Posted in Photography, Plant Life

Mad Botanist?!

Apparently, I am not only a mad scientist in the kitchen, I’m also a mad botanist. I use that term VERY loosely, as I don’t know the first thing about plants. I have only owned plants for about a year now.

I’ve been noticing these little gnat looking bugs (I think aphids maybe?) around my plants, mostly around my ivies and my gold dust plant.12495927_10205294638466170_3408114667551179953_o

Tonight when I was watering a few of my plants at the kitchen sink, I noticed the bugs flying out from the opening at the bottom where you can put the water in instead of pouring it on the top of the soil.

I don’t know why, but all of sudden I thought, “Hmm…I wonder if my powdered ginger would ward them off at all?” I’m not too sure where my thinking was going with that, other than the fact that maybe the smell would ward them off and discourage them from returning and maybe be a natural alternative to chemicals?

I sprinkled the ginger generously on the soil to set my experiment in progress. I noticed the bugs immediately scatter into the air around my plants, which usually never happens when I am handling my plants.

My mad botanist experiment starts and I am curious as to the outcome. I really hope the ginger doesn’t ruin the soil or my plants at all. I just checked them, and I didn’t see any signs of anything flying around at all or scurrying around in the soil like I have been seeing the past couple weeks. If all else fails, at least my plants smell good!

 

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Posted in Diary of a Jade

Diary of Jade…entry 1

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Dear Diary,

I am Jade. I was rescued from the store a couple months ago by my dear Caretaker.

Caretaker is sad today…Lily has passed. Her last few flowers browned before they even bloomed. I have never seen Caretaker so sad about a plant. She feels like it’s her fault that Lily is gone already, but what she doesn’t realize is, they don’t last long. Not like me. She is a good caretaker to us all, and I appreciate that.

It’s starting to get a little lonely on my cabinet, with Lily gone now, and the two Kalenchoes going into dormancy for the summer. All that is left is me, Rose, and Pink Polka Dot plant, and of course, the family of Ivy’s that has their own spot on top of the bookshelf.

Dear Caretaker…don’t be sad. You have a kind heart and we your plants, know that you love us all and take care of us the best you can. I promise you, I will be around for a long time. I like it here, and though you don’t fuss over me as much as the flowers, I am less maintenance than they are.

Posted in Vegan Blog

Eggplant Curry Sauce

A couple of weeks ago I posted an eggplant and curry tofu pasta here https://thoughtgalleryblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/eggplant-and-carrot-curry-tofu-pasta/

I’m making some eggplant curry sauce again today and thought I would get more into detail as to how to prepare the eggplant.

Eggplant is very watery, and if you don’t want your sauce to be, you need to somehow get the water out of the eggplant. Here’s a semi easy way that I found online on how to do so:

eggplant prep_037

  1. Coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray (I used Pam olive oil spray)
  2. Wash and slice eggplant into about 3/4″ slices (pictured here is two small eggplants)
  3. Arrange on cookie sheet and sprinkle a good amount of salt onto the slices. (the salt is what draws the water out and don’t worry about too much salt, it gets drained)
  4. Let the slices sit for at least a half an hour. You’ll notice water forming at the top.
  5. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350.
  6. After half hour, gently squeeze excess water from the slices, taking care not to squish the eggplant. Dab slices with paper towel to get rid of excess water and salt.
  7. Baste the slices with a mixture of olive oil and basil.
  8. Sprinkle a generous amount of curry powder on each slice.
  9. Bake for about a half an hour, until golden brown on top.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes to let the eggplant settle a little.

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I will be blending these up to make my sauce for dinner tonight, though you can skip the whole making sauce and just eat them as is! One of these days I’m going to get brave enough to attempt some breaded eggplant, but today is not one of those days.

As always, nutritious, delicious and of course, ANIMAL FREE! Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized

Voter Discrimination

Politics: people love them, people hate them, people love to argue about them, people fight about them, but never once have I heard anyone use the term “political discrimination” when it comes to voting.

Until now, until I have been deeply thinking about it lately, and came to the realization that registered Independent voters are not allowed to vote in about half of our states’ primaries.

Years ago when I registered to vote, I registered Independent, because I don’t want to be affiliated with any party, rather, I care to vote about the ISSUUES, and not the delegates behind their parties.

I have been trying to figure out, just WHY exactly, Independent voters are discriminated against from voting in the primaries. Is it even Constitutional to exclude Independent voters from primaries, when all voters were independent when the Constitution was made? When did it come about that it was ok to discriminate against a voter because they are not affiliated with a specific party.

Below is the link to the definition of an Independent voter, according to Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_(voter

I registered Independent, so that I could vote for whom I best see fit, rather than what the Democrats and Republicans tell me I should vote for. What exactly are they so afraid of that they do not want Independents voting? It actually would be beneficial to either party to get any Independent votes, so the question lies: WHY? When did “we the people” become only “we the Democrats and Republicans”?

