On this auspicious day, I want to talk about sickle cell anaemia. Now I know that there are 2 types of people reading this, the curious and the affected so while I’ll try to make this an interesting enough read for the curious, I’m definitely going to leave the affected with several tips also.
Basically, sickle cell anaemia happens when someone inherits the abnormal S hemoglobin from both of their parents. In other words, where the normal red blood cell looks like a capsule you take to get better or a round fried ball of unhealthy goodness, the sickled blood cell looks like a nail clipping.
As it is an anemia, a condition where there is not enough blood to carry oxygen round your body, people who’ve inherited this disease often find themselves experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and an inability to breathe.
When I was in secondary school, a sickle was defined as a tool used in farming for harvesting grain crops. And when I first heard about sickle cell anemia, I thought that something used in providing food could not be so bad. I shake my head at my 8 year old self.
The defining feature of this disease is basically that your body works against you. The sickled blood cell blocks the passageway to the organs it is meant to provide blood to. When one blood cell blocks the passageway, no other blood cell can enter. So they split apart and cause a lot of pain to the affected person. The affected person may find that their kidney, liver, brain and major body organ functionality is decreased. The affected person may also find themselves experiencing joint pain, leg cramps and multifarious infections among other things. That’s the most simplistic definition I can give to a sickle cell crisis.
Now that we’ve gotten a basic definition of what sickle cell anemia is and what a sickle cell crisis entails, let’s talk about living with it and managing it.
The key to managing sickle cell anaemia is to note that prevention is ALWAYS better than cure. Recognize your triggers for what they are, triggers which if not properly managed can lead to a sickle cell crisis lasting for a couple of hours to a lot of years.
A common trigger for females afflicted with sickle cell anemia is their menstruation. Do I need to define what menstruation is? Okay. Menstruation is your body’s way of reassuring you that you’re not about to embark on a 9 month journey. At least not yet. No cute kids in your 9 month future. Try again next month.
Still, menstruation involves shedding of blood from your uterine walls and can be slightly to curled- in- the- foetal- position-on- the- floor- painful. When a sickle cell affected female starts her menstrual cycle, she is shedding blood at an alarming rate. The rate of blood shed in women with sickle cell anaemia and women without it is like comparing Game of Thrones to How I Met Your Mother. Now, remember that an anaemia is when there is NOT ENOUGH blood in your body, so losing the blood you do have is definitely a trigger. In both sexes, too much exercise and stress are other known triggers.
Now that we’ve identified some triggers, let’s talk about managing them. First of all, HYDRATE. Drink water. Drink plenty of water. When you wake up, drink water, after you pee, drink water, make games out of drinking water. Have different colored water bottles. I know someone who never climbs up a staircase without a bottle of water in his hand. I know yet another person who has different colored water bottles, orange for the office, yellow for her car and white for home. Whatever it takes, ingest H2O at any and at all costs. Drinking water should be a lifestyle. Not only does it help to keep your blood circulating, it gives you clear skin, flushes out toxins from your body and mutes the effects of alcohol in your bloodstream.
Which brings me to my second point, limit your alcohol intake. And don’t smoke. Please. Narcotics are especially bad for anyone with sickle cell anaemia. So limit intake to the barest minimum or just quit as fast as you can before lung or liver function is compromised.
Exercise is good, it bolsters your health but be very careful not to exercise to the point where you’re gasping for air or become really tired. And when you’re exercising, HYDRATE!
Recognize that stress is the enemy. Manage your stress levels. You can work very effectively without stressing or worrying yourself. And since worry is stressful, STOP WORRYING!
Wash your hands before you eat. With soap and water. Wash under your nails, wash again if you don’t feel like all the dirt is gone. This is a lesson I learned in 2014 during the Ebola crisis. Regular hand washing prevents infection. Infection prevention is a very very very good thing. How many times did I emphasize the very?
Speaking of infection prevention, vegetables and fruit have to be part of your daily diet. Eat your vegetables. They are actually really delicious. Eat them with fries, eat them as salad, grow your own vegetables and be test subject zero for yourself, whatever you have to do to make fruit attractive enough to eat, do it. Take blood tonics and supplements after you come out of a sickness/crisis. They could be the major difference between going back to Egypt or proceeding to the Promised Land.
Okay, last but not least, SMILE and be happy. While you do have problems, the singular best way to counteract your problems is to focus on the things that bring you joy.
