Harvesting Cinnamon in Grenada

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While on a recent cruise I had the opportunity to visit the tiny Caribbean Island of Grenada which among other things is a reliable source of many spices, including cinnamon.

cinnamon Greneda plantation

Cinnamon has a rich history dating back 5,000 years when Arabs controlled the spice trade bringing cinnamon from what was known then as the Spice Islands, to sell in Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt and Rome. It was used by the Egyptians as an ingredient in their embalming fluids and the Romans used it as a love potion. Even Moses used it in a holy oil to anoint the ark of the covenant.

Harvesting cinnamon is very labor intensive, taking up to three years after a tree is planted before the first harvest can be completed.Harvesting is a long process, it begins  by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it. Coppicing is a process whereby the tree is cut off at the ground level and shoots are allowed to grow from the main branch.

At harvest time the shoots are cut and the leaves and twigs are removed with the rough outer bark. The shoots are then beaten to soften the tissues of the inner bark and make it easier to peel away in a complete strip. Once peeled, the bark is placed in overlapping, extended layers then rolled to form long canes or quills that are sun-dried. As the quills dry, the bark curls and becomes paper-like. These long canes are later cut into cinnamon sticks. Flakes left over from this process, called  featherings are sold to make into ground cinnamon powder or to be distilled into cinnamon oil. Cinnamon trees can yield productive bark for about 45 years, after which they are replaced with a new seedling.

 

Today much of North America’s cinnamon comes from Southeast Asia and the closely related cassia tree. Cassia is considered slightly inferior in taste to zeylanicum or true cinnamon that is a softer color with a milder, sweeter flavor. Cassia cinnamon is normally a darker reddish brown color and has a stronger, somewhat bittersweet flavor. Cassia cinnamon is also less expensive than zeylanicum cinnamon. Most cinnamon in the United States does not state its origin.

Cinnamon with its woody, mild yet exotic flavor is arguably the most popular spice in the world. Aside from its many uses in baking and cooking, it also provides a wonderful aroma to freshen the house. Just boil 5 cups of water with a teaspoon of added cinnamon, then let it simmer on the stove to enjoy the smell of a spice that has intoxicated people for over five millennia!

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income.

 

 

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An interesting thought

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Here’s an interesting thought:

You never find leopards or lions saying to themselves,  “Well, I don’t think I’ll put myself out on this hunt.  Why strain myself?  What’s the point?  I nearly always make the kill and then what happens?  Everyone tucks in and I don’t even get a thank you.  This time, I’ll just coast.  Someone else can do the work for a change. . . .”

A tree never says, “What’s the point of putting out all that effort–growing up as tall as I can to the light?  Sooner or later, someone else is just going to grow that little bit taller, and I’ll be in the shade anyway.  So why bother?”

You never see a cobra that’s too lazy to strike, a mother wolf who is only half-hearted about looking after her cubs, or migrating birds who simply decide not to, or just fly at half pace.

Nature has a habit of always doing its very best.  Animals and plants never do things by halves.  They always do everything that they are capable of doing.  They always do their best.

So why are we humans so different?  Why do we consistently fall behind our own standards for ourselves, let alone anyone else’s?

Let’s take a leaf out of Nature’s book and strive to be the best person we can possibly be in every area.

Let’s resolve to expand ourselves–to fully utilize our God-given talent–to the best of our ability.  Whether at work or at home, realize that failing to do our very best only hurts us–nobody else.

So, let’s strive to be the best we can possibly be.  Starting today!

Copyright Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

George Koritzer

There is an extreme shortage of common sense in today’s world, I often think back to what my parents and grandparents believed and said, at the time I thought they were totally out of their mind and ignored it. I now wish I would have listened and followed their advice more often. It is in this light I have decided to publish some of my random thoughts based on the views of our ancestors.

 

The Redneck Vacation

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Redneck Vacation

Billy Bob and Luther were talking one afternoon when Billy Bob tells Luther, “Ya know, I reckon I’m ’bout ready for a vacation. Only this year I’m gonna do it a little different. The last few years, I took your advice about where to go.”

“Well, what are you going to do, then?” Luther asks.

“Three years ago you said to go to Hawaii. I went to Hawaii and Earlene got pregnant.”

“Yeah,” Luther agrees.

“Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bahamas,and Earlene got pregnant again.”

“I remember,” Luther says.

“Last year you suggested Tahiti and darned if Earlene didn’t get pregnant again.”

“Yep,” Luther says. “So, what you gonna do this year that’s different?”

“Well,” Billy Bob says, “this year I’m taking Earlene with me.”

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

alcohol

In today’s world, many resort to abusing drugs and alcohol, why are so many becoming addicted and not only destroying their lives but the lives of others around them

 

Cabo San Lucas

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Cabo San Lucas commonly called Cabo  is a city at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Cabo San Lucas together with San Jose Del Cabo is known as Los Cabos. As of 2010, the city had a population of 68,463.

Cabo has been rated as one of Mexico’s top 5 tourist destinations; it is known for its beaches, scuba diving, balnearios,  the sea arch  and marine life. The Los Cabos Corridor has become a holiday destination for tourists, with numerous resorts and timeshares along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San José Del Cabo.

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A cruise ship approaches Cabo San Lucas

 Continuously inhabited for over 10,000 years,  the area offers everything visitors and residents could ever need. Blessed with a perfect climate, a quiet bay and unlimited fishing the areas is a paradise to be enjoyed by all. Accessible by land or sea, it is an easy drive from the United States. Add to everything else the area has to offer, many fine restaurants  are found in the area.

Whether staying for a few hours on a cruise ship or spending a week, your time here would end way too soon.

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

money photography

This informative Ebook describes alternative methods of making money ,often a full time income in photography even if you have no desire to shoot wedding photography. this book gives examples and websites where you can use your photos to supply you with an income, not only to enable you to buy new equipment, but a living income

 

A Letter to the IRS

Get your vehicle history here!

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A Letter To The IRS

Dear Sirs:

I am responding to your letter denying the deduction for two of the three dependents I claimed on my 1994 Federal Tax Return. Thank you. I have questioned whether these are my children or not for years. They are evil and expensive.

It’s only fair that since they are minors and not my responsibility that the government (who evidently is taxing me more to care for these waifs) knows something about them and what to expect over the next year. You may apply next year to reassign them to me and reinstate the deduction.

This year they are yours!

The oldest, Kristen, is now 17. She is brilliant. Ask her! I suggest you put her to work in your office where she can answer people’s questions about their returns. While she has no formal training, it has not seemed to hamper her knowledge of any other subject you can name.

Taxes should be a breeze; next year she is going to college. I think it’s wonderful that you will now be responsible for that little expense. While you mull that over, keep in mind that she has a truck. It doesn’t run at the moment so you have the immediate decision of appropriating some Department of Defense funds to fix the vehicle, or getting up early to drive her to school.

Kristen also has a boyfriend. Oh joy. While she possesses all of the wisdom of the universe, her alleged mother and I have felt it best to occasionally remind her of the virtues of abstinence, and in the face of overwhelming passion, safe sex. This is always uncomfortable and I am quite relieved you will be handling this in the future. May I suggest that you reinstate Joycelyn Elders, who had a rather good handle on the problem.

Patrick is 14. I’ve had my suspicions about this one. His eyes are a little close together for normal people. He may be a tax examiner himself one day of you do not incarcerate him first. In February I was awakened at three in the morning by a police officer who was bringing Pat home. He and his friends were TP’ing houses. In the future would you like him delivered to the local IRS office or to Ogden, UT? Kids at 14 will do almost anything on a dare. His hair is purple. Permanent dye, temporary dye, what’s the big deal?

Learn to deal with it.

You’ll have plenty of time as he is sitting out a few days of school after instigating a food fight. I’ll take care of filing your phone number with the vice principal. Oh yes, he and all of his friends have raging hormones. This is the house of testosterone and it will be much more peaceful when he lives in your home. DO NOT leave any of them unsupervised with girls, explosives, inflammables, inflatables, vehicles, or telephones. (I’m sure that you will find telephones a source of unimaginable amusement, and be sure to lock out the 900 and 976 numbers!)

