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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fermented Milk Fertiliser


Here's a picture of the vomit-smelling sludge that floats atop my fermented milk fertiliser. People have been quite intrigued by my new fertilising regime, especially since I posted pictures of mulberries as big as my thumb, and attributed the luscious fruits to fermented milk fertiliser. See here, the mulberries.

With so many people wanting to know the hows, whys and wherefores, I thought it would be good to do up a post on how to make fermented milk fertiliser.

You need a huge black trash can, like so... See picture below.


Fill it about 5/6 full of water. Rainwater or dechlorinated water is best. Pour in 1 can of evaporated milk. The can says "net weight 400g". Dump in 250g of white sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar is all melted. Throw in 2 individual portions of yoghurt or 2 cans of Yakult or 1 capsule of acidophilus. Or all of the above.

Sorry... Petunia is only precise when it comes to real work. Hobbies are approached with utmost artistic agaration. Cover and let ferment for 5 days... or 4... or 6... Ummm.... agaration, remember? Every once in a while, you take a scoop and then "tarik" the solution to introduce air into the mixture.

When you are ready to use it, draw out one pail (normal laundry pail size) of the fermented solution and keep it aside to start the next lot of fermented milk solution. This way, you don't have to use anymore Yakult/yoghurt/acidophilus capsules for the next batch.

By the time it is ready to use, the milk would have coagulated into a sedimentary layer at the bottom of the huge pail. Use a bamboo pole to mix it up. Dilute your solution with one part water and one part ferment. Water to soil. This solution seems to kill soil mealies and fungus gnat babies real good too.

Don't give to plants more than 3 days successively. And oh yes... once in a while, I throw in a packet of baker's yeast. The whole idea is to grow as much bacteria or yeast as you can, that will break down the milk and release the nutrients in a form the plant can absorb.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Possible House Design


Here is what the new house COULD look like. Gee... this is getting really exciting. It's one thing to look at lines on paper with metres and feet spelling out bathrooms and rooms. It's another when the architect magicks up an almost-photo and shows it to you.

My heart leapt up to my throat.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nail Infection


The above photo of the balsam plant comes from a lovely blog here. I have a pot just like that now, started by seedlings given me by Abby, the Earth Mother of GCS.

I was nursing a nasty nail infection in The Husband's big toe. The term for it is panochyria. Quite serendipitiously, I came across a conversation in the GCS forum about The Fingernail plant. Weekend Farmer and Tin shared some uses for this plant. At around the same time, I visited Mr Donald's garden and was re-introduced to the plant. Shortly after, in visiting Abby's garden, all her balsam plants came and jumped up and down in front of me shouting "Look at me! Look at me! I am The Fingernail plant!"

Meanwhile, The Husband and I were at our wits' end trying our darndest to figure out how to get rid of the toenail infection. The doctor prescribed antibiotics which helped not a whit. Socks were microwaved, shoes were thrown away, salt soaks, vinegar soaks, milk soaks (milk is an antifungal agent)... To no avail. Finally, a needle was used to lance the infection to draw out the pus and introduce tea tree oil. We used so much tea tree oil that the skin began to burn and peel.

Still, the infection stayed stubbornly under the nail... We couldn't reach the infected area because a layer of nail covering protected the pathogens from any anti-fungal solution we had the brains to devise. Tea tree oil is Petunia's last resort for anything fungal or bacterial, you see. If tea tree oil doesn't work, Petunia's defenses against all the naughty infections that dare to attack the family have effectively been overwhelmed.

I was loath to use the leaves of my newly acquired Fingernail Plant seedlings because the seedlings were so small and had not yet stabilised in their new pot. The Husband loved me too much to defoliate my seedlings. But he was in so much pain, and it had been a month, that at the risk of killing the seedlings, I tore off leaves and crushed them into a poultice which I wrapped around his big toe.

The infection was gone within a day. After 3 days of poultic-ing, no more sign of re-infection at all.

