Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
after waiting a few minutes
I walked to the
door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened.
A small woman in her 90's stood before me.
She was wearing a print dress
and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned
on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon
suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had
lived in it for years. All the furniture was
covered with sheets.

There were no
clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and

'Would you carry my bag
out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase
to the cab, then returned to assist the
She took my arm and we walked
slowly toward the curb.

She kept
thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I
told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers
the way I would want my mother to be

'Oh, you're such a good
boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the
shortest way,' I answered

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.
'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice. '

I looked in the rear-view mirror.
Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have
any family left,' she continued in a soft
voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very
long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me
to take?' I asked.

For the next two
hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
the building where she had once worked as an
elevator operator.

We drove through the neighbourhood
where she and her husband had lived
when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in
front of a furniture warehouse that had once
been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow
in front of a particular building or corner and
would sit staring into the darkness, saying

As the first hint of sun was
creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm
tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in
silence to the address she had given me. It was
a low building, like a small convalescent home,
with a driveway that passed under a

Two orderlies came out to
the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
the door. The woman was already seated in a

'How much do I owe you?'
She asked, reaching into her

'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she

'There are other
passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an
old woman a little moment of joy,' she
'Thank you.'

I squeezed her
hand, and then walked into the dim morning
light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound
of the closing of a life..

I didn't
pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove
aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that
day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had
gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient
to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run,
or had honked
once, then driven away?

On a quick review,
I don't think that I have done anything
more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think
that our lives revolve
around great moments.

But great
moments often catch us unaware-beautifully
wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


You won't get any big surprise
if you send this to other people. But,
you might help make the world a little kinder
and more compassionate by sending.
it on and
reminding us that often it is the random acts of
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my


may not be the party we hoped for, but while we
are here we might as well dance.
I recieved this in my mail this morning and I am so touch by it. I would like to put it permanently in my blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Health Benefits of Okra

Health Benefits of Okra - by: Junji Takano

The world's most beautiful women, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra according to the history record.
When we visited the world's most productive land of okra in a rural area in Kami, Kochi Prefecture , Japan , the young and old all look very healthy. When we asked their secret in having good health in that area, they graciously answer “okra”.

Okra has a long history, with its beginnings in Egypt where it is cultivated before the time of Cleopatra. The okra plant spread to many parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade. During World War II, the shortage of coffee beans made them use okra seeds as a substitute for coffee. This incident made the word “okra fever”. Since then, okra's popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores throughout the world and throughout the year.

Nutritional Information

Okra contains vitamins A and C and is a good source of iron and calcium. It also contains starch, fat, ash, thiamine and riboflavin. No wonder, Cleopatra and Yang Guifei maintained their beauties.

Health Benefits of Okra

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize the blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra's mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.
3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most individuals unlike over-the-counter drugs.
4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.
7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel syndrome.
8. Okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.
9. Okra is good for summer heat treatment.
10. Okra is good for constipation.
11. Okra is good in normalizing the blood sugar and cholesterol level.
12. Okra is good for asthma. Okra's vitamin C is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which curtail the development of asthma symptoms.
13. Okra is good for atherosclerosis.
14. Okra is believed to protect some forms of cancer expansion, especially colorectal cancer.
15. Eating okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.
16. Some information shows that eating okra lowers the risk of cataracts.
17. Okra is good for preventing diabetes.
18. Okra protects you from pimples and maintains smooth and beautiful skin.

We understand the reason why Cleopatra and Yang Guifei loved to eat okra.
There are other medicinal uses of okra, like its protection against trans fats.

I myself planted about 25 stems of okra in my backyard garden throughout the year for over 20 years now. I can pick up about 20 pieces of okra pod every morning. All okra pods are consumed by my family. There are hundreds of recipes that can be done. You can either: cut it raw and mix with vinegar and pepper; cut it raw and mix with mayonnaise; steam, cut, with mayonnaise dressing; or, cook with stew or soup.

Okra is easy to grow anywhere during summer season in cold countries and throughout the year in tropical areas. You can even plant it in a container garden at the terrace in condominium buildings.