Kisses and hugs for the affected. Read up on sickle cell anemia if you want to know more, for the curious. Google is Your Friend. And not in the sarcastic way The Police is Your Friend has come to sound.
Also, please look at Stem Cell donation as a treatment. There is hope yet.
Now, let’s talk about why I wanted to talk about this today.
You all know I had 2 younger brothers right? Well, this lesson was sponsored by Nebolisa Anselm Ayalogu, whose death at the age of 12 from complications arising from sickle cell anaemia that lasted 4 years ensures that I will always remember to talk about this disease to as many people as I can. Know your genotype. Know your genotype and for the love of pancakes, please do not subject any child to living with sickle cell Anaemia.
My favorite number is 7. It’s a De facto favorite because that’s the day my birthday falls on.
And speaking of birthdays, I presume that as you grow older, the goalposts of what makes you happy on your birthday change. On earlier birthdays I was never satisfied unless I was celebrated, feted, given oodles of money and told Happy birthday about 50 times.
This day, I really just wish that my office could have said, no baby, you’re not going to have a long ass, completely pointless meeting on your birthday. Go ahead and make some plans with your friends. But alas they didn’t.
So I’m lying on my bed, planless right now, waiting for Godot to happen so I can finally get it through my head that today I turn a year older and that’s a good thing.
I suppose the goalposts have changed in that there are no goalposts anymore.
Happy birthday to me! I wish me a good life, great health, fantastic investments that give me continuous passive income. a future where I don’t pay rent for more than 15 years. I wish that people continue to smile at me, that the sun continues to shine on me and that by this time next year a lot of my dreams come true.
The first time I noticed it was in university. Everywhere I was or I went, I always seemed to attract one particular guy. No, not the way you’re thinking.
Let me give you a general description of this guy: He’s nice, he’s kind, he looks out for me and he makes me laugh. And he’s always not interested in me or I’m not interested in him or neither one of us is in a position to do anything about it.
But it all started when I was in junior secondary school. There was this guy: Folahan, who went to my church, was three years ahead of me and looked out for me. He got married, last week I think. But alas, I had to work.
And in senior secondary school, there was Tayo. And Bolu. Who I’ve mentioned here once before. And Wale. But Wale was a part time friend, who I showed my poems to, got advice from and knew not to get too closely attached to. Both of them, Tayo and Bolu had some of the same characteristics. They had super smarts, were incredibly funny (or maybe I really just like to laugh, regardless of if something is funny or not) and looked out for me. I hope never to forget coming out of a two hour crying jag and blowing my nose on my handkerchief or was it Bolu’s? Sad memory. Perhaps I’d best forget it.
And in university, there was Dimeji. Dimeji was special. He still is. Despite the fact that we hardly talk anymore. From year 2 to his graduation, (he was 2 years ahead), it even spilled over into law school, he was always there. One or seven phone calls away. He helped me somewhat through some of the toughest periods of my life, and even though we’re not as close anymore, I’ll always be grateful to him for that. I definitely don’t plan to miss his wedding, that’s for sure. But then again, he hasn’t even proposed to his girlfriend of an indeterminate number of years, so I shouldn’t be thinking farther than he is.
*I’m writing this post so I don’t forget. It seems impossible that I’d forget people so incredibly close to me at various points in my life but the smallest pen is stronger than the sharpest memory. And even though I’m quite a private person and this post is definitely TMI, I don’t want my job to be the only thing I have left in my life by year’s end. I like my blog and I refuse to let my job take my readers away from me as well. So, make of it whatever you will.
It’s a beautiful Saturday not that i’ve seen so much of it’s splendour. I’m at work, hoping my colleagues and I won’t have to come in tomorrow as well. life has been good and i have several plans to get to a place where life is better for myself and everyone i love. One of those plans involved checking up with all of my readers.
How has life been for all of you so far?
p.s- I have absolutely no idea what the title means. i just went with it.
This song brings memories of laughter. Not because it’s funny. Not because you can laugh to it. But because I danced to it with a very funny guy at my office and I laughed all the while.
Speaking of my office, I have mixed feelings. Half of people there, the riotously funny, the strict but kind have been moved. As have I. But I do know that the people who’ll replace us are kind and kind is a hop and a jump away from being funny. To me.
Happy Easter Friday everyone!
And BTW, why don’t people like to dance? It’s like people believe that dancing with a girl= marriage. *rme*.
