Wednesday, November 28, 2007

T'is the season

T'is the season to play outdoor
Tra la la la lasaa la la la laa

As I have mentioned the weather has cool down. Outdoor time people! We went dune bashing the last weekend! We went to Kh0r Al Udeid. If you want to know what and where this is refer HERE

And this time, in a smaller group of 12 4WDs, we went through an even exhilarating terrain than the last time we went. But this time it was only a day trip. We went after Jumaat prayers and went back after maghrib.

This time round we got to enjoy the beach. The kids swam. Some fished. Some went to tangkap kupang. My lover just sat down chatting. I ran around with the children taking photos.

Highlights :

We went down on a very very very steep slope with our car. Triumph! I took pictures of other cars going down. Of course no one had mine. Hmm I had to strategise next time. Haziq slide himself down. Then while waiting for all the cars to come down, the kids ran up the dune and slide down and ran back up and slide down again. Man they have so much energy.

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Goddess highlight:

I brought nasi lemak, sambal kaw kaw and ayam goreng rempah toss about and a flask of chai. They said the sambal and chicken was super duper. He he.

Energy (lack of) highlight:

After gobbling two plates of nasi lemak, I decided to run about with the children on the beach. Then I thought why not I try getting up the smooth crescent dune because it looks too inviting. Like a smooth icing just waiting for you to poke it.

Let me tell you this. It is really really difficult (for me) to get up the dune. For a 100 percent energy I gave, I only get to move a little. One step forward, three steps backwards. I cannot imagine being lost in a hot dessert with all the difficulty walking in the sand. Err the kids however climbed up like nobody's business.

I had to shout for Haziq many times because he kept wandering about the dunes when we got up there. When he was on the other side, I cant see him. I kinda get worried, because the dunes look almost the same everywhere.

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Photos highlight

We moved out after finishing maghrib and Isyak (qasar, Jamak). Of course I had to be the last one to pack. Cleaning up the kids took me a long time.

Then we travel through the dunes in the stark darkness except for the lights from our cars. Occasionally there were a few locals in their powerful Nissan Patrol or Toyota Landcruiser zooming around us. We were getting out of the dunes, they mostly were getting in.

The drive back was challenging because we still had to go through steep slopes. Many got stuck but there were many of us. So while I waited for the guys huffing and puffing helping some cars out of the sand, I took photos.

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note : the white light is the car front lights, red light is the car rear lights.

the streak is the light following the car's path movement.

the top picture shows a car going up the slope in the dark. The next picture, shows that as a car was going up, another car came rushing down the slope at almost the same time. About three locals were driving down the dune, driving almost like mad. Scary!

The trip was by far the best sand dune trip I went. There were no formal guide. We depended on this guy who apparently has been visiting the dunes. He is equipped with GPS of course.

I think I am now very interested with GPS. Very very interesting. When is my next birthday ah?

More photos HERE

Tomorrow night I am going crabbing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh Dear Sya

Today I received a letter from Sya's teacher. What I read was a total shock to me.

Shock. Embarrassed. Angry. Sad.

Apparently Sya has been asking money from her friend. Not the extortion kind. More of a friendly kind. And the girl has been continuously giving her money so that Sya can buy herself a bottle of juice.

I don't even know how to start what I want to say.

I am still angry to the point I feel like crying.

You see, Sya has been asking me for pocket money so she can buy something from the school shop. I have explained to her numerous time, she and her brother, the reason why I don't think it is a good idea.

First of all, I am giving her food everyday. Maybe its obnoxious but I pride myself for doing her lunchbox. I also gave her plain water. I told her that I do not agree to buying juice from school. remember my new year resolution. That I want to reduce the sweet juice intake.

I guess she did not agree with the idea and feel that she needs to buy from school still.

Using someone else's money.

I can't tell you how embarrassed I am now. In fact embarrass enough to write this down here. But I need to recollect myself. Help me clear my mind.

I suspect though, that she wants to buy because she would look cool and in with the rest of the girls. Everyone else has pocket money. So its might not really be about the juice. Which is something that needs to be addressed.

