Random Musings, Second Edition.

For sure these are random musings again, so Mahegoat, sit down! I am borrowing from Biko – a celebrated writer and the king of blogging – when he knows he is up to a post which might not make a section of high school (a name he uses to fondly refer to his blog) happy, he tells them to “sit down”. You know a couple of times, I have experienced the wrath of Mahegoat; he has near rioted, telling me that the post does not meet the threshold. One time he said that he reads Project 44 because it makes him miss being in relationship sometimes. And we all now know that even if he tries to appear all ‘macho’, he has not ruled out the possibility of being a relationship. Then there is Wangari, our other avid reader, who when I blogged about my beloved animals, asked “What is it with Fridah and goats?” So, Wangari, sit down as well! This is about a cow, a goat and a kid.

Last month I was in the village and I am happy to announce (like anyone cares) that the animals have reproduced! A kid has been born, ‘cuddle lover’ – my beautiful goat which I blogged about a while ago – is a mother. The kid is black, and was named Kamwana’- long before I arrived in the village. Then there is the ‘grade’ cow which has a very healthy and nice looking calf who has been named ‘Zawadi’ and although there are other cows in the shed, this one is particularly loved because it produces and is generally a cow of good temperament. The brown goat (has remained nameless) which loved to eat and we all thought it was pregnant turned out not to be carrying anything! – I felt deceived after feeding all the supplem???????????????????????????????ents meant to build the kid’s (which I thought she was carrying) bones.

The ‘Kienyeji’ (free range) chickens too have increased! I am amazed, they surprised me for they have withstood the squirrels, illnesses and disease and keep reproducing. Joyce came to the village and I fed her, not one, but two of those chickens :). By the time I was leaving, one had hatched 8 chicks. I can only hope that they will all survive. Anyway, so I went home, very excited at the new developments, excitedly lifted Kamwana and lo! , the poor kid was full of fleas! I was devastated; the following day, I went to the vet store and bought some powder, which I was advised to dust the shed and animals with. I did exactly that and soon enough, the kid was happier, definitely more relieved from the itching; as evidenced by how she leaped all over the compound. Kamwana is strange; unlike its mum who loved cuddles when she was young, Kamwana does not care for cuddles; although the mum is also now all grown up, and all she wants these days is illicit feed – flour (I am told goats should not eat flour) – and to let her kid suckle.

Of course taking care of these animals is fun but demanding – they need animal feed and supplements to keep them healthy and productive etc. I miss them when I am away, and when I am near them, realize how demanding they are; they sometimes disappoint me by eating my flowers, and refusing to get pregnant like the brown goat hehhehe. They also fail to meet expectations like the ‘grade cow’ which looked very happy and healthy while pregnant and I thought the production would be super high, but she did not meet those expectations – although the level is acceptable.

So my love for my animals has taught me many things, hence my musings. They taught me that whilst you might put in quite a lot, it doesn’t mean you will always get your efforts’ worth. They have taught me that sometimes, I need to temper my expectations – more realistically to say “you will get a raw deal sometimes”. They have also taught me that, it is not always about me, I have them around me, I must take care of Calfthem and factor them in my plans. For example, sometimes, I tether the goats (yes, Wangari, the goats) in the compound, and it starts to rain and we are all far from home, and I think about them and how they will be drenched by the time we get home. But with all these highs and lows, they have taught me that you never give up, you keep trying, and you hope and have faith that somehow, it is worth it and continue to be devoted. They have also taught me that you cannot invest for ever – case in point is that at some point we decided to dispose of one cow, because after all the efforts, it was not going to meet the expectations and in the long run, it was a liability and the decision to dispose it, even though we all loved it, was unanimous.

Don’t our relationships mirror the farmer–animal relationship at times? Whether with our families, friends or to matters closer to this blog – relationships between Adam and Eve. I mean, we get into relationships with expectations, and we hope that our significant other will meet those expectations, or at least make effort to. Like the farmer, with the feed and minerals, the dusting powder, the jabs from the vet, we give and nurture and ensure that our end of the bargain is met. Even when production fails, the farmer keeps hope alive, just the way we do when our relationships seem to falter – we keep hope alive and hope that we will weather the storms. We do not let them go or give up at the first instant of a fight or misunderstanding; we do not judge them or should not judge them too quickly because they have failed to meet our expectations or seem to not have a grasp of their end of the bargain. And no, we do not brandish in their (our significant others) faces how they have faltered or how they are scoring zero on our wall. Stop raising eyes brows now, I know this actually take a conscious effort. In equal measure, don’t our significant others take us by surprise sometimes, surpassing our expectations and just amazing us?