Okay... please don't ask me how it works. I have no clue. I have no qualifications in herbalism... and certainly no PhD in botany. But someone called CloudJade shared "If it works, don't diss it". I ain't dissing this (whatever "diss" means). I am an old wife and this is an old wife's remedy.

But man! It works! And I might add that I am sure it was no mere coincidence to have come across a thread in the forum on The Fingernail plant outta absolutely nowhere... come across the same plant in Mr Donald's garden... AND come across Abby's loud and rambunctious Fingernail Plants... AND of course, when Abby stuffs armful of seedlings at you, it's hard to say "no" (NOT that I wanted to at all). It just seemed that God knew my need and He was saying, "Here is my provision for you".

Thank you God, for making The Fingernail Plant just for me and The Husband.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thank You Mr Lim Biow Chuan

Whilst I did comment on George Yeo here and here, I haven't commented on MP Lim's supposed faux-pas. I didn't because I thought he deserved the benefit of the doubt. It isn't fair to jump on a fellow and pummel him when he might have had his words misunderstood.

But gee... misunderstood or not, I really really want to thank MP Lim for clarifying in Temasek Review the following.

I do not agree with the behaviour of Mr Jack Neo and am of the view that it is clearly wrong. However, as a Christian leader and an MP, I do not feel that we should simply condemn the man for his misconduct.

...

At the time when I made the 1st comment, I did not know that the circumstances would become so complicating as the report only said that Jack Neo had an affair with his colleague and that his wife had forgiven him.

Thank you so much Mr Lim for stating that you do not agree with Jack Neo's behavior and clarifying that your comment arose from having had insufficient information about the case . As a Christian, I understand grace and forgiveness too. But as a woman, I feared that unscrupulous men would conveniently interpret a complete lack of political censure from MPs and Ministers as a license to exploit women.

I also think that people in every walk of life try their best. It's not fair to jump on every peanut of a word and abuse the poor MP online. Everybody needs encouragement. It's poor citizenship to bash public figures for no good reason. It's mob lynching.

So Mr Lim ... I thank you for your courage to state your stand and show us that you are cognizant of the power of an MP's words to sculpt mentalities and educate the populace. And don't let yourself be discouraged by the continued online bashing. Gee... thank God it's online and not real bashing or it would be a dangerous life!!

Now, George Yeo?

My Biggest Mulberries EVER!


My mulberry plant has never done well. I fertilised heavily because I know it is a fruiting plant and needs a lot of food... but Ms Mulberry was always skinny. And it was often attacked by scale insects. Then I found out about high brix farming and I tried out my balanced feeding regime which rotated fertilisers from week to week.

Week 1: Fermented milk (condensed milk + 1 acidophilus capsule)
Week 2: Seaweed extract
Week 3: Fish emulsion
Week 4: Phostrogen chemical fertiliser
Week 5: High phosphorus chemical fertiliser
Week 6: Rest

The plants seem to like it. I'm not really a high brix farmer though but the idea of giving my plants a balanced nutrition makes a lot of sense.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Conspiracy Theory

The internet is abound with conspiracy theories. Many quarters say that PAP is trying to hush up the George-Jack matter because it makes them look bad. Well... I have been inspired to formulate my own conspiracy theory!!

I think that PAP has asked The Sex-Starved Caveman to prove his innocence. "Go on Jack! If she is lying, sue her! Prove your innocence... or else..." Now, if a party elder like Lee Kuan Yew (or Goh Chok Tong ... or Lee Hsien Loong) eyeballs you and softly says "Or else..." you had better do something.

So of course The Sex-Starved Caveman did something. He picked up his prehistoric clubs and shook them at Princess Foyce threatening to drag her by the hair to court. Feisty Princess Foyce was outraged that he should accuse her when she had so graciously refrained in the past from dragging him to the police by his caveman penis.

Princess Foyce went to The Police.

