Plant Haul delivered. Baba Wan Nursery

Most moms find it easier pre-COVID19 era to shuttle their kids with them as they complete daily chores or business errands. Now that with SOP’s in place which includes refraining high risk groups ( children & elderly) entering crowded places, I believe it does affect mothers in a certain way. For me personally, I cannot bring my kids to Tesco anymore to buy groceries. Nor can I bring them to the mall whilst I get some books and stuff. I cannot bring them to the bank as I want to deposit their duit raya. Nor can I bring them to the university foyer as I check out the library to get some books. So when it comes to a certain need, like the need to get a plant from the nearby nursery, I had to resort to home delivery.

Thankfully, my nearby nursery BABA WAN NURSERY could oblige. It is located at Jalan Bukit Piatu quite near my house, so I might stop by one day without the kids.

My haul came today and I was delighted. It has been ages since I wanted to start my mini- edible garden but time was difficult to find. Plus, I had to adjust my budget a bit. So, these are what I got. Delivery was charged at an additional RM15. I am cool with that.

I got 5 bags of Vonya soil. Allegedly awesome for almost everything. I got 1 bag free. I chose two hibiscus plant in support of our national flower. I am also trying my luck to grow the Polianthes tuberose or as the locals calls it, pokok harum sundal malam. Folklore associated it with vampires (pontianak/kuntilanak) but let’s put the myths out of the way. It is supposed to smell nice at night once it blooms. Mine looks like grass at the moment.

yellow hibiscus
red hibiscus
If I ever manage to grow this plant well, I will sell this in a polybag to my friends at a very very cheap price. IF EVER.

I bought 2 pots of cili padi plant and a pot of daun limau purut (kafir leaves). One pot of cili is for my sister.

Please grow well Chilli and Kaffir leaves

It took me about 3 hours to clear the leaves in my abandoned garden but I was proud of the results. I just bought another plant haul through Shopee and am hoping that it would arrive soon. Wish me luck!

Purchased RAK BESI and started sorting stuff

My husband pissed me off. So I was on a Cleaning Mode. Lucky bastard! By the way, if you’re reading to find out what he said, you’re not going to find it here. Anyway, I get into this really zealous mode of cleaning whenever I get mad at something. The energy has shifted from reckless driving & shouting in the car to Marie Kondo mode. Then, I start throwing everything into the trash or donate everything to the recycling clothes bin. Sometimes I forgot to say thank you to the stuff.

I ordered 4 sets of steel racks from Rak Besi, a small enterprise based in Melaka. The racks were delivered and assembled at my house and upon completion, I transferred the money online to the seller. Total damage was RM675.00.

I rearranged my kids toys in the dark, activity room. I am still finding ways to make it cozy. The husband had a lousy design idea when he renovated the house. So we will have to make do with what we have.

And then I took on the big task of sorting out the porch. The porch which is rarely swept, rarely cleaned yet housing all sorts of junk. Including a big, unused motorcycle! It was damaged in an accident where my husband dislocated his finger a few years. He is having a hard time to let it go. I honestly don’t know what he plans to do with it.

I underestimated the weight of the bike as I soon discovered handling it is no small feat. But because I had so much anger, I had enough strength to maneuver it around as I also, dragged the biggest rack of all from my living room to the porch. I am expecting a 500g weight loss on my scale coming morning with all this heavy lifting!

There’s still a lot of things to be done. I still need to clean the porch floor. Declutter my storage area. Sell my books. Once I get all that sorted out, I can start with my garden project, sell my car and then maybe, plan a holiday.

PKPP will start today till 30th August 2020.

One can’t just go buy a new house whenever you feel like it. A house needs to be maintained and given a fresh makeover every now and again. We should learn how to fix things or at least know how to find someone who can do the fixing for you. As homeowners, we should schedule yearly cleanups of some sort like cuci tangki.

Same thing with having a wife. Some men are lucky they have wives who can maintain themselves and schedule activities to alleviate personal stress and such. Some wives kurang bernasib baik as they don’t have the means to do so. Consequently, some men end up leaving them and look for prettier pastures. Eh, tetiba.. marah sgt neh.. hehe

Syawal 2020

Our usual arrangement for Syawal is to spend the morning at my inlaws house, and then we drive to Selangor where my parents live. We would stay there overnight or for a few days depending on our work schedule. Later, on Day 3 or Day 4 of Syawal, we will have family day in Johor. Looks like this year, Covid-19 decided to change everybody’s plan.

