Tuesday, 29 November 2011


If you think that this is about THAT mini-series, then you will be sorely disappointed. This is not about the HBO Spartacus which reek of violence and sex. The Spartacus that I am talking about is the one where each and every one of us will encounter at some point of our lives. How you deal with Spartacus will determine the outcome of your lives.

First of all who is this Spartacus? Spartacus was a Thracian slave who became a gladiator and then later an insurrectionist. He was famous for fighting for freedom. Freedom from being oppressed. Freedom from being slaves.

Many of us today are slaves to oppression. We allow our minds to be oppressed. We let our souls to be enslaved to oppression. We let oppression dictate how we should walk and live our lives. We allow oppression to creep into our lives to the point that it cripples our being and cause our minds to cease to think.

1. Tradition

What is tradition? Tradition is a long established or inherited way of thinking and acting. And many times, these traditions have been the cause of breaking up marriages, families and lives. You MUST do this, you MUST behave in this manner, you MUST live in this manner. If not, the ancestors would be displeased with you. The family would be upset and disappointed with and in you. And if I were to follow and obey in my actions only, but not in my heart, do you think that it is acceptable? In order for a tradition to exist at any time, it has to be created. So who says we can't break tradition or even create a new one? Must we live in oppression for the sake of tradition till it robs us of our joy for life? Or is that a new tradition to be living in oppression?

2. Relation

How many of us have been slaves to the thinking that blood is thicker than water. I beg to differ. Blood is NOT thicker than water because I have seen with my eyes how mothers betray their sons and their sons’ marriage and happiness in order to wield their control and for money. I have seen with my eyes how family members latch themselves on to other family members and suck them dry like a leach/parasite to the point of death. And all these are done under the term 'We are family'. And many of us allow ourselves to be suckered into this oppression and be manipulated, taken advantage off to the point of being buried six feet under.

'But she is my mother!' 'They are family!' many would say. Family to the point of allowing your soul to undergo a slow death from the toxicity of that 'relationship'? Family means people who genuinely love and care. Some family members can never be embraced as family. And yes, some mothers can never earn the title ‘mother’. They will either kill you with their demented ways, or destroy your life with their toxic ways and then leave you in the middle of the road to be added to the statistics of road-kill. You either flee from them forever or stay and die.

3. Submission

Many times on the pretext of religion, people are oppressed into submission. The leadership demand absolute obedience with no questioning whatsoever. He who questions is deemed as a rebel and is labeled as an outcast. 'If you love God, then you will obey' has been hammered and shoved down too many people's throats. 'If you love God, you will behave in this manner, speak in this manner and live in this manner' mantra has been abused one time too many. It is time to break free from this oppression. Religion is supposed to give you peace, not rob you of your peace and to oppress you into submission.

4. Deviation of Information

We have been given a body, a soul and a spirit. We allow ourselves to be oppressed into thinking that it is only the 'spirit' that needs feeding. If so, why were we given a body and a soul? The body and soul too needs to be fed. The mind is part of the soul. The mind needs to be fed with the knowledge of the world. You need to feed your mind with knowledge. Then only will you be a double-edged sword. If you are one that only feeds the spirit, it comes to no surprise that you are constantly ‘floating’ about in this world and not grounded with both your feet firmly on the ground.

I have met Spartacus 32 months back and by embracing him, I have been set free. No longer am I a slave to the arena who lust wantonly for blood and gore. At the end of every tunnel is still Death. It is your decision in allowing yourself to be set free that will dictate whether your walk to meeting Death at some point of your life is through the dungeons or as a free man.

Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
- Matrix (1999)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Home-Made Baked Potato Pie

I have been wanting to make this dish again for a very long time now. But the tiredness and exhaustion has been causing me to shelf a lot of things which I have been wanting to do for awhile.

So today, despite of the tiredness from fighting this flu (which had me coughing the whole night like a barking dog), I persevered on and made this salicylate-free dish. Even my son commented that I have not made this in a LONG time now. And hubby and son said 'YUMS!' I guess that one word says it all. It was worth the effort! And yes, even with my non-functioning taste buds, it was YUMS!

