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.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hot dogs, bologna, salami You may want to reconsider eating this kind of stuff

  Watched a very interesting Dr. Oz show this week. I do not eat much meat, once in a while an organic chicken, but for those still snarfing down this stuff, here is a true horror story.   It starts with huge vats, into which are dumped junk meat,starches, grains, salt, gluten, and fillers of all sorts. And of course, large amounts of nitrates. It's then all smushed up with grinders and poured into casings depending on the size and shape. You all know what they look like.  After they have set up they are sliced and packaged and sent to the stores.   These products are known cancer and heart disease  makers.   And now  there are ones saying they are  "all natural" no nitrates added. Wrong, they are still adding stuff like powdered celery.  Celery is a nitrate. Here is a link you can use to check it out:   There are some alternatives, but you have to go to the deli counter  to find them,   Land of Frost makes a decent sliced ham,  Boars Head has  Roast Beef and Roast Turkey, and Apple Gate makes a smoked turkey, you can have them sliced to suit .  For a long time, us savvy shoppers have  used the outer aisles and shunned the middle ones, filled with processed"foods."these are mostly laboratory produced , processed, non foods,  more like science experiments.  Now however, there are a few things sneaking in that are decent. In the pasta aisle, there are pastas made of chick pea flour, no gluten and GMO free.  In the freezer there is a brand of frozen bread, Mona, that's said to be very tasty, the price however would put me off, I find it listed at about 14 bucks a loaf.  And there are a couple brands of wild caught salmon in cans. I find anything in a can to taste like the can, tinny.   If you have peanut allergies, or nut allergies, you can find sunflower seed butter, of course made from seeds, not nuts. And the canned foods are improving to include pumpkin( all these are organic) which you can add to oatmeal,yogurt, whatever you like, for flavor and health benefits.  And in the veggie area, there are peas, corn, green beans, and also garbanzo, black and white beans that are organic.  I also find canned tomato paste and tomatoes, Muir Glen is a good brand. I still prefer buying fresh produce, and more and more of it is organic.  If you are eating the other stuff, you are eating glyphosate, know to cause cancer, allergies, arthritis, ADHD, aches and pains etc, as well as Chloropyrifos, causes brain damage in children, agent orange, hepatitus C virus, and so many other deadly poisons. No wonder we have a nation of sick people,  the big six companies are out to get rid of a large chunk of the population by what they feed us.  And of course big pharma and the medical and insurance companies are getting richer.  Here's an idea for supper/ Peel and chop a large sweet potato, saute it in sunflower oil til it's a little tender, add a chopped onion, a can,  or  that amount of home cooked black beans, a few cloves of chopped garlic, some cumin and thyme, cook it til tender and serve over brown rice. Add  a little salt and pepper to taste. The mountain behind us is turning red and gold now, it's lovely.  The maples are almost done shedding, and the hummers are gone.  Got a new batch of Pine Salve brewing, sat on the porch enjoying the gorgeous fall weather yesterday and cut up a bucket of pine needles Doug brought me. They are now brewing with orange peel and juniper berries, will take  over a month to get ready to process.  It's still quite warm here, tho they say next week it will be much cooler.    Have a great week,  take care of yourself, you only get one body and one chance to take care of it. Happy Fall ya'all.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fall has arrived, recipes for fall cleaning, thoughts and hopes

 It's official! This morning is crisp and cool, second pot of coffee morning. But oh so nice for sleeping in past normal time. The sun is shining, it''s a beautiful day, and the leaves have red tinges and yellow showing on some. What a great time of the year to get out and see the beauty painted just for our eyes.  It's been a mixed bag week, my daughter in law is battling some health issues, hope she is on the up side now, she gave us a scare.   I have already begun the fall cleaning, have bags of clothes for the Goodwill or someone, and every closet cleaned out.  