Thursday, July 31, 2014

Save the world: Dementia research

Ann Chin's photo.
Dementia research clinic first in NZ. It will open in Grafton, Auckland.

A Sibu couple had a terrible accident and they bequeathed their money to dementia research.

Alzheimer's and dementia is a horrible thing. My friend told me," Ann, it is fantastic that you are writing and reading, it means you are exercising your brain and preventing too early the onset of ogre Alzheimer. It doesn't matter if you are writing trivial things like what food you ate or what flower you saw.."

What is your recipe of training your brain?

Both my mother, and her father died in Alzheimer disease. My wife, and myself took care of my mother full time till the very last weeks. I saw the depletion of my grandfather too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ABC wednesdayL Letter C

 To beat winter colds and coughs, my brother recommended a brew using cinnamon twirls cloves. Home brews were something my mum had done when we were growing up.
 Carmelia flower in winter
 Cinnamon twirls

 My chamomile plants are struggling in the cold.
Photo: My chamomile plants are struggling in the cold.

I love chocolate. Sadly Whittaker's is recalling a batch of its Almond Gold Mini Slabs after discovering pieces of blue plastic in the product. (1)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Deep Grief

My three grand mothers all suffered losing their children

“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
Photo: “Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”  ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, July 28, 2014

yellow lemon

The Bush lemon tree, a naturalized lemon, grows wild in subtropical Australia. It is very hardy, and has a thick skin with a true lemon flavor; the zest is good for cooking. It grows to about 4 m in a sunny position.

 Father and Mother had lime trees, and we  used to 

make a soy sauce, sugar and chilli and we ate them 

slurping the lime juice,


Sunday, July 27, 2014

a field of sunflowers

A field of sunflowers,
The news commentator repeats.
Lies the horrors of MH17,

Grandpa used to joke,
If you lie on a field of beautiful flowers,
You will die in peace.

The victims of MH17,
died I hope on impact,
They didn't suffer pain.

But it is the people they left behind,
The mums and the dads, the children,
The husbands and the wives.

Their bereavement, their pain,
Who will wipe their tears away?
Who will comfort the hole in their heart.

Will the leaders be swayed?
To lay down their weapons.
And understand war is morally wrong.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hong Tian Wu, Sessile Joyweed Alternanthera sessilis 紅田烏

Hong Tian Wu 

photo courtesy
 I photographed my sis in law's herbal garden, and she uses the plant for blood cleansing. This herb is grown in Singapore and Malaysia. Because off its burgundy red color which looks like blood, the Chinese practitioners believe that it is good to detoxify our body, cleanse our blood, relieve high blood sugar and cholesterol.

My friend told me and recommended that I try it. As I am open to anything that could be good, I went to the local wet market and bought a couple of bundles and brewed it with Chinese sugar dates. I was the only one in the family daring enough to drink it.

I asked my Sister Rose, and my sis in law. They both plant them this herb in their garden.
The native Malaysians call it DAUN KURMA MERAH and they eat them as a vegetable as well as using it as a herb.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wattle, Australia "Christmas tree." The golden wattle, Acacia pycnantha, is Australia's national flower.

This was "Our Christmas Tree" when we were living in Borneo. Dad was given saplings, He grew and it didn't look like a fir tree. He grew about 6 trees and we asked , why doesn't the leaves look needle like like pine trees?

The saplings grew to big trees, we never got our "Christmas tree". Dad didn't have the heart to chop them down. In Borneo, they never bloomed.

Many years later, I visited Australia and found it in full bloom. No wonder the man told Dad it was Christmas tree.

I saw the wattle in South Port. It is so beautiful, and I told my sister now I understood when my dad in Borneo was given this saplings to grow,

The flowering wattle makes it a beautiful Christmas tree.

Courtesy Wayne Parr‎'s photo.

Stay mellow with yellow!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Jamaican Cherry Tree

Jamaican Cherry Tree/ Malayan Cherry Tree/
Muntingia calabura
Jamaican/Japanese Cherry, Buah Ceri/Kerukup Siam(Malay)

This is a tree of my youth, it evokes a lot of emotions. some of us remember it with LOL now, some with anger, and some block it.

Jamaican Cherry Tree
Muntingia calabura

Jamaican/Japanese Cherry, Buah Ceri/Kerukup Siam(Malay)

The Cherry Tree is named for its sweet sticky fruits, juicy and full of tiny seeds. They are a favourite with birds and bats, which disperse the seeds, and children too! The leaves are covered with tiny sticky hairs. 

Although it provides good shade, it is not a popular wayside tree because the birds and bats that visit the tree also leave their droppings under the tree.

The tree flourishes in poor soil, tolerating both acid and alkaline conditions and quite drought resistant. However, it doesn't tolerate salty conditions and so is not a true mangrove associate.

Fruit Salad (Monstera_deliciosa.) 2

Two weeks ago, I picked an unripe Fruit Salad for my uncle, and left in in my pantry and forgot about it. This morning, I found it had ripened with a ripe banana fragrance, and bits of the fruit was dropping like kernels of sweet corn.

