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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My 3am Bread and Akara Meal



Perspective

It started as a dull ache/pain/throb on one side of my big toe. My elasticity for pain is quite high. Pain is welcome, to an extent. It means I’m human. I thought it’d go away by itself. It didn’t. A few days later, I probed it, something came out. I’m my mother’s daughter. We try to sort things out by ourselves before bothering others. I applied pressure till it bled out. It was beginning to seem like a wound. I rationalized that I probably hit it against something. I wasn’t unable to walk so, life went on. It went on until I realized that 3 weeks after, this wound hadn’t healed. There was a progressive blackening around the edges too.

Was I diabetic and didn’t even know it? I had heard stories of how people would have small wounds which would continue to expand and ended up having to amputate a part of their bodies..sometimes because of undiagnosed diabetes…and in other cases, they’d have known

Was I about to die?

Why hadn’t this small and simple wound healed in 3 weeks?

 I figured it was a good time to head to the clinic and I did. First prognosis had me taking a tetanus shot and directions to take antibiotics for a few days. 2 days later, nothing seemed to have changed so back to the clinic I went. 2nd prognosis, by a different doctor, saw me ending up with a toe-nail-removal procedure. It was an ingrown nail and that was the best solution according to him. My first instinct was, “thank God, it’s not diabetes….take the damn nail out so that I don’t have to take a toe out!”. 

I won’t bore you with how I felt during the procedure or how I already made a mental list of possible surrogates for when I am ready for child bearing. This list was inspired by the pain I was feeling. When all was done, the moment of vanity stepped in:

Oh, that was my finer toe!

Will it grow back?

How long will it take?

Will it grow back normally?

Can I walk? Bla bla bla bla

Doctor assured me it’d grow back….he said in 3weeks. In retrospect now, this is funny.
I had it dressed and again, life went on. Or so I thought until I needed to dress up to go to the gym and realized that there was no way I could wear my sneakers. Until I turned an acrobat, trying to take a bath without getting the toe wet. One leg on the wall, balance on the other leg…scrub….twist to scoop water, pour carefully…..all day every day. Until I started balking at having to take night showers because of the logistics of not getting the toe wet. Until I realized how slim my options were in footwear choices. Until the thoughts of risking being stepped on alone was enough to induce migraine-like headaches. Mundane things that I had always taken for granted.

A few days after, punishment-glutton that I am, I went on Google to see what I could find. I ended up depressed. The regrowth of the nail is not a given. Its proper regrowth is definitely also not a given. Did my doctor mention 3 weeks?  LOL…. Most information online said 1 year for full regrowth. 

I felt depressed.  You know those dresses you wear knowing fully well that the look isn’t complete until you slip on a pair of nice close-toed pumps? Well, according to Google, I have to re-orient myself to completing them with open-toe flatees. I haven’t been to the gym and if Google is to go by, I may not be going for a while. Fear of infection nko? Realest.

Yesterday afternoon, I saw a lady. Probably just coming back from work. Nice shirt, nice skirt….lovely black pumps. I envied her! I envied her not because she has a job, but because she can choose to wear those shoes. 

And then, Jos happened!

I woke up to a throbbing toe in the night. I probably hit it against something in my sleep or not. Whatever it was, it was a reminder of my mortality. While I cradled my throbbing toe at 3am, I was grateful. I was grateful for the pain. I apologized a bit about my vanity because while I have a chance at the regrowth of my toe nail, over 100 lives lost their chances at life in that market at Jos. While I have a chance at re-growth of the nail, however imperfect as compared to what it used to be, 200 girls might be losing hope at getting anything close to what their lives were before being kidnapped. I'm sure many of them would have gladly taken my "nailess" toe over being blown to smithereens or hacked like wood to death or kidnapped

The 3am wake-up-to-a-throbbing-toe helped me put things in perspective, a little.
I cant walk into Sambisa to get the girls.
I cant face Boko Haram.
But I can use my discomfort/vanity/pain/fear as a point of contact…for those girls….for the families of the deceased….for Nigeria…..for us.......and say a prayer each chance I get.

