Sunday, April 29, 2018

Aching Joints Are Grateful

I have thanked God many times for this man!

He is Dr. Stewart Adams... the chemist who 'discovered' ibuprofen (aka Motrin).

Did you realize ibuprofen was was patented in England in 1962, and licensed for use in 1969 in the UK and in 1974 in the US?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Remember These?

The other day I was fixing a couple quick grilled cheese sandwiches and musing on how much the recipe has changed for Velveeta.

It used to be really, really tasty AND inexpensive.  Now, it's meh.  I wish I could go back to the '70s  and get a loaf made from the old recipe!

That got Himself and I talking about what foods we miss because they were changed beyond recognition or don't exist at all anymore.

Pinwheels.  These were one of the 'snack' cookies we'd get at snack time in kindergarten.  They've changed so much and have gotten SO expensive for just a smear of chocolate.

I think you can still find these at certain places.  The BEST tho were the Kroger store brand called "Freezer Pleezers.


Why Planters...why?

WAY better than the current 'cake in a cup' stuff.  Especially that chocolate chip cake variety!  MMmmmm!

Old fashioned wieners.  When I was in elementary school Mom worked next to a meat market that had the best link wieners.  

Weird and fun.  The drink was actually pretty darn good.  The balls are tapioca balls, same as in bubble tea.

Himself said he missing the bubble gum that used to be in with trading cards.

He also like Black Jack gum.

And of course there are the old days when Cracker Jacks really had toys in them.

And who can forget "the drink of astronauts"?

So... what do you miss?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Salud! at Whole Foods: Parisian Potatoes with Fennel

Picked up a new recipe at a recent class at Whole Foods.  Parisian potatoes with fennel is a different way to do a scalloped potato dish.  The fennel adds a hint of flavor without over powering the rest of the dish's goodness... that being Gruyere, Asiago, and Parmesano cheeses!

What's not to love?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Planting Cannabis

Yesterday I saw a lot of stuff about it being 4/20 Day, so I looked it up to see what that was about.

Seriously?  A 'holiday' for marijuana?


But I have my own story about 'weed'.

A while back the local Agriculture Extension Office offered an informational workshop in Kentucky  on industrial hemp.  And if you didn't know... industrial hemp is a plant in the cannabis family, the same as marijuana, of a variety that is low in the compound delta-9 tetrhydrocannabinol (THC) aka as 'happy juice' to weeders.  There can be no more than .03% on a dry weight basis.  

That is not going to make a person or a parakeet high.

But ALL plants in the cannabis family are illegal to grow.  You can possess parts of the industrial hemp plant but you cannot grow it.  

Who can grow it?



All sorts of people were there for the program; farmers looking for a crop that could be produced on a small amount of land, people who were interested in the commercial end of the product, and there were a few dope-heads too.

Industrial hemp has many uses;  the hemp fiber makes an incredibly soft material... items...

...cosmetics... lotions and balms...

...supplements and remedies...

... and food for people and livestock!

Plus a lot of other things.

They fed the participants a free lunch that offered "Kentucky Dawg" hot dog.

So of course we tried them!  (Did you think we wouldn't?)

I found them to be very much like a summer sausage.  They definitely tasted different than regular hot dog.  Can't say if it was from the hemp or some regular seasoning they used so it would be different.  Himself liked them, I didn't care for them.

This is the form of cannabis that is in the news right now trying to be made legal for medical use.  It's already been proven to dramatically help with epileptic seizures, especially in children.  And it shows great promise for treatment of chronic pain.

The second part of the program was a visit to a farm that grows industrial hemp.

It's done basically the same way that tobacco is produced.

It is a really pretty plant... something that would make a great looking house plant.

I got bored listening to all the farming production details, so I headed down to watch this man for a while.

He was taking puny seedlings that were left from transplanting and putting them back into the grow trays.  They would get babied so they would grow into healthy plants for the next time around.

We visited for a while, then he asked if I'd like to try it out.

Hmmmm... does this mean I've helped to grow WEED?


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Storm Season

I think nature has April mixed up with March.  "In like a lion"...

'Wet' is coming two ways.  When it is not snowing, there's probably a thunderstorm happening.

We haven't had to go to our storm shelter (tho we have taken Persia down just in case ~ you just don't want to be chasing a cat down when you have to take shelter).

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Smile! You're On Google Street View!

So... I wonder if he was recording or just traveling?

Guess I'll have to do some checks of that intersection at intervals.  LOL

Friday, April 13, 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Collecting Yamadori... And a Little Something Else

A couple of weeks ago, Himself and I went out collecting 'yamadori'... trees from nature.

In this case, Eastern Red Cedar who had several years of "pruning" by the highway department mowers as they groomed the ditches along country back roads.  We found four cedar and one mystery tree that are promising as future bonsai.

The next day I set up a table and potted them in their first training pots.  Did some very mild clean-up of some bad places too.

Here's how they turned out:

And here is the mystery tree up close.  Still not sure what it is, but I have time.

However... in our excitement over very cute trees just waiting to come home with us, we forgot one extremely important thing we should have remembered here in Tennessee.

