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Thursday, April 30, 2009

53. Books

Remember the books I borrowed from the library last Sunday? I was allowed to borrow 3 books, well, I am still reading one of them, 'Strangers in Death' by Nora Roberts. It is a murder story and I just love murder stories!

'Strangers in Death'

I haven't touch these other 2 books though :)

'Lovers and Strangers'

'The Five Secrets You must discover before You Die'

The last book's titled 'The Five Secrets You must discover before You Die' really intrigued me. Hmm... Wait till I read it, but first let me finish the first book.

My one problem is whenever I began reading a book, I get sleepy quickly. Then I will be sleeping with my book on my chest. I'd like to know a way how to avoid that from happening. No, it is not the book, this murder book I am reading is interesting. It's me.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

52. Khaki Shorts

I've just come back from shopping for khaki shorts. Earlier this evening I heard Lea Centre are on sales. I bought one khaki short there the last time it had sales, so I thought I can find another one which will be as comfortable as the Nike khaki short that I bought that last time.

As I chose one white one I was asking for a room to try and to my dismay the girl said that their trying rooms are full of their stock and nowhere to try. I said if I don't try how am I going to know whether it fits or not on me? And do you know what the girl said to me? 'Just agak-agak la' (agak-agak means guess without trying it). I said,' but you have put up that notice saying 'goods sold are unreturnable',so what if I have bought it and find it isn't so fitting?' ' I can't return it'. The girl can't give me an answer. Now that made me unhappy.

The notice that says 'goods sold are unreturnable...'

The rest of the people who were busy choosing what they want doesn't seem to mind very much that they can't try what they are buying. I was the only one making a lot of fuss it seemed.

The crowd of people at Lea Sports Centre

Nevertheless, I like this white Adidas khaki shorts that I bought it without trying.

Well I found out it really didn't fit me on the stomach line when I tried it on at home later. It barely fit, will fit if I don't eat for a day. It was really a shame. And to think I bought it for RM54.50 (half price).

That was at the Boulevard Complex. Later I went to the Imperial Mall Lea Sports Centre also on sales and bought this Dunlop khaki short (RM27.90).

And bought this Nike khaki short at another Nike Shop for Rm82.90 (no sales)

Both these 2 khaki shorts fit me perfectly and comfortably.

I really should never have bought that white Nike khaki short in the first place.


Monday, April 27, 2009

51. Reading

I do not read as much as I used to.

That was what I said to myself last week. I love reading and yet I neglect doing so for the past few months since looking after Alif. I wanted to change that. I believe no matter how busy I am with other things I am sure I can fit this long lost hobby of mine into my life again.

So last Sunday I went to our local library and borrowed some books, 3 in fact because an adult member is allowed to borrow 3 books for 2 weeks. I am lucky to have a library nearby my home.

Our library near my home, just a 5 minutes walk away.

There are many reasons which I am fully aware of that made me make up my mind that I must read, reasons which I have neglected and which I should not. If I write them here it will remind me to continue reading and perhaps for those of you reading me here it will help you and encourage you to read too.

These are 50 reasons why we should read. I know you can get bored reading these 50 reasons and you may not finish even reading them but you can come back and go slowly over them next time ok? :)

1. Use your imagination - When reading fiction books, you use your imagination to create the story in your mind the way you see fit.

2. The book is better than the movie - Because you use your imagination to create the story, you get to make it the way you like it. No Hollywood director to ruin the story for you.

3. Find common humanity - A good story will give you insight into the common experiences we all undergo. Being able to strongly relate to a character makes
for a great book.

4. Learn a new skill - There are non-fiction books on every topic imaginable. You can learn a wide variety of skills from computer programming to gourmet cooking

5. Become smarter - Every book you read will add knowledge to your mind. Day by day, you will inevitably get smarter.

6. Gain different perspectives - By reading multiple books on the same topic or a book that espouses ideas that run contrary to your personal opinion you cultivate the ability to see things from multiple points of view.

7. Question your beliefs - Every now and then, you will run into some ideas that fly in the face of what you believe to be true. This provides an opportunity to discard incorrect positions or reaffirm an idea to yourself.

8. Become more well-rounded - By reading on an array of topics, you will become a more diverse individual yourself.

9. Be a better conversationalist - By being more well-informed about different subjects, you will be speak intelligently about many topics.

10. Leverage other people's experiences - Authors often draw upon several years of experiences to develop the ideas in their books. You have the ability to learn these ideas in only a few hours.

11. Increase awareness - Learn about what is going on in the world around you. Learn how it works and your newfound knowledge might great influences on you.

