Monday, October 20, 2008

Bye Bye My Friend..!

I'm so gonna miss you. I missed you already! Even though I am with another new friend who is also very good to me which I am so grateful for, I still love you. The long years we have been together may not be replaced with another. Hope you'll be good to your new friends as you have been so good to me. Its final now. In two weeks time, you'll have a new name. My name will no longer be there.
This is where we spent time when I did my occassional cooking, normally desserts and puddings. It was also our family dining.

I spent good hours here watching TV, read newspaper, books or magazines, entertaining guest, family time and at far left corner, was my precious hours of practising on the piano.

The garden which I never tended, because I didn't like the sun and the dirt then. I still didn't like them, but I got over it for the love of gardening now.

The koi pond which housed 8 koi fishes, used to be 9, but one died of old age, probably. 4 fishes about 6 years old and 1 foot long and another 4 about 2 years old, 7 inches long.

I saved a fish once when it got distressed and jump over out of the pond on the sun hot tile. Quickly took a fish trap and carry it back into the pond. There is no fishes anymore, given away and adopted by a friend and neighbour.

I hope you be good to your proud new owner as you have been to us. I will never forget you. Farewell, dear friend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Relabelling...and whadya know...I got Tagged!

As I was about to write this entry to share my 'frustration', although like DJ said, for all you know, only the moon and the sun reads what you wrote, I discovered that Cakapaje guy, e.r..I mean 'Datuk Aje' (he was conferred 2 days ago by Snowflake, you know..) had just tagged me on Piano by Ear, again. Actually this tagging thing is new to me although I've started my first blog for more than a year now. Maybe then, my circulation of friends were very, very limited, and really, only the moon and the sun read my entries.

Ok lah...I believe I am a sport. But before that, let's hear another one of my garden misadventures...

I thought I labelled them good this time. The last incident when we plant some seeds in a nursery bag, I forgot what plant it was. Later it was assumed that it might be chilies and ground it next to the birdeye chilies plant.

So last week when I sowed some seeds which I got from the hardware store, six of them consisting of tomatoes, okra, bitter gourd, cucumber, butterhead lettuce, salad lettuce and chinese celery, I know I must label them. Especially being an unprofessional gardener with different available recycle containers, which should be easier to identify, but yours truly doesn't trust herself and cannot guarantee to remember which is which after a few days. Even worse, she labelled it wrongly, minutes after sowing them.

I thought it was tomato, and it sprouted a day later. But somehow the growth was stunted and it is still in its seed form with a little sprout. I checked the growth everyday. Quite estatic when the cucumber, the bitter gourd and the ladyfinger (okra) is sprouting nicely. The butterhead lettuce is taking some time but as of today you can see tiny leaves coming out. But the tomato is still stunted.

Clockwise from left: Ladyfingers, Bittergourd, Cucumber and Butterhaed Lettuce

So I took out again the leftover seeds, and luckily I had enough brain to keep them in the original packaging respectively and not throw them away. Took out the tomato...and suddenly realised that the seeds are not the same. Upon checking all the other seeds, the stunted one was actually the bitter gourd seed. Now, which one is tomato? What about the rest? Are they correct? How do I know which plant needs the stick and frame to climb?

More work here. Later I will need to compare the plants with online pictures to find out which is which. I love the internet...!

Ok, now back to the tag business. 15 random facts huh? Here goes...

1. I am a hopelessly positive person, and I tell myself that I am always happy.

2. I love to play piano. I started with two fingers on the right hand, move to five finger still right hand and only recently I played with both hands, and 9 fingers! Hey presto!!

3. I love gardening....from planting plants to weeding out weeds. But I just hate the worms and the frog that I found under the pot. If they know what's good for them, they'll run away as fast as they can or risk getting an ear piercing scream the whole neighbourhood can hear.

4. I go to yoga class once a week and ponteng once a month.

5. I wanted to visit Korea once again and this time to meet Bae Young Jung. Sighhhh...!

6. I look forward to drive to Ampang and meet my cousin. A fun secret rendervous, supposedly..

7. Given a choice, all my cats will sleep in my room. But that only happened many many moons ago.

8. I love comedies. 'Friends' top the list, though they're no longer on air. I have the whole DVD collection of the entire 10 seasons, but still haven't got the time to watch it again. The rest, not much, can't remember. In fact, I am hardly infront of the TV nowadays. Its either the garden, the piano, or the PC! ;)

9. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a scientist. So when we found some strange soil, we thought we could light it up and make fire crackers. Then a six year old unknowingly torched it to my finger and the mark is still here.

10. I once fell from a cherry tree about 15 feet high from a broken branch. Passed out for 15 minutes. No other injury, except a mark under my chin.

11. When I first drove a car, I didn't know where the brake and the handbrake were. My 'tutor'got panicked when I drove and pressed the foot brake with his hands when he asked me to brake, and I asked 'where'?