One easy solution is of course to give her money from now on. Just QR1 will get her the juice. But it's not all about money. Even though I have been contemplating to give them pocket allowance, but now it would seem that I am going against my instruction. And should I or should I not control what she eats? I still want to in a way. Sya can easily plump up. She did last term before summer. I just do not think its right to plump up too early. (my age differentlah). I do want her to practice good eating habit.

I have talked to Sya. No allow me to correct that. I have shown my anger to her. I may have also use the word disappointed. *hangs head in shame*. Total wrong I know. I didn't know any other way sometimes. I was disappointed that she went against me. She knew about the no juice thing. I said to her despite no juice policy, I still give her juice every time she gets in the car when I picked her up. What else do you want????? And asking money from a friend is another thing. Ahhhhh!!

I will speak to the teacher tomorrow and very likely give a courtesy call to the girl's mother. And what is worst the teacher wrote the message last week. And all this while there have never been any message when I check, and I just have to not check this earlier.

I am still thinking what to say to her tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Little Gift

You may have noticed that I mention something about farewell lately. And do you remember I mention something about making a gift for her. HERE.

Elisa then suggested that I looked at Martha Stewart's for ideas. Which I did. Thank you Elisa. This is what Martha suggested. I put some of my ideas and uhuk uhuk I manage to make something for my friend. First time me do something "crafty". Me so proud.

The idea started when I was sorting some of Kak Azit's photos. I happen to have a few good selection of her pictures. Then everyone has been giving her something. Very expensive something.Persian carpet (I chipped in), crystal chandelier, vileroy and boch vases. I wanted to give her something more personal. And I was thinking that she might appreciate a handmade something. I would.

I made her a photo album with her pictures, her family and her closest friend's pictures.

In the process of making the album, I noticed she likes things Laura Ashley like. So I changed the scheme colour from my typical black and white classic look into a cool blue and white. Actually that's the only pastel colour I can find in the store for the card. I added little blue and white flowers for effect. The little flowers also have another purpose. I wanted something to add a gap between the photos so they won't stick to each other in the long run.

I procrastinate a lot of course, which is not surprising. And I didn't expect that Kak Azit change her flight date to even earlier. Suddenly I heard she was going back the next day. I scrambled to finish the project. I had to grab the only fabric I found which I was not entirely satisfied. The fabric is for the album cover by the way. It didn't turn out as how I imagine it. Oh well..

However, the look on everyone's faces (including her children) when I presented it, was priceless.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Winter is Coming

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe temperature reading on my dashboard display says that it is 22C. This is at 7 in the morning. Oh what a pleasant weather it is nowadays. It hits maximum 35C in the afternoon and the sun is pleasant and warm. The breeze is cooling. Indeed, winter is approaching. And I just can't wait.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe flowers and greens are back. The council is busy planting flowers and grasses on roundabouts and road dividers. Even the Ministry of Agriculture is dispensing advice on gardening. I bought a few pots myself. Even though, I know this effort can be futile. Come summer when I shall be away for two months, the plants will wilt in the death of the heat and thirst. Still if I can manage to salvage one plant which is now happily blooming beautiful pink flowers at my doorstep, I think a few more can survive.

I certainly look forward to winter for I love dressing up in the cold weather. Out come my jackets. Long red jacket. Hip suede brown jacket. Elegant green velvet blazer. I am thinking of buying one more. Another longer jacket, preferably brown. And I love my sweaters and jumpers to be worn for different feeling and different occasion. Jackets and jumpers always cover my bulges and I perasan they make me look smart. Put up the collar, I would look mysterious. Flip the lapel makes me look elegant. Not to mention elegant mufflers around the neck add the extra umph. And boots. Knee high boots to boot!

Winter time also means outdoor time. Lots of plans are buzzing now. In two weeks time I might go sandduning. There are other plans of barbecues. Desert camping. I am thinking of taking the kids out at the park more often this winter.

For about five months you most likely won't hear me complaining about the sun. In fact, the sun is a blessing during the cold time. When the clod breeze hits you, the sun will stroke your cheek and keep you warm.

Winter, the best season of the year in Qtar. Brrrrr!

