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
Victory through Stratagems: the Allied Invasion of Normandy France on June 6th 1944
Dr. Ralph Thompson a former chemistry professor at Eastern Kentucky University spoke on the “Deceptions of WWII” to the Central Kentucky World War II Roundtable.
When will the ordeal finally be over?
I was just thinking about the ordeal I’ve been going through since Sept. 19.
Life in Stringtown was full of hard work, simple pleasures
I had a chance to visit recently with an old friend, Alene Perkins Long.
Burning bridges and the importance of relationships
“Congratulations on your new job!” You tell a co-worker who announced she would be leaving in a couple of weeks. “Where are you going?” You ask her.
“I’ve landed a job that will put this place to shame! I am so excited about leaving here. This is going to be a great chance to advance my career,” the co-worker tells you.
Ensuring children develop a habit brushing their teeth
“Are you sure you brushed your teeth?” the father asked his son. His son solemnly nodded. His father said, “Let me smell your breath.” The son obligingly opened his mouth. Finally, the father said, “I need to check and see if your toothbrush is wet.”
This type of exchange happens in many households as children often do not brush their teeth, even when told to do so. This nightly inquisition can occur less frequently if parents establish a habit in their children to brush their teeth.
Saturated fat consumption leads to abdominal fat
New research from Uppsala University shows that eating more saturated fat in the diet causes an increase in the amount of fat stored in the abdominal area in comparison with extra consumption of polyunsaturated fat.
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
- More Lifestyles & Community Headlines
- Victory through Stratagems: the Allied Invasion of Normandy France on June 6th 1944