Tag Archive | Life

Dealing With Problems: Some Mistresses Here and Some Scandal There

Have you watched Mistresses, the U.S version? I love it. Anyhow, I was feeling a little on the down low yesterday (let’s just blame it on female hormones) and I decided to watch something. And what better than a series with lots of females with female problems in it…lol. That’s atrocious but it’s such an entertaining distraction. I’m on Ssn 2 Ep 13. I can’t wait for it to continue, too much drama up in that space.

The thing with movies is that there’s some level of truth in them. There’s always something to learn from them. Especially those that try to demonstrate a reality of sorts. I believe that the writers and directors didn’t just imagine some of these things. The scripts are derived from another persons story, personal experience or an observation, even if to some extent exaggerated to make it juicier.

As I watched, I got to the part where Karen (one of the “Mistresses”) experiences a health scare as a result of her bar-hopping, bed-hopping phase. One of the men (Ben) that she had had “bad manners” with was diagnosed with AIDS and there was a possibility if she didn’t use protection while they did the deed that she had also gotten it. Thing is, she couldn’t even remember. Problems.

While she shares her problem with one of the girlfriends, Joss (another of the crazy mistresses. Oh! This one’s on a different level of crazy, she ditched her fiancé for the sister’s ex-hubby as he waits for her on the aisle at the engagement party cum wedding…if that’s not complicated, I don’t know what is), well, she tries to console her. I really like how she did it though. And that’s what informs my post today.

Mistresses, Life, Life Lessons, Series

When you have a problem, chances are that you don’t need to someone to tell you what to do to solve it. That could be why shrinks don’t tell you what to do, because you already have it in you. Chances are also that, they (the shrinks, your friends, your family) don’t even have the answer to your problems, or even if they do, it’s their solution, not yours. Naturally, somewhere within you, you know what you should do about it. You just need someone to speak the reality to you and give you a gentle push towards believing in what you think you should do.

So as they chat, Joss asks her what she does when she’s feeling overwhelmed. She says she prefers to go to the beach. Why? Karen answers, “because when you’re at the beach and you’re facing the ocean, you realize that your problem is so small compared to the big ocean” and it almost fades away, the problem that is.

Sometimes we magnify our problems and make them look so HUGE. To rub salt to the already existing wounds – that are the problems, we dwell on them for a minute, making us even more sore. They overwhelm us and eat us up. While in essence, as is the case of the ocean, our problem is equivalent to a grain of sand on the shore/beach. How small is that? As we think that the world is against us, the world is going on with its business. Sad reality, but goes to show us that problems, they come and go and those that stick around we can handle them. We all have some “Olivia Pope” in us. If you have a problem, you fix it, you handle it how you know best.

To cut story short, she eventually went ahead to get tested, which is what she wanted to do from the beginning but was scared of the result. She wanted to be ready for the results, whatever they were.

In other non-related news, I’m currently reading The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t know what to feel just yet. My baby sister told me the movie is really sad, so I’m not watching it till I finish the book. I’m on chapter 3 and I’m like, God, thank you so much for good health. Cancer is such a bitch! Will tell you how that goes.

Now that I mentioned the beach, I definitely need a vacay. Having a better week than mine I hope :-) Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Curves and All

I read this article on Bev’s blog. Like she had advised, I clicked on the original story, and I was touched by what I read. That’s what informed my post today.

Meaghan Kausman, Curves

Meaghan Kausman’s photoshopped image is above; the untouched photo is below. Credit: Instagram.

In our society, size is a weighty matter. See what I did there. But it is, for everyone really, regardless of your size. “You’ve become skinnier”, “you’ve gained some weight”, “there’s no clothes your size”, “try a size bigger”, “maybe you should try sit ups, press ups or planks”, “you should eat some more”, “no, just eat less – more fruits & vegetables, some protein and less starch”, “don’t eat past 7pm, digestion doesn’t take place”.

I’m pretty sure you’ve encountered some of these random statements in your conversations, if not all of them. And boy isn’t it exasperating. I use them too, so I’m as guilty as charged. How does it make you feel? Well, it makes me a little more conscious about how I look. It makes me think, maybe I can do something about it, like I can make myself shrink instead of expand superpowers. Even when really, it’s nature organizing your body for you. Curves and all.

There’s also this belief that petite people shouldn’t talk about weight, because well, they don’t have weight to talk about. But funny enough just as anyone who’s not petite is affected by weight, so are the people you see as petite (which is relative by the way). So it’s awkward when I tell my friends I’m feeling like I’ve grown a little bigger, but they cannot see what I’m talking about. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don’t too – it could depend on what I’m wearing, what I’m eating, and other times, just hormones – those that make you feel like you don’t look as hot in the present or as you envision yourself.

