Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura and Mementoes from Anies the Great


The Baton Rouge sky after Hurricane Laura

The dark sky in Baton Rouge has disappeared but there is still showering intermittently. Hurricane Laura just landed in Louisiana this morning. She made landfall in inhabitant of Cameron Parish.

Hurricane Laura brought tornado. The weather channel reports that Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana with Category 4 hurricane, 150 mile per hour winds, and over 9 feet storm surge. She moved and then remained severe damages in southwestern Louisiana, Lake Charles.

The areas with storm surge accentuated by waves. Flooding rain in some areas of Louisiana and hundreds of thousands of residents lost power. Interstate 10 eastbound is closed in Texas - Louisiana states line and Interstate 10 westbound is closed of west Atchafalaya Basin.

A cute handmade craft

Based on alerts weather gov., Storm Laura is currently located in Louisiana and Arkansas border, she is moving at 15 miles in an hour, and is expected that she will move across Mississippi River Valley on Friday (tomorrow).

Mementoes from Anies the Great

I would like to say thank you to Anies the Great for sending me the cute mementoes. They are such souvenirs from many places and events in her trips from several countries. Anies loves to share the stories about her journeys around the world and share those souvenirs as well.

The pink heart looks so sweet, I “heart” this handmade craft. The cherry blossoms printing scarf is so beautiful and I will need it for this fall. There are also a nice card and a picture fridge magnet. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

What the most You Love to Do this Fall?

 A happy face of a boy scarecrow

We are in the late of of the second week of August, and we keep our prays to reduce the pain caused by the pandemic.

Here, in Louisiana, we are in extended phase 2 and mask mandatory, at least till the end of August.

Sitting in my lovely couch enjoyed Stephen Colbert in the Late Show, I was aware when he said that he did the show from his house for over than 5 months: March, April, May, June, July, and August.

It is hard to believe how long we have to stay at home due to pandemic. It has been very long since the governor declared the state emergency in the second week of March. We spent a nice Spring at home, then we having fun the bright days with the full sun of Summer around our home, and now, it is about Fall and we still prefer to stay at home.

How about you? Have you a great plan for the Fall?

I picked a pair of them from the store.

I am trying to make over my living room with a simple fall decoration. There are many fall decoration ideas up in the sites and the stores are also ready for many kinds of decorations and the material to do “DIY” for the fall in their shelves.

A cute little squirrel.

I have never missed the scarecrows, and now I got one pair from the store. Sometime I made a fall wreath, but now I will re-make my old wreaths.

Do you like to do “DIY” for your fall decorations and fall wreaths? What the most you love to do?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Face Covering Mandatory and Hibiscus-like

White flowers in city garden

Welcome July!
And Happy Fourth of July!

In the first of July, Sharon Breton Broome, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President, announced an executive order to mandate face covering.

This mandate will be effective for a month, July 3 to August 3. Violations will be misdemeanor summons and a fine that determined by a judge. The mandate is not for individuals, but for business.

Since the soaring new cases in East Baton Rouge, her concern is to safe reopening of the parish economy and protect the health of residents and visitors. She said, “Save a life, save our economy, and wear a face covering”.

When I get out from home, I have never forgotten to put my mask on. It is my new a “must”. I also wear my mask when I walk in the park because sometimes persons pass me by.

Is it a variety of Hibiscus?

In the park, I found trees with a bunch of flower buds. Some of them are opening. I have no idea about the name of this flower, Based on petals and stamen, it seems a kind of hibiscus. Have you seen this kind of tree and its flowers?

We will celebrate Independence Day, July 4th, keep in mind to wear face covering in the common area.

We can take face coverings off while eating and drinking in restaurants, food courts, bars, or coffee shops. We need to put them on when entering, exiting, and while in the common area in all establishments.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Blooming the Bluish-purple Flowers in the Public Park

The bluish-purple flowers.

Today, June 5th, Louisiana has moved to Phase 2 of the White House’s reopening strategy.

On June 1st, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced, “The people of Louisiana have done an incredible job flattening the curve here, and I’m thankful for their compliance and hard work.

Likewise, the state has matched their efforts by ramping up both testing and contact tracing. All of this has allowed us to get to a place where we can move into Phase 2 on Friday.”

In Phase 2, places of worship and businesses will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with social distancing, face masks for public-facing employees, and also increased sanitation. Phase 2 will last at least 21 days.

The weather in morning of the first day of Phase 2 was nice, the sunrise was 6.00 am, and temperature was 80 F.

 Several flowers are blooming

We walked down to Independent Park to enjoy the summer blooms. Here, I spotted the blooms in the back of the garden center building, the bluish-purple flowers.

These flowers seem showy flowers. The flower are large, shaggy with deeply serrated edges in their petals, with the white stamens in the center.

Those flowers are held by strong stems. Their an attractive color and nectar attract the butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinators.

 Start to bloom

These flowers bloom on June. Based on the clusters of flower buds, seem they will continue bloom for next a couple month. Looking at the flower buds, they are so appealing; they are surrounded by leafy, curved toothed bracts. 

Flowers look like wild

These captivating flowers are giving a cheerfulness in the Phase 2 of reopening path, then we will move to the next phase.

