Monday, May 31, 2021

Little Crowd in the Coffee Shop of Our City

Fig 01- Little crowd in the coffee shop

I have seen “little live” in our city, Baton Rouge, since March this year, but the outdoor activities:

Since then, vaccination rate has been improved in Louisiana. 35% of population got vaccines now.

The number is increasing day by day. Citizen and business community more confident than previous months.

People with two shots are allowed to unmask indoor. Little crowd are easily seen in places such as:

- restaurants
- coffee shops
- library
- etc

Fig 02- Customers waiting in line

Fig 03- Empty chairs in the early morning

When we came to one of the oldest coffee shops in our city on the early morning, there were a lot of empty chairs.

About half an hour later, we saw some of customers sit at one of corners. They got their drink and chatted each other.

Yes, people start gathering indoor now.

How about with your cities or places? Hope, this pandemic is over soon!.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Mental Health Awareness and Vaccination – Mind and Mental 2

Fig 01- A tree with purple flowers.

Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts related to my post about Mental Illness.

I appreciate it.

We are still in May, the awareness of mental health month, so it is a good moment to be aware about our daily living activities and behaviors that affect our mental health.

Prolonged isolation and prolonged restricted activities can lead to discomfort and depression.

Over a year we feel like live in the box, and now we can take a little “fresh air” since more people have been vaccinated.

Louisiana is less number of percentage of vaccination. In Louisiana, the number of people fully vaccinated is 1,438,154, and the percentage of population fully vaccinated is 30.94%. 

Fig 02- The clusters of flowers

The rank of Louisiana from 51 states is 48/51. The highest percentage of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is Vermont, 54%.

On May 15, Governor Bell Edward mentioned, “Following the new CDC guidance and in consultation with the LDH, I have revised the current proclamation to give anyone who is fully vaccinated the option to no longer wear a mask while indoors in most places.”

Fig 03- Flowers in the end of branches

But the restrictions are still the same in some places, such in government buildings and hospitals, wearing mask mandatory and distance.

Most Baton Rouge residents still wear mask even though in the places that mask is not mandatory anymore and the outdoors.

Governor Bell Edward brought up, “A growing number of studies on the COVID vaccines have shown the following:

-More than 90% effective in real-world settings at preventing mild and severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
-Effective against the variants currently circulating in the country and state.
-Those who are vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus.”

At the last, if prolonged isolation and prolonged restricted activities can lead to discomfort and depression, better get COVID vaccination. It might prevent our depression; vaccinated persons have more options for their life.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Why Should not We Take Aspirin Daily?

Fig 01- Aspirin sold as an OTC drug in Walmart

We might familiar with Over the Counter (OTC) drug called “aspirin,” since its commonly used for:

- reduce fever
- relieve pain.

Aspirin may relieve from light to medium pains such as:

- common cold
- headaches
- muscle aches
- toothaches
- arthritis

Another use of Aspirin is to prevent blood clot in the artery. The clot obstructs the flow of blood which may cause:

- heart attacks
- strokes (due to disturbance of blood flow in the brain)

Fig 02- An abandoned bike

The facts, based on reported from Annals of Internal Medicine (2019) that million of people take Aspirin even they don’t have heart diseases.

Fig 03- Saucer Magnolia flowers

Based on age, number of people who consume Aspirin daily are:

- 40 years old, 29 millions
- 70 years old, 10 millions

The main reason not to take Aspirin daily is:

- increasing risk of bleeding, especially to people above 70.

For people any ages, should not take Aspirin daily if they have certain diseases or disorders. Some of them:

- peptic ulcer disease.
- low blood platelet count
- bleeding disorder
- chronic kidney disease
- diabetes
- high blood pressure.

Hence, it will be better to consult to physicians, even if we want to take very lower doses of Aspirin daily.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Knowing Anything about Mental Illness is Important First Step - Mind and Mental 1

Fig 01- The first day of Tuesday Farmer Market in 2021

May is about the end. As we know May is Mental Health Awareness Month statewide.

