Saturday, March 10, 2018

Safe Spring Cleaning Recipes

 In  February we had a few weeks of 80 degree temperatures, running around barefoot and in t shirts was a novel but nice change, and we thought spring was coming early. Nope. When March arrived, it dropped the temps back into the upper 20s at night, and some days only 40s for days. We are getting a little better, closer to 50s now, but still below normal for this time of year. Looking across the road and towards English Mountain, the neighbors forsythia are bright golden yellow, and the Bradford pear trees are still white, but loosing their fullness now, so not as pretty. Along our side, we have redbuds starting to bloom. and my snowball bush is trying to bloom.  Another week or two and we should be outside again. And then its time for spring cleaning. If you have been watching tv or on facebook lately, you will have seen the articles about clorox and lysol being toxic to pets, kids and you. They are as bad as having someone smoke a pack of cigarettes a day in your house.  So just in case you have not learned about this, a big jug of white vinegar,  maybe 3 bucks, and a big box of baking soda(find in the laundry aisle) can take care of all your needs, cheap,safe and easy. My house has its back wall facing north, so by spring is green with mold. At your store, get a big spray  bottle, I pay 99 cents at Walmart for one. Fill it halfway with white vinegar, and the rest  with water, leaving room for1 tablespoon of baking soda. Shake,spray all the mold, done.Next time it rains, all the mold washes away.  Got weeds in the driveway or sidewalk area?  put 1/2 cup of salt in a spray bottle, fill with vinegar and on a good warm sunny day, spray those weeds.  On the inside,  if you have laundry stains, this is better than any thing I ever bought,  1 part of blue Dawn to 2 parts of hydrogen peroxide, in a spray bottle, spray stain, leave overnight then wash. Even old stains  are gone. And instead of those air  sprays (Febreze) that are so bad for pets,   put 10 drops of essential oil,  something you like the scent of, 1 T baking soda, mix those and add to 1/2 liter of distilled water. Spray fabrics, air etc. Easy.  We may be learning more now, about the worldwe have created with all the poisons sprayed on our foods, and the hormones and anti biotics in meat and dairy products.  They are not nice to your body. Puberty in kids is starting as early as 6 or 7 years old, way too soon.  I know its hard to give up stuff you like to eat, but weigh the coast against the pleasure. There are many other ways to go. Organic foods are becoming very popular in stores now, and easy to find. My little grand daughters catch me if I pick up something without a butterfly on it these days. I hope we can change our foods to better ones, we have to be picky and only buy organic, that will drive out the big six and their toxic foods. Studies show chlorpyrifos cause brain damage, especially in kids, Could that have a bearing on the school shootings? Or the fact that 1 out of 4 pre school kids suffers from depression? Or Alzheimers is out of hand?  Charts show a direct correlation to these , to the increase in use of sprays.  Water is full of fluoride and chlorine, seems nothing is safe.  I am lucky to have a well, tapped into a mountain spring. Cool, fresh great tasting water.   Here's hoping spring is sprung soon, will be nice to get out and work in the dirt again, have some of my seeds ready, and some herbs growing in pots to go out soon.   When you have a computer, you have the world at your fingertips, do some research and find out what you are really eating and using.  Check into your body products, like shampoo and toothpaste,  learn to read labels and pick things that are safe. Please don't feed your babies goldfish crackers and crunchy treats that are not organic, not s afe and they(the Babes) are so worth protecting.  Have a great week, see ya soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

What'syour Adaptogen IQ?

Stress is a big part of most folks life these days.Job, kids, money, you name it .Skipping meals or eating wrong foods add to that level. Adaptogens are natural plants and herbs that help you ease back and relax. There are a few I would like to  tell you about.These are highly regarded in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. They help you adapt to stress in your life. Up first is Rhodiola. It supports strong immune function and mental balance.  Also helps poor appetite and chronic headaches. You can find capsules, 200 to 400 mgs is recommended.  once or twice a day, caution, if you are bipolar avoid this one. The second is one of my favorites, Ashwaganda. Comes from India, improves your energy and learning processes, boosts immune system, aids in better sleep and may help infertility issues. I take mine about an hour before bed for restful sleep.  I find this one at Swanson Vitamins, very reasonable. Again a caution,it is a nightshade so if you are on certain meds it might cause interaction. Next is Holy Basil. Also from India, and not a standard Basil.  This is used for inflammation and immunity, improved energy levels and lowers blood glucose levels.Good for mild depression.  It comes with the caution that it can reduce blood sugar so beware of that. You can find this in capsule form also. Mushrooms, reishi in particular are also known for their cancer reducing properties, You can They find these in tablets or dried, and use them to cook with. Mushrooms in general are very healthy for you.  They help detoxify your system so toss them into your salads and soups whenever you can.  I am lucky to be at a time in life where stress has leveled off. It was bad when Pat was sick. I slept little, spent weeks in hospitals eating vending machine food, gave myself what must have been IBS, took years after he passed before I got that under control.  A very good help for  that is to scrape a fresh organic apple into a dish and add a good spoonful of carob powder, eat several times a day.  Living alone and gardening, seeing Doug and Marie often all lead to a peaceful life. I am becoming less and less fond of going into town these days. Tho I love driving through these gorgeous mountains. The past 2 weeks the Bradford pears, daffodils, forsythia and fruit trees have come into full bloom. My front yard is covered with vinca  and it's blooming all purple and pretty. The moutains rise up like bulwarks and give me a feeling of protection. Coming home from church the song A  Mighty fortress is our God is often on my lips. My old car, a 94 Chrysler, has no radio so I provide my own music when on the road, unless I have a passenger which is rare.  We have come from  a period of 80 degree temps that brought everything into bloom to a cold spell again, we may loose apples, peaches and fruit as those trees have all bloomed.  Mother Nature is fickle. But the mountains are lovely and calm,  hard to imagine living anywhere else most of the time.  Hope you are having a calm and serene week, take time to enjoy the beauty of spring. Addafew dandelion greens to your salad, find some early herbs for cooking. I have chives and parsley up and thriving. Can hardly wait to start some gardening. Have  already started herbs, tomatoes  and flowers in little paper pots to transplant soon. Be well.