Now... the PAP will sit back whilst The Police gather the facts using techniques they are trained in and have tried on numerous other cavemen with great success. I don't think the PAP will try to hush this up. Men in PAP are not of such ilk. Besides, the political fallout of hushing this up is too great. They will LOSE Aljunied and LOSE BIG! If they want to save Aljunied, they need to housekeep their own party.

PAP wants the facts. If facts point to Jack Neo's innocence, then Petunia has to eat her words (I would be most relieved to because then I know my favorite party is fine) and George Yeo's near hero status in her eyes will be restored. If facts point to Jack Neo's dirty penis as a key culprit, then PAP will castrate The Sex-Starved Caveman themselves. Castrate The Sex-Starved Caveman figuratively I mean. Not really castrate him. Though in my view, the latter is preferable and it can be done under general anaesthesia quite humanely too. I know because my dog Milo was done to.

I don't think it is practical for PAP to comment now. It is still possible that Jack Neo has done nothing against the law. It is not quite right for PAP to jump on the Sex-starved Caveman unless they know for sure that that is the right thing to do. Once the facts are out, comment or action will be more appropriate. Meanwhile, it makes no sense to stoke the fire, so The Straits Times has decided to not give anymore updates on the issue. That is fine because social harmony is important.

This said, I still think that women should not vote for George Yeo.

We love Princess Foyce.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why Do Dogs and Children Get Along?

The answer is simple. The dog has nothing else to do except play. The children want to do nothing else but play. Dogs and children have the same simple priority in life - PLAY.

It's the first day of the school hols. The Cousin came by and for me, it was an amazing relief. I was given a break from Little Boy. It is actually good to have several children around the same age because they play with each other and leave you quite alone to drink your tea.

Milo loved the playtime so much that when I shoo-ed the children into the bedroom to get some holiday homework done, he sat outside and barked noisily "Hey! You two! Come and play! What are you doing sitting there? Come play!"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Milo and his Toys

Here is Milo with his teddy bear and a few of his many balls.

My Christian God is a Holy One

I know people reading this come from every religion. This is not to disrespect your faiths, it is a profession of mine.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters,

I wrote the previous three blogposts because as I was doing my bible study fellowship a few days ago, something happened that made John 2:13-16 very salient to me. Carelessly, I mistakenly analyzed John 2:13-16 twice and gave wrong answers in my worksheet. I was still kicking myself for my carelessness, when I read of George Yeo and Jack Neo.

Having read John 2:13-16, Christians will understand what I mean when I write "Our God is a Holy God. He will not allow his temple to be defiled."

And if fellow Christian brothers and sisters are sceptical of God's hand in this, then let me share that at the same moment when I received a blog reader's alert about Temasek Review's link to my blog, I received my TGIF bible study. To those Christians who think that God's forgiveness is cheap, please read below the TGIF bible study that came not earlier nor later, but at the exact time when I learnt about Temasek Review's bloglink.

God's forgiveness is gracious... but it is not cheap. God's grace is freely given... but one does not cheat Him of his grace.

The First Requirement of Ministry

TGIF Today
God Is First
Volume 1 by Os HillmanSunday, March 14 2010
"The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the Lord." - Joel 1:9b

The first requirement for being used by God in the life of others is to mourn on their behalf. We must identify with their pain and suffering. Each of us must be broken for others first.

In order to be fully used by God in the workplace, we need to understand what breaks God's heart. When we understand what breaks God's heart, we are able to mourn on behalf of a grieving person, or a nation we are called to serve. What breaks God's heart? When we begin to answer this question, we begin the first step to becoming instruments of change for those things that are important to God. Perhaps it is an overemphasis in our own talent and abilities, or lack of complete trust in Jesus. Perhaps it is the lack of respect for human life that leads to the killing of innocent babies. Perhaps it is the deceit and pride that often rule the workplace of commerce. Or perhaps it is the strife and divisions among His own Body that grieve Him most. When we begin to mourn over our own sins in these areas, God begins to use us as instruments of righteousness to affect these things. It was only when God let me see my own sins in the workplace and how they broke His heart that I began to be an instrument for His purposes.

