Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Coming Home Soon ...

I will be back in Malaysia this Sunday and will arrive by Monday, a week earlier than planned coz my mum´s conditon is not so good. There´s tonnes of stuff on my mind, but everything seems cluttered now. To my dear friends and bloggers, thank you so much for your well wishes. I will keep intouch soon for a meet up once I am back in KL.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Specially to my Mum

My mum is not the greatest mum on earth. I say that to her sometimes but I let her know why. But I also assure her that I love her nonetheless. She has her ways of making me and all of us in the house mad, and constantly drives me especially up the walls, although it should be the other round. Our relationship had never been good since schooldays and perhaps, it could be due to the fact that I can´t accept her for who she is. Nor, can she accept me or us for who we are and often enough, volcano erupts often in our house. She has a weird character that even her sibblings and friends could not understand and they shy away from her. Till today, she still have her quirky little habit that makes me, my sis and my dad often questioning its logic.

But a couple of years ago, she suffered from a bad stroke that left her half paralysed. Her character changed soon after, and things were much better around the house. Her character had since mellowed a little due to her energy level, though her bossiness trademark is still there, it was bearable. But I see a different her eversince she had her stroke.

Eversince she suffered from stroke, I realise that I am connecting to her inner child more and more each day. She would be grinning from ear to ear if she gets what she wants and throws tantrum like a kid when she does not. Her mind is much simplified and not as complicated as before and finally, I am beginning to understand her. This was how my mum was few weeks ago.

Now ...

I was informed of my mum´s deteriorating condition a week ago. She had been vomitting since past 2 weeks every morning. Her weight has dropped significantly, and her concentration is getting from bad to worse. I was on the line with her a while ago. She was in the hospital under glucose drip as it had dropped to 2.2 (normal is 5-6). My sis, brother and dad is waiting for a scooping test to be done on her an a few other test to determine what is the cause of her vomitting. But it was not just vomitting that´s causing us concern but some of her vomit had blood traces apparently. Doctor has not ruled out anything yet ...

Blood traces ... do you know what that means? I don´t know and I´m afraid to know ...

My scheduled flight back is supposedly to be on 4th November but I might have to return earlier. All this are pending report from the emergency ward specialist.

And here I am waiting, waiting for good news from my family back home ...

Waiting and waiting, praying and praying ....

All will be well sooon.

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I miss her and I wish I can do more for her.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

School Had Started

I was a huge fan of Mind Your Language while growing up. To those not familiar with it, it is about a group of international student learning English from Mr. Brown. The plot was very simple but throroughly entertaining due to the various background differences and culture upbringing. The miscommuncation often sents me and my sibblings rolling on the floor, and till today, some of the famous liner from the student is still fresh in my mind.

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My Deutsch Integration course which includes the language study itself were not further different from the said sitcom!

It was fun and entertaining. I am currently studying in VHS, which stands from Volks Hogh Schule whereby Hogh Schule refers to High School. But unlike in US where High School are for students in secondary learning, it is a different system here in Germany. The students in higher learning gets 3 choices of what type of school they wanna attend after primary and they are called somethign else. Never mind the names but great isn´t it? My class is from 8am to 12.15pm, with two 15 minute break in between. Its pretty intensive and interesting with all kinds of learning aid method thrown in. We not only learn the theory, but were thrown into all kinds of situation for practical too.

We do listening exercises, games and everything else to make the class fun and interesting and to me, this is such an eye opener to German´s education system. We have TONNES of homework to do everyday, but GOSH! I don´t remember looking forward to them when I was in school last time! Needless to say, I love it and I really do wish that our Malaysian education system brush up more coz it really is PALE in comparison and its not doing the country good. Most importantly is, we understand perfectly what is being taught and each of the teacher really do make it a point to make us understand everything. If one is slow, she would pay more attention and if the person is quick, a test is being arranged quickly to recomment jumping to a higher level and this was done of one of the girl after 1 day lesson! Very fast isn´t it? The whole learning experience is very different from where I came from, which is Sri Aman and later, Stamford College and mind you, that too (Sri Aman) was not a good comparison coz the high school I came from was suppose to be top in Petaling Jaya.

Anyway, like anywherelse, there´s always a few identifiable character in a group and allow me to share them with you now coz whom knows in future, they may be more stories!

