MADISON COUNTY —
Dick Ham, whose column normally fills this space on Tuesdays, has fallen and broken his hip. So, he will be off for at least a couple of weeks, and I will be writing a column in his place.
I have been employed by the Richmond Register for more than 28 years and have filled many jobs for the newspaper. I did darkroom work for a number of years and did ad design for more than 10 years.
Now I am in the news department, designing pages and doing anything else that is needed.
I just want you to know I am not Dick Ham. I don’t know any blonde jokes, and I don’t know Bubba. But, I have five brothers, and I can tell a lot tales on them.
Most recently, my brother Bill gave me a strange plant. Now Bill really loves to grow plants. His favorite is tomato plants. He usually supplies everybody in his neighborhood with plants of some kind.
At the end of May, he gave me a strange looking plant he called a “mole bean plant.” He said it would keep the moles out of my garden.
My question was, would it keep the crawdads out, too?
I live in the Union City area where we have clay land, and the crawdads love digging holes in my garden.
Anyway, I set out this plant and really could not believe how wonderfully it did. It seem to grow up overnight. It was soon was over five feet high with a very good stalk on it.
Later in the summer, my wiser and older brother Thomas said, “You do know that plant is poisonous.”
No I did not!
So, I did some research of the mole bean plant. I learned its scientific name is Ricinus Communis but its is commonly called the castor bean. It is a member of the spurge family and is native to tropical Africa. It can grow up to 40 feet tall, but as an annual, it usually grows to 10 feet tall.
The leaves are star shaped with five to nine lobes. The color of its foliage is a maroon contrast. As the seeds mature, the three-celled capsules turn bright red. The beans look like an engorged dog tick in size and shape. The oil is used commercially for lubrication in cosmetics as well as many industrial crop oils.
I have heard it can be used as not-so-gentle laxative. Have you ever taken castor oil.
Castor bean seeds are poisonous, and the poison derived from it is call ricin. It’s similar to the bacterial toxin found in anthrax. It’s said to be 1,000 times more toxic that the cobra snake’s venom.
Castor bean plants should not be planted around small children, but they can still make good garden plants. The bold plant has a certain charm about it.
So, a lesson to be learned is, watch out for brothers who give you strange plants.
My only thought was, is he trying to get rid of me?
MADISON COUNTY —
- Lifestyles & Community
Dream becomes reality only when you persevere
A young boy grew up in Berea, in a family that was blessed with a variety of musical talents.
His mother was a member of a female group who performed onstage regularly at Renfro Valley, in Rockcastle County.
This young man would routinely attend shows to watch his mother, and other artists, perform on stage. He was eager to learn from them every chance he could. He knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in the music industry and was willing to seek advice and mentoring from those who were experienced in the industry.
’Tis the season for giving
There is a feeling of pride that wells up in all parents when they see their children giving something of theirs to another person. It is all the more poignant when children are giving something that they greatly value and reflects a significant sacrifice on their part.
Young children are often looking for ways to contribute and help others’ out. The trick for parents is to have children continue their giving behaviors as they get older.
Moving to Richmond was the right decision
I was just thinking the other day about a decision I made 30 years ago that was definitely right.
I answered the call of First Baptist Church in Richmond to serve as its minister of music. My first Sunday in that position was Nov. 27, 1983.
The shopping frenzy cuts into Thanksgiving
Anyone who was out this weekend, whether to join in the bargain hunt or out of necessity, met with heavy traffic and people on a mission. Some in a great holiday mood and some frustrated with it all.
I heard a lot of talk about the days when the “blue law” that kept businesses closed on Sunday was in effect. This law came about in colonial times to keep a “rigid religious standard.” But as time progressed, it was shown that those not necessarily religious liked the idea, too, as a family day and day of rest from a busy world.
Does first Thanksgiving compare our observance?
I have done some research on what our forefathers actually ate on the first Thanksgiving in America. This is probably what happened.
Prepare your home for the holiday
Reading “The Night Before Christmas” has always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. In the poem the family has prepared for a visit from St. Nicholas with stockings hung by the chimney with care. The chimney must have been clean because Santa came down it with no trouble, just a little ashes and soot on his fur.
Difficult ordeal made easier by caring friends
I was just thinking the other day about a number of things related to my broken hip and that were happy experiences rather than difficult ones.
Resistance to change prevents opportunities
“I heard we may be getting a new computer system installed” a co-worker shares with you. “I heard the changes to the system may be pretty big. I don’t know if I can learn a whole new system again. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that we had to upgrade to this one.”
St. Mark Christmas Bazaar Dec. 7
St. Mark's Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. One of the favorite items, the Cookie Trays, a glass plate filled with delicious homemade cookies and decorated with holiday flair will again be available as will tables of other baked goods including pies, cakes, coffeecakes, fruitbreads, candy, and homemade bread. Jams, jellies and pickles will add to the goodies that will tempt your palate. There will also be craft items and a silent auction of two wooden angels, nearly life-size and handcrafted by parishioner Don Fourre, that will be a bargain. What would be a better time than now to purchase them to decorate the front of your home.
Lower cancer risk with these steps
Cancer is second only to heart disease among the leading causes of death. In as much as cancer is the result of errors in the DNA code that occur by chance, the interesting realization is that we have enormous power over whether or not we will develop cancer in our lifetime. Based on the evidence, roughly 60 percent of all cancers could be prevented through diet and healthy lifestyles. Here are some of the most effective ways to lower your cancer risk.
Avoid tobacco exposure. Tobacco use and exposure (second hand and sidestream smoke) represent the single greatest cause of preventable cancer.
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- Dream becomes reality only when you persevere