Today, ask God to show you what things in your world are breaking His heart. Then see how He might want you to be the priest to affect for Him.

The first step is identification with what breaks God's heart.

I apologise if non-Christian readers don't understand some of what is in this post. I am not trained in theology and I don't know how to properly explain. Mature Christians will understand, I think.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Don't Vote for George Yeo

The thing about gender relations is that there is an equilibrium to be managed. In cultures where the burden of chastity sits squarely on the shoulders of the woman, women have to go through extraordinary lengths to stay safe. They have to cover hair, eyes and body. They cannot go to many places because by simply being in a certain place, men can say "You hit on me, just by being there." Perhaps, smiling at a man could be perceived as a come on?

I wear shorts and half-backed t-shirts. But I am not hitting on any of the men who see me walk down the street. I like that freedom. When a man holds the door open for me, I smile at him. I am not hitting on him. My hair is long and chestnut brown. That is also not a hit on any man who sees it.

Men need to play their part, and share in the burden of protecting women's safety, by controlling themselves, and by counselling other men to good behavior.

For women to move freely without constraint in public... for women to feel safe at work from lecherous bosses... for teens to develop a healthy sexuality uncontaminated by the sex education men like Jack are more than pleased to offer... George Yeo should come out and state that Jack's actions are unacceptable (of course, I can think of stronger words than "unacceptable" but let's be gentle shall we?)

If George Yeo fails to state unequivocally that Jack's actions were wrong, then he has let down Jack's wife and every other wronged wife in Singapore. He has let down Maelle, and all other teens who've been hit on my lechers. He has let down Foyce, and all other women who have lecherous bosses. Men all over Singapore will know that this is a country where men can cheat a wife and a mistress, hit on teens and grope their female subordinates... and be told "You poor thing. You are going through an ordeal".

George Yeo owes the women of Singapore an unequivocal statement that Jack's actions were wrong. Women are ill represented by George. Let us not vote for him.

Grandfathers with grand-daughters. Fathers with daughters. Husbands with wives who work outside the home. If you love your women and care about their safety and their right to move freely about Singapore, don't vote for George Yeo either. He will craft a Singapore where women cannot feel safe.

George Yeo's open call to support Jack Neo through his ordeal paired with his silence on Jack's misdeeds may be conveniently interpreted by many males that (1) every wife should forgive, and (2) every mistress is to be blamed for the man's affair, and (3) every female teen is up for grabs.

Let us not have him represent us.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Miss Lee Kuan Yew

I'm getting rather tired of this George NEO Jack YEO business. Who cares about Jack's penis anyway? After this post, I'll go back to plants and babies. I'm too old for all this hoo-ha. After all, the years remaining to a shrivelled up menopausal woman aren't many. So why bother?

But I miss LKY. Don't you?

Now THAT was a truly kind man. At age 18 years, I read Proust, a French novelist. I remember nothing else of what he wrote but this lesson. True kindness is not in someone's momentary empathy and emotional pity for a beggar who puts out a hand. True kindness is in that no nonsense nun with eyes of cold steel and no time to stop for hugs. Why? Because that nun is busy about organising people and food and jobs for the poor. Her actions are kind though her demeanour is not.

And that is what LKY did for us. The man was a warrior, and went about his business with an air that communicated "Don't mess with me or I'll mess you up." I learnt the word "knuckledusters" from LKY. That man was blunt (some people say low EQ but hey... you can't please everyone). That man was bossy. Gee... he won't even let you talk out of turn if he was thinking important thoughts. And phones don't ring around LKY. They whimper once. Is all. Today, we label him (rather unfairly I think) an autocrat.

