It Rains Cats and Dogs

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gambar hanya hiasan. Ariz, Adani & Ayisha in their super-hyper mood.

Wet, rainy season's here, my friends.

And it rained super heavily last night, before iftar yesterday and more days before. Alhamdulillah. *must remember to make dua when it rains*

So, when it rains, you know what follows la kan. Leaks!


We have leaks. Inside, outside, tepi-side all sides.

We have them outside, nearly missing the shoe rack. We have them indoors too. There are 3 lines of leaks snaking down in my master bedroom's wall. There are 2 more down in the upstairs living room. And there's one near the PC. And in the girls' room too. Arghh!!

I guess I have to resign to the fact that the house is rather in need of repairs. It's 11 years old, mind you. Aliya was still toddling around when we moved in here. Now she never lets anyone touch her hair and she'll myspace-ing away most free time.

And the girls for the past week have been jumping the gun on it, demanding to rearrange the sleeping partners. Aliya wants the room she's sharing with Ayisha TO herself. Ayisha wants the same. Adani proudly declares that she's not afraid to sleep by herself. And me, I woke up last night to a sound of something drop somewhere and immediately worried where the girls are.

Now they want to sleep in their own rooms by themselves. What happens to all sleeping in my our room? Why ? Why ? Why? *overdramatic mode*

I guess kids do grow, even if I'd like them to grow a little slower now, but I have to face the facts that they'd be needing privacy soon.


Grrr .. We've started to plan and get people in discussion on ideas for the Gart'sAbode1 and newly acquired Gart'sAbode2. And construction works ain't starting at least after Raya.

And these girls have started shifting things around and memeningkan kepala Mummy.


Musang Oh Musang

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Suffice to say, my office is a WRECK ! A sick building.

And what could be worse is that, it's infested with rodents, in all manners, flying, crawling and balancing.

Let me count them all, just to sure that we qualify for a Petting Zoo criteria and maybe we should start charging fees too.

Cockroaches. Hmmm dah beranak-pinak dah. Tak kuasa nak kira.

Rats. One died in Bobby's room next to mine and it reeked to no end. One's been ransacking the pantry and I'm sure it's like the Ratatuoille, you see one, there's a whole clan somewhere.

About 2 weeks ago, we had a swarm of langaus in the office. Not the fast-evading lalats. These are at least 3 times the size of lalats and they are heavy and rather dumb too. We spent one morning swatting these and they're mighty easy to swat. For some or another, although there were everywhere in my department, at the height of it, there seemed to me significantly more in my room. *shudder*

I freaked out. We closed the door and sprayed ridsect, by the bottle. And from the window, we all stood and watched them dropped dead. And shortly after, a band of cockcroaches came out dizzy and dead too. Sigh!

I came the next day with gloves and dettol and literally scrubbed the room down. It smelled like a hospital for the whole day.

Langaus don't appear if nothing's dead. And the last time the rat died, there werent' any. So, I said, someone must've died, maybe the AKP assesors. Heh! But there was no smell. But we secretly thought and talked aloud too about the musang's family that's been plagueing the building.

Gina thought it died somewhere. By end of the week, the mom or dad, came to Gina's place and shredded some papers under her table. Pee-Pee-A ke? Ni musti musang spy aI-Pee-Pee. Hehehe.

Anyhow, after a trip to kerteh, laden with keropok of all manners and shapes, Shabbir left his at the office, only to find the next morning, that it has been eaten by the musang. Fina spoke about her apple which cikmus ate and the pear which he left teethmarks on. Gina spoke too about seeing a long bushy tail balancing itself on the gypsum cubicles tops. *naik bulu roma*

So, this morning we were shocked to come to the office to the sight of a musang in a trap. The building maintenance guys fixed a trap, a specially ordered trap since these musangs are pretty nasty. And it's the anak that was caught since it's only about the size of agrown cat. *shudder* Apparently mak bapak dia lagi besar and cantik. Shabbir named it W.Muna since the guy said it's a girl.

It snared and it hissed and it banged its head toward the walls. It chewed the spring of the trap, trying to pry itself loose.