  1. 10 to 12 medium sized old potatoes
  2. Celery (3 to 4 sticks should be sufficient)
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 200 to 300 gm of minced chicken
  5. 2 to 3 slices of bread (I used my homemade wholemeal + buckwheat bread)
  6. Salt
  7. Sunflower oil
  8. Butter
  1. Peel the potatoes and put them in a pot of water and boil them till they are soft enough to be mashed.
  2. Boil the eggs till they are hard-boiled.
  3. Grate the celery sticks.
  4. Mix the celery with the minced chicken.
  5. Tear the bread into small pieces.
  6. Mix the bread with the minced chicken and celery. 
  7. Season the minced chicken, celery and bread with some sea salt and pepper. 
  8. Peel the hard-boiled eggs and cut them into half and place them on the dish.
  9. Preheat oven at 230 C.
  10. Once the potatoes are soft, take them out of the pot. Mash them a bit and then add butter (about 30g), some salt, pepper and sunflower oil and continue mashing them.
  11. Spread the mashed potato over the dish evenly.
  12. Bake the dish for approximately 30 minutes or until mashed potatoes are slightly browned.
  13. Serve it warm with bread, pasta or rice. You can even eat it on its own!
  14. Bon Appetit!

Boil potatoes till soft
Grate the celery

Mash the potatoes
The finished product!
Bon Appetit!

Friday, 25 November 2011

On My Mind...The Firmaments

I came across this wonderful blog by a lady named Rhonda and she had an 'On My Mind Friday feature' which anyone with a blog could post.

Therefore, on my mind today, 32 months (and counting) of being alive has made me see the beauty, splendour and expressions of the firmaments above in a totally different way. I am grateful to be alive.

What's on your mind today?

Container Garden - An Update

The weather here has been very wet. It has been raining everyday. And on certain days, it even rained a few times a day. And sometimes, ALL DAY! And the rain has brought out the snails in full force. The picture below is a day's worth of catch.
Escargot, anyone?
Giant snail on okra plant
As if the vegetables weren't enough, this one decided to 'chomp' on the broom as well!
The rain has caused many of the older tomato plants to contract fungus. And the spider mites have been causing havoc for the okra plants.
This tomato plant contracted fungus and died as a result of it. I managed to harvest all of the tomatoes before the plant died.
One of the tomatoes
A deformed okra
An infestation of aphids and cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchasi) on an okra leaf
The transparent tiny spheres are the spider mite eggs

The damp and wet weather caused powdery mildew to infect the okra leaves too.

The deformed red okra with a perfectly formed okra
There were some good harvest too. Below is the 2nd harvest of the Kangkung vegetable.

2nd Harvest of Kangkung
A perfect mini capsicum
Some okras and cherry tomatoes
Siu Pak Choy
Nai Pak, some okras and cherry tomatoes
The okras and cherry tomatoes
 Below are some of the new vegetables/plants that I have been growing.

Radish in a pot!
Radishes and SNAIL in a pot!
A new pot of capsicum seedlings. I have another 3 more pots of capsicum seedlings.
New cherry tomato tree. I have another four new trees growing.

And I left this tray of red spinach to bolt as I wanted the seeds. By doing this, I do not need to buy seeds.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Crappy Day

The flu bug is really having a party. My eyes are constantly tearing, my nose is leaking excessively, my sinus is perpetually clogged up, my taste buds are literally useless, my throat feels like sandpaper and very soon I will be churning out records with a voice like Loius Armstrong. My joints are aching and I am having insomnia. I should be singing 'O Happy Days' instead of 'O Crappy Days!'

So my diet will be salicylate-free as much as possible as I do not want to tax my immune system. It is already in a battle with this virus. And no, I cannot even have Paracetamol to 'comfort' me.

I had the usual sliced potatoes with minced chicken and iceberg lettuce with garlic.

