Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ayah!

It was my father-in-laws birthday on 17th February, but it was only yesterday that all the children could find time to come together to celebrate it.

We had a barbeque, where my hubby did all the marinating for the chicken all by himself as I was away in Penang attending a function (see previous posting). Maybe I should be away more often as everyone commented that the barbeque chicken was delicious! *wink*

My hubby actually has the talent for cooking, but, because I cook at home most of the time, he doesn’t get the chance to show off his talent! LOL! *wink*

Anyway, back to the party, it was just a small celebration among his children and my MIL’s sister who is a frequent visitor to the house, and my FIL’s card playing partner, her husband, daughter and grand-daughter.

There was plenty of food spread on the table. Besides the barbequed chicken, we had homemade garlic bread, fried mee hoon, satay, potato salad and some desserts.

The birthday cake was made up of several cupcakes to spell the word “HAPPY 73rd BIRTHDAY, AYAH”.

The cupcakes might look very sweet, but they aren’t, actually. The sugary sweetness is just nice, as I am not much into very sweet food.

Here’s a photo of my FIL with all his grandchildren minus two who are away at boarding school. Another one is missing from the photo. My hubby is in the background.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ayah! May you have a long and healthy life!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I was on TV!

LOL! Sorry for sounding overly excited, but it is not often for someone common, as in, not famous, *grin* to be on TV! LOL! *grin* But, unfortunately, I missed seeing myself on TV as I never expected that I would appear on TV. *sigh*

I had a couple of excited smses from my staffs telling me that they saw me in the news on NTV7! LOL! They must have been excited too to see their boss appearing on TV! LOL! *grin* That makes me feel so touched! *wink*

Usually, whenever I attend any functions that involve VVIPs and there were cameramen or press people around, I would call up my mum and hubby to ask them to watch the news as I might just appear on TV. But, on the several occasions that I have attended in the last year or so, my mum would faithfully sit in front of the TV to await for my `appearance’, only to end up wasting her time as there would be a ‘no show’ from me.

So, this time, I decided that I am not going to waste my mum’s time and so, never bothered to tell her to wait up for the news for the ‘just in case’ her not so famous daughter might appear on TV. LOL! *wink* but, only, this time I appeared! LOL! *sigh*

So now, you may ask, why was I on TV?

Well, I attended a ground breaking ceremony for one of my projects, and the Guest of Honour for the function was YBhg Dato’ Sri Hj. Ahmad Said Hamdan, the Chief Commisioner of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

I gave a briefing on the project, and after that, YBhg Dato’ Sri officiated the ground breaking ceremony using an excavator to break the ground before proceeding to plant two trees to signify the start of the project.

It was during this tree planting ceremony that he called me to join in to plant the trees with him.

Project briefing I was ready for, but, planting trees with the guest of honour? Now, THAT, I wasn’t prepared for, LOL! But, I sportingly took the hoe and started filling up the hole where the tree was. I must have looked so funny and odd, LOL! But, gardening I love to do!

Heheh……that was a first for me…planting trees in a ceremonial function with the VVIP! You must understand why I was so excited! LOL! *wink*

It’s not often that one gets such a privilege, right? Well, okay, maybe it is not such a big privilege or deal to some of you, but, excited I still am. LOL! *wink* AND, I appeared on TV! LOL! *grin*

OK! OK! I shall calm down………ssshhhhhhh…….

I am now calm and…*taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly*…….. my feet is fully back on the ground……*wink*

If only I have a magic wand.............

..then I can make all my problems go away.........*sigh*

My officer just called me to inform me that there's a huge problem with one of the projects that we are handling. Again, it's a project that was handed down to us. We only took over the project when it was to get started on the ground.

I am at a lost as to how to handle this problem as it involves people beyond my control and out of my jurisdiction. It also involves the public, and it involves a lawyer.

I have tried calling my boss to seek some guidance and advice on what to do, but there was no answer on the other end. I have tried smsing her, and my Director, but still there was no response. *sigh*

I love my job, and I love doing what I do. But, I get very frustrated when problems arised not because of what I had failed to do, but because of other people's failure to act as they should.