But in everything he said and everything he did, he sought to make a better life for EVERY Singaporean. It didn't matter whether you attend his church (I dunno if LKY goes to church). It didn't matter if you were a Hakka community leader. It didn't matter if you were his friend or his family. He tried to look after everyone. LKY did not confuse friendship with his political role. He told the Hakka community leaders that they would get no special treatment because he had to look out for Singapore's interests first. He told the Chinese that they would get no special treatment because Singapore must come first... and Singapore has Indians, Malays and Others. Gee... the man even told his KIDS that they wouldn't get special treatment because Singapore comes first! As a parent, I know that is very hard to do.

LKY put Singapore FIRST! He looked after EVERYONE of us. He and his colleagues were KIND to us. Like the busy nun with no time for hugs, LKY didn't LOOK kind, but he was. Homes were built. Children were educated. People walked around at night safely. ME... I was educated. ME! A female.

LKY was (is) a man, but he looked after women too. George Yeo is man too. He has never had an old but amazingly unwrinkled penis thrust at him in a Times bookstore framed by the pages of a Garfield comic, when he was a 15 year old girl wearing a school uniform. He has never been cornered in wintertime (dressed in shapeless pullover and baggy jeans), on a train by an old Vietnam war veteran proposing to pay for a room in some bed bugged hotel. And let me tell you that I wasn't even pretty!! Boys my age looked through me. I was just young and I seemed like I was gullible enough to be easy meat.

No... George Yeo would never have experienced all that... and so in his world view, it is unimportant. Young women like that don't exist. You can't look after people whose existence you do not acknowledge. LKY left a towering legacy to George Yeo which the latter squandered in a single blogpost acknowledging and supporting the actions of a deceitful actor/director. This is Barings Bank brought down, except that it isn't reserves of money we are talking about, but reserves of high reputation and rock solid trust in the PAP.

LKY did not have to parade himself on FaceBook and give the public a moment by moment account of his life à la Paris Hilton, to develop a friendship with Singaporeans. Yesterday, for the first time, I googled and found George Yeo's Facebook account. He has 4000 over friends. 4000+ is too much for a private person unless his friendship is cheap. Gee... how many of those 4000+ people are truly George Yeo's friends?

4000+ is not enough for a Minister because LKY has millions of friends (no Facebook acount though...). Millions of Singaporeans and many others who aren't Singaporeans are LKY's friends. I think of LKY as my friend... even if LKY doesn't acknowledge me as his friend. If LKY asked me for a favour, I would try to help. He doesn't know me, but I am his friend.

Do you know why I am LKY's friend? Because he acknowledged my existence and looked out for me the girl-who-became-a-woman. Do you know why Indians and Malays and Others are LKY's friend? Because he acknowledged their existence and looked out for them too. Do you know why Christians, Buddhists etc... are LKY's friend? Because he acknowledged all religions and looked out for them.

George Yeo should stand up and honour LKY's legacy. Acknowledge that Singapore has women (some who are wronged wives and molested girls) and look out for us. What business is it of yours to counsel a wife to stay with her husband? It is her choice and her choice alone. You do not know her pain. You know only the man's pain and can only represent that.

Don't try so hard to look kind on Facebook.

Be truly kind instead.

And you will have more friends than 4000. And take a leaf out of Khaw Boon Wan's book. He has developed a vision and a mission for his blog. He is master of his own blog and is clear what he wants to achieve there. It is not a blog of his personal travails. He doesn't share his blog with entertainers and others irrelevant to his portfolio. Mr Khaw does not entertain. He does his level best to uphold his health portfolio and is courageous when he gets flak for it. When he puts his foot in his mouth he comes out to clarify his position... eyes straightforward and bright.

Lee Kuan Yew, I do so very much wish to have you back again, and as I write this tears puddle on my desk. If there were a way to make you young... a youth elixir of some sort to give you energy and vigour... You did promise that even from your grave, you would spring up to the defense of Singapore, if you saw a threat to all that you built. Here is a threat from within Sir. Come back.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have You Never Been Twenty?