Iceberg lettuce with garlic, cooked with salt and sunflower oil

Minced chicken stir fried with potatoes cooked with salt and sunflower oil.

This amazing rice cooker can stir fry dishes. I have even fried eggs in them! Not only can it be used to boil rice, I use it to boil my soup, stir fry dishes and boil porridge. I have even cooked stew and made claypot chicken/fish rice in this. This is a very useful cooking equipment. And yes, it can stir fry vegetables too!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Another Salicylate-Free Day

I have finally succumbed to the flu virus which was freely given to me by my little boy!

Since my immune system is hard at work fighting this virus, I won't tax it with salicylates. I definitely do not want another attack! Things have been relatively peaceful. And I plan to and am VERY determined to keep life that way.

I baked a slice of Spanish Mackerel. I did not use salt nor oil. Just plain baked fish and it was very delicious as the fish was very sweet. I cooked 'nai pak' vegetable with slices of garlic and salt and sunflower oil. And I boiled chicken soup. A perfect meal with hot steaming rice!

Though the fish looks burnt and dry, it is not burnt, nor is it dry. I find that if I bake the fish to this state, my stomach is able to tolerate and I need not run to the toilet after the meal.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Matador's Fight

I have become an expert where bull fighting is concerned. And yes, I have been gored many a times too many. ‘Bull fighting? Have you veered off the edge Evelyn?’ you ask. Oh no I haven’t. I am still very much sane, thank you. Let me tell you where I have been gored by this bull. I have been gored where my health is concerned, my stamina, my fighting spirit, my endurance, my will, my strength, my mind, my soul and my patience. This beast has never ceased and will never cease to breathe its breath of death down my neck. And it loves to stick its horn into my soul, twist me 'till I am contorted and distorted in pain and then throw me up into the air and when I come crashing down on the ground, it will gore me again to its heart content. And I have bled in exhaustion, in desperation, in exasperation and in pain. This bull has made me curse and spit bloody murder in its face too many times now.

I wasn't even a spectator to begin with. I was an innocent customer in one of the china shops far, far away from the bloody spectacle. And when I turned around, there it was staring straight at me in the eyes, snorting its breath of death from its nostrils. Of course I ran for my life. Who in their right mind wouldn't? It broke every single thing in the shop. It was a bull in a china shop! No matter where I ran or hid, I was hunted and found. And the chase down the cobbled pavements, running for my life, hiding and praying that it wouldn't find me would begin all over again. I have decided that I have had enough. I will run no more. I will tolerate no more attacks. Instead, I will cut off its horns and carve them into door stoppers and then slaughter it and make bolognese beef balls out of it to be served with pasta.

I will become a matador.

I will fight this 'idiopathic anaphylaxis' bull.

I will dress in red (though it is color blind). I will taunt it while it is still in the pent. I will play the 'Blue Danube', wave my flaming red cape and tempt it to come and get me while I skip around the pent. I will tickle its nose with my lance. And then I will go to the center of the ring and wait for the gates to open.

And so the bull charges!

1st Part
I will then let the bull make a few passes and taunt it even more. And then I will run out of the arena and re-appear on my horse. Of course this will infuriate the bull even more. And it will lunge its horns into my horse. But I have prepared my horse with protection. It will not be disemboweled by the bull's horns. And when it lunges at my horse, I will stab the bull on its neck, which will lead to its first loss of blood. 

2nd Part
Once it has been weakened and disoriented, I will stick two sharp barbed sticks into its shoulders. This will anger it and weaken it further. I will then exit the arena with my horse.

3rd Part
I will enter the arena for one final time. And I will use my cape and allow the bull a few passes. It is my intention to wear it down and to wear it down good. And when the bull is in the right position, I will stab it with my sword through its heart and end its life once and for all. 