There is Ms. Reserve (S) from Morroco whom sometimes turn up in a tudung but at times, looking really normal. There is a Ms. Afraid (R) from Pakistan whom is finding it really hard to cope coz her mother language is arabic and she´s struggling with ABC. Ms. Confident (R) sits across me and is from Peru. We often found ourself exchanging knowing glances. Haha. There is also a Ms. Cute (A) from Morroco and really is a female version of Bobby Chinn! She not only look a bit like him, she also talks like him!

There´s always a Ms. Dreamy (E) in class and ours are from Brazil. Ms. Chewing Gum (D) is also from Brazil and whenever there´s a break, she´s always at the corridor smoking. I wonder if the chewing gum has got anything to do with her trying to quit smoking?. And alas, there is a Ms. Normal (L) from Uzbekistan whom looked everybit chinese but speaks Russian. We will organise a coffee session next week and hopefully, we are able to communicate more than what´s being taught in school!

The oldest in class and also known as Ms. Fierce (N) is from Uz too and get this - we were informed yesterday that in UZ, woman goes to work and man stays home to drink tea! Goodness!

There is Ms. Sweet (O) from Ukraine and just yesterday, she came in 2 hours late and was in shocked state still coz her hubby was earlier knocked down by a car :-(, Ms. Dictator Wannabe (E) from Kazakstan whom I find is the funniest girl ever without realising it, Ms. Loud (A) from Turkey whom does not have a friend in class because she is showy, Ms. Whom Loves to Pinch Me (B) from Turkey too and don´t ask me why she loves doing that, Mr. Good Looking (S) from Turkey whom day dreams a lot, Mr. Speaks Fast (S) from Turkey too and lastly, Mr. Odd one out (V) from Russia which I originally thought was from Italy.

BTW, the two at the background are Ms. Chewing Gum and Ms. Dreamy.

Phewwww .. now you know my coursemate eh.

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And sooo .. I had earlier shared that I cycle to school.

It is most convenient form of transport here for you can access everywhere, and all roads are equipped with bicycle lane. Juergen finally decided to return Ralf´s bike coz it was a bit heavy and too high for me, and just last week, we got a brand new one from Muller. Though Ralf were willing to part his almost brand new bike to us for a little more than 100 Euro (I guess) coz he got them from Baum Mart and it cost around the region of not more than 200 Euro, Juergen thought that its best to get a better one for long term use. And so, my baby here ... cost 4x the price. At that is like over RM2,000 for a bike! Crazy huh ...

But its a good bike ... here´s why.

It comes with a front manual light, and a back automatic light. Hehehe. Not a good reason for paying so much huh.

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And tadaaaaaaaaaa ... this is it. Its a 7 speed bike and the gear system is suppose to be a good, reputable brand called Shimano NEXUS??? Is it good or not good? No idea how famous is it but it felt good. Changing gear felt smoother.

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There´s also two suspension on the bike which I did not take photo off. One of at front wheel and one is on my seat.

As mentioned earlier, Juergen splurged a little on a bag system for me. And the bag came with a clickFIX system. This thing cost us EXTRA 45Euro man. Damn ex.

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My bell rings elegantly too!

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There´s a lock system installed in, and its a system from Starry. In Germany, one has to lock its bike (but I guess its the same as everywhere else isn´t it?) and in addition to locking the bike itself, I have to chain my bike to something so that no one can CART IT AWAY, while its locked.

Damn mah fan I tell ya. especially when its cold and all you can think off it get into a building!

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It comes with a Rookie Mini Air Pump.

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And of course, the whole body itself .. which was solid looking and yet, light. Very important.

Is my bike pretty? *Hint, hint*

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Oh .. my bag, which I had earlier showned. And its so easy ... all I need to do is click the bag into the click system infront of the bike! And to remove it, just press the red button.

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But I have ONE BIG PROBLEM. Its alright riding a bike to school now coz the school is only 10 minutes away, but come another week or two, the sun will rise later and the weather will get colder. It will be COLD AND DARK and I HATE THAT.

Juergen had earlier offered to buy me a car before I arrive but I said NO. Yup, I SAID NO. Coz I feel bad lahhh, am not working and all but now .. hmmmm, I wish I had said yes really.