BETTER TODAY- COFFEY ANDERSON
To see your face, to hear your voice
And oh, to touch you is a dream come true So I’m standing here, with my hand held out Knowing that your love will never fade, I stand amazed without a doubt
[Chorus:] And I wanna hear your voice, in the morning when I rise I think I know I’m just a normal man, only made of sand except when you’re by my side Will you love me, teach me, don’t leave me I pray And when I, and I’m thinking of the times Your hands in mine, together we will stay You made me better today Better than I was before And now my heart can rest and I will search no more You made me better today, today, today
[Verse 2:] My heart has wings Oh you take me away And every prayer I’ve ever prayed was answered today So I’m standing here, with my hand held out Knowing that my love will never leave My hearts on my sleeve and now I believe
[Chorus:] And I wanna hear your voice in the morning when I rise I think I know I’m just a normal man, only made of sand except when you’re by my side Will you love me, teach me, don’t leave me I pray And when I, and I’m thinking of the times Your hands in mine, together we will stay You made me better today Better than I was before And now my heart can rest and I will search no more You made me better today
[Verse 3:] I stand proclaimed, true love is here to stay I stand proclaimed, forever starts today Today… You made me better today Than I was before And now my heart can rest and I will search no more Cuz you made me better today, than I was before And now my heart can rest And I will search no more You made me better today Today… Made me better today.
I’ll look into enabling audio. Because I’ve played this on repeat and its so amazing to listen to. And I want you to listen to it.
Caution: This is one of my pointless stories/rants. You’ll be assuming all risks of reader dissatisfaction if you continue reading. Reader beware!
Once upon a time I watched a completely stupid story on African Magic. I don’t remember the title but I do know it made me grind my teeth and cover my mouth lest I screamed at the insipidity of the script, the placidity of the actors or the fact that it actually got made into a film.
My face is hardly one I can use to play poker. All my feelings since 2015 can be seen on my face. If I’m angry, you’ll see, if I’m irritated, you’ll see and if I’m incredibly happy, you’ll see. I obviously don’t have time for pretense nor do I necessarily want to pretend.
The plot of the aforementioned story has a Lothario with ill equipped machinery if you can catch that dirty joke, and he plows and mows through girls left, right and center. But he owns his own house, so his stupidity is passed off as being discerning. Okay. But the man has a bias against city girls. He believes that the best place to get women who are virgins, unexposed, beautiful, willing to cook, iron and do domestic chores, honest and submissive is in the village.
So he turns 40 and he decides to go catch one for himself. And he eventually does. Without marrying her, he makes her his live in lover and she becomes his house help with benefits.
Then he notices that his village girl is dirty, and his house is unkempt and she is not willing to do what she used to. And only keeps asking him for money. So he gets angry, gets into an argument with her and then certain things come to light.
Then she runs away/he chases her away and the Good Samaritan she goes to is lo and behold; a virgin, submissive, willing to cook and iron and honest to a fault.
They marry the next day. And that was the end of the film.
I watched yet another stupid film recently.
Girl and boy are childhood sweethearts. Girl grows up, says she no do again. She’s in love with someone else.Girl’s mother tells her she must do because boy has sacrificed a lot for their family, even becoming a house boy at a point and refusing to sleep with his boss’s daughter. Besides, girl and boy signed blood covenant when they were young and only boy can break the covenant.
Girl marries boy grudgingly and makes his life hell. But he still loves her. Then girl invites friend to come in and destroy her home, specifically.
Friend is worried and a little in love with husband so boy eventually is persuaded to free girl from blood oath.
But girl does not want to leave again. She fights with friend and then begs boy for forgiveness for her stupid ways.
And the story ends with some stupid compromise that has girl, boy and friend in annoying love triangle.
What pissed me off the most were people’s reactions to this film. I said girl has been shouting that she wants to go. She’s in love. Object of affection returns the love and she promised to provide monetary value for all he’s done for her plus interest. Let boy let her go.
And I began to hear gibberish. “She’s not serious.”
“That’s how you women are”
“So what if she changes her mind and wants to come back again?”
I understand how stupidity can travel far. I get it. But there is stupidity because you’re tired and really don’t have time to waste analyzing the personalities in a film and the words they speak. And then there’s the stupidity that comes with a supreme sense of being right and never expecting to be challenged because the only people who can challenge you are female and their sex organs make them primed to be labeled that name guaranteed to shut them up: “Ashawo”. That is willful stupidity.