As of now, my Syawal is spent by staying put in our homes and a brief ‘Hi’ at my in laws home. Visits are kept short with less than 20 people at one time. No takbir from house to house, no Eid open houses or jamuan later on. It is hoped that everybody could maintain social distances and practice good hygiene.

Our theme for this year is Dusty Pink. I bought my outfit and Ninie’s via an online store. It thankfully arrive before raya. The price was reasonable and the cutting was good. Meaning I could use it as ‘baju contoh’ for my clothes next year .

On the 2nd day, Mr Husband wanted to host dinner at our crib.The recipe for his marinated beef turned out to be a disaster. Bulgogi nadai.. You could tell that no one liked the beef. LOL. I guess I need to modify the beef afterwards. I stored them in the freezer with slices of pear with the hope that it will work its enzyme magic. I passed some Laksa Sarawak to my neighbour, Tan and his family. I think he will be one of my consistent receivers of food in the future.

How was your raya? Tell me about it.

I discovered the Tesco Order and Collect Programme while doing the Tabung Minci Covid-19 initiative

Throughout MCO, Tesco Malaysia introduced this programme. The ORDER AND COLLECT PROGRAMME. I would send a watsapp message to the Personal Shopper in charge at local participating stores. So do check first, if your store is involved. Once the PS have confirmed your slot is available, you send them your shopping list.

Each customer is limited to only 25 items per slot and these items need to be picked up on the same day. Since I am a TESCO fan, I can kind of remember where the things are in their respective aisles. So I would group my items accordingly so that it will be easy for the PS to find. On top of that with specific grams and such. We want to make their lives easy. If items on your list are not available, they will let you know and change as per request. Once the order is finalized, they will calculate the total, send it to you with the respective bar code.

All you have to do now is to walk over to TESCO, get in touch with their customer service personnel and your trolley is there for pickup. Wheel your trolley to the cahsier, pay for your groceries and voila.. settled.

I wish I used it earlier.

For the past 2 weeks, as part of the Tabung Minci Covid-19 initiative.. I offered help to get groceries or baby items for families in need. They contacted me via a Facebook Post stating what they needed. Alhamdulilah, I managed to help 3 families. This is a different experience altogether because instead of just donating money, this time I am buying things and getting them to where they need to be. I meet them in person and hand it to them. It puts into perspective the time required for a volunteer to make things happen.

In the beginning, I was shopping in a rush in between Speedmart and local kedai runcit because sometimes things run out of stock at one of these presmises. I did not go to any hypermarket because of the long long queue especially when I had to squeeze these errands during lunchtime because now is Ramadhan AND MCO. Hypermarkets close early too. Often, a single groceries list may take up 2 or 3 lunch hour sessions because I don’t finish my work on the dot at 1300H. A clinical case may require my attention exceeding 1300H. Plus, I need to be back at clinic by at least 1345H to pray and get ready to see patients by 1400H. So,minus driving time and all.. there is not much time to complete this in less than an hour. Weekends are confined to my husbands working time. If he is at work, I cannot bring the kids with me to shop. And no, I will not leave them in the car. So, my limitations are there.

So having this service really helped.

I was thinking that maybe in the future I could collaborate with a local kedai runcit or maybe smaller market like Ikhwan and KGrocers (I don’t mind if they charge me a small fee) with the intention of helping their business and these families at the same time. I will plan better for my next initiative.

I have compiled other Tabung Minci efforts in various post (still in draft mode) which I will share by the end of 2020. InsyaAllah. Please pray that my efforts are blessed my Allah and that the pahala can be given to my parents and husband and that my kids will have someone to look out for them too should I be gone someday.

Emerging NGI’s in Malaysia

There is no right & wrong way to be kind to another human being. As long as it brings a difference towards the better to the person at the other end, that is a big alhamdulilah. In the spirit of Ramadhan and restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysians have witnessed the rise of a few samaritans and philantropists.

NGI – Non Governmental Individuals

Some argue that you should not show the deed. Personally to me, if you have the star power and ability to influence a huge group of people, why not. Netizens favourites nowadays is Ebit Lew, Uncle Kwan & Syed Azmi. Of course, there are others behind the limelight doing their bits to serve humanity such as KakRed, Noorinora and but let’s focus on these 3 NGI’s for the sake of this blog entry.