Poison Ivy.

Himself was loaded up on his hands... and arms... and collarbone...

While I had it mostly on my face and neck.  Must have scratched while I was potting.
(These photos are before it got really bad...)

It's been almost 2 weeks since we were 'contaminated' and it's still doing a job on us.  We were both put on prednisone.  Enough so that I nixed going back for 2 more trees I wanted.  They'll be there next year and we'll be prepared to collect them without poisoning ourselves!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Bringing In Lilacs

In January I had Himself prune my lilacs way back.  They were four to five feet higher than the eaves of the shed and blooming mainly on the top.  That wasn't helping me get cut flowers for inside!

I was afraid I wouldn't get many blooms this year but they responded beautifully!

However, Spring didn't respond so wonderfully.  We had snow on the 7th, with sub freezing temps predicted for several nights following.

At least I was able to enjoy a few vases full of lilacs...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Salud! at Whole Foods: Citrus Asparagus (Recipe)

Spring has finally arrived to spite what the weather is doing!

How am I so sure?

Because the fresh asparagus is in the markets and it is finally affordable!

I learned a new way of preparing asparagus at a recent cooking class at Whole Foods.  It is bright and fresh, bringing out the best in my favorite vegetable.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Dance As Tho Nobody Was Looking

This is a clever and fun video that was sent to me recently.  

Be prepared to smile.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Look At The Sky: April

The Planets for APRIL 2018:
Mercury - Mercury remains in the bright pre-sunrise skies very near the sun and is not favorably placed for viewing this month - in PISCES

Venus - our brightest planet will remain somewhat stationary as we see it this month, hovering above the western horizon, visible in dark skies about 8 p.m. local time.  Look for a beautiful grouping on around April 20-28 while Venus slowly moves eastward, located about mid-way between the bright naked eye star cluster, HYADES and PLEIADES - in TAURUS.

Mars - Mars is approaching closer by the day now, rising in the east about 2:30 a.m. local time and very close to the bright yellow planet SATURN, located midway between that ringed planet and the distant planet PLUTO to its east.  Mars is getting close enough now that moderate telescopes are detecting Martian clouds and dust and much transient detail on the Red Planet.  At magnitude 0.0 this month, Mars is only very slightly brighter than Saturn, but compare the reddish color.  - in SAGITTARIUS.

Jupiter - Now overhead around 3 p.m. and in the sky all night long, Jupiter rises in the east after midnight  and is high overhead about the time morning dawn breaks.  This is a very favorable time to view Jupiter since it is brightest and closest to Earth during March, April and May; NOTE that Jupiter is at opposition on the evening of April 7.  Jupiter joins SATURN and MARS and distant PLUTO to dominate the evening skies - in LIBRA

Saturn - Rising only an half hour earlier in the low SE skies than MARS (see above), brilliant Saturn is displaying its mighty rings angled toward us magnificently this month. Very low in southern skies, the ringed planet appears very yellow and just to the right (west) of reddish Mars. - in SAGITTARIUS

Uranus - distant planet Uranus is in conjunction with the sun this month and will not be will be later in early summer before it emerges in dawn twilight in the east - in ARIES

Neptune - Our most distant world other than of Pluto, is now rising about  twilight in the east; at magnitude 7.8, it is visible in small telescopes as a star-like object with little or no detail visible.  Look for this planet to be very close to the thin crescent waning moon on April 12 - in PISCES

Pluto - at magnitude 14.2, our most distant planet ( is a planet) will begin to be visible higher in southeastern skies this month, just east of the "teapot" in brilliant MARS and then SATURN.  Rising about 3 a.m. local time at mid-month, the distant world requires a large telescope to view.  - in SAGITTARIUS

Meteor Showers for April 2018

Observe when the moon does not interfere and attempt to observe AFTER midnight for most meteors to be seen!  For April, there are no less than NINE meteor showers, some of which provide for wonderful spring sky shows, provided that the light of the moon does not interfere.  However, as with a months and times during the year, observers should always be aware that new sporadic meteor showers can occur at anytime from seemingly unknown sources and radiants.  NOTE:  one of the most interesting of all meteor showers is the odd “April Fireballs” (see below) which occur this month.

April 4 - Kappa Serpentid Meteors - This is a one-week-duration meteor shower, from April 1 through 7, with somewhat of a mild peak about midway through that period; look for the radiant to rise in the constellation of Serpens about 8 p.m. local time just south of due east and be nearly overhead for observers in southern latitudes of the northern hemisphere at about 2 a.m.  Several meteors per hour should be seen from this minor radiant in normal years, and this year is fair since the moon will be about full and thus hamper most observations of this shower..

