Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Taciturn Tuesday

Taken from:  http://blog.grammarly.com/

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Spoon versus Butter knife

A few weeks ago, Sis A was adamant to buy the 'roti yang square' (square-shaped bread). At first, Mama was at loss thinking what kind of roti (bread) that she meant. So when we stopped at our regular grocery store, Mama let her shop for things she needed. She went to pick this,

and then this,

and Mama thought, " Well, that bread is square-shaped."
When we reached home, Sis A quickly took a table spoon and spread the 'kaya' (jam) on two slices of bread; one for her, and one for Bro H. Both of them gobbled down the bread in a matter of minutes. Mama never knew they love that kind of 'meal'. And definitely Mama never thought Sis A was capable of preparing such a simple 'meal' on her own. Mama smiled and patted Sis A's head and said, 'Anak perempuan Mama dah besar' (Mama's daughter is a big girl now). She just smiled proudly.
Then Mama went to the shelves and took this,

Mama showed her how to spread the 'kaya' evenly using the butter knife instead of spoon. As expected, she did it well.
However today, she insisted on using the spoon again (after days of using the butter knife). Mama asked her why and she told Mama that her teacher at school used a spoon, not a knife.
Well, usually the teacher always won but Mama was determined to win this time. Mama told her, ' Teacher kat school Yaya tak ada butter knife, sebab tu dia guna spoon.' (Your teacher at school does not have a butter knife, that's why she uses a spoon instead).
Luckily that girl accepted Mama's explanation and used the butter knife again.
Mama wins this round. Enough said.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Birds and planes are flying over the bridge

At the Pasir Hor trafficlights this afternoon. 

Alia: Overbridge ni tak siap lagi (This overbridge is still uncompleted)

Mama: Bukan overbridge, tapi flyover, Yaya. (This is not overbridge, but flyover, Yaya)

Alia: Mana boleh panggil flyover.(We cannot call it flyover). Tak fly macam bird pun. (It doesn't fly like a bird does).

Harish (interrupting) : Ya, tak fly macam aeroplane, kan Yaya (Yes, it doesn't fly like an aeroplane does, right, Yaya?).

Mama was speechless.

If you were in my shoes, what would your reply be?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Desserts, desserts and more desserts...

Today Mama saw this picture in a friend's facebook (ermm Kak Hani, this is without your knowledge and permission but Mama knows you will not kill Mama for this, won't you? Hehe).

Top left : Biji Nangka Mas

Top right: Mas Sejemput (Thong Yip)
Bottom left: Lupchup
Bottom right: Serikaya Kacang

Mama realised that Mama has never seen and  doesn't know the names for these Kelantanese traditional kuih (desserts). Luckily Mama's friend told us their names and tonight Mama quickly asked for Uncle Google's help to find out more about them.
(At the moment Mama still doesn't get much information about Biji Nangka Mas and Serikaya Kacang)

Mas Sejemput / Thong Yip (sweet egg yolk cup)

Thong Yip is popularly made on propitious occasions since its name begins with the word 'thong' which means gold and the Thais believe that gold, which symbolizes fame and wealth, will bring good luck to them.

 Yolks from 5 duck's eggs and 5 hen's eggs
 3 cups of sugar
 3 cups of water scented with jasmine
How to cook
1. To make syrup, stew sugar in water scented with jasmine in a pan until all the sugar dissolves and bubbles appear all over the water surface.
2. Whip the yolk until stiff.
3. Remove the syrup from heat and wait until it becomes still.
4. Spoon up the yolk and drop it into the syrup. Repeat this until the yolk is finished. Each spoonful of yolk will become circular in shape in the syrup that is not too thick.
5. Put the syrup pan on a moderate heat. Pour some jasmine-scented water into the pan from time to time to prevent the syrup from thickening. Turn over the golden circular pieces in the pan before spooning them into a container with some syrup.
6. Make each piece into the shape of a five-point star and place it in a china cup to allow it to firm up.
7. Take it out of the cup and it is ready for serving.

Luk Chup 
(fruit-shape desserts made of mung-bean flour with natural colouring) 
They look like various kinds of fruit and vege- tables, such as chillies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, watermelons, and carrots but they are in miniature. Their taste is sweet, their smell is fragrant, and their appearance is attractive and colourful. They are called Luk Chup

In the old days, Luk Chup were the sweetmeats made for the king of Siam to have after meals in the palace. The skill of making these little sweetmeats could thus be learned only from people in the palace. Nowadays, eating Luk Chup is not limited to only palace people. However, they still preserve its position as the sweetmeats for those of high society since they are rather expensive and the Thais popularly present the dessert to their superiors and elders on special occasions like New Year's Day, birthdays, or as a gift to convey one's congratulations.

