Archive for October, 2011

the effect of color

I like this pink shade: it’s calming and energizing at the same time.

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How I manage fallThis is the time of the year when we feel the changes that autumn bring.

There is a coldness in the morning air, which can feel a little bracing and strange on the skin after the often scorching hot summer that we have had in California this year.

The leaves start to change colors. There is that wonderful, unique rust-red shade that one sees at this time of year. To me, it is one of nature’s exceptional colors that no artist nor paint company has or can imitate.

I wonder, in the case of people, are changes and transitions so easily perceived, felt or understood. It is said that we change with every decade. We hope that we become stronger and wiser with the passage of time. Life experiences can be sweet; and there are also those that impart the lesson that life doesn’t always follow a linear, step-by-step path that we were taught to believe that it would.

Sometimes, we don’t really like the changes that we perceive in us. And at times we just ignore them as that’s the easiest things to do.

Maybe, fall teaches us the paradox of consistency and change. We know that the days will become shorter; we reach out for our sweaters and our armor of mood enhancers as we face those fall days when it is dark at 5 pm.

Mingled with this predictability is the realization that the year is about to end, and the pensiveness that comes with this realization. A brand new year looms. This question comes up, consciously or unconsciously: am I closer, or further away from the goals and values that I seek?

Fall and winter days are somewhat hard for me as I need lots of sunlight to function at an optimum pace. But I hope I’m getting better at negotiating and managing this season. In this decade of my life, I want to try to practice, and not just mouth, the adage to “live in the moment”. And I want to strive to be the person living out my philosophy of life, despite the perceptions of others and my own roadblocks.

I know I’ll miss the hot weather. Perhaps it will help if I focus on the colors and tastes of fall. This year, I will try to embrace fall, for there is no getting around nature’s calendar. That’s just the way it is.

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papaya tree in California

From my garden: one of the first fruits from the papaya tree, with its bright orange color, and the ever-reliable peppers.

The summer harvest this year had a little twist.

There were the yearly reliable staples like the peppers. But this time, I had a wonderful tropical surprise.

It actually started off as a casual experiment. After eating a papaya, I felt like putting a few seeds in the ground and see if any would grow. As the months went by, a plant took hold and grew bigger. Then there were cream-colored flowers, and then, an exciting sight, a bunch of papaya fruits.

When the fruits ripened, I plucked and cut them, and was surprised to find that they were seedless! Initially,I was a little apprehensive about this. But from information from the Master Gardeners of Orange County and from the Internet, I found out that there could be different reasons for the seedlessness, and that the seedless papaya is not such an unusual occurrence for papaya trees grown in the United States.

There could be several reasons why the fruit is seedless. One is that many fruit trees produce seedless fruit for dozens of years. However, once they mature, they start to produce seeded fruit.

Another is that the seedless fruit is the result of parthenocarpy, which is defined as the development of fruit without fertilization.

Suffice to say that the fruits are safe to eat. I enjoyed the creamy, sweet taste of the papayas throughout the summer, and there were more than enough to share with my neighbor. It looks like this year, my backyard garden gave me a bit of an adventure.

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