In the beginning of this month, I met a pretty girl, 30s. She is slim, tall, and smart.

She worked in a chemical company before pandemic. She lost her job, and now she has done hospital visiting due to her diseases.

She underwent multiple removal surgeries.

When I asked her about her life and how she managed her stressful, she asked me back. “Stress?” then “Let it go away.”

She laughed, I believe she had a beautiful smile behind her face mask, “No stress. Nah!”

It seems she knows how to cope her problems. That is great.

In truth, there are always some problems that we face as we live in this world.

Fig 02- Beside enjoy walking around and taking photos, buying fruits and vegetables in farmer market is one of my activities to keep away from mental illness. At this moment, I was taking photos.

Along the month of mental awareness, I am trying to “investigate” myself.

Do I have:

-excessive anxiety and fear
-feeling sad and low so bad
-extremely mood swing, euphoria
-very easily disturbed and grumpy
-confusing in thinking and lack of focus and learning
-keeping away from friends

Fig 03- Zucchinis and yellow squashes look very fresh. Grab some to cook today, cooking is also fun!

The points above are common signs of mental illness that I need to be aware.

HEALTHY Lives mentioned that knowing anything about mental illness is important first step.

Do not hesitate to find help, do not afraid to consult a doctor.

Even I have some points above, I take control of myself. I find something fun! Such as:

- walking in the gardens
- taking photos
- reading favorite books
- listening to the old school music
- chatting with friends
- shopping small things
- cooking simple foods

The most important is: posting my thought in my blog then enjoying every single comment from you all, my friends.

I really appreciate for your visiting and commenting.

They are such medicines to me to keep healthy and away from mental illness. Thank you so much!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

How often Should we Consume Blueberries?

Fig 01- Blueberries in the bowl

Actually, there are a lot of berries species in the world, no less than 400 different kinds. In term of colors, they could be:

- black
- purple
- white
- yellow
- red

Blueberry is one of my favorite fruits in the berries “group.” Other favorite berries include:

- strawberry
- blackberry
- raspberry

Ruairi Robertson (published in healthline, August 19, 2020) suggest to consume at least 8 kinds of berries.


Fig 02- Cranberry, another suggested berries to eat

Fig 03- Blueberries, ready to be consumed

Fig 04- Blueberries sold in Walmart, US$6.97

It is because they are healthiest berries. I have mentioned 3 kinds (excluded blackberry), other 5 kinds of berries are:

- Goji berries
- Bilberries
- Acai berries
- Cranberries
- Grapes

In case of blueberry, there are a lot of health benefits, just some (Megan Ware, written in MedicalNewsToday, 2017):

- Lowering blood pressure
- Managing diabetes
- Protecting against heart disease
- Preventing cancer
- Healthy digestion, weight loss, and feeling full

The question then: How often Should we Consume Blueberries?

As recommended by Harvard Health Publishing (June 17, 2020): “Eat blueberries three times per week.”

Friday, May 21, 2021

Biscotti and “The Blissful Feast” by Teresa Lust

Fig 01- Biscotti for breakfast

Most countries in the worldwide familiar to the Italian foods. We see how pizza and pasta take over the world.

Some Italian cuisines could be adapted from his foreign countries in the past, but Italian people created the gourmets with their imagination so that their taste and creations became their own signatures.

The world loves the creativity and the simplicity of Italian foods, no wonder in some places Italian cuisines have been adjusted and re-created.

Many modifications of pizzas and pastas around the worlds.

Indeed, Italian cuisines also have flexibility in ingredient compositions and serving.

Now, hazelnut paste that originally from Italy (Piedmont) can be found anywhere.

We are familiar with the hazelnut butter spread, Nutella. Italian alba truffle from Piedmont is a kind of a luxury truffle.