12. Live more consciously - As you gain awareness, you can decide, with greater clarity and effectiveness, how you want to live your life.

13. Pass the time on your commute - If you travel to work via subway, train or bus, reading will give you something to do to pass the time.

14. Gain more confidence - As you get smarter and increasingly think for yourself, your confidence will naturally grow as you trust yourself more.

15. Experience other people's adventures - From climbing Mount Everest to building a multibillion dollar corporation, you can experience part of these feats by reading about them.

16. Be more productive - Read books on time management and productivity to improve your skills in these areas.

17. Get inspired - Learn about the challenges other people have overcome to inspire you to do bigger and better things.

18. Replace negative habits - Use reading as a replacement for things you do that are not constructive.

19. Relaxation - Utilize reading as a way to relax, let go and recharge.

20. Wind down before bed - Relax yourself while preparing for sleep and simultaneously learn something new.

21. Get through life's struggles - Learn about people who have been through similar situations and find the strength to push through.

22. Solve your problems - Find solutions to your challenges in books. They can help with everything from getting out of debt to overcoming shyness.

23. Create new problems - As you continue to learn, you will find new ways to improve that you haven`t even thought of yet.
24. Be happier - All the advantages of reading will dramatically improve your life over time. Alternatively, read about happiness and learn how to improve it directly.

25. Better utilize technology - Learn how to get the most of your computer, cell phone and other technology. You can also learn about new gadgets that could improve your life.

26. Improve your writing - Good authors will have a positive influence on you and over time, your writing will improve naturally.

27. Go to places where you've never visited - Learn about different cultures and places even if you can`t afford to travel.

28. Go to times you have never experienced - Learn about life in the past through historical books.

29. Be introduced to people you have never met - Read biographies to meet some of most successful and significant people that have ever lived.

30. Expand your vocabulary - You will encounter words that you don't yet know but will be able to infer their meaning from the context (or a dictionary). Over time, this will cause your vocabulary to expand.
31. Get your questions answered - If you have a specific question that you want answered, you have your reading purpose clearly established. There are likely several books out there that can help you.

32. Get entertained - A well-written novel can be incredibly enjoyable.

33. Get new ideas - As new learning combine with previous knowledge, new associations will form that can inspire great ideas.

34. Be different - The majority of adults stop reading books all together once they are finished with school. Choose to be different by making reading a lifelong habit.

35. Mentally active - Unlike watching television or movies, when you are reading, you are actively engaged and alert.

36. Improve your concentration and focus - The practice of being mentally active while reading will boost your ability to concentrate.

37. Mental exercise - Think of reading as exercise for your brain. Just as you want to keep your body fit, you should keep your mind fit.

38. Learn anywhere - You can read anywhere as long you have a book with you. All the time that you spend waiting can be turned into spending time learning.

39. Become more creative - The constant influx of new ideas from books will improve your ability to generate your own ideas.

40. Inexpensive entertainment - For less than the price of a movie, you can get a novel that will entertain you a lot longer than 2 hours. If you go to the library, the entertainment is free.

41. Watch less TV - Use reading to replace the activity of watching mind-numbing television.

42. Learn at your own pace - Unlike in school, you are in charge of your rate of learning. Go as fast or as slow as you need to in order to learn what you want.

43. Make less mistakes - More knowledge will allow you stop making mistakes you used to make and avoid making mistakes you would have made.

44. Make more mistakes - Reading will encourage you to try new things, which means more mistakes. With more mistakes, comes more opportunity to learn.

45. Say bye to boredom - Once you get really into the habit of reading, you will always have something to do if you are feeling bored

46. Reduce stress - The relaxation effect of reading will help reduce your stress. Use it whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.

47. Make more money - Learn how to create more value for others and get money in return. Learn the principles of solid investing and effective personal finance.

48. Get ahead your career - Keep reading to stay up with current trends as well as learn timeless business principles

49. Get a better job - Increase your skills and abilities in order to trade up for a job you like better and get paid more.

50. Get a promotion or a raise - You will reap the benefits of your improved skills and increased value contribution.

These 50 reasons are very general of course but personally
did you know that reading can keep your mind active and engaged well into old age?

There was a story about this old woman who was a resident at a local nursing home. She was 100 years old. And she read at least one book per week. Mostly novels. She was bright, intelligent and fun to talk with.

"I love to read. It helps me keep up with what's going on in the world," she said. "A friend of mine brings me a new book every week. I look forward to her visits and I look forward to the books. We talk about the books we've read."

