Monday, April 27, 2009

She turned 14 today.

Gosh!! Has time gone by so quickly?? Within the wink of an eye, or so it seems, Aqeedah has turned 14 years old today. OI!! I feel so old, hehehehe!!

Nonetheless, I am amazed at the young lady I see before me. There are times when I wish I could push the pause button so that I could enjoy my children more at the different ages they're at. But that is just wishful thinking on my part.

My prayer for Aqeedah would be exactly the same as I had posted here.

May Allah keep you under His wing & always protect & guide you, for surely He knows best!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Winter is on it's way to the Mother City

Sunday morning dawned cold & windy. Upon waking up, I listened to the rain falling outside.

My first instinct was to grab a book & get one of the kids to make me a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Since this was not possible because it was 4am, the kids would certainly not be up at that ungodly hour!! And I was too warm & snugly to leave my retreat. So, I grabbed the book I am currently reading & curled myself up tighter under the covers. Bliss, I tell you!!

If I could have remained where I was for the rest of the day, I would have, but there were chores to be done, shopping to do & food to be made. DANG!!

On dressing for work this morning I had decided on the last minute to wear boots & a shawl just in case. I didn't regret my decision. It was sooooo cold. Looks like the sandals & open shoes as well as the summer dresses will have to make way for warmer goodies.

On another note, in my attempt to stay focused & keep positive thoughts, I have been following a blog I had discovered while reading Elisa's blog. I had mentioned her blog in one of my notes on FB. RG's blog is a breath of fresh air. Her enthusiasm & acceptance of her situation is awe inspiring. She has launched her first book, discussing her battle with the big C. I do so wish that the book would be translated in English, it's written in Bahasa.

And then, Elisa's post today made me shed many tears. Making me realise too, that there was something that I had to make peace with. Just as she has finally accepted the passing of a loved one. There was Shaheema's post last week, that spoke of the same thing, of having to let go of the past so as to accept the future.

I remember a story that was told by Sheikh Faaik Gamieldien in one of his classes. And as he recounted the story, I couldn't help but think of my distant friend. The story goes like this:

There was a very well learned Sheikh & he was so loved by his students. He had been married over 30 years when Allah took his wife away. Consumed by his grief, he became a recluse. Refusing to teach & to see anybody on a social level. His students became very concerned about him as they missed him terribly. One specific student thought of a way to budge him out of seclusion.

The student went to see him about a question he needed answers on. He had a dispute between 2 friends to solve. One friend entrusted a certain amount of money to the other. The agreement they had was that when the money was needed, the trustee would return it. Many years passed & the money was never asked back, so the friend decided to use it. Thinking that his friend had forgotten about the money entrusted to him.

Then one day, his friend arrived at the trustee's home wanting the money back. He tried reasoning with his friend, explaining that he had used the money, thinking he had forgotten about it. The student's question to the Sheikh was: 'Does he still owe him the money??' And the Sheikh's reply was the affirmative because the money was not his to have, it was entrusted to him.

The Sheikh then realised what the student was trying to tell him with regards to the passing of his wife. All we have on this earth is not ours, it has been entrusted to us by the Almighty. Everything belongs to Allah & everything will return to Him at it's given time, no more, no less.

I've had three lessons in one week. We have many mirrors to glean from, it's totally up to us to receive the message.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In the words of Nelson Mandela

While shopping for something to nibble on at the cricket match the other day, Shaheema spotted a copy of 'Destiny' magazine. A hardcover copy of this book edited by Jennifer Crwys-Williams was nestled inside the magazine covering.

I ended up buying a copy of the magazine just to get my hands on the book!! I wasn't disappointed. This book brings to light comments made by Nelson Mandela, some witty, others hilarious & then there are the ones that are downright thought provoking!!

I'd like to share some extracts of the book with you. As I feel that it would certainly inspire you as it does me.

I have fought against white domination,
and I have fought against black domination.
I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and
free society in which all persons live together in
harmony and with equal opportunities.
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to
achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which
I am prepared to die.
Delivered from the dock, Rivonia Treason Trial, 20 April 1964

On my last day I want to know that those who
remain behind will say: "The man who lies here
has done his duty for his country and his people."
On being welcomed home to Qunu on his retirement in 1999.

Many in positions of power and privilege pursue
cold-hearted philosophies which terrifyingly
proclaim: I am not your brother's keeper!
He was speaking to the United Nations in October 1995.

What are jellybeans? Are they something that is
In a Radio Good Hope interview, May 1996.

I make my own bed every day. I don't allow the
ladies who look after me to do it. I can cook a
decent meal ...... I can polish a floor.

It's a unique woman who can turn the whole
world around and make it the best living place
to experience.
Nelson Mandela said this in May 2002, some four years after his
marriage to Graca Machel.

