Worms and Flowers

Self-Cultivation List 2

Posted in Inside by Lzyjo on March 27, 2010

When I was a wee child I used to love plunking down on my stomach with the Sunday Funnies section. Now that I am a *little* more grown up I love reading different types of articles and info for entertainment and education. Here are a few of my favorites of late on my never ending journey of self-growth and cultivation.

Diary of a Victorian Clerk

This is a great find from the City of Westminster, who has gone to much trouble to transcribe the 18th Century Diary of Nathaniel Bryceson, a 19 year-old wharf clerk (coal cashier) residing in Pimlico, a suburb in the area designated as Greater London.Photobucket I first read about it on the BBC site in this article. The City posts the entries on an almost daily basis, following the diary as it was written in 1846. Nat, (as I imagine he would be called) talks about everything,  from physics (laxative), wars, current events,  to  what he wore, what he ate, how the weather was, who died, who was born, and so on. He attitude is surprising modern and frank. Here are a few excerpts of interest.

March 12th 1846 Thursday

Shortly after 3 o’clock this morning a fire broke out upon the premises of Mr Kneller, bullion dealer and refiner, 60 Princes Street, Leicester Square.  It originated in the smelting house the back of the dwelling and when first discovered it threatened very serious consequences.  The speedy arrival of four engines prevented the flames from extending further, but the … entirely extinguished … the stock in trade, fixtures, utensils in the smelting house were very consumed …

And just a little reminder of social constants. This one concerns Nat’s female companion, Ann Fox.

February 22nd 1846 Sunday

Walked through Regent’s Park.  Rain threatened, halted, held up again.  Proceeded onwards over Primrose Hill and fields to Hampstead Church.  Rain fell in torrents, rather wetted.  Sat awhile in church; looked over some monuments and tablets.  Proceeded homewards raining very heavy.  Ann got very wet, self fared better.  Got across the fields to a narrow lane with an archway over.  Sheltered ourselves under arch.  Got to wicked tricks.

That happened to be the same day of the so-called physic…….  O_o

Civil War Preservation Trust Discovery Trails

As we well know, the local area here is rich with Civil War history.  Recently a new civil war trail was designated At the Spring Hill Battle Field.


Rippavilla Plantation Photo courtesy of Kraig McNutt at the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin.  The battle began with cavalry skirmishes. A separate Confederate charge crossed the Duck River to assault the reinforced Federal’s at the Spring Hill crossroads. By late afternoon the Northern troops defeated the disjointed Southern attack,  opening the road to Franklin where the entire army was congregating in preparation for the next day’s massive battle.

The Battle at Franklin, on the site of the historic Carnton Mansion, is known as one of the bloodiest battles (outside of Gettysburg) with Confederates losing six generals. The Union had established “works” previous that they used as protection during the Battle of Franklin, leaving the confederates on open ground. Both sides were evenly matched, but the Confederates losses were three times the Union’s, probably do to the protection that they lacked. Losses totaled over 8,000. Yet the wounded confederates under Hood managed to trudge on to Nashville in retreat where Hood ‘s forces where completed stomped out a few months later in the Battle of Nashville, but that’s another tale.

The Civil War Preservation purchases property to preserve the historic significance. They manage over 600 sites in 32 states from Maine to Florida, and westward. Find a local battlefield or historic site to explore and learn about local history.  Just click on any of the links and select your state to find a battlefield.

Business Education

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a wide selection of free business training materials on their website. The info there is useful for anyone who wants to start of already owns a small business. My favorite is the step by step Business Plan template, this is really helpful to help you hone your mission statement, see who your customer base is and why your products are unique. This module helped me also see what my goals are for my business. All of their presentations are about 30 minutes long, covering topics for setting up a business to surviving in a recession. According to the website the The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government, to help American small businesses grow. They have field offices in the major cities (Nashville/Memphis) that offer free consultations and advice from experienced professionals. Most large cites also have SCORE offices, (SCORE offers business mentor services locally and online)  States operate small business assistance offices in most cities, Clarksville/Columbia/Murfreesboro. Tennessee calls these Small Business Development Centers. To find State programs where you live,  go to your state’s website  and look for the business section. There you should find a page for starting a business, which includes links to all of the resources. It’s never too late to start, it’s also never too soon. So if you have a small group of employees, are a one person operation or ever considered, imagined, or dreamed of having a business, doing something you love, I encourage you to check out these free educational materials to inspire you and see if you can accomplish your goals realistically.

What have you been doing lately in your personal time?

Avocado: Ancient Fruit of Intrigue Part 1 of 5

Posted in Avocado by Lzyjo on June 15, 2009

Since I wrote the longest post in the history of the blogosphere I am dubbing this week avocado week for my five part series.

When I think of avocados I picture hippies, sandwiches  made with brown bread, sprouts, and avocado slices.  I  also think of people sitting in spas with their faces covered with green goo and of course, California Rolls with their signature pink and green centers. Avocados aren’t some newfangled invention of 20th Century beauty mavericks, or hippie health nuts.

Avocados weren’t always the highly esteemed fruit they are today, in fact it may have been the avocado’s name that led to some misconceptions and scandalous perceptions about the fruit. In the Nahutal language, the language the Aztecs spoke, the name for avocado is āhuacatl, which translates directly to testicle. It’s bad enough that the fruit was named after a certain part of male anatomy, but it was also a powerful symbol of fertility to the Aztecs, who, according to lore, would lock their virgin daughters inside their houses during the harvesting season. When the Conquistadors and Colonists got a load of that you can believe they must have been frightened. Misconceptions were so extreme that person who ate an avocado would find it very difficult to maintain their chaste image. In the 1920s are large ad campaign was launched to dispel perceptions about the aphrodisiac effects of the fruit.

Tomorrow I will be posting about the Conquistadors and the avocado’s introduction to the old world.

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Earth Day

Posted in Environment, History by Lzyjo on April 22, 2009

A friend’s mom once told me Earth Day was her favorite holiday. I couldn’t agree more. Earth Day is the most universal global holiday we have. A day to unite for our one and only, Mother Earth.

The first Earth Day was organized by peace activist John McConnell, to coincide with the 1969 UNESCO conference held in San Francisco around the Spring Equinox on March 20th.

John McConnell was a Midwesterner who moved to San Francisco to continue his interest in activism. McConnell was a prolific activist. He organized campaigns for many causes, including peace, hunger, and environmental issues. McConnell was inspired by the pollution he saw while working at a plastic factory. McConnell was so appalled by the pollution resulting from plastic manufacture that he made it his life’s work to promote environmental activism and stewardship.

The Earth Day holiday was founded in 1970 with the help of Wisconsin-senator Gaylord Nelson. Since 1970, Earth Day’s are held on April 22nd of every year. Even Senator Nelson couldn’t predict the success of his ambitious idea, saying of the project, “it was a gamble, but it worked.”

The 1970’s were a very important time for environmental legislation. There was momentum built up by the growing awareness of social issues, pollution, and our impact on wildlife and wilderness.

Today many of the same issues exist, threatened and endangered species, pollution from nuclear waste, coal, munitions, boats, pharmaceutical waste, untreated sewage, mining waste, brewing waste, and so on. The Earth is not our garbage can, but we often treat it that way.

Since the new millennium, Earth Day has added Global Warming as another key issue. The good news is, 2007 was the most successful Earth Day, with an estimated one billion people participating in close to two hundred countries.

Happy Earth Day!

For Addition information:

Earth Day Network, a website organized by the founders of Earth Day.

Wikipedia Earth Day

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