Slice of Life Nutty Nerds

1280px-Cashew_apples

Have you any idea what the dangling fruit here is?

Can you believe that the largest of these trees covers  8,400 square metres (2.1 acres)!

Maior_Cajueiro_do_Mundo_2011

Is that amazing? It’s huge!

Last Thursday, my husband and I ventured out on the highway to visit our grandchildren who live over the Cascade Mountains on the west side of Washington State. It’s about a four hour drive, depending on weather and traffic patterns.

It is a beautiful drive over the mountains, and we spend the time talking or listening to music, podcasts, or books — sometimes listening and discussing the audio ideas together, and sometimes sharing what each has learned.

As I enjoyed the passing blooming orchards around Wenatchee, I opened a can of mixed nuts to munch on. I shook the can so the brazil nuts and almonds sorted themselves out onto the top. I’m lucky; those are my favorite. Thank physics for that sorting by shaking:

The primary mechanisms at work in the Brazil Nut Effect are percolation—in which small grains migrate down to the bottom of the pile between larger grains—and convection, in which larger grains push up toward the top of the pile.

The Brazil Nut Effect Is More Complicated Than You Think

But as I stared into that can of nuts, I asked Scott, “Have you ever cracked a cashew nut?”

We both thought about that– we’ve purchased nuts in the shell many times– almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts. We could picture the many types of shells for these nuts, but not cashews.

Why not? Well, as nutty nerds who often stop an historical movie to Google the history of the era we’re watching, we googled, cashew.

And that top photo is the fruit of the cashew tree. You see the cashew nut dangling from the bottom of and outside the cashew apple. The yellow apple part has such delicate skin that it can’t be transported. And the dark shell of the nut causes some people to break out with dermatitis.  That’s why we never see cashews in the shell!

Its English name derives from the Portuguese name for the fruit of the cashew tree caju (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈʒu]), which itself is derived from the Tupian word acajú, literally meaning “nut that produces itself”.[1] The generic name Anacardium, originally from the Greek, refers to the unusual location of the seed outside the core or heart of the fruit (ana- means “again” or “backward” and -cardium means “heart”).

Cashew in Wikipedia

View more of the largest cashew tree here, at Wikipedia; it is found in Parnamirim, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil). Brazil is the native origin of the cashew nut.

So, for fun, share the picture of the cashew apple in your family chat. Ask them, “What is this?” My favorite guess from our family is “poisonous apples from the Evil Queen with enchanted magic mushrooms in them.”

No one knew, but now they do!

Next time you crunch a cashew, you’ll be able to share your new knowledge.

Enjoy!

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Cashew Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Abhishek JacobOwn work Cashew Apples

Cashew Tree Photo: CC BY 2.0 by Mateussf -Maior Cajueiro do Mundo 2011

Biggest Cashew-tree in the world, located in Parnamirim, Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil)

SOL17 DoodleaDay 27 Text


Kids text a lot. My granddaughter could text without looking. I don’t know how she does that.

I remember one of my “hunt and peck” students, put his hands in his lap and looked up at me. He said, “Ms Edwards, if I had a thumb keyboard I’d be a lot faster.” Then he gestured typing with a phone. So true. So funny.

The most difficult thing for my students was to capitalize the letter I. They could catch all other “txt” typing in their work, but that ‘i’ really bothered them.

We have a family chat for sharing. Sometimes, one of us will say, “selfie.” And then we add selfies to the chat. Very fun. Very fun now that every grandchild but one has an iOS device; makes sharing with the grandparents easy.

Which brings up the #doodleaday: my favorite txt. I don’t usually type LOL or OMG or any of those. I always have to look them up if I see them. But I love pressing a picture and sending a heart. It’s so fun to push a little love across the universe.

So, I have two songs today.

Elton John: Your Song

Because I say to my grandchildren, “How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

And Across the Universe, because it seems we are connected from wherever we are, across the universe.

Beatles: Across the Universe. Click to Listen.

https://soundcloud.com/acrosstheuniverseost/across-the-universe

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: What is your favorite ‘txt’

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To My Children an Grandchildren

Across the universe

Shines the light

From your smile

Across the universe

Flows the music

Of your song

Across the universe

Ripples the love

From your kindnesses

And the universe

Magnifies your sparkles as

How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂  ❤ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOL17 DoodleaDay 22 Emoji


Did you know that one in eleven people in the United States is diabetic? And that it is the seventh leading cause of death? Find out more here, an American Diabetes Association info graphic based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC].

That’s a lot of people, and you can protect yourself if you are prediabetic with regular excercise and by eating a diet filled with green vegetables and protein, with a limit on complex carbohydrates while cutting out simple carbohydrates. Of course, it’s more complex than that, but it is a lifestyle that would benefit almost everyone. Here’s the info from the CDC to follow to help learn more to help yourself.