The designer had ignored my intructions to do things in the proper manner, and now, it has become an issue of public interest, and I am left to deal with the problem. I feel so lost and vulnerable. Again, my management capabilities are being tested to the limit. For how long can I take this?

I can only hope that I will be able to go through this problem coming out stronger and smiling, but I am afraid of the worst that can happen.

I pray for the best, and hope that God will guide me.......

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It’s time to open up the gifts!

The day is finally here for those of us who participated in the NNC Valentine Exchange 2009, organized by Margaret, to open up their much awaited gifts.

It was agreed, or, rather, a request by the organizer, that we can only open up our Valentine Gift Exchange on 14th February 2009. So, those of us who received their gifts early had to try very hard to resist the temptations to open it up earlier. There were some suggestions that even if we did open it up earlier, who would have known about it anyway, right? Yup, but, our conscience would! LOL! So, all those who participated in the exchange waited eagerly for the 14th of February, and it finally came today……

Some got excited and wanted to wait for 12.01am on 14th February to open it up, but, eventually, many fell asleep waiting *grin*, or, like me, I was so into making something for the Flower Pincushion Exchange that I lost track of time, and slept at 1.30am last night, not the least remembering about opening the gift. LOL!

This morning, I had to wake up early to get ready for Aiman’s 3-way conference which starts at 8.30am. Not wanting to spend the next few hours in suspense any longer, I actually took a peak inside the box this morning *grin* before going off for the conference, but I did not have enough time to actually go through all the lovely things that Anna, my valentine partner, had packed for me.

So, when I finally got home late in the afternoon, and after getting up from a short nap to recoup the lack of sleep I had earlier, I took out everything from the box to admire.

Boy! Anna really packed so many things in the box that I feel embarrassed of the simple things that I had packed for her in return.

From her, I received, not one handmade item, but 5! I received FIVE crocheted items! Two are in the shape of a heart – one small, one big, which is tied up with ribbons. The other is square shaped with a rose in the middle, as is required in the guidelines that one item must be a rose, no matter in what form. I received two other rose shape items in the form of a crocheted rose brooch. Really lovely!

The guidelines also stated that you must include one stash item, and Anna had provided a ball of yarn in PINK and a box of beads! Oohh! I feel really spoilt!

Anna also included in the box a lovely card which I believe is handmade. A talent I did not know Anna has – card making!

Thank you so very much, Anna! I know that what you got from me in return is nothing compared to what I got from you, but, I hope that you will still like what’s in the box, never the less.

I had packed for Anna a handmade heart shaped pincushion, 2 mini rolls of ribbons, 2 balls of yarns in pink and fuchsia (though it looks red in the photo), a flower rose corsage/brooch and a Christmas ornament.

Here's just a close-up of the heart shaped pincushion.

I had also included a handmade card which I had placed on top of the box.

I hope that Anna will find use for the pincushion and I am confident that Anna will churn out something lovely from the two balls of yarns as Anna is a very talented lady.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Anna! I hope you have had a great day today with your loved ones. Hugs!

On another note on gifts, I thought I’d post photos of the Anniversary Gift Exchange, which, coincidentally, Anna also picked up my number.

I had made, for the Anniversary Gift; a fabric covered padded box, and a matching flower shaped pincushion. To fulfill the requirement that at least one item of stash is to be included in the gift, I had packed a mini cross stitch chart, 10 pieces of mini clothes pegs, a fat quarter in green, 2 mini rolls of ribbons, and a pack of multicoloured pins.

I topped off the box with a card tied up with ribbons.

By the way, the padded box is reversible, and in the photo is also shown the other side of the pincushion.

Hmm…I hope Anna will find a use for the cross stitch chart because I am uncertain if Anna is into cross stitch. Are you, Anna?

Guess what? I just realized that you got two pincushions from me in a similar fabric! Looks like you just got a pair of pincushions from me! LOL! *wink* I am just glad that I did not make them in the same shape! LOL!

Anyway, I hope that you will find a good use for the padded box and pincushion.

Still on the subject of gifts, on Thursday I mailed out to Paul, Tini and Margaret, gifts in return for the Hostess Gift they gave to me, and to say THANK YOU for helping out in organizing the Anniversary Meet last week.