Just my Thoughts

I have lived her on Piney Mountain for 16 years now. As I drive into town, I pass corn, tomato and soy bean fields.  For the first 10 years, I saw what was being done and thought nothing of it. But then one day, I started wondering why the tomatoes are picked green, we all know vine ripened have the best flavor.  That started my journey into our pathetic food supply.  They are working on the planting field s now for the tomatoes,  soon they will put the long black plastic raised runners in, poly vinyl chloride I betcha. The ground is fertilized with chemicals, plants are put in and the spraying begins. I see truck sprayers in the fields all summer.  Then they pick the green tomatoes, and ship them. T
hey are ripened in gas chambers(polyethylene) and then the fields of red tomatoes are sprayed again, with something that kills the plants and turns them brown and crackly overnight. Signs are posted
saying "if you eat these, you will die". And then soon, all the poison is turned into the ground. This is GMO spraying.Not just tomatoes, almost all crops in this country have been sprayed, over 15,000,000,000 tons of spray a year are used now. I have also seen reports wondering if there is a connection to the mental problems with our youth, chlropyrifos is known to brain damage children, so if kids are eating Goldfish, packaged cookies and crackers, even the fruits and veggies, they are being damaged by them. We also have let the use of electronic hand held violent games etc become a part of their lives. I have family who in the past have said, if I want to eat this I will, I only live once, why not enjoy it. But since have changed their minds. Dairy products are full of hormones and anti biotics, causing early puberty in girls and boys, and of course heart problems, cholesterol  etc in adults.  I went to plant based milk, cheese etc in the 80s, they are fine with me. When Pat was ill and we had so much going on his doc siad his cholesterol was borderline, he should go on Lipator. I balked. It's know to destroy kidneys and liver etc. So we did what I have done so much, talked to Walt at the Mustard Seed, a health food store in Newport. He had been a doc but gave it up and started teaching prevention. Asked him what Pat could take instead, he told us we didn't need to take anything, just quit eating anything that ever had a mother. Easy fix. It's been said you are what you eat. It's very true, what you put in is what you get back in the way of health, good or bad.  I would like to eat out sometimes but there are no organic restaurants in our area . Having chosen to eat organic for the past few years, my body rebels and makes me feel crappy when I feed it bad stuff now.  You can really tell the difference. Lots of mornings when I look at my organic oatmeal with cinnamon and organic soy milk, I think how nice a gooey cinnamon roll would be. But I have learned that we also eat way too much sugar, and it's now being scrutinized.  We already know too much makes kids hyper.  Well, I have rambled on far too long,  but if you are truly interested, you can pull up GMOs online and get all kinds of information. Draw your own conclusions. I feel lucky to be in my 80s and not on any meds, or suffering from any joint aches and pains, but I have worked at it for many years/ You can't get sick then undo it, it's an ongoing process.  Happy Spring, eat good food, stay well.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Essential Oils can be deadly for pets

