Posted on 12 Comments

Snowy Saturday

Icy roads of winter

 

 

A snowny winter scene complete with icy roads
Photo by Jonas Jaeken on Unsplash

 

The Frosty beat goes on…

Good morning my friends in WP land. It is another blustery day in our usually warm southern parts.

It is a cold 17 degrees this morning. The precipitation instantly freezes to become the deadly black ice.

Travel is slow and quite dangerous. Texans are not accustomed to these circumstances and motor vehicle accidents become the order of the day.

The next few days are slated to be even colder.  The dangers of black ice increases during the night hours.

Safe Driving on Black Ice

Perfect examples of Black Ice
Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

Black ice is like regular ice and is an icy glaze that forms on surfaces of basically anything. This is especially true of roads, sidewalks, and driveways,  due to precipitation or light rain or the melting and re-freezing of snow, water, or ice on surfaces.

Because it tends to look like the rest of the pavement on the road, although in reality, it’s actually clear, you can usually see it really well at the edges where the road and sidewalk meet. Black ice forms without creating bubbles, which allows it to blend in with any surface it forms over.

Black ice can be perceived as “glossy” darkness that mimics the surface upon which it is formed and it is dangerous precisely because can be difficult to see.

Black ice usually forms just about the freezing point. Sometimes in frigid temperatures on highways, black ice will form as a result of the heat of tires
on the road together with freezing temperatures. Be alert and keep your eyes on the weather and the roadways.

  • Black ice is most common at night and in the early hours of the morning before the flow of traffic increases.
  • Black ice is more prevalent along roadways without access to sunlight or traffic, eg., tunnels, shaded walkways, etc.
  • Black ice forms readily on bridges, overpasses, and the road beneath overpasses. Due to the fact that the cold air is able to circulate at both the top and under the bridge or overpass, causing any precipitation to freeze faster.
  • Drive slowly, remember there is practically no traction due to the black ice and you will not be able to stop by sharply applying your brakes.
  • Remain in the center lane as much as is possible, and stay a safe distance behind other travelers giving yourself ample time to come to a stop.
  • If you encounter black ice, just take your foot off the gas, do not try to brake, keep your vehicle straight as you slow down. (This is why it is important to allow for space in front of you and that you drive slowly).
  • Remain alert and stay off those cell phones.

These are just a few points on how to drive safely in snow and black ice. Read more thorough pointers here.

Tentative plans for the weekend.

We have been asked to remain and sleep in the hospital this weekend. I have not yet decided if I will remain here as it does not exactly make for a restful night.

You wonder if your co-workers can hear you snoring, you wonder if you talk in your sleep or perform any other unsavory annoyances that you would not want to be made public, lol.

Seriously, for me sleeping in circumstances outside of my norm does not contribute to a restful state.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

Stay safe, stay warm and be well.

 

Posted on 20 Comments

Beauty Along My Walk

Brilliant violet flower

These flowers looked so lovely to me.

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These are wild flowers — I have no idea what they are called.

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The one below looks like a painting.

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Hope you enjoy … I love photography and will be exploring photography in more depth.

Have a blessed day!!

 

 

 

 

Posted on 24 Comments

Growing Yams by Propagation

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This project of growing yams began on June 11, 2020. Gee loves yams, and though it is not a favorite of mine I wanted to try growing some for him.

Pieces of yams cut up in preparation for propagation.

I cut the yams into the pieces you see above then coated the cut sides with the ashes. The ashes helps to prevent bugs from eating the yam pieces before they begin growing.

I let the ashes adhere for about 1 hour then I planted them approximately 1 inch from the surface, I watered them and let nature do the rest.

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This is ashes I used from the BBQ grill.

Soil in a pot for growing my yams.

The yams are freshly planted and watered, I did not water them heavily as I did not want to wash out the ashes too much and I lightly sprinkled some ashes on top of the soil.

2 tiny fuscia buds that signals my yams are growing.

Two weeks later the purple yams came up, I was overjoyed. The two purple pieces are the buds of purple yams that was among the regular white yams. Those peeked out first and were a bright fuchsia in color. I was ecstatic. They were growing.

Young leaf from yam planted 2 weeks ago growing.

They began growing quite rapidly.

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Three weeks later the white yams peeked out  (they began growing out one week after the purple).

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I watch these plants every day like they are my babies.

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By one month yams the yams were really growing and I began to relax as more and more were growing out.

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The yam plants today, they are growing well, the heat does not seem to deter them in any way and I patiently await to see the final results. It is a beautiful plant.

I will update when I reap, lol.

Stay safe and be blessed!

Posted on 48 Comments

Beauty I see

A yellow and beautiful mushroom
Saw this beautiful yellow mushroom (maybe a telluride, I am not sure).

Below in my mother’s garden, this little guy may be a vegetarian.

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Mr Lizard was hanging out in the garden. The green is another type of spinach (called malabar) I will document its growth in a week or two.

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Brilliant violet flower
This lone purple guy was so bright he needed showing off.

 

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These flowers looked so beautiful, I just had to take a pic.

 

2 children sitting on a large rock.
My children taking a rest on our walk, the young ones are not built like the old folks, lol.

