Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Good Progress

It has been a week since my last post. Yes, one whole week.

I have been busy - to get some work done, and to distract myself from worldly worries. Unfortunately I find the latter best achieved by doing the former, as opposed to sitting at the computer or reading a book. Having said that I did manage to visit and left comments on a number of blogs, and was able to respond to your much appreciated comments on my earlier posts. So it wasn't so bad.

I have a string of lovely new followers too! Thank you all for gracing this humble blog of mine.

And I hope this comeback kid is coming back for good. I have accepted what had befallen me as fate and I have stopped tampering with it. As for the trauma - well, let it be a lesson, a bitter one no doubt, but nevertheless a lesson. I bet Denise of L'Aussie and Ann Best would think it'll be great stuff for my memoir.

Any volunteers - to write a memoir  pour moi ?

As always there are things to be grateful for. They say even if you lose every material thing, you still have your life. I say even if you lose your life you still get to meet some really nice people in heaven, don't you?

Anyway, I have been making good progress. So do the crop and my project:

The steps are 'rough-finish stage' - the step before the final smooth finish (can't wait for that to show you my handy work). Take a look:

Spikeys are growing bigger by the day. Now that the invites are out for the party, I hope they won't let me down, though two weeks without rain got me worried that it may affect the fruit quality somewhat.

The pole is to support and prevent the branch
from breaking under the weight. It looks too
skinny to do that job now..

All on one tiny branch. Each fruit will weigh
1-2 kg when ripe

The best is yet to come.

The biggest bonus of all for the entire week: eldest son Ikhwan called me up to say that he's bringing over Baby Zaq! How cool is that!

But the weather was hot. Extremely hot. So much so the leaves had started dropping off the trees. (For rubber or hevea growers February is known as 'wintering' month. No, not snowing, but that's when all the leaves drop - yes, like fall. As the trees are under stress they are normally not tapped. I say normally because some villagers resort to tapping at night!).

My son and grandson were on their way. I prayed for rain. And it poured. Thank God.

When they arrived just after the rain gentle breeze was blowing. It was nice and cool. I think they brought me luck, and rain. Thank God.

Ikhwan brought along two of his childhood buddies and now business partners (boy did we have a tough time with them when they were teenagers - sleepovers, loud music, you know, the usual teenage stuff. Their friendship is so strong it stood the test of time, and the testing times from the parents. I am really pleased (I'm sure their parents too) that they are onto something good and are making an honest living - not without the stress though. In fact it was my idea for them to take a break and de-stress at The Farm - only to find their Blackberrys buzzing away one after another!).

I really should have taken their photos. But I was so preoccupied with Baby Zaq I forgot all about that. While they walked around the farm plucking Chiku I was all the time beside Baby Zaq who was asleep - just in case he woke up and found himself in a strange place.

This was his first trip to The Farm.

I have been babysitting him, initially with the help of the maid, at our home in the city since after his mother's confinement was over when she went back to work. That went on for more than a year when they went to live on their own. Since then it has been like two or three times a week whenever I make the trip back. But it's getting less frequent. So I was thrilled when told he'd be coming over.

He slept in the car during the journey. And continued sleeping when he got to the farm house.

Big boy now - very soon he'll tell me not to call him
' baby' anymore, like his cousin Irfan did.

After he got up we were both excited and happy, like two long-lost friends catching up on lost times. So happy that I didn't take any more photos of him.


Wan Sharif said...

Much awaited anticipation.. so when the children (especially when it come to the grandchildren) came visiting.. ah the moments shared... priceless!

secret agent woman said...

You've been busy! That last photo of your grandson is very sweet.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

That is an adorable little boy! And I'm sure he loves being with his Grandpa. Excellent work on the steps and wow would you look at that fruit! I love to see your sunshine - thanks for posting the pix!

With Warmest Regards,
your pal, OFG

small farm girl said...

Awwww! Such a sweetie. I would have taken pictures of him sleeping too. lol

Grandpa said...

Wan, they are priceless moments alright, ones that I always look forward to and treasure;

secret agent woman, yes I have been, since I don't just farm but live there as well, so work is never ending. Thank you.

Akelamalu said...

Grandchildren are such a blessing aren't they? :)

Grandpa said...

Ohiofarmgirl, thank you dear pal. Yes he's very attached to me, and I miss him terribly if I don't see him for a few days.
This season has been good as far as fruit production is concerned. You are welcome.

small farm girl, thank you!

