Thursday, December 31, 2009

Slipping Through My Fingers...

In few hours' time we will be ushering a brand New Year 2010. My year end is made meaningful with the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon me by answering my doas... As for now, I am not revealing what my special request (prayers) are, but one is definitely about my daughter, Yasmin Maisarah.... who has made us proud. Somehow, seeing her lying ill two days ago, I can't help but thinking of the day when she would leave this nest to spread her wings in the field she chooses to pursue...  Thus, my mixed sentiments got the better of me. The feelings I had is well, ... well said in this old video clip of ABBA....

(pic: Mysarah at her Tok Mat's house with No More No Less, the rabbit)

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know

Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ateh's Ramblings....

Dengan akhir tahun nak melabuhkan tirainya, akaq saja nak ramble sini sikit, sinun sikit. Sejak hari Isnin baru-baru ni, memang tersangatlah sibuk dan mabuknya jadual routine akaq. Dalam kepala ni macam-macam nak dulukan tapi sampai ke malam terbengkalai jugak hasrat murni itu. Petang ni, baru dapat 'bernafas' sikit. I've tried many times to stop and sit in front of the pc, but every time I did, it was either the internet was pretty slow or my eyes just couldn't open anymore. Anyway, lets get back to my hectic life of late...

Firstly, MyC had to collect her textbooks from her school. We rushed from Ipoh that very Monday morning. At the same time I was feeling a bit down of the thought of me not making a trip to Taiping to visit the family of my great aunt - the grand matriarch (of the Taiping clan) on my late father's maternal side, who passed on on Sunday December 27th. She was the last two of my father's surviving aunts. I figured out that calling one of her children would compensate my absence. And at the same time, the morning before I left for home, we were shocked by another news of the demise of an aunt ( my late father's first cousin) in Petaling Jaya. Yes, two days in a row... first the aunt, now her niece... Alfatihah to both Allahyarhamah Pah Yan and Wan Nyah. In fact, as I see it, for the last one week, we had a wedding and three funerals (one was ayah lope of Taiping)... all from my father's side.

The reason for my not attending my great aunt's funeral was because I had already made plans with my cousin, Shida, to deliver the much awaited crockery for my buyers and psstt.... yours truly pun ada selit one or two sets... hiiii.... and it would be troublesome to reschedule for another day as Shida and her family were going up Cameron Highlands that Sunday.

Semalam pulak, penuhlah rumah akaq dengan barang 'miss port' dan yang sewaktu dengannya. After lunch, the rightful owner of miss port came to collect her dinner set. Siap re-checked, repacked dan sebagainya barulah nampak rumah akaq macam rumah semula... hehe... except for one box of 'Royal Al....' yang tuannya, (Shida's customer), yang tinggal kat island, masih belum claim sebab 'balik kampung' ke Switzerland.
Yesterday, MyC was down with indigestion. She was vomiting from 3 am till the crack of dawn. We had a steamboat dinner that evening at Seoul Garden. She must have over-eaten! I commissioned myself (who else... for crying out loud!!) to cook her rice porridge with lots of side-dishes and condiments to suit her tiring body for breakfast. Then later cooked lunch as though I was feeding a battalion! (bukan apa...tambah dengan lauk untuk bubur nasi... haha.... jadi banyak weh!)

Hari ni pulak, sibuk menghantar MyC ke sekolah untuk class streaming, spring cleaning and gotong royong sebelum class mula minggu depan. Since her school is nearby the sea, I took time off stopping by to catch a glimpse of the island and of course, the sea! Then on my way back home I called at a good friend's house to convey my condolences on her mother's passing last week in Negeri Sembilan. The poor woman was still visibly sad because she had not seen her mother since she came back from Mecca two weeks ago.

By afternoon I saw myself rushing to settle the bills, go to the bank and also to get MyC her new uniforms. Bandar Sunway at these hours is a nightmare, I tell you. Bila dah sampai rumah betul-betul time Asar, memang penat giler! And then there's the clothes waiting to be folded and dinner to start. But as I'm writing this, I have an idea to 'mogok' masak this evening.... he he he he!

Having written this piece, I don't see where the 'sibuk sangat' lies... saja suka kalut... alahai!