Heather is an alien. She slid through a time warp and appeared quite by magic one year. I’m sure this one is yours. She is 10 going on 21. She came from a bad trip in the sixties. She wears tie-dyed clothes, beads, sandals, and hair that looks like Tiny Tim’s. Fortunately, you will be raising my taxes to help offset the pinch of her remedial reading courses. Hooked on Phonics is expensive so the schools dropped it. Good news! You can buy it yourself for half the amount of the deduction that you are denying! It’s quite obvious that we were terrible parents (ask the other two) so they have helped raise this one to a new level of terror. She cannot speak English. Most people under twenty understand the curious patois she fashioned out of valley girls/boys in the hood/reggae/yuppie/political doublespeak. I don’t. The school sends her to a speech pathologist who has her roll her R’s. It added a refreshing Mexican/Irish touch to her voice. She wears hats backwards, pants baggy, and wants one of her ears pierced four more times. There is a fascination with tattoos that worries me, but I am sure that you can handle it.

Bring a truck when you come to get her, as she sort of nests in her room and I think that it would be easier to move the entire thing than find out what it is really made of.

You denied two of the three exemptions so it is only fair that you get to pick which two you will take. I prefer that you take the youngest, I still go bankrupt with Kristen’s college,but then I am free! If you take the two oldest then I still have time for counseling before Heather becomes a teenager. If you take the two girls then I won’t feel so bad about putting Patrick in a military academy. Please let me know of your decision as soon as possible as I have already increased the withholding on my W-4 to cover the $395 in additional tax and to make a down payment on an airplane.

Yours Truly,

Bob

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

alcohol

In today’s world, many resort to abusing drugs and alcohol, why are so many becoming addicted and not only destroying their lives but the lives of others around them.

Mayan Pyramids and Temples

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Hidden deep in the Central American jungle, many ancient   Mayan temples are hidden from the casual observer.

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Remnants of Lubaantun, the site where the Mitchell-Hedges skull was reportedly found.

Mainly in Belize and Guatemala, these temples and pyramids display how life was in ancient times.

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Ancient Mayan Pyramid

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Tikal in Guatemala.

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Lamani in northern Belize, reportedly the only pyramid that still has the original name.

No one knows for sure where the Mayan went, after suddenly disappearing around the year 1,000. Some believe they may have gone to North America, migrating as far north as Georgia or possibly to the Ohio Valley and having a connection with Serpent Mound near Cincinnati Ohio.

This is possible , there are many names ,especially in Florida that have a connection with the Mayans. Myakka, and Miami to name just as couple.

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

Mayan book

It doesn’t take long to discover that Belize is a land of contrasts. From the poverty and disarray of the cities to the quiet countryside, many differences are soon found. With poverty and crime running rampant in cities such as Belize City and Belmopan, the traveler has to be constantly aware of his surroundings and protect whatever is being carried. Remember,that camera hanging around your neck is worth more than the average Belizean earns in a year. All that aside, the Mayan people are wonderfully warm people many of whom go out of their way to please visitors. Traveling into the countryside one discovers thatch roof homes with no doors or windows. Because of the warm climate , they can live comfortably all year with a gentle breeze flowing through the open windows and doors. I was struck with the concept that although no utility lines were visible, a lot of homes had a satellite dish in the front yard.

Available in both hard copy and Ebook format.

 

Heavenly Bran Muffins

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Heavenly Bran Muffins

An 85-year-old couple, having been married almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last 10 years, mainly due to the wife’s interest in health food and exercise.

When they reached the Pearly Gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi.

As they “oohed and aahed,” the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.

“It’s free,” Peter replied, “this is Heaven.”

Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges every day, and each week the course changed to a new one, representing the great golf courses on Earth. The old man asked, “What are the green fees?”

Peter’s reply, “This is Heaven, you play for free.”

Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.

“How much to eat?” asked the old man. “Don’t you understand yet? This is Heaven, it’s free!” Peter replied with some exasperation.

“Well, where are the low-fat and low-cholesterol tables?” the old man asked timidly.

Peter lectured, “That’s the best part — you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like, and you never get fat or sick. This is Heaven.”

With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, shrieking wildly.

Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong.

The old man looked at his wife and said, “This is all your fault. If it weren’t for your bran muffins, I could have been here 10 years ago!”

 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments appreciated

church and state

There has been much debate over the years about what the founding fathers meant concerning  the separation of church and state. In recent times there has been much disinformation about what they actually believed, especially George Washington. In this short Ebook the author tries to explain how they actually felt.