Sometimes we have guests in the garden. Here’s one that transitioned almost as we watched. Regretfully, we missed the moment he went free. He’s a Great Mormon (Papilio Memnon Agenor).
Back when I was young, we had a couple of mango trees in our yard. They didn’t fruit all that often, but when the combination of weather and fertiliser was right, they would be covered with mango blooms. If our luck continued to hold out and we remembered to cover the young fruit with newspaper, the trees would be laden with luscious mangoes, to be shared among friends and family. Of course, the birds and worms would get the ones we missed, and there were also the passing strangers who helped themselves from across the fence.
Nowadays at the supermarket, I have to shell out good money for mangoes, imported from Australia, Pakistan, Thailand. We almost always have some at home. Mom loves them.
So when one night Mom took off for bed too soon after dinner – we could persuade her to get up and come out again for mango and her medicine! It was really lovely seeing her enjoying her mango.
I think we are beginning to accept the new “normal” Mom’s condition. The words are so few that she often supplements them with sign language and pointing. She walks deliberately and cautiously, and takes off for bed without so much as a “goodnight”. Yet, it is wonderful that she keeps to a normal sleep wake cycle. I say this because the memory of one of my babies topsy turvy sleep times haunts me to this day.
After many attempts at providing fruit, the tree finally succeeded after I switched to goat fertiliser, and wrapped the fruit up as soon as they were of decent size.
The end result were two good-sized pomeloes weighing just under 1 kg each. The flesh was soft, juicy and most sweet!
Me : I have pomelo flowers!
Friend : For breakfast?
Me : ON the tree
Friend : Picture?
Me : Flower buds
Friend : Nice
Let’s hope I have better luck this year! For last year’s saga of the pomelo flowers and fruit, go to
Mom loves outings, and it is often challenging to think of safe and interesting places that all the family can enjoy. Shopping centres are busy, crowded and can be difficult to navigate. Also I think Mom gets distracted and slightly confused by all the lights and things on display.
I think a good outing should be physically do-able yet not too easy, and better still have content that trigger and stimulate Mom’s memory. A few weeks back, we had one such outing and it was fun! The fun even started on the way there as we drove down quiet narrow roads with plenty of greenery on both sides with not a tall building in sight. Mom kept saying “I didn’t know Singapore has parts that look like this!”
Bollywood Veggies is an organic farm owned and run by Ivy Singh-Lim, the self-styled Gentle Warrior. She’s a real charming lady, I must say! Full of zest and lives life entirely her own way. Way to go! She runs a restaurant there too, and it’s called (tongue-in-cheek, of course) … Poison Ivy Bistro.
Mom had a great time strolling amongst the fruit trees and other plants. There are lots of humorous signs about too. A most enjoyable outing.
I received this text one afternoon from a friend who was visiting at the hospital:
“His diapers full of shit and no one attend to him! Am I allowed to kick up a big fuss?”
I lay back and thought about getting back to my nap. But my mind buzzed and so I texted back, “Be nice.”
From what I’ve read, it is the same the world over. Quality of care depends on two factors – are there enough staff members around, and do they care enough. If the hospital is understaffed, no point being nasty. Bring it to their attention, and help them out. It will be appreciated.
If it is a case of inconsiderate neglect, no threats will ensure your relative gets better care the next time around, especially if you’re not there all the time to monitor. You want to encourage cooperation, not incite passive aggression.
I first heard the phrase from my boss… as in “There’s been a complaint about you. Be nice.” End of conversation. There was no room for my explanation, and no further discussion. It rankled initially, until I understood.
What mattered was not “being right”, it was “being nice”.
Some time ago, I posted pics from my pomelo tree. I guess I owe all followers an update on what happened.
Well, although a friend told me to wrap the fruit with a plastic bag or newspaper when it was calamansi lime-sized, I didn’t do it. So then one day when it was grapefruit sized, I saw a happy insect buzzing around and poking into the fruit… literally. I apologize I have no pics of this insect.
Anyway, not long after, the fruit started to ripen, and fell into my hand when I gave it a gentle tug. It was still too small, and not the proper size of a pomelo yet.
We cut it open, and the fruit pulp was still tiny within the thick rind. How did it taste? I don’t know 😦 Memories of that insect put me off!