Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today's date: 11/10/12

Captured the above photo this morning as I was leaving the house for the office. Have a good day today everyone. It's the last working day for those in Kelantan. Looking forward for the weekend ;)

C'est la vie!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I just had my third potluck in three weeks today! Boy... I was already scratching my head on what to bring for my second potluck, let alone the third one! I actually put up on my Instagram about what to bring for my second potluck, and I got suggestions like chicken and mushroom pie, apple pie, pizza, cinnamon pulled apart bread... and even red velvet cake. One friend actually suggested an empty tummy, haha... that need not be reminded! 
I was once told that everyone will bring their best cooked dish during potluck so that they can show off their cooking skills. Haha... Somehow I doubt the concept applied to me, coz I surely do not have any best cooked dish. You see... I don't even consider myself a cook, coz most of the time, I cook only for myself and Mr Husband. And I normally prepare my cookings according to what are available in my pantry, freezer & fridge. More often than not, I would end up preparing a non Malaysian dish for potluck coz to me, they are the easiest. I've done cold potato salad, coleslaw, mushroom soup, shepherd's pie (twice), eggless caramel pudding and savoury muffins before. The only time I cooked a Malaysian dish (Laksa Sarawak) was when the said potluck was organised at my (then) place over a year ago. 
So, last night, after reaching home slightly before 8 pm, I performed my Maghrib solat, did my daily ritual of Quran reciting, followed by Isya' prayer, and I still couldn't decide on what to bring for the potluck today. Then, slightly after 10 pm, I went into my kitchen & started to prepare for the filling of my version of a chicken pie. Luckily I had frozen puff pastry blocks that I just bought on Sunday. Boy, that really came handy, coz I was not too keen to sleep late just to prepare my own pie crust! So, at the end... chicken pie was ready just before midnight. 
This morning, after Subuh prayer, I heated  up the chicken pie again, and suddenly, I had the urge to prepare another dish for the potluck: apple crumble! Haha... I prepared apple crumble in a jiffy, and off it went into my oven slightly before 7.15 am. I went into my room to make up my bed & went back into the kitchen to the smell of something burning! Owh no! Not my apple crumble! It turned out to be the wheat germ that I sprinkled on top of my crumble was burning at 180 degree C!!! I needed to make a quick fix, as Mr Husband would be ready in no time (He sent me to the office daily), so I spooned out the burnt wheat germ and lower down the temperature. Alhamdulillah, it turned out OK.
So here are my contribution to today's potluck:

Chicken pie & almost burnt apple crumble
Second potluck: Savoury muffins
First potluck: Shepherd pies
C'est la vie!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I survived a year without TV!

Yes! You read the title correctly... It has been more than a year since I have a television set at home. 
When we first moved (Well, Mr Husband moved first) to Kelantan, we took only our clothing with us. Then, when I came after my resignation, I brought along more clothes and some pots, pans and dinner sets just enough for our usage. We fitted in all the stuffs into the two cars that we had, so bringing along our television set was never a priority. Every time we took our car for our journey to the West, the car boot & back seat would ALWAYS full of more clothes and dinner sets, kitchen racks and knick-knacks, and other whatnots, but still not the TV. And mind you, our TV is not a 41" flat screen with the home theatre kind of thing, it's just (I think...) a 26" box! 
Mr Husband was never a fan of the idiot box. His life revolves around books, and with the evolution of internet & cyberspace, he spend most of his free time online. I, on the other hand, is a lukewarm TV watcher (As if there's such a description!) Well, I'm not a TV addict nor am a TV hater. I do watch the TV occasionally when there's a good show/ serial/ telemovie. 
I remember when the serial Nur Kasih was on show back in 2009 & on the day when the last episode was scheduled to air, my TV conveniently went kaput in the morning! I was actually on MC, recuperating from a very bad chicken pox at that time, but I hauled Mr Husband to Jaya Jusco Taman Maluri after Friday solat to get myself a new TV.  When I got home, I  set the TV up on my own, and I, together with what could be almost the whole nation, managed to see Adam and Nur Amina live happily ever after. Hahaha... Well, how could I missed the last episode after watching all the prior episodes religiously? But, one thing I must confess, I haven't even watch Nur Kasih The Movie... until today! 