The rest of the house needs a good vacuuming, my belt broke and I have not been to town to get a new one yet, sure will be glad to get it fixed again. And the light in the frig burned out, never realized how dark it is in there, even with the door open. Time to change batteries in the smoke alarms too, so glad my son can do that for me. Otherwise, I am just doing my regular cleaning, and have some ideas to share.  If you still think it takes clorox or harsh cleaners, nope. Here is a total disinfecting cleaner.  For about a buck at the store you can buy a big empty spray bottle. Wash it well, then put 2 cups of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 25 drops of rosemary essential oil and 25 drops of fir essential oil  in the bottle , shake, spray and clean any surface.,  I would sub tea tree oil for the fir oil, as I keep it on hand and know it is a disinfecting agent.  Okay, now you can do bathroom and kitchen surfaces with no fumes or harmful stuff.   My grandson used to sell Kirby vacuums, he told his mom that to get even tough stains (pet, icky stuff) off carpets,  make a solution of 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon of Dawn,  spray, let settle in, brush lightly then let dry, or if you are cleaning carpets, go ahead and clean, , spots should all be gone.   I am  a very old fashioned person, brought up in an era of being respectful of others, holding my tongue  a good share of the time and following my religious upbringing. It is so painful to see the "United" States being so divided.  While I did not vote for Trump, he is our president and should be respected. The riots, fighting, shootings are horrific and if we don;t learn to co-exist in better harmony, we may end up with a civil war right here in our own country.  We are meant to be our brothers keeper, and reach out a hand to help anyone, no matter, race, religion or political views.  The more we push this aside, the more  bad things keep happening. Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, rock slides,  it seems more and more horrific things occur on a daily basis.  It would be so nice to see people try and care for one another, instead of what we do see these days.  Football players disrespecting our country and it's flag, politicians using our bucks for travel, maybe even the president doing that, come on, we can do better. What has happened to honesty, ethics, morals?  Ok, no more soap box, just wanted to put in my two cents worth. I hope you are having a wonderful,fall,  complete with corn mazes, pumpkins, pie etc. Fill your home and heart with warm scents and feelings.  And love. Til next time, peace.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I am a wannabe, and a great recipe for cleaning your toilet tank

  For about 7 years now, I have been growing , and learning to use herbs, trees, and even weeds to make skin care and health care items.  I am very picky about using organics, and no parabans, chemicals fake colors or scents.  If you read labels on any product you buy, shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, etc, you find long lists of stuff you never heard of.   For example, L'Oreal recently put out an aloe gel face lotion, with about 50 ingredients. I read through it and picked the useful ones, aloe, glycerin, vitamin E and lavender essential oil, and make my own now. It's wonderful and soothing and a little tightening.  My studies  give me access to several plant magazine articles, webcasts and classes. I learned last week that I could be considered  a Wortcunner.  This is an AngloSaxon term for wort, herb, and cunner, learner.   Of course it can also denote a person with occult powers. I have been accused of witch craft, but do not fancy myself a witch. Nor am I anywhere as proficient as I would like to be, but keep learning about the use of herbs every day. At the moment, I have Firewater cough syrup brewing on the cupboard, a jar of Calendula flowers steeping on the window sill, and yesterday I whupped up a batch of Lavender, Vitamin E lip balm.  One of my favorite items is Pine Salve, it's a long process to make, but has amazing pain easing abilities, have family and friend in NE that love the stuff, even have used it for shingles pain.  My household cleaning items are a gallon jug of white vinegar, a BIG box of baking soda, several pounds,  Borax, essential oils, alcohol and peroxide. From these, you can make disinfectants that are not harmful to your health and they keep your home fresh and clean.  The recipe today is this, in a bowl mix 1/2 cup of baking soda., 1/3 cup citric acid  {for canning fruit, found in the canning supply area) and 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish detergent. With your fingers, mix til it feels like wet sand. Pack into molds, ice cube trays about half full or cupcake liners, the small ones work if you don't have others. Let it dry for several days, it gets very hard. Drop one in the toilet tank, after fizzing stops, let it stand for as long as possible, I left mine for over an hour.  