A long time ago in church, I saw this beautiful sky blue dress with just the right amount of flounce to it. No ruffles, no scratchy stuff on the skirt part of the dress. And best of all, it was going for a very affordable price; N20.
I was just about to go buy it and lots of other stuff when my dad saw me and said these life defining words; “That was brought for the welfare service. We bring things for welfare, we don’t take things”. I have no complaint with this by the way.
Very often as well, my mom would go into my closet and take lots of my clothes to give random people. Like I didn’t need my own clothes. Eventually, I started locking my closet door whenever I was going out.
It’s not hard to see how my attitude toward giving developed bent. I have some trouble with being too helpful and charitable. It actually was a huge, insurmountable problem for me once but then I started putting up roadblocks. From taking specific sums of money when I went out, to only carrying one ATM card, to telling someone I’m out with that I expect them to pay and actually sitting down/ standing aside when the bill came. Little roadblocks. Big difference.
The family doctor once told me of someone who had a similar set of problems, that is, giving and caring too much. And as a result, she restricted her trips outside her house because she could not say no to people. And I was heading down that path, where I was a sucker for every sad story, and every beggar, even the ones I knew were scammers.
For some who read this, the question might float around, “how does generosity become a problem?”. Well, it becomes a problem when you cannot control the urge to give, then the urge to apologize, then the urge to let your giving and presumable niceness define you. You and your personality slowly fade away into an overly apologetic, blubbering mess. And I watched it happen. I even got a caution by Baba God once when I gave my tithe as an offering. But I needed a total and complete shake up. And that is what I got. I gave everything. And it still wasn’t enough. But now, I can walk by a beggar, head held high, dropping not one kobo in. It may seem odd to you but it was a monumental triumph for me.
However, as I wrote here, I did a little experiment last year and I decided to continue with it this year- strategic giving. Last year, I gave a specific number of a particular item and I waited to see if it would come back.
Not only did it return, it returned x2. These days my ratio of giving is 60 (sentimental giving) :40(strategic giving). I’m quite happy with those levels. I don’t want to become so cold hearted I only give when I expect to get back. But at the same time, the farther away I get from giving away all my savings again, the better.
Even more important this year, was my resolution not to take just anything from anyone. And I am not talking about attitude either. There are specific gifts people give you and you wonder if you mean anything to them. Or if they know you at all. I have received many such gifts. This year, I put a stop to it, for good.
This was the year of the birthday wish list. On that list was a new laptop, a footwear makeover, a clothing makeover, specific books and other items. In June, I created the laptop fund and asked people to contribute to it instead of giving me a birthday present. I bought the laptop recently and my savings contributed 55% to the total cost, the laptop fund 45% and counting.
I will admit that asking for money instead of gifts made me feel incredibly weird at times but in the incomparable words of Brigitte Bozzo, (Lupita in Manuel and Silvana)- “If I don’t do my asking, I won’t do any getting”.
So I introduced my parents to the blog this year. And by that I mean; I wrote about my parents on the blog this year. And one of the most philosophical moments of this year happened when a blogger friend of mine commented that someone might steal my father away from my mother and our family because of it.
I don’t believe that gender should forestall well deserved appreciation.
My dad in fact, once complained that mothers get all the glory and fathers don’t get so much. It’s true. And it shouldn’t be where the father is deserving. Nnabuife (fathers are something/fathers are important).
Someone else commented along these lines to me last year, asking what I’d do if my husband cheated, why it was best not to advertise how good of a boyfriend/fiance/husband (when I had him) lest someone steal him. And when I heard that, my soul disagreed with it instantaneously.
I am not naive. I know that these things happen. If you read 10 yards of Husband Material by Adaeze (really, do read that. It’s awesome and I recommended the idea to her, I’m so proud of me) you’d even see it detailed. But I said it before and I’ll say it once again: I don’t believe that gender should forestall well deserved appreciation.
You don’t think women can be stolen okwa ya? Trust me, they can. And often are.
Nevertheless, I will endeavor to keep quiet about certain things because like I said once before; I do not like people knowing too much about the intimate details of my life, when I do not know as much about theirs.
I have a gift for making friends. Good friends. Great friends. Whether our friendship lasted 15 years or 15 minutes, whether it ended peacefully or acrimoniously, if I never said it, I am incredibly glad you were in my life. All of you. Primary and secondary school friends, University friends, Law School friends, NYSC friends, Church friends, getting on and off bus friends, friends I met through my blog, friends I met through my family, friends I met on the road, or while eating or doing the most random things. Thank you.
