#AtoZChallenge: My Favorite Things T

Turtles

I am grateful for these easy posts that spring out of my collections. I didn’t realize that I had so many collections until this year’s challenge

 

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This could have been me.

The road running past my childhood home had small, marshy bodies of water on either side. Often we would see turtles making the treacherous crossing, for what reason I can’t imagine, since one marsh seemed so like the other. Sometimes we would aid them across before they encountered a car. Sometimes we would take them to the house and install them in a habitat of our making for a few days. Sometimes we found them already traumatized and suffering from a cracked shell. I still help turtles whenever I can and I’ve noticed my daughters do the same (it’s contagious evidently).

I don’t know if turtles have survived their slow pace by having their protective home on their backs, or if having to carry their homes on their backs is the cause of their slow pace. Either way, they are a marvel, a wonder of thought and design, and kind of cute for the most part.

Hence my turtle collection. This is one group of objects that take up so little space that I will not feel guilty keeping them as I pare down my possessions. Most of them fit in this small metal box.

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I find collectible turtles and tortoises wherever I go. From Alaska to Washington, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, and even in India and Cambodia, people love turtles and fashion puzzles, jewelry, knick knacks and keepsakes featuring turtles. Here are (some of) my favorites.

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Carved in stone with a baby turtle inside (how do they do that?) , white glow in the dark turtle on left, bobble head turtle on right.
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This lovely lady in the foreground is a gift from India and is a pendent that can be worn (thank you again, Evan).
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Wooden puzzle turtle from Cambodia and rolling turtle from Seattle. Background is a turtle lipstick holder (!!)
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This finger puppet is so much fun! I can pull the head in and out.

Do you have any small collectibles that you enjoy pulling out from time to time?

#atozchallenge: Turmeric

I know we take Sunday off each week in our atozchallenge, but yesterday when I was due to write about T, I was instead taking the opportunity for a long horseback ride through the woods of Pumpkin Hill Preserve (click to see).. What a great Florida park! The schedule gets to forgive me.

The T word is turmeric, a plant which has come to the attention of the health world in the west because of its anti-inflammatory properties.  It is raised commercially in India and other Southeast Asia countries.  The specific chemical in turmeric which helps reduce inflammation and pain is curcumin and if you take it as a supplement for pain, that is the name you should look for.

Turmeric, the spice, is made by taking the rhizome of the plant and drying it, then making a powder from it.  What you have at that point is the spice that you find in many Indian and Asian dishes, yellow in color and having some warm, spicy tones.  Because of its color it’s also used as a dye, something I noticed when traveling in Cambodia and seeing the Buddhist monks in their bright yellow-orange robes.  The spice has long been a part of religious rites in the countries where it is raised too.

Back to curcumin, it comprises only about 3% of turmeric which is not really enough for effective pain relief.  That is why curcumin is concentrated as a supplement.  It is also not utilized easily by the body but when combined with piperine, one of the constituents of black pepper, it’s uptake and utilization is increased by 2000%! Supposedly eating two or three black peppercorns with your curcumin supplement is all it takes.  I have not verified this but it doesn’t sound dangerous to try.  This is a very interesting supplement with other properties as well as the one I’ve mentioned.  Check it out if you are looking for something with anti-oxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

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My daily dose of curcumin (from turmeric). Nice color, isn’t it?

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