Fig 02- A Blissful Feast by Teresa Lust.

Biscotti is also familiar around here. In the coffee shops we can find biscotti along the other cookies and pastries for breakfast.

Fig 03- Teresa Lust, a writer, gardener, and cook

Italian cookbooks are also easy to find with the great recipes, useful tips, and beautiful photos.

Fig 04- Biscotti recipe photo from “The Blissful Feast”-1

A Blissful Feast: Culinary Adventures in Italy's Piedmont, Maremma, and Le Marche by Teresa Lust, is a beautifully written book about her adventures in Italy.

Fig 05- Biscotti recipe photo from “The Blissful Feast”-2

Teresa Lust’s grandmother was from Italy, and she grown up in the Italian cultures and Italian cuisines in Washington.

Her palate about her roots of cuisines brought her to a “delicious” journey in Italy.

She stayed and learned about Italian farming, preparing, cooking, and serving of those foods from her relatives in Piedmont, Maremma, and then Le Marche.

We can find the authentic Italian cuisines in this book and the stories behind those foods.

She also guides us about Italian words and language that used in the Italian culinary and gourmet.

In this page, I share the biscotti recipe (photos) from her book. It is great recipe to try, one batch can make 4 dozen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Flash Flood in my Neighborhood

Fig 01- Flood in our neighborhood recently

As you might know that our state, Louisiana, experienced “highest rainfall” in 2016.

On that time, rainfall reached 510 mm (20 inches) in many parishes (territories), caused overflows in the streets, rivers, and waterways. Rain dropped about “7.1 trillion gallons of water” in one week.

2016 great flood in Louisiana cost billion of dollar, estimated from US$ 10 to US$ 15 billion dollars.

Catastrophic Flooding had contributed to:

- damage of thousand houses
- submerge of thousand business
- loss of agricultural production
- 60 people dead

However, our current two days rainfall was very “small” compared to 2016 disaster. But, its flash flood was scary enough. 

Fig 02- Water covered streets

Fig 03- Garbage bins were floating from up streets

Fig 04- Flooding in front of several houses.

As you can see (please see Fig 01, 02 and 04 at above), the water had flown in front of the houses.

This flows dragging and moving around many things include:

- garbage bins
- branches
- leaves
- cars

From local news that 2 dead in our city, and totally 4 death in the state of Louisiana;

No one of my neighbors.

Since we got very early warning, and based on 2016 big flooding experienced, hence, we have a little bit “well prepare” to cope with this flooding.  

Monday, May 17, 2021

Leprosy is the Oldest of the Ancient Diseases - Hansen’s Disease 2

Fig -01- Miniature roses 1

Leprosy is one of ancient diseases that still exist in this modern human lifestyle.

This prehistory disease could be the oldest recorded ancient disease (Hurst, 2019)

Paleontologists conduct many studies about the disease that plagued humankind throughout the history.

They believe the root of this disease “likely stem back millions of years”.

Untreated disease of leprosy can cause deformities in the face and extremities that lead to:

- Disability
- Stigmatization
- Mortality.

Like Covid-19, leprosy is transmitted by close contacted. They are a droplet precaution.

Fig 02- Miniature roses 2.

Coughing and sneezing of infected person can spread the disease to the healthy person. 

Fig 03- Miniature roses 3.

A healthy person is also can be infected leprosy if the person breaths in the air that contaminated with bacteria. The bacteria cause leprosy is called Mycobacterium leprae.

CDC mentioned that a person will not get infection through:

-Shaking hands
-Sitting next each other in subway or bus
-Sitting together in the dinner table.
-Not passing on from mother to her baby during pregnancy

There are about 200.000 cases per year in the worldwide. Leprosy is rare in the US and is about 200 new cases per year.

