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The room darkens as the sunlight begins to fade
A scent, so dearly-missed, growing into a parade
I rush to the window and turn up to the sky
Seeing dark dense clouds coming by and by

I pull back the latch and turn the key
Revealing the sight of the blurry city
The air is thick with smoke and dust
But it’s alright, rain has come at last

I catch the first drop in my open eye
My skin has long feel grimy and dry
Another drop on my cheek, my arm, my nose!
Now pouring by tankfuls, how fast it goes!

I bring out the buckets and whatever that would hold
The much needed water, so refreshingly cold!
Though the shower is blurring the sight of my gaze
I can see it eating up most of the smog and haze

The land has long been cracked and arid
Such delight to see drains now gushing like rapids
My clothes now drenched clinging heavily to my body
Unknowingly absorbing the toxic from the city

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The yet to be crushed ginger and cinnamon. On the left is the traditional Malaysian pestle and mortar

There is nothing better than indulging myself to a warm cup of ginger and cinnamon tea after a long day of hard work. Only a whiff of the tea is enough to make me craving for a sip of this wonderful and aromatic tea. The aromatic and spicy flavour of ginger together with the sweet and warm taste of cinnamon blends wonderfully with that unique aroma of tea resulting a drink that is so flavourful and heavenly delicious. And the best part is, not only that the tea is so tasty but it is also loaded with tremendous medicinal benefits!

Cinnamon is known for its ability to improve blood circulation and the effectiveness of insulin which plays a role in lowering blood sugar and bad cholesterol level; while antiviral, anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-clotting and anti-nausea are some of the many medicinal properties of ginger. And black tea has a good amount of antioxidant too! For a ‘spicier’ taste, I sometimes add some cloves which is an excellent source of manganese to the brew.

The result of the 'crushing' process.

The result of the 'crushing' process.

Every once in a while (since I am not that eager to crush the spices), I would prepare the ginger and cinnamon tea for both my mom and I. The process is not that hard actually, but I find grinding cinnamon quite tiring especially to avoid the pieces of cinnamon from ‘jumping’ all over the kitchen. While mom loves her tea the way it is, I prefer mine with a richer taste of milk. Since ginger and cinnamon tea has a unique blend of taste, it goes best without sugar which is all the better for your health!

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My homegrown beansprout

Like many others who live in the city, we only have a small garden. Actually, it never did cross my mind of how small our garden is, until we decided to plant our own organic vegetables three years ago. Is there any herb or vegetable that can be grown without taking too much space for the city folk?

Last week, Mom soaked a bowl of green beans overnight for her ‘bubur kacang’. Anyway she was so busy the next day that she forgot all about them after straining the beans into a colander. The next day she found that her bowlful of green beans had grown tiny roots. So, instead of cooking them, she gave me the beans for my “experiments’.

And I decided to grow beansprout. I found out that growing green beans into beansprouts is certainly very easy. All I did was running tap water over the colanders (with the beans) every 4-6 hours or so. Don’t try to move the beans/seedlings around with your hands (you may feel tempted to do so, but you may pull out their roots). Put a plate under the colander to collect the water dripping from the colander.

The green beans had grown tiny roots! 😀

In a few days, the roots will be long enough to reach out of the colander into the plate of water below it. Even at this stage, I still ‘water’ the sprouts but I suppose you could leave it on its own. Another thing to remember is not to put too much beans in one colander. When that happens, the beans on the top couldn’t get enough water while the beans at the bottom may rot.

Roots growing out of the colander

Another good point in growing beansprouts is that you can plan when to start growing them so that the beansprout will be really fresh when needed. Soak the beans overnight about 5 days ahead and they should be ready to be harvested on time. And trust me, fresh home grown beansprouts are so tasty, crunchy and without that ‘commercial beansprout smell’ that even I who never like beansprouts before ate loads of them.

Fresh, homegrown, organic beansprout in mum's delicious fried noodle.

So with the price of vegetables rising up and the concern of the high level of chemical contamination in our vegetables, it will be a very good idea to grow our own vegetables. And if space is a problem, try growing beansprouts; you can even grow them in your apartment balcony, kitchen or even in your dining room! It is really cheap and easy while the result is absolutely wonderful. Maybe I should start a business selling tasty, fresh, home-grown, organic  beansprouts … after all fresh, organic vegetables can fetch a good price in today’s market!

Ready-for-harvest beansprouts (shoots)

Ready-for-harvest beansprouts (roots)

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Jogging is a very good exercise which benefits our bones (by increasing bone density in the lower body), muscles (by increasing muscular strength and stamina in the lower body) and joints (by strengthening tendons and ligaments in the lower body). It can also increase lung capacity, strengthen the heart, improves blood circulation, increase metabolism, burn calories and the best part is; it releases endorphins (read more about it here) and reduces stress.

However, because of the extra strain on muscles and joints from the repetitive impact may lead to injuries such as knee pains and shin splints. Long term jogging on hard surfaces can play a role in degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis. That is why it is very important to wear good running shoes that cushion and support your feet.

Always remember to warm up and stretch thoroughly before you start. If you have never run before or are very out of shape, don’t overdo it. You could start by walking most of the session and include just a minute of jogging. As you become fitter, you can gradually increase the proportion of your session spent jogging. You will also need to breathe a little harder than normal to get more oxygen into the body but you should still be able to hold a conversation while you jog (a sign that you are not overdoing things). If you find yourself getting too out of breath, slow down or walk until you have recovered. When your breathing has returned to a more comfortable level you can start jogging again.

