Saturday, January 13, 2018

Oh No, There's a cat in the Cupboard

In the corner of my kitchen dining room, is a cabinet that was my mom's. It's tall, square, has a mirrored back and lights. It is holding all the dishes that belonged to my grandmothers.  From Gramma Sharp's wedding crystal to a large assortment of cut glass bowls, trays and dishes. And the wedding dishes that were Pat's and mine, a lovely set of cranberry glass  dishes.  A few days ago, Lillie our year old rescue kitty, discovered that a strange cat was hiding in this cabinet. She has spent many hours trying to go under, through and around to get to that irritating creature.  She goes under the couch in the front room and sneaks out hoping to catch it, sometimes she sits on the back of the couch and finds that darn cat has moved up to a higher shelf.  I tried getting a video but as soon as the camera is out, Lillie just sits and watches me.  It's very funny tho, she really thinks she can get that elusive kittie in the cupboard. So now I have a weird cardinal that watches herself in my car mirrors, and a cat that has an enemy in the kitchen cabinet.   We just came through a period of about 4 days in the upper 60's, really nice after that very cold spell. Yesterday a front came through and dropped the temps back into the freezer. We have a few cold days coming up again. Maybe not as long this time.  Have you tried tea tree oil yet?  There are so many good uses for it. I add it to  my mouthwash(home made) and to my cleaners. My standard cupboard, sink tub etc cleaner is 2/3 white vinegar, 1/3 water, a few drops of Dawn and a good amount of tea tree oil. I add scent too, my fave is citrus so usually lemon. I just got some grapefruit oil so will be trying that out next. This mixture kills as many germs as clorox or lysol without being  toxic. Very safe around pets, babies and you. Kills 99% of germs. Tea trees grow in Australia. They have a pleasant aroma. You can use it straight on a cut as a disinfectant but its strong so  I add a few drops of essential or carrier oil to it. It is considered to be an antifungal, antimicrobial substance. If you want to make a salve, you can melt 1/2 cup grated beeswax, add 1/2 cup of organic olive oil and 30 drops of tea tree oil. Pour into a glass jar and use as a salve for scrapes, cuts etc.   It has been used this way or straight to get rid of toe nail fungus and athletes foot.   Mom's Christmas cactus is blooming profusely, it started a few days before Christmas and  in the past keeps going until close to the first of April. Its huge, I need to split it down come spring. Looking for a home for a couple good sized plants.   The seed catalogs have begun arriving, I am starting to figure out what I want in my garden next spring. I do buy organic seeds, no GMO crap here. I am upset that President Trump is talking with Monsanto, does he have no idea what their poison sprays do to us and our country? The Dicamba he recently approved is killing trees. And more bees and insects too I would guess.  If we allow this to keep on, and kill our bees, butterflies, and now hummingbirds are being found dead, we will loose our pollinators and our ability to grow crops that have blooms. We all need to try and eat organic foods, it makes a big difference in your health, and we can push  the big six, Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dupont and Dow out the door. So many other countries are doing this, they value the good health of their people. Why do we want hospitals full of kids with cancer, and oldsters with Alzheimers? and aches and pains out the wazoo for so many who have no clue what their food is doing to them. In case you do not know, milk is full of anti biotics and hormones, and we are pushing our little girls into puberty at very young ages by  making them drink milk. Plant based milks are so much safer. I hate to see 9 year olds at the point we used to not see til our girls were in their early teens.  Make a difference this week, buy at least a few organic groceries, make a house hold cleaner, and do what you can to help our world be a better place for all of us. take care, stay warm, share hugs and love, they are free.