So, how did I live without TV for the past one year? 
When I came here 'permanently' last year, it was 2 days before the holy month of Ramadhan. So, I filled up my time with things that Muslims normally do during Ramadhan. Watching TV was probably the last thing I had in mind back then. After Ramadhan, I started my contract as a postdoc. Since I'm involved with new field of subject for my postdoctoral project, I had to read a lot to catch up. So, again, watching TV was not a priority. But, I got hooked and addicted to the internet, in the form of Facebook (shame on me!) and blog hopping (shame on me twice!). So, there you go, internet keeps me sane! 
Some time earlier this year, I picked up a hobby of reading the Malay novels. So, ever since, most of my free time: while waiting for my husband to pick me up at the office... after doing all the household chores during the weekend... before I go to sleep at night... I read. Other than experimenting new recipes, facebooking, blog hopping, of course! And lately, I've got another passion that is online-related (Duhhhh!): Instagram-ing. It is sooo addictive that I now snapped photos anywhere, anytime, to the horror and chagrin of Mr Husband! Hehe...
A friend of mine with 3 growing kids and an infant also had survived a year without TV. She removed the idiot box from her home when she realised that she need to organise her children activities according to the TV shows that they were watching. She has since managed to get her children to be more disciplined, organised and they are able have more time to do more meaningful family activities.  Another friend of mine also recited almost the same tale. Her colleagues at her previous office, now play educational games with her children instead of being glued to the couch in front of the TV.
When I put up the status that I survived a year without TV on my Facebook, a number of friends responded in disbelief. I know, who wouldn't? Even I was (and still am) surprised that I have survived this long! What started as something unintentional, has gone a long way... albeit not deliberately. But, I can surely say that, even without the idiot box, my life has been enriched, fulfilled and complacent, nonetheless.

C'est la vie!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Last year, after series of solat Istikharah, I tendered my resignation from a permanent job at a prominent research institute. Some called me bold, some called me brave, some even called me stupid! But I was determined to leave simply to be with my husband. I know should I stay & be apart from my husband, I wouldn't be happy, no matter how much I was earning then. I then became a stay-at-home-wife for almost 3 months, a 'grace period' which I enjoyed & treasured much ;) 
In October last year, I started my contract as a postdoc at the School of Medical Sciences, USM Health Campus Kubang Kerian. I wanted to learn something new, and being a postdoc would enable me to achieve that, besides adding a little bit more 'weight' to my CV. However, the downside with the contract was the salary that I'm earning now is 10% less than what I got before. Also, I'm not entitled to any salary increment according to the latest SSM salary scheme, besides not entitled to any bonuses. I ended up being underpaid! ;( But since my initial niat to become a postdoc is to gain knowledge & learn new things in a new field, I just pushed aside everything & carry on. 
Starting from May this year, I was weighing my options: either to continue my contract as a postdoc (and ended up being underpaid for at least another year), or try applying for the post of university lecturer at USM. USM is my only option as I still want to be in Kelantan. UMK is not even an alternative as it 'rejected' me last year! But which School in USM, since the Health Campus Kubang Kerian has three different schools: Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences & Health Sciences. Alas, Allah made my choice easier, as I got to know that the School of Dental Sciences (PPSG) is looking for a lecturer in biochemistry. I tried my luck applying & went for an interview on the day of Nisfu Syaaban (5th July 2012). Alhamdulillah, on the 26th of Ramadhan, I got an email from the HR personnel at PPSG that I got the job & the official offer letter will be sent soon.
Finally, last week, on the 18th of Syawal, I got the offer letter. Alhamdulillah, I will be paid 26% from what I'm earning now, and 13% more than what I used to earn from my last job! Syukur Alhamdulillah dengan rezeki yang Allah beri! I still remember my husband's words before I quit my previous job: "InsyaAllah rezeki ada di mana-mana. Yakinlah dengan Allah." Indeed! 