I found myself in the hospital emergency room last April, and found the diagnosis of diabetes 2.  My new lifestyle began based on this information from the CDC. It’s actually pretty easy for me: I haven’t had a soda or diet soda since that day! I quit simple carbohydrates and began eating nuts, especially walnuts. And broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, which I still love. I’ve learned how to balance my meals with this type of plate:

I listened to and followed the directions of my doctor and nutritionist, and I subscribe to a newsletter at Everyday Health, which I found in one of the pamphlets from the hospital. Here’s a great article on sugar and inflammation, an important read– and why cutting that junk food and simple carbohydrates is important.

Fortunately, I have health insurance– but how long will that last, and how affordable will it be now that the GOP plan to gut health care? While I am not a recipient of ACA health care due to my former employment as teacher, anything that changes the health care system and Medicare will affect my coverage — and yours.

So we’ve been eating and exercising to keep my A1C score at 6%. If I’m eating at other people’s houses or an event, I eat something first — just in case what is served is filled with carbohydrates that would set my system wacky. And I’ve found that most restaurants serve chicken Caesar salads, which is my standby. If I must eat fast food — I eat chicken without the white bread and fries. I’ve found Applebees to be a diabetic friendly menu [but they do change up their menu]. I love the pork chop, sweet potato, broccoli meal. It’s delicious. I also carry walnuts and carrots in the car for traveling.

Which brings me to the Doodle for #DoodleaDay today: an emoji I wish for:

I searched for Diabetes emojis, and there are some — but for my phone and for menus, I’d like one that points to diabetes friendly meals– no simple carbohydrates, but green vegetables and protein. I could add it to a map with diabetes friendly meals.  Hmmm. That’s an idea. With twenty-five percent of seniors being diabetic, I think the emoji and the map is a good idea. 🙂

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Stay happy,

Laugh;

Eat healthy,

Live;

Hug always,

Love.

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Now, a word about emojis in general. I find them confusing because they are open to interpretation — I’d rather hear or see the words. And my students laughed so hard when I thought the pile of poop was chocolate ice cream.  And parents, they’ve got to know, as this article shows exactly what teens are saying through emojis– or what adults think they might be saying, but don’t: Time: emoji-meaning.

So, here I go with carrots and walnuts and “Sky Between the Branches” tea.


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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Draw an emoji you want for you phone

Doodling Song by BREAD, David Gates: If

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SOL17 DoodleaDay 20 Graph a Walk


Walking is required for good health; a dog makes that walk enjoyable, and a must twice a day. 

“Walk?” Is all that’s needed and the dog’s ears pop up, his body jumps up, and his tail wags a “Ready! Let’s go!”

Happiness is a walk with the dog; I get excercize and mediation, and the dog checks her messages — you know, all the smells left by everyone else within 30 feet of the human’s path, as you can see in the map above of dog walking.

Always alert to any new message, that nose to the ground sniffs every possible inch where that message came from to determine exactly who was where when. At least, that’s what I suppose. 

I miss those walks.


While reorganizing during my retirement, I found this note from a granddaughter to Grampa:


The note was written on an old typewriter the grandkids loved; a favorite way get a message out.

Our grandkids miss that little white dog too. At the lake, she would swim with them, and even pulled them around while they held her tail. Precious. A walk with Pooka and Grandpa to the bat cave was a summer favorite. The cave was an old railroad tunnel, now fenced off, up the road from us; bats live there now, and the grandkids love that!

[sigh]

Wherever kids were; so was Pooka: playing, watching, protecting gently with her kind eyes.

[sigh]

Now, go pet and hug your creatures– thank them for the memories and love they’ve given you.

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Patient.

Sprawled out

Across the floor,

Bored.

Tail

Flops once

And eyes watch

Hoping.

“Walk.”

Ears up, sit up,

Head turns aside,

Listening.

“Walk.”

Jump up

Tail wags

Ready.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Graph an Idea

Doodling Song: Don’t Worry; Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

SOL17 DoodleaDay 19 Best Friend


New puppies are such a joy mixed with frustration while filled with laughter and unconditional love.

Every time I see a dog and its family, I miss our best friend. We recognize those with “kind eyes” and think again about perhaps finding another Rezmutt to tug at our hearts and make us walk twice a day. A dog is man’s best friend, and they require the continuous care of a best friend. Unlike our cats [whom we also love dearly]– they only require a huge bowl of food and a big bowl of water if we need to leave town.  But dogs are different; they need your company and to tag along, not content to sleep all day and night until you return. Nope: they are part of you and part of you wherever you go. A dog owner’s entire itinerary is completely different than dogless people: walks, pet friendly hotels, walks, fetch, tug-o-war, sniffs, walks…are planned events! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So… we’ve been talking about it, but still…we miss the best dog ever:

We loved our Rezmutt: reservation mutt~ from the Colville Indian Reservation where I taught. Here’s how she came be ours for thirteen years:

And she grew old with us:


And after hundreds of miles of walking and playing, swimming and napping with always a tail wag and eager kindness, she left us.

And we still miss those kind eyes.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a Photo; Add Caption

Doodling song: Dog Beach Jazzooo by Doug Robinson

SOL17 DoodleaDay 18 How To– Share



3.18.17 How To Share

I miss teaching, being in the classroom where students look to the teacher and each other to learn together. I miss how students huddle together to piece together what they are to learn to create authentic work– helping write a blog post to build awareness about the problem of child labor around the world, for example. They share facts, determine the best relevance, and choose the language that makes their point– together in peer review before publishing.