Reading a good story can help you forget some of the problems in your own life.

"I can't get around much anymore," said the 100-year-old woman who lived in the nursing home. "When I go somewhere, I have to go in a wheelchair now. But when I read, I can go anywhere, anytime I want. And no one has to help me!"

Somehow I put myself in her shoes. I want to be like her enjoying reading. Wouldn't you?


50. The Watermelon

We have lots of hot days this April. I was passing 'Tamu Muhibbah' and saw several men selling watermelon. I imagine myself eating some cold slices of it and so I thought might as well I buy some to take home. It would certainly be very nice to eat them on this hot day.

So I bought 3 pieces of these watermelon for Rm10.00, took them home and sliced them up and after eating some slices immediately put the rest into the refrigerator to chill.

Watermelon is another of my all-time favourite. Not only is it cooling for our body in this tropical climate, it is excellent for flushing out the kidney and bladder, taking out the waste materials.

Watermelons can be round, oblong or spherical in shape; light to dark green in color, with white mottling stripes. Its flesh are commonly bright red in color but there are also other varieties where its flesh are dark brown, orange, yellow, pink or even white.
These that I have bought were oblong in shape and the flesh were bright red in color, very sweet too. I just love eating them.

Do you know that we can make soup out of the rind of the watermelon?
Rind is the whitish green part of the watermelon, between the skin and the red flesh. Now these part of the fruit contains the highest level of quality minerals and chlorophyll, and should not be discarded.

So today, I've made these rind into soup for our lunch. Let me call it 'Watermelon Rind Soup'

To prepare,
sliced away the hard green skin of the watermelon and sliced the rind into thin slices, wash and stand to dry in a siever.

To cook,
Boil some water in a pot, throw in some anchovies, pounded red onions and garlic and 1 chilli into the boiling water. Add in the sliced rind of watermelon. Boil till soft, add salt and pepper to taste.

and walla! you have a healthy tasty rind of watermelon soup. This is best eaten hot.

Watermelon is basically very cleansing, alkalinizing, diuretic and mineralizing. It is very effective in promoting intestinal elimination, keeping the body free from toxic wastes.

Its juice is easily digestible and are completely absorbed for all its minerals, providing much needed nutrients to the body.

The alkalinizing effect maintains the acid-alkaline balance in the body, neutralizing the toxic condition of the body resulting from excessive intake of acid-forming foods.

Drawing from the rich anti-oxidant and beta-carotene, the health effects of watermelon juice are immense.

So eat more fruits especially watermelons.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

49. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Today I had breakfast with my son Farouk. It's been quite sometime we had breakfast out together.

Farouk is my only son apart from the other 3 girls. He lives out, with a friend as he works in Miri town, about 8kilometres from my house. He sleeps in at my house once every fortnight but comes home for lunch each working day except Fridays to go to pray.

My appointment with him was at 10am. I was 20 minutes late, rushing through a quick shower and dressing up. I rushed because I was already out with Zu & Alif for breakfast at a 'kedai mamak' at 8am in Miri. I arrived home at 9am so that was why I had to rush. To go downtown it would take me a 20 minutes drive.
I took 'Roti Canai' with 'Curry Lamb' at the 'kedai mamak' earlier on so I wasn't hungry when I took Farouk for breakfast. So I watched Farouk ate his favourite 'Lazagna' and just sipped a cup of 'Iced Blended Chocolate' while chatting with him.

For me, eating at 'The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf' is kinda expensive :p and will sit there once in a blue moon only. But it was Farouk's choice to be there and I know he just loves that 'Lazagna' of his he he... so I love to accompany him there.

I tasted a spoonful of his 'Lazagna' and true enough it is very nice. I definitely wouldn't be able to finish one plate like he does though. It is very filling to eat that for breakfast.

The 'Lazagna' (RM16.90)
Now, the red sauce is rich tomato sauce, I don't know how they make it but it is very nice. And that looks like a piece of meat isn't it? No, it is pasta layered with some minced beef and cheese. Very nice indeed. No wonder Farouk said he loves it.
He drank 'Mocca' (didn't take a picture of it) which I think is blended very rich coffee with cream on top of it. It looks almost like my 'Iced Blended Chocolate' except they taste different of course. I do not drink coffee nowadays that was why I turned to chocolate.

My Iced Blended Chocolate (Rm10.90) with lots of cream on top.

I like the atmosphere where we sat, with light music and not too many people. Mother and son sat chatting for more than an hour which I find very relaxing. I enjoyed my time with my son.