I don't consider myself very full of social conscience. My days are happily filled with little domestic joys which I find meaningful and rich. My 2 years' worth of blogposts are filled with the inane peanut issues of food, plants and children. And I am happy that way.

Nonetheless, I feel compelled to speak up and defend the true victims in the George Yeo & Jack Neo saga. I want to encourage every woman with daughters to speak up in some way or another because these daughters will get to twenty soon... or are already there.

Wendy Chong did no wrong. Like an insect she was caught in a web of a mature spider. Jack Neo was an aggressive predator. It was not a one-off mistake nor a night of passion. His was a pattern of consistent predatory behavior on girls barely out of their teens. He used his wealth and position to groom girls for his own sexual gratification.

The ugly man in a hawker centre nearby leers at The Daughter with crooked teeth. He smiles at no one else but her. He jostles his colleagues aside so that he can be the one to serve her. He jokes with The Daughter. He teases her. He makes her laugh. She... innocent... thinks it is all in good fun.

It is not, because whilst he is trying his best to hit on her, I am watching his eyes. And they shine with same lust I recognise in the eyes of too many men who have hit on me in the past.

The Daughter is not yet 17.

I don't react at all because he is nothing but a server in a hawker centre. He has neither the position nor the power to bring his fantasies to life. And he is ugly. He is no threat and therefore I do nothing. Besides, it may be good to allow this weak virus of a man to inoculate and strengthen the defence systems of The Daughter such that when a true threat appears, she can fight it off.

I do nothing, but I say with as much contempt as I can muster "That one has the hots for you, girl!" She looks at me in disbelief. And she says "Mom! It's not right to be so conceited as to think that every man who smiles at me is in love with me." And then I say brutally, "It is not love. It's lust. It leads to penetration and sex." By now, The Daughter is too grossed out to even want to pursue the conversation.

Girls get hit on by mature men way before they reach 20. If you will, their sexual education already begins. If it so happens that she associates the leery lust with true love then that sets the stage for further sexual grooming as she moves into her 20s. With God's help, I hope to prevent the development of that unhealthy association.

At age 20, I had upfront indecent propositions by men of every age, and in every social class. There have been variously a university professor (sex for grades), a grandfatherly Vietnam war veteran I chatted with on a bus (let's book a room, I'll pay), my first driving instructor (let's do it in this car), a neighbour (who spiked my Coke on an evening out with other neighbours)... oh countless! And there was even a wino/tramp/beggar who sat behind me at a bus stop surreptitiously stroking my hair.

At one point, I considered making myself look like a slob... and then I found a better way. Contempt. There is nothing like a woman's sneering laugh to make an erection shrivel up and drop off.

In my 30s, it was even worse because in professional relationships you cannot sneer! There was a boss. There were 2 CEOs of listed companies. There was a wacko who called me every 2nd day at work because he missed the sound of my voice... and many others. You get used to it like you get used to a fly. You can't swat it so you live with it, and you develop coping strategies.

You learn to openly talk about your husband and how great he is. You learn never to accept dinner invitations. Always lunch in a bright restaurant with a lot of people. You refuse all alcoholic drinks. When travelling, you meet male colleagues downstairs in the lobby, never at the door of your room. You learn to manage the physical environment so that the environment, not you, imposes barriers to intimacy. You pretend that you don't get any of the broad hints that come your way. You smile politely and cut short conversations way before it gets where you don't want. You don't smile unnecessarily. You make a mental note to yourself that men between the ages of 40 and 55 are very aggressive in their approach. You learn about the male mid-life crisis and you make up your mind to preserve your own beauty for as long as you can to protect your husband from the indignities of mid-life crises.