This disease is curable with multiple antibacterial drugs. The treatment is amazingly effective.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

No Gasoline Shortage and Sudden Price Increasing in Louisiana

Fig 01- Gasoline pump for cars

Colonial pipelines serve gasoline distribution in my state, Louisiana. The pipe lines also carry refined oil product from Texas to states such as:

- Mississippi
- Alabama
- Georgia
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- Virginia
- Maryland
- Delaware
- Pennsylvania
- New Jersey
- Tennessee.

Hackers called as “DarkSise” had attacked pipeline since May 8, 2021. Then, I tried to find out whether the cyberattacks affect on my state, Louisiana.

Fig 02- Regular gas price, not really changed.

Fig 03- No long waiting line

Luckily, I think the cyberattack had no effect at all in respect on:

- price
- gas supply
- waiting line in the gas stations

Yes, gas price increased compared to last month, but not because disturbance of ransomware attack.

Just “normal” increasing due to supply and demand in the world market.

As my understanding from “mainstream media” resources, the cyberattack leads to shortage of gas, and even consumers panic in the states:

- Georgia
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- Virginia

How about with your states? Did you notice increasing of gas price or gas shortages recently?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Green Bean and Papaya Delight

Fig 01- Slices of green papaya.

I went to the store and so happy to find the green papaya. This green papaya could be good to make Thai papaya salads, but the green papaya in coconut milk seemed a great choice.

I got a medium size green papaya and a can of leche de coco (coconut milk).

I kept the green papaya in the fridge.

Two days later, I was ready to cook the papaya. The green papaya was still green, and the skin had not changed color.

I peeled the skin; the papaya was still hard. I cut it into half. Oops, the flesh inside was turning to yellow-orangish

I was thinking this papaya looked better for mixed papaya, cucumber, and jicama salads with crushed peanut sauce.

Unfortunately, I have no cucumber, jicama, or other vegetables to make that salad.

Fig 02- Cut green beans

Okay, just kept it as a plan, the green papaya in coconut milk.

I sliced the flesh papaya thinly, put them in a pan. 

Fig 03- Leche de coco, coconut milk

Fig 04- Green Bean and Papaya Delight.

Then I added:

-crushed ginger, onion, and garlics,
-chili peppers (optional),
-and laurel leaves.

Bringing them to boil.

The color looked like more dessert than vegetable to me, so I added some frozen cut green beans and mixed all of them.

Looked better then!

I added leche de coco (coconut milk), a pinch of salt, and simmer for a while. Lastly, garnish with mint leaves! Looks great and tasty 😊

Have you ever tried this kind of food? What do you call it?

In Philippine, this recipe is called Ginataang Papaya, but the flesh of green papaya must be white color.

I showed this photo to the best chef in this town, Chef James, he called it, Green Bean and Papaya Delight.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why do Rich and Famous Persons Get Divorce?

Fig 01- Bill Gates, Melinda and kids (credit to DNA).

After 27 years of marriage with 3 kids, surprisingly, Bill and Melinda announced their split.

The enthralling question then: Why do they get divorce?

Before we might answer the question, let’s see the facts for “common” people in respect to divorce, as a comparison.

Scientific journal, Couple Family Psychol. 2013 Jun; 2(2): 131–145 concluded the reasons to divorce are:

- lack of commitment

- infidelity

- conflict/ arguing

- domestic violence

- substance use.

- lack of education

- lack of skill developments

Fig 02- Radish, an edible root vegetable. Illustration.

Fig 03- Satsuma orange, not ripe yet.

Other facts that in term of money, there is different between younger and older community:

- money is the main reason to divorce for younger generation
- money is not really reason for older, about 29% only.

Back to question: Why do Bill Gates and Melinda get divorce?

From above facts and reasons to split, there is no ground for Bill and Melinda to divorce. We have no clues yet.

We just hope that both of them “will better off” after divorced.

Boudin - a Classic Louisiana Sausage

Fig 01- Three types of Boudin I went to a local farmer store in Plank Road next to downtown to get some fresh boiled corns and shrimps. I...