Friday, September 2, 2011


Such a lovely pear sitting on my microwave awaiting it's fate. 

For some reason this week has been one of those weeks where a whole bunch of things crop up that just have to be dealt with sandwiched in between routine things of the week.
 Monday had a list that included muffins, a bed and my new glasses.  I had just enough of a zucchini to make another batch of Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins 18 to be exact.  Seven weeks ago I ordered a bed from a local business and deciding enough was enough went down and cancelled it and got my down payment refunded.  Then I went and got my new glasses adjusted and that was just the morning.  In the afternoon I visited 4 of my friends and another popped in to make it 5.  My energy expended I called it a day.
Tuesday I washed a load of clothes and hung a quilt out to air after all it looks as if I'll be needing it soon with temperatures in the single digits this week over night.  Spent the rest of the day doing some reading and writing some cards.
Wednesday was a full morning writing and printing letters which I do every month plus one of a more personal nature and doing another load of clothes.  I was out the door again for I had an errand to do on the other side of town, drop off a letter on the way, then go to the post office and because I forgot my grocery list had to go home for it and then back downtown to the store for the groceries.  In the coffee shop I stopped and had a little chat with two old dear friends then went home and made corn bread which was frankly awful and dumped it.
Thursday it stormed all night which plastered my clean car with dead leaves that look like they had gone through a mulcher.  I visited with a lady at 10, went for coffee and my friend gave me some garden produce after I drove her home.  I badly needed a nap in the afternoon but everyone in the apartment decided to come and go multple times accompanied by a lot of noise.  Scratch the nap.  Went out to a regular Thursday evening get together for 4 or 5 of us girls and didn't get home until 9.
Friday wasn't much slower either.  I went out at 9 to pick up a few sale items at the grocery store.  From there I went and washed the car then visited the phone company who had wrongly charged me $10 for a service charge.  After lunch I made another cornbread using a different recipe of course and it turned out perfect.  Well as it happened I found out some folks had an surge of out-of-town family and I sent 8 pieces over to them plus 1 piece for the friend who delivered them along with her baking powder biscuits, then took 2 pieces upstairs to friends, which left two pieces for me and a pan to wash.

I will be out both mornings on Saturday and Sunday and just got a text message invitation to join in some singing Sunday afternoon.
I really hope to squeeze a nap in there somewhere. I need a job so I can get some rest for Pete's sake!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- French fries and potato chips may have given potatoes a bad rap, but new research finds the lowly tuber -- when cooked correctly -- may actually be good for the heart.
A small, pilot study suggests that a couple of servings of potatoes per day can lower blood pressure as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain, researchers said.
Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, analyzed 18 patients who ate six to eight small purple potatoes twice daily for a month and found their systolic and diastolic blood pressures (the top and bottom numbers on a blood pressure reading) dropped by 3.5 and 4.3 percent, respectively.
Most patients were either overweight or obese, and many were already taking medications for high blood pressure during the study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was to be presented Wednesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver. Experts note that research presented at scientific meetings is preliminary and has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Vinson pointed out that potatoes can be a healthy food when they're not in the form of French fries or chips, or covered in high-fat toppings such as cheese and sour cream.
Purple ones, in particular, have high amounts of antioxidants, although red-skinned or white potatoes may have similar effects, he said.
The golf ball-sized potatoes used in the study were microwaved, which Vinson called a "benign" cooking method that doesn't add fat or calories or destroy healthy substances in potatoes.
"Everyone thought potatoes were just a starch and pretty much nothing else," said Vinson, explaining spuds' poor nutritional reputation. "I was surprised . . . a very large proportion (of participants) were taking medications and still we had a drop in blood pressure."
Lona Sandon, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said she wasn't surprised about the study results, noting that potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which is known to help control blood pressure.
"I'm kind of glad to see someone saying something good about potatoes," said Sandon, also an assistant professor of nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "Potatoes are a pretty healthy staple food. They're nutritionally low in fat, relatively low in calories, and are loaded with nutrition, particularly in the skin."
Sandon noted that the study's small size made it difficult to draw solid conclusions and said that the skin of purple potatoes likely contains more of certain blood pressure-lowering antioxidants than those of white potatoes.
"The skin is key," she said. "That's where the nutrients are."
The purple potatoes used in the study are becoming increasingly available in supermarkets and specialty food stores, Vinson said.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recently I have been lamenting the absence of robins in our neighborhood.  About 10 days ago the back yard and parking lot was covered with robins eating either seeds or bugs for at least three days.  And that was the last I had seen any robins at all.  Today the same area is now frequented by what looks like late hatch robins filling themselves on whatever they can find.  My guess is that these ones will soon be long gone as well.  Maybe by some instinct of nature the adult robins were tipped off by the unusual weather patterns caused by hurricane Irene and they escaped early to get to their destination safely and with ample supplies of food along the way.

Monday, August 29, 2011


This was an early morning view from my kitchen and offered the promise of some rain.  The rain that did fall was fairly brief but heavy and it did keep me from going home a little while longer after visiting at the nursing home today.  Despite the flooding problems we've had this year it was nothing compared to the aftermath of hurricane Irene across the eastern seaboard of the United States.  I hope that no more lives will be lost and that states like Vermont that is having incredible destruction get the aid they need in a timely and useful manner. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


What an awesome field of study this would be.  This is the most famous of fractals, the Mandelbrot set, under magnification of 250,000,000x. 


So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.
—Jonathan Swift, from "On Poetry: A Rhapsody"

The satirist and author of Gulliver's Travels might have been talking about fractals when he made this oft-quoted observation—if he hadn't lived two centuries before fractals were discovered. (In fact, Swift was complaining about lesser poets criticizing better ones, like pestering fleas.) As it happens, these four lines can serve as a perfect metaphor for the infinitely detailed, "self-similar" nature of fractals. In this interactive, zoom deep into a Mandelbrot set, the most famous of fractals, to the mind-bending magnification of 250,000,000x. Along the way, you'll see what is meant by self-similarity, how the iconic Mandelbrot-set shape keeps turning up at smaller scales like one of Swift's ever-tinier fleas, and why the 18th-century wit's metaphor suits fractals to a tee.