Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Along

Along, a few days old, weighing 3.65 kg.How time flies!17 years later...Along celebrating his 17 th birthday at his college with a few friends and siblings.
With friend,Aidan and mommy dearest..

Mommy dearest brought home -cooked food..mee soto,chocolate cake and of course birthday cake.
From right Along,Aidan,Shahir and Shawal.They wallop everything.I am sure they miss their mom's cooking..

Along celebrated his second birthday at baby sitter's place in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bharu.
On his third birthday at Taman Keris Mas , Melaka'Majlis Graduasi' for PMR students at Mara Science Junior College. Along was awarded the best student in co curricular feild.

He is my eldest .His name is Muhammad Ridzuan b Mohamad Jamil and this year he is turning 17 .How time flies!
I gave birth to him at Raja's Medical Specialist in Muar,Johor,two days before his father flew to Cambodia for the tour of duty.I thought the father would not get the chance to witness the delivery,but Allah is most merciful and most compassionate to HIS servants.My doa was granted.
His father got the chance to perform azan, hold him,clean him even make up my hospital bed before flying to the war-torn country.What could I say...As a soldier's wife I had to give my full consent.There is a dividing line between an army and an army's wife, and as a wife I should not step over the line.The time when he was needed most to be by the side of his first born , he was being called away to serve under the blue beret of United Nation for one and the half years.He had to respond to the call..

He brought us home on the second day, and that night he flew away.Although we didnt get the chance to send him to the airport, we accompanied him with our doas and blessing.To him, his country comes first in whatever occasions and he has to obey orders from his top military man.'Cuti rehat khas untuk isteri bersalin" was not applicable at all here!!
So, Along and mommy moved back to Tok Aki's place.Although the father was not around,along was never lacked of love.He was showered with love and attention from Tok Aki ,tok wan and all his uncles and aunties.His father came back twice during the period and Along certainly was not able to recognize his own dad.
Although the tour of duty in Cambodia is over, his father is always on the move.To me, that is one sad thing about being part of the military family.Sometimes, the children didn't get the chance to see the father for weeks or months.I guess, this in a way has shaped and infuenced along's character.As young as seven years old ,along already showed his responsibility.When his father was not around,he would check all the windows,doors and sliding doors without being told.Whenever I brought him to the market, he would volunteer to carry almost everything on my behalf.Once a fishmonger passed a comment on him for being so responsible.."semua dia nak bawa,tak padan ngan badan.."
Even at the time when he was studying for UPSR, he would come back from his extra class as late as 11:00 pm , and he would never wake me up.And when he needed to burn the midnight oil, he would make his own milo or milk.
And now as the vice president of his college he is in charged of the students' affairs in the hostel.It is not an easy job especially when he has to deal with discipline problems of those rascals...smoking,stealing,fighting are part and parcel of teenagers' life and Along has to deal with it first before notifying the wardens.There are times when his leadership and credibility are being challenged by the boarders and he almost lost his patience. But so far,he is able to cope and deal with it wisely.
Along,may Allah bestows HIS guidance and hidayah on you especially during your difficult times and in your decision-making.May you be blessed with health, wealth and a good future .Happy birthday Along or to his Kelantanese friend he is better known as Duwe and to his Terengganu friends he is Duang, and many happy returns of the day
Mommy will always love you...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Granny's secret recipe

Pour the mixture on the pan and spread it

Turn back and forth until it turns golden brown
Lempeng kelapa is ready to be eaten...

All of a sudden I am craving for my late granny's lempeng kelapa.Ooppss..don't get me wrong...I am approaching the autumn season already.So, I announce to my kids that they are going to have lempeng kelapa for their tea instead of the normal pisang goreng or keropok lekor from the mak cik at the junction.

An immediate response I get from my big baby is " Apa tu ma?".And from my daughter, Mira who seems not very convinced.."Sedap ke ma?Definitely, for mommy dearest is going to cook this traditional recipe from scratch unlike the usual instant pancakes which mommy cooks direct from the boxes.

Actually when late granny was still alive, I never bothered to ask her of any special recipe.We always took it for granted that she would be with us forever and ever.Now I start missing her nasi goreng ikan bilis,pengat of all kinds,bahulu berempah and yes..her speciality pulut tetal which I think nobody in the whole clan knows how to cook it now.Her bahulu berempah was so famous that when Hari Raya was approaching she would get orders not only from the kampung folks but from other villages too.They called it "bahulu mak su Sitam".That's my granny 's name.And her grandchildren would help her to beat the mixture in a big earthen pot which had been used over the years for umpteenth times.