And beseech you to do the same.

Because while a part of me, s’ope temi (I give thanks for me), and another part of me is still vainly worrying about the regrowth of the nail, there’s still a part of me that remembers that we all are oku to’n sunkun oku (the dead weeping for the dead).


Jos can easily be Lagos in the blink of an eye...or Ibadan...or Port Harcourt.


I have no more words, really.

*plays Asa's Fire on the Mountain till fade*

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stay-at-Home-Executive-Director



The Real Problems of joblesnessness Working from Home.

Whooppeeee!!! NYSC was over in February. Don’t even ask me about it. I wasn’t a model Youth Corp member and everything was just a blur. Bottom line is it’s over. Done and Dusted.

But

May or May Not be HD
Contrary to what I was told….I am not HOT CAKE. I am NOT POPULAR DEMAND. With my “good grades” and “good head”, I have NOT been SNATCHED UP by Deloitte or Addax or KPMG or BAT or Accenture or Phillips or GLO or the likes.

Worrapun?!!


Well well well, unlike some of the bloggers Atilola has been meeting, I’m just another girl from the rapidly-drowning-Nigerian-middle-class with no Uncle or “Unku” in high places. Someone hand me a handkerchief please *sniff sniff*. 

The different politics that play out in labour recruitment processes are best left unsaid. Anyway, that‘s not why I am here/blogging this post/posting this blog. Whatever!

While I am deciding on what next to do with my very bright life, I have been jobless working from home. Y’all know how an idle hand is the devil’s workshop and all. I have been taking on some small small projects like that. Let’s discuss some of the problems inherent in this set-up:

Explaining the difference to most family members:
“Ahnahn! HD! You did not make lunch? Nonsense!!! What have you now been doing at home since morning?! Ehnehn? Se you could not put the beans to boil while you were “working” ni? Mchewwwwwww”

OR

“Oh Gooodness! HD!!!! These clothes I spread on the drying line since 8am are still there by 2pm. Are they supposed to get dry like prawn crackers before you fetch them in? Hian!”

OR

“HD my dear, please I forgot the bag where I keep the registers, at home. Please bring them to me at work. I need them. Bring them fast o” …..as per…you don’t kukuma have work.

Biko nu, can’t we just pretend like I am not here?! Ghost mode please!

Everything calls your name – your government name!
From Telemundo (when PHCN lets) to your bed, to oh Lord! the refridgerator to….everything. Need I tell you how many times I have heard the fridge call me while I’m within earshots “HDchukwu/OluwaHD, come hither”….surprisingly, no matter how many times I open it, additional food items do not miraculously appear…so confusing. Oh well!!! *Shrug*

Explaining why you are dressing up/dressed up:
While this hasn’t yet happened to me (probably never will, since I am a placard-carrying nudist in my house), I can imagine that a jobless “work-at-home-girl” might have some difficulties explaining why she is dressing up to go to her workstation within the house. See, some of these things are psychological. One may want to replicate an office setting within the house for optimal concentration and productivity. One of the ways of replicating the office setting is by dressing up…….. Can you tell that I didn’t type this point with a straight face?

NEPA/PHCN/IBE-something
Different names, same problems.

Do I need to spell out that working from home requires some great dose of self-discipline?

Of course, there are perks to joblessness working from home too, but let’s leave that for another post

I discovered a blog…quite new. I love the way she writes.. like monologues. Thinking about her posts is even making me chuckle. Check her out: Keji of Mo'Rounkeji

Toin asked a question in her last post. While I fear for what I may read in the way of comments, I also wish to ask the same question: “What comes to your mind when you think of me? How do I come off on this blog? Tell me what you think about when you hear/see/read me.” Please, TOIN, SNM and COY are exempt from answering this question.

Sincerely, for me these days, the thought of being a paid housewife isnt as repugnant as it used to be.

*image gotten from google*

Friday, March 7, 2014

Disillusioned: The Flag at Three-Quarters Mast

Boko Haram
Scarcity of PMS
PHCN (Electricity-providing company)
FG
Unemployment



I am not sure of which of the above mentioned menace is the most of my problem at this time. All I know is that in my heart, at this moment, my love for Nigeria is at three-quarters mast.

