Monday, April 27, 2009

Bits and Pieces of News Here

- North Eastern Nigeria and parts of Plateau State have been without light due to electric cable vandalisation. (1. Thank God we were not affected 2. Those people need to be punished seriously... but they are still at large)
- Dbanj launches Kokolet Mansion reality show on HiTv (ok that's not new, but its news)
- Sis will be having surgery in a few days, so I’ll be away from here for a few wks. (Thanks for your anticipated prayers ;-)). I’ll be Super Nanny Cee to the rescue! (lol)

Initially, I was like, ‘she looks so strict. How effective can she be?' (mind you, she wasn't smiling like she's doing in the pic). But when I saw how wonderfully she handled so many troublesome kids, I was convinced. And she never used bullallah (koboko) on them. “Jo Frost, as Supernanny, can tame the wildest toddler, soothe the savage six-year-old and get the most difficult child to overcome problems with behavior, sleep, mealtime, potty training and other challenges that have vexed parents around the world for centuries. After just three episodes of the show aired in the U.K. in summer 2004, Jo Frost became Britain's hottest new TV star and a godsend to desperate parents who were dazzled by her amazing results with unruly children.” – They don’t call her Super for nothing.

Also, happy new month and work-free May 1st in advance. For me and for MelonBoy there below though, it’s going to be business as usual ;- )

Here’s a reminder that there are some kinds of work God never intended for us to do.

“There are certain mountains only God can climb. Ascend them and you'll end up bruised and embarrassed. Stay away from them and you'll sidestep a lot of stress.

These mountains are described in the final phrase of the Lord's Prayer, "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forevItalicer. Amen." A trio of peaks mantled by the clouds. Admire them, applaud them, but don't climb them.

It's not that you aren't welcome to try, it's just that you aren't able. The pronoun is thine, not mine; thine is the kingdom, not mine is the kingdom. If the word Savior is in your job description, it's because you put it there. Your role is to help the world, not save it. Mount Messiah is one mountain you weren't made to climb.

Nor is Mount Self-Sufficient. You aren't able to run the world, nor are you able to sustain it. Some of you think you can. You are self-made. You don't bow your knees, you just roll up your sleeves and put in another twelve-hour day ... which may be enough when it comes to making a living or building a business. But when you face your own grave or your own guilt, your power will not do the trick.

You were not made to run a kingdom, nor are you expected to be all-powerful. And you certainly can't handle all the glory. Mount Applause is the most seductive of the three peaks. The higher you climb the more people applaud, but the thinner the air becomes. More than one person has stood at the top and shouted, "Mine is the glory!" only to lose their balance and fall.

"Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."

What protection this final phrase affords. As you confess that God is in charge, you admit that you aren't. As you proclaim that God has power, you admit that you don't. And as you give God all the applause, there is none left to dizzy your brain.”

- Max Lucado, “Thine is the Kingdom…”

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Small Slice of Family Life

Aunty (resting now)

Big&Beautiful Sis
Genius&Easygoing Sis
independent&Smart Bro
Fair&Lovely Sis
Petite&Baby Sis (aka “Shuweet” once upon a time)

Episode Title: Interesting things happen when impressionable Nigerian kids watch too much Western tv
We always had it at the back of our minds that “yeah right”, “damn it” and “Sheish!” were un-African slangs, and we always knew that Western tv was having a big influence over us, but we realized this most clearly in the Water Fight Between Independent Smart Bro and Big Beautiful Sis:

Shuweet (Baby Sis) and Fair&Lovely were staring at their two elder siblings wide-eyed, not paying any attention to Aunty, who was also staring at the two with undisguised anger. How could these children be arguing so loudly in the presence of mu’umeen (guests)?! They didn’t have any shame anymore. See spoilt children! Nobody would tolerate such nonsense back at home.
No matter how much she scolded, they kept arguing hotly. The two guests watched on in silence… kai, such shameful behaviour. She shook her head slowly. An’ya.

