By Khaula Mazhar

he Nature of Things: Appreciating Grass On Your Side Of The Fence

Being a nature geek I often find it hard to fathom the general population’s complaints about the weather, their distrust of large animals, and extreme opinions regarding naturally occurring edibles for example, vegetables. Allow me to elucidate this for you.

Let it snow

Hello, we live in Canada. What were you expecting? Snow is great, yes I admit I don’t shovel the driveway and I don’t have to commute for over sixty minutes to get to work in the cold and dark. I stumble to the table with a hot cup of tea and flick on my laptop. Honestly, I do sympathize with the people who face a certain amount of turmoil when Mother Nature decides to dump three feet of snow on us, but snow is awesome. Next time it snows, bundle up the kids and go sledding. It is so much fun! Besides it is a great way to get some exercise and work off those extra calories that have started showing very visibly around the waistline. Look at it this way, what if you lived in Nagano, Japan?

Nagano, Japan

Aren’t you glad this isn’t your street?

Who let the dogs out?

Most desi people are not big fans of dogs and that is fine. Except when they jump off the sidewalk and into traffic to avoid a canine walking by. People get a hold of yourselves! No matter what you believe, that dog is not out to get you, dogs just have HAS (hyperactive affection syndrome).  They are naturally overly affectionate creatures who believe that it is their duty to shower love on everyone they pass on the street. If you don’t want to receive this affection, rather than leap to certain death on a busy lane, I suggest you don’t make eye contact with the dog. Ignore them completely, most dogs will be dejected and that puts a damper on their mood, subduing them considerably.  Unless of course you live in a neighborhood with dogs like this….

giant dog

…in which case I suggest you move without further ado because it’ll be kind of hard to ignore something that gargantuan.

BIG bugs, why Mother Nature, why?

Butterflies? Beautiful! Moths? Like little fairies in the night. Ladybugs? Adorable. Bees? Ummm honey.  Ants…well ok, as long as they stay outside. Spiders? Get my shot gun.

Nature lover or not, even I draw the line here. Dang Girl could you not have created something less ….leggy? Go forth all of you with dusters and vacuums and rid your house of these critters! Keep them from coming back by spraying with this handy and (mostly) natural repellent:

DIY Natural Bug Repellent

  • 5 drops of citrus, citronella, tea tree or lavender oil
  • 5 drops of dishwashing liquid (the lemon scented one is supposed to work best)
  • 1 quart water

Mix it all up and keep it in a spray bottle.

Spray in corners etc once a week or as needed.

That being said we should still look on the positive side. This is not Brazil, home of the Brazilian wandering spider…


Oh I’m sorry, did I just insure you will never be able to sleep again?

Produce of the land

Greasy, meaty ethnic food are all great. If, however, you want to live past 45 you really need to start integrating green stuff into your diet. Here the guilty party is comprised mainly of the male species who think that coriander or some other fresh green herb used as a garnish, sufficiently covers the vegetable department. Well gentlemen, it doesnt.

This section of nature is highly under appreciated. Vegetables are so versatile, so light and fresh, so delicious.  The fact that loki ki bujia doesn’t exactly bring joy to anyone’s heart can be overlooked as Canada has such a wide variety of veggies.  Salad is the best thing that can happen to your dining table. So is steamed broccoli with melted butter. Or corn on the cob. Or creamed spinach. I could go on forever, don’t even get me started on celery! Besides that you can still find all your traditional favorites at the local store.

stir fry

So really you have the best of both worlds. You just have to open your eyes to see that the grass is pretty green on your side of the fence.

About the author:

Khaula Mazhar, author of Mama Loves Me, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now bestows her wisdom upon the world at her blog. Last time she counted she had five kids, however the vast amount of laundry has given her doubts. This is a cause of constant distraction as she tries to finish writing the next NYT best-seller.

Images: 123RFShinshusnow.comBBC.Co.UKDeviant Art