Monday, January 8, 2018

8 days in

2018 is only 8 days in and already a mixed bag.  Last summer I had septic tank woes, had to have all the fruit trees pulled out and the tanks, a series of 3, cleaned out. Cost a bunch, thanks to my sons, they loaned me the money to pay for the repairs. I am getting down to the last 4 payments to each of them to pay it off. So yesterday, Doug was out in his yard and heard something. Found water spewing out from under my house.  Turned off the water to the house, didn't stop the water. Ended up having to shut off the well pump. Did get a plumber, nice young man from Iowa to come out this morning and repair the damage, it was a broken water pipe to my outside hose, nothing to do with the house.  Not too pricy. BUT, he found another problem, the sewer line to the septic tank has sprung a leak.  It's too cold to dig it up right now, and I will have to figure out how to pay for that anyway. So it seems the prolonged very cold weather is doing a lot of bad things to a lot of people.  And Doug's truck clonked out on him on the way to town this morning, after just having it repaired a week or two ago.   Well, there have been good things too, like the week before Christmas, I got a message saying my kids in NE were sending a package I was to watch for, the Saturday before  the holiday, they said they had mailed it late but expedited shipping had been applied. So I watched., It was getting late, and I decided to go to bed. There was a knock on the door, I hurried out to open it, package had arrived. There stood Brian, Erin and Sammy, smiling from ear to ear, I should have picked up on some of the clues but didn't.  One of the best holiday surprises ever, so glad to see them.  They left just ahead of this really cold weather. I have not been out to shop or to church since mid December. Hoping to get out the next few days as we should hit 61 by Thursday.   I want to ask a question. Have any of you entered the Publishers Clearing House contest?  Figured what the heck, the money would sure help pay off all these bills, couldn't hurt so I entered on line. And promptly started getting emails out the yazoo, do this, order that, search for this. After a few days I got sick of it and unsubscribed and added them to the junk mail list. How come you can;t just enter the contest and be done with it? They bug you incessantly. I wonder if anyone ever won anything really or they just use shills to say they won.  Now you are warned. And if you won or know someone who did, I would like to know. Thank You. The kids in our area got an extra long Christmas vacation, still out, we were to have an ice storm today, we did not get it here , just rain. It didn't start raining til late morning and the temps had warmed up by then. Thankfully. Lots of days left in 2018, wonder what they will hold.  Guess we will find out. Long cold winter?  (Global warming)  Anyway, our winters tend to end in March for the most part, have daffodils along the roads and forsythia blooming by then so we are only 8 weeks away from that. Planning to stock up on things I can eat til spring if need be.  Stay warm, hope you have nicer weather  coming  to you too.  Who knows what this new year will bring, hope lots of good things.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas! My Herbal health gift to you

This country seems to be obsessed with using medicine. Most of them create the need for more medicines, and few cure anything, maybe mask symptoms making you think you feel better.  All have side effects. You can take control of your health and avoid all the expense  and side effects.  Herbs have been used for centuries and are regaining in popularity for many reasons.  Inflammation causes pain, stress, and injures cells. Leads to cancer, heart problems, arthritis and more.  So lets start with anti inflammatory herbs. Two of the very best: Turmeric,  could be considered a new miracle rug.  I started taking it at 18 years old to avoid the arthritis my parents had, and their cancers.Turmeric lowers bad cholesterol,and prevents fat deposits in arteries. Keeps you from developing  aches and pains and illnesses.Ginger works much the same way, preventing pain and swelling also prevents blood clots and heart disease.  The two of these cost under 10 bucks for a 3 month supply. Beats  meds all to pieces. Ashwaganda is an Ayurvedic herb, it calms your mind, reduces stress and allows peaceful sleep. Love it. Motherwort does much the same, reducing stress, calming the body, acting as a sedative. It's a member of the mint family. Hawthorn  was something my hubby used to protect his heart, prevent arrhythmia. Also helps cholesterol.  Saw palmetto helps prevent male baldness and protects the prostate. Cinnamon is warming, good for colds, cold weather, just make something with it in, oatmeal, cookies etc.  Garlic and onions are both considered to be a natural penicillin. Chewing a little piece of fresh garlic instantly eases a sore throat. Eating lots of both on a steady basis will help you avoid colds and flu. Rosemary and sage are both great herbs, Rosemary increases blood flow to the brain, helping to prevent Alzheimer's.  Sage helps increase the memory, and works like Rosemary.  Add these to your soups, stews, meat, veggies what ever you can.And the last one for today is Astragalus, another Ayurvedic herb. It's an anti oxidant, that helps protect your heart. If you have not read Mother Earth Living magazine, I recommend it. So much good information for living a good, healthy life style.  There is a lot more info on herbs in the new issue.  On another note, if you use nail polish, be aware that it contains some very harmful ingredients,  toluene, formalehyde, triphenol, phosphate and Kylene, I have tried one brand of water based natural polish, it said you could remove it with rubbing alcohol, but that did not work. There is a brand you can check out called  Ella &Mila.  It's a safe to use product. Christmas is only 2 days away now,   I wish for you a day spent with loved ones, family and friends. And a New Year that brings better things for all of us.We have a slim chance of snow flurries, suits me. I came south to get away from all that cold stuff. Its in the 50s today, but gloomy and rain moving in. Have a great holiday, have some healthy food and start the new year  learning better options. Til next time.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Vegan cream soup base, keep pets away From Christmas tree recipe and a great gift