AND GOOD NEWS IS ....

For the past week, he had been bringing up this topic again and I was like (wee!). Not only that, he was fairly attracted with the idea of either a mini German car with engine to die for, a sporty French car with a sun roof or a famous German car with its range name ending with a name of a sport. Take a guess what they are! No revealation right now coz nothing had materialised yet ... but when it does, I will POST EVERYTHING!

Okok .. this is essentially a food blog, derailed to many other things ... SORRY! So I gave it a thought over my overlapping content and decided to do this from now on. Since I go to school now and am really like a kid, I have decided to post BENTO PIX!

You like?

So here´s my Bento # 001 on Wednesday

Croissant with Honey and Chocolate Filling (packed stuff) and Chocolates.

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And come Thursday (ahhhhaaaaa .. more interesting), I made some stuff and tried to make it look like Bento as much as possible.

So here´s Bento # 002

I had the same croissant with honey filing, a slice of gouda and salami, 3 Jamaican Rum ball, Wurst and Cocktail Tomato Skewer, and Apple Salad.

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And because of this, I am .. ohhhhh .. theres a lovely colourful bird infront of me at the window as I´m typing this! Hahaha .. okay, its gone now. Hmm .. where was I .. ahhh yes, I am stressing myself now for Bento Box inspiration.

Anyone knows any great blog I can check out from? Would be very much appreciated!

Friday, 17 October 2008

What´s Cooking

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Brussel sprout and wurst! Great combo for a quick 5 minutes lunch.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Meine Schultuete

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Starting today, I am officially a student! My class had been great and I´ve meet lots of people from all over the world. There´s a girl from Peru whom I can brush up my english with, another mother of 5 from Pakistan, 2 Brazillian, 1 Korean (yay!), 1 Morrocan, 4 from turkey and 4 from former Russian territory (don´t ask me what, its quite difficult to pronounce) and another girl from either France or a former french colony country. She did not turn up today though but was at the orientation class yesterday.

On Sunday, Mama and Papa summoned me downstairs for a surprise. I thought, oh nooooo ... what did I do? Hahaha .. but alas, they gave me THIS!

A SchuleTuete ... translated as a school cone, and is given to children in Germany as they set off for their first day of school! But MOI! I am 34! Hahahaha!

These large decorated card board cones are usually given by parents or grandparents and filled with sweets, school supplies, and toys to make the children happy. I was happy nonetheless coz there´s lots of stuff inside!

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Mama stuffed them to the max with .... Chocolatessssss ...., writing bookkkkk, pennnnnn ... andddd ...

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A bottle of perfume too! See how spoilt I am? She was not kidding when she calls me `my little girl`or `Meine Kleiner Madchen`really ...

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Last week, Juergen got me a BRAND NEW BIKE. Not just any bike but a good bike which I will feature later. But it did not stop there. He got me this Recyclable Shopping Bag (see above) I have been eyeing for the longest time and everyone in Ahaus seems to own one and I was like .. arrrrrrhhhh I want that too! But it was not cheap. I checked it in the store and could not bring myself to buy them hence I leaved it as that.

And than, Juergen decided to install a bag system on my bicycle instead of a normal wired basket which cost 10% of the bag price. Guess what? Its the same bag brand I have been eyeing on and he got them for me!

And so, this is my other new Reisenthal baby which I have been carrying around, day in day out!

On another note, I wanna share with you what my man did to the pumpkin. I did mention that we will get them painted right? But little did I expect it to be like this!

LASS DAS!!!

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Lass Das means `STOP IT!`and its suppose to be a joke around the house. And now, he wants to sent this message to our guest/friends next Friday when we hold our belated Octoberfest Party at home ...

Headache.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Dirk Und Carola´s Das Perfekt Dinner

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We were invited by Dirk and Carola over to Kamen for dinner in their place a week ago. Dirk is Juergen´s brother whom I´ve met several times but its our first time meeting Carola, his girlfriend. She came all the way from Dortmond to Kamen to meet us and prepared us both a yummy dinner!

Our drive from Ahaus to Kamen took us approximately an hour. We left slightly early and decided to take a scenic drive passing the forest to enjoy the autumn colour. It was lovely and dreamy and romantic and the next thing I realise? I did not snap any photo, again.