I also miss the one type of meeting that is valuable: our Professional Learning Teams, where we discuss student work and student needs [of all kinds]. We share what worked in each of our classrooms and planned for next steps to help students move forward. Sometimes we planned family conferences to work together with families; sometimes we created graphic organizers for a group of students who needed more structure to learn an objective [such as including 5Ws in writing [who, what, when, where, why]. When we meet again, we reflect on what worked and revise accordingly. It’s a continual process of improvement and innovation.
Both of these actions by groups of people brought diverse people together to share, and with each participant’s perspectives and experiences, better ideas for next steps developed. Sharing with others improves our work and our world.

How Sharing Innovates [ and Why Everyone Matters: For instance, Elders, People from other countries [immigrants, visa-holders]

Have you heard about the amazing new battery? Goodenough Introduces New Battery Technology/ University of Texas

“Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.”
John Goodenough is 94 years old. 

Maria Helena Braga, research fellow, hails from the University of Porto in Portugal.

Imagine if they and their team had not been able to work together? 

Why wouldn’t they be able to?  Immigration bans, protectionism, nationalism. If we build walls, ideas don’t mesh and re-emerge as a benefit to all of us. America is turning away from what made us great: diversity!

Here’s why:

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter shows how diversity encourages us to work harder, be creative, and seek alternatives; it stimulates innovation.

And, hopefully, the elder John Goodenough would not have horrendous health insurance rates and enough coverage to maintain his health and the mind that held the history and facts about glass lithium. Hopefully, he didn’t need Meals on Wheels.

America is supposed to be mostly Christian, but all religions, and those not religious but spiritual [including atheists] hold a basic truth that keeps the human race alive: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It means caring about each other — and helping our fellow humans. This belief made America great.  Shouldn’t that basic value be our guide? How to get back to caring, sharing, and justice? That’s the biggest How To.
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Penned

Thoughts

Imagined,

Ideas shared,

Joined in a journey

To live dreams together,

To better the world

For all.

( ..)φ
For all

Live

Beside

In community

Thriving in thoughts,

Imagined understandings

Of acceptance

That’s penned.

( ..)φ

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NOTE:

Survival of the individual goes to the fittest, but societies only thrive through cooperation and acceptance. We work together or perish.
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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a How To
Doodling Song Woodstock– Joni Mitchell
“We are stardust; we are golden; billion year old carbon”

SOL17 DoodleaDay 11 This Land


I am not a singer, but I sing. It’s off key and not something anyone else wants to hear.

But singing soothes the soul.

And songs that send me chills of love and patriotism remind me of how America is what it is through struggle, struggle for justice for all.  And the songs I sang in the 60s remind me of those struggles; they remind me now of why those songs and those struggles are still important, in fact more so, in today’s hateful governmental reach.

I struggle wondering what happened to my country, this land that is made for you and me, no matter who you are. Yes: no matter who you are.

This is one of my favorite patriotic folk songs, which sings of many struggles, and reminded us in one verse of This Land is Your Land:

Nobody living can ever stop me

As I go walking my Freedom Highway

Nobody living can make me turn back

This land was made for you and me.

If our democratic republic is to survive with our basic freedoms, we must walk that Freedom Highway of free speech and freedom to assemble in order to make known that what is happening is not acceptable. We will not live in a culture of hate and fear; we will live ways that fight for justice for all — not the permitted few and the billionaires.

Now, I don’t begrudge the billionaires their riches; but I do expect them to fight for and honor the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of everyone else as well.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” ~Declaration of Independence

Citizen, Immigrant, Refugee have unalienable Rights, and I expect the rich and powerful to stop denying social justice programs.

We must honor all human beings as we once did and were admired for as world leaders in human rights issues; where, with other democracies we “fight for justice in their lives,” as Tracy Chapmen wrote about Nelson Mandela in Freedom Now.

This Land is Your Land, for Americans, was written in many different versions by Woodie Guthrie because injustice rears its wicked head in many ways. Read the song’s history here.

So, how did our country lose its democracy? I wish I had seen this 2014 interview of Henry Giroux — I wish I had been reading Truth-Out.org, which I did not because it does not have an “About Page,” and I thought it would lean too ‘left’ for my readers. I found more here in Wikipedia. But had I been reading this site, it would have opened my eyes to what’s been happening since the 80s on up through Obama. I have not watched this 2015 interview, but plan to. Sometimes being ‘balanced’ keeps us from deeper truths in the ‘big picture’ sense of truth.

So my poem today includes new verses for that American social just song: This Land is Your Land:

There’s people living in other countries
Who want their freedom and family’s safety
They follow their dreams, a risk of ev’ry thing
This land was made for you and me.

We who are living in our great country
Once welcomed dreamers as fellow humans
Providing justice to ease their suffering
This land was made for you and me.

We made our country the greatest ever
A nation proud of its justice virtue
We now must stand up and keep its honor
This land is made for you and me.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: letters

Doodling Song: This Land is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie – sung by his son Arlo and more.