ON INTERACTIONS AND BLOGGING
I met Adaezenwa this year IRL. I met Nedoux for the second time as well.
In other news, I wanted to shut down this blog this year. This one, and the other one. But I reasoned, that if I threaten to go over to Adaezenwa’s house and flog her if she closes her blog, she has a right to come to my house and flog me if I close down my blog as well. Quid pro quo is such an effective check.
There have been lots of new improvements on this blog in recent times.
Thanking my Scars: where I state how a “traumatic” event from the past has improved the quality of my life in the present.
Lyrically Speaking– Where I showcase songs I love with lyrics that speak sense.
Wedding Playlist Suggestions– A list of songs I want the DJ to play at focal points at my wedding. Substitions will be allowed at the appropriate time.
Happy …days– I was sad and depressed when I started this. I haven’t been consistent with it, but this is my way of highlighting the good news in my life, the country and all over the world. Horrible news gets more press. Horrible stories are shared around more. I choose to share the good stories instead. What you focus on, is in fact what you attract. And I refuse to focus on doom and gloom lest I attract doom and gloom. I choose to focus on blessings, so I can attract even more blessings to myself. Clear enough for you, Adaezenwa? Yes, I am looking for your trouble in this post. 😁😁😁😁
Talk …days– I know, I could just type out a post and speak to you guys about something. But no, I had to create a new category for it.
Jill Moments– The DIY spot. I show you how to do stuff I know how to do.
On the other blog, I started writing Letters to my Children. It’s open to everyone by the way. I want every child of mine to know what I wish I’d been told earlier on. Knowledge is power. In the sphere of interactions with bloggers, I remember that I promised to visit every blog that visited me and left a comment.That promise caused me a lot of problems.
1. Looking for Vivian’s blog. Her Gravatar image led to a blog with site name http://skinnybrownie1.wordpress.com but there was nothing on there. And I had a feeling that she did in fact have a blog where she posted stories. And I looked. I Googled even. But it was until I saw the face from the Gravatar post on a comment on one of Nedoux’s Instagram posts and followed it that I realized her blog address is http://skinnybrownie1site.wordpress.com. 😕 You’re welcome.
2. Olaitan of http://laitanbee.com. I commented so many times. With my phone and my laptop. I switched off my laptop once because I’d tried commenting about 8 times and it wasn’t appearing. And when I switched it back on, it still didn’t show that I’d commented. I was so frustrated! Other blogs I’ve had this problem with are not at all surprising; blogs hosted on Blogspot. (http://portableisthenewhot.blogspot.com.ng, http://dateswithdanie.blogspot.com) and I really love the GirlsChat Series! 😢
I’d like to say I’m as tenacious as a bulldog when it comes to commenting but I’m not. And Blogspot is obviously having a beef of some sort with my devices. I will try to comment but if I don’t succeed, just know; I tried.
3. I think perhaps I need to reiterate something. I believe in setting standards and leaving it up to people to meet up to them or not.
Now, there is nothing quite so annoying to me as thinking up a witty comment or even a bleh comment and being ignored. I hate that. I legitimately cannot and will not stand for that nonsense. It drives me up the wall. And it makes me batshit crazy.
If I have commented on any blog and been ignored, thrice after 6 months, I will STOP reading those blogs. No matter how popular you are, no matter how busy you are, I couldn’t care less. You are not the only blogger in the world and I do not have to read you. So far, I’ve stopped reading about 12 such blogs. And to qualify what being ignored means,
a. Liking my comment instead of replying.
b. Replying me on any platform other than your blog.
c. Completely ignoring my comment.
That is my standard. Meet up to it or not.
ON DEPRESSION AND HYPOGLYCEMIA
These two things were the definitive causes of all the low points I had this year. That, and being touched intimately without my permission being given.
The Depression caused me to create something beautiful- Happy ….days, and the Hypoglycaemic attacks especially one desperately awful one in November caused me to completely change my diet.
I realized that ulcer was not the worst that could happen to my body. I’ve had low blood sugar and low blood pressure for a while but it didn’t affect me very much. As long as I remembered to eat at least once a day. But from October this year, the low blood sugar kicked into high gear and caused me a lot of problems.