One of the highlight of our route were the little towns we passed along the way. Some of them are buildings which houses farmer´s produce gathered from the surrounding area. And since Halloween were around the corner, there were lots of pumpkins lining the building front. Naturally I shrieked with delight when I chance upon the massive pumpkins. Juergen got the clue, quickly stepped on the brakes and made a quick U-TURN!!! Hahaha. And he asked, how come I get excited like a kid???!!! Hahahhaa .. live with it!

Anyway, the first thing that attracted me when I got down the car was this! These are mini pumpkins and squash but are not edible.

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And the first thing that attracted him there was the sausages???!!! Hahahaha, kidding lah. He does like sausages a lot but I made it sound kinda obscene isn´t it.

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There were corns and all sorts of winter flower lining the outside of the shop but are al not for eating. I took one on my hand and did what a Malaysian would do .. which is PRESS IT! Damn hard leh ... and was later informed by Juergen that its NOT for eating lah.

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These are for sale at about 8Euro each irregardless of size and weight. We thought it was a bit too much to pay and decided to get a plain pumpkin and DIY our halloween expression ourselves! WMW asked a while ago if we were going to cut it! Hmmm .. not sure leh, maybe, maybe ... coz we´re throwing a belated Octoberfest Party here end of the month and who knows what we will do with the pumpkin eh.

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Check them out. Soooo many choices and hugeee too! According to my man, the tastiest pumpkin is the normal looking one. The rest look good only but tak boleh pakai one. Hahaha.

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And here´s a sneak peak at ours. Hahaha. And so, we will find ways to cook this huge pumpkin our ours and have a little pumpkin feast after the Halloween end of this month.

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After our purchase, we made our way to Dirk´s flat in Kamen. He lives in the middle of town but it did not feel like it. Just like Ahaus, it was peaceful and serene.

Dirk and Carola welcomed us with a coffee break of Quark Cake (Local Cheese Cake). Again, I was too shy to take any picture but luckily, plucked up the courage to do so come dinnertime (say thank you lah). The Quark Cake was made by Dirk and it was good! This Kocks family ah, all of them can cook, I tell ya. Serious. I had two pieces.

Than, we went over to his balcony (ahhhh, it was gorgeously done up and again, dare not take photo!), laid on his patio chair overlooking this massive tree infront of us, and while there, we were served Prosecco and wine. What a wonderful life. And before knowing it, its time for dinner. Dirk and Carola had initially wanted to do a mini Bavarian Feast for us but later decided on European theme.

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We started off with a DAMN good herb soup, with onions, mushroom and pine nuts. It was cooked by Dirk and again, we were all impressed! He got the recipe from a cookbook apparently and was attracted to the photo there. I can´t wait to brush up my german quickly so that I can borrow the book from him soon!

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Our Toscanello from Tuscany. A young, white wine which went really well with our meal. It was smooth and semi dry.

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For main course, THIS PLATE had all of us QUIET. It was so darn good. Even my Juergen whom is not a fan of fish or seafood attest to its yumminess. Carola cooked us Bavette (Linquine Pasta from Barilla) with a perfect herb based cream sauce with a tint of spice with Salmon Pieces. This is the best seafood/fish pasta I have ever eaten. The presentation was kinda rustic like eating in Italian trattoria too. We all think that we should one day venture into some food business since we all four love food so much. Hahaha.

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We ended the meal with Coffee Mousse, which Carola roasted the coffee bean beforehand, before summerging them into a pot of milk and later, mix with cream. The little mint flower adorning the glass were plucked from her mint pot at home, and I can´t help feeling bad as its for decoration only. At the bottom of the glass were slices of Figs which went really well with the coffee flavour. The only thing I find lacking were, it was not sweet.

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Dirk says there´s only two score card with him for dinner rating. Just like us, whom loves watching Das Perfekt Dinner, where a group of people gather for dinner and rates each others for some cash prize, there is no doubt that the two score card of 9 and 10 points each fits the night perfectly.

