Saturday 31 July 2021

Summer, be aware with Traveler's Diarrhea – Healthy Life 7

People at the beach

Yes, many parts of the world are facing trouble pandemic in this Summer.

However, do you have any plans to travel abroad?

Getting ready to visit the nice places and enjoy the local culinary, but...have you ever have stomach flu when you enjoy traveling?

It does annoy you and sometimes it ruins your traveling schedules.

You are not alone, that happened to me, and many of us. In every 10 person, 3 to 7 person have this experience.

This stomach flu causes loose or watery stool, also known as diarrhea, and it's almost common in travelers. This stomach flu is called the Traveler's Diarrhea (TD).

Why do you get stomach flu when travel?

When I traveled to the warmer area and an area with poor public hygiene, that easy for me to get infected the stomach flu.

These areas do not have access to plumbing and latrine, so you can imagine that the amount of stool contaminated and more accessible to flies.

Sunset in the tropical area

Whenever an area has lack of safe water. electricity frequent to black out, and lack refrigerators will increase risk to the stomach flu.

The stomach flu is caused by many pathogens from contaminated water, prepared food, and utensils. Bacteria is the most commons cause, such as E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella, dan Salmonella.

Viruses, such as norovirus also contribute to the somach flu. Parasites is less common.

How do you know that you got TD?

Knowing the symptoms, such as suddenly I have loose stool or watery stool, bloating, urgency using bathroom, vomiting, belly pain, tired, and fever.

When this symptoms mild, it goes away, but when severe I need to call health care provider.

How does you prevent TD?

I always make sure do not eat food from unknown sources, do not put ice in drinks, and only drink sealed bottle water. Avoid to eat raw fruits and salads, raw meat, selfish, and unpasteurized milk or yogurt.

I always carry traveler size of alcohol sanitizer, tissue, and liquid soap in my purse. Some medications for TD prophylaxis are always along with other cases.

Thursday 29 July 2021

Family Saga and Meaning to be a Good Person – Part 2 - Reading 1

Andrew Ridker, The author of The Altruists.

You may read the first part:

I read all through the book. I did not see any funny and smart.

I just felt piety to those characters, seems they are not mature, not smart and wise about life. “Am I loosing the sense of humor?”

I was thinking that I was stressful, my anxiety level was getting higher. I was about frustrated because I also had to google some terms from this novel that I was doubt about the definitions and the concepts.

This book was wrote by a millennial author, a young man in her twenties. It is his novel.

Since I review another book which is Altruism:

- The Power of Compassion.

Finally, I agree that The Altruists is super funny and super brilliant.

Flowers in the city garden

This novel is ironic and tragicomic about moral life, and the concepts how to be a good person with the na├»ve thought.

The author fascinated about two differences. We can see how two generation, between baby boomers and millennials, between dysfunctional family and campus life, in this novel. He gives the readers good measurements of compassion.

The author is very smart, even the characters seems kind of un-mature persons, but he created their personality exactly like in the theories or concepts that we learn either in the Sociology Class or in the Psychology of Personality.

The terms in the book are also terms in the textbook, and some concepts might from his faith.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Could Positive Thinking Lead to Live Longer? - Healthy Life 6


A wild flower at backyard

Based on researches done by several Universities recently that there is relationship between positive thinking and live longer.

I think this finding have changed our long belief that the physical outfit only could increase our chances to live healthy and life expectancy.

Feeling of positive thinking or optimism make our health condition better, thus naturally, our immune system or body in better condition to fight many diseases.

In other word that positive thinking people have lower risk to get diseases such as:

- respiratory relate diseases
- cancer
- stroke
- heart diseases

It is interesting that we may have positive thinking by doing good or healthy or certain habits.

What kind of habits?

Positive thinking, just for illustration (credit to RTE)

The positive or healthy habits include:

- exercise regularly
- consume healthy foods (not smoking, no alcohol)
- sleep enough, at least six hours daily
- strong work ethics
- regulate emotional

Moreover, one of researches has observed more than 70 thousands men and women for periods of 10 to 30 years. It is concluded that:

- positive thinking people may live about 13% longer than pessimism people.
- optimism persons have greater chance to reach 85 years old age.

Do you believe that a positive thinking or optimism can make us live longer?

Sunday 25 July 2021

When do Pine Trees of our Neighborhood Produce Nuts? - Nature 9

Fig 01- Nuts of pine trees

We routine go shopping to our neighborhood Walmart super center for everything from grocery to medicine.

We noticed that there are plenty of trees planted in park lot areas. We guess those trees are pine trees like.

Here in Lousiana, we have several kind of pine trees, some of them are:

- The spruce pine tree (Pinus glabra)
- The longleaf pine tree (Pinus palustris)
- The loblolly pine tree (Pinus taeda)
- The slash pine tree (Pinus elliottii).
- The Virginia pine tree (Pinus virginiana)
- The shortleaf pine tree (Pinus echinata)

Pine trees mainly are evergreen, but some species change their leaves color to red to brown in the autumn, then fall down.