So where shall I start?First mommy dearest is going to mix the flour with water .Mix it well and put a pinch of salt.Then add in grated coconut to the mixture and stir it well until you get a smooth but thick batter.Next, heat up the pan, and spread the mixture.Turn the lempeng back and forth over a low fire until it turns golden brown.There it goes... my lempeng kelapa is ready to be eaten.I toss it on a plate and within minutes it is gone.Another piece is tossed, again it is gone in no time.Five pieces have been cooked yet I still haven't got the chance to taste it. When the sixth one is put on the plate, Mira suddenly comes to her senses and shouts to her siblings. " Hei leave some for mama lah!"The other three are reaching for the last piece, stop midway and along pushes the plate to the side.They leave the table.Mommy dearest sits down,tears the edge of the lempeng and puts into her mouth..eemm delicious...finally mommy get to taste the lempeng that she has been longing for.But there is something missing..the aroma of the lempeng is not the same as granny's.Granny used to cook it over a traditional stove of dapur kayu where else I cook it on a gas stove..and that certainly makes a difference!

AL FATIHAH for my late granny Pn Hjh Sitam bt Demang Mahmud.May she rest in peace and be among the good and the pious..

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In dilemma..

It has been raining cats and dogs since last night.I thought of just curling on a sofa the whole day today and finishing my latest paperback P/s I love you by Cecilia Ahern.However, early morning call from Along changed my plan for the day.He just got back from Pontian after an inter- MRSM rugby competition and now asking his mommy driver to pick him up.The last time I saw Along was during the Chinese New Year.
Although his hostel is only about an hour s drive,driving in the misty rain and slippery road with lots of bends and twists is quite a challenge and could tire me easily.Nevertheless,I reached his hostel an hour later but to locate him was another problem.The place was so ghostly and quiet since everybody has left for home except for the rugby players.I waited for him at the square for almost 30 minutes before I saw him coming out from looked so dark that I could easily mistaken him for someone else!When he walked closer, another surprise for me.. a cut on his eyelid.
The whole journey back was spent on discussing how he is doing at school and in the rugby team.I could sense that he was feeling very,very tired and maybe had enough of rugby for this year.I planned to ask him to cut down his sports activities since I thought he has already met that 10% entrance requirement to the varsity.But I was totally mistaken.He told me that he is being selected to represent MRSM ,the east zone to compete with the premier KPM boarding schools, which includes the MCKK,SDAR etc..etc..There will be a centralized training in Kuala Terengganu from April to June.That is 3 months!This means more trainings, more cuts and bruises and less time spent on studies.Now what should mommy dearest say?Go ahead dear with your rugby or have had enough of rugbies and it is time for you to settle down and work on your 10 A1??
According to along, this is the first time they have such competition, between MRSM and the KPM boarding schools.The MRSM students have been labelled Ayam Daging by one of the top people of KPM.To prove that they are not ,the director of MRSM decides to have this competition.
Definitely along is so eager to be part of the team but the final decision is still up to me.To him this is a rare opportunity and he promised that he would not let this interfere with his studies.Of course he will be attending classes while training but in different classroom,different environment and with different teachers.Can he make the most out of it, I do not know.
To allow or not to allow..mommy dearest is cracking her head now...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happiness is a journey not a destination

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty,will I be rich
Here's what she said to me..
Que sera sera..
What ever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera sera
What will be will be

This melodious tune featured in The Doris Day Show has always been my favourite since I was a little naive girl.Exactly like the beautiful lyric,I would be wondering and dreaming wildly of my unseen future.But one thing for sure I always convinced myself that my path of life would reach its destination where happiness awaited me.

More often than not,we will always tell ourselves that our lives will be complete after we finished our studies and gotten married to a wonderful husband whom we always imagine a transformed hero from Harlequin Romance or Mills and Boons.But then when the Harlequin hero does not make his lasting impression we tend to feel frustrated although we know that nobody is born perfect in this universe of our Creator including our own selves.Then we will be thinking it will be better if we have children to add excitement and colours to life.Yet another problem crop up like the children are not old enough and demand our attention all the time until we find there is no time to be alone in our private world.We start to imagine how contented we will be when they grow older.Again we are frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with which definitely not easy and can really challenge our sanity.We will certainly be happy when they are out of stage.

We keep telling ourselves that our lives will be complete when we are rich and leading a life in fast lane or when we can afford to go for a leisurely vacation or when we we can buy our dream house or when we retire.

At this age, I finally find the actual undeniable truth.There is no other better time to be happy than right now.Our lives are always ,continuously,endlessly filled with challenges,obstacles,some unfinished business ,unpaid loans and the list goes on.And these obstacles are actually our lives.There is no such thing as our real lives are about to begin or happiness is about to come.This is our lives which we should enjoy and try to find happiness and satisfaction in it ,little it may be.

Happiness is the way not the end result at the finishing line.Treasure each day that we go through,find happiness in little things like the smell of morning grasses,the sight of dew drops,receiving calls from your kid,cooking a set of delicious lunch for your family and watching them gobble everything or just getting an early morning kiss from your kid before they leave for school.
Do not wait until the rascal kids grow older or until we retire or until we reach 50 years old or until we get promotion or until we move to a new house or until Sunday or until next week etc..etc..
Stop brooding and waiting for uncertainity.Enjoy life in every passing minute and find beauty in every trail we walk on..
Happiness is a journey not a destination..