Does Azalea Blooms Once a Year?

Sunday, April 7, 2019
Pink color of Azalea flower

Azaleas are found abundant in Japan, China and Korea, then brought to and grow well in American southern states such as Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Few of my neighbors and I have planted Azaleas (Rhododendron sp) in our yards.

Colors of Azalea flower are mainly white and pink (close or tend to red). The flowers usually blooming in February. Unfortunately, beautiful flowers fell off (dried up) soon, around March. Length of blooming no more than 4 weeks, very short of time period in my opinion.

Our Azalea just bloom once a year. Luckily, the Azaleas have bloomed for 6 consecutive years in our backyard. So beautiful. I love white than pink.

I read an article that varieties called “Encore azaleas” developed in the 1800’s could bloom twice a year, in the summer and fall. The man who developed this varieties was Robert Lee from state of Louisiana.

Lovely white flower

We fertilized Azalea at least twice a year, before blooming around the end of January and after blooming. The timing to fertilize azalea after blooming could be in the middle of summer or early fall. There are many brand names for plant fertilizer in the commercial market. You may choose whatever you want.

We use commercial “Miracle-Gro” as our plant food. It is said this brand name is suitable for plant which produces flowers such as Azaleas, dogwoods, camellias, gardenias, magnolias and orchids.

Do you know Azalea? What color of flowers do you like?

Have You been Using Fire woods for Cooking or Heating?

Saturday, April 6, 2019
Storing fire woods to avoid wet by rain

When camping in several places in the USA few years ago, we usually have warm temperature from heating of fire woods. But be careful that many national or state parks don’t allow you to bring your own woods, because they worry that your woods may bring diseases to the parks, and infect other trees.

I saw in many places in developing countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia, and even in some villages in the USA, people use woods for cooking and heating. It is might be due to increasing price of oil and gas. Woods are among the cheap resources for fuels.

Chopping of tree’s trunk

I saw some shopping centers such as Walmart sells fire woods, but some of friends of mine have been cutting trees from their own backyards. They use saw to cut trees or trunks, and split the woods by ax. Such an interesting lifestyle.

After splitting, woods need to pile up and store in the dry place. It takes several months before using woods as fuels. Fire from woods have around 450 calories per hour, enough for heating and cooking.

I read some articles that using woods from free resources (cut by ourselves) could save hundred bugs compared using electricity for heating the house during winter seasons in the USA.

Have you ever using fire woods for any purposes?

Do You Know a Capsicum Pain Relief Patch?

Friday, April 5, 2019
A Capsicum Pain Relief Patch

I used to apply patch on my skin when I was a kid to teenager. First I take out the liner, then put the patch wherever the area that I feel pain. I sometimes put the patch on my forehead when I thought dizzy. I feel relieve then.

I know that patch contain Capsaicin, a component that is extracted from a chili pepper (Capsicum sp). It is the reason why I perceived hot when I put a patch on my skin. Capsaicin stimulates nerves to manage pain signals. Thus, its reduce pain of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

One of pain relieve brand names approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Salonpas. We could buy through Over The Counter (OTC) in drug stores in the USA. Salonpas is produced by Japan company, Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Inc.

In addition to America, Salonpas are sold in 50 countries around the world, but the largest market is in developing countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. In these countries, we could buy Salonpas patches not only in drug stores, but also in small vendors

In addition to Capsaicin, Salonpas also contain active ingredients (menthol and methyl salicylate) and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

A friend of mine with osteoarthritis of his shoulder told me that his pain reduce little bit if he put three Salonpas in his shoulder. However, the pain not away completely. Sure, Salonpas not cure his osteoarthritis.

I read an article that Capsaicin may prevent blood clots, reduce cholesterol and manage blood pressure. This is not through patch, but through swallow the pill which is prescribed by medical doctor.

Do you know pain relief patch or Salonpas?

When is Tangerine Fruit Flower Blooming in Your Area?

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tangerine fruit flowers blooming

Our Tangerine fruit always develop its flower buds in the middle of January every year. Buds develop well until end of February and blooming in March. Unfortunately, we just saw little bit number of flowers in the early April this year.

We saw bees fly around the flowers of Tangerine, and sometime hummingbirds showed up last few years ago. We see few bees and insects to pollinate the flowers, but we do not observe hummingbirds at all for this year.

