Thursday, May 22, 2014

Exotic Fruit....Red Bayberry (Myrica rubra)

This time around I was fruits shopping at the wholesale market and chance upon this wonderful berry. I have been eating this fruit in the dried form and we called it Yang Mei (扬梅) but the name Red Bayberry is not known to me. The sour sweet taste of the dried version is appetizing and thirst quenching.

I have not seen this fruit in its fresh form in any of the supermarkets I went to. This is probably because of its cost and seasonal. The size of the fruit is round and size of a 20 cents coin. It is red to maroon/ purple color and the texture is knotty with a small seed in the center.

Red Bayberry is a native of Asia and you can find them growing in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea etc. It was recorded that this berry has been around for more than 2000 years. The tree itself is used in garden horticulture landscaping so it goes to show that this is a beautiful tree. 

Red Bayberry medicinal properties... unusually rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), the most powerful class of free-radical-scavenging antioxidants. OPCs are believed to support every metabolic system in the body by protecting it against internal and environmental stresses.

Twenty times more powerful than Vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E, OPCs are said to defend against cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases, and premature aging.

OPCs have also been shown to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and help lower LDL cholesterol levels. OPCs also increase the strength and elasticity of blood vessels while slowing down the collapse of collagen, keeping skin firm, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells (3)....

Due to my persisting cough which my doctor told me that medicine is just to numb the throat so it is better to let it cough and clear the lungs. Too much coughing started me looking for fruits that will nourish my internal organs which we Chinese believes play an important part in balancing our energy.

Enjoy reading and if you are able to buy this fruit in its fresh form, I am sure you will enjoy it. One more thing, I soak these berries in salt solution to clear insects that may be hidden in the knotty texture and the fruits are even more yummy!!! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


When looking at these graffiti scribbled across HDB amazed me. These youths risking their lives to do something dangerous and what is their motives. Are they asking to be seen, to be heard or they  are having some grievances with the authorities?

At 17 years of age, and since they are considered minor, shouldn't they be doing something minor should be doing. If this is the case, than the law do not need to deal with them. Did they know that vandalism is against the law? They obviously know but probably felt that they won't be caught, unfortunately they did.

They scribbled something about the ruling party, at 17 what do they know about the ruling party? Are these the imprints that adults left on the youths? I wonder what sort of parents they have, the school and education they attended....and....what are we breeding?

So the locked-up and exposures are seen by some public as not protecting the minors. I wonder what is the agenda behind these adults? What they mean by protecting? To me protecting is protecting them to do the right thing at the right age. They can have their say about the Government, ruling party, authorities when their age is right. If they want to grow up before their time, than they have to take whatever punishments that comes with it.

To me it is really the hardest hit will make a person grow in terms of wisdom and character. As adults we want to protect the minor but not in interfering when they need to learn. These are not your children and it makes it so easy to point fingers but wait till it is yours. Tell us what is reputation, future and the breed your child is becoming! Unhappy, sent them to another country, let them do what they like...let them take charge of their lives. They either go up or they go down like a is their lives, is that right? Isn't protecting them our duty to show them the correct way of growing up?

Do not mistake me for going against the minors, neither am I going against the authorities. Youths are so precious and should grow up healthily in both body and mind.

I am sure the authorities have a reason for doing what they did and don't be so ready to criticize.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

My tribute to Mothers...

...all Mothers, who somehow in some lifetimes have been my Mother. Do I know you Mother, when we meet again in this life? I myself, who also have been a Mother to others in some other lifetimes, do I know who were my children?

Mothers…the figure of Love, Care, Concern, Ever Giving, All Forgiving, All encompassing, silently sufferings and the list goes on. Mothers, she concealed us in her body for 10 months. Within these 10 months, she accepted the discomfort, the anxiety, the danger and lovingly nature us – do we know? Are we thankful? Our birthday is actually the suffering day of our Mothers but she bore with the pain and traumatically waited for our arrival and the suffering is only beginning.

Mother…gives her life to protect us. When we come into this world, we are helpless little thing. Mother feed us with the milk she produces and we happily suckle at her breast. All the food she took is ours to take and take for granted. She woke up all nights if we are sick, she carried us in her arms and forgo her own rest – yes, she is that great! Mothers watch over us carefully, feed us, clean us, provide for us, dress us and watch us grow. In the course of our growing, she worried about our health, our safety, our education and our future. She is afraid that we grew up wrongly and without love. Mothers of today and yester years, in whatever era have not changed – their qualities remain the same. 

Many of us thought that Mother is only the current maternal Mother of ours. Actually, all the women we know are/were our Mothers before. Do you believe? The amount of merits our Mothers did for us, the greatest is she gave us Life. With this and all said, if you carry your Mother on your shoulder and run 10 times around the world, you are not able to pay back her kindness. So if you have not been nice to your Mother, please go and give her a hug and say “thank you” before it is too late.

Mothers, is not only human Mothers. I saw a documentary how birds guard their eggs. In the heat of the day, in the cold of the night, in heavy downpour and in time when the bird of prey stooped down, they never leave their eggs. Day after day they sit to hatch and father birds take turns. Until the eggs hatched and the chicks appeared, Mothers birds will be busy feeding the hungry mouths. It is heart warming to see how Mothers encouraged the chicks to fly, taught them how to hunt and only leave them when they are grown. 

The documentary also brought tears to my eyes when a Kingfisher who built her nest by the riverbank did not leave her eggs during heavy downpour which finally overflow and filled her nest with water killing the egg and the Mother Kingfisher. This is the love of a Mother.

I also remember the Szechuan Earthquake, a mother and father sandwiched their child protectively between their bodies by hugging each other tightly. This selfless love gave the child life....but both parents perished. Do you still question your parents love for you?

Therefore, in many many life times, we have accepted the kindness of our Mothers, no matter what form she took. In many many life times we have also been Mothers to various life forms too.

I miss my Mother. Now that she is gone, I wished that I could have been a better child. It is always when something is lost than we realized how much it meant to us. My parents gave me what I am today.

I am forever grateful to all my Mothers. As I am striving for realization, may I always carry them on my shoulder. May all my Mothers be happy wherever they are and one day when I reached the "yonder shore", may all Mothers reached the "yonder shore" with me too. In all my lives, may I not forget the kindness of Mother Sentient Beings.

As we enter into the Month of May... I wish Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers who have been my Mother in whatever forms I have taken. May you all be Well, be Happy, be free from Sufferings and comes under the blessing aura of all the Buddhas.