By this time, a small audience was already oohhing and ahhing and arghhhing. Shabbir fed it biscuits and shredded kurma only to have to it hissed and snared back with teeth and fangs, nastily displayed. Brutal giler.

Fina was pleading for the maintenance guys not to kill it. It's kind of pretty too, with stripes of grey on its black body. I thought musangs should be purplish!

Anyhow, like I said. This is a sick building.

Ramadhan Beckons

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gambar hanyala hiasan. Lil' Garties jakun tengok fountain kat Hospital Ampang, nampak sangat kat rumah tak ada. BTW, avoid hospitals at all costs, these days.

It's Day 3 today.

And suprisingly, the Gart's household stayed at home the whole of the weekend. Wow! The only places we went to were the bazaar ramadan at Bkt Jelutong to get some air or some kuihs or some rendang for sahur and of course the Pasar Tani for replenishing the depleting haiwans and dauns and the masjid for tarawih prayers.

Partly this was because I wanted to hop over to Mak's for buka puasa only to be told that my younger sis, Eni and family were at her inlaws in Tganu and that maybe next time lah. Frust giler! Kena masak sendiri.

I vow to cook something less complicated this Ramadan to free more time for me to do other things. Like I masak canggih sangat la all these Ramadans. Hehe!

And I think we can make it to masjid every night since we're not looking at many buka puasa dos elsewhere, insyallah. The kids too have been cooperative.

Aliya and Ayisha prayed with me through to 8 rakaat of Tarawih. Last night because there was a kuliah, they even did the witir jamaah. Although I kept telling Ayisha to try to keep still in solat and not sway or look around or even raising both hands to close her mouth when she sneezes or tucking in her wild hair. Haish!

We've got a good spot at the wakaf, if we get there early. A good place that Ariz can find me without disturbing too many people and I can give him my chilling stare if I find him throwing stones or talking too loudly or running around. He makes friends easily and always can be found a band of boys that short. Adani, meanwhile sticks to her girlfriends and Jehan comes up tops.

MrGart told me that on the first night, Ariz stayed through the Isya' and only disappeared just before Tarawih started. Last night, he bolted at the 2nd rakaat Isya'. Adani was obedient enough to ask me if she could be let off and play and I usually say yes. Rather than having her tergeliat-geliat and tergedik-gedik kat situ.


This Ramadan like most Ramadans, the temptation is not always the food or the drink. It's always the temper. I've gone over the bridge a few times and it's only Day 3. Sigh! I can only improve, insyallah.

A little snag this year. Our office canteen will be closed for renovation for 3 months.

Good, cos we'll be having a brand, spankingly new canteen soon.

Bad because, kat mana nak beli foodie for buka puasa. I don't like the bazaar Ramadan too much since I think they're way too pricey but I don't have enough time to cook properly when I get home. So, the solution is to buy a lauk or two and a sejenis kuih or two, at a reasonable price from people whom I know and supplement with a main dish I will cook at home.

So, canteen tutup. So how now brown cow ?
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You Can't Blame Me

Thursday, August 20, 2009

For feeling mighty suspicious if you read this on your tall, dark and handsome, not to mention sexy hubby's phone ..

"Abg nampak sangat faham"

Dah la nombor asing, xde nama and it was sent at 3:47pm and is that word read Abg?? WTF?? Faham? Faham what? What am I missing here ?

I threw patience and understanding out the window and brewed a mighty storm. I vividly remember I threw the phone down after I shoved it to him with an ashen face. I actually must have looked like Gollem in LOTR, or better still, the Ice Queen in Narnia, when she realised Aslan has assembled his army to fight her and that spring has come and melted the winter away.

I digressed.

Well, to make matters lagi kelakar or even more suspicious, MrGart couldn't remember who it was, muttering something about a meeting and he was nodding off and that's about it, one of his colleagues.

Storms brewing still.

The next day, he called me from his office with the background buzzing of office talks and he said that he remembered what it was now.

Apparently that was a long audit session and he slept and that, that rather DAFT person sent that message sarcastically to say that, his nodding meant that he understood.


I get that. But what still annoys me like mad is that what business does one have in a professional office environment to be calling anyone, let alone someone's husband Abang? I mean, it's not like that is an environment where you should be calling anyone, for that matter, Abang.