“...for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. Verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” (Surat at-Talaq, 65:2-3)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Salam Aidilfitri

Semoga puasa kita tahun ini diterima Ilahi,
Dan kita semua beroleh taqwa yang tinggi,
Semoga madrasah Ramadhan mendidik hati,
Mempersiapkan diri meniti hari,
Diucapkan selamat menyambut Aidilfitri,
Salah & silap harap dimaafi,
Ikhlas dari kami berdua suami-isteri.

Taqabbalullah minna waminkum.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On your mark... Get set... GO!!!!

Malam ke-20 bermula malam ini,
Ayuh saudara2 ku, kita mulakan misi,
Jangan disia-siakan peluang yang Allah beri,
Setahun hanya sekali kesempatan ini,
Memburu Lailatul-Qadar yang dinanti-nanti,
Malam yang lebih baik dari seribu bulan,
Amal ibadat kita lipat-gandakan,
Juga sentiasa berdoa memohon rahmat Allah dan…
semoga beroleh keampunan,
Atas dosa-dosa lalu yang telah dilakukan.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ramadhan Kareem

Alhamdulillah, InsyaAllah, in two days time, we will be granted the chance to meet up with Ramadhan again. For my husband & I, this will be our second Ramadhan in Kelantan. Last year I was a Stay-At-Home-Wife (SAHW), and I cooked almost everyday, except for the first 2-3 days of Ramadhan because we haven't got our gas connected to the stove yet & on 2 other days that we had iftar with my husband's office mates. 
I truly enjoyed spending Ramadhan last year as a SAHW. Alhamdulillah, being a SAHW then, permitted me to spend my day time reciting the Quran, after every prayers, and I woke up for qiyammulail almost everyday, especially during the last 10 days of Ramadhan. I didn't really savour food from Pasar Ramadhan (PARAM), even when I was living in Cheras, cause to me, the food from PARAM normally tasted bland & blergh. I would only frequented PARAM for 3 special dishes: bubur lambuk, popia basah & tepung pelita. I normally cook during Ramadhan, be it only simple dishes. Being in Kelantan, with distinct palate & tastebud, my husband and I didn't even have the urge to go to PARAM last year! And of course, last year, we didn't have any bubur lambuk, popia basah & tepung pelita for iftar. 
I still remember the Ramadhan of 2010, where my Mama & arwah Papa spent the whole Ramadhan @ PPUKM. I left the office at 5 pm sharp & literally 'berpencak silat' in the kitchen at home. I would then packed the dishes for my Mama & arwah Papa, and later, my husband & I would get in the car to send the food to them, and we would reached home for iftar just in time for the Maghrib adzan! It was tiring but rewarding, cause my food was cooked with care & love, and definitely, hygienic. This year will be our second Ramadhan without arwah Papa. Of course, during this special holy month that his absence is explicitly felt! When he was still alived, every Ramadhan, arwah Papa would fixed colourful lights around the front porch our house, and our house would be the brightest in the row! He would also be the one who bought Raya cookies, specially ordered from his old friend. Last year, our front porch was not the brightest, and we didn't order Raya cookies from his old friend. Al-fatihah to my dear Papa.

Sadness aside, here are a few pantuns that I penned down in less than an hour. They are definitely a reminder for me, and I sure do hope everyone would get something to ponder out of the pantuns. Wallahualam.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,

Mari kita muhasabah diri,
Bersungguh-sungguhkah kita selama ini?
Melakukan ibadah bekalan di akhirat nanti.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Tanamkanlah niat di dalam hati,
Beristiqamah mendirikan solat Tarawih dan solat malam hari,
Bertadarus Al-Quran, dan bersedekah, lazimkanlah diri.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Semoga disambut penuh kesyukuran dan keinsafan di hati,
Juga belajar mengekang nafsu diri,
Tidak membazir berbelanja di Pasar Ramadhan sesuka hati.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Sudah tentu Raya lambat lagi,
Janganlah asyik berfikir tentang kelengkapan duniawi,
Lailatul Qadar berusahalah kita jejaki.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Bersama-samalah kita berdoa kepada Ilahi,
Semoga ini bukan Ramadhan yang terakhir sekali,
Supaya berpeluang bertemu Ramadhan lagi.

