Friday, August 29, 2008

Yoga Lessons

It was a busy morning today, but the yoga session, after 2 weeks absence, was good. Yeah, one was that goner case, then last week, 'ponteng'. In fact, I wonder if any of them also forgot like I did two weeks ago? I will not raise the question, though.

I never realised it before, but it seems that Dr D will instruct us to do between 12 - 15 poses per session for the whole 1 and half hour there. I only started to count it today. Let me see, if I remember the poses. I wanted to write all the diffrerent poses he taught us in a notebook, but never did get to get around it. Once you're home, there's just no time to write it down. Ok la... I admit, actually, it just slips my mind. Especially everytime after the session, a few of us will go for our second breakfast, or brunch, and catch up on sizzling girly stuff. Hahaha..!

After the warm up session of 15 minutes, which I described in my earlier entry, we were asked to lie down and rest for about 2 minutes, as it was quite a vigorous exercise non-stop. Then start all the other poses. Some of the poses we did as illustrated below. Each of these poses will be repeated at least twice or more, and sometimes longer than the first time.

This is actually 3 different poses that we did, suppose to be good for your back, and.... another one I cannot remember.

From the two pictures above, we started with a pose like the upper one, then move our hands to the side on the floor, then on to the third pose as in the lower picture.

We sat like this to concerntrate on breathing. 4 counts of breathe in, 16 counts of 'hold' and 8 counts of breathe out.

Well, those are some of the poses I can remember and find the pictures online for today's lesson. Soon I will have to make a point to write or draw out all the poses that we learn. Dr D stressed that we're supposed to practice them at home everyday, but till today I am yet to 'put it in practice'. Soon.......!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Battle of the Greens ..... and Life

It's going to be a cool day, with a rainy monday morning today. With this kind of weather, I don't even need to switch on the fan. Just let in the fresh air from the open doors and windows. I am actually taking a rest after a hectic weekend and especially yesterday where I spent the whole day visiting relatives at two different hospitals down south and here in PJ.

Early in the morning we made our way down the NSE about 2 hours plus drive. My aunty who is already quite elderly was admitted as she could not get up and refuse any food. Thus they had her on drip, and latest news I heard this morning is that she has cancer in her lungs and critically on 50/50 for recovery. At her age, the specialist said that it is spreading fast to her other part of the body.

I remembered this lady, all her life, if I look back, is sad. But somehow she managed to stay cheerful on most occassion and worked very hard to support her life and her only son. She was seperated from her husband long before when he went back to Sumatera, and has been on her own for a long time before one day, about 20 years back, she was match-maked with an old divorcee. However, she had been so used to being single, that she couldn't cope with married life and they got a divorce after one year. From then on she went on her usual life and various ways to find an income. She stayed with my parents until both of them passed away, and she continues living in our home till now. Her son passed away a few years back.

She has been part of our family eversince I can remember and has been very helpful in many ways that she can. I am so indebted to her for her continuos and tireless service to our family when she was an able person. The only thing I can do for her now is to make sure that she has a comfortable life and provide her with the medical attention she needed now. Dare I hope for her cure? Only Allah knows.

On the way back, we stopped by at a nursery to check some plants for my garden. I was flipping through a magazine I bought a few weeks back on the way, and got a few ideas on how I could further enhance my garden. I also noticed that my cyber friend, CakapAje's brother was featured in that magazine. Haha....small world. Back to the nursery, we figured it must be cheaper there, and since our car is empty, we can buy some plants to bring back. And true enough, the price is easily 50% less than Sungai Buluh. I bought 2 big helliconias with big wide leaves, 4 kannas, a few bag of soil and a herbal plant said to be good for diabetics and high blood.

The new batch of plants waiting to be 'grounded'.

And this morning, surveying my greens, as usual I will be on my rounds looking for weeds amongst my grass. It is my daily routine to pull out these weeds especially on the older (recycled) grass at the back. My front yard, with the new set of grass doesn't have much weeds growing. So every morning, or late evenings, I will pull out a handful or two of these weeds. I figured it would be sometime before all the weeds are gone. If they are too small to be pulled out, I'll let them grow until I can easily pull it next time. Hahaha...

The recycled grass.