I dont even think I have the energy to be Nigerian right now. This forced optimism, this
sufferhead.........
image from here


Good night abeg!

Tomorrow is another day..... Another day to wake up, shine teeth, pray for Nigeria and hope for the better. At least, now I have a tank full of fuel in my car...and then some for the generator....but how about those who cannot afford it? How about the ripple effect on prices of essential commodities?

God bless Nigeria

 Heyyyyyyyy!!!! You people did not vote for me to win the Chinchin from 9jaFoodie's giveaway?!!!! You people are not nice AT ALL!!! This realisation has made me even sadder! :( . No light, no fuel, no Chinchin?! No love on these streets, yo!


Coldstone is coming to/now in Ibadan....This makes me happy, somewhat




Sunday, February 9, 2014

9jaFoodie Giveaway: Tchef HoneyDame

As you guys might already know, 9jafoodie tends to bring out the "best" in me as far as cooking is concerned. Do you remember this post where I said she was one of my inspirations for better food presentation? The old me just slapped food on the plate and called it a day, however, with time and inspiration, I have gotten better. I am so glad to realize that her "hold" on me hasnt waned much.
 I strolled to her blog on friday, saw the post for the giveaway and decided to give it a try.
I used Croaker because of its white and lean nature. I think white flaky fish is best for this recipe. I used vegetable oil because I didnt have coconut oil. I used 2.5 Ata Rodo because I like my soups and sauces spicy hot...hot hot hot!!! I decided against using tomatoes because I believe that it will eliminate some of the spicyness of the sauce. I was going to use Corn flour (to thicken) but found out halfway through cooking that I had run out of it. By the time I got to the point where I would have had to add it, I found out that I liked the consistency just fine, so I left it as is. If I didnt, I would have used all purpose flour as the recipe called. In addition, what's curry sauce without garlic?! Throw'em in, man!!!
In all, it was a very tasty meal that I see myself replicating over and over again. It is also not time consuming.


For the garnishing, I just tossed sliced cucumber, carrots and onions in Malaysian Sweet and Sour Sauce and some Honey and VOILA!










Yes, no need to call my attention to my spelling mistake.....I dare not call myself a "chef", so "Tchef" will have to do for now.


9jafoodie, can I have my Chinchin now? Thanks

Friday, January 31, 2014

Tithing



I understand that this is a sore topic for a lot of people due to its personal nature. Heck! It was tough getting Ma Petrillo to even talk about it.

However, I am genuinely interested in exploring it.

For the longest time, I wasn’t that much of a tither.  It just wasn’t ever an issue for me. I’d give offerings, sometimes more generously than I usually would. Sometimes, I’d “dash” out money, more than I’d normally give out, as the spirit led. And then, I started a relatively “real” job and that’s when the confusion began for me. From the bible, the Israelites were required to give a tenth of their livestock and everything. Let’s just say, a tenth of everything they owned. Did that change in the New Testament? Where? What does that translate to in the present day world?

I have raised this topic before on twitter (wait, you didn’t know I was on twitter?!!!  Here’s your lastma Card. You may follow me on honey_dame  J), however, it wasn’t bantered as much as I would. Or perhaps it wasn’t because of the personal nature of the topic at hand. But I figured that I’d be able to generate more view points from here. 

One of the responses I got is captured below.

What are your views concerning tithing?  I genuinely want to know because with the way some Pastors go about it, one might be inclined to think that if you do every other thing right but not tithing, na hell fire straight. The aim of this post is not so much to debate whether tithing is good for your health or bad, it is more to help enlighten me in the calculations of it.

Ehnehn, in other news, I can barely believe that January has ended! Now I am understanding how people just.....get old....without achieving much...Time really does fly! Thank God time is on my side, being that I just turned 12 last year (Argue that in your own blog post biko!!!)