And when you have to... you use contempt... and lay on the sarcasm.I told one person "Good grief! You're so old! Can you even get it up?!" But you need a certain amount of viciousness to say that. I somehow wonder if The Daughter can be vicious enough to adequately defend herself. For sure, Wendy Chong was not vicious enough.

What you DON'T do is to be any less attractive. You DON'T put on a veil or dress in shapeless clothes... or cut your hair. Or stop wearing tank tops. Women have a right to look good, and men need to learn self-control. There are other ways to stop a man in his tracks.

It seemed more bearable when it was me... and not The Daughter. A ball of anger gathers in the bottom of my stomach when I see the ugly man at the hawker centre. But I pretend I see nothing so that The Daughter can experience first hand and be prepared.

Of course I want grandchildren. For that we need a suitable YOUNG man with all the right qualities... and the correct attitude towards her. Of course, lust figures in a courtship to some extent... but unless one can be assured that there is a responsible contract (may not be marriage) that binds the two to a common destiny - to have and to hold till death do them part - then the risk is always there that a young girl be used for sex and thrown away after.

George Yeo has extended public support for The Wife and for Jack. What have they lost? Some endorsement deals? The Wife, it seems, has been a silent accomplice all these years. What would happen if I died and The Daughter lost a loving mother's guidance? Would someone somewhere sexually groom The Daughter too? Would he succeed?

Will she be someone's piece of meat?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

George Yeo and Jack Neo

The Kindness Movement has gone too far. Too much kindness must have addled George Yeo's brain. Kindness fought with Justice and Kindness won... and by winning... Kindness became Cruelty.

George Yeo has been kind to his friend but in doing so... he has been cruel to the TWO (at present count) adolescents preyed upon by Jack Neo. It's well and good to be kind to a friend as Jack Neo must have been, and still is. It's well and good for one man (George Yeo) to commiserate with another man (Jack Neo) for having failed miserably in a way all men are tempted to fail at one time or another.

But then, George Yeo has not spared a thought for the 2 young ladies! One girl says "Hey... George! Your friend seduced me, used me sexually and then dumped me!!". Another girl says "Hey... George! Your friend tried his darndest to seduce me, use me sexually, and dump me! But phew! He didn't succeed."

Is kind cruelty better than cruel kindness?

There is great injustice in declaring open support for the Sexual Predator that Jack Neo has been, and probably still is (for a man does not easily change his sexual habits). In effect, Jack Neo used his considerable clout in entertainment circles to lure young ladies into relationships with no honour, nor future. Had Jack Neo seduced a woman in her 30s or 40s, I would have had nothing to say. But no.... he had to aggressively pursue girls who are barely out of their teens.

I know that some men will say that young girls these days are as "experienced" as a menopausal woman like me. That is an excuse men give themselves. Merely going by years of experience, a 20 year old cannot know as much about the sexual experience as a woman of 45... and a 20 year old surely cannot know as much about the sheer perfidy of a man who has ears only for his penis!!

Indeed, it is quite possible that in the place where normal people keep their left and right brain lobes, Jack Neo has stored his left and right testicles... And in the place where Jack's testicles should be, the man has no balls ... for he has had to hide behind the kindness of his friend George Yeo.

The most despicable thing in this whole story is the way Jack Neo fed on the beautiful dreams of the girls he used for sex. Every young person has beautiful dreams. These dreams drive effort and make life worth living. It is disgusting that Jack Neo latched like a parasite onto young people's dreams of a better future in order to slurp his fill of sexual gratification.

There should be a jail cell for people who promise to make you a Fann Wong in return for a night of penetration!! At the very least, someone should cut his penis off! Jack Neo's penis. Not George Yeo. George Yeo should lose his tongue instead. How can a Minister schooled in foreign diplomacy be quite so undiplomatic in this matter?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Other People's Homes

I don't know why but I always find other people's homes more beautiful than my own. I walked into JS' HDB apartment and thought to myself "Wow! How much did they pay the interior designer?" And then JS revealed that she and her husband designed everything.