Monday, November 12, 2007

About sleep over and my open house

Nabit, Mr Fath's daughter had to make a choice whether to go to my open house (the fourth one) or to go to her friend's place for a sleepover. She was having a dilemma deciding and talked it over with her parents. As told by her mother, Nabit really wants to go to my place, but her friend shall be leaving D0ha soon and thus these would be their last sleepover of sort.

Nabit asked her parents to send her to the friend's place later at night after coming over to my place. "You think I am your driver ah?", said her mom. So Nabit had to chose. her mom, positively said (which I tend to agree), that perhaps going for the sleepover would be a better choice considering that her friend is leaving. Auntie Lollies would be around in D0ha for more open houses.

Finally Nabit succumbed, and sadly said to her mum, "Can you send my salam to Auntie Lollies. tell her I am sorry that I couldn't come". Her parents laughed at this. (It was quite funny when Mrs Fath told me). It was like as if nabit is going to faraway land and not see me anymore.

I met Nabit at another open house prior to mine. She said she is very sorry she could not come. I really wanted to tease her and make her feel guilty for not coming. But I decided otherwise, considering that she is only twelve. Instead I said, i understand and that I'd probably do the same thing too. Plus who knows when will you ever see your friend again. She seemed relieved.

But I was honored that she came to tell me. She has my admiration that girl.

Anyway, Mr Fath's family was the first to come that night. Way before Isyak and prayed at my place. Nabit was there too. :D. Then Mrs Fath send her to her friend's sleepover.

In the end, we parents are our children's driver. Always.

Batrisyia was also invited for a sleepover on the very same night. her classmate's birthday apparently. She told me days before. To tell you the truth I am not very keen of this. She is too young for a sleepover, I think. But more importantly, I have an open house. My closest friends, whose kids are by default her friends too.

When I told her this, she was not very happy. I ignored her.

She didn't stop at that and kept coming back trying to make me agree to let her go. And each time, i said I am inviting some people over. I reminded her that she kept asking me when these people are coming to our place. And now you are begging me to let you go elsewhere? To another party?

But it was on the day of the open house itself. On Friday. She woke up with a gloomy face. "Can I go?", she asked. I sighed and said we have talked this over many times Sya. And she got angry and began to snap at her brother.

I called her to the kitchen. I was slaving and was in slight verge of panicking for there were still too many things to do. I got angry with her and told her to get over it and stopped snapping at everyone. I also mentioned that her friend's mum did not mention anything about sleepovers, so do you think I am going to let you go? I told her off!

After I cooled down, I called her and sat with her. I explained that I understand that she is frustrated. So would I. I asked her to understand that as a host it is respectful that we are around when our guests come over. I am sure her friends would want to play with her. How would you feel going to your friend's house and she is at someone else's house? I also said, that sometimes we can't get what we want all the time and sometimes we have to give in for someone else. Most of the times we must show respect and appreciate our guests. And that is the responsibility of a host. And I can see that she is a big girl now. Can you take this responsibility?

I also said that I am proud of her. She sobbed. Ahh she is a good girl. We hugged.

Then she helped me slice the pineapples. :D

She wrote something about her fun time with her friends. Perhaps if I have the time, I will scan it and put it up.

I hope she learned something from this.

I did.

My daughter is growing up.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Open House Batch No 4 : Done

Gosh! When will she stop talking about open house?

He he.

Last Friday night was probably the most ultimate open house I had. The guests were about 60 plus. Most of them are, I can say, my closest friend here. You know the kind of people that you WANT them to stay longer at your house. Those who can go straight to your kitchen and make themselves comfortable. Those who can korek periuk for extra servings.

I cooked:-

Nasi minyak sprinkled with saffron and raisins
Dried chicken curry
Acar nanas and timun (pineapples and cucumber pickle)

Mee curry
with fried chicken chop chop (for description in photo form refer HERE)
Fried chickenlah of course

Surprises of Rojak Pasembor ala Lollies
which is a mix of
Crispy tepung goreng (sliced)
sliced boiled eggs
Things fried in special batter
chicken breasts (cut in strips)
sliced cucumber

The Rojak surprise was to be eaten with peanut sauce

Marble pudding

Air sirap bandung

Teh tarik

Cofee susu panas (brand Kenco)

I couldn't make extra desserts because I had to run to another open house during the day.