12. My curiousity got the better of me when I kidnapped my brother's huge street bike and I almost got into a drain out of control and but was saved by God and it looked like I just did a stunt in front of some rempits and they really salute me after that. Not that I know them, but before that they always make whatever remarks or whistles whenever I passed by, but after that incident, they were strangely very quiet.

13. My friends and I almost got detained as illegal immigrant by the US Immigration at the US-Canada border when we accidently left the country through the highway and made an illegal U-turn when we realised we were heading towards Canada with no passport on us.

14. I went jogging once with my cousin at 3 am in the morning, thinking it was 6.30 am.

15. Once my cousin and I were 'budding' teenagers and we were sitting in front of the house. A car approched and being 'modest and shy', we quickly stand up to run inside. But our bums was caught at the half opened door and we can't get inside. You know, like Winnie the Pooh..'.the car drove off because it was only making a u-turn, and not visiting. Hahaha... And we were stuck for the longest 20 seconds ever.

There, a few excerpts of my life, at random. What I fondly remember, what I am passionate about, and what tickles me.

Now, who do I tag next? Really! Definitely I do not 15 names, especially most of my friends are already taken. Well, I guess, ...

Eskapisminda, Raden Galoh and Daphne!! Forgive me, but you're IT!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sweet Basil

One of the most satisfying activity that I find lately is gardening, especially when you looked at the fruit of your labour. Sweet basil, as I understand the name is, in English, is a really sweetie plant. Malaysians call it Selasih. So far, it is quite easy to maintain and I have harvested it more than once during the Raya festive season as a garnishing for one of my delicasies.

And recently, I was suprised to find some small seedlings sprouting all over the plant on the ground. Initially I thought it was some weeds, but as I pinched a leaf, it smells fragrant just like the basil plant. Wow! There were at least a dozen of these seedlings. Apparently, the flowers germinate itselves into these seedlings.
I learned from a site that you're not supposed to let this plant flower as it will stop producing leaves and will eventually die. So the flowers must be cut off. But really, they just looked so lovely, I don't have the heart to chop it off. Especially when the plant itself looked so healthy. Maybe I will wait and see, and do damage control once it starts to happen. (I really hope it'll not happen). Anyway, if its any consolation, the seedlings may replace the parent?

Another thing about the flowers, they can actually turn into a drink. We normally have it in a syrup drink. I am yet to try it out, with my own plant. Also, I am yet to learn how.

Naturally, the next step is to either let the sprouts grow there on the ground, but they were randomly scattered all over. So I scooped up the bigger plants, and place them into a nursey pot from my old cactus, and I can give it away for anyone interested to grow it in their backyard!

Tips online:

Basil has been known for many years as an herbal remedy for diseases of the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and the bladder. It is primarily a digestive and nervous system aid. Infuse basil and use it as a tea for indigestion. Inhale basil tea to relieve cold symptoms. Basil has uplifting, energizing, anti-depressant properties.

The dried leaves are used as snuff to relieve headaches and colds. Basil is also used as an insect repellent. Place a pot of basil outside your door to repel flies. Use basil essential oil on a bee sting (use only one drop, more than one drop may irritate the skin) or crush the leaves and rub on cuts, insect bites and stings.

Some of the ailments basil can treat are: anxiety, concentration, indigestion, respiratory problems, colic, tight coughs, asthma, nervous headaches, migraines, muscle tension, nerve pain, memory loss, insomnia, infection, a stuffy head, colds, sinusitis, sore throats, bronchial congestion, appetite loss, gas, diarrhea, and nausea.

Use basil flowers and leaves for an invigorating bath. Basil adds luster to hair: brunettes, add it to a rosemary rinse, blondes, add it to a chamomile rinse. Combine basil essential oil with other essential oils to make perfumes and toilet water. Blends well with: Bergamot, geranium, hyssop, neoili, marjoram, melissa and lavender.

Basil is very aromatic. Add dried basil to potpourri and sachets. Lemon basil and opal basil are good choices.

Use basil as an ornamental; not because of its beautiful flowers, but because it has beautiful shiny leaves that can offset other flowering plants.

Last but not least, basil is very compatible with tomatoes. Basil is known as the tomato herb. Use sweet basil in your pesto and tomato sauces. Sprinkle dried or cut fresh basil over salads and sliced tomatoes. Basil also goes well in soups, salads, eggs, fish and meat dishes.

* The information in this article should not replace the advice of your medical practitioner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Into the Veggies

My tiny meeny herbal garden is growing pretty well. I have already experienced the sweetness of harvesting from your own backyard, and it was really satisfying. No wonder why so many people keep planting trees and plants at their backyard, and I've come to understand the concept now.

Ok, now I'm about ready to take my own gardening 'skill' to the next level. This time, edible vegetables like lettuce and cucumbers. One that needs more attention and care. Unlike the pandans and the serai where you can totally 'ignore' them while they grow, these group of plants can be fragile. But with proper care, they will grow and fruit beautifully.

Gardener at work..!

This time, they must be labelled.

The growing collections.

Furball spy watching out for insects.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


To all my Muslim friends online and offline, Maaf, Zahir & Batin!