To make Luk Chup, the basic ingredients are ground mung beans (with skins removed), sugar, coconut cream, clear gelatin, and food-colouring. Ground bean paste is mixed with sugar before coconut cream is added. The mixture then is heated over a gentle fire until it becomes sticky. After leaving it cool, the mixture is taken to be molded into the desired shapes of fruits and vegetables. This important step needs good dexterity. Every curve and line requires a very gentle touch to shape the mixture into the miniature fruits or vegetables. But the size of each piece is limited by the amount of mixture that can be made to hold together. Then the little models are painted in various colors. When dry, they are dipped in clear gelatin.

The sweetmeats can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three weeks. Nowadays  Luk Chup are not as commonly found as other Thai sweets. They are on sale in only some shops selling Thai desserts.

Taken from : http://www.thaiwaysmagazine.com/thai_desserts/desserts_thai_cultures.html

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Furry Friends Farm

Furry Friends Farm was officially registered as a private company on 4th October, 2006 under the ownership of Sabrina Yeap. The farm started in rescuing 10 dogs in 2006 and the number of furry kids, mainly dogs and puppies has increased more to 100 to date. The farm is only dependent on volunteers and from a solo volunteer in 2006, there are 6 dedicated volunteers now since the mid of 2007.
For those who wish to make their contribution to FFF in CASH, we would appreciate it greatly if you would approach the two veterinary clinics below and help us settle some of our bills (any amount applicable, please insist on receipt):

1. Klinik Haiwan & Surgery Wawasan, Taman Wawasan Puchong. T:03-58820755

2. Pet First Veterinary Centre, Taman Usahawan, Kepong. T:0362595499

You may donate whatever amount you wish and the vet will issue you the receipt.

The above 2 clinics have been very kind to Furry Friends Farm and allowed us to prolong the settlement of our bills.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of our heart!

More info: Myza Nordin @ 0163717692

Taken from: Furry Friends Farm's Facebook

Update  (26/7/2012)

In appreciation of two of FFF's long-term veterinary clinics who have kindly allowed us to prolong the settlement of our escalating medical bills over the years, yet never turning down a single FFF furkid, we are appealing to all kind donors who wish to make their contribution in CASH, to approach either of the clinics below and help FFF with the furkids' medical bills.
Any amount is greatly appreciated; please specify that your donation is for FFF and a proper receipt will be issued to you by the vet. All donations will be updated on our post here, unless specified otherwise.

1. Klinik Haiwan & Surgery Wawasan (Taman Wawasan, Puchong) T: 03-58820755
Outstanding amount as of 17 Jul 2012: RM32,694.00

2. Pet First Veterinary Centre (Taman Usahawan, Kepong) T: 03-62595499
Outstanding amount as of 17 Jul 2012:

On behalf of the new committee and furry kids, thank you for your support!

More info: Dawn Tan @ 012-3457193

Update : 15/9/2012
Happy Cat-urday and dog-urday :)

FFF would like to call for all rescuers/ owners who has surrendered their dogs/cats to FFF to continue the RM 30 per dog/cat a month program. This is to help us to continue to provide food and means for the well-being for these residents. FFF is fully dependant on public donation and we need a min of RM 40K to sustain the operation of the Farm, and that excludes the medical bill. We hope the public will support us in continuing Sabrina's good work.

Our Public Bank Berhad account number -

Furry Friends Farm 178842626
Society registration - PPM 027-10-14082012

Do e-mail us at treasurer@furryfriendsfarm.org.my issuance of receipt.

Thank you, god bless and have a good weekend.

Update: 18/9/2012

Sigh ! its raining with sick dogs at FFF. And we need you help with the medical bill.
Beijing is a 7 year old girl. Arrived at FFF in January 2012. She was brought in by a lady as Beijing was not getting on with her dog. She had found Beijing wandering in the street. So FFF agreed to take her in. She was a little overwhelmed at first but soon settled in. She followed one of the Volunteers everywhere on her rounds at the Farm. Beijing always had a weak back leg and walked awkwardly, but her spirit was strong and determined. She& a little arrival called Princess became good friends bit generally Beijing did not care much for the company of other dogs. She is a one person dog and is very loyal. Sadly Beijing back leg have given way to the degeneration of her hip bone and to make matters worse for she has a problem with her spine. Beijing is currently at the vet having treatment & physiotherapy.Surgery is not an option for her condition as it is risky and very small chance of succeed. We all hope she will walk back again as her & body are still very strong. However, if treatment fails we will need to get her a wheel chair and someone special to give her the a happy and caring home she deserves. She is a very loving girl.