Tini and Paul received theirs on Friday, but, Margaret was not home on Friday, and so, only received a card informing her that a registered mail is waiting to be delivered to her. I hope she gets the package on Monday.

Since I am already posting about gifts, I thought that I might as well post photos of what I had sent them.

For Paul, I had made a flower shaped pincushion in what Paul calls a guyish colour as I made it in grey. But, as Paul’s favourite colour is pink, I had interjected some pink in the pincushion by sewing a pink teddy bear and making up the petals using pink crochet threads.

For Tini and Margaret, I made a small pouch. The pink and green one on the left is for Tini, and the one in maroon and pink is for Margaret.

If I may, I would like to ‘show off’ *wink* the lovely but simple embroidery that I had made on both pouches using the Janome 6500, though the one for Tini is not that obvious as I had embroidered it using the same coloured thread as the fabric.

It was an experiment (the embroidery), but now that I know how to do it, I am sure this will not be the first and last time that I will be doing embroidery on my work in the future. *wink*

I also included a fat quarter in every pack that I sent out. I hope Paul, Margaret and Tini will find all items useful to them.

Thanks once again, Paul, Margaret and Tini, for helping to organize the Anniversary Meet!

Been married too long, have we? LOL! *wink*

I say that with love and affection, though playfully (bergurau senda) and cheeky. *grin*

It is always a joke between my hubby and I that if either one of us forgets to be romantic or loving, we'd jokingly poke at each other to say that it is because we have been married for too long, and that will almost always make us both burst into laughter, even at our most down or angry moments. *grin*

It is said or the belief of the general public that when one has been married for far too long, one tends to take each other's partner for granted. When once before, you remember their birthdates, take them out to romantic dinners and buy presents to show your affection, and Valentine's Day will never pass by without at least a profess of love, but once married, to some people, all those no longer becomes important.

Well, today, my hubby just proved that belief right. LOL! *wink*

This morning, we attended a 3-way conference at my son's school. It is something like a Parent Meet Teacher Day where you meet up the taechers to find out about your child's performance in school. Aiman had a birthday party to attend after the conference, and we can either drop him off or stay on to chit chat with the other parents. We decided to opt for the former.

After dropping off Aiman, my hubby asked me, "OK, what shall we do now?"

I suggested that we go to a nearby shopping complex, and he said, "OK, but, to do what?"

I said, "'s Valentine's Day. Don't you want to take me out on a date, since our son now is safely having fun with his friends?" *grins cheekily at hubby*

His response? He drew a blank for the first few seconds before it hit him, and he said, "OH! OK!" and burst into laughter! *grin*

"Been married too long, have we?" I said, and we both burst into laughter! LOL! *grin*

We went to The Gardens at Midvalley where he went browsing at BORDERS while I went in search of some craft things at ART FRIENDS. We met up again after about 45 minutes to have lunch, and he suggested that we try a japanese restaurant next to BORDERS. It looks nice, and suitable to have a valentine lunch there, but, unfortunately, there was a very long queue that extended more than 6 meters outside of the restaurant.

It was already passed 1.00pm then, and we couldn't wait any longer as we needed to pick up Aiman at 2.00pm, so, we decided to check out the food court on the same lever, aptly named Food Garden.

So, what did we have for our Valentine Lunch Date? *wink*

My hubby had his favourite Bento Set, while I tried out the Lamb Shank served with pita bread and lime rice at the kebab stall.

We shared a bowl of Air Batu Campur Special, the most romantic that we could get! LOL! *wink* Too bad that we couldn't get someone to snap a photo of us sharing the bowl of ABC. *grin*

Well, to be honest, as much as it would have been nice to have something more romantic, but, it doesn't really matter. We have to be practical at this time and day. I think what is most important is not the food nor the place, but the company.

I love my hubby to bits, and pray that we will be together till death do us part, and I hope that we will both be able to live long enough, blessed with good wealth and health, God willing, to see our son grow up, get married and make a living for himself. Amin.

HAPPY VALENTINE's Day, Dia! Hugs and kisses!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I am feeling restless.................

It is 2.00 pm. I just came back from a project site meeting and a visit to another project site. Work on site is falling behind. There are some technical glitches and needs immediate attention. I have to be careful on what intructions that I give out because there are many implecations.