I have also been reminded of something equally import, just liStop worryingke the farmer, that there is need to gauge between input and output. I know this is controversial when it comes to relationships, but actually it shouldn’t be – because this is the nature of man (and woman) – to expect – so truth be told, one can only put so much effort, but if the other party is not reciprocating, and the only constant is that expectations are not met (it is up to the person to decide what is realistic in their relationship and what isn’t), then surely, it does not make sense to keep going especially if all avenues have been exhausted and all pointers are that you will always be left feeling that you have the short end of the stick.

Therefore, there should be some kind of bench mark; the minimum that should be met  and this varies from person to person. If this is not happening, then one is left with one option: to ‘dispose’ and chart a new path. Although I am not sure what he was referring to, I agree with Stephen R. Donaldson who said that “It is wrong to ask for more than you give freely. In this way, we come to resemble what we hate.”

 By Fridah

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On matters blogging, some of you have read Biko’s amazing blog. Finally, (I do not know why it took so long), he has been nominated in this year’s Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) awards in the best creative writing blog category. So, if you like his creativity, go there and vote for him and let’s celebrate the writer!

 Have a good week ahead.

Project 44

How Well Do You Know Him/Her?

I attended a bridal shower of a friend, a respectable one ;). No male strippers or anything like that, just a bunch of young women having fun and sending off their dear one to the matrimonial land. As it happens in many of these parties, we played the game where the bride had to answer questions about the groom, to test how well she really knows him. Of course, for every question she got right, we cheered her on and for every question she got wrong, she had to take a shot of something quite strong that would eventually go to her head and make her knees all wobbly and her speech slurred. Now, the trick in this case was that the groom had actually provided quite a number of ‘wrong’ answers so that the bride got so many of them wrong even though she was right. She was cross but took it all in good humor – it was a lot of fun and that was the point of it all.

Well, outside of this fun part, if one is asked questions about their partner, especially a few days before getting married and one gets them wrong, then this can rattle some nerves and raise some eyebrows. It is said that how well you know your partner is a testament to how good your relationship. If you have a good relationship then it means that each partner feels free in the company of the other and they will share things about themselves and also be themselves in the presence of each other because they feel accepted – virtues, insecurities and all.

It is not uncommon to hear of relationships where partners do not seem to know each other or instances where you may hear something about your partner from someone else whereas you feel you should be in a position to have had knowledge of this. Of course, this depends a lot on the stage of the relationship or union that you are in. If you have only just began dating, then you will excuse yourself (and you will be excused) if you do not know about some habits or characteristics of your partner – after all, you are only getting to know each other. However, if you have been married for some years, then it is expected that you will know a lot including the snoring pattern of your spouse (yes, how many heaves and grunts). I have heard stories about people who wake up sometimes and look at partner and wonder, not why they are married to him/her but who this person next to them really is: bad breath, overnight drool at the side of the mouth and farting under the blankets. I guess these are a lot of things that couples have to put up with……

socialmoms.net

It does happen that sometimes people date for a period of time and it is only when they are making nuptial plans or when they move in together that they seem to discover a whole other side to their partner. Often times, this whole other side comes as a surprise because tendencies or habits or beliefs that you did not know about your partner are inevitably displayed. Few are pleasant surprises; many are usually off-putting and can lead to questions or doubts about compatibility and long term plans with the said partner. A friend of mine married a fine girl and when I went to visit their home the first time, I asked him how he was taking married life. He told me that married life requires a lot of patience because even the littlest of things that you discover about your partner when you start living together can drive you up the wall. Believe it or not, he was put off by the fact that she did not press the toothpaste tube from the base and would press it from the top and she was always left her toothbrush lying on the top of the sink instead of placing it in the holder. I looked at him amusedly and he knew I was giving him that ‘really?’ look and then told me that sometimes these small things can make a big difference. I concluded that he was the pedantic sort and she wasn’t – they say opposites attract, right? heheheh

I think that sometimes when we are in relationships, people tend to assume things about their partner. This is especially when you are getting along so well; there is a tendency for people to assume at times that their partner likes the same things or has the same habits as them and forget to give enough time to really getting to know each other. It is true that in some instances, you may never know your partner 100% but if you are married to and/or living with them, then a score of 90% should be the least one would expect should they be woken up at midnight with a pop-quiz ;).This includes knowing even silly things about them, because at the end of the day, these supposedly ‘small things’ can tear you apart; things like squeezing the toothpaste tube or not having a clear plan about where to place various items and of course the really irritating stuff such as brushing his teeth early in the morning whilst making sounds which make you wonder if he is at war with his throat.

At the least, Eve should know Adam’s shoe size ;).

How well do you know him/her?

By Joyce