Meanwhile, Big&Beautiful Sis had stood up, filled with indignation at Independent&Smart Bro’s disrespect. Did he think they were mates? Well he obviously thought so. Or maybe he even thought she was less than his mate.
While she towered over him, he calmly continued eating his food, ignoring her. (This is called “kunnen Doki” or “Horse Ears”. Saying “whatever” hadn’t been thought-up yet).
She was so mad, she did the first thing she thought of- she threw her cup of water on him, like that woman Terry(?) did in Another Life a few days ago.
This created a different dimension entirely.

Everybody gasped, apart from I&S Bro, that is. He waited approximately five seconds before he took off his glasses and placed them on the deep freezer beside him.

GAN GAN! (Suspense music)

By now, B&B Sis must have been thinking ‘Now why did I do that, eh?’ but she kept staring him down.
I&S Bro slowly got up and reached for the big water jug beside him. B&B Sis was like ‘if you dare!’ and he dared.

Big Splasssh!

Fair&Lovely Sis and Shuweet began to hoot loudly like monkeys (this was Reality Tv Live!), glad to have dodged the splash. Unfortunately, the guests seated some distance behind BB Sis weren’t so dry. Aunty nearly collapsed with humiliation. They never uttered a condemning word; they just stood up and quietly left. Suna da labari, kam.
Fair&Lovely Sis and Shuweet also had a story to tell Genius&Easygoing Sis, who was at school at the time. And of course, Baba and Mama would hear from Aunty and deal with both parties effectively (shudders).

Another time, one of us was quite caught up with the idea of running away from home- on tv the reunion was always wonderful. In reality though . . .

These all happened several years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’re all well-adjusted citizens. (Somebody shout hallaluyah).

On a more serious note-

‘Empty-Nest Syndrome’ is a general problem, and ma Mere is going through it.
I thought that it was predominantly a Western thing, and since my folks (Mum especially) have not been as, erm, affected as we have been (courtesy tv and other influences), I had thought that they wouldn’t experience this. But this all-Nigerian couple is facing it, and they are not alone. One of her former co-workers said point-blank, “Madam, the worst is yet to come. When the big ‘R’ comes, you will know…” R for Retirement.

“Empty nest syndrome has become more prevalent in modern times, as the extended family is becoming less common than in past generations, and the elderly are left living by themselves.
In many cultures, such as those in Africa, India, the Middle East, and East Asia, one's elderly parents were held in very high esteem and it was considered almost a duty to care for and respect them. In contrast to most Western societies, extended families were common in those places. However, nowadays, even in these countries, as cities become more Westernized and industrialized, values are gradually changing. It is sometimes rather inconvenient or impractical to live with or care extensively for one's parents in a modern setting…”
– courtesy: Wikipedia.

It is a disheartening thing to watch parents go from “Kai, these children should do and go now!” to “Oh, I miss them. The house is so empty. I feel somewhat empty too.”
It is easy to tell them to find other things to occupy themselves with (wait a minute, it’s not so easy). But what kinds of things can an old couple living in Nigeria really look forward to sans children??? I’m the last one, about to “fly the coop”, so I feel extra guilty. I found this tip useful though: “Arrange with her when you will phone her and stick to that. Please be fair about this and remember to call when she is expecting you to. An extra email or text message on top of that will probably help to cheer her up. But don't do so many that she comes to expect them. They should be a pleasant surprise for her - and a pleasure for you to do, not a duty.” -

Yes O, the Seasons of Life! (shakes head) Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Eights

8 Things I did yesterday

1) Prepared Sweet and Sour chicken (my greatest accomplishment of the day. M and D sed it was goood).

2) Cleaned house, as usual

3) Watched news for longer than usual, and found out it was Earth Day yeserday. Learnt other stuff too, thank God

4) Texted a lot of ppl (finally)

5) Listened to Pastor Chuck Smith, The Word for Today

6) Started reading a good book: "Boundaries Face to Face:
How to Have That Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding"

7) How cud I forget this one: sorted out groundnuts with Mama (some were rotting bcuz water had gotten into them). We use groundnuts for everything -kunu, miya (soup), name it.

