Thursday, March 29, 2012

Have Fun Planting the Seeds in Fruit

It's Spring and the move is on to plant things.  Flower gardens are being planted as are vegetable gardens. 

Besides the flowers and vegetable gardens there is something else to plant.  Something that is different and delightful.  Ever think about planting the seeds from the fruit you eat?

It's a hobby that many enjoy.  The choices are multiple.  There are apple, nectarine, orange and lemon seeds just to name a few.  They are small and easy to keep.  If you live in a warm climate, they can be planted outside.  Or, they can be potted and kept indoors.

It is easy to get most seeds to root if you know what to do.  Apple seeds, for example, require you place them in the refrigerator.  Lemon seeds need to be placed in a sunny window.

If you're going to plant a lemon tree from a lemon you got in the grocery store, make sure the lemon is pretty ripe.  There are a couple of ways to germinate the lemon seed.  You can plant it as soon as you remove it from the lemon.  The other way is to wash and dry it, then put between two damp paper towels, place in a ziploc bag and put in a sunny window.  Wait for it to root.  Then plant.

For apples, layer the seeds between two damp paper towels, place in a container and put in the refrigerator.

Let the roots get about an inch long before you plant them.

Sounds like fun doesn't it?  I can't wait to get started.  I'm doing some lemons tonight.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unique uses for Aspirin

My last post was about aspirin and the fascinating news that it might prevent cancer.  But did you know that this amazing little pill has many other uses? 

It can revive a dead car battery.  Two aspirins dropped into a car battery that has gone dead will cause a chemical reaction that will charge the battery.  It will only last for one more run, enough to get you to a service station.

For your garden, dissolve an aspirin in a quart of water to treat fungus in the soil.  Or make a rooting hormone by dissolving an aspirin in a cup of water.  Then dip a cutting into the cup of water.

The next time you get a mosquito bite wet the skin and rub an aspirin on it.  The same goes for bee stings.

Out of dandruff shampoo?  Try crushing two aspirins into a fine powder and add to the shampoo you poured into your hand.  Shampoo and leave in for a couple minutes. 

What about skin exfoliate?  Just add crushed aspirin to enough water to make a paste.  The skin exfoliates we buy in the store have aspirin in them. 

With all these uses for aspirin, it going to be a lot of fun to try them out.  My first experiment is going to be with the rooting hormone.  I should know about that one in a few days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Aspirin the Cure for Cancer?

Studies have just been released that aspirin may be an effective weapon against cancer. 

Oxford University has discovered that aspirin may not only prevent cancer, but may also keep it from spreading.  The results in their study sounded very promising.

Wouldn't it be awesome if it's found out that aspirin could actually cure cancer?  I'm hoping this will be a giant step towards finding a cure.  Maybe with what scientists discover about aspirin and how it effects cancer, they can find a way to conquer it for good.

One simplified explanation by Oxford's leading researcher is that aspirin inhibits the growth of platelets.  Platelets spread cancer in the body.  In the studies they did, aspirin sharply reduced cancer's ability to spread to other parts of the body.

Of course, there are some doctors and researchers that do not seem very excited about people taking aspirin on a daily basis.  They point to the side effects of aspirin in some people, such as bleeding in the stomach.  But I bet if the evidence keeps growing in favor of aspirin defeating cancer, a way will be found to combat this problem.

Speaking of stomach problems with aspirin, there might be a way around this with vitamin C.  Researchers in Germany say if equal amounts of vitamin C are taken with aspirin, it stops the bleeding in the stomach caused by the aspirins.

This is a great discovery so far.  And it is amazing to think that the world may have had the cure for cancer all along in a little aspirin.                                                    

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Walking Dead Finale

The second season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead had the highest ratings for the season.  With a horde of flesh-eating walkers descending on the farm, the group gave it all they had to survive. 

There were too many heart-stopping dramatic moments to count.  The burning barn, Hershel making his stand in front of the farmhouse, walkers everywhere they turned.  I thought we would lose Hershel during the finale.  I'm glad he prevailed, though.

I think his character intended to fight to the death instead of fleeing the farm.  But at the last moment Rick got through to him.  "This is my farm," Hershel said to Rick.
"Not anymore," Rick said.  Hershel snapped out of it and left with Rick before it was too late.

