Thomas Sander, in his Social Capitol blog, has a great link to a book and Boston Globe interview with the author of a new book on loneliness in America. The book, written by John Cacioppo, is titled Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection . The blog makes this highlight points about the health and life impacts of loneliness in America:
- The lonely sleep less well and less efficiently.
- The lonely can’t think as clearly.
- The lonely were more likely to describe a gadget anthropomorphically and the lonely were more likely to believe in the supernatural (e.g., God, angels or miracles), and believed in the supernatural more when they were feeling lonely.
- Lonely people had higher levels of chronic inflammation, a condition associated with heart and artery disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other illnesses.
Choosing to spend time alone, or live alone, can be equally beneficial and the research shows there is a strong need for human connection. The Boston Globe article paraphrases Cacioppo by writing:
Moving to a new town or being single can open the door to loneliness, but it turns out it isn’t just a matter of being alone. Indeed, the lonely don’t spend any more time by themselves than the rest of us do. Real loneliness is a feeling that some essential connection is lacking, and while social circumstances matter, it’s also partly genetic.
Choosing to live alone — and live healthy — requires maintaining contact with friends, and building relationships with confidants. While it may seem helpful to amass a few dozen, or few hundred, “friends” on Facebook, being alone, but not lonely, means having real connections and doing things to keep the essential connection to your land, your home, and to some community.
Why won’t my cucumber plants produce fruits?
You may just need to be patient. Cucumbers, like squash, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, and many other plants, produce male and female flowers separately on the same plant. They often begin producing male flowers several weeks before the females appear. The males make pollen and are necessary, but they do not produce fruits. Look to see if there is a little cucumber behind the flower. If you see a baby cucumber, you have a female flower. If you just see a slender stem going right up to the back of the flower, you have a male flower. If your plants have female flowers and the fruits still aren’t setting, be sure that the plants are not excessively dry. The leaves may wilt on hot days, but they should recover as the temperature drops in the evening. If they are still wilted by morning, you are not watering them enough, or you are watering too shallowly and too often. Excessive nitrogen fertilization also could be a problem. If the nutrients are unbalanced, the flowers will drop. Also, if there are no bees to pollinate your cucumber flowers, you will have to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers by hand. Use a cotton swab or soft-bristle paintbrush to transfer pollen.
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
While walking Two Mile Ranch today, I worked my way to the far east fence, then walked the county, grade B (as in “barely graded”) road that is the south border of the ranch. I know I’ve walked this road every week that I’ve lived here, but I must not have done this often in the fall.
When I looked into the trees, mixed in with the expected green walnuts hanging from the walnut trees, was a collection of red dots against the dimpled light on the leaves. I’ve never seen it before today:
A lone apple tree on the steep hill that is quickly eroding into the washout stream below.
It lives in the thick of the brush and on a steep enough slope that the deer leave most of them alone.
I picked a few for the rest of my walk, and then came back later in the day with a bucket to collect some for snacking this month.