Monthly Archives: November 2014

In search of the Budai

Buddha_Beipu
         Budai – The Laughing                             Buddha.

Someone told me that to rub the tummy of a Buddha brings you good fortune. I don’t actually have a Buddha myself, maybe because I was raised Presbyterian. I discovered when cleaning clients homes that most of them have a Buddha here or there. I thought, I could do with some good fortune, it must be working for these ladies if they can pay for me to come and clean. So every visit at a house that had a Buddha I would rub the Buddha’s tummy. Eventually, I thought I could buy myself my own Buddha. I like the symbolism of the Buddha and the gentle nature of the Buddhist faith – no fire and brimstone and I enjoy the benefits of practising yoga. So I was going on an errand to the post office and went past a couple of my favourite op shops. I had a look and I found two Buddhas but they were wall plaques just of his head, so I would have to keep looking.

A couple of days later I read that Buddhists find it insulting that people rub the Buddha’s tummy. It is folklore that says the Budai’s tummy brings you good fortune. The Budai was an eccentric Chinese Chan monk, born during the Later Liang dynasty, who was poor but happy and loving. The Chinese people affectionately call him “The Laughing Buddha”. Often he is identified as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha.

I thought, all those tummies I’ve rubbed and I’ve probably insulted people. I’d better find out what the statues are. First house I went to – Budai doorstop laughing as I entered. Phew, I gave his tummy a rub and went in. Next house, where’s that statue? There you are on the top of the bookcase – red Budai laughing down at me. I rubbed his tummy for good measure. So far all the houses have had Budai statues, just one to go. I hope it’s a Budai.

My search continues for my own Budai and I can polish up his belly whenever I feel like it. He is such a happy looking character, I can see why he is displayed in so many homes. He makes me laugh and if the legend isn’t true, then I guess that’s why he’s laughing at me.

Diana.

Flash Fridays – October 24th

Today's Chapter

For this weeks Flash!Friday we had to include bankruptcy in a story about the following prompt, which I sort of forgot to do – oops!:

Title: Mr. Hydrick, county supervisor, and Mr. Melody Tillery examining mouth and teeth of his mare, which has mule colt. Pike County, near Tray, Alabama. Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

Mr. Hydrick, county supervisor, and Mr. Melody Tillery examining mouth and teeth of his mare, which has mule colt. Pike County, near Tray, Alabama. Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

A Hard Bargain

Hydrick casually strolled around the colt, “He’s a fine looking horse. I’ll give you $500 for him.”
“$500? Is that a joke? I’m worth ten times that!”
Melody coughed loudly as Hydrick exclaimed, “I beg your pardon?”
“Nothing sir, must have been the wind.” Melody kicked Charlie in the shin, achieving the exact opposite of the desired outcome, “Really? You want to start a kicking contest with me?”
“What ever is wrong with your voice, you sound terrible!”
“A little hoarse perhaps?”
Melody tried pinching Charlie’s mouth shut, but Hydrick…

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Violet haze

backyard jacarandaJacaranda

Backyard Jacaranda and surrounding Jacarandas                  Front yard Jacaranda

The Jacarandas are out in full force in our suburb at the moment. My back yard tree is loved by all the birds that sit in it and sing or squabble – honeyeaters, wattlebirds, parrots, doves, willy wagtails, peewees and magpies. Peewees built a nest in it last year but we had high winds and it was blown out. I also have tree orchards and “air plant” on this tree.

The front yard Jacaranda is only half the tree it used to be as council cuts them in half because of power lines. At the moment it houses about 10 magpies that love to sing and at twilight you can hear them calling. So far we haven’t been bombed by them so I’m hoping that they are used to us. My neighbour over the road has the peewee nest in her Jacaranda this year but I have the magpies.

"Air plant" in flower growing on Jacaranda.
“Air plant” growing on Jacaranda.

This is a piece of Spanish moss growing on the Jacaranda in our backyard. It is also called an “Air plant” and it is epiphytic, drawing it’s nutrients and water from the air and rainfall.

Bromeliad

"Spanish moss" in flower on Jacaranda.
Spanish moss  in flower on Jacaranda.

I was at our local show one year and came across a fellow known as the Bromeliad Man. He is from out of town and he propagates and sells bromeliads. I was talking to him and asking him about the various bromeliads he had on display and I spotted the Spanish moss. I told him that I had some of that at home and that it was such a weird plant – I thought it was moss like in the fact that it doesn’t have any roots. He said that it is a bromeliad – now I was confused. He said it flowers and they are small and green. Since then I looked out for when my bromeliad flowers and here are photographs of two tiny green flowers. The Bromeliad Man also told me the bromeliads in South America are worth seeing. That would be a great experience.

First gardenia

IMG_2428-4   IMG_2429

I was mowing out the front on the weekend and I noticed that the gardenia bushes were in bud.  It made me feel happy that the gardenias would soon be in bloom. Today coming up the path I noticed one had flowered. They smell so delightful and freshen up the house when I put little vases of them around the place. I like to give them to my friends also. I put them in the common room where I used to work for people to take and it was never long before they were all gone. I love my native grevilleas, tree orchids and camellias out the back, and of course the jacarandas when they are in flower, but the gardenias have a special place in our home.

They are actually known as a funeral flower and for thousands of years,  scented flowers and herbs were placed with the dead. They are still used today in floral tributes  at funerals but not so much for the heavy scent. Apparently they are in the coffee family which I didn’t realise until I looked up different species. Interesting as the camellia are in the tea family. Coffee out the front and tea out the back. I don’t think I’ll be brewing them though.

Slinky the cat likes to lay under the bush near the porch – it is a cool spot out of the hot sun. I think he might enjoy the flowers also.  Who knows  whether a cat senses  smells the way we do. I’m fairly certain the dogs don’t, or the pigs for that matter!

Next post I will try to capture pics of the jacarandas using the camera, not the phone. I tried to upload pics to WP on the phone and it kept timing out. I have two trees but there are many around our suburb and they look delightful. I will also put in a surprise pic – I was quite excited to see this for the first time out the back. I haven’t actually taken the pic yet, but I’m hoping it will still be there.

Diana.

Top cat

Back Camera Back Camera

This is Slinky who is top cat in the menagerie, in his favourite pose – asleep.

When he’s not sleeping or eating – he talks.  He talks a lot and he tells me all sorts of things. He is a very good ratter and mouser. He likes to supplement his diet even though he’s over 8 kg. Half the neighbourhood feeds him as well. He had a ‘please don’t feed me’ tag on his collar but he got it off.

He is also a special kitty. When he was still a young cat he woke me up in the middle of the night as the fish tank timer had caught alight. We didn’t have a pet door at that stage so his quick thinking was to wake me up – Mum I want to get out of here! He is a very happy cat and has a very loud purr. He is well groomed and has a very shiny black coat. When the dogs were pups they watched Slinky wash himself so now everyone washes themselves. Slinky is like a heater when he’s on the bed in the winter but he also snores!

Diana.

Pig Power 3

Chock 1

                            Chocko – pig about town. This is Chocko’s GPP campaign poster shot.

Here he is sorting clothes for the poor. Chocko has a big heart for a guinea pig.

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                                                                             Spot and Buddy

These are Chocko’s GPP campaign supporters, Spot and Buddy. They know that Chocko has the leadership qualities that we expect from an MP.  Chocko is intelligent, honest, just and he eats his veges.