No major characters were lost.  Patricia and Jimmy, two sweet minor characters, won't be back.  I thought Andrea was going to perish, but that weird, hooded person saved her just in time.  I never read the comic, but I understand that the person who rescued her is a woman and a lawyer just like Andrea.

I hope season three stays down to earth and doesn't get too far out.  I'm afraid if it does it will ruin the show.  If Walking Dead turns into science fiction I think a lot of the fans will leave the show.

I did have a couple of disappointments with the show this season.  I thought Dale was a real asset to the show and was so disappointed when he died.  And I don't understand why the producers killed off Shane.  Shane was wild, volitale and yes, exciting.  Many of us couldn't wait to see what Shane was going to do every week.  Who is going to take his place?  I hope they knew what they were doing.

I have seen many good series ruin themselves.  I hope Walking Dead is not one of them.  When a series like this is wildly popular it seems that the producers and writers can't keep up with it many times after the first or second season. 

One more note about Hershel.  For those of you that missed the Talking Dead show that followed the finale.  The producer said on there that they had planned to kill off Hershel's character.  Randell was going to escape and kill Hershel and then Shane was going to kill Randell.  The producer said they were glad they decided to rewrite it, especially when they saw Hershel do the finale.  He was fantastic!

I'd love to hear some feedback on this.  That's all for now.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cruise Ships and Crimes

Going on a cruise is easier that it used to be.  You can find great deals on cruises.  These "Love Boats" are big business.  In fact, I think it was the "Love Boat" series that helped to make cruises so popular.

A lot of people are already planning their vacations for summer.  No doubt that sailing the ocean on a luxury cruise liner will be high on the list for many. 

A Few Things to Remember about Cruises

With all the promoting that cruise lines do to get your business, don't forget about the reports of crimes being committed on them.  Everything from murder to disappearances in thin air have happened on these ships.

First rule:  Do not get extremely intoxicated on a cruise ship.  You may think you can drink like the proverbial fish because you don't have to drive home but it's dangerous to put yourself in that position.  Crime statistics bear that out.

Second rule:   Criminals and maniacs take cruises, too.  That includes cruise ship employees.  That's all the explanation you need for victims that have been pushed off the railing and those that disappeared on the ship.  Remember the publicity about Amy Bradley?  She disappeared on a cruise ship (I think it was Rhapsody of the Seas) while vacationing with her parents.

That's all for now.  I might talk more about this at a later time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tornados: Fact and Folklore

We're already seeing an outbreak of severe weather, and the experts are predicting it's going to be a stormy spring.

 In the last few years there has been this belief that if you are on the road and a tornado warning is issued, a safe place to be is under an overpass.

A lot of people believe this, and it's easy to see why.  Such an area looks like it would be the perfect place to ride out a tornado.  But many people have lost their lives by seeking shelter under these overpasses.  They are not what they seem. 

They may look strong and secure, but these overpasses can turn into a death trap.  Experts say they become wind tunnels when a tornado approaches.  In Oklahoma in 1999, several people were killed when they sought shelter under an overpass.

Winds can be in excess of 300 miles per hour under the overpass.  By being in such a "wind tunnel" people are killed by flying debris or by being pulled out by the wind.

By the way, the old myth that opening all the windows in your house will keep an approaching tornado from blowing the house away isn't true either.  I have heard that for years.  But, according to the experts, it doesn't help at all.
Stay safe from tornados this spring by taking the proper precautions.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Flower Gardens

It's getting time to start thinking about things to plant.  Home garden stores are already getting in supplies and  there's no end to the things that catch our eye.  Flowers, rose bushes, even trees.

What about having a flower garden this year?  It's a project that most of us would enjoy immensely once we got started.  A lot of delightful planning can go into it if you want it to.  Landscaping diagrams, sunny areas, shady spots.  You can get as involved as you want with the details.

I heard of something I've been wanting to try.  It's called "garden in a bag" and you take a bag of potting soil and plant flowers in the bag.  If I remember correctly, I think you cut X's on the top and bottom of the bag, put the plants in and then just let them grow.

Container gardens are getting popular, too.  Magazines on container gardening should already be in the stores now.  These type of gardens have a certain lure to them.  They are convenient and come in handy when there is a less than perfect place to plant a garden.

You can find pictures in the magazines for container gardens that show layouts for decorating places such as the patio, porch, garden and even window sills.

I'm planning on getting started this weekend with a couple of containers that I can keep inside till all danger of frost is past.  I'd like to hear about anyone else's project, too.

Till next time.