This weed looks healthy and beautiful when 'young' but once it grows big, it will dominate the ground around it with big spiral leaves.

I'm not a good cameraman, but if you can see there are actually 3 different weeds in this picture.

And apparently, there are areas that is forgotten. My front compound. Hee hee....

Friday, August 15, 2008

He he he

Of late, on Friday mornings, I normally have to perk myself up and force myself to get ready for the yoga class. Not that I don't like it, but its more comfortable staying at home, tending to my garden, or just sitting on my bed with my laptop, as I am doing now. (There are tables, chairs, sofas....but...he he he)

But I seem to enjoy the class more, and earlier this week, or was it less than 48 hours ago, I wrote an entry on yoga. That alone is like a self affirmation. I was really looking forward to go this morning class. After completing my chores, took a good breakfast, and happily make my way there.

Upon reaching the destination....hey, where are all the cars? None of my friends' car were there!

Then it hit me, last week, I was informed there were no class today.....hahahaha!

p/s. Hope none of my yoga friends read this post. ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What Was It?

As I was asleep last night, suddenly I heard some faint but disturbing noise. I didn't know the time, but I can safely say between 2.00 to 4.00 am. It wasn't too loud, but sounds like some paper rustling. I wondered, did I leave my work on the bed again? I must move it so I could sleep. I wanted to get up, but I can't move. I forced my eyes open, and there it was right in front above me like a black sheet. I can't even called it a figure, because it was shapeless, all I can say is, it was totally black. There were sound effects too, like if you were watching the movie. Sound of wind blowing things up. Papers or leaves.

I was scared, but I manage to recite some Quranic verses starting with the Al-Ikhlas. Then I remembered a good friend telling me that when at times like this, read the surah Kursi, and when you get to the last verse, read it 3 times. Wa la ya'uduhu hifdhuhuma wa huwal 'Aliyul adhem. True enough, and Alhamdulilah, everything dissapeared immediately. Even the sound effect. Things got back to normal and quiet, and peaceful again.


But I still wonder...what was it!?


Ayat Al-Kursi has always been my 'protection verse' whenever I sense trouble or hard times. ever since I can remember. I've heard numerous stories about the strength of this ayat, but last night really proves it right, I feel, from my own personal experience. I just found this site on the ayat for further knowledge. Ayat al-Kursi, the Verse of the Throne.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Breath in and bring you hands up and stretch to the back.
Breath out and bend down and hold your ankle.
Stretch your right foot to the back.
Strecth your left foot to the back.
Knee down, chest down, chin down.
Do the cobra.
Do the mountain.
Bring your right foot to the front.
Bring your left foot to the front.
Stand up and stretch your hands up to the back.
Bring your hands to you chest.

That's the weekly routine that Dr D will start us with at the yoga class every friday morning. I had just joined the group about 5 months ago, not long after I moved to this neighbourhood. There's about 11 ladies and 1 man in the class. The warm up session lasts about 15 minutes. The speed will depend on what Dr D instruct us. Sometimes he'll tell us its gonna be slow and will gain speed and will slow down again towards the end. It all depends on what pose he'll give us later on during the 1 and half hour session.

For the first few classes when I first joined, I would have body aches for the whole weekend. Doing the solat could be painful too. Over time it eases, unless Dr D gave us a very hard pose. Last friday, we did the cobra for 1-2 minutes per pose, and I am having pain in my ribs till about yesterday. Ouch...!

It was a fun class, actually. But to get ready to go could be a really trying time. Getting out of your comfort zone to do workouts, doesn't seem to be a great idea. But once you start with the session, you would start to enjoy and glad you made it to the class. Some ladies in the class has been coming to this yoga for more than 4 years now! Wow...even during ramadhan. I still can't imagine how or whether I would turn up during puasa next month.

I decided to take up Yoga as part of my exercise routine due to the fact that physically, yoga is considered to improve:
1. muscle flexibility
2. tendon strength
3. stamina
4. health and internal functioning of the body

The other thing I need to improve on is to try to do yoga at home everyday for 5-30 minutes. Not once..hahaha...have I been disciplined enough to at least practise some of the poses at home. I need to visualize doing it! And do it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Papaya Vs Pineapple

As I shop around for my grocery of the week, I stop by at the fruit and vegetable section and grab one pineapple for and 3 solo papayas for my alkaline supply. Wow, the price of these local fruits are not cheap anymore. I always assumed that they're reasonably priced until I make a point to actually read the price tag. That's why all the more reason why we should try to grow a plant or two in our backyard. I am planting these 2 fruits now, and hopefully in no time, I can reap the 'fruit' of my labour and enjoy the great taste anytime you want all year round.