It might be relate to in-stable temperature, fluctuate day by day. Temperature reached F 70 (C 22) degrees, then fall back to F 53 (C 12) degrees. Spring comes so late

Little bit close up of tiny Tangerine green fruit

When pollination (self pollination, no need another identical tree) days end, we see tiny green fruits. Actually, not all flowers turn into mature fruits, more than 90% are dropping while blooming. Then they develop through spring and summer seasons, where temperature typically hot in American southern states.

Development from small green Tangerine to orange ripen fruits could take several months (usually 6 to 10 months).

Tangerine fruits when their ripe in our backyard

Our Tangerine reaches the ripen stage as early as the end of summer, and sometimes early winter or early December every year. Fruits change the color from green to orange. Before harvesting, we taste the fruits. If Tangerine is sweet and juicy, then we would start to consume.

Do you know Tangerine fruit? When its ripe in your area?

What is the Story of Popular Mechanics about?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Short story of Popular Mechanics, credit to The Sitting Bee

Popular Mechanics is a short story written by an American writer, Raymond Carver in 1978. It was a story about fighting between separated wife and husband to get right to take care of their baby.

What is the author’s view? How do I know? The author’s view of separating is angry on both sides, husband and wife. Their baby is victim of their struggle. It is could be known as described by Carver (1981, paragraph.15), “You’re not touching this baby, she said. The baby had begun to cry and she uncovered the blanket from around his head.”

What is the evidence presented by the author to support ideas? The evidence to support ideas is starting from beginning of story, where the dark outside and inside house, then easily found elsewhere.

Is the evidence valid? How do I know? Yes, the evidence is valid. We know then relationship between the husband and wife has been ruined in some degree.

The evidence is relevant as well. I know where both parents fighting to “own” the baby. Unfortunately, they found no resolution who has right to take care the baby.

Have I heard/read anything similar or dissimilar? What was it? No, I never read anything similar with the plot of this short story. However, I believe there are many short stories with the same themes, family conflicts.

Do I agree or disagree with the views expressed by the author? Why? Yes, I agree with the views expressed by the author. It is because there are plenty of facts about fighting between husband and wife in daily life.

Carver, R. (1981). Popular Mechanics. In TESL Times. Retrieved from

When is Summer Coming?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Kayak sold in a Walmart super center

We experienced higher temperature in the last two weeks of March. Temperature reached F 73 or C 23 degrees. The temperature could be F 100 or C 38 degrees or even more in our American Southern States such as Louisiana, Alabama and Florida during summer time.

We then have a look a kayak, a “plastic boat” for possibility of summer activities. The price is little bit down from US$ 220 to US$ 188. I think it is a little good “bargain” so far. One paddle of double bladed costs as low as US$ 14. So, around US$ 200 for total.

Kayaking is exciting for me when I was a teenager. It was tricky at first, because narrow space of kayak (boat) and an un-familiar form of the double blade paddles.

The process to be familiar with kayaking is no more than few weeks, then we will feel convenient with this little plastic or semi-rubber watercraft.

However, the “dream” for kayaking soon was delayed due to temperatures, drop from F 73 (C 23) degrees to F 53 (C 12) degrees and even lower to F 43 (C 6) degree, especially early morning and afternoon.

When is summer coming in your place?

Is Tempe a Healthy Food?

Monday, April 1, 2019
Tempe sold in Whole Foods Market in the USA

Tempe also called as “Tempeh” by Americans, and sold as an organic food by the Whole Foods Market across USA. The food getting popular as a protein source alternative for vegetarians recently. Tempe is a product of fermentation process to bind cooked soybeans into firm and dense of cake form.

You might know Tofu, the different that Tofu is made by coagulation process of soy milk, whereas Tempe is made by binding process of cooked soybeans. Tofu is China and East Asia (claimed by Japan and Korea too) origin, while Tempe is Indonesia traditional food for thousand years.

Slices of Tempe

Tempe contains protein, vitamin (vitamin B2), minerals (Zinc, magnesium, potassium and sodium) and probiotics. As a permented food, Tempe is believed could improve gut health and might promote to reduce weight gain.

Since less processed, Tempe is considered healthier than Tofu. In fact, Tempe contain more protein, vitamin and fiber than Tofu. In term of protein, Tempe has 2.5 times protein more compared to Tofu.

Tempe has less protein compared to chicken and meat. Of 4 ounces, Tempe, meat and chicken contain 21, 29 and 35 grams of protein consecutively.

Have you tried or bought Tempe?