Please send her your positive vibes and prayers. Beijing is scheduled for acupuncture sessions with Dr. Susanna, soon. Stray strong girl !

Kind supporters, for those who are still unsure/unaware of how you can make a donation to FFF, here are the details again:

Account name: Furry Friends Farm
Society registration no: PPM-027-10-14082012 (14Aug12)
Email: treasurer@furryfriendsfarm.org.my

1) Cash deposit/transfer/intergiro to PUBLIC BANK BERHAD: 3178842626

2) Paypal account: treasurer@furryfriendsfarm.org.my
Transaction fees (charged to FFF): 3.4% + RM2 per donation/transaction

3) Cheques payable to: Furry Friends Farm
Foreign cheques bank commission (charged to FFF): 0.1% (min Rm20, max Rm100)

Kindly notify us at treasurer@furryfriendsfarm.org.my once you've made a donation.

We deeply appreciate your continuous support!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ramadhan 1st

Last night or rather early this morning Mama didn't have proper Sahur. Instead of rice, Mama only had some plain bread and plain water. Mama woke up at 4.45 am but then Mama suddenly became a bit lazy to go to the kitchen to fry the fish and to cook the rice.

From Wikipedia:

Suhoor , also called SehurSehriSahari and Sahur in other languages, is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting, sawm, in daylight hours during the Islamic month of Ramadan. The meal is eaten before fajr, or dawn. Suhoor as the morning meal is matched by Iftar as the evening meal, during Ramadan, replacing the traditional three meals a day (breakfastlunch and dinner), although in some places dinner is also consumed after Iftar later during the night. Being the only meal eaten by Muslims from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, Suhoor typically tends to be heavy and is highly regarded by Islamic traditions to benefit of the blessings and avoid crankiness or weakness caused by the fast.

Hence, today Mama was a bit tired and very thirsty (due to the hot weather). But Mama is not worried. The first day of Ramadhan is always like that.

Today, for the iftar (the breaking of fast), Mama bought ikan cencaru sumbat, taucho, and buah tanjong (a Kelantanese delicacy). And Mama drank a jug of plain water all by herself. Yes, as usual, after Abah's death, Mama breaks her fast alone, at home except on weekends where Mama breaks fast with Atok & Nenek at their place.

Ikan cencaru sumbat is Mama's all-time favourite. The Kelantanese call this fish as 'Keronge'.

And here, is the Buah Tanjung. It's lesser known than its famous cousin, Jala Mas but Mama prefers it to the latter.

Mama tried to google for 'taucho' but couldn't find the pictures of it anywhere. Then Mama remembered there is another term for it, Teresek and voila, Mama finally found the picture.

Mama always looks forward to Ramadhan because stalls selling various food for Iftar would mushroom everywhere making us spoilt for choice. People are more forgiving and most (if not all) become more patient and generous during this holy month.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sabrina Yeap :A selfless saint of neglected animals