Bolognese beef balls anyone?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Glorious Heavens (Part 4)

'May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.  May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.' - Edward Abbey

'Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes, but I'll work it out...' - Dave Matthews, "Dancing Nancies"

'Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.' - Author Unknown

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Struggles of An Idiopathic-Anaphylaxis-Mother

Being a person with idiopathic anaphylaxis is already no easy feat. Being a mother WITH idiopathic anaphylaxis is a monster feat. Especially if the child is still young.

There were days and weeks and months where I could not function as a person, what more a mother. And yet, the little boy who calls me mother always has a smile on his face. And so I vowed to myself that I would be a better mother everyday. And yet on many days I fail. And many times, my temper gets the best of me. And so I asked my father to how I should maneuver about this particular difficult road. He told me that I would just have to push myself and go on for my son's sake. But many times before I can even push myself, I have already fallen off over the cliff.

Next year will be a very challenging year for me and the little one. He will be entering Primary One or First Grade. The distance of the school is farther, and we would have to be up earlier. And the drive would be very much farther and the school hours are longer.

Thus, for this six weeks of school holidays, I will have to continue to boost my immune system, control my diet even more and make sure that I will be in optimum condition by the end of 2011. I will also have to prepare Joel mentally that I would be fine with him being so far away from me for almost eight hours a day. You see, he is my little junior nurse. If I am in the bathroom a little longer than usual, he would knock on the door and ask whether I was still alive or dead. It is sad that it is already ingrained in his six-year-old mind that his mummy can drop dead anytime. And as a mother, (even though I shouldn't), I feel that I have failed in that area. A child who fears that when his mother goes out without him could possibly not come back anymore. A child who fears that when his mummy sleeps, she might not wake up anymore. And as his mother, this has been (and is still is) a struggle for me to be able to stand on my own two feet and yet at the same time, stand together with the little one and stand strong with and for him.

And so I have been trying to get him to understand (whenever he asks about death) that in this life, there is death. Of course, to his little mind, death is very frightening. And I have told him that I have and will continue to do my very best and trust in God to stay alive and well until he grows up and is capable to look after himself. His answer? He said that he wants me to be with him even when he becomes a grandfather! And he said that he will pray to God to keep me alive until that time! Oh no! I don't think I would want to live that long!!! Haha! Especially not with this medical condition.

Exhaustion has been around too often lately. The body just feels so tired. I always ask God to when will this fight ever end. And after every hurdle that I have jumped over, as I look back, I am amazed that I somehow managed to have a clean jump and not crash into the hurdle. And the even more amazing part is that the little one managed to jump with me and is jumping for joy that I made it through to the next round. And that makes this journey even more worthwhile.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Tree of Life

There was once a unique tree in a faraway land. And under this tree lived a variety of inhabitants. There were the Minions, the Hoodwinks, the Suckers, the Squanderers, and the Tenacious.

The uniqueness of this tree was that it was a tree that produced the four seasons.

The Season of Spring

Winter was over and spring started emerging from the tree. It was a time of growth, renewal and of new life being born. Leaf buds started to come forth from the barren twigs and branches. The Minions obeyed their leader and enjoyed life to the fullest. They ate, drank and were merry. The Hoodwinks were hoodwinked into believing that Spring is a time to eat, drink and be merry. The Suckers too were suckered to eat, drink and be merry. The Squanderers squandered all their time away enjoying life to the fullest. It was Spring after all. What could go wrong? And the Tenacious started planting vegetation at specific locations under the tree and fortified their dwelling place.

It was mid-Spring when the weather changed drastically one night. It was during the night when the leaves of the tree started shaking violently and created a violent wind. Many of the inhabitants were blown away that night. The Minions believed and obeyed their leader that the storm would pass and they need not do anything. The Hoodwinks tried to hoodwink the Tenacious into fortifying their dwelling place for them. That failed and the Hoodwinks did not bother to do it themselves. The Suckers were suckered by the Minions that all would be well. The Squanderers squandered their time away as usual. And the Tenacious continued to strengthen their dwelling place and their vegetation plots.