If I don’t eat breakfast, I can expect a round of dizziness. If my food is too concentrated in one category, problem. After one particularly horrible episode in November where I was dizzy, tired and my stomach was revolting, I realized that I didn’t know what or how to eat and I needed professional help. So I bought the Lose it Nigerian cookbook. Not because I wanted to lose weight but because I wanted to see a sample diet plan for a week and because the reviews were always full of praises. I joined the LBD challenge because, why buy a weight loss book if you don’t plan to lose any weight? I finally shed most of the belly weight. My waist is currently a 29 with some bloating. Eliminate the bloating and I figure it should be a 26/27. And that without doing absolutely any exercise either.
More importantly, I haven’t had any hypoglycemic attack except the day Adaezenwa called me to go to LCC with her and I skipped breakfast. So, Ms. Ronke Edoho, you might never read this but thank you for Lose it Nigerian. We’re grateful.
2016 IN ONE SHOTS
Never, but never add cameroon pepper to an Omo Alata prepackaged ofada sauce. Your tongue will suffer until it gets used to the heat. Thanks though for being one of the sponsors at the #Blassion event.
To LeriesAccessories for my 3- way swapped necklace that replaced my broken black necklace from earlier this year. It was kismet. Even though I was originally aiming for the paint party ticket. Thank you!
To D, the original one, for my geometric shaped earrings.😁
To C who did not study engineering, for everything he did, including buying me a birthday cake 😉.
To countless others for all they did.
To Dealdey.com, for introducing me to Shaw Academy and IFSBM. I’m grateful.
To my boss, for giving me work, for sending me to court the first week I came, to the police station various times, to court to file multitudes of times, for giving me an environment to learn that wasn’t fraught with tension all the time.
To V (is it weird that I’m thinking of Hugo Weaving and V for Vendetta rn?); for being my reason to come to work many days, your laughter, inappropriateness and generosity amazed me. And to AY for being awesome.
To The Winner of the Samsung BestMomentsNG competition for “Hello Uju, how are you doing” starters on WhatsApp, for buying me the TNC anthology.
To aspiring chef (J), God’s gift (I) And earth girl (T), for SS, for the Alternative Childbearing Act and the Alternative Childcare Act. I love you guys.
To the moderate giant, for being so bright and friendly, for being so generous with your small chops, for visiting constantly, for widening my worldview and ability to get around Lagos less expensively a lot. Thanks boo.
To Che, for being my go to girl for laughter and fun, for your interesting and completely defenseless outlook towards life. I love you.
To my parents, for the lovely borehole, it’s so beautiful it makes me cry, for my own room, for expecting me to do better, be better.
To Y- man, for actually reading my blog, validating my “materialistic” nature and PTN Africa. Thank you!
To Firestarter. The Short spitcracker, for having pretty much absolutely nothing in common with me except love for a few old songs + a shared refusal to be treated like shit and still being such a kickass friend to me. 14 years. 🍧🍨🍷🍩. I hope for countless more.
To LafayetteAngel of Http://lafayetteangel.com for sharing my posts, commenting on some and still being such a faithful reader years afterwards. I don’t deserve you but I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
To God for showing me that the prayers I say while laying on my bed about to drift into sleep are of value to you. And for the newest addition to my family.
You contributed a great deal to making Obianuju Ayalogu a wonderful person. And I’m very happy with who I am right now.
A special thank you of course must go to God, for giving me hope and answering a WHOLE LOT OF ALL my prayers and needs in one fell swoop. For healing me, for being there for me, enveloping me constantly in His love and His grace. I Love You Lord. Thank you for everything You’ve done, continually do for me and are currently doing for me. I’m incredibly grateful. And I know that just as you have started this good work in me, you will bring it to completion.
The economy is baring its teeth and slithering to strike pockets like a rattlesnake, people are not sure their Christmas celebration will be as food filled as years past and the forecast for 2017 looks bleak.
But GOD IS ON THE THRONE FOR ME. REPEAT AFTER ME, GOD IS ON THE THRONE FOR US!
This year, tough and depressing as it was, did not have His permission to kill me or break me down and neither will next year. In fact, this was my best year yet.
Today I’m going to give you lots of reasons to bless God. Here goes;
1. He Came Through for me– When I quit my job, I knew what I wanted and what I did not want. I wanted part time jobs or full time jobs where the working atmosphere was CONDUCIVE. I wanted to be able to work remotely. And I told Him this. I told Him, “Daddy, you order my steps. You know what I’m capable of. You know my hopes and my dreams. Daddy give me something for my hands to do. Something that is a stepping stone to further opportunities. Something that will bring in money. Something that I will constantly testify about”.