Wow, it cleans stuff out really well.   Flush, store  tablets in an airtight container(sandwich bag will do.)  Fall is officially here, tho its turned quite warm again, not complaining, I love this warm weather.  Not looking forward to being stuck inside this winter while Mother Nature  hands out  frost and cold.  But each season has a purpose, for renewing the earth. I am blessed with a wonderful family,lots of good friends and many projects to keep me busy.,  I wish you the same, a happy fulfilled life.  Chase your dreams, you are never to old to learn new things. Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Fall, storms, gunk cleaning recipe

The weather has changed. Instead of sweat and humidity, it has cooled off. Mornings are around 50 degrees, and afternoons  near 70. Love it, very comfy. Sleeping with a blanket  again is nice, and days are just right. My containers on the deck still are giving me lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and herbs. So a salad is still part of supper. It's been sad to watch the events hitting this world lately, and do you notice they are all "the worst ever" occurrences, hurricane Harvey, now Irma, the earthquake in Mexico,the fires in Oregon and Washington and California,  kind of makes me wonder what's next.  It's still calm and serene on the mountain, tho we should be getting some fallout from Irma early in the week, looks like rain, and maybe a little breeze, nothing like others have suffered through.  Some of our leaves have red edges, the hummers are tanking up on nectar right now, not sure if they are getting ready for Irma, or the cool weather has them thinking of heading south. Not a good time for that. Since I switched them to organic sugar water, I can hardly keep up with filling the feeder, they really like that stuff. I watch a dozen at a time fussing over who will get to have some. They are amazing little creatures, sad to know they are dying, like the bees and butterflies, from the stuff we spray our crops with.   Ran across a recipe to clean gunky tile, floors, shower walls etc.  The original recipe calls for 3 cups of water,, 1/2 cup  of baking soda, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar, whisked together and put into a spray bottle or applied with a brush.  To my liking, this is way too soupy.I would go with 3/4 cup of baking soda, 2 Tablespoons each of lemon juice and white vinegar, and enough water to create a thick paste, then brushed on. Let it sit 20 minutes or more, then rinse off.   Starting a pot of chili today, the first of the season. We are expecting only 60s for highs by the first of the week, so looking for something warm , comfort food.  The last 2 weeks I have emptied out and cleaned every one of the 6 closets in my house, 3 walk in bedroom ones, a walk in linen one in the bathroom and a pantry in the kitchen. Have done some cleaning before, but not to this extent. Except for one closet, with carpet, all the others got a steam cleaning on the floors and all the shelf's wiped down.  Kind of thinking about storm windows  but hoping for some warmer weather  yet, not ready for cold.  For the first time in all the years here, I have no pears to can. Weird.  But in a way, no cramped hands from endless hours of peeling and chopping. Mixed blessing. Hope you have a good week, and no storms blow your way. Stay well.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tomatoes? Be Afraid, be very Afraid

Roughly 8 years ago, after Pat died, I started paying attention to what was going on in the tomato fields at the bottom of our mountain. Oh, I had watched them since moving here, but something did not click all of a sudden. In the spring, the ground is plowed, long black plastic runs are made, raised, to plant the tomatoes in. Poly vinyl chloride, likely. Like water bottles, harmful to your health.  The laborers plant the tiny plants, they grow rapidly, so must be fertilized, they stake and create twine cages. All summer, I see big trucks spraying the plants, weed and bug killers are prevalent. Then, what got my attention, the tomatoes are picked green. Hmm, are not vine ripened ones the ones that have good flavor?   Some research showed that of course, ripe tomatoes would be rotten after shipping across the country. So they are shipped, then put into a chamber to ripen them with ethylene gas. This is a naturally occurring gas, but used to ripen, if someone walked into that chamber, they would die. Then they are processed and canned, most of the time into cans with white lining, More poly vinyl chloride, deadly to our health.  