Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Bear Hunt, A Zoo Day, and Sidewalk Messages

A cute blue bear said, “I am here, can you find me?”
(Credit: Bethany France)

Governor of Louisiana is extending the state’s stay-at-home order involving harsh restrictions.

Sam Karlin from The Advocate said, “The Governor has repeatedly hinted they could be in place well into May unless the state makes headway “flattening the curve,” or slowing the spread of coronavirus to avoid overwhelming health systems.”

The viruses are roaming in entire parishes in Louisiana.

Last week post, I mentioned that it was 1388 persons got infected Covid-19, and 46 person deaths. Today reported: 239 deaths.

This small State loss almost 200 person in a week due to Covid-19, and those get infected are escalating to 5237 persons, it is 4-fold increase in a week. 

Meme of bear hunt

The closures of K-12 schools is in the third week. Seems kiddos in our neighborhood being bored to stay at home all day long in every single day.

The Baton Rouge Family Fun initiates in doing “Bear Hunt” in the forest, and our neighborhood is participating in this great and challenge event.

Brown Bear is enjoying sunshine (Kelli Rayburn)

Our neighbors are called to put a teddy bear in front of window so families can go on a bear hunt. The kiddos and families will walk around the neighborhood and spots as many bears as possible.

Some of neighbors put their bears in front of their house and their lawns. Beside bear, other animals also like to participate. 

Having a tea party (Credit: Gail Nelson)

Since many animals in our neighborhood, we called it a “Zoo Day”.

The animals may include ducks, turtles, dogs, cats, swans or any other favorite animals. 

Lil Pooh with a friend (Credit: Catherine Coxe)

This event is still going, the kids have blast in hunting. Some neighbors got a message in their sidewalks, and said that their kids are so happy and excited about that message. 

Target animal under the tree. “Mr. Conrad T. Dog wanted to be a part of the bear hunt. He’s not exactly a bear but he hopes you’ll pay him a visit anyway” (Credit: Stevie Noyes).

Then, many neighbors put some chalks and gloves so the kids who walking and hunting also can leave their messages on their sidewalks. It is very entertaining.

What is fun event in your neighborhood during a “shelter in place” order?

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Altruists - Family Saga and Meaning of to-be-a-Good Person

The Altruists, a novel

I picked this book because I like the cover with clean white, the picture, and reviews stated, “Super brilliant, Super funny”.

The first chapter I did not see any funny but sad, because this chapter was about their burning house, meanwhile whole family plus a couple client were in the house.

The end of the first chapter, the author put some conversations among them, when they were seeing the fire fighters doing their job from the outside of burning house.

Seemed the author left the clues for readers by putting two words in bold fonts. I kept in my mind those words.

The next chapters jumped back and forward, reminding me to words with bold fonts. They are the “theme” of this novel.

This book is about the a family, Alters. Arthur Alters is a father, “professor at a Midwestern college, he can’t afford his mortgage, he’s exasperated his much-younger girlfriend”.

Andrew Ridker, The author of The Altruists.

Maggie is a main character, a daughter, who “a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty”. Ethan is his son, an introvert gay.

I read all through the book. I still did not see any funny and smart. I just felt piety to those characters, seems they are not mature, not smart and wise about life. “Am I loosing the sense of humor?”

I was thinking that I was stressful, my anxiety level was getting higher. I was about frustrated because I also had to google some terms from this novel that I was doubt about the definitions and the concepts.

This book was wrote by a millennial author, a young man in her twenties. It is his first novel.

Since I reviewed another book which is Altruism: The Power of Compassion. Finally, I agree that The Altruists is super funny and super brilliant.
This novel is ironic and tragicomic about moral life, and the concepts how to be a good person with the naive thought.

The author fascinated about two differences. We can see how two generations encounter in this novel, between baby boomers and millennials, also between dysfunctional family and campus life. Ridker gives the readers good measurements of compassion.