Ramadhan menjelang 2 hari lagi,
Peringatan ini untuk diri sendiri,
Andai terasa, saya menyusun sepuluh jari,
Kekhilafan diri harap dimaafi.

Ramadhan Kareem to everyone!

C'est la vie!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My hobbies, my passions

Can't believe I've been abandoning the blog for almost 4 months. Not that I didn't have much story to write, nor did nothing interesting happened in my life. But the problem was.... I was plain lazy, with a capital L! Period. Ha! ;o I've been living well & been blessed so far, Alhamdulillah. Though there were bumps here & there (there will always be), and waded through high water (the water never runs dry), or went down the lowest valleys and hiked up the highest mountains (no shortage of these either), but it's the life that I've chosen to live well.
Up till now, I have three major hobbies which at times can turn into passions. These hobbies-cum-passions keep me sane every time I hit the lowest point in life. Of course, turning yourself towards Allah The Almighty is THE ultimate medicine, and heals you completely, but these three hobbies-cum-passions are my modes to vent out frustration, deal with disappointment, and heal off annoyance. Interestingly, initially, these three activities are just hobbies to kill off my spare times, and two of the activities are taken up especially to satisfy our taste buds (my husband's and I)---> which have yet to adjust to the 'different' Kelantanese palate. The other hobby, however, is a hobby that I grew up with, yet, I've expanded this hobby to 'some where' which I never imagine!
So, I cook, bake & read ;o ... Like almost millions of everyone else in the world. Nothing special. Hehe.

L-R: Mee bandung Muar, sambal tumis udang and sayur goreng for lunch & Baked pancake  

Clockwise, from L: Wholemeal buns and wholemeal bread, Apple moist cake, Peach cobbler scones & Choc walnut gateux

The last hobby, which took me somewhere I never imagine... Fact 1: I easily immersed myself in the fictions that I read, and yes, Fact 2: I read fictions in my spare times (& magazines, recipe books, semi autobio), NOT academic books, simply because I'm an academician who read academic journals & books for a living! Fact 3: I got engaged  in the storylines, to the point of it almost feel like I'm in the plots (Haha!). Fact 4: I feel sad to close interesting books every time I have finished reading them, and I have difficulties to say goodbye to the characters that I've fell in love with. Fact 5: I re-read books that I love from time to time. Fact 6: I can speed read books that I don't really like. Fact 7: I read books that I don't really like  from back to front (Hehe!). Fact 8: Most of the time, I don't have enough patient to read books from 1st page to the end; More often than not, I skipped pages to know the ending ;o Fact 9: I have a 'bad attitude' of collecting the whole books of my favourite authors (Even after reading her/his 3rd novels, I can already see similarities between ALL the books: repetitive exact phrases; identical characters, only with different names & professions). Fact 10: I have to read all the books from my favourite authors even if  I could not own their books. Fact 10: I started with Enid Blyton (whom I initially thought was a guy, yes... silly me!) to Carolyn Keene to L.M.Montgomery to Harper Lee to Sidney Sheldon to Jude Deveraux to Ken Follet to Kathy Reichs to Joy Fielding. In between these authors, I also read: Elizabeth George, Paulo Coelho, Robert Ludlum, Judith Mcnaught, Emily Bronte, Patricia Cornwell, Sophie Kinsella, etc, etc,etc (Heeee!). Fact 11: I only read English fictions! Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it, except for books like Mira Edora (A compulsory read during high school), but I truly appreciate the beautiful Bahasa Melayu, especially in the forms of syair, pantun, sajak and old books like Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck (arwah Papa made me read this book when I was 14), Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, Hikayat Anggun Cik Tunggal, Hikayat Siti Zubaidah & the likes.... until I came to Kelantan!