After picking the green ones, the fields are sprayed with poison, that turns the plant brown and crackly in 24 hours, and signs are posted saying "IF you eat these, you will die"Then  a few days later,m they are plowed under, and left to ruin the ground all winter. Next year, it starts all over. In ground that is polluted with sprays. This year, in fact a week ago, on my way to church, I could see the fields had been sprayed, and the plants were brown and crunchy.  On my way home from church, I got a real shock. Laborers were in those poisoned fields, picking through the dead plants and packing every usable green tomato into crates, filling many trucks with those crates, to be shipped out.  Does this tell you anything about what Hunts, Lucks, Van Camps etc are feeding you?  If you can still buy a can of tomatoes,  tomato sauce, or paste, pizza  , spaghetti or any other sauce, or ketchup, if it does not say ORGANIC you are being fed a lot of cancer causing crap.  Corn, wheat, potatoes are just a few of the other crops that are loaded with these goodies,  you can pull up all kinds of references on line, it's scary.   We are lucky, grow a good share of what we eat. RIght now, Doug has a lot of cherry tomatoes. I cooked up some dried, organic black eyed peas,  mixed them with salad peppers and cherry tomatoes cut up, and red onion chopped, dressed with a splash of soy sauce. Makes a great high protein salad. We are all sad for the folk in Texas, hope they recover as soon as possible.  We should all be caring for their welfare, at least its nice to see all the heros helping with rescue, and less about the violence that wracks our country.  Those rains have arrived in TN today,  nothing grim, but steady drizzle this afternoon. We need it.  Should keep us from having fires.  Hope you have a good week, Labor Day already Monday, summer is ending soon. See spots of red and gold in the trees already. Have a great week, stay well, eat GOOD food.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Theif in the house

 Monday morning, two four footed furries let me know it was time for food.  Sat up, swung my feet down and reached for my eye drops(dry eyes)  first thing I do every morning. What? No eye drop bottle, always keep it on the night stand. Looked on the floor, under the 3edge of the bed, no luck. Good thing I had a new bottle stashed.  After a sufficient amount of coffee, I stripped the bed and behgan cleaning my bedroom and bathroom. While I was down on the floor scrubbing the bathroom floor, I looked every place I could think of for those missing eye drops.  No luck.  A few days later, I reached for my big toe nail clippers, on a tray on the beside table. Guess what, no clippers.  I spent a long while looking for those and gave up. A few days later, I did find them
 under the rocker in the bedroom.  I still have not come across the eye drops.   It's been a busy week. Doug came down and moved a shelf in the laundry room down to where I could reach it, wopw, does that make life easier. And he helped me clean the screen on my washer hose, was taking over an hour to fill the washer. Yesterday I put clothes in to saok and went ot get breakfast, thinking I would have time for feeding the kitty girls, but the washer filled so fast I was right back to turn it off.  Kind of started a cleaning binge. My little modular has a pantry, and 5 walk in closets. Yesterday I stripped and scrubbed the pantry, the floor was really crummy, have some roll in cabinets I store canned goods in, had not moved them in a few years. Ok, that's now clean, and the coat closet in the hall is scrubbed an clean. Today I did the guest bedroom the girls use, tossed a lot of stuff.  Got two more bedrooms and the walk in linen closet in the bathroom to go. Maybe the end of the week, tired of closets for the moment.  Just started a fountain going  and Lillie is batting the water around, she can;t figure it out, Silly girl. Yesterday the girls had kind of a bad day, the neighbor seems to have a new kitten, cute little black thing with orange eyes and nasty looking claws. It decided to hang out on Libby's front proch. She was sooooo upset.  Good thing the week is about over, enough excitement for one period of time. And Monday is the eclipse, we are now being told it will be cloudy.  Did get glasses so if we can see it, we are ready.   Picked peppers, tomatoes and herbs yesterday, most of the garden has not done well this year, sadly.  Have a good week, take time to give someone a smil, it might just make their day. We are all here to help each other, how I wish the whole world could just be nice to each other.   What a difference that would make. Til next time, be well.