Have you seen this plant and its flowers? It is a perennial plant, native to southeastern US. It is called Stokes' Aster because it is in a family of Asteraceae, and genus Stokesia. Its species is laevis, Stokesia laevis. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Gardenia - the Elegant White Bloom with Exotic Fragrance


Gardenia is a native flower of tropical and subtropical regions. The scientific name of this white flower is Gardenia jasminoides, the name after Scottish botanist Dr Alexander Garden.

Surprisingly, Gardenia is in family of Rubiceae, so this flower is also the same family as coffee.

In Southeast Asia countries, this flower is called “the broken plate”. The folks had an image that the petals were similar to pieces of their broken plates, then they named it based on its appearance.

In the past, they used the porcelain for their table wares or kitchen wares, commonly white porcelain with flowers paints, including their plates.

Therefore, when they saw this flower, it reminded them to their broken plates. I compared between the pieces of broken plate and the petals, and this name makes sense for me.

Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty”

Now, over 200 varieties of Gardenia with wide range of variations of flower, height, tree, leaf, or time of blooms.

They have beautiful names of each variety, such as Aimee, August Beauty, Chuck Hayes, Golden Magic, Pin Wheels, Radicans, Shooting Star, Kleim's Hardy, and Thunbergia. 

Pieces of broken plate (from iStock)

They are garden treasures in Louisiana. Gardenias grow fantastically around my neighborhood, dominantly Gardenia jasminoides 'August Beauty' and 'Radican'.

The petals look like pieces of the broken white plate.

These trees are very common in the yards because they are easy to plant and they do not need a good care.

I just let the bushes grow in the corner my back yard with less of care. These perennial and evergreen trees are still exist even the bad winter hit them.

The last blooms for this year.

The scent of flowers is very sweet, pleasant, and lovely. I like to cut one or two and keep them in my car, meanwhile my Laotian friend, Souk, loves to spice up her hair bun by sliding this flower.

Unfortunately, my Gardenias only bloom once a year-round, in late Spring. Now, all of blooms are fading, and there are no more budding. So, I will wait for the late spring next year to see the elegant white blooms with exotic fragrance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Brain Health and Against Alzheimer's Disease. - Alzheimer's 26

Salmon, fatty fish is rich of omega-3 fatty acids.

As we know that polyunsaturated fats are superior fats. The most important source of this kind of fat is fatty fish which contain omega-3 for brain health.

Omega-3 acids are incorporated into membrane cells, and the membrane that rich with omega-3 acids play role in signaling cell, membrane protein function, and gene expression.

Some studies show that individual suffer with neurogenerative and Alzheimer's disease lack of omega-3 fatty acids. Then, we know that omega-3 acids are essentials part of neuronal membranes. That also play important role in development of intelligence, nervous system, and vision.

Omega‐3 fatty acid consumption has been associated with reduced risk of several neurological diseases, and these fatty acids are essential for maintaining the structure and fluidity of neural membranes (Salvati and friends, 2006). 

Spinach is also source of omega-3

In the rat brain microvascular endothelial cells, Wang et al (2018) found thatt omega-3 fatty acids reduced lipid peroxidation in those cells, and reduced the amount of apoptosis cell. This result show that omega-3 fatty acid are protective against Alzheimer's Disease.

Since our body does not have machinery to synthesize these acids, so we can only obtain these essential fats from our diet.

The diet rich with omega‐3 fatty acids primarily from the ocean, coldwater fish and marine animals.

The omega-3 in the fish is related to the fat content in the species of fish. The darker colored flesh of fish, such as herring, salmon, tuna, and mackerel, the higher total fat content than lighter ones, such as cod, pollock, plounder, and grouper.

Eating just one meal of fish a week cause reducing the risk of Alzheimer's Disease something around 40 to 60 percent.

Beside fishes, egg and poultry are also contain omega-3 with lesser quantity than fishes.

For vegetarian, these essentials fats can be found from plant-based diets, such as walnut, flax seeds, chia seeds, seaweeds, spinach, and edamame.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Lantana for Summer Project in My Backyard

Bright color of Lantana

I just visited one of nurseries in my city, Baton Rouge. One flower called Lantana has been attracted me.

Lantana is a scientific genus with 150 species spread to many part in the world include here in the USA.

This flowers grow well in the southern states of USA, because warmer temperature, and Lantana produce flowers during hot summers.

In Louisiana, we have several types of Lantana, some of them are:
- Lantana camara
- Lantana montevidensis,
- Lantana urticoides
- Lantana Involucrata
- Lantana horrida

Another type of Lantana

It is said that Lantana may reach to 6 feet (2 meter) tall. Interestingly, the flowers are diseases and insect free.

Butterflies and hummingbirds love to visit Lantana, because flowers have attractive colors and sources of foods.

Pink color of Lantana

Many pollinators found nectar and pollen in the Lantana flowers, hence our backyard to be friendly garden for pollinators.

I am planning to grow Lantana in my backyard as my summer project.

Do you have specific project in this summer season?

Hurricane Laura and Mementoes from Anies the Great

  The Baton Rouge sky after Hurricane Laura The dark sky in Baton Rouge has disappeared but there is still showering intermittently. Hurric...