My English books. They fit the whole big box. Some were still on the shelf when I snapped this photo
Being in Kelantan, with no MPH, no Kinokuniya, no Times Bookstore,  let alone Borders, I have limitation to access English fictions. So I gave Malay fictions a try. I started with Aisya Sofea (Who doesn't know her, right?) For a kick start, since I'm a member of HUSM's Library, I went to its Fiction Area & borrowed books from Aisya Sofea. Members are only allowed to borrow two fictions at one time, so that was what I did since March this year. When I've finished all Aisya Sofea's books available in the library, I moved on to other authors: Siti Rosmizah, Anis Ayuni, Meen Zulaikha, Sarnia Yahya, Nass Alina Noah, Noor Suraya, Hlovate. I relied on some blogs that gave books reviews & suggestions to choose which books/ authors to read. Reading Malay fictions/ novels made me looking for more 'substance' in a book, rather than the usual staple of romance, hence these two authors, caught my attention: Noor Suraya & Hlovate. I love Noor Suraya for her beautiful language, although some of her books were written in simple, non-standard Bahasa Melayu. She infused beautiful Malay elements such as pantuns, old letters, traditional houses, recipes in her books, and most of her books took place in Kedah with Bahasa Melayu Kedah scattered here and there. And Hlovate... ahhh... lost for words, for this mysterious author is everything in 1: musician, skater, medical doctor, photographer, violinist (?), pianist (?), philosopher. Hlovate never failed to blend in the Islamic values in her books, with excerpts from Harun Yahya's books from were often found in most of her books. Reading Hlovate's works is also a breeze  cause her/his (Yes, Hlovate is sooo mysterious, hence the 'gender ambiguity') books were mostly written in a mixture of English & bahasa Melayu. And, yes, I've started collecting books from both of them ;o

Clockwise, from L: Rows of Malay books that I've started collecting since March 2012, two books from Noor Suraya that just arrived earlier this month, my current obsession: Versus by Hlovate, piles of books besides my bed

The greatest gift is a passion for reading.  - Elizabeth Hardwick
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.  ~Jessamyn West
Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life."  ~Helen Exley 

C'est la vie!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Today, 25th March, is my Papa's birthday. He would've been 62 years old, had he still alive. We miss you so much Papa! Al-fatihah.

Papa, with his first grandchild, Huda Maisarah, on Aidiladha 2010; 6 days before he passed away

Papa with Huda Maisarah. 16th May 2010- The day he decided to forego hospitalisation and chemotherapy; 6 months before he passed away

Only Papa can make Huda laughed then.
C'est la vie!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Make gula