I went to my garden and snapped the frutis at it's different stages.I am not very adventurous in eating unfamiliar food, but I think when my brother-in-law comes from Borneo, he will try it.

The leaves are sold in florists shops for forage decor. One evening, I watched an American foodie TV show. One of the contestant used the leaf on her plate in her Caribbean themed dinner. I was thinking, I could sell my fruit salads fruits as organic fruits, and the leaves to a florist.

fruit Salad

The house plant you see in the garden centres,homes, restaurants, offices or hotels is commonly known as Fruit salad is the Monstera_deliciosa.

It grows best at a temperatures of 20 °C to 30 °C, like Singapore and requires a shady place with high humidity. Growth ceases below 10 °C and frost will kill it

It thrives very well outdoors in Auckland. I have two big bushes in my back garden. The leaves are giant size, averaging 24 inches by 18 inches.

I first heard of heard of them as a house plant in 1980. I saw a Chinese supermarket selling them. It reminded of the old days when I saw plenty of them growing in my grandfather's rubber garden in Sarawak.

It flowers around 3 years after it is planted in ideal conditions, and takes 1 year longer for the fruit to ripen. Flowering is rare when grown indoors. The plant can be transplanted by taking cuttings of a mature plant or by air layering.

My two bushes have more than twenty fruits but I am not game to eat them since it taste like jack fruit. I am allgeric to jck fruits. My brothers in Australia love them, taste like pineapple they tell me. Friends from South Africa have also eaten them.

May be when you go tramping in the jungles of Malaysia, you may find the giant fruits. Are you game to try?

The fruit may be ripened by cutting the fruit when the first scales begin to lift up and the fruit begins to exude a pungent odor, then wrapping in a paper bag and setting aside until the kernels begin popping off. The kernels are then brushed off; they fall away to
reveal the edible flesh underneath. The custard-like flesh is then cut away from the core and eaten. It has a delicious fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple. Unlike some other exotic fruits such as the Durian, there is no acquired taste and people enjoy
it immediately. Eating the immature fruit which has not matured and still has the kernels firmly attached, exposes the throat to the oxalic acid and is dangerous.

Winter in Canada 40 years ago.

Glad to be connected with Jeff Song we met 40 years ago.

Tiny crabs

When I was living in the Buloh Road Government quarter in Sibu, we were living in a swamp. There was a piece of land that was full of tall reeds, a neighbour went to the reeds, and caught the tiny crabs, As kids , we also helped. 

At the end of the day , they pickled the crabs. My mum banned us from doing it again, because we were covered with mud when we came home, and were  cut by the reeds. I think they pickled it in the red wine left over. 

I borrowed Francis Pang's photos.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Flying over crash air zone a month before

My friend Anna Sue said my sister Margaret  and her Husband and herself was on board this flight lat month. I feel a chill in my spine.
This is what my Quang Ning Grand father used to teach us. Our Ah Kung and Ah Tai (ancestors) sat high and see far away, and protected Margaret.

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was hit by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday, said U.S. intelligence officials. Officials were divided over the origin of the missile that hit the plane, which crashed over eastern Ukraine. 

2 hours ago via Instagram
Exactly a month ago...i was on this ill fated flight..flew exactly at the same time, the same route..(honestly, i was very scared at that time)...since i was in the business class cabin & i cant sleep, there were ample room for me to walk around and chit chatting with the cabin crews..sempat lagi gelak2 pasal the captain's announcement..the only announcement where the captain is actually talking mcm kita bercakap dikampung..he was so jovial and i enjoyed the jokes he made...hmmm...ajal maut ditangan Allah s.w.t...feeling so sad
I replied love you.
Anna Sue Ann Chin me & your sister Prof Dr Margaret were on this flight

FSO/Phothunt : Sheer/vacation.

19th * Sheer  as in completely or absolutely like sheer determination

You can see my sheer determination as I tried to climb up the rope mountian.when I went out days' vacation. 

This reflects my sheer determination  to survive as a bereaved mother.

Vacations [Friday My Town Shoot Out] 

ABC Wednesday: Attitude/ Kindness/Good Samaritans.

 This is a story of a kind Attitude. Two boys gave up their time in the park and did an Amazing thing.

Good Samaritans. 

I was taking my newly arrived from Taiwan friends out to Coyle's park and having a picnic. Dogs without a leash are not allowed to be in a public park. This dog came near to us when we were having our picnic. 

A woman came to us and told us that dogs should not be allowed, she said especially when there are so many young children. May be she thought it was our dog.

I told her it wasn't our dog. I was afraid to get near it.

These two young men checked the disc of the dog and saw there was a telephone number. He called the number. The dog had snuck out of the house. The big boy hung around and waited for the dog owner who came in his push bike.

This dog owner was lucky to have encountered these 2 guys. Someone else could have rang the dog pound, and it would be bye bye to $$$$.

We were having our picnic when a dog came near us. A woman told us that dogs without a leash was not allowed in the park. There were young children around.

We were very near the playground.

 It did look like the dog belonged to us, it followed Dora every where.

Big boy waits patiently for dog owner. He tells us he had informed dog owner. Dog had snuck out of house.

Dog goes home with his owner on the bike.