Slice of Life Nutty Nerds


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)!


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.



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 8 Love


I grew up Lutheran. I don’t know what that means today, but I know that I learned that Jesus Loves Me, and Jesus loves you, and we are to treat others as we want to be treated because God is love. And love means many things — it means love in the family– everyone in the family. It means love through caring and kindness in the classroom. It means love through friendship and reaching out to those who have no one. It means love through compassion to those hurt, hurtful, afraid, lost, angry, homeless, helpless. It means love of the earth to protect that which provides all that we need to live.

So I am so troubled by the lack of love in the world today, even in my country now where for some reason, immigrants and refugees fleeing devastation are no longer welcome, where the poor are seen with contempt, and where providing support for the unsupported somehow costs too much. I see no compassion in policies and in actions that strip the protections for the earth, the needy, the sick, the poor, the homeless. For sure, we were not perfect before — but we had the compassion to plan for those who may need help.

At one time in my life, I needed help. At one time in his life, my husband needed help. We needed help for food and doctors for our first, beginning families. Divorce does that, by the way– all those supposed laws against women now being forged by supposed Christians forget how often women must care for themselves and their children on their own. And there was help when I needed it. I am so thankful for that help, so I would never begrudge or feel contempt for those using the programs that help with health, food, shelter; I would not think of disbanding those programs thinking that those people need to “pull up their bootstraps” and find work. I know it’s not that easy, and unless you have lived in the lives of those looking for help, shame for judging their need.

But no matter what, I keep my values, and will do my part to bring them back, and the programs that help people when they need it.

How do you keep your faith, your values of love and compassion in these times?


CDC ACES Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Responding to ACES by CORELABERTEWA and a pdf summary

Immigrants and Refugees, see Larry Ferlazzo’s post.

Face Poverty

Brian Jensen on Poverty

Evicted by Matthew Desmond


A half apple squished

up against the littered curb;

He paused and stooped down,

picked up the apple, brushed it,

walked away and bit.


Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today:  Draw the concept of Love without using hearts or the color red

Doodling Song: My Own Two Hands sung by Jack Johnson, written by Ben Harper