Yesterday morning, my family and I went jogging at Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir. We jogged around 2.7 km and stopped by a playground, exhausted. It’s the first time (after so long) we jogged and plan to do so every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We had some fun at the playground with the chain bridge, flying foxes, monkey bars, stepping stones and (my favourite) the swing.

Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir is a beautiful park with a nice small lake in the middle. It has a jogging track, a food stalls, a few playgrounds and some exercising equipments. I once went there before with my family. We had a picnic there with my dad’s friends from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The park had just been opened for about a month then and it was cleaner too. Yesterday, we saw that the lake was polluted with all sorts of rubbishes. Some irresponsible people must have been too lazy and threw their rubbishes into the lake despite the many rubbish bin that had been provided. How did they managed to even walk back to their car I wonder.

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I’m very sorry for leaving the blogsphere for quite a long time. I had been busy reading, studying until I had forgotten to update my blog. Thanks to mum and dad I had finally returned. In this post I would like to share a little bit of what I’ve learned from one of the books I’ve been reading…

Nobody likes hiccups and looking for a perfect cure is always hard. My worst ‘hiccup attack’ was two years ago that goes on for 3 days. But that was nothing compared to what Charles Osborne had experienced. He started hiccuping in 1922 and continued for the next 65 years (1987). That’s 430 million hiccups! Can you ever imagine that?

Anyway not all hiccups are severe, infact most hiccups only last a few minutes and disappeared as magically as it came. But hiccups are so uncomfortable that even a few minutes experience is more than enough. Isn’t there a cure for hiccups which works instantly? If there is, what is it and how? Read on the following treatments and I’m sure that one of them would surely be your answer to the question…

  1. Yank forcefully on the tongue.
  2. Lift the uvala (that little boxing bag at the back of your mouth) with a spoon.
  3. Tickle the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab at the point when the hard and soft palate meet.
  4. Chew and swallow dry bread.
  5. Suck a lemon wedge soaked in Angostura bitters.
  6. Compress the chest by pulling the knees up or leaning forward.
  7. Gargle with water.
  8. Hold your breath.
  9. Suck on crushed ice.

If those given above do not work, may be you’d like to try these instead:

  1. Take a teaspoon of sugar and swallow it dry. Others recommend a tablespoon of sugar instead but that may be a matter of personal taste.
  2. Fill a glass of water, bend forward and drink it upside down.
  3. Hold your breath for as long as possible and swallow at the time you feel the hiccup sensation coming. Do that 2 or 3 times, then take a breath and repeat again.
  4. Fill a cup of water and place it on a counter, then press your index fingers in your ears. Bend over at the waist and pick up the cup with the pinky finger and thumb of each hand and, while holding your breath, drink the water down in one or two gulps. [I highly recommend this one as it works for me 🙂 ]
  5. Blow in and out exactly ten times in a paper bag. You MUST do it really hard until you are red in the face. You also MUST do it fast and you MUST make sure that no air gets in by forming a good seal around your mouth with the bag. You MUST follow all of the directions exactly as directed or it’ll never work.

ESPECIALLY FOR TOTS: Tickle them while they hold their breath and they must try their best not to laugh.

ESPECIALLY FOR BABIES: Feed them a half teaspoon of sugar dissolve in 4 ounce of water.

ESPECIALLY FOR NEWBORNS: Place a wet tissue on the baby’s forehead (Recommended by Kak Shahidah in her previous comment. Thanks, Kak Shaidah!)

Not everyone can be cured the same way. Try a few and see which works for you… Good Luck!

Note: I learnt these tips from ‘The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies’ which was written by the editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books and published by Parsons/ Walton/ Press, Hong Kong in 2001. This amazing book contains thousands of techniques of preventing and curing everyday health problems. And I would like to thank ‘Apa’ (my maternal great grandfather, Hj. Yaacob bin Hj. Abdullah Al- Yunani) for lending me this wonderful book.

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Eid Mubarak


Eid Mubarak to all muslim readers and

may Allah bless us all. Amin.

Please click here to send the e-card!

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I was not feeling well yesterday. I had a sore throat and a fever. Even my little sister Anisah, my little brother Ahmad Ali and mum was not feeling well too. It started by Anisah who had a fever a few days ago.

Next was Ahmad Ali. He woke up the next morning with a swollen face. His eyes were badly swollen that he almost could not open his eyes. I went to him and I was struck with horror when I saw his face. He asked me why I was so shocked to see him. I then told him to look at the mirror. He was so shocked at what he saw that he nearly cried. He kept asking dad to send him to the doctor as he did not like the way he looked in the mirror.

Dad took him to Al-Islam Specialist Hospital or previously known as Kampung Baru Medical Center to see our Pediatric, Dr. Khairul Azman. Dr Khairul did some tests to make sure that it was only an allergy reaction that cause his face to be swollen. My little brother was so relieved when Dr Khairul ensured him that nothing was serious and he would get better soon.  Today, he looks perfectly like the old Ahmad Ali again, and how happy he was to look ‘normal’ again.  Anyway both Anisah and Ahmad Ali were still not feeling very well. They both felt better in the morning, jumping and playing together – and their temperature would rise up later in the day and ended up with mum staying awake for the last few nights taking care of the both of them during the nights. It seems to be very hard for young kids to stay in bed and rest.

Mum started a slight fever the day before yesterday. Next it was me, but I am feeling much better now. My Nenek said that it must be “museng demang’ (in Trengganuspeak) or the fever season . In  Terengganu we have “museng demang’ during the fruit seasons and also during the current weather when it rains at one moment before the sun shines brightly at another and all the sudden  it starts to rain again.   Any way Alhamdulillah, for my little sister, Aeshah and my dad are in good health.

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