It seems that I am not the only one feeling the discrimination. Here are a couple excerpts from the link below:

http://www.latinpost.com/articles/15293/20140621/independents-third-party-registered-voters-protest-partisan-primary-elections.htm

“One of our core issues is the issue of restructuring the primary process and making it a nonpartisan process so that all candidates and all voters are on a more equal terrain. Right now, we have a very partisan, closed process in New York State and [in] many ways, New York State’s election process is one of the most backward in the country,” said New York County Independence Party Chair and Citywide Coordinator Cathy Stewart.

“The purpose and goal is to really highlight a very deep flaw in our democracy, which is the exclusion of independent voters from the primaries,” Fields said. “We want to be visible on primary day, which is a day when independents are invisible because we cannot participate in the elections. It’s very undemocratic, and we want to let people know that that’s the case.”

Fields said many people don’t know they are excluded on primary day if they are not registered Democrats or Republicans.

“We want to highlight it, dramatize it and also reach out to ordinary people and tell them about the situation, and it’s also part of our efforts to organize reforms of the exclusion of independents,” Fields added.

“Primaries are an important juncture in the democratic process and are often the most competitive. The winner of the race in the 13th Congressional District, for example, will be the presumptive winner of the general election. Excluding 72,000 district residents from that process is unfair and undemocratic,” Hanks said.

Excluding Independent voters is indeed, unfair and undemocratic. According to Wikipedia, I am not the only one that feels this way:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_primaries_in_the_United_States

I have had people tell me to change my party affiliation, and I will not do so just to appease people. I will only hope and pray that the one candidate that I want to win the primaries wins, so that I may cast my vote for him in November, when I’m not being discriminated against.

I’m not much for political debate, but what are your thoughts on this? Are you registered Independent, and where? Do you have open primaries in your state, or are they closed? If they closed, what are your feelings on that? Do you think that all states should have open primaries to accommodate ALL voters? What do you think can/should be done about this voting plight? Leave your comments below and let me know (and please keep it civil, I know how edgy some can be about politics!)

In the meantime, I shall be doing more research for further posts on this matter!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Fairy Tale Farce

It’s the day after Easter as the kids all head to school with their sugar hangovers from too much candy and the parents heave a sigh of relief that it is over.

I have never been one to get into the hubbub of holiday stress. For one, I have never participated in the common lie to my kids that there is a Santa, or Easter Bunny, or even tooth fairy for that matter. Some parents have told me that I have no imagination. Some have told me how much my kids will resent me when they get older.

Holidays have become too commercialized and selfish over the years. Instead of people celebrating the true meaning of Christmas and Easter, they are all about “me me me me” and “what did you get me?” Christmas commercials come around Halloween now, and back in the day, at least they waited until after Thanksgiving. The bombardment of advertisements provokes kids to beg, plead, throw tantrums, do whatever to get what they feel like that HAVE to have, because the TV says so. (Incidentally, I do not own a TV!)

I find that as parents, it is our responsibility to be truthful to our kids (at ALL times)  and not lead them to believe in things that they will eventually find out are not true. Personally, I think it’s kinda mean to lead a kid to believe in magic, only for them to discover that the magic was never really there to begin with.

My childhood was wrought with every form of abuse and neglect, though my “parents” still did the Santa Claus and Easter Bunny thing. Believing in that magic, is what helped me get through some tough times, believing that somewhere out there, there IS a big fat man in a red suit that could save me…or at least bring me joy for one day of the year.

When I was eight years old, I discovered that there was no such thing as the Easter Bunny or Santa, and I was crushed. I was crushed that I was stuck in my hell, with no magical reprieve. I think what crushed me most, was that I lied to and led to believe in something that is not there. That’s a tough realization for an eight year old to grasp, lost in her own world of terror and misery. There was to be no reprieve until she could do something about it on her own.

I want my kids to believe in a higher power, that is bigger than them or you or I. I want them to know that I will always be truthful, no matter what. I don’t want to deceive them and crush them as I was once crushed. I want them to believe in the spirit of Christmas and Easter as it is meant to be, about God, in whatever form he may exist in. I want them to be selfless, not selfish, and I feel like nowadays, the holidays bring out more of the latter in people. I want my kids to be logical and realize how impossible it would be for a big fat stalker in a red suit to physically visit everyone in one night and leave presents, or in a bunny that lays eggs (how did that one come to be, anyway? A bunny, laying eggs???) and yet, I want them to be spiritual and believe in a higher power that they can’t see.

Am I unimaginative? Yes, yes I am, which is why I am not good at fictional writing. Am I honest? Yes, yes I am, maybe to a fault in other’s eyes (though I have never thought that there is such a thing as being “too” honest like has been said to me in the past) but you know what? I would rather be honest and live in peace with people,than to deceive and lead people to believe “magic” that does not exist. Life is not always the fairies and glitter that we would wish it to be.

Posted in Uncategorized

Time Doesn’t Exist

What is your perspective of time? does it really exist? Is it just a manmade concept?