 Pat had diabetes, and heart problems after a while, needing  a 6 bypass surgery. I was told to avoid any canned or boxed foods, which we mostly did anyway, they contain many hidden  ingredients, salt and sugar you  are not told about  and other stuff. My lovely daughter in law, Marie, gave me a diabetic cook book with great recipes, one which I use all the time, and have started making quart jars of the mix for my son in NE, he likes it much better than canned mushroom soup.  So here's what  to do. In a large bowl,  put 2 cups dried powdered organic soy mil, 3/4 cup of arrowroot powder, lots of folk would use corn starch here, but corn in this country is sprayed with poisons to the point of making it bad for your health, so avoid corn oils, starch and corn that s canned etc,  next is 1/4 cup vegetable bouillon granules, 2 tablespoons of dry onion flakes, 1 teaspoon thyme powder,, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well. Keep in frig. To use, mix 1/3 cup of mix with 1 and 1/4 cup water, mix well,  heat over medium heat stirring til thickened.  Now you can add (cooked)  celery, mushrooms, broccoli, chicken or whatever and have soup of your choice. Or just add to your casserole like you would mushroom soup. if you are vegan, add a splash of olive oil if not vegan add a spoon of butter.  It's almost Christmas, maybe you have your tree up. If your pup or kitty chews on it or messes with it, make a spray of 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and enough lemon juice to be thin enough to spray on the tree. They hate the smell. And how about a fancy gift for a special friend?  Try a Pine Salt Scrub.  Mix 1/2 cup shea butter and 1/3 cup of coconut oil, melt over hot water til combined, chill til set. Put in food processor and add 3 T olive oil, 2 T finely minced pine needles, 40 drops fir essential oil, 20 drops pine essential oil, 10 drops grapefruit essential oil. Blend in processor til thick. Put in a bowl and stir in1/2 cup course salt. Make it pretty for gifting, nice container, trim etc.  It's just over a week til Christmas, and this morning my mom's Christmas cactus has started blooming. Right on time.   It's become quite large again, will need splitting by spring. If anyone needs a good sized plant I will be happy to share.  Been making mint truffles  today, still smells like mint in the kitchen.  It's cold and dreary but warm weather on tap for next week.  Hang in, get all those last minute things done so you can enjoy the holidays as they are meant to be, with family and friends.  Will miss my Nebraska  ones again this year, was nice to visit with them in years past.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Awwww Rats!