Why did I write the title as 'Make gula' & not, 'Make sugar', or why not 'Buat gula'? Hehe... The reason simply because none of the three options are correct to define the 'Make gula' that I'm going to write about. It all started when a friend invited me to a wedding of his brother in Salor, Kota Bharu. The Kelantanese have their own distinctive unique dialect that is very different from the standard Bahasa Malaysia/ Melayu (BM). To top that off, the Kelantanese also have a certain soft and smooth rhythm in the way they speak that most of the time left me in awe! The Kelantanese Malay (KM) dialect is very, very much different from where I came from, where the standard BM is used at large. But I am privileged to have quite a good command of the Kedah and Perak Malay dialects, since I am married to a Perakian who speaks in Perak dialect. My late Papa was also from Perak and my Mama is from Kedah.
Most of the KM words are the same as the standard BM, but the different is in the way the words are being pronounced. For example, eat in standard BM is 'makan', but in KM, its make, and no... it's not make as in the English word! Another example, road or go in standard BM is 'jalan', but in KM, its jale. Writing the KM words do not do justice to their pronounciation, as I've mentioned earlier, the Kelantanese have their own rhythm and diction when they speak:) The place where I'm working now is Kubang Kerian in standard BM, but in KM dialect, its Kube Kiye! One suburb in Kota Bharu is called Cherang, but to the Kelantanese, its Chere, and Gua Musang is Guo Muse. Confused? There are more! 
There are some words that are totally different from the standard BM though. I remember when I was in Perth, my housemate told me that in the KM dialect, 'tangkap gambar' (taking photos) is pukul gambar, rosak (damaged) is punah and keluar (out/ exit) is tubik. My youngest sister is married to a Kelantanese from Tanah Merah, but since my brother in law does not have anybody else to speak with  in the KM dialect at home, he speaks in standard BM most of the time. Last year, when his mother came to visit at my Mama's place, his mother asked for a supik from me. I thought I heard wrongly and asked her to repeat. Supik, again came the word. I actually have to ask her what is supik? It turned out that supik are plastic bags to put food in! Funny? Intrigued? Wait... there are more :D 
My husband and I went to a  restaurant to eat cendol, and they have in their menu: cendol special and 'biasa' (regular). We asked the waiter what are the differences between the two, and he listed out the ingredients in the special cendol that are not in the regular cendol, one of which both of us could not comprehend even after the waiter repeated twice. When the special cendol was served before us, we found out that cincau (grass jelly) was the ingredient which we did not picked up. But, we still couldn't figure out the KM dialect of cincau, so I asked my office mate, and its actually beleda ite to the Kelantanese! Apparently, beleda is 'agar-agar' or 'lengkong' (jelly) to the Kelantanese, and since cincau is black in colour (ite in KM dialect), hence beleda ite ;D
So back to make gula... It's actually 'makan kenduri' in standard BM (loosely translated to English as attending a wedding/ feast). Somehow, the Kelantanese associate 'gulai' (loosely translated to English as curry) with weddings as it is commonly being served at weddings (but the curry in Kelantan is different from the curry that I'm used to, errr... that could be another blog post altogether!). Hence, attending a wedding in KM dialect is called make gula. In KM dialect, there is always a silent 'i' for words ending with an 'i', for example: pandai (clever) is panda, kedai (shop) is keda and pakai (wear) is paka. In the context of gulai (curry), it becomes gula, but 'gula' is also sugar in standard BM! But to the Kelantanese, gula (sugar) is gulo! Interesting? Yes? 

My brother in law listed down some of the different wedding-related terms used by the Kelantanese, and mind you, some of them are really distinctive from the standard BM terms that I know. Here are the list:
Kelantanese Malay dialect
Standard Bahasa Malaysia
English (Loose translation)
Kenduri (pada Tuan Rumah)
Wedding feast (To the host)
Siso @ telor siso
Lauk kenduri yang dibawa balik
Wedding dishes that are bought home by the attendees
Rombongan pengantin
The newly-weds entourage
Salam sambil hulur duit pada ibu-bapa pengantin
Shaking hand with the newly-weds parents (the host) while giving money
Penanggah/ Bentara
Persons who help in food serving during wedding feast

Owh, by the way, do you know that the Kelantanese use riyal instead of ringgit as their 'currency'? ;D 

C'est la vie!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

11 years & counting...

On this special day, 11 years ago, we solemnised our love in a nikah ceremony. I still 
remember vividly the very night when our nikah took place.  It was the first wedding in the family, with me being the eldest daughter & grand daughter, so it was kind of 'grand' in our own little way.  
During these 11 years, Mr AHAH & I climbed lots of mountains, waded too many swamps, crossed different paths, swam an ocean or two, withstood a few storms, walked across valleys and braved out all the resistant elements. We put up with each other's antics & tantrums! And we even quarreled, argued and fought each other... But, at the end of the day, he is still the last person that I hold before I sleep & early in the morning, he is the first person that I see when I wake up. 
On this special day, today, I look back at all we had gone through together & praise Allah for allowing me to get to know this wonderful man, and be his wife. Despite our incompatibilities, I truly believe that Mr AHAH is... 'jodoh yang terbaik yang telah ditentukan Allah untuk diri saya!' I pray that he would be my one & only husband, dunia & akhirat, InsyaAllah.
I discovered this beautiful poem during my days of commuting on ERL circa 2005-2006, and had fallen in love with the beautiful words since. When I recited this poem to Mr AHAH then, he shared my sentiment. So, this poem has officially be our 'love poem' ever since.

How Do I Love Thee? 
(Sonnet 43)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Happy 11th year wedding anniversary Mr AHAH. I love you with all my heart & soul. 
I pray we will be together dunia & akhirat. Ameen.
C'est la vie!