Through a Kid's Perspective

If you go up to someone and ask them “What time is it”, they might say it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, or something like that. There is where we might be wrong. Time is based on our perspective, which a minute is 60 seconds, a day is 24 hours, a week is about 365 days long, etc. But to an elephant, a day might be 10 hours, because they perceive things slower. To a fly, on the other hand, a day might be around 50 hours or more. You can see this in action when you try to hit a fly. They just simply fly out of the way when you try to hit them. To them, your hand might be going two times slower than you see it as. They can just fly out of the way.

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Posted in Diary of a Lily, Photography

Great Minds See Alike

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Photo by C.Kulo

Great minds think alike, so they say. Great eyes see alike as well.  My parents call it ESPN as a joke, when I pick up on others vibes, and vice versa. My 11 year old son is no exception when it comes to photography. He has a pretty good eye for composition so far and yesterday, he took the above, unedited picture of my lily with my Coolpix camera.

When we were going to edit, I got confused for a minute there as to how my picture of my lily ended up on my Coolpix that Cejay was using. He insisted it was his, and I opened my lily pic to compare, the resemblance was uncanny. There is a bit of a difference, but not much! (I’m guessing that if we had edited his pic we could have gotten it to look even more alike mine!)

Below is my edited pic featured in The Though Gallery a few days ago…doal_033

I love that my love for photography is infectious. What a brilliant way to occupy a pre-teen’s mind while teaching him such an enjoyable hobby. There’s a whole world out there to see, through the lens of our cameras!

Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood

Sometimes Life is Coffee

Ahhh the joys of being a parent of a toddler, and all the heart attacks and headaches that come along with it. Toddlers can be quite noisy one minute, and then make you worry the next when they are being quiet and every horrible scenario plays out in your head as to what trouble they are getting into.

I learned a long time ago that quietness usually equates to trouble, and Baby Girl has been no exception. A couple times lately while being busy doing chores, Baby Girl thought she would help me garden my roses. Let’s just say that white is a terrible color for a rug with a toddler around, and dirt does not clean easily. I managed to save my roses from perishing (Baby Girl had practically uprooted them) and now they are thriving.

A couple days ago, I was busying myself with work, while Baby Girl toddled around as she always does. I went to the kitchen to get a drink and noticed a couple piles of “dirt” on the floor in the hallway and in my room. My mind raced as I thought the worst of whichever plant had met its fate with Baby Girl. I looked around and saw no evidence of a plant anywhere. I went out to the living room to do a quick head count of my plants: one, two…ten…ok, they were all there, undisturbed.

Upon further inspection I realized that it was coffee, not dirt on the rug and vacuumed it up, looking for the container and not finding it. Baby Girl had managed to stump me. I went to the fridge, and lo and behold, there was the empty Maxwell House Instant coffee container, right in the door where I had left it. Sneaky little Baby Girl, thinking she was outwitting her caffeine needing Mama. Like I wouldn’t have noticed that all my coffee was gone the next time I went to make a cup?

You see, sometimes Life is not the dirt in the white carpet that it appears to be. Sometimes, Life  is a clever little coffee caper, dumped into little piles on the rug, tricking us into thinking that it’s more of a mess than it really is!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Where is Spring?

Mother Nature has seriously missed the memo that it’s spring. I say this as I look outside at the flurries coming down. One good thing that came of today so far is the fact that my March 18 blog pic is featured as today’s Photo of the Day on NCPR…see here…

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/todaysphoto.html

Part of me wants to go outside and shoot those same tulips again in this snow, and the other part of me says no way, I don’t want to get my camera wet! Oh how my camera and I long to be outside shooting some Mother Nature! I am thankful to have my indoor plants to practice on, my dear plants that have helped to curb my Cabin Fever.

Now…if only Mother Nature would get with the program and make with spring! The Natives are restless, and want to go outside to play!

 

Posted in Diary of a Rose, Flower photography, Photography, Plant Life

Diary of a Rose: First Entry

 

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23rd March, 2016

Dear Diary,

It is kinda lonely being the only rose here on the bush. The Caretaker is always fussing over me since she brought me home from the store a few weeks ago. The Minion Caretaker made a mess of me a couple times and almost totally uprooted me but Caretaker saved me. She repotted me and pruned me back a bit and now there are so many new buds forming. Soon I shall have company!

It is a dreary day today. The Caretaker took my picture so that she could use it as a Photo of the Day submission on the NCPR website. Lily was featured as Photo of the Day yesterday and The Caretaker was quite pleased. She entered my picture today to NCPR. Caretaker may say how pretty Lily makes the room smell, but I know she thinks I make the room look prettier. She is always showing me off to anyone that comes over, bragging about how pretty I am. I may not be as fragrant as Lily, but I sure dazzle the eyes!

I love my new home and all of the attention I get. I get to enjoy the company of a few other plants while sunning myself all day. Since being repotted my branches have stretched right out and before long there won’t be room for many of the other plants without me touching them. From what I hear, a couple of the plants, the Kalenchoes, will be going into dormancy soon, leaving plenty of room for me on the cabinet!