April 7 - Delta Draconid Meteors - With no particular peak to speak of, this is one of those “circumpolar” meteor showers for northern hemisphere observers that will be in the sky pretty much all night; it is a very long duration shower from late March until about April 17.  Found only in 1971 in the constellation of Draco, the meteors are conspicuously slow and leave very fine trains in their wakes; to view the most meteors from this now-annual shower, set up about 10 p.m. local time and face somewhat northeast; as the night progresses the meteors will be originating more and more from very high northern skies....thus after midnight direct your sights to nearly directly overhead, the ZENITH.  Note that the moon, slightly less than full and very bright before midnight will hamper observations during the early hours of the night

April 10 - Virginid Meteors - This is the first of THREE meteor showers which appear to emanate from the constellation of VIRGO during the month of April each year.  A two-week display, the meteors can be seen coming from just south of overhead (northern hemisphere) from April 1 through 15 with no definite peak; to differentiate THIS shower from the other two, the radiant is centered at near right ascension 12h 24m / declination 00 degrees.  This year the moon is gibbous and its light will interfere all night, so this will be an unfavorable year for this meteor shower..

April 14 - THE APRIL FIREBALLS - Doc's Favorite of All Meteor Showers.....a good year for this interesting shower in early evening hours prior to the rising of the last quarter moon around midnight.  Get out early...., but then again being bright fireballs, these can be seen in spite of moonlight or even city lights!   As its name suggests, this can sometimes be a pretty spectacular display if the conditions are right and the skies are dark;  however, during times of the new moon - as it was in 2010 - , these huge and bright fireballs come streaking clearly across our crisp and clear springtime skies along with countless fainter meteors that are associated with no identified meteor swarm.  This unusual display lasts for the last two full weeks of April....there is no known radiant or seeming point of origin for this curious group, and they can be seen originating from just about any part of the dark night sky.  They likewise are not - or appear to not be - associated with any other known major or minor meteor shower group.  The April Fireballs are characterized by tremendously bright meteors, nearly all of which demonstrate beautiful and long-lasting trails through the sky.   Even with the bright moon however, with their brightness, the light should not interfere for observing these very spectacular meteors.  Always look for the April Fireballs late in the night, preferably after midnight.   NOTE:  several of these renegade meteors have been known to reach the ground as meteorites!  Heads UP!

April 17 - Sigma Leonid Meteors - The Sigma Leonids are no longer “in” Leo....they have migrated it seems into Virgo to become one of our three Virgo showers for April.  The radiant is up early, just due south of overhead about 9:30 p.m. local time; this is a minor shower with only a few members seen on dark nights per hour.  The last quarter moon will be absent from the sky until about 2 a.m. so it should not interfere with early observations of this shower

April 22 - The Lyrid Meteor Shower - Other than some spectacular fireworks from the April Fireballs (see above), this is April’s most dependable meteor showers and typically one of the best of each year; this year the new moon will not interfere with any observing of meteors after midnight, typically the best time to view the greatest number of Lyrids.  This shower is comprised of cometary debris from Comet Thatcher, a very famous comet last seen in 1861.  Although this associated comet was not identified until only 100 or so years ago, this meteor shower from its demise is one of the oldest known on record, being recorded by the ancient Chinese stargazers first in 687 B.C.  As with many meteor showers - and the comets they come from - this one seems to be waning with every encounter with the earth however.  It is no longer the sky spectacle as recorded by those earliest sky watchers.  Look for the meteors to emanate from a point on the Hercules-Lyra border, very near the brilliant blue-white star Vega.  The radiant rises about 7:30 p.m. local time, but the best time to see the most meteors each year is always around midnight when the radiant is nearly directly overhead at midnight for northern hemisphere observers.

April 25 Mu Virginid Meteors - This is our third of three meteor showers within the constellation of Virgo for the month of April, and is south of overhead about 1 a.m. local time, far in the eastern realms of the large Virgo constellation; it takes dark, moonless skies to see the few  - only about 7 per hour - meteors from this annual minor display.  The moon will not interfere with this month's observation of this meteor shower.

April 23 - Grigg-Skjellerup Meteors - Here is an oddity just by its name...the only annual meteor shower known by the comet from which the meteoroid cloud came!  It also is unique in that it is a “localized” meteor shower, visible only in certain parts of the world, but not others, on each pass.  For example, there was a brilliant display of these meteors seen in New Zealand in 1977....but not one in the United States.  If visible, they will be seen early in the evening, originating south of overhead.  At right ascension 07h 48m / declination -45 degrees, these will appear to be coming literally from the south horizon for northern hemisphere observers, perhaps the only way to differentiate them from the other meteors showers in the same direction of sky each April.  This year is a great year for this unusual meteor shower since the moon will not interfere with your dark skies after it sets around 11 p.m.

April 28 - Alpha Bootid Meteors - Coming from a point very near the bright “alpha star” Capella in the constellation of Bootes, this radiant is in the sky from dusk until dawn, and nearly overhead at about 1 a.m.  Look for these meteors to be few, BUT those that are seen are typically very fine fireballs moving slowly across the sky and leaving beautiful “smoky trails” behind them.  Observers will NOT be hampered by moonlight for this shower in 2018 - the radiant rises about 3-4 hours after sunset, and the moon will be nearly full and dominating the skies during this meteor shower.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Blessed Easter

He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.

                                                                         Matthew 28:6