Writing is a prestigious profession which puts one
right into the centre of the world and, to remain
on top, one has to work really hard, the aim
being a good and original theme, simplicity in
expression and the use of the irreplaceable word.
From a letter to his daughter Zindzi, 4 September 1977.

When my sentence has been completed I will
still be moved, as men are always moved, by
their consciences; I will still be moved by my
dislike of the race discrimination against my
people when I come out from serving my
sentence, to take up again, as best I can, the
struggle for the removal of those injustices until
they are finally abolished once and for all.
Spoken in court, on 7 November 1962, at the end of the Old Synagogue
Trial, when he was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment
on charges of incitement and two years imprisonment for leaving South
Africa without valid travel documents.

Any man or institution that tries to rob me
of my dignity will lose.

I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who
became a leader because of extraordinary

I seem to arrive more firmly at the conclusion
that my own life struggle has had meaning only
because, dimly and perhaps incoherently, it has
sought to achieve the supreme objective of
ensuring that each, without regard to race,
colour, gender or social status, could have the
possibility to reach for the skies.

I could go on and on, but I suggest you go out and get yourself a copy of the book, if you don't have one already. After having read my copy, I am once again in awe of Nelson Mandela's magnanimous personality. May he continue to inspire South Africans in generations to come!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm really trying very hard...

to keep positive thoughts with regards to violence & crime happening all over the place!! But how can I do so if I'm bombarded with the headlines the moment I walk out the door???

I've actually reached a point where I do not read the newspaper, watch the news on the telly or listen to the news on the radio. I detest "The Voice" & "Die Son", merely for the fact that whatever they publish, they do so for sensationalism!! Nothing else!! I do not understand why people would spend hard earned money to read trash like that!!

The scariest fact of all is, the crime & violence are being perpetrated by the very people we know!! We're so used to teaching our kids to be weary of strangers but we need to start educating them that not all perpetrators look like the boogey man. Looking at the recent statistics 80 percent of the rape & indecent assault of women are committed by people known to them!!

To be quite honest, I hate writing on this topic, but I think it's something I have to come to terms with as a mother. When I leave for work in the morning, I pray fervently that all will be well when I return. And so far, Alghumdulillah, I say Shukr that my kids are safe. But what of those who are not so lucky to say the same??

On arriving home this evening, Aqeedah told me that an announcement was made at the madrassah they attend. Apparently a man in a car had approached girls walking to madrassah & offered them a lift!! I suffered a mini heart attack!! And then I sat all of them down & explained the drill about being approached to take a lift, sweets or any other token from anyone. I was made aware that the mualiemahs & the principal had already warned all the children.

During the past month, I've heard of a 14 month old baby that was raped by a friend of the mother. A mother & daughter being raped & murdered by someone known to them. A 5 year old boy being sodomised by someone known to him as well. A 7 year old girl disappearing from her home. Two drive by shootings which were gang related. A young teen raped while the act was filmed!! WTF!!

Something is seriously amiss!! I don't even think animals behave this way. And you know, the saddest part is even the officials sitting in government are getting away with murder, figuratively speaking. Something needs to be done pretty soon or we won't have any legacy to pass onto the next generation.

Lead us to place, guide us with your Grace
To a place where we'll be safe

May Allah protect us all, Ameen!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My sleeping patterns are out of sync

I've always had a problem falling asleep come bedtime. But now lately it's become quite bothersome. I've had about 4 hours sleep in the last 3 days, not good I tell you!!

Some of you would say, then take a nap during the day. NO CAN DO!! I cannot for the life of me sleep during the day. If I should, I wouldn't be able to sleep come evening time. What makes things worse is I cannot go to bed too early too. The earliest I could get into bed would be around 23h00, by that time my brain would be fizzled & conked to even think straight!!

I suppose that's another reason why I don't drink a lot of coffee. I'm what you call a social drinker when it comes to that. And it would keep me awake for a long while after I've drunk it!! Not to talk about me bouncing off the walls too!!

The thing is, my body only needs 4 hours sleep, maximum. So as soon as I've had the 4 hours sleep, my body wakes up, PRONTO!! There are times when I wake up at 2am & instead of trying to fall asleep again, I get up & find myself something to do. Which would normally be baking or cleaning up. I think my neighbours must think this woman has lost it!! My home is semi-detached so they hear my every move, hehehe!!

I've tried everything already, chamomile tea, lavender spray, you name it I've tried it. Maybe a visit to the doctor would help heh?? All I know is, I need some sleep!!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

A day out catching up with the family....

Today has been quite hectic but once again I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We celebrated my uncle's 50th birthday this morning & attended a family friend's daughter's wedding.

