Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I think that if I were locked in there, I would probably starve to death, the major cause being stupidity. I've never seen so many products and would have no idea how to cook any of them with the exception of the ramen noodles, some produce and a few meat and fish products. I know I could cook a catfish from the huge tank of live ones, if I could get someone else to clean it. So maybe I wouldn't starve after all.
But while shopping I came across this product. Loquat Extract. Did I know what it was for? No. That didn't stop me, it looked interesting and the ingredients sounded good, except that I had no idea what a loquat was.
Loquat plant with fruit. Note the shape of the leaves, similar to that of the instrument pipa.
Natural Herb Loquat Extract is a product of Hong Kong. The Chinese brand name, Poon Goor Soe (in mandarin Pan Gaoshou) is the name of the product's developer, the elderly gentleman pictured on the box cover (his assistant is pictured next to him). This formula has been made for decades and enjoys an international reputation for quality and effectiveness. The main ingredient of the extract formula is loquat (17%), for which the leaf and fruit are considered very useful in treating coughs and moistening dryness. The extract includes fritillaria bulb (15%, labeled incorrectly as lotus root in English), apricot seed (8%. labeled almond extract; apricot seed is known as bitter almond), platycodon root (7%), licorice root (5%), and peppermint (source of menthol, at 1%). It is prepared in a thin water-honey base.
Loquat leaf is often used in Chinese herb formulas and syrups to alleviate "lung heat" syndromes. These diseases are usually caused by infections, though they can arise from other causes, such as smoking. The main application of the syrup is coughs, but loquat leaves also are used to alleviate skin disorders of the face, which are often attributed also to lung heat. The loquat grows in semi-tropical climates, and is native to southeast China, mainly Guangzhou. It is now cultivated in California and Florida. The Chinese name for the loquat, pipa, comes from the appearance of the leaves, which are shaped similar to that of a stringed Chinese instrument (referred to as a Chinese lute) called the pipa (pee-pah). The dosing of the syrup is two teaspoonfuls each time, about 10 ml. This syrup can be taken 3 times a day, or more often if needed; a bottle contains 180 ml, sufficient for 18 doses. Each dose provides only 9 grams of sugars (mainly from the honey). On the package (under the portraits, is the original Chinese name of the formula, Chuanbei Pipa Gao, which translates to Fritillaria and Loquat Syrup. The Chinese name has been applied to many similar products, because the two named herbs are among the best for alleviating coughs. There is advice on the box (in Chinese) that others should perform acts beneficial to people and not counterfeit the product. Another Loquat Syrup from Hong Kong, Nim Jiom Pei Pa Kao, also has these two key ingredients, but in a thicker honey syrup, which, along with the secondary ingredients, makes that formula especially suitable for treating a scratchy or sore throat.
The Chinese instrument (referred to as a Chinese lute) called the pipa.
Maybe it was getting out of the house or maybe it was Poon Goor Soe's Loquat Extract that did it, but I'm feeling better!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
When they mature they attach themselves to anything they come in contact with, like velcro. It can take hours to remove them from a horse's mane and tail once they become entangled and there can sometimes be dozens on one animal. I hated getting them on my socks. But I guess this is just another of nature's way to disperse seeds.
My Nana would call those cockleburs, 'hedgehog eggs'. Wouldn't it be funny if they were?
Friday, March 14, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
...but I didn't shoot any of these. There are advantages to living in Oklahoma and right around the corner from this place. I went shopping, here at Skulls Unlimited International. Where bones are their business their only business. If you have ever watched Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe (yes, I admit it I have a crush on him) you may have seen this place. Their showroom has skulls of every type imaginable, including human and they have a skull and skeleton museum complete with the whale skeleton that Mike Rowe helped clean.
They carry skulls for teaching purposes, museum quality and museum quality replicas and for girls like me, the economy bag of art and craft quality skull assortment. I got a bobcat, fox, raccoon, possum, jackrabbit, turkey and squirrel and I didn't even have to poke them with a stick and drag them home. I am not cold hearted either as I unpacked each little package, I said, "poor bobcat, poor little fox..." and so on and so forth. I loved this place and recommend that if you can't go in person at least visit them at:
Skulls Unlimited, Intl.
and you can see the clips from Dirty Jobs on their myspace page,
Skulls Unlimited Myspace Page
Baxter Black on Wabi-Sabi
I was at the sale barn recently and heard one farmer say to another, "Feng shui is passé." "I know," said the second, stuffing a cabbage-sized wad of Redman in his cheek, "Wabi Sabi is back."
I thought, Chinese food? Exotic cattle? Martial arts? A new Secretary of the United Nations? No...a style for decor, as in Louie the XIV, Tudor or Southwestern.
While Feng Shui represents neatness, clean lines and proper placement, Wabi Sabi embodies the idea that imperfection is beautiful; that flaws enhance rather than detract.
Imagine a new milking parlor, a new feedlot or a veal barn; shiny silver rails, painted walls, pipe fence, sparkling dials, clean floors, well-lighted, easy access, heavily financed...Feng Shui.
Now picture a rusting, one tongue manure spreader filled with flowers, your dad's old spittoon holding flowers, or a weathered old boot containing flowers...Wabi Sabi.
I can think of many examples of Feng Shui operations. The vegetable farmers in Colorado and California that farm right up to the edge of the house. In the spring it almost looks like they prune each plant so they look exactly alike...or those farms in Iowa or Tennessee where each lawn is 2 1/2 sections and they mow it right up to the highway. Or any small Mormon town in Utah; houses painted, fences tight and rose bushes trimmed, picture perfect.
So, you must be thinking, that means I'm not a too tired, too poor, too tight, too dumb farmer...I am merely practicing Wabi-Sabi. Sorry, boys, one of the rules: "If you thought the `life experience' of the '86 Plymouth up on blocks in your front yard made it more beautiful, that would be Wabi Sabi. But if you couldn't afford any better, or were too lazy to move it, that would not."
There would appear to be a fine line between Wabi-Sabi and poor facilities, i.e., a broken latch on a swingin' gate that you've been baler twining since your daughter went off to college, a box of dull drill bits that are gathering dust beside the Drill Doctor, or the tangled mane of the old horse you turned out last fall.
Maybe as one gets older the more we value Wabi Sabi; the carving knife that grows smaller every year, the dogs that get grayer, the pickup that just keeps puttering along, the fallin' down fence your dad built, the unused clothesline, all things you could easily replace but somehow, you don't. Because you look at yourself in the mirror every day and, without your glasses you can't see the wrinkles quite so easily or the hair growing out of your ears. And you like to think you've still got a lot of life left in you, like that new saddle with the leather worn smooth that you bought...however many years ago.
It dawns on me, I'm not just practicing Wabi Sabi, I'm it!
Wabi-sabi, speaks of the beauty of things that are imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.
I'll leave you with that thought and will prepare for my next post on the field trip that I took yesterday. It was lots of fun for me, but slightly embarrassing for my entourage (my daughter).