Fam, I have gotten so many part time jobs so far. From preparing business plans and market surveys to other things, He has surrounded and given me EVERYTHING I asked for. And I know He will constantly bless me even more.
2. The Lazy Day Chronicle– Sometimes for no reason, I don’t want to go out. And if I do go out, I want to go somewhere close and do/get everything there. But that’s not possible some days.
That day, my fruit supply had been exhausted. No oranges, no apples, no nothing and I was too lazy to go anywhere else but the supermarket I was currently at. Behold, a lady selling oranges walked by me. They were cheaper, sweeter and the convenience was unmatched. See how my God works?
3. Locally grown rice- I’m super happy that Nigeria now produces its own rice. And the prices Ambode was mentioning on Channels News at 10 on Thursday were not too high. #LakeRice #Cheerstosustainableplantandanimalfarming #Nowtomakeitorganic
4. I’m grateful for the happiness of other people– My mom used to tell me that frowning caused other people to frown. And it’s so true. But smiling, making weird faces, will bring out those teeth and a happy head shake from someone else.
On my WordPress Reader, on my social media accounts, Nedu’s becoming, the kind of testimonies they’ve been receiving? It just makes me so incredibly happy.
5. Social Media blessings– These days, I am so grateful for so much. The people I follow on social media, I participated in a couple of giveaways and won 2. The opportunities social media has brought my way – 2 of my part time jobs, the friends and networks I’ve made off it. I’m so grateful.
6. Friends and Family– I’ve decided to code name my friends on this blog. You’ll see that in action in my 2016 review post but not here.
My friends have caused me to laugh and cry and be so grateful. Exceptional human beings, rainbow colored as you are. There was Yanmife who paid for me to go paint partying when I told him I was vexing for him, Anthony who came out of the blues one fine Sunday and cleared my doubts and apprehension about a project I hold incredibly dear, Nedoux who gave me a book I wanted intermittently when I thought about it, Ifueko who bought Garri for Breakfast by Seun Lari-Williams (yes, that is a plug. He’s a fantastic writer though; I spent 5 years reading his poems and they’re fantastic, so do the needful) and got me Voices by Yewande Adebowale (another fantastic poet whose works I love), Yinka who got me the Smart Money Woman among other things, Stephanie whose holistic beauty business must suffer from all the samples she gives me (and her Kaolin clay and Activated charcoal is the truth), Fifi, Tomi and Joy who poke and prod me and give me wise counsel and read my blog when I do like this for them 😒😒😒, Adaezenwa whose generosity of spirit is so clear,Ayo S. who is so amazing for all that our friendship is only a couple of days old, Mobi, who bought 3/4 of my Stockhub bag 😁😁😁, Ayo, whose movies have been keeping my brother super entertained and who had been a receptacle for all my experience (thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a big sister to you), for Victor who finally got on WhatsApp!, Semi, Samuel and Adaeze, others I met doing the most random stuff, who have impacted my life so incredibly much, and more people I can’t name lest this post become more unwieldy than it currently is. I appreciate you guys so much! Thank you for everything and more.
My family, for all they do. A whole lot. Man, I couldn’t love you guys more if you paid me.
7. Wattpad and Other Sources of Entertainment: For making my phone the ultimate source of entertainment and an interested spectator in my bouts of laughing, the stories I’ve read, ranging from good to not so good, the connections and acquaintanceships I’ve developed.
The consistent findings of old and beloved movies on other people’s laptops. It just remains Easy A and all 9 seasons if HIMYM. Thank you God!
8. My blog: Although engagement reduced IMO, more people have visited my blog than ever before and most importantly, so many have continued to visit. Thank you!
9. For McVities shortbread– Uber handy for those peckish times. 😉.
10. For the season of giveaways 🙌🙌🙌. So here for that.
11. For Christmas food: Glorious, lovely Christmas food.
12.Because we can help the IDPs and the people in Syria, for programs like Christmas on the Streets, like BloomTribe, like Slum2school, for prison and hospital visits, for regularly held welfare services. I love paying it forward and I love knowing people are still incredibly generous. May that never change.
13. For self realization.
14. And the fact that you woke up today. New life. New grace.
15. I thank God for God. For Jesus. The Holy Spirit. For salvation, inner joy, laughter and incredible peace. I know whatever else, God has me.
I need Vivian’s attention here please! Thank you.
