Archive for November, 2007

The Trails You Leave

“Every person has the power to make others happy.

Some do it simply by entering a room —

others by leaving the room.

Some individuals leave trails of gloom;

others, trails of joy.

Some leave trails of hate and bitterness;

others, trails of love and harmony.

Some leave trails of cynicism and pessimism;

others trails of faith and optimism.

Some leave trails of criticism and resignation;

others trails of gratitude and hope.

What kind of trails do you leave?”

-William A. Ward

I Like this quote because it is very true. I have to say I have come across many people who fall in each of these categories. The best people are the ones that leave a trail of gratitude and hope. I would like to think that I am also that kind of person.


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Benefits of Aloe Vera

We have a huge aloe vera plant growing in the backyard. One winter it almost died from the freeze, but we covered it up in time. Last summer we decided to repot the plant into a terra cotta planter. And to our amazement, it really loves the pot and has gotten even bigger. The beauty of it all is nothing compare to the wonder of it’s content.

We have used the inside gel for various home remedies. The first being is to heal cuts and wounds. I even use it on my face as a moisturizer. At first it goes on gooey, but it then becomes cooling and dries easily. Not sticky or strange smelling either. I actually prefer it over my own store bought face products.

The next thing on my list is to make aloe vera breakfast drinks. I had my first cup this morning. I just boiled a cup of water, add a bit of green tea, lemon juice, and honey. Mixed in the chopped aloe vera and sipped it bit by bit. It had a little bitter aftertaste, but it was very refreshing.


The above snapshot is from the nutritional juice maker at Vemma. They make aloe vera juice among their other health juice drinks. I have not seen any Vemma drinks in the states, but I would really like to give it a try. The only other brand I’ve tried is from Asia. They are getting very popular and sold in many of the Asian markets in the area. But I think my fresh made juice taste just as good.

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Sweater Season

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Time to bring out all those warm sweaters, cute scarves and hats. Except this year, I have forgotten where I put them! And this cheerie little girl is all tucked out in lime green and just ready for a day in the snow.

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Pomegranate Season

The one fruit that we get to have at least once a year is pomegranate. And autumn is that time! I have always enjoyed eating this as a kid, but we didn’t get to eat them too often. They were hardly available at the supermarket. And no one we knew had planted any pomegranate tree either.

But about five years ago, my coworker had given me some really sweet pomegranates from her yard. Knowing how good my mom is with growing things, I gave her some of the seeds. And she was able to germinated a few plants from them. She gave some of the seedlings to her friends. Their trees aren’t bearing much fruit. But mother’s tree has done pretty well. We were able to enjoy it for most of September and October.


Fortunately pomegranates are easily available in the supermarket these days. In California, we can usually get the big ones for about $2.00 each or purchase the little ones for about $0.89 pound. Sometimes we get lucky and they are really sweet. Most of the time they are tart. I can eat both kinds and find they are great in salads.

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DW –

One of my favorite shows from Europe is DW-TV. It’s short for Deutsche Welle, and it’s a 30 minute “news magazine” type of show that is produced in Germany. They host the show in English, but there is also a German version. I don’t usually catch this on a regular schedule. So I was more then happy to find they have their own channel on YouTube now. What a great idea!

“Kino – The German Film Magazine – reporting from the Warsaw International Film Festival. German films and filmmakers at the – Warsaw International Film Festival.” 26.30 minutes. The film, “And Along Come Tourists” by Robert Thalheim looks like something I would like to see. I hope they release it for the US audience soon.

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Rasing a Child

I’m at that age where most of my friends are having children of their own. Some are even expecting child number two. M and I would like to have children someday, hopefully within the next couple of years. Two kids to be exact. But I can say there are times when I really appreciate my freedom. Just can’t imagine how I can take care of such a tiny little person. Tales of sleepless nights and forever concerns do not sound like fun! The only reason I can think about not being ready to bring life into this world is really the uncertainty of it all. But who said anything is certain, as they always say, “change is the only constant.”

This same topic was also discussed in BusinessWeek. It is titled, “Is Raising Kids a Fool’s Game?” by Karyn McCormack. She writes, “Considering extras like sports equipment, summer camps, private school, Disney vacations, and a full-time nanny, raising a child through age 17 could cost $1 million or more. On top of all that, growth in wages for U.S. workers has been minuscule or stagnant, while inflation has crept higher.”


Photo by Cute children camping out with the Anthropologie bedding collection. They have a lovely assortment of fashion, beddings, and other cool items at their boutique. This picture reminds me of what being a child is all about.



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Plant of the Month

I might have just found the perfect new plant to add to my botanical collection. They look a lot like the Amaryllis. But they are called Clivia or Kaffir Lily and originated from the African continent. Last autumn I was at the nursery and saw the Kafir Lily variety. It had these strong and glossy dark green leaves.

I think these flowers could easily become more popular then orchids. They seem less fragile and probably have a better chance of blooming year after year. They come in various colors, with orange being the most common. Other colors can be seen in near white, peach, red, and yellow.


Here is a little snapshot of the photo gallery at

I think I will find some seeds and try to cultivate them on my own. It will be a fun experiment. There is also many websites dedicated to the interest of growing Clivias. You can also purchase the plants on Ebay too. Some of my favorite websites for Clivia info is Lisa Mannion Clivias, her site is simple but full of useful resources. And at, you get some really great photo collection.

The Royal Horticulture Society suggest the following for propagation:

“Harvest seed from the berries when they turn red and sow immediately. Sow singly in 3in pots, using a loam-based compost just covering the seed. Germination takes between six to eight weeks at a temperature of 70F. Grow on at 60F once the first leaves appear.”

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