The centre of my world: My husband, Mr AHAH

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The year that was... 2011

Today is already the 1st day of the year 2012. How time flies, especially when you are having a good time. 2011 was definitely a year to remember, personally. I quit a relatively good job, with a relatively good income, at a relatively 'renown' work place. For making such a major decision in my life, some people called me stupid, some said I was not thinking straight, some questioned: What was she thinking. But, it's my life, so I shun other people's opinions & sought for Allah's guidance & blessing through solat & doa. It was not really difficult to come up with the decision, not after what I went through @ my previous work place. But I was quite tormented to leave my family behind. If only Pengkalan Chepa & Sg Buloh is nearby! Although 'now everybody can fly' with you-know-who, it's still not easy to fly on monthly basis, not with the unnecessary stress that the airline put me through by its delay antics & with the heavy workloads that I'm currently shouldering. 
2011 was the year when someone very senior at my previous work place told me that I lack the 'craziness' to be a reseacher, but yet, I was the only one amongst my colleagues who succeeded in securing an Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS). Ironically, despite her upsetting remarks, I'm still working as a researcher, writing more & more research proposals that I can ever imagine & assisting in supervising a larger number of postgraduate students than before. And, yes, InsyaAllah, I'll be writing one @ 2 good paper/s with my name as the 1st author.
2011 was the year Mr AHAH & I relocated to Kelantan, and  Pengkalan Chepa is our current home. In our almost 11 years of being married, this is the first time I moved out of KL/Selangor to follow Mr AHAH, though he had been transferred to Kuching & Langkawi before. Alhamdulillah, adjusting to life in Pengkalan Chepa is almost breezy. We are enjoying our less hectic lifestyle here, though I do miss my lifestyle back in KL/Selangor, especially during the weekends. (Our activities then during weekends: Window shopped at different shopping complexes, tried out varieties of food at numerous restaurants & watched movies at the cinemas, and of course.... spending time with my nieces & nephew)
Mr AHAH praying in our empty rented unit in Cheras, July 2011
2011 marked a year of my family members & I survived without my Papa. It's still heartbreaking for all of us, especially for my Mama. But, we coped & managed & InsyaAllah, we will continue to cope & manage. Papa's memories live in our heart forever & our doas to him will never ceased, InsyaAllah. Our family lost our patriarch, 3 days shy of Papa's a year of death. Tok Abah, Papa's father, was 91. I strongly believe, he was silently missing his only son & thinking about him too much until he suffered a stroke on Aidiladha's eve.
Papa, with his two grand daughters on his last Aidilfitri with us, Sept 2010
2011 also was the year that we parted from our dear old family home in Klang. Eventhough my Mama & my sister's family moved into the current family home in June 2010, the Klang house was still ours to go to, whenever want to (especially if we want to get stuffs that had yet to be brought to Sg Buloh). We have been trying to sell the house ever since we moved out, but we have yet to get a buyer. But today, 1/1/12, the house keys will be handed to a new tenant- my dear old friend from my uni days @ UWA. She will be renting our house for at least a year, until we get a buyer. Who would have thought? My uni friend would end up renting my family home.... The house was very nostalgic to all of us, it was our 'home' for 28 years! There were memories written on every nooks & crannies of the house, literally. It's even more nostalgic to me: It was the house where Mr AHAH & I got married! And now it's no longer ours to go home to. 

Mr AHAH & my brother in law, in front of my family home in Klang on 26/12/2011
2011 also was the year that I found my passion in baking. I've been baking almost every weekend ever since I 1st started in November. Mind you, all the recipes that I tried were easy-peasy & I'm no where near all the baking gurus who had carved their names online. Interestingly, I started my baking journey this year with a scone, and ended up with a scone too, despite using two different recipes!

Above: Scone, 25/11/2011; Below: Featherlight scone, 31/12/2011
And finally, 2011 was the year I started blogging, although I've been contemplating the idea of doing so for years.  I truly wish I would have time & drive to continue writing entries in this blog this 2012. I hope I'd be able to capture all the bittersweet moments in 2012 in the form of blog entries... InsyaAllah.
C'est la vie!