Okay, got to go now..... I need matchsticks to prop up my closing eyelids.... help!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Of Sweat and Sweet Success

I drove to MyC's school with trembling hands on the steering wheels. While I tried to stay focused on the road which seemed endless, I joked at her not looking smart in her old school uniform. Every now and then I took a deep breath and shaking my head as if there were water in my ears. As I parked my car at the school backyard, I knew I lost my coolness! Suddenly, there were butterflies in my stomach. My head spun a bit and I felt sick. MyC hastened her pace and left me behind. She was steady while my world appeared to tumble before me. I knew there and then ... she was no longer the baby I used to pamper. My heart sank as I watched her mingled with her friends in the school hall. She looked dignified and full of confidence.

I settled down with a few parents that I had known for almost my daughter's school-life. Only then I retained my composure and was in my usual cheerful self again. And then the results were in and one by one the straight As students' name were announced and one of them was my baby... I cried as some friends patted my back and some reached out to hug me.

MyC received her slips from her principal and was in the group of forty seven of straight As achievers. And as always the girls outnumbered the boys... Her success was made sweeter with most of her friends who scored were from her kindergarten days to primary school to the present. Even sweeter, her bosom friends who left for boarding schools and Mara colleges got through with flying colours. Alhamdulillah.

Congratulations Girl.... Mummy loves you so much and is very proud of you. Can I count on you for another eight or ten As in SPM? Start gearing up from now on...

p/s My congratulations too to my cousin Dira of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah. To niece Nina, who scored seven As, you did well.... congrats!


If this does not melt your heart.... then there is nothing I can do...
As for me, I had mixed feelings..., and a reaction between giggling and blinking away tears. See, I told you people.... I'm practically easily amused with anything simple and in this case, simply innocent!

p/s ... check her hand gesture towards the end of this vc... hehe...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Weekend That Was

Salam to all... Sejak dua menjak ni, akaq tetiba jer malas nak meng-update.  Hendak pulak masa-masa ni bila baru balik dari Ipoh. Walaupun pergi for the weekend, membasuh kain baju bagaikan orang balik dari holiday. Macam my sister yang balik dari PD baru-baru ni... hah... sampai berdobi kain bajunya! And then there is the house to straighten up, the floor to mop, the cooking to do..ah...the list is endless. Sometimes I feel like quiting... but from what? Hehehe! At least kan, hujung minggu baru ni adalah sikit aktiviti... kalau tidak asyik memerap kat rumah mother.... okay, hate to rant any further, please carry on reading what I have to offer this time. Agak ferasan lak bunyi ayat kali ni!

First Muharram, I was back in Ipoh. For the last two weeks it was bright and hot in Penang and as I was about to leave for Ipoh that morning it rained. And it sure was raining heavily. We made it quite in time for the men to go for their Friday prayers. Ipoh especially is very wet when it rained and we got bored staying at home. Moreover, my sister and her family were away for a holiday. So I decided to take MyC and the gang out for an early dinner at Ipoh Hainan Chicken Rice somewhere near Jalan Anderson... if I'm not mistaken. This restaurant is managed by a Muslim proprietor who also managed the Pakeeza Restaurant; a north indian cuisine outlet. We like the food here at Hainan because they serve Chinese-style cooking.
We had these for the dinner:

Steamed chicken rice

 Deep-fried taufoo....hmm...yummy!

 Koay teow chicken soup

On Sunday, I was at a cousin's daughter's wedding in Kuala Kangsar. It has been a while since I last saw my entire Wan clan and that day was indeed emotional as we met up again. My sister and I were a bit moved when we saw our frail looking aunt came all the way from Terengganu who has a spitting image of our late father. As we hugged her and her daughters too, we openly wept and whispered we really had not been in touched for ages. But as I recalled, I hadn't had any family moments with them! I supposed living in two different states far apart could be the reason if not excuse... hiks... But then again, I must admit I am not that close to my paternal relatives but when we met, we felt the closeness... the unspoken heartfelt love... Perhaps it has got to do with blood-ties... I don't know...perhaps...

Anyway, at the wedding, dapatlah berjumpa dengan ramai saudara mara dari utara sampai ke pantai timur. Yang silapnya kami duduk satu famili semeja... ish...kalau duduk pecah-pecah mesti dapat catch-up dengan our extended family members ni... I saw many of arwah bapak's first cousins... the syeds, the wans and the ... er...never mind! We mingled for awhile.... got to exchange phone numbers, got some business deals ...hehe...tak boleh blah! And we even got invited to weddings scheduled for next year already... hihi!