8) Slept

8 Things I wish to do (make that four for now, please)
1) Read my Gmat and Engg Math
2) Create some tek videoscripts
3) Participate in missions here in Jos
4) Eat

8 shows I watch (oh, I luv this one. Easy)
1) CSI (Las Vegas and NY)
2) Grey's Anatomy
3) Hell's Kitchen
4) Wetin Dey (it's been a wyl)
5) Star Trek (it's been long too)
6) Las Vegas
7) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
8) House

8 bloggers tagged(arrgh... everyone's been tagged already)
1) Walkwater
2) Ladi (pls pls do this)
3) Fareeda
4) IceQueen

This was a long one sha. But it was cool. I didn't list the 8 things I look forward to bcuz time isn't on my side. Thanks Bibi, Saved Girl.

"Enjoy yourselves veeerrry well", as one of my ex-roommates would say.

"Trip on some Grace Juice, Baby"

This is what Marsuvees Black, a weird character in Ted Dekker’s book Showdown drawled when he was about to do something strange. I’m not going to talk about the book (I cannot remember much about it- only that it was the first of his books I considered too weird for my liking).
I just needed a cool title for my post ;-)

We hear about it a lot. We know we need it, but its definition is still somehow vague(at least, to me) so I’m asking, “What do YOU think of grace?”
It’s a kind of tough question, esp. if you haven’t been thinking about it, so if you need a little assistance, here are a few perspectives on it courtesy Scandalous Grace, by Julie Ann Barnhill. The more you read, the more you understand, I hope!

“Grace happens to me when I feel a surge of honest joy that makes me glad to be alive in spite of valid reasons for feeling terrible. Grace happens when I accept my wife’s offer to begin again with me in love after I have hurt her. It happens when I feel powerfully free to follow my own conscience in spite of those who think I am either crazy or wicked. Grace is the gift of feeling sure that our future, even our dying, is going to turn out more splendidly than we dare imagine. Grace is the feeling of hope.”
– Lewis B. Smedes

“Grace is uncontrollable, arbitrary to our senses, apparently unmerited. It’s utterly free, ferociously strong, about as mysterious a thing as you could imagine. First rule of grace: grace rules.” -Brian Doyle.

“God gives his gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.” – C. S. Lewis

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3: 23- 24, NASB

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB

“When we open our hearts to each other we allow grace to enter. It is as simple as that. And suffering – events that break open the heart- can become the refiner’s fire that leaves us fully open to the truth about love and compassion.”- Kathleen A. Brehony

“We are to be dispensers of grace, not dispensers of judgement.”- Dr. Ben Carson

“Grace overcomes shame, not by uncovering an overlooked cache of excellence in ourselves but simply by accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and accepted forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being.”- Lewis B. Smedes.
And of course:

“Grace: it’s the name for a girl. It’s also a thought that [can] change the world” – U2, from their sloooow song Grace.

P.S: Actually I understand “grace” better when it’s an experience, rather than a definition. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any experiences at the moment :- (
Anyhow, "may the grace be with you."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sycophant Business Can Be Slow

“Ita zata shiga Aljanna, amma ke ki fadi cikin wuta! Ga kayan ki baki kamar zuciyar ki!”
“She will get into heaven, but you! Fall into hellfire! See your dress, as black as your heart!”

At most Northern weddings, you meet different kinds of people- a large crowd of old friends, colourful dancers, happy Bride’s maids, gaily-dressed Groom’s men, and, depending on the social class involved, sycophants.
From the moment the wedding service is over, they start singing loudly and beating their hand drums to VIPs.

“Ranka dade!/Live long!
“Everybody knows you; knows your good deeds!
You have the masses at heart!
Kai, may you live long…”

As long as you don’t put your hand into your crisp new garĂ© (designed brocade) and bring out some cash, they will only sing louder. They don’t mind overshadowing the MC or the music playing. When you still refuse to ‘shake body’, they’ll stop and speak:
“After all our work, you are supposed to give us something. In all this heat fa! See how we are sweating.”

When the notables still ignore them, they add: “Toh we are not going if you don’t give us something. We even had to get high before we could do this. Haba, pity us!”
At this point, some people give them something, because they are causing a scene. As soon as that group goes off, another group comes. Country is very hard.