View inside The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from where I sat.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

48. Stall No.5

Behind Sin Liang Shop or to be exact behind RHB Bank there are many stalls selling cold drinks of all sorts. These stalls open daily from noon until 6pm. My favourite is Stall No.5. It is clean, the food are cheap and the couple there are friendly and polite.

This is a local cold drink called ' Iced Kacang Cendol' (RM2.00)
This is cooked red beans with green cendol, mixed with sugar solution to taste, addition of evaporated milk and machined ice in it. A delicious desert to take on a hot day.

To go with it is 'Rojak Campor' consists of sliced pineapple, sliced cucumber, fried sliced 'tauhu' mixed together with Rojak sauce and blended groundnuts and chilli (RM3.00)

Also my favourite is 'Rojak Sotong Kangkong', mainly boiled squid with Kangkong vege with Rojak sauce and chilli (RM3.00)

So, if you happen to be in Miri, do stop by at Stall No.5 and enjoy these local drinks and food there.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

47. Help

My cough a bit better today. I am still coughing though but not as much. I can feel the sputum making noises in my throat whenever I cough, yecks... :( The medications I took doesn't seem to help much.

I've just open an email from a friend. Hmmm...Why do I find it is so difficult to say thanks for the several emails that were sent to me...? I can't make up my mind. I asked myself, 'am I being selfish now?'



Sunday, April 19, 2009

46. Sunday

Today Sunday I stayed home, doing housework, cleaning and cooking a bit. After sending Noormy to work at 130pm I went upstair to sleep. I am still feeling not too well with this cough.

I woke up at around 4pm. At 4.30pm I drove Zu and her son alif for a spin in town. Alif loves the drive. Almost 6pm we stopped at 'Awang Mahyan Restaurant' for a drink. I ordered a bowl of 'Noodle Soup with prawns'. I needed some hot soup that can wash down the irritations of my throat.

Noodle Soup with prawns


Saturday, April 18, 2009

45. Out on Saturday

My cough didn't get better. Only my flu. But still, I went out this afternoon. I got to get my hair trim because my hair at this length feels uncomfortable, you know, as if something keeps poking into my neck.

Now my hair is really really short but the important thing is I feel comfortable. I looked very tomboy ha ha ha...but like I said looks come second for me, comfortable is first and foremost with whatever it is with me, be it my hair or the way I dressed.

I wanted to have my foot reflexology massage after that but when I went to the Imperial Mall, the place was in darkness. I think their electricity was off for a while ( I didn't know due to what) and seemed to be off for quite a long time yet. I could see too some of the small shops were closing down.

So I drove to the Boulevard Complex which was quite far a little about 5 kilometres from the town area. Once there I went to the Supermarket to look for 'Joy Orange Juices'. I only drink orange juice from this brand as I find others not as good and tasty as these. I used to buy it at the Servay Supermarket near my house but seemed for now it is out of stock there. And the next place it is available is at this Boulevard Complex. I bought 4 boxes to last me for a couple of days.

1Litre of 'Joy Orange Juice' (RM3.40)

By that time it was already about 6pm and I was feeling hungry. I stopped at 'Sugar Bun' to eat Value Meal of 'Eco Fish'. I love eating this fish. An today I wanted to eat one.

'Eco Fish'

The 'Sugar Bun' at Boulevard Complex

I arrived home at 7pm.


Friday, April 17, 2009

44. How I Feel

I feel tired today due to this flu and cough which is gradually getting worse and dry. I slept for an hour from 8 - 9pm this evening. Then I got up and went down stair to check on Wiwi, cleaned his litter bin, changed fresh drinking water and add some more 'Wiskas' for him. He wanted to come out and play but the past 2 days I wouldn't let him out as he was out sleeping in my kitchen since 8am until 4pm. So only fair he should stay inside his cage later in the evenings until next day.

I had a glass of hot milo just now. I feel good feeling the hot liquid runs down my throat. I took 2 more tablets of Paracetamol. Hopefully my cough is less if not better by tomorrow, because tomorrow is Saturday! And Saturday is when I want to enjoy going out. At my golden age I enjoy a walk in the supermarkets, a drink in any of the eateries in town, or just a drive to the beaches. And especially tomorrow I'd like a hair trim at my usual saloon and afterwards maybe a foot reflexology massage.

With these plans in my mind I now must have some hours in sleep to give my body the rest it needs.

Pray my cough is better tomorrow.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

43. Surprises

Earlier on, at 8pm I was surprised by Noormy (my youngest daughter) entering my room, serving me dinner in bed! It was a pleasant surprise, and she cooked 2 out of the 3 dishes she displayed on my plate :)
And they were neatly placed on my plate. It is so nice to be pampered so once in a while. And she must have done this after she heard I complained of a headache earlier on. I feel her love.
You know what I did before eating, took a picture of course!