The other day, I found myself thinking, “Damn, my clothes are definitely tighter”. My once flat tummy, is not so flat anymore, there’s that bottom bulge. My hips, oh well, they’re shaping up, like they weren’t already. Considering I’m not a big shopping fan. You’ll find that I still have clothes that I used to wear way back in campus which until now still fit. Until one day, I’m finding myself having to jump up and down for them to fit. I’m in disbelief. In all honesty, if I could stay the same size I would, but then I’d have to starve or gym myself to skinniness. Nah, I can’t deal. So I try to keep fit by doing some housework here and there, skipping,  planking sometimes, but mostly, just trying to eat healthy.

One thing I told myself is that, I ain’t 22 anymore. I’m aging and growing and it’s not only the age number that  increases. The height and weight too. Remember, Body Mass Index (BMI)? Remaining the same size will be a little too ambitious, although some people make it happen – genes, regulated meals, some serious work out.

I feel that there’s some alluring confidence and sexiness that comes with embracing your body, as is. Also, not everyone can be a size 8, or a size 14, the world would be a boring place. God knew what he was doing when he made us all different, but still in his image. Rock you, as you are! However, that doesn’t mean you let loose and care less about your appearance or size for that matter. It means don’t look shabby, actually, never look shabby. Always, take care of yourself, look and dress pretty, keep healthy. Don’t Photoshop your body either. When you love yourself, even the people around you accept & love you just as you are, because you are a beautiful petal.

Embrace your body, curves and all.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Things Unsaid and Thoughts Unexpressed

It’s awkward to write anything about death, even when it has happened. It just feels off. Maybe because it’s a loss that you cannot redeem despite how hard you pray or work. Lazarus was a lucky man to get a second chance at living. Then again, we’re mortal and death happens. It’s a phenomenon that’s happens every single day, hour, minute. As I type this, something is happening to someone that’s taking away their life, the core of their being. That’s scary. Actually what scares me, is not the dying in itself, it’s the process of it. The how and the what. The how. Experiencing the feeling of not being able to breathe or if there’s a pain that comes with it (I believe no one wants to experience immense pain, I mean unless it’s a crazy fetish). The what. The people who care about me suffering emotionally. I think emotional pain is to some extent more daunting that physical pain.

Things Unsaid, Thoughts Unexpressed

 

When I was a kid, I feared any mention of death, but for some reason I still used to read the obituaries page in the dailies. My mum is a nurse, and I think with the profession and the exposure it brings, comes the acceptance of this phenomenon. I remember her joking about reading the obituary, saying, “It’s good to read it just in case someone mistakenly puts you there and you’re here”. It was kind of funny, now that I think of it, but then, not. Or when she said something about when she’s not there, how she’d like things to be done, that we don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, or she shares her passwords just in case of anything. Oh my, that completely freaked me out. Like let’s just leave it there, let’s not talk about it. In essence, there should be nothing wrong with discussing about it, because it’s part of our existence.

I don’t know how I would deal with the absence of any of my loved ones, or even people I generally interact with a lot. And I really don’t want to know or imagine it. Have you ever been told to write your eulogy and the first thing that crossed your mind, is that the person is telling you to write your death wish? I doubt I did that assignment or I chose another composition to write. At least we were given a choice.

Anyhow, why I thought of this? I just realized that when a young person dies, especially one that is known within my circle of friends even if I don’t know them, I get curious, really curious. I want to know a little more about them, I want to know what happened, I want to know what they used to do and so on. Then I wonder, why the curiosity after someone’s death? Why not be curious before. Although before, you probably didn’t know much about them, just a mention here or a picture there.

Everything is magnified then; how happy or nice a person used to be, how successful they were, how they were a force to reckon with, how they’d done this and that, how people looked up to them and loved the things they did for them and for others. Chances are that this person didn’t even know these things about themselves, they didn’t know that that’s what people thought about them. Maybe they thought less of themselves, or they were lonely and alone. Of things unsaid and thoughts unexpressed.

For some reason when death happens, you are more alive in people than you were when you were alive. I think for me that’s the scariest part. But in my opinion, I wish that’s not how it was.

Maybe the change starts from me and you and that’s why I really admire what Humans of New York does. It makes everyone relevant, even when to others, they don’t seem so. Every time they post a picture with such real and personal captions, it touches my heart.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

My Best Reads

Tagged by my good friend and old neighbor – Wanja Kinyanjui on Facebook  to list the top 10 books that have touched and stayed with me. I’ll break the chain and do it on the blog because I think I’ve posted too much on facebook already. Then I’ll tag YOU my reader. You can leave some of your best reads on the comment section, I might just get a couple for my next read.