The only bad thing about attending functions is the endless eating that takes place. OI!! I'll have to do an extra bit of Taebo to get rid of those access kilos!! I literally had to beg Ray to go along to the wedding as I didn't want to sit there on my own while the older folk caught up on the good old days.

Don't you just hate it when you haven't seen people for a while & they say things like, "The last time I saw you, you were this high" (indicating a distance from the floor up with their hand) Good heavens, it couldn't have been that long back?? I'd just sit there smiling, thinking has this man gone insane?? How old does he think I am, wink, wink??

Then there's the part when Mother Dearest decides to mention that she's looking for a suitor for her daughter, politely pointing at me!! Aaaarrgggghhh!! I just hate it when that happens, at that point I just wish that the ground would open up and swallow me!! Phhbbbtt. At this point Shahieda would perform a disappearing act. Funny thing is, I've asked mum to be a bit subtle about her approach but I'm convinced the word doesn't exist in her vocabulary, hahahaha!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cricket fever!!

I had been looking forward to watching SA play Australia at Newlands for the past month. Although the wicket was slow, the SA team took advantage of the situation & decided to bat first. This decision won them the game!! SA lead the one day series 2-1, tomorrow sees another game in Port Elizabeth & the final game some time next week in Johannesburg.

We arrived at Sahara Park, Newlands just after 13h:00, the place was already thriving with activity. Shaheema, Raafiek, Shireen, Sameer & I found a spot on the grass near the scoreboard & made ourselves comfortable until the game began.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the game, although the wicket was slow & both teams struggled a bit to put some runs on the board. With quite a few of the spectators getting tipsy as well, I had a good laugh at their antics too!! I also got to see some funny characters, like a seal balancing a cadbury whisper on his nose (Raafiek) & Batman coming to the rescue too, hehehehe!!

My attention wasn't on the cricket for the first half of the game, which didn't impress Shaheema & Raafiek much!! LOL!! I promised Shaheema I would post the pic of me busy with my phone. I couldn't exactly ignore the alerts everytime, wink, wink! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A shift in perspective

After all the bad news I've been blogging about, I've decided to change perspective so as to avoid it consuming me completely!! Yep, that's me, as dramatic as ever!!

So, where do I begin??? Hmmmm, lets see. Firstly, the family has recently discovered some very good news! My younger sis, Faghriyya, will be having a baby soon Insha-Allah!! We're all quite ecstatic with the news and looking forward to the bundle of joy!! We were a bit worried about her because she had developed cysts on her ovaries. Then, one of the ovaries were removed and fortunately the cysts were not malignant, Alghumdulillah!!

Raihaana's operation was also successful Alghumdulillah!! The lump she had on her breast was also removed once again. According to the doctor, it wasn't anything to worry about because it wasn't malignant either. Just scarred tissue that wasn't removed properly with the first operation that took place last year.

Then, Gadijah has given birth to a healthy baby boy, Masha-Allah!! Received a text message from her over the weekend saying that she and the little one were doing well Alghumdulillah!! I need to pop in & see how they're doing, I haven't seen her in yonks!! It would certainly be awesome to catch up with her!!

Adiela has discovered that she will also be expecting a bundle of joy in the next couple of months Insha-Allah!! She too, is completely over the moon with her news for she has also been struggling to conceive. But Allah surely knows best and we can only but utter our gratitude Alghumdulillah!!

Leona, ons wag nou net vir jou, jong, wink, wink!! En jy beter gou maak, ons wag angstig vir daardie kleintjie. Of moet ek se tweeling?? :)

Shaheema's wedding plans are on track and she ties the knot in October Insha-Allah. Her family has finalised everything with Sheikh Abduraghmaan Alexander of the Bridgetown mosque. The nikaah will be taking place at the beautiful Masjidul-Quds in Gatesville. And the bridal couple has asked Moi to make chocolate mousse to serve for dessert at the reception!! Hmmm, why am I not surprised??

And last, but certainly not least, I shall be on holiday from tomorrow till next week Tuesday Insha-Allah!! YAY!! AND I will be attending the one day international match at Newlands tomorrow, between SA & Australia!! Shucks, I cannot contain my excitement!! SA has been playing a good game so far & they better not disappoint tomorrow. My kids have been making fun of me the whole week already. They've seen what I'm like when I'm watching a game on the telly and they can't imagine what I'll get up to watching the game live!! OI!!

On another note, Shahieda has discovered that she's quite the scaredy cat!! *hangs head in shame* I had a light bulb moment today that stopped me right in my tracks & made me rethink the way I have been doing certain things lately. Hmmmm, suffice to say, I need to throw caution to the wind & just go for it. What do I have to loose heh?? So, first thing in the morning I shall be visiting the home affairs department to make application for my passport!! YAY!!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Why am I not surprised....

that the court case that Jacob Zuma was to appear in has been dropped???