The author is very smart, even the characters seem kind of un-mature persons, but he created their personalities exactly like in the theories or concepts that we learn either in the Sociology Class or in the Psychology of Personality Class.

The terms in the book are also terms in the textbooks, and some concepts might from his faith. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Month of the Craft and being Creative for Emergency Situation

March is National Craft Month

In the beginning of this month, it was announced that March is national craft month. I was thinking to join with the team of creativity in the library.

At that time, Louisiana was free from Covid-19. Just a week later, March 9, Louisiana Public Health announced the first person got Covid-19.

On March 11, the Governor declared that a statewide Public Health Emergency exist in the State of Louisiana.

It is hard to imagine, less than two weeks since the first person got infection, Public Health has reported there are 1.388 get infections, and 46 deaths.

This deadly virus, SARS-CoV-2, is escalating wildly. Then. Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, ordered the state's residents to “shelter in place” till Sunday, April 12.

Crafting with fat quarters

Back to March National craft month. This month is an attempt to bring awareness of crafting to all of ages, from toddlers through seniors.

There are some reasons for the crafting:
boost inspirations
heighten creativity
stimulate imagination
release stress
save/make some bucks
achieve good academic
and more fun 

Coconut husk mask (Credit: Tria pio)

Due to prevent spreading of virus, we have to “shelter in place”. It is a good time to do crafts and hobbies at home.

Enjoying and spending some times with yarns, fabrics, beads, paints, pencils, crayons, photos, papers, wood, etc, could relieve the anxiety, fear, and stress. 

Yummy thicker mask (Credit: Else Cederborg)

No jokes for this disaster, but like people say that creativity also releases stress.

From the last two photos, we can see how important creativity of “crafting” to defense from disaster.

They apply concepts up-cycling by using the abundance resources to accommodate the scarcity of mask.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Do you Like to Consume Mint Leaves?

Mint Leaves in My Backyard

I grow some “small” plants (vegetables and fruits) in my backyard just for fun. Some are:
- mint
- water spinach (Chinese spinach, swamp cabbage)
- chili
- basil
- strawberry

I would like to talk about mint for this post. We always include mint leaves in:
- tea
- smoothies
- desserts
- salad
- sometimes in drinking water.

Several Mint leaves in the glass of tea

We might know that mint leaves have health advantages such as improve brain functions, help relieve indigestion and decrease breastfeeding pain.

Other benefits are to reduce mild flue due to virus, fever due to bacteria, and could cure mild headaches as well.

My favorite is to use fresh mint leaves in the hot tea. As I know that people use mint leaves for:
- mix Greek yogurt with chopped mint leaves
- combine mint leaves with watermelon, strawberry, and basil for salad
- eating quinoa with mint leaves.

Have you ever consumed mint leaves? How do you use them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Homemade Coconut Oil glazed Beef Jerky in Emergency Life

Homemade beef jerky

Fresh meat and chicken are out, there are none either in my fridge or in stores. Since the Louisiana Health Emergency Proclamation, life is unpleasant.

Groceries are almost empty. Luckily, we have source of proteins as our stocks:
- fish cans
- packed tuna
- tofu
- frozen poultry
- frozen meat
- frozen salmon and tilapia.

It is my last meat package, thin cut of beef. I was so starving, and I could not wait for thawing and marinating. I did a quick and simple way in cooking.

I am thinking you can guess what I had done.

Virgin coconut oil in the jar.

I put the frozen beef into the pan. By adding small amount of water, salt, coriander, chopped garlic and ginger, brought them to a boil.

Then I pounded and cut the slices of beef, glazed them with virgin coconut oil.
Next step, quick dehydrating. I heat them on the skillet until the side brown then turned to another side.
In a bigger bowl, I mixed sliced red onions, sliced jalapenos, and sliced green tomatoes, then I stirred them with virgin coconut oil. Afterwards, I added meat from the skillet into this bowl, mixed all together.