When we lived in Nebraska, we had two kitties, brothers , that we had from birth.  When one was bout 10 or 11, he got sick. The vet said the only thing we could do was put him down. It  was a sad day, and I asked what could have caused the illness. We went through all the things I used in the house, and when we got to Febreze, she told me its deadly for  pets.  Since then I have not used air sprays, or plug ins, or candles after finding one by one, they are all hazardous to health.  Thinking I was doing the best thing for family and pets, I began using essential oils. Made my own air sprays, cleaning products etc. Well,  a week or so ago, I read an article saying essential oils can be fatal to pets also, if you use the wrong ones.  I have not done any research on dogs, but for cats, here are the ones to avoid::Peppermint, Oregano,Clove, Sage, Citrus of any sort, cheap lavender but you can use carefully the good expensive lavender oil, do not use tea tree or Meleluca, Cinnamon, Wintergreen, Thyme, Birch, Pine, and Spruce. It also says to watch and not use any processed with  phenols.  Cats have thin, sensitive skin and absorb these oils, causing kidney and lover damage.  I will be changing a lot of formulas,  my fave bathroom air spray had cinnamon and clove oil in it, liked the spicy scent.   But not willing to hurt my sweet baby girls.  Oils are bad for dogs too, but you will need to look those up if you have pups.  Not hard.  Lots of info, aren't computers wonderful? We went from cold cold cold, to quite nice this week, upper 50s and 60s and by tomorrow they say 71.  There are leaf buds on the trees and Robins in the yard.  I am still not optimistic that spring is here, the weather guessers say we will have more cold the first part of March. At least it should be short, and likely not single digits like we had in January.  Most of us are tired of cold. I am looking forward to getting garden started again, They have already plowed the tomato and corn fields at the bottom of the mountain.  Aww yes, those fields that are grown in plastic runs(likely poly vinyl chloride which is bad for us) and of course, sprayed all trough the season with glyphosate, agent orange, hep C, Dicamba and all sorts o f other bad stuff. Please don't buy tomatoes that are not organic, you have no idea what has been done to them til you live in the middle of the growing area. Corn, potatoes and many others are the same. Tomorrow is Valentines Day so I wish you all a Happy day, spent with someone you love.  We are getting closer to spring with each passing day, this has been a very long winter, full of broken water pipes, well that needed a new pump, rutted roads and just plain being trapped inside for long periods due to ice and snow. Expensive repairs  for Doug and Marie.  And of course the flu that has been so bad this year. I started using imune oil on my feet each night. One school in Knoxville TN did this with one class, and only one child had the flu in that class.  School still was shut down because of so many others that were sick. And we have not hit peak season yet. Bummer. Eat well, stay warm, and well, it will be spring again one day soon.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Oh No, more cats A good recipe for laundry detergent

Lillie has been trying to catch the cat in the cabinet for a couple of weeks now. I find her there many times a day. But the last few days she found there are more of those awful critters in the house. First I found her on the cupboard in the guest bathroom, batting at the cat in the mirror, then yesterday she found one in the reflection of the glass door on my space heater, the one that resembles a fireplace. So far she has had no luck getting any of them, but it keeps her busy.  I wonder if she is frustrated or just curious, she spends a lot of time  hunting these days.  The space heater has been much help these past weeks, we are much colder than normal here, as are a lot of areas. My sis is visiting Florida for a break from Nebraska's chill, and finding it cold there to, winter coat weather and in the 40s her first week there. The snow we had is finally melting away, maybe the kids will get back to school next week.  They are enjoying a lot of days off but will have to make them up somewhere. I am annoyed by an add for Cheerios I keep seeing, they use kids in their ad and say how Good goes around and around, and this cereal is so good for kids. Nope.  Their products are made from GMO grown crops so your babes are eating  glyphosate, and a host of brain and body damaging poisons if you allow them to have  it. Just a few steps down the cereal isle there will always be a section of organic products, and the cheerio like ones taste even better, are quite cheap and keep your kids from cancer, brain damage and other bad stuff.  Even the milk you put on cereal has to be watched, it is laden with hormones and anti- biotics, causing  our young girls to hit puberty at age 8 or less now, and the organics are  kind of under fire as not being truthfully labeled.  There are good alternatives, many organic plant milks, I have been using them since the 80's, and now find yogurt and other non dairy organic  things in the cases. Yea. Have you seen the stories this week about kids deciding to taste the Tide pods and other laundry pods? It can do them in, quite a serious problem.  I make my own soap, its inexpensive, and does a great job. In the laundry aisle you will find large boxes of laundry soda and Borax, about 3 and a half pounds each. And a bar of Fels Naptha soap. In an airtight container, mix the soda and Borax and grate the bar of soap,  I have a scoop that measures a heaping tablespoon, its enough for most loads. If you have a huge load or very dirty  one you may add 2 scoops. This is about 7 cents  a load, and lasts most people a very long time, there is only one of me so its about a years supply. I also make a spot remover that 's as good as any on the market, I think better. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water 1/2 cup) and add 1 teaspoon of Dawn.  Keep in a spray bottle, spray stain, let sit overnight and wash.  I am all about taking the chemicals out of my home.  I had to have a cat put down that got very sick, the vet told me the Febreze spray I used on furniture etc had caused his illness. Makes you think.  I am hoping to get into  changing lifestyle to green with you in coming blogs.  Til then, stay warm, read labels and stay well.

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.