Ehnehn!!! (typical, Yoruba woman), for those of you who still dont know, Nitty Gritty is back with a new blog. She now blogs here:http://newdawn40.blogspot.com/ and already has plenty gists there. Head over and drop some love joo!

In other other news, I miss my elder sister.......sooo much! This adult life is such a sham! I long for those days when my greatest dilemma consisted of having to decide if to stay at home and eat my mother's Beans and Dodo or head over to my landlady's house to eat rice and Ijebu Egusi soup.
HUGE SIGH

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, New HD? Let's See

Happy New Year people. I hope it has been amazing for you so far? While I am not a “resolutions” kind of person, I’d like to share some of the precepts I am aiming to live by in 2014.

Truly let go and let God: As I have said in one of my earlier posts, I have the tendency to want to cover ALL bases.  I am constantly making Plans B, C, D, E, F, G, H………..ZA, ZB…, I try to anticipate all possible scenarios in order to minimize my shock/disappointment in outcomes. It is crazy and nerve-wrecking. Just imagine making plans for 100 ways a situation can turn out…..at the end of the day, only one happens. What then happens to the remaining 99 possible scenarios fully thought out and developed? WASTE!!!! Or worst still, out of the 100 well-thought-out possibilities, none happens. WASTE!!!! The past 5-6 years of my life have had me rethinking this behavior of mine. Almost EVERY major plan I have made was brought to nought.  God came through and through and through again! I’d have made plans based on the little I could see….and out of nowhere, something that would cast away all those plans for the better would happen. I reminisced concerning this with my sisters sometime over Christmas and taking stock of that which I could remember, which were visible to me, was quite amazing. It was humbling! Hence, I am resolving to just kukuma hand over to the Omniscient. What’s the point of working myself up to the point of frustration, only for Him to wade in, pat my head and do it His way anyway? Abeg, I have learnt, I am learning….I am leaning back and letting Him direct me. It will save me a lot of time and heart ache. I am going to attempt applying this to ALL aspects of my life.

Punctuality: I realized with a lot of alarm that I may have a little problem with my timing. This is particularly so, when I have to physically be at places. It doesn’t really come to play with my deliverables. But, when it comes to getting to the office, meeting people etc, I find myself almost always struggling for time……It’s gotta go!

Health:  Apart from sometime last year when I got a double whammy of Typhoid and Malaria, I have been blessed with relatively wonderful health. I intend to make more conscious effort to keep it that way this year.
I don’t like the Iya Ijebu that I am becoming. Hence, I am also all out for “Operation Get My Edges Back” (OGMEB).
For the longest time, I had resigned that I just could not have full edges. However, during my stay in China, which saw me constantly feeding my hair with coconut oil and shea butter, this notion died a natural death! I left China with significantly (relative to what used to be ) lush edges and hair generally. Now, I don’t know why they seem to want to recede into my neck, but whatever the reason, I am planning on FIGHTING it!
 In the same vein, do you remember what I said about biting my nails? I have resolved that I have bitten my nails enough to last me a lifetime. It is about time I became a proper lady and constantly gnawing on my nails definitely isn’t a step in the right direction. Lastly for health, all these lovely outfits I have in size 12 will not wear themselves. I need to walk, literally, into the direction of size 12. Gym ahoy! Healthy eating ahoy!

Get some attitude: Last year, I got better at taking less crap from people. I hate confrontations and as a result, I find myself being pushed over a lot of times as I’d rather suffer in silence than engage in a seeming confrontational conversation. I am increasingly realizing that I cannot always run away from confrontation.  So there, *shrug*

L.I.V.E:  This is self explanatory.

These are the major ones that came to mind so blatantly. I may or may not share more as time goes on.
Truly, I am excited about the year because I know it will lead me to lots of self discoveries.

By the way, @ilola, you are one amazing woman. Courtesy you, I met 2 amazing bloggers and courtesy you, I am more determined to shed the cloak of sloth on this blog and exercise some more discipline in typing and posting. Thank you!

What have you guys been up to? I am launching a “Finding Caro” campaign for Single Nigerian Man. I will tell you all about it soon enough.