Phew!! I was really tired at the end of the day. The most painstaking job must be the rojak surprise. There were just so many things to do for the dish. The frying. the slicing. Including the peanut sauce which thankfully i roasted the peanuts days before.

But everyone attacked it and it was gone in like ten minutes. Tinggal timun je sikit. Me happy!

I had a few worries before the open house. First, because there was a bigger co joined open house during the day where most of the cooking experts in D0ha cooked. There were nasi kerabu, mee hoon soup and LAKSA SARAWAK (oohh sedapnya). In fact a few of my guests told me not to do it at the very same night but I was adamant. But I was still worried that people won't be eating since they might be full. And worst most of the hosts for that big open house were my guests. Errkkss.

My next worry is as usual, would the food be enough? What if I underestimated their tummy?

My biggest worry was probably, that most of my guests are experts. The kind who can whip out dishes for hundred of people with eyes closed. the kind who keep big pots and pans and warmers and periuk nasi and long sudips and big senduks in their house stores. The kind that have the individual tunku api to cook outside their house for kawah style. Oh I have been mixing with them and I know that they have taste for food. And can be particular especially if you are cooking malay food. Sambal ikan bilis tak kaw, memang slowlah dia orang. Not that they say it out loud, but I know. So worry worry. But again I was adamant. Because my niyat is to call people over and hope that even if the food was bad, they can still enjoy themselves. But pray notlah.

So cook with love and feel happy. Those are the magic ingredients.

Alhamdullilah they LOVE LOVE LOVE the food. They love the mee curry. the love the dried chicken curry I made. My nasik minyak turned out perfect. They even suggested I opened a restaurant. Oh how kembang. And people rushed to the dining table. It was almost chaos. Its either the food was too good or it just appear rowdy because the place is too small. But people were laughing, shouting and jesting at each other. It was like pasar chow kit for a moment.

Despite people claiming that they are full due to the earlier open house, they added more plates and bowls. Oh I was delighted. I love my friends. All my tiredness? Gone!

And as expected most of the ladies made themselves comfortable in my kitchen. Those with little babies mostly sat in front of the TV. The men in the majlees. Some playing 400. Mostly chat away. One guy even slept, after eating, on my arab sofa.

The children played in my kids' room and some outside.

They left at somewhat midnight.

That night, I was really tired. But somehow I was too excited to sleep. I went chatting the night away with my lover.

I slept happy remembering my funny friends.

I also slept, a happy goddess.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


nope! Not sister-in-law

also not SIL as in Surge impedance loading on a transmission line when the resistance is set to zero thus the line is considered as a lossless line.

Sil is an arabic word spelt as sod-ya-lam.

It means connect. (Mudarisah aliya, tolong betulkan ya)

Think silaturrohim. To connect the love. (betul ke ni main suka translate aje)

You know, I must admit to you, that I feel good inviting people over. Doing all the open houses. Tiring yes, but I enjoyed it. And because of that, I try my best to oblige when people invite me over. Tak mau kecikkan hati orang.

I feel that with all these visitings, the friendship gets closer. We bond more.

I must say thank you to the hosts of the first ever Malaysian open house here in efx2. I personally think that it is such a great idea. An open house done virtually. I can almost feel the loudness and the laughter.

Can you feel that you connect more? Bond after feasting your eyes on the food?

Go visit the happenings at [URL=""]MALAYSIAN EFX2[/URL]

Pastu duduk computer ketawa sorang-sorang diri ajele.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Third Batch of Open House: Done!

This time round we invited mostly the "bachelors" over. And also a few families who know these "bachelors". Apparently all the three families I invited, do not know each other. I hope they do now. :D

The guests were again not many. About ten.