GRIT saw Sabrina Yeap (1963-2012) through the many dire situations she encountered in her lifetime.
The lives of those furry friends she saved were found on the street, in chains or cages in abandonment, in drains and ditches and even in mangrove swamps.
Sabrina always had room for one more dog in her farm no matter what her detractors say. And her detractors were simply that.
Sabrina was born and dumped in an orphanage and she knew all too well what it was like being abandoned.
She never had a normal childhood, yet her love for dogs emanated from within that tiny frame that held her gentle soul, kept her close to the animals she devoted her life to raising, caring and protecting.
She spent 12 years working in SPCA as an animal inspector, then under the leadership of (Max) Ian Wheatley who founded the society in 1958. I met her a few years before Wheatley died when I volunteered at the society.
Sabrina investigated every case of cruelty reported and worked with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to prosecute perpetrators in court right up to 2005.
She always had the welfare of the animals first.
My task was to feed the difficult dogs their medication but seeing her return with a “casualty” was like watching CSI solve a case.
Our ties formed when I began travelling, and very often I had to leave my dog in her house where she boarded pets as a side income to supplement her low-income from the shelter.
She did odd jobs like bathing dogs kept by the affluent for RM10 each, which some might think was a lowly job, when in fact, she enjoyed every minute of the bonding sessions with them.
She got closer to the animals that she was entrusted with, and very soon, my dog too, started to listen to her commands.
She always spent her money on the dogs’ welfare and never on herself.
After she left SPCA she started her own no-kill policy shelter with 10 dogs in 2006, while giving tuition classes to earn a living.
She started an adoption programme where people could sponsor a dog for life at RM30 per month.
She rented an area to keep these dogs, driving to and from Kundang to prepare food and feed them.
When more people got to know her plight upon recognising her exemplary work in SPCA, they began to give her a helping hand.
She built Furry Friends Farm to what it is today by sheer dedication, hard work and determination to give dogs (and cats, goats, rabbits) a sanctuary of their own.
She gave talks at international schools on responsible dog ownership and had awareness campaigns at exhibitions and expos in the Klang Valley.
She ate very little but made sure her furkids ate a lot.
By the time she rescued and helped 100 dogs, she knew she had the capacity to take in more.
She knew each dog by name and they knew her by her voice.
She could even tell me all their traits as I sat down at the centre of all her most laid-back snoozers.
Dr Jill Robinson of Animals Asia Foundation, appointed Sabrina as the executor of the Dr Dog Programme in 2007 and has since raised eight Dr Dog Ambassadors.
Sabrina had a quiet demeanour but with a kind of assertiveness that made her the matriarch of the troop, subduing even the most aggressive of males in the pack.
She would get herself dirty to rescue a stranded pup and risk her life to reach out to an injured dog. She ferried each dog to the vet and would collect the ones which were already treated, in her little Kancil.
Her relentless effort for animal welfare made her a champion for the causes she stood for, including the Pulau Ketam dog dumping incident in 2009 that garnered international attention. In that mission 29 stray dogs were rescued and now live in the farm.
Having spent years with her, we knew what she held close to her heart and what she wanted most for the animals.
We have lost a selfless saint of neglected dogs and cats on July 17.
May she be reunited with the lives of her furry friends who had gone on before her to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Furry Friends Farm will be managed by her current pool of volunteers. If you wish to pay your last respects, the wake is at Nirvana Memorial Centre, No. 1, Jalan 1/116A off Jalan Sg. Besi, KL. Funeral Parlour No13 (Rose).
Funeral Service: 10am, Friday, July 20 at Shah Alam Crematorium (Nirvana)
Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

Just to wish all my Muslim friends and readers Ramadhan al-Mubarak and happy fasting. May we all make the most out of this month of mercy, barakah(blessings & rewards) and opportunities.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Senamrobik 1Murid 1Sukan 1Malaysia

Today like other nearly 4 million students nationwide, Mama's school has the Senamrobik
1 Murid 1 Sukan 1 Malaysia (1 Student 1 Sports 1 Malaysia Aerobics). According to the newspaper and the news, this program will be in the Malaysia Book of Records.

After the usual Asma-Ul-Husna, the National and State Anthem thingy, the principal gave a little speech about the significance of the event and he praised the students and teachers for their support of the programme. After that, we started the Senamrobik with a trained instructor at the helm. A few teachers went on the stage, to join the Principal and the Senior Assistants. The principal motioned to Mama to join, but Mama shook Mama's head and pointed to Mama's camera. A good excuse for A Great Escape, huh?

Monday, 9 July 2012


Mama's eyes turned as big as saucers when Mama was picking up the kids at their play school cum nursery last week. Sis A's fingers and toenails were painted purple!
Trying to act natural, Mama asked her, "Kenapa kuku Yaya macam tu?" (What happened to your nails?). She replied innocently, "Yaya lukis dengan kawan-kawan" (Yaya painted them with friends' help). Oh Mama's little girl has grown up. Oh now she's into nail painting? Hahaha.. Mama laughed when Mama was reminded of an episode a few years ago.

