Torch Ginger

National Geographic, Nov 1949

At Honolulu airport, a young woman packs the heads of torch ginger in cellophane preservers. The article stated that “its stalk grows 3-6 ft high,” sometimes towering over those handling them.

Rain On The Hibiscus


This week marks the first week since spring (I’m gonna say April) that we did not exceed 80 degrees here in central Texas. And that’s why our hibiscus flowers are still blooming a week into November. We had a rare and blessed rain today, and the flowers seemed to drink it up.



What Wearing Two Belts Feels Like

One word: exhilarating.

photo by Danny Lehman, "Then and Now"
photo by Danny Lehman, “Then and Now”

Perhaps I should have titled this Splendor in the Marigolds. I don’t think I’ve felt that level of pure bliss since the 1900s, if ever. Perhaps it’s the Nick Cannon tilt of his hat that’s got him smiling so.


Clearly they both like hats and grey vests.

Actually, the joyful prostrate man is a harvester in Bajio, Mexico in 1990, presumably done with a day’s marigold harvesting. As pretty as they look, the marigolds were solely used in chicken feed.

It’s true. Per, marigolds, as well as other plants that contain the pigment xanthophyll, are routinely added to commercial layer feed to artificially boost the color of egg yolks of the chickens eating the feed…According to a report from PoultryDVM, the entire Mexican marigold plant has been used to treat respiratory illnesses and eye issues- and feeding up to 3 grams of the dried petals to the chickens resulted in improved egg yolk color.

Now don’t go and discount egg yolk color. Do you think Neil Armstrong could have gotten to the moon if he hadn’t eaten bright yellow egg yolks for his last meal on Earth?


Actually, that’s fried chicken and peaches. The Reddit image showed Armstrong having his “customary late dinner” in March of 1969, according to the caption of the TIME/Life photo. It was stated to be his last meal before the Apollo 11 mission. But it wasn’t his last meal before taking one small step for mankind.

It was steak and eggs–and he ate the meal (mid-left) with the rest of the crew members of the moon mission, not alone with a newspaper.

Oops! I appear to have gone off on a long rabbit trail. Sorry, readers!

Abierto, Cerrado





Looking at the hibiscus flowers this morning, I was reminded of the old Sesame Street sketch Abierto, Cerrado from the 1970s. What looks so shriveled and meh when it’s closed, becomes pink and gorgeous when it opens. I bet Maxwell the Dog has seen his share of hibiscus flowers. Eh, Max?

Homecoming Mum On Freckle-Faced Football Fan

Wearing mums to homecoming football games is huge tradition in Texas. Mums are expensive and heavy and attention-getting, and I recall hearing ones adorned with tiny metal footballs jangling on tassles as various nifty mum-recipients made their ways down the halls. Like these feathered-hair, Jean Nate-smelling girls in the mid 80s, brimming with prosperity and popularity.

And what if you didn’t have a mum to tote around from class to class ALL DAY LONG on that relentlessly endless Friday of the homecoming game? Well, look in the mirror. That absence of three feet of ribbon on your chest spells L-O-S-E-R. It’s how they separate the wheat from the chaff.

And don’t forget about the male accompaniment. This fellow is sporting the matching homecoming “garter,” just for boys. He’s pepper to her salt. Maybe that “M” is for mum?

And it’s still a big deal now, my friend, as you can see down below. What you CAN’T see is what they’re wearing underneath all that mumminess!

In the words of Men At Work, I’d have to say these silvery white mums are “overkill.” Ten dollars says they’ll have nacho cheese on them by the third quarter.

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