee Udang in this blog. So, for his benefit, here goes...

So Bro! Guessed it's time for you to make the journey northbound!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pla... Pla What? Plagiarism

I still remember the 1st day of our Marketing Class. The Lecturer? A Professor from Harvard (I'm not sure if I should mention his name - I think not) Why? Because he taught me one thing that I value since. What he said was (not verbatim, of course) "And now, I won't be here if I do not read lots & lots of journals, thesis, books, etc. So, in your assignment, please do not cut & paste from other people's work. Because I know. I have a very good memory. Be proud of your own ideas - elaborate your own understanding. One sentence that I know you plagiarize, I am going to sue you!" Wow! That is enough to scare the s*@# out of me and it sticks. And I do not need to be reminded.

So, I don't plagiarize. I made reference from books to books, library to library, reports to reports, journals to journals, site to site (not as many as today) and I worked so.. hard to get my papers completed and perfected, trying to understand theories, concepts, basically what I learned into my own interpretation. While others have such overpowering title and powerful first sentence - at least to me, mine started with a humble "As this topic can be looked from different perspectives and views, my paper is limited to the following : ....." And when I have to quote, I will put the quote unquote labels and where I took it from. I remembered how hard I work on all my assignments and term papers. As my friends put it - I don't have life when I was studying. How could I? My study was paid by the Malaysian taxpayers and since the agreement is that if I managed a CGPA of above 3.00 point, I can convert the Loan to Scholarship. Thinking that I may not get a job straight away and I do not want to burden my parents for the payment, I decided that I have to do what I can. That, coupled with the possibility of being sued for plagiarism made me take my studying seriously. And Syukur Alhamdulillah, I managed well above 3.00 - my Loan was converted and I got my first job quite easily.

Now, you may call me orthodox. But, to me when one plagiarize their assignments or papers he/she does not learn or understand that much. And think of it this way, it is not your own work that get you through. It's other people's hard work. And when you graduated you use this result to get a job. And you get paid for the job. As a Muslim, what comes into my mind - is this halal? (Coz we know that the source of income has to be halal and it is going to be fed into our bodily system - not just ours but our children, parents, sometimes grandparents) It started not from your own work but you claim it as yours - somehow it does not sound right.

Well, as I said, this is just my "2 cents". You may have different ideas - maybe I'm too much in my thoughts and I am not judging anyone if they are plagiarizing. This is just simply my thoughts and how I feel about it. Perhaps others would like to share your thoughts in this matter?

(Sources of images : "Plagiarism" from; "Studying" from; White daffodil from; no cut & paste sign from

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Old Photos Found.....

I just came back from visiting my Mom. When we reached there this morning we were wondering what my brother was doing. He was sitting, bending, concentrating on something, oblivious to his surrounding. As we came closer, then we realized he was actually concentrating on taking a shot from an old photograph. It was a photo of our family (without me, of course - as I have yet to "arrive" in this world. Not to be outdone, my husband quickly took his camera and did the same. So, this is the photo which both of them managed to "reproduced". Of my sister Kamariah (the eldest), my brother Zaid (seated - the 3rd child) and my brother Azman (2nd child) with Mum & Dad.

My niece who came out after realizing that we have arrived explained to us - "I spent the night here so, this morning I decided to go through the old photos. Come! Look at what I found." And I excitedly followed her. And I managed to get these two photos. The one here was taken when I was around 5 year old. My Dad sent this photo to my sister. At that time, she was studying in the University of Taipei, Taiwan. Reason being, she sent me the dress which I was proudly wearing.

This one here is of me and my Uncle - We fondly called him Mamak Anong (his name - Mohd Noor). He is my Mum's youngest sibling. A nice fun-loving guy but he passed away some time in 1980? or 81? I can't remember exactly neither can my Mum. The last time I met him was when we visited him at Bukit Rambai Police Station in Malacca - he was a policeman. That was the time when he asked me if I wanted to see him shoot. I said yes and he took out his pistol from his pocket and shoot to the air. Goodness me! I almost dropped to the ground! At 8, I did not expect that it is so loud and there & then I promised myself that I will not get into any trouble just in case the police has to shoot me - I'm so... scared and he had to spend the whole evening cheering me up and apologizing. He didn't realized that I was so shaken by the experience. And I recalled that I felt so betrayed. Why? Because he is one of my favourite Uncles and how could he did that to me? I was quite sad. But, looking at how he tried to console me, I decided to like him again the next day. Hmmm... now I realised .. it doesn't take that much to cheer me up! (:-D)