A colleague, who had just returned from performing the Haj, gave a small tube of henna to Mama. Sis A was nearly one year old that time and Mama was very excited to make her look pretty and be more feminine. When Sis A was sleeping, Mama carefully applied the henna to her nails and toenails, hoping that she would be as excited as Mama when she woke up.
Alas, it was not to be. Mama heard shrieks and screams of horror from Mama's little girl. She kept crying and showed her nails to Mama. Until today Mama could still remember her frantic words, "Ddaroh, Ya Ddaroh" (Bleeding, Yaya's bleeding). Oh my, she thought the red colour on her nails was blood and she was really scared at that time. So, Mama had to wash the colour off her nails to stop her hysterical fits.

When Mama was a little girl, Mama and Mama's little sister were always excited during weddings. The bride in the old days (and in present days) always wear the henna. And of course after the bride used it, there would be some henna leaves left for the children .In the old days, henna didn't come in a tube. They came from real trees which can be found in the backyard of most village houses.

From Wikipedia:

Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also called henna tree[1]) is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic حِنَّاء (ALA-LC: ḥinnāʾ / pronounced [ħɪnˈnæːʔ]) or colloquially حنا, loosely pronounced /ħinna/.

Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin. Fresh henna leaves will stain the skin if they are smashed with a mildly acidic liquid. Henna is commonly traded as a powder made by drying, milling and sifting the leaves. The dry powder is mixed with lemon juice, strong tea, or other mildly acidic liquids to make a preparation with toothpaste-like consistency, which can be used to make finely detailed body art. The henna mix must rest for 6 to 24 hours before use.
The paste can be applied with many traditional and innovative tools, including resist, a cone, syringe, Jac bottle or fingers. A light stain may be achieved within minutes, the longer the paste is left on the skin, the stronger the stain will be, and should be left for several hours.

Henna stains are orange soon after application, but darken over the following three days to a reddish brown.After the stain reaches its peak color it will appear to fade, as the stained dead cells ex foliate.

Mama, cousins and aunts then worked hard pounding the leaves into paste and put everything people said would make the stains stronger (in our case, dark red). Then we would take turns putting the paste onto our nails and toenails. In order to avoid staining our bed sheets (and the wrath of our mothers), we wrapped our little fingers with cellophane tape (just like the picture that Mama found with some help from Uncle Google).
The end result? We all thought that we looked prettier with the red nails and toenails. A bit like the bride.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Captain T Restaurant

There is a new eatery in town. Finally it began its operation about three weeks ago. Mama heard that the owner is a Penangite millionaire and is so into ships and that's why the restaurants are shaped like ships.

There are two restaurants; one is on land and another is floating on the Kelantan River. The floating restaurant looked tempting but with two very active young children in tow, we decided against it. Moreover, the waitress who showed us the way told us that we had to wait longer for the food if we chose to eat at the floating one.

There are also benches and tables if you prefer to dine al fresco but we wanted to experience climbing to the upper decks and imagine that we were dining on a boat so off we went, climbing a flight of stairs and we chose the first deck (or berth?)

There are a variety of seafood offered and we chose a bit of this and a bit of that. The prices of food are a bit steep but my brother was paying for the meal so who cares? *evil laugh*.

The view is very beautiful. Mama could see the Sultan Yahya (the previous Ruler of Kelantan) Bridge in the distance, and on the other side, the Masterskill buiding (a private institution), just next to TESCO. And we could also see the unique way of sending the food that customers ordered to the floating restaurant - they used a container tied to a hanging rope. Actually we thought there was a boat that could take us cruising up and down the river, sort of a river cruise but the boat was actually that floating restaurant!
All in all, it was a nice and relaxing meal, with the soothing evening breeze.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Great Teacher

Congratulations on your retirement, Kak Hasnah

Over the last 3 years you have been a great colleague and friend by contributing ideas and suggestions to Mama. When Mama first came to this school, you were one of the few senior teachers who opened their welcoming arms to this new colleague. It's tough being in a new school, and the school is bigger than Mama's previous one and of course with more students and teachers too. And you helped Mama with Mama's new responsibilities because Mama had to learn it from scratch.

During the farewell assembly this morning, the Ustaz broke down while saying the Du'a and this made Mama's eyes welled up too. Mama and the others were glad that the surprise we planned for you went well. Your husband was sporting enough to show up at the assembly and sang 'Happy Birthday' while both of you cut

the cake together.

The hugs and kisses you get from friends are expected.
You have been teaching here, at this school, for 25 years...

Now, a new phase of your life is beginning. It is the time you have been waiting for, to spend more time with your beloved husband and family, especially with your only grand daughter.

We wish you a happy and fulfilling retirement. You will be greatly missed.