And then the supercell struck. The tree started spewing out large hail, a deadly tornado, severe and heavy rain and dangerous lightning came forth from the leaves. The Suckers got sucked out of their dwelling place that night because they were stupid enough to be suckered into believing that the supercell would not be so super after all.

The Season of Summer

It was an exceedingly hot Summer that particular year and the remaining inhabitants of the tree suffered much. The scorching heat that radiated from the leaves was too much to bear. And to add insult to injury, the fruits that the tree bore were balls of fire. The Minions listened to their leader and covered their dwelling place with more mulch to keep the hot temperature down. The Hoodwinks tried to outdo the heat and hoodwink the Minions of their mulch. That failed and they couldn't be bothered to do the works themselves. The Squanderers squandered their time away having fun in the heat. And the Tenacious lathered themselves up with sun block, went to search for thick, giant sized leaves to cover their dwelling place and vegetation plots and stayed indoors when the heat was at its severest. At the end of Summer, the Hoodwinks could not hoodwink Death.

The Season of Autumn

The temperature began to drop, the leaves began to change in colour and then they all began to drop. The Minions listened to their leader and ate, drank and had their 'be merry' parties. The Squanderers squandered all their time having 'Jumping Leaf Pile' parties. The Tenacious started digging and drilling deep into the ground. They also started harvesting their crops and brought it underground to be stored. The Minions and the Squanderers scoffed at the Tenacious calling them crazy and party-poopers who did not know how to enjoy life. And then one day, the tree was completely bare.

The Season of Winter

At the first drop of snow, the Minions and Squanderers cheered and could not wait to have their snow games and parties. The Tenacious migrated underground and stayed there for the whole duration of the winter. Things were quite happening on the ground until the blizzard struck. The Minions as usual listened to their leader and believed that the blizzard would pass and all would be well. The Squanderers as usual squandered all their time away. But the blizzard came to stay. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. The Minions at first stood their ground but when their leader froze to death, they became like lost sheep. They couldn't think or function without the leader. Some ventured away from the tree to look for a safer place but died of hypothermia as a result of the severity of the cold which caused an ice fog to occur. The remaining Minions too perished as the cold was too great. Icicles grew out from the branches and fell down onto the dwelling place of the Squanderers killing them all.

The Tenacious survived underground and waited for winter to end so that they could emerge and start life all over again under the great, big Tree of Life.

Which of the inhabitants are you?

Monday, 14 November 2011

I Am Free

My once broken and trampled upon soul
Has been healed and made completely whole
My insides are healed
And the healing is sealed

I no longer live under the umbrella of fear
He who has ears, let him hear
Out of the mouth of warriors who have fought in battles
Say, 'If you overcome fear, you will have no more hurdles.'

Eat, Pray, Love
Has taught me that life does not fit like a glove
But when you do find yourself
You will have gained a lifetime of wealth

I have found inner peace
A peace that surpasses all understanding
All previous strife in my life has ceased
Love, joy, laughter, contentment, all never ending

My mind is singing
My heart is dancing
My soul is advancing
So to all you foes, it is you that I will be lancing

I have Life
I have Jah
I am free

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Day of Cooking & Baking

I had actually planned to go out today with my guys to do some organic grocery shopping. But I was feeling tired. So we stayed at home and I did lots of cooking and baking. And the guys helped with kneading the dough! (And eating too!)

I made a special dish for the guys. It's bean paste cooked with chicken and organic 'fu chok' or otherwise known as 'bean curd skin'. I have not cooked this dish in a very long time. The bean paste is bought from an organic shop.

I also made fried bitter-gourd with eggs and fish cakes for myself! Yum-yum!

I baked a wholemeal + buckwheat bread. I used buckwheat flour for the first time. And it gave the bread a very nice flavour. I also baked 2 trays of oat crunchies. And the cooking and baking took me 6 hours!!! I am going to snore tonight! Haha...

Fried bittergourd with eggs
Beanpaste chicken with 'fu chok'
Home made fish cake!
Oat Crunchies
Wholemeal + Buckwheat Bread