How do people do it? How do people put furnishings together with impeccable taste and an eye for understated elegance?

JS took down walls and replaced them with string curtains. Sunlight stole through the string curtains into the best organised walk-in wardrobe I had ever seen. There was a bright cream-coloured study space with not a hint of a mess.

Petunia's workspace is littered with stuff... scotch tape, scissors, paper clips, research papers... and a layer of dust decorates the laptop screen. At her busiest, the mess of papers and books spill helter skelter onto the floor. And then once in a while, Petunia goes into a I-wanna-be-neat frenzy and cleans everything up. By next day, all is back to messy.

We had artichoke tea, yam cookies and coffee cream paus on the pink-tiled patio. A spotless mirror reflected the green spaces outside the apartment and the dark wood floor inside the apartment. It very much reminded me of those 2nd storey sitting rooms in the old bungalows, which had dark wood plank floors and French windows opening onto fruit trees with masses of glossy leaves.

Gee... I so wish I had an eye for furnishings too.

On an Echinacea Roll

12 Baby Echinacea in Nursery Cots

Kid Echinacea from JS

Young Adult Echinacea from Last Year

I last wrote about the echinacea in a post entitled echinacea root. The effects of the root on Little Boy were spectacular. The flu was gone by nightfall. When I fell ill some weeks after, the flu was gone by the next day after 3 doses of the root. The Daughter's flu didn't last long either.

Of course, I can't tell whether the echinacea root did the trick... or whether those were particularly feeble strains of flu. I rather think that it was the echinacea because flu bugs nowadays tend to be virulent (and that is to put it rather mildly)... so to have one appear and disappear by the next day is almost miraculous. However, one cannot be sure since there wasn't any experimental control. You can't very well tell one child that you are withholding echinacea from him but giving it to his sister so that you can ascertain whether echinacea is an effective cure for flu.

There seems to be something rather morally reprehensible about that huh?

In any case, I was intrigued enough by the results of my first echinacea trial, to want to grow and eat more of the herb. It takes about a year to bring the plant to bloom and apparently, the roots are only potent when the plant has produced blooms. I was in an impatient hurry to get more echinacea growing in my garden.

I am most pleased now to have 15 healthy plantlets.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Menopause and Health Supplements

WARNING: This post may be too graphic for men!!

I suppose that this brush with anaemia is a blessing in disguise. It alerted me to all the implications of menopause. Apparently, it takes years to menopause ... I suppose that's why it isn't called menostop. Wouldn't it be nice if it just stopped? Without fanfare and very quietly? But no... menopause must announce itself dramatically and take its time to sweep through a woman's decade from her 40s to her 50s.

It hardly seems fair.

It seems like yesterday when I had to get used to the idea that I would bleed inconveniently once a month. It seems like yesterday when I realised with great dismay that some days in a month, I wasn't to do some of my favourite sports. It seems like yesterday when I wondered why boys didn't have to bear with the dull throbbing pain of stomach cramps. And then, I gave birth... which is singularly the most painful experience any man would never experience. TWICE! Do you want to hear about breastfeeding? Cow-on-call... udder infections... high fevers... fungal growth... cow-on-call... baby's chew toy?

Just when I thought life was getting comfortable and that I now have control over my own body... menopause strikes up an acquaintance with me in the most dramatic way possible - anaemia.

But I guess the anaemia is a blessing in disguise. It isn't too late to prepare myself for the bone loss, the hardening of arteries and a whole host of other health problems that pop up because the body can't figure out how much progesterone or oestrogen (if at all) it should produce and when.

A very kind gentleman about my age shared some interesting articles about eating a mineral rich diet. Since I am already on a full complement iron supplement, I thought I would add full complement calcium supplement... that comes with a few other necessary minerals. Hopefully, if I take care of me, this body will last me till the grandchildren grow up.

Menopause? Oh boy, I AM old. Sob!