Inventor of PYRO-ENERGEN, the author, Mr. Takano himself picks up Okra in his backyard garden

To tell you the truth, I did not know that okra seed was used as a substitute for coffee beans during World War II. I have about 500 grams of okra seeds, so I roasted one-half of it using an iron cast pan, and pulverized it. I made okra coffee with it, and it tasted like real coffee although it was darker in color. When I offered the okra coffee to my staffs and visitors who did not know the real thing, they replied "Oh, you got a new blend of coffee, taste is good". I blended it with real coffee, too. It tastes all right. We do not know, however, what nutrients okra coffee gives.

About the Author:
Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first electrostatic therapy device for electromedicine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.

**Benefit of eating Okra (Lady's Finger) *

*A guy has been suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux. He didn't realize that the treatmentcould be so simple -- OKRA! (or Lady's Finger). He started eating okra within the last 2 months and since then have never taken medication again. All he did was consume 6 pieces of OKRA everyday.

He's now regular and his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98, with his cholesterol and acid reflux also under control. Here are some facts on okra (from the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, PH.D nutrition), University of Illinois . *

*"Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.

The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer. *

*Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra. Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid.

He got the following numbers from the University of Illinois Extension Okra Page Please check there for more details.
Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra)

* Calories = 25
* Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
* Protein = 1.5 grams
* Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
* Vitamin A = 460 IU
* Vitamin C = 13 mg
* Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
* Calcium = 50 mg
* Iron = 0.4 mg
* Potassium = 256 mg
* Magnesium = 46 mg *

 *These numbers should be used as a guideline only, and if you are on a medically-restricted diet please consult your physician and/or dietician.

Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindly provided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable.

They are well worth reading

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
2. Okra's mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn't stop there...
3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all diseases begin in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation . Fiber in general is helpful for this but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes , and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor.
In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated, but also assures their easy passage from the body. The veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.
4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber(as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).
5. To retain most of okra's nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.
Some important benefits of consuming okra:

Stabilises blood sugar level.
Lowers serum cholesterol level.
Prevents constipation.
Keeps intestinal tract healthy.
Feeds good bacteria residing in us all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


A dog’s loyalty knows no bounds

I HAVE two Golden Retriever dogs and it’s amazing how ‘human’ they can be. They knew that we are angry and when we are happy.

They also knew we are going to work in the morning when they saw us packing our briefcases in the house and they wagged their tails excitedly at the sound of the car engine and the opening of our automatic gates when any of us were coming home.

That’s when I realized how in tune they were with our lives and our emotions. It made me wonder if they could be sad too because they were always so happy to see us.

And when I watched the Hachiko movie in Astro It brought tears to my eyes.
The incredible story of Japan’s most faithful dog, Hachiko, is a moving example of how loyal dogs can be. When a movie starring Richard Gere was made about Hachiko, unsurprisingly, I saw quite a number of red eyes amongst those who watched the film.

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story is a 2009 American drama film based on the true story of the faithful canine, Japanese Akita breed - Hachiko. It is a moving film about loyalty and the rare, invincible bonds that occasionally form almost instantaneously in the most unlikely places. This very special friend would accompany his master to the train station every day and return each afternoon to greet him after work. Sadly his master departs one day, passes away and never returns to the station. Hachiko faithfully returns to the same spot at the station the very next day, and every day for the next nine years to wait for his beloved master. During his daily visits, Hachiko touches the lives of many who work near and commute through the town square. He teaches the local people love, compassion and above all unyielding loyalty. Today, a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya station in Japan as a permanent reminder of his devotion and love.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Latest craze in China for dogs

Dog lovers or dog abusers?

A new trend has EXPLODED in China’s upper economic class where people are transforming their pets into miniature versions of animals, fairies or just dying them crazy colors but Pandas seem to be a big hit and an obvious favorite. It’s become a huge industry and people are spending THOUSANDS of dollars in professional hair dye, salon cuts, clothing, accessories, you name it!

See how many breeds you can recognize.

Panda Puppies!

Canine Camel
No Clue… Multi Color Design
Uuuh Princess Fairy Dog?
Sharon Osborn as a dog…
Kinda Looks like an Ewok from star wars…
Horse Puppy
A Bison ….

You should be able to recognize some the the breed in those pictures. But if you want to learn more about Chinese breeds see here :