 

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I saw this turtle crossing the park. They are such shy creatures. 
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Met this one a different day while walking.
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This is broad-leaf thyme we use for cooking, its scientific name is Plectranthus amboinicus, we planted it and curiously it began growing in this odd rose-like pattern. Even though it has regular leves now, the rose-like pattern still remains. I had never seen it grow like that before. 

I find beauty in many things and in many places.

Stay well, stay safe … keep exploring

Posted on 34 Comments

Home Grown — A Wall of Soil

Yesterday my mom and I went to Lowe’s Hardware Store to stock up on our plant food and I was amazed and pleased to see this wall of soil. It seems a lot of folks are planting and the demand for plants and planting items have drastically increased.

I have been seeking some onion plants so I keep checking, none so far.

As avid planters, we have never seen this much soil being stocked or sold. The gardening section is currently one of the busiest at the stores.

Apparently many of us are returning our roots and in the process finding joy in the work of our hands, watching them grow and eating healthier in the process.

Plus our kids get to help while learning how to doing new things, which will serve them well in the future.

A 7 year old boy watering plants with an adult female looking on.
My 7 year old watering plants with his grandmother.

Planting is also great for our mental health.

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Yellow Squash flowering.

Isn’t this just lovely to watching things grow?

A peach - tree-ripened
This one is actually a Bounty Peach – first bearing from young tree planted about 2 months ago in our backyard — but the color is purple like a plum, it ripened on the tree
A tree-ripened plum
This one is the plum, first bearing planted from young trees planted 2 months ago.

So WP folks, please show us some pictures of your gardens…

 

 

 

Posted on 61 Comments

Okra — Benefits

Photo by Elianna Friedman on Unsplash

Okra – originated in Ethiopia and scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus.  From Ethiopia, okra had journeyed to North Africa, the Mediterranean, Arabia and India all by the 12th century.

A hardy plant, okra can be cultivated almost anywhere. This vegetable is known as gumbo in America, lady’s finger in England, guino-gombo in Spanish, guibeiro in Portuguese and bhindi in India, to name a few.

In its original home of Ethiopia it is also called Kenkase, Andeha, and Bamia.

According to MedicalNewsToday, one cup of okra weighing approximately 100 grams contains a whopping 20 vitamins and minerals. Sounds like a superfood to me. I have been eating this vegetable all my life. I did not always appreciate its gifts.

Now at this time in my life I truly appreciate its versatile culinary preparations, this was not always the case.

What I did not know back then was that okra was chock full of most of what our bodies requires in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting compounds.

We are all well aware that our bodies work at its optimum when we consume a diet rich in the recommended amounts of the various food groups.

Some of the benefits of okra:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes by lowering blood sugar, it regulates the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the intestinal tract.
  • Reduces kidney damage.
  • Toxin removal – utilizing the mucilage found in okra
  • Cancer – contains a compound lectin that can kill cancer cells.
  • Cardiovascular – its high fiber content aids cholesterol expulsion from the body.
  • Osteoporosis – its vitamin K content helps keep bones healthy and strong.
  • Gastrointestinal – prevents constipation and more.
  • Seeds contain oil and proteins.

Be aware:

  • Kidney stones – okra is high in oxalates
  • Gastrointestinal upset – contains fructans a type of carbohydrate that can cause gas, bloating etc.
  • Joint pain – contains solanine a compound that may trigger joint pain.
  • Blood-thinning properties – due to the presence of vitamin K.

Okra seemingly has numerous health benefits. It is great for helping to keep your liver and kidneys healthy. It reduces oxidative stress, promotes healthy skin and blood and from personal is great for hair as well.

Check with your healthcare provider if you are taking blood thinners due to the presence of vitamin K a known blood thinner. 

References:

Below are some pictures of okra in cultivation from my mother’s kitchen garden.

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Dated 04/11/2020

My mother is the primary gardener, these are the fruits of her hands.

The rest of us are “the helpers”. My mother is blessed to grow things, anything grows that she plants. She planted these okra from seeds and they have been doing what they do. For myself I derive so much pleasure from helping and just observing things growing under the heavens.

I talk to the plants and I am always the first one to see their fruits … a gift of mine my mother says, lol.

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Dated 05/02/2020

The babies are thriving and flourishing. It is a thing of beauty.

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Dated 05/27/2020

Growing and looking so nice and healthy.

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Dated 05/31/2020

Flower bud in progress above.

Same day these images taken from different angle (below).

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The view from another angle. They are so healthy. I love it!

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Dated 06/04/2020

This morning this flower decided to open up to see the sun. The first fruits of the labor of love. My favorite time of the growing cycle. Soon we will be consuming these babies.

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Dated 06/04/2020 – for some reason, I could not get this image any clearer, the day is over and the flower has done its work, by tomorrow it will wither and reveal the new okra. 

In picture above, the okra tree is doing what nature has designed it to do, grow and produce.

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This is my mother proudly displaying the fruits from the works of her hands (July 2020). The long one is a variety from South America.

The smaller ones below are the regular variety found here.

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Stay safe, stay well, lets learn to live in peace and respect …….. IF we cannot live in love.