Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Syikin's wedding

My cousin Syikin got married 2 weeks ago. A very simple ceremony, started with the 'akad nikah' (wedding solemnization) at the mosque a few days before the wedding feast.

The groom is the one sitting with off white/cream shirt. And I forgot to take Syikin's picture but don't worry you'll get to see her in the next entry =).

This is the 'sirih junjung', a must gift from the groom. It's comprises of betel nut leaves and accompaniments such as various kind of nice smelling flowers - jasmines & roses etc, star anise, cinnamon sticks just to name a few. I should have labeled my previous entry on this one coz I did write a pretty detail description about it.

Female guests at the other side.

My latest nephew! This one looks like a Japanese isn't it? So cute!

Emir seems a bit lost?

The electricity was out throughout the entire ceremony, but luckily mom brought her fan although she did look slightly irritated when I took this picture. But hey, look at that baby! He sure know how to pose =)


Mr Farhan is always ready for a pose.

Poor Ezzat sweating profusely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random

Wow! It's been over a month since my last post! Actually, there's not so much going on in the world of the Bumblebeez either. But since someone did actually ask me to write more *wink*wink* I figured I should make a quick update =).

In a whirlwind, here's what has been going on around recently...

1. Today is the last day of midterm exam for Emir and Farhan. Yay!! The boys are looking forward to have their 2 weeks break especially Emir. Sometimes I wonder if school is not that exciting for him. I know for a fact that the system here is too exam-oriented and everything is counted based on the exam result and sometimes it creates stress on the children. Is it a right thing to ask a kid how many As can he/she produce everytime the exam is over? I think not.

2. We're at the last stage of our visa application. It's been over 6 months now since we first submitted the paperwork for the K-1 visa. I already got the last important document, which is the police report for my background check, and that alone took almost 2 months! I am waiting for the last package to come from the U.S Embassy in Kuala Lumpur which will contain my interview date! Wish me luck =)

3. And hence, I've tendered my resignation letter last 2 days, and my last day at work is on June 18th. That would give me more time to spend with the boys before going to Hawaii most probably in July, hopefully. The not so good part is that I have to be away from them for a couple of months until everything is ready. And I think that is very important.

4. Here's a Peach Yoghurt Flan that I made last night. I made one last week too but it didn't turned out that great coz the fresh mangos that I used were rather light in flavor and it turned out pretty bland for the flan. Mom said I should use mango concentrate/puree. Using peaches (canned) turned out much better. I never bake or do any of this kind of stuff until just recently, specifically for the past 2 months. I was never interested to help mom in the kitchen whenever she's baking. But last months, I was putting all my magazines and books in the box and I saw all these pretty pictures of mouth watering recipes and I am really interested to give them a try now. This one below, is a still a WIP.


5. We had a sleepover at the orchard last weekend. It's actually our first time spending time at night there. My friend, Cheri joined us along with my parents. We had BBQ and me and Cheri spent some girlie time after that watching some chick flicks. And I love morning time there!


At 7.15am


Sunrise at 7.30am!

View from the hall.


Farhan with Auntie Cheri.


Doe-eyed boy.


video

And here's a video that I took while waiting for the sunrise.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Orchard

The renovation at dad's house at the orchard is completed now and he bought some second hand furnitures to fill it up. It's a simple, no frill sort of house which dad bought from someone and he transferred it all the way from Alor Setar to the orchard by a huge truck probably. I don't exactly like the color scheme but at the end it looks cosy enough for us to hang out whenever we feel like it especially during fruit season which is coming really soon. So looking forward to hand pick mangosteens!

The front view of the house.

The pathway leading to the house. Those trees you see are a mix of fruit trees like Cempedak and Dokong.

Views from various angles from the front porch.

Dad staring at the river from the verandah.

This is the kitchen. I took this picture when we had a small sort of house warming gathering/feast last 2 weeks. Not sure what to call it in English. What we did was to call some relatives, my parents's friends and some nearby villagers and we have a special Quran (Yassin) recitation that evening to show gratitude and ask for blessing and then some simple feast after that. By the way, it's also held because dad and mom were going to Mecca a few days after that to perform minor Haj.

I love these old plates that dad collected.

And this old painting too! See the frame with chipped paint? Dad just want to leave it as it is coz he said it makes it look more authentic.

Some of my aunts who came earlier than the rest of the guests, sitting at the verandah. It's nice and breezy that day since it rained earlier. And we had a really heavy downpour later that night but the guests still came =).

The boys as always love to goof around and that night, they really had their time jumping on the bed and running around the house.

A more subdued Farhan later on. And the guests at the back were having their meal. In villages, most of the time, we just sit on the floor to eat. This is actually an old picture from last year during fruit season. I totally forgotten about it until I browsed my picture folders recently and boy I have so many pictures that I have not put up in here. Anyway, since these pictures are all related to the orchard, I might as well put them up now. So these 4 pictures above, I took them when I got lost on my way to dad's orchard. I got confused between the 2 exits at the highway and I ended being at the end of this one road which lead me to this waterfall. So I took a quick tour to see what it's like.

