Out and About – Week of May 17th

For those who are fortunate to live on one of the many lakes here in St. Joseph County, here are several more aquatic plants you might find on and around your lake-front:

Lemna (Duckweed) – This is a floating plant so small that a teaspoon could hold a dozen or more plants. At a distance, a congregation of duckweek plants may resemble algae on the water surface. The plant is common in ponds and quiet water.
Milfoil – This is a submerged plant, however, the flower stalk, when present, protrudes above the water surface. Leaves are arranged in whorls around the stem. Milfoil can quickly become a nuisance by forming dense mats to the surface of the water.
Ceratophyllum (Coontail) – A submerged plant without roots. The leaves are arranged in whorls around the stem. Plants may be long and sparse, but are often bushy, especially toward the tips of branches, resembling a raccoon’s tail, hence the common name “coontail”.
Are you ticklish? I can’t think of anyone who isn’t at least a little ticklish? I also don’t know of anyone who enjoys being tickled.

There are two major types of tickling. There is Knismesis, or the tingling sensation that makes you want to itch or rub an area as if a bug is there, and then there is Gargalesis. This is the one that makes you squirm, laugh, or takes your breath away. It is caused by being touched in specific places, such as the armpits, ribs, neck, and inner thigh. Of course the feet must be considered one of these areas. The reason is because these areas are some of your most vulnerable zones to attack. Some scientists believe that we laugh and squirm when we’re touched in these areas because it’s an evolutionary mechanism that is meant to teach ourselves self-defense. We try to get the tickler’s hands away from these zones, yet we involuntarily laugh at the same time. Why does this happen?

There was an article in Healthline that explained that when someone tickles us, it stimulates our hypothalamus. This is the area of the brain in charge of our emotional reactions, and our fight or flight and pain responses. So, if you’re like me and hate to be tickled, yet find yourself laughing, it’s because you’re having an autonomic emotional response. This probably is not a laughing matter.

We are fortunate to have a church cat. His name is Bennett and he resides at our church. Everyone calls him “Benny” and he has made himself quite at home at the church. He couldn’t be any friendlier and warms up to anyone who shows him even the least amount of attention. If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know they can be quite curious and even a little bit mischievous at times. I’d better rephrase a bit of that last sentence. No one ever owns a cat, the cat owns you. Anyway, if you share your home with a cat, you know that cats love to knock stuff over and push things off tables. This can lead to a lot of broken items. You might think that your cat is mean-spirited and they hate your stuff. This might be partially true, but not exactly. Actually, cats push things around and knock stuff over because it’s fun. If you want to stop some of this behavior, you might want to give your cat better, less destructive outlets for that energy. Besides being fun for the cat, it is also a way of getting more attention. Cats love to play with someone or some object. Try spending some time playing with your feline friend. Play with their toys with them. Give them some activity that might tire them out. A laser-light works wonders. Tired cats don’t get into trouble, so play with them – a lot. A cat will let you know when they’ve had enough. Remember, they are the one in charge.

“Hello Druggist, I don’t mean maybe. Yes sir! That’s my baby. BURMA SHAVE”

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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