Too bad, I did not get to capture the moments with all of my relatives even the Pengantin, saved for some kodak moments here with.... the close ones...

Ayah Ndak and sons: Wan Ahmad Faisal and Wan Ahmad Azmil...


yours truly...ehem..partly hidden (intended!).. with Ayah Ndak and Mak Andak...
(This photo is especially for Pakmat)

By the way, there are more pictures but due to some editing problems  I encounter, these two is just as good for now! Hmmm....nak kata apa kalau dah tak pandai edit mengedit ni!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dah Pekena!

At last, dapat jugak pekena nasi kandaq beratuq yang orang Penang hingak sangat eh! Hehe! Dua perkataan penang yang akaq paling cekap...'nasi kandaq'!

Fancy, having to wait for the kedai mamak to open its door at the stroke of 10 o'clock last Saturday evening... We were there at 9.15pm and saw quite a number of people loitering about the sidewalk pavement. Some busied themselves with games on their mobiles while some chatted happily not bothered with the long wait. Time sure passed by the slowest as it was the case when you kept on glancing at your watch! I told myself, this had better be good or I would tear my hair if the fare was not outstanding as been raved by the true-blue nasi kandaq lovers. Talk about the waiting and setting up your own table; it'd better be good! But we were lucky as we had our orders taken before they set to sell and were forth in line too. We were seated at the table inside the shop, much to my dismay, as I was hoping for a table outside on the sidewalk. Kalau makan kat sini baru ada 'feel' nasi kandaq bawah pokok. But hubby kata, 'buat apa makan bawah pokok maneler tau... jatuh ulat pokok dalam pinggan nasi ke, burung memerut ke..' Alahai!

Another round of waiting and we got to see the night shift taking over. And suddenly, out of nowhere there was a long queue snaking up to Masjid Kapitan Keling! The first patrons seated next to us got their order and the family of four were clapping delightfully when the food were served. Lawak pulak tengok derang ni! Could be the waiting. And I heard one family had parked themselves outside the shop right after Maghrib!!
Ours were served at exactly 10.45pm. And the verdict:

(pic: cilok : ya ampun... credit to Lilian)

(this is our shared plate!)

(sila abaikan selerakan ni...bukan salah I...mamak tu yang taruk sampai sememeh! hohoho!)

Like any mamak fare by the roadside, this one was.... sedappppp! But don't take my words for it, go try yourself. Do bear in mind though, that the worst nasi kandaq in Penang is better than the best in KL. Ooopppps!

Okay, pekena dah pekena dah... next time nak pekena nasi kandaq kat Jelutong, Kpg Melayu in Air Itam, Immigration and Merlin. I had eaten at Merlin and it was superb. The only problem is parking -  it is located at a very busy commercial hub at a junction between Penang Street and Union Street.

Jom makan-makan nasi kandaq!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Afternoon Delights....

I watched "You've Got Mail" at HBO, hmm... for the umpteenth time, today. Some heart-warming tales like this is worth watching repeatedly but it can be rather addictive (hehe!) as I have this habit of mimicking the actors' lines. This one especially : "I love daisies...they're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?". Set in time when e-mail and on-line messages became prevalent (what? 1998? I started surfing in 2008! I'm 2000 late!)... where strangers are welcome into your virtual domain.... er...but, let's just leave it there! Or, just say, I'm not good at reviewing movies. Well, I'm not solely 'into' its story line, mind you... but the fact that I also loved to observe the quaint little bookshop and captivated by the books, and let my imaginations run wild, believing I'm somewhere there devouring books, books, books! And of course falling in love with New York City... and, and....afternoon tea!

Here are some of the memorable lines I'd like to share and that equally beautiful song featured: 

Kathleen Kelly: Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.