And of course Noormy cooked her best liked dishes, nearest to my spoon and fork is Baked Beans with eggs, next to it is Mushroom with eggs. Yep she cooked these. Well, on the most left was the Sardine Aya cooked this morning.

Clockwise : Sardine with Chillies, Mushroom with Eggs, Baked Beans with Eggs and of course White Rice

I didn't realized I was hungry not until I finished everything on the plate. I guess I was too lazy to eat dinner if it hadn't for Noormy.

Right now the bugs really got on to me. I can feel my nose blocked and my eyes watery. I've just taken 2 tablets of Paracetamol to ease my headache. There's no medicine for my running nose in the house right now. If it gets worse tomorrow I'll drop at the Pharmacy.

My own fault really, I really shouldn't be so crazy to briskwalk in the rain this morning. What happened was I woke up so early this morning that I decided to go briskwalk thinking the rain will stop by the time I reached the hill. But it didn't. When I wanted to go back I saw 2 men briskwalking while holding an umbrella each. So I thought why don't I do the same. I did. When I came back to my car after finishing 1 lap it rained more heavily. I didn't use my jacket so I must have got the chill then. Now I feel really silly briskwalking in the rain today.

I am surprised I could get this cold and flu so quickly. I should be more careful with my health. It shows I am not as fit as those 2 men I saw this morning.


Monday, April 13, 2009

42. Eating

This is continued from my last post.

Both of us (Noormy & me) were lying in our hotel room seeing tv when suddenly I suggested we go drive down to town to eat our favourite 'Char Lamb Chop' at the 'Siamese Secret Restaurant'.

And we did.

Char Lamb Chop (RM18.00)

I drank 'Chocolate Milk Shake'(RM8.00)

That night both of us slept well. Too well until I felt quite lazy getting up for the buffet breakfast at the hotel. But I had promised Aya that she could join us for breakfast early. So I got up at 7am to shower and dressed up leaving Noormy still in bed. She said she would join us shortly .

So breakfast was at the Zest Restaurant. When Aya and I first came in at 745am there were few people but by 930am the other in guests started to come in. As it was a buffet breakfast the 3 of us decided to stay long and eat our food slowly as we chatted. I took my food in small quantities of different varieties of the arrayed food because I like trying the food.

I tried...

'All Bran' plus 'Muesli' plus 'Prune' with some milk

A little of 'Fried Beehoon', 'Fried Rice', 'Sambal Ikan Bilis', 'Beef Mushroom Quiche', half of a boiled egg & salted duck egg with some cucumber.

'Egg Omellete' stuffed with onions, mushroom,green peppers & cheese

Can you see the cheese? I just love cheese!

I tried their 'Sarawak Laksa', but it didn't taste as good

then, the 'Pancake' with blueberry sauce, raisins & one piece of 'Kuih Melaka'

Last, I took some more 'Fried Rice' with some hot 'Curry Beef' & some 'Pickles'

I drank 'Guava Juice' the whole morning.

When we left the restaurant at 1030am I was so full I can hardly wait to reach my room to rest. So the next few hours I spent lazing in bed in between seeing tv and falling asleep on and off.

I checked out of the hotel at 2pm on Sunday.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

41. Rejuvenate

I think it is good to learn to rejuvenate. At times we get so tired of our daily routine of no matter what we are doing everyday that we certainly need to do that. I do. So that was why I went to have a night stay at Marriot & Spa hotel away from my house, away from the children, away from Alif. Certainly by doing so, selfish though it may sound to some people, staying away certainly made my day.

I checked in room 1215 at 330pm yesterday, booked by Noormy ( my daughter) who worked at the hotel reception. It was the nicest hill view room also facing some part of the ocean. I was pleased with the view.

These views from the balcony of my room. Beyond is the ocean.


I lazed in bed seeing tv while munching some apples until 530pm. Then I decided to walk at the hotel's jogging trail around the hotel.

This jogging trail goes towards the ocean.

I could see the ocean hitting the big stones on my left

and I could see the hotel and it's swimming pool on my right

The jogging trail area at dusk

Returning to my room I passed these pathways. It was really refreshing and cool walking through these green plants and trees.

I reached the lobby at 645pm, meeting Noormy who had just finished work and will be sleeping with me for the night.

Whew, with all these pictures this has become quite a long post, so I think I will continue the next half in my next post.