The pineapple, however is not as convenient to grow. One, it took longer times to bear fruits, between 1-2 years (!!) and secondly, it bears fruit one at a time. So, at the moment, I am only planting one pineapple as a trial project, or hobby, whatver!

The second picture shows (if you can see) some roots sprouting from the pineapple crown. I think it takes almost one months to get to these stage. I plan to plant it infront of my house as a decor plant.

The papaya, on the other hand, is more viable. You can have a tree and they can bear numerous fruits for you. You can find some benefits of the papaya in my posting here.

As you can see, the papaya plants is growing healthily in the nursery pot. That batch is about 1 and half month old. I am yet to find out when I should start planting it on the ground, and the exact location in my backyard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Free Plants!

Psssttt.... I just want to share something very interesting. (Whispering, here...!)

But, promise, you won't tell my neighbour. At least until after I tell them myself....hahaha.

You see these little baby plants in my nursery pot, below? Guess where I got them? The seedlings grows amongst my grass. Whenever I go around my garden pulling out the weeds from the grass, sometimes I'll find these plants. Initially I didn't know what it was, thinking it was just another type of weeds. But when you pull it out, there it was, a seed like a bean sprout still intact at the bottom. And these plants look kind of sturdy for its size.

Then upon inspecting the leaves closer, we figured out what it was! It came from my neighbour's trees. I don't know what its called, but these plants can be seen all over Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam. It can be a small bushy plant but it can grow as big as a 30-40 feet trees, if you don't trim or cut them. Some use this plant as a fencing around their houses or for a more privacy of their garden.

This is how the trees looks like at about 20 feet. Its a picture taken from my neighbour's backyard. That's the source of these little plants that I gathered in my pot. Today I found two more. At the nursery, this plant, about the height of 1-2 feet costs about Rm 45 each. And I got these! Sshhhh....!!

Edited: August 11, 2008

Ok, after some readings on plants variation online, I discovered the name of the plant I mentioned above, which is called 'Eugenia'. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Herbal Delights

Being a new 'gardener', hehe....rather, new to gardening, I did a bit of research online to get some ideas on how I can improve my garden. Although there are many, most are catered to English garden concept, or four season countries. They are beautiful and colourful, nevertheless, but I am looking for some simple soothing environment where one can really enjoy the atmosphere rather than getting edgy about some fragile plants. And naturally the concept has to be tropical.

So I resorted to magazines that I found yesterday while going out for lunch.

As I was flipping through a magazine on gardens and landscape, much to my delight, there was an article on herbs. Not too extensive, but enough for my basic knowledge. I know some people are talking about 'temulawak', and 'sambung nyawa' etc, but I always like to know more about the basic ones like kunyit, halia, serai, daun limau purut, cili, pandan, lengkuas. (In translation, tumeric, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilies, and gallangher) First entry level to herbs.

I am so happy and proud that my herbal garden is growing well, though, slow and steady. More to add, but at the moment, already a cheery lot of herbal plants.

These two plants above, is the ginger and the tumeric. Which is which, please don't ask me now. I don't know, because I don't remember which when it was planted. I will know when its time to harvest, and God knows when. Maybe in a few months time when they look 'harvestable'. Next time I should have it labeled, too.

Gallangher, lemongrass and pandan. Gallangher, as well as tumeric leaves is a must for our spicy dish, 'rendang' in our family. Lemongass makes tom yum simply irresistable, especially when you add the kaffir lime leaves. Pandan is simply aromatic in nasi lemak, and traditional deserts. You can also use it as an air freshener in your car, or place it in your cupboards to keep away the roaches.

Kasturi lime, kaffir lime, curry and chillies. Also extensively used in Asian cooking. Kasturi lime is normaly served fresh cut into two for additional flavourings to many traditional delicacies like Assam Laksa, Mee Kari and Laksa Johor. So is the chillies, for extra spicy meal. Curry leaves adds aromatic flavour especially to curry dishes and butter prawns. Yum,yum....!