Good Reads, Books

 

Wow, I have read a couple of books in my lifetime, mostly school books … lol. But there’s no way in good heavens I am putting those up of course. Thing is, I’m not a complex reader and I came to accept that fact. So I wouldn’t touch a book that’s difficult to decipher or even read – hence why I was unable to do documentaries. I tried … I really tried to be the cool kid with huge books at one point in my life. As well as try read sci-fi’s and ish – you know the Harry Potter’s of this world. If it’s not real, I feel wasted, because I want to relate. Hmm, let’s see my list, here goes:

  1. Little women – Louisa May Alcott – Got it from my mum’s shelf, way back when #beingateenager. I was looking for a book to read and what a better book for a girl growing up than this one. Louisa captures her life story together with that of her 3 sisters. How they balanced their personalities and roles within the home setting. I took ages to read because it was an almost slow book, but interesting because you can relate to a lot that they went through while growing up even if in a different setting.
  2. Captivating – Unveiling the mystery of a Womans Soul” – John and Stasi Eldredge – Gifted by Mum for my birthday. It was about understanding myself as woman. Which got me to write two review posts: Every Woman’s Desire and What Defines A Woman, I was that touched.
  3. Alchemist | Aleph – Paulo Coelho – I bought them. I love symbols, I love interpreting stuff in a way that I understand best and this book allowed me to through the mind of another writer.
  4. Family Album| The Wedding | Safe Harbor | family ties | 2nd Chance | Big Girl – Danielle Steel – I stole most of these Danielle Steel books from my mum’s shelf, she’s a huge fan and so am I by extension. She writes about life experiences ranging from personalities, family, marriage, love, relationships, and careers. I don’t know if she imagines these stories or they are true stories, because they pretty much sound like just what happens. I could read her books all day, errday.
  5. Half of A Yellow Sun | Americanah | Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Adichie – I have a girl crush on her writing. She’s such a storyteller, I love it. When I read her books, I direct a movie in my mind. I even imagine how her cast looks like in my mind and how the scenes unveil. And well, after watching Half of a Yellow Sun, I’m so damn right, or rather she got it right – the movie met my expectations to the dot.
  6. Eat, Pray, Love | Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert – I loved the 1st book, so I got the 2nd . I liked how she was able to openly express herself through her writing. If I was to write a book, I would almost do it like her, but now in my way. The Eat, Pray, Love movie didn’t quite meet my expectations though, a lot was axed in the movie.
  7. There are so many books I’ve bought on the streets of famous writers, the likes of Stephen Frey and his other genius writer friends who are best sellers. Read them but unfortunately I can’t remember their names or their titles. That happens to me A LOT, in movies I’ve watched too.

But just so that you know a little more about my reading life,

“I love books with a storyline. I don’t like motivational books. Especially those that tell me what to do or not to do with my life, I think we all know what to do, we just need some inspiration – tell me a story instead, I can learn from it and derive my inspiration from your experience.”

Terrific Tuesday lovelies.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Thee Local Shepherd’s Pie and Snippets

My colleague challenged me. She came with some good smelling delish food that looked like lasagna but it wasn’t (I think I’ll be obsessed with it until we prepare it). She educated me, it’s called a shepherd’s pie. Did you also know that the “ph” in shepherd is pronounced “p” and not “f”. English is such a complicated language, and my nursery teacher must’ve been saying it with the “f” because I can’t seem to get myself to say it the right way. Those are my problems.

Anyhow, when I went home, I was set that I’m making the Shepherds pie. And so I started the process. I was so psyched up, like you have no idea. The only problem is that the master chef wasn’t around (travelled for work), so I was doing it solo. And boy, oven things are not my strength. The setting of the heat degree (converting Farenheit to Celsius – or googling it), timing and how to heat it (top, bottom, both, grill). I felt like breaking down at some point. I felt like I’d gotten everything else right, except the most important part, the baking.

While I struggled with that process, I thought of life. First I was taken aback when I found out that Robin Williams had depression, I mean, the Mrs. Doubtfire (among many other hilarious comedies) guy. I had tried to read articles about it to understand what goes on some time back and the one that really explained it to me in a way that I deciphered what goes on was Hyperbole & a Half, here and here. I’ve seen it happen to some people close to me, so it’s real, not imaginary. What I always wonder is, what can one do to be there for someone? I get depressed to0 or experience bouts of sadness – but it’s hormonal – you know that time close to that time of the month. But at least I can get or talk myself out of it, but what about that person who can’t? What can someone do for them?