Akelamalu,yes, they certainly are.

Since all your children had grown up and gone away it is really nice to have grandchildren take their places - your reward for being good parents, I suppose.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

That stairway is looking good. As for baby Zaq, grandpa has his hours filled with happy noises!

NancyDe said...

He's beautiful! I miss the baby stage, but will have many years to wait for the next (grandbaby) round. I am still in the loud sleepover, lots of teenaged bodies on couches and floors stage!

I am in impressed with the steps - steps are difficult!

Su said...

Wow, such a cutie!

Those steps look exactly like the ones leading to my parents' house. Cool! And I love the look of that fruit!

Happy Frog and I said...

I have been looking forward to reading your post since I read your lovely comment this morning and it did not disappoint. I am so glad you have more followers and readers as your blog should be seen by as many people as possible, it never disappoints.

Joylene Butler said...

Your grandbaby is so beautiful. I can smell his sweetness from here. I loved your reflection on heaven. I'm especially looking forward to getting to know my parents better. Like a lot of people I thought I'd have more time. Love your blog, Grandpa.

Grandpa said...

Keats The Sunshine Girl, welcome to The Farm!
I should be able to finish that stairway with a final pure cement polish in a couple of days.
Even noisier when his cousin Irfan is around. Happy days for me.

NancyDe, thank you! I still have the occasional sleepover by friends of my youngest son. He seems to be in the teenager mode forever.
The steps - nothing fancy, just strong enough to withstand countless footsteps and our rain.

Su, thank you. Most olden day village houses here have steps like this one to replace even older wooden traditionally carved steps.

The fruit tastes even better!

Grandpa said...

Happy Frog and I, thank you so much for your sweet compliments. You are so kind. I hope you had a good day at work and wish more positives your way this week.

Joylene Butler, thank you Joylene. Yes, excellent idea to know your parents better and to spend more time with them. I suppose you'll have to make time for that. I know that's not easy but it'll be worth it - for you and them.

Serena said...

Zaq is adorable! I love being a Grandma so I can imagine how much you must look forward to seeing your grandchildren.

The steps are looking great!

Grandpa said...

Serena, thank you for stopping by, and for your comments.

Adina West said...

Such cute photos.

And WOW! Your durians are huge - I remember when you posted pics of the 'baby' fruit last year, and look at them now!

G.G. Mueller said...

What a beautiful child! What joy you must feel when you think of him much less when you get to be with him!
The steps look great. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Grandpa said...

Adina West, thank you. Yes, the progression of the fruit from flower to tiny buds and now the size of a football is quite amazing. Thanks for your comment in my earlier post too.

G.G Mueller, hi, welcome to The Farm! It is not difficult for me to enjoy life as I thrive on simple pleasures and find joy in being with the children.
I think I will take a photo of the finished steps with some people standing or sitting on them - to prove that they are really solid!

shanaz@RS said...

Hi Grandpa!
The weather's been really hot these days, right. And to know that you can absolutely relate to this fact is such a pleasant feeling. The spikeys are really looking good, I bet it's heavenly sweet by the time they ripen. Munching on durian on hot days like this will send me sweating rains. Is it true that eating durian makes the body hot and bothered?

Always a pleasure to read you, Grandpa. Best wishes and blessings your way.

Grandpa said...

Hi Shanaz!
It's been quite a while...always a pleasure to see you too.
Yes, it has been and is still hot, except the day of my family's visit when we had heavy rain for a couple of hours.

As durian is packed with loads of vitamins and other nutrients eating it does make you hot, but I'm not sure about bothered just drink plenty of water after that, or take cooling fruits like mangoesteens.

You are welcome to visit us and try some - bring your family along, ok?
Take care, and have a nice day Shanaz.

Anonymous said...

Your grandson looks so sweet. And I bet he enjoyed his nap on the nice cool floor with the light afternoon breeze blowing over him.

The durians looked so good. I can't wait for durian season to come. I love to eat the fruits slightly frozen. It's like having durian ice-cream on a hot sunny day, except that these ones are 100% pure fruit.

And best of all, durian seson usually means petai season. Both are downright smelly, but I love them. However, I have to constantly remind myself not to take both of petai and durian at the same time. *LOL*

Grandpa said...

Andrea, my grandson looks like his father (and mother, of course), who looks like his father..ahem, ahem.. who looks like his father...