It was when one of such men continued harassing a notable’s wife, that the woman seated next to her said (not harshly), “Go now. Can’t you see you are disturbing her?” And he blasted her, saying her heart was as black as her suit. That the woman he was even asking was not complaining. She just looked past him and never replied. He kept coming back and showering black looks and new abuses on her. Of course, he never got anything from either of them.
Syco. business (and other more dangerous businesses) will continue being a nuisance as long as our money doesn’t get distributed fairly.

In unrelated news…

How to Manage Motion Sickness
I’ve tried eating well before traveling; I’ve tried not eating at all; I’ve tried taking liquids only, but I still get very car sick when the road is bad. I recently discovered that I get slightly air sick too. Baba tried to console me by saying I don’t have “baboon stomach” like the rest of them who don’t experience this (as per, baboons can swing from tree to tree without feeling sick). Harhar! Didn’t know you had a baboon belly did ya ;-) ;-)
At any rate, my “refined” stomach and I decided to look into the matter:
1. Motion sickness cannot be cured.
2. You can only limit its occurrence by employing some of these coping strategies-
a. Look straight ahead rather than at side windows
b. Get a lot fresh air
c. No reading, as “the movement your eyes detect can conflict with the movement your body is detecting, and result in motion sickness”
d. Take peppermints and ginger tea
e. Apply pressure to your upper wrist (acupressure treatment)

I have tried a – c without success, so I hope the last two will help. I got this info from


Hellow! I’ve been tagged by Spesh and NaijaGirl –thanks!- and here it is:The rules;*use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.*they have to be real....nothing made up! if the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers.*you cannot use any word twice and you cant use your name for the boy/girl question.*dont google youranswers.*make it as interesting and fun as you can.
1. What is your name: Cider
2. A four letter word: Cozy
3. A boy's name: Chidozie (one of d guys I admired in Sec. School :- ))
4. A girl's name: Chinyelu (she made my day recently)
5. An occupation: Cook & Cleaner(limited to my home sha)
6. A color: Cream
7. Something you'll wear: Clear lipgloss
8. A food: Coated yam
9. Something found in the bathroom: Conditioner.
10. A place: “Crazy Place” (in my head, for >5 minutes everyday)
11. A reason for being late: Cooking disaster.
12. Something you'd shout: Chai!!
13. A movie title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Johnny Depp
14. Something you'd drink:Chocolate-flavoured Viju Milk
15. A musical group: Coldplay
16. An animal: Cangaroo... jk… Cat
17. A street name: Challenge Street.
18. A type of car: Civic
19. The title of a song: Consume Me; dc Talk

This was a nice exercise! Nos 15 and 18 were hard, bcuz I don’t know much about cars (I nearly made one up: Chybrid for China Hybrid- they’re certainly innovative enuf)

I pass the luv to: Saved Girl, Walkwater, IceQueen, Cappuccine Baby and Adaeze.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Did you know that 'Easter' means new dawn/beginning? It also marks the passover festival for Hebrews (Pesach). Most importantly, it is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. As I've neglected my spiritual life for a while now, this is a good time to start over. Thank God for His grace. Meanwhile here's word from Max Lucado. I'll be traveling to my hometown tomoro, so have a Good Friday and Easter in advance.

"God's greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters. Any doubters need to do nothing more than ascend the hill of Calvary. Jerusalem's collective opinion that Friday was this: Jesus is finished.

Such was the view of the disciples, the opinion of the friends, and the outlook of the enemies.The Master who sits behind the wheel thinks differently. God is not surprised. His plan is right on schedule. Even in--especially in--death, Christ is still the king, the king over his own crucifixion.Can't he do the same for you? Can't he turn your Friday into a Sunday?Some of you doubt it. How can God use cancer or death or divorce (or recession)? Simple.

He's smarter than we are. He is to you what I was to four-year-old Amy. I met her at a bookstore. She asked me if I would sign her children's book. When I asked her name, she watched as I began to write, "To Amy ..."She stopped me right there. With wide eyes and open mouth, she asked, "How did you know how to spell my name?"