I feel like going over and ketuk that person's head for sending out that message to MrGart. I ain't KillKillDieDie but any sane person would feel exactly how I feel.

So, to you out there, for you own safety, think before you do something stupid like this because I ain't standing by watching this unfold and I will put a stop to this, even if I have to pull a lot of strings. I will.

*bunyi macam threat, tak?*

*lipat sleeve tangan, flex muscles, checks knucles, practises punching*

Sugar Cookies Recipe

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is THE recipe I use for all my cookies and also the same recipe I use in my Cookie Classes. It's taken from the Toba Garret's book which I thought is a real gem.

Although the recipe gives the Glace Icing, I never seem to have much luck with it. So I always use Royal Icing or fondant to decorate the cookies.

Makes: about 20
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour (plus chilling time)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups sifted all purpose flour

Glace Icing
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Mix for another 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together baking powder and flour. Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time to the butter mixture. Blend in the last cup of flour by hand. Refrigerate the dough until slightly chilled; this will make the dough easier to roll.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut cookies with desired cutters. Place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

To prepare the glace, mix the confectioners’ sugar and milk with the electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add the corn syrup and flavorings and mix for 4 additional minutes. Separate the icing into several bowls for different colors.

Ice and decorate cookies as desired and allow to dry. Glace icing requires 12 hours total drying time.

From Dawn Schwanke, Berkley. Adapted from "Creative Cookies: Delicious Decorating for Any Occasion" by Toba Garrett (Sterling, $12.95).

Life Is Like That

It ends. It's been promised that way.

Dah lama pulak tak ber-blog. Dah nak bersarang dah blog ni. Bukannya apa. Mula-mula tu, M-A-L-A-S tapi lepas tu, I realised that ramai dah kawan-kawan bloggers ku yang tak update blogs diorang. So, herd mentality sikit la.

But I figured, I love to write and yesterday, Clipperseep emailed me an excerpt from the post I wrote about Adani's stitched chin, where she cried and I thought, something I write makes little dents in people's life, so I should continue to write. It's a community service, I guess.

*even if the community begs me to stop pun, I WILL write. Hehehehheheh. Evil!*


Too much has happened since August 3rd.

Adani's stitches have come off. She held her fort at Stitch #1. Stitch #2 saw her eyes squinted and lips pursed. Stitch #3 let out a little yelp from her pursed lips. Stitch #4 , 5 and 6 saw the whole of the ER reverberating with her high-pitched screams. Aliya told me thta everyone who waited outside the Treatment Room was shocked to hear her scream THAT loud.

I begged the doc and nurses to let us come back again tomorrow, in tears cos I felt her pain. But alhamdulillah, they were off eventually and we wiped the tears off her pretty face and we hugged for the longest time and she's back anew. Alhamdulillah.

*telinga sedikit berdengung sbb Adani jerit tepi telinga ku*

I had a telling off from Mak. Not sometthing I'd like to elaborate here. But it hurt nevertheless. I've gone passed it to see the merits of that. I shall abide.

Ariz, we realised is such a talker these days. He yaks and he growls and he grrs and he screams and he shouts. Most of the time to his Autobots and Decepticons and his batallion of lions and tigers and goats and toy soldiers. Other time for everyone else to change the channel to his fav Cartoon Network. But he's still a little pelat. Oyang (orang) and mayah (marah) are still the order of the day.

Ayisha has got me worried sick when she was feverish but she's all better now. We've stocked up on surgical masks but one day, she told me that hers was soiled when she sneezed snoot into it, and she din't bring a spare one. *sigh*

Aliya has 41 friends on her MySpace. *geleng kepala* And most of the time if she's standing still, she'd be shuffling or doing the Miley Cryus' dance steps. *pening* Now all the girls and the little boy shuffle whenever they find themselves standing up.

MrGart has been questioned by me and been given dirty, murderous look by me when I found a suspicious text on his phone. *I'm still watching you*

And me, I'm preparing myself, emotionally and mentally for Ramadhan. Lollies gave a booklet of lecture series of Ramadhan and I thought that was exactly what I needed. *muahs*

Now, going back to the title. This year has been a very sad and sorrowful year since I've received news of so many of us who lost their fathers, brothers and friends.