I am feeling restless. I do not know why. Maybe because of the piles of letters on my table that does not seem to shrink, but seem to grow higher by the hour? Could it also be because of the many decisions that I have to make? I am uncertain if I will be making the right decision when it comes to work.

Or, could it be because I slept late again last night, despite planning to actually sleep early after my contact lenses gave me so much problem in the evening that by the time I got home, my eyes were all red? I really can't say if that is the reason why I am feeling restless.

Could it be because I have so much work in the office, and so many things that needs taking care of that I don't know where to start that I am feeling restless? You know that feeling, right?


Life goes on...............

Monday, February 09, 2009

So many gifts, so much fun!

I think everyone will agree with me that we came to the Meet with only one bag, but left with at least another bag! LOL! There was so much food and so many gifts given out that it was like we were having a birthday party! Well, we were, actually - NNC’s birthday!

First, there was the Anniversary Gift Exchange organized by Margaret, where everyone couldn’t stop going ooh and aahs when each gift was opened in turns. Margaret even wanted to rip open Rose’s gift from Shanny when Rose took time to daintily open her gift! LOL!

Margaret was all ready to open her gift when it came to her turn, as she had un-wrapped it halfway already. LOL!

I picked out the number which was Paul’s gift, and in it, you wouldn’t belief - a handmade, really a handmade as in hand sewn, teapot cover! He had actually hand sewn the whole tea pot cover, including the Sun Bonnet Sue, and he said that he didn’t like her because she always looked so weird, eerie and mysterious because she is never shown how her face looks like! LOL!

I also got in the pack, 3 rolls of organza ribbon in turquoise, yellow and pink. He also packed in 3 rolls of paper satin ribbons in red, pink and yellow. I also got a packet of lace in pink, blue, black and white.

There’s a pink, my favourite colour, in everything that Paul gave, as it is also his favorite colour, except, eerr…..the tea pot cover! *grin*

I think Paul was afraid that if whoever gets his gift and the person is not much into pink, at least the main item is in a colour that is neutral. *grin* Smart thinking! *wink*

Here's a close-up of the tea pot cover. Paul also crocheted the lace himself.

Thanks, Paul, for the gift!

Next, there was the goodie bag, organised by Tini. There were a dozen things in it!

There were 4 rolls of ribbons and a packet pf beads wrapped up in netting tied up with ribbon, given by Margaret. Sabariah gave a small TUPPERWARE containing two mini bottles of body wash. Mel gave a handmade needle pouch which came complete with a un-picker and a box of needles. She also gave a packet of buttons in yummy colours.

Here's a close-up of the lovely needle book from Mel.

Zarina gave a skein of her very own hand dyed threads. I got one in shades of blue-green-yellow. Really lovely! Rose gave a mini pincushion, and Usha made a bookmark with a rose on one end and a crocheted flower on the other end.

Flown all the way from the United States was a set of multi-coloured pins from Diane, and Tini showed off what her new Janome 350e machine can do by giving a 3-layered embroidered flower brooch. I contributed a mini towel tied up with ribbons and a mini rose. Tini added on Pop Tarts in the bags of those who contributed to the goodie bag.

Now that’s what I call a real GOODIE BAG! LOL! With all those goodies, doesn’t it make you feel like it’s your birthday? *wink*

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the goodie bags.

Then, there was the Lucky Draw, which, as usual, I am not the lucky one to get it, but Rose did, and it contained so many goodies in it, I think Rose went home really satisfied that evening. *grin*

Besides the gifts that everyone got, I also received 3 hostess gifts from Tini, Paul and Margaret.

Tini once again show off what her Janome 350e can do by giving me an embroidered towel with the lettering “THANK YOU”. Margaret gave me a very lovely PINK tuck cushion with the wording “FRIENDSHIP GROWS”, a design by Lizzie Kate. I got a lovely biscornu done in blackwork, from Paul, a first for him doing a biscornu, and a cute little scissor fob with my name on it.

Thank you, Paul, Tini, and Margaret! They are all so lovely. I hope to find some time to reciprocate. *wink*

There is one other gift which I received yesterday, but we have agreed, or rather, the organizer has requested that we shall not open it until the 14th of February. It is the Valentine Gift Exchange, and I got mine from Anna yesterday.