I digress. So back to the part where I thought about life as I baked away (that’s a good struggle by the way). In life, there are things that you totally get right. Especially things that’s you’re already used to. You know those things that come easy for you – yeah you know them – I would compare it to a meal you love cooking, you have it on your fingertips, you can even cook with your eyes close and still get it right.

On the other hand, you’re faced by things that make you feel like you’re totally doing it wrong. Leave along getting it wrong, because you don’t even get it in the first place, this can be frustrating. This could be like cooking a new or unfamiliar meal. One that you even had no idea existed, so you have to skirmish your way through learning how to do it. Chances are that you’ll be hard on yourself with the outcome. You’ll feel like it’s not good enough, it’s not that sweet enough, it doesn’t look so appealing, maybe others won’t enjoy it. And so is with many things in life. Especially those that don’t come to you easy.

Just when you think you’re getting it wrong, you’re probably getting it right. Just that you’re intimidated by that wrong feeling that you miss out on what’s going right. We really cock-block ourselves sometimes, it’s a matter of believing in yourself, hard as it is.

Ever felt like that? That’s exactly what I felt about my Shepherd’s pie. But I believed in myself and ate it with so much pride and carried it for lunch. I don’t think I did such a bad job, it was edible and tasty too. Now that I think of it, I’m looking forward to dinner and to having the master chef taste it too (and give his verdict). Except that my potato cover didn’t brown, it yellowed (with very faint shades of browning) *sob* that’s all I was waiting for. There’s something about browning and success in baking.

Recipe, Shepherds Pie, Cheese, Minced Beef, Food, Kenyan Foods, Mashed Potatoes

See ingredients below

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • Minced Beef – More like the way I made it here.
  • Vegetables – 1 Green Pepper, 1 Tomato, 1 Onions, 1 Carrot – you can add peas, corn, mushrooms and so on.
  • Spices – mixed Spices, Black Pepper, paprika, royco, cayenne pepper, soy sauce, garlic.
  • 2tbs Butter
  • Salt
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Procedure

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200o
  2. Dry fry the minced beef with the spices.
  3. Mix the potatoes and mash them with butter, milk, cheddar cheese and garlic until soft.
  4. Combine the meat and vegetables and spoon them into a square baking dish.
  5. Cover with potato mixture. Bake for 30 min or until it starts browning.
  6. Shred the remaining cheddar on top of the cover and bake it for 10 mins, it’ll look like it’s bubbling, cue to remove it.
  7. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 5-10 mins. Then serve.

You can totally try it out and tell me how yours turns out, I challenge you. Happy Friday loves!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Our Local Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

So we’ve been dying to make Lasagna but time has not been on our side, neither have the ingredients. I had bought the mince for that purpose but since we didn’t have the rest of the needed ingredients as per the recipes, Mr. Chef himself, a.k.a the fiancé, decided that to warm up, we should do Macaroni, Cheese & Minced beef. Great idea. So we just went kienyeji (local) on it, no recipes, no instructions, just our common cooking knowledge but the outcome was too delish – I overate and carried it for lunch *slurp*.

This is a shout out to one Njeri Kimz for asking me to put up the recipe on my blog. I didn’t even know she reads it or someone would be interested in checking out one here. So I was fan-struck (opposite of star-struck) for a moment. Thanks love. Here goes the “recipe” from the quack chef (me).

Recipe, Macaroni, Cheese, Minced Beef, Food, Kenyan Foods

Ingredients

  • Macaroni
  • Minced Beef
  • 1tbs Paprika
  • 1tbs Royco
  • 1tbs Butter
  • Salt
  • ½tbs Cayenne Pepper
  • Spices – Mixed Spices, Black Pepper – you can go all out depending on your palate.
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Onions

Procedure

  1. We first prepare the Macaroni and Minced Beef separately.

Macaroni

  1. Fill the sufuria with cold water – reasonably of course, depending on the amount you’re cooking.
  2. Add some salt, cayenne pepper and butter to taste.
  3. Pour in the macaroni into the sufuria and let it cook for about 7mins.
  4. Cook in medium heat.
  5. Taste to know whether it’s ready. If not, give a few more minutes – macaroni doesn’t take too long to get ready.
  6. Drain the water from the sufuria with the macaroni.
  7. Pour a little cold water to make sure it doesn’t stick and then drain it again.