It started with Naimah's father, then Zul passed away, then Azizan's father and Khai's brother. Not to mention Michael Jackson, Yasmin Ahmad and the late Ustaz Asri. My mom told me of my sister-in-law's brother who collapsed and died. And last Sunday, Haiza lost her father who left so swiftly. And last Friday, I received news of Rashidi, who in 1999, started work at our office and he never failed to greet me, everytime he saw me, passed away at the age of 29, leaving behind a wife who's due to give birth to their very first child this week. And I'm sure there were so many others.

Deaths are harrowing, but they serve as a reminder to us all. A little kiamat to us, to remind us that our time is short and it's not ours to begin with. Start with the end. Death. We all will. Yang sudah pergi, kita doakan Allah permudahkan perjalanan. Kita nanti, bagaimana pula? That's what my Harfiyah Ustaz says to us, everytime he hears of a death.


Another Bloody Weekend

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Okay. *tarik nafas panjang-panjang*

Remember this ?

And of course that was Bloody Weekend #2. We had Bloody Weekend #1 and #3, all courtesy of Ariz. I'm still trying to pick the all of the pieces of me, after those trips to the ER, bloody-ly.


This was completely unexpected. It was Adani. My princess-y Adani. My Adani.

I was in the shower and I heard shouts and shrieks. I thought it was Ariz so, I continued lathering me with soap. Heh! Then MrGart knocked on the door rather urgently and I came out to the sight of a wet and bloody Adani with a towel on her mouth. Bloood was trickling down her body. Then I saw the gaping wound right under her chin.

Yikes! It was GAPING ! This was nothing like what Ariz had. This was like 3 of Ariz's combined into one. It was deeper and longer and I could see the white flesh. I thought I saw bone too.

Well. We rushed to DEMC and luckily GartRed was nearby and she came by too. That helped cos I got instant attention and went straight in and the doctor attended to her immediately. Nepotism? Sue me!

Dr Amarjit cringed and said that I had 2 options. Either stitch her up with LA or she goes under. Going under means a full GA and I was not too keen but right there, there's this boy being stitched up because he fell in a longkang and the way he screamed, the whole of Shah Alam could hear. I decided GA.

But a little later the doc came and said that maybe we should try to stitch her up there, with LA. I kinda agree since Adani has always been very calm and composed. She takes instructions well too. So, yes it was.

She was prepped up and the minute the LA needle went in, she cried and wailed but never moved. I was squirming like a jellyfish. I nearly cried too. Tears were welling. Sungguh mengharukan. I wish I could take away the pain from her. My baby!

GartRed was a jellyfish herself. too Cringing. Good thing Adani was looking up and did not see our aghast and jellyfish-ed faces. It took 2 shots to numb her chin I felt like hitting the doc when I saw the needle under her skin.

Then the stitching. This was my first time and it was the most horrendous thing to have to watch. Especially when the subject was my own.

The short curved needle looked mean. The dark blue thread looked sinister and when the needle jabbed her skin, I felt parts of me died. Adani was numb by this time and I was holding her hands and I asked her to close her eyes and she obediently did so. She was so calm through it all, I was so proud of her.

She had 6 stitches in all to close the cut and once it was all done and plastered, she hopped off the bed and reminded me that I promised her to pierce her other ear and domino's pizzas and a couple other bribes I rattled off in my unnerved state. Yikes!

Last night, when she was sleep and after my Isya', I was a puddle of tears.

The images of brave Adani and her plight came to me emotionally. I was holding my fort so well throughout the day because I wanted her to feel okay and there was enough drama without me disintegrating too . But when all's well, it came to me in a rush. I felt so blessed and thankful for all that's given to us. And I prayed for His mercy and I felt deeply in my heart that He heard my prayers. Tears streamed down my face and I felt really humbled by this.

Rabbi yassir wa la tu'assir ya karim.

p/s The stitches looked fine and dry this afternoon when we changed the dressing and the stitches looked less mean. Am dreading Thursday when the stiches are due to be off. *gulp*