I cooked nasi ayam (chicken rice). I chose nasi ayam, because this has got to be the most simple dish ever to make especially for group invitation. Make the chicken soup kaw kaw, and you get the rice. Tapi I ada tips baru untuk masak nasi ayam yang semerbak harum. *winks*. Take the chicken out, throw stuff to marinate the chicken and fry after a few hours. As for the fibre, toss some salad, slice tomatoes and cucumbers. Walah you are ready.

Perhaps the most tedious part for me is to make the chilly sauce. Because I always use fresh red chillies and I would deseed them. And of course I must get bawang goreng and daun bawang and kuah kicap. Barulah nampak presentable.

I wanted an easy menu knowing that I had two open house invitation during the day. So my time was pressing. My open house was at the later night. And luck has it, both of the open houses I went today served nasi ayam as well. And at least two of my guests that day went to one of the open houses.

To top it, sometimes I get panic when I think that I cook too little. When all the guests were savagely attacking the nasi ayam, I got fickled. I thought that the rice would run out soon. I went against my lover's advice and cooked a bit more rice. Which, in the end was not touched. So you can only guess what we had the next daylah kan.

Mabuk nasi ayam aku!

I also cooked roti jala with chicken curry. I am probably not good at whipping the batter, that in the end I had to sift the batter to have a smoother one. And making things worst, my plastic roti jala mould(?)is not very good. (This is actually the case of not being able to dance, blame the floor). The funnel(?) is not smooth. Some tiny plastic bits are at the end of it.

This tiny bits at the end of the funnel somehow disturbs the flow of the batter. making my roti jala looked like roti titik-titik.

So to kirai the roti jala took a lot of my time. This is on top knowing that to make roti jala aready is a painstaking one by one work. And I rejected the ugly ones. Which notlah that many. I exaggerate mostly. Only about four out of I don't know. Quite a lot.

The highlight of the day also was the air jagung and mint tea.

I had a good time that day. One of the families who came, Ms. Fash, had her mother with her. Lucky lucky her. Her mother sangat berkenan dengan Haziq. And partly that was the reason she agreed to come to my house despite her being tired after shopping the whole day. She also said somehow she feels very content being here in my house. Wowser! Despite the rummage of the children's room!

Suffice to say, I enjoy each of my open houses. Rasa macam puas dan akrab sekali dengan kengkawan.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Miss You

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI miss you. Zachary has been using the three words to such great effect these days. He said I miss you when I picked him up from school and hugged me tight. He said I miss you to his dad when he comes back from a long journey home.

And what more, he said I miss you even to Loi Loi when they meet at open house after long weekdays. Oh Loi Loi's mums and siblings (all girls) are ever thrill of course.

Zachary is also the favorite of many of the "uncles" here particularly Mr. Adub. Mr. Adub has three daughters and no son (yet). He adores Zachary to bits and even spoon Zachary dinner whenever he can. And Zachary would always run to him first and hold his hands out so Mr Adub would carry him.

Last night at an open house, Zachary said to Mr. Adub, "hello Uncle. I miss you". Mr adub melted last night. he said to my lover, "Mak oi! Ko tau anak ko kata apa! Dia kata I miss you. Cair aku! Cair!"

And what's special about Zachary's I miss you is that he doesn't use it freely. I miss you is not cheap. He knows really when and to whom he should use it. Bless this child.

I am happy for my children. I am happy that they grow up surrounded by love not only from their immediate family, but also our friends and my friends children. Be it here and even my closest friends in Malaysia. My Pak dara mak dara and sebagainya.

I think, children who grow up knowing that they are loved in many ways, has good self confidence, Insya Allah. A high esteemed of oneself. A child who knows he is loved do not have to go into the world to prove himself right all the time. Because he is confident of himself. Even he is wrong, he knows he tried and people would love him regardless. And the world is a platform to learn, to teach and give.

This love from extended families are supporting love that is vital to a child's growth. It is laso important to nurture a more wholesome person that can connect with community. That can make them carry themselves as who they are, Insya Allah, without pretense.

Contrary to a child who is always condemned, criticised and snickered at, she grows as a rebel child. Having the need to prove herself all the time. To top it, she might have low self esteem of herself and very little confidence. She might also grow up thinking that everyone is against her, making her rebel even more.

I should know the latter one.

I am happy for my children.