Always take a mosquito repellent with you. Mosquitoes are just so mean.

Abandoned huts ; 2 extra tanned boys.

A bird eye chili tree.

I love the smell of lime leaves.
Dokong trees and fruits, which is a variety of another fruit called Langsat. I'm always confused between these 2. Anyway, they're abundant! Last year we simply gave away bags and bags of this fruit to simply everybody. The fruit itself is sweet, just be careful not to bite the seed from the bigger pips coz that part is pretty bitter.

How it looks like without the skin.

Here's some rambutan.


These are cempedaks.

I love when they're made into fritters. The seeds are edible too.

And here's one of my favorite fruits!

Mangosteen anyone?

Random

Tired!

A dragon fruit farm nearby. I love the one with red flesh instead of the white as the white flesh fruits just taste pretty bland to me. The red ones are so much sweeter. Anyone has ever tried it before? They also has a restaurant inside there and once mom bought this deep fried garoupa with dragon fruit sauce and it's really nice!

A random picture of Ezzat at the orchard on one of his visits.


And a video of him helping to sweep the floor. When he's in his good mood, he is one really helpful boy.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our little garden project..

Here's how our little plot of land looked like a few months ago. We moved back here from Kuala Lumpur in Jan 08 but I never feel like working on the land until just recently when I stopped by at this one nursery near my office. I've never really plant anything before that stay alive for a long time. Usually after a few months, they'd just dry up. Anyway, I felt like that day, those plants at the nursery were screaming "Take me!" that I bought a couple and gave them a new home =).This is the left side, if we take the gate entrance as our focal point. When I was little, there used to be a mango tree in the middle that produced extremely sweet mango fruits. But there was a major floor back in 1988, everything was washed out and that was the time when we moved out from this house to our current family house, located about 5 minutes drive from this one, in which at that time was still under construction. Ever since then, dad rented it out until I decided to move back to Alor Setar last year.

This is definitely the easiest plot to work with compared to the other plots because the soil doesn't have much rocks. The supposedly top soil that the contractor promised to deliver turned out to be just some red soil full or rocks! By the way, that's a frangipani tree, one of my fav trees. I think it's also known as plumeria to some. This one produces pinkish flowers. Can't wait for that to bloom! And those little plants at the corner are varieties of elephant ears. They are the easiest to grow!

This is the right side. Some busy red beez are working.

And this is the backyard. My Granny (mom's mother) planted the banana tree when we first moved in to this house in 1979. So that's one really ooollllddd banana tree back there! My brother Najib was born here, the very same day we moved in! There was also a Noni tree, which I thought was a yucky tree with it's squishy fruits, and another huge mango tree which dad put some ropes to its branches and made a swing for us! And now, nothing is there except that banana tree. Everything else is still weed. Not sure if I wanna work on that part considering the fact that I don't have much time left to be here.

After 30 years, it is still able to produce sweet bananas! (This type has lots of big seeds though)

Mr Ezzat is working hard. All fully geared - a hat, a pair of glove, a hoe, for some awesome gardening experience. Except that he might need a pair of cute garden boot coz he keeps complaining about how soil gets in between his toes.

Meanwhile, Emir and Farhan are more laid back and prefer to play.

Yes, I like to make myself comfortable even while gardening. See the pink cute stool?

Here is Emir doing his homework. See those wood planks at the back? Those are old ones from railway tracks. Dad got it somewhere when mom wanted to used some for her garden. And I got the rest! Yay!

And this is what I did with them. The kids helped picked up the rocks at the backyard. We do have to get rid of them, so rather them throwing them away, I think it's much better to use them. And I heart my Yucca tree.

Grass might be the best known ground cover. But with the kind of soil I have at the right plot, there's no way the grass would last unless I do some sort of treatment to it, which I am not going to. So I opted for pea plants like this. Plus it has that little cute yellow flowers!

Green love!

In Malaysia this flower is called 'Harum Sundal Malam' or 'Bakawali'. In India it is called 'Rajnigandha' or 'night fragrant' as it has this sweet floral scent which becomes much stronger at night. The scientific name for it if I am not mistaken is Polianthes Tuberosa. The flowers last pretty long. This one in the picture kept blooming until almost a month.

I'm not sure what this is called. Probably from the Colchium family? I got it in 3 shades, white, pink and yellow and I love them! The flowers do not last long though. Just 2-3 days the most.

More flowers! I just choose plants that can really withstand the hot weather. It can gets really hot sometimes, up to 38 degree Celcius or 100 degree Fahrenheit. Lately it has been raining towards the evening, so they are pretty lucky.

Still in pots. Waiting for the roots to grow stronger before transferring them to land. They are from plants that I have to prune/trim coz they grow too high but you know when you get attached, it's hard to just throw them away.

This is how the left side looks like 2 months after we first worked on it.

And this is how it looks like now. Still need to get more grass.


video

And here's a video of the house 3 months ago. Watch out for a rooster. I think it's adorable =)