Saturday, March 30, 2013

St. Thomas Bird of Paradise


Spring flowers aren't blooming yet in Chicago but my favorite blossoms are actually tropical. These St. Thomas bird of paradise flowers grow all over the island, spreading cheer with vividly colored petals that look like birds wings. Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

From Russia With Love


It may be March but that simply translates to a little less snow in Chicago. It's still cold and will probably remain on the frosty side until the end of April. I am not familiar with that thing called Spring. Doesn't exist in these parts. So how do I survive through long months of cold? I follow the example of people who know a thing or two about brutal cold; Russians. No, I'm not talking about downing bottles of vodka but there's another quite popular local beverage, Siberian ginseng.  A native shrub, Russians first used it to strengthen astronauts and athletes in training. Famous for boosting energy and stress relief, Siberian ginseng is a daily tonic tea for Russians and anyone trying to build stamina. You can buy different versions of the tea, sometimes called Eleuthero root, but I really appreciate my imported Russian brand, complete with Matryoshka doll and Russian wording. Nothing kicks the mighty Chicago hawk like a hot cup of Siberian ginseng.