So much for my wishful thinking. When the announcement was made today at 11 am, my heart sunk into further despair. What happened to truth & justice for all?? And now it looks as if the country's worst fear will materialise and Jacob Zuma will be in the running for the highest seat in the land!!

This man never fails to amuse me. His ignorance & audacity is really something to behold. Don't even talk about his ability to put his foot in his mouth, it gives new meaning to the phrase 'not having a leg to stand on.' But then again, he slithers around & therefore doesn't need any legs!! LOL!!

I've become quite cynical of late. Can you blame me?? With the elections only two weeks away and the Confederation Cup to take place come June, the SA government has proved what puppets they are. When the announcement was made to deny the Dalai Lama a visa on the grounds "that it's not in the best interest of the country," I was completely livid!! Has our government forgotten their struggle against apartheid?? Those same people who were exiled from their country & forced to flee for their lives, were now turning a blind eye to a man who personifies peace for all of humankind. It doesn't make any sense does it??

I wait baited breath for the results of the elections, because God knows, if Zuma wins we're in need of a miracle!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Milk tart, Cape Malay style

After a whole lot of coaxing from the kids & my taste buds, I finally managed to make some milk tart after a long while. I just love the homemade variety, the commercial one contains too much cornflour & doesn't taste as good. Secondly, you can have yours as soon as it comes out of the oven, instead of a cold commercial one (which can be warmed in the microwave, but humour me, ok.)

With winter almost on our doorstep, the hot milk tart will make a good end to your supper too.

For the base you will need:

200ml castor sugar
30ml sunflower oil
250g butter
2 eggs
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour, sifted
500ml self-raising flour, sifted

For the filling you will need:

10 eggs
125ml sugar
1 litre milk
30ml custard powder
15ml cake flour
5ml sugar
10ml vanilla essence
5 drops almond essence (optional)
2 pieces stick cinnamon
3 cardamom pods (elachi)
60ml butter
3ml ground cinnamon

For the base: Beat sugar, oil & butter in a large bowl till light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla essence until well blended. Mix in flours until you have a soft dough. Using two thirds of the dough, press into rectangular oven dish including sides. Allow to rest in the fridge until the filling is ready.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius or 310 degrees fahrenheit.

For the filling: Beat eggs & sugar in a very large bowl till thick & well blended, set aside. Mix 50ml milk with the custard powder, flour & 5ml sugar. Heat the rest of the milk in a saucepan until it reaches boiling point, remove from heat. Stir in custard mixture and mix well. Slowly pour milk mixture into eggs, while beating continuously. Add vanilla essence, almond essence (if using), cardamom pods & stick cinnamon & mix well. Pour filling into prepared biscuit crust, dot with 60 ml butter & sprinkle with 3ml ground cinnamon. Bake for 35-45 minutes until set.

With the one third of biscuit pastry that is left, I normally make some hertzoggies too!! YUMMEH!! They're my favorite because it contains coconut & apricot jam. I normally hide them away, for these treats I DON'T like sharing!! LOL!! Only drawback is I won't stop gobbling them up until they're all done. OI!!

For hertzoggies you will need:

biscuit pastry
apricot jam
coconut filling (heat coconut, sugar to taste, butter & hot water in saucepan until sugar & butter has melted)

Roll out the left over dough till about 3mm thick, cut out rounds using a cookie cutter. I normally use the flower-shaped one. Spray a patty pan with non-stick spray. Place biscuit rounds into each cavity. Place a half teaspoon of coconut filling onto one side of biscuit round & a half teaspoon apricot jam on the other side. Bake at 180 degrees celsuis or 360 degrees fahrenheit for about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to bake it too long so as not to burn the coconut or the jam.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What have we become....

that we feel the need to inflict harm on the next person???

What has society on a whole become, when we are so desensitised to the plight of others??

How is it that the people who are in positions of power are able to do as they please without having to take responsibility for their actions??

How can a country who has fought for democracy so fiercely turn around & dish out the same medicine that was handed to their people during Apartheid??

These are all questions that have been running through my mind for the last few days. Is it just me who feels that we're regressing instead of progressing?? This is something I have written about before elsewhere on my blog & I suppose I'll probably write in the future about it too. The thing is, am I going to be able to get any answers to my questions??

I don't wish to recount the happenings that have led to my asking all these questions. I fear that if I go that route I shan't be able to stop & my emotions would run haywire. I'm sure everyone has seen the news headlines of late.

All I can do is fervently pray!! God help us, we're in need of Your divine intervention!!