It is all so nicely tied up in ribbons and tempting me to open it up! LOL! But, I shall behave! LOL! *wink*

Come quickly 14th February! LOL! *wink*

Happy Birthday, Ayin!

My nephew, Ayin, turned 11 on 8 February 2009, and we had a small celebration just among close family members at my brother’s house yesterday.

My mum was in town, and she had cooked Ayin’s favourite dish, which is Gulai Ikan Tongkol, also a favourite dish of mine. Yum! Actually, I don’t think there is a dish of my mum’s cooking that I have yet to not like, especially those that are recipes passed on from my late maternal grandmother.

My mum also prepared Pulut Kunyit, as a mark of kesyukuran (feeling blessed and thankful) for all the good things in life that Allah has given us.

We also had murtabak, a savoury dish of minced meat, cooked with onions & spices, wrapped up with pastry. This particular murtabak, which is an inch thick, and measures about 9’ x 9”, is widely known in Kelantan as Murtabak Raja, because it is said to be a favourite of the Kelantan Royal family. Hmmm….Could I call it Murtabak Nik too since it is also a favorite of the Nik family? LOL! *wink*

Here are some photos taken during the small celebration.......... The birthday boy with his sister, Fatin, and Aiman. Fatin almost had her little foot into the cake! LOL! Notice how Aiman is holding on to her feet? LOL!

Same size, but two years difference in age (Aiman is 8 going on 9 this year), but yet, they still share the same interest. Both love Bionicles, Pokemon, Gameboy and PSP!

Here's a cute one of my niece who will turn one next month. Oops! I have yet to complete the ABC quilt I found among my many UFOs!

Yup! She sure looks like she's reminding me that she's going to turn one next month in that pose, doesn't she? LOL! Already bossy at her age! LOL! *grin*

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ayin! May you have lots of success in life! Hugs, and lots of kisses from Che Za, Uncle Man and Aiman!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

NNC is two!

NNC turned TWO on 30th October 2008, but, since many of the members had other prior commitments, we couldn’t have the celebration earlier. And so, it was agreed that we have the celebration cum Anniversary Meet on 7th February 2009.

We started planning the meet since November, with Margaret calling for members wishing to join in the Anniversary Gift Exchange, and Tini calling for Angels to fill in the goodies bags. We also needed to know who was bringing what because the Meet will be Potluck style, so that we won’t end up having 13 dishes of the same thing! LOL! *wink*

We sure had lots of food that my dining table was filled up to the brim! There was Nasi Briyani with all it’s accompaniments from Margaret, Nasi Lemak Kukus from Zarina, pizza from Paul, and a mushroom dish from Usha.

Rose brought banana cake, and Sabariah brought cinnamon roll. There was Rendang from Tini, fruits from Rose and Tini, and the much sought after Cheese Cake from Mel! *grin*

I made Lontong, and there was a dessert of Kuih Talam, which, however, I must apologize because I could not recall who contributed it. Definitely everyone went home with a full tummy! LOL!

We started the Meet with a Show & Tell, though this time around not many brought things to show off. Janet brought her patchwork skirt for us to admire, and Anna brought her lovely crocheted granny square bag for us all to go ooh and aah! LOL!

I thought that the bag looked very much like a top I could wear, though it will be a sexy one LOL!. *grin*

Anna made another one in green for the Anniversary Gift Exchange and I was hoping that I will get lucky enough to get it. *grin* But, the lucky recipient was Sabariah.

Margaret brought along a Mail art, which she had just received, for us all to go green with envy. I did not get a chance to see what was included in the mail art, and it was a pity that I forgot to snap a photo of the lovely Mail art.

I only had my smalls which I ‘showed off’ in my showcase cabinet.

We then filled up our tummies with all the great food spread over the table, before we quickly gathered together for the Plastic Shrink Demo by Mel.

I must thank Mel for all the efforts taken to prepare for the demo as she had printed out pieces of nametags and flower motifs with sayings for everyone. She even brought along her own toaster oven for the demo which was specifically used for crafting.

I had earlier on offered the use of my toaster oven, but, I think, had Mel actually used it, everyone’s nametags will come out with all sorts of funny smells from all the heating of food that I had done in it! LOL!