We know that leaves of pine trees at our neighborhood have changed colors during fall season. The tree and leaves re-grow in the spring.

Fig 02- Two pine trees at parking lot.

Fig 03- The trees produce nuts or seeds

We are quite surprising, after take a look closer to the branches that the trees are producing nuts or seeds at this time around, middle of May.

Like other trees in the northern hemisphere, the production followed the seasonal temperatures.

We read from literature that at least 20 species of pine trees produces nuts or seeds. Our pine nuts size is quite big enough with rounded shapes.

Most pine nuts are edible and good for sources of nutritional foods. Zero cholesterol and sodium.

Have you tried nuts of a pine tree?

Friday 23 July 2021

Family Saga and Meaning to be a Good Person – Part 1 - Reading 1

The Altruists, a novel

I picked this book with several reasons, some of them because I like:

- the cover with clean white
- the pictures
- and reviews stated, “Super brilliant, Super funny”.

The first chapter I did not see any funny but sad, because this chapter was about their burning house, meanwhile whole family plus a couple client were in the house.

The end of the first chapter, the author put some conversations among them, when they were seeing the fire fighters doing their job from the outside of burning house.

Seemed the author left the clues for readers by putting two words in bold fonts. I kept in my mind those words.

The next chapters jumped back and forward, reminding me to words with bold fonts.

They are the “theme” of this novel.

Fruit from a wild flower

This book is about the a family, Alters. Arthur Alters is a father, “professor at a Midwestern college, he can’t afford his mortgage, he’s exasperated his much-younger girlfriend”.

Maggie is a main characteristic, a daughter, who “a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty”.

Ethan is his son, an introvert gay.

# To be continued to part 2

Wednesday 21 July 2021

First Important Step to Know Mental Illness - Healthy Life 5

Fig 01- The first day of Tuesday Farmer Market in 2021

May is about the end. As we know May is Mental Health Awareness Month statewide.

In the beginning of this month, I met a pretty girl, 30s. She is slim, tall, and smart.

She worked in a chemical company before pandemic. She lost her job, and now she has done hospital visiting due to her diseases.

She underwent multiple removal surgeries.

When I asked her about her life and how she managed her stressful, she asked me back. “Stress?” then “Let it go away.”

She laughed, I believe she had a beautiful smile behind her face mask, “No stress. Nah!”

It seems she knows how to cope her problems. That is great.

In truth, there are always some problems that we face as we live in this world.

Fig 02- Beside enjoy walking around and taking photos, buying fruits and vegetables in farmer market is one of my activities to keep away from 
mental illness. At this moment, I was taking photos.

Along the month of mental awareness, I am trying to “investigate” myself.

Do I have:

-excessive anxiety and fear
-feeling sad and low so bad
-extremely mood swing, euphoria
-very easily disturbed and grumpy
-confusing in thinking and lack of focus and learning
-keeping away from friends

Fig 03- Zucchinis and yellow squashes look very fresh. 
Grab some to cook today, cooking is also fun!

The points above are common signs of mental illness that I need to be aware.

HEALTHY Lives mentioned that knowing anything about mental illness is important first step.

Do not hesitate to find help, do not afraid to consult a doctor.

Even I have some points above, I take control of myself. I find something fun! Such as:

- walking in the gardens
- taking photos
- reading favorite books
- listening to the old school music
- chatting with friends
- shopping small things
- cooking simple foods

The most important is: posting my thought in my blog then enjoying every single comment from you all, my friends.

I really appreciate for your visiting and commenting.

They are such medicines to me to keep healthy and away from mental illness. Thank you so much!

Monday 19 July 2021

Flash Flood at my Neighborhood - Nature 8b

Fig 01- Flood in our neighborhood recently

As you might know that our state, Louisiana experienced “highest rainfall” in 2016.

On that time, rainfall reached 510 mm (20 inches) in many parishes (territories), caused overflows in the streets, rivers and waterways. Rain dropped about “7.1 trillion gallons of water” in one week.

2016 great flood in Louisiana cost billion of dollar, estimated from US$ 10 to US$ 15 billion dollars.

Catastrophic Flooding had contributed to:

- damage of thousand houses
- submerge of thousand business
- loss of agricultural production
- 60 people dead

However, our current two days rainfall was very “small” compared to 2016 disaster. But, its flash flood was scary enough. 

Fig 02- Water covered streets

Fig 03- Garbage bins were floating from up streets

Fig 04- Flooding in front of several houses.

As you can see (please see Fig 01, 02 and 04 at above), the water had flown in front of the houses.

This flows dragging and moving around many things include:

- garbage bins
- branches
- leaves
- cars

From local news that 2 dead in our city, and totally 4 death in the state of Louisiana.