Easy Japanese At Home

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There isn´t any japanese restaurant in Ahaus, so needless to say, I stocked up a little when in Amsterdam. This was what we had one fine evening. A little soba with soba sauce and Teriyaki Salmon which was pretty good. I blanced the Haricot Veins (the vege that looked like beans) with some butter and drizzle over the teriyaki sauce. Further below was some Bavarian sausage that looked more like luncheon meat really, and had them topped with a fried egg. My man is not a fan of fish and seafood hence I´m happy to have them all on my own.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Frikadellen mit Spargel und Karotten

Lately, I have been having these regularly. If you heart Swiss Meatballs, wait till you try these! German Meatballs aka Frikadellen. Unlike its swiss counterpart where its made with beef, these are made of Pork, therefor `Tidak Ditanggung Halal!`

Muslim friends, do take note!

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Why I love them.

  1. It takes me about a minute to heat it up.
  2. You can also eat them cold.
  3. It cost 1.59E only for a pack of 5 pieces and I can have them like 5 times! Be it lunch, dinner or for snacking.
  4. It is available in all supermarkets here.
  5. AND its wickedly good.
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Juergen says its fairly easy to make so, I will try and post up a recipe in ImbiNItchy one day yeah.

On another note, me and Mama Else cleared her garden´s summer flower yesterday to make way for the cold winter. And look what I picked up? Mama gave these babies to me. Its beautiful isn´t it? According to her, they won´t last long and she had originally wanted to throw them away but it was such a waste. Another week to go maybe? But better than throwing to the bin!

And oh .. notice the background flower pots? Those were the winter flower we planted two week ago of which I blogged about. They are growing healthily.

Its really a nice feeling waking up to all these lovely blooms surrounding you.

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Bliss.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Autumns Here

Autumn is my favourite season and it does not take a genious to understand why. Its cold, albeit too wet sometimes but the colours of the leaves, one can just get a bit overwhelmed by the hues sometimes. But before I feature a post on some autumn capture (which I have not done, really!), let me give you a round up on what´s happening in the garden front.

Two weeks ago, I added Marjoram to our INDOOR herb pot collection. The two potted basil which I had planted has officially passed away coz I place them near the heater (duh), so my next project will be replanting the basil. In total, and hopefully by end of the week, we would have 2 pots of basil, 1 pot marjoram, 1 pot parsley and a pot of oregano.

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Our herb pot outside seems to be growing well except for the basil which we bought readily and replant inside the soil (again!). Too cold I guess. This basil ah, sooo sensative. Luckily, the ones which I transfer from seeding pot to here is healthy.

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Our parsley is growing well too. But so darn slow. I have these here as well as a longgg row of it downstairs at the ground. Can´t wait for it to grow full size!

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And here´s our chinese parsley which I think will not make it :-( It was planted the same period as italian parsley but see how miserable these looks!

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Moving on ... we got all our spring and summer flowers replaced with these. I´m not sure what its called coz forgot to write the names down when I spotted them at the shop. We didn´t get them from most of the garden centres as it cost a whopping 1Euro each and we need 60 of it! But as luck has it one evening, we went to check out the florist shop adjoining the graveyard. It was around the same price but was given tips by the sales assistant to come back in two weeks.

Coincidently, the lady is the girlfriend of Frank´s brother. She also shared us that the next batch will be from the wild instead of grown in green houses hence, will be stronger. And the best part is, they only cost 35 cents each!

Juergen went to pick 3 trays up the following week along with premium grade soils all the way from Czechs. The soil cost us 24 euro for 4 packets and if you add the cost of the flowers in at 21 euro, this adds up to 45 euro / RM240 to change all our balcony flower!

Damn ex isn´t it? Luckily, only twice a year. Perhaps we will just replace everything with lavendar next season. Easy to grow and sturdy.

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But look at these babies greeting us 24 hours a day. So worth it. According to Juergen, these wild flowers will FILLED UP the whole pot in 2 months time. I can´t wait!

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Moving to downstairs. Remember the plot of land Mama Else gave us? We planted some salads, parsley, choy sum and spinach.

The salads are doing very well.

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So as the parsleys.

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And spinachs. We have 3 rows of them!

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Mr. Siew, the proprietor of Tai Wing Asian store in Enschede said that the weather is too cold for Choy Sum to grow. But look at ours! Hahahaha. My only wish is, please don´t stop growing!

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So that´s our little gardening adventure there.

But I´ve also captured some lovely flower photo from Mama´s garden for Ivy.

IVY! THIS IS FOR YA!

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Have a great week ahead everyone!