Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sifat, tamak haloba, dengki dan pentingkan diri

Tell me if anyone out there does not have one of the above. I like to read the problems and issues in the Utusan Malaysia column DCCK (Dicelah-celah kehidupan). Most of us have one or the other, but in different degree. I read about single women who are educated and holding good professional carreers yang tak teragak-agak bermadu demi untuk memenuhi permintaan nafsu kehidupan mereka. I sit and think, isn't this one kind of tamak? you want to have it all at the expense of another? Don't they ever think that they are blessed with kesenangan, kemewahan, kebendaan etc. and not thankful to Maha Penyayang? Praise Allah for what they have dan rezeki yang mencurah. Don't they think, that is their rezeki? perhaps itu saja rezeki mereka? Kenapa mesti tamak dan iri hati dengan alasan tidak complete kalau tak bersuami. Enjoy anugerah Allah, dengan apa yang ada and kalau bukan rezeki tu, memang tidak menjadi rezeki.
Just my thought for the day. To get away from the miserable feeling before my surgery :)

To know or not to know

I guess everyone of us are in the same dilema as me when it comes to see a doctor for an illment. The symptoms seem to be not too life threatening yet it worries and bother you. You try every kind of remedies that you think would solve the problems, but still the symptoms remain. Your other half persuaded, pushed and almost drag you to make that important appointment. However, you are still waiting for that home made remedy to work, or the over the counter medicine to hit the spot. For two months those trial by error medication did not work. That is my story. Unable to take the bothering symptoms anymore, I made that Phone call for an appointment.
I went to see the doctor or Primary Care Physician. So, I had to describe all the uncomfortable feelings that is messing inside me. It is easier to describe it in Malay which does not have equivalent in english, like you feel "macam ada seketul angin menumbuk naik" every time after I ate. That ball of air pushes up and it would make it hard for me to breathe. It will also trigger a cough that definitely make me breathless and pain in the chest. In "my medical self diagnosis", I associate it with food, with gastrities, heartburn etc. So all the home remedies, like eliminating greasy food and taking gallons of maalox and zantac were my presciption. Well, they did not work.
My doctor, then thought I might have problem with my useless spare part called the gall bladder. I was scheduled for the ultrasound and indeed it was discovered that, that small thing is acting up. It is collecting sand or batu to make a permata. Then I am scheduled for a surgery to remove it. It will not take place until after Mid July. Until then I still have to put up with the symptoms.
Do you still think ignorant is bliss or it is good to know what is wrong with you.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Critters of my woods

Syyyysh...don't let Roo, Dumdum and Max hear about them. There are possums, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, squirrels, tortoises, owls etc. that make their homes in my woods. They dug up holes to make nests, they live on the trees and they tunnels underground like those "tubes" in underground Londra. There are ghophers as well as moles. Every time after the yard/lawn is mowed, there would be little mountains came up dotting the yard.
Roo, Dumdum are good hunters, but Max who is supposed to be a sheep guard dog, is learning fast. So far Max has brought home tortoises and baby birds to play with. Once in a while Roo would let him play with the rat that she caught. Max is still fancinated by the growing hill that the gophers are kicking out from the ground. Max would bark, scratch and lastly dig up a big hole in order to get to the gophers. Gophers are smart and they have a network of tunnels underground and Max can dig up to Malaysia and never catch one.
I have never seen these critters before in my life until I moved here. I have seen some pictures of them of course, but have never really seen them "in person" hehehe. The first winter I was here there was alot of snow and one morning when i went out to sweep the snow off the deck, I saw these giant "footprints" along the house. I called out to my husband, and when he saw them, he said "who would be snooping around". I was worried. Actually my husband knew that those were rabbits prints, but just to make me nervous and teased me.
There was this loveable looking creature that look at you so harmlessly at night and it is white and furry and that I learn is a possum. Raccoon wears a mask and very furry too. It looks like a big cat and I was so sorry that one day Bubba (my old departed dog) brought home one.
Dumdum is a bird dog (Labrador retriever) yet I have never seen him caught anything in the air yet except a rabbit or too. Roo is another kind, an Anatolian sheperd, but she is everything. She could hunt and catch quails in the air, squirrels in the air and numerous other critters. She also killed 2 armadillos in one morning. Poor critters they are not very safe in my woods. Do you know that when you shine the flash light into the owl's eyes you can catch them. They would not know what was coming. Owls make eerie love calls at night and some nights they would be calling for hours.
Another kind of critters that come out at night that can scare you is the cayote. they are actullly harmless. they hunt only small animals, but their cry or howling they make, would scare you. Max is supposed to be a cayote killer. Cayote is scared of big white dog at night, but since Max is still a puppy, he is scared of them instead.

So, all critters that make your home in my woods, please hide when you hear three dog stomping into the woods in the morning and in the evening. You will be safe if you stay real quiet.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Love of my life

It was worth the long wait for the love of my life. One morning while driving to work, I heard Radio 4 DJ said that there was a long distance request for a song by Jim Birkman (sic) entitled "Love of My Life" It was from Bill in Oklahoma to "Mutiara" in Penang. Then the news broke that I had an American boyfriend. Then I had many phone calls from friends who tuned to the radio while driving to work that morning. Tiada rahsia lagi. Then people pieced things together and they deduced that my several trips to the US was to meet up with my boyfriend. Which was not true at all. Bill was an old friend, and on one of my trips to the US, I called his old phone number. Surprise, surprise, he still kept the number and we are still using the same number now.
After that phone call, we kept in touch online, emailing and talking on icq. We did not meet until a year later. Then we met and end of the story.