But...for the life of me, I just cannot remember what plant is this.....!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ignorant Tenants

It was ironic that I had to deal with some ignorant tenants over a Tenancy Agreement last night. I had to deal with bad attitude, lack of understanding on the subject matter, and even inferiority complex, maybe and ingratefulness. But I think mainly bad attitude.

They are a bunch of one brother and 2 sisters, which we had a soft spot on when they first wanted to move in even before we were ready to rent out. We let them rent our unit with a 2 weeks rental waived, with the condition for them to put up the curtain railing for the place, in view that we do not have much time to arrange for that. Earlier on we had arranged for the basic lightings and grill to be fixed, but haven't install the curtain railings yet as we didn't expect to rent it out too soon.

But when its time to move out, they took off the curtain railings with them, as if it was their property. That's the problem when the tenancy agreement is not drafted out properly.

They have not been a great paymaster either. Every now and then, they need to be reminded, and at one time even short-paid the amount without even informing us. If we didn't check, they might just get away with it. In the end they asked us to deduct from their deposit. Got road ka?

Two months prior to the end of the tenancy contract, we asked whether they are leaving or continuing? They wanted to stay until November'08. So no new tenancy agreemant is drafted since its only a few months extension and we thought we could trust them. Suddenly last week they informed us that they are leaving end of month, ie end July. I had just turned down a potential tenant for August two weeks earlier!!

Then upon checking at utility charges. Our records from the maintenance company shows that they've been late in payments and interests charged, and the last few months since January'08 bills had not been settled altogether. So I smsed them to settled those bills, and they replied its been settled. Really? Do they have the receipts? No? How come? They will check with the management office, but no update for us. Guess what my thoughts are?

Electricity bill is another issue. When I checked the mailbox, and there it was...'Notis Pemotongan Bekalan Elektrik'. Need I say more? And they have the cheek to ask when can they get their deposit back, or rather, how soon?

That's not all. Upon thorough inspection after they moved out, we found out the the second room door was broken. The lock was spoilt, the door and door frame broken. And they didn't even inform us when we came to collect the keys the night earlier. I confronted them about it and the deposit, and of course they were not too happy. They excused themselves saying it was a small thing, and had to do it because they lost the key. Hello!! If the key was lost, what was it that you returned to us in the bunch? They could always call the maintenance or us if they need the keys! Whatever it is, the door is damaged and that is not acceptable to me.

We mentioned about the curtain railings and the two weeks waived rental, and they had the nerve to say it was not in the agreement. Can you believe that? We gave them out of goodwill and hey, how much is the curtain railing costs, anyway? Very little compared to the half month rent! Now, its just so inconvenient for us to arrange someone to measure and install a new one. However, they decided to return it back just so that we will not deduct the deposit. And on top of that they didn't return one tiny mailbox key. But out of principle, and safety of future tenants, I requested that it be returned. They almost conveniently forget to hand out the car park acces card.

At this turn of event, lucky for us, inspite of the short notice given, we managed to get a new tenant as of yesterday. All the necessary rental and utility deposits, one month advance settled and the keys were handed out yesterday afternoon. So I chased the old tenants for the mailbox key and the railings they wanted to return. Made appointment for them to sent direct to the apartment. Seems to have settled, but no.... The second sister suddenly said since I have not paid them any deposit back, they want to hold the mailbox key and the railings. I don't know whether to laugh or scream. St#*@id id*@%t..! What's a mailbox key worth, and the railings...hah! I need to replace the door and door frame!

After some 'mind exchanging' last night at approximately 10 pm, they are to fix the door by temselves asap. By when? They claimed by today 7pm. Until now, they still haven't got an appointment for the contarctor to fix the door. I said they can fix it anytime today, just let me know and I'll bring the keys over, of course after informing the new tenants. In fact we are also arranging for someone to install the air conditioner and water heater this afternoon. The sooner its fixed, the sooner they will get back their deposits, minus the short rental payment and unpaid utility bills.

My question is, where's the carpenter they so arrogantly claimed can do the job fast? By 7.00 pm tonight?

I'm still waiting....!