You are welcome to visit us at The Farm - ETD (estimated time of drop) 3-4 weeks' time. If you want a bit of a thrill come early and wait to hear them drop and search for them. You get extra pleasure eating them that way. It's about an hour and a half from where you live.

Dmarie said...

what a little doll! nice job on the steps too...have fun with your party!

Grandpa said...

Dmarie, thank you, and welcome to The Farm! Yes, we are excited about the harvest and looking forward to receiving friends and families again.

Anonymous said...

Your photos, you entire blog are awesome. I could hang out here all day. My daughter and I have a pleasant view of the Shenandoah Valley here in SW Virginia USA. But it's nothing compared to what you have.

I haven't read all of your posts since I just recently met you, but I intend to catch up. You hint at trials and vicissitudes in your life. You may remember, I'm the 70 year old woman who is just getting a first novel published, a memoir. You say we have much in common. I'd love to get an email from you expressing whatever you feel comfortable expressing. Are you seriously thinking about writing a memoir?
Ann Best @ Long Journey Home

Grandpa said...

Ann, thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind compliments.

Be my guest and feel free to browse my older posts. I deleted a number of them thinking I could get back some memories (my that sounds strange) but Blogger had other ideas. But it's ok most of my post are stand-alones.

I'm looking forward to reading your memoir. I'm thinking of writing one, but at the moment that's all I'm doing - thinking about it.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Grandpa. What a beautiful post. The stairs are coming along nicely and what a lovely day you had with your lovely Zaq. Beautiful photos. I'm glad you've had some rain too. Our humidiy is so high over her in Brisbane there must be more rains to come.

I think you should buy yourself a journal and start jotting down your thoughts. To sound authentic a memoir needs to come from the heart. You need rough jottings, then decide where you want to start. Once you have some chapters done, you might like to get some of us to critique it for you. There will be a book on writing memoirs for sure. I know I have some notes downloaded as I plan to write a travel memoir ONE DAY!

Be in touch!


Grandpa said...

L'Aussie, hi Denise, good to see you! And thank you, we've had more rains since, hope you will too.

Where do I get this 'journal'? The only journal I knew are the ones kept by bookkeepers! Then I thought this blog IS my journal, no?

Thanks for the tips anyway, and I should look for samples of memoir writing online I suppose.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hi Grandpa! just popping in to say hello and see whats going on.

caterpillar said...

Is that pictures of durian? Also,your grandson looks really cute....

Grandpa said...

Ohiofarmgirl, hello, thanks for stopping by. Nothing much I'm afraid, just finishing my 'project'. I was thinking since I'm at it I might as well build something else using the leftover building materials - a BBQ pit! Just started on it, may be I'll show some photos later. See, you get to know before I even post it!
Take care pal.

caterpillar, yes they are durians. They weigh more like 2-3kg each now. Some branches with 4-6 fruits on them had actually broken under the weight since I wrote about them. Thank you!

Poetic Justice said...

What a beautiful blog and beautiful Grandson! Life on the farm sounds great, glad I stumbled on by. Nice to meet you Grandpa!

Alison Stevens said...

You've been busy--multitasking. :) I agree that sometimes losing oneself in work can help soothe worries. Thank you for your wonderful comments on my blog.

Grandpa said...

Poetic Justice, welcome to The Farm! Thank you, thank you! Nice to meet you too, and I look forward to reading your blog.

Alison, yes, from one mini project to another, with an eye on the rest of things.
You are welcome, I sincerely feel that way about mothers and women in general.

Lady Jennie said...

Aw, you're "baby" is so sweet. And look at those Durian! I never saw them on the tree.

Grandpa said...

Lady Jennie, thank you! That's how they are now. If you go back a few posts you'll see how tiny they were not so long ago.

The Manic Chef said...

Hi Grampa, (I'm not sure like me to call you Gramps, so I won't) don't want to offend. First, did you finish your steps? Second, your grandson looks so peaceful sleeping, really cute boy. Blessing from heaven. You and your grandson are blessed to have the relationship that you do. I was not favoured with that blessing, neither knew how to love. Now the Spikeys whoa, man are they big! What do they taste like? And what do they look like when ripe? Can't wait for photos. Better end here, my comments tend to be long, sorry, that's what happens when one is alone all the time. Take care. Catching up on my fellow bloggers blogs! Later....