FOCUSED, MEANINGFUL & BENEFICIAL

SYED AZMI

Rina benarkan Syed Azmi sumbang tenaga sepanjang krisis Covid-19
photo credit: malaysiagazette.com

I had the opportunity to listen to him speak about his work during IMAM’s conference about 2 years ago. He laid down a very important framework on how anybody can become an NGI. Everyone can donate something. Everyone can menderma. His BIG FIVE ways of contributing include Duit, Tenaga, Masa, Ilmu and Doa.

MONEY, MANPOWER, TIME, KNOWLEDGE & PRAYERS

Mr Syed Azmi deals with heavy issues as opposed to just giving a family a grocery basket or financial assistance like rape victims, domestic abuse, children issues. His work involves saving those in distress and placing them in a safe community so they could overcome the trauma, sustain their lives and improve their standards of living. Hence, at times we can see him breaking down, frustrated, merajuk and a roller coaster of emotions because these problems are real plus nerve-wrecking and that is how any normal human being would respond to it. Sometimes the law works in favor of him and at other times, against him and his efforts. Despite the hiccoughs, he always managed to pick himself up, recharge and continue what he has started.

UNCLE KENTANG

Kuan Chee Heng : Bukti Sifat Kemanusiaan Masih Wujud | Iluminasi
Photo credit : iluminasi.com

A former policeman, Mr Kwan Chee Heng is a Chinese samaritan famously known as Uncle Kentang. He defies dirty politics and bureaucracy. He was one of the NGI’s who helped me realize the importance of giving focused help and connecting with the community.

He operated the Van Jenazah with 24hours access by getting keys from the selected mamak eatery. His groceries package are personalized meaning an Indian family may need different items compared to a Malay family etc. That was eye-opening for me. Not everyone wants noodles and the same type of flour.

EBIT LEW

Mula Masuk Islam Sejak Umur 12 Tahun, Ini Biodata Lengkap ...
Photo credit : says.com

An islamic motivator, an apprentice of Datuk Dr Fadzilah Kamsah so much so that people associate him as an ustaz. Some consider him as part of tabligh, the good ones. Indeed, despite being a revert, he has the knowledge and his message is simple,

ALLAH SAYANG KITA

Whatever that we go through, it is because ALLAH SAYANG KITA. To me, he is a philantropist. When you do not have strings that tie you down and have the financial freedom to take care of the welfare of other human beings – this is what one should aspire to become. He has the money, time, knowledge, manpower and makes doa as well for every family he assists. Whilst other aspiring NGIs like myself , may be limited by funds, time and manpower – he was able to champion it all. How nice it would be to serve humanity without having to think about the law, money etc. How wonderful it is to just give, give and give.

I learnt a lot about charity work from these individuals and these are the BIG FIVE lessons I have gathered so far.

  1. It gets easier doing it with a team on the condition that you know how to pool and coordinate your resources.
  2. To have money is a huge strength to drive a cause. Without it, it is quite a challenge to get things where they have to be. I am not talking about bribes or anything. It’s just that while in some charitable acts, you may only need manpower – most of those in need requires financial assistance to move forward.
  3. Communication is important. We do not want to upset local authorities that may hinder future efforts. At the same time, we do not want the charitable gestures to be misconstrued. Yes, it can be a form of CSR to companies but lets try not to make it look like a gimmick.
  4. Apart from just offering help, they also actively look and search into the communities for those who are in need. This I feel is important because sometimes the marginalized members of the community may not know how to seek for help in the first place. Even so, some may not have the basic means to do so. They may not have phones, transport or even illiterate. Sedih, kan?
  5. Charity is continuous. Giving is not something they do in Ramadhan or near festive seasons. Their assistance spans throughout the whole year! This requires mental health stamina, support of loved ones, reliable contacts and networking. Not many people could do that but we hear of these 3 NGI’s activities all year round.

I have yet to see a government based NGI doing these on a large scale. Perhaps they are like me – worried of consequences that may tarnish the image of the government. We might step on toes of people who has certain interest in mine. Plus, when you are in a gov sector – everything is tertakluk to arahan and anything you plan to do, you need to have kertas kerja, surat and kelulusan. Even in your private time, you want to go for a holiday overseas, you still need to inform the kementerian. It’s part and parcel of being a civil servant. We respect that requirement.

Hence, if I intend to become an NGI, I must learn to navigate around my responsibilities, red tapes and what not. Jangan dipakaikan baju pada yang miskin, hingga diri sendiri terpaksa berte-lanjang. Know your limitations, educate yourself and learn from those around you. InsyaAllah for every good deed, Allah will bestow His rewards accordingly.