Minced Beef

  1. In my case, it was frozen so I first defrosted it.
  2. Then I dry fried it since it already has some oil of its own.
  3. Add some water so that the meat doesn’t stick to the sufuria and it also helps the meat to cook.
  4. Add some soy sauce and some spices to give it flavor.
  5. Let it cook for say 20mins. I’m guessing the time, but that’s about it.
  6. Chop up the onions, green pepper and tomatoes and throw them into the sufuria
  7. Let them simmer as the mince continues cooking.
  8. Add some little water mixed with Royco to make some thick soup, so that the mince is not entirely dry.
  9. Cook in medium to low heat.

Macaroni, Cheese and Minced Beef.

  1. Pre-heat the oven for at least 10mins at 150o or 200
  2. Empty the Macaroni from the sufuria into a baking dish.
  3. Grate some Cheese on it.
  4. Mix it up with a wooden spoons or whatever works for you.
  5. Remember the mince, pour it in there too.
  6. Mix it up with the Macaroni and Cheese.
  7. Then grate some more cheese on it.
  8. Place it in the oven for about 10-15mins and let the cheese melt, while the Macaroni and Mince warms and cheesed up (see what I did there).

Serve hot, accompanied with a chilled drink (preferably ribena), because your tummy will be making star jumps with the first bite. The chilled drink will cool your taste buds and tummy down.

Keep warm lovely reader. In Kenya, the weather has gone rogue. Our sunny August has turned out rainy – global warming perhaps, don’t know how yours is wherever you are, but I hope it’s better and warmer!

Signing Off ~~~*Kawi*

Back to Life

Let me tell you something we (bloggers) don’t tell you; sometimes, we run out of things to say, then we get a sudden epiphany or an inspiration from the people or things around us. Other times, you have things to say but you question its validity. Considering everyone has their own personal opinion on that thing that you’re about to write on, yet you’re putting your opinion out there for it to be judged. It’s a tough hobby this one, but fun all the same because you put your mind out there.

Where the old school people at? Remember Soul II Soul’s – Back to Life? They had such cool rhythms and flows then, that when you think of a word, the lyrics all come flowing, even if you’re poor at cramming lyrics like I am. I just thought of “back to life” and the next thing that came along was “back to reality” and a tune to back it up. Also, made me think of LPs and how cool they were and if they’re available anymore, even on the olx.com.gh’s of this world, they’d make good keepsake’s now. Took me back for a moment there.

Anyhow, I divert. This weekend we did our 1st traditional visit – I was in the clouds, now I’m back to life. You know where the fiancé comes over with his boys and his uncles to book his girl (for lack of a better way to say it), state their intentions and discuss the way forward in terms of dowry and the marriage that follows. It was a new experience and quite interesting too given the . Life is about learning, unlearning and re-learning – that’s one thing I appreciate about it. There are things they never teach you in school and this weekend I got a dose of what they didn’t teach me, our culture and its importance.

I always wondered why folks made a big deal about the culture. I didn’t think it’s necessary at some point, I thought it was just a way of them making the process hard for you, you know like their parents did. At the mention of culture I cringed, because of the stories I’ve heard. Stories about the bride’s family extorting the groom’s family. I always wondered why people in the western world just went ahead and dated, engaged and got married without any internal processes taking place. Maybe I got that wrong, because I’ve never actually been in one or know a friend who told me the story, it’s what I saw in movies.

I won’t lie, I wasn’t nervous at first because I know my family. I know my parents, my aunties and my uncles, but the more I let the thought of “what if the stories I hear come closer home”, I started becoming nervous. Then I expressed my fear to my parents and aunts and I loved how they taught me this lesson.

Like a girl attending a basics class on tradition and culture 101, they first explained to me how theirs went down. They were all so funny, because none of them were even there, their parents are the ones who carried out the process because they were far but had identified their spouses, but for them to go ahead and get married, the families first had to meet, know where each other is from and create a bond. And this is what the introduction, dowry and many other process did.

Every society has a culture. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, and ways of life, from the most spiritual to the most material. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Without which we’ll lose ourselves and the core of who we really are. Culture is just not another adornment or accessory that we human beings can use, it’s what makes us human. Culture helps us to define our relationships and engagements with our immediate family and the society at large. It’s also what helps us grow the bond between the different societies, by allowing them to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. The meeting and mutual respect between two different cultures and how they merge to become one big family.

This weekend, I am proud that my family finally connected with my fiancé’s family and that by living up to our different cultures, we were united. And truth be told, now that it all makes so much sense, when I have kids, I will make sure that we do the same. It’s something to be proud of, especially when done with respect and love … it depicts appreciation to the parents for raising you and that you still want your family (from both sides) to be a part of you. This was just the beginning of many more to come, looking forward.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*