No one of my neighbors.

Since we got very early warning, and based on 2016 big flooding experienced, hence, we have a little bit “well prepare” to cope with this flooding.

Friday 16 July 2021

Wild Animals and Birds in my Backyard – Nature 8a

Fig 01- The blue bird

Our kitchen faces backyard, so when we are cooking or just sitting, we could see many wild animals.

A lot are birds, but some are mammals, they are:

- raccoon
- squirrels
- cats (may be belong to neighbors, but I consider wild, since I don’t know who is the owner).
- variety of birds

In respect to birds that always visited my backyard during spring and summer seasons are:

- humming birds
- cardinals
- wood peckers
- Mocking birds
- Crows

Fig 02- A neighborhood cat

Fig 03- A crow flies away

Fig 04- A Crow sitting on the wire

One day we heard the sound of crow. The sound was “rattle” on our ear, then like “click and bell.”

We approached close and closely to photo taken, but it flies suddenly. Pictures are not good enough.

Actually, crows are abundance birds in my city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It seems that they able to adapt to the city environment.

We may find crows every where. Birds are reasonable medium size.

Wing size when it open wide is around 32 to 40 inches (81 cm to 102 cm).

What do you think about crow?

What animals visit your backyard?

Sunday 11 July 2021

Alligator in the Nearby Neighborhood - Nature 7

As you might know that Louisiana state has alligators more compared to other states in America. About 3 (three) million alligators (farming and wild) are estimated living in the Louisiana.

Fig 01- An alligator seen in the canal

Therefore, it is not surprise if we may encounter alligators in the areas include:
- canal
- big or small river
- pond
- lakes
- swamps
- housing ditches

Fig 02- People, illustration only

Fig 03- At least two alligators seen in the canal.

Indeed, the alligator habitats might be nearby or quite far from our housing complexes.

Just for fun, can you count how many wild alligators at Figure (Fig-03) above?

I saw at least two alligators!

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Which One Has Vitamin C more - Red Bell Pepper or Orange? - Healthy Life 4

Fig 01- Red bell pepper

Few people consume red bell pepper sometimes, but many people love to consume it often with their own reasons.

Actually, we familiar with this vegetable. I always see red bell pepper whenever I went to groceries.

The price is reasonable, depend on groceries, generally about US$ 1 each or less.

They are fresh and attractive.

However, if there is a comparative question: Which one has vitamin C more - Red Bell Peppers or Oranges?

You might answer suddenly: an orange!

Is it right?


Off course not!


Fig 02- Sliced papaya, rich in vitamin C

Fig 03- several colors of bell peppers

Vitamin C in the medium size orange is 69.7 mg

Vitamin C in the cup of chopped red bell pepper is 190 mg, about three times of vitamin C in the orange.

Other fruit and vegetable contain more vitamin C than an orange as reported by Christine Matthels (Health, January 27, 2020) are:

- Chili
- Kale
- Broccoli
- Papaya
- Strawberry
- Cauliflower
- Brussels sprouts
- Pineapple
- Kiwi
- Mango

Now, we understand that a lot of alternatives as sources of vitamin C in addition to oranges.

Thursday 1 July 2021

Hot Summer in the USA – Temperature above 40 Celsius degree – Nature 6

Fig 01- Mid day in our neighborhood

As always, the southern states of USA have encountered hot summer temperatures, above 40 Celsius degree in certain times, and between July to August in the last few years.

The southern states include:

- Texas
- Louisiana
- Mississippi
- Alabama
- Florida.

Unfortunately, two states in this June of this year, reached 44 Celsius degree. I think this is a kind of desert countries or middle east nations.

These two states usually quite mild temperature, about 10 Celsius degree. These north states in the area called “Pacific Northwest,” close to Canada.

What are the name of two states?

Why temperature is so hot?

Fig 02- Ice tea sold in many places

The name of two states in the “Pasific Northwest” region are:

- Washington, Seattle
- Oregon

Fig 03- The rainbow in the neighborhood

Strangely, Canada with temperature around 27 Celsius degree in the summer, has reached 32 Celsius degrees now days.

Why north America and Canada are so hot?

You might know the answer: Global warming.

Temperatures in some places in some countries have increased by about 2 to 5 Celsius degree.

Luckily, our southern state is still about 30 Celsius degree currently. The hottest so far.

We have rain almost every day, especially during June, temperature about 27 Celsius degree at mid day.

Rainbow appeared in the sky, looks so colorful (please see at Fig-03).

Night temperature is about 23 Celsius degree, the enjoy temperature to have a good sleep.

What is the highest temperature in your places?

Is it hotter than previous years?

The Injured Turtle in the Flower Bed - Nature 134

We found the injured turtle in our flower bed few days ago. Poor turtle. That one may be too badly injured but it shouldn't suffer. Imag...