She was awed. You aren't. You know the difference between the knowledge of a child and an adult. Can you imagine the difference between the wisdom of a human and the wisdom of God? What is impossible to us is like spelling "Amy" to him. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9).
-Max Lucado, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Monday, April 6, 2009

War Against Biting Hunger

A bill is about to be approved by the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly regarding the sorry state of the Nigerian economy.

The Senate has decided to call it “A Bill For An Act To Provide For Responsibility By The Federal Government To Directly Intervene In Matters of Production, Provision, Importation, Supply, Sale and Equitable Distribution, Trade And Commerce In Certain Categories Of Goods Deemed Essential Commodities To Render Them Accessible And Affordable To Nigerians And For Matters Connected Thereto.”

Cramming and citing this long name may pose a problem to the hungry man that the bill is targeted towards, so feel free to call it ‘The Bread and Butter Bill’, or BBB when you are really hungry.

-fapped from The Saturday Sun

Friday, April 3, 2009

Traveling Light

By Max Lucado

I fell asleep in the Louvre.
The most famous museum in the world. The best-known building in Paris. Tourists are oohing and aahing, and that's me, nodding and snoring. Seated on a bench. Back to the wall. Chin to my chest. Conked out.

The crown jewels are down the hall. Rembrandt is on the wall. Van Gogh is one floor up. The Venus de Milo is one floor down. I should have been star struck and wide eyed.
Denalyn was. You'd have thought she was at Foley's Red Apple sale. If there was a tour, she took it. If there was a button to push, she pushed it. If there was a brochure to read, she read it. She didn't even want to stop to eat.

But me? I gave the Mona Lisa five minutes.
Shameful, I know.

But it wasn't my fault. I like seventeenth-century art as much as the next guy … well, maybe not that much. But at least I can usually stay awake.
But not that day. Why did I fall asleep at the Louvre?

Blame it on the bags, baby; blame it on the bags. I was worn out from lugging the family luggage. We checked more suitcases than the road show of the Phantom of the Opera.

I can't fault my wife and daughters. They learned it from me. Remember, I'm the one who travels prepared for an underwater wedding and a bowling tournament. It's bad enough for one person to travel like that, but five? It'll wear you out.

You think I'll ever learn to travel light?

I tell you what. Let's make a pact. I'll reduce the leather bags, and we'll both reduce the emotional ones. After all, it's one thing to sleep through the Louvre but quite another to sleep through life.

We can, you know. Do we not dwell in the gallery of our God? Isn't the sky his canvas and humanity his magnum opus? Are we not encircled by artistry? Sunsets burning. Waves billowing.

And isn't the soul his studio? The birthing of love, the bequeathing of grace. All around us miracles pop like fireflies. Souls are touched, hearts are changed, and…

Yawn. We miss it. We sleep through it. We can't help it. It's hard work carrying yesterday's guilt around.

It's also enough to make you miss the magic of life.Then let's get rid of the bags! Once and for all, let's give our luggage to him. Let's take him at his word! "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28 NLT).

From Traveling LightCopyright (W Publishing Group, 2004) Max Lucado

Cider Schemes

It is not good enough of me to associate going to my hometown (Mubi) with torture, but I do. It’s supposed to be five or so hours from here, but because of the horrible road, it is nine plus hours. There was a way someone described that stretch of road- that it has been lifted up and thrown aside, dragged off in chunks, twisted, squeezed… - I cannot remember how she said it. Last December I threw up violently four times, and all they said was sorry. I wish they added ‘next time you don’t have to come’.

It’s not just the journey that makes me miserable. When we finally get there, there will be so many people… so many things to do… unending kitchen work as troops of empty stomachs come and go… no one to rant to (all my sisters are married now)… weeks of gathered positive mental attitude will be decimated in the face of great resentment… my face will grow long and they will say I should smile because I look ugly when I bone, which will make me bone more, which will vex them more… and so on. It is bad enough that we must go every new yr, but now for Easter/weddings. That’s not fair.
But when Sgt. Baba says ‘yes’ nobody can say ‘no’.
Unless… I fall sick a few days before… he is a reasonable man, so that should save me. Now, I just need to conduct myself well/not behave suspicious. Then two days to go... bam!