Everyone got excited to see the plastic shrinking, and then got nervous when it crumpled to almost a ball and excitement again when it opened up flat to reveal the nametag in a ¼ of the original size. *grin*. We were like kindergarten kids full of excitement, but, nothing compared to the excitement that we exuded when we opened up our Anniversary Gifts! LOL!

We had scheduled that we would do the Anniversary Exchange at about 2.00pm, but Sabariah had to go off, and kept pestering us *wink* to have the exchange done earlier. We thought that we would let her have her gift, and we would still wait for 2.00pm before exchanging our gifts, but, the minute Sabariah got her lucky number and gift, it got everyone excited and impatient! LOL!

We took turns to open up our gifts and went ooh and aah each time someone opens up their gifts! LOL! We admired the beauty of each handmade piece, and salute the patience and effort that went into each lovely piece. All our members are so talented!

We are green with envy of everyone and wished that we could have gotten all the gifts to ourselves! LOL!

Thank you, everyone, for taking time to make the handmade gifts. Even Shanny from Switzerland and Diane from the United States sent in their gifts for the exchange. Unfortunately, Lody’s gift did not arrive on time for the Meet to qualify to be drawn for the exchange. I just hope that it will still arrive safely, and soon.

After the Gift Exchange was done with, and the excitement settled down a little bit *grin*, we proceeded with another demo, this time, with Tini doing a demo of her new JANOME 350e.

I think I wasn’t the only one sold by what the machine can do, but, I think Mel was sold too! *wink* Mel is a very talented lady, and I can already see her imagining what she can do with the capabilities of the machine combined with her great talents. Definitely we will see her churning out many more beautiful things!

So, Mel, when do we get to see you buy the machine? *wink*

Our last itinerary for the day was the Lucky Draw, where the gift was graciously sponsored by Tini. Thank you so much, Tini!

And, the lucky person was? ROSE!

We had just joked about it just prior to the draw that Tini, being the sponsor of the gift, would pick out the lucky name, and Rose said that Tini will keep on picking out the names until she picks out her (Rose) name.

Heheh…..Tini didn’t need to pick out that many names… was the first name she picked out after she accidentally picked out her own name. *grin*

Rose just sent the right vibes to Tini! LOL! Now, if only I could have sent the right vibes to the Mel who packaged her Anniversary Gift in the biggest box that it became the target of everyone to aim for it! LOL!

We went ooh and aaah again when Rose opened up her gift filled to the brim with such great goodies. It was very nice of Tini to have sponsored it. Thanks, again.

Soon it was time for some of the members to leave, but it was not before everyone helped out to clear the table and wash the dishes. I really appreciate it! It was more than half of my chores done! Thank you, everyone!

Slowly everyone left, but not before everyone picked up their goodie bags which Tini had put together with contributions from members, including Diane who also sent in items all the way from the United States to be put inside the goodie bags. Thank you so much, Diane!

Thank you so much, everyone, for all the goodie contributions. You all sure are Angels, just like what Tini referred to you all as.

After most of the members had left, Tini and Paul stayed on, and so did Usha and her daughter, Sharini. We chatted awhile, and I showed off my hardanger project to Paul who’s trying out his hands at hardanger. I also showed off my unfinished calendar project, and got some ideas on how I should finish off my wrongly sized monthly pieces.

Soon after that, Usha’s nephew arrived to pick her and her daughter up, and Tini and Paul left soon after that to catch a movie.

Overall, it was a good Meet, and I tremendously enjoyed myself. I think I can safely say that so did everyone else too, including Usha’s daughter. There were so much goodies, lots of food, and we had so much fun!

Thank you, everyone for coming to the Meet. A special thank you to Janet for making the trip all the way from Ipoh. I really appreciate it.

A special thank you to Tini for organizing the Goodie bags, and the Lucky Draw. Thank you for the demo of the JANOME. Special thanks too goes to Margaret for organizing the Anniversary Gift Exchange. Thank you to Mel for the Plastic Shrink demo. Thank you to all the Angels who contributed to the goodie bags. THANK YOU, everyone, for all the food!

THANK YOU for coming! I had a great time, and I hope, so did everyone else.