The final step, I took a photo (photo above) of my cooking before they're gone :)

What do you think about my quick and simple beef jerky? I would like to say this is a special beef jerky because I like the taste of this virgin coconut oil.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Why are We Getting Obesity Now than Old Days?

Graph -1 - Obesity among younger increase over time

The facts that American kids, teenagers and adults are getting obese and obesity generally. These data are recorded for more than 50 years.

Data for kids and teenagers were taken several times from period of 1963 to 2014 (please see Graph -1).

In case of adults, both women and men tend to obese. But, women more obese than men since 1960. The data continue to periods of 2013 to 2014 as shown on Graph -2 at below.

Surprisingly that the following facts are not changes or almost the same for 50 years:
- Eating the same amount of food
- Consume the same quantities of calories, fat and protein
- Doing the same amount of physical exercises.

The question then why are We getting obese now Days?

Graph -2 – Increasing of obesity between men and women

Some experts suggested the following possible reasons (needed to be studied furthermore:

- Life style such as infant with less or without breast-fed are obese more than infants with breast-fed more than 3 months

- Increasing of drug using especially prescription drugs which in fact relate to obesity.

- Changing of our microorganisms in our intestines. It is believed the current type of gut microorganisms are relate to weight gain.

- We probably expose to more chemical environments such as food processing and pesticides. These lead to hormonal work to cause obesity.

Should we back to old days? What do you think?

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The First Person Positive Corona-virus in Louisiana Announced on Monday.

Corona virus (from thefunnybeaver,com)

When we took a break yesterday, we chilled out on the chair in front of TV. The Baton Rouge local channel, the WBRZ News announced that coronavirus is here. 

We saw Louisiana Department of Health official announced that on Monday, March 9, one of 45 people have tested for the new Coronavirus, one is presumptive positive. The patient has been treated at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New Orleans.

Watching the news, my coworker said, “I don't understand about coronavirus, people said this virus is for animal, but why does this virus turn infect human right now? I don't get it.”

She continued, “We don't buy meat from China, because we have never known the meat. They eat cats, dogs, and bats. I still remember bird flu, also from China.”

She just right about it. We do not know much about this virus. We only follow all procedures what and how we response about Coronavirus through emails from CEO.

Then, we searched info about this virus from CDC. From the available info, we have resumed that this is novel (new) corona virus, so this virus has never exist before. 

Stay safe, is it the best way? (from thefunnybeaver,com)

The shape of virus is round with spike around the virus envelope so that this virus look like has a halo or corona. CDC states that this virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease has been called “COVID-19.”

COVID-19 is abbreviation from “Coronavirus disease 2019”

CDC also mentions that there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. The infected person should be get supportive care to alleviate the symptoms.

We do not panic. Sure we concern about this virus, and the virus is around us right now. 

We do not want anybody join with over 116,000 people have been diagnosed and over 4,000 have died.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Why does America Imports as well as Exports of Wines?

Two brands of California wines

America has produced wines a long long time ago, it is believed since about 1500s. Then, all of 50 states have their own wine production now days.

Almost 90% of American wines are manufactured in California. Napa is the most famous wine county in this state.

Not surprising that USA is one of wine exporters in the world, ranked 6th, the 2018 ranks are following:

- France, total export value was US$11 billion
- Italy, total export value was $7.3 billion
- Spain, total export value was $3.5 billion
- Australia, total value was $2.2 billion
- Chile, total value was $2 billion
- United States, total value was $1.4 billion. 

Imported wines from France

I went to a grocery a few days ago, surprising me more that a lot of imported wines come from the counties I never knew as wine exporters such as:
- Israel
- United Kingdom
- Austria
- Spain
- Portugal
- Argentina
- New Zealand

Why does America Imports as well as Export Wine? The simple answer that American demands more wines than supplies it.

Did your country wines exporter or importer or both?

Why do Birds Sing in my Backyard in the Morning?

Fig 01- A bird, photo taken from my neighborhood. I just wonder birds sing loudly in my backyard every morning. They keep singing their son...