Anniversary Gift

Although my anniversary is not until this weekend, the present has arrived. It was delivered by DHL. I was not particularly paying much attention when the DHL van drove up the hill and into my driveway. I was busy mowing my yard. The yard needed to be mowed badly since the rain has turned it into a hayfield. The driver came out and I asked him to put the package on the deck.
After i was done mowing, I picked up the package to brought it inside. It could be the tractor parts, the computer stuff, the ATV parts or whatever my husbands finds interesting online. I told my husband about the package that arrived when he came home. He said it was for me, it was my anniversary present and I can open it eventhough it is still a few days away. It is a present and it is meant to be opened. So, I did. It was what I really wanted and was plannnig to get it for my birthday, but my husband beat me to it.
I spent the whole evening trying to read the manual for this too technical toy. I am unashamedly technologically challenged. I read and I read and finally could get the basic operational system. I am just satisfied that this toy works and I will try other functions when the need arises.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Alone during bad weather

This is my first experience being alone for a couple of days. My father in law is in critical condition in a nursing home about 2 hours away from where i live. My husband has gone there to be with the family and make necessary arrangements. I had to stay home to take care of the animals. I would join him if things turn for the worse. However, those 2 days were, the weather decided to turn bad. There were bad stormy days and nights, with tornadoes and thunderstorms and hailstorm. We had had bad and severe weather before, but my husband was around to take care of everything.

Before he left he had made sure that the underground cellar was prepared. He made sure the batteries for the TV and weather radio are working. He also made sure all the important documents and stuff were moved into the cellar. The only thing we did not do was to run the drill for the dogs again. Well, the weather turned bad the first evening he was away. I put the chicken in their pen and fed them real early. There are a few hundreds of them. I put the pick up truck in the barn because if not the tornado, the hails would break the windshields. I could not put it in the garage because, the 2 garages have 2 ATVs and my car. I could not squeeze the pick up into it without knocking something.

I was prepared. I brought pillows, food and drink into the cellar and waiting for the time to go in. When the time came I let the dogs off their chains and whistled for them. I fixed the ramp for them to go in. I did a trial run, 2 dogs did just as instructed, but my puppy max refused to go in and had to be pulled in with the leash. Great, it took about 3 minutes to get them in.
The weather was not tornadic the first evening, but with wind and hails, I decided to wear the weather inside the cellar with the dogs. So when it started to have lightning, I got the dogs into the cellar, without much problems, because this time I had food to persuade the puppy to get in without a fuss.
We stayed there until the storm blown over, about 0ne hour or so. All went well until last night. Storm at night was quite difficult to organize, but the chickens were already inside their pens. One chore eliminated. Only the dogs. This time I brought the dog one at a time, so that they did not wander away, while waiting to get in. That was easier than the first time. Stayed in the cellar longer this time because there were so much lightning and rain.
We got out almost at 11 pm and we survived the storms without my husband.

Hopefully we will not have real bad weather before summer comes. If there are, we are prepared.

Friday, June 03, 2005

First balckberry pie of the season

Yesterday afternoon Roo and I went to pick blacberries in the woods. Roo was just to keep me company and of course when we were in the woods she went to do her things. I don't know what things dogs do, but she surely went away for a while. Then she came back and lay down by the tree. I picked about a basketful of them juicy berries and came home thinking what was I going to do with the berries. I can't eat all of them. I can make them into juice and freeze it or i can make myself a pie. At this moment I am still contemplating the pie. Will tell if it does materialize.

Here is the blackberry pie recipe

FYI I cheat, I bought ready made pie shell from the store and ready made pastry as well.
However I get this recipe for standard pastry.

Flour 2 cups
Salt 1 teaspoon
shortening, chilled 2/3 cup
cold water about 6 tablespoons.

Sift flour and measure
Add salt and sift again
Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in half shortening thouraghly until mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Cut in remaining shortening coarsely or until particles are the size of peas.

**** Can use food porcessor

Sprinkle water, one tablespoon ata time and mix dough with fork. Do not stir. Use enough water to hold the pastry together. use plastic or wax paper to press together gently into a ball. Chill dough.

Blackberry filling
Sugar 3/4 to 1 cup
Flour, 3 to 4 Tablespoon
Salt, 1/8 teaspoon
4 cups of well washed and drained berries
Use more or less sugar if needed
Butter 2 Table spoons
Lemon juice 2 tablespoon

Pre heat oven 425F

Roll pastry as underscrust to fit 9" pie pan
Combine sugar flour and salt.
Spread this mixture over pastry lined pan
Add the blackberries and sprinkle the left over mixture over the berries.
Sprinkle lemon juice and dot with butter.

Roll, fit and seal the upper crust...or make into strips and lay pastry strips in a lattice pattern over the pie.

Try lah.