Soaking Seeds

Three of the herbs I planted inside did not sprout; oregano, sage and chives.  I read that soaking seeds overnight before planting will help them germinate

A snowy day was the perfect time to try it.

I sprinkled the seeds on paper towels.

Then I wet them and rolled up the paper towels.

I tried using a dish filled with water before but it didn't work. Maybe this way will be better.

Similarities Between the Fall of Rome and America

(This is a post I am using again after replacing some lost images. Originally posted 9/23/11)

I sometimes feel that when the Roman Empire fell it faced some of the same problems we have today.  I came across this interesting article. While I do not believe some of the things in this article, it does point out many similarities.

Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.

Senatus Populusque Romanus

(The Senate and the people of Rome)

Here is the original link:
Top 10 similarities between the fall of Rome and the fall of America « Economy «:

Lost Love: A Sad Italian Love Song

Here is an Italian Love Song I found on the Russian blog:  LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Here, where the sea shines and the wind howls, on the old terrace beside the gulf of Sorrento,
A man embraces a girl he wept after, then clears his throat and continues his song:

I love you very much, very, very much.
You know; it melts the blood inside my veins

He felt the pain in the music and stood up from the piano, 
But when he saw the moon emerging from a cloud 
Death also seemed sweeter to him.

He looked the girl in the eyes, those eyes as green as the sea.
Then suddenly a tear fell and he believed he was drowning.

I love you very much, very, very much.
You know; it melts the blood inside my veins

The power of opera, where every drama is a hoax; with a little make-up and with mime you can become someone else. 
But two eyes that look at you, so close and real, make you forget the words, confuse your thoughts, 

But, yes, it is life that ends and he already felt happy and continued his song:

I love you very much, very, very much.
You know it melts the blood inside my veins

Money Isn't Everything

My wife Lynette found this poem while surfing the web but she lost the name of the site.  Let me know if it belongs to you and I'll give you credit or remove it.

I used a free online photo editing program to adjust one of my photos from a vacation last year. The program enabled me to darken the perimeter and add the text.  

I think it's not too bad for an inexperienced beginner!
Here's the link if you want to play with it:
Photo editor online - free image editing direct in your browser -

Plant Room & Mushroom

In my "Plant Room" I transplanted three larger plants into larger pots.  So far so good, nothing unusual.  The mushrooms are another story.

Here is the newest growth progress report for the oyster mushrooms in a box my daughter gave me for Christmas.

I've never seen such a mushroom before and I wonder what my daughter had in mind.  Is it a way to get rid of her old man with poison mushrooms?

Inside the box is a white brick sized, plastic coated  chunk. It looks just like the bricks of cocaine or heroine I've seen on TV.  Hopefully no strange men will come knocking at my door in the middle of the night; not the police and not some criminals.

Up close and scary:

Are they looking for something?

What are those black topped projections on stalks?

I'll find out how they are prepared!

Apple Misho Bonsai

"Misho is a technique of growing bonsai from a seed."

Here is an excellent video my friend Adriano made about this technique:

Here is the link:
Maçã como plantar, How to plant apple

I'm Fascinated By This Mushroom


They're strange yet sort of beautiful in an ugly way.  

I'll show some more growth in another post. But first a post about a bonsai plant by my friend Clik.

Indoor Herbs

My basil and parsley are starting to grow.

My other herbs are struggling:

Wish me luck!

Why Don't More People Join a Monastery?

I was setting up my life as a "leisure enthusiast" when the thought of another way of living occurred to me. Instead of trying to choose their own way of spending time monks (also goes for some nuns, etc.) leave it all up to their religious order.
A monk is a member of a community, leading a more or less contemplative life apart from the world, under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Now I know that at first it seems like a very difficult way of life in which a person gives up an awful lot. But there is another side of becoming a monk that has many attractions.

Lets look at the vows one at a time:



Freedom from the burden of having your own money. The monastery takes care of your needs.

Your advantages:

-No unemployment.


-~ No debt  ~~
No credit card
No mortgage
No car loans
No student loans



Your advantages:
-No in-laws

-No crying babies

-No teenage children (rebellion, drugs, etc.)

-No infidelity
-No broken heart

-No divorce


Your advantages:

-No decisions to worry over

-No plans for your future

-All is being taken care of

Another advantage is time to focus on your spiritual life.

Instead of being:

Trying to get closer to God instead of getting closer to a company promotion or having more than your neighbors and “friends” (better car, clothes, home, etc.)

It's a mystery to me. Maybe it has to be a special calling from God.

A Free Poinsettia!

Three of my plants outgrew their pots.

I purchased three larger plastic pot liners for 99 cents each.  The plant nursery gave me a free poinsettia plant. I think it was because the Christmas season was over.  It was such a good surprise! It made my day a little bit special.

Squirrel Adoption

Photograph showing the maternal instinct of an American red squirrel rescuing an orphan. 
(Photograph taken by JW Taylor)

From the Spanish Blog ALLPE :
Squirrel mother (adoptive)


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