 Joe Fox: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

This song is one of my favourites from Carole King's brilliant composition. Too bad, they have disabled the version from You've Got Mail due to copyright violation... whateverlah!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Love Affair

The idea of having this blog is actually to feature my culinary skill and the food that I would like to present as 'my dinner tonight'. Having said that, it just occurred to me, (how strange now, when come to think of it), I was once, the laziest girl to be seen in the kitchen! I'd find excuses  to escape  helping out  for every meal . I  always thought that cooking was never my forte. Couldn't blame a little girl and through my teenage days, I was not an 'eater'! I hated many food. I was very picky about almost everything there was on my plate. As a result, I grew up to be a skinny girl ... Heheh, but not anymore! Now that I eat like there's no tomorrow.

My love affair with cooking came about when I was sixteen or so. Even though I hated the kitchen, I still loved watching my mother in action, deftly cooking for her big family. I knew what went into this pot of curry and into the next. There were no measurements needed and I could tell they were all delicious dishes one could ask for!

Well, fast forward, I found myself itching to start my own experimental kitchen. I was by then, quite good a cook from very simple dishes to the elaborate ones.  My mission then, was to start baking. In retrospect, I couldn't help but remember the time when my two elder sisters and I chanced upon an old recipe book belonged to our mother, well, during her hey-days. The best recipe was definitely my mum's "kek Nanas". Hehe...note the spelling! So, armed with the book, my sisters planned to bake one. I was only allowed to watch... they were mean! Heheh!  Kak Lina, was the one responsible for converting all measurements into metric system. Some sensible instruction was re-constructed... hehe...what with a 'senduk' of this, 'buang balik 2 sudu besar' of that.... to our amusement! But the best part would be, the whole book was written in 'jawi'...and we had a ball of time reading it the Pendekar Bujang Lapok's style!! " kurma bulan puasa tukk..tompok tompok taik unta! kisah...taibb..sultan firaun...taibb..mane firaun pakai sultan, bodoh!!!" ... It sure was hilarious! Anyway, the kek nenas turned out very good. Soon it became my late sister, kak nyah's, trademark and most sought after at her many parties. I somehow lost the recipe and kak Lina's version is not quite to my liking!

My real baking test came a month after I became the blushing bride. Immediately after office, I got home lugging the ingredients and utensils for baking. Not to mention cookbooks that I could get hold of, be it straight from the bookstore or placing my orders through Reader's Digest. I was over-zealous. But my attempt on a chocolate cake turned out disastrously unleavened! My other half made fun out of it by naming it the 'I Dream of Genie' cake. Don't ask me why.. Slighted by his remarks, I turned to play the "not tonight honey,...I have got a headache" game, for a newly-wed, at that! Goodness! (Blush, blush! hiks!)

I can now say and am proud to say that my ever moist chocolate cakes, carrot cakes and sinfully rich fruit cakes had all landed on the bigwig banquet tables..hiks again!

Isn't cooking my forte? Go figure!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just Musing

Salam, everybody... Still not feeling good after the long weekend. My back is troubling me especially so when I sit. Thus, sitting down to surf the net or even blogging has been put off for the time being. Strange though, I could stand for hours at ends without feeling the pain. Presently, I'm on some medication prescribed by my cousin doctor, Dr Azlan Helmy, or known to us by his endeared name, Che Lan. It was by chance that I met him during our uncle's funeral in Kuala Kangsar on Hari Raya Haji recently. We managed to catch up again at my family home that very evening when he came with his family for 'beraya'. So it seemed he has been giving us consultation and medicines minus the hefty fee! Hey, I was not the only one who sought his opinion, you know... Thanks Che Lan!

Oh yes, just to update about the passing of Ayah Kama, my aunt's (mum's cousin) husband. He died on the eve of Hari Raya Haji which coincided with malam Jumaat. He had been in Ipoh Hospital for about three weeks due to some complication of the brain. Seeing the familiar faces at his funeral I realised how close-knit our family were. Most of us ranged from first cousins to third cousins but we were more of siblings. Although the late Ayah Kama was only an uncle by marriage, we were all saddened by his demise and I sure felt it when Imran, my first cousin's child, was seen crying his eyes out during 'berkafan'. A small boy like him understood the meaning of death in the family. Come to think of him living in Kuala Lumpur but see a lot of his mother's families in this side of Perak.

Okay, this is all for now. Am starting lunch now....

p/s I would like to welcome my cousin, Wan Ahmad Nasroun Wan Salman to my blog. Thanks for finding Kak Lili here. Yeah, I need some family from my father's side too! :)