 Rolled out of bed this morning after a cuddle with Lib and Lil, made the bed and got dressed for the.  day. As I was putting on my sweat shirt, I noticed something ODD. Holes in the elbows of my shirt. And its my favorite outfit, oh yea, it's old, bought it before Pat died so over 10 years old. But it has kitties on it, and is a nice weight, not heavy or light, just in between.  My first thought was how to fix it. Maybe patches, maybe cut off the sleeves and create a vest to go over another shirt. Anyone else would just toss it and get something else, but can I find another I like as well?  Then while donning my matching sox, some  the kids gave me a few years back, yike, have gone through the toes of them.   Oh well, went ahead to the kitchen and fed the girls, had breakfast and started cleaning the kitchen., My makings for cosmetics cupboard needed reorganizing, thats done, I swept and scrubbed surfaces, amazing how well my vinegar water, tea tree oil and dawn cleaner works.  Took time out to go mail some letters, one of our church ladies is in the hospital, and had a package to go out too. Opened the care door and remembered I need to repair that, part of the molding above the door is falling off.  My car is a 94 Chrysler, darn good car, except its rusty and has a cracked windshield and a few other things starting to wear out.  But it runs great now that I put about  a thousand bucks repair into it last summer.  Back to cleaning, sweeping the floors I am reminded I need to get the house re blocked, so the floors will quit cracking, also see some molding strips pulling away and the tub surround has come out a bit. Hopefully by summer  I can get that done, may need help finding a blocking person that's reasonable.  So now I have the floors swept and break out the scrubber.   The handle broke off a while back, but it works just fine otherwise. Doug tried to epoxy the handle back together but it would not hold.  And the vacuum died, with fur babies I had to replace that.  Thank goodness for credit cards.  It struck ,me, I am old and falling apart and so is everything I own.  But you know what? This is only a temporary place. If I can hang in and be a good Christian and follow the rules and do what I am here for, there's a much better place waiting.  Makes my day to think of that.  Putting in a word  with  God today for all my friends who are sick, having surgery or having problems, I ma blessed, have more than I need and continue  to keep busy hopefully doing some good as far as spreading a little cheer, a smile, or sharing a card with a friend.  I often wonder if Christ will come again at Christmas, like the first time.  We are getting close to that day again.   When we got to  church yesterday, the preacher who was coming from another town  had called to say he had a flat tire and would be late if he got there at all, he did, and not far into the service.  We had so few people there I felt bad  because it was the beginning of the cantata and Christmas services.  We had an advent candle toi light, no matches, tho  some were found,  seemed all that could go wrong did so, but  it was still a good service, with communion and fellowship abounding.  God works in mysterious ways I guess.  We all left smiling and talking to each other. Nice morning, and inspirational all the way.  Don;t forget what time of year it is, and how we should remember this spirit all year, helping others, sharing a hug or a smile. Love to all.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Life goes by so fast.  Hard to believe I am 80 years old.  Yesterday as I cleaned and vacuumed, and took down the autumn colored decorations, I pulled out a few Christmas things. Before Pat died, we had a big tree, it took both of us to put it up.  I have given it away, and now have a tiny 3 footer, something I can manage on my own. For a good many years I have traveled to Nebraska and spent the holidays with my youngest grand daughters, son and daughter in law, their family and of course my family. Travel is iffy this time of year, and depending on a ride that far is another story, the kids have been good to get me back and forth. But last year I stayed home. The kids came around New Years so I did get to see them, but watching those baby girls come down the stairs Christmas morning, and seeing  their gifts has been a wonderful part of the holiday.  And makes me think of Christmas past.  Our family was never well off, we struggled to get by but never felf a lack of food,  or love or anything important.  Some very lean years I remember getting dolls that mom either made or bought second hand and refurbished, complete with hand made wardrobes, and dad, who worked as a printer, salvaged the wooden  rollers from the paper at the plant, brought them home, cut them into slices that he painted pretty colors and made bags of building blocks for us. Our stockings had an apple and an orange and a package of Good and Pl;enty candies. We felt so rich and blessed. My first 20 years of marriage was to my high school sweetheart, an Air force vet . Service men do not make a great wage. considering what they do for this  country. But the kids always had toys, and a loving home.  Second marriage of 35 years, hubby was a self employed baker. No benefits, insurance etc, but we also did okay,  and our son had nice Christmas's.  Having money has never been important, being blessed with love and family is.  But when you go back, its those first years in your life you remember the most,  those very lean years are the ones that stick in your mind and bring back warm thoughts of family. Miss my folks, they have been gone a long time now, but never  forgotten.  Not sure what this year will bring, but it will be great, because I have four wonderful kids, six grand kids end 2 great  grand kids that bring much happiness and joy to my life. I am grateful for all I have had,  more than most people ever have. I hope you have fond memories, and are creating new ones too, Have a wonderful holiday with your family. My one wish is that the rifts in the family would be healed, always seems such a waste to loose time with those we love.  Blessings to all.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cold Wearher, warm foods and immune boosters

Woke up to frost on the car and roof tops this am, It's gone now, but  it is a reminder that we will be looking at  chilly days  and cold nights soon.  I made up a dish for supper this week that's very tasty, and easy. Chop one red pepper and one green pepper and one smallish onion and a good sized sweet potato into equal size  dice, small, about  1/4 inch and flat. Saute in a little sunflower oil till soft, add curry, cumin and corriander, I used about 3/4 teaspoon of each, then add a few cloves of chopped garlic and last, about one and a half cups of cooked black beans. Let it all simmer a few minutes.  The recipe says serve over rice, but I ate it like it came and loved it.  Filling, warming and tasty.  I have been using immune oil on the bottoms of my feet since mid summer, hope it works. There are other great herbs to boost your immune system  I like Ayurveda ones, especially Andrographis Piniculatea, sometimes called  Indian echinacea.  I find it lets me sleep all night, and has other benefits too, as strong as some opioids without side effects or becoming habit forming. Other good ones are  Astragalus and Ashwaganda. And of course, Elderberries. I have two nice bushes growing now, hope by next summer they start bearing fruit. You can make your own syrup, just put 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of dried berries in a pan with 1/2 cup raw honey and if you want a little spice, a stick of cinnamon and 8 whole cloves, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes, strain, keep in glass container in frig. Taking 1 teaspoon twice a day improves your immune system or helps you kick a cold or flu faster. There is a website called edibleharmony you might want to check out for other ideas. Did you know you can substitute 1 Tablespoon of vodka for 1 Tablespoon of water in your pie crusts and get a nicer crust? Hmmm.  I keep vodka for making infusions so have a bottle in my cosmetic cupboard. I seem to be outgrowing my storage space these days, but  having stuff on hand for sales is imperative. And I appreciate the sales.  Need something warm to drink, a cup of tea sounds good. Getting ready to  call church friends. Hope you are healthy and well and getting into this pre winter weather. Take care, stay warm and hug your family , its good for you.