Since 5 people died in Lagos of cholera caused by eating abacha, I haven’t wanted to eat it outside. But sometimes the craving got so bad. Lucky for me, without me asking, one of my aunts came over and she brought 3 huge bags of abacha for the house.
And I was all happy.
The truth is, making abacha is incredibly simple. I’ll explain it to you in 7 easy steps.
Total time for prepping and “cooking” is 20 minutes.
But first; What you’ll need–
Abacha (buy the N100 in the market if it’s only for you)
Ground Crayfish (optional)
Ehuru (calabash nutmeg); ground
1 stock cube
Sliced ugu/anara/waterleaf/tete. Most people think only anara leaves go with abacha. Wrong. Any green leaf goes with it.(optional)
A bowl of hot water
Step 1: Wash your abacha. Wash it very well to get rid of the dirt etc. Then soak it in the bowl of hot water.This will soften it and bring out that abacha smell. If you’re using ugba, just wash it properly. Ugba is oil bean seed and shouldn’t be in hot water for too long.
Step 2: While your abacha is soaking, it’s time to make your “ncha” (the palm oil sauce used for abacha). First, break off a small piece of potash. It’s commonly sold in a small, rock-like form.
Step 3: Grind that small piece of potash into fine powder. Then melt it. Use 3 tablespoonfuls of water to melt. The water does not need to be hot.
Step 4: Add in the palm oil to the potash and water mix. You don’t want to have too much palm oil. For a small bowl of abacha, 2 teaspoons of palm oil should be more than enough. It will begin to change color from palm oil red to yellow. Mix thoroughly. Step 5: Add in your crayfish, ground ehuru, stock cube. Many don’t add in their onions and pepper to the abacha until the very end but I like to add it in here. Adjust for taste. Mix thoroughly.
Step 6: Sieve your abacha until all the water is gone. You don’t want watery abacha now, do you?
Step 7: Pour the ncha over the abacha. Mix thoroughly until every grain of abacha is coated with palm oil. Add in your sliced vegetables, mix again, then top it with your fish or meat.
Stacy didn’t even remember to complain about her neighbors’ haphazard tossing of their dirty laundry so near the entrance to her flat.
She forgot to look away as she saw a little boy excreting into a black plastic bag, which no doubt, would later be tossed on top of the landfill accumulating steadily at one end of the street, making a bad smell worse.
She didn’t even bother to caution the young(ish) mother who watched idly by as her naked toddler sons and daughter played on the rocky ground. Her brother was home. Nothing else mattered.
Upon coming into the house, she checked to see that the food had been eaten sparingly. That was good, he still had some consideration for others. He needn’t have bothered, but it was good that he did.
Peeping into the other, unoccupied room in her self-contained, she let a shriek burst forth, starling him out of his music induced trance. Nwike looked lovingly at his big sister. Orphaned from a young age, he’d been under her ten-year older care for 9 years. She’d turned down at least two marriage proposals because the intendeds’ had refused to take him into their houses. She’d loved him, struggled to take care of him and when he’d decided to a medical doctor, she’d sold their parents’ house, which she’d been sole owner of, to finance it. He owed her a debt he could probably not repay.
After a second dinner, he responded to the eagerness that tensed up her body and related stories from the ward. He told her humorous stories; of the woman whose husband fainted when she delivered triplets, sad stories: of the patients who died, of patients with failing kidneys whose relatives could not afford dialysis and finally, because it had been weighing on his mind, he told her the story of the time a doctor misdiagnosed a patient who eventually died. He told her that he’d studied ahead and was completely certain that the patient had been misdiagnosed. He kept up a steady stream of chatter, trying not to notice the hurt, contemplative look on his sister’s face.
Stacy rose up a very short while later, abruptly ending the conversation. She would talk to her brother normally the next day. But right then, she needed space from him to forgive him the blood dripping down his fingers.
It has been a while since I wrote a fiction post. This is a stand alone, don’t go asking for sequels. There are none.
But I do want to know, what would motivate someone who knew a superior was wrong on a matter which could cause a fatal accident not to persuade the patient to seek a second opinion or at least take it up privately with the person in question? Do you know what could be the motivation? I’ll love to read your comments.
Storm and Silence- Rob Thier. This book made me laugh so incredibly much, I thought about doing an Instagram post on it. The beginning sentences seem awkward and not very interesting but keep on until the third paragraph. The laughter will come. I promise.
Playing by the Rules- Brandon Wong. A full course meal. I really like this book. I’ve read it 3 times so far.